Saturday, 8 September 2012

Photoshop: An Inexpensive Method to Produce Unlimited, Stunning Photo Background



Photoshop: An Inexpensive Method to Produce Unlimited, Stunning Photo Backgrounds

By Tyson Abbott
Every experienced photographer will tell you that creating a good portrait requires using an attractive background. For many years, professional studio photographers have used expensive muslin backdrops. The expense alone limited creativity, because unless the photographer was extremely active and successful, investment in a substantial amount of back ground choices may not be financially feasible. After all, some very good unique, custom-made muslin backgrounds may cost up to $1,000. However, there is an alternative available for portrait photographers seeking creativity and change.
Use Of Digital Backgrounds For Portrait Photography
Digital backgrounds used for portrait photography are typically created in computer software programs like Photoshop. This software is by many different graphic designers to create stunning images, logos, calendars, or even a magazine layout. Creating digital Photoshop background effects may have been a bit of a challenge for a novice in the past, but now through employing digital background tutorials, users are well on the way toward creating their very own signature digital portrait backgrounds more quickly and easily than was once possible. Although digital backgrounds are available at many different websites online, most accomplished photographers seeking to make a name for themselves always wish to develop unique backgrounds that are associated with their studio or photography style.
Don't Settle For Cheap
A quick look online will reveal hundreds of sources for attaining either a CD of digital photographic backgrounds or the ability to download individual choices or complete sets. You might even find some of these offerings online reached really cheap. There may be a reason behind this because these digital files could be extremely cheap as well. If you intend to try out what is commercially available, make sure you can check to see the image and also find out what resolution was used to save it. Sometimes, these online sources will provide you with a free sample making an effort to entice you to purchase other backgrounds that are available.
Part Of A Professional Arsenal Of Photographic Tools
For any serious photographer, especially for artists seeking to make a living shooting portraits, the ability to understand and use Photoshop background effects is a welcome alternative to purchasing several expensive backdrops. Unlike real-world material backdrops, digital ones are not subject to the physical elements, never get dirty, and surely cannot be damaged. Plus, once a photographer learns through digital background tutorials how to create his or her own, they actually cost a mere fraction of what a real-world, high-quality muslin background would cost.
Creativity Is Your Only Limitation
Individuals that take the time to learn how to create Photoshop background effects can employ all their creative juices for specific things. Imagine what types of background you could create if you specialize in baby photography, pet photography or possibly doing high school senior portraits. Use of digital backgrounds can help enhance a wedding photographer's skills arsenal. Templates can be created and presented to potential clients showing them the extent of creativity employed when putting together a wedding photography package. Think of all those extremely busy backgrounds that can't be avoided when doing location photography. Even pose shots on location can be made more interesting employing digital backgrounds. Only your imagination can limit the type of backgrounds you can create once you master the technique employing digital background tutorials.
If you would like to learn more about digital backgrounds, or see what is possible with digital backgrounds, then you may want to visit http://www.photoshopbackgroundeffects.com

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Unusual Wedding Transport Option - A Helicopter!


With so many options available how do you choose your wedding transport? Will you be going to the church in a Rolls Royce or Bentley? Perhaps a friend has a top of the range Mercedes that you may be able to borrow! Don't forget that if you have a large wedding dress that needs a lot of space, you will need to make sure it will fit in your wedding transport!
There are the more traditional modes of transport with horse drawn carriages still a very popular choice. Obviously all of this really depends on budgets that are available. A horse drawn carriage or classic car tends to be the most expensive option and can prove unreliable! After all a vehicle that was designed and built many years ago will have a tendency to break down, even though the companies that keep these cars, keep them in pristine condition and no expense spared on servicing and maintenance. Obviously the same could be said for a horse as an animal has a mind of its own and will use it. This occasionally leads to issues, as the old saying goes you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink!
Have you considered something different? Steer away from the norm and choose a wild and wacky way to arrive at the venue! We asked our brides how they intended to get their wedding venue and our favourite response was a helicopter! Wow, imagine the look on your friends faces if you arrived in a helicopter! Although still a rare option this is becoming increasingly popular in country estates and old manor houses (where there is room to land). As you would imagine this is a relatively expensive option but how cool would you look flying off into the sunset together after the big day for a quick flight before the evening do?
There are however a number of things to check before you book a helicopter. Where is it going to land? What are the costs to land? If you are landing at the property that you are getting married they will often waive the costs. Flights are often sold per hour and range in cost between £500 - £1,000 per hour. This may sound expensive but bear in mind how fast you will be able to get there in a helicopter! Most people have time left over and many companies will allow you to use this time to have a pleasure flight to see the local sights, or perhaps to transport you to the evening venue.
Don't forget about your photographer! If you arrange to meet your photographer before the wedding, you may need to let them leave before you do otherwise you will beat them to the venue and they will miss the magical shots of the landing and you stepping out in your stunning wedding dress! Last but not least remember to have a back up plan! If the weather is not suitable the helicopter will not be able to take off. So a car on standby might not be such a bad idea! If the weather does turn against you most helicopter companies will allow you use your time at a later date.
The Wedding Dress Factory Outlet offers over 700 designer wedding dresses at a fraction of their retail price. For high quality discount wedding gowns, visit us at our Leicestershire store and find your perfect wedding dress.

Teen Drinking - How does teen drinking affect the family specifically?


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Friday, 24 August 2012

How to Spot a Bad Manager In Quotes

If there is one thing guaranteed in the world of business, it is that you can tell a bad manager from the things they say. This article looks at some of the funniest “bad manager” quotes, and why they are so ridiculous.

“Do You Want This Job? If Not, I’ll Find Someone Who Does!”

One thing you will notice about this collection of quotes is that it is very much based on misguided beliefs on what will motivate people. This is the classic from an incompetent manager who is unable to separate an issue with poor performance or lack of training with a bad attitude. This tends to be up there with other brilliant quotes such as “I don’t pay you to think, I pay you to do what you are told.”
Rather than threaten the employee’s employment at every opportunity, why don’t managers actually speak to their teams and find out what the issue is?

“Drop Everything Else. This is Urgent!”

This is not necessarily a sign of a bad manager by itself, however if it is happening every day, or even once a month, then there is probably something seriously wrong with either their planning or prioritising skills.

“Bring Me Solutions”

This quote has the most impact when it is best used by managers who adopt the “I don’t pay you to think” attitude that we explored earlier. You have a problem, so you go to your boss to ask for some assistance. Having already been told not to think, you then are told to show some initiative and come up with a solution to the problem yourself. Hang on a minute! Don’t think, but do not come to you telling you there is a problem, either? Okay then, next time the computer system goes down completely or a shoplifter helps themselves to hundreds of pounds worth of stock, I’ll just stand by.

“Everyone Thinks This”

A bad manager will only ever give bad feedback or criticism to employees, rather than actually praise them when they do a great job. They often go the trouble to exacerbate any criticism they have of you by mentioning that a lot of your colleagues think that, too. That is the perfect excuse used by managers who cannot think of too many instances of you actually getting something wrong, and are just looking to nit-pick.

“You Are Lucky to Have a Job”

Coming full circle with a job that links to the first quote, managers often love to tell us that in tough economic times, we are lucky to have a job at all. Of course, they always make it sound like you are lucky to be working for them, without considering their own fortune to be in a job that they are so obviously awful at!

This article was created by one of the Posterita content writing team. Posterita are a first-class point of sales software company based in Mauritius.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Why Matilda Is So Successful In London's West End

Matilda the musical has become a popular addition to the West End stage since its premiere in 2011. Half a year later, it continues to draw in the crowds with sold-out viewings and it has become one of the most successful British musicals of all time. Critics, too, have sung its praises and the musical won a record-breaking seven Olivier awards, and it is even set for Broadway in 2012. Many who have not seen the show are wondering what it is that makes Matilda so successful.

The Story of Matilda


The fantasy world of Matilda is inspired by fairy tales while still being firmly grounded in the grim reality of terrible classrooms, nasty teachers and neglectful parents. Matilda is a bright and gifted young girl, ignored by her parents and despised by her child-hating headmistress Miss Trunchbull. When Matilda learns that she has unexpected powers, she uses them to make her and her friends lives better and enact revenge on the dreaded Trunchbull.

Adapting The Book Into A Musical


Although the adaptation is largely faithful, it has added some contemporary touches. The musical has also slightly altered the episodic structure and feel of the book and added segments were Matilda tells stories to her classmates. These stories give a chance for the production to escape the confines of the classroom, as well as breathe new life into the story while remaining true to Dahld's work and tone. Even those familiar with the book find that the musical is much more than a simple reselling of the story.
Of course, the production would not work without strong musical additions. Fortunately, comedian Tim Minchin has invigorated the play with witty, catchy and boisterous new songs and accompaniments. The rousing songs and dance routines have been universally praised and many have argued that it is the best new musical to hit the West End in years.

The Enduring Appeal of Roald Dahld


Matilda is not the first play to have been adapted from Roald Dahld's work. Twisted Tales, BFG, The Twits and many others have all made their way to the stage. Roald Dahld's literary legacy is firmly established and his dark themes, twisted humour and riveting plot twists are more relevant now than ever. The stage is the perfect place for his loud and brash characters, ominous sets and underdog stories. With rousing performances on swing-sets, acrobatics and even the child throwing exploits of Trunchbull all reenacted on stage, Matilda is a lively and action-packed show.

Parents and Children


Roald Dahld's stories have always appealed to adults and children. His dark twisted humour, although childlike at times, is fun for all ages and Matilda is no exception to this. The production is also scary, tragic and gripping, and many older viewers agree that it is a must-see play suitable for all ages.
The triumph of Matilda shows no signs of slowing down. Although many movies and books are being adapted for the stage, audiences and critics agree that Matilda is one of the best of its kind.

'Why Matilda Is So Successful In London's West End' was written in partnership with Leicester Square Box Office, providers of official West End tickets.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Storage Options Made Easy

You’ve been putting it off for months; the longstanding task of spring cleaning. Whether it’s the fact that there is not a partiality to it or just the overwhelming amount of “things” to clean around, organization simplifies housework. We’ve all dreamed of being able to clear our home of everything to be able to accomplish this goal, but that is not practical for most people. The most overwhelming chores can be broken down into smaller goals and, somehow, do not seem as daunting. Let’s take some organization into each room of the home. You can even begin outside!

An attractive storage bench outside of the door is very versatile. It can be used to store outdoor toys, sports equipment, small yard tools, or recyclables. While being useful, it also adds an inviting appearance to the entry of your home. Maybe there is not enough room to accommodate a bench outside, but what about the entryway into your home? Select a model that incorporates a coat rack and save even more space while corralling those coats and hats.

The living room offers many alternatives for storage. An ottoman is an ideal example. They can be utilized for toys, pillows, throw blankets, and even a place to store files. Several ottomans can also be combined to serve as a coffee table, just add a tray or two. Leaving one ottoman entirely empty provides for a last minute hideaway for those items that you do not want to expose unexpected guests to. Floating shelves are aesthetically pleasing and offer an abode for favorite books, cd's, DVD’s, or other collections. Baskets can also be used for storage in the living room for articles that are beautiful and destined for display.

The kitchen is another area that can profit significantly from a small amount of arrangement and storage tips. Why not use a hanging rack to store frequently used pots and pans. This frees up a lot of cabinet area to use for other items, such as small appliances that occupy a lot of counter space. Consider stowing items under your sink in a plastic, covered container. Although this tidbit may not save much space, it will help avoid water damage to anything stored beneath your sink.

The bathroom is probably one of the smallest rooms in your home, yet seems to accumulate a vast array of products. Towels and wash cloths displayed in a basket preserve cabinet space for other belongings that rather not displayed. Bathrooms could also benefit from an over the toilet tower system of shelves or wall shelves. This is a vast amount of wasted space that could provide necessary storage options.

How can a bedroom be one of tranquillity when there are stacks here and piles there? Under-the-bed storage drawers have endless possibilities; put away out of season clothing, shoes, or maybe leave one empty and designated as a donation drawer. If underneath the bed is filled with storage drawers, where ever will those little dust bunnies hide?

Every home has the potential for extra storage; the additional space simply needs to be discovered.
This article was written by Nisha Sharma, on behalf http://www.premier-selfstorage.co.uk.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Did Facebook Or Twitter Cause The Breakdown Of Your Marriage?

Facebook Or Twitter -Did It Breakdown Your Marriage?

In the days before the Internet, having a penfriend in a different town or country – or meeting people on holiday – were some of the options for getting to know new friends. Now however, thanks to social networking, people can make new friends without even stirring from their sofa or desk.

Social media websites have been cited as responsible for triggering revolutions and riots, but divorce lawyers are also seeing an increase in broken marriages as the result of one partner meeting someone else online.

Time spent chatting online to people your other half does not know about – let alone know – can often be pinpointed as the start of a marriage breakdown.

Just spending a few hours with new people or friends online can make partners feel neglected or left out.

Although a bit of online flirting and suggestive chat might seem little more than an ego boost, the freedom engendered by being able to meet new people online and in private can make marriage seem restrictive.

Online social networking is, however, a virtual world and the person you are connecting with online might not be the person you think they are. The fun of online relationships is that they are free from everyday stresses like paying bills, washing up, childcare and squeezing the toothpaste in the middle.

Only the good parts of a relationship are on offer, with looks, compatibility, and reality pushed to one side as you chat away about everything under the sun in an anonymous bubble, which allows you to create an idealised vision of what your online “soulmate” is like.

Many people have actually met their partners online – but many marriages have also been wrecked by one partner suddenly deciding that they want to spend the rest of their life with the person at the other end of their internet connection, and not their husband or wife.

In 2011, Facebook was blamed for the breakdown of between one-third and one-fifth of marriages, based on the number of times the social media site was mentioned in divorce applications.

The divorce rate has remained at a steady 50%, and as yet there is no telling the age, social background or culture of those involved in failed marriages as a result of Facebook.

It may be that Facebook is now becoming the main way people meet their next long-term partner, especially as people on the site are likely to connect as friends as the result of shared interest or mutual friends – or simply as the result of an attraction to someone’s photo, just like real life.

Many people dispute the fact that Facebook may be splitting up happy homes – people who are unfaithful by nature will always be unfaithful, they claim.

But social media like Facebook has now opened up opportunities to meet new partners at a global level – meaning the hopeless romantics and the unfaithful have a whole new world to explore.

Your partner is probably just as likely to meet someone new over the photocopier as on a social media site – but whereas romance over a photocopier may soon blossom or fade, online romances tend to hang suspended in a fantasy world fuelled by secrecy and longing, especially if one or both parties involved are married to other people.

So if your partner is spending hours on social media sites and won’t let you in on what they are up to, how worried should you be?

Many abandoned partners never suspected that their other half was chatting to an interesting stranger online instead of uploading their own holiday snaps, so any excessive secrecy, long online sessions at the same time every day – or an online habit which leaves them aloof but unusually upbeat at the end of a social networking session should perhaps be the subject of further enquiry.

And if they suddenly book a weekend away without you – or a trip to another town by themselves and are sketchy about the details, don’t assume it is a special anniversary surprise they are planning for you.

Being suspicious and possessive can also marr relationships – but a little gentle questioning about an online habit or sudden weekend away without you might just save your marriage.

There are so many things that can cause a relationship to go sour, so be aware of your social presence to avoid having to visit a divorce solicitor.

Monday, 20 August 2012

How To Use Your Personal Sauna As A Hot Yoga Studio

Hot yoga combines the relaxation benefits of traditional yoga with heat that will get you sweating and help you to lose weight. While all forms of yoga are beneficial forms of exercise, bikram or hot yoga is especially useful as the poses are completed in a hot room with temperatures well over 100 degrees. Hot yoga classes run for 90 minutes and go through a series of methodical poses that encourage deep breathing.

However, finding a hot yoga class is a lot harder than finding a traditional yoga studio. Since the bikram yoga studio needs to be heated to 105 degrees, the classes can’t be held just anywhere. Also, a lot of people are hesitant to do yoga in front of a group of people, especially when the added heat means you will be sweating through whatever loose clothing you wear. If your schedule or modesty doesn’t permit for you to attend a hot yoga class, then try doing hot yoga in the privacy of your own sauna.

When using your personal sauna as a hot yoga studio, put your safety first. Use a yoga mat that is intended for hot yoga and will not become too sticky or slippery in the heat. Dress in loose, ventilating clothing so that your body is able to receive air while you are working out in the sauna. If you are new to yoga, try doing the routine a few times in your home before moving to the sauna. You don’t want to add that much intensity to your routine on your first try.

Before going into your sauna make sure that you are hydrated. This is especially important since you are planning on doing a lot of movement while you are in the sauna. If at any point during your yoga routine you find that you are thirsty or lightheaded then stop, take a break and grab some more water.
Bikram yoga has specifically designed routines that feature guided movements and breathing exercises. There are other forms of yoga that are not meant to be done in the heat. Don’t try doing other types of yoga that feature balancing exercises or intense stretches while in the sauna. These exercises aren’t meant to be done in the heat.

While working out in front of a large group of strangers is a bit intimidating, most people have a friend or family member that they won’t feel embarrassed working out in front of. Ask someone to sit in the sauna with you during your first workout session. By having someone else there you can prevent an injury that would leave you alone in the sauna for an extended period of time. If you are new to bikram yoga, don’t try to do 90 minutes on your first try. Start out slow by doing 30 or 45 minutes and gradually work your way up to the full 90 minute session.

Hot yoga is a great workout that can help you to lose weight, increase your flexibility and manage stress. By starting out slow and taking the right precautions you can use your own sauna to do this activity in the comfort of your own home.

This guest post is provided on behalf of SaunaRay. If you are looking for a high-quality, environmentally friendly infrared sauna then SaunaRay in Collingwood is your answer. Click here for more details.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Cure Your Dance Phobia

Music has been a source of inspiration for many people since the beginning of time. So many people find pleasure in listening to lyrics and rhymes that move and touch their soul. But dancing is an entirely different story. So you think you can't dance?

Although many people love music not everyone enjoys dancing. Just take a look around society, at events, such as weddings, concerts or outdoor plays. The majority of people do not dance. The main reason is because they are afraid they will look silly. They think that they are a bad dancer and don't want people to judge them. But the reality is people won't and don't judge the people who get up and dance. If anything there is admiration for people who just shake their groove thing.

Of course dancing is a great way to help you feel better and even lose weight but there are other benefits to getting into the groove. Here are some benefits of dancing and tips to help you get over your fear of dancing. 

Try It

Trying something new is a great way to enjoy life more. If you don't like dancing because you are afraid of what other people might think of you, then ask yourself what are you afraid of? Chances are people don't judge people who actually get up and dance on the dance floor. Most of the time they seek admiration and respect for those who seem to have a no worries attitude.

In fact when you approach the dance floor your body will naturally fall into a rhyme. The beat of the song will help you fall into a comfortable groove. If you can walk you can dance, so let you insecurities subside.

Let Go

When you avoid judging, comparing or thinking about what you are doing and how you look you will naturally fall into sync. Just let go and have fun is the key to being a great dancer. No one cares how you look; it is always about feeling the rhymes move through you. Dancing is a great activity for helping you feel better. 

Dance While You Work

Sure dancing is fun and a great way to feel better in the moment but what about times when you don't usually dance. Like when you work. The average America will spend over three thirds of their life working and sometimes we end up in jobs we don't like. If you are tired of your job then spice it up and listen to good music. Maybe you can put a playlist on your computer and put earphones on while you sit at your desk. Or if you work in an environment such as a job shop that encourages music you can pick fun songs to help the day go smoother. 

For more information on music while at work visit a job shop Portland. Shannon Kaiser is a health and wellness writer for the Portland Community.

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Positive Impacts of Technology on Society

Technology has influenced every aspect of our lives and has helped to shape the world in which we live. While there are many negative effects of technology on our society, the positive benefits are by far the most numerous. Technological advances have helped us to live easier, more productive lives and have turned a huge world into a small global community. Here are some of the ways in which technology has changed our lives for the better.

Transportation

Long ago, mankind depended on walking or using animals to get from place to place. Over time, however, technology has made it possible to transport people and goods long distances with little effort and in a fairly short period of time. From the earliest bicycles and cars to today’s motorcycles, automobiles, jets, and ships, transportation has been completely transformed by technology. 

Household and Industry

Many of the fundamental processes that were once done manually in the household or in industry are not automated. Imagine a world where even the most dangerous tasks were performed by human hands and daily tasks such as doing laundry required intense physical labor. Modern technology has made manufacturing much easier and has created more leisure time for individuals and families.

Exchange of Information

Computers have made it possible to manage, store, and organize vast amounts of information. The computers process this information much more quickly and accurately than humans ever could and keep all information within easy access. In addition, the Internet has made it possible for individuals from around the globe to instantly exchange information and ideas with one another.

Advertising and Entertainment

With the Internet, businesses large and small find it easier than ever to reach customers from around the world. This makes it much more possible for almost anyone to find true success in business. In addition, technology has made the special effects possible in many of our favorite movies. Finally, modern people have a much easier level of access to music, television shows, movies, games, and other entertainment through the use of computers, cell phones, and other devices.

Cellular Communication

Cell phones provide a much easier method of communication than ever before. With a cell phone, you can reach (or be reached) anyone at any time. In addition, the cell phone has made it possible for individuals to call for help in any emergency from any location. Parents can use cell phones to keep contact with children away from home and allow people to keep watch over elderly family members. This great technology has become such a part of our lives that many of us couldn’t imagine living without a cell phone.
Although there is little doubt that technology has had some harmful effects on society, it is impossible to deny the vast benefits that we have enjoyed due to these same advances. Technology has greatly enhanced and bettered many parts of our daily lives and promises to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
 
Ben D. is a writer for http://www.mybusinesscareers.com/. To understand more about a career in business, take a look at this website. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tips to Downloading Things from the Internet

The internet has certainly changed the way we do things. We no longer have to use hands on learning to learn what we want to know. We don’t have to use a CD player or even listen to the radio anymore if we do not want to. We can save things to our computer and we can download things as easy as 1-2-3. The things that people download vary, but in some instances, downloading is illegal. If you have never heard of downloading, you have probably done it numerous times without even thinking about it. If you want to know more about downloading, here is the inside scoop. 

Downloading Music and Videos

Many people download music onto their computers. In some instances, it is legal, but in many cases, it is not. If you download music from iTunes, then it is legal. However, if you are using sites like MediaFire, it is not legal. You can also download music from YouTube if you use a site like ListenToYoutube.com, but that is not necessarily legal either because the artists are not making the money they should be. If you want to save videos to your computer, you can do that as well. Sites like DownloadYoutube.com make it all possible and then you can  watch the videos later or even while you are offline. You can then convert the files so that you can play them on your iPod or iPhone. This practice is becoming more and popular and many people do it, even though it’s not completely legal. You can see that if you go on the YouTube website, the videos have restrictions on them that prevents them from being downloaded. Some users may allow their videos to be downloaded, but it is a rare occasion. 

Downloading Pictures and Other Files

One of the most popular things that people download is pictures. It’s actually very simple. All you have to do is find a picture that you like online, right click on it and save it. Then it will show up in your computers downloads folder and you’re done. Even if there are restrictions that prevent an image from being downloaded, many people will just screen cap the image and then crop what they want. Additionally, files such as Microsoft Word documents are also frequently downloaded, but  many times, this is completely legal. 

At some point in time or another, everyone downloads something and believe it or not, you’ve done it too. Whether you are downloading music, videos or even pictures or documents, you are still downloading. It’s no big deal as long as you are doing it legally. Knowing the laws about downloading is important so that you do not get in trouble later on. No matter what anyone says or what laws are made, downloading will still continue because it’s easy and the internet has become something we depend on so strongly. Have fun with what you download. Just make sure you’re doing it legally!

Jana C. is a writer for BestOnlineColleges.org. For those that want to get the best education possible, take a look at this site, you will be glad you did: http://www.bestonlinecollege.org/

Project Runway Lights up Times Square

Season Ten of Project Runways kicks off in Times Square

Times Square was the setting for Project Runway’s season 10 kickoff. The fashion programme set its catwalk up within Manhattan’s northern triangle. The reality-television show has a huge fan base and fans were treated to a fantastic show when Michael Kors, designer and show judge presented the show’s latest designs to the media, audience and VIP guests. No doubt many came to see Heidi Klum up close too. The woman’s beauty is famed.

Project Runway

Started in 2004 Project Runway has just been picked up for its tenth season with fashion fans and design addicts breathing a sigh of relief. The tough world of fashion is shown through the eyes of novice designers who are given briefs to design some extreme clothes for potentially surreal and eclectic customers such as stilt walkers or brides wanting supreme wedding dresses. Designers need to be able to meet the requirements within a stipulated period and they are judged accordingly by a panel which includes Heidi Klum and some tough fashion critics. Guest judges are also invited on board – recently Katie Holmes. Contestants are eliminated as in any other reality based television show, while Project Runway winners are given opportunities to work with some of the top names in the fashion industry. Christian Siriano, a Project Runway winner, currently designs for Heidi Klum.

Klum admitted that she has been begging the programme directors to put a Project Runway show on in Times Square. The kickoff show started with a champagne celebration for the new season while the catwalk was set-up underneath a massive billboard featuring a pair of scissors and Tim Gunn’s famous words of “Make it Work.”

Audiences all over the world, and those throughout Times Square, were treated to 32 outfits. Two each designed by the 16 contestants; one at home and one at Parsons – NYC School for Design. Naturally when watching Project Runway, everyone is a critic and several designs were described as disastrous, others as pure genius, some even as too perfect. It’s clearly a very fine line that one treads as a fashion designer.

Project Runway was screaming success with 60 photographers jostling in an area reserved for 15, a huge audience of people cramming into Times Square and millions watching the new season kickoff. The contestants nervous energy was quite palpable, but with the tough critiquing that goes on with the Project Runway judging panel, designers as far afield as China were feeling it.

Vida Denning is a writer who enjoys Project Runway but wishes some designers would a point of redesigning mens ties because most of them are just too cruel to the eyesight.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Water Damage on your Phone? We Can Fix that!

Water Damage on your Phone? We Can Fix that!

There are some problems with technology we’ve all faced. Whether it be the computer turning off unexpectedly, software crashing, or phone battery dying, sometimes it seems that technology is more troublesome than helpful.

If you use your cell phone or home computer to manage your used book store, drug and alcohol rehab centers or car dealership, tech issues are even more problematic. Fortunately, we have some quick fixes to solve some of the most common tech problems.

Here are a few that should help if you find yourself in a bind.

Water Damage? Try Rice.

From the kitchen sink to drinks to the bathtub, there’s almost always water close to us when we’re at home. Sadly, our phones and computers don’t mix well with liquids. A simple spill can kill a phone, and warranties usually don’t cover water damage.

Very often though, you can fix the phone by placing it in a bag of rice for 24 hours. The rice soaks out the water, allowing you to save your phone virtually free of cost.

Tend to lose phones? Here’s a multi-level approach.

Cell phones are one of the most commonly lost or stolen items, due to their relatively small size and high price tag. For many of us, losing a phone can be nothing short of tragic, as cell phones have become our personal and professional lifelines. Fortunately, there are some preemptive steps you can take to lessen the blow of a lost phone.

First, use your cell provider’s complimentary back-up service — nearly all phone companies have them. These services store all of your contacts, photos and other types of data on your phone on the wireless network. They update your information almost daily, allowing you to retrieve most of your data if you lose your phone.

Second, if you have a smartphone, install a GPS tracking app. These apps are free on many of the newer models and allow you pinpoint the exact location of your phone. If you believe your phone has been stolen, tracking apps also help you catch the thief.

Third, install a passcode to protect your data in case the phone is stolen. This will also stop nosy friends and co-workers from browsing your phone. Finally, as a last resort, tell your phone provider your cell has been lost or stolen. By doing so, you protect your data and make sure no one will be able to use your stolen phone.

Laptop not connecting to WiFi? Try this.

Free public WiFi is not always as glorious as it sounds. Often, computers have difficulty connecting to free networks, as signals can be weak or inconsistent. Poor signals are always annoying, especially if you’ve traveled to the local cafĂ© or library with the sole purpose of doing work online.

Frequently though, if you adjust your laptop’s power settings to high performance, you’ll be able to pick up weak signals with ease. You’ll probably wear down your battery faster, so bring the charger just in case.


Guest Author Byline: With any luck, these simple tech solutions will make managing your online business, craft store or drug and alcohol rehab centers much easier! This post is brought to you by guest author Carly Fierro.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Network Security: is New Technology Making Business Less Secure?

All businesses need to make sure that network security is a priority, because a breach can leave companies bereft of precious data and severely damaged in terms of reputation.

This is particularly important for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) because compromised security can spell real disaster from which recovery may not be possible. However, there are those who are concerned about the current state of security, claiming that technological advancements are making it trickier to repel threats from the borders of a business network.

One regularly cited issue is that businesses are now offering Wi-Fi hotspots that can be designed for internal use by employees but may also be used to offer connectivity to customers and clients in order to make a place of work more welcoming.

There is an expectation amongst many that businesses should provide easily accessible Wi-Fi so that outsiders can connect when they are in the vicinity, as it will make your business seem connected, contemporary and approachable.

However, there are fears that an incorrectly configured network into which Wi-Fi hotspots are placed could end up being far more susceptible to security breaches. This is because it is easier for third parties to circumvent traditional controls if they have direct access to a network via Wi-Fi.

Unscrupulous characters no longer need physical access to a business network in order to carry out a breach. They can do untold damage with just a laptop, smartphone or tablet and access to a company's Wi-Fi network.

Security expert Matthew Lord told Computer Weekly that an attack could be levelled against a business network by someone sitting just outside the office. He pointed out that even a Wi-Fi network protected with a username and password system might still be vulnerable to illicit users, because it would not necessarily take that long for someone to guess the right combination of names and passphrases, particularly if staff have chosen weak passwords (password, letmein, etc.).

There are ways for businesses to avoid the typical pitfalls associated with Wi-Fi hotspot-related data security issues recommended by those in the know.

The first is for companies to establish two distinct Wi-Fi hotspot services, the first of which is visible to and accessible by customers and other members of the public, but with the important condition that it may not be directly linked to the business' internal network.

In this way it is possible to allow visitors the chance to access the internet while they are on the premises without giving them undue access to business-critical systems and data.

It is pointed out that to avoid staff using their own devices to carry out work tasks over the public network, thus further risking the integrity of information security, businesses should choose to make this Wi-Fi hotspot available on a temporary basis after registration. This will refocus workers' attention on the secondary Wi-Fi connection, which is only aimed at internal use.

The aforementioned issues with Wi-Fi hotspots that are not open to the public but could still be externally compromised might be addressed through the use of VPNs, according to experts.

Using a VPN client to make the connection between wireless devices and an internal network will mean that data is encrypted during transit and even if someone is able to trick their way onto the hotspot, they will only be able to view packets of information flying back and forth without actually being able to assess their contents.

SMEs need not be overly sceptical about the use of Wi-Fi hotspots because there is clearly a multitude of ways in which they are beneficial. However, experts simply want to make sure that the risks are understood and that measures to improve security are put in place.

Daisy Group plc have over 12 years experience in providing telephony and connectivity solutions to small medium and corporate businesses across the UK.  Daisy's range of services include business phone lines and calls, telephone systems, business broadband, FTTC and mobile phones.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Is Grum's Demise a Signal That SPAM Is Nearing Its End?

 Botnet Responsible For 1 in 5 SPAM Emails Taken Down

Very few people actually take the time to consider where SPAM comes from. Most of us see the message, look to see if it is from someone we know, then hit the SPAM icon to report and delete the message. Sometimes, for no reason at all, it seems that our SPAM filters under perform and we have to do through this ritual more often than we are used to. Other times, it seems that we don't see a SPAM email make it through for weeks. Even better, is when our SPAM folder, where all of the automatically filtered messages wind up, seems a little lighter as well. You may notice a few less SPAM emails in the last couple of days. That is because the world's third largest SPAM bot net, known as "Grum", has been knocked off line in a collaborative effort.

The process was carried out by a trio of online security firms, FireEye, SpamHaus and Russian CERT, as they shut down servers in the Netherlands, Panama, Russia, and finally Ukraine, where the network sought one final place of refuge to continue their efforts. While the firms should be applauded for their efforts in dismantling the Grum SPAM Network, they did require the help of internet service providers, and their higher ups, within these nations in order to be successful.

No Safe Haven
SPAM networks have all but disappeared from North America and most of Western Europe, now seeking refuge in countries that they view safe. However, with the take downs in Russia and Ukraine, these networks likely see the writing on the wall that they are not safe anywhere. The idea of spreading risk and operating in a safe haven has suddenly become antiquated. If outside security firms are working together with local service providers to shut these networks down, the end is hopefully near for these annoying and occasionally dangerous SPAM messages.

To recap, Grum was:
  •     Responsible for just under 20% of all SPAM emails.
  •     Operating in three countries before attempting to find refuge in Ukraine
  •     Operating over 121,000 different IPS, with approximately 20,000 "orphans" left without a command and control center

The take down of Grum has also had a knock on effect on the world's current number one SPAM network, Lethic. Grum's dismantling has put a large amount of heat on Lethic and other networks, with some estimating that all SPAM has at least temporarily been reduced by fifty percent as a result of this operation.

Trends Point To A SPAM Free Inbox
With these networks on the ropes, it may be possible to finally dream of a SPAM free experience whenever you open your email. The time appears to be now to deliver the knockout blow to SPAM networks. With recent cooperation in historically uncooperative nations when dealing with matters of this sort, security firms may have their opportunity to rid the internet of email SPAM once and for all.

Are you looking for a Spotify Premium code 2012? You can easily get a free Spotify Premium code at www.spotify-premium-code.org. There's only a few simple steps to get this free code. Get one today before all the codes expire!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

It Don't Mean a Thing without a Ring: Think Twice about Moving in Together before Marriage


Moving in with your significant other is a huge step in your relationship. You aren’t quite married yet, but you are committed enough to know that you want to share a home for the rest of your lives (or at least until the lease runs out). For most couples moving day is a joyful occasion. After all, you spend so much time together that you might as well be living together, right? Is it possible that, despite the joy and excitement you are feeling, the day that you move in together could mark the beginning of the end for your relationship?
According to some experts, combining your homes before making a commitment to be together forever can actually lead to a divorce down the road. Once a couple is moved in together it becomes very difficult for either partner to leave. Instead of leaving the relationship because they are unhappy, it is easier to take the next logical step, which is to get married and, eventually, divorced.
Are you moving out after a divorce? Get tips, guides and helpful checklists at MyMove.com today.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Scooby Doo for President!

Let's Put Man's Best Friend in the White House, Where He Belongs!

The American public has watched, and loved, Scooby Doo since 1969, when he debuted on CBS Saturday mornings, from the Hanna-Barbara Studios. 

Scooby Doo was a direct result of parental groups who were protesting the gratuitous violence on children’s cartoon shows; CBS and Hanna Barbara teamed up to present a children’s cartoon show with engaging characters that was not overtly violent.  They came up with Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo, who was the best-conceived and best-received of all the characters on the show.

Scooby Doo’s main characteristic is a prudent caution when confronted with unfamiliar situations and species.  Also his undying affection for soybeans in the form of Scooby Snacks.

Yes, after many years of the utmost secrecy, it can now be revealed that the famous Snacks are made of 100% American-grown and processed soybean meal!  These Snacks have kept Scooby Doo healthy and youthful looking, just like Ronald Reagan.

And I’m glad we brought up the former President Reagan.  He was a Hollywood character who was not taken very seriously by the Beltway types in Washington, DC, but he eventually showed all the snobs and nay-sayers that even a humble Hollywood star could ascend to the highest office in the land.

That being said, it is time to give serious thought to Scooby Doo as President!
Let’s look at the record:
  • While other candidates have spent their early years in college and and making obscene amounts of money, Scooby Doo was of material help to the American public by solving mysteries such as The Zonky Zombie, The Blogging Blob, and The Tweeting Tornado. 
  • Scooby Doo needs no financial war chest to campaign; he’s on a dozen channels every day already, so if he chooses to run he can just kick back and talk directly to the Americapn public without having any obligations to perfidious PACS.
  • Scooby Doo is extremely well-traveled; he’s been all over the world, solving cases such as The Case of the Scottish Scab and The Case of the Thai Troll.  And he never puts his foot, or, rather, his paw, in his mouth!
  • As noted above, Scooby Doo is a fanatical soybean meal eater, in the form of Scooby Snacks.  Once he is in the White House he will give unstinted help to every soybean farmer in the land, and there will be a soybean in every pot in America!
  • Can’t you just see Fred as Secretary of Defense, Daphne as Ambassador to the UN, Velma as Secretary of the Treasury, and Shaggy as head of the FDA?
Further words on the subject would be merely superfluous.  Anyone with an ounce of brains and a bag of Cheesy Weezies knows there is only ONE logical candidate this season.  It’s time to put a character in the Oval Office who has integrity, magnanimity, intelligence, and a flea collar!

SCOOBY DOO FOR PRESIDENT;  WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS?

Tim Torkildson is president of the Rhode Island branch of The Scooby Doo Fan Club and a former Scooby Snack hunter, which led him to places such as http://www.cropfax.com/ 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Five Things Guaranteed to Scare a Man Away

Most women are trying to attract women, not repel them. But if you’re trying to scare a man away (not recommended), here are five ways to do it. Trash Talking Trash talking in all its forms is a huge no-no when trying to catch a man. If you trash talk your ex, especially very early in your relationship, he’s not going to want to stick around long enough to become the next target of your hostility if things don’t work out. It also makes you seem bitter and hung up on your ex (are you?). Trash talking your friends, family, coworkers, strangers – any of it is too much negativity for a guy to endure. And if you trash talk HIS friends, family, or coworkers, it’s a quick way to ensure you’ll never hear from him again. Clinginess or Paranoia All men want to feel needed in a relationship, that’s why they love doing things like fixing your doorknob or holding you during a scary movie. If you become so dependent and clingy that you can’t do much without him, it’s a huge turn off. You need to give a guy his space. Sometimes that clinginess can go even further and become paranoia, where you’re not just calling to talk all the time but calling to make sure he’s not with another girl (all the time). That kind of distrust, especially when he’s done nothing to warrant it, won’t make him want to stick around to prove you wrong. Five-Year Plans If you have an idea of when you think you’d like to get married or how old you want to be when you have kids, keep it to yourself. Your five-year plan for your future love life will scare him away for sure. He doesn’t want to have to live up to your standards or feel that kind of pressure. Having a five-year plan about something like your career or education, on the other hand, is a good thing, because it shows him your independence and ambition, and that’s sexy. Butting In In any new relationship, guys want to take things slowly. Even when he’s opened his life up to you, there will still be some things he holds sacred. His time hanging out with his buddies is one example, his work life is another. If you suddenly invite yourself to watch the football game, or show up at his job for any reason other than to bring him lunch, he’ll feel like you’re butting in too far into his life. Oh, and if he has a fight with his mother? Don’t think it’s your job to reconcile the two. Ex-Boyfriends Maybe you’re not trash talking your ex; maybe he’s a good friend of yours who still comes over a few times a month to play Scrabble. If you have any type of significant relationship with an ex-boyfriend, your new guy isn’t likely to understand it. No matter what, he’ll end up suspecting that you’re still banging each other (again, are you?) and will run rather than be played for a fool. Cayla Crenshaw is a fashion writer and expert on men who knows a thing or two about scaring men away. She loves to blog about everything from relationship advice to getting great deals on cosmetic brushes. Photo Credit: Tastino0 - www.tastino0.it

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Robert Woolsey: The Comedian Who Gave His Life for a Laugh

Wheeler and Woolsey Were Happy Onscreen, But Hid a Dark Secret Offscreen
The grim tale of Robert Woolsey reminds us today of a time not too far in the past when workers were expected to cover their own expenses if they were injured on the job; the employer could do something, out of the kindness of his heart, but was not required by law to contribute a single penny to the care of an employee who was injured at work.  Disability insurance and worker’s compensation were just pie-in-the-sky ideas bandied about by social theorists.

Although largely forgotten today, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey were a stellar comedy team, first on Broadway in the 1920’s, and then becoming top-drawing clowns for RKO studies in Hollywood in the 1930’s.

They first met while working as water boys for the circus, and soon cooked up clown makeups and gags that got them invited into clown alley at smaller circuses.  In 1923 they graduated to Broadway, where they played rude bumpkins in several musical comedies staring Ethel Merman.  Their big break came in 1929, when they starred in the Broadway musical “Rio Rita”, which was one of the first Broadway shows to be filmed in sound in Hollywood, with Wheeler and Woolsey continuing in their starring roles.

By now they had refined their stage personas; Bert Wheeler was the young man always on the brink of falling in love while Robert Woolsey played a cigar-smoking wisecracker, leering at the world like Groucho Marx, behind a pair of exaggerated black horn rim glasses. 

During the filming of “Rio Rita” Robert Woolsey was required to be hoisted into the sky on a mechanical whip – a device to give the film audience the impression that the screen actor was flying, like Peter Pan.  In the hands of a competent technician, the whip was completely safe, and had been used for years both onstage and in movies.  But on the day Woolsey was to be filmed using the mechanical whip the technician in charge of it called in sick, so the director, Luther Reed, simply told one of the electrical grips to handle the sensitive mechanism for the scene.  The grip, with no training, attached the straps incorrectly, and when Woolsey was hoisted into the air he had barely reached ten feet when the straps came loose, allowing Woolsey to fall onto a wooden sawhorse.  Woolsey was rushed to the studio infirmary, where a nurse gave him a cursory going-over and proclaimed he had only minor bumps and bruises and should go home to rest and come back the next day to resume filming.

This was the start of the agonizing internal problems that Robert Woolsey suffered until the day of his death in 1938.  It did not enter his mind to seek competent medical help or get the studio to pay for x-rays.  After all, he was just a screen comedian, a lowbrow clown; there were literally dozens of them haunting Broadway and Vaudeville, waiting for a crack at a movie role.  So Woolsey did not rock the boat, but continued to work with his partner Bert Wheeler in series of scintillating musical slapstick comedies.  But Woolsey soon found he could not work for a full day without becoming physically exhausted to the point where he would pass out in the afternoon and be sent home.  Ugly rumors were spread that he was drinking and blacking out, but the truth was he had damaged his kidney in the fall from the mechanical whip; each film he made after that increased his pain, sapping him of energy and strength.  Anyone watching the Wheeler and Woolsey films in chronological order will be struck by how emaciated and stiff Robert Woolsey becomes by the end of his career; he appears to be 30 years older than his partner Wheeler (they were actually just five years apart in age).  In his last film, 1937’s “High Flyers”, Woolsey is not even introduced into the movie until the first 20 minutes have passed.  He looks, and acts, like an old man.  By then everyone at the RKO studio knew he was a dying man.  Two months after finishing the picture, Robert Woolsey entered the Santa Monica Clinic and was treated for kidney failure.  There was little the medics could do, and he passed away quietly, with his partner Bert Wheeler at his side.

After his death the Screen Actors Guild held an emergency meeting and passed two resolutions.  The first one was to award a lifelong pension to Robert Woolsey’s widow, and the second was to threaten to go on strike if Hollywood studios did not immediately institute a series of health and safety reforms, including disability insurance and worker’s compensation as required by California state law.  The studio heads muttered it was all a ‘communist plot’, but they gave in, and Hollywood actors at last were protected on the job in the land of Make Believe. 

Tim Torkildson, among many other things, spent several years as a professional circus clown, and has made a study of all the great clowns.  He is currently a free-lance corporate blogger for companies such as http://www.disabilityinsurancelawyers.com/practice_areas/more/disability-insurance-trials  

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Six Mobile Apps for Food and Drink

What brings summer to mind than the idea of lots of backyard barbeques, whether you're in your back yard, enjoying a tailgate party or grilling in a park or on the beach? With these food and drink apps, your summertime can be filled with good food and delicious drinks. Invite your friends and share the fun.

Grill-It!

This grill master's dream app categories food by type, and all the recipes that will make your friends jealous are right there at your fingertips. Choose from beef, port, poultry, chicken, side dishes and vegetables, and award yourself the title, Grill Master of 2012! Just open the app, and you get a new recipe each week for free.
Both Android and iOS mobile users, these apps are $0.99 for each platform.

GrillTime

Another grilling favorite, this app for iPhones takes the guesswork out of grilling perfection. Load the type of food and the thickness then set the timer. Sit back, enjoy friends, family and a brew or two. The pop-up will notify when to flip the food and when it's done to perfection.
Cost: $1.99.

Smoothie Recipes

In this iPhone and Android app, you get 120 recipes pre-loaded. No more using your valuable data plan to surf the Internet for that recipe you had once but forgot to write down.
You get not only recipes for some truly delicious smoothies, you also get nutritional information as well, so you can monitor your intake of nutrients and calories if desired.
The iPhone version costs $1.99, but the Android app is free.

Lunchbox

If cooking at home just isn't on your agenda, pull out the Lunchbox app for iPhones, type in the food you're craving, if any specifically, and watch your smartphone offer a list of nearby restaurants that offer the food or food type you want most.
The app also provides reviews, contact information and even directions for navigation.

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List

This free iPhone app brings dish serving choices from common but well-loved through gourmet cuisine even for the inexperienced cook. There is little that impresses more than a surprise meal of taste-tempting dishes when least expected. If you want to impress someone or even treat yourself but have no cookbooks, Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List comes to the rescue with over 30,000 recipes pre-loaded – complete with shopping list of ingredients, so you'll ever miss that dash-of-something again.

Mixologist Drink Recipes

This $1.00 app for iPhones brings years of drink mixing experience to your mobile phone. If you are hosting a dinner party, a card party or friends and family night, skip the expensive bars: Bring your own well-hidden bartending “skills” to the fore.
List the liquor you have on hand. Choose a selection of drinks, then ensure you have all the ingredients you need for a night at home, serving expert drink mixes.
Enter your drink, read the recipe, pour and serve – That's it. But don't forget to leave the tip jar!
by Jaye Ryan, a freelance author who enjoys writing about mobile apps and entertainment apps for MobilePhones.org.uk.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Top Tips for Protecting Yourself when Hiring Online Freelancers

When you run an online business, it can be tough to do everything yourself. So, if you need a bit of web design, content writing or other work done, hiring an online freelancer can be an easy and effective way to get the job done.
Online freelancers often do great work, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sure to protect yourself. Just with any business transaction, you need to play it smart.

Ask for Samples and/or References

Always ask for examples of previous work from your online freelancers. This allows you to quickly weed out those whose style or quality does not meet your expectations.
While it can be tempting to ask for a custom sample to be written or designed, this can lose you the interest of qualified freelancers. There are well-known scams where someone looking for a batch of work on a particular topic like calipers or Mustang steering wheels will place an ad looking for a ‘free sample’ on the topic, then simply use the samples and never hire anyone!
If you really require custom samples to narrow down your shortlist, consider paying for them. Alternatively, if you are concerned that samples will not match finished work, ask for references from previous clients.

Have a Contract

A contract is essential, both for your legal protection and to ensure you and your freelancer are on the same page. A contract does not have to be a mess of legal mumbo-jumbo, there are plenty of free sample contracts available online – your freelancer may even have one themselves.
In essence, your contract should include at least the following details:
  • Who owns the rights to the content created
  • How much is to be paid for the work and when
  • How and when the work is to be delivered
  • The number of revisions included in the fee
  • Cost for additional revisions
  • Any penalty fees for late payment of invoices or non-delivery/late delivery of work
  • What happens if you wish to cancel assigned work
  • The legal jurisdiction covering any disputes
  • Is the freelancer allowed to outsource work or must they do it themselves

Be Professional

Not all freelancers will work out or be suitable for your needs. Make sure when working with a freelancer or terminating a working relationship you are professional and calm. You do not want to burn your bridges or get a reputation as someone who is a nightmare to work with!
In addition always be professional with your working communications, such as asking for updates or assigning extra work. Otherwise, a freelancer whose work you love may leave, leaving you right back where you started … needing to hire again.

This is a guest post by Mary who blogs on everything, from hiring freelancers to buying calipers.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Difficulties of Providing Mobile Network Connectivity

With mobile technology becoming increasingly more common and complex, people are now able to stay updated and connected easily throughout the day. This is largely due to mobile network connections being widely available, which allow users to access the internet from anywhere, anytime. Though this is a great convenience for users, providers of these mobile network services have a tough job ahead of them: to keep up with the increased number of users and average usage per person, and continue to provide high-quality—and high-speed—services to all users.

Increased Customer Base

Since mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are now widely available and prices have become more affordable for the average consumer, the majority of people either currently own or are planning to soon own one or more of these devices themselves. This means that the number of people using mobile devices will continue to increase until most people own several of the more popular ones. With an increased customer base, network providers must have a more powerful system to keep up with a larger number of people trying to access their network at any given time.

More Uses For Mobile Internet

Social networking sites such as Facebook provide an excellent means for people to stay connected and up to date with current events, both globally and in their circle of acquaintances and friends. Since such services are so popular, users will often want to have internet access on-the-go to log in and check or update their social accounts. Due to this, network usage increases and providers must be able to continue offering services that allow their users to stay connected.

Reliability and Speed

Not only are users requiring a reliable and stable connection at all times, speed is paramount as well. With a larger amount of websites that have a large amount of content, loading time becomes a more pronounced problem when networks are not up to speed. Having a fast connection will often make all the difference in the user’s choice of network providers. In order to keep customers satisfied, servers must be able to provide high-speed connections to all users continuously, which is not necessarily an easy task.

Greater Coverage

Originally it was to be expected that the strength of the signal varied according to location and not all services would be available wherever you went. However, users are now demanding services such as mobile internet no matter where they go. Though some areas may be too remote and inaccessible, users expect internet access in most locations. This means that providers must continue to expand their network’s coverage to wider areas and reach more customers.

Future Trends

Any network provider must be able to keep up with the current level of users and usage in order to succeed. However, planning for the future is critical as well. If a provider can keep up now but falls behind in the future when usage increases further, it may cause great losses to their business and reputation. In order to prevent this, servers must be updated and optimized to allow continued improvement and offering of all services.
With mobile networks being extremely common at this point in time and more users joining every day, mobile network providers must optimize their efforts and networks to keep up. Doing so will not only result in more satisfied customers, it will also expand their customer base as their reputation for offering a reliable and convenient service becomes more pronounced.
Article provided by Philip Rudy. Philip is a Search & Social Manager for ImageWorks Studio and is in charge of outreach for Actix - a company specializing in mobile network optimization

Friday, 27 July 2012

Considerations for Effectively Editing Nonfiction Writing

Editing is an essential process for any piece of writing that is intended for publication, but not all works are edited equally. For nonfiction writing, there are special considerations that need to be made that may not apply to fiction. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when editing nonfiction work.


  

Structural Editing 

 When you first pick up a piece of nonfiction writing to edit, you’re going to being with structural editing. Structural editing does not take into account things like grammar, spelling, or word choice, which are small details compared to the bigger issues you should be paying attention to. Here is a list of what you’re going to be looking for during a structural edit: 
Clarity 

You should do an initial read-through of the writing in which you simply read and comprehend without making any edits. Once you’ve read the writing, consider its clarity. Were all details sufficiently explained? Were any questions left unanswered? Was anything confusing or misleading? Did you understand everything? Which parts were harder to understand or unclear? 
Coherence and Transitions 

 Next, take a look at how all the information fits together. Was it presented in a logical order? Did the information flow? Were there adequate and natural transitions from one topic to another? Did everything relate well to everything else? Did anything stick out as being unnecessary or out of order/place? Is the information well organized? 
Informational Gaps 

 It’s important to make sure that the reader, who is usually presumed to unknowledgeable about the subject, is given a full picture in order to understand the material. Is there any missing information that would make the story/message more complete or easier to understand? Are there any logic gaps, in which it’s difficult to understand how a point was reached? 
Narrative Style 

The narrator of a nonfiction story is usually removed from the action – an observer of events, and the information is usually presented in an objective manner. Is there anything about the narration style that could be improved? Does the narrator ever inappropriately interject opinions? 
Accuracy 

 Perhaps the most important aspect of a nonfiction piece is that the information provided is true and accurate. Double- and triple-check all facts to be sure they’re quoted correctly. Has all the information been verified by a trusted and reliable source? You should also be on the lookout for misrepresentation of facts. A fact should not be presented in a way that the reader could construe a different, incorrect meaning or significance. 
Formatting and References 

Finally, the nonfiction work should be edited for consistent formatting (fonts, paragraphs, margins, etc.). The bibliography, appendix, index, table of contents, and other additions like tables and graphs should be checked for clarity and accuracy. 
Copyediting 

 Copyediting should not be performed until structural editing is complete, and perhaps not until the final draft is made. After structural editing, the author should make necessary changes to improve the piece, and then copyediting can begin. Copyediting for nonfiction is the same as fiction: you’ll look for things like spelling, grammar, word choice, verb usage, and sentence structure. 

 Alayne Valentine is a freelance writer and college student who has plenty of experience when it comes to editing and proofing. She loves to blog and often covers literary devices or the use of grammar checkers. 

 Photo Credit: Dan Patterson

The iPhone is still dominating the market

The majority of high-tech cellular phone users prefer the iPhone over all of the other phones on the market today – and rightly so, since the iPhone has proven to be the best choice for so many reasons. But if you don’t own an iPhone, you may be wondering, what’s all the fuss about? Well, there are a few contributing factors to the all of the hubbub surrounding the Apple Company’s most famous device. 

To name a few: the iPhone’s battery gives the device bionic properties – users can typically enjoy a whopping 7 hours of talk time or 6 hours of 3G data usage which surpasses the energy of many other phones available today. Apple has also graced its newest phones with Retina Display, which will knock your cyber socks right off – pixels are nearly invisible, making its resolution crystal. And if you’re big into Apps, the iPhone’s your match with an App Store that puts over 350,000 of them at your fingertips. Another couple of iPerks: users enjoy free iOS updates, exceptional video conferencing capabilities – not to mention the device’s fashion factor pretty much puts all other phones to shame…it may possibly be the most stylish of them all. 

Users tout the multitude of Apple accessories available, too – from stylish protective iPhone cases to niftybumpers; from handy docks and adapters to designer-made headphones….the list is pretty much never-ending. Users can even purchase remote controls to operate their iPhones from afar – an accessory that is certainly not available for other models of mobile phones. 

Like any other smartphone, most iPhone users are interested in how to jailbreak iPhone because there is so much more you can do with it when it is freed from factory settings and defaults. The downside to jailbreaking your iPhone is that it voids the Apple manufacturer warranty, so you may be out of luck if you need help from the Apple store at a later point. The most current iPhone available is the 4S. Recently launched, users are already praising the next generation phone for its surpassing design, user-friendliness and innovative features. If you already have an iPhone, you have probably come to value it as your most treasured tech device. If you are in the market for one, you’ll most likely come to feel the same. Either way, be sure to secure your digital gem with an iPhone warranty – you’ll be glad you did. 

Bill Radley writes about how to jailbreak your iPhone and many other iPhone related topics.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

POS Technology in Travel Industry Improves

Many people all over the world love to travel. In 2011, international tourist arrivals recorded a growth of more than four percent or 982 million. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is also forecasting a growth between three and four percent for international tourist arrivals this 2012. 

This significant growth in tourism has led major players to upgrade their technology in order to get a significant share of the market. And with more travelers opting to do their bookings and payments online these days, it is a must for companies in the travel and tourism sector to improve the tools they use to ensure faster processing of transactions. 

 There’s no denying that companies in the travel industry today have already automated many of its daily functions. An important tool being used now is the point of sale (POS) technology integrated with the global distribution system (GDS). This is a priority by travel management companies (TMCs) and vital for travel agents to ensure productivity and correct transactions. 

In recent years, companies were seen focusing on striking a balance between standardizing and customizing their systems. The standard procedure was maintaining the GDS passenger name record (PNR) covering all required fields in the travel reservation process regardless of geographical location by controlling the point of sale. The customization was implemented in booking flows depending on the needs of different corporations or regions. 

 Moving forward, travel companies need to invest in the integration of their web content and POS software particularly in terms of ongoing maintenance and support. A priority should be the provision of a clear cut travel policy which should also be updated when the situation calls for it such as during an economic crisis. 

 In addition, the point of sale interface must contain the necessary information of the trip. Other services and data that need to be integrated are trip notification and schedule changes, travel advisories, itinerary aggregation and tracking of unused tickets among others. 

 As point of sale software advances, research has shown several areas where travel management companies should focus on. These are on adapting a hybrid reservation system, consistency in passenger name record, corporate compliance and delivery of excellent customer service. Regardless whether the point of sale was internally developed or provided by a third party, what counts is that it is able to ensure a steady workflow for the agent to achieve increased productivity and gain more satisfied customers.
Citations:
Sam is a freelance writer who contributes articles covering the tourism and travel industry as well as the tools and technology used in online reservations today. He loves to travel to different countries if time permits. Sam recommends the POS software for travel operators.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Skyscrapers & How They Link Our Past to Our Future

What we build says a lot about us. Ever since the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Pyramid of Giza held the title of the tallest man-made structures for over 3,800 years, humans have been inspired to build iconic, record-breaking structures. Whether its the materials we use, the design and aesthetic, the style or even how tall a structure is, buildings are shaped by our culture. They show how we live, what matters to us, what we value and how we view ourselves. They connect our past to our present and future. Tall structures & buildings have always been a status symbol. In the 19th century, tall buildings reaching high into the clouds were constructed. These buildings were called skyscrapers. While there is not one definitive building that is known as the first skyscraper, there are several well-known buildings that have held the title of tallest building in the world. For forty years, the Empire State Building in New York City held the honor of being the tallest building in the world. In 1972, the World Trade Center North Tower surpassed the Empire State Building to hold the record briefly until Chicago’s Sears Tower won the title. The Sears Tower, now known as The Willis Tower held the honor for twenty-five years until the completion of the Petronas Towers in Maylasia. The Willis Tower is still the tallest building in the United States. Historically, skyscrapers were predominantly found in North America. In the past decade, however the majority of new skyscrapers were constructed in Asia and the Middle East. In fact, none of the top five tallest skyscrapers are located in North America anymore. What do the tallest buildings in the world tells us? As cities become more dense and developed, it makes sense to build vertically. At a certain point however, it makes less economic sense to build these mega skyscrapers. Record setting buildings may be more about ego and showing the world something than constructing a space that really works. The attacks on The World Trade Center Towers in 2001 are seen as an attack on the entire American culture. Skyscrapers represent the culture around them. Skyscrapers are iconic and become both a status symbol of their home city and part of the city’s personality. What inspires architects? Architects are inspired by what is happening culturally, economically and globally? For example, the design of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower was inspired by an advertisement for cigarettes. Chances are, cigarettes would not inspire today’s architect. Our buildings can connect our present to our past. The design for the current tallest building in the world, the Burj Kharlifa, is derived from Islamic architecture patterning systems. Designing buildings that feature symbols or other significant representations give buildings more meaning by connecting our pasts to our present and future. The five tallest buildings in the world:
  1. Burj Khalifa
  2. Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel
  3. Taipei 101
  4. Shanghai World Financial Center
  5. International Commerce Centre
Citations:
Lisa Hirst Carnes writes for a variety of blogs & companies including, the commercial construction firm, Shingobee Builders. Shingobee specializes commercial construction projects like hotel, casino, restaurant, office and community center construction.