Anonymous Internet Surfing – Is Google Chrome Or Internet Explorer 8 the Answer to Internet Privacy?

I often hear about the brand new Google Chrome web browser and the upcoming Microsoft (or is it Windows?) Internet Explorer 8 and how great they are. One of their most important new features is supposedly their privacy mode or how they call it.

Great, “Finally we can get some privacy on the net” I hear you saying! Well, maybe. But not with those tools I am afraid. The term “privacy mode” is a bit misleading in my opinion. Not false marketing, it’s just important to know what it has been designed for and what is beyond its scope.

The privacy modes offered by those, as well as the other web browsers on the market, are good for one thing only. When the privacy mode is enabled, no traces are left in the operating system registry, no cookies and history is stored on the local PC.

So when you want to hide the fact that you have just visited that ton of porn webs from your wife or kids, it will do the job. That’s what it has been designed for – of course not just for the porn webs but we know the truth, right? 😉

It can also mask the user-agent browser string pretending you are using a different web browser with a different preferred language. In my opinion, that’s just a feeble attempt at ensuring your anonymity.

So, is that real privacy?! It helps for sure. It’s great when you share your computer with someone else and I am not saying those are bad features. Far from that!

What I am afraid of, however, is that once those web browsers become widespread, many people, mostly those technically less savvy ones, will get that very dangerous false feeling of privacy and anonymity on the Internet.

They will think this way: “I just enable this great privacy mode and nobody will see what I am doing on the net, nobody will know where I am coming from, nobody will be able to steal my private data.”.

But this, my unknown Internet friend, this is not happening. You will need a bigger caliber for that. Much bigger!

Internet Marketing Advice For A New Business Owner

Internet marketing is just what the name implies. Advertising products and services online. There are several types of online marketing, including search engine optimization, pay per click and social media marketing. This type of marketing makes it easier for companies and individuals to target specific advertisements to a defined audience.

To learn more techniques, you should pretend to be a customer and see what other sellers and marketers are doing in the niche you are interested in. Subscribe to other email lists, and analyze what attracts you and what makes you not want to buy the product. Adapt these techniques to your product.

To upgrade your visibility and get the word out about your business, create a Facebook page. Facebook is a worldwide phenomenon, and a tool that you must incorporate to maximize potential. Create a detailed page about what you can offer to your client, which can be visible to over 750 million different people.

Give clear direction to your consumers without being too pushy. You want your customers to buy from you and to do this, they need to know how. Tell them which links to click, what to fill out and where to find the information they need, to complete the process. If your readers have to guess how to do something, they are not likely to complete the process.

Make sure your “front door” is a pretty one. Your website is the only way people will get to know you. Make sure to make a great first impression on your visitors by creating an open, welcoming, and descriptive place for them. Understand that your website is your main means of communication, and keep the doors open!

At the bottom of every page on your site, do not forget to add a back to top option. This will allow every visitor to avoid scrolling and get to the top of the page by simply clicking a button. Inserting a back to top button limits frustration and will improve your sales.

No matter where you want to buy advertising space, make sure that you think about the audience that will see your ad. Don’t purchase advertising space on a website for people recovering from alcoholism if you’re trying to sell alcohol. Make sure the right people are seeing your ads, or else they won’t be effective.

Even though they are print media, business cards are an important part of your Internet marketing strategy. Every time you hand a potential customer your business card, you have the opportunity to direct them to your website. Be sure the URL for your site is printed on your business cards.

More than any one internet marketing strategy, it is trust between website users and website owners that leads to sales. Visitors who have consistently pleasant and useful interactions with a particular website are more inclined to listen to that website’s owner when it comes time to make a buying decision. Fostering trust is the key to converting faithful visitors into faithful customers.

Although internet marketing can be much less expensive than traditional forms of advertisement and results can be measured quickly and accurately, some disadvantages do exist. A major problem is that some people refuse to purchase anything online and others just don’t trust the internet. Personal information can be hacked and abused when held by online companies.

Six Tips for Cell Phone Longevity

Cell phones are an integral part of the lives of hundreds of millions of people We’ve come to depend on them for an array of functions including communication, keeping time, entertainment, and browsing the web just to name a few. With our cell phone dependence, maintaining the health and well being of these devices is certainly in our best interest. Cell phone care is really a simple matter of observing some basic precautions:

o Avoid exposing cell phones to extreme temperatures. Heat can damage the battery and the electronics of a cell phone. Thus, leaving a phone sitting in a hot car is inadvisable. Cold can cause damage to them as well, particularly temporary loss of the screen display.

o Avoid exposure to dampness. Moisture causes corrosion of the internal parts of a cell phone. To avoid this, hands should be dry when handling the cell phone and a protective case can be a good preventative measure as well. It’s not uncommon for cell phone repair techs to work on phones that have been dropped into sinks, toilets, swimming pools, and so forth. Leaving the cell phone in a safer, dry environment is wise but keeping it attached with a belt clip or “leash” is another method of preventing accidents when the phone must accompany the user into a “moisture rich” environment.

o Keep the cell phone secured. Dropping a cell phone is obviously not healthy for it. Again, clips, “leashes” etc. can be a good precaution.

o Avoid scratches and other surface damage by using a case or “skin” for protection. Throwing an uncovered cell phone into a purse or pocket with an array of sharp objects contained in it or other substances that might leak on to it is risky.

o Charge your battery appropriately. The battery is often what most limits the life of a cell phone. Manufacturer guidelines clearly outline exactly how and when a battery should be charged to assure it reaches its maximum life expectancy.

o Keep the cell phone clean. This is more about the cell phone user’s health than the phone’s well being. Think about it, a person’s hands have more bacteria and micro-organisms clinging to them than any other part of the body. Their mouth is not exactly pristine either and is certainly a prime entry point for the critters that show up on a cell phone handset. Using anti-bacterial wipes can help ward off some of these little monsters. A micro-fiber cloth is also good for keeping the LCD screen easy to read and scratch free. * A reminder here that liquid cleaners should seldom be necessary but when used should not be applied directly to the screen on the cell phone as cell phones react poorly to liquids; instead any cleaner should be applied to the cloth first.

Years of faithful service can be obtained from the average cell phone if proper care and maintenance are observed.

Marketing Chocolate

Throughout history, chocolate has been marketed differently to different consumer types. Some companies like to show their customers that their chocolate has the most weight, by using digital scales and then showing what the price computing scales read on the actual package label. Yet, other companies prefer to create an upscale image, by making their products seem rich and indulgent. This article discusses the different ways to market chocolate.

1. Make a product that is meant for the everyday consumer. This type of chocolate is made for those who want an average chocolate bar. The packaging is usually very simple and the prices are the same or lower than the rest of the competition.

2. Create a rich and luxurious image for the product. This type of chocolate is set above the rest in price. It usually has gold packaging and has a look that is different from all of the competitors.

3. Organic products are becoming more and more popular, so making chocolate to appease this type of consumer is a newer marketing technique. In order for a chocolate to be organic, it must be approved by the USDA and some companies then go on to get certified organic by other more strict organizations.

4. Companies also want to reach out to the adventurous chocolate eater by using exotic ingredients in the chocolate. These types of chocolates usually have bold colors on the package label, to emphasize the exotic ingredients that are in the chocolate. Exotic ingredients may include, spices like cayenne pepper, or different fruits like passion fruit or mango.

5. Sugar free chocolate appeals to those who have diabetes or anyone who wants to reduce their sugar intake. The diet industry has really taken off in the past ten years and as such, so has the diet chocolate industry. People with diabetes or consumers who are watching their weight are able to eat chocolate that is made without sugar. This chocolate is usually made with artificial sweeteners and the packaging reflects this change. The wrapping and labeling on this kind of chocolate bar is usually lighter, to indicate that it is lighter in calories and sugar, therefore, making it a light chocolate bar.

6. Finally, there is marketing towards children, in which companies make a product that is fun with packaging that has bright colors. There are many chocolate producing companies whose target market is children. In order to attract children anywhere from two to sixteen, they make their labels appear bright and cheerful. These companies also make their companies seem fun and sometimes quirky to attract children to other products they may offer.

Chocolate has been a part of the everyday consumers’ lives for hundreds of years. It is only in the recent past that the consumer market for chocolate has been segmented into so many different components. The consumer market is also constantly changing, so it will be interesting to see what new markets come about in the next few decades and how the chocolate industry will deal with these future changes in the chocolate market.

My Best Ever Holiday in Goa With Club Mahindra!

Holidays are the time for repose & leisure; it is also the time to connect & catch up with your buddies & family. Taking a trip with your family however needs a little planning & care. With kids & the granny-grandpa you need not worry! Holiday can be adventurous even with responsibilities on the road. OK so where do I start? I planned my trip well in advance. Though we earlier wanted to go to Kerala, the kids of course would love the sands & the sea more so planned our trip to Goa, Varca Beach at the Club Mahindra Resort. Being a week long stay we wanted to relax & take long walks, sunbaths…Lots of seafood …paragliding …long drives on the classic Goa bikes…not to forget Google pints of beer! We took a flight from Delhi to Goa & later hired a cab to reach Varca Beach. The jet lag made us a bit tired but the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful-the vast stretch of coconut trees made us forget the hustle & bustle of the city life.

Away from the trodden track, the voyager discovers a quixotic & the hidden Goa in its medieval small towns, and beautiful villages, with rich flora and fauna. Only Goa can provide the truly exhilarating ‘out of this world’ experience. We finally reached Our cute little cottage, a descent 2BHK apartment.Well furnished with an attached bathroom. The manager greeted us & offered us complimentary coconut drinks & a basket full of lovely eateries.

My kids could not stop themselves from taking a cool splash in the lovely swimming pool maintained by Club Mahindra. The Sun deck being my hubby’s ultimate joy while our entire stay in Goa! One thing that I want to point out is that Club Mahindra helps you to make your holidays much more interactive & find for example the glass-painting & other such activities which makes the stay really peaceful for the mothers & keep the kiddies busy rather than watching TV thought that’s also offered with the plush studio apartment at Club Mahindra!

The Anjuna & the Baga Beach has some lovely water sports, so definitely don’t give it a miss. If you mention Goa. Dolphin watching and boat trips will surely keep you enthralled at Varca. A boat cruise on the river Sal promises dolphin spotting, as well as breathtaking sunsets. For your rejuvenation, you can look forward to yoga and meditation offered by many hotels and resorts of the area. The sea-food has become really costly at Goa, the in-house food is however palatable, more so the Chef recommended us some really yummy dishes. He also tailored the dishes according to our tastes. A memorable holiday well-spent in Goa….

Is a Work at Home Business Right for You?

How do you know if a work at  home  business is the right one for your business type? Well, there are some clear criteria that can tell you if you can do your dream  business  out of your  home  or if you should get an office.

If you are thinking about starting a work at  home  business, you should consider three major factors: Contact, Branding, Products/Employees.

First off, if you want a work at  home  business, you need to determine what type of client contact you will need to have in your business. How much contact will you have with a client? Is it suitable for your office at home? How much of a traditional professionalism do you want to portray? If you have a work at  home   business  where you will not be directly meeting with clients in your  home  or if you are not looking to have a conventional sense of professionalism, then your work at  home   business  may prosper just in your  home . However, if you need that extra professionalism or you will be doing a lot of client contact in your office, then you may want to move outside of your home.

Next you should determine if you can create a professional brand from your own home. You need to know that you can develop a brand and maintain it from your work at  home  business office. Some people perceive a work at  home   business  as “mom and pop” or quaint, while others don’t really care if you work at  home , as long as you get the job done well. However, building a reputation as a top-notch business in your field is important to success in your business. Make sure you can build and maintain that image from your work at  home  business office.

Finally, your products and employees have a large impact on whether or not you can succeed in a work at  home  business. Though your company may start off small, with a small number of products or employees, you may find

space much more challenging as you begin to grow. However, if your product is intellectual, you may find that a work at  home  business may be perfect for the space you have. However, if you run a work at  home  business with sensitive information, you may want to invest in ways to keep it safe or work in an outside office.

Read the rest of the article here: Is a Work at  Home  Business Right for You?.

Download the Free Work at  Home  Manual (Free $97 Value!) and receive valuable tips, strategies and techniques designed to grow a very successful  Home   Based   Business .

Earn Money Online Survey – Making a Difference in the Products You Use

One of the reasons why companies pay so that you can earn money online survey completion is to shape  and  mold the  products   and   services  that they provide to you, the consumer. Companies that produce new  products  or that revise or refine existing products get ideas for those products or product refinements from the people who use them, among other sources. By completing surveys, you submit your opinion to be grouped or contrasted with others to provide input to the people in the business of deciding the future of a particular product. The data input from you can take any of several different forms:

Know your product

In order to earn money online survey completion, those completing the questionnaires must have a reasonable knowledge of the product they are reviewing. While it may be tempting to fake the answers, doing so not only invalidates the responses, but it means that the company cannot honestly evaluate what they are doing correctly or incorrectly in either the advertising or the product design. If the person completing the survey is not familiar enough with the product to venture an opinion, then he or she should not complete the survey at all.

Update your demographics

Before you begin, earn money online survey sites normally ask you to complete a profile so that surveys of interest to you and targeted to your income level and geographical location can be sent. When any of the components of your profile changes significantly, it should be upgraded with the companies that send you the surveys. For example, if you decided to get married, you would want to add a spouse to the profile. This may mean you will have access to even more money making surveys. If you have a new baby, your profile will change and you will be using different types of products than you did previously.

Try new products

If you want to earn money online survey completion easily, using a wide variety of products when you do your typical household shopping will help you know about more products and be able to rate them honestly and from experience. Rather than being stuck in a rut using the same products day after day, choosing a variety of household and recreation products will give you more information about different ways of doing things as well.

Save money

Not only do you earn money online survey completion sites, you usually will save some money for the products you use everyday. Some survey sites ask about your preferences when you complete a profile so that you can receive coupons and discounts for items you would normally purchase. Your grocery and household product budget dollars will go much further when you are using free coupons along with your regular shopping. These coupons and discounts are for nationally known brands or for new brands being test marketed in your area. Either way, you save money. Food, household items, recreational and entertainment products and travel discounts are just a few of the things where you can save money.

Starting a Windowsill Herb Garden

Growing herbs in a windowsill herb  garden  is a wonderful  and  practical use of any small  gardening  space. Nothing beats being able to pick fresh herbs for your dishes right where you need them. Planting indoor herbs is not that different from growing herbs outside. This type of herb  garden  is simple to set up, relatively affordable, exceptionally useful in the kitchen, can give off soothing scents in your  home ,  and  can be enjoyed by everyone.

Let me share some great tips on growing herbs in your windowsill herb  garden :

1. Plastic containers and clays make great pots for your herbs. Just make sure that they can provide ample drainage and that the container is big enough to accommodate the growth of your plants.

2. Its best to place your herb in a sunny window — your herb plants will surely grow a few days after they were planted. Light is essential to herb growing. If you don’t have a sunny area inside your home, use fluorescent lights.

3. Having a large windowsill also means that you can grow lots of herbs in containers. There are different kinds of plants that will do well in a windowsill like include oregano, chives, mint, basil, rosemary, parsley, marjoram and thyme. You can buy these plants in nurseries  and   garden  centers.

4. Chives grow easily in windowsills and they are excellent for salads, teas and soups. Oregano, sage, basil, rosemary and thyme are best for sauces and meats. An all time-favorite choice for garnishing is parsley.

5. The best type of soil for container  gardening  is a soilless potting mix. It contains natural minerals that drain better. One of the most notable characteristic of this type of soil is that they prevent the plants from being susceptible to soil-borne diseases.

6. When watering the containers in the windowsill, be sure to leave at least an inch of space at the top of the container. Herbs don’t like to be kept moist. Be sure to throw any remaining water to avoid waterlogging your herbs.

5. Some gardeners used edible-only fertilizers to ensure the steady growth of their plants. As a responsible gardener, you should not over fertilize the plants to keep the herbs safe for human consumption. As a general rule, the fertilizer should be mixed with water before they are applied to the  garden .

Growing your herbs in a windowsill herb  garden  is a superb way to keep them handy all throughout the year. It can also be a wonderful and beautiful addition to your home décor.

What Exactly Is Health Care? Get a Physician Perspective

So the term healthcare is used over and over again. What does that mean? What does that mean to you? There are so many variations of this definition and depending on the source of whom you are speaking with. Some would say healthcare is disease prevention. Some would say it’s managing disease such as diabetes or high cholesterol. Some would say its access to a doctor or provider.

Health by definition is a state of being injury or illness free.

Heath care as defined by Websters dictionary states “the preservation of health by the treatment and prevention of disease by trained and licensed professionals.”

In the pursuit of health- the state of being injury or illness free, we think that this should be looked at as a goal. This goal of health in reality is a moving target. Our bodies are bombarded daily from viruses, bacteria, social pressures, psychological pressures, just to name a few. With so many forces working to impede health, we want to maximize our internal resources to keep us free from injury and illness. Health to us is finding a balance. If we look at the human landscape, there are three major components that comprise us- the body, the mind, and the spirit. If anyone of these three basic components are overpowering the other or lacking, then the achievement of health will fall short. Lets use an example-

Ronnie is a exercise machine. He works out 5-6 times per week, eats a very clean, non processed diet, drinks plenty of water, and tries to sleep adequately to feel refreshed. Most of us on initial impression would equate this person as a “healthy” person. However, at home, Ronnie has been having difficulty communicating with his wife, who feels he exercises too much and alienates the family. The more difficulty Ronnie has at home, he goes to his safe zone of the gym to release tension. This cycle continues to build. The stress at home continues to build. Ronnie is physically fit, but mentally is exhausted. This illustration example shows that truly to be free of illness and injury we need to look at all aspects to be truly healthy.

We believe that the pursuit of health (balance of the body, mind, and spirit) is grounded in the components of wellness- Health, Lifestyle, and Education. We feel that when incorporating these components into your life, then you can truly attain “health”.

So what is healthcare then? Is it going to the doctor to get advice? Is it seeing a counselor to discuss life stressors? Is it reading books and articles regarding lifestyle choices? Answer- ALL of the above. We need to look at healthcare from a different lens. Many people that I see in the office view healthcare in the form of doctors visits. These visits are based upon a recent illness or injury. Most folks are trying to get advice in how they can feel better. I would argue that treating an injury or illness is not healthcare. I call this sick care. Sick care is just one component of why I chose medicine as a profession, to help those that are ill or injured. It seems that this for most folks equates into healthcare. What about the times between illness and injury? What are the resources and plans that people are doing to PREVENT illness or injury. In the world of business, there is a notion to be PRO active, rather than reactive. Be the person that starts the trend, not follows it. That is my goal for the patients that I see.

I have patients that have diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol who for various reasons are on medication to help control these diseases. I check there numbers on a quarterly basis and many have achieved the status of having “controlled” numbers. My patients feel better, have no symptoms from their respective disease processes, and are happy that the blood tests reflect their hard work. Have they achieved health however? To me, NO.

Beyond the prescriptions that help maintain disease, we still need to address Lifestyle and Education to help these patients. Lifestyle choices are so important- the type of nutrition we take in, exercising our bodies, keeping our minds fresh, learning effective techniques for stress reduction are all critical. Education is the one component that goes overlooked in many offices. Doctors I feel are mostly to blame here. We all try to give advice and hope that our patients are listening. The question is whether they remember the advice given. Our practice writes down in detail and in non-medical jargon, plans for each patient. Our hope is that the patient will actually read what we wrote and keep our summaries like a cookbook of entries. Over time, we hope that their cookbook of entries gives them a knowledge base for making educated decisions.

So what is healthcare? It’s the pursuit of maintaining an illness or injury free life by incorporating a balance of the body, the mind, the spirit, through lifestyle choices and education.

Necessity of Integrating Workplace Wellbeing Programmes

Corporate wellness programmes fosters welfare among employees, regardless the stress of the workplaces. Most of the reputed factories, offices and corporations of all leading nations are taking up these strategies as they assure health and security of the workers. This innovative technique is a result of many diverse experiences. Some companies have integrated these programmes for minimising the healthcare expenses while some others wanted to make the work atmosphere comfortable and welcoming for their staff. The firms, which want to have workplace wellbeing, could contact the many organisations, who offer such services. The chief attributes of a successful corporate wellness programme is given in the following discussion.

Characteristic Traits of an Ideal Corporate Wellness Programme

• The programmes must have a pragmatic approach. Workers must easily understand and carry out the activities. These include- stress management workshops, yoga and cooking classes, fitness and quit smoking challenges, weight-loss competitions and many more.

• Ideal wellness programmes must convince the companies to offer high-quality food to their staff. Enough cafeterias and vending machines would give affordable, tasty yet healthy foods.

• The company’s fabric must engage well-integrated programmes. These cost-effective techniques must motivate people and tell them about healthy lifestyles.

• Creation of unique and spirited programmes that constantly evolve with time guarantees long-term success. The programmes must take responsibility of all the operations.

Now we would delve into the benefits that these programmes offer to the companies and its employers.

Benefits of Workplace Well-being Programmes

• Healthcare costs are a major concern for most of the organisations. Thus, every business owner wants healthy employers, corporate wellness programmes would be the suitable tool for that. By implementing these techniques, a company could successfully cut its expenses.

• These programmes successfully minimise absenteeism. The workers are fit as well as fine, thus, they do not need sick leaves, which leads to limited staff turnover.

• The initiatives of these programmes promise to the company a healthy working staff. Through exercises and proper diet, many severe illnesses and diseases could be reduced. Healthier workers would lead to high productivity and thus would be beneficial for the company.

As people spend most of their time at work, a prosperous workplace is necessary. Through active promotion of wellness programmes, issues such as, alcohol and drug abuse, bullying and stress could be controlled. They successfully optimise the corporate culture and have driven the employers to perfect performing zones. They could satisfy the social, emotional, physical and mental needs of the workers.

Collections – Why Do People Collect Things?

There were seashells everywhere. The room was furnished with couches and chairs with a seashell pattern on the upholstery.There were lamps with shades covered with shells. Sculptures made of shells and books about seashells sat on the tables. Family photos in seashell- encrusted frames lined the shelves. A curio cabinet was filled with more shells. I was visiting the home of a new acquaintance. She collects seashells. A special room in her home was dedicated to shells. There were shells from all over the world everywhere in that room. Even the business card she gave me was decorated with a photo of a large shell.

People have a natural tendency to collect things. Seashells may not be their passion but whether its coins, stamps, postcards, spoons, or more bizarre things like teabags, chocolate bar wrappers or traffic signs we human beings seem inclined to be collectors. Dr. Steve Anderson, a neurologist at the University of Iowa says our need to collect may harken back to an earlier point in our evolution, since many animals hoard things, especially food.

According to Susan Pearce, author of the book Interpreting Objects and Collections one in three North Americans collects something. There are many different kinds of collections and collectors.

Some collections are souvenirs or mementos of a place. I once visited the home of a couple who collect masks every time they travel. One wall of their dining room is covered with traditional painted masks from South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam, the Philippines and dozens of other places. When they are on a trip they never have to stop and think about what to buy as a souvenir. They just look for a mask to add to their collection.

Some collections are gifts. I know a man who gives his mother a china plate every Mother’s Day with a message or saying about mothers on it. He hunts through antique stores and curio shops, often for weeks, until he finds a plate and a design that he hasn’t already purchased. His mother has more than twenty such plates in her collection.

Some collections are of practical use. I have friends who are world travelers and collect Starbucks Coffee mugs from every place they visit. There are Starbucks franchises in more than forty countries. Our friends don’t have forty different mugs but certainly enough for a fairly large group of coffee drinking guests.

The desire to learn new things can also be the impetus behind a collection. I know someone who collects military artifacts from the World Wars. He has uniforms, machinery, vehicles, sheet music, maps, books, flags and photographs. His collection has helped him learn a great deal about military history.

Some people collect things because of their monetary value. I used to work with a woman who collected Barbie Dolls. She assured me someday she would sell her collection and make a mint of money.

Susan Pearce says there are some collections which she terms ‘magic’. There is no rhyme or reason for collecting them but they have a certain appeal or attraction for the collector. I imagine this might apply to a collection of snow globes or a large collection of Superman memorabilia.

Collections can remind us of positive experiences and important people in our lives. They can help us learn new things. They can be practical or magical. If you’re not a collector you might want to think about becoming one. Collections can enrich our lives.

Online Gambling – The Soaring Rise From the Global Economic Crisis

During these tough economic times, it is no surprise that land based casinos are losing money. You may have thought that people would be flocking to sportsbooks and casinos worldwide in order to gamble and hopefully win big as an aid to surviving the recession that the economic crisis has spawned.

However, it seems that the opposite is true. The lack of money for entertainment means that folks are foregoing those weekend trips to Las Vegas and other gambling meccas. They have even become unwilling to spend the money required for gasoline or public transportation in order to get to land based casinos that are within driving distance of their homes. You could ask any sports book or casino owner how the recession has treated their business, and most of them will tell you that they are losing money.

Experts in the gambling industry have observed a ripple effect taking place across the world. Determining the patterns of international gambling is the subject of a study that has released some surprising facts about the gambling industry. Online gambling is rising in popularity in spite of the economic crisis. In fact, in 2008, the total amount taken in worldwide by online gambling was more than 20 billion dollars, setting a new high record.

Why are people shying away from land-based casinos and using online casinos instead? Simply put, they can make their money go much further in an online casino. As mentioned above, people just do not want to part with their cash for airfare or for any other form of transportation in order to get to the casinos. They are using that money to go to online casinos, and having their gambling fun in the comfort of their homes.

The gambling industry is predicting that online gambling will continue to be quite popular for as long as the economic crisis goes on, and even beyond. People are not going to give up gambling. They may not wager as large an amount as they once did, but the lure of winning is too strong for them to stop completely. They will turn to online casinos as a way to continue their gambling habit for less money.

All that is needed for online gambling is a computer and an inexpensive broadband connection to the Internet. Anywhere you can use a laptop computer or a mobile phone is also a place where you can gamble. Unlike land-based casinos, online gambling allows you to practice many of the most popular games at no charge. You can get a feel for a game before investing any money in it, which can save money in the long run.

Those punters who are smokers and have seen their favourite casino or sports book turn into a smoke-free establishment are also bringing their gambling dollars to the online casinos. Gambling via the Internet means no restrictions on smoking, food or drink. There is no dress code to follow, and many consider online casinos much safer than land based casinos. Several of the big online casinos are responding to this influx of new customers by making online gambling even more fun and appealing. They are adding welcome bonuses and other promotions, holding tournaments, and featuring player customizable slot machines. Almost everything you can find at a land-based casino is available at online casinos, plus a whole lot more.

Online gambling is very convenient, offers a huge variety of games to tantalize the punter, and suits the entertainment budgets of those who are affected by the economic crisis. There is no doubt that the gambling industry is right on the threshold of even more growth as it grows more popular than ever.

10 Fun Christmas Party Games

Christmas party games can be a blast and when you are having a Christmas party it is always a good idea to include a game of some kind. Here are ten fun ones you can consider playing at your next event.

1. Bingo

Why not put together some Christmas themed bingo cards and have fun with a Holiday version of this classic game?

2. White Elephant

You can’t go wrong with this popular game. Make sure you tell everyone who is attending about it ahead of time so that everyone comes prepared. You may want to also have a special prize for the person who brings the best white elephant as voted on by the rest of the party attendees. There are many variations of this classic so you will want to decide upon the rules before you start.

3. I’ve Never

This one can be quite entertaining and can also be an ice breaker for a party with a lot of guests who do not know each other. The basic idea is that each guest takes a turn saying something that they have never done. Each guest who has done that thing drops out and you want to be the last one still in the game. The idea then is to think of something that you have never done that you think at least some if not most of the guests have done.

4. Guess Which Christmas Carol

This is usually played as a paper and pen or pencil game where you have the sheets created ahead of time. You find online or anywhere else that you can, rhymes, jokes or other facts about various Christmas carols and each guest or group of guests has to figure out which Christmas carol is which. You then give a prize to the person who gets the most correct answers.

5. Christmas Pictures Matching Game

For this game you will need to have pictures already put together and you play it similar to a standard memory game either on a board or on the floor.

6. Finnish the Christmas Carol

This game is played similar to name that tune, where you either sing or say the first part of a Christmas carol and then the person who is answering has to finish the title, song or verse.

7. Nativity reenactment

This is a classic one for many family Christmas parties but can also work for church or youth groups or any other appropriate group. Assign roles ahead of time so that people can either bring costumes or they can be obtained ahead of time for each person and then do a reenactment of the Nativity story.

8. Who or What Am I with a Christmas theme?

This is a version of the classic Who am I game. It is played by putting a piece of paper with the name of a Christmas related person or object on the back of each person and then everyone wonders around the room speaking with everyone else and asking questions to figure out who or what they are.

9. Duck Duck Goose (Reindeer)

Played just like the children’s game duck duck goose, you instead say reindeer instead of duck and even with a large group of adults, this game can be quite fun and a riot.

10. Decorate the Sleigh

You can either decorate a large real sleigh outdoors or make paper sleighs or smaller wooden ones and then use them as a centerpiece or other object for your Christmas decorations.

Have fun playing these Christmas party games and keep in mind that most games played at other times of the year can be adapted for Christmas.

Arowana – The Best Foods To Feed Your Baby Arowana

Arowana fish have a wide and varied food diet and really anything that will fit in there mouth is considered food to them. But when we are looking after a baby arowana we have to be more aware of the foods we are feeding them. Personally I don’t recommend live bait feeding to a young arowana due to how susceptible they will be to disease and live bait is the biggest cause of disease spread among aquarium arowanas.

Here is the run down of food types that will suit a baby arowana whether it is silver, red or golden. I am classing a baby arowana as any arowana below 15cm in length. This size of arowana fish should be fed up to 3 times a day.

Frozen/ freeze dried bloodworms:

This is a very healthy and nutritious food for a baby arowana and its a food that is usually and easily accepted right from the start. This is good as arowanas are known as being picky eaters.

Also the bloodworms float for a period of time which will give your fish time to eat them.

Baby Crickets:

Another healthy food that most baby arowanas will take to straight away. Make sure that it is baby crickets that you are using as the bigger crickets have a hard external shell that might cause intestinal injury in a young arowana. Some people feed the baby crickets carrots or other nutritional foods before feeding them to the arowana. This is another way to get extra nutrients into your baby arowana.

Freeze Dried Plankton:

This is another good food which contains a lot of carotene. This food also floats which will allow the young arowana enough time to eat it but just remember to break off the hard and pointy parts before dropping it in the tank.

Foodsticks/ pellets:

If your arowana is eating well and seems content then you might try and introduce him to a stable food like a foodstick or pellet. Just remember to break the foodstick and pellets down for the arowana to eat.

Shrimp:

Market shrimp can be fed to a baby arowana as long as it is cut down small enough and able to fit in its mouth. Just remember also to take off the hard shell/ skin and make sure that the shrimp is properly defrosted if frozen before hand.

High Quality Flake

Can be used to mix up there diet when young, but not worth using when they get bigger as it wouldn’t fill them.

The feeding of different types of foods to a baby arowana is very important as it makes them less inclined to reject different foods when they get bigger. Its also very important to feed a baby arowana at least three times a day as they grow fast but try not to over feed them each time.

Weight Training – Advantages And Disadvantages

Weight training is a great way to get your whole body in shape. Many people associate weight training with your upper body and arms. However if you have the right equipment then you can easily exercise the lower part of your body, such as your chest and legs. You may think to yourself that everything about using weights is an advantage. However there are disadvantages to using weights and all the advantages and disadvantages will be described below.

One of the advantages of using weights to work out is the way that you can strengthen your whole body. We all know that weights are used by the person using them standing still and then performing an action using the weights. This action can be moving your arms up and down or side to side. If you are not the type of person that likes to partake in running, swimming or any other kind of real life sport, then weights is the perfect solution to keeping your body toned and in great shape.

Another advantage of using weights to keep fit is when you are using these weights and your body is standing still. Your bones in your body are becoming active as they are trying to support you as you are doing the exercises. So you are in effect working out the entire body every time that you use weights to exercise.

There are disadvantages to using weights for exercising and the main disadvantage is safety. You should never exercise with weights alone. You should always have a supporter with you in case the worst happens. The most common safety concern is using the barbell. There is a possibility of becoming trapped under the barbell if you are unable to do a repetition due to the amount of weight on the barbell.

Another disadvantage when using weights is causing damage to your own body. As stated before you need your whole body when you are using weights. If you cannot keep complete control of your body when you are working out, then you are going to pull or even tare a muscle in your body. Also using heavy weights when you are not ready will always cause an injury to the part of your body that you are exercising. Always remember to start off small and then move on when you feel perfectly ready to do so.

Overall weights are a good way to work out. Millions of people use weights to do a daily work out. After one or two weeks you can start to feel your body becoming more and more toned. You can also feel the muscles in your body start to bulge a bit more then before. However safety will be the major concern to remember when you are using your weights. You must remember to stretch all the muscles in your body before you attempt to exercise your body. You have to get your heart pumping and when you are done remember to warm down so that your body knows that the workout is over. Warming down will prevent trapping any Lactic Acid in your body.

Hiring a Competent Family Law Attorney to Ease the Divorce Process

For most people who see ultimately severing the ties as the answer to their perennial marital issues, divorce is a huge step worth taking. However, there are several problems that arise for both parties during this sensitive and difficult time. The children, whose interests should come first, must be safeguarded from the ill effects of divorce. Matters pertaining to properties and assets also need to be settled.

As with any issue that entails a discussion of legalities, divorce is a tough process to deal with. Competing issues arise from this litigation, including child custody, child support and equitable distribution of assets. Because of this, you need a legal expert to navigate the intricacies of the case, and help you explore your options.

If you are on the search for the right family law attorney to help you deal with the legal aspect of divorce, identify the best law firm for you by bearing these tips in mind:

1. Your family law attorney should steer your case toward the less expensive, less complicated route. Nobody wants a messy and chaotic proceeding that complicates the case instead of making it simple for you. Generally speaking, your lawyer will explain to you that litigation should be avoided where possible, and that reaching an out-of-court settlement is ideal.

2. If litigation is unavoidable, your lawyer should competently represent you. If the other party insisted on litigating the matter before the court, or if it is the best way to go among other alternatives, your attorney should be able to insist on your rights and secure favorable results.

3. While a family law specialist is recommended, a full service law firm is a better option. With issues mounting over one other when divorce is filed, you will need to tap other professionals who are experts in their relevant field. It will definitely save you the hassle of endless search if your law firm can provide you a property law expert, an estate planning solicitor or a taxation law specialist.

It is important for you to select a family law attorney who has had vast experience and a high success rate. Listen to people who have worked with the law firm, and be sure that they can give satisfactory answers to your questions and provide you with the services you need.

You need to remember that divorce is a legal battle that, awkward as it may sound, end with all parties winning and securing the outcome they hope for. Your kids should be your top priority throughout the process, and in no way should their rights be compromised.

The Burpy Blues

The big boss seemed to be exuding benevolence of the highest order as he took in his staff members seated in front of him in the conference room. He often prided himself of knowing every member of his office team on first name basis, and always listened to their views or problems in a very friendly way. Recently he initiated an office procedure to improve overall quality of performance and operations. True to his nature, before implementing this procedure he wanted to know how everyone felt about it. He wanted free and frank opinions and also meaningful suggestions. So he called for this particular meeting. Although I was the latest addition to the team I had to gather all bits of useful information about my new boss.

Again, true as always to his nature he never wanted to make it a predictable affair with members standing up and speaking in monotonous serial order-one by one row wise. Instead, he decided who would speak at what time. He would announce names at random and s/he would speak accordingly. Therefore, in actual practice it happened like that one in the very first row would give his/her opinion first and someone in the last or middle rows would be asked to speak next. The benevolent boss also asked his team members to be wary of repetitions-should avoid points chosen by earlier speakers.

Quite an unusual procedure to discuss an office procedure, I mused sitting in the first row and in direct eye contact with the big boss. Although I figured rather high in the office hierarchy the onus thus did not naturally fall upon me to start. It worked rather well. Not knowing exactly when their turn to speak would come people prepared their points faster keeping themselves in readiness and making adjustments to avoid repetitions.

Tea and snacks kept on coming in rounds as the discussion went on without any time constraint. It was important and so time should not be a factor, the boss announced in the beginning. We happily waited for our turns seeping tea and munching cakes and savoring sweets.

Suddenly in the solemn and intent atmosphere I heard a noise. I immediately deciphered it to be a loud burp and tried to focus quickly on the rather unwelcome source of origin. I traced it to an elderly person who was yet to speak and was feasting on the freebies. However, by that time his action concluded depriving me of the intrinsic charms associated with belching. I always enjoyed such acts which unfailingly entailed an assortment of expressions or contortions. Some would do it full mouthed and loud opening out as if to relish every bit of it; others would skew the parted lips either to the left or the right while not at all trying to suppress the noise; someone would kill the noise and release the air smoothly with some movement of the neck, jaw and mouth while most others with fashion and etiquette would always hide the action with left or right palm involving the bare minimum of facial contortions.

I thought the big boss would definitely react to it irritably. However, nothing happened of that sort and proceedings went on. In fact nobody in the assembly displayed any reaction.

And lo! It happened again. Loud and clear. This time somewhere from a row behind me and I missed the action and the source entirely. I only managed to see a lady on the other side of the row looking askance at the source seeming to say, “God! Could it be really you… ?”

The big boss displayed no emotion this time too. And the proceedings went on smoothly.

We came to the end of the session finally. The big boss was satisfied and happy getting mostly what he expected to get. The last round of tea was served. And then it happened.

In the very act of taking a sip from his cup of tea the big boss had it. He somehow managed it with an awkward scowl, not succeeding to suppress the noise however. It was again a loud act of belching.

Rather compassionate, I smirked with satisfaction and great amusement.

Comments: Medical Transcription – Scam-Free Home Employment

Individualize Your iPad With An iPad Skin That Matches Your Personality

It appears as if every few years, there is some new piece of electronics that sets the world on fire. Do you remember in the 1980’s when the newest item of technology was the personal Walkman? Or in the 90’s when it was the Discman? Or how about in the mid 2000’s when the iPod hit the stores and folks went crazy over them? These days, you can make the argument that that piece of technology that everyone needs to have is the iPad.

One thing about the latest, most popular piece of technology is that they tend to make their own industry built around add-ons for that project. Specifically for the iPad, this consists of anything from cases to hard drives, to customized earphones. All of that results in a multi-billion dollar industry. One thing that’s really big business is iPad skins, that help protect and beautify the outside of the iPad.

Let’s not mince words, one of the primary reasons why people love iPad skins is because they offer decoration for the outside of their iPad. While not everyone wants adornment (for those people they can get iPad skins which come in standard colors), there are plenty of people out there who want the back of their iPad to display their most favorite things. This can include everything from their most favorite band to their favorite athletic team, to just about anything else out there.

It seems like just about every organization out there had some type of skin for the iPad. If you would like skins designed by well-known fashion designers, you really can find that. On the other hand, if you want skins that have Hello Kitty on them, you’ll find those as well. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that no matter what you’re searching for, there is a pretty good possibility that you can find it on an iPad skin.

One of the primary reasons why people love iPad skins is that they protect the back of their iPads. Now, does that mean that you could drop your iPad from a first story balcony and expect it to not break? What it will do, though, is prevent your iPad from getting scratched up and dirty, which means that it will keep it’s natural look for a long time.

The thing about electronics like an iPad is that regardless of how often you keep it in the case, it has a propensity to get scratched up through normal use. If this isn’t a big problem for you, then you don’t need a skin. If you want to keep it looking great for years and years, though, you’ll need an iPad skin.

Whenever you’re in the market to buy iPad skins, you’ll find them nearly anywhere now days. With something that’s as coveted as an iPad, it looks like everyone out there is intending to cash in by offering iPad products. No matter whether you visit a small specialty store, or a big box store, you can find a good amount of skins available for you.

The right spot to go, though, to discover a myriad of skins is on the internet. It doesn’t matter how traditional or off the wall the iPad skins you are searching for may be, you can find them online.

Training Female Athletes – The Keys To Designing a Successful Conditioning Program

It is time that we, (the educators, teachers, parents and coaches) of female athletes all understand and accept the fact that female athletes are different from male athletes and these differences require a female athlete to train differently from boys/men. Female athletes are different in stature, muscle strength and have joint issues different from their male counterparts. This does not make female athletes weaker mentally or physically in any way. In fact, a female athlete’s unique anatomy and biological makeup makes them more conducive and more successful than boys/men in certain sports and activities.

It is also time to get away from the practice of female athletes using the men’s conditioning programs and protocols. Girls/women deserve more time and attention given to their conditioning programs and we all must work to erase the myths, stereotypes, social pressures and negative attitudes associated with the practice of strength training. Coaches of female athletes may need to educate themselves on how to design a strength and conditioning program for their female athletes and stress the importance of continuing a program over a period of weeks, months and years. Studies have shown that women do not adhere to a strength training program as much in comparison to men.

When I talk about strength and conditioning, I am not recommending that an athlete join a health club, spend a lot of money, train on exercise machines or buy big and bulky pieces of equipment for their basement. It is important to point out that female athletes can train at home or in a comfortable environment with a minimal amount of equipment and space. Using an airball, dumbbells, tubing bands or just your body weight, can be effective training aids in delivering a great workout for an athlete with little or no dent to the pocket book.

Listed below are the keys to developing a proper strength and conditioning program for female athletes. This is what the female athlete should be doing!

1. As a young girl just starting out in sports or physical activities, training should focus on sport movement, sport strength and sport balance. In other words learn how to move efficiently within your sport. Work on basic movement skills and the fundamental skills in your sport. Learn how to stop and start, cut, twist or turn. Girls need to learn to move more like tennis players. Tennis players stay forward on the balls of the feet, taking lots of little steps. They stay in an athletic stance, ready to move, pivoting on the front of the foot, with the knees bent. It is also important to keep the knees over the toes. Emphasize lateral and rotational movement patterns. Perform agility drills to teach change of direction while staying low in an athletic stance with knees flexed. Strength training must be sport specific, whole-body and multi-joint. The hip, the foot, the trunk and the shoulders all control the knee. Start with body weight exercises before adding external resistance and balance training needs to be incorporated into the conditioning program. Keep training fun. This is like a training for training period.

2. At a young age, girls should learn how to jump and land to prevent injuries, in particular anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries. It is extremely important to have controlled, quality landings and soft landings from a jump, land like a feather, not wobbly knees or hard, loud landings. Land on the balls of the feet with knees flexed and ankles bent to absorb the force. It is important for coaches to teach and monitor how a girl handles a jump.

3. At a young age, girls should learn how to run properly. Coaches should teach the proper form, biomechanics and foot strike technique. This will contribute to a smooth, efficient motion and help prevent injuries in particular overuse injuries to the knee, hip, back, foot and ankle.

4. Stress the importance of wearing the proper shoes when strength training and in practices and games. Women are more flat-footed and knock-kneed so it is critical their shoes or insoles address these issues.

5. It would be ideal for a girl/woman to start a strength and conditioning program at least before junior high if they plan to compete and be successful at the high school or college level in their sport. The training should be year round with the proper amount of rest periods incorporated into the yearly training cycle. High school female athletes most definitely should be strength training year round.

6. A strength training and conditioning program should focus on exercises that strengthen the knee joint to help prevent ACL injuries. The quadriceps, especially the vastus medialis and more importantly, the hamstrings, which is normally much weaker in strength in comparison to the quadriceps in women. Also strengthen the abductors and adductors.

7. Focus on core strength. This does not mean training for appearance by getting a six pack. What I mean is training the chest, abdominals and upper and lower back and hip areas. These are problem areas for many female athletes. Train the core from a standing position, this is more functional and more sport specific. If you are ever pressed for time and can only do a few exercises, do core work.

8. If the sport requires a good deal of throwing motions, train the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder joint. Also work the upper back muscles, the rhomboids, which help stabilize the scapula and takes stress off the shoulder joint and musculature.

9. Train in a functional manner. Most of the exercises in the training program should be closed chain, (standing, feet on the floor) which incorporates balance, coordination, agility and proprioception into each movement. Get off the machines and move freely with multi-joint and multi-planar exercises.

10. Stress proper nutrition and hydration at a young age. We are seeing osteoporosis in individuals at younger and younger ages each year. I highly recommend that female athletes and their parents meet with a Nutritionist/Dietician to ensure that the female athlete is getting the proper nutrition on a daily basis in relation to her activity level. It is safe to say that all female athletes could benefit from a daily multi-vitamin.

11. When a female athlete is maturing (12-13 years of age), training emphasis should shift from training for athleticism as a youth, to training to enhance locomotion, level changes, push pull movements and rotation. If an athlete has a strength training history and has developed a good strength and flexibility base, the athlete can then incorporate more advanced forms of training into their program. For example, more advanced plyometric training, training for speed, power and explosiveness and power training with the Olympic lifts. This is a training to compete period.

Athletes, please consult your physician before starting any new exercise program.

Important Characteristics of Good Ecommerce Home Pages and Product Pages

For ecommerce websites to better their conversion they need to begin to pay careful attention to the customer experience. This often means streamlining and designing your site from the customer’s point of view. The three most important sections on an ecommerce site are the home page, the product page, and the checkout process. In this article I’ll detail the elements that should be found on the home page and the product page if you are to help the customer do their job and buy your product.

The Home Page

The home page plays an important role in the overall picture of a successful ecommerce site. It can set the tone for the rest of the visitor experience and is a page visitors will return to in order to reacquaint themselves with your business. Its job is to grab attention, provide them with direction and get them deeper into the site.

Here are 4 important characteristics good home pages have.

1. Displays a clear offer. It can have multiple offers but works best when the “featured promotion” (that which you are looking to push hardest) is given prominence. If this is a monthly sale you run, give that sale front and center attention then support it with additional creative.

Build in an element of urgency to really drive home the message. Using words like “today” or “limited time” persuades the visitor to act now or potentially lose the opportunity to take advantage of your offer.

2. Contain a clear call to action. A call to action persuades the visitor to act upon something. This can be clicking a banner to see the monthly sale items, signing up for a newsletter mailing, adding an item to their cart, etc… Each of these micro actions should contain a call to action that supports the end result.

Common calls to action on a home page might be in support of sales, new products, daily features, and more. An example call to action would be a banner with details on the sale of the month and the text “click here to shop now!’

3. A clear and precise navigational path for accessing site content. This may seem logical, but many sites neglect the “clear and precise” portion. They provide navigation not thinking of how it is presented or how it will impact their visitors.

Don’t try to get cute here. Provide the user with traditional categorical navigation elements as well as inline text links within the copy of your site leading to those same end points.

4. Multiple presentations of accessing the same information within the site. As I’ve said, most home pages receive a variety of visitor demographics. Each visitor is seeking products to fit their needs yet each searches in a different manner to get to those results. One visitor may use the main navigational elements within the frame work of the site while another may prefer to read a little more before committing themselves.

To illustrate this point let me present this conceptual example. Let’s say you sell beach clothing.

Two different visitors arrive at your site – both looking for the same product.

The first visitor is going on vacation in the coming weeks and is looking for an outfit to wear on the beach. The second visitor lives on a beach and is looking for the same outfit.

Navigation that might speak better to the first visitor would be a heading that says “Vacation Outfits” (with a subset of links pointing toward things like beach wear, swim suits, sundresses, etc…) while the second visitor may respond better to categorical navigation that simply says “swimming suits.”

To get your home page driving visitors deeper into your site you must know your visitor demographics and speak each in a language they understand. If you’ve planned out your business correctly you should already have a good idea of the answer to the demographic makeup.

If you don’t know the answer you better go back and find it out. You can’t expect to grow business by randomly targeting any person that comes to your site.

The Product Page

We’ve gone over the home page; now let’s dig into some of what makes up a good product page.

Shipping Information

All internet consumers want to know “how much does shipping cost” and “how soon can I get it”?

Naturally, many begin to first ask this question at the product page. Providing them with the answer to that question at the precise point during their buying cycle is critical toward moving them closer to conversion. Giving them easy access to the shipping rates and shipping options will improve the customer experience and set you up for success.

Product Availability

Even if a product is in stock, don’t assume the customer knows that. Don’t make them think. A customer who sees a product listed as “in stock ready to ship” is more likely to put that item in their cart and proceed forward.

Add to Cart Button

No matter how good a product page may seem it’s certainly no good if the customer can’t figure out how to add the item to their cart. Developing an add to cart button that is larger and more visible is an essential element toward increasing conversion.

Presence of Payment Methods Accepted

Ok, the customer has decided that the product they are viewing is one they want. The next question many ask is “what payment options do I have for buying this”? Indicating the types of payments accepted will answer this question.

You can do this in a variety of unobtrusive ways. A good test is to try adding small icons of the payment methods you accept just under the add to cart button. Again, it’s at the moment that a customer is ready to add an item to their cart that they ask what methods of payment are accepted. Reinforcing it here is a good idea.

Product Photo

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. On the internet the product’s picture is just about the only element that can show clearly what an item really looks like. Make sure your photos are clear, crisp, show detail and are large enough to provide plenty of visual appeal yet are optimized for fast internet download times.

Using tools such as lightbox effects for showing larger photos and even zoom type effects (often with jQuery / Ajax) can provide a very nice professional touch.

Customer Assurances

Building trust and confidence with customers is at the forefront of any strong ecommerce site. Although customer assurance elements should be present site wide, they need to be obvious on the product page. You often need to gain customer trust and confidence before they will add an item to their cart.

If you offer warranties, guarantees etc… you should make sure these are in plain site on the product page. Letting the customer know that you have a 90 day guarantee (as an example) will help move them toward placing the item in their cart.

Product Price

It’s pretty obvious to most that customers want to know the price of a product before they commit to moving forward, yet I’ve seen sites stating “add the item to your cart to see the price”. I personally see no reason for this and in fact can point out two reasons I feel this would hurt your conversion.

  1. You are adding another step to the customer’s buying process and the more steps you add the greater your chance of losing them.
  2. You are taking away the customers choice by forcing them to add an item to the cart in order to get information which should be in plain view from the start.

Both hinder the customer experience and will likely cause a decrease in conversion. If you are selling products on the internet do your customers a favor by including the full price of the product on the product page.

Customer Reviews

With the recent growth of social media use, it should be no surprise customers are indicating in surveys that the presence of peer reviews is playing a bigger role in their decision to buy products.

Store issued product reviews can appear biased at times however, consumers feel that peer ratings provide a true picture of the worthiness of a given product. These should be included on every product page and the ability for a customer to write a review should be in plain site.

Go back and review your site for the inclusion of these elements. If you have them in place congratulations, if you don’t you are hurting your chances of winning more sales.

Tips for Avoiding Credit Fraud

There are a variety of ways that thieves can get your information and use your cards to make purchases. Here are a few of the more common ways:

You pay for dinner at the restaurant with your credit card. Your waitress takes the card to the register, processes the transaction and returns it. What you didn’t see was the copy of your card details that she made, and later used it to make purchases online and by phone!

You can’t believe your luck when you get a mailing that says you’ve won a free trip and all you need to do is join a travel club to get the free trip. After providing your credit card details to join the club, you never get the free trip and you start seeing charges on your statement that you didn’t make!

A thief finds copies or receipts of items containing your credit card details in the trash and then uses the information to make purchases.

Fraud like these examples cost cardholders and credit lenders several hundred million dollars every year. While you cannot prevent all fraud from occurring, there are reasonable things that you can do to help prevent and protect against credit fraud.

When using your credit card to pay for dinner at a restaurant, draw a line through all the lines above your signature that do not contain money amounts. So if you have left a cash tip on the table for th server, draw a line through the tip line on the receipt, or even write “left on table” in the space to make sure that the server doesn’t add a tip in after you leave! Try to keep an eye on the server when he or she takes the card to the register, processes it and returns to your table.

When you get a new credit card, sign the back as soon as you receive it. Carry credit cards in a different place from the rest of your cash, and even someplace other than your wallet if possible. Save all of your receipts so that you can compare amounts to your actual billing statements, and open the bills when they come in and verify that they are correct each month. Reconcile the account in the same way you would a checking account to make sure everything is correct.

When you are moving, notify your credit card companies immediately with the new address so your statements are not finding their way into someone else’s hands at the old address.

Don’t ever write your account number on the outside of an envelope, or on a postcard. Anyone could notice it and write the information down.

When shopping online, make sure the websites that you are shopping from are secure. They should have an “SSL” certificate displayed, or at least have a domain starting with “https”, where the “s” indicates it is a secure page and it’s okay to enter your card information.

If you must provide your credit card information by phone, be sure the company you are giving the information to is reputable.

Open your statements each month even if you know you did not make a purchase. Make sure that there are no purchases on the account that you didn’t make. If a purchase shows up on your billing statement that you are unsure of, call the company and find out who it is, and what they sell and see if you did make the charge and simply forgot. If you still don’t know who the company is, or know you did not make a purchase- get on the phone and call the card company as it is most likely a fraud case.

If you still find yourself a victim of credit fraud, you need to immediately call the credit lender. Once reported, the law protects you against any liability for unauthorized credit charges, and you will only be liable for up to $50, which is the maximum liability according to federal law.

Tips To Find Cheap Good Laptop Computers

If you want to find cheap good laptop computers, first you need to ask yourself what kind of laptop computer that you need. In general, there are two kinds of people. First, people who are seeking for the best technology. Second, people who do not care too much about technology, as long as it’s enough to help him doing basic things. If you are the first kind of people, you might need more than just an average laptop. Are there any cheap good laptop computers for this kind of people? Yes, there are plenty if you know how to find it.

If you think you need new notebook only for basic needs, obviously it’s easier to find one for you. There are plenty of cheap good laptop computers out there with less than $600 and they can help you to browse the internet world, processing words, and play some light games and movies. You might want to search for used laptop computers because obviously they are cheaper than if you buy new products.

I have some tips to help you with this problem. First, you need to know what kind of laptop do you want. Second, you must know your budget is limited. To buy cheap laptop, you must go to plenty of electronic stores to compare their prices. Bring a note with you so you will not only compare the prices but you can also compare the specifications and brand names.

To buy used but cheap laptop computers, try eBay. There are plenty of cheap and used laptops there but you must be careful because not all eBay sellers can be trusted, even if they have good reputation. If you want to buy new, cheap, and good laptop computers, the first place you want to try probably is Amazon. They have plenty of choices from different trademarks. Note all the prices from Amazon and eBay then go to electronic stores near you and compare all of them. It’s not easy but you need time to find cheap good laptop computers.

Do Your Workout Clothes Smell Even After Washing? Here’s The Answer!

As an avid mountain biker and owner of some pretty expensive Oakley and Pearl shorts and jerseys, I could not understand why overtime my gear smelled like a musty, mildewed towel after they came out of the wash. It got so bad I really could not stand to even put on my biking attire. Not only were my clothes smelling, I was beginning to notice they were beginning to feel like sandpaper and losing their wicking properties.

I felt like our laundry detergent was not doing a thing to clean my biking clothes, all in while, not really doing anything about the gross smell. I began a desperate search to find out why and if there was a solution that would clean the dirt out, not dissolve or weaken the synthetic fibers and most important, get the smell out of my bike clothes.

So I started where we all start a research project, the internet. I wanted to discover if others were having the same problem, why it was happening, and finally what to do about it. So to my delight, others were also in stink heaven. What was interesting was most of the issues tended to be with high tech fabrics. It seems the more expensive, the more they stunk over time. So why does synthetic or high tech sports clothing start to smell over time? The answer is in how dense the material is woven. The denser the material, the better it breaths and ultimately the better it wicks. Here lies the root of the problem. As your body sweats, these fabrics are designed to wick moisture away from the body but in the process trap fats and oils deep in the fibers. Because these fabrics are so dense normal laundry detergent is not molecularly small enough to get into these areas and wash away the fats and oils. Overtime bacteria start to hide out in the fibers eating the oils and fats. The digestive byproduct, yep… you guessed bacteria poop, is what caused the smells. Some sportswear is starting to advertise being antimicrobial. For the most part, these are chemicals that are washed into the fibers but after several washings they lose their bacteria fighting ability. Silver synthetics has been the only proven long term method, however, most of these product have been removed from the market for fear of ground water contamination.

So over the past 3 or 4 years, specially formulated detergents have hit the market designed to properly kill bacteria as well as wash away the trapped fats and oils. For the most part these products use hydrogen peroxide as the active cleaning agent. Basically hydrogen peroxide is water with an extra oxygen atom. One of these detergents is WIN Sports Detergent. They were the official detergent of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. It was the first time a detergent was allowed sponsorship at the Olympics. In my trial test of WIN, I discovered it did work. I especially liked the way it left my clothes smelling. After several washes, I also noticed my clothes were noticeable softer. Certainly a bonus! If you are troubled by the smell of your sports clothing, I hope this helps you solve the problem as it did me.

The Danger of Spending Money on Advertising

You can promote your web site in many ways for free on the internet and off the internet. You can give out business cards, put a sign in your yard or on your car, put an ad in the free classifieds, get listed on search engines, and so forth. Advertising for free has one thing in common no matter how you do it: Any business you get from your effort is free from expense. And by expense I mean actual outlays of cash. Advertising always has a cost and for free advertising, the cost is usually your time. Still, you can spend gobs of time advertising for free and you won’t worry about paying your mortgage payment, you just won’t get to watch as much TV or do things outside of your business as much.

When you start spending money on advertising one thing will be perfectly clear: You will get business but there is a cost that you will feel. And sometimes your paid advertising will get you less business than your free advertising. Yes that’s right, often you will get business that will not match what you were able to generate for free. So why spend money on advertising? Because eventually you will want to do things bigger than you are able to do with free advertising.

Paid advertising is not cheap. Some advertising is more effective than other advertising though. For instance, you can spend 25 to 50 cents per click through for Google advertising, but I notice that visitors from Google will spend more time on the site than visitors from StumbleUpon. Still, you will pay only 5 cents per click from StumbleUpon so you can get 5 – 10 more click throughs with them than Google. And StumbleUpon could actually be more effective per click because some people that visit will link to the site by giving it a thumbs up.

It is always good to test advertising, both media and format, before going larger with it. Usually I’ll spend $100 – $200 on a test to see what kind of results I get. If the test works well, the sky is the limit on how much you can spend. I used to have a contract with Excite to spend $3000 per month on banner advertising. You can go much larger than this though. You usually spend this kind of money after you start making at least this much money with your business, by the way, because advertising will not give you an immediate return on your investment.

In fact, it is probably a good idea to plan out your advertising, to see what your return on investment probably will be and how long it will take you to make money from your efforts. You can usually figure this out based on your current marketing results if you can gather the right kind of data. Mainly you want to know what an average customer spends over what period of time, and what kind of dropout rate you have.

In our past business, we tried advertising in many different ways. I used card decks, small display advertising in magazines, a full-page ad, banner advertising, and several other forms. Magazines have good hang times, as they stick around for long periods of time. Banner advertisements are better over time but die quickly. So there are different advertising strategies that can be used with different effects. Overall we found that our best advertising was what we could get for free, it just took a lot of time to get it.

How Much Should I Charge For My Commercial Cleaning Services?

You’ve bought all your cleaning supplies and equipment, told everyone you know that you have started a cleaning business and now you are ready to start bidding on jobs and getting down to work. So your next step is to meet with potential clients and put together a bid for their cleaning services. But how do you know what to charge for cleaning your potential client’s building?

Start off by remembering that you are in business to make a profit and earn a living. Sometimes the tendency is to price our services low in order to get our foot in the door. Pricing your services too low may mean you will end up working for very little per hour. And more importantly, will have little left over to reinvest in the growth of your company. There are cleaning companies that charge more than others and have all the work they can handle and there are companies that have lower fees yet are struggling to find work! Don’t sell yourself short or you will not be able to earn a living off your cleaning business.

The rates for commercial cleaning vary widely depending upon the area you live. Hourly rates are anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour depending on the type of services that you provide, whether or not you’re doing the work yourself, and your company’s overhead and expenses. Monthly square footage rates could run anywhere from $.05 to $.20 per square foot depending on the type of building you are cleaning and the frequency of cleaning. You’ll be able to bid a higher square footage price for medical facilities versus office buildings due to more specialized cleaning needs. You’ll likely bid a lower square footage price for large buildings versus small buildings. For example, you may bid $.08 per square foot for a 50,000 square foot building versus $.12 per square foot for an 8,000 square foot building.

You will most likely be charging your customers a monthly price and you will need to figure that price by estimating how long it will take to perform the services that your client has requested. The more productive you or your employees are, the higher the hourly production rate. If you’re able to clean 3,500 square feet per hour, your profit will be higher than if you’re only able to clean 2,500 square feet per hour, so adjust your price accordingly.

It’s also a good idea to find out what the “going rates” are in your area. A few phone calls to competitors may be necessary to get an idea of the basic charges in your area. Use a script when you call so you can compare apples to apples. So what do you say when you call? Try something like, “Hi, I have a small business office that I would like cleaned once a week. It is 3000 square feet and has two small restrooms. Can you give me a rough estimate of what you what you charge per month?” The person may or may not give you an estimate. Most contractors will insist on walking through the building, but it is worth a few phone calls so you have a ballpark figure on what cleaning companies in the area are charging.

To estimate what you should charge for cleaning a building, start by doing a walk-through with the building owner or manager. Keep track of the following:

* Frequency of cleaning (once a week, three times a week, five times a week). If frequency is one or two times per week, it’s best to estimate your time and multiply by your hourly rate. If cleaning 3 or more times per week you can estimate your time by the square foot.

* Overall square feet

* Types of floor surfaces and square footage of each (carpet, vinyl flooring, ceramic tile)

* Types of rooms – general office, break room, restrooms. Also note the number of toilets/stalls and fixtures in each restroom, as well as the types of restroom supplies used.

* Any special considerations – heavy traffic areas, elevators, unusual requests, etc.

* Make note of the specific services the client is seeking such as emptying trash, dusting, restroom cleaning, mopping and vacuuming.

The following services are specialized services and you should bid them separately, and list a per-service charge on your bid:

* Stripping and Waxing (.25¢ – .50¢ per square foot)

* Buffing/Burnishing (.03¢ – .07¢ per square foot)

* Machine Cleaning of Ceramic Tile floors (.12¢ – .21¢ per square foot)

* Carpet Cleaning (.12¢ – .25¢ per square foot)

* Carpet Spotting ($20 – $40 per hour)

* Cleaning appliances (microwave, refrigerator) – $10 – $35 per appliance

* Window Washing ($1.00 – $5.00 per pane)

Make sure you take enough notes so you can put together a realistic price that is fair to the client and one in which you will make a profit. After your first meeting with the client, go back to your office look through your notes and decide what it will cost you to clean the building. You may have to consult a production cleaning rate chart to determine how long it will take you and your staff to clean the building. Once you have an idea of how long it will take to clean the building you can put your cost estimate together:

* Estimate the time it will take by using a production cleaning rate chart or calculator.

* Determine your labor cost for cleaning the building one time.

* Determine your monthly labor cost to clean the building.

* Estimate a monthly cost for supplies. This will be a fairly low figure, perhaps 1 or 2% of monthly sales.

* Be sure to add in a profit margin!

Add up the figures and you will come up with your monthly cost. If you have access to a bidding calculator you will be able to put in a series of numbers and come up with a price. A bidding calculator will also show what profit you can expect to make. It is also advisable to add a first time cleaning charge. This is usually an hourly rate of perhaps $20 – $25 an hour. The first time you go through a building it will take longer and you may find the previous cleaning service may have left dirt in cracks and crevices that you will have to clean the first time through.

Once you have your price established, put your bid packet together. Your bid packet should specify what you are responsible for and what the client is responsible for (buying their own trash can liners, restrooms supplies, etc.). It should also include the monthly charge for cleaning services, how long the agreement is for, and the procedure to cancel the contract if either party is unhappy.

It is important to learn how to price your cleaning services so your customers know you are providing a professional service at a realistic price and so that you make a profit. After all, if you do not make a profit you won’t stay in business very long!

Copyright (c) 2006 The Janitorial Store

13 Social Networking Updates to Share to Help Small Business Owners

If you are like most small business owners, chances are that you have a Facebook Fan Page for your business and a Twitter account, but may not be keeping up with it due to time constraints or just not knowing what type of content to post to make the most of it.

By posting helpful, valuable content, you can improve retention and get new clients or members. It does take time and tenacity to build social relationships and if you get a few new customers a month and build relationships with your current ones it could be worth thousands of dollars to you.

Best of all, any new local fans or followers you add, will likely have a list of friends, families and businesses that are local as well who will get to see some of your social messages and invitations- so you have the possibility of building a group of warm leads or fans.

To help you figure out what you could post on your social networking sites for your Small Business,I’ve created 13 Social Network Updates for Your Small Business below. Please notice that the majority of the posting topics are of benefit to the reader and aren’t asking for a sale. This is key as well as that you post on a regular basis.

1. Upcoming Events- Do you have an open house, anniversary celebration or some other important event to promote this month? If so, be sure to create an event on your Facebook Fan Page and invite your fans and friends through Facebook.

2. Funny Video clips, Pictures, Bloopers- As long as it’s in good taste, share your online funny or amazing videos and pictures related to your business by sharing them on your social media accounts. You’d be surprised at how many comments and retweets you can get.

3. Public Appearances- Are you supporting a local event, demonstrating your product or services at a tradeshow, or donating items for a silent auction? Be sure and let everyone know through your social networking sites where your team is going to be. In addition, ask the organizations that you’re supporting to share it on their social networking pages too. For example, if you’re going to do the Great American Teach In at a school, mention the school in your posts and ask the school to post that you’ll be there too for greater exposure.

4. Fundraisers for a Cause-If you’ve got a fundraiser planned to help a charity or benefit a cause, then don’t be shy about it. Let people know what your business is doing to help, how your staff is making a difference and what your customers and the general public can do to join in and help.

5. Positive Messages-Share motivational quotes and feel good comments on your social sites. Just about everyone likes positive messages and quotes and it can help them understand that you’re company is a positive one.

6. Give Customers Recognition on your Social Sites –There are many opportunities to publicly thank or congratulate your customers or sponsors publicly on your Facebook Fan Page and other social sites. So give a public “shout out” to congratulate customers on their birthdays, for winning contests that your business is hosting, supplying feedback used to improve a product or service, etc.

7. Promote your YouTube Videos- Do you have a YouTube Channel with some entertaining, informative or instructional videos to share? Then share them on your social networking sites or even add your YouTube channel as a “tab” on your Facebook Fan Page.

8. Gift Certificates- Once in a while promote your gift certificates by mentioning them, putting them on sale or by having everyone enter to win one by asking fans to share or tweet: “I love (the name of your business) on Facebook or Twitter.” Select a winner at the end of the week and post their name congratulating them.

9. Give Bonuses to Your Fans and Followers-You can provide extra perks to those that follow or “like” you on Facebook, Twitter, etc by sharing links for additional information that’s of value to your target audience, extra discounts for your products or even share a service or new program with them before anyone else.

10. Ask for Opinions and Feedback- Post articles on what’s going on in your local area or things that are relevant to your business and ask everyone else what they think. Interact with those that reply. You can also ask their opinions on new menu items if you’re a restaurant, what colors, sizes, flavors, etc; they’d like to see your products in and more. Thanks those that respond publicly.

11. Contests –Host online photo caption contests, trivia questions, the best random act of kindness ideas and more to get members a chance to interact with your business.

12. Testimonials-Did someone say something nice about your business or employees? Then shamelessly let everyone know, by reposting the kind words and publicly thanking the author. It’s a great way to build social proof and also positively reinforce the act of praising your program.

13. The Benefits of Using Your Product and Services- Remind everyone how and why your product or services can benefits them. You can include your mission statement or tagline, but it’s great to specifically mention how and what benefits come “buying” from your company. Now, after reading this far, I’m sure you have plenty of ideas of what you could post each day on your social media accounts. There are tools out there to make your posting more time effective for you.

If you’d like help creating branded Facebook Fan Pages, creating content to share on your sites and/or having it shared and monitored for you, then please contact me (And feel free to “Like” my page) through: http://www.facebook.com/Kathyconsults

Managing Your Audio Book Collection With Your Computer

Many of us lauded the invention of digital cameras because now we could take as many pictures as we wanted to without fear of having to develop multiple rolls of film – for a great expense. But with this new technology, it seems we can’t stop taking pictures. And those pictures keep piling up on our computers, rarely seen and rarely sorted. With the new invention of audio books and the digital files for these, your audio book collection has the same chance of being lost on your computer, never fully utilized. Instead of wasting money on books you never read, maybe it’s time to organize your files in a more productive manner.

Make Sure You Have Enough Room

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out your computer’s memory is all filled up. You might want to download an audio book to your audio book collection, but can not because you have too much on your hard drive. Instead of getting out yet another flash drive (that you might lose too easily), it’s time to check your computer’s memory to make sure it can store your audio books. In a PC, go to the Computer Menu and then click on the hard drive you are using for storage – usually C. Right click on this folder and then you will see the disk space you have left. If you have too much of your computer’s hard drive filled up, your computer will run too slowly and you will have troubles adding any more audio books to your personal collection.

Organize the Books You Already Have

With audio book organizer software, you can easily manage your audio book collection on your computer. This software will allow you to sort your titles by title or by author or even genre. In doing so, you might begin to see some audio files that you don’t necessarily want to keep. When you see these files, you can then choose to delete them, giving you more room for even more audio books. This software can also help you to find audio book files on your computer if you haven’t saved them all in one location – a common mistake for new computer users. The catalog you create with this software can be easily updated as you see fit, while also allowing you the opportunity to see what books you might still want to purchase and download.

With your audio book collection under control, you can take full advantage of this wonderful technology. Whether you listen to your books on a CD or on an mp3 player, you will always know what books you have available and what you still need to ‘read’ when you have free time during a workout or a drive home from work. Instead of ‘losing your books to disorganization, let your computer do all the work. Sure, you might need to input some information at first, but when that’s done; the audio book software will organize it and arrange it in an efficient way.

Blog Marketing – Secret to Google Domination

Are you ready for the secret?

The secret that not only generates content and links, but it also generates leads and customers, and pretty much runs on auto-pilot?

Do you want that info?

OK here it is…

Create your own blog.

Duh! OK, Leonardo, everybody knows that. What’s so secret about it.

Read on, trust me.

So, you’re thinking what sort of a secret is that, let me explain further, you do not want to miss this.

Here’s how this incredible system works:

You create a blog which is relevant for your niche and you allow the following:

Free Article Submission

Free Business Listings

And, you ask for nothing in return.

When someone arrives at your blog they sign up for free to add their business and their articles, your email auto-responder then gives them the instructions of what they need to do, and you make it very easy for them, as a result you will get plenty of response, and don’t forget, because your blog will be generating visitors via the search engines the traffic comes in on autopilot, and the more people that sign up for free and add their business and submit their articles the more pages and traffic your blog receives, and it just keeps growing, generating more traffic and content by itself.

But how do you monetize this I hear you ask?

Simple, you offer a range of online services for the businesses who have a free listing on your site.

And, because they signed up to your auto-responder, your automated email messages take care of letting all your leads know about your services, which could include; paid advertising, web design, SEO, email marketing systems, that’s all the stuff you used to create your blog system in the first place, so once you know how to create your blog system you how to create the things you are going to sell to your leads.

Don’t want to offer those services yourself? Team up with someone who does.

So, it’s a lead generating machine and you don’t have to write the content, you will need to in the beginning for a few months and you may want to keep writing to steer it in a certain direction, but you don’t have to.

You educate your list to fact that it helps them to include their articles with a link back to their site.

And your auto-responder reminds them once a month to add their news.

It’s an amazing system that I use and others use to generate traffic, leads and income.

Is it going to take a bit if setting up?

Of course it is, but once the work is done it gives Blog Marketing a whole new meaning.

Perfect Girls

When you ask guys what they look for in girls or in their girlfriends, among many things one word which they use is “perfect.” Now all you girls, how can you be perfect girls for those men or boys out there? Here are few things to help you make your man drool over you and call you the perfect of all the perfect girls.

• Always take care of yourself. Boys are always attracted by the appearance of girls. So it’s very important that you always keep yourself looking good and groom yourself. Just because you are comfortable now with each other, it doesn’t mean that he will not get attracted to other girls, and you can continue to be with him wearing your faded spaghetti strap tank top and worn-out jeans. You should never stop dressing up just for him. Make him feel proud or feel good to be with you. Many guys enjoy when their girlfriends can turn other men’s head. It fits their “perfect girls” category.

• Don’t tag along with him everywhere: Let him have his own guy time. Men need to spend time with their buddies, swing a couple of beer, do the things they like doing, some of which may seem silly to you. In short give him space and he will love you for that. And you don’t have to be alone on those days. Go out with your girlfriends, make a trip to the salon, get some beauty treatments done at home, etc. Do anything you like but don’t keep on calling him up, asking what he is doing, and what time he will be home. Even if he doesn’t get back home the time he promises or doesn’t call you back as promised, don’t sulk or throw attitudes at him. Often they get so drunk and so carried away with their guy talk and fun, they simply forget without meaning to.

• Know your guy well: Perfect girls always know what their men like. It can be a favorite color, perfume, food, game, restaurant, or even favorite sex position. Enjoy yourself and give him pleasure too. This will go a long way in making your relationship stronger.

These are some pointers for you to be able to keep your man or boyfriend close to you. So long you remind yourself that a man and a woman do not think the same way, it will help you not set too high expectations that can jeopardize your relationship.

Picture, Picture on the Wall – How Art Can Affect Your Feng Shui

Every day we are influenced by what is around us… the words that are said, the smells we smell, the sights we take in. The goal of feng shui is to promote beauty, harmony, and aspiration, the raising of our sights toward lofty, noble, and worthwhile goals.

The poet Maya Angelou said that we must be careful about the words we speak because the words will “hang on the walls.” Of course, she is talking about what we do in the figurative sense. However it is also true of what we hang on our walls in the literal sense. That’s why it is important that we surround ourselves with uplifting sights.

Feng shui encourages the application of beautiful, sustaining images. Pictures and artwork of depressing subjects, violence, or pictures whose presence makes us sad or unhappy are not suitable or appropriate for the walls of our home. Instead, only those images that are inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful should be placed on the walls.

Fortunately, you can practice symbolic feng shui by the selection of certain images, such as people, happy occasions, beauty, wealth, or power. Particular pictures in feng shui have special meanings and can be used wherever you desire more interest. For instance, a poster or painting of a water fall is an excellent way to boost career feng shui — and income!

When you are looking to improve your feng shui, consider simply looking around. Then, see if the images you are looking at are saying what you want them to. If not, consider replacing those images with pictures that make a positive, uplifting statement. Check the tips below for more ideas of positive feng shui images.

1. Use beautiful water images for career or wealth help. When placed in the north sector of the home, living room, or office, these images can provide an immediate boost to the career. To boost career chi in the bedroom (or anywhere!) consider adding an image of a tortoise.

Images of waterfalls and lakes are also appropriate for the southeast wealth sector. For more career or wealth help, consider adding a picture of a ship sailing INTO your home or office. Ships are especially auspicious harbingers of coming wealth. Do consider adding a ship picture in the southwest, where it will help with relationships AND wealth because water is beneficial in the SW until 2023.

2. Gain recognition, friends, and beneficial relationships with images of happy people. Looking for more friends or a more active social life? Maybe even FAME? Pictures of happy occasions and happy people are EXCELLENT ways to bring more people into your life, as well as happier relationships, and greater social recognition. Pictures such as the ones below are excellent for enhancing your social status, both personally and professionally.

These can be hung in the south or southwest corners. Other good choices for the south and southwest are horses and birds. Horses hung in the southwest sector can offer a good chance of travel, so be prepared if you hang a picture of a horse here!

3. Receive help from mentors and influential people with images in the NW. To receive help from those in the position to offer you advancement in your career, studies, or life in general, you need to enhance your “Power People” sector. This is the NW corner of your home, living room, or office.

Images of international scenes such as the Eiffel tower, the tower of London, the pyramids of Giza, and other scenes are excellent for receiving help from all corners of the globe. Likewise, images of metal structures, circular images, and golden or metallic colors are all excellent choices.

Maps, pictures of maps, globes, etc. are all beneficial for the NW sector of your home, office, or living room. Because this is the “heaven” location, this is also a wonderful location for pictures and images of religious figures or deities, angels, or religious locations such as Jerusalem or Mecca. Grand people such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or world leaders are also wonderful choices for increasing Powerful People help.

Be sure to surround yourself with pictures of people or places that you aspire to and that inspire you. We must all have something that lifts us up and makes us want to achieve more and aim higher in our lives. Find a picture that symbolizes that FOR YOU.

4. Avoid depressing, negative, or violent images. Do you have images in your home that remind you of something sad, mean, violent, or failure? If so, these images are constantly reinforcing these negative messages. Look around and if you have any pictures or elements like this, consider replacing them. Otherwise, these images will continue to imbue your home with negative energy. Yes, even if your picture is considered “fine art”, it is not worth sacrificing the energy of your home for this investment in negativity.

Affiliate Marketing Products – How to Choose a Product That Will Sell Well

Choosing a product that will actually sell means you must have a product that is in demand and something that offers a solution to an obvious need within your niche. There are various ways to determine this without spending money. But the best way to know about any product, system or method is still to purchase and personally test the product.

This tactic delivers undeniable results because it provides you with the ability to offer a product that you know works because you have tested it. This simplifies your content creation aspect of your machine assembly, because making money online is about building your machine and it will take time to have everything in place. When you test products, make sure the product or system offer a 100% money back guarantee preferably for around 60 days. This will give you enough time to test the product thoroughly.

That is also a clear indication why successful affiliate marketing requires a lot of time, because you have to know what you are talking about when designing your websites and blogs. You have to write articles and eBooks and you cannot do that if you don’t exactly know what the product is about.

When looking for products to sell on ClickBank, you may want to check on the “Gravity” and the “%commission” options to a certain product in the marketplace. A high Gravity means it is a competitive product because there are thousands of affiliate marketers promoting that product. A lower Gravity means there are not so many affiliates promoting it and the competition will not be so fierce.

You can earn as high as 80% commission from all sales you generate from inside the Click Bank Marketplace, but you have to research the products and check on the reviews. Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate an income online but you have to follow the guidelines, and abide by the rules.

By knowing your product you will stand out from an impressively large affiliate marketing community, and that is why personally testing what you intend to promote is so important. And that is exactly how you determine which products to sell as an Affiliate Marketer.

When you have your product, only then should you start creating content or you will be wasting your efforts in concentrating on the goal and not the game. When you have knowledge, you will be unstoppable.

Be Prosperous,

Banner Stands Gives An Exclusive Look To Your Advertisement

Today, there are many new and hi-tech solutions to market a product or services. Banner stands are one of the perfect and easy solution for fast and easy setup for advertising. Every business needs promotion to gain popularity and so to achieve its aim. A business will work very well if you advertise about it to the public. The place is the main thing that has to be considered for placing the banner. The place where the banner is to be placed must be must be in the vicinity of maximum audience. The purpose needs to be solved no matter what place is chosen for the advertisement.The banners will display about the latest products and services. Banner Stands has became an effective medium for advertising about your business. It is a cost-effective technique and a perfect complement to any exhibit mode.

In order to make your business popular, the first step you need to consider is to market it properly. There are many marketing methods but a business owner needs to look for those methods that are easily accessible by him. The methods should be inexpensive so that any business can meet the expense. Usually, banner stands are found in places that have huge mass like exhibitions, displays, retail stores and trade shows. These types of poster can be assembled anywhere within few seconds and can be moved to another place. This stand is designed in a compact and lightweight model, so that it becomes easy to travel with, carry, and ship. Banners must be made very attractive so that many people get attracted towards it.

Banners Stands can be made appealing by the use of graphical pictures and deigns which is an exclusive way to display your products and services. The smooth design and trendy of the banners leaves a lasting impression on the public. This method is an exclusive way to market your products and services. The method that you choose for the purpose of marketing depends on the kind of products and services. Depending on the type of product, the place is also chosen. The message should be clear and meaningful so that everyone can easily understand. Through this advertisement method, people will become aware of your products and in this way your business will get popularity. It is a cheap and easily accessible medium that reaches almost every person irrespective of the place.

There are many types of banners available in the market for the purpose of advertisement. But portable banner stands is one of the most commonly used types of banners. There are several advantages of using a portable banner stands for advertising the products and services or even a new business. The cost of using a portable banner stand is comparatively lower than other types of stands. It is easy to install for the purpose and consequently can be packed to take it away at the end of the day. A banner stand can be used for the number of times to solve your purpose. You cannot use the same type of banner stands for the indoor and outdoor purposes. Retractable banner stands uses graphical features and it cannot be placed outside as it should be avoided from rain and sun rays.

Data Recovery on Laptops? Yes We Can

Is it possible that one day when you were working with your laptop you accidentally pressed delete and when you checked your information in the recycle bin but it was not there? Did you panic or go nuts? Well, there is good news. Probably your data still exists as long as you have not tampered with your hard disk. Thanks to people known as data recovery specialists, your data can still be recovered.

This may sound unreal and unbelievable but there are actually data recovery specialists who can recover your lost data from your personal computer PC and laptop. These specialists are well trained technicians in data recovery. They have well built labs that contain all the necessary technology, machinery and equipment used to recover your data. They use certain methods in order for one to get back to work on his data that was supposedly lost. They also advise people on how to backup their data incase such situation happen again.

Many people, especially those who have studied IT believe that if their laptop crashes, they can do it on their own. This is a misconception that may cause one to lose his/her data permanently. Trying to recover the data on your own using system utilities or even data recovery software may have detrimental effects to your data. This is why it is advised not to try and do the recovery on your own. Just pick up the phone and make the call to the data recovery specialist.

It definitely cost to have your data recovered by the data recovery specialist but I bet it’s worth the cost. What if you have very important information that is needed for a presentation the following day and you had worked on it for months? What would you opt for? In some cases, you will lose data that the specialist will not be able to recover. Therefore, the specialist should charge you on the amount of information that is recoverable.

So, the next time you lose information on your laptop (or even PC) do contact a data recovery specialist.

The Art of Your Wedding

Let’s look at the “Art” of the wedding. By that I mean all of the visual aspects that make up your wedding style. Your gown, flowers, reception location, style of photography, your shoes, hair and make-up as well as the bridesmaid’s dresses and the presentation of the food are all elements that make up the “Art” of your wedding.

These visual elements when put together become the total look; they elicit a certain mood and help define the image you and your fiance would like to share with your guests.

Let me address specifically your beauty needs and the elements involved in pulling together your personal style. All the elements of your dress, hair, make-up, nails, and headpiece need to work together to become the “art” of your total bridal look.

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

Let’s look at a few important elements of design that are relative to style. Understanding each of these elements will make it easier for you to use them when creating your “total bridal look.” Whether you are working with your florist, caterer, or consultant you need to be able to translate your wishes to them that will pull together “The Art of your Wedding”.

Line- Size- Shape- Position- Density- Texture

Line:

The line of a hairstyle, floral centerpiece, or the composition within a photograph has a direction either horizontally or vertically. Horizontal lines broaden and shorten with the eye following the width, vertical lines slim and elongate. The line can be dramatic and sophisticated or soft and romantic.

I remember a very slender and petite bride who was wearing a slim fitted narrow gown. Perfect for her because it made her look taller. But the gown shop suggested a wreath of flowers. Just as the eye was drawn up, the wreath cut off the illusion of height. The horizontal line of the wreath canceled out any help the vertical gown accomplished in making her seem taller. It took some convincing and a visual demonstration but I got her to change her headpiece.

The line of the dress should match the hair. A long slim fitted wedding gown is complemented with a narrow bob tucked behind the ears or a bunch of curls piled high on the head. The line of a traditional full-skirt wedding gown is horizontal. This style is complemented by a softer romantic and wider hairstyle.

Staying within these design parameters is a general guideline for most brides. However, a bride with flair for the dramatic and a strong personality can certainly carry off a total look that does not “match”. A slim fitted gown with sexy wild hair may be your flavor.

Size: The finished size of a hairstyle and veil depends on a few factors: How much hair you have, how tall, petite or full figured you are plus the overall line, size, detail, and fullness/length of dress. As an example, apply this size “element” to the flowers. The size and volume of a bouquet should not overpower a petite bride or table setting.

I had a bride who was petite but wore a traditional full gown with a chapel length veil. (I lot of dress for a little woman) She also requested that her veil trail longer than the gown! I created a smaller Updo and made her a smaller headpiece to be worn toward the back of the head. I gave her the length she wanted for the veil, but it was not gathered too full. It allowed the horizontal line to flow but worked with her proportions. Sometimes too much veiling on top of a petite bride can make her look top heavy.

Shape: The shape of the finished Updo or hairstyle needs to complement the shape of your face as well as the proportions of you in your dress. The shape, is the outer line a hairstyle makes. Visualize a wide bob haircut making the outer shape of a triangle. A shag or layered cut has the outer shape of a rectangle. Some shapes are reminiscent of periods like the teased crown and flip of the sixties. The feathered back hair of the seventies complemented bell-bottom pants. The narrow shape and closeness to the head of the roaring twenties hair was a visual match to the bound breasts and slim body hugging clothes worn at that time.

The next time you see a picture of a Victorian lady in her bustled gown notice that her hair is bustled up in the back as well.

If you choose to wear a slim suit for a daytime wedding it would be important to keep your hairstyle compact and simple. If a full skirt or bustled wedding gown is your style, then go for a larger headpiece and hairstyle. The shape matches. Balance works.

Position: A hairstyle may be positioned at the top of the head, the middle or at the nape of the neck. A small wedding hat, a comb of flowers or a headpiece can be used to balance your hairstyle’s position.

I had an older bride who wanted a fun sexy look for her second wedding. She had a profile style headpiece which is the kind that sits along the side of the face. I had to make sure the hairstyle balanced the position of her veil.

Density: Density has to do with the feeling and look of weight or thickness. In this image the curls are dense, the necklace is dense, and the ruffles in the gown make it all work together. If the gown you choose is a heavy satin and the bride’s maids are in velvet, then requesting hairstyles of soft wispy flowing curls will not balance the total look. Instead go for a more detailed barrel type of curl or smooth twist. If your look is softer and more flowing, say a tulle top layer, your hair can also be flowing and the curls softer.

I remember seeing photos of a wedding party that were all dressed in velvet gowns. But, on top of their heads they wore dainty wreaths of flowers with flowing tiny ribbons that did not complement the density of the velvet or the time of year for the ceremony. (Winter!)

Many times I need to lead a bridal client into an understanding of this element of design (density) to produce the correct Up do or hairstyle for her total look.

Texture: Texture has the ability to create a feeling with hair similar to density. A hairstyle of glistening finger waves makes a daring strong statement. The texture of detailed braiding supports an ethnic look. The smooth texture of a sleek bob is classic, perfect for the understated Town and Country bride. Look for texture in your dress, flowers, and table linens. Fabric can be braided, gathered, puckered, or smooth. Texture in the hair can be matched to the dress, or it can be done to create contrast.

PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION

Now you have a better understanding of the elements of design. The principles of composition are when you use these elements to put together your total look. Lets look at three key principles of composition as they relate to style.

Emphasis- Contrast- Balance

Emphasis: What is to be the main emphasis of your total look? It may be an antique headpiece or your mothers wedding gown from the seventies. You may love your beautiful long red hair and want an Updo to be the main emphasis. Is the back of your gown stunning? The emphasis may be placed there.

As far as the ceremony goes, for some couples, the music is very important. For others it may be the food or location. For one of my brides the emphasis was her flowers; she and her Mom were florists. So I designed her hair into flowers, complete with white centers and silk leaves. It was a big hit! (photos can be seen in The Business of Bridal Beauty).

Contrast: Contrast accentuates various shapes and lines. There can be contrasting textures in a dress, for example a lace dress with a velvet sash, or an ornate bodice with an unadorned skirt. There can also be contrasting textures in a hairstyle mixing curls with straight. Contrast demands to be noticed and if you are bold and confident go for it! Simple bridesmaids dresses set off with exquisite bold flowers is fabulous!

Balance: Let me stress that a balanced look is the most important principle of composition. The hairstyle and headpiece needs to look balanced to the dress and body type.

The size of the bouquet balanced to the size of bride. The color and fabric of the maids’ gowns balanced to the time of year.

Don’t jump all over the place mixing an antique car with calla lilies and a sushi menu. A Medieval gown does not mix well with a bright contemporary reception setting and big band sound. Lay out all of your elements; write them down, think about them has a whole. Is there a theme, do they flow?

Today’s couple strives for individuality and not cookie cutter. The lines have blurred, the rules are out the window and saving money is chic.

How will you make the Art of your Wedding?