2014

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Working Online: Gateway to Opportunity

Working online is a privilege some of us are fortunate enough to enjoy.  It’s an opportunity that is sought by many but actually embraced by few.  Online employment is a tight fit community, believe it or not.  Knowing the ins and outs, what to do and what not to do can make or break your entire career.

First of all, it is important to find your niche online.  What is it that you do well that you can offer your services for?  Are you a great writer?  Do you excel in editing?  Or, maybe you are a gifted animator or even a fantastic entrepreneur.  The wonderful world of online business is in need of all of the above and then some.  There are tons of skills that are needed to make the bustling cyber world thrive.

Once you have determined what it is you would like to do, it’s time to figure out where to look in order to get to work.  You can, of course, open your own endeavor.  You can start a website or even a store on Ebay or Amazon in which to retail your wares.

Or, you may be more comfortable working for someone else.  Odesk, Elance, Fivver and countless other platforms are available to connect employers and employees.  For a fee the companies will assist in hooking the work and workers together and to some extent, will help to make sure you are paid.

You may find that it takes a little while to break in to the community.  You will need to prove your worth.  To do so, you might consider working for less than you normally would and offering specials as well.

One thing you must guard against is taking on more work that you can handle.  The one thing that will get you ousted from online work of any kind is getting negative reviews.  Being late on the delivery of your work, doing a slouchy job and not communicating with your employer will put you out of work fast.  Bad news travels fast and bad reviews do too so stay on top of the game.  Most agencies have an option to switch on to lessen your availability when you have reached your limit on work.  You can usually turn on vacation mode as well.

The advantages of working online are immense.  You can set your own schedule, work in the setting of your choice and many other great perks.  It comes with immense responsibilities as well.  You must be a self-disciplined person by nature.  You will have to say “no” to people, places and things at times.  When a friend invites you to go have lunch but a paper is due, better to opt out of the lunch than to be ousted from your employer.  It takes devotion and dedication and a passion for what you are doing.

Online work is as good as it gets for those of us who like to march to the beat of a different drummer.  We like to get up at three in the morning to start on a new project or may stay up all night to close out a deal.  The most successful online employees are those who do what they love and love what they do.  They are the ones that when work gets tough, they get tougher.  They are the ones who are devoted and determined.  You will know them because they are the ones who are…still employed.

Futuristic Fans

Close your eyes. Imagine something round sitting atop a kind of cylinder (think pedestal). Imagine it has a cord and plug to activate what is known as oscillation. Create an image of air being drawn into the device, amplified 18 times to generate a powerful output at maximum velocity. Fantasize that you can control this wonder with one touch. In fact, it has “touch tilt”, a remote, and a dimmer switch. You have the power to dominate its every move. You are master.

Get a concept of a curved magnetized remote that stores atop the parent machine whenever you like. It will be safely out of harm’s way (getting lost). It comes into play when you want to control air flow, turn the implement off or on, and adjust oscillation level. Wow. This marvel has a low center of gravity with the component parts placed strategically below for superior stability. It is award-winning quality design.

You can open your eyes and know that this bladeless fan actually exists in the real world. It is a Dyson air multiplier and there are many other like it from small 10 to 12 inch table top models to those you can place on the floor. Some are elongated in appearance, some are a bit squat. They are all state-of-the-art.

No blades means easy to clean with a gentle wipe down, no grilles, and no fear. Choose your price range and warranty features. You can even get them refurbished if you want a nice discount. You can try it out with little monetary risk. They are quality devices with great ratings, so I expect you will keep your treasure once found. The Dyson for one brand goes through a rigorous point check before being sold. If Dyson and bladeless is out of your price range, try a tower fan, you can find some cool tower fans reviews here.

This is as futuristic as it gets right now. Maybe soon you will be able to give voice commands or control it from your smart phone so it’s on and waiting for you when you get home from work, having already cooled your special space. Aah!

You will then have to think hard to remember the “old-fashioned” units that were round or square and sat ignorantly at your side accumulating dust and spewing out. You had to remove the front and do some hard labor to get the thing clean. You had nightmares about the grille falling off and accidentally sticking your fingers in a vicious maw as a result.

The old fans didn’t look good, that’s for sure, but then again they were cheap. If you wanted basic and utilitarian, you had it in a flash from your corner hardware store. Now you can look at a sculpturesque art work and glow with pride at your ingenuity and modern consciousness. I, for one, love the space age demeanor displayed. It seems to awaken a room with its alien spirit. It quietly does its work with no fuss or muss. By now, you should be dying for one to grace any room of your home. Move it around with you and enjoy the gentle breeze.

Home Automation

Sometimes I look around and the world seems to be the same as always. In fact, if you told me I had woken up and it was now 1970, I would believe you. Other than automobile styles, homes and buildings are absolutely the same. Planes and ships look the way they always did, and people dress pretty much in an androgynous universal style—jeans and tees.

I want things to be 21st century, more advanced and technologically challenging. They are, of course, in invisible ways. It’s all about how we use a television, phone, digital apparatus, and employ software more than ever. It’s also about how we store information and get it through online research. The medical world has been revolutionized as are many industries in terms of manufacturing processes. We have reduced toxins and emissions, controlled waste, and utilized synthetic fuels.

But guess what. Our kitchens and bathrooms are low tech. Many people have the same faucets as they did 70 years ago. They might be a tad rusty, but they work. How can this be? How did hygiene and food preparation get left so far behind?

There are “smart homes” nowadays and ways to control one’s environment with just a touch. We just don’t do it. We think it’s for the distant future. Well, the future is now. Your lights go on as you drive up the street with your handy iPhone. Later, when you get inside the house you can turn on music, the coffee maker, or whatever else you like.

Now you can also flush your toilet without moving a muscle, just hovering over the right spot. You can turn on a faucet without straining yourself with one little tap. Ah! Technology is all about laziness and ease. It may seem like it’s time saving, but when you are dealing in milliseconds, it really isn’t. Even though they are still selling new versions of older models, you can buy new appliances and fixtures in keeping with a more modern world. You wouldn’t ever think of using a ten-year-old TV or giant cell phone with an antenna. You would dream of buying a used 15-year old computer with a separate screen and hard drive. You went for a Kindle Fire and a tablet, so why not new modern faucets?

We all draw the line somewhere I guess. And yet we use faucets more than keyboards. Automation should be routine by now and yet how rare it is in residential and commercial spaces. Sure, timers have always turned on the sprinklers and nightlights. They have started the toaster as you arise. But this is small stuff. Updating kitchens and baths seems so obvious. Perhaps that’s why it hasn’t been done.

It’s not as expensive as you think. A good regular non-touch faucet is pricy anyway. Maybe you like the look and feel of the levers and pulls. So much décor is retro these days. I, myself, like the idea of progress and hands-free water fills the bill. Maybe a little more publicity is warranted and I am now trying to do my part!

Parental Mobility at Its Best

parentialcontrolofmobilephones

I’m not sure how parents (or kids) ever survived without mobile phones.  Mobile phones, texting and modern technology in general catch a lot of flak these days.  It’s time to set the record straight!

“Back in the olden days, we used to actually talk to people face to face,” you’ve probably heard a grandparent say at least once.  There was a time when business deals were sealed with a handshake too.  But those days have come and gone.

Today, parents need to be able to communicate with their children from afar.  Life is hectic.  It’s nothing to have your children strung from one end of town to the other.  One is at gymnastics, one’s at soccer and yet another is hanging out at a friend’s house.

Life can be dangerous too.  One miscommunicated meeting spot or a discrepancy in the pick up or drop off time can put the children in harm’s way.  I remember an event in my own life when my mum didn’t show to pick me up from soccer practice.  Al of the other kids had been picked up and there I was…all alone.  I didn’t know what else to do but to walk home.  It was…a long, long way.  In the meantime, my mother arrived at the soccer fields at what she thought was the set pick-up time.  Of course, when I wasn’t there, she panicked.  At the end of a very long night, we finally connected but if you were to ask my mum, mobile phones are a must for a fair go at keeping up with children these days.

For sure, we can’t forsake the value of a good face-to-face conversation.  It is true that it’s becoming a rare commodity at the dinner table or any family event that no one is texting, talking or playing a game on their mobile phones and that everyone is simply enjoying one another’s company.  But rules can be set for such occasions.  Wishes can be voiced for a “no phone zone”.  The use of mobile phones for families can and should be monitored but certainly not abandoned.

When to give a child or teen his or her own mobile phone is a matter best evaluated on an individual basis.  Some children/teens are more mature than others and some have more of a need for one.  If you do a lot of coordinating pick-up times with a child, you may want to consider a mobile phone for him or her.  You can also customize the privilege such as buying a prepaid mobile phone with a certain amount of minutes allotted.

Another option is to give the use of a mobile phone on a trial basis and keep a close eye on how he or she is doing with it.  Never feel bad for being snoopy!   A parent’s job is to be snoopy.

There are a lot of things to consider about mobile phone use within families.  There are rules to be set and rules to be followed.  But you need only to hear one story where a mobile phone saved a life or even saved the day to realize that they are a matter of parental survival in this day and age.

Mobile Internet: At Your Service

A four-man crew is installing an Energy Management System at one of the largest chain stores in the country.  Over a relatively short time period, it will save hundreds of thousands of dollars, a feat that will ideally benefit the consumer as well.  The men shut down the main power to the refrigeration system which controls the temperature on about a million dollars-worth of food that must remain frozen or cooled.  A temporary electrical supply source is set in place.  It will only provide service for about one hour.  The clock is ticking.

After cables are run and the electrical work is done, one man makes a call to the technical department across the country that oversees the operation.  Via internet on the mobile phone, the job will be commissioned and given the green light to reconnect the main electrical supply, or not.  It’s a race against time.  If any repairs have to be made or any problems require trouble-shooting, it must be done in haste.

Mobile Internet enables electricians and other service workers keep up with the times.  It provides the means to do very important tasks at any location and to have those tasks commissioned or tested from miles away, sometimes a whole continent away.  In return, companies are able to install, repair or update much more efficiently and in a more timely, less expensive manner because the services rendered are able to communicate from afar rather than being dependent for all parties concerned to be in one location.

There are a lot of times that mobile internet can be convenient and entertaining.  You can catch up of the latest news feeds on Facebook, email a friend and even send a photo you just took.  There are other times when having mobile internet can literally save the day.  Your bank account has just been hacked into.  Your cable bill is overdue and is moments away from your service being disconnected.  Being able to get that one vital email can sometimes save your life from ruin.

Then there are the times you are stuck in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or on the subway.  It’s just good time management to catch up on emails or to click online to check a bank balance or whatever else needs to be done.  Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to unravel and play a game online.

Mobile internet is noteworthy of saving lives too.  Weather can be tracked, steering people from treacherous conditions such as flooding and tornadoes.  Traveling has been made much easier too.  It can be very inconvenient and downright dangerous to get lost.   Internet availability via a hot spot enables the navigation feature on many mobile phones.  A whole route can even be put in an internet program that will map out the best way to go.

It’s a busy, demanding and sometimes dangerous world.  Mobile internet is technology’s answer to many problems that arise in the modern times in which we live.  The internet… it’s good to not to have to leave home without it.

Technology in the Shower

You all probably already know how much I love technology and everything connected to technology. I think that in a way technology connects people all around the world. In today’s world, it is fairly easy to make new friendships via Internet. Just to name a couple of examples; twitter and facebook. I mean what better way is there to meet new people and to share ideas and knowledge?

Recently I have been thinking a lot about technology of all sorts, but the one that has gotten my attention the most is the technology in the shower. I love listening to podcasts and making calls in the shower with a shower head with a speaker. There are plenty of reviews out there online, but I like the ones from a site called A Great Shower. It is fun, and I guess it saves time. You can make phone calls during your relaxation time. Some of you will probably wonder why to make calls while relaxing. Well, those calls do not have to be business calls. You can talk to your girlfriend or friends, catch up on what is new while relaxing yourself.

Shower heads these days are equipped with all sorts of things. You can even get a rain shower head which can make steam. Is not that cool? I guess it is all about your character and what you like and what you do not like. Some people will enjoy a nice bubble bath in silence while other, like myself, will love everything that is new and that allows me to expand my knowledge and ideas.

Beside my affection towards technology, I also enjoy listening to music. You have probably by now realized that I enjoy showering, but what makes me happy is combining those two. Music while showering. I can sing under the shower, listen to podcasts and if needed I can make calls as well. What a great usage of technology. It feels like relaxation without borders.

Technology in the shower sector has gone a long way. And not just shower wise, but bathrooms are now getting more and more technical. You can buy all sorts of stuff for your bathroom. You can buy towel warmers in all shapes and colors, bathroom fans also available in different colors and shapes. When talking about colors, if you are anything like me, you will love some ‘geeky’ ideas for your bathroom. The choices are endless. You do not even have to invest a lot of money. If you have a vivid imagination, you will decorate your bathroom for less money but in a way that you will give the bathroom you own signature.

Today we can express ourselves any way we like. If you feel like your house or just one room in the house needs renovating, go for it. make it shine. Even if you are not that technologically advanced, it is never to late to give it a shot. Try little thing first. Award yourself with a shower head with a speaker. You will see that you will start singing under the shower in no time.

Facing the Facts: Face Time Makes for Picture Perfect Parenting

The iPhone face time feature is a fabulous feature for parents.  The exciting technology available on Apple mobile phones allows for video-audio calls which can really come in quite handy.  It can make the duties and joys of parenting a lot easier, for sure.

Face time is available on the iPhone 4 and newer versions.  It can also be accessed on a Mac OS X 10.6 or higher in which the face time app is installed in.  A Wi-Fi or network with 3G or 4G connection is also required.

To initiate a face time call, make sure the option is enabled and the contact or the phone number is in your phone.  Then, simply slide the face time notch to the “on” position and begin the call.  Or, just push the button to “accept” if you are the one being called.

So how has face time come to make the job of parenting easier?  Let me take you on a stroll down memory lane.  When I was a teen-ager, I had a strict curfew.  I was to be in at midnight.  Midnight?  The party was just getting started at midnight which was what my parents knew and the exact reason I had the said curfew.  Quite often I would spend the night with one of my mates who could stay out later.  Of course I did not mention that fact to my parents.  There were certain mates who had no curfew at all which worked out well for my teen-age endeavors but would have horrified my parents, had they known.

But my parents didn’t know.  There was much they didn’t know.  Sometimes they had me call when I got where I was supposed to be going.  I could usually fudge that and call from somewhere else.  Enter the face time feature.  I can hear how it would have gone down if my mum had have had this feature available.  “Sure you can spend the night at Bobby’s,” she would have said.  “Just face time me when you get to his house at midnight.”

I know, it feels like you are being intrusive.  That’s alright.  Parents can be intrusive.  In fact, they should be intrusive.

Sometimes you can best get your point across with some eye-to-eye contact.  Your words will go much further and will be taken more to heart when you simply click on to face time for that parent-child or parent-t0-teen talk.  Trust me, I would have gotten in far less mischief had my mum and dad had face time.

And not all face timing with your offspring is for protective purposes.  Maybe your son is celebrating a great soccer game win and you weren’t able to attend the game.  Catching that smile on face time is absolutely priceless.  Or, your daughter is choosing a dress for the prom and you are stuck at work.  You can now put your opinion in via face time.

Through the years, many things have changed drastically.  Some things have not changed at all.  Children will forever be trying to pull one over on their parents and wise parents will be a step ahead.

Don’t miss a moment.   Face time is an excellent tool for stopping bad behavior in its tracks.  It’s also the perfect solution for making sure you don’t miss those magical moments.  Facing parenting with face time is undoubtedly picture perfect.

Saving Relationships One Skype at a Time

skype

Not so many years ago, traveling for a living pretty much was a death sentence for a relationship.  Although there were couples and families that did make it through, they rarely came out unscathed.  Being away from home, so many things were missed it was hard not to feel isolated and disconnected.  But all that has changed.

The economy has called for many of us to relocate or travel in order to chase work wherever we can find it.  In the past, that would have meant all too many milestones would be missed.  Your baby’s first steps, your daughter getting ready for her first dance, those are moments that photographs and phone calls just can’t do justice to.  But now, thanks to Skype technology, we can share real time events as they are unfolding.  That is…priceless!

Skype isn’t just for long distance relationships.  It’s a flirty little prelude to a special date night or a personal touch to a birthday wish.  It’s a good way for a wife to show her husband, firsthand, just what’s wrong with the kitchen sink so he can grab a part on the way home.

Skyping keeps us business savvy too.  Many of us are fortunate enough to work online.  We can work from home, a coffee house or while taking a road trip or even traveling internationally.  Sometimes, however, emails just don’t offer enough communication.  Whether its employers and employees trying to connect or two writers working to collaborate a book, there are times when Skyping is simply a lifesaver.

You don’t have to be a technical genius to Skype.  That’s the joy of Skyping.  Simply open an account at www.skype.com.  It’s easy and best of all, it’s free.  You’ll choose an account name that will identify you.  Then add your contacts and once they accept, you are ready to roll.  You can then make and accept calls.  Skyping is free except for a small fee for actual phone calls.

This is where it gets really exciting because you can choose which style of Skyping fits the situation at hand.  Are you conducting business but are still in your pajamas with your hair (not to mention, your kitchen) a big mess?  Opt for instant messaging or voice chat.

Dying to see your baby’s first tooth?  Click on the video chat for an experience so real you can almost touch her.  Video Skype is also an excellent tool for tending to business where you need to show a co-worker how to do a task that is difficult to explain through emails or even instant messaging.  Sometimes a video Skype is worth a thousand words.

For those who have never Skyped before, it’s like the first time doing anything, it may be a bit awkward.  Remember your first email or Facebook post?  Yeah, it’s like that.  But you will find that once you get the hang of it, Skype may save your job and your relationship too.  Maybe it’s not quite that dramatic, but then again, maybe it is.  Skype, it’s a real time solution to real life situations.