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We all have our personal gadget wish list. With new gadgets coming out every single day, it is important to keep an eye out for new-exciting gadgets that you may want to add to your list. 2014 has been quite a year for developing gadgets so far. We have seen plenty of brand new gadgets hit the stores, and plenty gadgets sellout when they do so. As we are now in the eighth month of the year, I have decided that it’s about time I take a look back at what 2014 has had to offer. Here are my top five must have gadgets of the year so far.

1. Misfit Shine

The Misfit Shine is at the forefront of modern technology. This gadget allows users to measure their daily fitness routine with the use of a simple bracelet. Wearing the bracelet whilst you run or do any sport helps you to track your progress. The Misfit Shine is one of the most-exciting new gadgets of the year. It has changed the way in which so many sports enthusiasts train. You can log all your exercise progress on your computer or smartphone using the device. This log means that you can work towards improving. Some devices are even waterproof, meaning you can wear them whilst swimming too.

2. The Quadcopter

Armature and professional film enthusiasts will love using an a quadcopter. A quadcopter kit allows you to attach a camera to a flying gadget. You can then film amazing imagery, whilst controlling the quadcopter as you would a toy helicopter. This gadget is no toy. It is a technical piece of equipment. By investing in this device, you open up a whole new world of film making. You can film scenes from the sky, opening up new ways of creating imagery and scenes. This gadget is a top choice for anyone who makes films in their spare time or even for a living.

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3. Goji Smart Lock

It is time to say goodbye to keys and hello to electronic lock systems. Yes, the future is here, and now we have no need for locks or door keys. The Goji Smart Lock is an electronic locking system that fits onto your front door. You can open the lock by using face recognition technology or keying in a pin. The lock films and recognises guests who come to your front door. Much like an intercom system (only much more sophisticated) the lock allows you to see who is at your door. This system could be the future of the door lock. Watch this space.

4. LG Home Chat

LG Home Chat allows you to communicate with your appliances using your mobile phone. For example, if you happen to be out and remember that you have left the oven on, you can send a text message to LG Home Chat. The system will then turn off your oven for you. This style of system is at the forefront of home-centric gadgets. We are likely to see plenty of copycat systems on the market in the next couple of years. The LG Home Chat is exclusive to LG smart watches and phones at the moment.

5. The Smart Toothbrush

In 2014, the smart toothbrush came onto the market. The smart brush works with an app to check how often and how well you brush your teeth. In the modern world many people neglect their cleaning routine, so this gadget helps to keep us right on track. The app also provides you with tips and tricks to make your routine more effective. There are many different brands now offering smart toothbrushes, so make sure that you shop around.

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As with technology, the business world is evolving at a fast pace. It’s also a well-known fact that some people are resistant to change. It is those people that will end up getting left behind while the rest of the world embraces the latest and greatest ways of doing things.

If you want your business to succeed, it has to change with the times and, in some cases, get prepared to diversify to stay afloat. Otherwise, it risks failing because of its refusal to adapt to the needs of its customers.

Is your company working on a new product or service? Maybe it needs to find a better way of coping with increased demand? Whatever your business is up to these days, one thing is for certain: it needs to have a good IT infrastructure in place.

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Employees rely on computers to help them be more productive in their work. They can be useful for carrying out a range of repetitive and monotonous tasks, as well as lower costs. But did you know that some firms spend far too much money on their IT equipment than they need to?

Those companies are usually the ones that don’t take advantage of “the cloud.”

What is the cloud?

The cloud is a term used by people to refer to cloud computing. It’s a buzzword that many use, but what do you know about it? And why are so many people flocking to the cloud to make their firms more productive and profitable?

In layman’s terms, the cloud is a way of using the Internet to run programs and save files. It’s an alternative to using your office-based computer systems. In case you were wondering, “the cloud” is just a metaphor for the Internet.

Cloud computing is a way of doing stuff online, negating the need to use or store things on your computer. It is worth pointing out that “the cloud” does not refer to using a server on your LAN (Local-Area Network).

The cloud can refer to an array of different Internet-based concepts. Popular examples are as follows:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). A way of accessing applications over the Internet. Google Drive is a prime example;
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Just like SaaS, except that the applications get built by your business, rather than a third party;
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Amazon S3 and Dropbox are just a couple of examples of how you can use an online IT infrastructure for your needs.

What can the cloud do for your business?

You might not know this, but the cloud can help you out with all kinds of tasks. Data storage is one of the most-common problems that many businesses face. A lot of firms have central file servers, and they often have a limited amount of disk space.

Does your company deals with large files on a regular basis, such as for music and video production? If so, you are likely to run out of storage space sooner rather than later. The cloud makes it possible for you to start limitless amounts of data online.

Uploading big files to your cloud storage provider isn’t going to be an issue if you have a fast Internet connection. The cost of fibre broadband is much lower today than it was five years ago. Companies with the tightest of budgets can afford even a basic high-speed Internet connection.

But that’s not the only thing the cloud gets used for in today’s business world. Here are some more practical examples of what it can do for you.

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Data backups

In the past, companies would have to perform data backups and store them on removable media, such as tapes, CDs and DVDs. The problem with that approach is that you have to remember to take the backup media offsite.

If some disaster situation occurs, and you forgot to take the backup media home with you, it could mean the end of your business.

Today, there are systems that can store files and applications offsite with no user interaction. With no media to store offsite, modern backup systems just upload to the cloud as they backup your files and folders.

It gives you one less thing to worry about and offers total peace of mind.

Email

Back in the “good old days” of computing, people used to download their emails onto a local email client. Examples of email clients include Microsoft Outlook.

Email backups were fraught with problems. And with most email clients storing everything in a single file, data corruption was inevitable.

But email in the 21st century no longer suffers from such problems! There are many cloud services that offer “hosted” email solutions. In a nutshell, your email gets stored on a remote cloud server and is accessible from any device.

Let’s say that you use your laptop to access your hosted email. What would happen if your laptop decided to stop working one day? In those cases, you can just go and use another device and not worry about losing any emails or other data.

Is it safe to store data in the cloud?

Cloud service providers offer data encryption. The extra layer of protection covers the transmission of data from your computer to the cloud server. Your data on the server is also encrypted.

Even if your computer got hacked, you can change your login details from a secure system to prevent any data theft by third parties.

You might be wondering what would happen if something happened to the equipment where your data is. The good news is that your data gets stored across an array of servers. If the primary cloud server were to go down, a “mirrored” server can go online in a matter of seconds.

Cloud service providers also ensure that their facilities get protected with physical security. Examples of this include CCTV, security guards and strong building access control.

Some company bosses worry about privacy and confidentiality. The truth is, your data is better protected in the cloud than it is on a local system in your office!

Got any comments on cloud computing? Feel free to post them up. Thanks for reading!

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Regardless of your age or level of experience in the business world, starting an online company this year could be the solution to all your financial issues. Nobody likes having to spend their life working for other people who pay a pittance for their efforts. That is why going at it alone could be perfect. Of course, you’ll need to come up with a lucrative idea and create a business plan before you can get started. Luckily, there are plenty of articles and guides online if you need some help or advice with that.

With all that in mind, today we’re going to focus on how you should go about launching your business. Let’s presume you already have the best-possible idea, and you’ve already got the funding needed to make it a reality. You would then have to start thinking about your approach to the big launch. Do you simply start trading and hope for the best, or do you try to make a huge initial impact? Throughout the course of this post, we’ll try to provide you with some good ideas.

Start building brand awareness

You can do this long before your company has started trading. Online advertising services and social media websites are a great place to do that. It is possible to familiarise potential customers with your brand before you have anything to sell them. You should aim to present ourselves as experts in your field. So, perhaps it might be wise to post a few interesting and relevant blog posts? Most people respond well to professionally written content that voices an opinion or offers expert advice.

Decide on a specific launch date and promote it

While nobody will be as excited as you when it comes to your launch date, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a big deal out of it. Maybe you should consider adding a countdown clock to your website or something similar. That will let people know exactly when your products or services will become available. Also, there’s no harm in counting down within your daily social media status updates.

Create leaflets, flyers and posters

Just because your business operates online, that doesn’t mean you can’t attract clients and customers in the real world too. Attending trade shows is a brilliant idea that could help to drum up some much-needed attention. You’ll need to speak to a reputable firm that can provide a decent offset printing capability. That will help to ensure all these promotional items are made to the highest possible standards. If your handouts look unprofessional, so will you.

Arrange a one-day sale

By selling your products or services at a discount on your first day of trading, you will encourage many more people to place orders. Just make sure you advertise the fact that you’re doing that heavily as people won’t buy anything if they don’t know about it. Removing your profit margins from the products and selling them at cost price could mean your first customers get up to 50% discount. That is guaranteed to make them come back for more.

No matter how you decide to go about promoting your company, we sincerely hope you’ve found the information in this post to be useful and interesting. Good luck with everything, not that you’re going to need it.

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It used to be very difficult to find freelance work before the internet came about. Only those with real-world contacts managed to earn a living through this means. However, things have changed a lot over the last ten years. These days, it’s easy to find work as a freelancer if you use the right websites. That said, you’re going to need the right software too, which is why this article has been published. Take a quick read through some of the suggestions below, and you should come away better prepared for the task in hand.

Office 365

While you might like to write in OpenOffice from time to time, there’s no substitute for the real thing. Office 365 is the latest version of the classic Microsoft Office we all came to know and love. It works on tablets, smartphones and just about any device you can think of. That’s important for freelancers, as they sometimes have no choice but to work on the move.

Grammarly or equivalent

Most freelancers will find themselves doing a bit of writing from time to time. Unless you have official English language qualifications, you’re going to need a good quality grammar checker. That’s just to ensure your writing appears professional enough.

FreeAgent

While your accounts shouldn’t be too complicated, getting hold of good quality software to deal with them is essential. You will have money coming in from all over the place, and packages like FreeAgent are very useful for keeping track of things.

Well guys, there you have it. So long as you invest in the software solutions we’ve just mentioned, your freelancing career should be prosperous. We sincerely hope everything goes to plan for you.

Thanks for reading!

Infographic By Netstar

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We used to do everything in person, or at least by post. Networking, business cards, Christmas cards and marketing materials. But we live in an online world now. Doing your marketing and networking online is cheaper, quicker and all-around more efficient. It’s also much more environmentally friendly to do things digitally, instead of in print. Although some people still carry business cards, it’s just as easy to look someone up on LinkedIn or put their details in your smartphone. With deforestation a huge problem across the globe, many businesses are looking for non-paper solutions, whether online or not.

1. Papers That Aren’t Paper

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Thanks to Shirley for the picture

One way to get around using paper materials is to use paper that isn’t really paper. There are a variety of paper alternatives, that look and act like paper but don’t need any trees. Some of the materials used include hemp, cotton, tobacco, bamboo and even banana and beer mash (the stuff left over from brewing). You might also have seen paper alternatives made from things like elephant dung. If you want something that’s almost paper, but not quite, there’s definitely a paper alternative out there for you. Recycled paper is also an option. It still requires paper to exist, but at least it’s reusing a product instead of creating a demand for more trees.

2. Ecards

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Thanks to OpenClips for the image

Where companies once would have sent a physical card to their Christmas list, they are now turning to ecards. Several services, such  as Ecard Shack, allow you to personalize your own card and send it to everyone on your list at the click of a button. This method of sending holiday cards is much more environmentally friendly than the traditional one. There’s no paper or card involved, so there’s nothing to deliver and no delivery vans required. There are also no printing costs, or waits for anything to print. It’s a faster, cheaper way of sending out hundreds of cards.

3. Inventive Marketing Materials

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Thanks to Tokugawapants for the image

Another way to avoid paper is using marketing materials that have nothing to do with paper, and aren’t trying to be paper. Marketing materials such as pens, badges, stickers and the like have been around for a while. But you can get even more creative than that. It will depend on your business whether creative marketing materials are suitable. You can produce anything from t-shirts and hats to frisbees and umbrellas. The modern equivalent of a pen is perhaps the USB flash drive. Of course, if you are trying to be environmentally friendly you’ll need to pay attention to what these are made of too. Swapping paper out for a plastic, that will take hundreds of years to biodegrade, is merely swapping one environmental problem for another.

Although almost all companies use online marketing now, most companies carry out both online and print advertising. Moving all your business activity to a more environmentally responsible medium might not be easy, but it is possible.

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I come from a family that loves betting on sports. I’ve grown up listening to stories of my grandfather and horse racing. He used to sit in his brown armchair in front of the battered old television. When the racing came on, he’d edge further and further out of his seat. He’d cheer on the horses that he’d chosen earlier that day. My mother says she thought he’d have a heart attack while he watched. Today, gambling is quite different. We can bet online and on our phones, instead of going down to the bookmakers. It still provokes that surge of excitement, even so. Internet betting is a great way to make money and have fun. Here’s the lowdown on how to do it.

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The first tip we have for you is to use a reputable bookmaker. Online fraud is rising. Online gambling means putting your financial information into the hands of the bookie. You need to gamble with someone you can trust. Use bookmakers who’ve got good security protocols. There are plenty of safe ways to gamble. Visit safe and secure mobile sports betting apps for USA players. Online, you’re as safe as you choose to be. Put your information only into the hands of people who are trustworthy.

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You need to make sure that you’re careful with your devices too. Today we can gamble on our smartphones and tablets. That’s efficient but it can also be dangerous. You store a lot of information on those devices. That could be a problem if those devices fall into the wrong hands. It’s easy to leave your iPad on the bus or have your phone slip out of your pocket. There have even been cases of people leaving these things behind at festivals. You need to ensure you don’t lose the devices you use for gambling. It’s also critical to wipe password information from your devices. It’s a pain to log in every single time you to bet. The alternative is, of course, much worse if your device goes missing.

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(Image link – Google Images)

Now, on to the good stuff! Once you’re secure, it’s time to place your bets. Our advice here is to focus on sport. Online gaming is just a random number generator, and you won’t make big money from doing it. Bet on what you know – you’ll make more money. Don’t be afraid to take a punt on a big result; when they come off, they’re great. On everyday gambling, it’s best to go for doubles and triples on favourites. They come off more often, and you’ll get a better return. A ten-fold accumulator may seem tempting, but it’s difficult to achieve. You’re better off with ten doubles or triples. If six of them come off, you’ve made a profit.

It’s easy to spread your bets online. You can bet on a wide range of events and do so from the comfort of your own home. That’s the best way to make money. Just make sure you’re doing so in a safe and responsible manner. Nobody likes an obsessive gambler. Stick to the occasional flutter, and you’ll have some fun and make some money.

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If you want to make some cash in life, there are millions of ways of doing so! Despite the economic doom and gloom that we hear about in the news every day, there are lots of ways to make money.

The trouble is, many people don’t broaden their horizons and lament on how they can’t find a specific job in their local area. As with the business world, people need to diversify and learn new skills if they want to survive. Are you currently unemployed? Perhaps you’re employed but you aren’t earning enough money?

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As strange as this concept sounds, did you know that there are plenty of ways to make money from gaming? The games industry is worth billions of dollars and is a lucrative one to get involved in.

There are many different ways that you can make money from gaming. In today’s blog post, I will share with you some of the best ways to consider so that you can increase your earnings potential.

Become a games tester

Do you own a games console such as the Sony PlayStation 4? Do you own hundreds of different games? If so, you will most likely have the skills and experience necessary to become a games tester!

It’s a job that every gamer dreams of doing, and it can be quite a well-paid job at that! In a nutshell, you will get paid to play all sorts of weird and wonderful games on a daily basis. But your job isn’t just to play those games.

Your main job is to try and “break” the games. In other words, you have to discover if there are any bugs or faults within the game. You will also have to document the steps necessary to recreate the problems. Games developers will then look at the code for the game and fix any problem areas.

Play online casino games

The online gambling industry is growing on a daily basis. People no longer have to travel to casinos to play their favourite roulette and blackjack games. Instead, they can go on websites such as Maple and gamble from the comfort of their own homes!

If you have developed a particular casino gaming strategy, playing online casino games is for you. Legitimate websites must follow strict licensing laws so that the “house” doesn’t win all games!

These days, you can play online casino games on smartphones and tablets, such as the Apple iPad Air.

Blog about games

Are you a gaming guru? You should consider putting your knowledge of computer games to good use by blogging about them! It’s a great way of setting up an authoritative website on the subject.

There are many ways that you can make money through blogging about games, such as:

  • Using affiliate links – earn commission each time someone buys a game via your website;
  • Allowing guest posting – get paid for articles published on your website by third parties;
  • Advertising – banner adverts from Google AdSense are a great revenue generator.

These are some of the most-common, tried and tested ways to make money within the gaming industry. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I had writing it. Good luck!

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Technology is great when it can help you, however at times we do feel that it hinders rather than helps. Although CCTV has been around for a while, helping protect peoples homes, it is getting better all the time. Cast your mind back ten years or so and you will have seen plenty of CCTV footage on the TV. These images were grey and grainy, and not of great assistance when it comes to protecting your home. The worst part is that many criminals knew just how bad CCTV and home security was and went about their business anyway.

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The progress in CCTV, especially the video footage, has come along way since those grey and grainy images. Digital images are now at the heart of protecting both homes and businesses across the country. Up until a few years ago, most CCTV was still being recorded on the trusted VHS. The age old problem of swapping old tapes for new was a burden for most CCTV users. However, with the introduction of digital footage, we can start saying goodbye to our old VHS friends. You served us well.

It is not just the way in which images are recorded that is benefiting from the advancement in digital technology. The images and footage itself is far superior to those that have gone before. High Definition images and footage is now a standard in protecting your home and family.

Of course, you may think that CCTV and home security acts as a deterrent to criminals. However, you need much more than a deterrent if you want the best out of a home security system. Should the worst happen, and you have your home broken into, then you need a CCTV and home security system that means business. Should you ever have to rely on your CCTV or home security system in a court of law, you need the images and footage to be crystal clear. This means that you can convict the criminal that did you wrong. It makes perfect sense.

You may think that this technology is out of reach. What is more, you find it too sophisticated for home use. But, be rest assured with the ever expanding growth of digital technology, CCTV for the home has never been so affordable.

Most homes can run solely on using CCTV. This is great especially with the foretold advancements in CCTV technology. Some home security systems are different. A Denver home security system is unlike other suppliers of home security as they do not just rely on using CCTV to protect your home. They use a plethora of different home security products that go a long way to protect your home and family. These are all supported with their home security service.

Technology can help you live a more prosperous and safer life, for both you and your family, you just need the right technology to support you.

The progress in digital technology not only helps you record footage for longer, but it also assists by providing a clearer image. This can prove useful if you need evidence to convict the individual that committed a crime against you.

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Bingo games have since its invention back in 1929 evolved into the many different types of bingo games. Bingo games were firstly played in Italy on small wooden cards before making its appearance in bingo halls where after being made available online. While for some the bingo games is a means through which a considerable sum can be won, many have adopted the online bingo games for entertainment. Read more →

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Home computer games have been around since the technology first started to evolve during the 1980s. While the consoles of today might be far more advanced than the ones released a few decades ago, they’re increased in popularity considerably. Thankfully, prices have also come down, which means parents around the world no longer have to take out loans for their child’s perfect Christmas presents. With all that in mind, I’m going to take a few minutes out of my schedule today to highlight some of the most successful computer games ever made. It stands to reason that you should be familiar with them all, but it’s still worth taking a trip down memory lane, right?

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Of course, these days it’s not always the consoles that provide the best gaming experience. Many of the hardcore players choose to purchase gaming laptops as they often come with better processors and graphics cards. However, most of the games mentioned in this post are pretty old, so you would have no trouble playing them on any modern machine.

Mario series

The Mario series first created and released by Nintendo has been extremely successful for the last two decades. It was spawned no less than 43 different games, and two films to date, one of which starred the late, great actor Bob Hoskins. Grossing over $1 billion dollars worldwide, Mario is by far the most popular and recognisable game character ever created.

Sonic The Hedgehog

You should all remember Sonic from your childhoods, right? He was a hedgehog with the ability to spin fast around courses and mazes filled with obstacles. The strangest thing about this character? He was completely blue and hung around with a sidekick known as Tails, whose real name was actually Miles. Grossing almost half a billion dollars in the first ten years, SEGA are still producing games featuring the animal to this day. The only real difference now is that they’re producing them for Sony and Microsoft consoles, rather than their own machines.

Pacman

It might be one of the simplest games ever created, but Pacman is very addictive, which is why it make it’s way out of the arcades and into our homes during the late 1980s. To be completely honest with you, I still play this game today, and so do millions of other people. It’s difficult to work out how much this game has made over the years, as the rights have been owned by numerous different companies, but it’s pretty safe to assume that it is a LOT!

GoldenEye

This is the most popular James Bond game ever sold around the world. It was first released with the Nintendo 64, but since then has been re-released for almost every other console produced. Indeed, you can even buy it today from your local games store for the new PS4 or Xbox One if you feel the inclination.

So, now you’ve read about some of the most successful games of all time, I wonder how many of you will climb into the attic later and dig out that old SNES and MegaDrive?