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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

You may be paying more than your neighbor for the same item. Really.

How sure are you that you're getting the best price for that online purchase? Better check.So-called price differentiation means that different visitors to the same retailer could see varying prices on the same item. A 2014 study of 16 large retail and travel sites found that more than half showed different price results for the same search, depending on who was conducting the search, and on what kind of device.
"It's very hard to know why you're seeing what [price] you're seeing," said study co-author Christo Wilson, an assistant professor at Northeastern University.
Now, that same team of researchers, in conjunction with Volunteer Science, is aiming to raise the curtain on price differentiation. Their plugin for Chrome browsers runs the same search you did on the researchers' server, which doesn't have the same history or cookies as your machine, to show if other online shoppers are seeing a higher or lower price than you are.

"If you're worried about differentiation at a particular retailer, try searching for that item using a different browser."

Better deals than you got pop up in red, Wilson said, while ones worse than you received show up in green. The plugin currently supports shoppers browsing Amazon, Google Flights and Priceline; more sites are in the works.
 
The plugin is free to use. Shoppers can elect to keep their searches private, or donate their search data from using it to help the researchers' price differentiation studies.Every retailer has its own strategy for personalizing deals, so shoppers looking to gut-check a price should take a varied approach, said Jack Vonder Heide, president of consulting firm Technology Briefing Centers.
 
The easiest tactics are those you (hopefully) do routinely anyway: Use a price comparison search engine to see if there's a better price elsewhere, and conduct a separate search for coupon codes at the retailers where an item is the most competitively priced.
 
If you're worried about differentiation at a particular retailer, try searching for that item using a different browser, or a different device, said Vonder Heide. Shopping via your phone can often yield better prices."One of the methods they use for gauging what price they show that particular visitor is often the type of device they use," he said. "A lot of businesses are trying to target the mobile consumer, so they're offering incentives if you access the site on your mobile device."
 
If you're a frequent purchaser or a member of the retailer's loyalty program, try logging in before you shop. You may see better pricing or exclusive deals, he said.Experiment with private browsing or incognito mode on your web browser, said Stan Black, chief security officer for software company Citrix. You might see different deals visiting with that clean slate.
 

 

 
You could also clear your web browser's cache of "cookies" tracking your searches and retailer visits.But that could be risky, Vonder Heide said: Some sites' algorithms reward loyal shoppers with better deals, or dangle a lower price to someone who recently comparison shopped with a competitor. Scrubbing your history could erase those deals, too.
 
After you buy, it's smart to set price alerts on those purchases. That way, if the price changes or you come across a better deal, you can try to snag a price adjustment.
Auhtor  : Kelli B. Grant

This was a banner year for cybercriminals. Massive data breaches, ATM skimmers and malware attacks dominated the headlines throughout the year.

No matter which type of attack the scammers use, their final goal is always the same. To steal our personal information and our money.

With 2016 winding down, we're going to take a look ahead to next year. Here are three of the top cybersecurity threats to watch out for in 2017.

1. RANSOMWARE

The leading cybersecurity threat in 2016 was ransomware and we expect it to be just as rampant next year.

 

Ransomware isn't a new thing. It's been a serious concern since a virus called CryptoLocker arrived at the end of 2013. However, it is still a serious threat and getting worse every year, especially since hackers can now get it for free to modify as creatively as they want.

As you probably know, ransomware encrypts your files so you can't open them, and the only way to get them back is to pay a ransom. It's become such a serious problem that the FBI is asking victims to help them track down the scammers.

Ransomware isn't just a worry for individual computers. It can lock up files on a network, which means one infection can bring down an entire company. It's also possible to get it on smartphones and tablets via a malicious text, email or app.

Fortunately, it isn't all doom and gloom. Ransomware still needs your help to install. If you avoid falling for phishing emails with malicious links or downloads, you can keep ransomware off your gadget.

You can also take the precaution of backing up your computer files regularly. That way, if your files do get locked, you can wipe your drive and restore your files. Learn more ways to keep ransomware off your gadgets.

2. DDOS ATTACKS

A new era of cyberattacks is upon us. Now, seemingly harmless everyday appliances like printers, digital video recorders, webcams, thermostats and routers are being utilized as minions in Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks against websites.

DDoS is an attack where a targeted website is flooded by an overwhelming amount of requests from millions of connected machines in order to bring it down. Traditionally, these attacks are launched from compromised computers and mobile gadgets collectively nicknamed a "botnet."

However, recent DDoS attacks on a security blogger's website and French website host OVH reveal that now it's not just computers that are being utilized as botnets. Even Internet of Things (IoT) appliances are fair game.

This means unsecured routers, printers, IP web cameras, DVRs, cable boxes, connected "smart" appliances such as Wi-Fi light bulbs and smart locks can be hijacked and involved in cyberattacks without the owner knowing about it. To remain unnoticed, compromised appliances could be sending out small trickles of data to make the attack discrete. Multiply that by millions and what you have is the perfect DDoS attack vector.

How serious is this? The recent attacks are reported to be the largest targeted DDoS attempts ever, with a sustained data stream of 620 Gbps and even reaching data rates of over a terabit per second, all accomplished by enslaving connected Internet of Things appliances via a trojan program infection.

Alarmingly, the source code for this smart appliance trojan program, named Mirai, has been published online for everyone to see. This means we will be seeing more of these attacks in the future and securing these connected appliances is more vital than ever.

Mirai is said to compromise about 380,000 connected appliances a day. Thankfully, after the recent DDoS attacks, internet service providers started to block infected devices and the rate of infections has been dropping.

One peculiar thing about smart appliance infections is that they clear out after a reboot because the malware only resides in temporary memory. To maintain a large botnet capable of launching a massive DDoS attack, hackers need to infect and reinfect new appliances every day.

The common vector for these smart appliances is open public ports. These are used by Internet of Things appliances so they can be accessible away from home. Hackers usually scan for open and exploitable ports remotely and this is how they locate targeted appliances.

Another reason why these attacks are gaining popularity is due to the fact that consumers assume that these are merely plug-and-play appliances. Usually, we set them and forget them and security is an afterthought. These recent attacks have changed the game for consumers and manufacturers alike.

 

How can you tell if your appliance is hacked?

As I mentioned earlier, these attacks were designed to have appliances like printers, routers, webcams, etc. to only transmit small amounts of data to aid in DDoS attacks so identifying which devices are compromised is tricky.

You may notice a slower than usual internet connection. Keep your eye out for unusual video or music streaming, buffering, or slow web browsing. You can also try a network analyzer like Fing to monitor your connected devices and open ports. Most routers have data packet analyzers and logs accessed by logging into the administrator page and checking if there are IP addresses that are transmitting unusual amounts of data.

Protect your appliances

Since these Internet of Things appliance infections only reside on temporary memory, the first thing you have to do is reboot the device to clear out the malware.

If you are checking your router, IP webcam or connected printer, it is important that you change the default administrator username and password. Do this by accessing the appliance's hub (usually through a webpage or a smartphone app). If your smart appliance connects via the manufacturer's website, make sure your password for their site is complex and unique.

Next, check for firmware updates. Now, with these attacks out in the open, manufacturers will start issuing security patches to prevent such infections. It's important to keep your firmware always up to date. If your gadget does not automatically fetch firmware updates, make sure to manually check at least every three months.

Some routers have some firewall functionality too. In your router's administrator page, look for settings named "Disable Port Scan" and "Enable DoS Protection" and make sure you turn these on.

As evidenced by these recent attacks and techniques, in this increasingly connected world, the more our homes become "smarter," the more we have to be smarter about our homes.

3. TYPOSQUATTING

We heard a lot about fake news spreading like wildfire across the internet in 2016. It was especially bad leading up to the presidential election.

There was so much fake news showing up on Facebook and Google that the companies started cracking down on sites that promote it. However, news isn't the only fake thing you need to be worried about.

Cybercriminals are now creating fake websites intended to look like the real deal. It's a practice known as typosquatting.

 

What scammers are doing is securing URLs that are similar to the real ones. For example, instead of youtube.com they could create a URL of yootube.com, slightly misspelling the original.

They're looking for victims who type the address of the site they want to go to incorrectly, taking them to the fake site. The criminal sets the counterfeit site up to look very similar to the real one, hoping to get you to enter your credentials. In some cases, the phony sites are a base for distributing malware.

Essentially this is a sneaky version of a phishing scam. The criminal waits for someone to land on the fake site to steal their personal or financial information.

Avoiding phishing attacks

Criminals are always trying to stay ahead of the curve, delivering malicious links in numerous ways. Here are some things you can do to avoid being a victim of phishing scams:

  • Be cautious with links - If you get an email or notification from a site that you find suspicious, don't click on its links. It's better to type the website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link. Before you ever click on a link, hover over it with your mouse to see where it is going to take you. If the destination isn't what the link claims, do not click on it.

  • Double check the URL spelling - When typing a URL into your browser, take the time to verify you're spelling it correctly. With typosquatting, misspelling a URL could lead to a phishing scam.

  • Watch for typos - Phishing scams are infamous for having typos. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos. Before clicking on a link, hover over it and check for spelling. The safest move is to type the URL into your browser, with the correct spelling of course.

  • Use multi-level authentication - When available, you should be using multi-level authentication. This is when you have at least two forms of verification, such as a password and a security question before you log into any sensitive accounts.

These were just a few cybersecurity threats that we're expecting to see in 2017. Of course with scammers always finding new ways to rip us off, we're sure to see some new attacks next year. Keep checking in with our Happening Now section and we'll let you know about all of the latest scams.

Source : https://www.komando.com

Auhtor : Mark Jones

Mobile health has experienced dynamic growth during the past 2 years. All smartphone platforms now have a wide range of apps for management of medical conditions, fitness, and home health monitoring. As consumers become more comfortable with smartphones, their use of apps to manage health and fitness will increase. This is an update to a previous article where we analyzed search trends in Mobile Health using Google Trends.

Google Trends allows users to search its database for trends in search data. The data are scaled from 0 to 100 and plotted over a time scale to create a line graph, with 100 being the peak popularity for a particular search term. Users can compare up to five search terms and apply various filters to refine their search. While search trends might not directly reflect the popularity of apps, it does give a sense of search interest.

Fitness, Health, and APIs

Fitness apps have consistently been the most popular way consumers utilize Mobile Health. Before 2014, the general term “fitness app” was the most popular search term when compared to other popular Mobile Health terms. This changed in 2014 when there was a spike in searches for “health app”.

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health

This change happened in conjunction with innovations in mobile health, and can be tied to the introduction of Google and Apple’s health APIs for their respective mobile platforms. Google Fit APIs were introduced during the 2014 Google I/O conference, and Apple introduced HealthKit during WWDC 2014. The spike in “health app” correlates with searches for apple and google’s APIs as seen below:

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health

Now that specific products have been developed for these platforms, “health app” has trended back down to nearly the same level as the term “fitness app”. Health and fitness have been trending more than apps for specific medical conditions, and 2014 saw the largest growth for the field.

 

Apps for Specific Medical Conditions

In comparison to health and fitness, searches for medical apps specific to common diseases were less frequent. Fitness and health apps had to be excluded in order to see a difference between apps for medical conditions. There are many reasons for this disparity. Compared to fitness, medical diagnoses like diabetes currently do not share the same appeal of posting significant milestones online. Social interactions within apps are a major reason for generating interest and participation, an appeal that most medical apps lack. Fitness applications are also marketable to a broader segment of the consumer market. Health and Fitness apps typically require minimal user input as activity data is tracked automatically from wearable tech and mobile devices. This is in comparison to most diabetes monitoring apps which still require manual input of blood glucose levels. These advantages over medical conditions could account for the increased popularity of health and fitness apps.

There is also a distinct separation of popularity between specific diagnoses. The general term “medical app” remains the most frequent search term. Searches for “Pregnancy app” were higher than other medical conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure. This is despite the fact that there are more people with these chronic medical problems when compared to pregnancies. There are several factors that could explain this difference. The targeted demographics differ, with the majority of those in childbearing age now being millennials who have grown up with mobile technology. The diagnosis of pregnancy carries an intensive period afterwards where patients seek progressive education and guidance. It is intuitive that younger generations of consumers are more likely to utilize apps as a resource for knowledge and guidance in health. Pregnancy is unique in that it carries discrete stages of progression, while other conditions focus on maintaining goals. Apps for pregnancy also typically don’t require manual input of health data. The popularity of pregnancy apps on Google searches are due to the advantages they have over other chronic conditions.

Medical conditions have different rates of growth on Google Trends. Pregnancy apps show the highest growth rate, while cholesterol app searches remain flat. Blood pressure apps have seen a recent increase in the last two years as more compatible home blood pressure devices have been introduced to the consumer market. New devices and wearable tech that can utilize APIs to automate health data tracking could renew interest in chronic medical conditions. Searches for diabetes apps have seen minimal growth, but as new developments allows for wireless syncing of data from insulin pumps and CGMs, search trends may increase like blood pressure apps have.

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health

Regional Impact

Google Trends has the ability to display patterns of search trends regionally. The United States remains the leading country in searches for medical apps while Australia leads in health and fitness.

Search patterns also correlate with cultural norms. There are yearly spikes in North American searches for “Health App” during January, where New Year resolutions abound. These patterns are not as evident in Australia, despite the country leading the world in searches for fitness. Australia also shares in the practice of New Years Resolutions, but Australians are known for having a high priority in their fitness culture, which may not be affected by New Year resolutions as with Americans.

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health 9

US searches for fitness and medical apps

 

Google Trends Highlight Trends in Mobile Health 10

Australian searches for fitness and medical apps

Conclusion

Consumers are showing increasing interest in using apps to manage their health and medical conditions. Google Trends is an interesting way to examine this interest through the use of their search engine. Some surprising findings were the popularity of pregnancy apps over more common medical conditions. This popularity can be attributed to millennials becoming the primary demographic for this product. It can be anticipated that as more millennials transition to an age range where chronic medical conditions are common, they will turn towards mobile health as a resource to learn and manage their new diagnoses.

Health and fitness apps saw spikes of searches in 2014 due to innovations from major smartphone developers. APIs have made it easier for developers to integrate the massive amount of data that wearables and mobile devices have been collecting. The differentiation between “health” and “fitness” apps may disappear as fitness data becomes integrated into overall health management. As evidenced in 2014, health apps will have a greater role in consumer use, especially as these platforms develop more ways to help impact health outcomes. Apple has recently partnered with the Mayo Clinic and Epic, which are potential ways to integrate health data with EHRs in a meaningful way for providers to make healthcare decisions for patients.

Regional differences may be evidence that marketing during the new year for fitness apps may hold more impact for North America but may be negligible in countries like Australia. Newer generations of users will look for apps to maintain their health and learn about how to manage new medical diagnoses. As mobile platforms find better ways to integrate social engagement, effectively use health data, and integrate with medical management, consumers and healthcare providers will have powerful tools to manage health.

Author:  David Tseng MD

Source:  http://www.imedicalapps.com

The company hopes to address historical quality problems with a matching algorithm.

There was a time that “answer engines” or “social search” appeared poised to be a viable alternative to traditional Google search. That never happened. Some sites faded and a few have soldiered on, offering occasional value (and entertainment) to users with esoteric or specific questions.

Somewhat ironically, discovery of those answers typically happens through conventional search results and SEO.

Yahoo Answers is one of the early players and a survivor of the “answer wars” of several years ago. The company just introduced a new mobile version called Yahoo Answers Now. Aside from an onerous sign-up and sign-in process, it offers a relatively nice UX and searchable content.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-7-25-52-am

The promise of sites like Yahoo Answers and newer sites such as Jelly (from Biz Stone) is that you’ll get a very specific response to your very specific question. The expectation created is (near) real-time responses from knowledgeable humans.

Sometimes that happens. More often, however, there’s a meaningful delay between the submission of the question and the receipt of the answer. And often the quality of answers is less than desirable.

Yahoo Answers has the benefit of a huge content archive and a large community. It has tried to address quality issues in various ways over time, including through voting. In Answers Now, it’s using a matching algorithm to send questions to “qualified responders who have the experiences and expertise to provide a high-quality answer.”

At one time, Google, Amazon and Facebook were all playing in this segment. All have since exited the space. Quora still exists, and so do Answers.com and ChaCha, among some other stragglers. There are other Q&A communities that remain as well, such as Stack Exchange.

 

The promise of these “answer engines,” however, has never really been fulfilled. Perhaps a messaging-based app will one day deliver.

Source : http://searchengineland.com/

Auhtor : 

What's 'hot' for many may be 'not' for your business model in the 12 months ahead. Don't believe the averages.

Which United States markets will be the "hottest" for home building and development in 2017?

It depends, of course, on what you mean by "hot." Hot sales, hot pricing, hot opportunity for land acquisition and investment. It's all potentially different based on what your business model is, and what you're trying to get done in 2017.

Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin counts five metrics as key indicatorscharacteristic of anticipated extra growth in 2017: strong job growth year to year vs. 2015, low vacancy rates, high affordability, more inbound than outbound home searches on Trulia's mega search engines, and, perhaps a bit oddly, a larger share of Republicans. Check out his column here to see how he came up with this list of "markets to watch in 2017."

So, it would appear that Mr. McLaughlin considers transactional pace as the key growth factor, and that "hot" denotes more volume.

 

Interestingly, in research and analysis work that looked at another set of fundamental drivers, the Urban Land Institute identified ten entirely different "Top" markets and a list of "five markets to watch" with absolutely no overlap with Ralph McLaughlin's line-up.

Driving the ULI list seem to be a subtler base of criteria for qualifying, as described by the lead analyst of ULI's research here.

“Viewed as a fluke when it hit the study’s top-ten list five years ago, Austin’s rise to the top of the list signals the durability of the city’s long-term appeal to investors,” says Mitch Roschelle, PwC partner and real estate research leader. “Austin, along with many of this year’s top-ten cities, boasts attractive, niche neighborhoods and a vibrant, diverse economy.”

Multi-dimensional economies, we'd guess, will be most metro areas best safe-guard for ongoing economic resilience, as it appears capital and resources investment are going to do some moving around in the next four years, perhaps to favor heartland, Rust Belt metros that have been on the decline, and to the detriment of some of the coastal areas that have been hogging all the attention as growth Meccas for the same amount of time.

Of course, there are more Top 10 Markets for 2017 than you can shake a stick at. You can find a passel of them here, including Realtor.com's very pretty infographic here.

The variable in all of the projections is, we think, pretty straightforward. It's what's happens and what's going to happen to jobs, the kinds of jobs, and household income. Here, one of the smarter demographic analysts in the field, Jed Kolko, looks at the geography of job growth in his role as chief economist for job search engine Indeed.com. He's got a top 10 list that jives more closely with Trulia's Ralph McLaughlin's.

Kolko's got a lot of great insight on jobs and geography, including the way averages and broad-stroke national blends of data profoundly obscure a great deal of what's really going on on the ground in localities. Here's one of Kolko's observations that clarify what I'm getting at here.

The national job numbers hide huge differences across sectors, local markets, and demographic groups. The decades-long shift from manufacturing to services continues: over the past year, professional and business services and education and health services were the fastest growing sectors, while manufacturing shrank. While some of the big swings in 2016—like the jump in construction and huge drop in mining—are corrections to short-run booms and busts, most reflect longer-term trends. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects health care to be the fastest-growing industry over the next decade while manufacturing will lose jobs, according to its latest ten-year employment projections.

The challenge, for both single-market small builders and developers and multiregional big public enterprises is wending and navigating through the thicket of national means and averages, of broad benchmarks, and ham-handed observations on trends that come of that noisy, often misleading data. Our Metrostudy team can help with some of that, as the lens of their research is at the job site and submarket level of detail.

 

We're starting to look at this notion of Simpson's Paradox or the Simpson-Yule effect and its role in some of the chronic missteps and miscalculations that come out of making an "average"-based assumption a guardrail of opportunity or challenge. Often an average is exactly inverse as an indicator of where the opportunity or challenge may be.

At the very least, it can have an important impact on what's a "hot" market for you in 2017, and what's not.

Source : http://www.builderonline.com/

Auhtor : 

Thursday, 08 December 2016 09:32

5 likely ways to become an internet ghost

This is impossible! In this 21st century and digital age, you want to erase yourself from the internet. That means you want to return to the Stone Age? Well, nobody wants to return to life without the World Wide Web. But, some people will like the feeling whereby you don’t just have to Google their names and everything about them appears online in seconds.


You don’t receive calls from people to ask about your profile. There is no mystery or is anything hidden. If you want that feeling back or you just want to temporarily get off the grid, Jumia Travel shares ways you can pull this off.  However, think this through before you become an internet ghost.

 

Deactivate your social media accounts

Deactivate all your social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. This is the easiest means through which your profile pop up online in search engines. If you decide to change your mind, you can reactivate your account as some of them give you a window period to return

Remove personal information from websites

If you have your personal information on different forums and websites, you should reach out to them to remove your profile from their websites or better still, you take it down yourself.

Use Deseat.me

If you want to clean up your existence online, this is the website to visit. You only need an email and a password. Any account related to that email will be removed. By the way, it must be a Google email

Use Google Remove URL Tool

Google is the biggest search engine in the world. If you want to remove your profile or there is information you don’t like in the search results, you can use the Google remove URL tool to suspend the results for 90 days. You can also permanently delete depending on what you want

Account Killer

 

This is another software that aggregates links to the account deactivation page of different websites. This simplifies the process of deactivating your accounts. It categorises websites into blacklist and white lists. For blacklisted websites, you cannot erase your account and vice versa. You can also decide to make your account anonymous.

Source : http://www.vanguardngr.com/

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:16

Advanced Google Search Tips

Do you skim the surface of what Google can do for you, or are you an advanced Google searcher that dives in deep to everything Google has to offer? Learn how to master Google with advanced Google search techniques and make your searches super efficient. The following search tips offer a wide range of Google search tips and tricks, and will broaden how much you're able to accomplish with the "Swiss army knife" of search engines. 

Google Cheat Sheet

This Google cheat sheet gives you powerful search commands you can use instantly to narrow or broaden your Google searches - these are for searches that you want to narrow down with very powerful tools that are easy to use. Plus, it's printable, so you can have it handy right next to your computer when you need to use it. 

Google People Search

If you're looking for someone, Google is probably your best best to get started. You can find all sorts of information with just a cursory Google search, and best of all, it's completely free. 

Top Ten Google Search Tricks

Many people just don't realize that using just a few simple techniques can make your searches more successful right off the bat, with little to no "special" search knowledge required.

 

Search the Google Cache of a Website

If you want to get a look at a website before it went down due to too much traffic, or grab some information that might have changed recently, or simply take a walk down memory lane....Google's cache is the way to do it. Basically, you're able to view a "snapshot" of a website that Google has stored in its database. 

Twenty Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google

While most people use Google for search, Google definitely has a lot more to offer. This is a just a quick overview of what you can do with Google and Google's peripheral services - everything from email to image search. 

Google Maps isn't just good for directions and road maps; you can use it to go sight-seeing all over the globe, see a street view of nearly any destination worldwide, even check out local points of interest you might want to visit someday. 

Google Scholar

If you need to find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles with a minimum of fuss, Google Scholar is a good choice. Archived papers in any discipline can be found here, from science to history and everything in between. 

Clear Previous Google Searches

You can avoid a potentially embarrassing situation simply by clearing your previous Google searches whenever there is something you would rather keep to yourself. This is also quite useful when you want to take a look at your previous Google search history to figure out something you might have forgotten. 

How to Search a Specific Domain in Google

You can use Google to search specific domains (like .edu, or .gov, or .net) for information; this can be amazingly useful when you are looking for something and you're not getting a lot of good results. For example, say you're looking for a government-related item - you can limit your searches to .edu searches only. 

 

How to Find Similar Sites With Google

If you've got a few favorite sites, you can find ones that are similar using Google. This is an easy way to figure out other sites that are similar to the ones you already visit.

Source : https://www.lifewire.com

Auhtor : Wendy Boswell

Selecting a career path can be a daunting process for everyone. For those who don’t know their interests and their strengths, it can be even more troubling. Unfortunately, most people spend majority of their time planning vacation and which clothes to wear rather than trying to figure out which career path they want to take. But there are some people who are totally unaware of how to search for a suitable career path and the process can feel like going nowhere.

 

If you ever faced such problems while selecting a career path, here are some questions you need to ask yourself, answers of which can make a huge impact on your future.

 

1. Am I clear on my path ahead?

 

This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Most career decisions get wrong because we are not clear on what we want few years ahead on the road. We make decisions based on temporary knowledge. It’s time we start focusing on long term visions. You are going to spend more than 30 years working so make sure you are clear on your path ahead. Does the future in your selected field look promising? Will you be happy pursuing it for entire life?

 

 

 

 

 

2. What value do I want to provide people?

 

Of all the concerns people have for selecting their career, very few people focus on the value they want to bring to this world. The appreciation and progress of your work will 100 percent depend on the value you bring to the table. In case of job, it means value to your organization and in business; it means value to your customers.

 

Think of last time when you provided a huge amount to someone. It will be definitely because of the amount of value they provide to you that you are willing to pay them this huge amount. Think of how you will help maximum number of people through your work.

 

3. How do I want to be remembered?

 

We all remember Steve Jobs and Mahatma Gandhi for their work, but how do you want to be remembered? Will people think of you when they use your product or service? Will people miss you when you leave that place? Will you be indispensable in your work ethic? It all matters for a long and successful career. Keep this in mind when you select any career for short term success.

 

4. Am I ready to bear the pain of discipline?

 

It’s not enough to only select a career. There is a famous saying:

“What got you here won’t get you there.”

 

This is absolutely true when it comes to career. Often people achieve one milestone and they think they are genius and then they stop working like before, but the truth is, it requires even more amount of sincere effort and dedication to get ahead than before. And it also takes tremendous amount of discipline to work and may be take few years to achieve what you want. Are you ready to bear the pain of discipline to achieve what you want?

 

 

 

 

 

5. Who will cry when I die?

 

The correct way to look at a career is this:

”When you select a career, it not only affects you but many people who depend on your work.”

 

And you are going decades in your field. Do you want that work to be called mediocre or okay or do you want to call it a masterpiece? Ask who will benefit the most from your work and how can you provide mind blowing service which they can’t even imagine in their dreams. That is how you select a career.

 

There is no correct way to select a career, but a career based on your true values with a mission to helping mankind can be the most rewarding, and history has only been made by those who see their work in that way.

 

 

Author:  Dhaval Gajera

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

The road to owning your business is not an easy one; Anyone who has ever started and grown a company will tell you that it was hard. The journey begins with creating a product or service that your target market will want and buy. Then there is trying to scale your company into a business that will have a future for you and your family. Add to that the day-to-day activities and strategies that are involved in keeping the door open, and you will quickly realize that entrepreneurship takes a lot of work.

There are no absolute rules; you will not find a road map to guarantee success in business. But if you were to talk to a new or even an established entrepreneur, they will tell you one thing: you will make mistakes. The risk element associated with operating a business can lead to a lot of mishaps as you try to grow your company.

You will find that mistakes are common and often inevitable. They also play a role in producing a more attentive and better business owner. You can solve some wrong decisions quickly, but there are others that can cost you precious time and money. In fact, some mistakes can lead to the failure of your business.

Below we share suggestions that will help you prevent six common mistakes business owners make while starting and growing a business.

 

Feedback is Good, but Beware

Doing business all by yourself is hard. So, do not be afraid to consult with business mentors and good friends. Feedback is exceptionally important to a new business – especially when the advice is coming from an experienced business owner who has been successful in the market or industry. Their valuable opinion can make a difference in your entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.

However, even well-intentioned business consultants can overwhelm and confuse entrepreneurs. A ton of advice can cause analysis paralysis. It is important to give yourself the time that is needed to make significant decisions without being rushed. However, don’t get caught in procrastination and lose out on an incredible business opportunity. So, surround yourself with individuals that will give you the support you need without pulling you in all different directions.

Get Your Customers’ Opinions

Despite your best plans, the products, and services that you create as an entrepreneur is for your clients. Accordingly, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a business owner is to ignore the feedback of your customers.

The opinion of your customers, especially in the beginning when you are defining your business offerings, provides an opportunity to fine-tune your product or service. Often what you think might be a big win may not resonate with your target audience. However, if your customers are telling you exactly what they want and your business is providing it, you could see your company flourish in the marketplace.

A prudent entrepreneur should test a new product or service on a small group of potential customers to get feedback on how to go forward.

 

Look for Business Opportunities to Network

As an entrepreneur, you should understand that networking is more about who knows you than it is about who you know. Your calendar might include meetings from daybreak to sunset. However, just 30 minutes at a networking event can produce significant business opportunities that can make a difference.

Do not ignore networking events. Some entrepreneurs consider them to be a waste of time, especially when they don’t immediate generate a business deal. However, the key to successful networking is to maintain visibility. Attend relevant networking events, create and sustain a list of corporate contact, and add value to the experience. Remember networking is a two-way street.

You will find this to be uncomfortable at first, particularly for entrepreneurs that don’t consider themselves to be social butterflies. However, to promote your business, you should get out of the office and mingle with others.

Be Focused at All Times

Like many other business owners, you have more ideas than you can execute. Don’t make the mistake of chasing every seemingly great idea while disregarding the core of your business. Instead keep a journal or folder and record all your thoughts and concepts. When time permits, you can go through your list and assess the ideas.

A lot of products and services with no real link can prove chaotic to the consumer. Delaying execution and going back to your plans when you are not too excited will allow you to make better decisions for your business.

 

Employ the Right People and Fire the Wrong Ones

Choices about who to hire and which positions to fill are few of the most difficult business decisions you must make as an entrepreneur. They also fall into the category of the most time-consuming considerations. Unless someone is the very best individual for the task, think twice about working with friends and members of your family. There are numerous stories of how personal relationships can create a challenging and toxic working environment.

Your staff is critical to the execution of your business plan. Hiring the wrong person, even if for the most minute role, can severely impact your company’s bottom line. Ensure that your employment process includes choosing the most qualified, capable individual with a strong work ethic. Think about hiring people whose strengths complement your weak points. If staff members are not carrying out responsibilities to your expectations, get them some training or let them go. Don’t make the mistake of making staffing decisions based on emotions.

Respond Quickly

It is important to be accessible both to your staff and your customers. Make sure you can respond to voicemails and emails within 24-48 hours. If you are not the techie type or you are prone to forget, delegate this task to someone on your team. Your initial response does not need to be an action plan but can just be an acknowledgment of the message and an indication to respond in a timeframe.

There are many benefits to owning your own business, but no one can promise that it will be easy. You can choose to be the entrepreneur who will go out and make the mistakes and hopefully learn from them, or you can save yourself some headache and incorporate some of the suggestions above.

Author:  Fabrizio Moreira

Source:  lifehack.org

Just check out these amazing apps, which are more than useful, as you perceive them, and they are readily available at the Google play Store. These Apps are the actual beating heart of any of the Android handset. As per the recent survey analysis, the Play Store from Google is the home of millions of them and beneficial for the users providing many of the additional features of the handset. With almost 1 million applications accessible, it is a modest conjecture that the Google Play store is overloaded with a number that is hard to believe having variety, ranging from appalling clayware to authentically humorous to useful games and apps.

Besides these apps and games’ usefulness, some of them are an almost compulsory item for your Android smartphone because of their usability and functionality in the handset. The additional feature is their cost-free, availability because they even do not cost any penny despite being most useful. In this article, we will give a bunch of the best possible Android apps which are totally free at the play store.

 

1. DropBox

Moreover, Google Drive, this user-friendly app DropBox is the next efficient free of charge backup service provider. With easy file sharing features and the automatic backups, DropBox is an outstanding solution for all those users who wish to save their data on the device storage and thus share the interactive content with their friend’s community. However, the users might get themselves rapidly run out of their memorable photo and other video space; they can unlock more space by installing this unique app of DropBox on the device.

2. Accuweather

There are certain weather apps readily available at the app stores, but Accuweather is the most recommended one among others. One of the reliable sites (e.g. Wikipedia) tells us that the founder company launched back in 1962. However, in the end, Accuweather is tricky to have a look past for precise, thorough forecasts on a comprehensive scale.

3. SwiftKey

SwiftKey is the best, keyboard app available at the Android play store. As most likely, the best-used app on any smartphone handset, the keyboard anyone selects is a very not public decision. However, for the Android users, SwiftKey, which was a paid app in the past, make available the best combination of speed, usability, and other additional emoji features. It is extremely customizable and thus it rapidly observes the user’s inscription behavior create automatic predictions.

Besides this, if anyone uses a variety of languages in routine and somebody who likes to send text in multiple styles and languages, then SwiftKey’s prophecy and auto correction ability are chic enough to be familiar with what language the person or the user is trying to form in. It means that there is no requirement to change keyboards just to send a text to any of your foreign friends in their home language.

4. Evernote

The amazing Evernote app developers indeed recognize that notes taking should be a process which is rapid and easy, but they even also comprehend that the Android smartphones actually at hand with an opportunity, which is straightforward and ready to post-it notes. So, this particular notes taking Evernote lets the user generate a written form of notes, besides it has also roped voice memos, and let the users share files with their community, and gives the possible access to reminders from other devices which are in nearby use.

5. PushBullet

PushBullet added to the list of those apps on the android online play store that people are cynical about because of the features or sometimes the misleading conceptions until they begin using it. This unique Android app synchronizes all the available data and the content between the user’s smartphone and the desktop computer in an efficient way, which makes the data transfer possible.

 

The user must install it on the Android smartphone and as a web browser added-on. After the installation and add-on process, one can easily sight and even share SMS, transcript, messages, web links, images and photos, clips and videos, other files, and much more between the devices and even between the friend’s community. The main point behind this user app is to make the sharing of content easier for the users.

All of the updates of these amazing apps are available at free download apps store. And any of the Android users can download the original version as well as the updates which will enhance the amazement of using these apps on the handset.

Source : http://www.lifehack.org/

Auhtor : Charles Crawford

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