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    • No One LOLs Like Gaston Watching 'Beauty And The Beast' Without CGI
      Every once in a while something comes along that makes you say what the Belle?That happened recently when footage of Dan Stevens behind the scenes of “Beauty and the Beast” got out. Get ready. This can’t be unseen:I finally can say that @thatdanstevens and I have the same body shape. pic.twitter.com/Yfaj5PydRx— Perkins (@theonewitheone) May 24, 2017 Best thing ever! I now want to watch the whole movie with @thatdanstevens just in the ugly suit. Love this movie more and more daily. pic.twitter.com/oXKQgZ077b— Harlee (@albionscastle) May 24, 2017 #BTS A post shared by Emma Watson (@emmawatsononline) on May 26, 2017 at 9:35am PDT Dan Stevens yelling at inanimate objects in a CGI suit is the best thing I've seen this year. #DanStevens #BeautyAndTheBeast pic.twitter.com/hxcL9p89A3— Caitlyn Attana (@caitlyn_attana) May 26, 2017 ❤️❤️❤️ Credit: @abela_eafera #beautyandthebeast #disneyprince #thebeast #batb #disneymovie #disneybeautyandthebeast #disney #belle #disneyprincess #lumiere #cogsworth #mrspotts #gaston #lefou #disneyworld #disneyland #chip #prince #princess #rose #princessbelle #princeadam #beourguest #plumette #cadenza #madamedegarderobe @beautyandthebeast @disney #emmawatson #danstevens A post shared by Beauty and the Beast ❤ (@thebeastsrose) on May 25, 2017 at 2:20pm PDT We told you.For Stevens to become the Beast, he had to wear a 40-pound muscle suit and do motion capture. In an interview with People, the actor talked about the difficulties of the suit, which included waltzing on stilts and having trouble fitting into the bathroom stall. He neglected to say he looked like a mix of gray mashed potatoes and the Michelin Man.  According to Stevens, difficulties for his co-star Emma Watson included worrying that he’d step on her feet in steel stilts. It was also probably difficult not to laugh in his face. "You think you could be happy here?" BTS Credit: @abela_eafera #beautyandthebeast #disneyprince #thebeast #batb #disneymovie #disneybeautyandthebeast #disney #belle #disneyprincess #lumiere #cogsworth #mrspotts #gaston #lefou #disneyworld #disneyland #chip #prince #princess #rose #princessbelle #princeadam #beourguest #plumette #cadenza #madamedegarderobe @beautyandthebeast @disney #danstevens #emmawatson A post shared by Beauty and the Beast ❤ (@thebeastsrose) on May 26, 2017 at 12:07pm PDT  Despite that, somehow the movie to…
      - 2 days ago, 26 May 17, 8:54pm -
    • News Roundup for May 26, 2017
      Your daily dose so you can seem more woke than your friends.1. Jared Kushner is a person of interest in the Russia probe. He’s not suspected of any wrongdoing. Yet. More here.2. The G-7 is underway in Italy. Will Trump continue to be a schoolyard bully? More here.3. At least 26 people were killed in Egypt as gunmen fired on bus carrying Coptic Christians travelling to a monastery. More here. 4. Even after his attack on a reporter, Greg Gianforte won a seat in the Montana special election. Chalk that up as another win for Trump and another loss for America. More here.5. Hey, Jupiter! The planet is more complex than we thought. No promise of aliens yet. More here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 2 days ago, 26 May 17, 4:24pm -
    • 6 Summer Scams And How To Avoid Them
      As the weather gets warmer, mosquitos and ticks re-enter our lives, and along with them comes their larger cousin, the scam artist. There are ways to prepare for those seasonal meal stealers. The same goes for scams, as foreknowledge is the best repellent.Ticks and mosquitos aren’t harmless — they are well-known vectors for serious illnesses. Scam artists are also vectors for a plague that affects millions of people each year: identity theft. But sometimes a scam is of the simpler smash-and-grab variety.Either way, some scams never seem to get old, as evidenced by the huge number of people that continue to fall for them no matter how many warnings we issue. There are always new variations that snare even the wariest consumers.With that, I give you this summer’s smorgasbord of scams.1. The Summer Rental ScamIt’s not the easiest thing on earth to find a summer rental that has all the right elements: a reasonable distance from the beach, the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a pets welcome policy. So, when you do find the right one, the tendency for most people is to pounce. Don’t be most people. If you get scammed on a rental, you’re not going to know till you show up at the front door and a puzzled person peers back at you. Oh yeah, and good luck finding the rental office, because it’s an abandoned drive-in.The best thing you can do is visit the property in question beforehand. If you are working with a real estate agent, ask for his or her license number and check it, request references if there are no reviews online and confirm that the address is real and the premises are truly available for rent. Some home-rental websites have their own vetting processes and offer guarantees that will protect you in case of fraud.2. Summer Job as Credit ApplicationIt is not completely bizarre to need a background check before getting hired, but chances are that the young person in your life looking for a summer job is not applying to be a bank clerk or armored car driver. When it comes to providing personally identifiable information to an employer, use your head.It is sadly a common occurrence that when kids are offered a “job,” they provide their information for tax purposes, including their Social Security number, and then never hear back. The reason: The only “job” was a robbery. Their identity is stolen, and because kids will be kids, it often takes a long time for them to realize the jerk who flaked on a summer job offer gutte…
      - 3 days ago, 26 May 17, 3:51am -
    • This Device Holds Your Head Up So You Can Nap Hands-Free
      One of the most annoying problems with napping on a plane happens when your head lolls about and you can’t find a comfortable and considerate way to prop it up. Inventors have offered up various fixes over the years, from inflatable hoodies to a head hammock, but this solution looks more promising than any we’ve seen in a long time. The JetComfy is a cushioned platform for your head that attaches to an armrest and extends to your desired height. While other travel nap gadgets involve blow-up wraps, only support your chin, or require sticking your head into a dark hole, JetComfy takes a more basic approach, says co-founder David Brecht.“Our goal was to mimic the natural resting pose of resting your head on your hand,” he told HuffPost. The JetComfy is a memory foam cushion on an extendable base, which you can slide onto your armrest and clip into place. Adjust the cushion’s tilt to your liking, then nap away. Then retract the base and fold it back up when you’re done. At first glance, it looks like this gadget would annoy the heck out of your seat mate because it takes up armrest space. But supporting your head the usual way could be more obnoxious, Brecht suggested. “JetComfy takes up only a very tiny portion of the armrest, leaving it available for your neighbor to still use. If you didn’t have a JetComfy, you would be resting your arm on the shared armrest which takes up much more space,” he said. It’s worth noting it seems people tend to place their arms on the armrest anyway when using the JetComfy, according to photos posted to the company’s Facebook page. The gadget hit the market late last year and retails for $49.99 on jetcomfy.com and $39.99 on Amazon. It has built-in power packs to charge electronics, too.Some reviewers said the JetComfy is too bulky, complained its cushion bumps into their neighbor, and said it doesn’t strap on correctly in aisle seats. Others report no such issues and call it a lifesaver for long flights. JetComfy meets TSA carry-on guidelines, so you should be able to bring it onboard with no problem. Whether your seat mate will complain or not is a whole other issue, however: In 2014, a travel gadget called the Knee Defender sparked national debate after causing an in-flight skirmish between passengers when one used it to prevent another from reclining her seat.If all else fails, you can always try falling asleep on a plane sans gadgets. Sweet dreams! --…
      - 3 days ago, 25 May 17, 8:36pm -
    • Photo Series Shows Kids Enjoying Childhood Without Technology
      A stunning photo series is showcasing the joys of a tech-free childhood.New Zealand photographer and mother of four, Niki Boon, documented her children’s everyday lives in a series she calls “Childhood in the Raw.”“This project came into being with our decision to educate our children alternatively, at home,” Boon told HuffPost. The family lives in a rural environment without modern electronic devices like TV and smartphones. Boon said this lifestyle choice has sparked a lot of questions and criticism from friends, family and strangers. At first, even she and her husband sometimes had doubts. “In the beginning, the photos served as a visual document, to record things that the children were doing in a day, to reassure both others and ourselves that there was learning taking place,” the mom explained.“But as time went on, I became frustrated that the pictures weren’t really telling the story well enough for me. It just wasn’t with enough depth,” she continued. “So I spent many hours and late nights trying to teach myself how to take better pictures, ones that depicted what I was seeing in front of me, and tell the story the way I saw it … and things just evolved from there.”Boon and her husband have a 12-year-old daughter and three sons, ages 7, 9 and 13. “Like all parents we would love our children to be strong in who they are, confident, free thinkers, proactive, independent, resilient, empathetic and happy,” she said. “I hope that, living with the land that we have, that they also gain a healthy respect for the earth, and for the animals and plants that live with us on it.”The photographer said her family’s alternative, tech-free lifestyle reminds her of her own childhood growing up on a farm with extended family. She told HuffPost she hopes her photos move people in some way, “negative or positive.”Ultimately, the mom just wants to document the wonders of her kids’ childhood. Said Boon, “I hope they look back on it and smile.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 3 days ago, 25 May 17, 6:28pm -
    • This Crazy Forest Mirror Illusion Will Transport You To Another World
      This mirror-illusion video has people doing a double-take.Entitled “Walk in the Woods,” it’s the creation of Kevin Parry, a stop-motion animator at LAIKA. Be mesmerized as Parry travels through a mirror from one forest to another world, only to return moments later.Watch the clip and see if you can figure out how he pulled it off: Walk in the Woods A post shared by Kevin Parry (@kevinbparry) on May 11, 2017 at 6:27am PDT How did he do it? Parry won’t give away all of his secrets, but he did offer a brief explanation to the photography website PetaPixel.“The video is comprised of a single take, duplicated, and I had to make sure my start and end points were fairly lined up when shooting,” Parry said. “There is a bit of digital trickery in that I had to warp the ends of the clips to match, but there’s a hard cut in there (with only a few frames of dissolve). But I didn’t green screen or mask anything.”The video has picked up more than 100,000 views since it was published on May 11. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 3 days ago, 25 May 17, 2:57pm -
    • Explore America’s Stunning Marine Sanctuaries Without Getting Wet
      The United States is home to many underwater treasures: the haunting shipwrecks of Thunder Bay, the colorful corals of Gray’s Reef, the barnacle-covered statue of Christ in the Florida Keys.For most Americans, however, these sights are out of reach. Though half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, only a tiny fraction — fewer than 5 percent, according to some industry estimates — actively dive or snorkel.But thanks to an online project spearheaded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, everyone can now experience these underwater wonders in vivid detail. Diving knowledge isn’t required and you won’t even get wet; all you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer.The Virtual Dive Gallery, launched earlier this month, allows users to explore U.S. national marine sanctuaries online. There are currently 360-degree, virtual reality images of five sanctuaries available: the ship graveyard of Thunder Bay in Lake Huron, the Florida Keys, Gray’s Reef in Georgia, Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico, and the coral reefs around American Samoa. A virtual reality headset isn’t necessary to enjoy the images, but makes the experience all the more true to life.“We can put a window to the ocean in the palm of someone’s hand and let them explore the underwater world and national marine sanctuaries through that window,” Mitchell Tartt, chief of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Conservation Science Division, told The Verge this week of the VR gallery.This window doesn’t introduce people just to the beauty of underwater environments, but to the tragedies found there too. Climate change, pollution and other human actions are damaging many marine sanctuaries in the U.S., said NOAA — destruction that many Americans will never see firsthand. The virtual gallery is a way for people to better connect with these problems by witnessing the degradation for themselves.“Sometimes, seeing really is believing,” Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe, tourism and recreation coordinator at NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, told HuffPost in an email Wednesday. “The majority of the public doesn’t have regular opportunities to go scuba diving or snorkeling, so they can’t experience these environments first-hand. The virtual dive galleries let us bring sanctuaries to the public. The thrill of seeing them in a totally new way ― as if you were there underwater ― makes the environmental and res…
      - 3 days ago, 25 May 17, 1:56pm -
    • Bill Maher Tells Donald Trump To 'F**k Mars’ And Make Earth Great Again
      Bill Maher is just about done with people who say they want to explore and colonize Mars — including President Donald Trump. In a new ATTN:-produced animation released Wednesday, the “Real Time” host called on billionaires and politicians to “stop fantasizing that Mars is Earth’s backup planet.”Citing Trump’s signing of a bill in March which added human exploration of the red planet as a NASA objective, Maher suggested that “if we are going to take the challenge to overhaul a planet” then it may be best to begin with our own. After all, he said in the clip inspired by one of his recent “New Rule” monologues, they’d be better off enacting “completely doable policies” to reverse climate change here than moving to the “airless, lifeless, freezing shit hole” of Mars.“Fuck Mars,” he ended the segment. “It’s time to make Earth great again.”Check it out in the clip above.type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=590d683fe4b0e7021e97fe0c,59255c2be4b00c8df2a02ff5,59257020e4b0ec129d30dfa2,59267cb2e4b062f96a33f6d2 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 3 days ago, 25 May 17, 11:44am -
    • Bill Gates Wants You To Read Trevor Noah’s Memoir This Summer
      Deepen your mind while you deepen your tan.Microsoft founder, philanthropist and avid bookworm Bill Gates has a few book recommendations for the summer. Each of the titles, which he listed in a blog post on Monday, are meant to help readers better understand the larger world around them.“Some of these books helped me better understand what it’s like to grow up outside the mainstream,” Gates wrote. “As a child of mixed race in apartheid South Africa, as a young man trying to escape his impoverished life in rural Appalachia, or as the son of a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia.” He adds, “I hope you’ll find that others make you think deeper about what it means to truly connect with other people and to have purpose in your life. And all of them will transport you somewhere else — whether you’re sitting on a beach towel or on your own couch.”One book Gates recommends is Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show,” which details the comedian’s life growing up in apartheid South Africa.“I loved reading this memoir about how [the] host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in,” Gates wrote.To find out Gates four other picks, just watch the video above. Happy reading! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 4 days ago, 24 May 17, 8:37pm -
    • This Real-Life RoboCop Is On The Case At A Dubai Shopping Mall
      Police officers should take care, because robots are starting to gun for their jobs.At least they are in Dubai, where a robot police officer officially reported for duty on Tuesday, according to Ruptly TV.Police have nicknamed the robotic cop “RoboCop” after the classic 1980’s action movie, but its duties seem more appropriate for “Paul Blart, Mall Cop.”The robot officer, manufactured by Pal Robotics of Barcelona, has a touchscreen that allows shoppers to report crimes or pay traffic violations. It can also giving directions and shower people with compliments (which, of course, always sound more sincere coming from a pre-programmed electronic device).Oh, it can also scan a person’s face from 100 feet away, according to Konbini.com.This first RoboCop is just the beginning for Dubai, which hopes to eventually make its police force 25 percent robot, according to Newsweek. “We are looking to make everything smart in Dubai Police. By 2030, we will have the first smart police station which won’t require human employees,” Brigadier-General Khalid Nasser Al Razzouqi, director-general of Smart Services at Dubai Police, told the Gulf News.As cute as a compliment-giving robotic police officer might seem, there are potential pitfalls, and not just the loss of business for doughnut shops.Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England, argues there are some serious moral concerns“There are big ethical problems,” he told CNN. “If you’re asking a robot to apprehend criminals, how can you be sure that the robot would not injure people?” He adds that guaranteeing a robot can safely intervene in crime-related scenarios 100 percent of the time is “extremely difficult.”“Of course, when humans make mistakes they are held to account,” Winfield said. “The problem is that you can’t make a machine responsible for its mistakes... How do you punish it? How do you sanction it? You can’t.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 4 days ago, 24 May 17, 8:33pm -

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    • Miss USA Reminds Young Women That They Have A Seat At The Table In STEM
      Recently-crowned Miss USA Kára McCullough has some powerful words for women and girls who wish to pursue a career in STEM. In a video for Now This posted on Wednesday, McCullough talks about how much she loves her position as emergency preparedness specialist with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but how it wasn’t an easy journey to get there. “Being a woman in the science industry is truly empowering,” she says. “I walk into my agency knowing that I am meant to be here.”McCullough, who majored in chemistry in college, touches on her struggles with math and how having those struggles inspired her to push herself even harder. Prior to being crowned Miss USA, she started a community program, Science Exploration for Kids, to encourage young girls and boys to get enthusiastic about STEM subjects, especially those who, like her, struggle with certain aspects of it. McCullough hopes to use her platform as Miss USA to encourage young girls to explore the STEM fields, and stay confident even if they feel out of place. “Don’t ever give up on yourself,” she says in the video. “I struggled with math as a child but I allowed myself to not be limited by those inabilities.”Hear, hear. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=591b4566e4b05dd15f0bf678,59193e17e4b0fe039b35aa65,5919176de4b00f308cf6396a -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 4 days ago, 24 May 17, 8:02pm -
    • Uber Vows To Repay NYC Drivers 'Tens Of Millions' After Tax Snafu
      Uber says it will reimburse its New York City drivers “tens of millions” of dollars in lost earnings for miscalculating its commission there for several years.The ride-hailing company said it had inadvertently calculated its commission since November 2014 based on drivers’ “gross” fares ― before taxes and fees are taken out. Instead, it should have collected a percent of the smaller, post-tax “net” fare.Uber said it realized the error last Friday, after it revamped how it shows drivers their earnings and discovered their commissions violated the terms of service.The company told HuffPost it would refund drivers’ backpay they’re due, plus 9 percent interest. The average driver should receive around $900.“We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed - plus interest - as quickly as possible,” said Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, US & Canada, in an emailed statement. “We are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.”But New York’s Independent Drivers Guild said the news is just one more sign of an industry in need of regulation.“Uber’s theft of drivers’ hard-earned wages is the latest in a long history of underhanded tactics in this industry,” IDG founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. told HuffPost in an emailed statement.  “Year after year, companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Gett become more valuable and year after year they find new ways to take advantage of hard-working drivers,” he added. “This is exactly why we have been calling for industry-wide pay protections to stop the exploitation of New York’s drivers once and for all.” It’s unclear if Uber drivers in other cities have been subject to similar miscalculations. The company said it is reviewing that possibility but has yet to find another instance. While Uber calculates its take based on drivers’ “net” fares, ride-hailing competitor Lyft told HuffPost its commissions still are based on its drivers’ gross fares, as its agreement specifies.“In New York, we deduct commissions and administrative fees from gross fares, as per our driver agreement,” a Lyft spokesman said in an emailed statement. “We also pay sales tax on gross fares as required by law.”  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumpti…
      - 4 days ago, 24 May 17, 4:54pm -
    • Here's How To Keep Our Oceans Trash Free
      In 2015, there were an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, weighing approximately 269,000 tons. Similarly, some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Those staggering numbers pose a massive problem that could contaminate the world’s water ecosystems. They’re so massive that scientists are having trouble even gauging the impact.What can we do about it? Well, for starters check out Rob Greenfield’s new video. Rob’s a social activist who caught up with Eric Dieters, a man who’s skimming trash from San Diego’s bay area. While it’s just one part of the solution, the trash skimmer boat could be revolutionary in the way cities approach garbage pickup.You can do small things in your everyday life, too. Ditch bottled water and opt for reusable water bottles, use reusable shopping bags, say no to single use plastics, and buy unpackaged food. Although we need more efforts like Eric’s, these small actions will make the sustainable difference for our oceans. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 5 days ago, 23 May 17, 6:16pm -
    • Trump's Interior Secretary Took Time To Discuss The Border Wall With A Far-Right Troll
      WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke held a video call in April with an infamous right-wing internet troll and a virtual reality entrepreneur to discuss the Trump administration’s plans to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Zinke’s half-hour call with Charles “Chuck” Johnson, the CEO and founder of Gotnews.com, and Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR, occurred just after lunch on April 12, according to a recently published log of Zinke’s scheduled meetings last month. The call’s listed topic of discussion: “Border Wall building plans.” What knowledge or expertise Johnson and Luckey could bring to such a conversation, and why the man tasked with managing some 500 million acres of federal land would agree to the meeting, is anyone’s guess. A conservative journalist with serious credibility issues, Johnson is perhaps best known for being banned from Twitter in 2015 after asking for donations to help him “take out” civil rights activist DeRay McKesson. He also unsuccessfully sued Gawker for defamation, seeking $66 million over articles addressing rumors that Johnson defecated on the floor at some point during college.In January, Forbes reported that Johnson was “working behind the scenes with members of the [Trump] transition team’s executive committee” to “recommend, vet and give something of a seal of approval to potential nominees from the so-called ‘alt-right’” to work in the administration.Luckey, the multimillionaire founder of Oculus VR, has come under fire for funding a pro-Donald Trump internet group that pumped out anti-Hillary Clinton memes during the 2016 presidential race, and for donating $100,000 to Trump’s official inauguration committee. The Interior Department did not respond to HuffPost’s multiple requests for comment. However, a spokeswoman for the agency told Gizmodo that the April 12 call was arranged by Zinke’s friend Scott McEwen, a co-author of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s autobiography American Sniper.“The Secretary had a brief meeting where he listened to [Johnson and Luckey’s] ideas about using technology on the border and referred the gentlemen to the Department of Homeland Security,” the spokeswoman told Gizmodo. “Regarding setting up the meeting, a friend of the Secretary’s suggested he talk with them about their technology,” she added. “As a result, they had a very brief meeting with the Secretary. There was no action after.”Jo…
      - 5 days ago, 23 May 17, 4:25pm -
    • Don't Believe These Fake News Stories About The Ariana Grande Concert Attack
      Fake news swept across the internet in the aftermath of a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, on Monday night.An attacker killed 22 people and injured dozens more, police say. Many used social media to offer and appeal for help, others used it as an opportunity to troll and put out false information.Reports that a gunman was on the loose at a nearby hospital, that Grande had been injured in the blast and that she had immediately retired from music all circulated within hours of the explosion which British police are treating as a terrorist incident.Here’s a round up of the fake news stories to watch out for so far:type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=59235f47e4b034684b0f0573,5923bb52e4b094cdba56f410,5923a45de4b03b485cb460fb,592371f5e4b03b485cb45299 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 5 days ago, 23 May 17, 8:30am -

    Small Business


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    • 6 Key Business Benefits Of UCaaS Show Why Businesses Need It Now
      Communicating at work should be as simple as pulling up a chair, anywhere. Knowledge workers carry the essential communication tools with them: cellphones, laptops and their inquisitive minds. In their daily lives outside of work, video, instant messaging and consumer cloud apps help today's people share information with friends and family. Teams now want to apply similar tools to be more productive at work. Knowledge workers who bring their own mobile devices to work can be more effective and save the company hardware expenses--but only if their office messages, files and contacts stay in sync, and their valuable data is safe within the network.While small- and medium-sized businesses' (SMB's) telecommunications networks have become more proficient at serving more devices and connecting them to the cloud, they may not be able to offer the effective bandwidth increase, speed and security required. For next-generation telecommunications providers, the new Unified Communications (UC) solutions will be as transformative as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) was a decade ago. Now, Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS, makes telecom the backbone for real-time video conferencing, screen sharing presence and instant messaging.SMB's use online collaboration services to relay messages clearly and move discussion along without buffering or other video streaming quality issues. A capable network brings a far-flung team together regardless of geographical boundaries and keeps them engaged in solving business problems instead of fixing conference-line glitches. They can contribute to a meeting on the way to the office, and enter a virtual conference room ready to share slides, various document types, graphics, charts and much more.Making the case: Lower costs with UCaaSThe current business climate makes upgrading a communications network particularly challenging. Gartner this year forecasts flat IT spending worldwide--and that's actually an improvement on early estimates. For that reason, IT managers turn to economical UCaaS solutions. These hosted UC services make full use of cloud capabilities to extend communication resources. They share six major advantages: 1. No upfront expenses. UCaaS shifts a business's cost of designing solutions in an increasing complex space to an experienced service provider. Leased phones and equipment allow companies to adopt new technologies and set up shop in new locations without worrying about features bec…
      - 17 Oct 16, 1:53pm -
    • Evaluating Trump's Immigration Plan: Facts To Bring Down A Wall Of Fiction
      In the past few weeks, Donald Trump's zig-zags on his immigration positions have been dizzying for the public. Because of his unconventional presidential campaign style, he has managed, thus far, to avoid the usual scrutiny and analysis that all candidates normally face. For us in the Latino and immigrant community, his speech in Arizona represents more of the same as we have directly felt the impact of his words for over a year.With the election nearing, it is about time to look beyond the rhetoric and unravel the truth behind his declarations. In particular, now that Trump has reaffirmed his extreme nativist position on immigration, we have to examine seriously and thoroughly his "10-point plan." Correlating his statements with reality takes a concerted effort, so let us tackle his points one-by-one. Before delving into each point, it is important to highlight the overall contribution of immigrants to this country. In fact, studies have shown that immigrants contribute over $700 billion to the U.S. economy each year. In 2011, it amounted to $743 billion in total wage, salary, and business proprietor income. In addition, according to the Brookings Institute, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a small business and three times more likely to file a patent. Furthermore, contrary to Trump's assertions and portrayals of immigrants, both documented and undocumented as criminals, there is ample evidence that demonstrates otherwise. In fact, according to the New Yorker's Eyal Press in his recent article, studies by Harvard sociologist, Robert Sampson, have shown that incidences of crime decrease in neighborhoods with an influx of immigrants. These studies have reported that immigrants contribute to the revitalization of neighborhoods, thereby advancing economic growth and development. Also, immigrant communities are marked by their drive to improve the wellbeing of their families with immigrants focused on economic advancement and educational achievements for their children.With this context in mind, let us explore the Trump plan.1. Complete the border wall.Building a wall in the fashion that Donald Trump envisions along the entire 1,989 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border is not only costly but also highly unrealistic. The Washington Post estimated the cost of an actual physical barrier across the border at more than $25 billion. And, as the BBC reported in its recent story, the plan will mean extension into remote areas, as well as incursi…
      - 9 Sep 16, 4:58pm -
    • The Entrepreneur's Guide To Freaking Out
      By Liz GutmanAnxiety is a totally normal and even expected part of running your own business. Here's how to keep from being crippled by it. As the public face of my company, I encounter a lot of pressure to appear as though I'm 100% together at all times.But, in truth, as an entrepreneur, there is no way to completely avoid freaking out. So many things constantly come at you - staffing issues, tax worries, equipment malfunctions - it would take a miracle to achieve a state of never-ever-freak-outedness. But when it all seems overwhelming and impossible, know that you can (and will!) get through it. Here's how:1. BREATHEI know - it's a total cliché. But it's everyone's number one piece of advice for a reason: it works, as long as you really commit. No, taking one big deep breath usually isn't enough. If you find yourself starting to clench up or getting that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, take a moment. Sit (or stand) with both feet planted flat on the floor. Close your eyes. Breathe in for a slow three-count - one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand - hold for another slow three-count and breathe out for a slow five-count. Do this at least ten times.Now open your eyes. Better?2. MOVEI battled severe anxiety long before becoming an entrepreneur, and it was a revelation to discover how much regular exercise helps calm my mind.It doesn't have to be hardcore. I used to run, but now I go for brisk walks of about 30 minutes in the morning instead. Walking isn't quite as exciting as running, but can be even more beneficial (see links here, here and here) than more strenuous activity. Take a stroll on your lunch break, stretch or do gentle yoga before bedtime, knock out some jumping jacks while you're watching Netflix. Any of these things will help as long as you stay consistent (I shoot for three times a week). It's an investment that pays off if you keep doing it! You'll be amazed at how much it improves your outlook.3. ASK FOR HELPThis may be the easiest-said and hardest-done piece of advice out there. I have massive issues with asking for help; it's especially hard for entrepreneurs and even more so for women. We spend our entire lives internalizing messages to be quiet, be nice, don't make a fuss, figure it out. "Quiet strength" seems like an admirable quality until you think about the nuances of that subtly oppressive first word: quiet. Don't be quiet. Reach out. Ask a friend to spend some time with you. F…
      - 9 Sep 16, 2:29am -
    • Airbnb's Work To Fight Bias And Discrimination
      Over the course of my career, I've learned that lasting change often begins with tough, honest conversations, genuine self-reflection, followed by bold action. In the last half century, we've made tremendous progress toward realizing our civil rights and equal opportunity goals. But we still have a long way to go. We need to talk about, and then take action to end, the discrimination, prejudice, and inequality that still exists -- not only in our laws, but in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our businesses. That's in part because the way in which bias manifests itself keeps evolving. At the beginning of this century, few predicted that the internet would become such a pervasive tool for cyber bullying or religious extremism, or would so often be used to communicate and enable discrimination and division. Airbnb is no exception. Their mission is to connect people from around the globe and foster a sense of belonging. But despite those good intentions, some Airbnb users have been turned away from booking accommodations because of their name, background or skin color. Understanding that one case is one too many, the company reached out to me and to Laura Murphy, the former chief of the ACLU's Washington legislative office, to work with them to determine how to greatly diminish -- with the goal of eliminating -- discrimination on its platform. I agreed to help because from the first time we spoke, Airbnb's leadership team was willing to have that tough, uncomfortable conversation, and because they had the humility and courage to ask for help in the first place. That told me that their goal was to fix the problem, not simply to respond to public criticism. Airbnb's leadership team was willing to have that tough, uncomfortable conversation. Throughout the last three months, under Laura's leadership, Airbnb has conducted a rigorous, thorough and inclusive review of its technology and its policies. The review included conversations with employees at every level of the company, Airbnb hosts and victims of discrimination, and outside experts. It also included outreach to civil rights organizations, regulators and federal and state lawmakers. The result is one of the most detailed and honest reviews of a company's role in fighting discrimination, including where efforts fell short, that I've ever witnessed. That review -- which I believe provides a model for our growing "sharing economy" and the role internet companies play in unintentionally…
      - 8 Sep 16, 3:05pm -
    • Computers Are For Girls, Too
      I remember three things about my first computer science class in college. First, improbably, the professor was named Ramm, as in "random access memory." Second, the class was about processors, and I only had a vague idea what a processor was. Third, it was the last computer science class for most of my female classmates, who quickly decided they'd rather major in something else.I never would have guessed that my time as a computer science student would turn out to be pretty much the high water mark for women in the field. The percentage of computer science majors who are women has gone down from 37 percent in 1984 to just 18 percent today. In other words, on average my daughters are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago. My daughters are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago.But the young women in this video are defying these odds -- they're pursuing careers in computer science and dismantling stereotypes about the field. I love hearing them talk about the sense of empowerment and joy that coding brings them. Kimberly got a standing ovation from her high school English classmates when she demonstrated a book review app she made. Kayla is preserving and sharing the rich history of her community with an app that customizes multimedia walking tours. Courtney helped design the landing legs on a rocket when she interned at SpaceX!The gross underrepresentation of women in computer science is not just a problem for the girls who are left out. It's a problem for all of us, because we're not benefitting from the creativity girls have to offer. There's a mountain of research showing that diversity makes for better companies and better products -- that we're more innovative when we work in teams with different kinds of people -- yet the gender diversity in tech has been getting worse for decades.One reason why is that somewhere along the way, society decided that computers are for boys. Or, as Aishwarya says, "guys in hoodies." And this toxic stereotype becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, virtually guaranteeing that computer science is indeed a male-dominated field.First, since girls aren't supposed to be into computers, they aren't exposed to computer science when they're young, and even if they are, they often aren't encouraged to pursue their interests in the field. That helps explain why only 22 percent of the high school students who take the AP computer science exam today are girls. Kayla…
      - 23 Aug 16, 8:42pm -
    • 37 Times Donald Trump Should Have Apologized
      Yesterday, Donald Trump read the following off a teleprompter in Charlotte, North Carolina:Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.It's a clever line. Hats off to Donald's speechwriter. But that's all it is: a line from a teleprompter.For most of us, an apology involves looking someone in the eye and taking responsibility for what you did. But Trump didn't even bother to tell us what he regrets saying or who he regrets hurting over the past year.Here's the truth: over the past year, Donald Trump has tried to insult and bully his way to the White House. He has fabricated lies and invented bizarre conspiracy theories to stoke racial animus and divide the American people. He repeatedly made racist remarks about a federal judge's heritage and attacked a Gold Star family because of their faith. He has preyed upon the most vulnerable and disparaged our men and women in uniform in his power-hungry quest for the presidency.Even after winning his party's nomination, he has acted more like a Bully-in-Chief than a future leader of our country.In Trump's warped world, it might be enough to vaguely say that you have regrets. But Trump owes the people he has attacked and bullied so much more than that. He needs to explain exactly what he regrets--and then sincerely apologize to the individuals, families and communities to whom he has caused personal pain.Here's where he could start:1.Slandering Mexican immigrants: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." [Campaign kickoff speech, 6/16/15]2.Criticizing former POW Sen. John McCain: "He's not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." [Politico, 7/18/15]3.Criticizing Fox News host Megyn Kelly: "I have no respect for her...You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." [CNN, 8/7/15]4.Calling children of immigrants "anchor babies" [Fox News (reported by CBS), 8/19/15]5.Questioning then-opponent Ben Carson's religion: "I just don't know about" the Seventh-Day Adventist church [Washington Post, 10/25/15]6.Mocking a disabled reporter: "'I don't know what I said. I don't remember!' He's going, 'I don't remember!'" [South Carolina rally, 11/22/15]7.Claiming…
      - 19 Aug 16, 9:24pm -
    • 5 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Surviving A Plane Crash
      The odds of getting into a plane crash are low. Very low. In fact, your odds are only 1 in 8,357 of dying in an "air and space transport incident," as the National Safety Council calls it. In fact, you are more likely to die from a lightning strike than to face an aircraft evacuation. But, the reality is, every time you strap yourself to the seat in a metal tube as it hurls itself through the air, you are facing the possibility of an emergency evacuation.Recent events such as the crash of Emirates flight 521 are a reminder that as safe as air travel is, quick thinking flight attendants and a competent flight crew can mean the difference life and death. Long lines, tight spaces, and elbow rubbing with strangers is now the norm when it comes to air travel. Although packed planes only add to the chaos during an evacuation, with a little foresight and these tips, you will find yourself better prepared in the unlikely event of an emergency.1. Keep your shoes on during take-off and landing.Taxi, take-off, and landing are the most critical phases of flight. They are so crucial that flight attendants and pilots are prohibited from communicating with each other unless they are discussing an issue related to the safety of the flight. It is okay to slip your shoes off during flight, but putting your shoes back on prior to landing will prevent you from having to run barefoot across a jet-fuel soaked tarmac. 2. Do not drink or take medication to help you relax.Sometimes nerves, the desire to start vacation early, or down right fear of flying will cause a passenger to drink alcoholic beverages or take a prescription medication to ease the stress of air travel. And while a cocktail is alright, keep in mind that your blood will be thinner at the high altitude even after cabin pressurization, and this can make the effects of alcohol feel more pronounced. When it comes to prescription medications, make sure you discuss your travel plans and anxieties with your doctor. The chances of surviving a plane crash hinge on two things: the ability of the flight attendants to get the exits open and your ability to get yourself to the exit. Make sure you are sober-minded enough to think clearly and move quickly.3. Consider the type of aircraft.Every type of aircraft is different. Even if you fly all the time, you are more than likely flying on different types of airplanes and sitting in different seats each time you take to the sky. Every time you get on a plane, take a…
      - 11 Aug 16, 9:11pm -
    • Driving Growth Through Inclusive Entrepreneurship
      This week we recognize August 4th as Startup Day Across America, a time to celebrate entrepreneurs and the jobs they create. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that our entrepreneurs face and explore solutions to allow the best and brightest minds to succeed. Our country's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds are the lifeblood of the American economy.Our country's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds are the lifeblood of the American economy. America's startups are the driving force behind new job creation in the United States. In fact, companies less than one year old have created an average of 1.5 million jobs per year over the past three decades, fueling both local and national economic growth. From Uber to ZocDoc, startups are behind the technologies and services now a part of the daily lives of many Americans. And these companies no longer exist solely within Silicon Valley -- in fact, Texas ranks fifth highest on the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.While the United States continues to provide exceptional opportunities for private organizations to innovate, more can be done to ensure all entrepreneurs, especially immigrant founders, are set up to succeed in America. Representing the public and private sectors, we see this need firsthand. Congressman Castro's San Antonio is one of the top 10 U.S. cities in overall startup activity, and Unshackled Ventures works within our current system, investing in 16 teams with founders born in six different continents. More can be done to ensure all entrepreneurs, especially immigrant founders, are set up to succeed in America.Without the necessary support, too many innovators will give up, and too many brilliant ideas will remain unexplored.As a starting point, we must encourage an inclusive, collaborative entrepreneurship pipeline, so that all aspiring innovators across the country have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and compete with larger corporations. When the playing field is level, the best ideas will win.We must also connect aspiring innovators with the tools and resources they need to build a startup. In some cases, the resources are already there, and it is simply a matter of linking entrepreneurs to the right network.Unfortunately, some of the country's most promising entrepreneurs are still struggling to break through. This is particularly true for the U.S. immigrant population. In addition to the challenges of the entrepreneurial j…
      - 4 Aug 16, 12:34pm -
    • 7 Principles Of Life That Everyone Knows, But Only A Few Follow
      Early 2015 I was pretty frustrated with my career. Just a year earlier I said goodbye to my entrepreneurial aspirations and took a job at an IT-research firm in London.Normally, that's a good thing. The pay was good, so were the benefits, and I had great colleagues. But it wasn't for me  --  I felt like I gave up entrepreneurship.And on top of that, my personal life wasn't great either. My girlfriend and I decided to end our relationship. And in that same week, my grandmother, who I loved dearly, passed away suddenly.I felt a lot of things. But mostly, I was felt like I didn't understand life. Have you ever thought about it? What is life? What are you supposed to do? It's not like babies are shipped with manuals that teaches them to be awesome human beings.For the first time in my life, I started looking for answers because I was tired of just living/existing without purpose. When I went back to Holland for the funeral, I also caught up with one of my mentors. The last time we spoke was over a year ago  --  before I moved to London.I told him the whole story, and he said: "Even though there's no right or wrong way to live your life, there are certain universal principles that lead to a happy, wealthy, and healthy life."Naturally, I asked him, "What principles?"In a Mr. Miyagi way he said: "I think you know the principles. Everyone does. But 99% of all people don't do what they know."That's about the best, and most bad-ass pieces of wisdom I've ever heard in my life.People hardly do what they say. That was also the story of my life. So for the next year or so I spent thinking, reading and researching to find the principles my mentor was talking about.I asked myself: What are things that people talk about, but they never do? Here's what I came up with until now.1. No Strain, No GainWe often talk about doing all kinds of crazy shit -- climb mountains, run marathons, skydive, start businesses, travel the world, write books, record albums, make movies, the list is endless. Just think about what's on your bucket list for a second. Now, can I ask you one thing? Why haven't you done those things? Don't shy away from hard things. Instead, train yourself to become a person that can endure difficulties.The answer almost always comes down to this: It's hard.Well, I hate to break it to you, but life is SUPPOSED to be hard!That's probably the most valuable lesson I've learned. Don't shy away from hard things. Instead, train your…
      - 3 Aug 16, 5:31pm -
    • Understanding Trump
      There is a lot being written and spoken about Trump by intelligent and articulate commentators whose insights I respect. But as a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon. This perspective is hardly unknown. More that half a million people have read my books, and Google Scholar reports that scholars writing in scholarly journals have cited my works well over 100,000 times. As a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon.Yet you will probably not read what I have to say in the New York Times, nor hear it from your favorite political commentators. You will also not hear it from Democratic candidates or party strategists. There are reasons, and we will discuss them later this piece. I am writing it because I think it is right and it is needed, even though it comes from the cognitive and brain sciences, not from the normal political sources. I think it is imperative to bring these considerations into public political discourse. But it cannot be done in a 650-word op-ed. My apologies. It is untweetable.I will begin with an updated version of an earlier piece on who is supporting Trump and why -- and why policy details are irrelevant to them. I then move to a section on how Trump uses your brain against you. I finish up discussing how Democratic campaigns could do better, and why they need to do better if we are to avert a Trump presidency.Who Supports Trump and Why Donald J. Trump has managed to become the Republican nominee for president, Why? How? There are various theories: People are angry and he speaks to their anger. People don't think much of Congress and want a non-politician. Both may be true. But why? What are the details? And why Trump?He seems to have come out of nowhere. His positions on issues don't fit a common mold. He has said nice things about LGBTQ folks, which is not standard Republican talk. Republicans hate eminent domain (the taking of private property by the government) and support corporate outsourcing for the sake of profit, but he has the opposite views on both. He is not religious and scorns religious practices, yet the Evangelicals (that is, the white Evangelicals) love him. He thinks health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, as well as military contractors, are making too much profit and wants to change that.…
      - 22 Jul 16, 7:45pm -

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    • Between The Parades
      On public holidays, Americans salute their military. This Fourth of July will be no exception. In big cities and small towns across America, families will line the streets to watch Fourth of July parades, and sports stadiums around the country will bring veterans of all ages to center field, lighting up the skies with fireworks and paying homage to our military heroes. Then the fireworks will be over, the parades will have passed by, and most Americans will return to their daily activities, with little attention paid to veterans and families until the next parade.With less than one percent of American having served on the battlefield, most don't have personal connections to those who have served. And hundreds of thousands of those who have served are coming home: some 250,000 men and women in uniform are now transitioning each year to civilian life. Veterans and their families want a return to normalcy when they return home. But the military culture that serves to protect men and women while in service does not mesh with nor well- prepare them for civilian life. For far too many, their new neighborhoods are foreign, their families are estranged, and they are out of sync with what used to be home. Ask veterans what they want and most will say that a return to normalcy starts with meaningful employment. American corporations and small businesses have admirably set significant targets for hiring our returning veterans and veteran unemployment continues to fall. Yet 50 percent of veterans leave their jobs within a year and 65 percent do so within the first two years. Forty seven percent of post 9/11 veterans report they are not working in their preferred career field. San Diego's Operation REBOOT started by the National Veterans Transition Services, has become a model for how to help veterans achieve what they are looking for. The focus is not just on hiring but on finding the right fit. REBOOT personnel understand both the military culture from which veterans are emerging and the civilian culture that they are about to enter. At the heart of REBOOT's Centers for Military and Veteran Reintegration is a free, three-week workshop, designed to holistically address transition from military to civilian life. Going far beyond typical career transition programs, participants are given in-depth re-socialization training that culturally prepares them for civilian life after the military. They also undergo career assessments to help determine what…
      - 4 Jul 16, 4:05am -
    • Stop Playing Games With The Pentagon Budget
      Defending the United States and its allies is serious business. That's all the more reason Congress should stop playing games with Pentagon spending. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department's already ample budget. The Senate took a step in the right direction earlier this month when it beat back an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have added $18 billion in Pentagon spending beyond the amount agreed to in last year's bipartisan budget deal. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department's already ample budget. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has shown no such restraint. During the consideration of the defense authorization act, House Armed Services Committee chair Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) pushed through a proposal to steal $18 billion from the war budget and use it to pay for pet projects that the Pentagon hasn't even asked for, like 11 additional F-35s and 14 more F/A-18s. This raid on the war budget is fine for Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the builders of the F-35 and the F-18. But what happens when the war budget runs out of funds to support the troops in the field? Thornberry's answer is to let the next administration worry about it. The House inserted a $16 billion raid on the war budget in its appropriations bill, setting up a fight over the issue in the House/Senate conference committee on Pentagon spending that will convene later this year. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has denounced Thornberry's maneuver in no uncertain terms, calling it a "terrible distraction" that "undercuts stable planning and efficient use of taxpayer dollars, dispirits troops and their families, baffles friends, and emboldens foes." To add insult to injury, Thornberry and his colleagues claim that they are robbing the war budget because there are insufficient funds for readiness -- the training and maintenance activities needed to sustain our armed forces. Yet an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight has found that the net result of Thornberry's proposal would be to cut operations and maintenance - the funding source for readiness activities -- by over $11 billion. Advocates of higher Pentagon outlays claim that the rapid pace of change in the world -- from the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino to the continuing threats posed by ISIS and Russian aggression in Ukraine -- has rendered last year's budget deal obsolete. T…
      - 17 Jun 16, 12:23pm -
    • Finding A Business Idea You Love By Trial and Error
      by Eleni Gianopulos"I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun."Thomas A. Edison's quote reminds me of my father. Sitting around the dinner table with my family when I was growing up, my dad always admonished us to "Find something you love to do!"I eventually found what I love, though the route to starting my business was not exactly straightforward. Along each step of the way, I learned something that could benefit any entrepreneur, and maybe help you reach your goals a little quicker. Here's a quick tour of my journey and highlights of the lessons I learned from each experience. College degree, what's next? I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in psychology only because I held the most credits in that department. While I loved the psychology classes, I didn't want to work in that field. I didn't do well in school, nor did I really apply myself. Unfortunately, the gap year wasn't in vogue then, because I definitely would have benefited from one. I was jealous of friends and family members who had clear career visions. They knew exactly what they wanted to be or do from day one and plowed straight ahead toward their goals. (Though I have since learned that didn't mean their journeys were any easier than mine.)Takeaway: Don't be too hard on yourself. The stress and worry will cloud your judgment and get in the way of listening to your inner self about what is best for you.New York City callsI didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew exactly where I wanted to live! I moved to New York and got a job at in the jewelry department at Bloomingdale's. This felt comfortable because I'd held odd jobs since high school. The jobs I had growing up, while completely unrelated to the business I would eventually start, helped me understand hard work. I baby sat often, worked as a PeeWee golf attendant, was hired as a seasonal employee to wrap presents during the holidays (in a liquor store, of all places), and took part-time jobs in college at both a gourmet kitchen shop in Dallas and as a sales associate at a specialty stuffed animal store. I enjoyed working while in college in Dallas - certainly more than studying! And I was introduced early on to some very basic business practices: sales, month-end inventory, employee shift schedules and the absolute importance of reporting to any job on time. Takeaway: No job is too big or too small. Learn as much as you can, whatever you are doing. One day you wil…
      - 15 Jun 16, 7:05pm -
    • 4 Ways You Didn't Know Your Small Business Can Benefit From Online Auctions
      If there's one thing that most consumers who are online are busy with aside from work-related matters, it's browsing and shopping at online auctions. And why not? The feeling and satisfaction you get when you find great deals and awesome bargains is just simply unbeatable. For this reason, it will be wise for small business owners to take advantage of this opportunity and to utilize online auction sites to the benefit of their small business.1. Reduce your costsJust because you have the funds for buying equipment, tools, and business supplies does it mean that you'll automatically go to retail stores and get what you need from them. Before you make a purchase, why not search the web first to see if there's anything available at online auctions? You'll never know if there's another business or company who have posted their equipment and/or supplies online for a lesser price. If there is, it's always worth putting a bid because if you get it, it will mean lower costs for your small business. It's one of the best ways to save!2. Sell excess productsIf you have excess products sitting around your store, office, or home unsold, you can sell them through online auction sites so you can still earn some money from them. The profit you'll get may be a little lesser but that's better than earning zero, right? On the other hand, if people bid for your products for a higher amount, then that would mean huge and extra income for your business. Either way, it would be a win for you. 3. Test price range for newly launched products You may be working on a new product and you're not sure yet about the price you'd sell it for. What you can do is to try selling it first in a number of online auctions. Let's say that you've put it up for bidding in five sites. Check how much people bid for your product then compute for the average. The answer is the most reasonable price you can sell it to the rest of your customers. 4. Sell your productsSo you have a website for your business and that's mainly where your customers purchase the product that you sell. However, if you don't get that high number of visitors to your site, it could mean lesser profit for you - something which online auction sites can help you with. Because most of them receive more visitors and hits, you can benefit from their audience reach when you sell your product through them. Imagine if you sell your product in more than 20 sites aside from your small business website (and your physical store…
      - 15 Jun 16, 5:47pm -
    • Why Entrepreneurs Make the Worst Significant Others
      1) You will need to adopt a new languageEntrepreneurs all use a mystical tongue of venture capital and startup lingo. This means you will be need to be able to decipher statements such as: "I just 5 at a 40 pre from a16z and Sequoia."Translation: I raised a bunch of money at a good valuation from cool people."We're doing a bridge note to get from our A to our B."Translation: We raised money, now we are raising more money before we raise even more money."What CSR model works best for a SaaS company?"Translation: How can a company that sells software subscriptions to companies seem like it cares about people?2) Chances are they will not make time for youLori Greiner from Shark Tank once said that entrepreneurs work 90 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week. When you launch a company it becomes your life because until you get big you obsess over making it big. Once you are big you obsess over staying big. There is never an end point. If you complain, you will likely get an answer that resembles Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network telling off his ex-girlfriend.3) You will need a higher alcohol toleranceEntrepreneurs are notorious alcoholics for throwing elaborate launch parties, drunk coding, and overall attempting to live obnoxiously. Most hangout sessions will be equipped with craft beer, meet-and-greets with wine, and parties with handles of Grey Goose. Overall, you get it that entrepreneurs don't have the best livers.4) Random people will become celebritiesIf you are lucky enough to bump elbows with the founders of Atlassian, Docker, Oculus, etc. you have just met the second-coming of Jesus in your S.O.'s eyes. People with 400 Instagram followers will be treated with the social influence level of Kendall Jenner. Metrics of coolness will root back to valuations, user metrics, press, and other factors that land on the list of least sexy cool things ever.5) Egos will be the normEveryone in entrepreneurship thinks they are either Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs or some mutant of the three. It is the sad truth. 1,000 downloads on the app store and a small check from a name brand dude automatically makes people think they are killing the game and living the first 30 minutes of their soon to be released blockbuster entrepreneurial movie plot.6) Networking events will become date nightSTAY AWAY FROM EVENTBRITE! Eventbrite is the cemetery filled with the corpses of networking events whose notifications will con…
      - 8 Jun 16, 11:01pm -
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