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Lifestyle:

Choosing the Perfect Chair

Choosing a chair for your office didn’t used to be the big ordeal it is today. However, that was before it became common knowledge that sitting too much can be bad for your health. As the number of Americans who work from their chairs continues to rise annually, the issue of office chair technology becomes more and more important.

And the office isn’t the only place we’re sitting. Movie theaters, lecture halls, classrooms, and more keep Americans in their seats for many of their waking hours. If you’re sitting frequently, it’s important to have your seat serve your health — wherever you are.

You may feel at sea when it comes to choosing the best chair. After all, individual needs vary; you may have sat in a high quality chair before only to find it immediately making your back hurt. Fortunately, finding the perfect chair for your specific needs is now down to a science. When looking to buy a chair, consider the following.

How Many

Perhaps you’re buying a chair only for yourself. On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to fill a waiting room with seats. When choosing chairs for people other than just yourself, it’s important to assess the needs of the people who will be using your chairs. How long are they likely to be sitting? Are the people using them likely to be older, making lower back support a priority?

Write down a list of everything you need from your chair or chairs. You’ll be surprised how many different kinds of chairs there are. If you figure out exactly what your needs are, you’re likely to get the exact chairs you need.

Budget

Chair prices vary widely, as you may have noticed in your research. Some office chairs will run you less than $50, while others boast price tags in the thousands. Before you set out to choose your chair or chairs, lay out a clear budget. With a little research into the type of chair or chairs you want to buy, you can get an idea of the price range and what you get for your money.

If you’re buying many chairs, you probably want to buy all the same ones. Rooms look messy and unprofessional when filled with all different kinds of chairs. Many companies offer deals if you buy multiple chairs or rows of chairs; this can help you save money while making a sound purchase.

Conclusion

Choosing a chair requires a lot of careful consideration. One thing buyers today can be happy about is the diversity on the market today when it comes to chairs. Because so much health-oriented research has gone into designing chairs good for the human body, you can rest assured that the chair you pick will serve you well.

 

Lifestyle:

Greening Multi-Family Housing

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People who want to make our world a better place to live in shouldn’t be penalized just because they live in multifamily housing communities. If you live in an apartment, multiplex or townhome, you can still make green choices. Technology is making it easier and easier to make the right decision for both the planet and your budget.

Saving Energy

It turns out a simple light bulb change is a very bright idea. When you switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, you use about 66% less energy. And, the CF bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent ones so you don’t have to worry about changing the light bulbs as often.

One big waste is all the electronics that that you think are off. Here’s a big secret:  they aren’t really turned off. They are silently sipping energy constantly. So, unplug the tv’s, vcr’s, dvd players, cable tv boxes, computers, printers and other electronic equipment. The off setting for the majority of these devices is actually a standby mode. The average household uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity on standby in a year. That’s enough power to run an entire home for over two months. The best bet is to unplug anything you aren’t currently using.

Caring Property Management

The people who are in charge of the housing units can make a larger impact than just you in your small part of the world. If the property management team and the owners make the good decision to have a positive impact on the world, they can set a major example of how to go green. It doesn’t hurt that they can also save money. Plus, it has gotten super easy for them to make the choice and implement changes.

A new device, known as a submeter, is letting multifamily dwelling owners make green changes on a large scale. The submeters can be easily added to a new apartment building or retrofitted to a building that is completely full of families. Then, the submeter can let the utility charges for the actual amount of the utility usage be charged to the resident. Residents are usually happy knowing they are only paying for what they use. And, they have control over the amount they consume, so water conservation in submetered properties increases. In fact, those people that live in submetered properties tend to use 20-30% less than those who don’t have submeters.

The submeters let the unit owners and managers know about leaks that are occurring, as well. That way the leaks can be fixed in a timely manner before damage is done to the physical apartment. This saves money for the owners, but it also saves money for the renters, as they won’t have to pay for the wasted water. It also makes sense for water conservation.

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last update: July 30, 2015

3 Benefits of High-Tech Record Keeping

Technological advances are most often associated with business, entertainment, or communication, but there’s also a case for appreciating it in terms of record-keeping as well. And though record-keeping may not be the most glamorous of topics, when it comes to a few specific administrative categories of life, you’ll be extremely glad you took advantage of things like synchronized accounts, cloud storage, and automatic filing services. Three main benefits that come to mind are in the fields of marriage and divorce, taxes and bills, and when you’re trying to get information organized with your family tree.

Marriage and Divorce

Marriage and divorce can be complicated affairs. Not only are you having to deal with the emotional content of them, there’s also the administrative side of things. Particularly when dealing with divorce, and after contacting a law office, you’ll want to have all of your papers organized down to the last detail. This is particularly hard to do at the last minute if you’ve never made a point to keep these things in order before. However, with new technology, if you’ve set up all of your automated filing systems, it will be much easier to follow the trail of money, jobs, e-mail communicating, and everything else that went on during the course of a marriage. No matter the status of the relationship along the way, you always want a way to untangle legal ramifications during divorce proceedings.

Taxes and Bills    

It has never been easier to track taxes and bills thanks to modern tech, mostly in the form of mobile apps. Single-button, easy-to-install finance applications help you decipher what you’ve spent money on and when, and even let you take notes about things like charity money, percentage of cash spent on bills vs. food, groceries vs. restaurants, entertainment vs. the necessities, etc. No more scrambling through receipts at the end of the year, as all of your data can be neatly contained in the cloud, and your access is available from any computer or mobile phone.

Family Trees    

Family history is extremely important many people, especially as they get on in years. Thanks to new technology that allows people to collaborate about genealogy, more people than even can be officially connected to a particularly amazing network of information. Now parents can pass this information on to kids and they won’t have to go through all of the initial work of trying to find out where the family trees split, because all of that info is already available. There are a few software packages that help get your started, and then there are also ways that you can simply log onto websites that are continually updating as well.

 

Pay-Per-Click Marketing Tips

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If you’re like a lot of business owners that have been around for a while, acronyms like PPC, SEO, SEM, and CPC may sound like a foreign language.  While these advertising ideals are not necessarily new, they very well may be new to you.  But progress is an essential part of business growth, as you know.  PPC is one of the best and most popular ways to utilize online marketing.  Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a great and efficient way to expose your company and products and services to interested customers.

Understanding PPC

Pay-per-click advertising is the process in which you purchase keywords and phrases that are relevant to your product or service, but you only have to pay when someone actually clicks on the ad.  These are the ads that show up in the margins of various websites and search engine results.  The benefit of using this kind of ad placement is knowing you’re getting your money’s worth, since you only pay when someone takes actual notice of the ad and goes to your landing page which will hopefully draw them in as a customer.  Speaking of landing pages, it’s a good idea to have that link lead somewhere other than your website homepage – maybe the purchase page for your product.

Utilize Remarketing

Remarketing helps you reach people that have previously looked at your website.  It’s a great way to stay connected to potential customers.  When a person leaves your site without a purchase, this clever little programs enables you to continue to show them specified ads while they browse the internet elsewhere.

Write a Great Advert

What is an advert?  Well, it’s quite literally a short advertisement.  It will be something that quickly and efficiently draws the customer in without being too wordy.  Stay focused on providing the potential customer with the information they desire.

Track Your Progress

One of the great things about pay-per-click advertising is that you can track where every dollar is going, all the way down to which keywords are getting the best results.  The key to effectively tracking your progress is to start from the beginning.  As soon as you delve into PPC advertising, begin tracking and analyzing – constantly.  This is the best way to improve the performance and efficiency of your campaign.  It will definitely be worth it.

While it may seem daunting and overwhelming for a while, once you begin to see the positive effects of PPC marketing, you’ll thank yourself for putting the hard work into it.  Nothing worth having ever comes easily.  It may be a cliche, but it’s true.  And let’s face it – when it comes to advancing your business, isn’t it worth the extra time and effort?

Lifestyle:

5 Tech Tools to Advance a Hair And Beauty Career

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The field of cosmetology is a brutally competitive one, and has many rewards. In years past, salon clients would remain with their stylist out of loyalty, alone, but this is not necessarily the case. Cosmetologists and stylists need to stay abreast of the most current styles, fads, and fashions in order to claim the title of best of the best. What are the most advantageous ways to go about this? Technology makes staying in ‘the know’ easy and fun for both clients and stylists. Here are some tips for advancing a career in the cosmetology field after graduating from a cosmetology program.

Booking Applications

Before, clients had to call to make an appointment or decide on a time and date at the end of their current session. With the help of technological advances, the internet, and mobile devices in nearly every purse, pocket, or desk drawer, twenty-four/seven mobile access is easier than ever. Try offering clients the option to book their next appointment whenever, wherever, making it convenient for both parties involved.

Social Media

In addition to scheduling applications, cosmetologists should also be involved in social media sites. The new advertising is often self advertising, and with all the various social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and Pinterest, to name a few, posting portfolios is fun, easy, and beneficial on a large scale. This allows cosmetologists to show off their work to potential new clients, get feedback for improvement, and announce any new services or products that are upcoming.

Fashion and Style Applications

It is important that stylists stay as up-to-date as possible, and the big books in the waiting area are no longer the best way to show the most fashionable and popular styles. Many apps provide links and access to new up-and-coming artists. Browse through their portfolios, see what people are asking for, and perhaps gain some new ideas for clients. These applications offer more than just images, however. Learn how these stylists achieve their works of art in detailed descriptions.

Credit Card Reader

Checks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and people carry less and less cash around with them every day. Instead, plastic is the payment option of choice, and with so many applications and devices that allow small business owners to take credit cards, valid excuses not to have one are becoming less viable. Adding this tool will bring convenience to just one more aspect of the salon.

Finance Tracker

Last, but certainly not least, applications that help with keeping track of finances are a must. Some apps, such as “My Chair”, do much more than keep track of appointments and client contact information, they also keep track of financial and payment information. Having this on hand can be extremely helpful for getting in touch with clients who have missed appointments, or need to reschedule.

There are many more applications and tools to help further and advance a career in cosmetology. From everything to booking an appointment, browsing services offered, making payments, organizing finances and bills, and keeping track of new and upcoming events, all stylists and cosmetologists should have a good handle on the tools available to them.

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Mobile:

Best Apps For Precious Metal Investors

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Investment requires an eye for detail and the ability to understand the fluctuations of the market. New, emerging technology has made monitoring and projecting future market trends much easier for would-be investors. Several different apps offer insight and track industry growth to allow investors (professional or hobbyists) to best manage their investments. In no market is this more vital than for those who invest in precious metals. According to Investment magazine, Silver Monthly, knowing how to determine true value from “junk silver” (that which is not worth the investment) is important to be successful. Here are some of the best apps currently on the market for precious metal investors:

XE Currency Converter

This app makes it easy to do quick calculations between the currencies of different countries and unusual formats for coin, cash, and other currency types. Being able to quickly determine the value in a worldwide market will make global investment not only more manageable, but allow an investor to expand on their international portfolio. Not only does it offer live, real-time information on currency value, it according to AppCrawler, it provides stored updates that allows it to work without an internet connection.

Gold and Silver Price Calculator

Created by company In Gold We Trust, this app is an extremely powerful tool for any precious metal investor. One of the top apps currently in existence for on-demand gold and silver prices, no investor should leave home without it. According to the app’s creators, it was originally designed by precious metal enthusiasts for the express purpose of providing real-time information and comparison features for any level of investor, professional or collector. The interface is simple and fast, without bulky ads.

Pennyweight

Another great comparison app, this tool is powerful while maintaining a no-fuss interface. Without all the bells and whistles of some of the other investment apps, Pennyweight is another real-time ticker of precious metal prices and trends. According to AppCrawler, Pennyweight is more focused on jewelry, and may come in handy for pawn brokers or people looking to sell their scrap gold to a buyer.

GoldCalc Pro

Meant specifically for gold investors, this handy app contains a scale which fluctuates with real-time market information. It also stores past values and future projects to allow the savvy investor to appropriate their bullion sales. Developed by 46 media, GoldCalc Pro created to target pawn shop owners and be of the highest value to hobby precious metal collectors. The app also converts up to 8 different currency values. The current price of the app is 99 cents, and worth the upgrade, as it provides more information than many of the free apps out there, which rely on ad space.

The apps above are a great place to start for any individual looking to expand their investment portfolio to include precious metals. In uncertain economic times, having real-time, up-to-date information about market value and an on demand currency converter can be a major advantage. No longer are investors restrained to their desks and personal computers with complicated and slow streaming software. These top apps for precious metal investors make having the most current data convenient and accessible from any smart phone at any destination.

4 Reasons Technology is Making Job Training Easier

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The job landscape has changed tremendously over the last few decades, and nothing has been more influential than technology. Technology is still moving forward at a rapid rate, creating new jobs and changing every aspect of peoples lives. For those struggling to find employment in the recovering economy, technology holds the key, especially for prospective employees of the IT world. Not only are there challenging, well paid jobs in this sector, there are also incredible resources available to acquire the skills necessary to join the workforce. Getting people into these jobs is a vital part of rejuvenating and making the U.S. economy stronger, as technology and tech related jobs are expected to grow substantially. Training specifically for these jobs doesn’t necessarily require enrolling in a 2-4 year degree; instead, taking advantage of job training resources available through internet channels may be the most effective strategy. Here are just a few of the ways technology is making training for jobs faster and simpler.

Access from Anywhere

One of technology’s leveling effects is that it can provide access to educational resources to anyone with a basic internet connection. People can log on whenever they want from wherever they want. This is vitally important for people who may already be working a job or have other responsibilities that prevent them from studying full time. Online educational resources increase access to a broader range of people with diverse lifestyles, and allow them to acquire the education they want. It also allows them to do so at their own pace.

Focus on Specific Skills

Two and four year university programs certainly have their place, and are very important for building an educated workforce. There are, however, many employers looking for very specific skills, so much so that the U.S. has found itself recently with a so called ‘skills gap.’ Technology is the key to closing this skills gap, with numerous training programs available online that focus exactly on what these employers are looking for. Content can be designed for micro-learning, users going at their own pace and choosing what skills they need to learn. Many IT employers even offer certain sets of courses not just for prospective employees, but also as continued job training for current ones.

Automated Processes

Digitally-enabled learning technologies reduce daily hassles and provide a greater degree of information access to trainees. These technologies can easily synthesize large amounts of data from several business units in an organization, as well as offering embedded reporting capabilities. For students, it means a reduction in manual time spent acquiring information and having access to it anytime or anywhere. Technology enabled learning ultimately removes unnecessary processes, thereby increasing productivity.

Saves Time and Resources

Moving the job training into the online world saves considerable time and resources for student and educators alike. Face-to-face training must always consider travel time, breaks, meals, transitions, and many other contingencies. When training is done online, the learner takes the driver’s seat. They work when they’re ready, on their schedule, and at their pacing. One video can service thousands far better via online sources than in a classroom. Designing and carrying out a face-to-face training course also requires a lot of physical resources, from classroom location to the myriad of office supplies. Through digital job training, these extra elements become unnecessary.

3 Best Apps for Tracking Animals

These days there are smartphone apps for just about everything, so why shouldn’t there be apps for observing and tracking wildlife? Many people have a keen interest in following the movements of various animals, including hunters, naturalists, and ordinary outdoor enthusiasts. Many of the best new animal-tracking apps allow users to observe and report their findings, and the information is then included in a database which can be referenced by the user as well as many others. Here are three of best apps for wildlife observation and animal tracking.

Animal Tracker

Available through Google Play, this gem of an app allows the user to track animals all over the world which have been tagged with a transmitting device. The data from these tiny tracking devices is constantly being fed to a free online database called Movebank, which is primarily used for research purposes. Real-time observations and photos made by any user who comes across a tagged animal can be quickly uploaded to the database, along with any notes on behavior of the animals being tracked. This is a great app for those who like the idea of contributing to a scientific effort to manage, share, analyze and learn about animal behavior.

WildObs Observer

This app excels at identification of wildlife, and makes it very easy to report on any findings. Any information reported by a user is fed directly to the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Wildlife Watch website. The NWF, through their site, encourages users to share stories about their adventures in nature and any observed behavior that might be of interest to others; in essence it promotes enjoyment of nature and all the species of wildlife in a given area. This is one of the few apps that accept observations without an accompanying photo and, pending user approval, can also tag locations.

iNaturalist

As described in the iTunes store, this is a superior app for wildlife photography and observation. It allows users to upload observations to iNaturalist.org, which is a network for naturalists and outdoorsmen. The application has a great system for logging observed plant and animal life, and by repeating the logging actions several times, a great deal can be remembered and learned about encounters outdoors. When the user cannot identify exactly what was observed, the iNaturalist community is standing by to provide assistance and answers.

This app also has a scientific aspect to it, since recorded observations are used to help scientists, conservationists, and land managers monitor climate change, effects of pollution, and status of natural habitat. The app itself was built with strong support from people with the Encyclopedia of Life and the California Academy of Sciences.

Monitoring and Tracking Without Cellphones

For those who prefer observation and tracking without the use of smartphones, some simple outdoor-equipment can be used to track wildlife, even without being physically present. Good Game Hunting, a sports enthusiast site, sells high quality digital camera equipment that can be stationed in the wild to observe movements of animals; movements that can be reviewed later. Some cameras are capable of recording at night as well, which is very beneficial since many animals are nocturnal. This kind of equipment is especially geared toward hunters, who wish to observe the movements of animals in a particular area, so as to make use of the information in the future.

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