Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Understanding the Business

Direct marketing is a fairly simple concept to grasp - it doesn't involve traditional advertising techniques, but instead communicates directly with customers through the use of direct mail: emails, e-newsletters, fliers, catalogues, business letters, or coupons, to name a few. Several modern tools are used to beef up one's direct marketing campaign, including address validation, use of database on neighborhood demographics, and many more. But here are the basic things you need to know about direct marketing, and how to get on the road to success.
The benefits of direct marketing are wide-ranging. Its success is easier to gauge than conventional advertising forms, because you can get data on response and sales rate and compare the cost of advertising with total sales incurred. It also goes directly to your existing customers, along with potential ones who can be converted given a better understanding of your products or services.
Direct marketing can be done in various ways, including direct mail. It can be unaddressed and widely delivered, for instance fliers distributed inside a supermarket. There are also catalogues, fliers, and brochures on new stocks, promos, and special deals, which are sent to customer addresses and may require optimized tools like programmable Web services on zip code, demographics data, and related information.
Email is another extensive mode of direct marketing, with customers spending more time online nowadays. E-newsletters are sent out daily, monthly, or quarterly, keeping customers updated on new company offerings, after-sales services and product care, industry news, or simply company feedback for product or service improvement. It's low-cost to do, enabling you to touch base with subscribers with good planning, layout and design, content, and efficient mail delivery system.
To build a customer database means to know your customers' contact details, and if you want to target potential ones, you'll need to build a profile of the typical customer you have in mind. Your resource can be from a simple spreadsheet to a more targeted database software or service, which you have to pay attention to because it is a valuable business asset.
Target certain demographics by zip code, for example. There are Web-based tools these days that offer fundamental demographic data at the block level, with each profile containing complied information like area distribution by race, age, ethnicity, income, and education. Eight million unique neighborhoods in the United States can also be covered by a neighborhood demographics service like this. Block-level demographics provide better customer insight, help determine new markets, and segment your target markets and identify fraud through like-region comparisons.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Career Options With a Computer Science Degree

When was the last time you bought an air ticket from an actual physical airline counter or looked up the meaning of a word in a printed dictionary? How many of us have, time and again, chosen the convenience of online shopping over standing in line at the mall?
Have you ever caught yourself wondering what life would be like without all the smart computer software applications that make your work so much more streamlined and simple?
At a time when computers and technology have become a part of everything we do in our personal, professional, and academic lives, can there be any doubt that a career in information technology could be anything but fulfilling?
Flourishing Careers in IT
If you are considering a computer science degree, then now is the right time to go for it, as computing and technology careers are flourishing.
There are a number of IT jobs to pursue; four of those career options were included in the best 25 jobs of 2012 list compiled by U.S. News and World Report.*
These professions were ranked according to their projected growth through 2020, average salary, predicted job prospects, and how they score on the job satisfaction front.
Software Developer
Software developers are the brains behind the computer programs that allow us to complete specific tasks. Software developers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, understand user needs and then develop software programs or applications to meet those needs. They are also responsible for software maintenance and testing; recommending upgrades and improvements to existing programs; and fixing bugs in the software when they arise.
Software developers usually work for software companies; IT services firms, and computer and other electronic manufacturers. One of the perks of this career is that many employers are now offering the flexibility to telecommute, or work from home.
Software developers usually have a computer science degree, but they can also complete degree programs in software engineering or mathematics to enter this profession.
Computer Programmer
Computer programmers are the whizzes who turn the design created by software developers into a logical series of instructions that a computer is able to follow. Programmers use many programming languages, such as C, C++, C#, Python, Java, etc. to write this code. They also have the task of updating, expanding, and debugging existing programs.
A computer programmer, depending on his work setting, may be involved in developing software for mobile apps, business, video games, education, healthcare, video or image editing, device drivers, operating systems, etc.
The completion of a bachelor's degree program in computer science or related field is usually required for this job, though some entry-level positions can be pursued by graduates who have graduated from an associate's computer degree program.
Web Developer
Web developers, as the term suggests, design, create, maintain, and modify websites or web applications according to client needs. Part of their job is to understand a client's requirements and then create a visually appealing and informative website using text, graphics, animations, videos, and even audio content. While designing a website, they have to keep in mind things like user friendliness, ease of navigation, and the performance and capacity of the website. Degree programs in computer science or web design and development are usually required for this job, as it entails knowledge of software applications, programming languages, and design principles.
Database Administrator
Database administrators store, organize, and manage computer databases. They analyze user needs to create databases and administer these databases to ensure they operate properly. They also protect the data from unauthorized access and create backups to prevent data loss in situations like power outages or other emergencies. Also known as DBAs, their duties include modifying database structures and testing them.
Database administrators work in a variety of industries ranging from IT and IT-enabled services to retail and finance.
Among the credentials usually required for this job is a computer degree in a field such as information systems or computer science.
CollegeAmerica was established in 1964. It has six campuses with comfortable facilities in Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona. It has trained generations of graduates for new careers in high demand jobs through its high-value degree programs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Homeless To Harvard

Harvard has been the backdrop and subplot to many great movies. From Good Will Hunting to the ridiculous Stealing Harvard, Harvard is the setting where dreams are made and broken.Yet the story of Dawn Loggins eclipses any Hollywood plot.
18 year old Loggins, from North Carolina, has made international news. Loggins grew up in an environment beset by school bullying and parents in the grip of drug-abuse. Fellow students taunted the teenager, who often turned up at school looking bedraggled. Despite this hardship, and a series of school transfers, Loggins somehow managed to hold course and become a Straight A student.
The story has echoes of Liz Murray who's auto-biography, 'Breaking Night, My Journey From Homeless To Harvard'. Her story became a bestseller and was later dramatized for an Emmy winning drama.
Murray too had a dysfunctional family background and found herself on the streets at the age of 16. She finally won a New York Times scholarship for needy students. Harvard is viewed by the media, with some justification, as the passport to a life of prosperity.
Murray has since become an author and international public speaker. She has shared the stage with world figures including Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama and Mikhail Gorbachev. She is also the founder and director of Manifest Living, spreading a message of empowerment to teenagers around the world.
At Harvard Loggins plans to work on her degree in biology, so that she can realize next the chapter of her remarkable life and study animal habitats. Like a Charles Dickens novel, this rags to riches tale has the power to move and inspire. In the tradition of any great cliche, dreams come true for those who hold the course.
Harvard is often viewed as the passport to a life of prosperity. Which is why student applications are soaring from around the world. This year Harvard accepted just 5.9% of applicants. Which makes Dawn's achievements all the more impressive.
A word on Harvard's financial aid policy. Harvard has the highest financial aid budget of any US university at $172,000,000 for needy students. Financial Aid is reserved for students whose family finances are under $60,000. Infact Harvard's financial aid is so generous that fees best or equal 90% of other higher education institutes.
Students qualify for aid regardless of race, nationality or background. Their only requirement? Students in possession of an outstanding resume.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Poverty As a Great Threat to the World Peace and Economy

Poverty is a great threat for society and the system of the world. In such state, laws seem to be minor, and they are easily violated. Our society is mostly exploited by starvation, penury, danger and several other problems. They all get birth from poverty because it is a mother of all evils. It means that a person, who comes under the meanest suffering of the poverty, can take any action to meet the needs.
Now, we discuss the causes of poverty. Its main causes are over -population, unemployment, illiteracy, poor industrial facilities and economic resources. Keeping the above causes of poverty in view, one can easily distinguish between the developed and the developing countries. The developed countries are prosperous with natural resources and industries. Despite such prosperity, they don't stop exploring the new resources for becoming stronger in the field of the developed countries. It is useless to say that there is no poverty. Poverty is every where, and in the developed countries, it is found little. Its cause is the honest attention of such countries to their people, and that's why suffering is less.
The developing countries are taking efforts to explore the natural resources and to increase industries for making themselves prosperous, but they are badly affected by the cruelty of starvation and poverty. It happens due to bad politics. It does nothing but creates problems which enfeeble the economy of the country and welcome famine. If famine comes, the economy of country falls and gets several years for restoration. Peace is changed into violence, and the ground favours the powerful persons.
The other cause of poverty is terrorism. It is more dangerous and its mother is poverty. The country accepts the politicians as the pillar but they are not. I think it is the lack of wisdom or education. Such problems mostly take birth in the developing countries because the aristocratic class, the middle class and the politics give importance to their needs. Besides, they keep all resources in their control. Their actions critically inflict the nation and in result, the poverty compels them to violate the rules and regulations. None wishes to become the part of terrorism, but it is starvation that eliminates all their valuable thoughts and controls their minds. A person who undergoes hardships and incessant suffering of life, he becomes anguished and tired of it. In result, he commits crimes which destroy the peace of society. Theft, robbery, kidnapping and murder are the root causes of terrorism. Our newspapers are over- loaded with such items, and electronic media are also alert for broadcasting such items of news several times in a day. The critical Poverty makes a person blind and mad. It is fact that a hungry man is always angry. He gives priority to money, and for its sake, he is ready to cross human being's limits and explodes bombs in buses or in the busy spots of the country. Nowadays, this factor is very common, and it is a pure element of terrorism. He is used by the others for the sake of money, but the actual terrorists are those who hire such needy persons. It means that those who heap wealth and use them for negative and inhuman purposes, they are actual terrorist. They use the suffered and hungry people for their personal benefits. This factor is most common in developing countries.
The history is full of various examples of terrorism which are the result of bad poverty. So Peace seems to be impossible because there is no solution of starvation, even in the developed countries. When the developed countries come under the mania of it, they become blind and deaf and impose false charges on the weak or under developed countries. In result, they make war and rob them of their resources. One can find so many examples which are evident that they don't give importance to mankind but to natural resources. They should not play such inhuman role. Such aincrease poverty and starvation, and in result, their safety will be at stake.
Poverty is also a great threat to the economy of the world. If we imagine a person whose earning is small, he can not meet his basic needs. It is impossible because eighty percent of population comes below the poverty line. All resources and economic institutes are handled by twenty percent of people. One can scan that a thirsty, hungry and homeless person can not let others live luxuriously and happily. All is happened due to mismanagement and wrong distribution of economic resources and inadequate facilities. Calvin Coolidge says that economy is always a guarantee of peace.
If we want to make our countries prosperous and developed in all fields, first of all these problems should be solved at any cast. In this way, we can defeat poverty, control terrorism and introduce a peaceful environment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Using Pet Urns to Prepare Children for the Death of Pets

Children develop an attachment to their pets. They become their playmates and they cannot carry out most of their play activities without them. When the pet dies, most parents dread the experience of having to break the news to their children.
In an effort to protect them from the painful truth, some may be tempted to go out and buy an identical pet. However, this does not help since the relationship with the new pet will not be the same. The child will notice the difference even with identical features on the surface of the new one. However, pet urns create an easy solution for such parents.
It is important that a parent psychologically prepare the child to deal with the death of a pet. One way of doing this is buying suitable pet urns for ashes when buying the pet. The parent should then explain to the child the concept of death and the fact that the pet will not live forever. When the pet eventually dies, the child will be sad but dealing with the loss is easier since he or she expected it. The parent will have an easy time cremating the pet and putting the ashes in the urn.
The best idea is to purchase a customized urn. Most people prefer figurine designs that imitate the appearance of the pet. One could also choose to incorporate a photo of the pet on the urn. This creates a lasting memory and the child is sure that the pet is in a better place. Explaining the logic is however hard for younger children but in for older children it is easy. One can then proceed to buy a new pet and train it like the older one. Younger children will soon forget the old one and bond with the new pet, all thanks to ashes in the pet urn.
Walking your child through the grief process of losing a pet will not be easy, but take time, and having dialog with them about what has taken place, and letting them be apart of the memorial process I believe that you can turn a very difficult time into a learning and educational experience. Allow you child to express their feeling, ideas, and hurts they are experiencing.
Being their for our children and our pets are huge responsibilities that we as parents and pet owners cannot take lightly, but most work at daily.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Credit Card Debt Is Still At Its Peak

The latest news shows that Americans have now become more educated about credit issues than they used to be before the recession period. However, this familiarity with the sphere of personal finance doesn't necessarily mean they are able to take the right decisions concerning lending and credit. A survey held by the Utica School of Commerce two weeks ago revealed that the overwhelming majority of Americans are aware of the interest rates they pay on their credit cards, as well as of their credit score. Despite of that, they still continue to suffer from the serious debt associated with high-interest cards, and many of them don't have the slightest idea of how to improve their credit rating.
The Utica's survey indicates that Americans don't tend to draw the right conclusions from the hard-learned credit lessons that they learned during the period of recession. Adult people who are unaware of their credit rating now come in about 30% as opposed to the 45% who didn't have any idea about it in 2007. There are also less people (21%) who don't know the interest rates imposed on the credit accounts they use most frequently, in compared with the 28% who claimed not to know it in 2007.
Among those who know the interest rates associated with their banking cards, 30% pay an interest rate of about 20% or even more. Others claim to pay 14-15% or more. It's an interesting fact that only 25% of credit card consumers ever tried to apply for better rates despite of the fact that many of them are perfectly negotiable. Although canceling a credit card account has a negative impact on credit score, 20% of people consider this to be rather beneficial for their credit history. 26% believed it had no significant impact. For those who deal with any kind of debt except mortgage loans, credit card debt tends to be the most typical one, being also the most expensive debt to pay.
To acquire more knowledge and experience in personal finance, you should firstly figure out your current banking card rates. Then you can search for lower rates. Statistics shows that about 70% of those who solicit lower rates get a positive reply. Begin with a target rate and be very assertive. If necessary, ask your supervisor for help. Learning the factors that influence your credit rating is also very important. One should understand that cancelling older banking accounts will substantially reduce credit ratio. This, in its turn, may decrease your credit rating. Finally, you may cut your current debt expenses by paying all your debts back with a low-interest bank loan rather than with your credit card.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Newspapers, Murder, and Bears! Oh My! - Mystery Book Review

Award-winning mystery writer, Brad Parks, returns with his third book, The Girl Next Door, featuring amateur sleuth and newspaper reporter, Carter Ross.
Nancy Marino was forty-two-years-old and single. She waitressed at the State Street Grill, delivered Bloomfield, New Jersey's Eagle-Examiner early mornings; and was a shop steward for the International Federation of Information Workers (IFIW), Local 117.
On a hot, Friday morning in July, a speeding Cadillac Escalade struck and killed her while delivering her papers. The driver disappeared onto the Garden State Parkway; confident he committed an untraceable crime.
Who killed Nancy Marino and why?
Enter Carter Ross, an eight-year veteran news reporter for the Eagle-Examiner. Reading Marino's obituary, he decides to memorialize a fellow newspaper employee, even though he'd never met her. He plans to write a story portraying Marino as an ordinary person, who spent her life serving others, and, whose contributions to society went unnoticed until her passing. Attending her funeral, he learns that her death is being investigated as a homicide, which ignites his inquiring mind.
Ross is an unpretentious thirty-two-year-old. Educated at Amherst College, he lives in a two-bedroom, ranch-style house with his black-and-white, domestic, shorthaired cat, Deadline. He ubiquitously dresses in Khakis and button-down shirts; and drives a five-year-old Chevy Malibu.
Many people are aware of the anemic state of print newspapers, given today's digital age. Longtime community newspapers have either downsized considerably, both in content and staff, or folded.
Parks weaves these challenging industry times into the book's plot. During the halcyon days of the newspaper in the late nineties, the Eagle-Examiner signed its thousand-plus carriers to an unprecedented twenty-year contract, which included great wages. Now, given the industry's tough times, the newspaper wants concessions; and the Union isn't yielding.
As the IFIW shop steward, could Nancy Marino have been murdered to silence her opposition to contract negotiations?
Tina Thompson is Ross's editor. In her late thirties and single, she's expressed interest in Ross purely from a "chromosomal" perspective. Determined to experience motherhood, she's suggested Ross become her sperm donor-nothing more.
Parks has a talent for infusing humor throughout his mystery narratives. A bear is on the loose in Newark and Thompson assigns Ross the story. It's mainly done to delineate their professional roles, reminding him that despite their mutual sexual attraction, she calls the shots. Given his career experience, he balks at the task. She prevails.
Kevin "Lunky" Lungford is one of the newspaper's underutilized interns. At six foot five and 275 pounds, his hulk-like appearance easily conveys stupidity. While inept in the newsroom, Ross is taken aback by Lunky's appreciation for literature, reading the works of Emerson, Roth and Thoreau. Ross befriends Lunky, asking him to accompany him on his bear chase story, which proves comical.
Tommy Hernandez is the Eagle-Examiner's Newark City Hall beat writer. He's "as gay as taffeta and chintz, " and an impeccable dresser. Despite his constant chiding of Ross for his lack of sartorial eloquence, Ross respects him as a fine young reporter. Hernandez plays Robin to Ross's Batman when solving crimes. Jibes about their sexual orientation differences are humorous.
Well-written fiction reflects reality and Parks conveys it throughout his story. Ross discusses his observation of human behavior everywhere, "from the meanest housing project to the gilded symphony hall." He says, "And what always strikes me is that when you strip away the superficial differences in clothing, setting, and dialect, groups of people everywhere are more or less the same. We all have our pretenses. We all posture to a certain degree. But, ultimately, most of us are just trying to find a way to fit in."
Anyone with Newark, New Jersey ties will appreciate Parks's area references, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and the well-to-do communities of Glen Ridge and Montclair.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Many Benefits Of Using Twitter In Your Business

Many companies use Twitter to retain current customers and recruit new, not knowing that there are many other opportunities in using this form of social media. In fact twitter wins over Facebook as it is estimated that 56% of people who follow a brand on twitter are likely to buy as opposed to 47% for Facebook Twitter is also regarded as the first choice as regards sharing referrals about a new product or service on the market. Studies have found that while users who give a "Like" on Facebook, do so in order to get discounts and gifts, Twitter users are more likely to use the platform to receive news, information and "updates" about future products of the brand or the company's upcoming projects.
Twitter is also a very valuable research tool as companies can join groups related to their business and gain valuable information in this way. As for finding prospects, many senior decision makers have twitter accounts. Followerwonk is a good place to start looking for people as you can search bios. Here again you can use twitter to actually ask your followers a number of key marketing questions. What are they looking for in a certain product or service? How do they rate your product or service in the marketplace? Where do they look for products and service on the internet?
Again keywords are as important here as they are in any form of internet search. It is useful to start looking at the Google keyword tool to find high search numbers and then use these keywords in you twitter search.
Twitter is an excellent way to build your personal brand. The constant communication to your followers of interesting, educational and informative information helps build strong trust based relationships.
Twitter is an ideal vehicle for running special offers or promotions. Many companies offer discount coupons to their followers. Followers are interested in anything that is new, that saves or makes them money, or is entertaining. Many retail food stores, bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants have found that "tweeting" their latest offering to their customers can bring a flood of customers.
Twitter is also an excellent way of seeing what your competitors are doing because the social network is free and companies rarely protect their tweets, you can read them without any problem and inform you of what they are doing.
As the social network is free and companies rarely protect their tweets, you can read them without any problem and inform you of what they are doing. Add to the list, experts, leaders and indirect competitors.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fascinating Facts About Bee Pollen

There are many fascinating facts about bee pollen, especially now that it is in the news. The main concerns are that bees are ingesting toxins from polluted plants due to manufacturing or GM farming. There are worries that the microbes from GM farming can get anywhere and everywhere and the health risks are unpredictable to say the least.
In Tanzania, in the Manyoni district, the authorities have decided to introduce demonstration farms. The idea is that farmers can move from producing tobacco crops to other cash crops, simply because the bees will no longer be attracted to the tobacco flowers which, of course, contain nicotine.
The authorities there want to encourage the production of the purest possible bee pollen and honey. They are therefore illustrating on the demo farms how plants like millet, sunflowers, cotton and sesame are much more profitable and also help the bees produce the best quality bee products.
Although only about 25% of Tanzania's honey is exported to European countries, the beekeepers are anxious that the quality of the bee products is preserved, They are also educating farmers on the benefits of preserving the wild vegetation on their lands so that the bees can have enough nectar and flower pollen to help with the production of honey.
But the actual composition of the pollen provides some more facts about bee pollen. There is a rich supply of all the B vitamins which is why it can give us so much energy. Combine that with the astonishing amount of enzymes, amino acids, other vitamins and you can see why it is called nature's perfect food.
Another fascinating fact is that this substance has been used for centuries by many ancient civilisations from China to Egypt to ancient Rome. They all praised the qualities of the bee pollen and the honey to the skies and they were well aware of the great boost it gave them. In ancient Rome it was considered as a sort of food for the gods and a common household greeting was:- "Here is honey and pollen, provided by the gods, to protect your health". Just one of the fascinating facts about bee pollen from the ancient world.
If you happen to consume locally produced bee pollen, you may well find that you can get relief from your seasonal allergies. If you start taking the local pollen a few weeks beforehand, it acts as a sort of immunization and will provide you with some relief.
Today, the uses of bee pollen provides an astonishing array as it can help with men's prostate disorders, weight loss, menopause problems, loss of libido and also is a greet fount of energy and vitality.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trade Iron Condor Successfully in 2012

An Iron Condor is a popular options strategy deployed by a number of options strategists who prefer not to take any view as to where the stock market is heading. In this respect, this strategy is also known as a market neutral options strategy.
Some options strategists prefer to trade an Iron Condor using stocks. However, this is not my preference. As we all know, every listed company in the United States has to announce its earnings in every quarter. Depending on the announcement and the market expectation on such an announcement, the stock price may gap up or down and this could potentially upset the trade because of the short gamma.
As far as I am concerned, I trade this strategy primarily using a few optionable index products such as S&P 500 Index ("SPX"), NASDAQ 100 Index ("NDX"), S&P 100 Index ("OEX"), and Russell 2000 Index ("RUT") instead of stocks. Why is that so? This is because any price movement of a single stock alone should not result in a big movement on the related index. This statement is however subject to a caveat when it comes to 2012. Thanks to Apple Inc ("AAPL"), a very popular stock from the United States with great momentum in price action and strong fundamentals. From my latest research and to the best of my knowledge, AAPL represents approximately 4.5% of the total value of SPX and almost 20% of the value of NDX. In this regard, when trading this strategy using SPX options or NDX options for example, it becomes necessary to pay attention to the news and price movement of AAPL.
I guess you may also wonder why I have a basket on the index products on hand and some of you may even ask why I do not trade this strategy using a single index product such as RUT. This is a very good question. Indeed, a few years back, I traded this strategy primarily using RUT options and in doing so, I studied all the essential information pertaining to this index product, including the settlement process and the historical price movement in each expiration cycle of this index during the last decade. My belief then was that as long as I traded this strategy month after month, I would be able to make money consistently.
As I continue with my education in options trading, one of my mentors pointed out to me that the abovementioned trading style involving the use of only a single index product and trading in and out on a monthly basis would not serve me well in the long run. One reason is because of the implied volatility ("IV") skews. According to my mentor, a successful Iron Condor trader takes a serious view in looking at the prevailing IV skews to decide whether the index option in question is appropriate for the Iron Condor strategy. There could be some months of a year where the IV skews become too cheap for a trader to sell an Iron Condor. This was exactly the case for RUT options in the last few months. In other words, the RUT options were too cheap to be sold. Hence, I used other index products such as SPX and OEX for selling my iron condor instead.
Another step I used to do in the past was to focus on selling a 10 delta call option and a 10 delta put option. Even until now, I am aware that there are still quite a number of people who would construct their Iron Condor by purely following this "10-delta" rule. Once again, thanks to my mentor who pointed out that this is not the recommended approach because very often, there could be mispricing of options quotes. What do I mean by that? This means that we should not be blindly selling a 10 delta call option and a 10 delta put option in every instance. Instead, we should pay attention to the strike above or below the 10 delta options. Sometimes, even if we were selling a 9-delta option, we may be able to command a higher credit because of this mispricing behavior and thereby, improving our potential return on the Iron Condor.
In summary, for a trader to be successfully in trading Iron Condor in 2012, he has to keep a closer look on the changes to the IV skews of the options of the index products and remain flexible. He should also pay attention to this monster stock in the United States - AAPL too.