Category Archives: Misc.

Top Degrees That Go Well with Your Tech Prowess

IT-related skills are now among the best skills to have, especially with different industries trying to implement better information systems and other tech advancements. Companies in certain industries such as healthcare and marketing are actively looking for qualified people with good IT skills to fill important positions in various companies.

To make it even better, you don’t have to have a degree in information technology to enter these fields. In fact, there are some degrees that pair well with your technology skills. Here are the options to consider if you want to enter certain fields and develop a strong career.

Marketing and Business Administration

An MBA is still one of the most valuable degrees to pursue today. A lot of companies are taking advantage of the economic growth and expanding their operations, which means there are more mid- to top-level management positions to fill. An MBA is a perfect degree if you want to enter fields such as marketing, business operations, and finance.

Having good IT skills is a huge plus for those who are pursuing an MBA. For instance, you can combine your experience in doing internet marketing with the skills and knowledge you get through the MBA course. Add these ingredients to your CV and you will have no trouble at all finding the perfect position and starting a career in this field.

A number of MBA programs are also adding IT-related courses into their curriculums. These courses, mainly conducted online, are more modern and answer to the increasing demands for capable master’s degree holders.

Public Health

Healthcare is a particularly interesting field to enter because it is currently the fastest growing industry on the market. Despite recent uncertainties, a lot of experts believe that the demand for healthcare professionals will continue to increase for several more years. Aside from healthcare, public health is also an exceptionally rewarding field to venture into.

Public health offers a wide range of career options to choose from. You can pursue a master of public health degree from top names such as the University of Arizona and pursue a career in biostatistics, health services administration, and public health policy and management. In all of these fields, IT skills are considered very valuable.

You can also choose to pursue a public health degree online. Online courses allow you to get the degree you want while working a full-time job or running a business thanks to the extra flexibility they offer.

Statistics

Last, but certainly not least, we have a degree in statistics. Statistics and data analysis are hot fields to get into, especially if you love math or if you enjoy processing information to understand interesting insights they present. Naturally, knowing your way around computers and IT will boost your career in data analysis to new heights.

These are just some of the fields to consider if you love technology and you want to make use of your IT skills to advance in your career. All of these degrees can be acquired in as little as 15 to 18 months, especially with the best distance learning programs now more accessible than ever.

3 Ways Technology is Transforming Human Resources as We Know It

Technology has been transforming Human Resources in almost every aspect. The days of sending a job posting description to the newspaper and receiving a flood of paper job applications are shifting to online job postings and a deluge of electronic resumes. Online training and reporting and a host of other tools are altering Human Resources’ jobs in other respects. Here are three ways technology is transforming human resources as we know it.

The Automation of Job Postings

We cannot use the sheer number of job postings as a measure of the number of jobs available anymore because tools allow companies to post a single job on dozens of job boards. This creates challenges for job applicants since they may inadvertently apply to the same job on five different sites.

The Automation of Resume Screening

A number of job posting websites and growing number of tools facilitate applicants selecting a resume and submitting it to the online job posting with only a few clicks. On top of this, the high level of real unemployment and underemployment results in many people applying for jobs for which they are not qualified for in the hope of being hired. This leads to Human Resources being inundated with job applications. The solution is automated tools that screen resumes for the best potential matches using artificial intelligence. The software accepts criteria such as necessary years of employment, necessary skill sets, and preferred qualifications. It scans resumes in the database and then presents several dozen ideal and near matches.

One challenge automated resume screening creates is the changing lingo used to describe jobs and skillsets. Someone who says they have experience in Six Sigma may be screened out by an AI that gives priority to someone with an online MBA degree since most accredited online MBA programs deal with Business Process Improvement methodologies. Someone with twenty years as a secretary may be ignored by someone with less experience as an administrative assistant. This punishes applicants who don’t keep up with the current lingo for business terms and job titles even if they are ideally suited for the job.

Performance Management

Human Resources departments have been utilizing online assessments and reports for years. Allowing managers to type out their performance reviews of employees captures that information in a format they cannot alter later while giving them standard checklists and rating systems that are available to higher levels of management. Human resources software also allows HR to discretely gain insight into the real performance of employees by sending 360 evaluations to several or a dozen of a specific person’s co-workers. Instead of calling them in for interviews about someone’s performance or behavior, these employees receive a questionnaire they can fill out and only Human Resources reviews. It allows HR to get the real story on a manager’s behavior, how a co-worker is viewed by teammates and group dynamics that may or may not be problematic.

All of this allows Human Resources to focus on managing and assisting people, the very definition of their jobs.

 

 

Collateral Damage: The Danger of Having the Avengers in Real Life

Superheroes, whether you like it or not, are a part of everyone’s lives. When we were younger, we all wished to become one. Whether you are an avid fan who catches all collectible figures or just merely likes to bandwagon just to post on Instagram that you watched the latest Avengers movie. One cannot easily deny that once in their life they wished to become a real superhero or to meet one, right?

They become part of our childhood and in some cases in our adult life as well. One cannot easily forget his or her awesome memories. The more you know about how scientifically correct the movie gets, the more you will use your might to defend your hero. No matter how serious the situation they are dealing with, they still find a way to escape from it which we find them more awesome.

Deep in our hearts, we secretly believe that these superheroes are real that is why we like to share the world with them hoping one day we will meet one soon. Take for example Thor, an arrogant yet powerful god from Asgard. He came to Earth from a black hole to save our planet from destruction. He also saved us from the threat of his evil brother Loki. We were amazed how lightning follows him and how he is the only one who can lift that special hammer, right? We enjoyed every action scene.

But have you ever wondered how much these destructions would cost in real life? And how many lives will be put at risk? It would be very difficult to imagine our planet being attacked by aliens coming from some universe we never thought to exist. Or living with a powerful god and an ambitious billionaire who happens to own the company with the most advanced technology, a soldier from the past who has enormous strength and much more. How about the kind of headlines we get to watch on television when another attack in town is being broadcast?

Take for example the Chitauri army led by Loki in Manhattan, New York. The director made the craziest battle that could ever happen in the world. Imagine how many lives were lost, the infrastructures in the city that got destroyed that time and the economic costs to clean up the whole mess. A billionaire in a flying suit can surely afford that. But how about facing charges against him, or them as a team?

Maybe you are thinking that I’m going nuts over this. But let us make this conversation more realistic and pressing. Taking the Chitauri invasion back in the picture, a company named Kinetec Analysis Corporation used computer models to predict the damage caused by nuclear weapons.

After the assessment, the company has estimated the initial damage of $90 billion and a total damage of $160 billion including casualties. Now, you have a better imagery on how many lives and establishments will be put at risk.

If these scenarios are real and continue to happen, the government will not stop hiring people to rebuild the that they continuously destroy. In that case, The Avengers will not only be facing charges but also having troubles with different agencies which was somehow portrayed in the next sequel where Iron Man handed himself and the headquarters to the government. Captain America misunderstood his action and singled out it as an act of betrayal. We saw that even with superpowers, they tend to break down and get in touch with their conscience too.

Takeaway
Sure, superheroes and fighting scenes are awesome. However, when we think of it, reality will bite us and would definitely tell us that nothing is cool about this. Having people with superpowers living in the same place as we do are in fact scary and life threatening.

Vincent G. Spivey
Author’s Bio
Vincent G. Spivey is a young attorney in the early years of his law practice in Livingston Loeffler. He likes to write about the current events in the legal to apprise his fellow lawyers on the happenings in the world.


 

 

 

 

Tips for building an audience for a niche product online

Producing a successful niche product is all about getting the marketing right. With a more compact audience, it’s important that as many of your potential customers as possible are aware of your product and the benefits it could bring them. The Internet is the ideal medium for marketing niche products, as it offers a cost effective and instant way of advertising to your audience.

Niche marketing

Niche marketing is where you define the specific sector of the market that you want to aim your product at and then market directly to them. Some businesses see the concept of niche marketing as simply reducing their profits, as there are fewer people to buy.

However, if you have the right product, a well thought out market and an excellent marketing strategy, you can create a highly successful business. This is especially true if you’re targeting a market with a high demand and a large disposable income.

For example, Hampton Creek has created a successful niche food business. They manufacture a range of products, including Just Mayo and Just Cookie Dough, which use plants in innovative ways. Their products don’t contain eggs, making them healthier and suitable for allergy sufferers. Only a few years old, the company has successfully used its marketing strategy to target the niche audience.

Design and advertising

The use of design methods and advertising mediums is important when communicating with niche markets. Using the Internet to disseminate these messages works well with these types of audiences.

As a basis for a successful niche business, you need a clear and easily accessible website. This should be well designed and include accurate information on the company and the products you supply. The images and wording need to be bright, and should focus on the key benefits and unique selling points of the product.

Traditional forms of advertising are not suitable for niche products. They are extremely costly, particularly when you calculate the cost in relation to the percentage of potential customers you will actually reach this way. Mass-market advertising also makes it too hard to pin point the exact customers.

However, online advertising can be targeted to specific sites where a high percentage of your customers will be looking. For instance, this could be a health or allergy forum for a food product.

Even social media can be an advertising medium for niche products. You need to focus on the profile and cover images, to ensure they say something positive about the business. Then any images that are used on promotional updates need to be in line with the product branding and publicize the benefits of the product. Social media can also help to spread the message, by encouraging followers to share stories and recommend the products to their friends.

Grow your audience

Once a niche product has been launched onto the market, this is not the end of the marketing story. Design and advertising will still have a key role to play in building up this base audience and creating a highly successful company.

It’s important that you keep listening to your customers and see exactly what they want from your product. This can then influence the way in which you design your next advertising campaign or where you place the ads. The better targeted your marketing is, the more chance you have of building an audience.

The Internet has brought about numerous benefits for the design and marketing industry. It has provided an entry point for smaller businesses, with more concise audiences and provided them with a level playing field.

Running A Startup And The Essential Tech You Will Need

Recently, we posted an article on how being a geek could be profitable. We mentioned a few revenues you could take including online slots, viral gaming and becoming a Youtuber. All these are good options if you’re thinking about profiting on what you already know. But, what about the real deal. Truth be told, these are sidesteps. You may think YouTubers are going to be famous forever, but eventually people are going to get tired of watching others play games. Maybe you can win on the slots, but don’t kid yourself. This isn’t a career; it’s gambling. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a profitable future based on what makes you a geek. This could be your love of technology or your passion for games and films. Perhaps the biggest way that you can do this is by setting up your own business. But before we get to that, let’s look at some of the other options available to you.

It’s hard to be a geek without a love for computers and knowing how they operate. Although, we wouldn’t necessarily say it’s impossible, it’s a big part of who you are for sure. So, you could use that skill to boost your career. For some people, fixing a computer is as easy as counting to three. It’s like reading a book that they’ve read hundreds of times before. It doesn’t require much effort and they love it all the same. If that sounds like you, you might want to consider working in any number of businesses that need tech support. There is always going to be jobs in this field because technology is becoming a bigger part of the business world. There’s no getting around it and of course, support isn’t the only job out there.

If you have some skill, you can also look at creating an app. App development is now a multimillion dollar industry with plenty of possibilities for a young entrepreneur to make a profit.  You just need an idea, a concept of what to offer and a way to programme it. In fact, that concept is of creating an idea and selling it is exactly what we want to talk about today. We want to think about what it would take to set up your own company. This is the real way to make being a geek profitable, and you might be surprised to learn it’s all about using the tech.

Capture

Brand Yourself

If you’re considering this possibility seriously, you have to start branding yourself as something that you can sell. That’s what Youtubers do. They turn themselves into a product that people want to buy and want to take notice of. They might have catch phrases, gimmicks. When you watch live streams they might have traits that make them unique. This is all a form of branding and it works. But, you don’t have to choose the route of marketing yourself on Youtube or any streaming site. You can use virtually any social network to market yourself as a brand that you can sell. For instance, you can use Twitter and turn it into a resource for news related to your chosen business industry. That way, you’ll attract customers who would be interested in your future service or product. Once you have done that, you’ll have the support you need to start setting up your business.

Get Funded

Once you have the idea for your business sorted and you have the support you need, you can look at getting funded. There are a number of different routes you can consider for funding your business. If you think you have a strong business idea you can go to the government to get funded. They are happy to invest in startup companies they believe have a good chance of success. An alternate possibility is crowdfunding. If you have the support behind you, you might be able to get enough funds for your business through a crowdsourcing website like Kickstarter. However, it’s important that your business has a wide appeal. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get enough interest to get that first idea off the ground. One of your last options to borrow funds from a private company. But, be careful when doing this that you check the interest rates. If they’re too high you’ll struggle to pay what you borrowed back.

Invest In The Resources

Capture2

When you start your business, you should be aware that you need to keep costs as low as possible. If you can’t, your business will not be in a competitive position on the global market. As such, you do need to make sure that you outsource some of the jobs of your business. We are sure you probably have the skill to set up the tech for your company yourself. But, you should still invest in an IT support service. Check out some of the companies that offer this service for more information. You will not have the time to make sure your tech is always operating effectively. But, a support company will and they will ensure there are no issues on your business network. This is very beneficial.

You can also consider outsourcing the marketing of your new business. Marketing online is a lot cheaper, and you can hire a marketing agency to do this for you. You won’t have to worry about whether or not your business is seen by your target customers. A digital agency will make sure that it is. They will use the latest methods such as SEO, CRO and web design to guarantee your business marketing campaign is successful.

These are the basic steps you will need to set up your own business. You may have noticed that it doesn’t take that much business knowledge at all. For the most part, you can rely on your tech knowledge and simple everyday activities like using social media. This is what the business world is these days. It’s not run by people with smart business sense. It’s run by geeks who had the courage to step forward and put their mark on the industry. You could be one of them.

 

Fun Activities for Geeks

Geek

I was asked recently what I and my friends like to do in our spare time, so I thought I’d write a top ten list of some of the fun geeky things you can do in your spare time.    Most of these don’t require any money, so try them out and let us know what you think!  I’ve included a URL for each, so you can check them out.

#10  TV/Movies –  Who doesn’t like a good movie or TV show to get the juices stirring?   Whether it’s Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Horror or Thrillers, a good show is a great way to spend time!  IMDB

#9    Games –  I have a lot of geeky friends, and let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than a good game to have fun in.  Board games, video games and even card games are favorites among many.  For video games – Steam  For board games – BoardGameGeek

#8    Comics/Books –  Waaaay too many to name!  A good read is a good read.  Simply put.  Immerse yourself in another universe to take your mind off your troubles!  For books –  GoodRead’s Geek Books  For Comics – Den of Geek

#7    Gambling –  Yes, I said it.  Who doesn’t like to take a risk with a chance of great reward??  Lot’s of casino games out there.  Here’s a favorite superhero game of mine – Marvel Jackpot

#6    Cons –  Attending a good Con can be a otherworldly experience – truly!   ComicCon, DragonCon, GenCon and Star Trek conventions are going on the world around all year long.  Check your schedule, and choose a good Con to attend for some great fun with your friends!  Geeky247 Events and Cons

#5  Baking –  Yes, baking.  I have met many a cake and cupcake artist that have made some pretty spectacular pieces of art with food.  What kind of baked goods would you want for your birthday?  How about a World of Warcraft themed cake?  Or Super Mario cupcakes!  Take a tour of this place –  Geeky Chef  Too many options!

#4  Cosplay –  No it’s not just for Halloween.  I’ve seen some pretty elaborate costumes in the past, some of them better than the originals!  Whether you like Furry, or dressing up like your favorite superhero, a costume is a labor of love for those that like to wear them.  Check out some awesome cosplay here!  Trendhunter – Geeky Costumes

#3  DIY – Do it yourself?  Why not?  Your imagination is the limit when it comes to solving problems, and many a geek minded person have done just that.  Most DIY projects are not costly and just take time to piece together.  Why buy a laser pointer, when you can build one from the parts from an old CD drive?  DIY.org

#2  Beta Testing –  You know you want to get your hands on that latest game!  Plenty of companies are looking for experienced gamers, casual players, and even total noobs to try out their newest software.  Jump on the bandwagon and get your game on!  Check out Centercode and sign up to be a beta tester today!

#1  Create a blog –  Shameless plug here.  Writing a blog can be extremely fulfilling, and a great way to share your latest exploits with your family and friends!  Lots of ways to begin a blog, why not try here?  WordPress

So these are just a few of the plethora of activities you can immerse yourselves in when you’re not too busy at the 9 to 5 job!  Do you have a favorite activity?  Why not tell us about it?

Netflix Drones Exposed

netflix

Actually, the title sounds more nefarious than this post really is :)  Here we have a behind the scenes look at one of the Netflix sorting warehouses in the east coast.  Thirteen photos of the internal workings and machinations of the receiving, and then immediate shipping out of DVD’s from one customer to another.  I had a Netflix membership once, and never had a problem with the time it took movies to get to me…aside from the occasional broken DVD.

Regardless, this is an interesting peek into their processing.  Check it out HERE.

Obama Inauguration Giga-Photo

Okay, so there’s a billion ways to gain fame by riding the coat-tails of Obama.  This photo is just one of the cooler ones that I’ve seen so far :)  This is a gigashot, a culmination of 200 seperate shots taken at one second each with a 1,474 megapixel Cannon robotic camera.  That’s some power!  I had a load of fun zooming in all the way to see the reactions on people’s faces during the event.  Follow the link HERE.

obamagigapic

Bonus points if you can find the person in the tinfoil suit 😉

Top Articles For The Week 12/21/08- Computer Science, Anime, Zombies and the Easter Bunny

 I love geeknews

During this last week I’ve had a little more time than usual to look at the Geeknews traffic, later in the week I’ll discuss the year’s most popular topics and solicit your feedback. Below you can see that there’s quite a variety of topics comprising the top 15 pages with the most views this week. Interestingly, two in particular have been pretty popular lately even though they were posted much earlier in the year – one is a motivation poster I created sitting at #5, and at #10 is my take on what women should wear to a tech conference.

1. Who Needs a Computer Science Degree When There’s Wikipedia

2. The Little Mermaid Cosplay

3. The Women Of Sci-Fi And Their Provocative Poses – Amanda Tapping – Amanda Tapping queries always rank pretty high on incoming referrals.

4. Christmas Gifts For Geeks – 11/18/08

5. Motivational: Embrace Diversity

6. The Women Of Sci-Fi And Their Provocative Poses

7. More Geeky Christmas Gifts

8. Crack/Keygen Sites That Are Safe To Use

9. Extra-Wide Contacts = Anime Look

10. What do women wear to tech conference?

11. Superhero Or Stripper, You Decide – Superhero Strippers, interesting combination.

12. Beauty and Braaaaains! – Almost anything related to Zombies attracts geeks.

13. Anime Easter Bunny

14. Cosplay Gone Bad

15. Geeky Christmas Gift – Dr. Horrible @ US 9.99

Mmm, Smells Like Beef (New Burger King Cologne)

Burger King body spray

The wife sent me this news article about a Burger King cologne, not for me to consider for Christmas, but she thinks it’s something you might be interested in knowing about. If you’re not familiar with BK, it’s a fast food restaurant that competes directly with McDonald’s

Is this April 1? This has to be another of their viral campaigns by BK, right? Geeks, do *not* wear this. Ladies, do *not* date someone that would wear a cologne that made them smell like "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat".

If you want to see the flash-heavy BK site firemeetsdesire.com advertising this, knock yourself out. Else, here’s the AP story:

By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Looking to beef up your mojo this holiday season?

Burger King Corp. may have just the thing. The home of the Whopper has launched a new men’s body spray called "Flame." The company describes the spray as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat."

The fragrance is on sale at New York City retailer Ricky’s NYC in stores and online for a limited time for $3.99.

Burger King is marketing the product through a Web site featuring a photo of its King character reclining fireside and naked but for an animal fur strategically placed to not offend.

The marketing ploy is the latest in a string of viral ad campaigns by the company. Burger King is also in the midst of its Whopper Virgins campaign that features an taste test with fast-food "virgins" pitting the Whopper against McDonald’s Corp.’s Big Mac.

Burger King Holdings Inc. shares rose 15 cents to close at $20.53.

See more news stories on the universal disgust over thishere’s google news on this topic.

Get The 411 On Google

Get the dirt on your friends!  Find out where your spouse was last night!  Learn the true identity of the guy on the grassy knoll!  Oh wait…..uh, maybe that’s not right…  Let’s see here, oh yeah!  This new service on Google….Goog 411 is a FREE service available on any phone for locating people or businesses, and automatically connecting you.  Sweet!  I can tell you the $1.50 charges on my cell for using 411 through Verizon Wireless were killing me ;(  Yay for Google, and their ever-expanding reach into multiple genres!  Thanks Mom!

Zombie Defense Collection!

Okay Andy – You ask, and you shall receive 😉

Are you finding yourself defenseless in the impending zombie incursion in your neighborhood?  Need the perfect weapon to carve up those horde of undead that are hot on your heels?  Don’t want to be an extra for the next "Thriller" music video?

ZDC-small z-rd-1 z-z3fm-1

Here you have it!  The Zombie Defense Collection currently offers two well balanced and deadly machetes for those pesky close combat situations with zombies.  Pictured above is the "Riley’s Defense"  and the "Z3 Field Machete".

 

Some weapons are better than others for survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. OlliN Sword Design has created a unique line – The Zombie Defense Collection – specifically designed for practical defense against the very persistent walking dead.

This line features various machetes, tire irons, Sholin spears, and the ever important zombie survival pack. Gear up and be ready for the zombie invasion!

"Zombies are like pigeons, every time you think you’ve got the problem under control, they come back." ~ G. Scott H.

Goofy News Bits: 6-2-2008

News and Coffee in the morning

Cylon Baseships Run Windows XP?

Wiener water soup – I can’t believe someone green lighted this recipe on cooks.com?

A blog dedicated to pipe-dream ideas, broadcast for anyone to pursue.

Mötley Crüe Sells More Through ‘Rock Band’ Than iTunes

A fact of the male brain “Bikin-clad women make men impatient” – A recent study shows that men who watched sexy videos or handled lingerie sought immediate gratification–even when they were making decisions about money, soda, and candy. Duh.

Fractal furniture! 

How Rock Band saved my marriage

The sad demise of whimsical teasing in Comic Chat

Temporary Reminder Tatts

To Do Tattoo

To Do Tattoos, get them at Amazon for under US $4. I send myself SMS notes with a to do list or reminders of other activities I need to accomplish, but if you’re one of those folks like Bill Gates that still writes notes on his/her hands (or other creative locations on your body) then this little novelty is for you.

The kit includes 12 graphic “To Do” forms that you can apply to your body wherever it’s most convenient (or creative) and a skin-safe, washable-ink gel pen. You’ll never again have to make lame excuses for missing bowling night or your mom’s birthay.

[via boingboing]