Posted By:PliggMarketAdmin, Author at Pligg

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Beating the Odds: Finding the Casino for You

May 16, 2017 - By 
sports gambling

There’s no doubt about it: gambling is exciting.

Whether you love to play games of chance or bet on sports, playing for money will give you an adrenaline thrill like no other. That’s why the global casino industry will bring in an estimated 120 billion dollars this year.

Getting started can be overwhelming. How do you make sure you are treated fairly and not subjected to cheating or fraud?

Whether you’re a first-timer or returning to gambling after taking a break these tips will help you choose the right casino for you.

Types of casinos

What comes to your mind when you think of the word “casino”?

Is it the luxurious atmosphere of a Las Vegas establishment?  A humble bingo hall? Or maybe a flashy website pops into your head.

Think about the type of casino that makes you feel comfortable. You’re more likely to make winning decisions in the right environment for you.

Land based casinos

Traditionally the word “casino” refers to a building used for social amusements, specifically gambling. This means you have to go in person to the casino in order to play.

A casino could be a large, stand-alone establishment, or one part of a larger entertainment complex like a hotel or theme park.

To use a land based casino you will have to choose a casino near where you live or in a place you can easily travel to.

Benefits of land based casinos

  • Social atmosphere
  • See in person that the establishment is properly licensed
  • Payment options include cash
  • Offers entertainment, food, and drink

Online Casinos

With an internet connection, we also have the option of using online casinos.

Online casinos come in several forms. Some run “virtual” versions of casino games through websites. Others require the user to download software onto their computer in order to play.

Some sites are dedicated to sports betting.

Online casino games are made fair by using special software to generate random results. Many online casinos also offer live dealer games, where users can watch the game through video and text their choices to the dealer.

Benefits of online casinos

  • Convenient – you don’t have to leave your house
  • Immediate – you can put those sports betting tips you just received to use the minute you get them
  • Choices of games are unlimited
  • Many payment options

Do your research

If you want to keep the odds in your favor it’s always important to do some research. You wouldn’t bet on a game you know nothing about; the same goes for choosing a casino.

Licensing

This is by far the most important thing to know before you begin a gambling activity. Is the casino you’ve chosen properly licensed? If not you may inadvertently end up participating in something illegal.

Be aware of the laws in your area and make sure that the casino you’ve chosen complies with them.

This is especially important with online casinos – make sure you are connecting with a casino which operates under a regulatory body. Otherwise, it’s easy to become the victim of internet fraud.

Read reviews

People love to share their experiences, good or bad, online.

For land based casinos, travel websites can be a good source. For online sites find reputable reviews from news stories or non-profit websites.

Other questions to ask about online casinos

  • Does the casino offer the type of betting you want?
  • How does the casino payout wins?
  • Does the casino offer bonuses?
  • Does the website/software work with the computer you have?

Don’t leave it to luck

Much of the fun of gaming is based on luck. Choosing a good casino with care instead of leaving it to chance will ensure the odds are in your favor.


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Get Bigger Sales Using Auction Templates

May 10, 2017 - By 
auction templates

Selling on auction sites like eBay, GunBroker, Bid4Assets and other online auction marketplaces that support HTML has always been a gamble.

Luckily, you can improve your product listings by getting free auction templates to boost your sales.

An auction template is usually a great option if you are not adept at writing your own, or you simply have no time. The good thing is that you can customize the template to give your own personality to your pages.

Here are some of the benefits your online store can enjoy from using auction templates.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Easy to use

Most templates are usually easy to implement to your product listings. They come with sections for adding your text so you can add your product titles and descriptions easily. This is where you want your target keywords to appear.

If you understand coding, templates offer an easy way to give your listings a look and feel you desire. Some systems only need you to enter the product details and then pick a template that suits you.

Moreover, most usually come with directions and documentation on how to install and modify the theme.

2. Listing design

With a template, you can create sections that you want to put content for potential customers to see. A template can have 6 to 12 sections for auction title, feature image, product description, payment details, business logo, shipping details and much more.

Ensure the layout is done correctly while giving emphasis to the most important details first. Don’t forget to add your business logo to give your listing a professional feel.

Create engaging taglines, titles, and call to actions that will prompt your customers to buy or contact you.

3. Save time

Auction templates allow you to focus on improving your sales instead of creating your own templates.

The benefit of using free options is that you can make profiles within your system to make the creation of an auction fast.

A good system that offers built-in image hosting allows you to upload images in bulk and store them for later use.

This whole process makes running your online store more convenient as you are able to focus on things that matter.

4. Promote other auctions

Another great feature that you can benefit from using templates is the cross promotion.

One way you can do this is by adding a cross-gallery in your successful auctions. This way, you are able to drive traffic to other auctions and improve your conversion rates.

When adding auctions to the gallery, ensure they are all optimized and the message they’re passing is clear.

The bottom line

Using free auction templates can help to improve your conversion rates which result in increased sales.

Take the time to design and personalize the layout if you want a different look for every product you sell. Manipulate the colors, font sizes, and shades until you get something that fits your product.

Before optimizing your auction listings, make sure you research and pick the right keywords that customer use to find the products.

Take ample time and work through every step.


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Why to Treat Yourself With Cannabis Oil

April 25, 2017 - By 
Cannabis oil

A survey in California revealed that 92 percent of patients approved the health benefits of medical marijuana.

A 2013 study in New England showed that eight of every ten doctors recommend the use of medical marijuana.

For thousands of patients seeking alternative medicine, this data is promising.

One of the popular medical marijuana product is the cannabis oil, which is legally sold in all 50 states.

So, if you have never given a thought to cannabis oil, you might want to reconsider that.

Before you give me that “WHY” look, let’s find out how this exciting oil can benefit your health.

Here we go!

1. The oil has anti-arthritic effects

A medical study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) showed that cannabis oil, or cannabidiol, has anti-arthritic effects.

According to the study, researchers gave mice collagen to induce arthritis. When the symptoms started appearing, they gave cannabis oil to the mice as treatment.

The oil treated the symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory property, and also boosted the immune system of the mice.

2. Helps to promote healthy skin

Applying cannabis oil to your skin twice or thrice a day helps the skin to shed dead skin cells. These cells can block your pores leading to acne and blackheads.

The oil helps to keep the pores open, giving you a vibrant and healthy skin. Also, it contains antioxidants that curb the oxidative effects of free radicals, which tend to cause wrinkles and dark spots.

3. Cancer treatment

At this point, cannabis oil has already yielded promising results in the treatment of cancer. It is stated that the oil can target and kill cancer cells, and there are cases whereby patients experienced improvement after using the oil.

Doctors use a high-THC Indica to manage the tumors, and the treatment requires patients to follow a strict routine over the course of using the medication.

Even though research is still ongoing, various studies have shown that the oil can relieve chemotherapy symptoms such as nausea, pain, and vomiting in patients.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also an ingredient in marijuana, has given encouraging results in delaying the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

4. Offers eye protection

Preliminary studies have shown that cannabis oil can help in reducing the growth of eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

It is noted that the oil works by lowering the intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma. It also has a neuroprotective property that helps to protect the eyes from the effects of the condition.

Cannabis oil can ease symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, and pain. However, it can worsen eye reddening in patients.

What do you think?

Now that you know some health benefits of using cannabis oil, what do you have in mind?

If you are convinced or just want to try it for yourself, you can buy cannabis oil and see how it all goes.

Different ongoing studies are attempting to validate some of the health benefits of the oil and medical marijuana as a whole. Some are even trying to find new ways to use marijuana medically.

If it’s your first time to use the oil, make sure you consult the seller.


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5 Things to Consider when Seeking Addiction Treatment

April 20, 2017 - By 
addiction

Drug addiction can be a frightening experience, and so can addiction treatment. Knowing what to expect can make it easier to undergo treatment.

When you’ve made the decision that it’s time to seek treatment, consider these five things to have the highest chance of success:

  1. Treatment requires addressing physical, mental, and emotional disorders at the same time.
  2. Longer treatment programs yield greater success.
  3. What coverage does the patient’s health insurance cover?
  4. Which rehab center will you select for treatment?
  5. What is your support plan to stay sober?

To understand more about each of the above considerations, let’s discuss each one in more depth.

Treating More than the Physical

Addiction can be caused by and can cause, emotional and mental disorders and concerns that can be just as serious as physical problems.

If you just treat the drug addiction, you’re just putting a bandaid on the problem instead of actually treating it. Treating just one drug addiction can have the same effect.

For example, drug addiction can cause depression, which can, in turn, cause drug addiction. If you only treat the physical addiction but not the depression, the patient’s chance of relapse can be higher.

Let’s look at another example. Say you treat someone for heroin addiction but they’re also addicted to pain killers. You haven’t treated them; you’ve just removed one drug from the equation, and most likely they will relapse with the heroin.

Over 90% of heroin users also use at least one other drug.

Successful treatment treats the person, not only the physical addiction.

The Longer the Treatment, the Better

Research shows that treatment programs that are longer than 30 days yield an 84% chance of success. Programs that run less than 30 days typically offer almost 30% less success.

That’s because longer programs treat more than the physical addiction. Treating mental and emotional disorders and concerns takes longer.

Insurance Coverage

It’s hard to think of treatment in terms of affordability and insurance coverage. Insurance companies don’t always believe in the aforementioned information.

However, for many patients, the cost of treatment is a concern. It can prevent someone from seeking treatment. Knowing which treatments are affordable can help you choose.

Not all programs cost the same and some insurance policies do offer coverage.

The Rehab Center

Much goes into deciding which rehab center is right for a patient. Learn about more than one rehab center. That way, you or your loved one can choose from several options.

The length of treatment, methods, and cost will all factor into this choice.

Staying Sober

Sobriety requires continuing support, even after treatment is “complete.” For that reason, knowing what some of your options are post-treatment can help settle concerns that a patient will relapse as soon as the treatment program ends.

Support comes in a variety of forms, including groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Before choosing a treatment plan, draft a post-treatment plan.

Congratulations are in order–choosing to seek treatment is the first step toward sobriety. By following this guide, you can find the right treatment program for you or your loved one.


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The Next Frontier for AI: Pest Control?

April 20, 2017 - By 
artificial intelligence

Does the notion of blending Artificial Intelligence (AI) and pest control leave you with the image of a massive chrome droid mowing down cockroaches with a flamethrower?

Well, it’s not that dramatic. Nor dangerous. And it’s also not just some futuristic vision.

In fact, many pest companies are already using AI in their daily operations.

Sure, there’s the possibility down the road of some fancy chrome robot handling your pest issues.

But for now, it’s possible that you work in pest control and may not even realize that your company is already using this technology.

And why not? Revenue from it is predicted to reach over $36 billion dollars by the year 2025.

So what are some of the current ways AI is being used in pest control?

Well, the list isn’t extensive. But the ways it’s being used so far has made it an effective addition to the pest control toolbox.

1. AI for marketing automation and lead management.

There’s nothing exciting or sci-fi about this.

But cost-effective prospect generation is always a challenge. And generating leads for pest control is no different.

Converting leads to customers can be even harder. Especially for smaller operations that may not have a sales team. Sales and marketing automation can activate emails that will appeal to undecided prospects.

Yeah, like we said, boring. But it’s still AI. And it’s valuable.

2. AI for route optimization.

One of the factors that make people uneasy about AI is the “replace the human” component that’s connected with it in sci-fi lore.

This is not the intention of route optimization tools.

The tools were developed to take out the inefficiency of what was once a painfully slow manual process so that employees can make the best use of their time. It’s still understood that only humans are capable of holding valuable domain knowledge that comes from being familiar with a place.

3. AI in the form of drones.

Okay. Now it’s getting interesting.

Imagine that you’re having issues with ant control in your home and these little drones come whirling in and eradicate them.

Again, not the way it works.

Drones are incredibly helpful for home inspections. But certified drone operators are needed to ensure the safety and privacy of the customer.

And there’s the additional issue of going through government procedure to make it legal to operate them.

Still, all of these extra hassles are worth it for many pest control companies because drones can provide views of hard-to-reach places where bugs or other wildlife may be entering unseen.

4. AI in the form of advanced rodent traps.

A UK-based pest control company is experimenting with rodent traps equipped with sensors and WiFi. The rodent traps forward data to a command center built by the company.

If a rodent is caught, a member of the staff is sent to the area to remove the animal. This is more efficient than conducting routine patrols only to find empty traps.

The cool part here is that the company uses the data to fine tune its digital pest control services. For instance, they can potentially identify rodent breeding or migration patterns, as well as infestation-risk hotspots, before it becomes a bigger issue.

AI gives pest control companies the option of shifting from a reactive approach to a more pro-active one.

When it comes right down to it, pest control businesses that incorporate intelligent technology into daily operations can reduce the behind-the-scenes time and make better use of technician time.


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5 Safety Tips Every Motorcyclist Should Know

April 17, 2017 - By 
motorcycle safety

Motorcycle riding is an exhilarating hobby for men and women around the world. It’s a cool, exciting and fuel-efficient way to get to a destination.

Yet, statistics show that motorcycle riding does come with some dangerous risks. In 2014 motorcycle deaths were more than 27 times those of cars.

Drivers don’t see motorcyclists or some cyclists overestimate their own driving skills. There are various factors at play leading to the high fatality rates.

Luckily there are simple things a rider can do to stay accident-free. Here’s how a motorcyclist can stay safe on the road.

Dress For Safety

It doesn’t matter if it’s the hottest day of summer. It’s still essential that you wear proper riding gear when driving a motorcycle. Something as simple as jeans can provide you with riding protection.

Riding gear can protect you from rain, sand, bugs and other debris. They’ll also better protect your skin in the event of a crash.

So skip the t-shirt, sandals, and shorts and dress safely. Leather clothing and boots are a great choice for extreme protection. Go with bright colored outfits. This helps other drivers to see you better.

And what about those dog days of summer? You can buy protective clothing made with breathable material and ventilation.

Are you wearing a helmet with an open face? Then glasses or goggles should be worn. By the way, your helmet should be DOT-approved and never ride without it!

Anyone riding in the back of your bike needs to wear protective gear too. Bonus tip: a motorbike intercom will make group rides awesome. You’ll be able to chat with your fellow riders while enjoying the breeze.

Know Your Riding Skills

Yes, motorcycle riding will probably make you look and feel cool. But don’t let your ego get in the way of your safety. Be realistic about your riding skills and don’t get in over your head.

Overestimating your riding abilities could cost you your life. When bike shopping, choose one that you can handle. Your feet should rest flat on the ground.

Your feet should rest flat on the ground. All handlebars and controls should be within comfortable reach for your hands. And the bike shouldn’t feel too heavy. Try to choose more familiar driving routes so that you can focus on safety.

For daily commuting consider a smaller model with a 250 to 300 cc engine. Are you a highway rider? Then you might want to go with a 500 to 750 cc range engine.

Pamper Your Ride

Now by pamper, we don’t mean simply keeping your bike nicely oiled. This means giving your bike a look-over before getting on the road.

Check your tire pressure, lights and mirrors. Check for any loose parts or leaks. Don’t neglect your bike and always give it regular maintenance

Worn-out motorcycle parts can greatly increase your risk of an accident.

Invest In Antilock Brakes

Antilock brakes are a great investment into your motorcycling safety. They help you keep control of the bike if you suddenly have to break.

These brakes already come with many high-end motorcycles. Check to see if your insurance will pay for some of the cost.

Be Aware

Experienced motorcycle riders will tell you that safe driving requires taking initiative. So your motorcycle’s mirrors don’t mean you shouldn’t do your own looking.

Want to switch lanes? It’s safest to turn and look over your shoulder. Once you see that you’re clear then make your move.

Or how about approaching a corner? Turn your head and assess your position and other vehicles around before proceeding.

Learning to pay extra attention to your surroundings will keep you much safer.

 

Take A Riding Safety Course

You can also sharpen your motorcycling skills by taking a riding course. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers safety courses all around the country. You can learn basic or advanced riding skills along with emergency moves.

MSF courses will cost you about $350. However, your insurance may cover some of the cost. The more informed you are as a rider the safer you’ll be.

Motorcycling insurance is another smart investment for riding lovers. If you have a crash, you don’t want to have pay to wazoo. Insurance will allow you to ride peacefully knowing your covered if anything happens.

Check The Weather

Icy or wet roads can increase your chances of having a motorcycle. So check the forecast before hitting the road.

Slippery roads can increase the chances of you making a mistake. And rain or fog can create dangerous visibility situations. You should also avoid riding in strong winds.

Sometimes getting caught in the rain is unavoidable. Remember that the most dangerous time is just after the water hits the ground. Go easy on your brakes to prevent sliding.

Be aware of slippery patches of sand or gravel – try to avoid if possible.

Drive Defensively

Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents happen because of other vehicles not seeing motorcyclists. So motorcyclists have to drive defensively to keep themselves as safe as possible.

Let’s go over a few defensive motorcycle driving safety tips:

  • Try to keep at least 20 feet between you and other  When riding in a group and there is oncoming traffic, be sure and let them know how many riders are behind you.
  • Avoid riding next to trucks. They can cause wind turbulence and block other drivers view of you. When you pass a truck try to get in their mirror so that they can see you.
  • Drivers of other vehicles can be distracted by many things. This is why you should assume that they cannot see you. Act as if they can only see in front of them.

    So stay out of blind spots, and always be prepared for someone to change lanes.

Motorcycling can be a fantastic experience for enthusiasts. While it comes with risks, many riders enjoy their hobby accident-free. The trick is to be educated on safety measures and to implement them into your riding routine.

Another key is always staying in a mindset of learning. Each ride that you take will be a chance to sharpen your riding skills.

Riding with more experienced riders is another way to steadily improve. Or if you’re a riding pro help newbies along with these life-saving tips.


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5 Student Loan Repayment Pitfalls You’ll Want to Avoid

April 7, 2017 - By 
student loans

The Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program is an option that many former students are looking into.

Student loans are now a trillion-dollar issue in the United States. Don’t become a statistic!

Here are five pitfalls to avoid when faced with repayment of your student loans:

Pitfall 1. Waiting to repay

Certain types of student loans do not begin accruing interest until the day payments are set to begin. Typically this is at the end of a 6-month grace period following graduation.

Other loans (“unsubsidized” is the word you need to know) start accruing interest immediately after the funds are disbursed.

To avoid all of that interest build-up, if it’s where you can, start paying the monthly interest before you graduate. This can go a long way in getting you out of debt more quickly after you finish school.

2. Not paying at all

If there’s anything that will affect you more negatively than waiting to repay your student loans, it’s not paying at all.

Just like with any other type of debt, defaulting on payments only hurts you. It can take years to rebuild credit scores negatively impacted by late or non-payment of any type of debt.

Even if you think you might be eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness Obama, make your payments in the meantime. Your credit (and your future self!) will thank you.

3. Not paying extra

You might be surprised at how quickly you can get out of debt. Even the slightest bit of extra money tacked on to your monthly payment can make a huge difference.

By repaying your student loans in shorter period of time, you will ultimately save money. The shorter period of repayment time, the less interest you will owe. It’s simple math and lots of motivation!

4. Not knowing your options

By majoring in specific fields of study, you could qualify for certain types of loan forgiveness. Going to work for a particular type of government or non-profit agency could cancel your debt entirely.

A few of these fields include:

  • Law
  • Education
  • Law Enforcement
  • Medicine
  • Social Work

If you don’t qualify for cancellation of your debt, there are other options you can consider.

Income-based repayment options can be a lifesaver and give you some breathing room if you are having trouble finding employment following graduation.

Graduated repayment plans are also available to keep your payments small and manageable and increasing every few years until you handle a larger payment.

Pitfall #5: Failing to understand student loans when they are made

Not knowing what you’re getting yourself into is perhaps the biggest pitfall to avoid. Student loans are not to be taken lightly.

Even with possibilities like the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program available, make sure you qualify for such programs before signing on the dotted line.

Student loans are not necessarily something to be afraid of. After all, your education is an investment in your future. Take the time to understand the choices you have and then get out there and discover your purpose!


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How to Make a Tumblr Banner Using Adobe Spark

March 31, 2017 - By 
tumblr banner

If you want to build a community around your ideas, Tumblr is a great place to start. Tumblr has 550 million users per month.

And it’s a great place to target people with images.

Whether you’re sharing GIFs, videos, photos, or banners, you can capture attention quickly and easily. Your brain can recognize a familiar image in only 100 milliseconds, making images an incredible way to share content and build your brand.

Having a Tumblr banner helps make your page look professional and consistent, allowing you to create a brand image as you build your community of fans and customers.

Adobe Spark makes it simple to create a high-quality Tumblr banner even if you aren’t a professional designer. Here’s how.

Read on to find out how.

Choose a Size

Adobe Spark’s Tumblr banner maker offers a variety of image sizes so that you can match any template. Make sure your image is visible and easy to read when visitors come to your site.

Having images that are already pre-sized to fit Tumblr’s banner formats makes it simple to get your banner started without having to read upload requirements of dozens of other sites.

You can use your own image or choose from thousands of royalty-free photographs.

Choose Your Theme

A theme is a collection of colors and backgrounds that fit together to make your banner cohesive and easy to read. When you select a theme from Adobe Spark’s selection, you know that your palette works well and is attractive.

If you want to make changes to specific elements, don’t worry, you’re not locked in. You can adjust the theme to fit your brand imagery and the personality you want on Tumblr.

Decide on a Font

A font can say a lot about your brand, so it’s important to pick typography that fits well with your banner size and professional presence. Whether you want to be professional, artistic, edgy, or eclectic, Adobe Spark has the font you need.

Spark offers a broad range of professionally designed fonts, which keeps you from having to worry about finding fonts, designing your own, or coding your banner yourself.

Consider a Custom Tumblr Banner

You don’t have to use a template if you don’t want to. Adobe Spark also allows you to customize your Tumblr banner in a variety of ways.

Instead of using a photo from the collection, upload your own image from Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, or Google Photos. Also, feel free to tweak the existing themes. Themes can make it easier if you’re short on time, but you can also make them as unique as you’d like.

Once you have the text, images, and icons that work best for your page, consider purchasing a premium font from Adobe Spark. There are a variety of unique fonts available to help your Tumblr page stand out.

Creating a Tumblr banner doesn’t have to mean you hire an expensive designer. Instead, use the free Adobe Spark app. You can easily create the banner you need while saving your hard-earned cash for other needs in your business.


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The 5 Essential Pieces of Bike Safety Equipment All Bikers Need

March 31, 2017 - By 
bike safety

It’s an unfortunate fact that bicycling can be dangerous. In 2015, 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. The good news is there’s a lot you can do to protect yourself when you’re biking.

Having the right safety equipment can go a long way to preventing serious injury. Bicycle helmets and other safety equipment reduce crash-related injuries and deaths, especially among children.

Here are five essential pieces of bike safety equipment that you need to prevent harm on the road.

A Bicycle Helmet

A helmet is one of the best ways to prevent injury when riding a bike. It’s important to choose a helmet that fits properly and to wear it every time you bike.

The foam in a helmet gets crushed when the helmet protects your head. This cushions the blow and protects your brain. The outside of the helmet is made to slide on the ground instead of gripping it, which can protect your neck. Of course, the damage to the foam means that you should never reuse a helmet that has been in a bad crash.

Visibility Lights

Many bike riders understand the need for visibility lights when it’s dark outside, but they are also important near dusk and even during the day. Lights catch drivers’ attention and cause them to notice you at every time of day.

There are a lot of options available, including Fenix lights which can help your bike be more visible. Lights can also help you see at night; the way headlights do on a car.

A Loud Bike Horn

Although drivers are piloting a 4,000-pound machine, they aren’t always paying attention. They may be eating, talking to passengers, listening to music, or simply daydreaming.

Also, a bicycle doesn’t fit the visual profile of a vehicle that drivers watch for. One of the reasons that there are so many accidents with bikes is that drivers aren’t used to seeing them on the road. As a result, a loud bike horn can make a big difference. You can use it to signal alarm and to let drivers know you’re there.

A Wireless Turn Signal

While you as a bicyclist may know how to signal turns with your arm, it’s likely that drivers won’t quite know what you’re trying to say. Instead, choose a safety device that everyone is already familiar with: digital turn signals.

You can easily purchase wireless devices that allow you to indicate a right or left turn using lighted arrows that are similar to vehicle turn signals. You can use buttons to signal turns without taking your hands off the handlebars, which increases your safety as well.

A Camera on Your Bicycle

Hopefully you’re never in an accident with a car, but if you are, you may need documentation of what happened. A discreet easily-mounted rear camera attached to your bike can be the help you need.

Some models have a variety of functions. They can serve as a taillight, records what’s going on behind you, and can capture the license plate number of an aggressive or careless driver.

Being safe on the road isn’t hard when you have the right equipment. By using these five essential pieces of bike safety gear, you’ll help prevent accidents and injuries to both you and the drivers around you.


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These 5 Tricks Reduce Website Bounce Rates

March 29, 2017 - By 
Bounce Rate

Google defines bounce rate as each time you have a single-page session on your website. If you haven’t yet tackled your bounce rate, you’ve been missing out- keeping your visitors on your website will increase your conversion rate.

The average bounce rate is around 45%, and you should ideally be aiming for anything between 26% and 40%.

Here are some ways you can reduce your bounce rate:

1. Check Your Load Time

Sites that take a long time to load will often have a higher bounce rate since most people have short attention spans when browsing online. That’s why it’s a good idea to optimize your website and reduce your file sizes to increase your load speed.

Check out NXPowerLite Coupon. This file compression tool will help optimize your files, which will increase your load time and reduce your bounce rate. You can also use AJAX which lets the web page load faster by lazy-loading your third-party content in the background.

2. Ensure Easy Navigation

Your web design matters more than you may think. While some flashy themes and web page effects may look cool, the average user is conditioned to seeing things a certain way.

Visitors want to be able to easily navigate through your website, so a menu at the top is crucial. Keep in mind that visitors could land on any page within your website (it may not always be your homepage), so you should ensure that they can quickly see where to go next by using smart internal linking strategies.

3. Avoid Popups

Sure, popups may work, but they negatively affect the user experience of your website.

In 2013 study, 70% of people surveyed said they found popups annoying.

If you absolutely must use popups, use them in moderation. There are a number of plugins that allow you to have unobtrusive popups that will only appear after a certain time or only when a user is going to exit your site anyway.

Along with increasing your bounce rate, popups aren’t doing much for your marketing. A survey by MNPR found that while 53% of consumers would act upon articles including brand information and 51% would act upon email offers, just 19% said they would be likely to act upon pop up ads.

4. Watch Your External Linking

While external linking is good for SEO and helps you provide value to your blog readers, there’s a limit to how much is safe. Too many external links will increase the chance that your visitors will leave your site and fail to return.

One way to tackle this problem is to have all of your outbound links opening in a new tab. This means that visitors can check out the information you’ve linked to and then quickly return to your site.

5. Be Responsive

If you’re not yet using a responsive theme on your website you can expect a high bounce rate. These days, visitors are likely to be accessing your site on smartphone or tablets, and if your website is too hard for them to use they will simply move on.

There are many themes that will automatically adjust for a number of different screen sizes, so update your theme and be prepared to watch your bounce rate plummet.


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7 Life Insurance Myths That are Causing Trouble

March 29, 2017 - By 
life insurance

Myths surrounding life insurance often lead to a significant issue: procrastination. But can you afford to procrastinate when it comes to the safety and security of your family?

The truth is that 86% of Americans agree that people need life insurance.

Life insurance has several functions. Its most important function is replacing income that stops flowing after the death of the insured.

The impact death has on your family can be quite dramatic, especially if you have debts to pay. Life insurance helps protect your family in case of a tragic event.

If you are considering life insurance, read on to find out about our 7 life insurance myths that are causing trouble before making your decision.

1. Only the Family Member With the Highest Source of Income Needs Life Insurance

There is a grain of truth to this myth. Yes, making sure that the family member with the highest source of income has life insurance is a wise decision.

However, this can prove to be catastrophic if a homemaker passes away, especially if you have to hire someone full-time.

Childcare can be quite expensive, not to mention cleaning and cooking services.

2. Investing Is Better Than Paying for Life Insurance

Life insurance is all about providing a safety blanket for your family. Unfortunately, there is nothing safe about investing.

You take a calculated risk when investing your money. However, it doesn’t always end well. Many investors lose money.

You can put your family into a tough situation if your investing ventures don’t go well.

3. You Should Only Purchase Life Insurance In Person

Many people think the only legitimate way to purchase life insurance is in person. However, it’s fast and easy to research life insurance online. In fact, 21% of life insurance consumers purchase life insurance online.

Though some may still prefer a human element, there are many ways to interact with agents online. It can also make the process of finding an agent much easier.

4. I Don’t Need Life Insurance If I Am Single

Even if you’re single, many of your financial burdens will pass down to your family. Funeral expenses, mortgages, or any other type of expenses can put a lot of pressure on your loved ones.

Life insurance can also be a great way to donate to your favorite charity while gaining tax benefits.

5. I Am Too Young for Life Insurance

Unfortunately, nobody knows what tomorrow holds.

When you’re younger, life insurance is a lot cheaper—even the premiums. As you age, however, the price increases, especially if you develop a medical condition.

If you’re still paying a mortgage or have college loans, you should consider purchasing a life insurance.

6. You Need a Medical Exam to Get Life Insurance

Many people hold off on life insurance because they don’t feel like going through the hassle of a medical exam.

The truth is that you don’t need a medical exam to get life insurance. You can learn about no exam life insurance from the comfort of your own home.

7. The Life Insurance Offered by My Employer Is Enough

It depends on how much debt you have, or if you have codependents.

If your debt will not put a hole in your family’s pocket and you are single, the life insurance from work will suffice. But if you have codependents, it might not be enough.

Wrapping Up

Unless you are wealthy, life insurance is the surest way to protect your family from the unexpected.

Keep in mind that there are many options for you to choose from. Don’t let the myths such as the mandatory medical exam hold you back from purchasing life insurance.


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Want to Become a Chartered Accountant? Here’s How

March 27, 2017 - By 
accountant

If you are interested in embarking on a career path and are considering becoming a chartered accountant, you need to know exactly where to start.

Chartered accountants enjoy flexible hours, high-earnings, and the ability to make a difference.

If this seems like something you’d be interested in doing, follow these steps to ensure you’re on your way to a successful career path.

Education

On the path to any new career, it’s imperative that you have the right education and training before you dive in.

Specialities

In the chartered accountant field, there are different specialties you can focus on:

  • Accountant specializing in auditing
  • Chartered management accountant
  • Chartered public and finance accountant

Regardless of which specialty you’d like to focus on, your education and training should be specific to each specialty’s needs.

Bachelor’s vs Associates Degree

Both bachelor’s and associate degrees can land you a position in the chartered accounting industry.

Whichever you decide, make sure that you’re choosing to focus your studies in business, economics, or accounting.

If you already have a degree, regardless of the field of study, you can also take additional classes to hone your skills as an accountant.

Many local and online colleges offer classes that focus on business, accounting, auditing, and finance.

Training Programs

Once you’ve gained the education, you will need to enroll in a chartered accounting training course.

Offered either in person or online, these classes will help you gain the skills needed for your future career path.

Depending on your location, these classes prepare you for your chartered accounting exams, which are necessary to become a professional chartered accountant.

Professional Experience

Many chartered accounting programs ask that you have at least three years experience working in a professional setting.

Like an internship, you should reach out to your university or college, or even your local chartered accountant association, to see where you can land a position that will enable you to gain the needed experience.

Exams

Once you’ve completed your education and training, and gained experience in a professional setting, you’re now set to take your qualifying exams.

Depending on which country you’re located in, the testing can last up to three days.

You must attain a passing score in order to be a chartered accountant.

Find a Job

So you’ve completed all your tests and studies, now you’re ready to get out into the job market!

Chartered accountants can be found in several countries around the world, so the sky is truly the limit when on the job hunt.

Some ways you can find and land a chartered accounting job:

  • Become a member of your country’s professional accountant organization. You’ll be able to network and potentially meet someone who may know of job openings.
  • Send out your resume. Sending out a letter of introduction and your resume will get your name out into the industry.
  • Search job leads online. There are tons of websites, like LinkedIn, that allow you to network and find jobs in your industry.
  • Network. In almost any job field it’s great to network with other industry professionals. Networking can land you a mentor who can help you through your career path.

Conclusion

If you’re on the hunt for an exciting career as a chartered accountant following the above steps will get you well on your way to your successful career.

Remember to focus on your education and training, and make sure once you’ve completed your exams you’re networking and looking for jobs within your industry.

Like any job search or career journey, it will take time and dedication to succeed in your goals.


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Should You Go Gas or Electric for Your Water Heater?

March 27, 2017 - By 
electric water heater

Gas or electric?

This question is becoming more common, and with water heaters, it’s no different.

If your water heater needs replacing, you’ve probably asked (or have been asked) the same question.

But what’s the difference? Besides the obvious (powered by gas vs. electricity), there are some details about each to consider before buying.

How water heaters work

Before taking the plunge into the world of water heaters, it’s helpful to understand the differences between your options.

But first, let’s begin with the basics. Water flows into your home via a network of pipes.

This water is typically quite cold at first, and heating the water requires, you guessed it, a water heater.

You know, that large and unsightly tank sitting in the basement.

On the outside, it looks rather unremarkable, other than its size. But the inside contains an array of devices which make your morning showers so pleasant.

Water heaters work by heating the incoming cold water and retaining the heated water within the tank (unless it’s a tankless water heater, then the water is heated on-demand).

Heat rises, and in a water heater, it’s no different.

Cool water flows into the bottom of the tank. As the water is heated, it rises to the top where it awaits to flow to the showerhead or faucet.

Below you’ll discover the basics of how both a gas and electric water heater operate, as well as some pros and cons of each type:

Gas water heaters

Gas water heaters use a burner at the bottom of the tank.

A venting shaft runs through the middle to dispense of carbon dioxide and water vapors outdoors.

Pros:

  • Gas is less expensive than electricity
  • Heating is more efficient
  • Higher hot water flow rates

Cons:

  • Requires connection to gas lines
  • Requires additional venting systems
  • Greater initial costs

If your home is already connected to a gas line, consider going this route.

Gas burns clean and heats water more efficiently than an electric unit.

Electric water heaters

Electric water heaters utilize large coils submerged in the water.

Electricity is passed through these coils until the water is heated.

Pros:

  • Easy and inexpensive to install
  • Electricity rates are relatively stable
  • Little maintenance required

Cons:

  • Not as efficient as gas
  • Lower hot water flow rates
  • Not ideal for large families

If your demands for hot water are minimal, an electric unit might be your best option.

Electric water heaters aren’t as efficient as their gas-powered counterparts.

However, their ease and low cost of installation make them attractive options for those working with a tight budget.

What to consider before buying

While there is no specific formula for selecting the right water heater for your home, there are a few key items to consider:

Your budget

How much are you willing to spend?

Depending on your needs, you can get away with spending a little or a lot.

You can easily spend thousands of dollars on the best and the latest, just ask yourself if it’s really necessary.

Availability of space

Is space within your home limited?

Some heaters are smaller than others, so it’s important to compare your water heating needs with the amount of space available.

Efficiency and flow requirements

Do you have a large family?

You might want to purchase a larger unit if multiple people will require hot water.

Nobody wants to listen to their loved ones complain about the water temperature, so make your decision accordingly.


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Why Your SEO Campaigns are Totally Tanking

March 27, 2017 - By 
search engine optimization

Creating a successful SEO campaign is one of the toughest tasks your company will face. It can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and remarkably costly.

So what do you do when your campaigns just aren’t working? Have no fear, Buffalo SEO Company has your back!

You’re putting the work in…but you’re not seeing results. What’s wrong with those SEO campaigns you’re running? Find out here!

Accessibility above everything

You may think it sounds tedious, but everything from the basic structure of your site to mobile accessibility can play a huge factor in your SEO ranking. In fact, an estimated 60% of web traffic comes from mobile pages.

For instance, do you know if your site can be easily accessed from a variety of platforms?

Mobilegeddon may sound like just another buzzword tailored to corner you into redesigning your website, but pay attention to what other companies missed: if your mobile site is a mess, you may have been penalized by Google for a variety of reasons.

Aside from your site’s organization and basic structure, make sure you’re frequently obtaining and paying attention to audience feedback.

Don’t be precious with your website. If there’s even a kernel of truth to the feedback you’re getting, make changes accordingly.

After all, you’re here to fill a market need — what’s the point if you’re not listening to your customer base?

Stagnancy can be worse than falling traffic: switch things up regularly

It’s no secret that organic traffic can be volatile at best, but fresh and engaging content can mean the difference between life and digital death.

The SEO world changes all the time, so make sure your strategies are in line with the rest of your competition.

As we’ve established, feedback is important.

Send out a survey every quarter or so to establish that your content still gels with your audience’s needs. If there’s something your site is missing, this is a great way to figure out what needs changing.

You’re also going to need to evaluate how you’re using keywords, as overuse of keywords can be just as harmful as not using keywords entirely.

When creating content, make sure your keywords make sense and aren’t too plentiful. You’ll also want to make sure you’re looking at analytics when coming up with targeted keywords.

Internal links matter

If you’ve got a well-designed, accessible website with fantastic content, your SEO makeover is nearly complete. Now it’s time to focus on link structure and internal linking practices.

Internal links are simply links that send your audience to a specific page of your domain.

A well-constructed internal link not only looks great, but it establishes domain authority with Google. This means that a well-constructed internal link can actually boost your SEO rating!

Start by completing a basic authority report of your site. This will help you discover which of your pages has the most authority, and how you can improve those that could benefit from a boost.

SEO campaigns are tough — there’s no way around it. But there’s no reason your SEO campaign has to stumble! Use these tips, and let us know in the comments how it worked for you!


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5 Ways to Make Sure Restaurant Customers are Satisfied

March 27, 2017 - By 
restaurant customers

With Americans spending an average of $1,000 a year on eating lunch out alone, you know that opening a restaurant can be a hugely successful business.

But you know it’s also an insanely risky one. If you don’t keep your guests happy, your restaurant may not make it, which can leave you in huge debt.

Here, check out our top 5 tips to keeping restaurant customers happy. Keep your doors open and your plates empty!

1. Look Into Restaurant Management Software

In the restaurant business, things always move a mile a minute. It can be hard to keep track of everything.

Using restaurant management software can help you to prepare your profits and losses statements with ease, can help you to keep track of your sales, and even tell you when it’s time to reorder supplies.

Plus, since everyone loves paying with a debit or credit card these days, using the software can really simplify those transactions. Meaning you don’t have to go cash-only.

Finally, it’s a great way to keep tabs on your employees, making sure you’re paying them fairly and accurately for the hours they clock in and out.

2. Focus On Service

People don’t just eat out because of the food. They’re also sick of having to deal with clean-up, preparation, and jumping up every two seconds to get something for their kids.

Teach your staff that service is just as crucial as food. Teach them to remember regular’s names and orders, offer high chairs and crayons to customers with kids, and to always keep water glasses full.

3. Think About Rewards Programs

One way to keep customers coming back? Implementing a rewards program for the most loyal ones.

Even something as simple as offering a frequent customer a complimentary drink or dessert every once in a while goes a long way.

You can also use punch cards that tally up to offer them a free meal, or a percentage off their bill.

4. Ask For Customer Feedback

One of the best ways to know if your customers are happy? Ask them directly!

Because you’re so busy running things, you may not always have time to notice what areas need improvement.

Plus, asking your customers for their opinions makes them feel valued. They’ll want to come back to see if you took their suggestions!

5. Switch Up Your Menu

Even your most loyal diners can get bored of the same dish options week after week.

Go for seasonal dishes, and try to switch your menus up to offer holiday specials. It’s also a great way to keep enthusiasm in your kitchen high. Offer a bonus to whoever dreams up the most popular new recipe.

Implement These 5 Tips To Keep Diners Satisfied With Their Meals And Service!

With Americans spending more on eating meals in restaurants than they do on buying groceries, the restaurant business is more booming than ever.

Thanks to these 5 awesome tips on how to keep customers happy, full, and coming back through your doors, your restaurant will be booked up months in advance!


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The Step-By-Step Guide to Improving Your Credit Score

March 22, 2017 - By 
credit score

Your credit score is used to determine your worthiness of credit in the eyes of banks and credit lenders.

This can have a huge impact on your interest rates and ability to obtain a line of credit in the first place.

While there are some great options for short term loans for bad credit, for the most part, your credit is going to impact your ability to get a loan too. This could be a setback in anything from getting student loans to buying a car or house.

If your credit is less than perfect, don’t just wait around and hope that it gets better. Here are the steps you need to take to improve your credit score.

1. Know what a credit score is

There are a lot of misunderstandings surrounding credit.

More than half of adults think their credit score can be found on a standard credit report — it can’t, by the way.

According to Nasdaq, “Your credit report is a compilation of credit-related information; your credit score is a three-digit number distilled from the report data.”

Meaning that checking your credit score isn’t as simple as just looking over your credit card statement every month.

2. Know what your credit score is

It’s all too easy to put off looking at your credit score, especially if you know your spending habits are less than perfect.

There are lots of options for checking your credit score that range from free one time services to those that require you to pay a fee or sign up for an account.

While researching the best option for you takes time and a bit of patience, it’s worth it, in the end, to know where you stand.

3. Dispute any errors you find in credit reports

Your credit reports include important personal information about you, run-ins with the law, and fanatical stability. This information can be sold by credit reporting agencies and used to evaluate your worthiness for everything from employment to insurance.

If you find mistakes on your credit reports, they could potentially keep that dream house out of reach or make that new line of credit impossible to obtain.

Be sure to report any mistakes to the Federal Trade Commission so corrections can be made.

4. Focus on collection accounts first

Now it’s time to get the money rolling and start chipping away at those unpaid bills and debts.

First, focus your attention on any bills that are in collections.

If a bill makes it to collections, it’s going to have a negative impact on your credit score, but you can reverse this to a certain extent by paying it off.

5. Pay off debts closest to your credit limit

It’s a common misconception that simply paying on time is good enough to earn you a good credit score.

Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that.

Having a balance that’s near your credit limit can negatively impact your credit score.

Whenever possible, keep your balance around 35% of your limit.

6. Set a budget and stick to it

Budgeting is key to getting yourself out of a bad credit slump and staying out.

Set a budget that accounts for all monthly expenses and allows you to make payments toward debts and credit balances on a regular basis and, if at all possible, ahead of schedule.

If you don’t know where to start, look at bank statements and credits card reports from the last few months to see where you’re spending your money and where you can cut back.


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Can We Expect More Data Breach Lawsuits in the Future?

March 22, 2017 - By 
data breach litigation

A company is never 100% protected from cybercriminals, hackers and nation-state actors, even with proper security measures.

With technology advancing, so is security, but also, so is cyber crime. Are data breach lawsuits going to be a new precedent?

What is it?

A data breach is an incident that involves the unauthorized or illegal viewing, access or retrieval of data by an individual, application or service. It is a type of security breach specifically designed to steal and/or publish data to an unsecured or illegal location.

In recent news…

To the well known Target Store, one of the largest data breaches in history occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013, just as the busy holiday shopping season was underway.

Information from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards was stolen.

Investigators believe the thieves captured the information by installing software on payment terminals customers used to swipe their payment cards at checkout.

Nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores in the United States were affected.

At least 15 lawsuits were filed by the end of 2013, seeking millions of dollars in damages. The harm was so widespread that the Department of Justice began its own investigation into the breach.

Many of the major data breaches that have occurred within the past few years have faced class-action lawsuits and then settled, never facing time in court.

This is likely because the company that was breached has no defense, like in the case of Target, and settling allows the company to move forward quickly and maybe escape the media spotlight.

Future precedent?

According to various reports, incidences of data breaches and their corresponding litigation are rising by 25 to 30 percent every year.

High-profile lawsuits involving companies such as Target, eBay, and Home Depot have drawn attention to the issue. One Rhode Island attorney says the lawsuits will keep coming this year as plaintiffs lawyers try out new theories of liability.

The precedent set in the Circuit Court could mean more data breach lawsuits will be filed in the future, regardless of whether or not the customer or employee data has been exploited, leading to even higher data breach costs for enterprises.

Who can help

Data breach lawyers have extensive experience in protecting against data breach liability, formulating responses to data breaches, and protecting and advising companies that have been a victim of a data breach. Data breach attorneys can help you with:

  • Data breach liability analysis;
  • Data breach response plans;
  • Compliance with state data breach law;
  • Compliance with international data breach law;
  • Data breach notifications; and
  • Data breach litigation

So…

It doesn’t look good.

Whether hackers are looking for credit card numbers in poorly guarded point-of-sale systems or searching for personally identifiable information in the next vulnerable technology, the influx of data breaches continues and the lawsuits show no signs of slowing down.

To avoid being a victim of data breaching, I’ll leave you with a list of ways to stay safe:

  1. Institute end-user awareness policy
  2. Craft an encryption policy
  3. Install intrusion detection and prevention
  4. STOP drive-by downloads
  5. Perform regular vulnerability assessments
  6. Employ inside prevention monitoring
  7. Back it up!

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Here’s Why Your Real Estate Closing Could Be Delayed

March 22, 2017 - By 
under contract

Don’t pop the celebratory champagne yet. You may think you’ve sold your house and it’s time to start packing. However, only 75% of houses that are under contract make it to actual closing. Why is this? And

Why is this? And what does under contract mean?

Simply put, if the house is under contract, that means the buyer and the seller are under a binding contract with each other and committed to the transaction under the conditions listed in the contract.

However, when those conditions are not met, the contract falls apart and may not make it to closing. This is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved. Particularly because so many first time sellers or buyers may think that once the offer is accepted, the deal is done, everything is official. This is far from the case.

This is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved. Particularly because so many first time sellers or buyers may think that once the offer is accepted, the deal is done, everything is official. This is far from the case.

This is far from the case.

Here are 3 of the most common things that can delay your closing, even when under contract.

Bank Appraisal

This is one of the most common (and certainly one of the most frustrating) delays for everybody involved.

The buyer and the seller work hard and battle back-and-forth. After a certain amount of tug-of-war, they agree on a price. Everything is wonderful, right? Wrong.

The bank steps in and does their appraisal, and decides that the house needs thousands of dollars in repairs before they can agree the house is worth the figure that you worked so hard to arrive at.

Sadly, there is almost nothing you can do. All you can do is work with a realtor who will stay in constant communication, and make sure the bank appraisal is done in a timely fashion, so any issues can be addressed.

Unrealistic Timelines

There is some unfortunate irony here. If you try to close your house too quickly, you may delay the process in a big way.

This can often happen with some of your more motivated buyers or sellers. Maybe somebody needs to move quickly because they landed a new job, or they’re having a baby, or maybe there’s a family illness and they need to relocate. In any case, they need to close and they need to do it in 30 days.

To properly close a deal, you really need 45 to 60 days. Trying to do it in less time (say 30 days) is possible, but not realistic enough to count on. It can lead to sloppy work, or poor communication.

Instrument Survey Discrepancies

Again. This is massively frustrating. Everything looks great, and then a survey is performed on the property, and you realize that your garden is, technically speaking, encroaching into your neighbor’s property. This is bad.

These issues can’t be solved until the included parties sign an affidavit to indicate the consent and understanding of the dispute or encroachments. This takes time… Time that you would rather spend living in your new home.

As you can see, a lot of these problems come from out of nowhere and it’s hard to predict them. In most cases, you can’t predict them. But, what you can do is work with an experienced realtor who knows how to properly budget, time, and set realistic expectations. Assuming a storm is coming is the best way to prepare for one.


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The Top 10 Music Trends Changing The Industry This Year

March 22, 2017 - By 
music trends

The U.S. music industry was said to be worth $15.5 billion in 2016. But given that we’re living in a technological world where geography plays a smaller part, globally, it’s closer to $43 billion.

The music industry was caught napping a few years back; music streaming was beginning to take-off, but the industry’s big hitters ignored it.

Right up until it affected their sales numbers.

It’s doubtful they’ll be as complacent with the next big music trends; check out ten of them here.

Music Trends

1) Music Streaming

In 2016, music streaming became the industry’s biggest source of income; revenue from streaming grew by 57% in the first half of the year.

We’ve all heard of the likes of Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and Google Play Music, but when the likes of Amazon join in, you know that the music industry must be sitting up and taking notes.

Even iTunes (that has a 64% share of the U.S. digital music market) must be re-evaluating their business plan.

2) Virtual Reality

A bit more of slow-burner, Virtual Reality won’t be the biggest of the music trends this year, but it’s certainly on the way up.

Market experts say that the VR music market could be worth as much as $30 billion by the year 2020, but that encompasses more than just music (think merchandising and the like).

Artists such as Bjork, Paul McCartney, U2, Coldplay, and Deadmau5 have already experimented with Virtual Reality systems with great results; whether that’s with an immersive video or at a live concert.

3) Artistic Holograms

Sadly, 2016 was a bad year for the music industry, we lost such greats as David Bowie, George Michael, Leonard Cohen and Prince (among much more).

But technology could mean that we see them making one-off appearances at special gigs in the form of a hologram.

Even as far back as 2012, Tupac was appearing ‘on-stage’ with Snoop and Dre, and in Japan, they already have a totally holographic pop star; the ’16-year-old’ Hatsune Miku.

4) Social Media

Social media is taking over the planet right now.

Along with the big guns, it seems that not a day goes by without another startup claiming to be the next Facebook (and hoping to emulate their success).

But with instant gratification in the form of likes, comments, and shares, it’s no wonder that b(r)ands are using social media as a way of communicating directly with their fans.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Massachusetts or Mumbai, you can keep up to date with all things relating to Taylor Swift or Metallica.

5) Different Release

Has downloading or streaming had its day?

Not quite (see point 1), but the way that artists are releasing new music is changing; the ‘unexpected album drop’ is here.

We’ve seen bands like U2 release direct to fans, but as with any business, finding a new way of doing something to add that all-important USP is crucial to success.

Take Beatie Wolfe for instance; the London, UK, based artist recently released a musical jacket as a way of getting her music out there.

She’s also done a full album on a series of digital interactive cards.

6) Artificial Intelligence

Heading into a music studio and ‘cutting’ a record is so old hat.

Why not just tell your computer the type of tune and how you’re feeling and let it do the work?

While still in the early stages, there is no doubt that AI will find its place within the music trends for this coming year.

OK, it may not be able to write a classic (excuse me Mr. Lennon – I am the Walrus?), but the type of music will definitely have its place – think of royalty free music.

7) Political

Let’s just get it out there … we have no political leanings whatsoever, this is merely a comment on trends in the music industry.

2017 has seen a rise in political songwriting; people wanting to comment on today’s society, the political landscape and whoever may be in power.

Truthfully, we don’t think it matters who is in the hot seat, but we’re heading back to an era of musicians using their following to deliver a message.

8) Vinyl

Vinyl sales are booming; 2015 saw the highest record of vinyl sold since 1988, while CD sales were down 17%.

That growth is happening year on year, as hipsters are trying new ways of out-cooling the cool people.

It’s no longer about clean, crisp sound, people actually want the hiss, scratch, and warmth of vinyl.

Having said that, we’re still waiting for traditional record players to make a resurgence.

9) Algorithms

Nearly every piece of tech is driven by algorithms, why should the music business be any different?

Not to be confused with Artificial Intelligence, an algorithm can be used to actually make music along with recognizing the types of music you want and recognizing you.

As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent, algorithms will be used to recognize you as you approach billboards, advertising hoardings or even your favorite store.

It will play you music based on your mood or even body language; it will quite literally be tailored for you.

10) Live Music

We love technology, it enables you to be reading this right now, or to carry around thousands of tracks in our pocket, either on our cell or MP3 / 4 players.

But is there really anything that will replace live music, now or in future?

Sure, being able to choose your music depending on mood or taste for the day is great, but no matter how good technology gets, it will never be able to recreate the atmosphere of a gig.

It won’t get you drunk, shove you in the mosh pit or leave you with the ‘super fan’ that you bumped into while in the line waiting for the restroom.

Live music is here to stay, it’s more than a trend, it’s a movement.

Here at Pligg, we have a whole world of knowledge at your fingertips, from music trends to making apps.

Be sure to check back regularly for updated content.


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What to Do During Diesel Exhaust Fluid Troubles

March 22, 2017 - By 
def fluid

If you have a diesel vehicle, then it’s possible that you may run into DEF problems in the future.

Protect and prepare yourself by reading the guide below on DEF fluid troubles. From explaining the DEF mechanism to troubleshooting the most common problems, we can help you prevent any future problems that you may incur.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid Troubles

Use this guide to manage and treat diesel exhaust fluid troubles.

What is DEF?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a solution made up of 32.5% urea and 67.5% de-ionized water that is added to a tank separate from the diesel fuel tank.

It is added to diesel vehicles to help them break down harmful emissions into nitrogen and water, through a Selective Catalytic Reduction system.

Due to EPA regulations, vehicle manufacturers have had DEF measurements in place for diesel vehicles since 2010, to help protect the environment and achieve fuel savings for drivers.

When to Add DEF

Make sure you pay attention to the alerts that arise on your dashboard. If a low DEF warning appears, make sure you add fluid as soon as possible.

When the DEF level drops below 10%, an amber warning will appear. At 5%, it will start flashing. If it falls below 2.5%, the engine power will be reduced and the vehicle speed will be stuck at 5 mph until you refill the DEF tank.

To prevent that mess, make sure you fulfill preventative care of your DEF tank and fill up as needed.

Common Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Of course, mistakes can occur when you’re taking care of a vehicle. Educate yourself and make sure you stay on top of preventing mistakes to help you survive future problems.

The top 3 DEF troubles arise from:

1. Putting DEF into Your Diesel Tank

Since DEF is made up of urea and water, putting it into your diesel tank can cause serious problems. That liquid combination can cause engine problems like causing fuel injector tips to explode or cause immediate cooling.

If you made this mistake, follow this protocol:

  • Shut off the engine and contact your engine service provider.
  • Drain the diesel tank and dispose of the fuel.
  • Drain the diesel fuel conditioning module.
  • Flush the fuel system.
  • Replace all filters.

2. Ignoring the Warning Signals for DEF

Again, if you ignored the warning signals for DEF that meant it was time for you add fluid, you will be in trouble.

Warnings traject from Exhaust Fluid Range to Exhaust Fluid Low-Speed-Limited Soon to Exhaust Fluid Empty-Refill Now. Each warning is important as it denotes when it is time to refill.

If you missed these warnings, your car will be limited to 5 mph so make sure you fill up immediately.

3. Putting Contaminated DEF into the System

Contaminated DEF can also create problems, most likely resulting from improper storage.

Symptoms of fuel contamination include:

  • an engine cranking, but won’t start
  • engine runs rough
  • low power
  • engine knocking
  • exhaust smoke
  • FRP slow to build

Contaminated DEF can cause severe damage to the fuel system, so the most recommended repair is to replace the entire fuel system, which can be a very expensive.


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The Top Pros and Cons of Wearing Masonic Rings

March 20, 2017 - By 
Mason

If you’re a new member of the Freemasonry, or if you’re about to become one, chances are you’re curious about those mason rings.

What is the meaning behind these rings?

Should you wear one? What does it mean if you do? What does it mean if you don’t?

As of 2015, the Masonic Service Association of North America had more than 1.6 million members, and there are just about as many opinions on ring wearing.

You’re mulling over the ring, and we’ve answered the call, by pulling together a list of Masonic ring pros and cons. Keep reading for help in deciding if a ring is right for you or if you’d rather pass.

Mason Ring Pros

  • The ring will constantly remind you to “live by the plumb”: The Freemasonry is a brotherhood committed to service to one another and the broader community; that’s why it gives more than $1.5 million a day to good causes! Your ring will serve as a constant reminder to uphold the tenets of the organization you proudly represent.
  • You will undoubtedly meet other Masons: The Masons are literally everywhere. From Alabama to Africa, New Mexico to New Zealand, Lubbock to London. Whether you are milling about your hometown or traveling in far-flung locations, you’re bound to find more Masons. Wearing your Masonic ring is a way of saying, “I’m a Mason, let’s be friends!”
  • You’ll get a chance to educate: Freemasonry is a centuries-old society whose illustrious alumni include Mozart, George Washington, Winston Churchill and Henry Ford, yet it’s shrouded in mystery. Wearing your ring will occasionally invite questions from nonmembers, which gives you a chance to spread the word and share your Masonic pride.
  • You can turn your ring into a family heirloom: Masonic rings are beautiful items to pass on to future generations, but if you choose to do so, make sure you also pass on the sanctity of Freemasonry membership. See the third bullet under “cons.”

Mason Ring Cons

  • The ring is bling: Masonic rings are not typically subtle accessories. You may find that there are certain times when you’d feel more comfortable with a toned-down look, such as a job interview or workout at the gym. Depending on your lifestyle, a ring just may not fit.
  • Questions from strangers: Bullet No. 3 above has a definite flip side. Nonmembers will have questions, and maybe even some pretty inaccurate misconceptions, about the Freemasonry. If you’d find a stranger’s Q&A annoying, you might want to skip the ring.
  • If you wear one, you better mean it: For Freemasons, the brotherhood is sacred. If you are wearing a ring just for the fashion statement, you are inviting the disdain of true Freemasons.

In the end, you have to do what’s right for you and your fingers. Remember that Masonic rings are not the only way to wear your Masonic pride. You may also consider dress cuffs, officer breast jewels, an embroidered badge, medals, a baseball cap, or for the Mason on the go, a car decal.


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Are You Still Buying These Common SEO Myths?

March 15, 2017 - By 
SEO Expert

SEO is dead. Or is it?

Every year it seems, some “gurus” come out of the woodworks to tell us that SEO efforts are no longer relevant.

Yet Google and other search engines continue to draw metrics from good, solid SEO tactics.

Even though Google themselves have told us not to rely so heavily on SEO, 72% percent of marketing professionals still consider fundamental SEO, like relevant content creation, to be the key to their success.

And with Google still producing 86% of all US organic search visits, ranking organically is still just as effective as ever.

So, what are the common myths about SEO that keep popping up year after year?

SEO Is Dead

SEO isn’t dead, but the way it’s done keeps changing.

Today, you can’t keyword stuff and get away with it. Google will certainly not hesitate to penalize your website.

This doesn’t mean keywords are no longer essential for SEO.

As content marketing grows from good to great, keywords will also continue to be a major driving force behind how web pages get ranked in search engine result pages (SERPs).

You just need to make sure you’re doing it right!

Link Building Is Pointless

Andrew Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, responded bluntly when asked what the two major factors Google still uses to rank pages are: “Content and links pointing to your site.”

We already knew that, but the question keeps coming up from time to time.

The reason is, there are still too many SEOs out there clogging up the web with 1000s of irrelevant backlinks.

These are the “bad” SEO guys out there exchanging a few bucks for a hundred backlinks from obscure sites.

SEO professionals know better, but the average website owner may still believe that a link is a link, regardless of the source. How far from the truth that is!

Only highly relevant, natural linking methods will push your site higher up in search rankings. Anything else is a waste of time and money.

SEO Is Too Expensive

Is good SEO costly?

It can be… from a certain perspective. But what’s the long-term value you’re getting from it?

New clients entering into an SEO contract are often expecting instant returns.

SEO is a long-term, but once it lights up, you will earn big rewards.

The trouble is, 30 days after paying an agency to get the ball rolling, the site owners start to get nervous: “Where’s my return on investment?”

Despite good reporting and reassurance from a qualified SEO expert, it remains a hard message to convey: Your dollars will pay off in the long run.

Contrast that with 30-90 days of DIY SEO, and nothing tangible is coming your way. How many hours did you waste?

When you really stop and think about it, a qualified SEO expert is worth every penny!

Conclusion

As long as SEO exists, myths will always be there.

But as evidence shows, you should not buy into them.

Sure, SEO can be a hard nut to crack and keeping up with the updates can be tiring, but it does work!


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The BBC Is Setting Up a “Debunk Fake News” Team

March 15, 2017 - By 
Daily News

As a daily news and internationally accredited news source, the BBC is actively working against claims that dilute their credibility.

In a world where anyone can post any type of information on the web at any given time, it is important for news sources such as the BBC to remain reliable and credible.

As a result, the BBC has launched a new project to verify and re-verify all of their information before it goes out for the public to read.

This move just goes to show that today, good journalism is no longer about speed, it’s about the truth and avoiding “fake news.”

We are living in a world of fake news.

Fake news videos are surfing the internet at a rampant pace.

In fact, Facebook was recently put under fire for its “fake news problem.” Too many faulty news videos and articles are surfacing onto users’ feeds.

Buzzfeed has recently provided a list displaying the biggest fake news events online in 2016. Check it out here. While some of them hilarious, keep in mind there are some people who actually believe this stuff!

One can see just how powerful news is, whether it be verified or unverified.

Just look at the amount of coverage WikiLeaks gets! Even though there is no direct proof that anything in WikiLeaks is true, that does stop the public from giving it a lot of attention.

Honestly speaking, it can be difficult to turn away from the fake news when it can often be made to look even more interesting than the truth!

How can we know what we are seeing online can be trusted?

The BBC is in the middle of assembling a team to debunk fake news and keep its credibility intact.

The team’s job is, essentially, to “reality check” the internet, and to sift through what is true and what is fake online.

Interestingly enough, BBC is working directly with Facebook on this project to find a strategy that will be most effective.

The goal? They want to make the facts more appealing than the falsehoods.

Admittedly, it is appealing to believe at first read. The real problem is that no one these days, facts checks before they “share” “like” and post links on their social media.

This is why BBC has taken matters into their own hands.

The station will put an emphasis on “slow” news and “slow” stories which have been analyzed in-depth.

The price of their new project? £290m.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

To conclude, as we move further into the age of fake news, it is important that each reader put their trust into credible news sources.

We are lucky to have news sources such as BBC who are working to help us detect false news online.

It won’t be long before other news outlets follow their footsteps and have similar teams to debunk fake news. It is important considering today’s political, social, and economic climate.

If you’d like to learn more about the BBC’s tips for debunking fake news, read here.


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5 Good Reasons to Actually Do It and Move to Hawaii

March 15, 2017 - By 
Home services hawaii

Hawaii is the third most popular place to move to, no matter if you’re from America or overseas.

The takeaway? If you’ve thought seriously about moving to Hawaii, you’re not alone – and your dream is totally doable.

Here, we’re outlining the top 5 reasons you should actually go for it.

1. You’ll Meet Tons Of New People – From All Over

With over 700,000 visitors each month, Hawaii is already a popular tourist destination. Maybe you loved your last trip so much, that you’re ready to make Hawaii your new home!

While the local color is more than amazing, Hawaii also gives you access to the international tourist set. You’ll have the chance to meet new people from across the globe, forming both business connections and genuine friendships.

Maybe you’ll even have a romantic rendezvous with a recent divorcee? Hey, anything can happen in Hawaii!

2. Simplify Your Life

Especially if you’re living in a bigger, more urban city, the stress of daily life, keeping up appearances, and dealing with public transportation can really take its toll.

Moving to Hawaii gives you the chance to take stock of your life. Evaluate the people, things, and even settings you really need to be happy. Moving at a slower, more simplified pace can help you rediscover lost passions – and yourself.

3. Move To A Place Where The Golden Rule Actually Exists

Life in Hawaii is highly local – everyone knows each other or is connected in some way.

As a result, the people are just friendlier. Hawaii helps you to combine the hospitality and friendliness of a small town with a dream tropical climate.

Even the food is local, so you’ll be able to eat healthier, as well!

4. Switch Up Your Career

A change of scenery isn’t the only reason to move to Hawaii. Sure, tourism is a huge industry in the state, but it’s also home to tons of scientific research centers, environmental technology startups and foundations, and even government affairs.

Isn’t now the time to try that career change you’ve been thinking about?

5. Every Day Is A Beach Day

Obviously, the laid back, surf and sun culture is a huge reason people move to Hawaii. But especially if you’re from a drearier, colder city, the tropical temperatures will be a dream come true.

Plus, good weather can actually help to boost your mental health. So, if you’re in a creative or personal rut, soaking up the sun can also help to give you positive vibes. Get the inspiration you need from the sandy shores.

And if you’re really missing the winter weather, you can always rent your place out on Airbnb during tourist season to make serious bank while you hit the ski slopes.

So…When Are You Calling The Moving Company?

By now, you’re convinced that your move to Hawaii is closer than ever. What else are you waiting for?

Call up a moving van, start stocking up on beachwear, and leave the city life behind! To locate the best real estate in Hawaii, check out Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hawaii for more details.