• Amazon launches kindle unlimited

    September 28, 2014  |  News  |  Comments Off on Amazon launches kindle unlimited

    Amazon is launching a new service called Kindle Unlimited in the UK, following its US debut in July. So what’s the hype? By joining the subscription which costs £7.99/month, you will gain access to a catalogue of more than 650,000 ebooks, as well as more than 2,000 audiobooks from Amazon’s Audible subsidiary. This is just like the ebook version od Spotify for music.

    It is anticipated that there will be a 30-day free trial for people to discover new books that they might not have noticed otherwise.

    “Our US customers have shown us how much they love the opportunity to discover new authors and genres, and now we’re delighted to offer the same freedom to our customers in the UK,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, Amazon’s vice president, Kindle EU.

    Kindle Unlimited maybe the most high-profile attempt by far to create an ebook subscription service, although startups including Oyster, Scribd and Entitle have also been exploring the idea.

    As Amazon had the largest market share for ebook readers, this attempt of a paid subscription may provide a whole new revenue for Amazon and ebook publishers. Amazon says that authors will be paid each time someone reads more than 10% of one of their books through the new service. How much they get paid depends on individual deals struck between publishers and Amazon, however.

    This whole new service maybe the holygrail for ebook pulishers to grow their sales exponentially. You may want to take a read about how people are making money with kindle publishing at kindle cash blueprint.

    Alibaba is just too huge

    April 8, 2014  |  News  |  Comments Off on Alibaba is just too huge

    Alibaba is China’s biggest eCommerce company. TaoBao is the auction like site where billions of chinese customers are using every day. Taobao.com is currently ranked no.11 globally on Alexa surpassing Amazon and eBay. You can probably imagine how much sales they are making with this huge traffic. Taobao reported making sales volume around 100 million US dollar in 40 minutes on one of their special sale day in 2013.

    Alibaba also has its own online payment platform, business-to-business platform, and even an online savings account service. Basically literally every chinese customer would be using one of the service provided by Alibaba. In the past decade, the growth of chinese economy and increase in internet coverage in China lead to the exponential rise of growth in the revenue of Alibaba, making it named the world’s greatest bazaar by The Economist.

    As I have used Taobao for some of my shopping, I am very amazed by the great variety of stuff you can buy on the internet. The price is unbeatable, but you may need to expect the quality to meet the price you are paying. All in all I am satisfied with the online shopping experience on Taobao.

    I started to worry about the individual sellers on eBay and Amazon. It may be difficult to compete with the cheap products from china, as I heard most of the sellers on these two platforms rely on wholesale supplier directory to buy their products at a cheap price and resell it on eBay and Amazon. Let’s wait and see how Alibaba’s forthcoming IPO would change the industry of eCommerce!

    You can learn more about how individual sellers on eBay and Amazon find trustworthy wholesalers and dropshippers here.

    Would you buy the iPhone 5s?

    November 22, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on Would you buy the iPhone 5s?

    As you may know the all new iPhone 5s sold to a record of 9 million units at its launch weekend, it may be a very successful product, but do you want to buy one yourself?

    From the outlook the iPhone 5s just look so much alike the iPhone 5, having the same screen dimensions and same sleek design. The only difference being the super hyped fingerprint sensor at the home button of 5s. The iPhone 5s also weighs 112g which is the same as the iPhone 5, with identical dimensions of 123,8mm x 58,6mm x 7,6mm. But the new one comes in a choice of three colours: grey, silver and gold. Some say the gold colour is targeted for the Chinese, but I think the gold colour is the only new element one can easily spot that you have an iPhone 5s, so naturally it would be the most sought after version.

    The addition of the fingerprint reader, called Touch ID, is used to unlock the phone, which is more convenient than typing a four-digit Pin. It can also be used to authorise purchases on the App Store. It works very well, scanning accurately and quickly most of the time. If, after three attempts, you haven’t been able to sign in or purchase an app, you are prompted to enter a Pin.

    Initial set up of Touch ID is straightforward. You simply place your finger on the scanner to enrol your fingerprint. You are allowed to store up to five fingerprints, but having two thumbprints should be sufficient because, the more fingerprints stored, the longer it takes to read. Touch ID reads a fingerprint from any direction, even upside down — perhaps useful after a few too many at your local pub.


    When using the 5 and 5s side by side, there is a slight but noticeable “warmer” hue on newer model’s screen. At the highest level of screen brightness on both handsets, the 5s is slightly off-white.



    The 5s is powered by Apple’s dual-core A7 processor, the world’s first 64-bit processor on a mobile phone. Although it’s just a dual core processor, its performance actually surpass most of the quad core mobile devices. This doesn’t mean much for now, but could point to an effort by Apple to blur the distinction between its desktop and mobile lines.

    The 5s also has an M7 motion coprocessor health fanatics will love. It uses very little power and can be used to monitor and track all your movements. An app that works really well with the M7 chip is Nike+ Move, which tracks your movements, displays your Nike “Fuel” points earned, shows your movements in coloured graphs, and allows you to link your Nike+ account and connect with friends. It cuts out the need to wear any additional gadget to track your fitness.

    Not surprisingly, the 5s is snappier than the iPhone 5 when it comes to launching apps, browsing the Web or watching videos. However, on a couple of occasions, our review unit randomly crashed — with the screen going blank and the device rebooting. The new Tweetbot app crashed the phone a few times on the 5s, whereas it continued working fine on the 5. According to Crittercism, a mobile application performance management specialist, apps crash twice as often on the 5s than the 5c due to the 64-bit chip on the former. It’s apparently happening because developers are not optimising their apps for the hardware on the 5s. It is rather frustrating.

    The camera on the 5s is an 8-megapixel affair, as in the iPhone 5, but the newer model has a larger lens. This means more light can reach the sensor, offering better quality pictures in low-light conditions. It also has auto (not optical) image stabilisation, and a dual-LED flash — white and amber — to achieve more natural-looking light and colour in photos.

    Two nifty new features in the camera app are “burst mode” and “slo-mo” video. Burst mode is amazing, it takes up to 10 frames per second so you don’t miss the best shot from an action sequence. It only works on the normal photo ad square photo shooting modes. You simply press and hold the shutter release button for a series of rapid shots. A count of how many shots you’ve taken appears next to the shutter button.

    Slo-mo video recording shoots in 120fps and, apart from testing the mode, we haven’t really found a use for it. When you record in slo-mo mode, Apple automatically selects which part of the video to turn into slow motion, but you can use the edit tool to adjust this. However, sharing the slo-mo video does get a bit tricky — they won’t display on Instagram and the like.

    Video mode supports full 1080p HD recording at 30fps with a 3x zoom. The front-facing, 1,2-megapixel camera is capable of 720p, which is fine for Skype or FaceTime.

    Battery life on the 5s has been improved slightly — it has been bumped up to 1 540mAh from the 1 440mAh on the iPhone 5. If you’re out and about most of the day, chances are you will need to find a plug, but on a regular day, even with the M7 coprocessor running in the background, it should take you into the evening.

    Bottom line: it may be a decent upgrade option for iPhone 4s users, but not so attractive to the users with iPhone 5. The listing price is the same as iPhone 5, but you may try methods to buy cheap iPhone 5s

    Businesses’ Appalled by Quality of CVs

    September 26, 2013  |  News  |  Comments Off on Businesses’ Appalled by Quality of CVs

    Whether it is the standard of teaching or a lack of care by students, the latest business news studies show that the quality of CVs has dropped in recent years. With so many of us out of employment, businesses are really taking their time regarding who they hire because getting the right applicant for the job is crucial.

    Competition is fierce and every sale counts, meaning that CVs need to be extremely strong in order to generate the right attention from businesses. They simply cannot take the risk with hiring a potentially negligent or poorly educated staff member. Most of us are of course neither of those two things, but our CVs are making us appear that way.

    Your CV is your way into any job – it should be speaking for you, getting you in the door of employment and making the employer take an interest in you. However, according to a BBC survey, more than 60% of CVs have spelling and grammar errors, and the majority of CVs are template editions which are sent out to every available job – it is estimated that two thirds of CVs sent out are the same as the jobseeker sends out to every job, dampening their chances of getting the job greatly.

    Although courses are available through the Job Centre and colleges to improve your CV, the constantly changing standards and the fact that there is no real quality CV template available means many people are left overwhelmed and confused about what they need to include and what they can leave out.

    Some of the most common CV mistakes are

    Having a CV that’s far too long – you want to be quick and precise, leaving out a lot of the extras that aren’t to do with your career history.

    Obviously paid for – there are companies who will write your CV for you, providing you pay them enough money, and this is of course a very bad thing. If you use terminology in your CV that you don’t in an interview, you are toast.

    Silly e-mail addresses – nobody is going to hire somebody whose e-mail address is [email protected] are they? Employers want to see common sense here, so ensure you provide them with a legitimate and professional looking e-mail address like [email protected]

    Your CV is the single most powerful tool you have to land you job interviews so make sure you aren’t part of the two-thirds who just aren’t getting it right.

    The Many Benefits of Using Handmade Soap

    July 7, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on The Many Benefits of Using Handmade Soap

    Have you ever be curious enough to look at the ingredients in your soap or body wash? You may be amazed by the numerous chemicals and synthetic additives in these consumer products. These chemicals serve their roles of producing lots of lather that people like and keeping their soap last longer. Typically using washing products with lots of chemicals would likely dry your skin. While some people may think that you need lots of lather to cleanse your body, the truth is less is more. Natural handmade soap is beneficial in a way that they have no chemical additives that may harm or damage the skin, yet it cleanses your skin superbly well.

    Our skin is actually our body’s biggest organ. Its normal structure is very important for being the uttermost barrier for all the environmental hazards like ultraviolet light and microorganisms. To keep your skin healthy, you need to be wise about the products you use. Frequent use of soaps with harmful chemicals and damage this elegant normal skin structure and causing numerous annoying skin conditions. Many people with allergic skin are very sensitive to chemical additives and can lead to skin problems like extreme dry skins or exacerbating eczema.

    If you have been having the feeling of dry skin or itchy skin after taking a shower with your old soap, you should try to use a all natural soap. Only natural soaps can clean your skin and restores the moisture of your skin at the same time. How do the natural soaps do their work? They contain natural oils such as olive oil. As you may still remember from your science class that “like dissolve like”, these natural oils can then substitute the skin harming detergents in synthetic soaps and dissolve all the oily dirt we have on our skin and give you a great clean.

    Many natural handmade soaps contain shea butter. Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of African shea tree. It has been widely recognized as one of the best natural ingredient that can maintain the moisture of your skin and with some extra benefits. It has this special anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectants properties. Using organic soaps with shea butter can improve your skin condition and prevent dry skin. Frequent use can also restore the original elastic feel of your skin, so you would always have flawless skin.

    Apart from the great benefits to your skin, natural soap can also help you save the planet. Synthetic soaps are literally detergents that will end up polluting clean water. These synthetic chemicals have structures resembling plastics, so you would expect that they would sit there for thousands of years and cannot be decomposed. However, using natural soaps are environmentally friendly, as all the ingredients are organic in nature, and they can all be decomposed by nature.

    Try using a natural organic soap, and you can really feel the difference. You would notice what’s good for your skin. Natural soap soothes your skin while the synthetic ones do more harm than good.

    Research Your Family Tree

    March 6, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on Research Your Family Tree

    Have you been curious about your own family tree? Understanding our ancestors may be useful for us to know more about ourselves.

    Most people thought of researching their family tree out of curiosity. It’s interesting to know about all the family members and catching specific characteristics that are found in the family members. Sometimes these characteristics skip generations, and you may found children having characteristics that are shared in uncles and aunts. Although we may not be descended from well-known families, understanding more of their past stories can be inspirational to us.

    Family ancestry research can be done in a systematic way. When we can trace through the family, with newspaper reports, wills, letters, diaries and other documents, we can identify who are our ancestors, and can get a better picture of our family. These tracings give us an idea of when they lived and how did they managed during their time. Letters and diaries can provide us more insight about how do they think of things. Did they believe what we believe or where they on a different path? Would we have liked them? Could we be proud of them?

    A sense of time would be developed as we went back through generations and tried to relate what was happening in the global world at the time these progenitors once lived. We can then understand why some of the family members migrated, why a family member left the country of their birth. Political unrest, lack of jobs, the hope of something better are powerful triggers still happening today. After a few generations, most family would have family members immigrated to other countries for various reasons. Other families stayed in one place for dozens of generations and can be traced back. That says something about them too.

    Many older family members tell stories about their youth. Grandchildren can be fascinated by the exploits of their parents and aunts and uncles. Following these tales can be a stimulus to finding out more about their adult life and how they earned their living and sometimes even what they looked like. Sometimes family myths are just that but are fun to follow through.

    As genetic details are handed down automatically, knowing something of the medical background of the ancestors can be useful. Where did the asthma come from, who had hay fever, who was a martyr to upset digestion? These are the irritating inheritances but knowing they are a family tendency allows some acceptance.

    Knowing we come from a turbulent family can help us to understand rebelliousness in the younger members. Other families do nothing outstanding but work steadily and are pillars of society. Knowing something of our forebears gives us some knowledge of ourselves. This could be a trigger to breaking a family pattern or it could be a basis for continuing in the current life style.

    If we know that we come from a troubled family, this can perhaps help us to understand why the young members are very rebellious. Other families are fairly ordinary but with stable jobs, are likely the ones building the pillars of society. Knowing more about our ancestors can be a valuable lesson for us.

    Doing Tax Prep

    February 14, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on Doing Tax Prep

    It is very tedious to try and prepare your 2013 tax returns using a primitive booklet from IRA, a stash of receipts collected over the past year, bits and pieces of your pay stubs.

    Sometimes it can be more complicated if you have to do multiple fillings. Tax preparation service can be a good choice for you to save your valuable time. No one would enjoy sitting in front of your desk for the whole weekend trying to sort out all these ludicrously complex IRS forms. You could try to get the professionals to help you with this hard task. There are several advantages for hiring a professional to help you with filling in these complicated forms:

    You are not familiar with the Law

    While the IRS gives you a very primitive booklet and a website for questions about current law, you’ll soon find that this is a lot to take in at once. And you may not fully aware of the interpretation of the laws. What most people do when they have specific questions they can’t figure out is to go online and start seraching for information from third party sites. This is where you can easily get into trouble. First, there is an absurd amount of spam out there when it comes to taxes and the information pertaining to them. Secondly, even when you get past the spam, there is a lot of incorrect information. You may then end up mis-filing your taxes and can result in significant penalties, most of which will eclipse tax prep services in terms of money spent.

    Pass the Buck

    If you do your own taxes and there is an error, the IRS is going to come looking for you to fix the problem. You would be solely responsible for what’s in the filing. However, when you hire professional tax prep services like IDAHO Tax Prep, they would take the responsibility of filling it correctly and would deal with any possible problems. The IRS will directly contact them if there is a problem, thus giving you some degree of cushion when it comes to getting into trouble. Of course, a professional accountant can only work with what you give them, so if you hide income from them, they will be quick to inform the IRS that they had no idea and that cushion will of course disappear.

    Planning ahead

    Not only a professional can handle your filing seamlessly, they can help you plan ahead for next year. They would provide you with specific tips and strategies, they can often help people handle their money in such a way that next year’s refund is much more significant (or, alternatively, the bill is far less significant). All in all, hiring a professional service should pay more for itself and you can enjoy your time doing things you enjoy instead of dealing with these troublesome tax forms.

    Health Benefits of Giving Up Cigarettes

    February 10, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on Health Benefits of Giving Up Cigarettes

    Quitting smoking is obviously beneficial to your health. But what exactly is it that happens? A smoker inhales thousands of chemicals when they have a cigarette. Ammonia, acetone, formaldehyde, and arsenic are some, things not normally welcome in the human body. Tar in the smoke inhaled is deposited onto the lungs, which causes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer. In addition, cigarettes contain over 40 carcinogens, and they aren’t just limited to lung cancer, either; cigarettes have been linked to larynx, esophagus, mouth, kidney, stomach, bladder, and throat cancer. Smoking also causes heart diseases like high blood pressure, heart failure, and blockage of blood vessels. Stroke is also common. All in all, 1 in 2 lifelong smokers will die from complications due to cigarettes. And even if no life-threatening ailments come about, there’s always loss of taste buds, shortness of breath, chronic cough, nerve damage (which may lead to amputation), and the woes of addiction. That’s a whole lot of depressing information. Many smokers chose to ignore it, or don’t know it at all. But some are scared straight, for the benefit of themselves and the people around them, and quit. And then what? The effects of quitting are almost immediate. 20 minutes after the last cigarette, your heart rate starts decreasing to its normal speed (nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, shrinking the size of your veins). Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood starts to decrease, increasing the amount of oxygen. After a day, risk of heart attack starts to decrease. 48 hours marks the beginning of regaining nerve endings lost to oxygen deprivation and taste and smell start to recover. In two to three weeks, withdrawal symptoms usually begin to cease. Incessant coughing sometimes characterized by smokers will also stop, as a smoker’s body produces more phlegm than a non-smoker, and has less cilia to clean it up.

    After a month that someone give up cigarettes, the lungs start to rebuild. The cilia in your lungs, which had been coated in tar, begin their normal function, filtering the air you breathe. A year after, your chance of a smoking-related heart attack are cut in half. In five to fifteen years, your chances of stroke return to that of someone who doesn’t smoke. And after ten years, your risk of cancer is halved. So there is hope. And of course, the earlier you quit, the better. Stopping before 30 reduces risk by 90%, by age 50, 50%. But there are some negative, albeit temporary, changes that may happen after quitting. Especially for longtime smokers, cigarettes affect the body in many ways. And so quitting, especially when going cold turkey, may cause turbulence. There are digestive system changes, like acid reflux, gas, and constipation (nicotine is a stimulant, which includes the gastrointestinal tract. Once you quit,the body, adjusting to changes, often becomes constipated). Respiratory issues like sinus congestion and coughing occur due to the regenerating throat clearing itself out. Insomnia and vivid dreams and nightmares are also common. Interestingly, this is because you are no longer covering up anxiety and problems with smoking; dreams are a means for the subconscious to sort out your issues. Despite a couple uncomfortable adjustments, what happens after you quit smoking is your quality of life improves. You’re able to do more, because of health improvements and longer life. And the sooner you quit, the better your chances are. There aren’t many things in life that give you a second chance, but when you are, grab it. And do yourself a favor, and don’t light up again.

    Job Search Advice And Tips For Teenagers and New Graduates

    February 10, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on Job Search Advice And Tips For Teenagers and New Graduates

    Lots of teenagers and new graduates are facing a big problem ahead. In this economy, finding a job can be a very difficult task.

    I once read that if you  “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius. This quote should be key in the new job search tips and advice  in this article. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you commit to finding a great summer job. Will your new job inspire you, energize you and allow you to do great work and have fun at the same time? Will you be working with friendly, outgoing and smart peers like yourself or with talented co-workers and managers? Will your job help people and make the world a better place? Answering these questions should land you a job that you would love and be beneficial to you later on in life. The advancement of technology has led to the development of Social media platforms, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blogs. These websites are tremendous tools that you have at your disposal. The wealth of human resources that is Facebook and twitter for example, have become an almost certain way of landing a great summer job. Whether on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, let your friends and followers know that  you’re looking for a job. Even better, tell them what type of job you’re looking for. They may not know of any openings right away, but if they know you’re available, they’ll think of you when a position is available.

    A great example of this is Jason. He developed and used his skills and social media to earn money. At the age of 13, he learned leather craft at a summer camp. He lived in a remote community, a place of few employment opportunities. However, Jason made small leather items (key rind holders, belts and wallets) that he could sold at the local market and craft stores in his neighborhood. Because he could provide a service and was determined to produce the highest-quality work, his reputation and his profit margin grew. Soon Jason started taking pictures of his work and posted them on Facebook, which lead to more sales, enabling him to buy larger quantities of leather, which he made into beautifully tooled handbags and purses. These he sold at the local Arts and Crafts stores and though Facebook orders. He began to offer free shipping of his product to neighboring cities, free of charge! Which led to even more sales, soon Jason had more orders than he could fill. Don’t be afraid to take to first step and dream! Talk to your parents, teachers and friends. Use Facebook, Twitter and other sites to make your dream summer job can become a reality. It takes courage, confidence, integrity and hard work to become successful at what ever you want to be. Do so and you will be well on your way to finding a great job, starting a new business or career.

    You could be the next one to obtain a great job and start your successful career!

    Tips for buying Repossessed Cars

    February 10, 2013  |  Blog  |  Comments Off on Tips for buying Repossessed Cars

    Investing in a repossessed car can be a challenge; however for the right person such as a “bargain hunter” you can get your car. Not many people want a new vehicle; this option gives you a chance to get a better deal. However you must prepare yourself, to buy a repossessed car. It is always good to get someone who has experience in buying repossessed vehicles and if you don’t find anyone do your own research. When you are hunting for the vehicle, sometime your competitors can be aggressive depending on the environment. Here are some useful tips for car buyers.

    •  Dealership

    One of the most “easiest” ways to buy repossessed cars is from the dealerships. The dealership will not give you the “auction deal” but their will give you something better. Dealership will give the option of a hassle-free environment where you are the winner for the vehicle. As the consumer you can have the vehicle “inspected” before being purchased. This puts you at an advantage because you will know what you are getting. For e.g. “Schultz Auto Broker of Wayne, Michigan, recently put a $10,500 price on 2004 Audi A8L Quattro, which was about $2000-$4000 below its book value”. H.G (2010)

    • Leaders (local banks or credit union)

    Leaders  is also another way to find out about repossessed cars, there are offer in many “local banks or credit union”. Credit unions will sell a repo vehicle if it is in reasonable standards, to one of their “members” said John Kurtz of the Texas Credit Union League. One of my recent credit union banks used to sell the repossessed cars to their member and also advertise their auction to the public also. Members for credit union are also given the opportunity to bid for “several days” and of course the “highest bid” wins the repossessed car. H.G (2010)

    • Auctions

    Auction is one of the most bargain hunters for people. Why? Because you get a good deal at the right time and place. And who doesn’t want a good deal. Auction is a great place to grab a repo car, however you will have many people competing for the same vehicle. Auction vehicles will have many conditions and not to mention if the vehicle doesn’t have a “title” H.G (2010).  A vehicle without a title, “may cause the buyer more problems” because you cannot prove that you own the vehicle. There is nothing more crazy than to be paying for a repossessed vehicle and can’t use it because of the title issues. So think carefully when you buy a repossessed vehicle. The internet is also another way to auction bids on a repossessed vehicle. On the internet you can use various website to find the vehicle you want and bid. With the internet you will not have the option to conduct an inspection. Repossessed car can be a great buy, when you know the advantages and disadvantages, you need to investigate your car and go for the target if it is worth it. Don’t jump into a deal without doing your homework; it can give you an upper hand for your buy. H.G (2010)

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