Friday, September 16, 2016

The great escape - Enjoying a cheap vacation

This is an article shared by one of my friends at Jumia Travel, it is quite interesting...

The great escape - Enjoying a cheap vacation

It's coming to the end of a summer to remember, my vacation in Ghana was the perfect getaway I always dreamt about.  For tourists and visitors to Ghana, there are several destinations to unwind in the major cities, especially Accra, Koforidua, Takoradi and Kumasi.

Just two months back I looked at my savings and believed I was going to be holed up in my apartment watching National Geographic while eating pizzas.

I was lucky to have a colleague at work put together a vacation strategy which would allow me travel to exotic locations on a shoestring budget. It took us careful planning and some financial discipline on my part to pull it off.

Just looking at the travel brochure of the beautiful Accra beaches, tourist attractions and enchanting safari wild life, I had doubts about making this trip.

Unlike most people who dream of exploring exotic destinations in Africa and later call it off for fear of its expense, I was able to make my vacation a reality.

I have listed below most of the tips that helped me book cheap hotels and save money on my visit to Ghana.

Setting your daily spending budget

The first advice I got before taking off was to do some research, figure out a reasonable spending limit and stick to it at all cost. This might mean forgoing some luxury, staying in hostels, cooking your own meals and using public transportation.

Most Safari brochures I saw only listed luxury, yet I was able to book cheap Accra hotels for less than $35 (100 Cedi).

Instead of shopping in the Accra mall I bought most of my Groceries in the popular Makola market. I found out that by eating out at local restaurants and staying away from the Luxury restaurants it wasn’t so difficult having a daily budget limit of $150.

Book hotel room and flight in advance

Just after completing your research, it would be wise to start making your reservations. Search for flight and hotel deals for your location.
Also ensure the hotel booking website specifies if the hotel provides facilities such as Air conditioners, mini-bars, WIFI and Jacuzzi’s. Hotel rooms with such facilities are on the pricey side, you would better off with basic hotel rooms.
When booking your flight it is better you avoid taking off or arriving during peak periods of Fridays and Saturdays; tickets are more expensive then.

Shared accommodation and Service apartments

Shared serviced apartments are gaining popularity in some parts of Ghana. Just when I thought I was making amazing savings with hotel deals, I discovered AirBnb in Ghana was cheaper.

Tourist and expatriates who intend staying longer share apartments in the city. Some of these apartments have facilities for cooking, entertainment and bathtubs.

Some of the hostels offered a common room, a comfortable bed and restaurant.

FBI Director Explains Why You Should Cover Your Webcam

In case you did not know, the webcam on your computer, laptop or even smartphone camera can be used to spy on you. So, if you are an highly-exposed public individual or very security conscious, you might want to cover your webcam as well as take other precautions. Read the story as sourced from TopTechNews...

FBI Director Covers His Webcam and Says You Should, Too

During a program yesterday recognizing the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Justice's National Security Division, James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), acknowledged that he continues to cover the webcam on his computer with a piece of tape and says that others should do the same.

Asked about cyber threats during an on-stage conversation in Washington, D.C., with John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Comey (pictured above) said everyone should take sensible precautions in the face of an ever-larger "attack surface." When Carlin followed up with a question about whether Comey still has tape over his webcam, the FBI director said, "Heck, yeah."

Despite being "much mocked for that, it's not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well," Comey said. All of the desktop cameras in the agency's offices also have lids that can be lowered to prevent unauthorized video surveillance, he added.

'A Kind of Band-Aid'

Comey is hardly the only high-profile individual known to cover his webcam for security reasons. In June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself at his desk in an announcement that Facebook-owned Instagram had reached 500 million users per month. In that photo, it was clear to see that the laptop webcam on the desk to his right was covered up.

Operations professional Chris Olson quickly noted on Twitter that the Zuckerberg photo showed three notable features about the CEO's computer habits: "camera covered with tape," "mic jack covered with tape" and "email client is Thunderbird."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has long advocated that computer users protect themselves against unwanted surveillance by taping over their webcams when not in use. After a federal judge rejected a government request to hack a criminal suspect's computer and camera in 2013, the EFF advised people to use Post-it notes or some other type of covering with low-tack, pressure-sensitive adhesive to cover their computer cameras.

"These measures act as a kind of Band-Aid against surveillance (and some people use a Band-Aid for this purpose)," EFF deputy executive director and general counsel Kurt Opsahl noted in an April 2013 blog post. "It's a simple step that will mitigate the harm, but not a complete privacy solution."

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sony Xperia XZ Specifications

Sony Xperia XZ packs powerful cameras for great photos

Sony has recently announced a new flagship -the Xperia XZ smartphone which has been getting positive reviews especially because of its camera. As a Sony smartphone user myself, I find it interesting to learn more about the specifications of this new phone. See them next courtesy GSMArena:

Sony Xperia XZ Specs

LAUNCHAnnounced2016, September
StatusComing soon. Exp. release 2016, October 17
BODYDimensions146 x 72 x 8.1 mm (5.75 x 2.83 x 0.32 in)
Weight161 g (5.68 oz)
SIMSingle SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
 - IP68 certified - dust proof and water resistant over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
DISPLAYTypeIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size5.2 inches (~70.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels (~424 ppi pixel density)
MultitouchYes, up to 10 fingers
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version)
 - Triluminos display
- X-Reality Engine
PLATFORMOSAndroid OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow), planned upgrade to v7.0 (Nougat)
ChipsetQualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
CPUQuad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo)
GPUAdreno 530
MEMORYCard slotmicroSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM
CAMERAPrimary23 MP, f/2.0, 24mm, phase detection and laser autofocus, LED flash
Features1/2.3" sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 1080p@60fps
Secondary13 MP, f/2.0, 22mm, 1/3" sensor size, 1080p, HDR
SOUNDAlert typesVibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
LoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackYes
 - 24-bit/192kHz audio
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
COMMSWLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Bluetoothv4.2, A2DP, aptX, LE
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS/ BDS (region dependent)
USBv2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector; USB Host
FEATURESSensorsFingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass, color spectrum
MessagingSMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
 - Fast battery charging (Quick Charge 3.0)
- Xvid/MP4/H.265 player
- MP3/eAAC+/WAV/Flac player
- Document viewer
- Photo/video editor
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 2900 mAh battery
Stand-byUp to 600 h (2G) / Up to 610 h (3G)
Talk timeUp to 11 h 40 min (2G) / Up to 17 h 30 min (3G)
MISCColorsMineral black, Platinum, Forest blue, Deep pink
Price group9/10
Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg: How Newsfeeds Changed the way You Get the News

Nigeria's President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo with Mark Zuckerberg

This is true unless you are not on Facebook or any other social media that uses news feeds.

Mark Zuckerberg wrote the following on his wall:

On News Feed's 10th birthday, I want to share some thoughts on the idea of a social feed and how it's changed the way we see the world.

In many ways, social media is the most diverse form of media that has ever existed.
Before the internet, most people got their news from only a handful of newspapers, TV and radio stations. Different outlets made different editorial decisions, and it was easy to pick one you liked and stick with it.

Now that's changing. A study by the Pew Research Center this year showed that more than seven in ten adults get their news on mobile, and two out of three say family and friends are an important way they get news -- including through social media. That means more people are getting exposed to a larger and more diverse set of opinions.

One of the things we’re really proud of at Facebook is that, whatever your political views, you probably have some friends who are in the other camp. You probably have some friends who practice different religions -- or who come from different countries. In Europe, for example, the average person on Facebook has more than 50 friends from outside their own country.

That means whatever TV station you might watch or whatever newspaper you might read, on Facebook you're hearing from a broader set of people than you would have otherwise. Last year, the American Press Institute found that seven out of ten millennials -- the group that's most likely to get their news online -- said their social media feeds contained a mix of viewpoints similar to and different from their own. And three out of four said they investigated different opinions at least some of the time.

It's not a perfect system. Research shows that we all have psychological bias that makes us tune out information that doesn't fit with our model of the world. It's human nature to gravitate towards people who think like we do. But even if the majority of our friends have opinions similar to our own, with News Feed we have easier access to more news sources than we did before.

Still, we can help by doing a better job filtering out false information or clickbait. We've made some changes to the News Feed algorithm, and we're constantly trying to get a better understanding of what our community finds valuable and what it doesn't.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make Facebook a place for all ideas. Some of what we're up against is human nature -- biases that existed long before the internet. But by giving people access to more information and helping promote diversity and a plurality of opinions, we can build stronger communities.

I'm interested to hear what you think about these issues. Leave your comments below or like your favorites and I'll respond to as many as I can.

Source: Facebook

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How to Design and Sell Your Own Items Online

Have you ever thought that you could design your own clothing, shoes, bags and other items? I definitely have and there is a new website that allows you do just that. It is called Forudesigns.

This website allows you create, sell or buy items created by visitors to the site like you.

This is a great way to unleash your creativity and obviously make money if you are really good at designing stuff.

Click here to learn how to start,

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Protecting Your Brand With Online Reputation Management

Marketers who don't think that their online reputation is important should look at these recent survey results that were published on Adweek[1]

* Eighty-one percent of U.S. consumers reported doing at least some online research before deciding to buy something. 

* To do this research, about six out of ten consumers say that they start their research with a search engine. 

* In addition, 61 percent of consumers say that they do consider online reviews in their purchase decisions. 

The Importance Of Online Reputation Management For Brands 

While a few negative reviews posted online should not give a company a reason to panic, it is obviously important to make sure that the information that consumers can learn about a company on the internet are generally positive. Most consumers know that people are more likely to post a comment when they are very unhappy than when they are generally satisfied. However, a spate of damaging online posts can hurt a brand. 

In addition, it is important for marketers to know how to handle bad news in a professional and diplomatic way. In some cases, a negative blog post or review will not do as much damage as a mean-spirited response from a company representative will. In the United States, people feel free to voice their opinions and they certainly won't be likely to patronize a company that disrespects them for doing so. 

Of course, one goal of online reputation management may be to help protect a company from bad press. However, it also gives marketers a chance to get the good news about their brands found by consumers. 

Online reputation management also helps companies position themselves where potential customers are likely to be looking for information about products and services. On some platforms, the information might consist of little more than a website link or a phone number, but that's better than not having any information about a company at all. 

This means that companies need to take some proactive steps to protect their brands. Reputation management isn't all about responding to negative comments. It should actually focus more on promoting the company in a positive light in a proactive way. 

These are some steps that can be used to help protect a company's reputation and grow business: 

* Create company profiles and pages on important social networking sites, review sites, and business directories. 

* Create a company blog to allow direct communication with consumers. 

* Make sure that the entire online platform conforms with clear business goals. 

* Encourage satisfied customers to leave honest reviews. 

* Train employees in the proper response to any potentially negative feedback that they may find on the internet. 

This last step is an important one. A company should distribute a policy to all employees about responding to any comments they might see when they are using the internet. A well-meaning employee could compound the damage if he or she fires off an imprudent response to some negative press that happens to show up on a Facebook or Twitter feed. 

Of course, people tend to associate reputation management with steps that may get taken after companies get some poor press or bad reviews. However, the impact of these is likely to be reduced if the company has already taken proactive steps to create a favorable online presence right up front. Damage control is only one factor in ensuring that brands are viewed positively by consumers. The first goal should be to make sure that these brands can be found online by consumers who are researching their buying choices.


Ryan Beach is the owner of Final Stop SEO, a successful company helping businesses across the country to grow and prosper. If you are ready to dominate the search engines, visit today.
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