Photographs And The Allure Of Still Memories

All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, and mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.Susan Sontag, On Photography

The world we are living allows us to take pictures almost everyday. Cameras are more accessible today compared to any period in human history. Some take photos for monetary profit, other for fashioning their social media, some for personal souvenirs. When I was a kid, playing with an old camera encourage me to understand people as photography subjects. But as maturity settles, it made me realize that the very act of taking photo is intimate but frighteningly cold at the same time. As photographer, you are in the position to look into lives, actions, praxis, and narratives. It is an attempt to empower people by sharing their story. Ironically, you also locate them into a tiny viewfinder where thy are simply subjects under your assumed power as the photographer. And I think this is just one of the many contradictions of photography. Things like this interests me to see how cameras and photographs figure into our mundane existence.

As a form of artistic discipline and technological advancement, photography did not simply emerge out of a social vacuum. The word photography is derived from the Greek word photos which means ‘light’ and graphein which means ‘to draw’. Sir John F.W. Herschel first coined the word in 1839, referring to the method of recording images by means of exposing sensitive materials to light and radiation. Though it wasn’t until 1820s when practical cameras were developed, the science of photography started way back. The origin of modern day cameras are the multiple technological breakthroughs (and mistakes) of the past.

Greek thinkers in the name of Aristotle and Euclid mentioned a prototype of pinhole camera as early as 5th – 4th century BC. It is said that Aristotle pondered on why the sun produce circular images when its light passes through a square hole. This inquiry laid down initial principles on optic laws. Around 1000AD, scholar Alhazen made a thorough study on the manipulation of light, camera obscura, and pinhole camera. During this time, pinhole camera was used to project images of the environment onto a screen. In 1190s, Albert Magnus discovered the use of silver nitrate while Georges Fabricius discovered silver chloride around mid-1500s. In 1694, Wilhelm Homberg documented the darkening reaction of particular chemicals to the exposure of light.

By mid-1820s, Joseph Nicephore Niepce developed the first photograph using camera obscura. Apparently, no other person successfully recorded subjects by means of exposure to light. He called this heliographs, also known as sun prints. This method, however, requires several hours of light exposure and the end results were nothing but crude outlines of the subject. Not to mention the fact that the printed exposure will fade after few days of printing. Nonetheless, Niepce attempt opened a brighter (pun intended) path into the development of better cameras and photographs. Fast forward, this technological innovation served as the prototype of the modern digital cameras and DSLRs that we are using today.

How photos changed the modern world?

I don’t pretend to be making photographs to “help” people. It is a fallacy. But I do sometimes believe that when the images are shared they can illuminate aspects of a life that is overlooked and they can be part of a larger conversation about how we overlook certain people.Stacy Kranitz

In 1972, Nick Ut’s “The Terror of War”, a photo of a young naked girl and other minor civilians crying and running toward the highway after South Vietnamese air force enforced napalm strike on Trang Bang village. After taking the photo, Ut mentioned that he immediately took a lot of water and poured it on the girl’s body because she had been hit by napalm. Thirty percent of her body suffered from third degree burn. This image alone stirred national debates in the US vis-à-vis their direct involvement on Vietnam War. Until now, it is considered as one of the most powerful and influential imageries that raised the ethical consciousness of people on the terrors of war.

Photography changed the modern world in different ways. The landmark photograph taken by Nick Ut tells us how potent a medium photo can become. It allows people to see distant places, cultures, and stories. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, portraits and images are symbol of wealth and prestige. Because getting an artist was expensive, self-portraits and family portraits are only exclusive among the members of the upper class. The invention of photography revolutionized the use of image. It singlehandedly made the production of images available to the public. In the mid-20th century, average people can share their photographs as their versions of their worlds.

Currently, photos have become anthropological and archaeological records. It sketches the life of certain people and draw insights into the complexities of human existence. It helps in bridging the big “Other”. It shows us what it means to be human, and what it means to have humanity.

Final Thoughts…

In just three years, a friend of mine already posted more than 1000 photos on her Instagram account. That’s almost a picture a day! Well, that is a revelation for me. People love taking photos and sharing it to the public.

But why do we enjoy photography? Some may simply answer that it’s for fun. And yes, I would agree to that note. Still, I think there is more to it than that. It is possible that we take photos because it allows us to freeze (slice, if we use Sontag’s expression) moments. The ability to capture memories helps us remember our past. This is why we photograph cool concerts, travels, foods, friends, and family. Photos allow us to narrate our small but personal legacies. It helps us construct our own history.

As an art form, photography is also a way of expression by presentation. While it gives you new insights on how to understand light and the world around you, it also grants you the ability to express how you see the world.

What are you waiting for? Say cheese!

Laptops for Gamers 2017: The Predator and the Aero 14

What I hate the most while playing games in an average laptop is – obviously – lag. Even the most patient people would lose their temper because of the delay in gameplay. Well, I could just play on my desktop but I don’t want to miss playing games whenever I’m on travel. Now that I need a new gaming laptop because I have to stay in another country for a few months, I’m sharing two of the most awesome options out there for my next buy:

Acer Predator 17 X

This gaming laptop perfectly captures the usual theme of games which is heroic monsters. Acer Predator 17 X is definitely something that you can call “monstrous” because of its power. The best part? Its heavy-duty performance is matched with a high-tech cooling system.

Pros

Here are the highlights of Acer Predator X:

Full-Packed Features

A gaming laptop is nothing without powerful features. The Predator has a big wrist rest. This is very useful since gamers usually place their wrists on a hard, metallic surface which is unhealthy and painful after long hours of playing. The laptop also has a button for turning off the touchpad. Speaking of touchpad, it contains hard buttons and edges that light up. The gadget’s chiclet keyboard has a colorful backlight and can be customized. On the left side, four hotkeys are placed.

The Predator also has huge speaker grills, which are improved with a genuine subwoofer with a vent below. Cooling fan vents at the back measuring 1 1/2 inches tall are included in the top features of this gaming laptop.

This laptop is so easy to boot up because of its SSD and 1 TB spinning drive. All in all, the Predator has a powerful sound system and a smart combo of hard drive and SSD.

Rich Screen

The Predator has less stuttering and no screen tearing because of the well-controlled frame rate, thanks to the 17-inch screen with a 4K UHD 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. It doesn’t stop there – G-Sync technology of Nvidia makes it all the more worthwhile. I know this can mean a battery-draining movie time but hey, every good thing comes with a price. On battery, it is estimated that the Predator would last for at most 2 hours only.

Best Cooling Fans

What annoys me sometimes is the loud noise of a laptop’s cooling fans. But, despite Predator’s three fans, the whole thing doesn’t create loud noise at all. Because of these, the speakers sound even more genuine and the keyboard stays cool no matter how long you play.

Laptop Mag

Cons

On the other hand, let’s take a look at the disadvantages of the Predator:

Too Expensive for Last Gen Video Card

Unfortunately, not all features of the Predator are worth the expensive price. Not all people can be convinced to spend $3,000 for a laptop that uses a previous generation video card. You would only settle for way lesser than 60 fps when playing the newest 4K-resolution games despite max settings.

Annoying Power Sound

I know this is bordering on nitpicking, but turning this laptop on in public is social suicide. Powerful speakers may be a good thing – but it can make things worse when the power-on sound is too loud and irritating.

Very Long Recharge Time

I’m very particular about recharge time because I don’t have much patience for it. Sadly, the Predator has an extremely time-consuming recharge process. For only 2 hours of battery power, it needs a longer recharge time – 3 1/2 hours!

Thoughts

I’ve read from pros that the Predator, despite its prominent flaws, can still be awesome after a series of adjustments. After all, its powerful performance is still hard to beat. You just have to rely on electricity most of the time with this laptop.

Gigabyte Aero 14

It is said that Gigabyte Aero 14 is a dream laptop for gamers. Why? This gaming laptop may not be the thinnest or lightest among its competitors but based on its promising design and performance, it is actually considered to be the most affordable one. Let’s find out more about this gadget!

Pros

Check out the best things about Gigabyte Aero 14:

Thin and Lightweight Design

Gigabyte is a Taiwanese company specializing in thin laptops for gamers. But, their best one so far is the Aero 14. The laptop measures 0.78 inches thick and weighs 4.17 pounds. It is so portable because it spans to only 14 inches. It is also known for affordability despite the 3K screen, long-lasting battery, GTX 1060 graphics chip from Nvidia, and the newest Intel quad-core. Gigabyte did a great job in packing everything essential for a gaming laptop in just one thin frame and light weight.

Competitive Price

In less than $2,000 with the Aero 14, you can already have a gaming laptop with a machine that’s completely VR-capable. Reviewers even tagged it as a better performer in more areas compared to Alienware 13 R3 and Razer Blade aside from the cheaper price. Other 13- to 15-inch laptops, despite being fan favorites, are nothing to Aero 14 when it comes to reasonable pricing.

Display Hinge

To better enjoy a game, a laptop’s screen must offer the best quality display. Before talking about the display quality of the Aero 14, let’s gush over the idea that its screen can bend backwards – up to 190 degrees! The laptop has a well-designed rear base that’s extended.

Now, the Aero 14’s display is so bright. With only 50% brightness, the screen is already too brilliant and colorful to look at. Games offer a lot of colors for the eyes to see, so Aero 14 will definitely make the experience much better. Besides, gameplay relies on color coding. Equipped with only an IPS display, Aero 14 is keeping up with the contrast quality of OLED monitor from Alienware 13 and IGZO display of Razer Blade.

Cons

Of course, there are some downfalls that we need to know about Aero 14:

Low Battery Life

Despite how far Aero 14 has come when it comes to battery life compared to the massive two-hour-battery group of laptops, it just falls short to its promise of a full day’s worth of battery life. There are reviewers claiming that Aero 14 can only last for a maximum of 6 hours. Still, the laptop has a big 94.24-watt hour battery, larger than the average 52-56 Whr batteries.

Full of Bloatware

First of all, what is bloatware? It is a software with unnecessary features but uses big amounts of RAM and memory. A software becomes a bloatware after being useless because of needless features. Bloatware is also considered to be pre-installed in newly-bought PCs.

Now, that’s Aero 14’s biggest problem. You will wait longer before playing because of bloatware continuously emerging on the screen after turning the laptop on.

Thoughts

The thing about expensive gaming laptops is having a high price yet flawed features are still present. Why not invest on a laptop that’s affordable yet still better than most? No wonder Aero 14 is one of the ultimate fan favorites.

Final Thoughts

The Predator and the Aero 14 are just two of the many gaming laptops that proved themselves worthy of purchase because of their prominent well-designed features. Because of the inevitable flaws from each laptop which is normal, you just have to focus on your preferences whenever you choose a brand or model. Some people go for battery life, some for affordability, while others focus on the display. It is totally your call.

6 Ways to Generate Income from Being an Online Star

Whenever I see popular tweets and Instagram photos or watch YouTube videos of ordinary people for the past few years, I kept thinking how much time they have everyday just to conceptualize and produce something to post. The answer all along is simple: many of them really reserve time for it because that’s how they earn. Some online stars just do it for the fame. But for others, they already turned it into a personal empire where they get all the gold just by being themselves.

These online stars who turned into entrepreneurs can be the perfect business models for businesses that want to expand their products and services to the internet community. The thing is, most online stars began their career for the sake of pure fun and entertainment. I bet some of them were just bored and unknowingly created a post that would soon become viral or trending.

Now, let’s think about businesses that use products and services to earn. Some of them don’t last long after emerging online because they either try too hard to get noticed or focus on the wrong things. They invest a big amount of money on manufacturing products without planning further how to market their brand.

The bottom line of all these – fans! You have to capture the attention of people to earn money. You have to brand yourself or your business in an entertaining and interactive way. Patrick Allmond, the owner of StopDoingNothing.com and Focus Digital Marketing Agency shared his business knowledge on Entrepreneur about the interconnection of popularity, branding and profit. Here are six ways to earn money while utilizing online popularity:

Make your own website.

When you want to expand from being a social media famous to an actual online celebrity who earns, staying on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube or Instagram is not a good idea. You have to own your platform. That means you have to own the information you share to people by creating your personal website. Sharing your knowledge on Facebook doesn’t mean you exclusively own it. It becomes a property of the social media site, even your followers.

Other than creating a website, you also have to make an email list. Another good option is to create your personal social media website through Buddypress and other similar sites. I know this is a tall order, but you really have to bust some moves in order to earn. After all, there’s no such thing as easy money.

At least with your own website, you get to be yourself. Your personality can shine through with no inhibitions. In Facebook, you might get reported by conservative people or haters if you say something contrary to their beliefs or opinions. The result is losing your page and followers.

Also, if you’re proud enough right now with your online store on Facebook and Instagram, think way ahead. What if these social media sites suddenly shut down?

Merchandise yourself and what made you popular in the first place.

Just a fun thought: If I am famous on YouTube because of my funny statements and weird hairdo, I would make colorful statement shirts with a silhouette of my head.

Having a million followers in different sites does not necessarily mean that you earn something from each one of them. If that’s the case, then there are a lot of millionaires already. Again, creating your own email list is one of the best ways to earn money out of this.

Then, you have to promote something that your followers can purchase as soon as possible. One important thing: sell products or services two ways – cheaper ones for average followers while something expensive for diehard fans. The best products or services are those that can really be used by your followers.

An example of service is writing makeup reviews. Using your popularity on YouTube because of your makeup tutorials, search for sponsorships and create a list of emails.

Catch attention by being shameless.

Let’s be honest – some people can be blunt when it comes to their knowledge about sex and relationships. A little off for some but very useful for those who seek advice. Some pros in real life would not cross this line of sharing their knowledge to the world because the topic is controversial and sensitive. But, they’re losing opportunity since people would really find someone who does the opposite.

Things you can do when you’re a pro in sex and relationships are writing articles or books about your tips on your own website, creating catchy infotainment YouTube videos with subtle images and statements, or just tweeting something funny about your experiences. When your followers are consistently entertained, you maintain your “clients” who are ready to purchase your products or services anytime. Not convincing enough? Look how popular Cosmopolitan magazine is.

Never be ashamed of sharing your ideas, knowledge and expertise. You can change lives and earn money at the same time. And that’s by being yourself. How cool is that?

Be unique.

Are you looking up to YouTubers such as Jenna Marbles, NigaHiga and PewDiePie? Well, you can follow their techniques but never their style. If you replicate their humor and most popular topics, chances are people would tag you as a copycat. But, you can find inspiration on how they market their products or services. For example, Jenna Marbles usually puts under her video’s description a link to her online store. One of the factors she became popular is her cute dogs appearing in almost every video she posts. So, she now produces merchandise bearing images of her funny-looking pups.

Teach every relatable thing you know.

It is one thing to educate people. But, you also have to catch their attention. That’s why most blogs and videos bear the title “How to” in the beginning. The pros in this kind of business think about topics that are relevant and interesting to almost all people. Examples are makeup tips, guides to social situations and other self-help content. As much as possible, share your personal life lessons while giving advice, be honest with your failures and successes, and teach your followers how you achieved something. You can even tell some of your secrets to have a closer relationship with your followers.

Always be out there.

Make sure to be present online as much as possible. Share new posts all the time that are based on what’s currently trending. If you already have thousands of followers, some of them would really think something’s wrong if you’re gone for a while. That’s why I noticed many online stars apologizing to their followers why they’re gone for so long. Some even dedicate a whole video just to explain what happened.

The fanbase of some online stars is not very different to an actual Hollywood celebrity’s. Fans always look forward to updates and even comment on what topics they want their idols to talk about next.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are so many ways to earn money nowadays. Technology provides massive opportunities in connecting with millions of people all over the world. Take advantage of that opportunity by letting yourself known to the public and make money out of that in the future. The best part? You will definitely love your career because you’re having fun.

6 Ways to Earn Money with Webcomics

Sometimes, we can’t avoid complaining about our jobs, especially if we landed one that was not our choice in the first place. We feel drained, burned out and hopeless as we go on because we need to pay our bills anyway. What if I’m telling you right now that there are actually ways to earn money online with some fun and artistic business ideas? In particular, I have tips that are perfect for digital comic artists stuck in offices. One of these ideas might just be your knight in shining armor.

What Are Webcomics?

First of all, let’s be clear what webcomics are. Webcomics are also known as internet comics or online comics. All comic strips posted on a website are called webcomics. Like a typical comic strip in print, webcomics follow a certain subject, style or genre. Types of webcomics are comic blogs, avant-garde, graphic novels and the usual comic strips or books we’re familiar with. They are usually made by drawing on a paper first, scanning it and adding colors with software tools.

The Webcomic Business

I have to be honest right now – most webcomics are free. But with your lovable characters, you can branch out to other means so you can finally earn money. You just have to capture everyone’s hearts first. The following are ways to generate money with your webcomics:

Online Advertising

You can learn how to use Google AdSense so you can choose ads that fit your webcomic pages. These Google app utilizes the so-called Google search algorithm. Your budget, expenses and views depend on how you set the pay-per-click amount.

Fan Donations

Although not really reliable, you can try putting a donation button on your webcomic site. Some fans would love to donate money for the sake of keeping themselves entertained with your comics. These fans know that an artist needs “fuel” to get going.

Sending Fan Copies

Some webcomic artists shared that several fans have asked for their original artworks. Let the fans have it and earn money!

Appearance in Comic Conventions

Once your webcomic becomes a hit, it is best to appear in comic conventions. It doesn’t matter if it is a small one. Don’t expect too much if you’re still starting. The thing about transforming art into business is that it takes time for you to be popular, specifically in the online community.

But, if you’re starting to gain fans because of your webcomics, find connections so you can install a booth in a comic convention. When fans appear to greet you in your booth, most likely they would buy anything that has your comic characters or trademark statements.

Printed Comic Books

Okay, I know this sounds ironic – but you can actually earn by printing what you post online. However, this is one of the final options already. This is most likely to happen when your webcomics are already massive hits. You should partner with a popular publishing company. You can also include new collections in your printed materials.

Merchandising

Speaking of print, you can also merchandise your webcomic characters through dolls, toys, stickers, shirts and other usual merchandising materials.

Common Mistakes of Webcomic Artists

Now, we’re heading to the don’ts when you pursue the business of webcomics:

DON’T expect easy money.

Being passionate too much about pursuing your art is not good in some instances, especially if you don’t have a plan B on how to pay the bills. Webcomic business is definitely not something that can give you earnings right after you post something. Some creators actually admitted that it took them a long time, usually several years, to feel their comics’ success financially.

Webcomic business requires your skills and patience. The competition nowadays also makes everything harder than it is. You also have to be friendly and interactive with readers. In addition, the episodes must be updated as often as possible. To lessen the pressure, don’t think about the success of other artists. Yes, they’re earning money but not in an easy way at first.

DON’T start merchandising early.

Many novice webcomic artists haven’t earned more than they expected because they kept on spending for merchandise while not earning enough from their comics. They usually put print publishing and designing their t-shirts first before planning their storylines ahead. This can lead to bad storylines in the middle or fans getting impatient because the next episode takes too long to get released.

Also, don’t focus on merchandising the characters. Try to feel the vibe of fans on what they really like about your webcomics. If your comics became popular because of epic lines, make statement shirts. If the central part of your story is a haunted house, then prioritize that image in merchandising.

DON’T start when you don’t know how to finish the story.

Some people are only optimistic and enthusiastic in the beginning of a project. In the long run, however, they realize that they don’t have the patience and enough creative juices for it. To be more specific, this can also happen to webcomic artists. The right thing to do is initiate a “test drive” for at least a month to make sure that you have the right speed, storyline and technique.

However, it would be better if the posts are per episode, not a bulk good for a month. It is nice to keep the readers wait for a while before the next episode. That only means that they patronize your business.

Planning the storyline doesn’t mean putting it all in. You can just focus on the first three episodes, climax and ending. These are the most important parts of the story. If you ever think about something else, try to include it in the story while trying to connect it to the climax and ending. You will always find a way. Just let your imagination run through.

Final Thoughts

It is nice to pursue our dreams and passion instead of sticking to a day job that we don’t like at all. But, simple planning can really go a long way. We must always think twice before making a major decision in life, especially when it comes to career.

Here’s an Exciting Activity to Educate Students about Entrepreneurship

“The Apprentice” is one of my most favorite reality shows. The best part of the series, for me, is the interesting and fun entrepreneurial activities given to the participants who are already established in the field of sales, marketing and business. It is amusing to think that these professionals who join the competition go back to basics just to prove that they can sell anything.


“The Classroom Apprentice”

I’m not suggesting that business educators should follow the format of Donald Trump’s famous series. I just want the teachers to focus on the activities and the lessons students learn after analyzing the results.

Staying inside the classroom is definitely not enough to learn business. As a former student of Business Administration, I loved how my professor challenged us to big class activities that require us to find connections, promote the products and push sales. Because of the passion I discovered during those activities, I started an online business as soon as I graduated. So far, I’m satisfied with the path I’ve chosen.



In order to encourage business students right now to pursue entrepreneurship just like I did, I’m suggesting this group activity “The Classroom Apprentice” to educators. Don’t worry because I’m going to give steps on how to prepare, execute and analyze the activity. I used a program designed by PACE as an inspiration to my suggested activity.

1. Students have to formulate a business plan.

One of the worst mistakes an entrepreneur can face is stopping right in the middle of business. The reason? It could be that the entrepreneur picked the wrong products to sell. Discontinuing a business is a waste of money, time and effort. A good entrepreneur must own a business that fits his interests and skills. If you want to sell shoes because it can generate a lot of money, that’s not reasonable enough. You have to love shoes, know the popular brands and identify what the customers are usually looking for.

Now, a business plan is composed of questions, guidelines or checklists about planning and expectations. It can also help the students decide on what kind of business to undertake. Its major components are description of the business, strategies for marketing, plans on how to manage the business, and ways to generate investment. This is a good way to teach students that they must be cautious in making big decisions in life, especially when it comes to career.

 



Here are some suggestions so the students can decide faster what kind of business to pursue during the activity. The students can also mix multiple suggestions:

  • A business helpful to the neighborhood
  • A business requiring personal talent or skill
  • A business that can be done at home
  • A business that fits the budget
  • A business popular in the country
  • A business popular worldwide
  • A business good for partnerships
  • A business good for large groups

Meanwhile, here are some specific suggestions for a simple business that’s fun, exciting and unique for a class activity:

  • Repair services
  • Band gigs
  • Computer services
  • Personalized jewelry
  • Secondhand clothing
  • Cleaning services
  • Pet services
  • Shopping services
  • Web page developer services
  • Yard care services
  • Hotdog stand
  • Babysitting services
  • Refreshment stand

On the other hand, here are the sections a business plan should include:

  • Short description of the business (one paragraph)
  • Service or product to sell
  • Personal brand name
  • Target market or buyers
  • Location of business
  • Promotion or marketing strategies to attract buyers
  • Brands currently selling the same product or service
  • Cost of service or product
  • Names of connections for business advice
  • Responsibilities of each members of the group
  • Ways how to gain the products
  • Total amount of required investment (based on expected expenses)
  • Expected number of customers and amount of sales every day, week, month and year (depending on the professor’s desired duration for the activity)
  • Expected profit based on expected investment and sales
  • Ways to generate investment

These lists are still subject for changes because the teacher has every right to decide what’s good for his students. I just gave guides for an easier class implementation.

2. The business plan must be discussed with the adviser.

Obviously, the business plan should be checked by the educator to ensure that nothing goes wrong in the middle of the actual process. Students must avoid changing their business after the launching because it would definitely affect their grades. After all, there is an assigned deadline for this activity.

 


3. The business plan must be discussed in front of the class.

After everything is finalized, each group must present their business plan in front of other groups. I think it would be more exciting if groups are aware of each business plan. I also believe that groups with the same products or services to sell are going to be more motivated because of competition. Let’s face it – the real world of business is full of competitions. The students must face that reality before pursuing entrepreneurship for real.

 


4. The students must give updates regarding their sales.

The groups should report their progress every week. Again, it is nice to be informed. The class can also weigh in their encouragements and suggestions to help groups that are having weak sales. Another purpose of this step is to know which group leads the pack. To give the students motivation, aside from high grades, the winning group by the end of the project must win something as a prize.

 


5. Analysis of the numbers.

After the deadline, the class must analyze the results by comparing their expectations they indicated in the business plan to the actual one. The adviser’s part is to discuss the strongest points of the groups and the weakest. Every mistake along the way should be discussed as well.


6. Celebrate the successful activity.

After all the serious stuff, it would be nice to celebrate the success of the activity. The winning group should be given prizes such as tokens, certificates or trophies. And, if it is okay for the students, the class can have a party with the profit they generated during the activity. If the students prefer saving their money, then that’s fine too. As long as proper acknowledgements are given, “The Classroom Apprentice” would conclude with flying colors.

 


Final Thoughts

Having a taste of what’s out there in the business world while still schooling is essential. Teaching business should not be confined within the four walls of the classroom. Surely, the students would face challenges along the way during the activity. But, that’s really okay. It is part of the learning experience.

New Features of Windows 10 UI

Despite the upcoming release of the Windows 10 Creator’s Update, Microsoft still pushed through in adding fresh features rather than eliminating bugs. Are the newest changes worth the trouble? Well, let’s take a look at these new features of Windows 10 user interface one-by-one:

Compact Overlay Window

The newest Windows 10 Insider Preview, build 15031, was just recently launched by Microsoft. In all fairness, the “Compact Overlay window” feature is trendy and even more modern-looking. It is similar to the smart TV’s picture-in-picture interface.

Now, we are going to find out the purpose of this new Windows 10 feature.  As we have observed being computer users, we can only see one window on the screen. That means, you can’t do multiple computer tasks manually especially if you’re watching a video in full screen. Sometimes, we need to check our email or browse something for a few seconds while watching a movie, for example. This process can be possible without this new Window 10 function, but you have to own more than one monitor.

Compact Overlay window allows users to watch a video while chatting on Skype and other quick tasks. Or, to amaze professionals, the feature allows them to conduct an interview on Skype while typing on MS Word. To sum it all up, you can do whatever you want at the same time in just one monitor.

Unfortunately, since Compact Overlay window feature is still new, the interface is not yet applicable for Netflix analogy. It can only be applied, for now, with Movies & TV and Skype.

Dynamic Lock

We’ll head now to a more futuristic feature of Windows 10. The new feature is called the Dynamic Lock function, one of the features as well of Windows Hello. For Windows Hello, your face becomes the password because the Webcam is being used as the security device.

For Windows 10, Dynamic Lock enables the Webcam to detect if the user is in front of the computer. If the user disappears, the feature locks the PC. When the user comes back again, he can just sit in front of the monitor while Dynamic Lock unlocks the PC. No more hassle of typing your complex password after being gone for a few minutes.

User Interface

A total transformation of Windows 10 UI is being finalized for launching of the so-called Project Neon. Microsoft recently gave a sneak peek to excited techies. Project Neon focuses on transitions and animations. It wants extra fluidity to the interface while blurring the operating system and apps.

Reports suggest that the new UI would include every single Window device, even the Xbox One console, phones and HoloLens. Microsoft wants Project Neon to be a hit for everyone, not just PC users. It also wants Neon to stay programmable despite the overhaul. Neon uses Microsoft Design Language 2 (MDL2). Design language controls essential features such as desktop icons, fonts and controls. For mobile, it supports dialog windows, pickers, toggles, switches and other features.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft services became essential in our daily lives, especially when working in the office or managing businesses. So, it is exciting to think that the company still works on providing infinite possibilities for our PC experience.

How to Make Your Business Successful in the International Market

Area expansion is a great way to make your business become a go-to product or service provider for millions of consumers. International demand for new products and services is getting stronger every year. But, a huge promise of success ahead comes with huge risks. That’s why aspiring international entrepreneurs need constant research about strategies to ensure that they will take the right path.

Entrepreneur recently shared life-changing tips after an interesting interview with global executive Ryan Patel. Pinkberry managed to expand from less than 95 areas to more than 265 outlets because of Patel. As Global Development’s V.P., Patel helped the company expand to 23 countries. Here are some guidelines based on the business expert’s experience:

Be dynamic in strategy-making.

Since the international market is so diverse and constantly changing, entrepreneurs should not stop strategizing. Plans must not focus on long-term goals alone – short-term goals are also crucial. Leaders must research carefully about their target areas for business expansion. They should get familiar with their potential consumers’ culture and environment. One business model is just not enough for different countries. Aside from learning about the international business arena, leaders must also know the strengths and weaknesses of their companies. Strategies and results gathered through time must be studied as much as possible.

 

Work closely with your team.

Being open with the team doesn’t mean compromising your authority. Constant and open communication is important to establish rapport with the workforce. Patel put emphasis on paying attention with every employee’s concern or suggestion. Some team members can even share remarkable ideas that can challenge the existing company dynamic. By successfully overcoming challenges with the workers, the company would even be more ready with bigger risks internationally.

 

The team must be aware of the company’s goals.

It is possible that some team members might not be able to handle area expansion, especially if they have no idea beforehand. Patel believed that the leaders must be transparent with their workforce by educating them about future goals and challenges. The team’s trust on their leader will contribute to a longer and more unified international company.

 

Different cultures but one need – consistency.

McDonald’s is an American fast food chain which became a longtime leader in the food industry worldwide. One of its major strategies that must be an inspiration for aspiring international entrepreneurs is modifying products to cater to one specific culture’s needs. For example: McDonald’s India serves special products such as Chicken Maharaja Mac and Masala Grill Chicken. Same strategy goes to other countries. Another example is McDonald’s special Bulgogi Burger in South Korea. An international company must not settle with its original or classic line of products. Instead, it should focus on consistency with its brand, values, and the country’s culture. Patel added that other modifications can be the company’s packaging design and tagline in another language. International companies must relate with different cultures.

 

Final Thoughts

A global entrepreneur must be strategic, diligent and focused. The international market will never stop changing. So, company leaders must keep on modifying strategies and plans. They must also do their homework in understanding different cultures. Despite changes, they should stay focused until a goal is reached.