Friday, 5 January 2018

How Microsoft PCs Turned The Tide In Their Favor

We all know that technology is evolving. Hence, saying that the technology decades ago are outdated is an understatement. Let me borrow a quote from Belle of Disney fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, “it’s absolutely primeval” aptly describes gadgets older than ten years. Not only are their specifications not up to par with the demands of the times but the graphics and many other exterior features aren’t that appealing either.

Microsoft has its fair share of struggles in the world of business. They may have made millions developing, manufacturing, licensing, supporting, and selling PC software and other PC-related goods and services to other PC companies but their own foray into selling their own PC line wasn’t also well received by the public. They lost hundreds of millions of dollars for all the Surface computers they weren’t able to sell, which was made worse by their Nokia acquisition and Windows Mobile that weren’t exactly a profitable one. Not even their gaming venture on Xbox is faring well against Sony’s PlayStation.

Yet perhaps because it’s way behind Apple, Microsoft’s hardware division is creating products more daring than much of what has been coming out of its rival lately.

The hybrid Surface Pro — the inheritor of that first Surface’s vision, the latest version of which was released in May — hasn’t just become a moneymaker for the company. It was also the clear inspiration for the Apple iPad Pro, which supports a pen and keyboard but still feels less like a full-fledged laptop than Surface does.

Late last year, Microsoft also unveiled Surface Studio, a big-screen desktop that bears a passing resemblance to the Apple iMac — except its vertical display effortlessly pivots into a kind of digital drafting table, a slick trick that you can imagine Steve Jobs having lots of fun showing off at a keynote address.

And in the spring, Microsoft showed off Surface Laptop, which sounds humdrum enough; in shape and purpose, it isn’t much different from the MacBook Air, Apple’s pioneering thin and light laptop. But Microsoft’s machine has a better screen than the Air, and, more important, a future. People loved the Air, but Apple doesn’t appear to want to upgrade it, so Microsoft stepped in to perfect Apple’s baby.


Like in any other business venture, there are risks involved and it is up to entrepreneurs if they want to take it or not. Not all risks are fruitful. Some can cost you a lot. Microsoft knows it very well after all the money they have lost over the years. However, their persistence and determination seem to be working to their advantage now as their surface computers/laptops are doing better in terms of sales. It seems that Apple is finally facing some major competition after all.

Microsoft (MSFT) is one of the oldest and newest tech companies at the same time. While it benefits from a strong core business model generating cash flow, management has proven its ability to develop other growth vectors. Their most recent success is called Azure, which is No. 2 in public cloud services. Azure has doubled its sales over the past 12 months and is prone for several years of growth. Finally, its strong relationship with corporate America will open the door for additional cross-selling opportunities as the cloud business expands. Microsoft is a buy today, even if the PE ratio is over 27.

Understanding the Business

Founded in 1975 on the promise of offering the best computer operating system with a graphical user interface, Microsoft is now doing business in 190 countries. Its domination in the world of personal computing interface has even earned MSFT a few legal suits for being a monopoly.

However, MSFT has evolved greatly since then and we no longer wait for the next Windows update to see its sales burst. The company now shows a more diverse and balanced business model:

The “More Personal Computing” includes Windows, Surface, and their gaming division. While the world of personal computing is mature, MSFT has found two growth vectors with their tablets (Surface) and games (Xbox).

The “Productivity and Business Process” includes the Office suites, Dynamics products, and cloud services along with their latest important acquisition: LinkedIn. I like what MSFT has done with their Office suites over the years as they offer it under a subscription based program.

Finally, the “Intelligent Cloud” segment includes server products and cloud services (led by the fast-growing Azure) and enterprise services. This is the fastest growing part of MSFT business.


By looking at what Microsoft has achieved so far, you’d realize that the world is really evolving and you can be successful if you learn to adapt to all these changes (albeit not always flawlessly considering the losses the company had to pay for because of certain business risks they took). Many companies have long since gone bankrupt and faded into oblivion because they weren’t able to be flexible enough to meet all these changes head on (Remember Nokia and Blackberry). While we all talk about innovation, not all new discoveries are widely received by the public. It just helps now that for Microsoft, touch computing has become fairly normal and their surface laptops and computers experienced a boost in sales because these gadgets are great alternatives for those who don’t like or can’t afford Apple products.

How Microsoft PCs Turned The Tide In Their Favor was initially seen on UP


Monday, 20 November 2017

Tips For Marketing Success

The market is becoming more globally-competitive than ever. With the rise of the Internet came an open avenue where everyone with enough computer know-how and capital can take advantage of the benefits offered by the web and market their product or services to reach a wider audience. Marketing isn’t for everyone, though, and not all the time your strategies may work because the market is constantly changing. Hence, you should educate yourself about effective sales marketing because while not everyone is born a great salesperson, you can learn the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in marketing your business.

Conventional sales marketing and strategy is no longer effective in making your mark in a market as competitive like what we have now. You need to consider that technology is a big factor in today’s world for any business to stay relevant and successful regardless of your niche. There are various mediums you can use to promote and market your business that does not always involve face-to-face contact with consumers. But it does not mean that it is any easier because tackling a totally new digital environment can be overwhelming to someone who has little or no background about it at all.


There’s no need to spend copious amounts of time drudging up case studies. Instead, ‘research’ refers to time spent understanding the company and its goals, understanding the industry, and understanding the customers. This is where business owners focus on attracting customers rather than seeking leads and customers.

Clarify what the business is and ask:

What does it mean to ‘grow the business?’

How will someone know if they’re successful?

What are the long and short-term goals?

What is the sales process?

Check out the industry

Whether a person has been in the industry for two, ten, or twenty years, chances are pretty high that the industry will keep on changing. As innovations come up or new expectations are established, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. This is where industry research comes in.

How do other businesses fare against meeting (or exceeding) the goals?

What marketing strategies are other businesses in that industry doing to attract clients or customers?

What current events and news is impacting that industry?

Is there a business to business marketplace a business owner can access?

Are there any leaders that a business owner can speak to within the industry?


Make an effort to learn new marketing practices that actually work right now and don’t just stick to traditional norms that are no longer applicable or effective in modern business or when dealing with people. Consumers don’t want to see the same thing over and over again especially if they already have a bad experience with it. They want fresh ideas that they can immediately relate to and products or services they actually need and will use right now.


One side effect of increased leads is, of course, business growth. By embracing marketing, small businesses can ‘future-proof’ themselves within the changing market. Customers demand change, and marketing plays a huge role in ensuring that you, as a business, are providing solutions to those needs.

Online helps offline

Offline activity is still an important part of doing business, but by embracing online marketing tools, you could find yourself with an enhanced offline strategy. There is still huge value in putting yourself forward for industry talks and attending events, but tools like social media help to expand your reach even further and give you better and more efficient ways to keep in touch with people you meet through non-invasive marketing activity – reminding them of your business and its value to the world.


It does not take a genius to understand the ins and outs of marketing a business or brand. Most tips are actually timely and practical application of current technologies that are widely used by people today - no rocket science, really. Some of these techniques aren’t even expensive nor take too much effort to do. By learning to prioritize what’s important and multitask, you’d be able to hit your goal without risking your company’s success or future. And as always, the best time to make these changes to your business is today rather than years from now when it will be much harder for you to compete with competitors who have become well-versed with the language of business today.

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Why Male Authors Use Generic Nom De Plumes

Books are something else, right? They give us a glimpse of various stories and situations that make our imagination run wild. Authors also have their mark and we can easily tell what the novel will be like by simply knowing who the author is. And just like any celebrity, there are certain authors that we follow and idolize and collect all his/her books. Most of the time we don’t really care that much as to the author’s gender because it is the book’s contents we are really interested in.

Today, there is news making its round on the web about male authors using gender-neutral names to hide their gender from their readers. But just what is all the fuss? And why are these male authors even doing this? What triggered them to hide their gender from the public? Is it really necessary in order for them to sell books? This are age-old questions because apparently, they've been doing it for centuries already and for good reason.

Riley Sager is a debut author whose book, Final Girls, has received the ultimate endorsement. “If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll love this,” Stephen King has said. But unlike Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, The Girls, Luckiest Girl Alive and others, Final Girls is written by a man – Todd Ritter. This detail is missing from Riley Sager’s website which, as the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, refers to the author only by name and without any gender-disclosing pronouns or photographs. (His Twitter avatar is Jamie Lee Curtis.)

Ritter is not the first man to deploy a gender-neutral pen name. JP Delaney (real name Tony Strong) is author of The Girl Before, SK Tremayne (Sean Thomas) wrote The Ice Twins and next year, The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn (AKA Daniel Mallory) is published. Before all of these was SJ (AKA Steve) Watson, the author of 2011’s Before I Go to Sleep.


It seems more of a marketing strategy why these male authors are hiding their identity especially if they are writing about romance. It is easier to sell a concept or a story in this case if the readers aren’t prejudiced about the author’s gender. And in a way, this strategy actually works in attracting attention and readers alike. The public is often curious as to the real identity of the author and it keeps them glued to whatever story the author is up his sleeves.

Anonymity can be liberating. The pen names Currer and Ellis Bell, respectively, allowed Charlotte and Emily Bronte to use influences from their local neighbourhood to craft Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. George Elliott, the famed writer of Middlemarch, was actually Mary Anne Evans. The aliases allowed these women to break into a literary market that was rigidly male-dominated at the time, giving us some of the seminal works of 19th-century western literature. In the decade that followed, Charles Dodgson disrobed the identity of a mathematician to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as Lewis Carroll. The gender-neutral initials of EL James allowed the writer of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy to engage with a particularly notorious topic. And closer to home, Rabindranath Tagore composed poetry in the literary language of Brajabuli as Bhanusimha, a name he found in the torn leaves of an old library book.

The removal of a name tag brings on the freedom to shift genres, write from the perspective of a different gender, or tackle topics that are particularly sensitive or experimental. This makes the pseudonym itself a powerful and useful tool. But it's troubling to think of how we, as readers, often make writers feel like they can't use their own identity for their work.


Perhaps male authors feel more independence when shifting genres when they believe their readers aren’t prejudiced about their work. They feel at ease exploring or talking about more sensitive matters in their novels or stories when they aren’t bounded by certain expectations or prejudices from third-parties and the general public. And there are actually lots of readers out there that choose the type of books to read just by seeing the name of the author. It’s why you can’t blame authors why they are using generic nom de plumes. Even female authors are actually doing it too. That way, they aren’t limited to express their creativity without compromising potential book sales.

The article Why Male Authors Use Generic Nom De Plumes Read more on: UP


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Ignoring Children’s Mental Health

Parents are often fussy about their child especially new parents. They often take their kids to the doctor when they have the fever or the flu but rarely do they wonder about their children’s state of mental health. The term mental health in itself is a vague one and most parents and carers have no idea what it encompasses and what the dangers are. Children’s mental health actually includes emotional and developmental milestones and developing positive social skills that children will need as they grow old and are crucial in solving the many problems life throws at them.

In order to become a normal, healthy, and sociable adult, parents should not ignore their child’s social health to help them develop to their full potential. Unfortunately, there are various factors that can affect a child mental state and not all the time they will be showered with love and affection and guided properly as they grow. There are countless children out there that grow up in an environment of hate, violence, and abuse. There are even those poor kids that are born with mental ailments that they totally have no control over. It is the reason why now more than ever, everyone should give mental health the attention it needs especially among young children who still can’t make decisions for themselves and need the support of adults to help them overcome these problems.

Children with serious mental health problems are becoming trapped in NHS psychiatric units, unable to leave because care is unavailable outside hospitals, a thinktank has said.

NHS figures show that between October 2015 and September 2016 children and young people in England spent almost 9,000 days in hospital after being declared fit to be discharged. Some end up stuck in units for several months.

NHS England did not tell the Education Policy Institute how many patients were involved in the 9,000 days, despite being asked this in a freedom of information request. But the thinktank said data showed the problem was growing.

The total number of what the EPI termed “wasted days” was 42% higher between December 2016 and February 2017 than in the same period in 2015-16. In January alone this year, under-18s spent 804 delayed days in mental health inpatient units, compared to 553 the previous January.


Young children are often stuck in hospitals because they can’t receive the same care and attention they need at home and they end up not only becoming an extra burden to their family and the immediate community but a threat as well. While it isn’t always the best experience for young kids to get confined in mental institutions because of a mental condition, at least they’d be able to get treated for their condition and not let it worsen than it already is. However, they eventually say goodbye to the normal life they used to have as total confinement deprives them of education, among other things, and the list can grow as their stay lengthens.

Mental health needs to be integrated into the school curriculum, which will help increase understanding and reduce stigma around issues. Without this, pupils may not be aware their mental health is deteriorating and feel silenced or shamed when seeking help.

If both pupils and teachers have more open discussions about mental health, issues will also be easier to identify early on, and this will help to build students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Ideally, mental health needs to be talked about in the same way physical education or healthy eating is, because research has found that when schools adopt a comprehensive approach to discussing mental health it supports all pupils—including those who are experiencing mental health difficulties already.


As the world becomes more globally-interconnected, the dangers affecting children’s mental health also grows especially that kids have greater access to social media and the Internet without their parent’s supervision. Imagine the dangers that lurk in these platforms that bring about increased feelings of insecurity and cases of cyber bullying and suicide that can severely impact a child mentally and emotionally. Children often lose sight of what’s right because of the things they see online and their mental state can get severely shattered without their parents knowing.

Education is a powerful tool that parents and other adults can use to protect and uphold the mental health of children. Their mental health deserves our attention too before we are faced with problems we know nothing about or so little and lack the facilities to get these issues addressed especially among the juveniles.

The post Ignoring Children’s Mental Health is available on


Why Nobody Talks About Child Sex Abuse

As a society, we look after the needs of young children and protect them from harm. In a normal world, it wouldn’t be a problem at all. However, we don’t live in a normal one and today are dangerous times too. The majority acknowledges that you are not safe on the streets anymore and even in your home too as technology creeps further into our safe haven. The first ones to get harassed are the vulnerable groups and that include children.

The issue of child abuse is ever growing as violence become common among people especially that they see it on the news day in and day out. And even if it eludes your understanding, there are certain individuals that are just jerks or perverts that takes delight in the pain and suffering of others. It’s even worse if the subject of their fantasies is young kids that shouldn’t be dragged into nasty stuff like these. Child sex abuse happens and you’d be surprised to find out how prevalent it is in today’s society. Most of the time, the child knows the predator and it hits close to home. If not, it can be someone they met online, which is not surprising as most kids nowadays are quite tech-savvy.

Indian scenario of child sex abuse
A study was conducted in 2012 by Ministry of Women and Child Development in
India covering 13 states. The study reported that about 21 per cent of the participants were exposed to extreme forms of sexual abuse. Among the participants who reported being abused, 57.3 per cent were boys and 42.7 per cent were girls, about 40 per cent were 5-12 years of age. About half of the participants were exposed to other forms of sexual abuse. The data was reported by the study on prevalence of various forms of sexual abuse.
Lack of parent child communication. Lack of proper mental and criminal verification of staff of schools and public institutes. Easy access to sexually exploitive materials. Lack of stronger social movements. Lack of awareness-to-action plan. Lack of initiatives by schools and authorities.


Nobody wants to talk about child sexual abuse. Period. That’s because it is absolutely ugly and disgusting. How can people do those things to innocent kids? How can they corrupt their young minds? Children don’t understand most sexual activities that adults engage in. Why not look for a grown-up and consenting partner instead? But then they’d say, where’s the fun in that? It’s totally sickening. When kids go through sexual abuse at their young age, they are scarred for life. They are left to deal with a sexual trauma that no amount of counseling may ever be able to erase or lessen over the years. Most of the times, cases happen inside the home, which makes it even doubly nauseating. But with the advanced technology we have these days, children can also fall prey to child predators on the web without them or their parents knowing.

When we forgive or make excuses for the behavior of perpetrators, we are contributing to the unravelling of society. The WHO has found a commonality between sexual violence and sleep difficulties, depression, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and even with trauma counseling, up to 50 percent of victims retain symptoms of stress. Children who have been victims of sexual violence do not go quietly into the night. They grow up. And they carry with them the cruel hand they have been dealt. Should we not be alarmed? Should we not say: “Not one more child”?


As increasing cases of sexual abuse against children are reported all over the world, the authorities are becoming more vigilant in catching perpetrators and making sure they pay for their crimes and not one more child has to go through the same ordeal ever again. Children are meant to be loved and cared for, not become the object of some person’s perverted imagination. It’s bad enough that the child has to go through such a traumatic experience but having to go through it again or not getting the justice they deserve is a bigger injustice that society subjects them to. These cases have been going on for years and it is high time we step up and protect the rights of the child, if not just for their future but for the future of our nation.

Why Nobody Talks About Child Sex Abuse See more on:


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Windows 10 Data Recovery Tips

Our data means so much to us. We will move the heavens and the earth in an effort to retrieve it once it is lost. That’s how much valuable they are especially when pertaining to important documents or files you have no copy anywhere else. Once you lose them, you often don’t have a way to get them back unless you are savvy with data recovery or can afford to pay an expert to do it for you. However, data recovery changes depending on the unit or gadget you are using and the circumstances on how these data were lost.

As of now, Windows 10 is the latest OS from Microsoft and the most widely used by computer users all over the world. Even if it runs on current technology, Windows 10 is still vulnerable to crashing like any other tech device you have at home or at work and you can easily lose sentimental stuff like family photos, videos, movies, or songs you have downloaded from the web that can leave you feeling devastated. Despite the apparent difficulty of recovering deleted files, there are various tools you can now use to get deleted data back and you don’t always have to hire a pro to get it done (although individuals who don’t have any computer know-how are always advised to seek the help of the experts or regret not doing so after wiping out their hard drive clean).

In Windows 10 PC, The data is most often salvaged from storage media such as internal or external hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), USB flash drives, magnetic tapes, CDs, DVDs, RAID subsystems, and other electronic devices. Recovery may be required due to physical damage to the storage device or logical damage to the file system that prevents it from being mounted by the host operating system (OS).

Windows 10 PC users may forget to back up the important data and you may remind of it just after format. If so, do not hesitate to get reliable data recovery software to recover your files after format. Once your formatted partition is overwritten by new content, you will lose the chance to restore your important files and will never get them back.

Concerns were raised that due to these changes, users would be unable to skip the automatic installation of updates that are faulty or cause issues with certain system configurations, although build upgrades will also be subject to public beta testing via Windows Insider program. There were also concerns that the forced installation of driver updates through Windows Update, where they were previously designated as "optional", could cause conflicts with drivers that were installed independently of Windows Update.


It is easier to recover files using Windows 10 than older operating system models because there are a lot of tools and support you can utilize to help you get your lost data back. Windows 10 in itself showcases more powerful features but it does not mean it is totally invincible and safe from data corruption, loss, or resistant to online threats like viruses or malwares. The simple act of updating your software is an excellent measure in itself to protect your data because these updates already address common bugs and system issues for a better user experience and higher data security from both internal and external factors.

IT pros may want extra security measures when it comes to ensuring user privacy, enforcing encryption and protecting against malware in Windows 10. Microsoft is responsive to some of these issues, delivering security updates that directly combat privacy concerns, for example, but many IT pros want the company to do more. As a result, data safety is in IT pros' hands, and they have to decide where to go next.

A great option is to implement third-party Windows 10 security software. Third-party tools allow IT to achieve more advanced security in the areas it needs it the most. For example, a company may want more vulnerability testing and analysis or system monitoring and alerting.


There are pros and cons to updating to newer operating systems especially in older devices. It is a reality that both old and new computer users face each day no matter how careful they are in using their gadgets. Just be wary that whatever computer issue you may have may inadvertently lead to some sort of data loss that can usually be fixed by reformatting it. Unfortunately, restoring your device to its factory settings basically wipes it clean.

However, do not despair because of user-friendly Windows 10 recovery software that you can avail for free. When recovering files especially the ones caused by a virus, you actually have an option of checking the file first to find out if it is corrupted or not before eventually restoring it. And best of all, these are often step-by-step tools you can follow for a smooth and efficient data recovery solution that Windows 10 users can take advantage of.

The following post Windows 10 Data Recovery Tips is courtesy of


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Achieving Beautiful And Flawless Celebrity Skin

Not only vain individuals spend money on skincare. Even the average Joe understands that taking good care of their skin is a must in a world as polluted as ours today. Whenever you step out of the house, you literally brave all the elements that have become synonymous with modern living. It’s even worse if you commute daily because the struggle is definitely real of your daily grind. Now, we all know the skin is the largest organ in the body. It is also our first line of defense against germs and keeps the integrity of our body intact. We get sick when there are breaks and bruises as bacteria and other micro-organisms now have a portal of entry.

For celebrities, keeping their skin clean and healthy isn’t just enough. Their skin has to look fresh and flawless too because it is their ticket to fame and fortune. People won’t spend money watching their movies or seeing them in concerts or events if they just look ordinary. Most celebrities have that star quality and charisma that only people who are self-assured and confident in their body and the way they look exudes. Fans and ordinary people don’t just admire celebrities, they try to imitate them too by taking care of their skin and staying young looking as they age aside from patronizing the brands they endorse.

"Your skin is a window into your habits and lifestyle," says Joanna Vargas, a celebrity facialist with two eponymous salons in L.A. and New York City. Her clients include such famous faces as Sofia Coppola, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Debra Messing. But the good news is that you don't have to step into a salon to get an A-list glow.

To achieve a luminous complexion, start by giving yourself an at-home facial by cleansing skin with a foaming wash, which Vargas says does the best job at getting rid of every bit of dirt, makeup, and residue. Then, follow up with these steps for dewy, glowing skin that's red carpet-ready. Stick with this regimen on a weekly basis and you'll see a noticeable difference in your skin in as little as two weeks.

Exfoliate the right way

After you've cleansed skin, the next step is exfoliation. "There are many benefits," says Vargas. "Improved texture and tone, better product absorption, and so on—but make sure the formula is gentle."


Caring for your skin is actually more complex than just simply washing it with soap and water, which isn’t exactly a great way to clean your skin as it can be drying. Celebrities follow a certain skin care regimen or a step-by-step process that often starts with exfoliation. You have to start with a clean base. Wipe off every traces of makeup and exfoliate your face to get rid of old skin cells. That in itself will usually give you clear and fresh-looking face.

Along with good nutrition and proper hydration for healthy, luminous skin, an essential skincare routine is vital. "It's super simple," Phillips says, "always wash your face before bed and always apply your skincare routine, morning and night." And "if you have super crazy irritated skin," Phillips urges you to "run, don't walk, to a dermatologist."

After washing your face, the makeup artist explains that you should, "start with the thinnest thing first and work upwards. Go: oil, then serum, then eye cream, then moisturizer." And once you've gotten your routine down pat, the most important thing to prep skin before a big event is time." Give yourself about two hours, starting in the shower. Do a good scrub and use products that won't strip moisture from your skin. Allow for much more face massage time and always incorporate masks, (liquid or sheet) for face and eyes. Also while you're in the shower, do a body mask. It feels and looks luxurious!"


While generally time-consuming, a celebrity-inspired skincare regimen isn’t entirely impossible. You might use up several more products than you are used to but that is a small price to pay to get glowing skin like that of a celebrity. And besides, skincare isn’t just for vanity. I guess there is no reason to reiterate further the importance of caring for your skin since it is the first barrier against certain diseases. And I am sure you also want to age gracefully too. You can defy aging just like your fave stars without necessarily undergoing expensive procedures like they do but still spare yourself from the usual horrors that old people face like skin tags, fine lines, wrinkles, and many others.

The post Achieving Beautiful And Flawless Celebrity Skin was initially published to UP