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Think regionally! | @Richard_Florida & @utarlington president James Spaniolo talk North Texas | | RT @Creative_Class michaelseman

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daniel - Small Business Innovation | Document Management Blog

March 28th, 2012 by Healy Jones

Sparking innovation in a small business isn?t just a matter of sitting around waiting for good ideas to pop into your CEO?s head. Innovation comes from a lot of places, and the right environment can turn all of your employees into idea generators.

Recently Karl Start and Bill Steward of Avondale Strategic Partners, a business advisory company, posted an article on Inc about reigniting innovation in a business (read it here). It was a great post that focused on getting ideas from the field ? customers and employees who spend time with customers. The three principal actions they proposed were:

  1. Get cozy with customers
  2. Empower your team
  3. Execute fast and revise quickly

Excellent ideas and you should read the post. It also reminds us of a post that our CEO & resident cloud computing expert wrote a couple of years about entitled ?4 Tips to Spark Innovation in Your Small Business.?

Prasad?s ideas were different, but along the same lines as the executives from Avondale. Prasad said, ?Small businesses are the major driver in both job growth and innovation in the United States. But when you are actually running a small business, finding the time to foster innovation can be overwhelmed by cash, economic, resource and time constraints. Here are four tips that I have found that foster innovation at my company and that I believe can be applied to most businesses.?

  1. Encourage all employees to solve company problems
  2. Allow individual employees time to work on a project of their choosing
  3. Provide employees experiences in every aspect of the company
  4. Consult customers for improvements and new ideas

Innovation can happen in a vacuum, but usually it is driven by the right work and team environment. We hope that another way you can generate innovative ideas to grow your small business is by letting the power of cloud computing free up your time and resources so that you can focus on solving problems for your customers.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 6:12 am and is filed under Benefits, cloud computing, Digital Office, Market Research, Small Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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Top-ranked Yani Tseng storms to Kraft Nabisco lead

Yani Tseng, of Taiwan, hits from the tee on the 11th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Yani Tseng, of Taiwan, hits from the tee on the 11th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Yani Tseng, of Taiwan, hits from the tee on the 13th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Ryan O'Toole hits from the bunker on the 10th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Lindsey Wright, of Australia, reacts to her drive on the sixth tee during the second round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament on Friday, March 30, 2012, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Defending champion Stacy Lewis reacts after a bogie on the 10th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(AP) ? After taking one round off from her utter domination of the LPGA Tour to get rested and reinvigorated, Yani Tseng is right back in her usual spot atop the leaderboard.

The world's top-ranked golfer shot her second straight 68 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Friday, moving into a one-stroke lead over Haeji Kang after the second round of the season's first major.

Lindsey Wright (71) and Sun Young Yoo (69) were third at 6 under, while Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak was three strokes back in fifth midway through the only major she has never won. Pak shot a 69 to move to 5 under, joined by Karin Sjodin and World No. 2 Na Yeon Choi.

Yet everybody in the talent-packed field realizes they're only chasing Tseng, who has won the tour's last two tournaments.

"She's a force to be reckoned with," said Australia's Wright, who shared the lead with Tseng for five holes. "I think it's great to have her up there again, but it's also great to be able to challenge her and try to give her a run for her money."

After finishing two strokes back on Thursday, Tseng produced yet another relentless round of long drives and steady putting. The 23-year-old Taiwanese star has led nine of the LPGA Tour's last 10 rounds, and the five-time major winner has won three of five tournaments this year and six of 12 overall.

And she still had enough energy after her stellar second round to play a little pickup basketball.

"You never get tired when you want to win a tournament," Tseng said. "I just figured out I'm tired after the last two wins when you come into this week, but after (Thursday), I had a good sleep, and I relaxed a few days, and I think I'm coming back with a fresh focus."

The rest of the field should be worried when the Orlando Magic fan has enough energy to hoop it up with her manager and friends. After fighting exhaustion during practice and in the first round Thursday, Tseng woke up fresh to resume her quest to become the youngest golfer to win six majors ? three years younger than Tiger Woods, who was 26 when he won his sixth.

Tseng took control by exploiting her distance advantage over nearly everybody off the tee. After following a long birdie putt on her fourth hole with another birdie on her fifth, she birdied three of Mission Hills' four par-5s with soaring drives that aren't regularly matched by her fellow pros.

Pak stayed in contention with her second straight solid round despite playing through much of the warmest weather after starting with the final tee time of the morning group.

The 34-year-old Pak has won five majors, including three LPGA Championships, and has 25 tour victories overall, but the former prodigy and Korean golf pioneer has just one victory on the LPGA Tour since July 2007. She shares many concerns voiced by Wright on Thursday about the importance of adding balance and perspective to the grind of tour life.

"I'm having trouble for five or six years, actually," Pak said. "I still love golf, and I can't quit it because I still really want to play. It took a lot for myself to be happy. It was difficult to find out. ... Slowly, I know I'm getting better and better, and my attitude and everything is getting slowly better. Starting last year around the fall, I don't know how, (but) everything is really calm for me."

Although Pak has four top-10 finishes in the Kraft Nabisco, she has never done better than ninth at Mission Hills, failing to finish the career grand slam.

"This is one of my goals I've set," said Pak, who won four majors before she turned 25. "Getting into the Hall of Fame, that's the biggest, and next, trying to win a major like this. This is the goal for me for 14, 15 years. This is the one I need, but this is the one that always gives me a hard time."

Kang birdied her final hole in the Palm Springs afternoon heat to conclude an eventful seven-birdie, three-bogey round, moving to 7 under with a 68. She has just two top-10 finishes in her four-year LPGA Tour career.

Wright was one stroke off the lead after the opening round, and she spent Friday morning reading supportive emails from around the world after she spoke about her comeback from depression and anxiety. After eight straight second-round pars, Wright put her iron shot on No. 9 on the front of the green, where it rolled straight in for an eagle.

"I didn't see it go in," Wright said. "I just heard the screaming."

Wright took a share of the lead with a birdie on the 10th, but fell back with a three-putt double bogey on the 15th.

Michelle Wie shot a 77 to finish 6 over, missing consecutive cuts for the first time since 2007. Opening-round leader Amy Yang dropped back into eighth with a 2-over 74 after starting with a 66.

Teenage rookie Jenny Shin finished 5 over, but the Los Angeles-area product won a Kia Optima with a hole-in-one on the 179-yard 17th.

Associated Press

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Images capture split personality of dense suspensions

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2012) ? Stir lots of small particles into water, and the resulting thick mixture appears highly viscous. When this dense suspension slips through a nozzle and forms a droplet, however, its behavior momentarily reveals a decidedly non-viscous side. University of Chicago physicists recorded this surprising behavior in laboratory experiments using high-speed photography, which can capture action taking place in one hundred-thousandths of a second or less.

UChicago graduate student Marc Miskin and Heinrich Jaeger, the William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor in Physics, expected that the dense suspensions in their experiments would behave strictly like viscous liquids, which tend to flow less freely than non-viscous liquids. Viscosity certainly does matter as the particle-laden liquid begins to exit the nozzle, but not at the moment where the drop's thinning neck breaks in two.

New behavior appears to arise from feedback between the tendencies of the liquid and what the particles within the liquid can allow. "While the liquid deforms and becomes thinner and thinner at a certain spot, the particles also have to move with that liquid. They are trapped inside the liquid," Jaeger explained. As deformation continues, the particles get in each other's way.

"Oil, honey, also would form a long thread, and this thread would become thinner and break in a way characteristic of a viscous liquid," Jaeger said. "The particles in a dense suspension conspire to interact with the liquid in a way that, when it's all said and done, a neck forms that shows signs of a split personality: It thins in a non-viscous fashion, like water, all the while exhibiting a shape more resembling that of its viscous cousins."

It took Miskin and Jaeger six months to become convinced that the viscosity of the suspending liquid was a minor player in their experiments. "It is a somewhat heretical view that this viscosity should not matter," Jaeger said. "Who would have thought that?"

Miskin and Jaeger presented their results in the March 5 online early edition and the March 20 print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In their experiments, Miskin and Jaeger compared a variety of pure liquids to mixtures in which particles occupy more than half the volume.

"The results indicate that what we know about drop breakup from pure liquids does not allow us to predict phenomena observed in their experiments," said Jeffrey Morris, professor of chemical engineering at City College of New York. "The most striking and interesting result is the fact that, despite these being very viscous mixtures, the viscosity plays little role in the way a drop forms."

Few studies have examined droplet formation in dense suspensions. As Morris noted, such work could greatly impact applications such as inkjet printing, combustion of slurries involving coal in oil, and the drop-by-drop deposition of cells in DNA microarrays.

Scientific defiance

In these applications particles often are so densely packed that their behavior defies a simple scientific description, one that might only take into account average particle size and the fraction of the liquid that the particles occupy, Morris explained. The UChicago study showed that particles cause deformations and often protrude through the liquid, rendering any such description incomplete until fundamental questions about the interface between a liquid mixture and its surroundings are properly addressed.

"Miskin and Jaeger provide arguments for the importance of these protrusions in their work and suggest that the issue is of broader relevance to any flow where a particle-laden liquid has an interface with another fluid," Morris said.

Miskin and Jaeger verified their results by systematically evaluating different viscosities, particle sizes and suspending liquids, and developed a mathematical model to explain how the droplet necks evolve over time until they break apart.

One initially counter-intuitive prediction of this model was that larger particles should produce behavior resembling that in pure water without any particles. "If you want to make it behave more like a pure non-viscous liquid, you want to make the particles large," said Jaeger, who finds himself intrigued by nature's seemingly endless store of surprises.

Miskin and Jaeger indeed observed this when the particle size approached a significant fraction of the nozzle diameter, making the particles visible to the naked eye.

"You think you have a pretty good idea of what should happen, and instead there's a surprise at every corner. Honestly, finding surprises is what I love about this work," Jaeger said.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Chicago, via Newswise.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. M. Z. Miskin, H. M. Jaeger. Droplet formation and scaling in dense suspensions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; 109 (12): 4389 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111060109

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

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World News - Scuba diver killed in Australia shark attack

By staff

A 33-year-old scuba diver died Saturday in a shark attack off the coast of Western Australia, local media reported.

The man was diving with his brother around one nautical mile offshore near Busselton, which is 125 miles southwest of Perth, WAtoday reported.

WAtoday named the victim as local businessman Peter Kurmann.

Kurmann's brother Gian reportedly told officials that he had seen a 13-foot-long "shark-like" shape in the water.

Police said that all beaches in the area had been closed and that the department of fisheries had launched an investigation, Sky News Australia reported.

The attack occurred at 9:30 a.m. local time Saturday (9:30 p.m. ET Friday). It was not clear what species of shark was involved.

Local media said it was the fourth fatal shark attack off the Western Australia coast since September of last year.

WAtoday said Kurmann leaves behind a wife and two sons, aged two and four.

More from and NBC News:

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Lake Geneva Wi Real Estate Insights: To Buy a Home or Rent in the ...


It?s a fact that many folks in the Lake Geneva area decide not to buy a home. Aiming to save some cash, they rent instead. They may feel that it makes more sense to work on rebuilding their portfolios, put some extra cash into a rainy day fund, save for retirement, or for college ? for any number of worthy goals.

These would all be prudent financial maneuvers, but only if the original assumption is correct. But today?s environment is creating a new reality. It?s one where renting may not be as much of a cost saver as most people think.

Since it is my profession to deal in real estate, you might think my answer to the question of whether to rent or to buy a home would be an automatic ?buy!? Not so. While I certainly do want to help arrange a sale whenever a buyer and seller can agree on terms, I also want all my clients to make the financial decision that is right for them and their family.? And as we enter the April selling season in the Lake Geneva Wi area, I?m pleased to be able to report on a piece of information that may be surprising. It?s one that comes from the latest Trulia Spring 2012 Rent versus Buy index.

This index is a widely watched calculation derived from data in the 100 major metro markets. A Price-to-Rent ratio of 15 or less means that any buyer who plans on living in his home for at least five years would be better off to buy a home than to rent it.

Bottom line: 98% of those 100 areas currently offer a cheaper environment in which to buy a home than to rent it! To make sense of the numbers, looked at the asking price of national rentals and homes for sale. It also included insurance, taxes and maintenance costs in the calculation. With low interest rates making the monthly mortgage cost lower, and high rental rates bringing the rental rate higher, many would-be renters might now find themselves looking at a surprising new reality ? affordable homeownership.

If you are currently considering renting or buying a home in or around Walworth County, Wisconsin, why not sit down with me in Keefe Real Estate?s Lake Geneva office to run a few numbers first?? I am happy to schedule time to discuss your needs before you sign a lease.? Today it is entirely possible that for you, owning a home will just be cheaper than you think!? For those of you considering buying lake access property in or around Geneva Lake, becoming a part-time landlord may make all the difference between owning your Lake Geneva dream home near or on the lake.? After all, if you won?t be using your new lake home all season long, perhaps Keefe Real Estate?s Vacation Rental program can help you have your cake and eat it too.? Renting a vacation home can be a smart way to own a piece of the dream.

Click here to learn more about Lake Geneva Real Estate. Janis Hartley would love to share her ?Smooth Moves ? Moving Smoothly? program with you!? For over 9 years, buyers and sellers who have worked with Janis have found her expertise, knowledge and ?above and beyond? service key in making their transactions as seamless as possible.? As one recent lakefront buyer recently wrote, ?Janis, you move from a place of faith.? Based on an iPhone photo of a lakefront home taken by our friend, you took us seriously and helped us above and beyond throughout the entire process. You were great to work with ? very professional.??? Selling from ?lakes to links? throughout Walworth, Kenosha and Racine counties, Janis brings enthusiasm, service, and a caring attit?Smooth Moves ? Moving Smoothly.?? Call now:? (262)745-3630

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Small Businesses Can Benefit A Lot From Pay Per Click ...

There are numerous of ways to get reputation particularly in business. And one way is to do a promotional campaign or utilize advertising techniques. In the world of online business, promotional campaign is much more different that the actual business marketing methods we have been seeing in the television and hearing in the radios. In web based business, they advertise their products by utilizing a Pay per Click Management campaign. There are businesses that utilize their own ability to do such campaign but there are also those that rely upon the knowledge of those who are expert to this kind of work.

The ones that would take benefit from Pay per Click management companies are those small businesses that don?t have sufficient capacity to manage their own marketing campaign. They normally turns to marketing campaign experts so that they can maximize the amount of the money allocated for such function. These PPC businesses are there to aid them in all their needs with regards to campaign. The company will help them understand and identify the most beneficial ways of doing the marketing campaign.

Organizing, choosing the ultimate key phrases and ads is the stuff that they will let you have an understanding of. This stuff are the most favored methods of promoting particular items. By having interesting keywords, a certain company will get a lot of traffic that would eventually put them on top of the search engines. What is also good in having these agencies work for you is that they will provide you with details regarding their works. How effective your campaign is doing and what are the possible ways to enhance to further gain success.

Many businesses remain on top because they know where to go and what to do. So for you to get the same, you need to exert some time and effort to learn things that has a correlation with it. You must understand fully the idea of a Pay per Click management campaign. Also, you have to select the most efficient and reliable PPC agency that will do the job for you making sure that you will really increase the advantages you could get out from it.

Related posts:

  1. Prevent SEO Financial Burdens with Money-Saving Pay Per Click Management Tips
  2. Learn How To Get Website Visitors To Your Site By Using PPC Management
  3. Search Engine Optimization And Pay-Per-Click Advertising ? Which Is Better?
  4. E-mail Marketing Management
  5. Significant Role Of Advertising Agency

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WrestleMania Reading Challenge World Finals 2012

MIAMI ? WWE Superstars spend the night before WrestleMania honoring the stories and legends of those that have come before them at the annual WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony. It?s the perfect way to celebrate WWE and it?s rich history. But it?s also a great way for the Superstars and Divas to clear their minds before focusing on the impending battle that is less than 24 hours away. The same mindset holds true for the 20 finalists of the Seventh Annual WrestleMania Reading Challenge World Finals.

For these bookworms, from grades 5 through 12, their main event takes place on Saturday morning at the Dade County Public Library. While a WWE Championship isn?t on the line for these bibliophiles, a chance to win ringsides seats at Sun Life Stadium is. But before they face off in academic competition and devour the written word, the stellar students will have a chance to unwind and meet WWE Superstar Mick Foley and WWE Diva Kelly Kelly for their own exclusive autograph signing. "The kids had no idea we were coming," Kelly Kelly says. "It was such an honor that they were excited to meet us. They were so psyched to sit and talk with and ask us questions. I was so happy that we were able to reward them in that type of way. It?s a special thank you for a good job and for all the hard work they?ve been doing during the school year."

"I always welcome being part of something positive in WWE," Mick Foley says. "I love the fact that WWE promotes reading with an event like this where I get a chance to talk to the kids about their favorites authors and the letters they wrote to their favorite Superstars. The misconception is that wrestling and academics don?t go hand in hand. But I think most Superstars who spend time on the road end up getting an education that?s second to none and we?re able to share that with members of the WWE Universe But it is nice to defy conventional logical and do something positive."

This special autograph signing was all about the kids and rewarding their dedication to reading. "I was going to my public library and I saw a poster with John Cena and the Rock on it. I love to read and I love WrestleMania so the Reading Challenge was a perfect match for me," Nicole Jones, a 7th grader from Alabama says. "I?ve learned determination because I?ve read my book five times and I want to be able to answer every questions so I can win front row seats!" It?s that kind of determination that will make the competition a fierce yet friendly one. "I?m psyched about meeting Kelly Kelly and Mick Foley! He?s got a lot of names and a sock puppet," Isaac Rodriguez, a 6th grader from California says. "But I?m nervous about tomorrow. I don?t even know if I?ll be able to hit the buzzer."

As to what advice this Superstar and Diva had for the kids who are competing tomorrow? Foley says, "I would give the kids the same advice I would give to any WWE Superstar who?s competing at WrestleMania for the first time: enjoy it and take advantage of every second of the experience."? As for Kelly Kelly, "I?d say stay positive and don?t get too overwhelmed and be yourself. Don?t be too nervous about it. Just go into it with an open mind."

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge encourages tweens and teens to read not only during Teen Read Week but each and every day beyond. Who knew that reading a book could lead to a trip to The Shows of Shows on The Grandest Stage of Them All? Now that?s a story with a happy ending.

For more information, visit

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Realtors For Luxury Residences < My blog

How can you already know you are acquiring whatever you purchase with regards to true estate? With no assistance of the real estate agent, is it possible to truly say that you are assured within your purchase? When paying within the superior finish of the 6 figures, it is best to be completely absolutely sure that you are moving in to the property you wish. In any case, for the majority of this is certainly their outward reflection in their life?s do the job! Be very pleased an absolute within your choice. As a way to guarantee you have noticed the top houses for the flavor, use the judgment of a real estate agent. Not simply are there serious estate agents that happen to be skilled in tracking down the most beneficial luxurious Nike Lebron 9 Lebron 9 New Jordans 2012 Jordan Spizike 2012 Beats By Dre Outlet Lady Gaga Heartbeats residences and costs, but you will find agents which are properly trained particular towards your place.

For those that don?t know a luxury realtor from the leading of their head, you?ll be able to always obtain them on the web. Critical realtors can have skilled internet websites that have been optimized so that you can effortlessly locate a real estate agent inside the place you?re looking to purchase. Whenever you look for them just recall to include the town identify inside the lookup query. The true estate web site you find must have info to the area, other top rated listings, and a choice to list your home in addition when you are also selling. You will find genuine estate sites particular to luxury homes as a way to enable opportunity house owners come across a property easily and for property sellers to offer their residence quickly.

When you are offering your luxurious home you are going to need to make sure your listing is reaching the ideal audience. Because of this luxurious realtors are helpful for the reason that their clientele is simply everything you are seeking. They may previously have the best probable buyer for your personal property. That or they can take gain in their web page. Their showcased listing spot may be very helpful for sellers wanting to create a swift sale without the need to compromise asking rate.

A realtor will know what a house is worth simply because on the place from the home it can be crafted on. They?ll also understand what the exact house is price without the spot factored in. They investigation neighborhoods, the area as being a full, colleges, transportation, history from the dwelling, home inspections and a lot more.

In case you are trying to find an upscale household inside of a particular place, check out contacting a realtor or testing an actual estate listing site in the place.


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Friday, March 30, 2012

Retirement investing ? catching up | Best Stocks To Invest In

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) ? I?m 57 and hoping to retire at 68, but I?m behind on my retirement savings. Should I invest as if I were younger and shift more into stocks to help increase my 401(k)? ? Jeff Branstrator, Greensboro, N.C.

At first glance, your strategy of loading up on equities to quickly bulk up your 401(k) and retire on schedule sounds smart. After all, stocks usually generate the highest returns.

Ultimate Guide to Retirement

  • Getting started
  • 401(k)s & company plans
  • Investing
  • Annuities
  • IRAs
  • Self-employment plans
  • Pensions and benefit plans
  • Social Security
  • Insurance
  • Estate planning
  • Living in retirement
  • Getting help


Problem is, stocks? impressive long-term gains are sometimes interrupted by decade-long stretches when they languish. Far from churning out their historical 10% annualized gains since 1926, stocks lost 10% from the beginning of 2000 through the end of 2009.

Worse yet, equities periodically go into gut-wrenching nosedives, like the 50%-plus plunge from 2007 to 2009. Hit a patch like that as you near retirement, and a stock-heavy portfolio may work more like an anchor than a li fe preserver.

Even if you?re fortunate enough to skirt! a marke t stall or a hammering, shifting to a more aggressive allocation may not be the panacea you think. Saving more and postponing your retirement by a few years if you can ? many workers retire earlier than expected ? are safer and more effective than any portfolio moves you can make.

To illustrate, take the case of a hypothetical retirement saver who?s also 57 and has $400,000 saved. While that nest egg seems sizable and far exceeds what many have, it falls short of widely used benchmarks for his age.

As you can see from the graphic, funneling more dollars into his 401(k) every pay period nudges up his chances of reaching his retirement goal ? but only marginally so. That?s largely because retirement is near. Starting to salt away more, say, in his early fifties would have had a bigger impact.

Getting aggressive with his portfolio helps too but carries more uncertainty and the risk of a lower income if a bear market strikes again. The extra savings option i s a better move, but neither shift ensures a secure retirement at age 65.

What really helps is what you?re already planning to do: working longer. This strategy has a two-pronged effect: More time on the job means more years of 401(k) contributions and investment re-turns; plus working three years longer increases the Social Security benefit by 25% or so.

So rather than going pedal-to-the-metal with your 401(k) investments, I recommend that you put 60% of your portfolio in a broadly diversified portfolio of stocks and the rest in bonds ? a reasonable mix at your age. Then hike your savings rate, and stick with your plan to work longer.

That strategy, which you can test by going to T. Rowe Price?s Retirement Income Calculator, will give you a better and safer shot at accumulating the nest egg you need.?


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Senate offers resolution arming Syrian rebels (Los Angeles Times)

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zite for Android officially launches, learns your habits and tailors your news

Zite for Android

If you're a big consumer of news and information on your Android device, you'll be happy to hear this news. Zite, the personalized magazine app that's been popular on iDevices for about a year now, has finally been brought over to Android.

Zite aims to bring you the news most tailored to your interests, and it continues to learns what your preferences are the more you use it. Fortunately, the app doesn't leave you out in the cold after your first boot. Once you've opened the app once, you can link your Twitter and Google Reader accounts to give Zite a starting point for what your interests are.

After you've linked some accounts, you can then pick from a list of different genres to further tailor the news you'll be brought. The list is fairly expansive, and should give nearly anyone all of the options they could hope for (and more).

Navigation around the app is easy; simply swipe left or right to move from genre-to-genre. Articles are presented in a list fashion, and if you tap an article, you're shown the full contents of what was written. A little niggle I noticed is that certain articles decided to automatically launch in the browser instead of the app. I'm hoping that's just an early release issue and will get fixed soon.

Otherwise, on a tablet, the UI is pretty plan, but functional. Zite doesn't look like it was optimized for Android tablets, but it runs, nonetheless. With Ice Cream Sandwich out, I was kind of hoping for more in terms of visual polish, but if just getting a working app out the door was the goal of the developers, they've done that much.

Zite for Android definitely comes off like it's still in beta, but it's been a hit on iDevices for some time, so if you were pining away for it, it's finally here. If your run-of-the-mill RSS feeds (or Pulse or Google Reader) weren't cutting it, definitely give Zite a shot. If they were, maybe you should give Zite a shot, anyway. It's definitely got room to grow, but I'm sure the developers will be hard at work, ramping up their app for the Android faithful.

We've got a whole bundle of screenshots after the break.

read more


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Activists: 40 killed this week in north Syria town

In this image made from video, Syrian President Bashar Assad visits Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Assad visited Baba Amr, a former rebel stronghold in the key city of Homs that became a symbol of the uprising after a monthlong siege by government forces killed hundreds of people many of them civilians as troops pushed out rebel fighters. Homs has been one of the cities hardest hit by the government crackdown on the uprising that began last March. (AP Photo/Syrian State Television via APTN) SYRIA OUT TV OUT

In this image made from video, Syrian President Bashar Assad visits Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Assad visited Baba Amr, a former rebel stronghold in the key city of Homs that became a symbol of the uprising after a monthlong siege by government forces killed hundreds of people many of them civilians as troops pushed out rebel fighters. Homs has been one of the cities hardest hit by the government crackdown on the uprising that began last March. (AP Photo/Syrian State Television via APTN) SYRIA OUT TV OUT

In this image made from video, Syrian President Bashar Assad, second right, visits Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Assad visited Baba Amr, a former rebel stronghold in the key city of Homs that became a symbol of the uprising after a monthlong siege by government forces killed hundreds of people many of them civilians as troops pushed out rebel fighters. Homs has been one of the cities hardest hit by the government crackdown on the uprising that began last March. (AP Photo/Syrian State Television via APTN) SYRIA OUT TV OUT

In this image made from video, Syrian President Bashar Assad, second right, visits Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Assad visited Baba Amr, a former rebel stronghold in the key city of Homs that became a symbol of the uprising after a monthlong siege by government forces killed hundreds of people many of them civilians as troops pushed out rebel fighters. Homs has been one of the cities hardest hit by the government crackdown on the uprising that began last March. (AP Photo/Syrian State Television via APTN) SYRIA OUT TV OUT

Lebanese army soldiers sit inside a confiscated van that is believed to be carrying ammunition captured by Lebanese troops during a raid, at the Lebanese-Syrian border town of Qaa, in northeastern Lebanon, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Syria has accepted a peace plan by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan that includes a government cease-fire, but the bloodshed persisted Tuesday as intense clashes between soldiers and rebels spilled across the border into Lebanon, officials said. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Lebanese army soldiers search a car during a raid, at the Lebanese-Syrian border town of Qaa, in northeastern Lebanon, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Syria has accepted a peace plan by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan that includes a government cease-fire, but the bloodshed persisted Tuesday as intense clashes between soldiers and rebels spilled across the border into Lebanon, officials said. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(AP) ? Syrian forces have captured a northern town from rebels after four days of fighting in which more than 40 people were killed and homes were burned down, activists said Wednesday.

It was just the latest in a string of opposition strongholds to fall to ruthless assaults by the better-equipped Syrian military.

Activists also reported clashes between Syrian army units and rebels in the country's center and east.

The fresh violence comes one day after President Bashar Assad said he has accepted a six-point U.N. plan to resolve the country's year-long crisis, including a cease-fire.

The Local Coordination Committees network said there were many unidentified corpses and wounded people in the streets of Saraqeb, the northern opposition town that the military seized after a four-day offensive that began Sunday.

As in other towns and cities recaptured recently by the army, Syrian troops left behind a trail of death and destruction.

The LCC and another activist group, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said hundreds of homes and shops in Saraqeb were pillaged and burned, and most of the town's residents fled along with the rebels.

Activist Fadi al-Yassin in the northern province of Idlib said the army was now in full control of Saraqeb. He said army defectors known as the Free Syrian Army resisted on the first day but then pulled out, fearing that they would bring more destruction on the town.

"They fled because there was no way they were going to be able to face the regime's huge military force," he said by satellite phone.

Saraqeb is on the main highway from the northern city of Aleppo and had an active FSA presence. Rebel fighters used it as a base to target army convoys nearby.

Detailed information from the town was limited because the military was surrounding it.

"The situation is very hard on the ground, and it's difficult for us to get there to find out exactly what is going on because the army is in complete control of the city," al-Yassin said.

Video from Saraqeb posted on the Internet appeared to back activists' claims of mass destruction and pillaging.

One video showed what appeared to be a destroyed home. Another showed burned out apartments, several burned cars and a row of shops with their shutters blown off. The slogan "Down with Bashar" was sprayed on one of the shutters. "Down with Iran's dog," read another. Iran is one of Syria's last close allies.

Al-Yassin said that of the roughly 50 people killed since Sunday, most were civilians. Some were rebel fighters.

Another group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also reported more than 50 killed in the town in recent days.

Elsewhere, three Syrian soldiers were killed in clashes with rebels in the central province of Homs Wednesday. The Observatory said the fighting broke out when government forces tried to enter the town of Rastan, which is in the hands of army defectors. The activist group also reported clashes in the Deir el-Zour province along the Iraqi border and said government troops fired mortars at the city of Homs.

The fresh violence coincides with a new wave of international diplomacy seeking to end the conflict that the U.N. says has left more than 9,000 people dead.

Syria said Tuesday that Assad accepted a peace plan put forward by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. The plan calls for Damascus to immediately stop troop movements and use of heavy weapons in populated areas and to commit to a daily two-hour halt in fighting to allow humanitarian access and medical evacuations.

It also calls for a full cease-fire to be supervised by the U.N. so that all parties can discuss a political solution.

Members of the fractured opposition struggling to end Assad's rule accused him of using the plan to stall for time as his troops make a renewed push to finish off bastions of dissent.

The U.S. and Britain, both of which have called on the Syrian president to step down, said Assad must back his words with action.

The 22-member Arab League was discussing a new resolution on the Syria conflict at a summit in Baghdad. The body's foreign ministers were expected to ask their heads of state to urge the Syrian regime to halt its crackdown on civilians and allow humanitarian groups into the country. The ministers were meeting in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, and heads of state will gather on Thursday.

Associated Press


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wisconsin Roofing Contractors | Home - Wisconsin Roofing ...

Wisconsin Roofing Contractors | Home - Wisconsin Roofing Contractors for Your Renovation or Repairs
by Christopher Hardwick
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If you are looking for roofing professionals in the Midwest, Wisconsin roofing contractors are available. Choosing a quality roofing company is essential, and there are several things to consider when looking for a new roof or to have a leak repaired. Many roofing firms specialize with a particular type of roofing. There is a difference in the materials that are used on homes that have steep roofs and industrial buildings that have flat roofs. These materials require their own specialization, and there are distinct advantages to hiring a company that focuses on a particular type of roofing.

Residential roofing usually consists of applying asphalt shingles, cedar shakes or metal to homes. The roofs are usually steep, and this means that the water will readily run off of the building. Shingles are one of the most economical choices, and they are guaranteed for a minimum of 20 years by the manufacturer. The installation company should provide their own guarantee on all the work that they do. The normal amount of warranty is for one year. This amount of time is sufficient to ensure a home will stand up to storms and snow. Checking with the warranty that a contractor provides is one way to know about the quality of the jobs that they do.

Preventive maintenance and repairs are another consideration. Roofs are designed to last 20 years, but there may be problems that occur during the life of the material. Having all the roofing components regularly inspected is the proactive way to minimize the amount of damage that will build up over the long run. Finding a Wisconsin roofing contractor that offers routine inspections is another way to ensure there are no issues with a roof. Leading companies offer inspections and maintenance for their clients. Emergency services are another issue that may be needed at one time or another. Choosing a company that offers emergency services is one way for a homeowner to be sure they will not have a leak that lasts for days.

When you are looking for a roofing company, Wisconsin roofing contractors are available. Choosing a competent roofing company is the best way to ensure a quality job that lasts for as long as possible. Residential roofers ordinarily specialize in this line of work. The materials that are generally used on a home's roof are different than what is used on a large warehouse or commercial building. Professional roofing contractors may be skilled at the installation of the particular material that is on a building. Warrantees should be provided with the installation. A one year warranty is the minimum and is the industry standard. The materials should also be covered by a comprehensive warranty that is provided by the manufacturer, and it should be valid for at least 20 years.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's keeping veterans from getting work

Rachel Mummey / for

Tyson Akers was turned down for a security job with the Iowa National Guard in the midst of a 13-month job search. The veteran juggles going to school full time at Iowa State University while raising two young sons with his wife, Amanda.

By Allison Linn

Tyson Akers joined the Marines straight out of high school and spent more than eight years in the infantry, including four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When he left the military in February 2011 because he wanted more time at home with his young children, he knew any civilian job would be different than what he?d done in the Marines.

?Your job was to go out and be on the front line and pray to God nothing happened to you,? he said. ?It?s hard to translate that over to the civilian world.?

But Akers, 29, didn?t count on a job search that has lasted more than a year, leaving him demoralized and even questioning his decision to leave the Marines.

?You start thinking to yourself if it?s even possible to get a job once you?re out,? he said.

While older veterans generally have a relatively low jobless rate, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served in the post-9/11 era averaged more than 12 percent last year, compared with under 9 percent for the general population, according to government data out last week.?

The problem of veteran unemployment is widely recognized. President Barack Obama has referred to it frequently and just last month pledged to get more veterans back to work.

"They've already risked their lives defending America,? he said. ?They should have the opportunity to rebuild America."

With the U.S. making plans to withdraw from Afghanistan and possibly shrink the military, thousands more young veterans like Akers are likely to be looking for work in the coming months and years.

Yet there are plenty of roadblocks preventing veterans from getting civilian jobs, including a lack of job-seeking skills and a mismatch between military experience and civilian requirements.

?Hard to translate?
Younger veterans especially may lack the experience crafting a resume or handling a job interview. And after emerging from years in the jargon-filled military culture, they may have a hard time explaining how their military experience would benefit a civilian employer.

?They have a difficult time translating their military cultural language into civilian cultural language,? said Randy Plunkett, director of community and government outreach for, a website aimed at the military community. ?They undersell themselves. They don?t see and have a good handle on how to self-promote (and) how to articulate the skills they bring to the table.?

Akers, who lives in State Center, Iowa, thought that it wouldn?t be too hard to get a job as a security guard while he attended Iowa State University full time with support from the GI Bill.

Instead, over the past 13 months he?s endured rejection after rejection as employers told him that they had more qualified candidates. His wife, Amanda, said one prospective employer even told him his deployments didn?t count as security experience.

Recently, he got a potential break: A job interview with another former Marine at a security company run by other veterans. He left feeling optimistic.

?It kind of maybe took a little bit of weight off the shoulders,? he said.

Even companies that actively seek out veterans say it can be tough to get them hired.

Jim Barr, vice president of government relations with Ryder, said the trucking company has made a point of trying to hire veterans who drove or worked on trucks in the military. But to drive for Ryder, veterans need a civilian commercial driving license, and requirements vary by state.

Some require hundreds of hours of training, and military experience may not count. In other cases, Barr said, the veterans may be able to waive the training but have trouble getting a truck for the test.

?They sound like kind of minor barriers, but if you don?t have the truck to take the test with, you can?t take the test,? Barr said.

States including Washington, Utah, Colorado and Texas have been working to remove some of the licensing barriers.

Eddie Crosby, 36, served in the military from 1996 to 2000 and then re-enlisted from 2004 until 2010. He worked as a military truck mechanic and driver and trained for dealing with chemical spills. He has been surprised he has been unable to translate his experience into a civilian job.

He used the GI Bill to go to civilian truck driving school. But even after he got his commercial license, he said many companies were looking for someone with more experience on the road.

To save money, he moved to Hermiston, Ore., where he?s living with his fianc? in a 26-foot camp trailer on his family?s property. He is about to start a part-time, minimum-wage job at a potato chip factory.

?I loved my military service, I really did,? Crosby said.

But it?s hard to find himself, at age 36, scrounging for entry-level jobs.

?Everybody that I graduated high school with, they?re 10 years on a job, and here I am struggling to pump gas, you know?? he said.

Slipping through the cracks
Experts are seeing some of the biggest disconnects for veterans with medical experience and training.

One issue is that a military medic may end up doing advanced work that may not translate directly to a credential in civilian life, said Steve Gonzalez, assistant director of the American Legion Economic Division. It can then be tough to figure out how to apply that experience toward a civilian medical license or credential.

There also are legitimate differences between medical work you do in the military and in civilian life, said veteran Ben Chlapek, deputy chief at the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District in Missouri. A medic who served in combat may not have experience with common civilian issues such as drug abuse, domestic abuse and pediatric patients.

Follow the story of Staff Sgt. Charles Weaver over the past ten years, from 2002 when he had been a soldier of Operation Iraqi Freedom to today - having returned back home to the United States, but now fighting to be a productive and employed individual.? NBC News' Tom Brokaw reports 'Hiring our Heroes' on Sunday, March 25th, at 7pm/6c.?

?Soldiers rarely deliver babies,? Chlapek said.

He said some potentially good candidates slip through the cracks when they realize they can?t get a job right away, or one that pays as well as their military job did.

?A lot of times they?ll call us or come in, and then they?ll disappear,? he said.

Even when the skills transfer directly, it can be tough to juggle military and civilian careers.

Todd Fredricks, 46, of Athens, Ohio, always dreamed of having his own rural medical practice, but he also wanted to serve in the military. As an Army flight surgeon in the reserves, he deployed to the Balkans once and to Iraq three times, most recently in 2011.

The transitions made it impossible to keep up a medical practice, and he now works full-time in a hospital in West Virginia.

?I practice the medicine that I do now because it?s the easiest way I can enter and leave service,? he said.

Peter Leon, an administrative nursing supervisor with Panorama City Medical Center in California, also considers himself lucky: As an RN, he was able to easily transition back and forth between his job stateside and his military deployments as a reservist.

Leon, 44, last deployed to Iraq in 2008, and now that he has a young daughter he no longer volunteers to go overseas. But he misses his military duty.

?I wish I could go back and deploy again,? he said. ?I feel more useful out there than I do here.?

There are other success stories. J.P. Morgan, 36, served in the military as an aircraft electrician from 1994 to 1998.

In 2004, he rejoined the military as a reservist, partly because he would get additional training he could never afford as a civilian. That has allowed him to get the certification he needed to become an aircraft maintenance technician for Southwest Airlines.

Morgan, who lives in Dallas, left the reserves in 2010.

?The military ? it was wonderful to me in that respect,? he said.

What do you think is keeping recent veterans from finding jobs? Discuss it on our Facebook page.


Full coverage: Hiring Our Heroes

Sign up for job fairs for veterans

Defense cutbacks worry some military families

We are the median: Living on $50,000, military-style?


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Caherciveen Festival of Music & Arts 2012

The show which has wowed Garth Brooks fans across Ireland for over a year now will bring their world class production?to Caherciveen?this summer for the Cahersiveen Festival of Music & Arts!

Friends In Low Places is fronted by well-known country singer Trevor Smyth and features an array of top class musicians from around Ireland to make up the completely live and very talented eight-piece band.

You can expect to hear all the greatest hits of American country-music legend Garth Brooks who rose to fame worldwide in the 1990?s with his own brand of country music which spawned such classic songs as ?If Tomorrow Never Comes?, Friends In Low Places?, ?The Dance?, ?Baton Rouge?, ?Shameless?, ?Unanswered Prayers? and many more?

Garth Brooks became the biggest selling solo artist of the 20th Century and he packed out stadiums and concert halls around the world with his electrifying live performances.

Expect the same electrifying show that Garth Brooks is renowned for with the state of the art light and sound production at ?Friends In Low Places?. Their new show features an amazing lighting production, flames, ramps, moving platforms and much more!

This show really is a must see for any Brook?s fan and is promised to offer you the next best thing to the man himself

Read the reviews for yourself??CLICK HERE



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Monday, March 26, 2012

Suggestions For Low-Cost Home Staging | South Jersey Real Estate ...

For you to make sure that everything you are doing to sell your house fast is right, you should bear in mind numerous various home staging tips. The whole process does not have to be hard if you understand what things to do to make staging a success. Keep in mind that you are not designing the property for your own liking, your main purpose in doing it is to attract potential home buyers.

You should create an atmosphere at your homes arlington texas for sale that will appeal to a wide range of potential home buyers so you should discard your personal likes and dislikes because they are not that important anymore. Make sure that everything is spotless and sanitized from the bathroom countertops to the tubs and shower stalls and you must also remove all forms of clutter. You can also create some sort of a theme in your bathroom?s design by coordinating shower curtains, rugs and towels.

Most tips for home staging are quite simple and very easy to do. The exterior of a home is an important part as well that needs to be concentrated on. Make sure that the lawn is trimmed and the flower beds at your garden are well taken care of. To know if they need repairs or repainting, it is better to check the entranceways and doors. Another easy and cost effective way to enhance the appearance of your homes arlington tx is to paint its interior using a neutral pallet so that it will look new, fresh and vibrant. It is worth the extra expense so you can hire a professional painter.

A big part of staging your arlington texas house will involve removing all forms of clutter and making sure that everything is clean so take extra care in checking if all the windows are dust-free and clean both inside and out. Some of your old belongings, such as carpets, may already need updating so replace them with a new one if there is a need to.

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Posted under Selling a Home in Today's Market


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

9 years later, Kansas still special to Williams

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

BoE advises banks to raise more capital urgently

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Commercial Construction: From the Perspective of the Owner | Omni ...

Home ? Construction ? Commercial Construction: From the Perspective of the Owner

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We?ve been talking about construction for the past few weeks. Our first blog of this series offered steps involved in building and the importance of hiring a qualified commercial real estate professional to aid in the process. Two weeks ago, we discussed the pre-approval and entitlement process and last week we shared an interview with David Martin, who is managing a construction project in Harrisburg. This week, we talk with the owner of the Harrisburg property, Robert Beachy.

Why did you decide to build rather than lease or buy existing space?

Our counseling practice has been interested in owning our own building for a number of years.? We have been leasing space for a long time and were interested in owning a building in order to build some equity.? We looked at numerous existing buildings before deciding to build so that we could design and configure the space exactly to our needs and specifications.

For you, what role does Mike play in this process?

Mike has played a pivotal role for us throughout the entire process, from making the decision to own rather than lease, to looking at existing properties, to deciding to build our own building.? Since we had never done this before, Mike?s experience was invaluable in shepherding us through the project.? He made contacts for us with other individuals including our builder, engineer, banker and township officials.? He has kept a watchful eye on the project from start to finish.? It has been very helpful to have someone we could trust representing our interests from the start.

Did you select the builder for the project or was that something coordinated by the commercial real estate agent?

Mike introduced us to our builder, someone he had worked with on other projects and felt would be a good match for what we were planning to build.?? However, we had the final decision about which builder to use for our project.

How did you choose location for the building?

We were aware of a lot that had been for sale for a number of years in the location we wanted to build in.? We chose the location because it was close to our current location and provided easy accessibility for our clients.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience?

We want to reiterate the appreciation we have for Mike?s assistance with our building project.? He has been available to us answer our questions, help clarify our confusion, and provide encouragement when we have needed it.










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