The Internet Today – A look at it now

There are stores that can ship you products and the products are easy to find, easy to buy and easy to research. People can self publish. It’s a learning tool and research tool. It can deliver video, photo’s, music, text, Games, entertainment and humor around the globe. People communicate with their friends and family thru social media, instant messenger, video chatting and email. It has allowed businesses, companies and organizations to do a variety of functions ultimately increasing profits and sales. In December 2012 there were 634,000,000 million US websites.  There were 51 million new websites added that year. You can find more statistics at http://royal.pingdom.com/2013/01/16/internet-2012-in-numbers/.

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How New Domain Names Will Change the Internet

Most of the websites you visit on the Internet probably end with the domain “.com.” Other common domains, like .edu, .org, and .gov., are reserved for companies and organizations in specific fields. As you can imagine, the relatively small number of available domain names has led to countless arguments and bidding wars over web addresses that promise to be valuable to someone. Sometimes, a company starting a website is unable to get a simple web address based on its name because someone else has beaten them to the punch and bought the domain already. In fact, there are companies that specialize in anticipating what domains will be in high demand, buying those domains, and then selling them to the highest bidder. The cost of the most desirable domains run in the millions of dollars.

This situation is not what Internet developers anticipated, and now they are doing something to remedy it. The revolutionary change will alter the way the Internet looks to users around the world, and should simplify it quite a bit. In June 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided to make available a nearly endless supply of new domain names. Instead of ending a website address with “.com,” companies and individuals will have access to “.newyork,” “.nfl,” “.music,” and almost any other ending you can imagine.

The Corporation, abbreviated to ICANN, is the company responsible for holding and selling domain names to Internet users across the globe. They’re playing it safer this time, too: instead of simply selling the new domains to whoever requests it first, they are planning to use reasonable criteria to determine whether it is “fair” for a customer to gain the rights to all website addresses under a given domain. In other words, don’t plan to rush in and claim the rights to “.walmart,” in case some company would like to buy it from you later. In an added benefit to companies and groups, they will be able to develop a multitude of different sites under a single new domain name, without worrying that those valuable unique web addresses will be bought up by others.

Internet users will probably start to see the new domains in early 2013. In another exciting change, ICANN is going to allow non-English characters to be included in domain names. This will expand the number of available domains even further to include names in Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and other languages.

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Basics of Juicing

Juicing

Wheat Grass

Juicing has become popular among organic enthusiasts, raw food advocates, and vegetarians. People who juice credit the concoctions they make with eliminating sickness, boosting energy, and promoting digestive health. The best part about juicing is its simplicity. By understanding just a few basics, you can get started on your path to better health.

It may take a while to get used to the taste of vegetable juice, especially if you add a lot of greens. That’s why it’s wise to start with mostly fruit and then begin building the vegetable concentration gradually. You can teach yourself to enjoy your greens if you begin with milder flavors and gradually add in stronger tastes such as kale and collard greens.

It can also take a while for your digestive system to get used to the concentration of nutrients in fresh juice, so keep your juice consumption to about eight ounces a day if you’re just starting out. Remember that juice is not a complete meal replacement, since it usually does not contain protein or fat. Unless you’re following a fast or detox program for a limited time, juice should not be used to replace meals.

In order to reap the most benefits from your juicing program, try to vary the ingredients from day to day. Your body benefits from variety, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. For taste, try adding some ginger, cranberry, or lemon juice to your recipe. Remember, however, that adding too many calorie-heavy fruits can put you over your recommended daily calorie intake, resulting in weight gain. As you become more accustomed to the taste of veggie juice, you’ll want to reduce the amount of fruit juice you drink per day.

It’s always best to choose organic fruits and veggies for your juice to avoid the pesticides most produce has been sprayed with. If you can’t go organic, wash produce thoroughly before juicing and remove the skin if necessary.

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Microsoft set to compete in smart phone market

The world of computing has changed fundamentally in the past two or three years. IBM’s original personal computer became the desktop, which became the laptop, which became the sub-notebook, which became the Palmtop (remember Palm computers), which became the iPhone, which became the iPad.

When it comes to personal entertainment, consumers want smart phones and tablet computers. It feels nearly identical to IBM’s predicament when the original PC was introduced: everybody wants them, but many do not know how to use them to their full potential.

Microsoft’s Windows Operating System has ruled the personal computing roost for nearly two decades. However, Apple cornered the emerging technologies market early on with the iPhone and iPad. Currenly while phones and tablet computers exist that run on Windows platforms, they are negligible from a market standpoint. One cell phone manufacturer hopes to change that, the once leader and new US underdog in consumer cell phone technology: Nokia.

At CES in Las Vegas, Nokia unveiled their latest entry into the US smart phone marketplace, the Lumia 900. A slick, aesthetically pleasing, fully functional smart phone which runs on Windows.

Nokia’s Lumia 900 is untested, without a release date, and without a price point listed. However, early buzz promises sterling engineering, with a Galaxy-sized screen and a camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. Nokia has announced a partnership with AT & T to bring the phone into the US marketplace.

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Hope for Hollywood Summer Blockbusters

Remember when you could anticipate a summer movie season full of movies that didn’t feel like they were pulled off a Xerox machine? Probably not. And with increasingly disturbing trends in the US economy, Hollywood’s offerings are becoming even less appealing.

In 2000, Spider-Man kicked off a trend of great comic book movies. The original film, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, was a smash–a beautifully written romantic fantasy thinly disguised as an action movie.

Since Spider-Man was released, nearly every comic book ever made has been turned into a film. And as the recession hit, Hollywood became terrified of green-lighting anything else. The Angelina Jolie film “Wanted” was based on a comic book that hadn’t even been published yet, and the screenwriters had to make up an ending and a mythology that hadn’t been created.

It has come to a point where, due to the worldwide credit crunch and terror among investors, Hollywood is remaking comic book films that are not even a decade old yet, and dubbing them “reboots” instead of remakes. The first batch came with X-Men: First Class. A Superman reboot is filming. After the much-hyped “The Dark Knight Rises” is released, Warner Brothers has already announced its intentions to reboot the franchise with a new director, new stars, and reinvented story. Of course, Sony Pictures is rebooting the summer tentpole that kicked it all off: the new Spider-Man film, with an all-new cast and director, releases this summer.

Fortunately, a number of great films are still getting made. The fifth film–the FIFTH–in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise–was a surprise critical and commercial success, and one of the most well-regarded action films since Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” Warner Brothers’ Batman franchise has become one of the most acclaimed film series of the decade; “The Dark Knight” missed a critical Best Picture nomination by a hair’s breadth and stands as one of the ten highest grossing films of all time.

Times are tough everywhere. Hollywood is hurting, but even with an apparent drought of creativity great films are being released. Yes, it feels like they are all remakes: the most anticipated films of 2012 are a sequel to Batman, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, a prequel to Alien, and a remake of Spider-Man. However, we still have a lot of popcorn-munching action to look forward to as Hollywood sends us the hits.

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Improve Your Online Effectiveness With Website Testing

Is your website performing as well as you want it to? Do you receive plenty of traffic, only to have visitors leave without buying or clicking? The internet offers a wealth of information about how to improve your website, but before you start implementing all those best practices, it’s important to know exactly which parts of your site aren’t working so you can concentrate your energies in the right place.

Website testing offers you the golden opportunity to pinpoint specific problem elements of your site and to determine which changes will improve performance. It’s more useful than best practice lists because a list developed by someone else tells you only what worked for their company and their customers. It doesn’t necessarily follow that the same strategy will work for you. For instance, if your landing page isn’t converting well, you can test elements such as the call to action button, images, copy, and navigation controls in order to determine why customers aren’t continuing into the conversion funnel. Testing gives you the opportunity to better understand your target audience by discovering what works for them and what doesn’t.

There are two primary types of tests you can use to improve your website. A/B split testing enables you to test a single element on the page by trying out different versions. You’ll design two different versions of the element (a red call to action button and a blue one, for instance) and each design will be shown to half your audience. By monitoring which button gets more clicks, you can determine which color will be most effective on your site.

The second type of website testing is multivariate testing. This test enables you to change many variables on the page or even try out two completely different page designs and compare them against each other. Multivariate testing is typically more useful when planning your initial design or redesign, while A/B split testing makes a better choice for fine tuning particular elements for improved conversion results. Because multivariate testing is more comprehensive, it’s difficult to determine precisely which variables caused the results you’re seeing, making it a less desirable choice for testing specific page elements.

Website testing should comprise an essential part of your online strategy. By incorporating a continual program of testing, you can ensure that your website remains relevant, effective, and engaging for the audience you’re trying to reach.

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Fun Dates

What makes a great date? That can depend on the people, of course, and what stage your relationship is in. Creative dates are those that are full of fun and that encourage good conversation. They don’t always have to expensive, either, as you will see from the tips below.

Dinner Date

Dinner Date

Moderately Active and Fairly Cheap
Consider a trip to the bowling alley or a roller rink. Even if you aren’t very good at these activities, you will probably spend a few hours laughing with and at each other, and it can be a great time to find out what your special someone really is like. These are also great activities to share with another couple if you aren’t quite ready for one-on-one.

Outdoor Excitement
If you or your date is an outdoorsy person, hiking some local trails is a fun thing to do together. Going for a scenic bike ride that includes a nice lunch spot can be fun, too. Some areas have stables that offer horseback riding, either in a park, or with some kind of destination.

Date Night

Date Night

Check out your local internet listings. If your date is adventurous, consider going rafting or kayaking for a fun day.

Events
Sporting events are available year round in most cities. This activity is great because you get to enjoy the game as well as talk. Rooting for the same team can add some extra connection, as well.  If the companionship is more important than the quality of the game itself, you might have just as much fun at a local park watching the Friday night softball games as at a big stadium. Theater and musical events abound, and you may be able to get a good deal on tickets from a smaller venue.

Take a Class Together
Take a cooking class or an art class together. You may be surprised at your own or your date’s creativity, and there will be plenty of time together in a more structured environment.

Do Some Sightseeing
The truth is that most of us don’t visit the touristy places in our own area. Try to look at your city or town as a tourist might, and take a tour, visiting some of those local or close-by attractions that you haven’t thought of before. These could include a day trip to nearby natural landmarks or visits to local museums. Out-of-the-way specialty museums are sometimes really fun.

We all tend to get stuck in the same old rut. Try to think outside the box and devise a fun date for you and your partner. If you are a new dating couple or if you have been married for years, fun times together are a great way to find out more about each other and create a stronger bond.

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Creating an Outdoor Room

Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular as places to relax, spend time with family, and entertain guests. If you already have a deck or patio, creating an outdoor room may be as simple as adding extra seating and decorative elements. Even if you don’t already have a defined area in your backyard, creating your dream space is a project well worth the investment.

Before you begin shopping for design ideas, decide on what your outdoor room will primarily be used for. Do you plan to host large parties, create a space for the kids, or craft your own personal retreat? The purpose of the room will determine its size, how much seating you’ll need, whether you need a dining area or fireplace, and how you plan to decorate.

Once you have an idea of how your outdoor space will be used, you’ll need to define the area and separate it from the rest of your yard. The easiest way to do this is by creating an actual floor rather than simply using grass or mulch. Wood, concrete, and tile all make great outdoor flooring options. This step will be much easier if you already have an existing deck or patio to work with, but even if you don’t, building a floor will give the room a more definite and finished feel. You can also use other design elements such as a low wall, hedge, or decorative fence to help separate the outdoor room from your lawn.

Next, it’s time to choose seating and lighting for your outdoor living area. Don’t skimp on outdoor furniture, since you’ll want it to hold up under exposure to the elements. Lighting options can include built in features, fireplaces, recessed stair lighting, path lighting, and even gas- or propane-fueled novelty lighting. If you plan to use the outdoor space during cooler months, consider adding a fireplace or wood stove that will provide heat as well as light.

The final and most enjoyable step in creating your outdoor room is decorating. Add potted plants, trellises, throw cushions, and other decorative items to suit your taste and to make your room feel either more or less formal. Also, consider adding a built-in waterfall or freestanding fountain to promote tranquility, beauty, and relaxation.

Outdoor living spaces offer the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature while still enjoying comfortable surroundings. Making an investment in outdoor living can increase the value of your home while also creating a perfect place to relax, entertain, and dream.

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Benefits of Music Lessons

Whether you child enjoys listening to the piano, the trumpet, the flute, or any other instruments, encourage him to try and learn to play the instrument himself. Besides providing a lot of fun, an opportunity for teamwork, and a means of creative self expression, music lessons have a number of benefits for kids of all ages.

It’s been proven that children who participate in group or individual music lessons learn to use creative thinking to solve problems. They think outside the box, rejecting the most common answer and eagerly exploring less conventional options.

Music exposes children to a number of different cultures through the various composers of the music they’ll be studying. These young musicians quickly realize that musicians in various cultures have a common bond – they enjoy expressing themselves in melody.

Creative self expression is a large advantage for music students. Many not only enjoy playing others music, but they also spend time creating a musical style of their own and introducing it to family, friends, teachers, and fellow composers.

Composing not only provides a means of self-expression, it also teaches the student how to begin and follow through on a high quality project. If a musician is serious about sharing his music with the world, he will develop a keen sense of good and mediocre work.

In addition to composing, performance opportunities also provide musicians the opportunity for self expression. Through choosing music they enjoy playing, thoroughly practicing and perhaps even memorizing each piece, then finally performing it for an audience, they experience the enjoyment of sharing their talent first with their friends and family and maybe one day with the world!

Even if a child never goes on to become a professional musician, music lessons help to develop basic skills that are necessary in any workplace environment. Dedication to completing a project, anticipation of learning a new skill, and the ability to communicate effectively can all be fostered through music lessons. Music study and performance encourage young people to face the fear of new situations and come out victorious!

Many instruments require a student to work with others. Teamwork is another essential aspect in the business world of today. Begin teaching your child the value of teamwork through his participation in band, orchestra or small group performances.

Overall, music lessons provide invaluable experience for any child. If your child enjoys listening to music, watching others perform, or experimenting for himself, consider involving him in music lessons as soon as possible.

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Get Motivated to Move

The New Year is a typical time to begin a new exercise programs. We all consider making resolutions to lose weight or become more physically active in the upcoming year. However, after the first couple days of faithfully walking, running or hitting the gym, about 88% of us lose our motivation and fall away. How can we stay motivated for the entire year?

Motivation to Start a Regular Exercise Program
Set goals for you exercising. Plan to hit the gym at least three times a week. If it helps, plan to be at the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and take a walk around your neighborhood on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Write out your goals on sticky notes and stick them all over your house, in places that you’ll see them several times during the day: the refrigerator, the bathroom mirrors, or even the telephone!

Join a gym class or plan to work out with your spouse or a friend. The two of you will hold each other accountable to get started and you’ll both definitely exercise more often if you’re checking up on each other.

Choose exercise that you will enjoy. You may need to motivate yourself to get started, but once you start something you enjoy it’ll be a whole lot easier to keep it up!

Motivation to Keep Up with Your Exercise Program
Get psyched to exercise by changing into your workout clothes in the morning, evening or whatever time you plan to workout.

Designate rewards for attaining your goals. For instance, if you’ve accomplished your goal of working out at the gym three times a week for the entire month, buy a new pair of workout pants, get a pedicure, or whatever reward would motivate you to keep exercising.

Join a competition through your local gym or another exercise group. When you’re training for a goal, you’ll be much more likely to carry through.

Don’t let yourself think that fifteen minutes of exercise are not worth it. Even a short workout burns calories and gives your brain a rest from everyday tasks.

Vary your routine by attending new classes or trying new workout programs. You may want to employ a personal trainer to give you some fresh exercise ideas.

Finally, look for ways to incorporate extra physical activity into your daily routine. Take the stairs at work, walk to lunch, or take a walk during your breaks instead of visiting the vending machines.

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