Category Archives: Online

Online explores video and audio content.

Some Things You Didn’t Know About Online Education

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Online education is becoming more popular among all age groups, but particularly with 18 – 25-year-olds. The number of younger students enrolling to study online doubled between 2012 and 2015, and has continued to grow ever since. It is thought there are two main reasons for this. The first is they do not have the expense or inconvenience of moving away from home, and the second is that because they can work at their own pace, some students can finish the course in a much shorter time than if they attended a bricks and mortar college or university. This results in them getting into the employment market sooner than they would otherwise have done.

Choice Of Study

Online programs offer a much wider choice of courses in many more fields than is generally thought. It does not matter if you want to complete an online accredited MBA program, study life sciences, do a course in education or any other one of many fields, there are online courses for most of them.

It has grown a great deal from the few online courses that were originally offered, and now there are many thousands of different options in all types of industries and professions.

Most Students Do Not Work

One of the selling points of online education has been that you can fit it in with any lifestyle. If you have a full-time job or a family to care for, you can complete your studies when you have time.

However, research shows that among the younger age groups, very few of the students work while they are completing their online courses. It seems they prefer to work at them full time, with many of them doing more hours than they would if they attended a physical college.

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Better Grades

Distance learning students tend to get better grades than those who have been taught face-to-face.  There is no apparent reason for this, and it should be pointed out that more students fail to complete online courses as well. It seems a pretty mixed bag of students who start these online courses but is good for the ones that do complete them with a better grade on their certificate.

The qualification certificate does not show how it was earned, so prospective employers do not know how the course was completed. Research among a variety of employers showed that they did not mind at all if the course had been completed online, and in fact, some saw it as a bonus that the student has been disciplined enough to complete their studies in this way.

Other Students And Tutors Can Be Contacted

There is no doubt that technology has played a large role in online education, as now students and tutors can all get together on the Internet to discuss issues with each other, and to help each other along. Many online students make friends from their programs, just as if they were attending a college or university.

Online education will continue to grow for several reasons. As well as the advantages for students, there are clear reasons why they are good for educational institutions as well. They can use smaller buildings, so they are less costly to run, and this, in turn, should help to reduce the fees they charge students. The lower their fees are the more students they will have, and some are saying it is a real possibility that one day, all education will be online.

 

How Can A Computer Read?

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There have been loads of major developers in the world of technology over the last couple of decades. Computers have gone from being machines which cost a small fortune and take up the better part of a room, to being devices which can be carried in your pocket. New tools have been invented, software systems have come in leaps and bounds, and, as an area which not a lot of people expect, they’ve also learned how to read. To give you an idea of how this works, this post will be exploring the area, going through the main functions at play and the work they can be used for.

To begin, it’s time to think about the sort of reading a computer can do. They will usually find printed text the easiest, but this is only because it is neat. If you are able to write in a very orderly way, you will also find that these machines will understand your writing, and this is a very powerful tool for someone taking notes all the time. The technology behind this ability isn’t even that complicated.

The Hardware: In most cases, a simple camera is all which will be required to start reading all manner of writing. These devices can capture images as incredibly high resolutions, nowadays, making text very clear, while also creating files which all computers are able to look at. Alternatively, people will also use scanners for this, though these devices aren’t as common as the cameras which can be found on mobile phones. Any computer, ranging from gaming machines to your smartphone, will be able to run a device like this.

The Software: Along with the hardware, it’s also worth thinking about the software being used for this. A computer doesn’t read like a human, taking in whole words all at once. Instead, it has to start by deciphering each letter, and this is often handled by a complex algorithm. Once the letters make sense, the machine will be able to use a database similar to those used by spellcheck tools to figure out which words are on the paper.

There are a lot of uses for this sort of technology. For people travelling the world, these systems can be tied to translation tools, giving you the power to instantly understand road signs, travel documents, and other information which comes in the form of another language. Along with this, document verification companies are also using computer-based reading to do their jobs. You can thwart fraud with Jumio, and this is partly thanks to its ability to pick up data from normal text. Of course, over time, the uses for technology like this will blossom more and more.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder to understand modern technology and the way that it works. Not a lot of people think about tools like this, even when they are using them. This is a shame, though, as learning about security is very important, and reading is soon to be a very big part of it.

Why You Should Always Use Comparison Sites

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Comparison sites are a subject we can hardly get away from these days. They might be best known for supplying us with some pretty annoying adverts, but they are actually incredibly useful tools to have whenever you are looking for something online. Here are some of the reasons you should start using comparison sites today.

Quick And Easy

The main draw of a comparison site is that you can search for something such as searching for Money Expert car insurance and you will immediately have a list of prices from hundreds of companies. It saves you time and effort researching all of these sites individually and it will even order the prices from low to high so you can find the best deal quickly. It will only take seconds for hundreds and even thousands of results to pop up on your screen for the choosing.

Range Of Choice

A great benefit of a comparison site is the fact that you will be faced with a ton of companies you have never even heard of before. This allows you to find amazing deals which otherwise you would never have seen. Imagine that you know of 10 different energy companies at the moment. You will know if the biggest suppliers because they dominate the industry and are household names, but they don’t always offer the best deals. There are hundreds of energy companies out there which you will see if you search on a comparison site, and this can save you a ton of money in the long term for you and your family. It is also great for smaller companies because it gives them the exposure they need to reach a wider audience.

Find The Best Prices

This is the most obvious reason we have for using a comparison site and is the main point of using them. Comparison sites allow you to compare prices across a whole spectrum of different things: even supermarkets. You can even see if the price of eggs at one supermarket is less than what you usually buy. It can allow you to save a ton of effort and money.

Security

One of the benefits you may not be aware of is the extra layer of security you get when you book something through a comparison site. Normally if you were to book a hotel through the owner directly, you will of course receive a few assurances that your booking will be honoured and that any damages will be covered too. However when you book through a comparison site you get even more protection. It means that if anything goes wrong you are in a much safer position with your finances and you will have the peace of mind that you won’t lose out on anything.

The next time you need to find a holiday, car insurance, your groceries and even your broadband: take a look on a comparison site and you will be very pleasantly surprised at what you are able to find on there.

Five Fashion Gifts Your Fashion-conscious Man Will Be Happy with for Life

When it comes to men’s birthdays, many of us get stuck with ideas. You might be thinking about the obvious choice of drinks or car accessories, but if your other half or friend is self-conscious and pays attention to their appearance, you could visit your online or Downtown designer store and get them something truly unique and memorable. Below you will find a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Custom Man-Bag

One of the hardest decision for men is to invest in a leather man-bag that will help them stay organized and stylish at the same time. They might think that a man with a bag is simply not the done thing. If you want to help them, you can find a masculine leather bag that will hold all their paperwork when they go to work or turn up at meetings, without having to worry about their overall style.

  1. Watch

Some men simply can’t have enough watches. If you would like to surprise them, you could look through their collection and find out what their favorite make is. From stylish to street-style, you can choose based on their personality. If you get this gift right, you have just given them an accessory for a lifetime, and helped them express themselves.

  1. Cufflinks

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For the man in the suit, you might be looking for some valuable and sophisticated cufflinks. You can check out the examples of handmade gold cufflinks online and choose the pair that matches their smart style. Consider their age, their overall complexion, and the tailored suits they usually wear for special occasions and meetings.

  1. Wallet

You can never go wrong with a stylish leather wallet or a card holder. While phone cases are also a great idea, they are likely to become useless once your man-friend changes their phone. Think about their lifestyle. If they are all over the world collecting business cards, and are famous for their American Express collection, a card holder will be a perfect gift. If, however, they like matching all their accessories with their dress style, you can get them a wallet.

  1. Professional Travel Grooming Kit

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Men who are always on the go, and live a busy lifestyle will appreciate your thought when you buy them a travel grooming kit. Some of the top models include a shaver, a trimmer, hair removal tools, and other accessories in just a small bag. They can take this item with them anywhere, and stay stylish and well-groomed, even if they are busy with meetings in another city.

Men who enjoy looking good will appreciate thoughtful fashionable gifts for every occasion. Snoop around their wardrobe and find out what their favorite brands are. Look out for personalized gifts and ones that will serve your man for a long time, instead of being drunk in one sitting. Instead of the usual presents, go further this year, and show them that you appreciate their effort to look good in every situation. The above gifts will help you impress even the most fashion-conscious men.

 

Brands Don’t Build Themselves, They Need Real Investment

If you’ve been thinking about how to build your business’s brand, you may be aware of the notion that the best way to establish it is to do good work and the brand represent itself. While it’s true that a brand needs to be backed up by hard evidence, i.e. happy customers or clients, you shouldn’t leave it up to chance. You need to truly invest in the brand, and this doesn’t just mean monetarily. Here’s what you need to put in it.

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Put some thought behind it

First of all, you want to make sure that your brand communicates what you want it to. This means that you need to work out its message. The best way to figure out that message is to ask a few questions of yourself. Who is your audience? What is your biggest selling proposition to them? What do you offer that your competitors do not? These can help you narrow down the focus of your company to a specific message to a specific audience.

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Design is necessary

The message is the “thought” of the business, but design is how you carry it out. A fantastic brand proposition, message, and company mission can be ruined by terrible website design or a visual style that doesn’t communicate that message well. Ensure you’re investing in professional visual and web design. If you’re not a professional in either of those fields, then you’re going to need to fork out for someone who is.

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The marketing push

There are a lot of different methods of getting that message and the brand out there. Social media networking, search engine optimization, popup ads, billboards, direct mail, and much more. You need to figure out where your audience is most likely to come in contact with the brand and focus on the marketing push there. Even if you’re running a home business, raising cash through things like quick loans is essential to be able to invest in that initial marketing push. After the launch, you can focus more on inbound, organic marketing techniques such as content marketing, but when the business first launches, you need to make sure you get the name out there to build some awareness.

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Don’t go it alone

You shouldn’t be the only one building some awareness, either. Influencer marketing is a great way to tap into people, blogs, and other organizations that already have some reach and an audience of their own. Finding the right influencers to work with can help you build the beginnings of a reputation. Once you’re in business, however, do what you can to foster word of mouth. Ask for testimonials and reviews. Work on building a social media community. You can even create a loyalty system that incentivizes sharing links or building referrals.

When you’re starting a small business, even if it’s just you alone, then a brand can help give you a much more professional image with a broader reach. Make sure you keep control of it by investing in it yourself. Then you can back it up with good work and happy customers.

 

Ed Steals Taylor’s Spotlight: Here’s How He Stole The Music Industry

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The Daily Mail isn’t on the Unknown Male’s recommended reading list, but it does have a few gems now and then. This video is trending around the world right now as Taylor Swift tells Mr Sheeran he is showing off by ‘peacocking.’ Ed is seen as a humble man, so the allegations are pretty serious, especially to his devoted fans. But, as the friendship between the two megastars is deep, they may be in a forgiving mood.

The bigger issue here is not how Ed stole her limelight, but how he did the same to the music industry. At one point, Sheeran had nine of the top ten songs on the charts, an unprecedented move. So, how has his rise to fame been sheer?

Of Humble Stock

Unlike the Fifth Harmony’s and Post Malone’s of the world, Sheeran didn’t begin life on a manufactured TV show. Although the Simon Cowell route was gaining traction at the time, Ed built up a fan base the old-fashioned way. That included playing tiny gigs in small cities such as Leeds and even busking on the street as a younger man. Sheeran is also synonymous with the Grime scene if you couldn’t tell from his Seek Attire classics. People such as Wiley and Dizzee Rascal detail seeing him and watching him ‘come up’ on the scene back in the early 200s. His past means that both the pop culture squad and the hardcore grime heads have got respect for the Ginga Ninja’s choons. As any marketing exec would agree, it’s all about brand diversity.

Just One Catch

That being that all of his songs have a hook which is impossible to forget. Whether pop music is your thing, it’s impossible to deny his talent for writing. ‘Shape of you’, a love tale regaling mutual attraction, spent the most weeks in Billboard’s ‘Hot 100s Top Ten.’ That is just one stat among many which list it as one of the catchiest tunes of all time. And, the fact that he enrolled Stormzy to spit a few bars only made it a bigger banger. Take away ‘Shape of you’ and you can talk about ‘Galway Girl’, ‘Castle on the Hill’, and ‘Perfect’, the latter being mixed with Beyonce. Love him or hate him, you can’t help but sing along.

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Live Performances

In this day and age, catchy tunes and a reputable upbringing mean nothing. ‘True’ musicians rock the stage at the biggest festivals in the world, from Coachella to Glastonbury. If you can’t perform live, you don’t belong in the pantheon of greats alongside the Beatles, David Bowie and Michael Jackson. In June 2017, Sheeran showed he has the talent to perform on stage as well as in a studio booth. His performance on the Pyramid Stage was full of creativity, confidence and cracking songs. Even the likes of Noel Gallagher had to admit that Ed has the lot. Expect to see him performing live to adoring fans for years to come.

So, he has talent, a stellar background and the ability to create an atmosphere. But, what do you think makes Ed Sheeran special?

So Why Isn’t Your Car Driving Itself Yet?

Everyone has read about the move Google and many other companies are making towards self-driving cars. We’ve seen the news reports showing their prototypes, and we’ve heard a lot about the testing phase. However, autonomous self-driving cars are still not available on the open market, and this article will take a look at some of the reasons for that. While there are many stumbling blocks to overcome, it’s pretty likely that innovators will solve these problems at some point. Still, many experts now claim the public release date for self-driving vehicles is much further away than the car manufacturers would have you believe.  

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Self-driving cars might have to play God

The first problem that car manufacturers struggle to overcome relates to developing software that will essentially play God on the roads. Let’s run through a situation, and then discuss some of the issues it presents. Presume the self-driving car has two options. It could continue on the same course and crash into an oncoming vehicle, or it could swerve and hit a pedestrian causing less damage. Is it morally right to let a computer system decide who ends up in the hospital that day? Welcome to one of the most significant challenges self-driving car designers are working through at the moment.

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Self-driving cars present many insurance issues

It’s still unclear how self-driving cars will affect insurance policies when accidents occur. For instance, if you had a smash in the new Subaru Forester or a similar model, it’s easy to determine and allocate blame. However, if the same thing happened when you are sat in a self-driving car, are you responsible? Most people would argue not, but therein lies the problem. If insurance companies can’t allocate blame, they will have to take the vehicle’s software programmers to court. That opens up a new can of worms that could prove exceptionally costly.

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Self-driving cars pose security risks

We live in the digital age, and Google’s self-driving car concepts would not exist were it not for computers. However, there are thousands of cybercriminals out there who can hack into almost anything. It doesn’t take any stretch of the imagination to work out how much trouble those hackers could cause on the highway if they gained control over most of the cars. Making a self-driving car unhackable seems the only solution, but that’s almost impossible, and so the manufacturers are currently spending millions of dollars attempting to develop a resolution to that threat.

Now you know about some of the leading problems and risks associated with the current self-driving car prototypes; you should have a better understanding of why you’re not travelling to work while eating breakfast and drinking coffee at the same time yet. Still, as with anything in the technology world, the situation will improve, and innovators will reach suitable comprises at some point in the future. Just don’t expect to purchase your self-driving car in the next few months as that isn’t going to happen. It’s going to take a few years to iron out all the kinks.

Why Computers Are Built To Break

Computers seem to break every 1 or 2 years these days, and thus we’re always after the next best deal for our budgets. However, this works against us. Here’s a couple of thoughts on the matter.

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A Generation of New Technology

With the amount of tech that’s coming out literally every day, it’s no surprise that companies want to get their ‘older’ models out of the way. This means that products are rolled down the production line with an expiry date in mind. However, these aren’t perishable items, and can last a lifetime when manufactured and cared for properly.

For a couple of quick examples: take Apple, and their semi regular updates for their iOS devices. When it comes to not updating your phone whenever they roll out a new upgrade, your phone will lose its battery life a lot quicker and decide it can’t hold anything in its storage anymore.

Even at the first Apple demonstration in 2007, the new model of phone that was meant to revolutionise the market was completely bugged. Engineers had designed a path to make the phone looked as though it worked when completing tasks, as any other combination of them caused the phone to crash, and then it couldn’t even connect to the internet without being directly boosted by AT&T.

Why this Doesn’t Work

A lot of brands out there don’t seem to understand that when their product breaks for the second or third time in a row, a user is going to take their business somewhere else. Therefore, they lose revenue and free advertising from these people, and it happens every day in the thousands. It brings in bad rep and opens up a drift in the market, and makes a lot of people sorely dissatisfied on review sites and social media.

Of course, for the big businesses, this isn’t going to make or break them. They have the funds in place to keep manufacturing buggy pieces on a mass produced basis, and the first edition sales of these items, plus pre-orders, sends revenue through the roof time and time again. People like having something to get excited about, and we’re like magpies with the fact that we like flashy things that seem to function at the speed of sound.

Subvert the System

Having a do it yourself nature about you can get you far in life. When it comes to a PC or a laptop breaking down on you, don’t take it back to the shop or the manufacturer. You can try looking up tutorials online or through video, and often fix the problem yourself. If you’re not comfortable with this, get some computer repairs from the professionals in your local repair shop when you can. This is guaranteed to make your system often go a little bit further than your own tinkering efforts, and works out a lot cheaper than forking out for a new system, as the original shop will usually make you do.

Be smart with technology.

Do You Need to Be Serious to Truly Enjoy Playing Games?

When you look at the world of gaming today, you see an industry that is bigger and more powerful than ever before. Long gone are the days of Pong and Tetris. These days, the giants rule the world of gaming, whether that’s Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo.

Many people are seeing an increasing level of seriousness in the approach many people have to gaming. So, is the fun still there? Or do you have to be a serious and hardcore gamer to truly enjoy gaming the way most people do today? It’s time to find out.

Competitive Gaming is Bigger Than Ever

10 years ago, the idea of competitive gaming barely even existed. But know competitive gaming is a normal thing, and live gaming events can attract more viewers that many of the world’s biggest sporting events. That says a lot about the industry today. Professional gamers are seen as Gods who are on the level of other kinds of athletes, even if they don’t have the physique to match. There is no doubting the importance of serious and competitive gaming in the modern industry.

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Games Are More Complex and Demand More Time Than Ever

On top of that, gaming has become bigger and more complex. If you look at some of the biggest titles out today, you will find that they’re expansive and time-consuming. The games that sell big and do well are not the ones that will only take up a few hours of your time. You can literally put 100s of hours into games like Destiny 2 or Horizon Zero Dawn. That puts off many casual gamers because it becomes clear that you need to be serious to play these kinds of games.

But Small Mobile and Browser Games Are Also Very Popular

But it’s not just the big games that are growing in popularity. It’s also the case that many small mobile and browser games are becoming more popular than they have ever been before. Everyone has a phone and a computer that they can use to access online games. People can play live roulette or compete in online puzzle battles in seconds. It shows that gaming is not only for serious gamers. There is a contingent of people who play mobile games but would never even dream of paying hundreds of dollars for a games console.

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No Matter What People Say, Fun and Enjoyment Can Still be Derived From Gaming

In conclusion, it’s clear that the gaming industry is growing at a rapid rate, and that’s causing all kinds of trends to emerge at the same time. So, yes, in a way it’s clear that gaming is becoming more serious. But it’s also clear that there is a market emerging for the kind of people who have no interest in those kinds of games. It could mean that the gaming market and industry polarise in the years ahead, even more so.

Gaming is a huge and multifaceted world. And there is not one type of gaming; there are many types, and they provide different things to different people.

Why Design Is The Most Important Part Of Your Website

If you already run your own business, you’ll know exactly why a good website is one of the most important parts of business. For those who don’t, it’s important to know a website is most likely the driver of sales, and the first place a customer will look when deciding or buy you services or goods. So making sure it’s navigable, inviting, and shows off your business is vital. Here are a few tips to either get you started or help improve your website.

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Before we focus on the aesthetics of a website. It’s important to remember the back end is nearly just as important. Making sure it is easy to navigate could be the difference between keeping someone interested or not. There’s nothing worse than attempting to use a website where products or services can’t be found, or categories aren’t clear. When designing your website, try having a look through it yourself before rolling it out to the public to make sure it’s easy to use. Another thing to consider is using search engine optimisation to improve your website’s traffic. Ranking for different keywords in Google can be the difference between you or your competitor being found first. Having a clean and natural backlink profile can also help improve the rankings further boosting your chance or a sale. If you’re struggling to understand how these two points will help your website, there are companies such as the UX agency who will analyse your data on sale, traffic etc. And decide on what can be done to optimise your site for you. Having a professional do the correct job may be more beneficial to you than guessing and risking damaging your website.

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Now, probably the most important feature is the front end design. It’s the first thing your customer will see and will give them an impression on whether to continue browsing. One thing many companies do is lose some usability by being over the top with the design. A simple yet effective design is all that is usually necessary. Some big brands such as JD have chosen to stick to simple black and white colour scheme which follows their brand logo. This is a good technique as it still stands out and represents the company well. Other large brands have also chosen to follow this trend, but while keeping a simple design can be the most effective. It’s also vital to have something on the first page that will draw the reader in. Whether that be a visual aid such as any offers being displayed. Or if it’s for example a clothes website, some of your brighter more eye-catching items will catch the eye, and improve conversion and click rates by immediately drawing the user in. Without a good design, this would fail.

So, those are the two main reason why both hidden, and visual designs are so important for your business website. Following the above tips is a sure fire way of improving traffic and conversions, and the overall reputation of your brand.