Monthly Archives: July 2016

Meet “Flame,” The World’s Most Powerful Computer Virus

Computer Virus in DonkinIf you’ve owned a computer for long enough, you know how much trouble malware can cause. But here’s the thing. The viruses that previously infected your computer/s are nothing compared to their bigger brothers. Stronger ones can bring down even midsized networks, which is why IT firms like Keyspace get hired to set up stringent cyber security measures.

Believe it when you’re told, however, that the aforementioned viruses are nothing compared to the most powerful ones known to man. Meet “Flame,” the current most powerful computer virus.

Flame at a Glance

Flame hasn’t taken over the world. Yet. But it’s infecting the Iranian government’s mainframe, and IT experts in Tehran are calling it the most powerful virus yet. Its main purpose is to infect computers and spy on their users. It also steals classified information and deletes tons of data in one go. To do this, Flame takes screenshots, analyses network traffic, records audio, and intercepts keyboard input.

So far, nobody knows who created Flame. Iranian IT experts, with aid from the U.N., first caught the virus infecting the Oil Ministry and the National Oil Company. Upon discovery, Flame was sent to the Kaspersky antivirus company for analysis. It was then considered one of the most complex malware ever discovered. And the scary thing? It’s virtually nondescript in terms of size at only 20MB. Experts also say that Flame has been active since March 2010, while remaining under the radar.

How Much Damage Can A Powerful Virus Do?

A virus as potent as Flame can literally cost the world billions of dollars in damage. To date, the most devastating was MyDoom. It caused a massive $38 billion in damages, with effects that spanned the world in as little time as possible. SoBig, the second-most devastating, caused over $37.1 billion. And the list goes on and on—ILOVEYOU at $15 billion; Conficker at $9.1 billion, and Code Red at $2 billion.

Saying that you have to worry about malware infecting your systems is not being paranoid. It’s an advice rooted in reality. And you don’t have the luxury of ignoring it. Ever.

Beyond Narrative: Attracting the Visual Consumer

Consumer in BirminghamHaving a compelling narrative of your video marketing campaign is no longer enough to make a sale these days. Everyone else has a great story to tell. Whilst it’s relatively easier now for businesses to interact with target customers, the customers’ expectations have also intensified. Given the sheer number of great visual content flooding the Internet, you may be wondering, how do you make your business stand out?

Going Back to the Basics

The answer to that question is pretty basic. Go back to visuals. Tinkertaylor.tv could not have emphasised this better: video marketing is part story and part visual design. If you and your marketing specialist find you’re stuck in crafting a compelling narrative, put the script down or hide it in the drawer for a while.

Imagine how you are going to present that small fragment of a story through video, motion graphics or animation. Of course, this process would be more efficient if you already have a story in mind, but sometimes, the story takes too much space and time that the visuals are compromised.

You don’t have to squeeze in every element of design into your advertisement; you only need to select a few good ones and arrange them in a way that they push the story forward. Be imaginative, but be very simple. Be bold, but also be basic.

Imitation as Catalyst for Innovation

Having a compelling visual does not really obligate you to be fully original, as long as you are consistent with your brand and ethical and honest with your campaigns. If you look back on all the technological innovations humanity had seen so far, you will see that most of them are imitations.

Take it from Steve Jobs. He knows fully well that imitation can be a catalyst for innovation. The same rule applies to video marketing. Take inspiration from other successful video projects, and find a way to make it better, or make it more personalised and consistent with your business goals and identity.

The 21st-century consumer is a visual one. The swiping or scrolling will stop upon the sight of a pretty colour palette or a perfectly framed photo. The quality of the image or the video is what influences idle consumers to read the full content and maybe hit the “add to cart” button. Storytelling is important, but the visuals matter just as much if you want your target customers to continue listening to the story.

3 Steps for an Awesome Road Trip with the Family

Family Road Trip in ErldundaThe family that bonds together, stays closer together. Even if you have work priorities and your kids are busy with schoolwork, you still need to take some time to be with each other. Learn how to organize your schedules to get some free time. This way, you can bond with each other in the form of an adventure.

Here are some things you need to know if the adventure you want to embark on is a fun road trip, courtesy of ErldundaRoadhouse.com.

Prepare Your Road Trip Essentials

You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of the road with a broken RV or a flat tire without having the right tools to try and fix the problem. That’s why before the road trip, you must check your RV and see if you have everything you need for safety purposes. Aside from RV essentials, you must also have kitchen tools and utensils, entertainment gadgets, food supplies, sleeping bags, emergency kits, and other road trip essentials.

Be Spontaneous

Although you must have an itinerary ready, you should also be spontaneous during a road trip. There’s nothing better than unexpected fun! If you see a sight to behold or an interesting attraction, don’t be afraid to take a detour and try it out. You can simply adjust your itinerary to make time for these surprise destinations. If you end up staying the entire day at an unexpected destination, you can simply go to a Yulara caravan park to stay overnight and rest for a while.

Mind Your Budget

When planning a road trip, you must also plan your budget. You’ll never know how it will exactly turn out, so it’s wise to have some contingency fund ready just in case you get into an emergency or find something that you want to try. Without planning your budget, you’re setting yourself up for failure and you can’t try the fun stuff you may find along the way.

Follow these tips to make the most out of your road trip and have as much fun as possible with your whole family.

Ski Holiday Trip in France: It Pays to Plan Ahead

Ski Holiday Trip in FranceEvery year, British snowboarders and skiers would choose France over any other holiday destination in the world. Undeniably, the French Alps offer an excellent variety of ski resorts more than anywhere else. There is a place for beginners who are looking for milder slopes with progressive of gradients and easy lifts. There also are instructors and guides who are well-equipped to assist new skiers. 

But for more difficult slopes and routes for advanced skiers, ski resorts in France have a lot to offer. Even for families planning to bring small children, there are child-friendly accommodations with nurseries to look after the little ones. 

High Season Dates

New Year, Christmas and Easter Holidays are among the fully booked season. But for students and families who are planning to have adrenaline-pumping recreation in the slopes during half-term breaks, booking in advance is very much advisable. Sometimes school breaks coincide with the holiday season in Denmark, Belgium and The Netherlands – will surely add traffic on the slopes. 

All-inclusive Packages

For groups and families who are looking for a hassle free holidays, the best options would be to consider an All- inclusive Holiday Packages that include airfare, car rental, lift tickets and a choice of accommodations like a hotel or condominium accommodations. Some packages are offered with a huge discount for well-advanced booking of specialised holiday packages. 

Self-Catered Ski Apartments

Self-Catered Ski Apartments are one of the best options for skiers who are planning to have personal space in a convenient location with amenities that suits the taste and budget. This option is perfect for a small to big group or families who are aiming for flexibility in holiday activities. These types of accommodations are often close to lifts and slopes. 
 
Ski Line Limited suggests that a ski holiday in Val d'isère is one of your best options. The place has designated beginner areas with slopes ideal for learning the basics, as well as a more challenging terrain spread along the valley where everyone can enjoy steady runs. 

Transform Your Home to One of Luxury

Luxurious HomeLuxury and comfort are some of the benefits that you get when you stay in a good hotel. With a little investment, you can make your home elegant and one that you enjoy going back to after a long day. Here are some things to consider.

Bedroom

The bed takes prominence in the bedroom so make sure to lavish it in the best possible way. Overstuffed throw pillows add a posh appeal to your bed. Avoid putting too much furniture in the room or it will look cluttered.

Put small things in a drawer to keep the room tidy and use makeup organisers to keep your makeup. A touch of greenery makes a room look luxurious so put some plants in your chambers.

Windows and curtains

For that luxurious look, accentuate your rooms with custom curtains that compliment your décor. Hang the curtains high up as it makes the room appear taller. Curtains that hang to the floor look elegant so you might want to consider that. To keep away strong sunlight, use thick and dark curtain shades.

Swimming pool

Luxury homes have a swimming pool and if your home does not have one, consult pool builders in Brisbane. Having your pool gives you quality time with your family, as there are minimal distractions. You also become your own master without having to worry about pool opening and closing hours.

Lighting

Lighting makes a big statement about your home. Poorly lit hallways and rooms are not inviting, so invest in lighting accessories that add warmth and elegance to your room. Use dimmer lights for mood lighting.

Declutter

Make your space well organised and let everything have a home and a purpose. Too much loud art and many knickknacks give a busy and stressed feeling to a room. Skim through your house and get rid of unnecessary items.

You don’t have to wait to check into a luxury hotel to feel snug and spoilt. Pamper yourself in your own home with only some minimal inputs.

Watches: Why they are Worth the Purchase

High-Quality Watch in BoiseThere are watches and then there’s “the” watch. That’s the watch that you can wear whatever the weather, outfit or occasion. Most likely it will cost you a lot more than the average piece you see in the mall. However, there are perks to owning an expensive watch and here are but three of them.

Make A Statement – If you want to look like any ordinary Joe then yes pick a standard watch by all means. However, high-quality watches automatically call attention and give out that effortless sense of style, uniqueness, and class. And since it is not that affordable, most likely you would not be seen within a 5 mile radius of your watch’s twin brother or sister. That alone will make you stand out from the rest.

A Sign of Status – Elegant, rich, intelligent and revolutionary: these words have been connected to watches for decades, which are instantly reflected to its owner. Upper-tier positions in companies demand that they have a good-looking, expensive watch and a high-end cellular phone when attending business meetings. There are certain companies that require their sales and marketing people to sport pricey watches to impress their clients. And this is how a watch can simply become your status symbol.

Becomes Your Legacy – Expensive watches can be passed on to an offspring as part of their inheritance. Just like jewelry and fountain pens, these high-end watches appreciate in value as long as you keep them in tip-top shape, explains an expert from Haldavis.com. Also, you will never run out of watch repair companies to approach in Boise, ID so you are assured of a well-maintained watch even after decades of use. Expect your son or daughter to be proud of the watch that is the perfect reminder and reflection of you.

Good-quality watches can affect your overall look. They are great at creating first impression. So, choose one that is elegant and timeless.

3 Costly Mistakes to Avoid During an Office Move

Office Move in DenverIf you’ve already experienced a bad move, then you know that you shouldn’t commit the same mistakes again. Office relocations are challenging because the items you need to move are bulky, sensitive, and confidential. You wouldn’t want to entrust your assets to anybody.

This is where Denver commercial movers come in. They don’t only help you save time; they also save you from the stress and hassle that comes with any move. Here are some mistakes you should avoid:

  • Lack of planning

Any office move requires a well-detailed plan, and it’s a no brainer. Many business owners ignore this crucial step, especially they’ve hired people to do the job. Remember that you also have to do your part. Make an inventory, so you’re sure that nothing gets lost. In addition, you have to plan on how you will remain operational during the move.

  • Lack of an IT proficient mover

Relocating involves moving phones, computers, and an entire network. As such, you need movers who are also good at IT work. You wouldn’t want to entrust this to just anyone as well since you may end up with phones ringing on the wrong extension, for instance. If you can’t find a mover who has IT knowledge, then hiring an IT expert from the packing to the repacking process will do.

  • Lack of a backup plan for office data

Many companies ignore the need for an off-site storage facility for their data. Some equipment may get lost along the way, so you need a physical and an online storage (like the cloud). You wouldn’t want to spend extra for data recovery.

Relocating from one office to another is more challenging than you think. Plan beforehand and hire the right people, so you can make the move successful.

Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

Family Dinner PartyDinner parties bring family and friends together. They are about good times, and you want your guests to have fun. Here are things you have to do right to make your party a success.

New recipes

When hosting a party, you might feel the need to impress your guests by trying a new recipe. Do not attempt a maiden voyage on food preparation during this time because it might not work. If you want to serve delicious but untried recipes, you can get the help of a caterer that will prepare food to perfection. You can also prepare the food yourself with the help of bases from stores, Custom Culinary suggests.

Party list

You might be tempted to invite all your friends who don't know each other. Having all strangers in your party with you as the only one connecting them all is not such a good idea. The dinner might feel more of a mixer than a dinner party might. Save the mixing for another day. Also, make sure you have different food options for your guests because some could be on dietary restrictions.

Create the right mood

There is a reason why restaurants play some relaxing music in the background. Play some good and relaxing dinner music that will get rid of awkward silences. Music will also make your guests lighten up and feel comfortable. Don’t let hosting get in the way of your having fun: pour yourself a drink and mingle with your guests.

Serve dessert

Your guests look well fed after their sumptuous main meal, and you might decide to skip on dessert, but it is always good to serve dessert. An excellent idea is to move your guests to another lounge area for their coffee and dessert. It’s more relaxing.

Hosting a dinner in your home amid chatter and laughter is fun as it brings your family and friends together. Doing it often and regularly strengthens family and friendship bonds.

Why Do People Go Crazy Over Teas?

Hot TeaAside from water and coffee, tea is one of the most popular beverages around the world. Many people prefer tea not only because of the benefits it brings to the body, but it has also been gaining popularity due to the new different ways people prepare and serve them.

Gone are the days when people only drink hot tea from a dainty teacup. Everyone’s favourite beverage has evolved and you can drink them hot, iced, or even blended with other ingredients to make your tea-drinking experience more delightful. There is no wonder why people have found a new love for teas and why people go crazy over them.

In fact, chatime.com.au reports that businesses all over the world are making the most of the craze and are always on the lookout for a tea franchise opportunity.

What is Your Cup of Tea?

Everyone loves a cup of hot tea, especially during cold weather. It warms you up, calms your senses and even cleanses your body from toxins. There are more tea varieties that you can enjoy, however, especially if you have had enough of hot beverages and want something refreshing. Many tea shops now offer bubble teas, milk teas, and frozen teas to suit the taste of people of all ages. Even the young ones can enjoy a delicious and healthy beverage without drinking too much sugar and unhealthy calories.

What Can it Do for You?

Health and wellness are probably among the factors why people are getting more interested in drinking tea. One of the widely known health benefits of drinking tea, more specifically green tea, is that it aids in weight loss and improvement of body weight regulation. Researchers found out that people who drink three to four cups of tea a day have a lower risk of developing diabetes compared to non-tea drinkers. Not only that, according to the Australian Health Magazine, tea can reduce the risk of cancer.

Why do people go crazy over tea? The answer is simple. Tea is healthy and yummy. It is wellness with a dose of happiness served in a cup or glass, whichever way they like it.

Heroin: Why Do Some People Get Addicted and Some Do Not?

Heroin AddictionMore and more people are succumbing to heroin use even if they know how dangerous it is. This drug is easily accessible, which makes it one of the most addictive illegal substances available out there.

This drug comes from the opium poppy and is highly addictive. It has been illegal in America since 1924. Other names for it are “brown sugar,” “smack,” or “junk.” Its appearance varies, as well. It can come in either a brown or white powder or black tar. There are different methods of using heroin; you can smoke, snort, sniff, and even inject it.

Injecting the drug will have immediate effects because you will feel it within 7 to 8 seconds. Smoking it will take 10 to 15 minutes before you feel the high.

Many treatments are available for heroin addiction, such as ibogaine, rehabilitation, and medication. IbogaineClinic.com discusses more details about the various effects of heroin and how it puts people at risk of addiction.

Short-term Effects of Heroin

The effects of heroin are almost immediate, depending on the method used. The rush only lasts for a few minutes and is replaced by slowed breathing, nausea, clouded mental functioning, and drowsiness. But, if you overdose on this, it may lead to coma and death.

Long-term Effects of Heroin

Drug dependency is one of the most common long-term effects of heroin.

Other long-term effects include diminished libido, arthritis, emotional instability, and menstrual irregularities. In severe cases where the addiction is not treated, it puts the user at risk of pneumonia, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, C, and HIV.

Risk Factors

This drug can have varying effects on people, and there are factors that influence a person’s risk for addiction.

The earlier the drug use begins, the more likely it will develop into an addiction, especially with continued use. This is a challenge for adolescents because at this stage, they are more prone to risk-taking behaviors, trying drugs being one of them.

The environment makes a huge impact because it encompasses a variety of influences, including family, friends, social status, and quality of life.

Lastly, a person’s genes account for at least half of their vulnerability to addiction.

One way of not going through these is avoiding the drug at all costs. If you or anyone you know falls prey to addiction, remember that there are many ways of treating it and there are people who will help you get better.