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Why Did eBay Buy Skype For $4.1billion and Why is it Important to Your Business to Know Right Now?

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You may have heard recently that eBay purchased Skype for $4.1 billion. You may also have seen that Google, MSN and lots of other companies are entering into the voice market. You might also be wondering why this is happening and with all these changes and choices which one is right for you.

With all of these changes going on in the market place it becomes very difficult and risky to chose the right technology and supplier.

So, how can you side step these pitfalls and put your self ahead of the game?

Well there are some interesting parallels. Either history is repeating itself in some way or there is a revolutionary shift going on. Firstly from the voice side of things the traditional PBX or telephone system is already dead.

There are now 3 ways of accessing a state of the art (leading edge not bleeding edge) voice solution commonly referred to as voice over data, and includes – iVoIP or internet VoIP, cVoIP or hosted VoIP and pVoIP or private VoIP.

VoIP is just the beginning or the first step in the process of IP Telephony or a fully converged communication platform, which integrates numerous applications such as voice, data, video etc. into a single infrastructure.

Choosing which or even a combination of those technologies requires a strategic view and some planning for the future.

You should be considering the following 12 criteria:

  • Performance
  • Scalability
  • Management
  • Resilience & Tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Security
  • Quality of Service
  • Data location/protection
  • Matching of business objectives
  • Communications and services
  • Cost of ownership and price comparisons
  • Financial stability
  • Human and business traits

So, why did eBay buy Skype? Well its simple…we just love to talk!. Many transactions in auctions are not concluded until two people have spoken over the phone. So why not make it easy for them to transition from email or web communication to a voice call…well that’s exactly what they are doing (as a first step anyhow).

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Finance

Home Extension Project – Six Ideas To Finance It

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A home extension can be an enormous project both in financial and physical work. There are walls to be torn down, air conditioners to be installed, and many other technical jobs to conduct. It is important that you have a good financial plan to do home extensions.

Here are some steps to help you manage the budget for renovations.

  1. Make plans for your extension project. It is important to arrange every detail of your project. Do assessment on every element on your home that you are about to renovate based on the value of your home. If you take loan for your project, the loan provider will ask on specific outlines. From this early step you will know if the project fit your budget.
  2. Get estimations. You can do this by hiring a construction company. Do not forget to explain the considerations and parameters of your project. Provide the company with the expecting spaces they are going to work on. Compare with several companies for the best price.
  3. Manage your savings. It is estimated that you have to take some money out of your reserves, but this is not something to be afraid of. The advantage of using your own saving is that you do not have to pay any interest. It is wise if you take only the sufficient amount. If you plan to use loan provider then the amount would be less burdened.
  4. Some credit cards provide the Zero-Interest program. Find some information about it. It is a quick way to provide loans for your project. The credit card companies also suggest reward programs for you to take advantage of, but some of these programs have high rate of interest. Make sure you have read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid being haunted by debt collector once your extension project has been finished.
  5. Use the home equity loan to finance your renovation project. It generally has lower rate of interest than many other financing programs. If you want to sell the home before paying down the loan, reducing the equity in the home can deplete the return of your investment.
  6. The best and cheapest way to get extra budget is by asking your family and friends to invest for your home extensions. Small works such as remodeling and cleaning up the furniture can be done together with them. But be careful not to break anything, because the cost to hire somebody again can cost you double.
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Finance

Learning The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ordering Food And Other Items Online

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Lots of people have seen the benefits of ordering stuff online. This also includes ordering food and getting them delivered straight to your home. Most fast food chains now incorporate online ordering into their services and even restaurants are getting into the act. Perhaps you have even experienced doing this at one point. So perhaps, you may also be aware of the advantages that come with ordering your food online which also goes the same for other non-food items. For one, the virtual realm doesn’t sleep, unlike the actual marketplace. Hence, you can place your order at any time, although there are some stores that probably won’t delivery 24/7.

Second, nothing beats the comfort of doing your shopping online, especially your groceries. Lots of housewives have switched to doing this because it allows them time to do their other chores. Instead of wasting time rushing off to the supermarket and waiting long lines, you can just load up your online shopping cart, checkout the items, and wait for them to delivered straight to your doorstep. Third, you get to score lots of great discounts and possibly get your food items at way cheaper prices than in the supermarket. It’s especially true if you’re diligent in scouring the virtual marketplace for discount coupons, promo codes, and other hot deal. Plus, if you’re a first-time customer, lots of online stores love to give complimentary discounts as well.

However, as much as there are lots of benefits, there are also a few drawbacks. We cannot help having them because this is the virtual world after all. In other words, these risks come with the territory. One, you cannot really see the items in actual. When it comes to groceries, this can sometimes be a bit vital. You cannot check the labels for expiry dates, ingredients, and such. So to remedy the situation, stick with those online stores that actually provide complete product descriptions. It’s also highly recommended to do your shopping in general with trustworthy sites. The risk is even greater if you’re trying out a new product, so it’s good to check out sites giving away free samples first. Two, you cannot transact with actual cash. This can present a bit of an inconvenience, especially if you’re trying to refrain from using your credit card.

Nonetheless, a lot of food chains and restaurants allow cash-on-delivery orders. Some online stores selling groceries do as well. But these would usually apply to those stores which are within your neighborhood. This means that if you are going to order non-perishable food items, like maybe canned goods or candies and chocolates and they have to be shipped from outside your area, then you definitely cannot pay with cash. Lastly, even with today’s sophisticated technology, there are still glitches when it comes to paying for your food items online. Errors in billing are pretty common, even when seemingly secured channels are being used. Of course, established online stores will refund you, but you still have to go through some steps. So, just exercise the necessary caution needed when ordering anything online.

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How To Slim Down Your Fat Wallet

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Trends and styles keep on changing. From big fat wallets, the style has now changed to slim and smart wallets, for both men and women. If you are one of those who keeps on saying, “I hate big fat wallets”, then you need not to worry, as now you have many good options that can help in getting rid of your big fat wallet and can make you look smarter.

You can get rid of your fat wallet if you avoid keeping all the needless items that have made their way into your overflowing wallet. These unwanted items can include restaurant bills, old photographs, storage cards and a collection of visiting cards. Use a separate card-holder and maintain it at home. To store your important contacts, you can use gadgets and your cell phone. Most of the new phones these days come with practically unlimited storage for saving your contacts.

Cut down the thickness of your wallet by using plastic money instead of hard cash. Apart from curtailing the size of your wallet, plastic money provides the safest way to carry your money anywhere. It is advised not to carry more than two credit/debit cards. You can keep your identification card and a few dollars; and that too if necessary, otherwise credit cards will do the job.

Slim wallets are more preferred for men because a big fat wallet affects the flow of dress shirts, way of sitting and can even cause back pains because of the improper body structure when sitting with a fat wallet in your back pocket. Most companies are introducing much slimmer and fashionable wallets, available in different colors (like gold, silver), materials (like original leather and nylon) and trendy styles. One such style is bi-fold or tri-folding wallets. These wallets provide the required space. Some can even hold up to 15 cards and can easily be placed in your front pocket. Such wallets come with a magnetic money clip while some provide a strong and secure clutch. Money/Card Clip Holder is another type of wallet that is light on your back pocket, and these can also be placed in the front pocket. By using a clip, all the cards can be placed one over another, while the money has to be rolled back to let the clip make it hold.

What makes your wallet big and fat, is its untidiness and improper maintenance. People usually keep on filling it till it starts coming out of their pockets. Even women who often clean and maintain their pouches and purses, do not clean their wallets leaving all kinds of chits, paper reminders and visiting cards in their wallets. This results in the hassle of searching the wallet for the right thing when required.

Once you have removed all the unwanted items and follow the aforementioned tips and suggestions, you would no longer be saying, ” I hate big fat wallets ” and can save yourself from the frustration of carrying a bulky and disorganized wallet.

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Why You Should Never Settle Your Credit Card Debt

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Most people believe credit is a good thing, but the truth is credit is a tool being used against many consumers. The problem is the majority of the American population is broke and depends on credit for survival. Credit is managing debt and most people do not understand how to manage debt. The school system in the United States spend so much time teaching students how to live their lives in robotic fashion, that they forget lessons in money management. Everything from employment, renting a car, to booking a hotel depends on some form of credit. Credit is for poor people who do not have cash in abundance. This is a problem rich people do not have to worry about.

The United States is the richest country on the planet, but has the widest gap between the rich and poor. The CEO of Wal-Mart makes about $7,000 an hour as opposed to cashiers and other Wal-Mart employees who barely make $300 dollars a week. How can anyone manage debt and live a comfortable life earning that type of salary. Most people are taught to negotiate their credit card debt for a settlement and improve their credit. This is the biggest mistake any consumer can make. Consumer are unaware that anytime a credit card company settles a debt for $600 less than their delinquent balance, by law the card company has to report that to the IRS. This is critical for the consumer to know because the IRS will eventually 1099C the consumer. The consumer will have to pay taxes on the credit charged off by the credit card company. This is capitalism and unfair at the same time. However, what can a person who is already struggling to pay their bills do to protect themselves? They can let the creditor charge the debts off as a tax lose. When this happens the debt can no longer be collected by the creditor.

Many credit card companies will still sell their charged off accounts to collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. The collection agencies will convince many consumers that, if they do not pay this debt, that it will ruin their credit. Many consumers are unaware that paying a delinquent or collection account will not improve their credit score significantly enough to help them acquire more credit. Consumers should always request a validation of debt from collection agencies with full documentation. Most collection agencies cannot provide this information and will send the consumer a screen shot of balance acquired from the original creditor. They will sometimes send the consumer an Affidavit of Destroyed Instrument. This simply means they do not have the original paperwork. The consumer should always respond with a Sworn Affidavit of Denial and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureaus forcing the collection agency to produce the original contract, which in most cases they cannot.

The reality of our credit driven society is that cash is king. Credit is the whip used for modern day slavery and social economic control. Until people demand a change within our political, educational and credit system, they will be force to live their life as intellectual and labor prostitutes for rich men as well as the corporations they lead.

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4 Smart Steps to Earn Money From Home

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If you wish to earn money from home, it is possible provided you take certain steps beforehand. Remember – there are numerous strategies and opportunities to earn. However, you need to make adjustments in your life in different arenas. This is very crucial as each strategy or opportunity has its unique approach.

Mentioned below are 4 smart steps to be successful in your endeavor:

Fix Your Schedule Appropriately

Yes, it is true that you are leading a hectic lifestyle. Nevertheless, opportunities just come once. If you fail to make the most of it, you end up earning nothing. To earn money from home you do not have to dedicate more than a few hours. Mere one or two hours of work is enough. Remember – you need to show dedication and sincerity. For instance, if you decide to earn from affiliate marketing, it is better to exhibit true professionalism. Similarly, if you wish to work as an online article writer, ensure to keep your commitment. It is only then that you can expect to have a list of happy clients.

Organize Your Space And Other Needed Items

You can work right from the sofa in your house and earn thousands. If you are working as a freelance copywriter, you will need things like a laptop/computer and an internet connection. Make sure your device is at right order before you start to work. Depending on the type of work and strategy you adopt, the kind of space needed will keep varying.

Develop Short Term And Long Term Goals

Answer this question – what do you wish to accomplish? These can broadly be classified as short term and long term goals. Depending up on your goals, the strategies needed keep changing. Ideally, you ought to have mile markers as these keep you motivated. Here, the main question is not what your ability to do when it comes to your idea. More than that, it is what you yearn to achieve during your attempt. Evaluating your strategies at regular intervals to identify what is really working or simply figure out what’s not working. In this way you can ditch or modify the later altogether.

Institute Your Own Reward System

Irrespective of how small or big your goals are, make sure to reward yourself when you actually achieve something you have been striving for. The reward does not necessarily have to be expensive in nature. For instance, you can give a visit to your preferred shop at the mall. This small effort will keep you motivated to accomplish your next goal to earn money from home. At times your reward in the form of paycheck reaches you in months. Similarly, it takes less time at other times. The entire journey remains flooded with obstacles. Therefore, rewarding yourself gives you a pleasurable experience.

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Earn Money at Home – Quit Your Job

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I worked in the corporate world for many years. One day I was laid off from my job. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had always lived from paycheck to paycheck. However, since I received a compensation of 4 months when I was laid off, I decided I would use this time and severance pay to find out what I really wanted to do.

I soon decided I never wanted to go back to a 9 to 5 full time job in the corporate world, even though I was making good money. I wanted to earn money at home, and get out of the rat race of going to the office 5 days a week, working for other people, and doing jobs that really did not interest me or fulfill me.

So in order to earn money at home I entered the world of internet marketing. Now, even though I worked in a legal firm and did use a computer for many years, I was not a computer wiz by any means. But I knew the basics of using a computer. That was all I needed to start.

I soon discovered a whole new world, which actually fascinated me. I realized there was a lot to learn, and I dove right into it. One of the first things that I learned was the different kinds of marketing online.

Writing articles and submitting them to article directories and article distribution sites is one of the best ways of advertising for free. You always have your link in the article pointing to your website or product. Article marketing is a great way to spread your content all over the internet. This is content that stays on the internet. The more articles you have out there, the more you are spreading your name and links virally. Other people may use your articles with your name and post them on their websites, as well, which gives you free exposure.

There are many forums on the Internet pertaining to the different niches. When you join these forums, you start interacting with people in your same business and building relationships. You want to build relationships because these are the people you will be working with and promoting products with. You contribute to these forums by answering any questions and helping others. You support each other and build joint ventures that can be very beneficial.

To earn money at home it is also a good idea to sign up to different internet marketing courses which help you to learn different skills and strategies. For example, you can learn how to make your own products by customizing PLR products. PLR products give you the right to edit them and put your name on them, as if you had created them. Then you can sell them to your customers and keep 100 percent of the sale. This way you have your own product.

You can also sell affiliate products. Internet marketers usually have an affiliate program whereby they pay you about a 50 percent commission to promote and sell their products. So it is very easy to promote other people’s products and make a commission, without having to go through all the trouble of creating the product yourself.

Another important thing to do is create your own blog, and post articles and have promotions on your blog. There are banner ads which you can obtain through the promotional tools of the sellers. Keep your blog updated constantly. You can also have copies of your blog posts automatically fed to Twitter and Facebook so this way you are constantly providing content to Twitter and Facebook. This creates a lot of exposure and builds up your following by providing good information. When these people read your articles, they can click on your links and see your offers.

You need to build up a list of subscribers through different offers and promotions. It is important to communicate with your list on a constant basis, about every 2 or 3 days. You set up an autoresponder system through Aweber or any other autoresponder service. You usually set up sequences of emails that they send for you at specific time intervals. So then you can email your list with content and promotions. Promote to them any new and exciting product that you find, as well as your own products, and send them copies of your articles and blogposts. They will appreciate getting good content.

A good idea is to also start a newsletter to have a better rapport with your list. Your list of subscribers is your most important asset, as these are the people that you will promote to. So it is very important to build a relationship of trust with them.

Go to webinars and read about internet marketing. Learn from good teachers that are going to teach you solid internet marketing strategies. When you are new in internet marketing you need guidance from someone who is successful and can teach you how to get there. Otherwise, you will probably end up wasting a lot of time and resources.

In short, my idea to earn money at home has sprouted into a great and wonderful career which I never expected. I love internet marketing, and find it extremely stimulating. Even though it takes a lot of work and determination, it is absolutely rewarding and profitable. It is a great way to earn money at home.

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