The Evolution of High-Tech Device User Manual & Instruction

Best Personal Websites for Design Inspiration

Best-Personal-Websites

Here are 25 of the best personal websites for design inspiration.

Personal websites can be used for promotion, job searches, personal branding, creative expression, or just for communication. These personal websites can often serve as a publishing platform with more freedom than social networks or corporate sites. Personal websites also allow the owner to change directions easily if their interests or purpose for the site changes at some point in the future.

In this post features 25 of the best personal websites from around the net. This showcase presents a variety of different design styles. Some are minimal and clean, some use bright and vibrant colors, and others use more artistic and eye-catching designs.

Different kinds of websites have different purposes depending on who the intended audience is. Some websites are geared towards selling products and other websites are geared towards providing practical information, while others are merely for entertainment. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of websites that are out there.

The Purpose of Informative / Practical Information Websites

The purpose of an information centric website is to convey specific, helpful information to a specific user/audience so that the reader learns something new or understands a topic better. These websites are geared around more actionable information and may contain “how to’s”, tips and tricks, fix and repair, guidance, support information, directions, instructions, etc.

The Purpose of Entertainment Websites

These websites showcase entertaining information for visitors. Online magazines, gossip oriented websites, celebrity news, sports coverage, movies, the arts, humorous websites, etc. These websites are designed to be easy to navigate and frequently updated in order to keep users coming back for more information. They can be made more engaging by using dynamic content, such as videos, podcasts, slideshows, etc.

The Purpose of E-Commerce Websites

The purpose of e-commerce websites are to sell products to users. The most successful websites are carefully optimized to achieve a high percentage of purchases. To achieve success e-commerce websites need to integrate all of the latest online closing & upsell techniques available which have been proven to increase the chances that a visitor will purchase. There are many important elements that go into building a successful e-commerce website such as removing friction during the purchasing process, making the checkout smooth and easy, making the website fast and attractive, up selling users on related products, incentivizing buyers, reducing cart abandonment, nurturing past buyers to buy again, remarketing to past visitors who haven’t yet purchased, using the proper payment options, having a mobile ready design, etc., etc.

The Purpose of Service-Based Business Websites

The purpose of a service-based business website is to convince website visitors that they should become customers of the service company. This is done by positioning the company as a dependable, trust worthy and experienced service provider in the target market.

Visitors will pre-screen potential service providers by reviewing their websites before they make any phone calls. During this process, they are trying to find the best company that will meet their specific needs. They are trying to ascertain how expert the company is, the quality of the work they will receive, whether the provider has a good reputation and how long the company has been in business. Visitors can be helped by providing them with information and articles which demonstrate your knowledge, a visual portfolio of your work, videos, customer testimonials and so on.

The Purpose of Blogs

The purpose of a blog is to provide a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. Blogs can be started up very easily online using a number of free services, such as wordpress.com. There are many personal and professional blogs out there that are entertaining to read and which give a very personal insight into a person’s life. Blogs can be for entertainment purposes or used as an online journal or used by companies to keep their customers abreast of what is going on. The hallmark of a blog is that it’s very easy for an untrained person to maintain with little to no technical knowledge.

The Purpose of Social Media Websites

The purpose of social media websites are to make it very easy to share and connect with friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances and even strangers. Social media websites make quick and easy work out of building up a network of connections so as to keep in touch, share daily experiences, photos, interests, preferences, etc. Social networks can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. Businesses use social networks to build direct connections with their customers which allows them to get feedback on their products and services and allows them to learn more about what their customers really need and want.

Read Article (Steven Snell | vandelaydesign.com | 02/11/2016)

Website design is limited only by your own imagination and we would be honored to provide you the tools & support to make imagination real.

Website: socialcitynethosting.com

Russian Telescope Detects “Strong Alien Signal”

Strong-Alien-Signal

Signal detected a year ago from star HD164595, only 95 light years away and with at least one planet, but Seti scientists are scanning the area and have yet to find it.

A Russian radio telescope scanning the skies has observed “a strong signal” from a nearby star, HD164595, in the constellation Hercules. The star is a scant 95 light years away and 99% of the size of Earth’s own sun. It has at least one planet, HD164595b, which is about the size of Neptune and has a 40-day year.

Seth Shostak of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (Seti) in Mountain View, California, told the Guardian he was shocked to have learned of the discovery only now – the readings from Russian radio telescope Ratan-600, Shostak said, were taken a year ago.

Seti, a private organization, searches the skies for alien life and has been underwritten by US government divisions as diverse as Nasa and the Department of Energy. Operated by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ratan-600’s primary area of focus is monitoring the sun, though it has contributed to Seti’s work.

The news came to international attention on Saturday through Claudio Maccone of the University of Turin in Italy, who attended a talk by the scientists who recorded the signal on 15 May 2015. Maccone passed data from the presentation to the science and science-fiction writer Paul Gilster, who maintains a blog about interstellar exploration called Centauri Dreams.

Maccone sent the Guardian his proposed presentation for the International Academy of Astronautics 2016 meeting on the subject of the search for alien life, set for 27 September. He will call for the permanent monitoring of HD164595. “The power of the signal received is not unrealistic for type I civilizations,” he wrote.

The phrase “type I civilization” is a designation on the Kardashev scale, named for Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev developed in the 1960s and described in English in his 1985 paper On the Inevitability and the Possible Structures of Supercivilizations. A type I civilization would be similar to the current development of technology on earth.

“Could it be an ET?” asked Shostak rhetorically. “Of course, but [Ratan-600] didn’t have a receiver that has any spectral resolution.” The receiver on the Russian radio telescope is very wide, which aids it in its primary mission of monitoring solar activity but also means that, like a terrestrial radio receiving a news station, rock’n’roll station and country station at the same time, it is difficult to discern which band is broadcasting at which frequency. “They have a receiver that would swallow a big chunk of the radio dial at once,” Shostak said.

Because the receiver covers such a big sweep of the radio dial, it is hard to tell if the signal comes from intelligent life.

If it is being broadcast across a large chunk of the radio spectrum, the noise is probably coming from a quasar or another source of stellar “noise”; if it is over a narrower band but very strong, it is likelier to be the product of intelligence.

Gilster said he was curious about the possibility that the signal could be caused by “microlensing” – a quirk of gravity that occurs when massive objects like stars or quasars are aligned behind another heavenly body.

“My own thought is that this is very possibly a one-time signal, much like the famous WOW! signal some years back,” Gilster said. On 15 August 1977, astronomer Jerry Ehman received a powerful radio signal from a group of stars called Chi Sagittarii; he circled the surprising spot on the readout and wrote “WOW!” The signal never returned.

“If it too doesn’t repeat,” said Gilster, “then we won’t know what it was, including the possibility of some kind of local signal whose source just hasn’t been figured out.”

Shostak said he wished he had been made aware of the signal earlier. “Why is it that we’re hearing about this now because one of the guys gave a talk in Moscow a year ago?” he asked. “Maccone’s explanation is that the Russians are ‘shy’. [But] it’s generally accepted procedure in the Seti community if you find a signal that you think is interesting, you call up people in another observatory and say: ‘Hey, here’s the position in the sky,’ and you see what happens.”

Gilster said his understanding was that the Russian team had spent the past year analyzing and confirming its data.

Shostak told the Guardian that Seti’s own radio telescope was scanning the coordinates in question in search of the promising signal as of Sunday night. That evening, though, everything was quiet.

The Russian radio telescope team and Maccone have been contacted for comment.

Read Article (Sam Thielman | theguardian.com | 08/29/2016)

Inevitably, such contact will happen --It’s just a matter of time. All we can do it hope that governments of planet earth don’t screw-up a first contact. It’s quite obvious that governments have secret agendas’ and who knows what they might do?

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is Stellar but Pricey

Stellar-but-Pricey

Samsung’s latest large-screened phone, the Note 7, is the latest addition to the stylus-toting premium phone line. Samsung provided The Washington Post with a review device. Overall, this phone is gorgeous and a productivity machine. But its high price tag may put some people off.

In terms of features, the Note 7 offers smartphone users the full package. Samsung’s screens are known to be stunning and this phone is no exception, with deep blacks and bright colors that give a vivid — if not always natural — picture.

Its 5.7-inch screen is noticeably big, making video viewing a pleasure. Even with a big screen, the phone doesn’t feel too bulky in-hand. I’m a rather small person, and while I definitely can’t tap the top of the screen while holding the phone one-handed, it didn’t feel too heavy to use. The phone’s call quality was good, as was the overall audio performance.

The Note 7 boasts a battery life similar to the Galaxy S7. I didn't get as much time with this device before writing as I have with others, so it's hard to make a final determination on the accuracy of that claim. But I feel safe saying that the Note 7 will get you through a normal day of use. But if you're doing something battery intensive — say, Pokémon Go? — you may still want to take an extra charger.

Like its older siblings, the Note 7 can be charged wirelessly using Samsung’s charging pad. It also has a “fast charging” mode that gives you a lot of juice in a short period of time. One key difference, however, is that the Note 7 has a USB-C charger. The upside of this is that you can plug the cord in either way — the cord will never be upside-down for the port. The downside is that you can’t use the old cords from your other Samsung devices to power it up directly.

The Note 7 also boasts a waterproof design. I dunked my review unit in the sink, and also used it (with the stylus, even) under running water with no ill effects. I wouldn’t recommend making a habit of using it underwater — the phone does pop up a little warning if the power port gets wet — but you don’t have to freak out if you drop your phone in a puddle.

The retina scanner

One of the big new features on the Note 7 is a retina scanner. To activate, you have to swipe up from the lock screen. When you scan your eyes, an LED light blinks — but don't worry, it doesn’t blind you at all. The phone still scanned fine with my contacts and my glasses, though the glasses did take a little longer. Still, it was faster than typing in a password — which the phone does still ask you to set up as a backup security method.

Is the retina scanner any better than the fingerprint scanner? Honestly, not really. The retina scanner works well, but so does the fingerprint scanner. This is a big phone, so the retina scanner does make unlocking it feel a little more stable, but if you're happy with your fingerprint you probably won’t see a compelling reason to switch.

The pen

The standout feature of the Note line in general is the S Pen, or stylus, that tucks neatly into the bottom of the smartphone. Samsung has made the pen more and more useful over the years, and Note 7 users can easily take handwritten notes, or annotate images on their phone.

The pen is fast and fluid, and almost as good as taking notes by hand in terms of responsiveness. I’m still faster with pen and paper myself, but it’s hard to deny the convenience advantage of being able to jot down a note on your phone. The Note 7 (like its predecessor) also lets you take notes directly on the lock screen, in case you have to write something down very quickly. If you like having a pen on hand, this may be the greatest selling point of the Note 7.

As compared to ...

Many reviews have hailed this as Samsung’s most beautiful phone yet, and that’s a fair assessment. I’d agree that the Note 7 is, all-around, better than the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, just in terms of features it offers.

In terms of performance, the Note 7 is on par with the top smartphones out there. There is a video going around showing the iPhone 6s beating the Note 7 in a speed test. My own benchmarking gave the out-of-the-box Note 7 a slight edge over my year-old iPhone overall. In practical terms, I noticed that the Note 7 opens and (in particular) switches between programs with a less snap than the iPhone or the Galaxy S7 — but not enough to call it “lag.”

Not to mention, a phone’s worth isn’t solely in its numbers. It’s hardly enough to discount what is an otherwise gorgeous phone. Its only real drawback? The price. The Note 7 is up to $900 unlocked though carriers are offering deals of their own. At that price, you may reasonably expect it to blow past all other competitors. And while it edges out other phones on the market, that price tag may give you pause.

Read Article (Hayley Tsukayama | washingtonpost.com | 08/23/2016)

I agree with Hayley, though this is an absolutely awesome machine it has a draw-back, the price. And not being one who’s life revolves around a smartphone, there’s no way I would pay this price.

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After Nice, France Fights Fear With Social Media

France-Fights-Fear

Driving a truck, full speed into Nice’s busy promenade on Bastille Day one Tunisian man inflicted the “worst tragedy” in the modern history of the Cote d’Azur’s capital city. After November’s deadly Paris attacks and the linked March bombings in nearby Belgium, such tragic scenarios have become sadly familiar to the people of France.

With that familiarity, France’s people have set up their own crisis protocols. Sylvain Lapoix, journalist and now social media activist knows this better than most. Within less than an hour of the truck ploughing into Nice’s crowded Promenade des Anglais on Thursday Sylvain Lapoix’s hashtag #PorteOuverte (Open Door) was the top trend in France. Its purpose was to bring together those fleeing the site of attacks with those willing to give them temporary accommodation until it was safe to go outside.

“I came back to my flat on Thursday night after having a drink and I saw those tweets from Nice about what had happened,” Lapoix says. “Then someone sent me a direct message that just read ‘Go Sylvain, Go!’ and I jumped in.”

Via the hashtag, Lapoix, and some of his friends and followers, retweet every request for shelter near the site of an attack and every offer for shelter, in the hope that one click on the trending phrase will be able to connect anyone stranded in the chaos with someone offering them an “open door” nearby.

“Something I have learned in crises like these are that as a civilian there are two ways to help online. The first way to help is just not making things worse. Don’t spread hate online, don’t spread false information or speculation,” Lapoix says. “The second way to help is just to share something useful like shelter or even just a positive word.”

Since November Lapoix has inadvertently become a kind of spokesman for the phrase which he coined but says he did not technically create. “With #PorteOuverte I was the first one to come up with that particular term, but the solidarity was already there,” Lapoix says.

The hashtag was set up during the Paris attacks by Lapoix as numerous attacks began hitting cafes and places of leisure in the city, leaving many without an apartment nearby, afraid to stay outside and afraid to go indoors. Lapoix was cooking in his Paris flat when the first reports of a blast in the Stade de France stadium came in. He logged on to Twitter to find out what was happening, frantically checking his texts and messenger apps to make sure his loved ones were OK.

Within 20 minutes, shooting and explosions had been reported in five sites in central Paris, including the Bataclan concert venue where the largest part of the carnage took place.

“After the attack I was invited on a news TV show to talk about it and the host asked me how I felt that this needed to be done, that it would become something huge,” Lapoix says. “I didn’t feel anything. I just saw one-person tweet that they are lost and they gave their address and then I saw someone else on my feed, writing ‘if you are in this place, you can get in my house for safety.’ They happened to be near and I just thought here are two people who will never meet if they do not have the same newsfeed as I do.”

“There is demand for shelter and there is an offer and they cannot meet,” Lapoix says. “I just coined a phrase and put them in touch. That is all I did. And the host of the show was looking at me like I had some sort of epiphany. I just coined a term and then it got out of my hands in a very good way because everyone started doing the same.”

The hashtag was used during the Brussels attacks, and in Nice, although no follow-up attack occurred, it was not only used but became the top trend within minutes of the reports of the attack, thanks to people across France and abroad understanding how it works.

“There is one very specific thing that makes a huge difference between what happened during the Nice attack and Paris and Brussels,” Lapoix says. “For the first time the hashtag was eventually used by local authorities. Nice Matin, one of the biggest local papers coined the local hashtag #PortesOuvertesNice, which was then relayed by the Nice local authorities.”

Lapoix’s hashtag had become shorthand for civilian crisis response. And it was not the only one. Before long, #RechercheNice became an emerging hashtag, with people posting images of loved ones they had been separated from in the chaos of the events at the promenade. The national Gendarmerie, now aware many were likely looking to their phones, tablets and computers for answers, began tweeting instructions in five languages. With the death toll varying drastically from reports and a hoax video of the Eiffel Tower on fire spreading, speculation was rife. Even Parisian police kept an eye on Nice social media space, quickly debunking that an attack had hit the capital's landmark on Twitter. What had been learned from Paris and Brussels was being implemented swiftly.

“Sadly, people are now used to the threat but they also realise the importance of social media and they are more demanding for information,” Lapoix says. “There were complaints that the Safety Check feature on Facebook was too slow to activate,” he says referring to the social media’s site’s tool, asking anyone in the vicinity of an attack or disaster, indicate they are safe. The feature was widely used and praised during the Paris attacks.

“The taxi companies pretty much decided to give free rides but the news didn’t flow through the prefecture or the mayor. The companies communicated it on social media,” he adds.

Beirut-born Joseph Ayoubm, 27, was among those offering shelter in Nice. He was living in Paris during the Paris attacks and says he was impressed with how quickly the Cote d’Azur city mobilized.

“Once the information was official, the response from everyone was quite impressive,” Ayoubm says. “I think it is because we were preparing for something like this to happen, with France hosting the Euro football championship. We saw what happened in Paris and we already lived this once. People knew what was effective and what wasn't.”

Ayoubm and his girlfriend were quick to offer shelter via #PortesOuvertesNice, but nobody called on them, as there were several hotels nearby including hotel Mercure. He became a French citizen five years ago and believes the country will outlast the violent threat that has shed blood across the continent’s big cities.

“I grew up knowing we have to live with that in Beirut,” he says. “Now it feels like we're going also to live with that in France. I'm a positive person, so you cry for one night, and you move forward. It's easy to say and hard to do. But it's not a couple of fanatics who are going to teach us how to live.”

Alizée, 17, also joined the campaign, offering shelter. “If I was in the same situation I would love to see people involved like I was and to offer some help to me,” she says. “I was so impressed, that night and I was wondering If someone would do this hashtag, like during the attack in Paris. I agree that French people are very united (now) but the government need to do their job too.”

The investigation into why the Nice attack happened is ongoing and the French government is already faced with much pressure from the opposition to explain how they allowed another attack to end in the death of innocent civilians in the middle of a French metropolis. According to Lapoix however, people are creating their own crisis response.

“I am proud of coming up with a positive word in the middle of this mess. The real heroes are the ones offering help and shelter,” Lapoix says. “Emotionally you can never prepare for this unless you’re a Special Force agent, a navy seal or Jack Bauer. But practically you can learn what to do,” he adds.

“What I have learned is that people are truly amazing sometimes. Just give them the right tool and they can make anything happen,” Lapoix says.

Read Article (name | domain | 03/11/2016)

In times of crisis such as this, the human spirit can be truly amazing though tasks the need to be accomplished may be depressing. Not surprisingly, there are many a harsh word in the comments.

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Technology is the most important School Investment

Important-Investment

But educators in poorer schools also need basic supplies. Teachers want more technology in their classrooms — and fast.

A new study from DonorsChoose.com, a nonprofit organization that lets teachers request items for their classes so donors can fulfill their requests, found that teachers rank technology as the most important expenditure for schools, followed by school supplies and books.

In recent years, DonorsChoose says, teachers’ requests for tablets have increased dramatically on the site — and educators say they’re the piece of technology they need the most.

However, not all teachers request technology products to the same degree. Those who work in schools with more affluent students are more likely to request help with bringing technology to their students. Teachers who work in lower-income schools are more desperate for basic school supplies.

After books, tablets are the next most-requested item in low-poverty school districts, while paper and “paper crafts” are the next most-requested item. The disparity in student access to technology could have dire consequences, contributing to the achievement gap and widening digital divide between rich and poor students.

Overall, only about 6 percent of teachers have a tablet for every student, and only about 5 percent have a desktop computer for every student. Forty-five percent of teachers say their school is outfitted with technology that is too outdated to be helpful, the report found.

Exposure to technology in school can be especially important for students without access to computers or the internet at home. In 2013, about 75 percent of households reported internet use, according to the U.S. Census.

The most affluent schools are being outfitted with the fastest internet connections. About 39 percent of schools with an affluent student population have high-speed internet, compared to 14 percent of schools with a low-income student population.

Since 2000, over 600,000 teachers have made requests for help with classroom projects and items on DonorsChoose.org.

In March, Iowa educator Tera Sperfslage said she raised $3,500 through the site to buy classroom supplies, including reading games and number charts, for her first-grade class.

“Our students are hungry. They come hungry for food, and hungry for love and affection, and hungry to learn,” Sperfslage told The Huffington Post at the time. “They need us to make school entertaining for them and engaging. They have so many other things on their minds and plates.”

Read Article (name | domain | 03/11/2016)

Clearly, the efforts of volunteers, family or friends and whoever, to teach others to use high-tech mobile devices and the Internet, have only slowed the growth of the digital divide. But it’s still growing and we will keep asking for your help in addressing this growing issue.

For some odd reason, many are under the delusion that the divide is miraculously closing or are just in denial. But the sooner this is addressed the easier it will be to contend with the millions left behind.

A mobile device and the Internet are capable of so much more than just communication and entertainment.

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