Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Using VoIP/Skype For Your Small Business

I came across new telephone software system today, that seems like a perfect thing for any small business out there. All you need is Windows on your PC and a broadband connection!

The website - http://www.callbutler.com - is a product that is designed to increase the professionalism of your business, and do away with unnecessary fees and set up costs. The product is called CallButler, and can do a variety of functions to help your business such as toll free numbers, answer customer calls, transfer calls to employees, use existing home and mobile phones as extensions, and much more.

This is a system that can save your business a serious amount of money, saving you from paying for a business telephone system, monthly fees to your telephone company and allowing you to implement the system quickly and easily.

This is a big must for any small business, and a great step in increasing your productivity and efficiency.

- Liam Webb

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wisdom - Of the old and cagey



Bert never took his treasured out of his mouth. When he travelled down to Sydney, he was forced to share a rail carriage with a cranky old woman who objected to the pipe from the moment he sat down.

"I'll have you know that my husband is nearly seventy and never once has he put a pipe in his mouth."

Bert thought about this as he gently sucked at the tobacco.

"That so, missus? I should tell you that I'm nearly eighty and I've never put it anywhere else."

Another Great Aussie Yarn from Warren Fahey

Simple Online Forum Resource

Forums seem to be all the rage at the moment, and its little wonder. With vast communities cropping up all over the web, its a great way to instantly chat with other like-minded people on any topic that interests you. So I thought I would get in on the act, and join a forum. Not being too specific on a topic, I just wanted a general discussion board. Thats when I came across GoBoardz Forums, a forum that is designed to be as simple as possible.

The website is a quick discussion board, but without the usual hassles normally associated with other forums. It is now simple to upload images, have graphic avatars, quote posts, as well as Digg'ing and Del.icio.us linking. As well as this you can set up RSS feeds of active topics, and generate your own subdomain. Best of all, its free! If your eager to communicate, try this forum out!

- Liam Webb

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Superman's Strength Was Truely Superhuman

Superman died October 10, 2004 from heart failure. Christopher Reeves, the actor who starred in the in the "Superman" movies and was paralysed in a horse back riding accident in 1995.

Is the disability and early death of this courageous, intensely positive and generous man a tragedy?

Sure it is - for those he left behind.

But his life? His life was a triumph.

Look... we're all going to pass away some day and I know many of you reading this have lost people very close to you. I certainly have. There's no two ways around it. It hurts. But in the end what really matters? It's all about what you do with what you've got while you're here. Reality is that we don't always have total control over all the things in our lives. What we do have control over is our attitude and life all boils down to this:

We can spread light or we can spread darkness.

It's our choice, moment by moment, and 'circumstances' don't have a thing to do with it. What are you spreading?

Christopher Reeves had a vision of a better world - in his case better treatment for spinal cord injury patients - and he promoted it relentlessly.

Here's what Dr. John McDonald, the physician who worked with Reeves, had to say about his life: "Before him there was really no hope. If you had a spinal cord injury like his there was not much that could be done, but he's changed all that. He's demonstrated that there is hope and that there are things that can be done."

How far did the influence of Christopher Reeve, universally known as SUPERMAN, spread... it touched every corner of the globe!At Red's Spinal Cord Research Laboratory at the University of WA, here in Perth, recognised as the Western World's most isolated city, Reeves passing last week is being mourned.

According to Dr Giles Plant, a good friend of Dr John McDonald, who moved to Perth to pioneer this research: "He was Superman. He wanted to use his notoriety for the good of getting this field (spinal cord research) moving and he succeeded in that."

According to Dr Plant; "The impact of Christopher made I don't think anyone can put into words really, it changed everything. It changed the perspective of how people did work on spinal cord injury. It changed from being a field that no one touched to something that a lot of people touch now."Not everyone is going to have as dramatic a life story as Christopher Reeves, but everyone reading this can use the lessons they learn in The Maverick Spirit and elsewhere to transform circumstances, to make things better... to bend steel in your bare hands.

- Wayne Mansfield

What is Your Locker Number

There are some worrying trends appearing when discussion shifts to young children, and the problems modern day parents have in controlling these little people. On a recent television show I was watching a 40 something, first time mum, was admitting defeat controlling her 3 year old, and Dad was saying he was reluctant to come home at night because it resembled a war zone. The mother was commenting that she had no problem running a department of 30 people but this little ankle biter had her on the ropes.

We were then taken to an interview with Super Nanny... who was recommending old fashioned discipline as a remedy to this unsavoury situation. Unfortunately, for a generation of young people, turning back the clock may have come too late.

One area where the lack of discipline shows up is in the modern classroom where teachers have resorted to building their pupils self-esteem rather than demanding minimum standards... and the steady decline in overall achievement levels of today's students.

In the film, Stand and Deliver, the work of Jaime Escalante is honoured. He pushed his class of inner-city academic discards to remarkable performances - in calculus, no less.

There is also another similar story about achievement where expectations were raised, rather than dumbing down to the lowest achievers level of acceptable self-esteem. A Chicago public-school teacher, Mary Daugherty found herself confronted by a class of sixth-graders who were so clueless and intractable that she suspected many of them had learning disabilities.

One day, while the principal was off the premises she broke a hard and fast rule and snuck a look in the file where student details, IQ scores and other relevant data was kept. She was amazed... most of her students had IQs in the high 120s and 130s - near genius level. One of the worst offenders had an IQ of 145.

After some soul searching, Mrs Daugherty concluded that it was her fault that these brilliant minds had resorted to unruly behaviour... she blamed herself for boring them into misbehaviour.

She began bringing in difficult assignments. She upped the amount of homework and inflicted stern punishments for misbehaviour. By the end of the semester, her class was one of the best behaved and the most accomplished in the entire sixth grade.

Impressed, and stunned, her principal asked her how she had achieved this amazing turn around. Haltingly, she confessed that she had looked at the IQ files and she had changed her approach to teaching the class.

The principal pursed his lips, smiled, and told her not to worry about it. All's well that ends well, he told her.

"Oh, by the way," he whispered as she turned to retreat to her classroom, "I think you should know: those numbers next to the kids names? It's not their IQ scores. It's their locker numbers."

Now I have no reason to believe the story is an urban myth... but even if it was, there is plenty of research to show that by treating someone as being bright or dumb, you will get the result that reflects how you treated the person.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Your Soap Operah Database

I was stuck at home sick today, and the extent of my activites involved lying on the sofa in front of the tv, randomly flicking through the channels to see if anything could grab my interest. Bold & Beautiful happened to be on, and for some reason I was strangely drawn to it. All of a sudden these characters who I had no idea about or had seen before become interesting, and all these little sub plots sprang to life. I think I can understand the obsession with this genre of television now, and curious as to the back story, did a search. I then came across a Soap Opera website, soaps.com that contained information about all the major soap operahs around the world, including latest news, storyline and plot developments, as well as current ratings and tv listings.

For the passionate soap operah supporter, this is your new homepage, as all information that you could want is available here, and is being constantly updated.

- Liam Webb

Pet Hates... aahhh I Have Just a Few!


Hotels are high on the list, especially 5 star outfits that believe the rules are more important than the guests. Without singling out a particular 5 star establishment in Sydney that resides at an aptly named Double Pay location, let me share a recent experience.

But before I do that, on the very same day, I had the absolute pleasure of dealing with Michelle Jacobs at Royal on The Park in Brisbane. For Michelle, life is a delight, customers are fun to deal with, and nothing is too much trouble. When our Platinum Express Guaranteed Next Day Delivery bag with nametags for the seminar went missing, Michelle stayed late to print new nametags and provide them for our seminar guests. And, just to be sure everything was OK, she came in early to greet our presenter and assure him of her best service. All this as part of a normal day of looking after her client.

Aren't those guarantees of delivery just fantastic - "Hey, we will REPLACE the bag so we can stuff you up next time too!" That's another story!

But I digress... back in Double Pay, Sydney a request to cancel a nights accommodation, no longer required as our presenter was sharing time with his family, made at the perfectly reasonable time of 7am, my hosts advised me that I had left it too late and I should still have to pay the $210 for the room. I protested that we had added extra people to the seminar, contracted their staff to provide extra services and also invited 100 people to their hotel (not to mention the $40,000 I had paid them in the last 12 months) to no avail.

On sharing my disappointment with the General Manager who, the previous day had been meeting with his team to map out strategies to get more new business, he said he supported his staff 100% in their application of the rules on cancellations. (He pointed out that if I had read the contract, it was necessary to cancel the room even before I had booked it!) To really rub it in, as I had already paid, I should not be getting a refund. I did try to comment further and I was told that I should take my custom somewhere else if I felt hard done by. He was sure that his establishment was providing exemplary service and that I was being unreasonable.

Do I make this up... I am actually quiet calm now, and I think I have been very, very gentle in expressing my dissatisfaction.

And back to the delightful Michelle... well when we sent a small token of our appreciation, she protested that it was unnecessary to do that as all she was doing was looking after her guests.And this all happened on the same day.
- Wayne Mansfield

What Could You Do in One Hour?



In just an hour a day you could...
What do the world’s richest man, Bill Gates , Oracle founder, Larry Ellison , and computer innovator Michael Dell (combined wealth $US 100 billion) have in common?

None of them has a University degree—proving that a University degree is not necessarily a pre-requisite to being successful.

So what does it take? Here is a very simple method, tried and proven by personal experience and observation that will work for anyone, anywhere... and in remarkably little time.

Study something—literally anything that is of interest to you—one hour a day in the same way that a university student would study their courses. (Well, maybe without the sleepless nights and the hangovers...). A concept that was popularised by Earl Nightingale a half-century ago, then largely forgotten, taking an hour each day to study a subject that interests you is incredibly empowering and will quickly pay off—emotionally and, depending on what you study, financially.
In Nightingale's research on the technique, he found that daily study is a trait of almost all successful individuals—and that in just six months of concentrated one-hour-a-day study, you can become an expert in almost any topic. Sound simple? It is. That's the beauty of it, and one of the reasons this technique can change lives, whether of directionless teenagers... people stuck in mid-career ruts... or individuals in the golden years who feel sidelined by society and need some extra cash.

What might you study to achieve the freedom you want and the revenue to enjoy it? The answer is study something you are passionate about, or were as a youth. It makes the daily studying fun and assures your new career will be emotionally as well as financially satisfying. Don't feel like changing jobs? There is no better way of moving up the corporate ladder than by daily study of the industry you're in. In just a month or two, you'll attract the attention of your superiors by rattling off details about your business that demonstrate your fast-growing knowledge.

When can you find an extra hour a day to study? I found the best way to proceed is to plan your study period at the same time each day. Nowadays I use the quiet hours between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Too early? Go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and you can still get in a solid 7 hours of sleep before rising at 5:00 a.m. to make coffee and get in the groove.While you may not be able to become a brain surgeon by studying one hour a day for six months, there are any number of professions and new jobs where six months of study will get you well on your way. How long would it take for you to become a really competent video editor? To learn how to build a great surfboard? To learn the critical principles of design for web sites? The list goes on and on.

Regardless of what you study, don’t procrastinate—if you don’t learn something new today, you will just be one day older and not one bit smarter tomorrow.

And don’t forget to spread the word of Earl Nightingale—knowledge is power, and you can build a remarkable amount of knowledge in just one hour a day.

- Wayne Mansfield

Finding Business Opportunities on the Internet

I'm always searching more newer and more efficient ways of making money, as well as an excuse to branch out and to try new job opportunities. Usually if I'm chasing after work (be it full time or casual) I will browse the usual job search sites on the net in an attempt to find something. I then came across a very interesting site that offers business opportunities on its website. The idea is that interested parties list their companies name and details on the site, and these are displayed by catagory within the sites pages. Individuals can then browse by theses catagories to find an opportunity that interests them and apply. There are heaps of opportunities available, and the system is quick and easy to use. If your wanting a career change or to try something new, why no have a look at business opportunities.

- Liam Webb

I Reject Your Rejection



Recently I came across a great "little" book called Lucky or Smart. It is the autobiographical outline of how Bo Peabody built Tripod and sold it to Lycos for $US60 million before the Internet bubble burst. He was paid in Lycos shares, and he sold half his Lycos holdings, before the market crashed, for $US300 million. I think you get the idea of the title - was he SMART or LUCKY.

Peabody claims he as both. Smart enough to know when to start something, and when to get out. Also, he was clever enough to know as a B student he could build his future with A students who were gifted but not adventurous. Peabody talks about how "no" is the starting point for all good ideas.

Here is a brief extract of how we got into Williams College, even though as a B student he didn't qualify - at first. He eventually partnered with a Professor at Williams to start Tripod. So, in Bo's words, here's what happened when he heard "no".

"The first time I realised I loved the word "no" was when I applied for college. I was determined to attend Williams College, one of the world's most selective institutions of higher learning. One in every five people who apply to Williams gets in. which is one of every hundred who seriously think about applying and one of every thousand who ask their school guidance counsellor if they should apply. I didn't have a prayer of getting accepted. I was, after all, a B-student.

Sure enough, I got the thin envelope: the one with no information about when the school starts, or what dorm you're in, or who your roommate will be. Instead, it just contains that nicely worded letter, the one that when you cut through all the flowery language simply says "no."

I needed a plan. The customer had said "no," and the sales process was just beginning. Figuring that the admissions committee of this elite school had probably seen and heard just about everything, I decided to take a bold, direct, and unorthodox approach. I got the telephone number of the assistant director of admissions, a man called Cornelius (Corny) Raiford. I called up Corny and told him:

"Hi, my name is Bo Peabody, and I reject your rejection."

There was a long silence. "Excuse me?" he said.

"I want to go to Williams College," I continued. "And with all due respect, I think the admissions committee has made a mistake. And I'd like to work with you to correct it. I am formally rejecting your rejection. I'm coming to Williams. Not next year perhaps, but at some point. I'm in no rush. I have al the time in the world, and I plan to send application in to Williams every year until I'm accepted."

There was another long silence. Corny cleared his throat, and said, "I appreciate your desire to attend Williams. I'm not sure I've ever received a call like this, so let's see what we can do."

Most people would simply accept the rejection. Don't. Ever. When you hear no it is the time to really start fighting.

Great story don't you think?? There is a extract for you to download in Free Stuff.

- Wayne Mansfield

Monday, January 22, 2007

Source of Optics Equipment

Following the recent comet sightings over Western Australia, I was again reminded of how lousy my current set of binoculars are. Its been a while since I have had to look at, let alone purchase a set of binoculars, and I needed help regarding information on a decent product.

I came across this website on a search and was confronted with a plethora of information for all things optic. The products range from telescopes and sunglasses, to radar guns and eotech weapons sights. My binocular search turned up a huge array of brands, from budget options, to high end professional devices. There is a comprehensive search facility available, allowing you to look up for certain brands, catagories or stores. A massive resource for any type of optical equipment that you could possibly desire.

- Liam Webb

Keeping the Dream Alive



In a recent issue of The Bulletin magazine, an article sarcastically called "In his dreams" raises the question that the words to John Laws signature theme "Keeping the dream alive" may have been borrowed from an equally famous broadcaster, veteran American Paul Harvey. I started to wonder what the fuss was about and did some research.

It seems the words in question were neither the work of Laws, who credits Harvey for the inspiration, nor Harvey's, but were those of Lee Pitts. The nostalgic essay was published in his 1995 book People Who Live At The End of Dirt Roads and appeared in the 2000 book Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul.

What could be so powerful that the origin of it would be so important? Can words be so important men's careers depend on them? For to you decided, here is the original version:

"Keeping the dream alive" by Lee Pitts

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d know better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand-me-down clothes and home-made ice cream and leftover meatloaf. I really would. My cherished grandson, I hope you learn humility by surviving failure and that you learn to be honest even when no one is looking. I hope you learn to make your bed and mow the lawn and wash the car — and I hope nobody gives you a brand-new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see a baby calf born, and you have a good friend to be with you if you ever have to put your old dog to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it is all right to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you’ll let him. And when you want to see a Disney movie and your kid brother wants to tag along, I hope you take him. I hope you have to walk uphill with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. If you want a slingshot, I hope your father teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books, and when you learn to use computers, you also learn how to add and subtract in your head. I hope you get razzed by friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and that when you talk back to your mother you learn what Ivory soap tastes like. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on the stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I hope you get sick when someone blows smoke in your face. I don’t care if you try beer once, but I hope you won’t like it. And if a friend offers you a joint or any drugs, I hope you are smart enough to realize that person is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your grandpa or go fishing with your uncle. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through a neighbour’s window, and that she hugs you and kisses you when you give her a plaster of paris mould of your hand.

These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Maybe You Should Be Feeding Sharks

I have recently come across this fantastic book called NOW No Opportunity Wasted : Creating a List for Life by young New Zealand adventurer, Phil Keoghan. After a near death experience, Phil is living life at 100 miles per hour. ( 160 kilometres per hour just doesn't sound as good... does it! ) He sees his mission in life to challenge you and I to experience life as if today was our last day. Just reading his book get the pulse surging.

Phil has calculated the chances of a number of obscure occurrences.. There’s a certain level of risk in living adventurously, just as there is in stepping outside the door of your house each day (or staying inside, for that matter). To put it all into perspective, here are some relevant numbers.

Chances of getting attacked by a shark: It happens only about 60 times a year worldwide, and that’s down 30 percent from a few years ago. You’re more likely to be attacked by a dog in your own cosy neighbourhood.

Chances of dying from a snake bite: Only one in five snakes are poisonous, and only one in 10 people actually bitten by a snake die, that’s 40,000 a year. Food poisoning from shrimp cocktail is more common.

Chances of having a skydiving accident: There are 3 million jumps a year, and only 30 people a year die from skydiving. That’s one in 100,000 ratio. You’re more likely to be killed in a commercial airline crash.

Chances that you will slip out of your shoes while bungee jumping: Virtually nonexistent. Only a handful of deaths have been reported worldwide over the past decade, and that encompasses millions of jumps. So the accident ratio is literally one in a million. Contrast this to the one in 6,000 chance that you will die in a car accident in any given year.

Here are few other things that are worth noting.

Chances that you will die at home in your own bed: This happens a lot.
Chances that if you stay out of bed, you might live forever: Maybe 90 Percent?
Chances that you will die from drinking cobra blood in the jungle: All I can tell you is, Phil has apparently done this and is still here!

And there is some priceless information for all you thrill seekers out there:

How To Hand Feed A Shark

First of all, don’t use your hand. If a shark takes food out of your hand, the hand then becomes associated with food. That’s a bad association.

Use the proper utensils. A metal skewer with grouper on the end works well. If you want a little more distance, use a rope with grouper on it.

Try not to get distracted. Once Phil was feeding a shark for a morning T.V program, whilst being simultaneously serenaded live by the singer Gladys Knight. It almost caused him to stop paying attention to the shark. Almost.

If you’re right handed, hold the skewer in your left hand. Just in case.
Bring a chaperone on your dinner date. In other words, don’t feed a shark (or dive with one) unless it’s under the supervision of a licensed shark expert.

Don’t expect the shark to be grateful. Sharks aren’t like dolphins. In fact, you can get more intimate with a whale than with a shark. (Not that you’d want intimacy with a shark.)

So, if you are looking for a N.O.W. Experience, maybe reading Phil's book will calm your urge.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Only in America - About Crowds and Bureaucrats



After recently spending two weeks in America I am rather sensitive to all things American... good or bad. And it is true... you see the best best of things right next door to the very worst of things in America. So when I saw this article "Bargains at Any Price" about Apple Notebook computers on sale for $50 each I just had to share it with you.

If that average Joe in America were as passionate about defending his civil rights and liberties as he is about getting a good bargain, the United States, we speculate, might be in much better shape. Last week, the Henrico County school board in Virginia held a special one-day sale, selling 1,000 used Apple laptops for only $50 each… first come, first served.

At the Richmond International Raceway complex where the sale was to take place, lines started forming at midnight and had reached more than half a mile in length in the morning. One woman reportedly wet herself because she didn’t want to leave her place in line.

By 7:00 am, about 5,500 people had gathered in front of the building, so organizers decided to begin the sale two hours early.

The opening of the doors started an immediate stampede in whose course “people were trampled on, […] an elderly man was pushed to the ground, a baby’s buggy was crushed and one desperate buyer tried to drive his car through the crowd,” reported the BBC.

People were yelling at police officers who tried to keep the crowd in check. One man was using a folding chair he had brought with him to beat back people who tried to cut in front of him. A total of 17 people were injured, with four requiring hospital treatment.

Of course, aside from illuminating the Lemming-like temperament of the American masses, the incident doesn’t shed too good a light on the organizers as well. The Associated Press reported that initially, there were five police officers at the scene—ultimately, 71 were needed to keep the mob in check.

And how easy it would have been for the Henrico County officials to advertise “only one computer per person” and cut off the line at 1,000. But then again, crowds and bureaucrats seldom adhere to logical thinking.

- Wayne Mansfield

Friday, January 19, 2007

Do Not Attempt This at Home

With all the depressing news lately I thought you could do with a bit nonsense to get a smile on your face. I found this material which could have come from the "Are we really this stupid?" file

Maybe it's all the TV we're watching, or maybe it's our sugar-loaded diets that do it, or perhaps there's something in the water (besides killer fluoride) that's turning us all into dimwits. Whatever the reason, though - all kidding aside, it's probably a combination of the boob tube and declining education standards - there's no better indication of just how dumb we are than the warning labels found on consumer goods.

Here are a few of the more priceless examples, as gathered from a couple of different sources on the Internet. Some of these would be hilarious if they weren't so disturbing...

"For external use only." -- On a curling iron.
"Do not use in shower." -- On a hair dryer.
"Do not drive with sunshield in place." -- On a windshield-covering dashboard sunshield.
"Do not eat toner." -- On a toner cartridge for a laser printer.
"May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray.
"Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth." -- On a novelty rock garden set.
"Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush.
"Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.
"Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage." -- On a portable stroller.
"Do not iron clothes on body." -- On packaging for an iron.
"Wearing this garment does not enable you to fly." -- On a kid-sized Superman costume.
"May be harmful if swallowed." -- On a hammer.
"Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand." -- In the manual for a chainsaw.
"Do not use orally after using rectally." -- In the instructions for an electric thermometer.
"Not to be used as a personal flotation device." -- On a 6" x 10" inflatable picture frame.
"Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets.
"Do not use as an ice cream topping." - On a bottle of hair colouring agent.

Funny, huh? But does this mean someone actually stuck a curling iron where the sun doesn't shine? Or tried to use hair colouring as ice cream topping? Or folded up their baby in the stroller? Or thought their superhero costume granted them the power of flight? Sadly, it probably does.

These warnings paint the sad picture of two distressing trends. First, and already mentioned, is our steady migration toward a condition of intellectual insipidness. Second is the growing tendency to sue others for our own stupidity. That's the fundamental reason these labels exist - to keep people from being able to cash in on their lack of common sense.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How Would You Define "Failure"

Driving into my office on Saturday... yes I do actually go to the office some days, and most Saturdays because I can catch up on some reading, writing and paperwork.. enough Wayne... I heard on the radio that if you typed the word "failure" into the Google Search engine it came up with George W Bush.

As soon as I got to the office, I did just that... and IT DID link "failure" with George W Bush's biography on the White House website.

It got me wondering how they did that - the people who think Bush represents everything that is wrong with the world - and I went looking for the explanation. Here it is, from the Google Blog:

If you do a Google search on the word [failure] or the phrase [miserable failure], the top result is currently the White House’s official biographical page for President Bush. We've received some complaints recently from users who assume that this reflects a political bias on our part. I'd like to explain how these results come up in order to allay these concerns.

Google's search results are generated by computer programs that rank web pages in large part by examining the number and relative popularity of the sites that link to them. By using a practice called googlebombing, however, determined pranksters can occasionally produce odd results. In this case, a number of webmasters use the phrases [failure] and [miserable failure] to describe and link to President Bush's website, thus pushing it to the top of searches for those phrases. We don't condone the practice of googlebombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we're also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don't affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.

Interesting stuff don't you think?? Well I did!!

- Wayne Mansfield

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

IT Consultation Help

With the huge array of programs that I am using on my computer at the moment, it can sometimes get quite overwhelming. That only in itself is a challenge, and I'm quite computer literate. Imagine then if you were running a company of 30 employees, with one person manage the IT side. If more staff are hired, what happens to the IT guy then? Can he manage? You could always hire a second, but this would effectively double costs. I had a look at a new website that offers Outsourced IT Services, for businesses of all sizes. They are able to handle a wide range of programs and software, as well as manage hardware solutions and maintainence. Consultants are only hired with years of experience, as well as having certificates from either Microsoft or Cisco.

The coverage is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is worth investigating if you find yourself in this situation. You can find out more at: MilesConsultingCorp.com

Brussel Sprouts Grow On Trees - I would like to see that!

For 54 years I thought brussel sprouts grew like little cabbages until today when I saw them on trees - like giant bunches of grapes. Another illusion destroyed at a visit to the BoroughMarkets London.

A Better Way to Manage Your Time

I came across this interesting little item during my searces this morning. For me in particular I found this particularly pertinent as I am usually quite bad at managing my time as it is. This website offers its product the "Achieve Planner" a software program that allows you to keep track of your tasks and schedules, without you having to proactively think about them. This in turn stops your mind becoming distracted, and making sure that you keep on track with what you are doing. This time management software allows you to prioritise your most important tasks first, enabling you to achieve more, and work more efficiently. By labelling these 'tasks' by priority, (a, b, c, for example) the software automatically maps your tasks to create the most efficient way of working through them.

There is a free trail available on the website, so you can test it for yourself first, to see if its an application that suits you.

Harrods Tribute to Dodi and Diana

Made my third visit to Harrod's in Knightsbridge today... but I noticed a crowd of people taking photos, even though the security guads were saying not to... what were they doing?? They were taking photos of the candle lit shrine to Dodi Al Fayed and Princess Diana.

I know the sign said "No Photos" but I snapped this:




The Al Fayed Official website has this description:

"On the lower ground floor of Harrods, at the base of Bill Mitchell’s spectacular Egyptian escalator, there is a quiet, candle lit shrine to Dodi and Princess Diana. This memorial was constructed in 1998 with the original intention that it would remain in the store for two weeks only. It is still there to this day due to the vast numbers of people wishing to remember and express their own feelings about the tragedy of Dodi and Diana’s end.

To reflect the happy days of the couple’s last holiday together, their portraits are set amidst sculptured seagulls and Mediterranean plants and leafage. A fountain supports the images, with its endless flow of water symbolising eternal life. The interlinked ‘D’ photo frames illustrate the powerful harmony of this romantic connection. Four candles burn steadily, adding a sense of peacefulness and the passing of time.

The inscription beneath the acrylic pyramid reads:

“The wine glass has been preserved in the exact condition it was left on the couple’s last evening together at the Imperial Suite at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Dodi bought this engagement ring for Diana on the day before the tragedy”.

Above the memorial itself, in the carved walls of the Egyptian escalators on the third floor, is Dodi’s handprint set in stone. It was the summer of 1997 and Bill Mitchell was finishing his Egyptian escalator masterpiece, when he suggested to Mr. Al Fayed that it may be possible to have all of the family set their hands in the wet cement. Dodi came with the family to do so. Ten days later, Dodi was dead, whilst the imprint of his hand remains, reminding the world of the shock-felt loss of his life. "

Like the official record says, it is till very popular.

Security Books for Free Download

I've been getting involved in a lot of programming projects, as well as experimenting with different programs on the computer recently, and as such am having to give myself a crash course in a lot of applications that I have not had much eperience in before. As you can imagine I soon hit a few walls when getting certain code or applications to work. I did a search for some help, and came across this gem, that offers security books for free online! Techbooksforfree.com deals with all manner of books for a variety of applications or programming languages. I've given this a try and found it to be extremely helpful. Worth a look if your stuck!

Harrods Centre of Anti Fur Protest


Just outside Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, immediately above the exit of the Piccadilly Square Underground, a dozen or so animal activists chanted, waved banners and handed out flyers about the "horror of the fur trade."

Most shoppers ignored the protest, so accepted the flyers, but all went about their business of spending money for Christmas.

Harrod's security people, good naturedly looked on.

Seemed a very English way to protest.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Coupons For After the Holiday Season

I've mentioned these guys before, and once again they have delivered another fantastic offer. Coupon Cheif is a website that offers online coupons for a whole variety of different products and offers. I had a look through the site today and came across a offer of HP gear that caught my interest. These HP Coupons offer discounts on purchases (some of up to $200), as well as percentage discounts, usually a minmum of 10% off the retail price. But its not only computer gear on offer this time, but a huge range of different products. For some good discounts on common products, give the Coupon Chief website a go and see for yourself.

- Liam Webb

Becks get $250 million - sparks talent search


With David Beckham doing the world most lucrative sports deal this week with an American soccer team, all over the UK, Dad's have their young sons learing how to "bend it like Beckham."

Even when the weather is too cold for ducks!!

Dubai - Reinventing Dreams

Dubai has received a lot of press in recent years as being an emirate that is making strides towards becomming the most popular tourist destination on the planet. With its new developments in full swing, there is certainly a lot about Dubai that is extremely attractive. Dubai's latest projects, 'the palm islands' and 'the world' are a set of exclusive beach properties that are completely man-made, three of which are in the shape of palm trees, and the fourth in the shape of the world. The development of dubia city is racing forward in leaps and bounds, and is a testiment to amazing growth and planning. I found a website that explores the properties in dubia city, and really does provide an interesting read.

- Liam Webb

Friday, January 12, 2007

London Wildlife



The wildest creatures we saw in London N1 to be precise during our 10 day stay Christmas 2006.

Audio Visual Solutions For Your Business

There's nothing like a good quality presentation to really get a meeting, business propersition, or training program underway. And with technology the way it is today, you have the ability to create some truely amazing presentations, and really sell yourself or your company. I came across an excellent system in place that can do this, and really demonstrate The power of Audio Visual Presentations.

This system I speak of belongs to Reflex, an internet company that offers its clients, high-end audio visual equipment installations, that offer excellent products, and can design and maintain a system that suits the clients needs, ad maximises their effectiveness. As well as installation, the company also offers hiring solutions that can be quickly implemented for your use.

Just taking a look at their current client list, there are some big names involved. This company has an excellent reputation, being in the business for 25 years, and worth investigating for audio visual requirements.

- Liam Webb

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Electric Cars in London

Here is a cute electric car I spotted in London.

Apparantly does 150 kms on a single charge over night and costs about $1 a week in extra power bills. If has a great name too... named after my Kiwi mate Richard Gee.

Like a lot of good ideas, the governement is getting in the way. The manufacturer can't get a safety clearance becuase it won't pass a safety crash test for cars that can do 160 khm per hour - true!

So sales have stopped. I think the same problem is confronting an electric car here in Perth Western Australia.

Mobile Phone Resource

My mobile phone contract expired the other day, and it was time for me to go shopping for the latest and greatest in mobile technology, (sticking within a reasonable budget of course!). So I jumped on to the net and started investigating what the big companies had in their current arsenal. Whilst Googling away, I came across a helpful site for all the UK readers out there.

The website is called Mobile 360, a site that helps you find the best phones and mobile contracts and deals to suit your situation. The website compares these details daily, processing 20,000 new deals for you. The homepage has a nifty feature, displaying the days best offer. The site enables you to search by manufacturer, phone type, and phone plans.

As well as this huge database of mobile solutions, the website also has a Forum available, for discussion with others about good phone types, and plans that they have found to be the best. Purchasing a plan is as simple as clicking plan or phone that interests you, and then being redirected to a page of options from different carriers and varying bonuses with these plans.

Seriously worth a look if you're in the UK or not.

How do you spell CRIMINAL...

For those who thought they knew everything here's a refresher course:
  • The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for Blood plasma.
  • No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven (7) times.
  • Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.
  • You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
  • Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty (50) years of age or older.
  • The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.
  • The King of Hearts is the only king WITHOUT A MUSTACHE
  • American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one (1) olive from each salad served in first-class.
  • Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise. (Since Venus is normally associated with women, what does this tell you!)
  • Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
  • Most dust particles in your house are made from DEAD SKIN!
  • The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer, and so did the first " Marlboro Man. "
  • Walt Disney was afraid OF MICE!
  • PEARLS MELT IN VINEGAR!
  • The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.
  • It is possible to lead a cow upstairs... but, not downstairs.
  • A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
  • Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.
  • Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first U.S. president whose name contains all the letters from the word "criminal."
  • The second ? William Jefferson Clinton (Please don't tell me you're SURPRISED!?!!)

    And the best for last.....
  • Turtles can breathe through their butts. (I know some people like that, don't YOU?)
Now you know everything! Of importance, that is!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Antivirus Solution to Protect Your Computer

Everyone knows just how insidious the latest version of some viruses are that are out on the web at the moment. Not content with just wiping your hard drive, they can access important information, steal funds, and abuse your entire system. In response to these however, there have been a great many new Antivirus programs released recently that are here to combat these problems.

I was given a link to a website today that offers the latest Norton 2007 download as well as other Norton Antivirus security software. If you are not sure which solution is right for you, there is an option to view a Norton Software Comparision page, that will figure out which product will suit you best.

I have been using Norton on my machine for some time now, and have yet to have any problems with viruses. The software constantly updates itself to keep track with any new virus, and can run a complete system diagnostic on a regular basis. Best of all you don't even need to travel to a store to purchase it. You can just simple buy it online and download it strat to your computer. Simple.

- Liam Webb

Whatever happened in 2006 did it change your life?

Today's issue January 6th, 2007 of Mind Synergy by Brian Leaning-Mizen has a great "How was your 2006..." and I rated a mention. Thanks Brian!!

"Every year that passes has it's highlights and also events that stun us or uplift us, 2006 was no different, here are some of the things that struck me as events worth mentioning.

Kim Beasley finally realised that he wasn't ever going to be Prime Minister and took retirement.

Great Aussie Gold Medallist Ian Thorpe retired from competitive swimming at the ripe old age of 24, I was surprised as he still has a lot to offer the sport, still we wish him every good fortune in his future.

Aussie icon, Steve Irwin died tragically in the most bizarre accident ever, up to that event most people, including me, wouldn't have known that a stingray could kill a person.

Saddam Hussien has finally met his maker, after a lifetime of savage acts upon the people of Iraq, good riddance is all I have to say. Maybe the ratbags who are acting in his name will give their fellow countrymen & women a chance at a real life. I doubt it.

We have deservedly got back the Ashes, much to the disgust of my three brothers who expected the Poms to give us a cricket lesson, still the winning bets have a special taste to them, and will add to my late night musings.

Sadly we will say goodbye to Shane Warne and Glen McGrath from our test teams but I expect we shall have some great newcomers to replace them.

One of the most ridiculous events was the incredible fine of $5 million placed on Wayne Mansfield for sending out email spam. If the fine was supposed to act as a deterrent to spammers globally, it hasn't worked. I am getting almost double the amount of spam in my inbox every day, than I did prior to Wayne's trial and many of my friends tell me the same. The whole thing appears to have been an exercise in futility and ignorance on the part of the judiciary.

I think it was one of Charles Dickens characters who stated; "The law is an Ass."

On a positive note everyone of my clients had a record year, and are all very positive about what 2007 holds for us all. Happy New Year.

Brian Leaning-Mizen

A Small Business Resource Blog

It is the dream for many individuals or couples to start up their own small business. There's nothing like the freedom and fun of being your own boss, managing your own business and trying to find a niche market all for yourself. Running a Small Business can also be fraught with hazards however, regardless of the individuals proir experience.

I came across this blog a couple of days ago that offers free advice for small business owners. This blog, the "Small Business Blog" is a DIY Small Business guide, that covers many of the issues that Small Business owners face, as well as ways to overcome these, strategies that can be implemented to improve their business, as well as industry news and services.

For a new blog, this is quite a comprehensive resource, and well worth taking the time to read, whether you are a small business owner or not.

- Liam Webb

Male Breast Cancer

Breast cancer in men is rare but it does happen. In Australia, male breast cancer accounts for around 0.2 per cent of all cancers, which is fewer than 100 cases a year.

In the United States, where most of the research and support for men with breast cancer has been established, in 2001 there were approximately 1400 diagnosed cases of male breast cancer. Of these, 31 per cent — or 400 men — will die from the disease.

In breast cancer cases among women, the mortality rate is actually lower, at 25 per cent. That a higher percentage of men die from the disease is mainly due to delayed diagnosis.

Professor Bruce Armstrong, director of research at the Cancer Council of NSW, reiterates the situation for men in Australia: “The biggest issue here is that for men it is a largely unexpected disease ... and it’s not something that’s being looked for.”

As men are mainly unaware of breast cancer they do not regularly examine themselves, and doctors may not examine symptoms either. If men are concerned with breast anomalies, they will generally delay seeing a physician.

In a 1988 study of 217 men with breast cancer in the USA, it was found that they waited an average of more than 10 months before calling a doctor regarding their symptoms. As a result, in 41 per cent of cases the cancer had already spread to other parts of their bodies by the time of diagnosis.

Graham, a Sydney man diagnosed with breast cancer five and a half years ago, was aware men could develop breast cancer, so when he discovered a lump in his breast he saw a physician immediately.

“I hadn’t long turned 56 and I had a shower one morning and I felt this hard lump near my nipple. I rang the doctor next day to get it looked at. He examined me and said he wanted me to get a mammogram and X-ray. I saw him on Monday, had tests done on Tuesday and the next morning at 10am the doctor phoned and said, “Can you come up and see me straight away?”

“He got me to see a surgeon on the Friday and two weeks later they operated on me.
Men in Australia have a one chance in 1676 of developing breast cancer. Women have a one in 11 chance. The Australian Cancer Council’s latest statistics are from 1998, when 90 men nationally were diagnosed with breast cancer and 17 died.

The various types of breast cancer found in women are also diagnosed in men. Almost all breast cancers in men are carcinomas, which is the same for women. Researchers claim survival rates are the same for men and women at various stages of the disease but, mainly because male breast cancer is detected at a later date, the risk of fatality for men is higher.

There are three grades of breast cancer and men invariably develop grade three, the most aggressive form. Men are usually older than women at the time of diagnosis. Men are less likely than women to develop subsequent cancer in the second breast, but are generally more likely than women to have had another type of cancer or to develop another type of cancer later.

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