Category Archives: News


The Donald T

By John Jonelis

“Tell me a story, Uncle Loop.”

“Okay Princess, that’s what I’m here for. First let’s get you all tucked in and ready fer bed.” Loop Lonagan sits back in the chair and opens the news app on his phone. “Let’s see what we got here.” He runs down the headlines.

  • “GANG SHOOTING ON HALSTED—No that’ll just get ya all riled up.”

“What’s ‘bezelment, Uncle Loop?”

“Ferget it kid. Way too boring . Here’s another one.”


The small voice turns suddenly shrill. “That one! Read me that one, Uncle Loop. It’s a bedtime story.”

“I dunno, kid. It’s politics. Yer daddy and mommy’ll kill me.”

“Please, Uncle Loop. PLEEEEEEZE!” Continue reading THE DRAGON LADY AND THE BIG BAD DUCK

Buy More than Big Stuff with Online Shopping Coupons

It’s no surprise the people use online discount codes, coupons and deals to purchase big items every day. Word has gotten around to look for these online before making any large purchase. Smart shoppers know it is practically standard practice to get at least free shipping or 10% off an order using an online coupon for mega-orders. However, smaller items like stationery, accessories and even cell phone plans have coupons and discounts available at, too.

One merchant innovating with coupons on our site is Paperless Post. Their service allows customers to create event invitations including envelopes and then send them to the inboxes of friends, all for free and all online. Customers can also put them on social networks and let people promote their event by sharing the invitations. Paperless Post creates links for buyers to post on blogs or in comments, too. Their discount and coupon links come in handy for selecting upgrades to basic invitation packages.

A completely different type of online stationery store, Fine Stationery offers stationery designed by over 100 vendors. These include brand names like Crane & Co., Cid Pear, kate spade, William Arthur, Prentiss Douthit and more. Customers choose from a complete line of stationery for every occasion, using coupons and discounts of course. Birth announcements, wedding invitations and cards for all occasions are here with new designers and products added regularly to keep loyal customers coming back for more.

For something different in the cell phone world, try Republic Wireless after checking for discounts and coupons at couponcodeday. Republic provides wireless service starting under $20.00 a month, using wireless hotspots as the first choice of connection for calls. Domestic roaming is free, and clients never have to purchase minutes. There are no contracts, and there is no confusing language to decode. Simply use an Android phone, sign up with a discount, and start communicating.

Finally, check out 6pm with some coupons. They have all your favorite brands of accessories, shoes, clothes, backpacks and bags. Their prices are already low, and shipping is always free. Imagine getting designer clothes, the best athletic gear and high style at great discounts thanks to the coupons at Check out these deals to see for yourself!

Next time to shop online, every time you shop online, remember to check for coupons and discounts first! Keep that window open in your browser, so you are ready with the savings as soon as you need them. Happy shopping!

How can a holding investment firm help your business?

When you’re in business, you’re always looking at ways to improve it, by developing new products and services, providing excellent delivery for customers, and building trust with both suppliers and your consumers.

That’s your day-to-day work – building the business and making profits that not only pay a dedicated workforce but also give you money to invest – so where should you look when you want to invest and make good returns? Can a holding company investment firm help your business?

Holding companies explained

If you’re thinking of investing in a holding company, then you need to understand exactly what they do and how they could make your investment work profitably.

Holding companies don’t have any operations or activities and don’t have any other active business. They own assets and thus can have shares in a wide range of other businesses. For example, a holding company could have investments in publicly traded stocks, in song rights or brand names, could be involved with limited liability companies or hedge funds. Any business that has value could be something a holding company might invest in.

What can your business get out of an investment like this?

Research your options

As a business owner, you’ll know that investments can be risky as well as extremely lucrative when they work well. You could invest in your own portfolio of stocks and shares and pay an advisor to manage that, but you’re always at the mercy of the markets.

When you’re considering investing in a holding company, you need to find out exactly where they invest and what the returns from those investments are – and what you will get back from your investment.

A holding company gets its money from interest, rents and dividends, so you need to check how it has performed over a number of years. If you decide to invest in a holding company, you should be looking to the long term rather than the short term. These are businesses that are locked into the way they perceive the future of the companies they invest in and, although they will take some risks, they know that they need to convince other businesses to invest in them.

A case study

There are many holding companies that have major investors, and M1 Group is one that has developed a wide range of successful businesses through hard work and developing investments in areas such as construction and, in particular, telecommunications. The company has attracted many millions of subscribers to Investcom, and has interests in aviation, real estate, retail and fashion as well as the energy business and industry.

The company’s business model in diversifying and attracting new investors has helped it move towards building an increasingly attractive organisation for businesses to invest in. You can find out more about them at M1 Group on LinkedIn.

Investing with care

Investing always has risks; you take them and then live with them. Holding companies have such diverse holdings, carefully sourced and managed, that if you want to invest with one, then with the proper research, you could be on to a winner.

How Technology Can Influence Social Change

There are currently 1.393 billion monthly active users on Facebook and roughly a billion registered Twitter users. To put this is in perspective, if Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous nation on Earth. Because social media tools and platforms have made it so simple to produce and broadcast a message via smartphone, the faces of activism, journalism and humanitarian efforts have been changed dramatically. Let’s take a look at some of the more remarkable instances where technology has enabled people to get their ideas out to the world and influence social change.shutterstock_272659268

The Haiti 2010 Earthquake

When a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 17, 2010, it killed about 220,000 people, destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, and left roughly 30,000 commercial buildings destroyed in its wake. As soon as word got out on Facebook and Twitter, fundraising support campaigns were launched to support the American Red Cross relief efforts. CNN Money reports the American Red Cross was able to raise about $7 million for Haiti in 24 hours via $10 text donations. Because this money was raised so quickly, the American Red Cross was able to provide an influx of support to the Haitian people.

The Arab Spring 2010

In 2010 when Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and many other Arab nations were experiencing political unrest, it was one of the first times in history when average citizens could share their experiences directly with people across the world via Twitter and Facebook, rather than being remediated by a news organization. Young people in Europe and America were able to connect with the youth involved in the conflicts of the Arab Spring, which fostered a social rapport. Much of the Western world became more invested in the outcome of the Middle East’s political struggles.

One University of Washington study found that tweets about political change went from 2,300 a day to 230,000 a day during the week of former Egyptian President Honsi Mubarak’s resignation. Throughout the period of instability in the Middle East, traditional news organizations struggled to keep up with the exchanges happening online, and people grew more accustomed to finding their news from social media sites and other alternative sources.

The Hong Kong 2014 Protests

In 2014, thousands of Hong Kong citizens took to the streets to protest a Beijing proposal that would restrict any anti-Chinese Communist Party members from running for office. The activists used Facebook to share videos and photos and an application called WhatsApp, which enabled users to send text messages, images, videos, user location and audio messages across different cellular platforms. Most innovative of all was the use of an application called FireChat, which won the Interactive Innovation Award at this year’s South by Southwest conference, according to the Dish Network blog. FireChat enables phones to create their own network outside of the Internet via Bluetooth technology. Unlike mobile and internet networks that become sluggish or break down completely when users overload the system, the Bluetooth network created by FireChat actually gains strength as more people join. With their creative use of technology, Hong Kong protesters were able to coordinate their movement and stay organized while the occupy-style demonstrations continued for over three months.

How Drones are Changing Industries Worldwide

The drone controversy has been raging for years and will likely continue for many more, but recent proposals by the FAA regarding drone regulations have started to open up and clarify when and where drones can be used. And as technologies continue to advance in the fields of miniaturization, the use of drones becomes more and more appealing in a surprisingly wide range of industries.

Search & Rescue

Search and Rescue operations are one place that the use of drones is obvious. Not only can drones search more efficiently, they can cover more ground in less time. Companies like SAR Drones works in conjunction with S.W.A.R.M. (Search With Arial RC Multi-rotors) to help find missing people all over the world. The advantage of the drones is that once those people are found, Search and Rescue can use the drones to drop off items like food, water, two-way radios, and medical supplies.


Drones are now part of the construction industry, as commercial and residential roofing companies use the technology in several ways; a drone can help inspect large areas much quicker, which means that problem areas and possible defects can be identified and repaired faster, decreasing overall costs. A drone can also assist with measurements for roofing cost estimates, as well as laying out designs for customers.

Real Estate

Agents all over the country have been using drones as a tool for real estate marketing and advertising. Drones give agents the opportunity to get videos and pictures from various angles, giving clients and potential buyers a view of the entire house as well as the neighborhood. They can also do video tours of the house, using the drone to fly from room to room in an imitation of someone walking the property, ideal for people wanting to see a home but not able to visit it in person.


NASA has jumped on board with the drone craze, commissioning several drones for high altitude atmospheric tests to help scientists better understand our environment. The large drone flies 12 miles above the ground and can carry hundreds of sensors and equipment. Alternatively, several scientists in Florida have created tiny but durable drone sensors that are thrown into the path of oncoming tornadoes and hurricanes to help study the destructive storms in an attempt to better understand how they occur and how to better predict them.


Several police agencies across the country have started using specialized drones in place of helicopters in dangerous situations. These drones are equipped with incredibly powerful cameras containing night vision and heat sensors to help officers in dangerous confrontations such as when search for or diffusing bombs, resolving hostage situations, and chasing armed criminals.


Amazon and Google have both been playing with the idea of using drones to deliver products directly to customer’s homes with no need for delivery drivers. These sophisticated drones are equipped with highly accurate GPS devices to drop your packages off right at your front door and can operate 24 hours a day, leading to faster delivery and lowered costs for both the companies and the customers. Companies like Delivery Drone are looking to take it one step further, imagining countrywide transportation and delivery services for everything from holiday gifts to daily groceries.

It’s hard to say where the world will land on drone use and laws. Obviously regulations will be created and modified as time goes on, but the truth is drones are only growing in popularity as more and more people find unique and effective uses for these unmanned vehicles across all industries worldwide.

Is wearable tech going to revolutionize mobile technology?

We’ve been talking about wearable tech for 20 years, but 2015 looks like the year when it’s going to break through in a big way. These are some of the most exciting products you can look forward to over the next 12 months.


Smart watches

The big piece of tech everyone’s talking about this year is, of course, the Apple Watch. Even though no-one really knows what it does yet, Apple’s marketing know-how means it’s sure to be a game-changer. It’s not the only smart watch coming out this year, however, so keep an eye out for others, such as Android’s revamped LG G Watch R, which promises to employ 4G technology, and Xiaomi’s eagerly anticipated budget version, which will probably be no less smart.



The ultimate in training aids, Viper was originally designed for soccer players but can be adapted to many different sports. Strapped across the chest, it monitors both your vital signs and the movements you make, providing you with invaluable downloadable data that you can use to track your performance with a view to improving next time around. Already adopted by top athletes, it’s now available on the mainstream market at a competitive price.



A smart piece of crowdfunded tech, Skully is a helmet you can wear on your bike that will give you up-to-date info in a digital display right before your eyes, jet pilot-style. You can see how fast you’re going, how much fuel you’ve used, how far you are from your destination, how to get there, and what the traffic’s like on the way – all without taking your eyes off the road. The helmet also meets the usual crash protection standards.



In this brave new world, even babies are getting connected. Mimo is a smart onesie that comes with a green plastic turtle that lets parents know not only how well their babies are breathing but also how much they’re moving, how well they’re sleeping, and where they are in their sleep cycles. This can make it easier to optimize bedtimes and feeding times so that parents can enjoy a bit more uninterrupted eating and sleeping themselves.


The changing nature of mobile tech

All these new devices create challenges for the established app market. Will our old favorites still be able to work on smaller screens, or will they be superseded? The reality is probably a bit of both. With display technology also getting more interesting, thanks to flexible roll-up screens and mini projectors, small screens are no longer essential to portability. Specialized devices like the above are fantastic for specific sets of tasks, but many people are still going to want more flexible all-rounder devices that give them the power to build in new developments without making major new purposes. The sheer speed of advances in the quality mobile app market means flexibility is a big selling point, so we don’t expect to see more traditional mobile devices going away any time soon.

Watching the wearable tech market is going to be a lot of fun this year, but expect 2016 to be every bit as innovative.

Keeping your Business Up to Speed with Technology

No matter what type of industry you work in, to outpace the competition you’ll need to be able to stay up to date with the latest forms of technology. Whether this involves training your team in basic IT skills or bringing in outside tech consultants, there are a number of ways to make sure you don’t get left behind. Outdated technology can spell disaster for a small business, if important files go missing, your network crashes before a big client presentation, or your customers’ credit card information is stolen by hackers. And a failure to keep up with online and mobile marketing opportunities could cost you bigtime in terms of branding and revenue. So how do you stay up to speed as a small business owner? Here are a few ideas.


Image Source: Pixabay

Keep up with tech upgrades

Nothing will slow your business’s progress down like outdated software or hardware. If you’re working with servers that are a good decade old, this could bring your whole business to a standstill. Keep in mind that PC hardware and servers have a general lifespan of no more than 5 years, or even less if used frequently. You should be upgrading these as needed. Software should also be upgraded to the latest version whenever possible. You can take advantage of auto-upgrade tools for this, conducting a company-wide IT audit once a year to make sure you’re working with the most recent, high-tech tools.

Create a staff training program

Even if you’re working with the latest programs and brand new servers, this won’t do you any good if your staff isn’t trained to use them. Training is a necessity for all businesses, even if you have a dedicated IT department. Staff members that know the basics of security, networking, and website maintenance can save you a bundle over time, even if you must pay for a useful certificate of training and assessment yourself. With well-trained, well-informed employees and relatively new equipment, you’ll already be miles ahead of many competitors.

Compare file storage systems

If you have amassed a high volume of files, think about finding ways to reduce the physical space needed to store these. Cloud storage can be ideal for small businesses, easing the strain on your networks while keeping important files safe.

Bring in the pros

It’s tempting to save costs as you’re just starting out by putting your computer-savvy friend in charge of the IT duties, but as your business grows you’ll have more complex needs. Whether it’s for training purposes or overseeing your new digital marketing strategy, hire a pro. Ask for certification, references, and credentials to make a good hiring decision.

Don’t skimp on security

Perhaps the most important tech factor for businesses to consider is online security. Just because you haven’t made it big yet doesn’t mean that someone won’t try to steal your data – in fact, it may make you a more appealing target. Don’t rely on a free security app; pay for serious anti-virus software and a pro to make sure there aren’t already problems in your system. You need the latest malware protection to avoid a costly security breach.

By paying attention to these areas, you can help keep your business ahead of the tech curve and avoid getting bogged down by glitches and viruses!

5 Ways to Make Your Home More Secure

The most common home improvement projects in any given year are bathroom and kitchen remodels, along with door and window replacements, according to the National Association of Home Builders Remodeling Market Index. Although these can increase the value of your home, none of them will make your home more safe and secure. Technology has made it possible to streamline processes in your home that used to require expensive equipment or hiring independent contractors to implement. But now, with the growing popularity of smart house equipment, you can eliminate many risks, while increasing its value at the same time.

Transonic PRO

The fear of spiders is one of the most common phobias around the world, according to Mental Healthy. And, despite mice sometimes being cute and fuzzy, you don’t want to see them roaming wild in your home. If this is one of your fears for your home, the Transonic PRO may be the perfect solution.

All you have to do with this gadget is plug it into the wall and let it transmit both sonic and ultrasonic noise that disrupts the communication, habits and habitats of pests. This is a green, humane and safe way to get rid of bats, mice, rats, spiders and even squirrels.

The Transonic PRO covers about a 3,500 square foot area. Plus, it is much cheaper and easier than hiring a pest control company to come out.

SmartThings Home Automation

The trick to a DIY home automation system is finding one that is compatible with all your different appliances, devices and components. SmartThings is one tool that can turn your smartphone into a universal remote control for your entire house.

The control panel, which is about the size of an air freshener, plugs into the wall and connects to your router with an ethernet cord. Once the app is installed on your phone, you just have to push a button to activate its “SmartSetup” function. It then scans your entire home for compatible components and adds them to the system. You’ll be able to turn lights on and off, lock doors and even detect floods from your phone through a moisture reading.

The basic hub costs around $100, but you can spend as much as you want to make your system as sophisticated as possible.

iTouchless Bio-Matic Fingerprint Door Lock

With this gadget, you’ll never be locked out again. Plus, you’ll never lose the front door key or have to put a spare under the rug that anybody can find and use. The Bio-matic Fingerprint Door Lock works much like a smartphone reader to unlock the door. But, it requires a pulse in your finger for an added layer of protection. Of course, you also can set a numeric password as a backup option.

The $300 cost is a bit steep, but worth the peace of mind.

Roman Shades From The Shade Store

A survey by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors found that after the front door, first-floor windows are the most common way burglars enter homes. To help counter this risk, use window treatments to make the inside of your house unknown to a potential burglar. For example, Roman shades from The Shade Store are great for both blocking out the sun and the view inside. This way, they don’t know what there is to steal or any obstacles that could be waiting inside your house.

DropCam Pro

The options are endless when it comes to keeping an eye on your home from your smartphone. Cameras can help you keep an eye on your kids when they play in a different room or when a babysitter comes to stay, let you see who is knocking at your front door or enable you to detect intruders when you’re away. For example, DropCam has a motion sensor and microphone to pick up audio.

The DropCam PRO costs about $200.