studio-microphone-in-front-of-radio-station-broadcasting-equipment

Acoustic Sound In Film: A Fundamental Understanding

Terms: When learning about film and sound there are a few basics you will want to know. For starters, gain a general understanding of terms so you’ll know what everyone is talking about.

Acoustics: Hard surfaces can easily reflect and/or deflect the normally straight paths that sound waves travel in. They do so at high frequency. Fibrous, porous materials can easily absorb these sounds. On the other hand, those 100 Hz and below (termed lower-frequency sound waves) are more easily absorbed and are not influenced by obstacles. Shapes, structures, and the surface nature of obstacles can reflect or modify the quality of sound waves upon their meeting.

Audio Mixer: Whenever a number of different sources of sound are used for selection, blending and control (as in VCR audio output, CD, or microphones), and an audio mixer will be necessary. A recorder is fed this unit’s output.

Audio Sweetening: This is also called track laying or the dubbing session. This happens after the video has been completed, and is the process when the sound program is worked on.

Condenser Microphone: Ideal for pickup of musicals, this is a microphone that is capable of high-quality audio production. It’s ideal for miniature microphones such as lavaliere or shotgun microphones. This is because one of the most attractive attributes of this condenser is that it can be quite small.

Directional Microphone: Rear-side insensitive, the pickup pattern of this mic is cardioid, which means directional; it has a pattern that is shaped similar to a heart and is quite broad.

Dynamic Microphone: One of the more rugged mics, the dynamic microphone is still able to provide sound that is high-quality, good sound. They are good for sounds that are loud (consider drums) because they are not very easily distorted.

Dynamic Range:  Refers to the range a recording device is able to adequately record between the loudest and weakest ranges of sound.

Foley: Term used when sounds are created in studio to replace what an original noise would be.

Line Level: Term used when non-microphone devices (consider a CD player) are used to generate an audio signal.

Mic Level: This is the level of the microphone-generated signal.

Monaural Sound: This is often called mono. It is a limited audio, as it is single track. Direction is unable to be conveyed in any way, and it can only tell the distance by how loud it is.

Omnidirectional Microphone: A pickup pattern that is sensitive equally from every direction and unable to determine between reflected or directed sounds–this is where the term ‘omnidirectional’ comes from.

Perambulator: This microphone is a large boom on wheels.

Super-cardioid Microphone: To avoid distance sources, noise from the environment, or just when you need to ensure that the pickup is very selective, a pickup pattern that is very directional (also called super-cardioid) is used.

Stereo Sound: A term used when the illusion of dimension and space is created through dual tracks of audio. It makes it more difficult for the viewer to be able to easily locate the sound’s direction.

Surround Sound: If this sound is correctly mixed, then it will provide a sense of being enveloped with sound. This sound (5.1 surround) uses six individual, distinct or discrete, channels. Stereo sound uses two channels, and mono uses only one, but often people believe surround sound to be the best.

Wild Track: Noise in the background that is just general.

In television it has become common to see audio take a backseat to the video. Most often sound is considered simple, cheap speakers in a television, while producers and manufacturers put their heart and soul into the actual image and visual effects. If you don’t think the audio is just as important, or more so, than the image, click the sound off for some time and see how well you follow what’s on the screen. It will be easy to see how lost you’ll get. On the other hand, many people love having the show playing while tidying up the kitchen or doing any number of household tasks. With nothing but the audio, you will still be able to easily follow what is going on.

It’s true that the sound is as important as the actual image. Without the audio the image is less than convincing. With the right audio the audience will feel more involved with the show. The designer for sound in the Olympics, Dennis Baxter said, “audio, in partnership with video, delivers a holistic experience with all of the intense emotion and interesting nuances to the viewer.”

It’s critical to not underestimate the very important contribution that audio brings to television shows and movies. In the best productions, audio isn’t used as an afterthought; it is instead an integral part of the process involved in the entire production.

Generally speaking, people tend to think of movies and television as an image with sound attached; however, when the well-made productions get to be analyzed, most tend to be surprised that it is the audio which does much of the work. It is this sound that is busy passing along information, as well as entertaining the audience. In this instance it’s the actual image that accompanies the sound. Sound is able to assist the audience’s imagination and enhance the viewer’s experience.

It is the audio that can be evocative. As an example, take the picture of two people who are leaning against a building with a beautiful sunset behind them. If there are noises of water and seagulls, we can quickly figure that they are at the ocean. If there are noises of a bustling metropolis, then we know they are in the city. If you change those sounds, you can place the same people near a battle scene, near a protest, or near a race track. These sounds may also help create an opinion about the couple leaning against the building. Perhaps they are calm in the midst of the background noise portraying a battle.

The truth is: this is a simple shot of a building and two people. The people could be anywhere, and so could the building. The actual mood and location is easily created by the audio.

The success of sound depends on the blending of two items:

  • Choices that are artistically appropriate–the selection and mixing of the sounds.
  • Techniques that are considered appropriate–equipment and the process for audio capturing.

Both of these aspects need a combination of experience and technical abilities.

online-job-search

Suggestions on Improving Your Job-Search Strategy

You’re not alone. Many job seekers have discovered that our current economic downtown has increased the length of time they have spent job searching. You need to regroup. Clarify immediate and long-term career goals. Prioritize your employment needs and know what you are willing to trade-off to get the most necessities off your job wish list. Then maximize your time job searching. Spend as much time and energy on your job search as you can without drifting into burnout or boredom depending upon your personality. Create a schedule that will structure your day. Include diverse activities, such as, cold calling; meeting with a coach, counselor, support group or helpful friend; researching employment opportunities, responding to leads, etc. An effective job search strategy can assist in finding a desirable job faster. If you’re not getting the results you want from your current job search strategy, try these suggestions:

 

  • Network. Ask your friends, family and network contacts to get in touch with you if they learn of employment opportunities that fit your specifications.

 

  • Review your resume and cover letter. Depending upon the position you are applying for the human resources management may receive over 200 responses and spend less than 15 seconds reviewing each one. Make sure you resume and cover letter stand out. Ask a professional r?m?riter or hiring manager to critique your documents.

 

  • Talk with career coaches and counselors. Review your job search strategy with a career coach. They can provide you with resources and referrals to help you manage your career. Meet with a career counselor to process through the lingering emotional baggage from your lay-off or prolonged unemployment that may be sabotaging your job search efforts.

 

  • Research employers and the labor solutions market. Does your cover letter address the needs of employers in your industry? The Internet and your public library will have information to help you research employers and the local labor market.

 

  • Use an employment service. A temporary job will provide you with immediate income, an opportunity to learn more about your industry or occupation and you may even meet a prospective employer.

 

  • Take any job to get your foot in the door. Consider taking any position in an industry or occupation that interests you. You will gain valuable inside knowledge for progressing toward your ideal position.

 

  • Volunteer. Ask to work, without pay, particularly if you like an organization or industry. Volunteers who do well may receive consideration when hiring does occur or you may make yourself indispensable by the quality of your work.

 

  • Interview for information. Arrange brief interviews with contacts in organizations or industries in which you are interested. Ask about qualifications needed to enter the field, employment trends, and suggestions for additional contacts.

 

  • Pursue additional training. Do you have the requisite skills, qualifications, and training to get your dream job? If not, additional training or advanced degrees can strengthen your qualifications.

 

  • Think about moving to a new area. Does your local labor market offer the opportunities you are looking for? Economic conditions differ throughout the nation. Research employment trends in financial publications, out-of-area newspapers, and by contacting chambers of commerce.

 

And lastly, enthusiasm goes a long way. Harness your motivation and schedule your most challenging job-search activities according to your peak energy levels.

businesswoman-writing-seo

What is SEO Writing?

How Search Engine Optimization Works

If writing is an art, then online writing is a hybrid of both art and science. Search engine optimization (SEO) writing requires research and statistics as well as a good command of the written word. This article contains SEO help to understand and improve Internet writing skills.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It means any online content that is carefully built around keywords or phrases that sum up the content of the article.

How SEO Works

Search engine “spiders” crawl through each page that is published on the web to pick out its main topics. Essentially, a person who creates SEO content is basically writing for search engines, making the key points of the article obvious to them with keywords and phrases embedded in the text.

When Internet readers have a need, question, or problem, they type what they’re looking for into a search engine. The closer an article comes to matching their search term, the more likely it is to appear at the top of the results list and the more likely it is to be read.

Major search engines like Google and Yahoo also offer services that place relevant ads on a page based on its keywords. Women reading an article about how to find the best-fitting bra, for example, will be more likely to click on an advertisement for an online retailer’s lingerie sale than they would be to click on a completely unrelated ad.

SEO Tips for Online Writers

Writing SEO content is a complex interplay that naturally takes writers a while to absorb. Those who learn to effectively use search engine optimization know how to:

  • Choose the right topics: subjects that have a high level of reader interest and a low number of competing web pages
  • Pick appropriate keywords: words and phrases that are relevant to the content of a page
  • Position keywords correctly: put critical keywords in the right places and make it look like a natural, effortless process
  • Provide valuable information: “fluff” content that uses a lot of words to say nothing makes a poor SEO article
  • If you feel like you need professional help on SEO services, visit SMA.

Doing all of the four points above results in a high-quality article and a better Google page rank. Page ranking is a complex algorithm based on keyword accuracy, volume of page visits, and number of incoming and outgoing links. Improving page rank is essential to increasing traffic to any given page.

These SEO tips are designed to help beginning Internet writers learn and understand the basics of search engine optimization. Good keyword use tells search engines what an article is about and how good it is, thus offering readers the opportunity to find it through their search queries.

business-people-standing

The Connections Between Democratic Theory and Leadership

Why Democratic Theory Is Essential For Leadership Theory

Debates about the current condition of democracy skim over the question of leadership. We hear a great deal about the lack of civility in public discourse, the decline of trust in institutions and public officials, the pursuit of self-interest by citizens and their representatives, the apparent incapacity of the political system to address long-range problems, and the futility of any form of political engagement. Civil society appears to be anything but civil, and public deliberation as a means of resolving differences seems a hopeless ideal, nice in theory but wholly unachievable in practice. Democracy, in the words of one insightful critic, is on trial, challenged by “deepening cynicism; the growth of corrosive forms of isolation, boredom, and despair; the weakening, in other words, of the world known as democratic civil society, a world of groups and associations and ties that bind.”

The matter of leadership is implicit in these discussions, or when it is made explicit it comes in one of two forms: either platitudinous observations about the need for integrity, boldness and vision; or crass, simplistic misappropriations of complex and sophisticated political theories. When Jonathan Rauch’s otherwise shrewd critique of politics as systematically driven by organized groups ends with a plea for “that most personal and fickle of counterforces: political leadership,” we sense that his analytical powers and rhetorical skills have exhausted themselves. The very premise of his argument is that everyone, citizens and leaders alike, is inescapably complicit in the problem of “demosclerosis.” When Dick Morris, President Bill Clinton’s erstwhile advisor, tries to justify his view of politics as merely a modern version of Machiavelli’s The Prince, he reveals not only his perverse notion of ethics but also his tendency to mangle political philosophy in service of his cause.

Although it may seem self-evident that theories of leadership are embedded within theories of democracy, modern discussions of leadership proceed otherwise, as if untethered to political philosophy. One consequence is that while we aggressively debate timeless questions of democratic theory, such as the terms of engagement in the public sphere and the condition of civil society, we root around aimlessly when discussing leadership, unaware that disputes in democratic theory inevitably lead to disputes about the nature of leadership. The effect is not unlike one of the characters described in a Richard Russo novel as “not profoundly stupid” but missing “his fair share of nuances.” That fits the state of our theories on political leadership – not completely off the mark but lacking appreciation for subtlety and complexity.

We root around aimlessly when discussing leadership, unaware that disputes in democratic theory inevitably lead to disputes about the nature of leadership

For example, when someone claims that democracy requires civility, what additional claims about democratic leadership are also being made? Stephen Carter’s provocative book, Civility, provides some clues. We must first accept that there will be continuous disagreement in a democracy, constant dialogue instead of final consensus, a form of politics marked by commitment to principles, to be sure, but also a willingness to learn from others. “Civil listening” is one of Carter’s ideals. “The function of debate in a truly civil society is not only to prevail; the function is to allow the best idea to win out. Therefore,” he concludes, “no matter how certain I may be that I am right, unless I give you a genuine and open opportunity to persuade me of my errors, I cannot seriously expect you to give me a genuine and open opportunity to persuade you of yours.” Leaders presumably should model this public etiquette while creating conditions that enable and encourage citizens to act in the same manner.

Perhaps. But to one of Carter’s critics, the answer is not so clear. Civility is only one of many virtues, and when virtues come into conflict we have to assign priority to one over another. In the private realm of family and friends, civility may frequently if not always take precedence. In the public world of argument and debate, however, fighting injustice and standing for principle may at times trump civility. Sometimes we show respect for others by attacking the insufficiency of their ideas. While Carter’s critic would not dismiss the benefit of civility, he does help us understand that our vision of democratic politics – what we imagine its purposes to be – inevitably leads to discussion of how we wish leaders to behave. The leadership behavior we endorse depends, that is, on the kind of democracy we want.

Another example raises a related but somewhat different question. A few years ago, when the budget deficit framed virtually all political debate and elected officials seemed incapable of making hard choices, a soon-to-be-retired senator rose to address his colleagues. John Danforth, a Republican from Missouri, was dismayed over his colleague’s refusal to rein in entitlement spending. Fearing the fiscal burden that would eventually be placed on future generations and judging that to be a classic case of injustice, the senator blamed the inaction on the electoral imperative – the overriding impulse to placate short-term demands from constituents at the cost of long-term benefits. Speaking extemporaneously and indignantly with a passion that revealed his frustration, he continued:

Deep down in our hearts we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. We have been so intent on getting ourselves elected that year after year we have told the people that they get their choice between more benefits and lower taxes….The problem is that we have hurt America – quite intentionally we have hurt America, for the purposes of getting ourselves elected. We have told Americans that they should feel sorry for themselves. We have told them we can give them something for nothing. We have told them we can reduce taxes and we can increase benefits, and the numbers do not add up, and people want to believe that this is not a problem.

Danforth’s particular plaint about the budget is beside the point. What does matter is his accusation that public officials fail to sacrifice their own interest (in this case electoral success) in the name of what they determine to be in public interest. In addition, he suggests that officials have a responsibility to educate the public about their choices – to lead rather than mislead. His sentiments have an undeniable appeal, and I shall take them up later. Still, direct responsiveness to constituents should not be too quickly dismissed. After all, the justification for elections as a means of accountability is that officials will and should be influenced by the incentive to please those they represent. Even more to the point, can we realistically expect representatives to ignore their own basic self-interest in the name of some amorphously defined public good any more than we can expect citizens to override theirs? In the view of many democratic theorists, interests rather than ideas or principles drive politics.8Some go even farther by asserting that interests actually check the unbridled and impulsive passions. They should be not only tolerated but embraced. Constructing theories of leadership without a realistic appraisal of human nature is to create an untenable portrayal of the responsibilities of leaders. Of course the features of human nature, let alone their implications for politics, are very much open to debate, but that is precisely the point. Implicit in Danforth’s version of leadership is one view, a view with appeal but a contested one that must be defended.

A final example. In what is surely one of the most revealing portraits of modern-day, street-level, genuine retail politics. Buzz Bissinger writes of the tenure of Ed Rendell, mayor of Philadelphia in the mid-1990s. Rendell faced enormous constraints, including a rapidly deteriorating fiscal climate, exacerbated by self-reinforcing trends. The more people left the city because of crime, loss of jobs, and inferior education, the smaller the tax base, and the greater the inability to rectify the very problems that caused people to leave, thereby touching off still more departures. As industries historically important to the city’s economy closed or moved, Rendell tried to fill the void by attracting shoppers and tourists, only to be charged with ignoring the city’s traditional neighborhoods. The job became all consuming. His daily schedule was a series of events ranging from phone calls and meetings with the president and cabinet secretaries to appearances at funerals for slain policemen to dancing with mascots for companies who donated small change to minor civic events. His office became the repository for demands completely irreconcilable. Bissinger’s portrait is unabashedly sympathetic. Rendell “knew better than anyone else how politics worked, the persona and the aura of the job subsuming everything else. People saw him as the mayor, always the mayor, never as a man who might have brushes with insecurity and sadness and even frailty….He wondered whether the standards for politicians were just impossible to ever fully meet.”9 Bissinger continues:

He was the embodiment of a public man, utterly defined by his place in the public eye and the way in which the public reacted to him, and the private acts which define a life – family, friendships, religious faith – seemed of little sustaining moment to him. Whatever it was, wherever it was, he hated being outside the circle. But in the elusive definition of what it means to be a public servant, no one else came closer to the ideals that the concept represents. He gave of himself tirelessly, and his motive wasn’t pure self-aggrandizement or strokes of the ego, nor was it mere obligation. He was hardly a student of urban history and urban planning. He had no grand theory that could be explained on paper. But he understood exactly what a city was about – sounds and sights and smells, all the different senses, held together by the spontaneity of choreography, each day, each hour, each minute different from the previous one.

In the canonical literature on leadership, there is a distinction drawn between transactional and transformational leadership. The former refers to leadership based on transactions between leaders and followers, agreements or bargains which promise mutually beneficial results. If you vote for me, a politician will offer, I promise you this. I get a position; you have your interests fulfilled. By contrast, transformational leadership offers a new way of looking at the world. Leaders provide not bargains but ideas, hopes, and aspirations.11 The distinction (which I have unfairly simplified) is a useful one. It has contributed to our understanding. Yet one wonders whether it applies in any way to Rendell’s case. As he came to embody the city, to the point of losing any sense of a private life outside of his official role, as he worked tirelessly to overcome the constraints and usher in a new vision for the city, was he transformational? Or was his leadership better understood as an endless attempt to balance the demands of a heterogeneous group of constituents? Rendell was both transactional and transformational and therefore was neither. The demands of leadership in a democracy call for bargains and transactions – hard, cold tit-for-tat tradeoffs – but within a context of goals, purposes and objectives.

 

The purpose of this study is to mine contemporary democratic theory for insights into understanding the obligations and responsibilities of leaders, and their motivational speech. My premise is that assertions about leadership – such as normative claims about legitimacy and accountability or commitments to constituents and appropriate criteria for decision making – are inseparable from claims about preferred forms of democracy. It is impossible, in other words, to “do” leadership theory without also doing democratic theory. And yet the literature on political leadership in democracies only rarely draws from political philosophy in any systematic or explicit manner. That could very well be because democratic theorists only occasionally focus directly on leaders, per se, although much of what they say has enormous implications for how we enable officials to lead while constraining their discretion and scope of authority.

Badge Holders Are A Fantastic Option

So many professionals nowadays live and work such incredibly active lives. Every minute counts and we are all looking for ways to enhance our lives while promoting our businesses at the same time. One great way to do both things at once is to order your customizable badge holders.

Retractable ID Badge Holders are a fantastic option if you are looking for practical promotional products because they are usually clipped or worn on the outside of clothing on a daily basis. They are great for any company that needs to keep security clearance with them at all times or for the employee that needs to constantly sign in and out of the computer using their security keys. When placing such keys on a lace lanyard that is generally worn over clothes, every time that the lanyard is reached for the consumer will remember your company name and logo. We’re talking exposure to your business hundreds of times throughout the day!

Of course, like most promotional products, the benefits extend out to a greater audience than simply the recipient and user. Just the mere act of wearing your customized badge holders while at your job increases your chances of getting your logo out there and into the minds of an incredibly large number of people. People pay attention to what we wear and what logos we adorn our bodies with and that is why promotional items like personalized badge holders work so well.

Another thought to consider is while you are out and about during your lunch break you are broadcasting your business to everyone around you. Many employees leave as they are, in uniform and all, during lunch breaks or trips to the store after work. A large majority also gets dressed for their job and then hops on some form of mass transit in order to get to work.

Meanwhile they are advertising your business for you! All of this because of an affordable badge holder. We have also had clients say to us that their imprinted badge holders have started conversations at unlikely places because someone recognized the business name printed on the holder. Those testimonials are exactly what we hope for for you and your company. That’s because conversations spark interest and every conversation can be geared toward gaining more clients and drumming up business for your company.

Speaking of price, check for yourself and see how inexpensive  badge holders really are. Whether you are interested in a custom designed, retractable holder shaped like a heart, or a more simple approach that is manufactured to protect your customizable inserts and to be worn with a lanyard, companies like Southern Girls Gifts keep low prices so that any company on any budget can reap the rewards of promotional products.

Order your badge holders to match your company colors and stay true to your business theme and motto always!

 

Principles of Animation

The principles of motion graphics and animation were created in the early 1930s by animators at the Walt Disney Studios. These principles helped to transform animation from a novelty into an art form. The twelve principles are mostly about five things: acting the performance, directing the performance, representing reality, interpreting real world physics and editing a sequence of actions.

 

Squash & Stretch

Any organic element composed of living flesh, no matter how bony, will show considerable movement within its shape in progressing through an action. In the language of animation these movements are called Squash and Stretch. A squashed state depicts the form either flattened out by great pressure or bunched up and pushed together. The stretched position always shows the same form in a much extended condition.

 

Anticipation

An audience watching an animated scene will not be able to understand the events on the screen unless there is a planned sequence of actions that leads them clearly from one activity to the next. Anticipation is the preparation for the action. Anticipation is also a device to catch the audience eye, to prepare them for the next movement and lead them to expect it before it actually occurs.

 

Staging

Staging is the presentation of any idea that it is completely and unmistakably clear. An action is staged so that it is understood, a personality so that it is recognizable, an expression so that it can be seen, a mood so that it will affect the audience. While staging an action, you must be sure that only one action is seen; it must not be confused by a poor choice of camera angle or upstaged by something else that might be going on.

 

Straight Ahead & Pose to Pose Action

There are two main approaches to classical animation. The first is known as Straight Ahead Action, in which the animator works straight ahead from the first frame of the scene. He animates one frame after the other, getting new ideas as he goes along, until he reaches the end of the scene. He knows the story point of the scene and the business that is to be included, but he has little plan how it will all be done at the time he starts animating.

 

With Pose to Pose, the animator plans his action, figures out just which poses will be needed to animate the business. The animations done with Pose to pose method have strength and clarity. In Straight Ahead Action, there is spontaneity. Usually both methods are combined in a way that the animations have clarity as well as spontaneity.

 

Follow Through and Overlapping Action

The animation of an extremity, such as a coat tail or floppy ears of a dog move to some extent independently of the character which they are attached to. The movement of an extremity depends on: the action of the character, the extremity.s own weight and degree of flexibility and air resistance. The principle of Follow Through states that the fluidity of the animation of these extremities is allowed to continue with its own speed and direction. Overlapping Action principle states that the different parts of the body figure should have a time lag between the movements. This helps to achieve a lot more fluidity to the animations.

 

Slow In and Slow Out

Slow in and Slow Out deals with the spacing of the in-between frames between the extreme poses. By grouping the in-betweens closer to the extreme poses, a spirited result is achieved, with the character zipping from one attitude to another.

 

Arcs

The visual path of action from one extreme to another is always described by an arc. Arcs in nature are the most economical routes by which a form can move from one position to another. Arcs are used extensively as they make the animation much smoother and less stiff than a straight line for the path of action.

 

Secondary Actions

An action which supports the main action is called a Secondary Action and is always kept subordinate to the primary action. Secondary Actions are used to more emphatically depict the primary action.

 

Timing

The number of frames used in any move determines the amount of time that action will take on the screen. Timing or the speed of the action is an important principle because it defines how well the idea behind the action will read to an audience. It reflects the weight and size of an object and can even carry emotional meaning.

 

Exaggeration

An action when animated, for it to be properly visible on screen, it is necessary that the actions are exaggerated. The use of exaggeration helps to convey the emotions or actions in a more convincing way to the audience.

 

Moving Hold

In an animation, where a character moves from one pose to another quickly, it is important to .hold. the extreme poses of an action for a couple of frames, so that the actions are visible clearly to the audience. This process is called a .Moving Hold. and is achieved by creating an extreme pose and exaggerating the same pose a bit more in the next frame so that the continuity of the movement is maintained while clearly depicting the extreme poses.

 

Appeal

Appeal, implies that a character should have charm, pleasing design, simplicity, communication and magnetism. Appeal facilitates the emotional connection between the characters and audience. The audience can relate to a character, with a visual appeal, regardless of the fact whether the character has heroic or villainous characteristics.

Build Your Brand, Legally Speaking

Have you ever used your legal disclaimer to build your brand?

The first Web sites, appearing around 1994, had no privacy statements at all. There were no disclaimers from the legal department stating the company wasn’t responsible for anything, even things you thought they were responsible for. There were no “terms of use” sections outlining the legal implications of using the site, either. There was simply… a site.

Legalese fast became a necessity for most commercial Web sites. If Web sites and the companies behind them are different, why should all the legal statements read the same? I’m tempted to believe most companies cut and paste those boilerplate legal statements to cut down their workload.

Herein lies an obvious branding opportunity.

I once had to sign a contract before hiring an advertising company. In the final selection round, I needed to choose between two agencies. To be frank, both were perfectly suited for the assignment. The chemistry and skill sets of each were first rate. The final, determining factor was based on each agency’s contract.

The first company’s contract consisted of about a ton of paper. The 52-page tome bore text smaller than six points. It was packed with words almost unrecognizable to me. Obviously the company had decided to cover all the bases with its contract. And I mean everything.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive the other agency’s people-friendly contract. The language was easy to understand. The legalese was prefaced by “and now to the boring stuff which, of course, we’ve printed in the smallest type to make sure you can’t read it all.” The copy even offered subtle and funny comments about lawyers and the need for such a document. All in all, the contract communicated the fact that its authors and the people it represented were human and full of good humor. Interestingly, the contract managed to cover all its material in just 15 pages. It was even fun to read!

Which agency do you think I decided to go with?

Legal stuff, privacy warnings, disclaimers, and all the other necessary accouterments for today’s Web site are here to stay, no matter how much we prefer to avoid them. They don’t have to be written in a formal legal voice, as if the documents were only going to be read by lawyers. Regardless of whether we’re private consumers or businesspeople, we all like to be treated as human beings. If you can convert your legal documents into easy, fun-to-read pieces, you’ll break down a barrier between you and prospective business that 99.9 percent of your competitors won’t have cracked. The achievement makes your brand more human. It enhances mutual understanding and even empathy between your brand and its customers. Isn’t that the essence of good branding?

Would you hire a lawyer to craft your branding campaign? Unlikely. Why allow an attorney to control your brand’s all-important tone of voice? Let your brand speak. You can achieve the same legal protection and, at the same time, build that brand.

 

Tech Gadgets Dads Will Love: The Kindle, iPad, and Flip Video

This year, skip the predictable tie. Instead, make dad’s Father’s Day special with cool tech gifts that will keep him connected, informed, and engaged.

It can be challenging to find the perfect gift for Dad, but this year there are some great options. Get dad gifts that represent the latest technological advances by purchasing him Amazon’s Kindle, an iPad, or Flip Video’s Flip SlideHD.

The Amazon Kindle Makes Reading Easy

The Kindle, sold by Amazon, is a wireless reading device that makes reading anywhere easy. The reader, which operates on the same wireless technology like cell phones, can hold books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. The Kindle can provide dad with access to hundreds of thousands of books, as well as a wide array of the most popular newspapers and magazines, which can be delivered to the Kindle before they hit newsstands.

The Kindle is lightweight, making it easily portable. It is just 1/3 of an inch thick and weighs 10.2 ounces. Despite its lightweight, the Kindle can carry up to 1,500 books, and it has additional features dad will appreciate. Its anti-glare technology allows for easy reading outside, even at the beach. It also has a text-to-speech function, meaning dad can switch from reading a text to listening to it with the touch of a button. To support his activities, the Kindle also features a built-in dictionary and encyclopedia.

The iPad’s Multi-Touch Screen Provides Dad with Multiple Functions

The iPad has an amazing array of functionality that makes it more than a reader. In addition to reading popular books, magazines, and newspapers, the iPad enables dad to browse the internet, watch videos and movies, and organize photos. It will also give him access to over 200,000 applications designed specifically for the iPad.

The iPad’s 9.7-inch screen has a high resolution, LED-backlit IPS (in-plane switching) display. The IPS display means that dad can turn the iPad any way that he wants to and his content will rotate accordingly, orienting itself in portrait or landscape mode.

The size of the iPad can be problematic for some. Its 9.7-inch screen makes it difficult to put in a pocket. If dad already carries a briefcase or backpack to work, the iPad will fit in either nicely. If he prefers not to carry these items, finding a suitable carrying case will be important.

Flip Video’s Flip SlideHD Allows Dad to Capture Memories

The Flip SlideHD is Flip Video’s latest pocket camcorder. The device records up to 4 hours of video in HD, with the simple touch of a button. The FlipShare software, which comes with the camcorder, allows dad to upload his videos and pictures to his PC or MAC. There he can view or edit his work. Video can also be uploaded directly to popular social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. The Flip SlideHD holds 12 hours of video, movies, photos, and Flip Channels, so dad can enjoy videos wherever he goes.

Gifts of Technology are Great Father’s Day Gifts

Indulge dad’s love for technology and gadgets this Father’s Day. Let him play with and enjoy the latest technology. He will be able to read, capture and watch videos and movies, take and edit pictures, and interact with the web as he never has before.

How to Prevent the Onset of Macular Degeneration

How to Prevent the Onset of Macular DegenerationMany people do not treasure their eyesight, until the condition of their eye sight changes. Your changes may be caused by aging, diabetes, or lack of nutrients in your diet. Keeping your eyes healthy can be challenging when you are experiencing other health issues.

However, you have to work on improving your current vision and protecting the level of eyesight that you currently have. If you wear contact lenses, you have to see an eye care professional regularly and wear contact lenses with maximum UV protection. Nutrition, too, plays an important role in maintaining optimal eye health. Here are some important tips to help you support the health of your eyes.

bilberry promotes eye healthIncorporate Bilberry in your diet

Bilberry is a bright blue berry that is a similar in appearance to cranberries and blueberries. Bilberry can help ease eye tissue inflammation. The flavonoids in the bilberry named anthocyanosides protect the collagen and blood vessels in your eyes. Bilberry is used to help prevent floaters in the eye, macular degeneration, and hardening of the arteries of the eye. You can use bilberry daily in an extract, juice, whole, or tablet form to prevent eye fatigue. If you find a source of local fresh bilberries, freeze them to enjoy throughout the year. Berries can be quickly thawed and eaten whole, made into jam, or frozen desserts. Use extreme care when eating bilberries. The juice from the bilberry will stain your clothing and carpets. Bottled bilberry juice can be found in health food stores.

Boost your Vitamin C levels

Vitamin C-rich fruits for eye healthIn order to function properly, your eyes need significant levels of vitamin C. The eyes hold the most concentration of vitamin C in the human body. Vitamin C encourages wounds and abnormalities to heal in the cornea. If you have glaucoma, vitamin C may relieve pressure that you feel in your eyes. Although macular degeneration has no cure, taking Vitamin C is a great preventative treatment. Taking vitamin C regularly can delay the onset of macular degeneration. The U.S. RDA suggests that all adults should take at least 60 mg of Vitamin C every day. A daily healthy dose of Vitamin C supplements promotes eye health, so does a diet rich in Vitamin C-rich food. So stock up on  broccoli, kale, kiwi fruit, orange, lemons, green peppers, and red peppers because these fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of the vitamin.

Don’t take vision problems lightly

Speak with your doctor regarding any sudden changes in your vision. If you are experiencing eye floaters or flashes of light, have your eyes checked by an experienced ophthalmologist or optometrist.  Your doctor may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. Wearing prescription eyewear requires a period of adjustment at first and may not fully address your vision problems. But having some vision is always better than very dim vision or total vision loss. And of course, you have the option to wear contacts that use a unique color-blending technology to make your eyes more vivid. Use these tips to help keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

Product Specifications- Hammerhead RT

The Hammerhead RT is the seventh generation of WalkAbout’s rugged tablet PCs. This product is a Windows-based lightweight tablet PC, and it’s intended for users who require protection from their daily tasks in harsh environmental conditions.  It has magnesium housing and molded rubber bumpers for additional protection which makes it extremely reliable.

Some of the Hammerhead RT’s features are 933MHz Intel Processor, GPS, GPRS, internal radio options etc.

Both models offer integrated ethernet and a Type III PCMCIA slot that accommodates up to two Type II PC or Cardbus cards and sealed doors that maintain the units’ IP64 rating.

MEMORY / STORAGE

• 256 or 512* MB SO DIMM module             • 20 or 40* GB shock-mounted rotating hard disk

DISPLAY // PEN TABLET VERSION

• 10.4″ SVGA 800×600 or XGA 1024×768 active matrix color displays:

• Transmissive for indoor applications
• All-Vis technology for both indoor and outdoor (direct sunlight) applications

• Proximity sensing high-resolution electromagnetic digitizer using an active pen

• Chemically strengthened glass; No surface coatings that can be damaged or wear with use

• More than 1,000 dpi resolution

• Tethered pen for right or left-hand use; Right and left mouse button emulation

DISPLAY // TOUCHSCREEN TABLET VERSION

• 10.4″ SVGA 800×600 or XGA 1024×768 active matrix color displays:

• Transmissive for indoor applications
• All-Vis technology for both indoor and outdoor (direct sunlight) applications

• The most durable resistive touch screen on the market

• 5-wire resistive touch screen input withstands 35 million activations in a single area vs. typical 1 million

• Drift-free operation during temperature changes

AUDIO

• Integrated speaker, AC ’97 Rev 2.2 compliant

• The stereo signal via docking*

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT

• Size: 11″ x 8.25″ x 1.6″        • Weight: 3.9 lbs

POWER SUPPLY

• Memory-free “smart” Li-Ion battery technology provides accurate power gauge and controlled charging for maximum battery efficiency

• Batteries are hot-swappable for uninterrupted use

• Universal AC adapter*:  110V – 250V 50-60 Hz

• Power management: Full ACPI 1.0 support

• Battery charges to 80% capacity in less than one hour

• Will accept 12V DC direct input from the vehicle

SOFTWARE

• Microsoft Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 for Pen

• Microsoft Windows® XP Professional for Touch

• Microsoft Windows® 2000*

• Phoenix Pico® Flash BIOS 6.0

• BIOS and firmware user-upgradeable with fail-safe

• BIOS and firmware user-upgradeable with fail-safe

ENVIRONMENTAL / ENCLOSURE – SHOCK – VIBRATION

• Designed to MIL-STD-810F and IP64

ENVIRONMENTAL / TEMPERATURE

• Operating temperature:  -15°C to 60°C

 Boot temperature: 0°C without LCD/HDD heater, and -20°C with optional LCD/HDD heater package*

• Storage:  -40°C to 70°C