Designing with Wood: What Looks Best with Your Dark Wood Floor

Posted on by Earnest Walsh in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

Wood floorWhen you want to bring sophistication to your home, most interior designers would recommend dark wood floors. True enough, the heavy tones of such wooden floors lend an air of elegance to a place, mainly due to the opulence associated with hardwood flooring.

Nonetheless, this style will only work when you know how to mix it correctly with the other aspects of your interior space. Dark wood – or any other wood flooring option– paired with the wrong colours could make the room glum and heavy.

Thus, it’s important that you know how to pair it properly with other parts of your area to achieve the atmosphere you want. Here are some things that go well with your dark wood floor:

White walls

When you’re a little strapped on your decorating funds, your best bet with the dark wood floors is to maximise the white walls to create a radiant atmosphere. The white wall presents a natural contrast to the heavy floor, and that’s something you can use in your overall layout. Keep your wall decorations to a minimum for a more modern touch. TheBlindsGallery.com.au says installing blinds and shutters can fit as perfectly attractive and functional visual accents to this design scheme.

Wood furniture

It’s best that you capitalise on the wood floor with other wood furniture pieces. You have two options here: to contrast or to complement.

When you plan to contrast, go with light wood furniture. This is a choice that harmonises all elements in your design. Weathered, warm, and light-toned woods, such as maple and cherry work best in almost all spaces.

On the other hand, when complementing is your choice, you can go with furniture pieces that match the colour of the floor. Make sure that you use the legs of the chair as the basis. The similar colours of the floor and the chairs can work, provided that your walls have a light (not necessarily white) shade.

Rich rugs

The right rug can disrupt the monotonous feel of your dark wood floor. This doesn’t mean always going for the brighter option, as you can choose a rug that’s nearly of the same hue. Apply the principle similar to your case with furniture and you’re good.

When you have a dark wood floor, make sure that you have at least one of these three to harmonise all elements of your floor space.

Know Your Way around the American Business Culture

Posted on by Wes Aaron in Digi-sell | Comments Off

Business and office cultures vary greatly, especially in distant regions. When deciding to apply for an investor visa in the United States, you should be open to new office cultures and business environments. By being aware of office cultures, you can avoid a misunderstanding with your business partners. It is important to adjust to a different culture when you really want your investment to strike success.

To create a sustainable and smooth sailing business venture, here are a few notes about the American business and office cultures you should take note of:

San FranciscoBe direct when communicating

As Rahbaran & Associates notes, Americans are direct and tend to value logic and linear reasoning. They simply expect people to speak with clarity and in a straightforward manner. When discussing a business proposition, keep in mind that it would be effective to get to your main point across as quickly as possible. Beating around the bushwill not help. If you come from a culture with a subtle communication approach, don’t take their directness as an insult. Their direct communication style simply echoes a professional stance in the business.

Punctuality is a must in business meetings

Never be late as punctuality can make or break your business. People from the Northeast and Midwest are very punctual. They brand being late as a sign of disrespect, especially during meetings and appointments. For people hailing from the Southern and Western states, they tend to be a little more relaxed. You should, however, maintain business etiquette by arriving on time, every time.

It’s a serious business

As your meetings may appear relaxed, do not let your guard down because they take business seriously. Most of the time, they follow and accomplish the business agenda. They are keen with the details of the meeting, so it is important to write a summary of the next steps in the implementation. When presenting your data, back it up with hard evidence and data. A handful of American businessmen relies on verified statistics and facts.

Building a professional relationship with other investors requires distinctive work etiquette. Make sure to adjust to varying office environments to ensure a strong foundation in the business. This can also help you maintain a credible reputation as you enter a competitive business landscape.

Crowdfunding and Its Current Deal with Intellectual Property

Posted on by Earnest Walsh in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

With the many crowdfunding platforms around the world, to understate its impact is a sin, a mortal sin.

For those who remain unfamiliar with crowdfunding, it is a way to pool funds for a certain project. In a way, you pitch your ideas to other people and if they like it, they’ll help you realize that vision. Since crowdfunding started, only one word can describe its effect: a phenomenon.

CrowdThe Crowdfunding Phenomenon

A better illustration of how crowdfunding is shaping the world today is a look at the different projects that platforms, such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe have helped fulfill. There’s one person from Ohio who simply wanted to make potato salad (he had a goal of $10), but the campaign gained enough traction that its budget has climbed past $43,000 – all because of crowdfunding.

The $40K potato salad is just one string of the many projects crowdfunding achieved. There’s the (sadly) now-Facebook-owned virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which could herald a new era in gaming. Singer Amanda Palmer achieved one of the highest funded projects in the history of crowdfunding, a $1 million music deal plus a lot of bonuses.

Thousands of other crowdfunding projects reach their targets every month, too.

The Intellectual Property Conundrum

Nonetheless, crowdfunding is not without any challenges. Apart from gaining traction amidst thousands of other projects, you also have to protect your ideas. With how people depend on the Internet today, almost everyone has an idea worth implementing. But once you post something on the Internet, it’s there forever – that includes your ideas.

LegalBrains.com suggests coming up with an IP strategy before you publicize your idea on a website. This advice has its merits, but how exactly do you plan such a strategy?

The trick to this is to go back to the basics of protecting your ideas. This means understanding all statutes concerning patents and copyrights. Without these simple guidelines, your idea can simply be lost in the fuzz and claimed by someone else. Protecting your idea before it reaches the Internet is the best way to guard yourself.

Crowdfunding is a relatively new field. Lapses are still existent, although the authorities are working on these already. Soon enough, these flaws will be no more, and crowdfunding will continue to be one of the finest examples of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in one.

Frugal Living Essentials: Home Furnishing on a Budget

Posted on by Judy Holcombe in Reviews | Comments Off

Home FurnishingSo, you’ve found the perfect apartment and have made the big move. You’ve put in what seems like a lifetime’s worth of savings in security deposits, bags, cardboard boxes, and duct tape. Now what?

From a place you can call home to a haven for having a good time with loved ones, here are a few creative ways you can furnish your home on the cheap:

Avoid Stores Offering “0% Down Payment” Deals

Many stores nowadays offer 0% interest for certain credit card sales. While this may look like a great deal, it usually isn’t. Stores often include the cost of financing into their prices up front. Any place offering 0% interest financing may be selling you goods at a significant markup.

Quality over Quantity

Invest in a few key pieces first before going all out in furnishing your home. Make your choices carefully and do not rush into buying things. As your budget will likely be limited, you will probably need to buy a few things from places like Ikea, but if you have the patience, you can hold off buying certain items and wait until you have enough money to buy nicer things.

Get your sofa, living room set, dining room set, and other essential furniture pieces from trusted furniture shops like Action Wood. Buying it from trusted retailers and providers ensures your furniture will last longer and look better compared to something you build on your own.

Don’t Ignore Used

Buying new furniture is expensive, and you’ll likely get poor quality ones compared to pieces you may be able to buy used. Just because furniture is used doesn’t mean it’s of poor quality. A $200 used solid pine table, for example, may be more durable and longer lasting than a plastic and plywood table from Ikea with the same price.

Of course, you will need to buy new things, but you should know which pieces to spend on and which should be skimped on.

Furnishing your home is almost a rite of passage, especially if you’re moving into a new place. You’ve already spent a lot with the big move; don’t waste more by spending money on the wrong furniture pieces.

Microsoft Prepares For Thousands Of Job Cuts

Posted on by Colleen Waddell in Dig-IT | Comments Off

MicrosoftMicrosoft is expected to announce more than 6,000 job cuts early Thursday, as the software giant looks to slim down after acquiring Nokia.

Microsoft is set to cut more than 6,000 jobs, with the announcement expected early Thursday. These could be the largest cuts in the company’s 39 year history, as the company looks to slim down its operations to compete with nimbler competitors such as Google and Apple.

Nokia acquisition

A large portion of the cuts are expected to cut from the Nokia unit, which Microsoft acquired in April for $7.2 billion. The acquisition pushed the software giant’s headcount to 127,000. Significant job cuts are expected as part of the restructuring and integration of Nokia staff.

Biggest job cuts yet

An anonymous Microsoft executive told the news wire that the expected job cuts may exceed the 5,800 in 2009, which is to date the biggest in the company’s history. A memo last week from Satya Nadella said that “nothing was off the table” as Microsoft changed its culture.

Leaner business

This move would be a part of the company’s plans for a leaner business model, with a greater focus on cloud computing and mobile devices. Microsoft is also expected to trim its Xbox game and entertainment unit, which Nadella praised, but did not describe as a “core” business.

Save on Mortgage: Lower Your Closing Cost

Posted on by Tyrone Archibeque in Money Times | Leave a comment

mortgageWhen it comes to the home loan process, it is important to identify ways to save on your closing costs. By keeping the closing cost to a minimum, you can save enough money for other extra expenses associated with your home purchase.

Third Party Services

There are third services that are essential to complete the settlement of the home purchase. This may include home inspection, transfer tax, appraisals, title insurance, and many more. When your lender gives you the opportunity to shop for these services, it is reasonable to accept their offer. The total cost of these services can vary and this can give you an opportunity to save money.

Loan Offer

Get quotes from multiple lenders and compares their rates. Each lender will provide a “good faith estimate” with details on the interest rates, other fees, and the closing cost that will be charged with the loans. Each lender will have different total cost and specific fees. When evaluating the loan offers, many Birmingham rental investment and real estate companies suggest calculating the total fee charges.

Negotiating Fees

For some lenders, certain fees like the origination cost will be negotiable. This refers to the cost the lender charges you for the loan itself. Some loan providers usually get a commission according to the fees the lender charges so they have room for negotiation. If you are working with a fixed-fee lender, however, the loan officer has a fixed rate and there is room for negotiation.

Discount Points

These points are considered part of the closing cost, as they are charged when the home loan is closed. Discount points, however, are different from mortgage fees, as you have the option to purchase them or not. While buying points can lower your interest rates, it can also cost you more money on the home purchase. It can add thousands of dollars to the money you need to close the loan. This is why it is better to ask your lender to give you a rate quote with zero points.

These are just some of the ways you can do to lower your closing cost. It is better to work with a real estate expert to learn more about your options in getting a home loan.

How to Not Start Embroidery

Posted on by Earnest Walsh in Digi-Serve | Leave a comment

custom embroideryEmbroidery is one of those things that people think about doing when they need a hobby. The operative word is ‘think’ because very few people ever go through with actually doing it. The reasons for not following through are many and varied: ‘There are too many materials needed just to start’, ‘it requires actual skill’, ‘it makes you question your self-worth with each failure’ are just a few.

It’s true that embroidery is one of those hobbies that require more attention than stamp collecting, and it puts off people trying to find something to fill the time. But for the people who are serious about starting embroidery as a hobby, there are a few things they need to watch out for to avoid a serious waste of time.

There’s Not Enough Thread

First, read the instructions, just because you’ve watched a few videos on YouTube doesn’t mean that you know how everything works in creating intricate custom embroidery. No video ever teaches you the number of strands or the right thread to use, because it’s different for every project. There’s nothing more homicide inducing than running out of thread before you’re done because you used the wrong thread.

The Thread Count Is Over 28

Speaking of using the wrong things, you should also check whether you’re using the wrong fabric. No, they’re not all the same, hence all the errors people encounter when all of their stitches look like shite. The usual requirement for a fabric for embroidery is having a 28-thread count or higher, anything lower ensures the project goes tits up before it even starts.

That’s What She Said

Finally, make sure to use the right needle. A needle that’s too big can create holes that make the fabric look puckered, while a too small needle won’t penetrate as easily and cause unnecessary wear on the fabric. This doesn’t even account for the different types of needles: ballpoint? Sharp? What?

Embroidery in the modern world is best left to the professionals that have the equipment and expertise to produce cool designs in big batches, but if you’re serious about doing it as a hobby go for it. Just know that it requires many implements, specific equipment and most importantly patience.

Geek but Dashing: Fashion Inspired by the Big Bang Theory

Posted on by Earnest Walsh in Digi-Serve | Leave a comment

Big Bang TheoryThe popular sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” is arguably one of the most-watched TV series today. Even in the UK, the ratings of this comedy show have been pretty impressive in its current six-season run. The series even broke ratings records with its immense popularity.

Beyond Sheldon’s quirks, another interesting aspect of The Big Bang Theory is the characters’ fashion tastes. What’s better is that you can make a statement with a style based on this humorous and influential show. Inspire your fashion sense with these styles from the lads of TBBT.

The Sheldon Look

Sheldon’s fashion style is quite simple. After all, he is a scientist who cares more about the way the universe functions. To recreate this style, simply wear your favourite graphic tee (your best choice would be a superhero-themed one) with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. Top it off with a plaid or striped cardigan and you’re good to go. You can also incorporate plaids on your trousers.

After that, all that’s left to do is say, “Bazinga!”

The Leonard Look

Leonard has a more low-key take on fashion than Sheldon, albeit with a few more layers than usual. Wear a simple graphic tee, jeans and sneakers. For extra comfort, 5Pointz.co.uk suggests wearing a Crooks and Castles hoodie underneath Leonard’s trademark cargo jacket. The ensemble is almost always like this, so you can play around with the colours, especially with the pieces you have on.

The Howard Look

If you can pull off coloured trousers, Howard is the man of your style. The engineer-turned-astronaut has a clear-cut fashion sense: plaid shirts, flashy belt buckles and turtlenecks. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to look like Steve Jobs. Howard plays it cool, so let the bright trousers take the spotlight and add a dash of fun with a subtly striped top.

The Raj Look

The gang’s astrophysicist has one key fashion piece all the time: a sleeveless jumper. Pair this with psychedelic patterns and you can dress like Raj. Mix colours well, but avoid overloading different shades at once. Wear a collared shirt, add a good sleeveless jumper(plain if the shirt is printed and vice versa), and a jacket to pull it all together.

It’s easy to let the geeks inspire you in your clothing. Take note of these pointers and you’d surely pull off a style that’s both geeky and trendy at the same time.

Pearls of Wisdom: Adult Dental Health and the Effects of Aging

Posted on by Ronald Gallegos in Healthy Times | Leave a comment

dental healthGiven all the chewing, gnashing, crunching, biting and talking they do, teeth are surprisingly resilient. However, every day wear-and-tear and the aging process take a toll on your pearly whites, even with a decent oral hygiene regimen.

With that, here’s what can happen to your teeth as you age—and what you can do to keep them strong and sparkling for a lifetime.

Reduced Saliva Production

Saliva helps break down the food you eat. It also helps keep your whole mouth clean and healthy, as the saliva helps fight bacteria and keeps plaque from building up. As you age, however, the mouth produces less saliva. Having dry mouth can affect your oral health as well as your ability to taste properly.

To avoid having dry mouth, always keep yourself hydrated, and follow your dentist’s advice on proper oral care.

Gum Disease

The most common reason for tooth loss in adults is gum disease, not the aging process. The risk for periodontal disease increases as you age. Your gum line will likely form pockets where bacteria can grow and thrive. Left untreated, these bacterial infections can cause inflammations, damage connective tissues, and even cause bone damage, which ultimately leads to tooth loss.

BlueskyDentist.com says that aside from the recommended oral care regimen, it is best to visit your dentist for a regular check-up at least twice a year.

Wear-and-Tear

As you age, certain body parts and functions begin to deteriorate, and the teeth are no exception. With all the grinding, cutting, mashing, and other movements, however, the teeth are, for the most part, resilient against cracks and chips. They may or may not become brittle with age; it’s what you subject them to that affects their life. Improper biting, teeth grinding, or clenching, and a lot of other movements will affect your oral health.

The best approach to this problem is to avoid chewing very hard food, and visiting your dentist regularly. If wear-and-tear has already taken its toll, there are treatments that can restore the teeth’s natural functionality.

Dental care starts when you’re young and continues well into your adult years. Practise proper oral care and you can keep your smile beautiful and strong—a smile that can last a lifetime.

Time to Move On: 3 Old SEO Strategies You Should Stop Using

Posted on by Colleen Waddell in Dig-IT | Comments Off

seo strategiesSearch engines, particularly Google, keep updating their algorithms every now and then. The techniques that worked several years ago will now get you penalised. As a business leader, change is essential for your growth and development. All you have to do is to correct a few mistakes to be sure you start getting effective results.

Here are some of the old techniques that could be hurting your website:

Ignoring local search

If you are operating a business that focuses on customers within a certain city or country, it is important to learn more about local search. Most search engines handle it differently, which is why experts on SEO Perth companies trust recommend using region-specific keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions.

Using too many links

Links are still the biggest influence in search results, but that does not mean you should blast your site with many spammy links. This would only lead to penalties from Google and other search engines. Emphasise quality and focus on getting links that are relevant to your industry. One link from a popular blog can do more for your rankings than hundreds of low quality links. Authority sites are harder to get, but that is the reason search engines place such trust in them. They are a reliable measure of the quality of your site.

Focusing on Google only

With billions of searches every day, Google is undeniably a powerhouse on the Internet. So when people hear the term “search engine,” the first company they will think of is Google. Despite its popularity, it’s best to create a diverse traffic portfolio. Optimising for Bing and Yahoo! is paramount to a good SEO strategy, as well.

Change can seem scary, but it has many benefits. SEO takes time to master it and with a few adjustments, you can get that first page ranking.

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