karacter Is A Colouring Box For Audio

Image result for karacter Is A Colouring Box For AudioPlugin Alliance has announced the availability of karacter,  a new plug-in which they describe as an “exacting emulation, by Brainworx of  elysia‘s discrete class-A stereo saturator namesake, known affectionately as ‘The Coloring Box’ because of the wondrous ways in which it fattens and adds sparkle to tracks.” Here’s a press release with the full details…

karacter is actually a bundle of two plugins — karacter mix and karacter master, the former providing a straightforward set of controls for treating mono and stereo tracks, while the more surgical latter lets users process full mixes, stereo stems, and subgroups, thanks to its independent left and right channel controls or, in MS Mode, mid and side channels. Choose either, and characterful sounds shine forth for sure, separating them from the plugin pack. After all, elysia has a well-deserved reputation for building pioneering products of quality and distinction that really represent a paradigm shift in studio processing; plugins bearing the manufacturer’s notable name capably convey those admirable attributes in digital form.

For both the karacter mix and karacter master plugins provide three different modes with which users can paint project tracks with colorful harmonics — hence that (“Coloring Box”) tagline thrust upon their hardware counterpart. Creatively, the standard saturation mode makes for fattening gently while heightening (odd) harmonics — heavenly when it comes to mastering and also for adding subtle size to pristine-sounding instruments such as acoustic guitars and grand pianos. FET Shred mode mimics the pleasing distortion of a driven tube amp, adding a relative boost to (even) harmonics that transform clinical-sounding electric guitar and bass tracks into bad boys! Turbo Boost mode — only available in FET Shred mode — should surely carry a warning! Why? Waging total harmonic destruction, it hard-clips signal tops like a weed whacker and sounds superb whether used for far- reaching processing of individual tracks or being tasked with severe sound design duties.

Days of yore required racks packed with outboard gear to achieve elusive and highly-desirable styles of tonal saturation. Such serious outlay is not necessarily needed today, thanks to karacter… choose the desired saturation mode, then push it harder or softer using the Drive control to dial in ideal amounts of beautiful-sounding sparkle or meat-grinding grit. For floor-rattling bass tracks, turn up karacter’s Color control counter-clockwise to simultaneously jack up the saturated signal’s bottom end while softening its highs. Conversely, clockwise rotation of the Color control could rough out the smooth edges of clean FM (Frequency Modulation) synth tracks to dirty things up. Up top, try raining musical mayhem down on drum overheads in MS Mode by applying Turbo Boost to the kick and snare in the mid channel while creating crystalline-sounding cymbals on the side channel. Or overdrive the total kit to take things to the extreme! Either way, whether working on full mixes, drum subgroups, or stringed instruments, karacter’s Mix control can blend colorful distortion with pristine input signal to sculpt a perfect balance of girth and sonic detail. Duly transform tracks into beauty or beast with karacter!

Cutting — or boosting! — to the chase: karacter creates a wonderful world of tremendous tones and timbres courtesy of a carefully chosen small set of controls that can completely change the character of a sound, alongside a stereo M/S (Mid-Side) control that opens up several possibilities for creative effects. The choice is in there… and all keeping elysia’s well-deserved reputation alive and kicking (ass) within a convenient, creative plugin workflow without treading on the toes of any other saturator software solution out there.

Pricing and Availability:
karacter is available for purchase — as an AAX Native & DSP-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plugin for Mac OS X (10.8 through 10.12), Windows (7 through 10), and Pro Tools 10.3.10 (or higher) — exclusively from Plugin Alliance for $199.00 USD.

Note that the proprietary Plugin Alliance Installation Manager means users can select, download, and install only the products and formats needed for their system.


Create A Scrollable Widget Full Of App Icons Using ‘Foldery’

There are a ton of apps for Android that allow you to improve your productivity. As this is Android we’re talking about, you have far more freedom than you’d have on iOS, for example. There are apps that can boost your messaging experience, multitasking, and even change the look and feel of your entire home screen while adding some extra features into the mix. Well, we’re here to talk about an app called Foldery Multicon Folder Widget’ or ‘Foldery’ in short, which is basically a widget that will help you organize your home screen in a unique way, read on.

Many of you probably have quite a few icons on your home screen, and some of you are probably reluctant to use too many home screen pages. Well, with Foldery, you can create scrollable widgets and place app icons inside of them. You can essentially create a 1-by-1 widget on your home screen and place a number of icons inside of it. You can go through them by swiping either vertically or horizontally, that’s totally up to you. If your launcher allows you to, you can resize this widget and truly take control of what will it look like. The app also allows you to manipulate the size of the icons you include, you can make them huge, or simply use the standard size, it’s totally up to you. You can also increase the number of columns you’d like to use in a widget, change the background of the widget, and Foldery also supports icon packs, which means you can use whichever icon pack you want, as long as it is installed on your smartphone.Foldery worked great during our testing, and the app is very well designed, it’s not exactly in line with the latest Material Design guidelines, but it looks nice and it’s fairly easy to navigate. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you can create only 1 Foldery widget in the free version of this application, if you’d like to add more of them, you’ll need to make an in-app purchase. Interesting enough, you have 5 levels of contributions to choose from, ranging from ‘Patronage’ to ‘Coconut Cocktail’, which essentially means you can choose how much you’d like to pay for the app, though do keep in mind that you won’t be able to pay less than $1. All of these aforementioned options will give you access to ‘Foldery Premium’, and this is a one-time payment.



Lott Entertainment Presents’ 2017 Spring Lineup Explores Themes of Race, Sexuality and a Journey through Music

Lott Entertainment Presents’ spring lineup will take fans on an epic journey through Cherokee country, into a world of whimsical sexual exploration-one that is taking Off Broadway by storm-and, finally, into a multi-genre glimpse into the lives of six different musicians, all portrayed by one man. All performances will take place at Lott Entertainment Presents’ new home in the Neuhaus Theatre at the Alley Theatre.

“Each show is sensational and vital in its own way,” artistic director Kathryn Lott says of the remaining shows. “The timeliness of all three of these works is truly extraordinary, and a testament to these artists and their work that we are bringing to Houston. I think our audiences are going to be on the edge of their seats for all of the performances.” “Every show is so different from the next,” adds executive director Allison Lott, “And yet each one presents a new, poignant message…sometimes that message is told in a lighthearted, hilarious tone and other times the message will pull at the heartstrings.”

Lott Entertainment Presents’ unique partnership with Joe’s Pub at the Public in New York has added to the buzz around the young performing arts organization on a national level, with their Joe’s Pub series being used as the model to expand into other markets. “Seattle has already taken up the torch and is in the midst of their first Joe’s Pub season,” says Kathryn Lott, who first presented the idea to Joe’s Pub. “And now this famed New York institution is in talks with other markets around the country to create a touring network for their artists.”

April 21 & 22, 2017 – Martha Redbone: Bone Hill – The Concert (Joe’s Pub Series)

Folk, funk, soul and blues artist Martha Redbone is one of the most vital voices in American Roots music and will perform her original work, Bone Hill – The Concert in Houston as part of the Joe’s Pub Series. Presented as a dramatic musical work with Redbone and her all-star band, Bone Hill – The Concert is a devised, interdisciplinary work inspired by her family lineage in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s an epic story of one woman’s return to her homeland on Black Mountain and the coalmines of Harlan County, KY where her family have dwelled for centuries.

Spanning the lives and stories of four generations of women in a Cherokee family, Redbone travels back in time to her own childhood and beyond into the memories and tales of her ancestors-both those who were born to the land and those who traveled the globe to end up on Black Mountain, whether by choice or by force. Audiences will join Redbone on her journey to the past to hear the tale of what it looks like to be an American in our country today. The music is radically wide-ranging, from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to bluegrass and blues, country, gospel, jazz, Rock & Roll, Rhythm n Blues and funk. Dark and violent at times, Bone Hill – The Concert is uncompromising in its desire to be honest about difficult subjects, especially race in America.

In addition to the two public performances at the Alley Theatre, Martha Redbone will participate in three residency activities including a workshop at Texas Southern University.

Bone Hill was written by Martha Redbone, Aaron Whitby and Roberta Uno, with original compositions by Redbone and Whitby, and was commissioned by the Joe’s Pub New York Voices initiative.

May 4-7, 2017: Sex Tips for a Straight Woman from a Gay Man

This Off Broadway smash hit romantic comedy takes the audience on a hilarious and wild ride where no topic is taboo and the insider ‘tips’ come straight from the source: a gay man. The play is set at a local university auditorium where the English department holds its monthly ‘Meet the Authors’ event. Robyn is the shy and studious moderator of the event, and this month’s featured author is Dan Anderson of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. With the help of a hunky staged assistant named Stefan, Dan aims to turn this event upside down with a highly theatrical, audience interactive sex tip seminar. Will Stefan’s muscles be used for more than moving heavy scenery? Will the power of Dan’s tips prove too titillating for even Robyn to resist? As with everything at this event…that is for Dan to know, and you to find out!

May 12-13, 2017: 6 Guitars

Award-winning writer/performer Chase Padgett will premiere his original work, 6 Guitars, for Houston audiences May 12-17, 2017. 6 Guitars is a pitch-perfect blend of music, comedy and characters. Chase Padgett delivers a virtuosic performance as he becomes six different guitar players-each with their own distinct voice, views and musical style (Blues, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Folk and Country). During this 85-minute show, each of the characters, ranging from a 19-year-old rock prodigy to an 87-year-old blues man, share their journey with music from discovery to mastery through songs and stories that leaves every audience laughing, crying and falling in love with music all over again. Co-written and directed by Jay Hopkins, 6 Guitars has won numerous Fringe Awards and has critics raving.


June 7, 2017 at Jones Hall: Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound: After the Curtain

Through his Emmy Award winning work on “So You Think You Can Dance”, Travis Wall has established himself as one of America’s favorite choreographers. His artistic direction of SHAPING SOUND has already produced one spell-binding show in Dance Reimagined, which has captivated audiences all across North America. Now, Travis and SHAPING SOUND are back with their brand new show, After the Curtain. These visual musicians continue to dazzle audiences as they tell the story of a man fighting to find his creative voice after the death of his one true love. Heart-wrenching, breath-taking and ultimately uplifting, this is one dance show that audiences will remember forever.

About Lott Entertainment Presents

Entertainment Presents’ mission is to fill the void in the Houston performing arts scene by bringing shows from outside our city that push the boundaries of traditional theatre. With provocative, immersive and deliberately different works, we will provide Houstonians with a wide range of new experiences. Lott Entertainment Presents will bring shows from outside Houston that would not otherwise be seen in this city. Lott Entertainment Presents will utilize its traveling artists to enrich the lives of local artists by providing valuable educational programs such as audition workshops, singer/songwriter workshops and artist conversations. For more information, please visit http://www.lottentertainmentpresents.com.

About Joe’s Pub at the Public

Named for The Public Theater’s visionary founder Joe Papp, Joe’s Pub at The Public opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub presents the best in live music and performance nightly, committed to diversity, production values, superior acoustics community and artistic freedom. The venue also offers unique opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that has fostered new work by Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Bridget Everett, Allen Toussaint, Justin VivIan Bond & Kenny Mellman and more. Joe’s Pub presents talent from all over the world, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually.

The Public Theater, which houses five theaters at its Astor Place home, in addition to Joe’s and Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater. For more than 60 years, The Public, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, has continued the work of Papp by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, leading the dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. The Public’s programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s commitment to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, a national initiative that is designed to cultivate new models of engagement with artists, audiences and community; and Mobile Unit, which tours productions to underserved audiences. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 168 Obies, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 OCC Awards, 13 NY Drama Critics Awards, and five Pulitzer Prizes, most recently for the musical Hamilton. For more information, please visit www.joespub.org.

[Source:-Broadway ]

Walking the National Farm Machinery Show with a blogging friend

Unverferth-gooseneck-hitchWe got an early sneak peek at some new tools at the National Farm Machinery Show with blogger and friend Daryl Bridenbaugh – check them out.

The National Farm Machinery Show is a hot place to be in Mid-February and there’s plenty to see. Our team works to capture as much new equipment and tech as we can, but there’s also a fun FIN tradition. Our blogger Daryl Bridenbaugh and his wife, Peggy, join us for the day before after they’ve spent time walking through the facility.

They see things that catch their interest and using that as a guide, we pull together a little preview gallery. This year is no different. This gallery offers you a quick look at a few interesting items that’ll e on hand for visitors to the show. We also found that many exhibitors were still getting their spaces ready for doors to open, yet we still found some interesting tools for an early look.

So click away to see some interesting items we found at the show.

[Source:-Farm Industry news]

3 Major SEO Steps for a Website Relaunch

3 Major SEO Steps for a Website Relaunch

You’ve had the same site for years. Finally, you get the funding for a new one. The team’s been working together for weeks and you’re finally ready to re-launch. Where do you start?

The website relaunch process is a critical time for SEO. It  involves planning, transition, and post-launch phases of activities to ensure that previously earned relevancy and authority are transferred from the old site to the new. Also to make sure there are no hidden issues that tank rankings and traffic.

The three phases will take a varying level of resources and time depending on the size of the site, as well as the goals of the site. A 50-page informational site will be much easier than a 50,000-page e-commerce website in many regards. Note that I’m assuming the new site is mobile-friendly and the UX team confirms it passes Google’s testing tools–a given in 2017.

Website Relaunch SEO Planning Excel File Image

Website Relaunch SEO Planning Excel File

Phase 1: Planning

This phase is crucial to project success. Speaking from experience, the goal is for the re-launch to be a well-planned process absent of surprises. In the planning phase, there are several important initiatives:

  • Page URLs
  • Keyword mapping
  • Title and meta descriptions
  • Canonical tags

Planning doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. It can be as simple as starting with an Excel file plotting page URLs for the new site. Hopefully up to this point a sitemap has been developed that you can work from. If you have a development or staging site in place, you can likely run Screaming Frog or your crawler of choice to export the HTML page files.

And if you’re not getting results when trying to crawl, it’s likely your developer is doing the right thing and disallowing all robots from indexing the site with a disallow “all” in the robots.txt file (robotstxt.org is a great resource). You might need to remove this for a moment while you crawl the site.

Once the URL list for the new site is set, you can make updates in your Excel file to optimize based on content structure and desired page groupings. You’ll likely need to work with your UX team and developer on this. From the page list, it’s easy to identify the pages that carry over from the old site and those that will change. Now you’re ready to identify the pages and sections that should be targeted for specific keywords.

After identifying the pages and focus keywords/topics on the new site, it is time to plan or write title and meta description tags. If you have a static site or one that requires manual tag writing, this is the time to get to work.

Write custom tags for each page and tailor them to the focus keyword(s) and relevant topics of the page. Don’t forget to follow best practices on the character length (Moz has helpful information for titles and descriptions). If you have a large site or one that’s very data-driven, you will likely need to write formulas for the tags you want for your development team.

For example, on an e-commerce site, write tag structure for category, sub-category, and product pages. This will include a lot of fill-in-the-blank slots from the database for the developer to map specific fields as well.

The last aspect of the planning phase requires questions of the technology you’re using on the new site, and of your development and IT teams. It’s the canonical aspects of the site to ensure that the search engines properly see one site for indexing. Beyond the more obvious needs where there’s known duplicate content (products in multiple categories), it’s important to understand if URLs with and without trailing slashes render as separate pages or redirect to one another.

Additionally, the root domain global 301s are important to plan and talk through at this phase. Changing these after the re-launch can be a risky and painful process. Switching all URLs to https after the fact can be a much bigger deal than it seems.

Phase 2: Transition

The second phase of SEO for a relaunch includes:

  • 301 redirects
  • XML sitemap
  • Robots.txt

These items may start prior to launch and possibly alongside planning items, but they’ll be a focus when the site actually launches.

301 redirects are the most important aspect of a relaunch. I always expect to be on call when a site launches to catch missed 301s and other issues that arise. It’s important to plan–using the spreadsheet discussed earlier or other similar methods–to map out the old site pages to the most relevant new site page. In some cases, this is a straightforward process–and in other projects, it can take days or weeks of work.

To track down all old URLs that need to be redirected, don’t just crawl and look at the old (current) website. Do a “site” operator search in Google, and look at Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to see what URLs the search engines index and deem important. Create this list and hand it to your dev team or implement it yourself through the CMS.

Once the site launches, you need to go back to your redirects list and spot check the old site links to make sure the redirects took effect. Make note of those that go to 404 pages or have issues. Also, make sure they are 301 redirects and not other server codes–there are a bunch of web based tools like redirectcheck.com to help you verify. Lastly, go back and perform that “site” search in Google again and click on links throughout the results pages to make sure nothing was missed or configured improperly at launch.

When your redirects are in good shape, it’s time to crawl the site and develop a new XML sitemap if one isn’t already automatically generated by your CMS. Whether it’s a dynamic or static sitemap, I strongly encourage you to manually review it. Make sure it’s void of duplicate or 404 page URLs. This is an important step because the search engines lose trust in your sitemap if there are errors.

When your sitemap file is in good shape and you have a solid robots.txt file on the site, it’s time to submit their locations to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Phase Three: Post-Launch

With the launch phase complete, it’s time audit and test the site with these steps:

  • Redirects audit
  • Canonical audit
  • GSC/BWT tests & submissions
  • 30-day auditing
    • 404s
    • Tag issues
    • Canonicals
    • Indexing issues
    • Content and ranking issues
    • Overall traffic issues

In this final phase, some steps will repeat to include review of URLs, tags, canonical structures, redirects, and more. After all, there’s nothing worse than doing the right stuff to this point only to realize a month later that a minor detail was missed and traffic tanked.

Fortunately, Google and Bing provide great diagnostic information in GSC/BWT to make it easy to keep an eye on progress. Google Analytics also can help you to quickly flag any drops in traffic or problems.

It’s critical to monitor the health of the site and the implementation of planned and transition activities at least weekly after launch. This will ensure the search engines give the new site credit for relevancy, the authority status of your old site, plus the enhancements you made for the relaunch.

Don’t waste the time and approvals it took for your team to do a relaunch. Try a three-phased approach like this one to ensure the new site has a firm SEO foundation and promising future to provide a return on investment and opening new opportunities for your SEO strategy.


MenuBar Stats 2 Is a Mac System Monitor With Support for Plugins

Mac: You have tons of options for different system monitors on the Mac, but if you’re looking for something a little more customizable than the rest, MenuBar Stats 2 is worth a look.Like any system monitor, MenuBar Stats can show CPU details, memory info, disk usage, networking, battery life, and more. More interesting is the plugin support. With plugins, you can add your own modules, like temperature or fan speed. Whether more plugins come around is up to developers, but it’s nice the support is there. If you want to give MenuBar Stats a test run, you can check out the demo on the developer’s site.


Why is Turkey holding a referendum?

In one brawl, a government MP alleged an opponent bit into his leg. In another, a plant pot was hurled across parliament. A microphone was stolen and used as a weapon. An independent MP handcuffed herself to a lectern, sparking another scuffle. The parliamentary debate on changing Turkey’s constitution wasn’t a mild affair.

On the surface, it might seem a proposal that would enjoy cross-party consensus: modernising Turkey’s constitution that was drawn up at the behest of the once-omnipotent military after the coup of 1980.

But instead it’s arguably the most controversial political change in a generation, becoming in effect a referendum on the country’s powerful but divisive President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The plan would turn Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential republic, more akin to the United States. Among the numerous changes:

  • The role of prime minister would be scrapped. The new post of vice president, possibly two or three, would be created.
  • The president would become the head of the executive, as well as the head of state, and retain ties to a political party.
  • He or she would be given sweeping new powers to appoint ministers, approve the budget, choose the majority of supreme and constitutional court judges and enact certain laws by decree.
  • The president alone would be able to announce a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.
  • Parliament would lose its right to scrutinise ministers or propose an enquiry. However, it would be able to begin impeachment proceedings or investigate the president with a majority vote by MPs. Putting the president on trial would require a two-thirds majority.
  • The number of MPs would increase from 550 to 600.
  • Presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on the same day every five years. The president would be limited to two terms.

The government – and, principally, President Erdogan – argue that the reforms would streamline decision-making and avoid the unwieldy parliamentary coalitions that have hamstrung Turkey in the past.

Since the president is no longer chosen by parliament but now elected directly by the people, goes the argument, he or she should not have to contend with another elected leader (the prime minister) to enact laws.

The current system is, they say, holding back Turkey’s progress. They even argue that the change could somehow end the extremist attacks that have killed more than 500 people in the past 18 months.

A woman lays flowers by a makeshift memorial in front of the Reina nightclub in IstanbulImage copyrightOZAN KOSE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionHundreds of people have been killed in attacks in Turkey in the past 18 months

A presidential system is all very well in a country with proper checks and balances like the United States, retort critics, where an independent judiciary has shown itself willing to stand up to Donald Trump and a rigorous free press calls him out on contentious policies.

But in Turkey, where judicial independence has plummeted and which now ranks 151 of 180 countries in the press freedom index of the watchdog Reporters Without Borders, an all-powerful president would spell the death knell of democracy, they say.

  • Profile: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s dominant president
  • ‘Open, police!’: The day a Turkish writer’s life changed

Mr Erdogan’s opponents already decry his slide to authoritarianism, presiding over the world’s biggest jailer of journalists and a country where some 140,000 people have been arrested, dismissed or suspended since the failed coup last year. Granting him virtually unfettered powers, says the main opposition CHP, would “entrench dictatorship”.

“The jury is out,” says Ahmet Kasim Han, a political scientist from Kadir Has University. “It doesn’t look as bad as the opposition paints it and it’s definitely not as benevolent as the government depicts it. The real weakness is that in its hurry to pass the reform, the government hasn’t really explained the 2,000 laws that would change. So it doesn’t look bright, especially with this government’s track record.”

A boy wearing a Turkish flag in a show of loyalty to the state following the failed coup attempt in July 2015Image copyrightBURAK KARA/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionSince the failed coup 140,000 people have been arrested, dismissed or suspended from their jobs

The governing AK Party had to rely on parliamentary votes from the far-right MHP to lead the country to a referendum. For long, the MHP leader, Devlet Bahceli, opposed the presidential system: “The Turkish nation has never allowed a Hitler,” he once said, “and it will not allow Erdogan to get away with this,” calling it the recipe for “a sultanate without a throne”.

But arm-twisting and rumours that he could be offered one of the vice presidential posts has prompted a spectacular U-turn. The question now is whether he can persuade his party to follow. The party’s deputy chairman and several local MHP officials have already resigned over Mr Bahceli’s stance.

“It seems this is not going Bahceli’s way,” says Dr Kasim Han. “But the naysayers may not feel able to go against the party culture by contradicting the leader.”

Opposition to the reform is led by the centre-left CHP and the pro-Kurdish HDP parties, the latter of which has been portrayed by the government as linked to terrorism. Several of its MPs and the party leaders are now in prison.

Devlet Bahceli, the leader of opposition Nationalist Movement Party, attends the parliamentary session for the debates on a new draft constitution at the Turkish Grand National Assembly
Image captionDevlet Bahceli, leader of the far right MHP, now supports the proposed constitutional changes

AKP and MHP voters who oppose the reform may feel pressured into voting in favour, so as not to be tarnished as supporting “terrorists”, especially since the referendum will take place under the state of emergency imposed after the attempted coup.

“Holding the vote under this state of emergency makes it susceptible to allegations that people don’t feel free to say no,” says Dr Kasim Han. “It casts a shadow over the outcome.”

Polling has been contradictory and Turkish opinion pollsters are notoriously politicised. But all signs point to a very tight race.

With the detail of the constitutional reform impenetrable to many, the referendum has become focused around Mr Erdogan himself: a president who elicits utmost reverence from one side of the country and intense hatred from the other.

The decision as to whether to grant him the powers he’s long coveted will determine the political fate of this deeply troubled but hugely important country.


Create a Blogging Guide for Your Small Business Blog

Have you created a blogging guide for your small business blog? Why do you need one?

At first glance, blogging may seem to require little effort. Just sign up for WordPress, get a hosting company, grab a nice skin (or theme) for your blog, and then start writing. Simple, right?

In theory, it really can be that simple. But, if you’re serious about blogging, it often takes passion — for the topic you’re writing about and for the people who will be helped by reading it. This means that you will probably need time to craft posts that are so valuable that it’s almost impossible for them to not be helpful (even to at least one person).


It also means that it will be helpful if you can be consistent about sharing quality information over an extended period of time. This is not easy to do (yep, personal experience talking) and the ability to regularly share content will mean that you have to be clear about the main topics you’ll write about.

In order to do all those things well, you will have to be focused and kick distractions to the curb. The process is not always easy to execute. In fact, before you pull out your laptop or tablet and fire up WordPress, you should think about the …

Things You Should Do BEFORE You Start Writing

Ideally, before you write any post, you should have a plan — not just for your individual posts, but also for the process you’ll use to craft juicy pieces of content. This doesn’t mean that you can’t write spontaneous and inspired posts. Of course, you can.

Recommended for YouWebcast, February 16th: Build Your Growth Roadmap in a Day

But, it can help to have a plan so you can capture and funnel your blog ideas into a repository (like Evernote or Trello) for safekeeping until it’s time to turn them into fully developed posts.

How to Create a Blogging Guide

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Plan-Before-You-Write.png.png

Create a Blogging Guide for Your Small Business Blog

Do you have a blogging guide for your small business blog?

So, you will need to come up with some guidelines (a.k.a blog writing system) that you’ll follow and include things like:

  • Capturing blog ideas. How will you keep track blog ideas and resources? Will you use a specific app (like the one’s I mentioned above) or write your ideas down in a notebook?
  • Length of blog posts. Will your blog posts be epic (2000 words or more)? Short and sweet (300-500 words)? Or, somewhere in between? Will you shake things up a bit and have a combination of both epic and short posts?
  • Types of posts. How do you feel about list posts? What about posts that recap interviews with industry leaders and influencers? Will you have a recurring topic? Will you create a blog series? Would you consider created some posts that only have images and videos and no text?
  • Posting schedule. Will you schedule posts once per week? Several times per week? Will you write about specific themes on specific days? Oh, yeah, and will you add guest bloggers to the mix? If yes, what criteria will you use to accept or decline their posts?
  • Writing habits. Will you write every day? Will you write and schedule several posts at once? Will you write the post on the day is scheduled to be published or a day in advance?
  • Using an editorial calendar. Will you use a calendar to plan your posts across several months or will you “write from the heart” and when the mood strikes you? What type of editorial calendar will you use: digital, paper-based, or a plugin?


When you answer these questions (and any others that come up for your specific situation), you’ll know what you’re working with, so to speak. This will be, in essence, a guide for you to follow every time you decide to put your fingers to your keyboard.

You will know exactly what you’re aiming for and this will give you a direction to go in. In other words, you’ll have a clear plan that’s reasonable to follow and keep up with. Planning in advance (start now!) will save you time and conserve your brain power so you can get on with focusing on writing your posts.

What’s your secret sauce? Do you use a blogging guide for your blog?


A Wish List of HoloLens Features That Could Change Everything

“Necessity, not novelty,” is a phrase I use often when it comes to HoloLens development. It would be fair to call it my mantra, or mission statement, as I prototype and explore software creation on this new frontier of mixed reality.

“What kind of experiences will keep people using these devices until the batteries run dry?” This is a question that drives me constantly. As a software developer, those discoveries are the heart of the journey. And if they are not the end goal for some, they are one of the major milestones on that path.As a developer that has bought in wholeheartedly to the Windows Holographic platform and the HoloLens, I spend about 14- 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, writing about, thinking about, or working with them on a constant stream of freelance and personal projects. Of course, I am constantly thinking about the user experience for my applications and how it works within the Windows Holographic environment.

As a result of my constant hunt for smart holographic solutions, I have had many ideas on how to improve the overall experience—some realistic, some not so realistic (yet)—and I’m not the only one. So I put my head together with many of our readers from around the world in the development community, and together we came up with a wish list on sorts of how Microsoft could help us help them expand this ecosystem and make it even more engaging.

  • 3D/live widgets: This one is a bit obvious since they were in the early HoloLens demos, but it’s definitely the most requested. I am sure system performance is one of the factors that drove Microsoft to pull that from the Windows Holographic system that we have at the moment. Which brings up the next point below.
A live widget as seen from Microsoft Build 2015.Image via Microsoft
  • 3D notifications: I believe this one falls under the 3D widgets category, but having an area in a spatial map for notifications would make it easier to build up usage habits for the HoloLens enthusiast, developer, or general user.
  • Better spatial mapping tools: This is another highly requested feature. Spatial mapping is amazing, and adds so much to experiences. That said, it is highly inaccurate. That level of inaccuracy will be fine for the real world, but for the areas that we use our devices regularly in, having sharp corners around walls would make the occlusion illusion more immersive. One potential solution would be the ability to take the spatial map into an external program, edit it so that it has sharp corners and the correct spaces, and then import it back as the data for the HoloLens spatial mapping.
  • The ability to set static versus dynamic areas: This is a continuation of the previous point. Being able to take the spatial map that is generated and determine which surfaces are walls and floors and what is a moveable object could make a real difference in experiences. Spatial understanding does a good job in helping find those things in a real time sense. But if this work was done in a static way, could the sensors not be used for other purposes?
  • Occlusion and proximity throttling: Obviously, if there are live widget-type experiences, they will take up CPU cycles. While these holograms do need to be updated, often their processes and updates could be turned down when the user is not close. Using a combination of occlusion and proximity (direct distance or a pathfinding system) seems an easy way to determine what programs get CPU priority. Well, easy in a relative sense.
  • External persistence for holograms inside unity applications: The blending of Unity applications with the Windows Holographic shell may be a pipe dream, but it is one that makes sense for developers. And maybe it falls on us to come up with some system to make that happen, but it would definitely require some cooperation with Microsoft’s HoloLens engineering team to come to fruition.
    • Multiple desktops: In a world that your entire home or office is now your desktop, the ability to switch modes seems like a very useful ability. As someone that works from home most of the time, and even more so the jack-of-all-trades type, I would definitely benefit from this idea. I use many different types of software depending on what my current project is, and I would love to change modes based on my needs without having to move all of my holograms around.
    • Better interoperability between XAML and Direct 3D: There are many use-cases that come to the mind, of members of the developer community, for taking existing 2D applications and making them work in 3D.
    • The locking of holograms to real world objects: Technically speaking, this one is above my head. I can see image recognition systems that exist that could do this while an object was in view. I imagine certain devices could have some sort of close-range tracking device. Regardless, it’s an interesting suggestion from one of the community developers that could apply to many imaginable use-cases.
    • Above all else, any kind of road map: We know Microsoft can’t spell everything out in the competitive market we are in. It is like handing your competitors your playbook and then wondering why you can’t score a goal. But there are thousands of us out here, wanting to know the hard work we are doing will come to something before long.

    Of course, we see the work going into the HoloToolkit and the HoloLens Companion Kit and know that Microsoft is actively doing much to help out the development community. Neeraj Wadhwa, Angela Hillier, and many others on the Microsoft team are constantly communicating and helping the developers simplify, find, and fix solutions.

  • [Source:-Next realty]

A Strong Theme in the Market Now Is That There Are No Strong Themes in the Market Now

It was one of those deceptive days where the business media talk about the Nasdaq and the DJIA hitting new all-time highs while traders complain about the poor action in many stocks. While the major indices managed to post gains, breadth was negative with about 2,700 gainers to 4,000 decliners. Small-caps lagged again with the Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) down 0.5% and struggling to hold its 50-day simple moving average.

What saved the market today were the big-cap FANG names plus Apple (AAPL) , Boeing (BA) and a few others. Oil had another poor day and biotechnology struggled to hold up after more comments about drug pricing from the Trump administration.

There are two basic themes in the market now. The first is that there are no strong themes other than some outperformance by big-caps. There isn’t any sector that is showing unusual strength and even those that do well seldom follow through.

The other theme is the lack of momentum. The bulls couldn’t build on breakouts, but the bears can’t build on the lack of progress. We are stuck in a range with limited upside and no real downside volatility in months.

Big-cap strength is keeping the indices in an uptrend, but small-cap weakness is causing structural damage under the surface. Careful stock picking is essential. It is easy to take some sizable hits if you are in the wrong small-caps. This market is not bailing you out if you make mistakes.

Have a good evening. I’ll see you tomorrow.

[Source:-Real Money]