IBM Simon Personal CommunicatorThe first ever smartphone in the world, the chunky IBM Simon, is now two decades old.

Reminder of the Different Era

The term “smartphone” was not yet invented when it was launched, but Simon was the first device that has the functions of modern-day mobile phones.

“The Simon wasn’t called a smartphone back then,” said curator Charlotte Connelly. “But it had a lot of the features we see today. It had a calendar, it could take notes and send emails and messages and combined all of this with a cell phone.”

The IBM Simon features a black and white LCD display and touch support with a stylus.

Information Age Exhibition

Available only in the US, the phone was created by computer company IBM. Simon cost $899 and primarily sold to business people.

The mobile phone allows users to write notes, update their calendar, create contacts, and send and receive faxes.

To celebrate its 20th birthday, the IBM Simon will go on display at London’s Science Museum in October. It is part of a permanent exhibition on the history of communication and information technology of the museum.

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Passive income—that is the secret of the rich.

Wealth is something almost everyone is after. If the same is true for you, it’s important to realise that not all income streams are equal. Some are linear, and some are passive.

Linear income is what you get from a regular job. You work eight or nine hours a day 5 or more days a week and someone pays you for your efforts. Passive income, on the other hand, is when you work once, and earn money even if you are just sitting around doing nothing. With very little effort, you earn money—that is the secret.

Here is a guide to creating streams of passive income:

man saving moneyProperty Investments

Resort Brokers echo what’s been said time and again by financial leaders like ANZ, when you invest in real estate and tourism properties and then rent out, you pave the way to the possibility of earning more. You will enjoy the continuous cash flow received every month, the equity built, and the potential appreciation of the property in the long run.

Royalties

Developing a product and writing songs or books and have them licensed out in exchange for royalties. When you start franchising a food business that blows people’s minds with a “secret sauce”, you can collect franchisor fees. You can also buy someone’s share of a song through a writer’s auction. For example, if a songwriter dies, you can bid on a song, and you can receive a royalty check every month.

Websites or Blogs

Successful Internet entrepreneurs have built streams of passive income through their websites. All you really need is $10 for a domain name, and $20 for hosting, and you can be on the road to developing a website that will have you earning more in no time.

You can also try to sign up with a company and sell their products through affiliate marketing. For example, if you start a tech website, you can become an affiliate of anti-virus software or a web hosting company. You can earn thousands of dollars every month if the website receives a good amount of web traffic.

Work smart and focus on your passive income rather than the active income, so you can have a secure financial future. Who knows, you might even become among the world’s richest if you try hard enough.

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reliable seo servicesIt’s clear that search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming a widely used tool, making it more competitive and more expansive. The industry is changing every few months, and it is quite impossible to keep up with your competitors unless you invest in SEO more.

Investing a higher budget for SEO efforts may seem risky, but quality strategies have proven to produce a great return on investment for businesses. Here are some of the reasons you should invest more in SEO:

Cheap Backlinks are No Longer Acceptable

Before, you may have been able to buy your way to the top search engine results, but Google recently made it clear that it will be busting websites that try to “game the system.” This means you have to get rid of the cheap methods you utilize to create backlinks. Article spinning, duplicate content, paid links, and keyword stuffing—these are no longer acceptable, which is why you need to hire professional services from companies that keep up with the latest trends and algorithm updates, SEO expert, SeoResellerProgram.com, says.

Quality Content Marketing Is Not Cheap

For years, you have been hearing that content is king. Not too long ago, you can publish many 350-word blogs every week and gain a significant amount of traffic. Unlike investing in a longer content, this is relatively cheaper. But search engines are getting smarter, as they are able to distinguish between in-depth and fluff content.

Also, according to Google, “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.”Yahoo! and Bing are also more likely to rank longer pieces of content that truly engage with users.

Someone Has to Manage Social Media

You know that social media is important for your business, but you have to admit that hiring someone for a full-time social media manager position wasn’t always your priority. It has always been someone from the company who still does other things aside from managing your social media accounts. Now, it’s time to hire a full-time manager who has actual social media experience, so you can keep up with your competition.

So how much should your SEO budget increase? It depends on your company and your industry. The safest would be raising your budget by 30% and see if you can get a good structure in place.

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While eating is an instinctual activity necessary for survival, some maintain a viewpoint that it should go beyond that, especially today when everyone tries to sophisticate everything. Eating, they say, should be a way to explore the finer things in life. If you share the same philosophy, you might as well call yourself a foodie.

restaurantBut being a foodie doesn’t solely depend on this sentiment. It requires knowledge and skill, all of which will differentiate you from self-proclaimed and pretentious connoisseurs. Listed below are some of things you should know and do before finally calling yourself a legit foodie.

Learn to Judge the Ambiance

Restaurants like Hatch & Co. often say that the environment can significantly affect the eating experience. If you want to learn how to judge the ambiance, consider the following factors: the theme, the lighting, the seating, and the noise level.

Hone Your Sense of Smell

A dining experience becomes more delightful when you can smell the aroma of the fare you’re about to enjoy, as the sense of smell and the sense of taste are heavily interrelated. To make your olfaction more acute, associate the smell with a certain memory or recollection. Come up with your own descriptions and record them. For instance, you may define the odour of boiled broccoli as something that borders between ‘grassy’ and ‘mouldy.’

Learn Some Science

This doesn’t mean that you will have to learn how carbohydrates disintegrate into simpler compounds. It’s enough that you know that flavour has some evolutionary bases, and it helps you determine if you’re getting enough nutrients.

Master the Art of Reverse-Engineering

When foodies find a satisfying fare, one of their first instincts after eating it is to deconstruct the recipe. In doing so, they won’t ask the chef about how it was cooked or look for ready-made recipes on the web. They will personalise the deconstruction and incorporate new ingredients to make the recipe better.

Other skills that you need to hone include socialisation, culture appreciation, and writing. These are important in building your authority should you wish to document your gastronomic adventures and make them public.

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house on fireLosing your place in a fire has devastating consequences. There is no doubt that fires are among the worst situations that can happen in residential or commercial places. It is feared by many as it can damage almost everything in its path, with the capability to raze structures to the ground in an instant.

Most fires break out because of faulty electrical wires and appliances, overloaded circuits and worn out cords. According to U.S. fire department records, there were more than 40, 000 cases of house fires reported nationwide. There are several ways to prevent an electrical fire. But in case it has already started, here are things that you should do:

Call the Authorities

Even if you think you can put out the fire yourself, it is better to contact the fire department for your safety. A fireman, after all, knows all fire safety measures and what to do in this situation.

Reach for Fire Extinguishers

Don’t panic; grab a fire extinguisher and put out the flame. Fire equipment companies such as FireFoeUS.com say a fire extinguisher for sale should indicate its type to determine its suitability in a fire situation. For electrical fires, a Class-C or multi-purpose ABC extinguisher must be used. Using A or B may not put out the fire or only worsen the situation.

Don’t Use Water

The most common element that people use to put out a fire is water. It is impractical in electrical fires, however, as it will only conduct a bigger blaze and water splashed on fire creates more smoke. If you don’t have extinguishers, you can use baking soda or other sodium bicarbonate materials to repress the flame.

Turn Off Main Breakers

Electrical fires easily spread because a burnt wiring may cause explosion in multiple areas where electricity travels. When a fire starts, shut off the main breaker in the house. Do this with dry hands to avoid electrocution.

If the authorities are on their way and you have utilized all necessary measures yet still failed to control the fire, leave the house immediately. Take your family to safety; don’t try to save your things if the fire has already spread around the house. No material thing is more valuable than your life.

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durable roofEach country and culture has their own take on how beautiful architecture should look like. But, as countries shared ideas with each other, a single standard emerged. Now, almost every house in the world is similar in design. One can hardly tell the difference between a New York home from one in Singapore, without the surrounding area as the context. It was a great turn for functionality, but not much in the way of creativity.

This is true for roofs in particular. There are only two ways to build a roof: flat and inclined. Sure, homeowners have their pick of materials, but that doesn’t do much for the bigger picture. The variations – if any – are so rare that nothing really pops out. They still look like normal roofs at the end of the day.

Fortunately, the creative spirit hasn’t died in the craft, as evidenced by the roofing designs from Brooklyn, NY contractors. There are examples all over the world of alternative roofs as well, which span from the beautiful to the downright weird.

An Ode to Nature

Starting with the beautiful, the most eye-catching roof in the world has to be the Brazilian Leaf Roof just outside of Rio de Janeiro. The flower-shaped roof has six semi-dome leaves that feature open-air verandas to emphasize the character of the house as an interaction with nature.

True, other roofs are definitely more amazing and eye-catching than the banana leaf roof. Few others, however, are so true to their individual vision than the design. The message is clear and simple: environmentalism, nature, and simplicity. Every aspect of the house lives those principles and the roof is the perfect icing on the cake.

Head over Roof

For every beautiful design, there are always a couple of head scratchers. The up-sided roof in Seixal, Madeira is a big one. It’s what happens when you take a normal inclined roof and flip it upside down. Arguing for the roof’s aesthetic nature can be difficult, but it’s literally a functional nightmare.

Water will collect in the middle groove when it rains, and the flashing is a glaring weak point where leaks can develop faster than usual.

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groceryHow often do you get to the checkout counter and just gape at the price? Or does your shopping take ages because you keep agonising over which things to buy? Most of the time, we buy too much of things we don’t really need, and it’s the rubbish bin that winds up benefiting.

We need to make every minute and dollar count, so here are tips that will help you cut your grocery bill and shopping time in half.

1. Shop online – People go online for just about everything these days, and grocery shopping is no exception. You can find great deals and browse a wide variety of products with just a few mouse clicks, and you can quickly check recipes to find out how much you actually need to order.

Most Australian cities have reputable online shops, selling everything you could find in your local supermarket. Learning to purchase meat from online stores means that you save on gas and don’t have to haul heavy grocery bags to your front door every time you need something.

2. Make a meal plan – Determine what meals you will prepare for the week, and what ingredients are needed. This allows you to create a complete grocery list, and curbs the tendency to overbuy. You no longer have room to say “I might need this,” and you’ll have an accurate estimate of what your groceries will actually cost.

3. Learn to use what you have – Your cupboards, fridge, and pantry probably contain enough food to whip together some great improvised meals for at least a week. Even if that’s not the case, having an accurate inventory of your food stores makes sure that you will use what you have, rather than forgetting and accidentally buying more of it.

4. Eat well before shopping – This might seem silly, but people do tend to buy more than they need when hungry. Have a good meal before grocery shopping, and you’ll be (somewhat) immune to the delicious looking displays.

5. Look at other supermarkets – If you’ve only been shopping at one place for years, you’re missing out on sales and deals offered by others. Even if your local supermarket has a great loyalty program, there’s no reason you can’t shop somewhere else once or twice a month to take advantage of rock bottom prices.

Follow these tips and see how it works for you.

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red carYour car represents your style and personality. This means you have to take care of it the way you take care of yourself. For some people, giving their ride a new look is essential, as well. Accessorising a vehicle could be the best way you can make it become a head turner the next time it hits the road.

With the increasing number of car servicing companies today, modifying your vehicle by adding different accessories is easy. The challenge is coming up with the best look for your ride. According to JTW Autoparts, a wholesale supplier of recycled parts in Australia, there are three ways to master the art of accessorising a vehicle.

Be Specific

Do not let your playful imagination deceive you. While you can do anything you want with your car, you still need to make up your mind and choose a specific look. Do you want to give it a vintage look or a futuristic effect? Maybe you want to incorporate the name and logo of your favourite sports team or just pick random designs you saw on TV or in a magazine. If you are unsure about what you really want, ask car aficionados for suggestions. They might have design samples that will give you an inspiration and will let your creative juices flow.

Look Beyond the Visuals

Sure, manufacturers will produce visually appealing parts and accessories because that’s what the customers are looking for. When buying an item for your car, ask yourself whether it’s ideal or practical. Being attractive doesn’t always mean it’s useful and functional. Go for accessories that fit your lifestyle and serve more than one purpose. Buying quality used or recycled parts is a good option if you have a tight budget. This will help you get the best value for your hard-earned money. This way, you can save a few more for maintenance concerns.

Easy on Upgrades

It’s easy to pick items from the parts list, especially if you have a big budget. Those new leather seats, decals, and other accessories are too tempting. The range of product options makes choosing the right items a bit more difficult. Remember that sometimes, less is more. Take it easy on upgrades and avoid over accessorising your car. Adding a few, but functional features will keep it stylish, clean, and classy.

Shop for the best car accessories from the parts centre near you. Expert mechanics can install those new or recycled components while you wait.

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There are many reasons and arguments that may prevent you from buying a home. Many think the price of a house and land is too high that owning one is not practical. Some believe that taxes are too steep when you own a house.

house and lotWhile these insights may have a ring of truth to them, owning a home can still be one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make. This is especially true if you get to make the good reasons behind such a decision outweigh the benefits of renting, more especially if you’re looking at the big picture and thinking long term. Below are the explanations that will make you change your doubting mind about permanently owning a home.

You Can Invest Further

You can use the property as an investment vehicle. For one, you can rent it out. Some rent out their homes to cover the remaining mortgage costs. If you had paid your mortgages sooner and faster than you expected, you may also think of selling it. You might get bigger money, Redink Homes says, as property values almost always improve, especially if you maintained your home’s beauty with the right service providers.

You Have the Right to Brag

Pride may not be a tangible benefit, but a bit of it—in the context of home ownership—can make you feel like you’re an accomplished person. As a matter of fact, you already are. Owning a home is a definitive sign that a person is advancing in life in terms of career and maturity. It also gives people an impression that you’re a person of commitment, knowing that paying for the house and land may take a long process.

Owning a House and Land Package Gives Equity

Renting also means paying for something that will never become yours. If you buy a house and land, you’re actually building equity with each payment you make on time. Later on, you can use this equity and your history of being a good payer to improve your credit standing or borrow money from lending institutions if you’re thinking to remodel your home.

Homeowners have certain rights that won’t be experienced by renters. When you’re a tenant, you’re expected to comply with a specific set of guidelines, which will usually prevent you from doing what you want. This is not the case if you’re a homeowner.

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web designsHaving a successful business in the digital age calls for a need to make a formidable presence in the World Wide Web.

Experienced Birmingham website designers can connect your local business with the rest of the world, making the opportunity for profit larger than ever. Doing this, however, requires solid web designs. It takes only a few seconds for online users to change their mind and take their business elsewhere. The simplest and most effective way to keep them with you is by providing them with exceptional web design.

Here are some essential tips on optimising web design:

Loading Time

Fast load times are crucial. Remember that a browser’s attention span is most likely limited. With so many options to choose from on the Internet, slow loading pages are likely to cause web surfers to browse elsewhere.

Keep it simple

The quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line. Simple web pages are the easiest ones to navigate. Get rid of clutter. Not only does an overload of information overwhelm visitors, but it gives a messy impression of your company as well.

Use Appropriate colours

Your web page should be well coordinated in terms of colour. Make it as visually appealing as possible. This is a simple rule, but is just as important. In fact, web pages that are not colour coordinated can be eyesores that repel visitors and potential conversions away.

Easy navigation

The ease with which browsers can navigate your web page is a significant aspect of good web design. Having a website with links that lead nowhere makes. Always keep the user in mind. Make it as user-friendly as you possibly can.

Make sure your links work

There is probably nothing more frustrating to a potential online client than clicking on dead ends. Web designs should not only focus on mere aesthetic value, but also on the overall quality of the browsing experience.

There is no single formula for creating the perfect web design. There has to be a balance of proven techniques and creativity. Keep these tips in mind and you will create the best possible web designs for the most optimum results possible.

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