Tether Launches HTML5-Based iPhone Tethering Solution

Tether, the company behind the iTether iOS app that Apple approved and then quickly removed from the App Store, has a new tethering solution. This time, it’s HTML5 based and doesn’t require downloading anything from the App Store.

“It was clear from our initial application iTether, there was enormous demand within the iPhone ecosystem,” says Tim Burke, CEO of Tether. “It was unfortunate that Apple decided to remove our application, only 20 hours after we launched. However, this caused us to innovate. Our underlying patent-pending technology behind Tether for iPhone is unlike anything on the market.”

Tether’s new version for the iPhone is purely based on HTML5 and creates a completely wireless connection over AdHoc. This circumvents the need of buying the application directly from Apple’s App Store and allows any iPhone or iPad with a data connection to allow tethering.

The service costs $30 per year and can be ordered through Tether’s website.

Article source: http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/09/tether-launches-html5-based-iphone-tethering-solution/

Join Millstone Farm "Glean Team" and Help the Hungry in Fairfield County

The Millstone Farm “Glean Team” made its first visit to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County on Friday, February 24 with a donation of 32 pounds of spinach gleaned from The Hickories, a family-owned farm in Ridgefield, Connecticut. 

Gleaning at The Hickories was the first of what Millstone’s patrons and farmers intend to be a regular occurrence throughout the 2012 growing season. The goal of Betsy and Jesse Fink, owners of Millstone Farm, is to gather and train a volunteer task force that will harvest fresh food offered up by local farmers and deliver it to those in need. Millstone Farm hopes to engage communities in southern Connecticut and formalize a gleaning program in the area to help local farmers reduce the amount of produce that may go to waste in their fields. Although gleaning is usually thought of as a warm-weather activity, Dina Brewster of The Hickories offered a crop of winter spinach to the Glean Team, prompting the inaugural event. Millstone Farm’s Annie Farrell and three apprentices spent just over an hour harvesting 32 pounds of spinach in one of the farm’s hoop houses. Less than an hour later, managers at the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County happily accepted the leafy greens, which produced 64 servings for their recipients. 

Lesley Benton, who began her Millstone Farm apprenticeship in February, said of the gleaning program, “It becomes clear very quickly that farmers must focus on making as much profit as possible from their products, because it’s difficult to make a living in the industry. It is wonderful to feel that, as farmers, we also have so much we can give back to the community. We are not just donating food; we are helping provide wholesome nourishment to those who often do not have any access to it.” To expand the Glean Team, Millstone Farm is looking for enthusiastic volunteers who would like to learn about harvesting vegetables, visit farms in the area when crops are available to glean, and help get fresh food to the hungry in Fairfield County.

Please email 
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 to learn more about the program. You can also donate to the Millstone Farm Charitable Fund at the Fairfield County Community Foundation to support our gleaning program, the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, and other nonprofit partners of Millstone Farm. Please contact 

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 to learn more.

Article source: http://hamlethub.com/redding-entertainment/cat/fundraisers/8938-join-millstone-farm-qglean-teamq-and-help-the-hungry-in-fairfield-county

Greece Deal Triggers $3B in Default Swaps: ISDA

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Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Evangelos Venizelos, Greece’s finance minister, during a news conference in Athens on March 9, 2012.

Evangelos Venizelos, Greece’s finance minister, during a news conference in Athens on March 9, 2012. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Greek Credit Event Is `Technical Issue,' Humes Says

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Hans Humes, president of Greylock Capital Management, talks about the credit event declared by the International Swaps Derivatives Association with regard to Greece’s use of collective action clauses forcing investors to take losses under the nation’s debt restructuring.
The ISDA’s determinations committee ruled the use of CACs is a restructuring credit event, triggering payouts on $3 billion of default insurance. Humes speaks with Adam Johnson, Trish Regan and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Greek Default Swaps Payouts, Market Reaction

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Peter Tchir, founder of TF Market Advisors, talks about the International Swaps Derivatives Association’s determination that Greece’s debt restructuring will trigger payouts on default insurance.
He speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

ISDA Made `Right Call' on Greek Swaps, Harris Says

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Michael Harris, director of trading at Campbell Co., and John Herrmann, president of Herrmann Forecasting LLC, talk about the triggering of payouts on Greek default insurance and the U.S. economy.
They speak with Trish Regan, Sara Eisen and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Tanious, Schoenberger on Greece, Strategy

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Joseph Tanious, a market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, and Todd Schoenberger, a managing director at Landcolt Trading LLC, talk about Greece’s debt restructuring, the global economy and investment strategy.
They speak with Trish Regan, Lisa Murphy and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Greek CAC Use Not Necessarily Credit Event

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Italy’s Deputy Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli said the use of collective action clauses in a Greek debt restructuring won’t necessarily constitute a credit event.
David Tweed reports from Milan on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse” with Maryam Nemazee. (Source: Bloomberg)

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A Pedestrian Passes The Greek Parliament

A Pedestrian Passes The Greek Parliament

A Pedestrian Passes The Greek Parliament

Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Greece’s use of collective action clauses forcing investors to take part in the sovereign restructuring should trigger $3 billion of insurance payouts under rules governing credit-default swap contracts.

Greece’s use of collective action clauses forcing investors to take part in the sovereign restructuring should trigger $3 billion of insurance payouts under rules governing credit-default swap contracts. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Greece’s use of collective action
clauses forcing investors to take losses under its debt
restructuring triggers payouts on about $3 billion of default
insurance, the International Swaps Derivatives Association

A total 4,323 credit-default swap contracts may now be
settled after ISDA’s determinations committee ruled the use of
CACs is a restructuring credit event, the industry group said in
a statement today. Before the ruling, the cost of five-year
Greek swaps rose to a record $7.68 million upfront and $100,000
annually to insure $10 million of debt.

A settlement may bolster confidence in the $257 billion
government-debt insurance market that’s used by banks, hedge
and institutional investors to protect against losses or
to speculate on creditworthiness after Greece’s restructuring
tested the viability of the swaps as a hedge. ISDA rejected a
request on March 1 to declare that swaps were triggered because
the European Central Bank’s exemption from losses effectively
subordinated private investors.

‘Expedited’ Auction

“It’s important to keep investor confidence in this
instrument as it will affect the ability of sovereigns to issue
bonds,” according to Alessandro Giansanti, a senior rates
strategist at ING Groep NV in Amsterdam, who said the decision
will “restore confidence” in the market. “If you want to
attract investor demand, you have to offer them an instrument
that will allow them to hedge exposure, and CDS is the best
instrument for that.”

Swaps traders will hold an “expedited” auction March 19
to “maximize” the number of bonds that can be used to set
payout amounts, New York-based ISDA said on the committee’s
website today. Auctions, which set a recovery value on the
underlying bonds, typically are held about a month after credit
events are triggered.

Policy makers including former European Central Bank
President Jean-Claude Trichet opposed payouts on Greek credit-
default swaps on concern traders would be encouraged to bet
against failing nations and worsen the region’s debt crisis.

A swaps trigger “raises the question of which country is
next and which banks are most exposed,” Hank Calenti, a bank
analysts at Societe Generale SA in London, wrote in a note.
“Less than six months ago we had the head of the ECB exhorting
that there must be no credit event on Greece,” he wrote.

Swaps Stigma

While policy makers had hoped to achieve debt
sustainability in Europe’s most indebted nations without
triggering default swaps, political determination to avoid the
stigma of a credit event waned as Greece struggled to meet the
terms of its bailout. Standard Poor’s downgraded the nation to
selective default on Feb. 27 after the government retroactively
inserted CACs into bond terms.

Greece reached its target for participation in the debt
restructuring after using CACs to force the hand of holdouts,
with investors in 95.7 percent of the bonds taking part.

“I’ve been surprised throughout at the strong desire not
to trigger CDS,” said Elisabeth Afseth, a fixed income analyst
at Investec Bank Plc in London. “This should be good for anyone
seeking protection elsewhere, such as Spain or Italy.”

Credit-default swaps on Greece now cover $3.16 billion of
debt, down from about $6 billion last year, according to the
Depository Trust Clearing Corp. That compares with a swaps
settlement of $5.2 billion on Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in


ISDA Chief Executive Officer Robert Pickel said the actual
payout on Greece credit swaps will be “much smaller” than the
net amount reported by DTCC.

While there were concerns at that time about a daisy chain
of losses if counterparties failed to meet their commitments,
the settlement of swaps guaranteeing debt of Lehman, as well as
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were “orderly” and caused no major
disruptions for the market, according to regulators.

Swaps on western European governments can pay out on a
credit event triggered by failure to pay, restructuring or a
moratorium on payments. A restructuring event can be caused by a
reduction in principal or interest, postponement or deferral of
payments or a change in the ranking or currency of obligations,
according to ISDA rules. Any of these changes must result from
deterioration in creditworthiness, apply to multiple investors
and be binding on all holders.

‘Range of Obligations’

The determinations committee which decides whether a credit
event has occurred consists of representatives from 15 dealers
and investors. The group, which includes Deutsche Bank AG (DBK),
Pacific Investment Management Co. and Morgan Stanley, rules
after a request is made by a market participant.

In a restructuring credit event investors have the right to
choose whether to settle their default swap contracts.

The determinations committee, which will next decide which
bonds can be used in the auction to set the payout amount, “is
looking at a range of obligations that are currently outstanding
or may be outstanding once some of these exchanges occur,”
Pickel said in a conference call with reporters today.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Abigail Moses in London at
Mary Childs in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Paul Armstrong at
Alan Goldstein at

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Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/greek-debt-deal-might-trigger-3-billion-of-default-swaps-under-isda-rules.html

The state of web browsing in Windows 8

Windows 8 web browsing (IE10 in Metro)

It’s surprising: So much has been said about Windows 8, and yet one of the most important aspects — web browsing — has hardly been tackled at all. The vast majority of all time spent in front of a PC is spent inside a web browser, usually surfing Facebook, YouTube, or Google — and yet here we are, judging a beta product on the interaction between the legacy Desktop and newfangled Metro Start Screen, and threatening to leave it all behind in favor of Ubuntu Linux.

The fact is, and as much as we hate to admit it, the web surfing experience should probably be the single most important aspect when picking an operating system. By “web surfing experience” I don’t simply mean “HTML5 compatibility” or “JavaScript performance,” either. I’m talking about the whole caboodle: security, privacy, underlying APIs for improved performance, resilience to attacks, funky features (bookmark sync, pinned sites), and standards compliance.

Now, for the most part, the combined browser-and-OS experience is very similar across the board. Hardware acceleration is a little bit iffy on OS X, and Chrome definitely works better in Windows, but for the most part there isn’t a major differentiator. That all changes with Windows 8.

Standards compliance and features

Windows 8 pinned site in Start ScreenWindows 8 is odd because it’s a desktop operating system, but with all sorts of mobile-friendly (tablet) tweaks thrown into the mix. As a result, there’s that sparse, full-screen Metro interface of course, with a full set of navigational gestures — but also, in a rather odd twist, Metro web browsers won’t be allowed to run any plug-ins (Flash, Silverlight, Java, and so on) to ensure that the Metro interface is reliably responsive. Furthermore, on the Desktop side of things, Windows 8 has Reset and Refresh, two features that will be positively awesome for mom-and-pop computers that get bogged down with malware, toolbars, and the like. The ability to pin websites to the Start Screen as live tiles is neat, too, providing a new and exciting way of accessing your favorites/bookmarks.

Feature-wise, IE10 looks like it be comparable to the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome (though still with less support for the full HTML5 spec, and no WebGL), and with the whole Microsoft Account, automatic-synchronization-between-all-Windows-8-devices, IE10 finally brings bookmark and password sync to the table. IE10 also supports most popular CSS3 features, Web Workers, Cross-Origin Resource Sharing, and more.

It’s mostly subjective, but IE10 feels sensationally fast, too, especially under Metro with its slick UI. In some rudimentary benchmarking, IE10′s JavaScript performance is significantly faster than beta versions of Firefox and Chrome.

Metro vs. Desktop

One of the bigger FUD bubbles surrounding web browsing on Windows 8 is the Metro/Desktop divide. Windows 8 will ship with a Metro version of IE10 and a Desktop version — but except for the user-facing interface, they are actually identical browsers. Now, there was some confusion about whether other browsers could also be “hybrids” like this, but recently Microsoft confirmed that it would be possible in an MSDN white paper [PDF].

Basically, assuming Google and Mozilla (and Opera and Apple) provide a suitable Metro interface, they will be able to provide one installable package that puts their browser both on the Desktop and in Metro. IE10 will be the default Metro browser in Windows 8, but just like on the Desktop browsers will have the option of becoming the default handler for all HTTP and HTTPS content.

The only problem is, that white paper was the first sign that Microsoft would even allow other browsers into the Metro interface. Mozilla has stated that it wants to produce a Metro version of Firefox, but it couldn’t begin work until now. Google is in the same boat; it will have to produce a Metro version of Chrome. In short, the third-party browser vendors now have about six months to develop a Metro browser, while Microsoft will have had more than 18 months to polish Metro IE10 until it shines. If the Metro versions of third-party browsers aren’t available for the retail release of Windows 8, Microsoft could have some antitrust issues on its hands (especially in Europe).

With specific regards to the Desktop, all browsers will continue to work with Windows 8 in the same way that they worked with Windows 7; they’ll just be slightly faster, thanks to the underlying tweaks made to the Windows kernel and system services. I have tested the stable and beta versions of all major browsers, and they all work fine in Windows 8.

Windows 8 App StoreWeb apps

Finally, a word about one of the hottest but most confusing topics: web apps. IE10 does not support web apps in the same way that Chrome does (packaged apps through the Web Store), nor does Microsoft have any plans to support Mozilla’s Open Web Apps (which are packaged in a different way to Chrome). With IE10, all you get is pinned sites, just like IE9. Now, in some ways this is good — different packaging is a pain in the ass for both consumers and developers — but it also means that developers can’t sell web apps to IE10 users (and yes, while we’re at it, IE10 still doesn’t support add-ons like Chrome or Firefox).

On the other hand, though, developers can actually write Metro apps in HTML5 and JavaScript that can then be sold through the Windows Store. These apps can’t be opened in Desktop or Metro versions of IE10, but it should be fairly easy to port an HTML5 website or web app to Metro.

Article source: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/121911-the-state-of-web-browsing-in-windows-8

London 2012: Olympic security cost raises concern among MPs

The Olympic Stadium on 6 March 2012The Olympic Stadium “must not become a white elephant”, say MPs

MPs have raised concerns the London 2012 Olympics may go over budget and said it was “staggering” initial estimates about security costs were so wrong.

The Public Accounts Committee’s report also warned the stadium must not become a white elephant.

The government insists it is confident the event will come in under budget.

The Games and legacy projects are expected to cost about £11bn, the report said.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said: “The venues and infrastructure of the London Olympic Games are on track to be delivered on time and within budget.

Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson

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The minister for sport Hugh Robertson denied any overspend

“The Olympic Delivery Authority’s management of the building programme has been exemplary.

“However, the £9.3bn public sector funding package is close to being used up and we are concerned about whether the running of the Games will be held within budget.

“Taking into account costs outside the package, the full cost to the public of the Games and legacy projects is already heading for around £11bn.”

‘Weak negotiating position’

Mrs Hodge said the committee was “particularly concerned” about the significant increases in the security bill.

“Locog (the London organising committee) now needs more than twice the number of security guards it originally estimated and the costs have roughly doubled.

“It is staggering that the original estimates were so wrong.”

Labour MP Margaret Hodge

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Margaret Hodge, MP: ‘There are question marks over whether the taxpayer is getting value for money’

The report states Locog has been forced to renegotiate its contract with G4S for venue security from a “weak negotiating position”.

Mrs Hodge added: “There is a big question mark over whether it secured a good deal for the taxpayer.”

Locog’s original estimate for the number of security guards in and around the venues was 10,000 – a “finger in the air estimate”, according to the PAC report.

The government announced in December that figure had more than doubled to 23,700.

Security costs from the Olympics budget have risen from £282m to £553m.

The report said: “Locog itself now has almost no contingency left to meet further costs, even though it has done well in its revenue generation.”

On legacy, the PAC report raises concerns over sports participation targets and the stadium after a deal for West Ham United Football Club to take it over was scrapped.

Mrs Hodge added: “We were promised a strong Olympic legacy but the government has chosen not to adopt the target of one million more people participating in sport by 2013 and plans for the stadium have fallen through.

“It must not become a white elephant.

Legacy ‘unclear’

“The government is dispersing responsibility for delivering the legacy and we need clarity about who is accountable.”

The report states that with only 109,000 new people regularly participating in sport against the original one million target – which the new government chose not to adopt – the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) had got “poor value for money” for the £450m spent through national governing bodies.

“It is unclear what the sporting participation legacy of the Games is intended to be,” says the report.

The DCMS rejected the figure of £11bn of public money being spent on the Games and defended the legacy aims.

Continue reading the main story

London 2012 – One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

A DCMS spokesman said: “With 140 days to go until the Olympic Games, we are on time and under budget, with over £500m worth of uncommitted contingency remaining.

“We are in a strong position and, while we can’t be complacent, are confident that we can deliver the Games under budget.

“As we told the PAC in December we do not recognise the figure of £11bn. We have always been transparent about what is included in the £9.3bn.

“The cost of purchasing the Olympic Park land will ultimately come back to the public purse through the resale of the land after the Games and was therefore not included.

“Funding for the legacy programmes, that the PAC refer to, comes from existing business-as-usual budgets and we have been clear about this. These are for projects designed to capitalise on hosting London 2012 but are not an additional Olympic cost.”

The DCMS said the legacy included regenerating part of east London and tenants had been secured for six out of eight venues on the Olympic Park.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17302068

Views By Country WordPress.com Feature Launched

WordPress announced that there’s a new “Views by Country” option available from the My Stats tab on the WordPress.com homepage. The feature is designed to let bloggers quickly see where there audience is around the globe.

“When you click on or hover over a country name, the map zooms in so you can really get a feel for all the parts of the planet your content has reached,” explains Jeff Bowen on the WordPress.com blog.

“The Summaries page shows you country stats for the previous week, month, quarter and all time, but keep in mind this feature is new and views by country are not available prior to March 2012,” he adds.

He also hints that more features are on the way for the My Stats tab.

WordPress.com blogs have been getting a lot of features lately. Other recent additions include: comment notifications, a Chrome extension, and increased storage limits.

Article source: http://www.webpronews.com/views-by-country-wordpress-com-feature-launched-2012-03

Santorum Predicts a Two-Man GOP Race With Romney After Southern Primaries

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Rick Santorum 2012

Rick Santorum 2012

Rick Santorum 2012

Eric Gay/AP

Rick Santorum, right, prior to attending the Alabama Policy Institute 2012 Presidential Candidate Forum, on March 8, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama.

Rick Santorum, right, prior to attending the Alabama Policy Institute 2012 Presidential Candidate Forum, on March 8, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama. Photographer: Eric Gay/AP

Rick Santorum suggested the
Republican presidential primary would soon become a two-man race
where he will measure up well to front-runner Mitt Romney.

“Hopefully after this Tuesday, this will be a two-person
race, and we can get down to business of deciding whether we
want a conservative or a moderate to go up against Barack Obama,” Santorum said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s
“Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend.

Santorum, 53, said he expects to win tomorrow’s Kansas
caucuses and finish first or second in the March 13 primaries in
Alabama and Mississippi, which would set up a head-to-head race
against Romney.

Though he shied away from directly calling on rival Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race, Santorum cited the former U.S.
House speaker’s defeats in recent primaries as a sign that his
opponent is losing momentum in the race.

Gingrich, who won two primaries — in South Carolina on
Jan. 21 and in his home state of Georgia on March 6 — has
“finished third or fourth everywhere else, which has been a
consistent pattern,” said Santorum. “So we feel pretty good
that it’s now narrowing to a two-person race.”

Top Santorum advisers have called for Gingrich to exit the
race and let the former Pennsylvania senator consolidate the
support of anti-Romney voters.

‘Timid’ on Economy

Speaking from the USS Alabama, Santorum dismissed Romney’s
economic plans as “timid,” saying his proposals would make
deeper cuts in taxes and government spending.

“We have a much, much more – much more bold plan, much
more oriented toward growth, and much more oriented towards
shrinking the size of government,” he said.

Separately, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a co-
chairman of the Romney campaign, expressed confidence that
Romney was well on his way to winning the nomination.

“People always assume that somehow Newt and Rick are
splitting this so-called non-Romney vote, and if one of them
dropped out, that could bode ill for Mitt’s chances,” he said
in another interview on “Political Capital.” “That may not be
true at all, but we can’t control that anyhow, and Mitt is doing
very well. I think he’s going to be the nominee.”

Pawlenty said Romney has better credentials for handling
the economy. “Mitt Romney’s actually done this stuff,” he said
of the co-founder of the private equity firm Bain Capital LLC.
“He was somebody who invested in businesses, grew busineess,
provided jobs.”

Still, Pawlenty said Romney faced “challenging” contests
in Alabama and Mississippi, where many Southern voters remain
skeptical of Romney’s conservative credentials.

Raising Taxes

Santorum worked to underscore those doubts today. When
asked if he believed Romney’s pledge not to raise taxes,
Santorum pointed to his rival’s record, saying Romney raised
taxes and trailed in job creation.

“I don’t know whether he pledged as governor of
Massachusetts not to raise taxes, but he did,” Santorum said.
“He raised it by, you know, close to $1 billion.”

The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget found that
Santorum would lower tax rates by eliminating almost every tax
benefit for individuals not related to charity, mortgage
interest, health care, retirement or children — such as tax
for municipal bonds and state and local property.

Santorum rejected the report, saying his plan wouldn’t
increase taxes on anybody.

Simplifying the Code

“The idea that by simplifying the tax code, that we’re
going to now start including certain areas of income that we
haven’t included in the past are simply not something that we
proposed in any document that we’ve issued or any statement I’ve
made,” he said.

On jobs, Santorum said the Obama administration doesn’t
deserve credit for signs of an improving economy and a payrolls
report today that represents a “step forward.”

“You have an administration that – that has consistently
seen, you know, bad job reports because of bad policies that
have led to those job reports,” he said. “Eventually, you
know, the economy does recover, in spite of the headwinds that
this administration has put in its place.”

Employers added 227,000 jobs in February, more than
forecast, the Labor Department reported in Washington. That
growth held the U.S. unemployment rate steady at 8.3 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Lerer in Washington

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Mark Silva at

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/santorum-predicts-a-two-man-gop-race-with-romney-after-southern-primaries.html

TeamLab Announces the First Online HTML5-based Word Processor – Virtual

Ascensio System SIA introduces the beta version of the first full-fledged HTML5-based TeamLab Document Editor.

Hannover, Germany (PRWEB) March 08, 2012

Ascensio System SIA, the developer of IT solutions for corporate use, reveals details on TeamLab Document Editor, a part of the web office for business collaboration, project, and customer relations management. With the unique technology applied and functionality significantly enhanced TeamLab offers a full-fledged feature-set to maintain document procedures online at a completely new level not yet reached by other manufacturers in the segment.

The cutting edge technology, that drives TeamLab Document Editor, differs from all the other existing counterparts, getting use of all the HTML5 features. It supplies the tool with an array of competitive strengths making it a proper alternative to desktop word processors in terms of functional variety. In contrast to all the existing online word processors TeamLab Document Editor provides…

  • the input that is always identical to the output: a processed file keeps the same style, paragraphs, symbol and line spacing etc. while displaying in any browser on any OS as well as while importing or printing;
  • a proper choice of options for table processing, line spacing, multi-level numbering, text and heading styles;
  • possibilities for hassle-free processing of multi-page reports, business or financial documentation precisely complying with all the corresponding standards;
  • no language barriers as the number of fonts is maximum with hieroglyphs included.

Pursuing a goal to erase boundaries between desktop and online word processors, TeamLab Document Editor combines the convenience and mobility of web applications with the multifunctionality of conventional package doc processors like Microsoft Office Word or OpenOffice Writer.

The introduction of TeamLab Document Editor will take place during the press-conference on Wednesday, 7th March, 2012, 15:30 – 16:30, Room 3B in the Convention Center (CC), CeBIT 2012, Hannover, Germany. If you would like to attend the press conference, please notify us at pr@teamlab.com.

To try the beta version of the new editor right now, visit TeamLab Demo Portal at http://html5.teamlab.com

About TeamLab

TeamLab is a free online service for business collaboration, document, project and customer relationship management that integrates a number of web tools helping employees to organize and automate business processes.

For more information refer to http://www.teamlab.com

About Company

Ascensio System SIA is the developer of IT solutions for personal and corporate use, founded in 2009 with the idea to make any teamwork and small business activities efficient. Currently, the company’s flagship project is TeamLab. Its development is led by a multi-national team of ambitious and high qualified experts in web application design and implementation.

For further information, please contact:

Olga Sorokina

PR Manager,

Ascensio System SIA

Phone: +37166163319

Email: Olga.Sorokina(at)teamlab(dot)com

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebhtml5/editor/prweb9256049.htm

Article source: http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2012/03/08/teamlab-announces-first-online-html5-based-word-processor

ManageWP Powers Over 100000 WordPress Sites Within Three Months of Launch – Virtual

ManageWP, the leading innovator in multiple site management services for WordPress, has achieved incredible growth and has surpassed 100,000 managed WordPress websites within three months of its official launch.

Norfolk, VA (PRWEB) March 08, 2012

The world demands a better way to manage multiple WordPress sites, and ManageWP — which just surpassed 100,000 managed websites — is the first service deemed worthy by the WordPress community to satisfy that demand.

Nearly 55% of all websites in the world that utilize content management systems are powered by WordPress, and many of these passionate WordPress users manage multiple WordPress sites. Unfortunately, the complexity and time requirements involved in managing multiple WordPress sites also continues to grow. Thankfully, a solution to these problems has arrived, and the WordPress community has shown its full support.

ManageWP is designed for WordPress users, by WordPress users, and has been completely built upon WordPress itself. It has shown the world that there is a new and innovative way to manage multiple WordPress sites with ease — and without all of the issues that WordPress multisite presents — all while saving users an incredible amount of time, money, and effort.

Within three months of its launch, ManageWP surpassed 100,000 managed WordPress sites. The service continues to earn the respect of the WordPress community: bloggers, marketers, journalists, media entities, web developers, web hosts, and large corporations — and all others who needs to manage a virtually unlimited number of WordPress sites — have shown their support.

The team continues to meet this growing demand head on. ManageWP now employs over 10 dedicated staff members, continually expands its feature set to meet the demands of its passionate users, and works with high quality third-party WordPress theme and plugin developers — like StudioPress, Gravity Forms, WPMU DEV, WPtouch Pro, and many more — to integrate the management of themes, plugins, and other services directly within ManageWP’s dashboard.

ManageWP goes above and beyond to provide critical functionality and time-saving features for WordPress users:

— Enhanced security features that go far beyond industry standards, including two-factor authentication via SMS and email and OpenSSL encryption

— Customizable scheduling of automated backups, which can be executed at the user’s specified time and stored in various locations, such as Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, and email

— Up-time monitoring tools, which ensure that users are always informed about the status of their websites

— SEO keyword ranking and management tools, which ensures that sites are optimized for search engine conversion

— Effortless deployment tools, which include the ability to create WordPress website templates, and deploy WordPress sites with theme, plugin, and other settings ready to go

— One-click WordPress site login, which eliminates the need to remember multiple passwords for WordPress sites

— Bulk management and publication of content

Sign up for a free, 15-day trial of ManageWP at https://managewp.com/wp-signup.php

About ManageWP:

ManageWP empowers WordPress users to quickly, efficiently, and affordably manage multiple WordPress sites. By providing world-class tools along with a dedicated focus on security, ManageWP enables its users to manage, monitor, backup, secure, publish, and deploy self-hosted WordPress sites of any number and within any hosting environment without hassle.

Media Contact:

James Mowery

Chief Marketing Officer, ManageWP



For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebManageWP/WordPress/prweb9221697.htm

Article source: http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2012/03/08/managewp-powers-over-100000-wordpress-sites-within-three-months-launch-0

Obama’s Re-Election Case Bolstered as Jobs Data Point to Stronger Economy

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Nell Redmond/UPI/Landov

President Barack Obama at the Daimler Trucks North America Freightliner plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina on March 7, 2012.

President Barack Obama at the Daimler Trucks North America Freightliner plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina on March 7, 2012. Photographer: Nell Redmond/UPI/Landov

Rolls-Royce's Guyette on Jobs Report, Economy

March 9 (Bloomberg) — James Guyette, chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce North America, talks about the February employment report, the outlook for U.S. economy and expansion prospects for the company.
Guyette speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)

A surge in new jobs last month that
held the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.3 percent highlights a
strengthening economy that bolsters President Barack Obama as he
approaches the November election .

The jobs report “is another plus for the president,” said
Stu Rothenberg, editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political
Report in Washington.

“These numbers suggest the economy is moving in the right
direction,” he said. “It’s likely to make people more
optimistic, and that’s always, always good for an incumbent

Employers added 227,000 jobs in February, more than
forecast, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The
median projection of economists in a Bloomberg News survey
called for a 210,000 increase. Job growth was revised upward for
the prior two months.

The unemployment rate held steady after dropping for five
consecutive months from 9.1 percent in August.

“For voters who are used to an unemployment rate that
starts with a 9, this looks like progress,” said Dan Schnur, a
campaign adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s first bid for the White House in 2000. “It might not
be a huge victory for Obama’s re-election campaign. But it’s not
going to be a significant drag on him either.”

‘Better Days Ahead’

Obama said the jobs report shows “the economy is getting
stronger” in a speech today to workers at a Rolls-Royce
Holdings Plc (RYCEY)
factory in Prince George County, Virginia, that
manufactures jet engine parts. “It gives me confidence there
are better days ahead.”

Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator seeking the
Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination, said today the
economy is recovering “in spite of” the Democratic Obama
administration’s policies.

“Certainly a quarter of a million jobs, roughly, being
added is a positive step forward,” Santorum said in an
interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend.

The administration “has consistently seen, you know, bad
job reports because of bad policies that have led to those job
reports,” he said. “And eventually, you know, the economy does
recover, in spite of the headwinds that this administration has
put in its place.”

Gasoline Prices

The strengthening economy is beginning to translate into
greater public optimism, even with recent increases in gasoline

Consumer confidence climbed to a four-year high last week,
according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (COMFCOMF). For a fifth
straight week, half of those surveyed also rated their personal
finances as positive, bolstered by a resilient stock market,
faster job growth and rising wages.

The Commerce Department last week reported that the economy
grew at a 3 percent annual pace in the final quarter of 2011, up
from a 1.8 percent gain the prior three months.

A pickup in economic growth during an election year is
helpful to an incumbent president such as Obama, said
Christopher Wlezien, a political science professor at Temple
in Philadelphia and co-author with Robert Erikson of
the forthcoming book “The Timeline of Presidential Elections.”

“It matters more and more as time goes by. It probably
matters more now than it did three months ago,” he said.

Slow Improvement Forecast

While potential threats loom — such as further gasoline
price increases, a war in the Middle East or a worsening of the
European debt crisis — most private forecasts anticipate slow
improvement in the unemployment rate in the months before
Election Day, Nov. 6.

“Over the last several months, the economy has gone from
being a net negative for Obama to probably something close to a
wash,” said Schnur, director of the Unruh Institute of Politics
at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles,
interviewed before the release of the jobs report.

The trajectory of the economy is typically much more
important in presidential elections than the actual unemployment
rate, Wlezien said.

“The point is really are we getting better or are we
getting worse and how fast is it changing,” Wlezien said.
“Whether the unemployment rate is 6 percent or 9 percent
matters less.”

Reagan’s Victory

For example, there was not much difference between the 7.5
percent unemployment rate when President Jimmy Carter lost re-
election in November 1980 and the 7.2 percent rate four years
later when President Ronald Reagan won re-election by a
landslide, he said.

The distinction was the trend lines as each president went
before voters. Under Reagan, unemployment had dropped 1.3
percentage points during the 12 months before the election;
under Carter, joblessness had risen 1.6 percentage points over
the same time period.

The median projection for unemployment during the final
quarter of the year is 8.1 percent, according to a Bloomberg
News survey of 75 economists conducted Feb. 3 to Feb. 9.

Joel Prakken, senior managing director of Macroeconomic
Advisers LLC in St. Louis, who is among those projecting the 8.1
percent jobless rate, said a drop below 8 percent by the
election is “within the margin of error” of the forecast. That
would break a psychological barrier and further boost public
confidence, he said.

Monthly Surprises

“I wouldn’t discount the possibility,” Prakken said.
“It’s surprised many how quickly the unemployment rate has
fallen. If we just got one or two more monthly surprises, it
could be below 8 percent before the election.”

Unemployment rates are difficult to project as the economy
recovers from recession because of the way the indicator is
computed, Prakken said. Only people actively seeking work are
counted as unemployed. As an economy improves, workers who had
given up looking for a job typically resume seeking one and
consequently add to the number of people counted as unemployed.

The economy needs to add 125,000 jobs per month to keep up
with population growth, Prakken said. Employment growth must be
higher if discouraged workers pour back into the job market, as
happened in February.

The labor force participation rate, the share of working-
age people who either have a job or are seeking one, rose in
February to 63.9 percent from 63.7 percent.

Underemployment Drops

The so-called underemployment rate, which includes part-
time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who
want work but have given up looking, decreased to a three-year
low of 14.9 percent from 15.1 percent.

The slow-growth scenario that most forecasters anticipate
sets the stage for a “classic glass-half-full, glass-half-empty
argument” between the political parties over the jobless rate
during the summer, Schnur said.

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney previewed just such a
critique on the night of the Super Tuesday Republican primaries
on March 6, arguing that 8.3 percent unemployment may be the
best the Obama administration can achieve, yet the country “can
do better” than an 8 percent rate.

The White House has focused on the progress made since
Obama took office in January 2009. The U.S. lost 818,000 jobs
that month.

“We’re picking up from a relatively slow growth rate,”
Prakken said. “It’s good news for the president but it’s still
pretty dicey.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Mike Dorning in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Steven Komarow at

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Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/obama-s-re-election-case-bolstered-as-jobs-data-point-to-stronger-economy.html

How to choose an internet Development Company

By: Manish Rawat

From the quote: “A very little information may be a dangerous thing”

As it has already been said by somebody, thus thought of inculcating some previous information concerning net coming up with and net development before you get on with this venture. Today, where there’s a grandeur of skills during this trade, and during this cat-and-dog race of net designers and net developers, you would like to be well equipped with a number of the pointers you need to keep in mind to avoid any harm This involves a short overview from the company’s finish.

Don’t even expect the online the designers and therefore the web development corporations to serve you on a platter. During this experience of designers and developers, do not feel out of the gang and obtain a touch of what you’d be entering into the longer term so you assist greatly by knowing what you would like and listing needed options prior to time—

1. Analytical Mode— a close analysis is what it constitutes the analytical mode. It’s the terribly 1st step among conferences, letters, an interactive spherical of questionnaires to be able to apprehend your, i.e., the clients’ expectations and therefore the purpose of the project, competitors, pricing, audience. Primarily or essentially the general initial read of the project.

2. Pricing— value of the project need to be future issue, which needs your complete set of data. If there’s a positive affirmation, it becomes necessary to be well awake to this market rates. It totally depends upon the merchandise or product and therefore the service you decide for.

Once the project is approved they, can begin performing on it and to elect this, it needs a trifle attention. Beforehand, you would like to hit the net, and simply bear the detailed portfolios of such net style and development corporations.

This should involve straightforward navigation or steering menus, crisp, clean and distinctive pictures and therefore the reinforcing image ought to be kept in mind. Keep a track of the technique or procedure used; the planning company mustn’t overdo the employment of styles and graphics.

One need to keep all the techniques of a decent net style in mind, a minimum of the fundamentals to induce hold of a decent choice in terms of a decent net development company

FeedHenry Offers Mobile Development on VMware Cloud Foundry PaaS

FeedHenry, a maker of enterprise mobility solutions for the development, deployment and management of mobile apps, recently launched its Mobile Application Platform on the VMware Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

According to the company, FeedHenry’s mobile application platform is the only cloud-based mobile application solution that allows developers to build HTML5, JavaScript and CSS apps with a fully integrated Node.js backend on Cloud Foundry. Developers can now use the FeedHenry solution to build and deploy mobile applications for many smartphones and tablets with backend functionality hosted on their CloudFoundry.com account. 

In a guest blog on the Cloud Foundry site, Michael O Foghlu, CTO of FeedHenry said:

Available today at mobilecf.feedhenry.com, Cloud Foundry developers can build mobile apps using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS fully integrated and instantly staged to their CloudFoundry.com account. To get started, simply download the FeedHenry Command Line tool, using your existing CloudFoundry.com credentials. New subscribers to CloudFoundry.com can join using the promotion code “feedhenry“.

FeedHenry officials said the majority of new application development is being done with a “mobile-first” mindset. However, developers are building mobile frontend applications separately, and integrating with backend services manually. To leverage the benefits of PaaS for mobile applications, developers need a way to develop, deploy and scale these cross-platform applications on the PaaS in a seamless manner. Enter FeedHenry.

 “We are seeing a shift to mobile-first development within enterprises, which requires their PaaS solution to provide an integrated mobile development and deployment platform,” said Jerry Chen, vice president of cloud and application services at VMware, in a statement. “FeedHenry’s cross-platform mobile development solution can make it easier and faster for Cloud Foundry developers to build and deploy these applications.”

“Mobile apps are transforming how and where information is being consumed and how customers interact with organizations”, said Cathal McGloin, CEO of FeedHenry, also in a statement. “FeedHenry and VMware have partnered to bring a valuable solution that can enable developers speed of deployment, instant scalability, device and cloud independence with the ability to easily integrate to backend information.”

Indeed, developers can start building mobile applications today on the FeedHenry platform at mobilecf.feedhenry.com. New Cloud Foundry members can register and enter promotion code “feedhenry” while existing members gain immediate access from their account. All CloudFoundry.com developers will receive a free account on the FeedHenry platform, and have access to the FeedHenry web-based AppStudio development environment.  Cloud Foundry developers can download the FeedHenry Command Line tool to use all of the features of the FeedHenry platform. The platform allows the use of any third party JavaScript library on the client side and any JavaScript Node.js modules on the server-side.  The server-side business and integration logic is developed using JavaScript and developers can use any of the standard FeedHenry APIs for integration, caching, storage and encryption.


Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/FeedHenry-Offers-Mobile-Development-on-VMware-Cloud-Foundry-PaaS-807919/

Payrolls in U.S. Climb More Than Forecast; Unemployment Rate Holds at 8.3%

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Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000; Jobless Rate Holds at 8.3%

Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000; Jobless Rate Holds at 8.3%

Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000; Jobless Rate Holds at 8.3%

Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg

Construction at the Civita housing development construction site in San Diego, California, on Feb. 28, 2012.

Construction at the Civita housing development construction site in San Diego, California, on Feb. 28, 2012. Photographer: Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg

Pimco's El-Erian on U.S. Jobs Report, Europe

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer and and co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., talks about the February U.S. jobs report and the European debt crisis.
Employers in the U.S. boosted payrolls by 227,000 in February, more than forecast, following a revised 284,000 gain in January that was bigger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent. El-Erian speaks with Betty Liu and Sheila Dharmarajan on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” Sara Eisen and Michael McKee also speak. (Source: Bloomberg)

Alan Krueger on U.S. Jobs Report, Economy

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, talks about the February U.S. employment report released today.
Krueger speaks to Betty Liu and Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

No Robust U.S. Growth, Says Centurion's Grano

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Joseph Grano, chairman and chief executive officer of Centurion Holdings LLC, discusses the U.S. economy, labor market and presidential election.
Grano, speaking with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop,” also talks about tax policy. (Source: Bloomberg)

Economy Expanding at Moderate Pace, Alexander Says

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura Holdings Inc., talks about the February U.S. employment report released today.
Payrolls increased by 227,000, following a revised 284,000 gain in January that was bigger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent. Alexander speaks with Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S. Payrolls Rise 227,000; Jobless Rate at 8.3%

March 9 (Bloomberg) — Employers in the U.S. boosted payrolls by 227,000 in February, more than forecast, following a revised 284,000 gain in January that was bigger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.
The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent. Peter Cook and Michael McKee report on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Enlarge image
Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000; Unemployment Rate Holds at 8.3%

Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000; Unemployment Rate Holds at 8.3%

Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000; Unemployment Rate Holds at 8.3%

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

A Chrysler Group LLC employee works on an SUV at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, U.S., on Feb. 2, 2012.

A Chrysler Group LLC employee works on an SUV at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, U.S., on Feb. 2, 2012. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Enlarge image
Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000

Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000

Payrolls in U.S. Climb 227,000

Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Employees from NYC Business Solutions, look over resumes at the New York Career Fair in New York.

Employees from NYC Business Solutions, look over resumes at the New York Career Fair in New York. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Employers in the U.S. boosted
payrolls more than forecast in February, capping the best six-
month streak of job growth since 2006 and sending stocks higher.

The 227,000 increase followed a revised 284,000 gain in
January that was bigger than first estimated, Labor Department
figures showed today in Washington. The median projection of
economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 210,000 rise.
The jobless rate held at 8.3 percent, even as 476,000 more
workers sought employment.

More jobs are helping fuel the wage gains that drive
consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the
economy. The latest pickup in employment bolsters President
Barack Obama’s bid for re-election, while it may not be enough
to satisfy Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who last
week said the job market remains “far from normal” and
repeated that borrowing costs will probably remain low through
late 2014.

“The labor market has found its legs in the last few
months, and it looks like there’s enough of a broad base that
the momentum can be sustained,” said Julia Coronado, chief
economist for North America at BNP Paribas in New York, who
projected a 225,000 gain in payrolls. “This leaves the Fed in a
bit of limbo, as it’s not strong enough to convince them that
we’re about to accelerate to much stronger rates of economic

The Standard Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6 percent to
1,373.97 at 11:18 a.m. in New York. The yield on the benchmark
10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.04 percent from 2.01 percent
late yesterday.

Trade Deficit Widens

A separate report today from the Commerce Department showed
the trade deficit widened in January to the largest since
October 2008 as imports rose to a record.

The gap increased 4.3 percent to $52.6 billion from a
revised $50.4 billion in December. The median estimate of
economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a deficit of
$49 billion in January. Exports of capital goods, as well as
cars and automobile parts, climbed to a record.

Some 1.2 million jobs were created in the past six months,
the most since the same period ended May 2006. Revisions added a
total of 61,000 jobs to payrolls in December and January.

“There is hiring going on,” Richard Fearon, chief
financial officer at Eaton Corp. (ETN) said at a March 6 industrial
conference in New York. The Cleveland-based maker of circuit
breakers and truck transmissions will “definitely need more
manpower to serve” growing demand for tractor-trailers and for
the equipment used in construction and hydraulics, he said.

Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of
households, was forecast to remain at 8.3 percent, according to
the survey median. The jobless rate held steady even as the
survey showed the labor force grew. Employment climbed by
428,000 in February, while the labor force rose by 476,000.

The participation rate, which indicates the share of
working-age people in the labor force, rose to 63.9 percent from
63.7 percent.

Private payrolls, which exclude government agencies, rose
233,000 in February after a revised gain of 285,000 the prior
month that made it the biggest increase since February 2006.
They were projected to climb by 225,000. Manufacturing payrolls
increased by 31,000 after a revised 52,000 gain.

Even with the “positive developments” in the job market,
Bernanke told lawmakers last week the “modest and uneven”
expansion needs the support of monetary policy. The central bank
said in January that economic conditions are likely to warrant
low interest rates at least through late 2014.

March 13 Meeting

Policy makers meeting on March 13 are likely to repeat that
view while refraining from any additional easing measures, say
economists, including Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond
James Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Commerce Department last week reported the economy grew
at a 3 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter after a 1.8
percent gain in the prior three months.

“The unemployment rate remains elevated, long-term
unemployment is still near record levels and the number of
persons working part time for economic reasons is very high,”
Bernanke said during a Feb. 29 testimony to Congress. Fed policy
makers judge “that sustaining a highly accommodative stance for
monetary policy is consistent with promoting both objectives”
for stable prices and maximum employment, he said.

Employment at service-providers increased 203,000. Retail
payrolls fell 7,400 in February. Professional and business
service employment increased 82,000 last month, including a
45,200 pickup in temporary hiring.

Education, Health

Education and health services employment jumped 71,000, the
most since September 2006, according the Labor Department.

Construction companies reduced payrolls by 13,000 workers
last month, the biggest drop since January 2011.

Government payrolls decreased by 6,000 in February,
reflecting cutbacks at the federal and state levels.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.1 percent to $23.31, today’s
report showed. The workweek for all employees averaged 34.5
hours for a third consecutive month.

The so-called underemployment rate, which includes part-
time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who
want work but have given up looking, decreased to a three-year
low of 14.9 percent from 15.1 percent.

The report also showed a decrease in long-term unemployed
Americans. The number of people without a job for 27 weeks or
more fell as a percentage of all jobless, to 42.6 percent from
42.9 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Alex Kowalski in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Christopher Wellisz in Washington at

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Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/payrolls-in-u-s-climb-more-than-forecast-unemployment-rate-holds-at-8-3-.html

Top 10 Premium WordPress Plugins for 2012

Let’s face it—WordPress rocks. From its humble beginnings as b2/cafelog to the CMS powerhouse it is known as today, WordPress has proven to be the choice of champions among designers, developers and pro bloggers alike. But what is it that truly makes WordPress stand apart from contending CMSs such as Drupal or Joomla?

It’s all about plugins.

The WordPress community is heavily driven by ambitious plugin developers who work day and night to extend its out-of-the-box functionality and provide users with robust features and advanced functionality. In fact, there are so many plugins available for the WordPress platform that whenever a client asks if a certain task can be performed, the answer is usually, “Yes, there’s a plugin for that.”

In the time-honored tradition of ‘top 10’ articles and ‘best of’ blog posts, I thought it would be appropriate to showcase some of the best premium (paid) WordPress plugins for 2012. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take away a few gems that will increase your site value and increase the value of WordPress related services you offer your clients—without breaking the bank!

Gravity Forms

Personally, my business wouldn’t be what it is today without Gravity Forms. From roofing companies to home theater specialists, Gravity Forms is by far the most valuable feature I offer my local business/website clients. Not only is it dreadfully easy to build web forms, and place them anywhere imaginable, Gravity Forms also acts as a CRM of sorts, organizing form entries into a list—giving administrators the ability to edit and add notes to individual submissions as well as a boat load of free add-ons, available for paid users. Pricing starts at $39 for a single site license and $199 for a developer’s license.


For those of you who are in the business of SEO and name WordPress as your CMS weapon of choice, SEOPressor takes free plugins like All in One SEO Pack to the next level. Developed by Daniel Tan, SEOPressor acts as an onboard internet marketing expert, analyzing your content and providing you with a checklist of on-page items to help you rank better in search engine results. Once installed, the plugin analyzes your heading tags (h1, h2, h3), keyword density, placement, images, and links—providing you with tips and scores to improve your ranking position. Pricing starts at $47 for a single site license, and $97 for a multisite license.

White Label Branding

If you’re a designer or developer who builds WordPress-powered websites for your clients, then this plugin will ensure your installations look professional and completely customized. White Label Branding for WordPress gives you total control over the look and feel of your website’s backend—from placing your client’s logo on the sign-in screen to controlling the wp-admin color scheme, user roles, and capabilities. Though this plugin is more of an aesthetic solution, it’s definitely one that will separate you from your competitors. Pricing starts at $25 for a regular license, and $125 for an extended license.

Visual Composer

There are plenty of people, like myself, who are comfortable with basic HTML, design and image editing, but would rather focus on the business and marketing side of things. Visual Composer for WordPress transforms your standard WordPress installation into a robust drag-and-drop visual editor, allowing you to create complex page layouts with tabs, columns, sliders, galleries, social plugins, call to action boxes, and more—all with a few clicks of the mouse. Sure, you can fork out $100–$300 for similar themes like PageLines or Headway, but for a fraction of the cost ($25 for a regular license) Visual Composer is a no-brainer.

WP Video Gallery

Now I’m not trying to say that WordPress doesn’t handle video well—because it does—but the demand for high quality video experiences is increasing. So naturally, expanding your site’s video playback capabilities is the next step. WP Video Gallery performs seamlessly from desktop to tablet to smartphone, allowing site owners the ability to feed videos from their hosting account, YouTube, Vimeo, s3 Amazon, and even plain old images and audio files. Cross-browser compatibility and custom skins ensures your videos always look and play in amazing quality. Pricing starts at $15 for a regular license and $75 for an extended license.

CSS3 Web Pricing Tables

Whether you’re a developer or a DIY SEO consultant that works with local businesses, pricing tables can be a serious pain in the behind. Sure, creating them might not be hard, but making them easy to update and visually pleasing often requires outside assistance. CSS3 Web Pricing Tables Grids for WordPress is a neat little plugin that makes creating pricing tables a breeze—and your clients will love them! It boasts two table, 20 color, and 60 ribbon styles alongside CSS3 tooltips, a custom admin panel, and more. With no JavaScript involved, compatibility is never an issue. Pricing starts at $15 for a regular license, and $75 for an extended license.

5sec Google Maps

Have you ever tried to input Google Maps code into the HTML view of your WordPress post editor, only to realize that when you switched back to the visual editor view and saved, the map was gone? Well the 5sec Google Maps plugin is the perfect solution for this problem. With 12 predefined markers, customizable bubble descriptions, and the ability to have multiple maps on a single page/post, this plugin not only gives you the ability to enhance the appearance of your maps, but it’s also super easy to implement—just pop in a shortcode and you’re off to the races! Pricing starts at $8 for a regular license, and $40 for an extended license.

WordPress Newsletter Plugin

Imagine being able to offer your clients a comprehensive, lightweight email marketing system, built directly into their WordPress installation. How much value do you think this would add to their business? The WordPress Newsletter Plugin packs a lot of punch for a plugin. It allows you to gather unlimited subscribers within multiple mailing lists alongside built-in newsletter templates, custom opt-in fields, and the option to offer paid subscriptions. And because it’s built into WordPress, you can charge clients for the service and keep the profits for yourself. Pricing starts at $54.99 for a single domain, and $274.95 for unlimited sites.

A/B Theme Testing Plugin

It’s true, internet marketing is getting tougher. A successful site is no longer determined by the amount of hits it receives, but rather the amount of conversions it produces. For those of you who are new to split testing (also known as A/B testing) this plugin is a great way to get your feet wet. The put it simply, the A/B Theme Testing Plugin allows you to upload two or more similar theme layouts and split the traffic evenly between them. Combined with Google Analytics, you can see which theme converts better, and maximize your marketing efforts. It costs $9.95, plus $3 per month for support and upgrades.

Pinterest Pro

Saving the best for last? Sort of :) Pinterest is ramping up to be the next social networking phenomenon, and what better way to leverage its traffic than to have it fully integrated into your WordPress installation? Pinterest Pro for WordPress supports shortcodes and template tags for all available “pin” and “follow” buttons as well as a tinyMCE toolbar plugin and sidebar widgets to display boards on your site. With claims that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined, the possibilities are truly endless. Pricing starts at $5 for a regular license, and $25 for an extended license.

So there you have it!

Sure, there are tons of free WordPress plugins that enable you to do amazing things with your website—but in my experience, going premium usually means better support, frequent updates, and a community of users that are glad to lend a hand!

Are there any other premium WordPress plugins you feel should have made the list? Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments below.

Written By:

Article source: http://www.sitepoint.com/top-10-premium-wordpress-plugins-for-2012/

Intertech to Deliver Free HTML5 Webinar

Intertech (http://www.Intertech.com) will deliver a free webinar on HTML5 on April 12, 2012 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM CST. Enrollments are limited.

Saint Paul, MN (PRWEB) March 09, 2012

Intertech (http://www.Intertech.com) will deliver a webinar on HTML5 on April 12, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM CST. This webinar is free and registrations are limited.

Today’s developers must create content that is compatible with more types of web browsers than ever before. Besides the many different browsers for the PC and Apple, other platforms without mice or keyboards, such as tablets and smart phones, add more user interface requirements to web sites.

To keep the web sites portable and to keep their skills current, developers must embrace the new features of HTML5 and CSS3. It’s also their job to ensure their pages gracefully fall back to stock content when a user’s browser doesn’t support all the new features. Thankfully, HTML5 is quickly being adopted by the newer platforms and their many user agents (web browsers).

This free seminar will introduce and demonstrate the effectiveness of HTML5 and CSS3 by highlighting the new HTML5 concepts, elements, and attributes. It covers the current state of HTML5 and CSS3 support by today’s browsers. It also demonstrates today’s most popular JavaScript libraries (polyfills) that can add normally unsupported HTML5 and CSS3 features for older browsers. Specific topics covered include new HTML5 tags, form elements, input elements and validation as well as best practices for audio and video support.

The current level of support for HTML5 by today’s web browsers is a moving target, with results changing almost daily – and it’s picking up steam. Get a head start on HTML5 and CSS3 with this free webinar and start using HTML5.

Intertech offers HTML5 training and HTML5 consulting. See site to register for the free webinar and to see Intertech’s full software development training and consulting offering.

About Intertech

Founded in 1991 by local entrepreneur Tom Salonek, Intertech, Inc. has grown from a one-person shop to the largest combined software developer training company and research-supported consulting firm in Minnesota. Intertech designs and develops software solutions that power Fortune 500 businesses along with teaching these and other organizations including mid-sized companies and state government.

Intertech works with NASA, Wells Fargo, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Intel, and other major companies around the United States helping them learn and use technology. Intertech is a Microsoft Gold Partner, a Microsoft Inner Circle member, a seven time winner of the Best Places to Work in Minnesota award, a finalist in the Wall Street Journal’s Winning Workplaces award, a multi-year winner of the Inc. 500 and the Inc. 5000 awards for company growth, a winner of the Forbes ASAP growth award, and a winner of the Minnesota Fast 50 growth award. Intertech has been featured in Inc., Forbes, Upsize magazine, the Star Tribune, the Business Journal, the Pioneer Press, the Hudson Star-Observer, Minnesota Business, and Twin Cities Business Monthly.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/3/prweb9262980.htm

Article source: http://www.timesunion.com/business/press-releases/article/Intertech-to-Deliver-Free-HTML5-Webinar-3393868.php

Get a $600 WordPress Startup Bundle for $59

Most new small businesses face the same challenge: setting up and maintaining a professional, attractive, versatile Web site without spending a small fortune.

For about the price of a new toner cartridge for your printer, you can accomplish all that and more. The Bundlelytic Getting Started with WordPress bundle comes with nearly everything you need to launch and operate a WordPress site–nine tools and services that have a combined value of $609, but can be yours for $59.

You supply the domain name; the bundle provides the rest. For example, you get six months of Web hosting from Site5, six months of site and database backup from CodeGuard, and six months of e-mail marketing from Mad Mimi.

Also included: a three-month Hello Bar Pro subscription, which helps you drive visitors to the most important content and/or areas of your site. In addition, your three-month Sendible Solo account will help you establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media sites.

Finally, you’ll get access to a wealth of WordPress themes, so you can choose the best look for your site–no design skills required. I especially like the Pippity WordPress plug-in, which lets you create gorgeous-looking pop-ups (the good kind).

What’s most impressive about Getting Started with WordPress is that Bundlelytic plans to donated 100 percent of the proceeds to charity–UNICEF’s Silent Emergencies Appeal, which provides aid to the “smaller” emergencies that don’t draw big headlines.

Thus, here’s your chance to score a whole mess of Web site goodies, plus hosting, and support a worthy cause in the process. What’s not to like?

By the way, the Bundlelytic page says there are only 300 “copies” of the bundle available, but the developer told me they’ll add more if the demand is there.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/251568/get_a_600_wordpress_startup_bundle_for_59.html

Morgan Stanley’s Jennings Pleads Not Guilty in N.Y. Cab Driver Stabbing

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Jennings Pleads Not Guilty in Taxi Stabbing

March 9 (Bloomberg) — William Bryan Jennings, the Morgan Stanley U.S. bond-underwriting chief accused of stabbing a New York cab driver of Middle Eastern descent over a fare, pleaded not guilty to assault and hate-crime charges. Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman reports on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

William Bryan Jennings, the Morgan
Stanley (MS)
U.S. bond-underwriting chief accused of stabbing a New
York cab driver of Middle Eastern descent over a fare, pleaded
not guilty to assault and hate-crime charges.

Jennings’s lawyer, Eugene J. Riccio, entered the plea on
his client’s behalf today before Connecticut Superior Court
Judge Robert L. Genuario in Stamford. Jennings wore a blue suit,
white shirt and patterned tie to the proceeding, which lasted
less than a minute. He and Riccio left the courthouse without
speaking to reporters and drove away in a pickup truck. His next
court date is April 12.

Jennings, 45, is accused of attacking the driver, Mohamed
Ammar, on Dec. 22 with a 2 1/2-inch blade and using racial slurs
after a 40-mile ride from New York to the banker’s Darien,
Connecticut, home. The hate-crime count brings the same five-
year maximum prison sentence as the assault charge.

Jennings, who had attended a bank holiday party at a
boutique hotel in Manhattan before hailing the cab, refused to
pay the $204 fare upon arriving in his driveway, the driver
said. Jennings said “he did not feel like paying” because he
was already home, Ammar, 44, told police. The banker offered to
pay $50, he said. Jennings told police Ammar demanded $294 and
he offered to pay $160.

Call to 911

Ammar, a native of Egypt, said that after the banker
refused to pay, he backed out of the driveway of the
$3.4 million home to seek a police officer. Ammar said he had
tried to call 911 but was hampered by poor mobile reception in
the wealthy Fairfield County suburb.

The banker called him an expletive and said, “I’m going to
kill you. You should go back to your country,” according to the
police report. A fight ensued as they drove through Darien, and
Jennings allegedly cut Ammar, police said.

Jennings said the driver cut his hand trying to grab the
knife from him, which he said he wielded because he feared he
was being abducted, possibly back to the city. Ammar denied he
tried to take Jennings back to New York.

The banker, who eventually fled the cab and turned himself
in two weeks later after a vacation in Florida, was charged with
second-degree assault, theft of services and intimidation by
bias or bigotry. Freed on $9,500 bond, he faces as long as 10
years and three months in prison. He was charged Feb. 29.

Pen Pendleton, a spokesman for New York-based Morgan
Stanley, said March 2 that Jennings has been put on leave.

Rate Book

Ammar told police that before they left for Connecticut, he
showed Jennings the New York City Taxi Limousine Commission’s
rate book listing the fare at $204. Jennings said they didn’t
discuss the fare and he assumed the cost would be $125 to $150,
which is what Morgan Stanley’s car service charged, according to
police. He had never taken a yellow cab home before, he said.

Jennings flagged Ammar down in front of Ink48, a hotel on
Manhattan’s West Side, sometime before 11 p.m. after the banker
said his car service didn’t appear, according to the report.

The banker appeared “drunk,” the driver said, according
to court documents. Jennings said he drank “two or three Coors
Lights” at a charity event he hosted before the party and
“several more beers” at the party itself, according to his
police statement. He told police he wasn’t “highly
intoxicated,” according to the police report.

Jennings fell asleep during the trip, the driver said.
Jennings never gave him his address and instead the driver woke
him up as they neared the house.

Passenger Flees

After Jennings refused to pay and Ammar drove off with his
passenger still in the car, Jennings pulled the knife and began
stabbing him through the open partition that divided the front
and rear of the cab, Ammar said. Ammar said he tried to defend
himself by using his right hand to block the opening, and then
pulled over and dialed 911 again, as Jennings got out and fled,
police said.

Jennings said he never stabbed Ammar, according to his
police statement. He showed the driver he had a knife after they
pulled away from his house and Ammar cut himself in trying to
grab it away, he told police.

Jennings never threatened to kill Ammar or told him to go
back to his country, according to the banker’s police statement.

The Connecticut hate-crime statute, signed into law in
2000, makes it a felony to cause or threaten physical damage to
a person or to property with a specific intent to intimidate or
harass a person “because of the actual or perceived race,
religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender
identity or expression of such other person.”

In Connecticut, there were 243 arrests and 33 convictions
under the statute from 2007 to 2011, according to Rhonda
Stearley-Hebert, a spokeswoman for the State Judicial Branch
office. Under the law, Ammar would also be able to sue Jennings
for damages.

The case is State of Connecticut v. Jennings 12-0176761,
Superior Court for the State of Connecticut (Stamford).

To contact the reporters on this story:
Thom Weidlich in Brooklyn, New York, federal court
at tweidlich@bloomberg.net;
John Dillon at Connecticut Superior Court
in Stamford at jdillon@snet.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/morgan-stanley-s-jennings-pleads-not-guilty-in-n-y-cab-driver-stabbing.html

David Murphy: The Utley reality

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Gallery: Phillies Spring Training

Phillies Spring Training

Phillies 7, Blue Jays 0

Phillies 9, Yankees 3

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CLEARWATER, Fla. - The first instinct is to doubt. And that is understandable. When the subject is injuries and the messenger is a professional sports team, you can find yourself longing for the transparency of an organization like the CIA. But you can also find yourself caught up in conspiracy theories that don’t mean a thing. Because when you get right down to it, we already have the information we need.

One week into Grapefruit League play, Chase Utley has yet to participate in a game. Everything else is a matter of semantics.

The Phillies will tell you that this has always been The Plan. Utley is still hitting, still running, still dressed in his familiar No. 26, all of which prompted an exasperated Charlie Manuel to say to reporters, “You see him out there, don’t you?”

Indeed, Utley appeared to be wholly intact before yesterday’s game against the Pirates, standing behind the batting cage and stretching out his left leg without any obvious assistance from man or marionette string. For the time being, the world is safe from Weekend at Bernie’s: Clearwater Chaos. But even if the condition of Utley’s knee remains the same as it was at the start of spring training, his absence from the lineup does provide a good indication of the organization’s concern about the speed at which that status can change.

If we are indeed witnessing The Plan, then The Plan suggests that we should be paying close attention to players like Ty Wigginton and Freddy Galvis, both of whom spent time at second base during yesterday’s game. The Plan suggests that we should be watching hitters like Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, whose performance over the second half of last season helped make up for the drop-off in production the lineup received from second base.

On the other hand, does The Plan really suggest anything we did not already know? That chronic knee tendinitis is something that never fully heals? That Utley’s condition is something that will always have to be managed? That caution is the new side on which the hardest of noses must err?

Maybe there was a little part of all of us that thought we would arrive at spring training and see Utley stealing bases and bowling over catchers and sprawling after balls hit just out of reach. Maybe there was a little part of us that thought some offseason rest was all he’d need. The reality is, Utley has entered the final chapter of his career, a chapter whose narrative will be shaped not just by his performance against opposing pitchers, but by his performance against a rare and painful knee condition that can flare up without the slightest of warnings. It also means the Phillies have entered a new chapter, one in which they no longer have the luxury of counting 30 home runs and a .380 on-base percentage as a given at second base.

Utley believes, or at least says he believes, that he still has the potential to perform as he did in his prime. And that may very well be. The mere fact that he worked his way back onto the field for the final 4 months of 2011 is a testament to his will. If you were to imagine a player capable of overcoming patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia, that player would be wearing No. 26.

At the same time, we entered spring wondering what, exactly, to expect out of Utley, and seven games into the Grapefruit League schedule, we have not begun to get an answer. Manuel’s desire to see Galvis play at second base – he initially planned on starting the prospect there today, but decided to move him there midway through yesterday’s game – is a bit of a wrinkle. Wigginton started the game at the position, making a nice charging scoop to first before later committing an error. But the Phillies did not acquire him because of defensive prowess. He is a second baseman fourth, a third baseman third, a first baseman second, and a power bat first.

Galvis might be tapped to plug a long-term hole. Wigginton might fit for the short-term. Neither will ever be Utley, be it 2007 or 2011.

So as we look at this first week of Grapefruit League play and spin our worst-case scenarios, we must also acknowledge that April 5 is the goal. The 25 games that remain before Opening Day present more than enough time for a veteran hitter like Utley to get the at-bats that he needs. With Ryan Howard’s rehab on hold because of an infected foot, the Phillies know they cannot afford to enter the season with another critical piece on the disabled list. The Plan, regardless of how it came into being, makes sense. It also speaks volumes.


Contact David Murphy at dmurphy@phillynews.com.


That’s Baseball: Evaluating under-the-radar players

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Fantasy Sports: Play today, win today!

Relive the memories: Coverage of the World Series run

  • I imagine “The Chairaphile” slopping around his condo in his underwear, eating grouper sandwiches by the handful, sniffing his fingers and dreaming of what used to be…

  • I hear he’s been hanging out with Jerry Sandusky on his deck.

  • while i am not a huge fan of murphy’s writing, this particular piece is dead on. utley has now had four straight years of declining numbers in games played, at-bat, runs scored, hits, home runs, and rbi. furthermore, this is the second year in a row he is experiencing limited participation in spring training. ever since his eye-opening performance in the world series of 09, its been all down hill for utley. im not knocking the guy. its just reality. so, accept it and realize his better days are well behind him as he is simply cooked. how else can you explain him having the last 4 months off and now needing more time off! age waits for no one my friend!

  • Galvis loves coke

  • That was Gilles, genius, not Galvis. Way to stay informed…

  • That could be an interesting position to place him. Even on utley’s worst of days, he has better range than howard does on his best of days.

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Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/142026813.html?cmpid=15585797

The Ultimate Secret For Successful Marketing & Web Design

We’ve just experienced another season of roundups in the sports, music and movie industries and throughout it all, I noted interesting things about marketing and human behavior.

Super Bowl

It began with the TV commercials during the Super Bowl. Usually my favorite part of this final game of champions is watching the new commercials that are made especially for launch during the Super Bowl, but this year, they were so uninspired and boring that I couldn’t wait to get back to the football game.

The only brand that stuck in my head later was Volkswagen and that’s because of “Bolt”, the dog who got himself into shape so he catch the new VW Beetle as it sped by his house. (Watch here: The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial.)

Why would a dog who works out be such a great commercial for a car? It was an idea based on something we already know, but don’t think about that much, and that’s that dogs love exercise (and many love to chase cars.)

Interestingly there is a short and long version of that commercial, where in the longer one, we’re taken a Star Wars bar filled with aliens and Darth Vader, who are watching the commercial and commenting on it. That section doesn’t get much air play and my feeling is that it’s because we understand and relate with the dog behavior far more than we identify with alien behavior.


Ratings for the Oscars and Grammy’s were up this year. What seemed to strike a chord with their audiences was the most simple of moments. We may have tuned into the Grammy’s to hear Adele sing publically for the first time after her throat surgery.

Meanwhile, Katy Perry created a wild and colorful stage presentation, and Lady Gaga seemed out of place in her typical off-beat garb even while sitting in the audience.
The singer, Adele

In the end, what blew everyone away was Adele simply standing alone on stage and starting out with an acoustical first line, “We could’ve had it all.”

By the end of her song, I was all misty eyed and happy for her. Her triumph, poise, grace and awesome blue eyes was all it took to make her performance unforgettable. She was the performer who looked the most like us.

During the Super Bowl, Madonna envisioned and created an elaborate show filled with drama and lots of sounds and movement. Her being there was criticized before the game, but after her show, she proved her 53 year woman body and soul could still sing, dance and perform like a star.

She reminded people who she was during the cocky 80’s and who she had become, as well as simply looking like she was having real fun up there.

Both Adele and Madonna did something that Angelina Jolie would also do during the Oscars when she presented her right leg and struck her now (in)famous pose on stage.
Angelina Jolie

She left an impression on us and gave certain people, mostly women, something they could relate to or perhaps have the nerve to do too. It’s a subtle thing to convey confidence and make those who watch you connect with that confidence.

This is what marketers strive for. This connection with customers is driven by research and focus groups and demographics data.

The same is true for usability heuristic driven web design, in that studies that include mental models, user personas, marketing data and user generated feedback help designers understand first and then design to make those connections between what they see on their monitor and how it makes them feel.

Old Is New Again

When “The Artist” won for Best Picture, I thought this was also fascinating because it is a silent black and white film that took us back to the days of tap dancing, face powder and lipstick and of course, the required funny scruffy dog.

This movie had no descriptive title that offered any clue that it was different from today’s graphics driven colorful action packed movies. With no information scent to go by, “The Artist” drove in audiences by word of mouth. Why did audiences love this movie?
Actor, Jean Dujardin

I think its success lies in its simplicity, the same as the genuine presence of Adele with her simple hairdo and pretty dress or the peek of Angelina’s slender leg poking out from the side of a dramatic black gown.

While watching a black and white, soundless film, the focus of our attention changes so that our brains can see more details. Our brains actually work harder while watching, but we’re relaxed because we know there will be no loud booms from bombs or machine guns or screams from people dying in battle or plane crashes.

Since our daily lives are filled with sounds and images of despair and pain, what offers us relief from the chaos wins the prize.

This is a lesson web designers are still learning, or perhaps re-learning. We used to go to websites to find information on pages that loaded fast and were easy to figure out how to use.

Today, servers put together hundreds of bits and pieces of images, content and scripts from various sources to compile the page you see on your monitor. The more technical the programming, the larger the page size and longer it takes to load.

Watch how people react to news stories or blog posts that come in video only and you’ll quickly learn that not everyone wants to wait for the thing to load, nor do they care to be entertained while getting the information they’re searching for.

Humans need choices. It’s just how we are and rightly so, since we’re each unique.

We fuss with our new computer and mobile devices but the truth is, we’re tired of the constant upgrades, enhancements and the latest new gadget that will somehow make our lives easier.

All we really have is more bills coming each month so we get a TV signal, our computers will work and our phones can accept text messages. If you step outside the marketing and technology worlds, you may discover that people yearn for some peace and quiet or at best, a chance to slow down.

Eye Tracking Vs. Task Analysis

I’ve been asked for my thoughts on eye tracking and to be honest, I’m not a devotee. Part of the reason is based on the study in 1999 called “The Invisible Gorilla”, where test subjects were asked to count how many times the players wearing white shirts passed a ball to each other.

Only 50% of them ever saw the person in the gorilla costume walk through the group of ball players. You’ll see lots of examples of what is referred to as “Intentional Blindness” or “Selective Attention” on Facebook when your friends show images that illustrate this same phenomenon.

I’ve witnessed myself the difference between watching a person look at and respond to a webpage versus giving them a task to do on that page.

In a majority of cases, unless they are given a specific task to do, they have no idea where to start when they arrive to the webpage.

This is troubling because so much money is spent on advertising to drive people to webpages and yet the user interface itself confuses them when they arrive.

Eye tracking can show where the eyes are gazing and for how long, but unless the test subject is speaking out loud, you can’t learn why they look in certain places or the point where they decide to leave the page.

Marketers, web designers and web application developers like to copy ideas and technologies that are known to work already. They may put their own spin on it but the idea isn’t original and sometimes their attempt doesn’t achieve the same results as the original.

Google Plus has copied Facebook and no matter how hard Google tries to bribe and cajole users into switching over to their social networking site, a large number of people are fine with what they have.

In fact, I feel that Google is trying so hard to mimic what’s already being done elsewhere that their original product, which was a search engine, is losing fans that are fed up and switching over to Bing.

An incident during the Oscars illustrates this. Not long after Angelina Jolie presented an Oscar on stage by throwing her head back, bearing a huge “I’m the Queen of the Universe” smile and thrusting her bare right leg out in front from the thigh high slit in her gown, a man who had won an award a few minutes later copied what she did when he got up on stage.

It was only funny if first, you understood why he was standing and fussing with his leg and head, and the fact that his leg was covered up. Unfortunately, while the audience and TV camera was watching him mock Angelina Jolie, it took our attention away from the person making the acceptance speech.

Some ideas are just plain distracting and because we’re curious by nature, we may stray off.

This is similar to banner ads placed near important content. Site visitors are searching for your products and information, not that other thing that just slid over the page asking them to take a survey or sign up for your newsletter.

We don’t come to websites to be distracted by something totally unrelated or which we didn’t expect to find.

Again, we respond better to simplicity and are happiest when we find what we came to see.

No Pain, No Pain

If the people in the Gorilla Study who were playing with the ball had reacted to the person in the gorilla costume who joined them, the test subjects who were watching would have likely noticed he was there. Their reaction would startle the test subject, distract them from counting ball passes and they would try to discover what interrupted them.

Humans must be better understood for technology to be accepted. This is one reason why search engines want to know everything about us. They want to develop products and services that people want to use and to do that, they must understand what makes us feel safe, what sites we favor, where we live and what we purchase. Sadly, they’ve lost credibility and user trust because of how they approach us for this information.

Advertising campaigns, PPC and social marketing strategies and search engine optimization also want the same information for better ad targeting. Website visitors may tolerate some banner ads, but the moment they come across creatives that prevent a page from loading or the ad or form slides on top of the content the user came to get, the human response is to be frustrated, angry and disappointed.

What did the VW dog, The Artist, Adele, and Angelina Jolie provide us that made what they did so successful? What was the tidbit of surprise and what unexpected gain did we get from each of them?

They sold their product without inflicting any pain on us.
This is the ultimate secret to successful marketing, innovation and user interface design. It’s the one thing we all share.

People like surprises that don’t hurt.

Photo Credits:
“Distressed Man”, stock image from Kozzi, used under license.
Photos from The Ultimate Secret For Successful Marketing Web Design at Search Engine Land, used with permission; from Beacon Radio, used under Creative Commons license.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Search Usability

Article source: http://searchengineland.com/the-ultimate-secret-for-successful-marketing-web-design-113201