Category Archives: Best Article

Get back on your feet with Government Grants

Are finances proving to be a road block on your way to career success? Well then you are in the same boat as thousands of others. No more do people need to give up on their dreams due to money constraints. With the availability of government grants for most human needs, individuals can now avail of financial help to get them through a bad phase and back on their feet. Education is an important criterion that has a significant impact on all aspects of our lives. Without a proper education it is difficult to have a successful career. However most people choose to opt out of a higher education degree due to limited resources. The government offers various resources such as the Pell grants or Stafford loans that enable people to materialize their dreams of having a Bachelors or a Master’s degree. Besides education most people also cherish the dream of having their own home. To maintain your home for a long time is a lot tougher than building it and often people are unable to gather the finances required to maintain a home for a long period of time. The government provides aids like Utility bill assistance to get individuals out of a tough spot and back on their feet.

Money is an important part of our daily lives. Without adequate financial resources it is impossible for individuals to lead a comfortable lifestyle and meet even their daily requirements. Whether it’s for basic amenities or for greater needs like education or business, money is an important aspect which can never be replaced. People often give up on some of their biggest dreams due to lack of funding. This can be avoided with the aid of Gov grants that allow you to pursue your dreams without worrying about finances. Applying for federal grants is not a monumental feat and can easily be achieved by people. Online websites by the United States government allows individuals to fill in a simple grant application and get started on the process of receiving their grants. The government understands the importance of giving leverage to certain sections of society and hence it has created business grants for women to give them an upper edge in the society and help them pursue their dream. Education too is one of the main concerns of the government and they provide various college grants to enable individuals to secure a solid foundation of education that will help them have a strong and successful career. r.

Disaster Recovery Planning For Corporations

Disaster recovery planning for corporations is an essential piece of any successful large business operation. The energy and growth put into a corporation is immense, and it’s important to protect this investment and its resources. Large numbers of clients and customers depend on you, as do your employees, and a proper IT continuity plan can keep you safe as you continue to grow.

IT Considerations for Corporations

Corporations tend to be larger businesses, a size which has its pros and cons. The positive side is that they tend to have a good deal of cash and resources to get them through lean times, as well as an extensive management team with the skills to persevere in times of adversity. The downside is that because of these resources and skill sets, they can get overconfident and not properly think through their recovery plan. They also have to make those resources stretch farther to meet the greater needs of a corporation. It’s not enough to have the ability to withstand disaster. Mitigating it and getting up and running as soon as possible are what save your bottom line.

While your corporation may have a disaster recovery plan in place, one thing that is rarely discussed is having a power backup. In the event of a natural disaster, you could be without power for days, which will utterly shut your business down. No matter how well you have planned for data recovery and for reinstalling critical software, if you have no power, you have no computers. Your network is vital to running your business, so having a separate power source that can generate electricity to run your systems is a great idea. All you have to do is make sure it’s maintained and ready to go, and it will be there when you need it.

In a large business, small changes can have a larger impact on the company for the money than in a small business. A tweak of security here and there or a review of network protocol by experienced IT consultants is a minimal cost to a large business. All the same, this small investment can reap great rewards for a large corporation. A corporation’s disaster recovery planning needs are extensive and intricate, and a team of security professionals are the people best equipped to handle it.

Disaster recovery planning for corporations is a large undertaking because the risks and rewards are also so great. Their sheer size requires an extensive plan, even though they often have the resources to survive if business is shut down in the short term. All the same, getting back up and running is best for the corporation as a whole, and proper planning, security experts, and a simple backup generator can help make this happen.

What Is Economics

It never fails that when I ask people to describe the field of economics, the typical response is that it is the study of money or how to earn money. Moreover an ever increasing number of people regard economics as a form of politics or perhaps political science. Grading on the simple pass/fail basis all would of course fail.

Economics is mistaken for finance by some and politics by others. The later tends to sting a bit. Nevertheless, perhaps the confusion is understandable. After all economics must by necessity address matters common to both areas of understanding. Such has been the case since inception. Be that as it may the fact remains that, economics is best described as the study of human behaviour.

-What?- you say. -What about money, debts, saving, budgets?- Well economics certainly involves all those things and economists have been known to go on for hours on the pros and cons of public policy decisions. But at its core economics is the study of how flesh and blood human beings (not abstractions thereof) and the institutions they engender actually respond to various types and degrees of stimuli. Economics addresses financial implications without addressing the organization of financial data which is best suited to financial experts. Economics addresses the incentives and/or disincentives resulting from public policy and not necessarily the policies themselves which is best suited to politicians. Hence the economist focuses not so much on the tax rate as on the manner in which said rate affects human behaviour which in turn has a direct even if long term effect on the overall state of social institutions. Most importantly, economics answers the ever-ellusive -Why?- Why does an increase in demand drive prices higher? Why does welfare (corporate and social) incentivize licentiousness on the part of the recipient? Why do even good ideas generate diminishing returns over time? Why do certain policies produce results at odd with the intensions of those who author them? Why?, Why?, Why?, ad nauseum.

The problem is not that the confusion exists. Rather it is the fact that it causes the layperson to misconstrue economic laws for political rhetoric. This is particularly problematic when one is confronted with Austrian Economics for the -Austrian- is always deemed to be championing the political views of a specific politician and/or political party.

How to correct the problem? Well, I’ll leave that to the social theorists. I’m only an economist.

My Thoughts On The Professional Darts Corporation

The PDC (short for Professional Darts Corporation) was originally formed in 1992 after several leading darts players formed a new breakaway group to rival the BDO. They were unhappy with the way the game was being run with dwindling sponsorship deals and fewer and fewer tournaments being broadcast on TV. This organisation has of course grown dramatically since that time and it’s now well and truly overtaken the BDO in terms of entertainment and quality.

Indeed the BDO is now a sad and tired looking organisation with many of it’s top players having left to join the PDC in recent years. The likes of Raymond van Barneveld, Mervyn King, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock and Mark Webster are now earning a lot more money playing in the PDC tournaments.

It’s a shame because I have a lot of affection for the BDO and still enjoy watching the World Championships and the Masters, but the fact is that most of the players are attracted to the money that’s on offer by the PDC. This is understandable of course, but I would much prefer to have a single code where the players from the BDO and PDC play in the same competitions all the time, but I think that is very unlikely to happen.

One thing I don’t really like about the PDC is the type of crowd it attracts. I’ve attended both BDO and PDC tournaments and I have to say that I don’t really feel comfortable sitting amongst a crowd of drunken idiots, which is basically what you get when you attend most PDC events. Of course there is beer and merriment in the BDO events, but it is a much friendlier atmosphere and the people who are there are usually genuine darts fans who are there to watch the darts first and foremost.

Overall though despite it’s flaws, I am a huge fan of the Professional Darts Corporation. It is now hugely entertaining with many of the best players in the world all taking part. You have regular tournaments being shown on TV and with so many good players playing each other on a regular basis, the quality is improving all the time. Indeed 100+ averages are now a lot more common than they used to be.

It’s not perfect of course. The commentators can be slightly annoying at times and the walk on girls are a little tacky and unnecessary, but overall I think the Professional Darts Corporation should be applauded for making darts popular once more. If this group hadn’t been formed back in 1992, darts would probably still be stuck in the dark ages.

Abney Associates Predict Mutual Development From China and ASEAN Countries

Set up in 1967, ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. To consider it as one entity, it covers an area of 4.44 million square kilometers and has a population of approximately 576 million.

-Huge amounts of trading goes on between ASEAN countries and China, and has scope for further growth. This offers huge potential for investment opportunities both long and short term,- explained James Carter, Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at Abney Associates.

Trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reached a record high of USD $400.9Billion in 2012 and the general consensus is that this has flourished since the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), soon expected to be the biggest free-trade market in the world. Commodities are in huge demand and many different groups of consumers within China have instigated trade amongst ASEAN bloc companies to take full advantage. Trading in chemical, mechanical and transportation equipment products is an area that is especially showing rapid growth and seems to be offering the biggest potential for development.

-This year we have been watching the complimentary growth developing in a hugely encouraging way for industrial cooperation within each ASEAN member’s financial market trading platforms. With half of the consumers in the world and one-third of the global GDP value, we are monitoring extremely closely any progress that will inevitably develop once the RCEP reveal their proposed financial strategies. By doing so we can maximize returns on investment for our clients,- added James Carter, Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at Abney Associates.

Although duty-free policies do not directly transpire into a common path for economic growth, the zero tariff policies are showing signs that they are working as intended. The policies were aimed at developing industry chains and also providing complimentary advantages amongst trading partners. It is evidently working well and is creating opportunity and that seems to be, not just the general opinion but also the reasoning as to why this is drawing the attention and interest from the senior VP at Abney Associates.

Abney Associates are a Hong Kong based company that provides a range of financial services to individual clients, portfolio companies, corporate investors and entrepreneurs who wish to take unbiased financial advice.

Abney Associates are primarily a team of financial specialists who pride themselves on having a high level of expertise and vast experience for diligently monitoring any positive or negative developments to companies currently listed on exchanges globally, especially those that may affect client investment interests. This is done in order to ensure the financial advice given is factually correct and delivered in an effective way.

Indonesia Pushes Burma for Credible Elections as ASEAN FMs Meet

Foreign Ministers from Southeast Asian nations held discussions in Vietnam ahead of summit meetings this week. The focus of the meetings is regional cooperation but Burma’s controversial election plans, which critics have called a sham, are also expected to be discussed. d.

Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations held talks Wednesday in Hanoi.

ASEAN’s ten member nations are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Among other topics the ministers were expected to discuss Burma’s preparations for November 7 elections, the first in two decades. Critics say they are designed to keep the military in power.

It was not clear if the elections were discussed. But, before the meeting, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told journalists he was pushing Burma for more credible elections. He said it was not too late for Burma’s military leaders to act.

“We are having good-We have been having conversations with our Myanmar [Burma] colleagues and we are not pessimistic, even at this late stage, that we can be part of- We can all work together to ensure that the elections in Myanmar can be part of a solution rather than part of more difficulties ahead,” Natalegawa said.

ASEAN has offered to send observers to the elections to give them more credibility but Burma banned foreign observers and foreign journalists.

Burma’s military is already guaranteed a quarter of all seats in the elections, has sidelined opposition parties, and refused the vote to millions of ethnic minorities.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won Burma’s last elections in 1990 but the military ignored the results and has kept the Nobel Prize winner under house arrest for most of the time since.

The Philippines Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo told journalists the elections did not look credible.

“The point is will there be credible elections if Aung San Suu Kyi and the others are not a part of it? It’s not the observers. It’s the participation of all,” said Romulo.

The ASEAN foreign ministers meeting came one day before leaders of ASEAN countries meet in Hanoi for talks focusing on building a regional community similar to the European Union.

The ASEAN heads of state will meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who has called for Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Burma to be released.

They will also meet with leaders of China, Japan, and South Korea and be joined over the weekend by leaders of Australia, India and New Zealand for the East Asia Summit.

Russia and the United States will attend as observers and be officially invited to join the group in 2011.

Government Seized Car Auctions The Advantage Of Repossessed Cars

If you are not aware that there are actually government seized car auctions for you to go to, getting a new car has indeed a terrifying process. Besides, buying a brand new one is only a considerable option for those who are financially capable. Given the fact that you can actually ask for financial assistance from banks to purchase a new car, there is a great possibility that you might fail to comply your financial obligations with the bank. You need to realize that repossessed car market has become a productive market for individuals who seek to buy huge assets like secondhand cars. Government seized car auctions has a wide array of cars that you can choose from if you wish to purchase a car of your own.

Government impounded car auctions have assorted car models and makes. Such repossessed cars range from old to new models, from utility vehicles up to the most comfortable cars. Repossessed car markets are almost identical as the typical car dealership markets. However, the two car markets might differ on the execution of sales because in repossessed car markets, cars are sold fast at affordable prices. You just need to do a frequent visit to some government seized car auctions to see its displayed secondhand cars and get your most desired one.

So, why settle for a brand new car at the mainstream car dealership markets if this would leave you in a pool of debt? Why not consider buying repossessed car at some car auctions so avoid further financial problems? Besides, buying repossessed cars at some government seized vehicle auctions can give you a great chance of grabbing one at still perfect condition at amazing discounted price. It takes you only to take hold of auction information from your local newspapers and simply follow the details of the auctions.

Before going to public bidding at government impounded car auctions, you need to personally contact the proper authorities responsible for the car auctions for any inspection arrangements. This step will usher you to decide whether to participate in the auction or not, as you are given the chance to personally see the car you want to purchase. In case you fail to get your most desired car at your first visit at auction venue, you just have to consider frequent visit in some car auctions. To make your secondhand car hunting worthwhile, try to widen your auction searches so to finally settle your dream car at some government seized car auctions.

The Public Administration Select Committees Twelfth Government And Information Technology Report

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) published its twelfth report in July 2011. The report entitled A recipe for rip offs: time for a new approach, was put before the House of Commons for consideration. The PASC expressed concern about the Government’s over-reliance on an “oligopoly” of large suppliers, the costs and risks arising from skills gaps within Whitehall, the problems arising from legacy information technology (IT) systems, and weaknesses in the Government’s capacity to plan and drive through wholesale change in the way it uses and exploits IT in delivering public services. The Committee also explored some of the possible ways in which the delivery of online public services could be reformed, and transformed, through a combination of data release, giving individuals control of their own personal records, engaging users (both within and outside Government) in the design of services, and opening up the online delivery of services to a wider range of organisations.

The government responded quickly to the report, however, the Committee chose not to publish a counter- response until it had taken advice on the Government’s progress in driving through the necessary changes. In December 2011, the National Audit Office published its first review of the Government’s progress in implementing its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy (the NAO report). Now all the information is available, the committee has issued a further report in which it commends the governments generally constructive and proactive response to the report, though it remains critical about the governments failure to engage with some of the other wide-ranging recommendations, particularly around benchmarking, legacy systems and capacity/capability gaps.

The Cabinet office has subsequently responded to the PASC statement. Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, said the government would consider the full report before commenting but stated:

Historically, government ICT has had an unenviable reputation but our recent work shows we are moving it in the right direction so we are delighted that the PASC have praised our momentum in this area and the progress we have made. We are determined to deliver world-class public services that offer value for taxpayers money and we know that effective and efficient ICT is crucial in this.”

“We set out some ambitious objectives in our ICT strategy and since then we have been going from strength to strength. As well as getting the major players in central government involved in the implementation of the strategy, we already have foundation delivery partners delivering their email services via Cloud and other partners using the Public Services Network.”

“The action we are taking will reduce waste, avoid the costly project failures of the past and see smart technology systems being used to improve the way public services are delivered. Successful implementation of the ICT strategy across central government is projected to contribute to 1.4bn of savings already required within the SR10 period with 460m savings in-year in 2014/15.”

Out of Touch Governments Display Their Ignorance With VoIP

It never ceases to amaze me how people in the government who are responsible for keeping an eye on technology and analyzing its effects can be so blind to the realities of a situation. One would think that being head of a telecommunications or an IT department of a country should somehow be enough of a qualification to be able to understand the issues and to see for yourself what’s what. Unfortunately, the reverse seems to be true. Sometimes it seems that the most ill-informed and technology blind people are elevated to the position of having to decide how technology should progress!

Governments across the world have struggled with slotting Internet-based calling services or VoIP into their traditional regulatory framework. But they’re stymied by the fact that a VoIP network shares very little in common with the traditional PSTN system. To start off with, you don’t require massive amounts of infrastructure and you don’t need to layout miles of wire both above and under the ground in order to build it out. Its beauty is that it works off the underlying Internet connection which is already set up and available to everyone. So the barriers to entry vanish almost overnight.

Second, VoIP is merely another Internet-based application. True it distinguishes itself from normal web traffic from being P2P and real-time, but so does online gaming. It is impossible to pick and choose what Internet services are going to be regulated and what won’t be simply due to the functionality. This leads to an unnecessary discrimination against specific types of traffic that is unwarranted.

The government in Saudi Arabia for example has foolishly decreed that only operators with a telecom license are able to provide VoIP services thereby essentially making programs like Skype illegal. The futility of such a gesture is obvious given the ease with which it can be used. You can’t possibly prosecute thousands of people for using software that is itself is beyond your control. People are going to use the Internet in whatever way they please and will find ways around governments trying to protect the old way of doing things and keep the old revenue-generating business models intact.

Even countries with far more powerful and sophisticated surveillance systems and firewalls like China are unable to maintain control over the Internet. It’s an exercise in futility and the faster government bodies around the world recognize this, the easier everyone’s life can be.

Indian Government Going Green With Cfl Bulbs

It is the need of the hour…need of the environment…need of the mankind to save energy…to check the emission of green house gases. Following the path of many other countries, India has decided to launch a project to phase out the energy consuming traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent lights. It is quite an important step to tackle issues like climate change and carbon emissions.

According to the Indian Energy Ministry, government will distribute 400 million compact fluorescent lights in the next three years to replace existing incandescent bulbs. A CFL consumes one-fourth of the energy as the bulbs. Andhra Pradesh and Haryana will be among the first states to receive the fluorescent lights.

Fluorescent light bulbs have enormous potential to save energy particularly in India. India is a huge country and one-fifth of its total energy is consumed by the household lighting. Currently majority of the household bulbs are energy hungry incandescent. This project would help India save 10,000 megawatts of electricity per year and will help India reduce 55 million tons of carbon emissions per year.

The high cost has been the main obstacle in the popularity of CFL bulbs. It costs about four times as much as traditional bulbs. But they are efficient and cheaper in the long run because they consume much less power and the bulb life is far longer than the incandescents. So now the Indian government will offer the CFLs for about 30 cents that is one-fourth of their cost in the market.

The movement to phase out the incandescent bulbs is becoming global as countries like China, Australia, Britain, etc are considering measures to switch to energy-efficient lamps.

It can be considered as the first step of India on the Action Plan on Climate Change adopted last year. This project put the focus on harnessing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. India is in the list of top five emitters of greenhouse gases, and due to the rapid economic development India’s emissions are rising and could significantly contribute to global warming in future.