Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Value of Handwritten Notes | The Simple Dollar

Whenever I happen to stop in a Hallmark store, I’m just astounded as to the wide variety of greeting cards on display in there. There are cards for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, bridal showers, engagements, weddings, new babies, job promotions, new jobs, good-byes, graduations, passing a big test, recovering from illness or surgery, sympathy, apology, christenings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs… and that doesn’t even touch the seasonal cards, like Veteran’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and so on. All of these cards are there to express the same basic sentiment: that you’re thinking of someone during some special occasion.

Don’t get me wrong, that sentiment is a great thing. It’s wonderful when people take the time to think of each other on important occasions. My trouble is that the sentiment that they express can just as easily be expressed without spending money on a greeting card. It can be written as a letter or on a very inexpensive blank card.

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Obama Says He’ll Take Immigration Action With House Stuck | Bloomberg

President Barack Obama said he’ll resort to executive action on U.S. immigration rules because House Republicans won’t hold a vote on legislation to revamp the system.

“For more than a year, Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to allow an up-and-down vote,” the president said at the White House. They are “unwilling to stand up to the Tea Party to do what’s best for the country.”

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Why Small Business Owners Need a Summer Vacation | Business News Daily

As a small business owner, it can seem almost impossible to take time away from work. You may think that you can’t afford to go on vacation when you’re in charge of your company’s day-to-day operations, but to protect your own well-being, you really can’t afford not to.

“Small business owners wear many hats,” said Craig Bryant, founder and product manager of small business HR management software company Kin HR. “Many hats means many worries, and many worries bring lack of sleep, exercise and time to decompress. Exhaustion can lead to poor decision-making, and we all know what that means for business.”

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Tiny Electric Grids Help States Weather Extreme Storms | Scientific American

Two years ago this week, a fierce, fast-moving thunderstorm system known as a derecho ripped through the Mid-Atlantic leaving more than 1 million of Maryland’s 2.5 million electricity customers without power.

In the aftermath of the storm, the state stepped up efforts to improve the resiliency and reliability of the grid. This week, at the behest of Gov. Martin O’Malley D, the Maryland Energy Administration MEA released a road map for microgrid deployment as part of a strategy to withstand future storms, which are expected to become more intense as a result of climate change.

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The Domestic Worker App – 5 apps to help change the world | CNNMoney

When New York became the first state to pass a domestic worker bill of rights, the National Domestic Workers Alliance collaborated with the women and minority-led non-profit art studio, Studio REV, to create an app to educate these workers about their rights.

Marisa Jahn, executive director of Studio REV, said the studio consciously decided to design something that would be accessible to those who aren’t that tech savvy and may not have pricey smartphones.

A call-in service connects workers to fictional, educational audio episodes about domestic workers rights and common employee-employer scenarios.

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Cool but Pricey Business Ideas |

Starting your own business will always entail some initial costs, but some ideas are considerably more expensive than others. It takes a brave person to go into such a venture, knowing that there’s always the possibility they won’t succeed. Some people are lucky – they already have the capital to give their expensive business idea a go. Others need to rely on loans and investors in order to get their fledgling venture off the ground. Check out these awesome expensive business ideas and see if you’d be brave enough to tackle any of them for yourself.

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6 Ways to Transform Data into Information That Drives Decision Making |

Like most business owners and managers, you are likely inundated with oceans of data on a daily basis, yet not much of it helps you make decisions that improve results.The problem we all face is having too much data because we know that’s a good thing, yet very little of it enables effective decisions. Often, the data isn’t going to help you. Either it’s not the right kind of data or it isn’t compiled and analyzed properly.In other words, it isn’t Information — it’s just data. You need information for decision making.

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To Communicate More Effectively, Use The Theory Of Seven | Forbes

My Theory of Seven says that anytime you have to communicate with a large group of people, you should do so as though everyone is seven years old. This doesn’t mean talking down to people; it means being so interesting, clear and simple that you hold their attention.

The Theory of Seven works in marketing, selling, speaking, education, and management.

We’ve all suffered through the speaker who drones on and on for an hour, assuming that adults have an infinite ability to pay attention. In reality, you probably started daydreaming before the guy finished thanking his host, colleagues, mentors, former teachers and long-lost relatives.

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Future Soldiers May Wear Bulletproof Spider Silk | Livescience

Ultra-strong spider silk, one of the toughest known natural fibers,  could one day protect soldiers on the battlefield from bullets and other threats, one company says.

Spider silk is light and flexible, and is stronger by weight than high-grade steel. Its potential applications span a wide range of industries, from surgical sutures for doctors to protective wear for the military. But producing and harvesting enough spider silk to make these types of products commercially available has posed a challenge.

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Google I/O 2014: Live Updates From Google’s Biggest Event of the Year | Mashable

Google is kicking off its developers conference, Google I/O, with a keynote that’s sure to be jam-packed with news. Mashable will be reporting the news live from the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Some of Google’s sessions this year are dedicated to adapting apps for wearables and the company’s Chromecast device. And just before the conference, Google-owned Nest opened its smart thermostat up to developers. Clearly, extending apps to new and emerging platforms will be a theme. Here’s what else we’re expecting.

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