Realtor Lockboxes Explained: A Summary of Lockbox Options and Alternatives for Real Estate Agents

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Real estate professionals today have a plethora of high tech options out there to enhance their business, but rarely do we fully consider the value of the lockbox – the sole piece of equipment responsible for allowing agents to show the homes that we sell everyday. The lockbox itself has evolved over time, and today agents find themselves comparing the value from a standard combination lockbox to that of a more high-tech electronic lockbox. Real estate agents today are pressed from all sides for fees, dues, and expenditures that are unavoidable costs of doing business, so when it comes to making a decision between a combination lockbox that’s just a few bucks versus a high-tech electronic lockbox that is substantially more expensive, does the increase in cost justify the value? Also, what are all the options out there for electronic lockboxes? This article highlights the findings of current industry options available.

Having the ability to show a home without the sellers there to watch your every move was a move in the right direction for the real estate industry. Agents know very well the situation where a seller will remain in a home during a showing and “pretend” like they are minding their own business while the buyers tip-toe through the home trying not to impose while attempting to get a sense of what the home was like.

This is a wild departure from the typical showing when the sellers aren’t there; clients love to snoop around in order to get a good sense of the home. With the sellers not there, the buyers get a good opportunity to get a true sense of how that particular home would feel and if they can see themselves living there. Put simply, it allows for a better, more convenient showing experience.

From this dilemma the lockbox was invented. A device securing the key for entry by licensed real estate agents to show their prospective buyers, and it allowed sellers (or their agents) the opportunity to have the home shown without the need of their presence. It saved time, and allowed for a better showing experience. Truly, it was a win-win.

However, early lockboxes were simply a combination lockbox. They are certainly inexpensive, but an obvious downside was the lack of security for the home in question once the lockbox code was known. Sellers would rely on the professional ethics of real estate agents to keep the code confidential, but sometimes the code would slip into hands of non-agents. Less frequently, the code would be found by people with malicious intent.

With the obvious shortfall of relying on the honor system to keep lockbox codes confidential, it offered the opportunity for a better solution that would allow for accountability along with the ability to show a home without the seller being present. As a result, it did not take long for “smart” lockboxes using electronic technology to come into existence, thus revolutionizing the process of showing a home. Before a seller and their agent wouldn’t really know who was showing the property other than the confirmed appointments that were made. Flash forward to today, and you have the ability to know exactly who and exactly when someone shows a property through the use of an electronic lockbox. With these smart electronic lockboxes, only an agent or other authorized party can access the lockbox itself, further emboldening the assurance to a seller that only licensed agents and properly authorized individuals are showing or entering their home.

Today there are 2 main companies that provide these smart electronic lockboxes to real estate agency associations. They are Supra key and Sentrilock. Together they comprise the majority of the lockbox industry market; nobody else comes close.

Supra (or SupraKey) is owned by general electric and provides lockbox solutions to all sorts of niche industries, real estate lockboxes being one of them. Bill Love, national account manager for Supra, says that out of a given state or region in the country, Supra, on average, maintains an 80% market share. Supra has sold several million lockboxes throughout the years to real estate agents, and currently Love estimates that there are 1.5 million+ Supra lockboxes currently in use by about 750,000 real estate agents throughout the country.

The supra key itself features a cylindrical design up to the “shackle” (the loop part of the lockbox that will noose around something and keep it in its place securely) where the shackle fits in seamlessly. Its simplistic design is pleasing to the eye, and to activate the lockbox, an agent has a “digital key” that’s about the size of a small flip phone and has a number pad and screen on it. The agent sets the key to open a box and points it in the direction of an infrared sensor on the box itself. When the lockbox recognizes that it being accessed by the remote digital key, it will release to allow access and the bottom of the lockbox will fall out when it’s pushed by the agent, and voilĂ , the key to the home is available for the agent to take and open the door for the showing.

Love says that Supra has plans for upgrades to the current model lockbox that will include the ability for wireless Bluetooth access and syncing. Also, rather than having the digital key, if the agent has a smartphone, Supra offers an app for access with the phone instead, which makes it easier and more convenient, for a monthly fee. Love claims that the key difference with a Supra Lockbox is that “it keeps intelligence in the hands of the user.” Rather than having to rely on extra equipment or other trades people, the user has the control. Supra has had the current model for several years now with incremental software updates along the way. If an agent wants to buy a new Supra lockbox, it costs around $90, but the actual price that an agent will pay is determined by the association that they belong to.

Sentrilock is the other major player in the real estate lockbox industry. Sentrilock, which is based out of Indiana and is partially owned by the National Association of Realtors has been around for less than a decade and currently services about 250 of the 1000+ Realtor associations throughout the country and Canada as well. These associations comprise about 250,000 agents and approximately 500,000 lockboxes in current use. Sentrilock has 2 main models that are currently used; one is a silver lockbox that resembles a cell phone from the late 1980’s, bulky and heavy and somewhat longer in size than the supra lockbox. It has a key pad directly on the front of the lockbox itself, and holds the key within a drop-down door that pops open when accessed.

The other lockbox they offer is a smaller, more compact blue lockbox that is more cube-ish in shape but with the similar functionality features. The main difference between the silver and blue lockbox is that the blue lockbox allows for more space within the lockbox itself (which is important for people trying to sell a condo and who need to include an “access fob” in addition to the key to the front door of the unit itself – there just isn’t enough room for multiple keys or when including the access fob with Sentrilocks’ silver lockbox). Sentrilock sells their lockboxes for about $125 a piece, but this also depends on where you are getting it from, as the actual retail price is determined by the local real estate association that sells the boxes.

Both lockbox companies offer substantial warranties on the product themselves. They also have a support team that is almost always available in the event there is difficulty in accessing a lockbox, or for troubleshooting purposes. Both companies offer a comprehensive online tool that can provide the analytics from the showings and use of a specific lockbox which agents can use to share with their clients.

Some of the main differences between these two are how the lockbox itself is accessed. Sentrilock doesn’t need an extra piece of equipment to open a box. Rather, they utilize a “Smart-Card” which is essentially a credit-card that fits into the lockbox and has a chip inside it that shares your information with the lockbox you are accessing. This card is all you need to access the lockbox, whereas Supra requires the digital key, although they have addressed this by means of offering the smart-phone app so an agent can use their phone in place of the digital key. Both systems require updating; in other words, the smart card for the sentrilock system requires you to stick your card in a “card reader” that you get when you buy your smart-card that hooks into your computer. Every few days (the exact amount of days is determined by your local Realtor association) you must update the card through the card reader, which will allow you to show property, and at the same time uploads the information of the places you have shown to the Sentrilock system, which in turn is then able to be seen by the agents who owned the lockboxes of the places that you accessed. In a pinch you can update your card over the phone, but you can only do this once or twice.

On the other hand, supra keys update wirelessly. They didn’t always do this, where you were required to keep your “digital key” docked on a charging station that was hooked up to a phone line. You had to do this every day and that’s how the system would both update your card as well as share your showing information to the system. The wireless updating feature has been in place for a year or two now, and takes the headache out of the equation of having you update your key each and every day.

The back end system for Sentrilock allows an agent to create specific access codes for one-time access of a specific lockbox. This makes it really convenient for a contractor, appraiser, termite inspector, etc. to be able to access a property with a code, but only one time because that code will expire after the day the code was intended to be used. This is a great feature that Supra doesn’t have an answer to.

Although there are benefits to both systems, any agent can’t simply choose which lockbox system they want to use – this is decided, agreed to and contractually obligated between either Sentrilock or Supra and an agent’s local real estate association. These associations, once they have agreed on a system to use can then “tweak” the system to their discretion and preference. Things like the cost of a lockbox, whether the lockbox is leased or sold to agents, the amount of times an agent can renew their key by phone, the amount of days that can elapse before an update of an access key is required, these and more options can be tweaked and most real estate professionals are unaware that other options or preferences exist.

When comparing the benefits over your standard combination lockbox, an agent must be able to justify the added cost of a smart-electronic lockbox by the value it provides. It’s easy to do so, especially when taking the seller’s best interests at heart, as the smart lockbox will ensure accountability and a better safety and security measure for the showing process and for the home itself. Its analytics information and the ability to control who can actually gain access to the home are tantamount to successfully being able to gauge the interest in a home by means of how many people are interested in seeing it as well as being able to rest assure the seller that a home is being shown but in the most secure manner possible.

During this most recent downturn in the economy, most real estate markets throughout the country were inundated (and some still are) with foreclosure property. Certain real estate brokerages that specialized in this type of distressed property had the best years of production on record for the 2008 and 2009 years. All of these properties that needed to be shown and sold needed lockboxes, but the value provided by a smart lockbox through Sentrilock or Supra didn’t justify the cost to acquire, as distressed-property brokerages had inventories of 50, 100, 200 or 300 properties at a given time. The smart lockboxes were too expensive, especially when taking into account that the home in question was owned by the bank, it was vacant and the analytics of showings didn’t matter when a given foreclosure property is selling in no time at all with multiple offers. If an agent is carrying even 50 listings with a smart lockbox, it entails $5000 worth of lockboxes needed on all the properties he/she has for sale. At this point, a less expensive combination lockbox from Lowes for $7 looks way better and the total outlay for the lockboxes is substantially less. It’s a combination of utility value and overall price paid from the standpoint of the real estate professional, so it begs the question, why are the smart lockboxes so expensive?

Put simply, the market will bear the current price point of both the Supra and Sentrilock lockboxes because the value they provide are well worth the cost. That being said, certain companies have come into existence that are poised to take advantage of the amount of agents that want to sell their used lockboxes as well as the agents out there who don’t want to pay retail for the lockbox(es) they need for their business. Blake Nolan, co-owner of San Diego based LockboxSwap has created a website where a secondary market has been created and regulated for both the Sentrilock and Supra lockbox systems. Nolan says his company can help agents buy or sell their lockboxes and in the process save time and money. “Right now there is no real place online that offers what we offer” Nolan Says. He continues that “if you call into (any association) and ask about used lockboxes, or where to sell your own lockboxes, they say to go try craigslist or Ebay. We created LockboxSwap to address this vast and untapped market opportunity.”

Nolan’s’ LockboxSwap company plans to unveil the business this summer, and preliminary beta-test users have offered rave reviews.

In the world of Realtor lockboxes, smart-lockboxes are preferred because the overall value inherent in being able to secure a home, controlling the use of entry and having analytical accountability far outweighs the alternative of your standard combination lockbox (or no lockbox at all) Although the 2 main players in the Realtor lockbox arena have 2 excellent products, both fall short of being 100% perfect. They both do some things quite well and have the capabilities that the other does not. It would be great to be able to merge both products and concepts together, but since that is not possible, it’s up to each individual Realtor association to interview and determine which company is a better “fit” for them. At the end of the day, the 2 companies and respective products, although imperfect, represent competition between one another which keeps productivity and innovation high while keeping prices in check. Companies like that of LockboxSwap help to do this further by inventing and establishing the precedent for an industry that hereto has yet to exist, but has the ability to offer a cost-efficient alternative to Realtor professionals when it comes to their lockbox needs.

No matter what, it’s obvious the industry is moving in the right direction; we are witnessing technological advancements that help to serve Realtor professionals do their job better and more efficiently, and it is interesting to see what will be the norm in the near future as well as the long term. For now, Realtor professionals should be confident in knowing that while it’s great where we stand today, the future is only getting brighter.

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Nail Technician, Nail Salon & Beauty Salon – 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Kill Your Profits

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Are You Killing Your Nail Profits?

Nail Salons and Nail Technicians often get caught up into thinking nails are all they do. This type of thinking limits nail technicians and box them into offering just the typical nail services to their clients. Nail salons and nail technicians are part of a bigger industry. This bigger industry is beauty. Yes, the Beauty Industry! The beauty industry is hot and booming and if your not taking advantage of this huge industry, your leaving a lot of money on the table. This world of Beauty opens up many additional streams of income and ways to make money as a nail technician!

Yet still, a lot of nail techs are not taking advantage of this industry and are killing their profits. They are practically giving away business and money that could be theirs! Lets examine a few ways nail techs can set up road blocks in their business that result in lower income and fewer clients.

Top 5 Mistakes Nail Technicians & Nails Salons Make And How To Avoid Them

1. Focusing More on Learning Nail Art Designs and Application than Sales and & Marketing. Believe it or not, Sales and Marketing should be a strong focus point, just as nail designs and application. It does not matter if you are the hottest nail art designer in town, if you don’t have enough clients to keep you in business you will not make the kind of money you desire. A nail tech that knows Sales and Marketing will out grow and make more money than the nail tech that is only good at nail designs, application, pedicures and manicures!

2. Not over delivering on services. In order to survive and keep clients coming back to see you. You will need to be different and offer services that other nail techs and nail salons are not. Every nail salon in town does manicures the same way practically. What can you do to make your manicure different? Always go the extra mile to give your clients more than what they were expecting. This keeps clients coming back to you and not going anywhere else to get there nails done.

3. Not Creating a customer Loyalty program. The best way you can thank your clients and keep them coming back is with a customer loyalty program. For example, offering a punch card that offers the 10th visit free or at a discount is a great way to say ” thank you” for being a loyal client and coming back! Clients love free stuff! So make it a point to keep rewarding them for their loyalty to your business.

4. Not Getting Contact Information for Each Client. For every client that a nail tech service, there should be a customer card that highlights their name, phone number and email address. This information is valuable to you as it is your way to keep in contact with your clients, promote specials, events, products and give nail care tips. Having contact information keeps you fresh in their minds and coming back to see you for their beauty needs.

5. Not offering back-end sales. If your services are great. Then getting the customer to spend more at each visit would not be hard to do! By offering complimentary services in the beauty industry such as eyebrow waxing and lip waxing may enhance your bottom line a lot. (Make sure you check for licensing requirements if you get into these types of services in your state). You can also get into carrying a few nice costume jewelry pieces, skin and hand care products and more! Keep it simple, just a few nice things to enhance your bottom line and get your clients to spend more at each visit.

While these are just a few profit killers, there are many more ways to kill your profits. Such as not keeping up with the latest beauty news and techniques, Not continuing education, and not being attentive to health concerns and more! Knowing what to avoid will keep you ahead of the game and keep money flowing into your business consistently!

The nail care industry is hot right now and if approached right you can make a lot of money at what you love to do- Nails! If you want to be successful and a have a rewarding career as a nail tech don’t make these mistakes, they can hurt your business and your bottom line.

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Wallace R MacAskill Hand – Colored Photography

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Wallace Robinson MacAskill (1887-1956) was one of Nova Scotia’s most famous marine photographers. (We have seen conflicting birth dates ranging from 1887-1890). Best known for his Nova Scotia seascape and sailing vessel scenes, his works are becoming increasing collectible both in Canada and the United States.

Born in St. Peters, Cape Breton County in Nova Scotia, MacAskill graduated from the Wade School of Photography in New York in 1907. He opened his first photographic studio in St. Peters, and then in Glace Bay, before moving to Halifax in 1915. In Halifax MacAskill worked for military photographer W.G. MacLaughlan, and between 1916-19 he worked as a printer at the Elite Studios in Halifax. Between 1920-29 MacAskill worked as a photographic printer for the Commercial Photo Service.

In 1926 MacAskill married Elva Abriel, another professional photographer, and he opened another studio in Halifax around this time. His pictures were used extensively by the Nova Scotia government, and many MacAskill pictures also appeared in two books that he published including Out of Halifax (1937) and Lure of the Sea (1951). Probably MacAskill’s most famous picture was the famous schooner “Bluenose“, which appeared as a postage stamp in 1929, and which appeared in various books and which proved to be one of his best-selling art photographs.

Wallace R. MacAskill died in Halifax on January 25, 1956. In 1964 Mrs. MacAskill sold the contents of MacAskill’s studio, including his negatives, to Maurice Crosby, another Halifax photographer. In 1970 Crosby sold them to the Maritime Supplies & Exchange Ltd. And in 1984, National Art Ltd. was given exclusive rights to produce new hand-colored pictures using MacAskill’s original negatives. These pictures were still hand colored in oils, but are not as highly prized by collectors as MacAskill’s earliest and original works. This agreement expired in 1986 and in 1987 MacAskill’s negatives were donated to the Public Archives of Nova Scotia where they remain today.

Just a few of the Wallace MacAskill titles we have seen include:

• Bluenose

• Cape Le Rounde, C.B.

• Drying Sails

• My Ship o’ Dreams

• Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse

• Rockbound Coast, Nova Scotia

• Saga of the Sea

• Schooners in Early Morning Mist

• Sunset, Nova Scotia Coast

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Source by Michael Ivankovich

High-Tech Billing Solution That Meets CMS, NUCC, HIPAA Regulatory Standards

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With EMR gaining its importance post the stimulus bill; the Billing application can’t be ignored. For any small, medium or large level of medical information business, medical billing health care services is the most indispensable and easy on the pocket for the healthcare industry.

Binary Spectrum’s billing application is a robust platform that automates electronic claims, remittances, member enrollment, eligibility and disenrollment processes for a large HMO. The application has delivered adaptability to client software and billing process with prompt medical billing services, thereby saving on client’s staffing and operational expenditures. It helps scale up the claims processing capability, and is able to do so in a timely manner while being able to deal with a variety of vendors.

The billing solution provides seamless integration features for charge creation based on the data provided in the clinical charting functions to avoid duplicate and error prone data entry. The transmission of claims could be done either through electronic means i.e. ECT or paper based preprinted forms.

The following are the list of EDI Messages supported:

For Batch transactions-

• 837 P/I (professional / institutional) – Electronic Claim files

• 835 – Healthcare electronic Remittance advice request form

• 834 – Enrollment and disenrollment for Medicaid eligibility

• 820 – Electronic response files for premium Payments to insurer

For Real time transactions-

• 271 / 272 – Member eligibility request / response

• 276 / 277 – Claim status request / response

• 278 – Authorization and Referrals

The key differentiator of the Medical Billing application is that there are multiple ways of creating a final charge for a patient.

• At the time of booking an appointment, an encounter can be started, treatment plan details can be captured and the encounter can be ended which takes the user to charge creation screen & for creating the charge for the encounter.

• Another flow is from the book appointment page. There is the option of super bill which starts the charge creation process, imports all the services that are captured in the super bill to the charge creation screen & creates the charge, associating the appropriate prices for the services.

Benefits for the Billing Companies:

Billing companies can benefit from the following:

• Reduce efforts in entering data

• Automated Workflow and Rule Management

• Compliance checks and acknowledgement generation

• Support for multiple integration mechanisms for Vendor interactions

• Parsing and Validation mechanisms

• Integrated processes related to primary care physician, the HMO and the government funding bodies (CMS / ACHA)

Benefits for Physicians:

The billing solution will help physicians to:

• End medical billing hassles

• Support for Real-time Messages

• Support for both Government and Private multiple health insurance plans and in variety of ways including guarantor, co pay, primary/secondary/tertiary

• Timely and accurate charge entry and claim generation

• Implementation and conformance to applicable standards including HIPAA, standard procedures CPT and illness nomenclature ICD.

• Faster payment to doctors accurately

Binary Spectrum delivers significant system and personnel designed software with superior 24 / 5 customer services. Our solution centric approach helps us to endow with technical expertise for cost effective robust solutions to our clients.

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Drones Photography Market Provides Depth Analysis in Singapore

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The introduction of “ready to fly” drones in comparison to the level that required aeromodelling knowledge has revolutionized a large number of sectors, especially photography, by enabling aerial photography at a previously prohibitive cost. In classical architecture photography, that is, when we have the camera at the foot of the ground, we can observe and capture everything that happens in the perpendicular plane to which we are supported.

Good option Drone Photography Singapore

Drone – Drone (or self-propelled apparatus flightless similar type of action). Those who have watched the movie “Oblivion,” can remember the drone of autonomous fighting vehicles, which control a certain area. Drones carry out most of the intelligence function. They can move in unsafe conditions for humans; they are autonomous enough to remain a long time without support (e.g., drones charged by the sun), their intrinsic value in the absence of a human pilot is approaching zero. In the future, drones can perform many useful functions: monitoring weather conditions and the territory, fast shipping to ship, combat operations without the need to include human units and more.

A new perspective

This mode of photography opens us a new field of possibilities with views that cannot be attained otherwise. Everyone can get a drone today, there is something for every budget, but be careful though if you want to board on this adventure, there are a few things to know.

Focused Visual Critique

A high-rise in the morning dawn seen from above- an exclusive picture six, seven years ago. Today, however, it is simply a technically good, somewhat banal Drone Photography Singapore. The photographer has tried to show the Roche tower from an unknown perspective, photographed in a photographically interesting time and legally flawless. This goal has been achieved. Still, the picture is not spectacular. Why?

A detailed study of demand and key customer markets

Structural drivers and brakes, detailed analysis of the current and future regulations, interest for companies to use drones, in-depth study of the seven main opportunities (leisure, audiovisual, surveillance, and inspection, precision agriculture, cartography, civil security, and logistics), etc.

Opportunities and Key Success Factors

The development of integrated value-added offerings including data analysis and processing, sensor innovation, customer relationship improvement, targeting of SMEs and atomized sectors, internationalization, etc.

The panorama of the forces involved

An exclusive ranking of the top 30 operators, the positioning of the 145 main players, identity cards of 12 key players and economic and financial assessment of the main 200 operators in the sector.

Agriculture, energy, building- seize drones.

Originally, drones were for the military. Now they are used to everything, or almost. And we have not seen anything yet. Now mostly dominated by the drones of leisure, the market of flying objects is growing more and more among professionals.

While they are widely used in the audiovisual industry to film, agriculture, energy, construction, and transport are taking over today. It is because loaded with sensors; they allow to fulfill all kinds of missions of the inspection of the power lines for example, to the watering of the fields, to the supervision of the pipelines.

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Source by Nicole Rin

Big Boys’ Toys – Why Men Love Gadgets

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From sports cars to spy cameras, power tools to wireless power gadgets–guys love technology. Most men have at least one high-tech obsession. It could be the latest gas grilling equipment, a cutting edge fly rod, the newest graphite golf clubs, computers, electronics–the list goes on and on. It’s obvious that guys love gadgets–but why? Here are just a few possible reasons.

The “Wow” factor. Let’s face it: a shiny new techno-toy is cool. From the latest plasma screen TV’s to slender, stylish mobile phones, a beautifully designed machine is sure to catch a guy’s attention. Many gadgets are designed to maximize the coolness appeal: electronic card shufflers for the card shark in your family; sleek Mp3 players and mobile phones that look good out on the town; computer speakers that look like contemporary sculpture. The “wow” factor is elusive, and it’s usually a combination of style and function.

It’s all about status. Cutting edge technology is a status symbol. And even those of us who insist we don’t care about such things get a secret thrill from owning the latest and greatest. Those gadgets cost money, and they send a signal that the owner has it to spare. They also give the impression that the owner is educated, trendy, and plugged-in. Most social species have ways to determine status among their members, and human beings are one of the most complex social species in the world. Techno-gadgets are just one way guys can display their status among their peers.

They make guys feel like kids again. Most guys start their love affair with gadgets at an early age. Little boys love remote control cars, video games, kid-sized tools, and more. A new gadget can make a guy feel like a kid again. Playing with high-tech toys is something that never changes. It’s engrossing, fascinating, and fun–just like it was when he was a kid. Most guys get just as excited now when they’re given a gadget for Christmas as they did when they were much younger. No wonder gadget gifts are a quick and easy way to a man’s heart.

Believe it or not–they’re practical. Gadgets let you do things you couldn’t do otherwise. A cutting-edge laptop can let you do everything from recording your own music to building your own e-commerce business. A feature-packed cell phone lets you check your email, play your favorite music, and even download a movie or television series in addition to keeping in touch with your friends. A well-made power tool lets you build anything from furniture to sailboats to motorcycles from the ground up. Guys love gadgets because they don’t just make our lives easier–they make impossible achievements commonplace.

Entertainment value. Technology doesn’t just improve our lives–it also makes things more fun. Entertainment technology has come far in the past decades, from early radio and television to cutting-edge plasma screens, video games with astonishing graphics, and more. No matter what you like to do for entertainment, technology takes fun to a whole new level. And it’s everywhere in our culture–almost everybody has a television, a radio, a CD collection, a computer, and many other gadgets. Today, even our most simple and familiar toys have been given a technological overhaul: dolls walk and talk; teddy bears play songs and tell stories; and toy cars have remote controls.

The cutting edge is addictive. Once you get into techno-toys, it’s hard to stop. You get excited when you see the newest model out on the market. You read about the new features, you watch the reviews, you comparison shop until the price comes down–and then you jump on the best deal. If you love gadgets, it’s hard not to keep up with the latest trends. No matter the type of tool, the technology industry is making new developments every year. This year’s gadgets have more to offer than last year’s, and next year’s techno-toys are sure to make this year’s look like stone tools. When you’re into technology, it’s tough not to keep up with the latest trends.

It’s not just men who love gadgets. Women are also getting involved. In fact, it’s likely that the sleek, graceful lines of today’s technology, from thin plasma screen televisions to stylish mobile phones and Mp3 players, are designed to appeal to women as well as men. Technological advances have made it possible for us to do things our ancestors never dreamed of. With everything we can do with gadgets, it’s hard not to love them–no matter who you are.

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How to Approach Math Word Problems on the Pharmacy Tech Exams

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The Big Secret: Don’t think about the problem until you write down all of the factors.

Sounds too easy, right? But it’s where everyone gets stuck. Start by carefully reading over the entire question from start to finish and decode the important factors. Then, go back and slowly read it again, writing down only the necessary factors. Factors aren’t just numbers, but also things like days, percent signs, p.m., or whatever will help keep things straight for you. Also, neatly write numbers below or above numbers that will be added or subtracted and set-up any fractions.

Write an Equal sign where it belongs

This is critical; the equal sign is like a trigger to our brains that we’ve been taught since 3rd grade. Now that the problem is written in terms with an equal sign in place, the light will generally go on and you’ll start working the problem. From here, the only hang-ups you may encounter are things like not knowing conversions or needing to convert to all like factors. Even if you write down the factors wrong the first time, you’ll likely see how to re-arrange them and get started.

Sloppy writing is not allowed in math:

Your success at math is contingent on writing all of the factors neatly and organized. When you come across a math word problem, the first thought that should come into your head is to grab for a piece of paper to write it out. As you jot it down, write neatly and leave yourself some space between lines.Beware: Exam writers prey on your bad habits.

When I create practice math word problems for the free practice exams, I have to think up three dummy answers. How do I do it? It may sound sadistic, but I try to consider what answers would come up if someone was sloppy. I think about things like if a factor was left out, or if someone did the equation in a rush, or their head. Exam writers who write for official exams do the same thing. After all, the exams are used to weed out unqualified applicants. If you want to pass the exam, get in the practice of writing things down completely, neatly and organized.

When you get to a question that’s a math word problem.

First, relax and know that all of the facts are in there for you to solve it. Then take a deep breath and follow these steps: Don’t try to rush or use a short-cut

Read it at least twice

Write down the only necessary factors

Put an equal sign where it belongs

Do the Math

Need some more Pharmacy Tech math practice?

For more FREE help with Pharmacy Technician Math, visit http://www.pharmacy-tech-study.com. You’ll find a complete review of math including fractions, percentage concentration calculations, algebra and much more.

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His Most Famous Photograph (Fading Away) – Henry Peach Robinson

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English photographer Henry Peach Robinson or H.P. Robinson (1830-1901) was a pioneer of ‘Pictorialist Photography,’ especially ‘Combination Printing.’ Pictorialists believed that ‘Art Photography’ needed to emulate the paintings of everyday life in such a way to etch it in time and remove from it the mundane of the photograph. Among the methods used for the same were soft focus, special filters, lens coatings, heavy manipulation in the darkroom, and exotic printing processes. These processes together gave an eerie and an unreal feeling of being etched in space and time to the fluid and everyday ‘Modern Photography.’ Henry Robinson was called “the King of photographic picture making,” proving the pinnacle of his competence as a photographer. His “Fading Away” is an all time stunner.

Robinson began his career in 1850, working as a bookseller, while continuing to study art. In 1852, at the age of 21, he exhibited his oil painting “On the Teme near Ludlow” at the Royal Academy. Around this time, he also started taking photographs. After five years, he decided to make this new technique called ‘High Art’ or ‘Combination Photographs,’ his career. Robinson learnt the intricacies of photography from Hugh Welch Diamond, one of the earliest photographers in the world. In 1857, Robinson opened a studio at Leamington Spa. Along with making portraits, he started creating photographs, imitating the ‘genre paintings.’ These artworks showed ‘scenes from everyday life, of ordinary people in work or recreation, depicted in a generally realistic manner.’ Some of Robinson’s well-known photographs are ‘Juliet with the Poison Bottle’ (1857), ‘The Lady of Shallot’ (1861), ‘Autumn’ (1863), and ‘Seascape at Night’ (1870). His masterpiece however, is “Fading Away,” a ‘Combination Print’ that took him five negatives to create.

Generated in 1858, Henry’s “Fading Away” depicts the peaceful death of a young girl due to tuberculosis. Her grieving family, her sister, mother, and fiancé precisely, are shown surrounding her. Measuring 24.4 cm x 39.3 cm, the photograph is an ‘Albumen Print.’ In 1860, Henry explained the creation process of the negative to the Photographic Society of Scotland, which led to huge disapproval of such ‘realist manipulations.’ Although, the photograph was the product of Robinson’s imagination and the subjects are merely posing to create a touching albeit a realistic portrayal of a grieving family, many viewers felt that using a traditionally ‘truthful’ medium as photography to depict such a scene in falsity was too painful and shocking. One critic said that Robinson had cashed in on “the most painful sentiments which it is the lot of human beings to experience.”

It seemed that since a photograph is usually a recorded proof of an incident that in reality took place in life, to see an ‘untruthful’ or artistic photograph was shocking to the viewers of the time. The public felt that though it was all right for painters to paint pictures on the themes of death and grief, it was not natural for the photographers to falsify such a setting in the name of art. This controversy however, made him the most famous photographer in England and the leader of the ‘Pictorialist’ movement. The exhibitions of “Fading Away” were a huge success. H.P. Robinson’s work impressed Prince Albert too. He became a regular patron of the photographer’s works.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

How To Maintain Technology In Your Business

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Whether you like the idea or not, most businesses today survive primarily because of modern technology. Technology is used in business for keeping records, receiving payments, paying workers, and a lot more. Even small businesses today rely on technology to further advance their cause. If there is one challenge regarding technology in business, it is in the area of upgrading and maintenance, because it requires not only a budget but also a lot of patience in your part as the owner.

Not all people can easily go with the flow of high-end computers and complicated office machines. If you are one of those people, it is important that you list down all high tech equipments and machines you have in your office and learn how to operate each one of them. Familiarize yourself with computer software and programs as well, especially those that are used for database.

Organizing a technical support team is a good idea. Look for an IT expert to lead the team in making sure that every office equipment is working at full potential and that the system has zero loopholes as possible. When assigning a person to lead your tech support team, consider not only his skills and knowledge concerning business technology but also the quality of his experience as an IT expert.

Set aside a time each week and each month to have your system checked by your tech support team or by yourself. Have someone write a report regarding the check up to be submitted to you for evaluation. The feedback should contain information regarding the status of the system and if a software or hardware needs to be upgraded or not. Moreover, encourage your workers to report glitches as soon as possible.

Finally and most importantly, create a budget for the maintenance of your business technology. Avoid the mistake of waiting for equipment and system problems to become serious before deciding to spend money for repair. The best thing to do is to dedicate a certain amount of money for maintenance and repair beforehand. Doing this will help you prevent major setbacks and help you save money in the longer run.

There is absolutely no easier way to advance your business than with careful planning and preparation not only in the promotion of products itself but in the logistics and essential organ of the business body as well which is business technology.

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How Long Will it Take to Get My Pharmacy Tech Certification?

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As most people know, a health care related career is some of the most important work a person can do. Whether a doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, health care workers strive to keep people healthy. And what could be more important than that?

For those looking into a health care career, the position of Pharmacy Technician may appeal to you. Depending on the workplace, a Pharmacy Technician has a variety of duties and responsibilities, from counting out pills to corresponding with customers, and each duty is important. Even routine tasks, such as labeling bottles, can be of life-or-death importance– as, of course, it’s imperative that patients are given the correct medications in the correct doses.

The hourly earnings of a Pharmacy Technician also vary from workplace to workplace. Pharmacy Techs who earn the most generally work in hospitals, where they earn an average of $13 hourly. The lowest-earning Pharmacy Technicians work in health or personal care stores, with about a $10.50 hourly wage. Obviously, where you choose to work as a Pharmacy Technician matters. And because hospitals and other highly specialized locations pay best, they also look for the best Technicians– that is, Pharmacy Techs with certification.

Training to Be a Pharmacy Technician

While some smaller drug stores, etc., simply provide on-the-job training to untrained Pharmacy Technicians, most higher-paying locations look for Pharmacy Technicians with formal training and certification. To obtain this, most aspiring Pharmacy Techs attend online or classroom training courses. When choosing a Pharmacy Tech course, there are several things to keep in mind, such as length of course, depth of subject matter, and quality of the course (accreditation).

How Long Will it Take?

Most Pharmacy Technician training courses run from about six months to a year, depending on the course. In that time, you will learn the skills required to operate a pharmacy, follow correct pharmaceutical procedures, provide the correct drug dosages, and assist the pharmacist in administrative tasks. This course also helps to prepare you for your PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) exam or ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians).

While there are very few current federal and state laws governing the need for Pharmacy Tech certification, having a PTCB or ExCPT certification is becoming the standard. Passing one or more of these examinations is of key importance.

What if I Need to Finish Faster?

If you don’t have the six months to a year it takes to complete a Pharmacy Tech training course, there are several options available. As the certification is more important to potential employers than the formal training, you can choose to focus your time on studying for the test. You can do this either by studying the test materials, or taking one of the variety of short “crash course” cramming sessions offered by some schools. Most of these courses are from a few hours to several days, and are designed to give you all the information you need to pass you PTCB or ExCPT exams.

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