Tips to Help You Cope at Christmas time (prevent depression and anxiety)

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Christmas Depression

Christmas time for many is a season to be jolly, but for many others Christmas time can lead to episodes of depression and anxiety.

One of the leading causes of depression at Christmas time is loneliness.

People at risk of loneliness include the elderly, those who have had recent relationship breakdowns, parents estranged from their children, those who have recently relocated to a new city, those who have lost loved one recently or whose anniversary falls around Christmas, and those who do not have family and friends around them.

Tips to manage loneliness:

  1. Make it known before Christmas Day that you do not have any plans for Christmas and make sure you accept any offers that are given to share Christmas with someone
  2. Attend your local community centre and see if there are any events scheduled for Christmas Day
  3. If you are spending some of the holiday period alone, ensure to keep yourself busy and treat yourself to something special
  4. Contact your loved ones via phone, social media, or skype regularly
  5. Volunteer your time and services at a local charity in the days leading up to Christmas, as this is traditionally a very busy time for charities
  6. Keep your activities levels up through exercise and get out of the home as regularly as you can
  7. Do something different and take up a new hobby
  8. Find positive ways to remember your loved ones – remember the good times that you had with your loved ones and do something that you used to enjoy (such as attending a restaurant that you used to go to together, and give them a toast)
  9. Get in touch with people you care about who you have lost touch with.  Step out if your comfort and pick up the phone or write a letter

Christmas is a time for families, but many families have internal conflicts and this can lead to problems at Christmas time.

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Five tips on what to do after you’ve been injured in a car accident

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Five tips on what to do after you’ve been injured in a car accident

Car accidents are common, and knowing what to do when it happens to you is very important.

We hope the following article will help and assist you in the event you or a member of your family is involved in an accident.

Please read on:

Being involved in a car accident is a very traumatic experience, and it will be very difficult for you to think and act clearly, and quickly. There are a number of things going on around you, and that is why it is very important to have a check list of things to go through to help you cope.

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Facebook allows posts on other websites

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Facebook 2

Facebook has begun letting people share social network posts at blogs or other spots on the internet.

An Embedded Posts feature being tested out at CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, PEOPLE and Mashable websites lets Facebook members broadcast posts in real-time to broader online audiences.

‘We are beginning to roll out Embedded Posts to make it possible for people to bring the most compelling, timely public posts from Facebook to the rest of the web,’ Facebook software engineers Dave Capra and Ray He said in a blog post on Wednesday.

‘When embedded, posts can include pictures, videos, hashtags and other content,’ they continued.

‘People can also like and share the post directly from the embed.’

Facebook posts that people allow to be shared publicly can be fired off to blogs or selected outside websites, with the list of venues to grow quickly, according to the engineers.

Examples given by Facebook included an official British Monarchy Page publishing a picture of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their newborn son.

‘Every day, public figures, journalists and millions of regular people share their thoughts on what’s happening around the world on Facebook publicly,’ Capra and He said.

‘Many journalists post detailed commentary about world events from their Facebook timeline.’

The Twitter-style feature is being added as California-based Facebook works to expand its presence on the internet and its appeal to members increasingly accessing the internet on the go with smartphones or tablets.

Story source: www.bigpond.com

Carbon tax – what it means for property

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carbon taxEveryone is jostling for space in the carbon tax debate this week. Cate. Michael. And even Ross Cameron, a former Liberal MP known for campaigning on morals, and then proving, Clinton-style, that he didn’t walk the talk, and losing his Federal seat as a result.

Among those in the ear of the Federal Government is the Housing Industry Association, which has declared its opposition. It argues that a tax on carbon emissions will flow through to adversely affect all building products and all sectors of the construction industry.

"Building product manufacturers and new home buyers across Australia will be the hardest hit by a carbon tax," says HIA’s chief executive, Graham Wolfe.

"There will be an immediate and inevitable flow through of cost increases across the broad range of building materials, products, fixtures and fittings," says Wolfe.

Wolfe says at $20 per tonne, a carbon tax will add an extra $6000 or more to the cost of building an average new residence, placing additional affordability pressure on new housing activity, and adding $43 extra per month to family mortgage repayments.

"That adds a further $12,800 in repayments over a 25-year loan," Wolfe says.

The HIA estimates that constructing the average new home and land package involves the emission of about 240 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

And Wolfe argues that $6000 – or about $12,000 if the price was to be $40 a tonne of carbon – could, for some people, be the straw that breaks the banks’ willingness to lend to someone building a home.

"There are a lot of people who don’t have a house who can’t afford to buy a house who are saving as quickly and mightily as they can but they can’t get across the line because they can’t get the deposit together. I’m not going to dismiss $6000 as being a small amount of money that should not have some consequence on the cost impact of … a new home."

But Wolfe concedes that the amount of carbon emitted during building could well come down – and is already doing so.

"Some of the steel manufacturers and the aluminium manufacturers, the cement manufacturers are already increasing the efficiencies of their production line," he says. "That is happening now, whether or not this makes it happen any faster, in time we might see the result of that. Efficiencies in carbon footprints are being improved all the time in any case."

He also says, should makers of steel, aluminium, cement and other building products be compensated, that could reduce the impact of a carbon tax on people building homes. "If there is a compensation for [manufacturers] … then the cost increases won’t be as significant. So the $6000 might be a little less. "

While the HIA has made up its mind that a carbon tax is a bad idea, pointing out that it could make people look for cheaper non-taxed products from offshore, not everyone in the building industry agrees.

Cameron Rosen, the director of sustainable building consultancy Australian Living, who has recently built four eight-star homes in Sydney’s east, says a carbon tax would not necessarily cost more.

"Sure if you think old school, prices are going to up, but if you think new school, prices should come down," Rosen says. "I think it opens up the doors for innovation to come alive."

Rosen says a carbon tax could push builders to investigate more efficient building systems, that reduce waste, and open up the potential to integrate ideas from the commercial building sector.

On his recent build, Rosen used concrete from Boral that has a high recycled content. Doing so saved 13 tonnes of carbon emissions per home.

Rosen also says if a carbon tax pushes up the energy efficiency of new homes, people could save thousands of dollars on electricity and gas.

"About 38 per cent of our energy consumption goes to heating and cooling. It’s the biggest amount of our energy expenditure and, through good design, you can wipe that 38 per cent out [or get close to it]."

Story by Carolyn Boyd www.domain.com.au

Web founder says Facebook a danger

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FacebookThe man credited with inventing the internet has lashed out at Facebook and other social networking sites saying they are moving the web away from its founding principles.

In an essay in Scientific American magazine, Tim Berners-Lee says social networking sites are tightly controlling the information put on there by users meaning the internet’s being split into fragmented islands.

Berners-Lee said there is a chance Facebook could become so big that it could limit innovation.

Source: www.ninemsn.com.au

Facebook to trademark the word "face"

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FacebookFacebook has moved one step closer in its efforts to trademark the word "face", after receiving the green light from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The Office has issued a notice of allowance to the social networking juggernaut, allowing the company to own the word after paying a fee, the NY Post reported.

The trademark will allow Facebook to challenge any of the 89,000 websites using the word "face" in their domain name.

The trademark would cover "telecommunication services, namely providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars".

A Facebook spokesperson would not reveal why an exemption was given to cars.

Several companies are considered to be in the sights of Facebook’s legal department, including Apple over its video conferencing service Facetime and a pornography website called Faceporn.

Facebook has also sued websites Teachbook, Placebook and Lamebook in order to protect the social network’s identity.

Facebook has already been successful in trademarking the words "Like" and "Wall".

Source: ninemsn.com.au

Auto Thank You Messages & Twitter

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Thank YouSearching the web recently keeping up with the goings on with social media, I came across an article by a self proclaimed social media guru on the subject of auto thank you messages on Twitter.

These are messages that you can send out automatically to thank someone who decides to follow you. I’ve had them programmed on my Twitter accounts for ages now and what surprised me was this guru stating in his article that if he receives one of these auto thank you messages he automatically un-follows the company or person. He says it annoys him, oh really you poor dear, I think you’re forgetting that the whole concept of social media is being social.

In my mind, it is just a polite way of acknowledging the follow and as long as the message does not contain a blatant add or sales pitch, I have no problem with these messages at all.

This guru’s belief is that common courtesy rules, apparently don’t apply to social media marketing, well he’s wrong, because I think they do and I will continue to send out my messages to those that do decide to follow me, and by chance if this social media expert is offended by this, then goodbye.

Being social and communicating and connecting with your followers is the essence of social media and I won’t decide to follow or un-follow someone because they sent me an auto thank you message.

That’s just too ridiculous for words, and I wonder if this guy is consulting to companies on social media strategy, what he is advising his clients to do, I just hope he’s not working for you.

There are a lot of instant social media experts around today, and most of them don’t really have a clue.

Decide who you are going to follow by the quality of information they are providing, how interesting and unique it is and if it is informative and relevant.

Oh and if they happen to send you a thank you message for the follow, then that’s good manners.

Remember, Focus on being social not doing social.

Twitter Video Streams Watched for 2 Mins

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twitter3-logo1The average online video stream discovered on the Twitter social network is viewed for two minutes and seven seconds , according to a new study from TubeMogul, Brightcove, and DynamicLogic.

Twitter Beats Yahoo, Facebook

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Comparing the average viewing time of 103,731,006 random video streams discovered on several leading social networks and search engines, “Online Video Best Practices” finds that the average video stream sourced via Twitter is viewed for two minutes and seven seconds. No other social network or search engine analyzed broke the two-minute mark.

Search engine Yahoo followed with an average viewing time of one minute and 54 seconds, closely trailed by social network Facebook with an average viewing time of one minute and 50 seconds. Search engines Google (1:27) and Bing (1:09) had significantly shorter average online video viewing times.

Online Videos Have Short Shelf Life

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Analyzing the average 90-day viewing lifecycle of an online video, the study finds the average online video receives half its 90-day online view total in the first six days, and 75% in the first 20 days.

The shelf life of online videos has dropped dramatically since 2008, when it took the average online video took two weeks to get half its 90-day view total and 44 days to reach 75%.

Repurposed, Made-for-Web Ads Have Different Strengths

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There is no one superior production format, it turns out; repurposed TV spots typically result in higher impact on awareness metrics, while made-for-web video content more ably persuades its viewers.

More specifically, repurposed TV ads are slightly better at raising brand awareness (affect 2% of viewers compared to 1.9%) and message association (2.2% compared to 2.1%), and affect a moderately higher percentage of viewers in terms of online ad awareness (4.7% compared to 4.3%).

Meanwhile, made-for-web ads outperform repurposed TV ads in brand favorability (1.6% compared to 1.2%) and purchase intent (1.4% compared to 0.8%).

Custom Content Boosts Purchase Intent Among 18-34-Yr-Olds

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Comparing the affect of repurposed TV and made-for-web content on viewers of different ages, the study finds that purchase intent among 18-to-34-year-olds who view made-for-web content (2.8%) dwarfs purchase intent for either type of content among any age group. This percentage is more than double the next-highest purchase intent rate, 1.1% of 18-to-34-year-olds exposed to repurposed TV content.

This age group also has significantly higher online ad awareness from viewing made-for-web content (5.9%) than any other online ad awareness score, although nowhere near double the amount. The highest brand favorability score is among 35-to-49-year-olds who view made-for-web content (2%), while brand awareness is highest among 35-to-49-year-olds exposed to repurposed TV content (3.3%).

8 in 10 Marketers Using Online Video Seek Higher Engagement

Close to 80% of marketers using online video on their sites do so to increase visitor engagement, or time spent, according to other study results. This is by far the most popular reason. Another 60% use online video to strengthen their brand, and almost 60% use online video to increase overall visitors (more than one answer was permissable).

No other reason garnered as much as a 40% response rate. Approximately 30% of respondents said they use online video on their sites to increase available ad inventory.

Google admits to accidentally collecting e-mails, URLs, passwords

Google admitted in a blog post Friday that external regulators have discovered that e-mails, URLs and passwords were collected and stored in a technical mishap, while the vehicles for Google’s Street View service were out documenting roadway locations.

According to Google, data was mistakenly collected in more than 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, some of Europe, and parts of Asia.

In the blog, posted by Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, he noted "we failed badly here" and added that Google has spent months analyzing how to strengthen their internal privacy and security practices.

"We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and I would like to apologize again for the fact that we collected it in the first place," Eustace wrote.

Google announced in May that it had collected unencrypted WiFi data by mistake through its Street View service, but the severity of the situation was unknown.

According to a Google spokesperson, the company first became aware of the problem when the Data Protection Authority in Germany asked Google to review all of the data collected through its Street View cars as part of a routine check. The spokesperson added that in addition to street locations, Street View cars also collect WiFi data about hot spots in order to improve the location database for things such as Google Maps for mobile.

When Google went back and looked at the data, it turned out that in addition to WiFi hot spots, they were mistakenly collecting information that was being sent across unencrypted networks.

For the information to have been collected by Google, a person had to have been sending something over an unencrypted network at the same time that a Street View car was collecting data in that same location.

According to Google, the vast majority of the data is in fragments, but in the past week several countries have issued reports that they have found entire emails and passwords.

The data has since been segregated and secured, and WiFi data is no longer being collected from Street View cars.

Google has deleted the data collected from Ireland, Austria, Denmark and Hong Kong, but other countries have opened their own investigations, and Google has not been given permission from authorities to delete the data.

In a statement, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said, "This alarming admission that Google collected entire e-mails and passwords validates and heightens our significant concerns. Our multistate investigation, led by Connecticut, into Google’s alleged invasion of privacy through wireless networks is continuing."

In the blog post, Eustace outlined the steps that Google is taking to strengthen its internal privacy and security practices including appointing a director of privacy across both engineering and product management and enhancing the core training that engineers and employees responsible for data collection receive.

"We are mortified by what happened, but confident that these changes to our processes and structure will significantly improve our internal privacy and security practices for the benefit of all our users," Eustace wrote.

Story by Marina Landis, CNN – www.cnn.com

Good Experiences Motivate Women to Share Product Info

Females care more about relating positive vs. negative word-of-mouth

Marketers looking to spur brand advocacy among women—or those worried about the possibility of negative brand buzz facilitated by social media—have another piece of evidence that good experiences are a key motivator of brand discussions.

A survey of online women in North America by female-focused marketing and communications firm Harbinger found that 92% of them turn to friends and family for product information, making word-of-mouth their top source. They consider it important to seek and share information on a variety of product categories, with appliances, restaurants, automobiles and entertainment leading the list.

In the food and beverage category, which more than two-thirds of female internet users said they were likely to share information about, 58% said they would do so because of a good experience. A bad experience would motivate 46% of respondents to speak up.

Top 5 Reasons Female Internet Users in North America Seek and Share Information on Food and Beverages, Spring 2010 (% of respondents)

Experiences with appliances—which 80% of women surveyed said they would spread the word about—were even stronger motivators. Four in five respondents reported they would share good experiences with others, while just under three-quarters said the same of bad experiences.

Top 5 Reasons Female Internet Users in North America Seek and Share Information on Appliances, Spring 2010 (% of respondents)

In every product category studied, sharing good experiences, and often a desire to help other consumers make smart purchases, came ahead of sharing bad experiences as a word-of-mouth generator. A truly negative brand experience may still garner negative buzz online or offline, but the women surveyed were more inspired by the positive.

And despite the popularity of social media among women—and marketers’ propensity to target them there and turn them into online brand advocates—those studied preferred to share information with friends and family face-to-face (92%). They were also more likely to share info in person with strangers or acquaintances (36%) than via a website (32%) or social networking site (27%).