Archive for the 'Cool Websites and Blogs' Category

Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2014

Here are my picks for my top 10 blog posts of 2014.

  1. Top-10-Blog-Posts-2014There is nothing more powerful than 20/20 Foresight to know what’s coming in 2015…
  2. This is my favourite YouTube video of the year – brilliant – Word Crimes are committed by too many people’s.
  3. Antimimeticisomorphism is easier said than done – this example is priceless – poo pourri.
  4. The privacy pirates are still at it in 2014, maybe this guy’s one step ahead of them with his amazing mind reading skills!
  5. We all love our iPads… Who knew they are this versatile and useful?
  6. A metaphor can be the difference life and death, success or failure. This is one of my all-time favourites.
  7. This cute video says a lot about teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More.
  8. Looks do matter – even if you’re a shark.
  9. I hope your calendar doesn’t look this this! Notice the caribou? Another great metaphor!
  10. Somethings are better left unsaid.

Bonus Blog Posts:

An Oscar Award Winning Speech worthy of its own Oscar!

If Noah was alive today

Enjoy the best of 2014 and may 2015 bring you all the wealth, health and happiness you deserve!

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Australian Blog Of The Month – November 2014 East Coast Squash Academy

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is http://www.eastcoastsquashacademy.com.au/blog. Click on the image below to check it out.

East Coast Squash Academy

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Australian Blog Of The Month – October 2014 – The Mindset Of A Champion

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is http://www.marcdussault.com/mindset/blog/. Click on the image below to check it out.

MindsetChampion-BlogBanner2013

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Australian Blog Of The Month – September 2014 – Inner Outer Health

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is http://blog.innerouterhealth.com.au/. Click on the image below to check it out.

Inner Outer Health Blog Logo

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Australian Blog Of The Month – August 2014 – Max Pak

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is http://www.maxpak.com.au/blog. Click on the image below to check it out.

Max Pak Blog Header

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Australian Blog Of The Month – July 2014 – Ultimate Edge Communications

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs.

This month’s featured blog is http://www.ultimateedgecommunications.com.au/blog. Click on the image below to check it out.

Ultimate Edge Communications Blog Banner
If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Australian Blog Of The Month – June 2014 – Dog Country Club

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is http://www.dogscountryclubandkennelresort.com.au/blogl. Click on the image below to check it out.

Dogs Country Club

If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Australian Blog Of The Month – May 2014 – Nebo Engineering

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is http://www.neboengineering.com.au/blog.html. Click on the image below to check it out.

Nebo Engineering Blog
If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Australian Blog Of The Month – April 2014 – Successful Endeavours

Every month, Australian Blogs selects an Australian Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is www.successful.com.au/blog/. Click on the image below to check it out.

Successful Endeavours - Blog
If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Australian Blog Of The Month – March 2014 – Paddington Pups

Every month, Australian Blogs selects a Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is www.paddingtonpups.com.au/blog/. Click on the image below to check it out.

Paddington Pups Blog
If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Australian Blog Of The Month – February 2014 – Inspire Fitness

Every month, Australian Blogs selects a Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is www.inspire-fitness.com.au/blog/. Click on the image below to check it out.

Inspire Fitness Blog

If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Australian Blog Of The Month – January 2014 – Floatation Tank Melbourne

Every month, Australian Blogs selects a Blog Of The Month from its registry of more than 5,000 blogs. This month’s featured blog is www.FloatationTankMelbourne.com.au. Click on the image below to check it out.

Floatation Tank Melbourne

If you would like your blog to be featured, your blog needs to be registered and once that is done, contact us. Your blog must be “Australian” to be listed in the directory listing.

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Top Blog Posts Of 2013

Top 10 Blog Posts 20132013 has been quite a year. Below is a list of the top 10 blog posts of the year. Enjoy a quick review and use the tips and techniques to make 2014 your best year ever!

  1. Willpower is like a battery – How to stick to your goals like New Year’s Resolutions.
  2. Hyperbolic Discounting – How to remain committed to long-term goals to achieve the success that might have been eluding you.
  3. Why Smart Business People Fail – Success is not the inverse of failure. In other words, not failing does not make you successful…
  4. From Motivation To Momentum – A must read if you slip and sabotage your goals and dreams (knowingly or unknowingly).
  5. Google Search Tips - These tips are priceless to get the most from Google, otherwise you’ll never quite get what you’re looking for.
  6. The Epic Split – This is simply AMAZING. The power of human focus and concentration combined with incredible athleticism.
  7. Good And Bad Habits Of Smart People - Success is not about how smart you are, but much more dependent on WHAT you do with what you know and HOW you do (or don’t do) certain things…
  8. Bobby McFerrin – Amazing Presentation – Every once in a while someone creates a magical moment. This is one such moment. Enjoy!
  9. Positive Twist On Negative Thinking – Attention small business owners… Don’t hire this type of person!
  10. The Power Of Why – The better the questions you ask yourself, the better the answers you’ll come up with.
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Australia Versus the United States

Here is another funny comparison of the US and Australia… Provided by Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours in Melbourne, Australia.

Australia-vs-US Map

Click on the map image below for the original source of the image where lots of other great maps can be found.

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Australian Moon

The video below is from an Australian Astrographer, Colin Legg. The video won first prize in the animation category and the filming used a number of special techniques and captures some unique or unusual events such as:

1.    Comet Lovejoy
2.    Exploding Meteor and vapor train
3.    A Total Lunar eclipse from start to finish

To see some stunning astronomical photos click on the hyperlink. This site runs a competition for their calendar each year. The link shows the entries and the winners.

Attached is a shot of the moon taken by Ray Keefe from his own 25cm Newtonian reflector telescope with a Canon 400D camera.

The square kilometre array in Australia will be a key part of an expansion in our ability to look in more detail at the universe about us.

SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) will be using it once it is online and there is a detailed explanation for the technically minded in this IEEE article by the new head of SETI . The movie Contact is a popular film based on the life of Jill Tartar who headed SETI for most of its existence. (They did extrapolate a bit).

One thing most people have not considered is the ability for many researchers to get data from the array at the same time. Because each antenna has its own feed and can be accessed independently, many different parts of the sky can be searched simultaneously by combining these feeds together mathematically in different ways. The only restriction is that the dishes can only point in one direction at a time. But within their pickup zone everything is potentially accessible at once. This is the one of the most advanced applications of aperture synthesis undertaken so far.

And good thing we are doing the NBN because the ASKAP will generate massive amounts of data that will need to be moved to researchers all over the world!

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Tips for Buying Used Clothing Online

Buy clothes online at Quicksales.com.au

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Second-hand stores are big business these days. Whether it’s due to a downturn in the economy or a desire to wear a unique look rather than the same high street trends as everyone else, more and more consumers are shopping for used clothing.

Charity shops, vintage boutiques, estate sales, and consignment stores are all great sources of high quality used duds. Yet you can also find even better bargains online, even buying used clothing using your mobile phone with apps like the one provided by Quicksales!

This and eBay are two of the biggest names in resale goods, yet there’s a wealth of designer and vintage clothing available at low cost for savvy shoppers. The following are a few tips to keep in mind as you start your hunt.

Set a Budget

It’s difficult to set a budget when you’re not really sure what things are going to cost until you start searching.

However, it’s wise to set an upper limit on what you’re willing to spend or you could get carried away bidding on sites like eBay and end up spending more than you would have on brand new clothing!

Know your Measurements

Even in most charity shops, you can try on used clothing to see if it fits. There’s a certain gamble when you shop for used clothing online, however, because you not only can’t try it on but you may be purchasing a vintage or unknown brand.

Most sellers will list the measurements of garments for sale, or should be able to provide this for you if you send a request. This can be far more accurate than the size on the label.

Buy clothes online Quicksales.com.au

Image courtesy of Stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Try Different Keywords

One way to search for used clothing online is to browse through categories on sites like eBay. However, most ecommerce shops and online marketplaces also have a search function, so you can look for specific brand names.

Try different combinations of keywords to increase your chances of finding what you’re looking for. For example, instead of just searching for “women’s top,” you can look for “halter top vintage” to find a chic 70′s summer top.

Use Social Media

Many online shops will offer special deals or information about sales via their social media profiles or blogs. Big marketplaces like Quicksales.com.au have Facebook profiles which allow you to stay in touch with what’s happening. This could alert you to a sudden sale or new items of clothing coming in that match what you’re looking for.

Check the Shipping and Return Policies

If shipping and return policies aren’t made clear in a listing, it’s worth taking the time to contact the seller to find out more. Even with measurements and accurate photos, sometimes an article of clothing simply won’t be what you expected, and you don’t want to have to relist it yourself.

By shopping around and using all the online tools available, you can find some truly superb bargains online. Fill out your wardrobe with one-of-a-kind designer and vintage wear, or simply stock up on basics. The key is to have fun with it and don’t be afraid to keep looking for a better deal.

With the fast pace of the internet, one is most likely just a click away.

 

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Web Design Tips for Aussie Retailers

According to recent statistics compiled by competitions.com.au, 79% of Australians use the internet on a daily basis. They’re using the internet for communication, recreation, and for online shopping. This led to $33 billion dollars in ecommerce sales in 2012, with the number expected to increase to $37.1 billion in 2013.

If you’re a business owner who has yet to create an online presence, now’s the time to tap into the market. Yet while most businesses have websites, not all of these are seeing the brisk level of sales that they could.

A well-designed retail website will not only help draw in customers, but it will encourage them to visit time and again. There are a few tips that can help you make sure your website stands out from the competition.

Shopify Website Builders & Templates

Choose from hundreds of templates, which you can customise to fit your unique brand

Use Professional Templates If you run a small business and don’t have the time or money to hire a professional web design team, you may want to look into all-in-one web hosting solutions.

These website builders will offer you the ability to pick and choose from hundreds of templates, which you can then customise to fit your unique brand.

The best templates will be elegant and easy to navigate. At the moment, minimalism is a top trend in web design.

Don’t be afraid to try out several different designs, changing fonts, colours, or other small details every couple of weeks and analysing the results.

This will help you determine the layout that will give you the best results.

 

Post Great Photos

Choosing the best website builder will get you off to a great start when it comes to web design. Yet the actual content that you post is extremely important. For online retailers, this will usually include photos and descriptions of physical products. Be sure not to underestimate the importance of a stylish, flattering photo.

Because customers won’t be able to see or touch the product in person, they will be relying on photos to make their purchasing decision. Photograph as many small details as possible, using sufficient lighting. Offering a 360 degree view of the product or even a short video of its use by a model can also enhance your web design.

Integrate a Reliable Payment Gateway

Although many online retailers add a shopping cart as a last minute detail, this is actually one of the most important facets of designing a successful retail website. You can lure the customer in with your appealing design and top-notch products, but if the checkout system is too lengthy and confusing you’ll lose the sale.

There are numerous payment gateways that you can connect to your website, including credit card companies and third-party processors such as PayPal. Using ecommerce software is a good way to connect these gateways to your website with seamless integration. Allow friends to try out your shopping cart system to see how it can be improved, always striving for a one-page payment process.

By paying attention to the various design features on your website and how they work together, you can create a unique shopping experience for your online customers. This will put you in line to share in the booming ecommerce market in Australia.

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Aussie Rules to Car Hire

Car Rental, Rental Car, Car Leasing

Hiring A Car In Australia Via Expedia

Hiring a car can be a pretty daunting prospect and it’s no wonder why; All of the small print and multiple insurance options, what have I signed up for? Was breakdown cover included? What happens if I have an accident? All this isn’t helped by those horror stories of unscrupulous companies piling on extra charges that you need a degree in advanced algebra to understand.

However, using online companies means that you can compare car hire prices from different rental companies from the comfort of your laptop rather than ringing around or walking into the nearest rental company at the airport. And, in order to wade through the minefield of terms and conditions, we have created an Aussie rules guide to car hire, which will help to translate any of the lingo you may come across, into something resembling understandable.

Check The Fuel Policy

Different companies have their own policy when it comes to fuel. A common one is that you pick up the car with a full tank and return it as empty as you can. This is good if you are not feeling confident enough to use a petrol station abroad but, if you don’t travel enough to empty the tank, it means you are paying for fuel you don’t use. So decide what’s best for your circumstances and be aware of this policy when shopping around.

Common Extra Charges

Companies that do require the hire car to be returned with a full tank will charge you much more than the same amount at a gas station, so make the effort to find a gas station near to where the car is to be returned and do it yourself for less. Insurance excess, this is the same as your own car insurance excess if the vehicle is damaged on return.  It’s so, so important to check the vehicle thoroughly for any existing damage before you drive it off the lot so you are not held liable for it. Some companies offer an extra insurance to even cover the excess, so regardless of damage, you won’t be liable for any charge.  In Australia this is commonly termed a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). A similar policy is the Excess Reduction Fee (ERF) which, as it sounds, just brings down the price of the excess. Make sure you take an accident report telephone number from the rental company at the time of booking.

Road Rules

These vary slightly from state to state, so if you’re travelling through more than one state, do your research on the driving laws in each one.

Are You Old Enough?

In Australia, most car rentals will require the driver to be 25 years of age and hold a full driving licence, which you will need to produce before you will be allowed to take the vehicle. Younger drivers may still be able to hire, but will have many additional charges, much higher insurance fees and only be permitted to hire a vehicle from a limited group.  Your driving licence should be in English with your photo ID and signature.

Facility Charge

This is the charge you will pay for being picked up from the airport or hiring your vehicle at the airport. Airports charge the rental companies this fee, which they pass on to the customer. If you wanted to save some money, find a car hire company near the airport, but not in it.

And remember, read over the agreement before you sign it and ASK if there is any part you don’t understand. You won’t be the first.

Experienced freelance writer, Lara Anderson, wrote this article. Lara specializes in providing travel advice for all destinations around Australia.

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Australian Astronomers Recognised Globally

The material for this post was provided by Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours who is an amateur astronomer and member of IceInSpace, the Australian Amateur Astronomy community. Australian astronomers are a surprisingly active group with some recent recognition on the world stage.

First there was Australian Astrographer, Colin Legg, who won the first prize in the David Malin Awards animation category to be covered in a future blog post.

And now Martin Pugh has been recognised in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition held by the Royal Observatory for his picture of the Whirlpool Galaxy.

IceInSpace run a monthly newsletter and have an extremely active forum allowing interaction between members on a wide range of topics. Typically a forum is more interaction than a blog and is a better format for a widely varying multi-way dialogue like this. You can check out the IceInSpace forums at http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/index.php.

A good example of the sort of news you get from them is the upcoming Solar Eclipse on 13th November which is visible in Australia just after dawn. If you are in Western Australia the sun will rise eclipsed!

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5 Cool Australian Property Blogs

Before you buy or sell or invest in properties in Australia, it’s a good idea to look at the many blogs and sites that discuss the overall market, as well as specific tips and  issues you should be aware of. This is equally important if you are considering a domestic purchase (within Australia) or if you’re based overseas.

Local laws and by-laws, loan offers, tax rates, environmental factors, and neighbourhood cultures are but a few of the issues which could be of interest to you as a property owner or investor. Below we list 5 blogs to get you started. If you come across other worthy sites, please let us know!

HomeSales.com.au

The HomeSales blog is part of a larger group in Australia, launched in 2009 for information on and sales of residential properties. Hundreds of thousands of properties are searchable on the site, and the blog includes a wide range of topics such as: “Interest Rate News – September 2012″, “Unions take on property developer Grocon”, “The Suburb of the Month”, etc. You can get great houses to look at from real estate in Melbourne to Sydney so check out the fab site and blog and see what’s around.

blog.commbank.com.au

James White is Senior Analyst in Investment Markets Research at the Commonwealth Bank Group in Australia. He argues here that while property prices in Australia are currently high, that good deals can still be had. City living, in particular, comes with a premium price tag, but still leaves room for both sides of buying and selling properties. He believes that prices will remain high, and perhaps climb even higher.

House Search Australia blog

This blog discusses issues primarily for those wishing to purchase residential properties in the Sydney area. Since they represent only buyers, the advice here is single purpose. Recent topics include: “What Do Buyers Really Want?”,  “Land Tax and Investment Properties”, and “Selecting the best Property Managers”.

21 Century Property Direct

This blog by Konrad Bobilak is updated often, and covers topics such as “Australians Love to Renovate”, “Australian Housing at Most Affordable Level”, “Census Data is Gold for Investors”, and “10 Ways To Invest Like The Rich”. Mr Bobilak has wide experience in property investing, risk insurance, commercial loans, and is a financier and advisor to major banks. His blog relates his experience and advice for the Australian market today.

IPG Investment Property Group

This blog includes monthly articles on property and investment. One recent title for the Queensland area is: “Population Growth Drives Housing Demand”. In this blog post, the growth of Queensland and lack of housing should create a property boom here. A 13% increase in immigration from 2010 is driving this demand, and they believe this is a long term trend.

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