Distinct Kitchen Improvements

If you’re just starting out in your first home there are more than enough expenses for you to worry about, without getting overly concerned with filling your kitchen cabinets with sparkling new accessories.Who says you need a sixty-piece dining set with matching silverware, or a full set of costly, enameled, cast iron pots and pans? Why not go for a quirky, retro look and be the envy of your more discerning dinner guests.Mismatched cutlery, if well chosen, looks deliberately chic and should allay any fears that you have been gathering your eating irons from the local landfill. Similarly, odd plates with different patterns and shapes can look great around a table. Try and make sure that the sizes are reasonably consistent though, as this will ensure portion fairness, and prevent avoidable squabbling during your lovingly prepared meal! Mix and match your table mats, side plates, bowls and serving dishes too. Just try and avoid chipped or cracked items as they are not only ugly but potentially hazardous.Old-style casseroles, mixing bowls and other vintage finds can add a cozy, nostalgic touch to the eclectic kitchen and evoke childhood memories of baking with grandma. And even if you never ever actually use that old mechanical whisk, it can look pretty cool amongst your more practical utensils and add to the overall visual charm of your funky cooking area.Dig out some old housekeeping or cookery magazines. Choose some great, visibly dated, front covers or full page advertisements and pop them in a frame, to help complete your multi-era themed kitchen and dining area.Shopping for these bits and pieces can be lots of fun. It allows the buyer to pick up items that appeal to their individual tastes without having to subscribe to the notion of a generic collection from a big name retailer. Check out your local thrift stores, yard sales and antique shops to see what you can find – you will be amazed at the variety on offer. And who’s to say that a piece of classic 1920s Royal Dalton won’t look just great alongside a funky, chunky piece of Hornsea Pottery from the seventies?Of course, not everyone wants to equip their kitchen entirely with old cast-offs. Certain items are better bought new, from both a hygiene and function perspective, but a little creativity can help the new home owner save dollars, and in this age of recycling awareness, a little bit of the planet too.

Top 2 Tech Marketer Challenges (and Solutions)

If you’re a tech marketer, you’re already aware of the particularly difficult challenges you face. Sure, all marketers have difficult challenges, but the ever-changing tech world introduces new complexity to the marketing mix. After all, the technology industry is growing and changing so fast that no one can possibly keep up. No one, of course, except for the tech marketer, who is not only charged with keeping up, but also staying one step ahead of the marketplace.LinkedIn recently published an article discussing some of the top challenges experienced by tech marketers today. Here are two of those challenges, along with actionable information you can use to start overcoming them now.Challenge #1: Identifying the decision maker?All marketers know how important it is to identify and understand the decision maker. Without this knowledge, it’s difficult to build a successful marketing strategy to win them over.The difficulty with tech marketing, though, is that the decision maker isn’t a single person. Instead, it’s now a cross-functional group comprised of IT, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and more.This complexity makes it all the more important to fully understand the needs, challenges and motivations of each group member and appeal to them directly.A recent LinkedIn study of groups that hold decision-making power over IT and technology purchases discovered that nurturing prospects with informative content is a vital part of the sales process. Why? Because members of these groups are typically not ready to talk to a sales rep until they have consumed at least five pieces of “relevant, unbranded, non-sales focused content”.Additionally, LinkedIn’s post highlights the importance of producing content for every role on this cross-functional buying committee… at every stage in the buying process. Because, as the post explains, the tech decision maker is a group, not an individual, marketers have a responsibility to reach out to and engage with every one of them. You never know who will make that first contact, who will lead the buying committee, or who will have the most influence over the other members.That’s why it’s critical to have a strategy for how to reach, engage and ultimately convert every member of the group at each stage in the buying process. It sounds like a lot of work, yes, but tech marketers have the opportunity to influence every member of the buying committee and begin to win them over through always-on education. What’s “always-on”? It’s content that provides valuable, educational information at every stage of the buying process – anytime the users may want it. When you consider that, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of tech buyers are more likely to consider vendors that take an always-on approach, it’s worth the effort.Challenge #2: Creating Engaging ContentAccording to the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of tech marketers use content marketing. However, they also say that “creating engaging content” has been a top challenge for the last five years. What does this tells us? While tech marketers see value in content marketing, they also have limited time and resources, which keeps them from creating content that is as successful as it really could be.So how do you compete in the saturated tech marketplace? According to LinkedIn’s post, build a reliable toolbox. If you think about it, there are more content marketing tools and resources available today than ever before – many of which are free or very reasonably priced. Marketers have more options available now than ever before to design, create, write, build and develop on their own – free of any outside support. Just think about what has done for marketers!If you’re a tech marketer, you understand the pressure to stay ahead of the ridiculously fast-paced world of innovation. It’s our job to not only reach out to, but also engage some of the brightest, most forward-thinking minds in the industry. Thankfully, there are tools and resources to help make it possible.

Computer Forensics – A Real World Application

Everyone’s so caught up these days in computer forensics and forensic science to solve murder mysteries like those seen on the TV series CSI. But computer forensics is not all murder and police drama. There are far more necessary reasons for those in this particular industry, and a very interesting case has come up recently involving the company Nintendo.After noticing a recent news article from Australia, I was surprised to find that a US and Japanese based video game company was bringing a law suit forth to an Australian man who violated international and US and Australian copyright laws. After an Australian game store accidentally released the new Super Mario Brothers game for their Wii system six days before Nintendo had scheduled a global release, a 24 year old Australian named James Burt broke through the game’s code and illegally uploaded the game to the internet, allowing thousands to download the game illegally onto their own computers without paying Nintendo any money. This perhaps cost Nintendo millions of dollars.So how did Nintendo track down Mr. Burt from the hundreds of millions of computer users across the world, to the millions in Australia, to those in his area, to find out that he was the one who illegally uploaded the game? They used computer forensics specialists, trained to trace the tracks of Internet usage to find the source of the uploaded games.Nintendo’s forensic specialists, trained in top computer forensics programs, were able to trace all downloads of the game, starting from the beginning. Once the original download was found, the upload was traced by time and IP address. Using computer forensics tracking programs, Mr. Burt’s IP address was matched with his location and he was apprehended by local law enforcement.The next step for the computer forensics specialists was to present the information and evidence they were able to uncover during their investigation to the lawyers and judge in the courts, where Mr. Burt was found guilty of illegally uploading property belonging to Nintendo, and distributing it without Nintendo’s consent. The courts in Australia found Mr. Burt liable for $1.3 million USD toward Nintendo’s lost earnings. Additionally, $100,000 of Nintendo’s accrued legal fees were also designated to be paid by the defendant.If it weren’t for the expert specialists working for Nintendo, the company would not have been able to locate the defendant and most likely would not have been able to recoup the millions of dollars in lost revenue. Proof that computer forensics and forensic science is not all murder and mystery, but used every day to solve all types of modern-day crimes and investigations.