Tag Archive | "opportunity"

Instagram, Vine, Netflix and Others Knocked Out by Amazon Server Glitch

It’s a bad day for digital consumers when you aren’t able to spend at least a few minutes mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, only to find out later that you can’t even watch your favorite TV series on Netflix either. Were you affected by yesterday’s Amazon server issues?

Some of the most popular websites and apps were thrown offline after Amazon Web Services experienced problems around 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. Instagram was among the first to be hit, later followed by Netflix, Vine, Airbnb, IFTTT, Flipboard and several others.

  • Watch Vine videos online with these 7 Vine viewers

Amazon confirmed there was an issue with one of its Virginia-based data centers, and most sites were brought back online after about 30 minutes of downtime. That’s plenty of time for the entire social web to start panicking.

This wasn’t the first time a big chunk of the web had been taken down by Amazon’s cloud-based network, and it likely won’t be the last. If and when it does happen again, take it as an opportunity to shut off your smartphone/laptop/tablet for at least an hour or two and go do something offline.

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Posted in NetworkingComments Off

Myth 10

Top 10 Networking Myths

This Avaya CONNECTED Blog
is also available as an MP3 Audio File


Whether your building out a corporate network, or a brand new ESINet for Public Safety, you need to understand networking, and there are some common myths that will leave you with a poor deployment and huge amounts of capitol investment rusting away in the data center while you try to figure out how to save your career.

10)Cisco continues to be the undisputed leader in networking innovation

It is time to stop living in the 90′s, while I won’t spend time to argue that statement, it is time to look at technology and where the market is heading TODAY. I hate to answer a question with questions, but let me ask:

  • Q: Who was first in delivering Resilient Stacking technology?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who changed the resiliency model from Active/Standby to Active/Active?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who introduced Split-Plane technology first to market?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who introduced hardware based 20ms resiliency?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered end to end Ethernet Fabric technology AND drove its standardization with IEEE/IETF?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered the most scalable 2 Tier Data Center architecture with lower latency?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered Layer 2 and Layer 3 Virtual Services Networks with its Ethernet Fabric Technology?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered innovative, scalable, resilient and fast registration for Multicast applications?
  • A: AVAYA

Myth 10

Remember, Innovation does NOT EQUATE TO acquisition, so exactly who is the Innovator and who is the follower?

9) Juniper seems to be the logical alternative to Cisco

Due to the unfortunate situation with Nortel Enterprise, many customers and partners were given no choice but to consider alternative vendors. While it’s clear Avaya has heavily invested in Networking, is Juniper still a logical alternative to Cisco? To me at least, it seems their QFABRIC Data Center strategy was a failure, now it’s based on SDN promises?

It’s time for customers to look back at Avaya’s portfolio and the technological maturity it brings from the heritage of Wellfleet, Synoptics, Bay Networks and Nortel. The technology train never stopped, and they are in the lead for Campus and Fabric architecture…time to reconsider Avaya? Yes indeed as Avaya solves REAL IT CHALLENGES TODAY and is in a unique position for many quarters to come…

8) There’s no different between proprietary and standards-based Fabric solutions

While some may think proprietary Fabric Architecture is ok for the Data Center, aren’t we living in an open system architecture world where best of breed technology should be selected?
How will you extend or leverage your Ethernet Fabric if it is proprietary? The world knows better and there happens to be an IEEE and IETF standard out there, known as SPB (Shortest Path Bridging) or if you prefer IEEE 802.1aq or IETF RFC 6329.

Inter-operabiltiy with other vendors has already been proved and the recent flawless performance of the Core at InterNet 2013 in Las Vegas, demonstrates the maturity and stability of this technology. Avaya is leading, time to look at solving your IT challenges once and for all

7) We cannot eliminate Spanning Tree

Do people use a bus to try winning a Formula 1 race?

Do people fly airplanes with one of the two engines on standby?

None of this seems logical, does it?

So why is it customers tolerate building a network infrastructure utilizing a protocol that wasn’t built to deliver resiliency?

The market has clearly endorsed Active/Active as the defacto design model now, and it is time for customers to stop accepting sub-optimal solutions for their network and ensure failures won’t be business impacting. Avaya has 12+ years of maturity implementing Active/Active resiliency, and while other vendors are trying to catch up, Avaya keeps moving the dial further ahead, and maintains its position as the undisputed leader of Active/Active resiliency.

6) MPLS is the solution to all of our problems

Customers that wanted to deploy a multi-tenant and multi-services business solution, had no other choice but to eventually consider MPLS as the solution in order to provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 virtualization.

While that might be powerful and scalable, its level of complexity just made it extremely difficult for IT departments to retain the skill set required to build and maintain it.

What if there was, today, an alternative provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 Virtualization for both unicast and multicast based services? What if MPLS level scalability was achievable without its associated level of complexity?

What if that same solution gave you network behavior flexibility too, so you no longer have to guess how the network is behaving? What if Avaya was once again in the lead, helping you solve these challenges

5) Deploying services must involve weeks of planning and hours of implementation

Today it takes hours, weeks, months of preparation to deploy a new service across your Enterprise. Why? Simply because of the level of complexity associated with extending a service using existing legacy technology such as VLANs’ to extend such services. This translates into nodal configuration, which despite the qualification of your IT staff, requires proper planning and change management control. There is so much business risk associated with such a deployment, nobody will take a chance on doing it without proper testing and configuration validation.

What if you could, today, provision end to end services, but only have to touch the edge of your network?
Basically provision where the service is to be used, and where its being offered and VOILA, you are done. Let the network SERVICE your application needs.

4) Equipment maintenance and upgrade must be business-impacting

“Sorry Folks! Park’s Closed. The moose out front should have told ya’.”

Myth5.jpgIn the past most applications ran in a non-geo redundant or even in a single data center non-resilient deployment model. Now, you can easily deploy every application in an active/active model and woouldn’t it be even more powerful if you take advantage of various hypervisors virtualization solutions?
The combination of Virtualization, applications running in an Active/Active deployment model, as well as having a Data Center architecture that can extend Layer 2 domains where you need to, gives you the utmost flexibility and agility that your IT staff, and more importantly, your applications were looking for, and needed. Well, you don’t have to wait anymore, it’s here….

3) Multicast is becoming mandatory, but it’s complex, unreliable, and doesn’t scale

Everyone has been suffering through Multicast deployments over the last 15 to 20 years. The level of complexity and limited scalability, often gave no choice but to limit its utilization and size of deployment to known logical limits that did not meet the business needs.

What if you could finally scale multicast to new levels, while also addressing the design complexity?

What if you could no longer have to say “NO” when you are requested to deploy a multicast based application because your multicast network scalability is already saturated?

What if you didn’t have to build a separate infrastructure because the one you have is running at maximum capacity and scalability for multicast?

What if you didn’t have to force usage of unicast anymore? Or, what if you didn’t have application failures or business impacting situations due to the lethargic, slow recovery of multicast applications?

Well, there is a solution to your challenges, It’s called Native Multicast over SPB, and it comes to the rescue to deliver a never-before achieved level of scalability, while delivering 500 milliseconds recovery and 100ms or less registration, and delivering all this without the need for PIM!
That is innovation at its best, while still supporting inter-connectivity to PIM domains.

2) Avaya is a Voice company and doesn’t bring anything to Networking

While Avaya continues to be a leader in Unified Communications, Contact Center and Video conferencing, it is important to note its level of competiveness in the Networking area. Not only do they provide cost effective Ethernet connectivity with or without PoE, they also led the way by solving some complex IT challenges such as E911 location reporting, regardless of the mode of connectivity being used (wired and wireless).

While Avaya has a very strong Voice heritage, it also understands the networking requirement and has focused on delivering best in class innovative solutions which customers and partners need to pay special attention too.
Avaya is about innovative Real Time Collaborations, UC, CC, Video and highly reliable and scalable network.

From Data Center edge all the way to your Branch Edge, Avaya can help you solve these challenges TODAY using industry standard protocols and best practices. How many other competitors can say that? Let me help you out with that one. . . .

Pick a number between ZERO and NONE.

1) The future is all about SDN, so you have to wait….

SDN Is gaining momentum in the market, it is like a Tsunami hitting all the IT personnel trying to understand if this is the technology that will finally solve their IT challenges?

While SDN seems to focus on solving relevant IT problems, the question is more “What IT problems is the industry trying to solve, more importantly, what are YOUR business IT challenges”.

What if Avaya was able to solve these problems for you, TODAY with products, solutions, protocols, etc..that exist NOW in an open system architecture that does not require the wait for some new SDN Protocol to be supported by ALL vendors?

What if Avaya endorsed the SDN concept in addressing key IT business challenges?

What if Avaya offered Orchestration and simplification of Applications Provisioning today?

And more importantly….would you be interested in chatting with one of our Experts?

Avaya continues to innovate, but more importantly, Avaya can solve real IT challenges today by changing the way Networks are being built, without waiting for all sorts of promises to be delivered in the next few years. Giving Avaya an opportunity to show you what we can do TODAY, will be a worth while investment, and we promise not to disappoint you.



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Posted in UncategorizedComments Off

Boston_App.jpg

Government Thought Leadership with Bill Schrier

This Avaya CONNECTED Blog
is also available as an MP3 Audio File


While attending the 79th Annual APCO Expo and Conference in Annaheim, California, I had the opportunity to sit down with industry thought leader, Bill Schrier, (@BillSchrier)who is now with the Office of the CIO for the State of Washington. Washington has been a progressive state with technology, and Bill drove much of that Thought Leadership during his tenure there.

FLETCH: Hey, it’s Fletch with the Avaya Podcast Network and we’re here at APCO in Anaheim, California. We’re sitting down with someone that I follow quite a bit on Twitter and the ‘websphere’ and that’s Bill Schrier who is now with the Office of the CIO with the State of Washington.
Welcome to the podcast, Bill.

BILL: Thank you, Fletch. Glad to be here.

FLETCH: It’s absolutely an honor for me to finally sit down with you after all these years. We talk from time-to-time but this is a great opportunity to get some really interesting stuff out there. Next Gen 9-1-1 is happening. The conference at APCO is all about Next Gen 9-1-1 and you and I were just talking about Next Generation 3-1-1 and how those applications might actually be paving the road for what we’re going to be doing in public safety.

BILL: Absolutely right. There’s a ton of exciting stuff that’s going on with 3-1-1 around the country. Of course, 3-1-1 is not universal. There are only larger cities and counties I think have it but nevertheless, 3-1-1 is kind of paving the way for Next Generation 9-1-1 and it’s use of applications, video and images.

FLETCH: And we’ve talked about Boston for example. They’re using an app to report potholes, right? So that’s taking data from the cellphone, that’s additional data, something that we’re talking about and it’s putting that information into the 3-1-1 center.

BILL: That’s right. I forgot the name of the Boston app actually that actually uses the accelerometer in the iPhone so it knows if you’re going over a pothole and then tries to report it. Boston’s also got something called Citizen Connect and the Citizen Connect interface is directly with their 3-1-1 System. Citizen Connect is where you can, as a citizen in Boston, I take a photograph for example of a missed garbage pickup or downed stop sign or a dead animal on the street or a street light out, send the photograph into a report and it goes right into Boston’s Constituent Relationship Management System and then can be dispatched to city workers. So Citizen Connect is kind of a cool app as well.

Boston_App.jpg

FLETCH: So you could also start tracking metrics, which I think is really important. If you’re going to have an app, you’ve got to track the metrics.

BILL: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I think we need to get to with things like Citizen Connect with 3-1-1. It’s just like tracking a package for FedEx or UPS where you actually know the date timestamp of when the call came in, when it was triaged, when it was dispatched to a crew, when the crew got there, when the thing was fixed and then you’ve even sent an email or somehow otherwise contact the citizen and say, “Is it really fixed and was it fixed to your satisfaction?”

FLETCH: You were the CTO for the City of Seattle. What do you think was your biggest accomplishment there?

BILL: Well I think one of the biggest accomplishments was open data. We actually have that at Seattle now and Seattle was one of the first cities who actually do this, something called Data.Seattle.Gov and we’ve put out a whole bunch of data sets. We’ve exposed government data, data that the governments are collecting about building permits or crimes or 9-1-1 calls or whole hosts of other things on Data.Seattle.Gov for anyone to see.

FLETCH: That’s what Next Generation is really becoming all about, the big data. We’re looking at lots and lots of big data. One thing that came out just recently right here at Southern California was the big data that they looked at around 9-1-1 calls and the accuracy of the location on that. Did you happen to see that report?

BILL: No. I didn’t actually.

FLETCH: The CalNENA Chapter actually used Public Safety Networks, and what they did was they collected all of the call data from Cellular 9-1-1 calls and whether they received Phase I or Phase II data at the end of the call. And what they showed over the last 2 years a decrease in location accuracy mainly because of the saturation of cellphones and people making calls inside the buildings. The report didn’t cover that, that’s my assumption based on the data. But this is a perfect example where we’ve got to start looking at this big data. It’s more than just, “9-1-1 What is your emergency?”

BILL: Yeah. Absolutely right. Especially when you consider the fact that not only is your iPhone or Smartphone potentially a huge data collector for a number of different data points. But vehicles are getting automated as well. Vehicles already collect a lot of data although it isn’t necessarily stored but what’s going on in the vehicle. But the National Transportation Safety Board just a couple of weeks ago started to publicly push car manufacturers to collect a lot more data and actually create connected vehicle networks where vehicles might talk to each others as they’re driving down the street to help improve traffic safety.

FLETCH: What you have right now is the information the telematics that OnStar can to collect from your vehicle when you overturn in the median. The DeltaV, what occupants were sitting etc., I heard they [the DOT] could predict, based on some studies, with 80% accuracy what the injuries are. Imagine getting that data right through the ESI Network, the Next Gen 9-1-1 Network to the Healthcare System; Fire up the helicopter, and get Dr. Bob off the golf course. That’s one of the use cases that I talk about for Next Gen 9-1-1. Again, all focused on big data.

BILL: Exactly. As a matter of fact, Kevin McGinnis as you might know is on the First Responder Network Authority, a FirstNet Board Member, will describe that in detail when he’s talking. How that could vastly improve EMS especially in rural areas where it might take 20 minutes for the accident to actually be discovered and then 20 minutes or 30 minutes for the ambulance or the medic unit to actually get there.

FLETCH: Yeah. You know rural America really is a problematic area for public safety for those exact reasons. They don’t have the population therefore they don’t have the technology and that just puts people at risks. So now, if you live in a big city here in a high rise, your cellphone doesn’t work for 9-1-1 yet, everybody is dropping their wired landline. So you can see where this is beginning to be a really big problem and we need a little more guidance on it.
What are you doing for the State of Washington now? You are with the Office of the CIO?

BILL: Well, I’m the FirstNet point of contact which means that I will actually work with police and fire chiefs and mayors and utility directors not just in State Agencies but across the state to help prepare for FirstNet construction in the state. Another significant job I’ve got is with Data.WA.Gov, the open data set for Washington State which has got 500 or 600 data sets and I’m trying to evangelize putting more government data out or open that data up. And that actually could be just a grasp for the application developers to develop apps to actually better show citizens what’s happening with their state government.

FLETCH: And there’s a lot going on with data here at APCO too you mentioned?

BILL: Yes. As a matter of fact, tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday afternoon and this isn’t a common knowledge yet but will be by the time the Podcast is broadcast, APCO is going to host the Data Jam. So APCO has actually invited developers and they’ve actually worked with Whitehouse Office of Science and Technology Policy on this. They are inviting developers from around the region here in Southern California to come to a Data Jam and actually look at some of these open data sets from across the country and see what sort of applications they might be able to design or develop. They would better expose public safety information either the responders or the citizens.

FLETCH: Really cool stuff. You know, we’re kind of really lucky. You and I got to watch the Telecommunications Industry grow and explode, we’ve got to watch the internet grow and explode and now we’re watching Next Generation Emergency Services grow and explode. It’s really some exciting times and I’m glad to know you Bill, and I really appreciate you sitting down with me. You always have a great view of the world as its going and I find you very, very interesting.

BILL: Thank you, Fletch. It’s very enjoyable to be with you today.


Want more Technology, News and Information from Avaya? Be sure to check out the Avaya Podcast Network landing page at http://avaya.com/APN . There you will find additional Podcasts from Industry Events such as Avaya Evolutions and INTEROP, as well as other informative series by the APN Staff.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading the Avaya CONNECTED Blog on E9-1-1, I value your opinions, so please feel free to comment below or if you prefer, you can email me privately.

Public comments, suggestions, corrections and loose change is all graciously accepted ;-)
Until next week. . . dial carefully.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Fletch911

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Posted in UncategorizedComments Off

Two Days Only! Additional 50% Off at The Limited

Bargain hunters alert! The Limited is running an additional 50% off all markdown merchandise when you use coupon code EXTRA50 during checkout. This is a great opportunity to shop for quality clothing at rock bottom prices.

For example, the soft gold metallic jacket (pictured) has been given a five-star rating by customers. They love it! Originally it was $128, but during this sale you can get it for just $30. The sale ends on August 21, 2013, so hurry! Shop Direct

Source: About.com


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Posted in FinanceComments Off

Facebook is Working on Its Own PayPal-like Mobile Payment Service

Mobile ecommerce is growing, and Facebook knows it. The massive social networking site is reportedly testing its very own payment service for mobile in-app purchases, similar to what companies like PayPal, Amazon and Google have started offering in order to satisfy the growing mobile shopping trend.

For the initial testing phase, Facebook has teamed up with men’s fashion site, JackThreads, as its first pilot partner. Customers will be able to access their credit card information stored in their Facebook accounts to make in-app purchases, bringing a one-click solution to mobile online shopping through Facebook and eliminating the need for every customer to plug in every piece of their billing information to place their order.

There’s been no word on whether or not Facebook will expand its pilot test to include more ecommerce partners, or whether it will surely launch publicly in the future. With over one billion active monthly users, there’s no doubt that this is a huge and very lucrative opportunity for Facebook, and if launched, PayPal could most certainly take a direct hit.

After All Things D reported the news first thing this morning, Facebook responded with the following statement: “We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a simpler commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current provider.”

Photo © Dana Hoff / Getty Images

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Posted in NetworkingComments Off

America

‘Top Model’ Guys Raise Ratings

America's Next Top Model logoSo far, it looks like America’s Next Top Model is on the right track with it’s new cycle, the Guys and Girls Edition.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the two-hour 20th cycle premiere had 1.6 million viewers, the reality show’s best season premiere ratings since 2011. It even gave the CW its best Friday numbers in more than a year.

This season’s war of the sexes is just the latest attempt to revive Top Model‘s ratings.  Cycle 19′s “College Edition,” represented a complete overhaul of the modeling competition following the firing of three longtime cast members.

Top Model has positioned the inclusion of male models as an opportunity to “explore” the impact of gender on the modeling experience. But so far it seems more a chance to photographs half naked men.

Not that I’m complaining.

America’s Next Top Model airs Fridays on CW at 9/8 Central.

Photo © CW

Source: About.com


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Posted in TelevisionComments Off

IRS Looking at Underreported Cash Transactions in Small Businesses

Did your business receive an IRS letter about under reported income? Here is what’s going on: The IRS has issued letters to 20,000 small businesses warning of ‘possible under reporting’ of income.

Business owners are being given a month to reply with an explanation of unusually low non-card payments, based on type of business.. These are not audits, according to the IRS.

A Washington Post story says:

“We [the IRS] want to reassure the relatively small number of business owners who receive these letters that the IRS is requesting information based on what the taxpayer reported on the return,” officials wrote in a statement sent to On Small Business, adding that the agency is “giving taxpayers the opportunity to explain and fix errors.”

So what do you do when you when you get such a letter?

1. First, contact your tax advisor. I hope you have one. If you don’t, find one. You will need someone to help you and possibly represent you with the IRS.

2. Then, start gathering up business records.

If you haven’t already received a letter from the IRS, and your business has cash transactions, there’s still time to tighten your cash policies. CPA Gail Rosen has some suggestions, to make your legitimate cash business less likely to be subject to IRS scrutiny and to be less likely to have the IRS question your business tax return if they do decide to audit.

Want to know how the IRS audits cash-intensive businesses? Check out their Cash Intensive Business Audit Technique Guide.

Disclaimer: Neither Gail Rosen nor this author are encouraging businesses to hide assets or income from the IRS. The information on this site is for general information purposes only; it is not intended to be tax or legal advice.  Each situation is specific; consult your CPA or attorney to discuss your specific business questions.

Source: About.com


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Posted in EconomyComments Off

Happy Best Friends Day!

One of the best-feeling ways to manage stress is to do so with the support of your best friends. Whether it’s a single “best friend” like you may have had growing up, or a group of friends who are your go-to buddies, friends help us shoulder the burden of stress when things get tough, and they intensify the celebrations when things go well. Today, August 15th, is the day that we celebrate our best friends: Happy Best Friends Day!

How can you celebrate Best Friends Day? There are an unlimited number of ways, but I have a few recommendations that can enhance your relationships and help you to build resilience toward stress. If you have your own ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments section or in a comment on Facebook. Here are mine so far:

  • Give A Gift This seems to be one of the more traditional ways to celebrate a special occasion: with a gift. But this can be a gift with a twist. Give a gift that reminds your friend of a happy memory you had together, like a framed picture of the two of you having fun, an item that represents a shared interest (such as yarn, a sports jersey, or a coffee card), or even just an e-card with a nice note attached. Because of the positive effects of giving, you’ll be getting something great out of it, too! (Guys, feel free to simply give a high-five if you think giving a skein of yarn or sachet of handmade potpourri might bring more of a puzzled look than a big hug. Or just skip to the next idea. It’s okay.)
  • Play A Game Whether you’re a sporty type who likes physical games, a techie type who plays video games, a board game fan who throws a great game night, or a Facebooker who loves the fun games you can play with friends there, there’s no shortage of games at your disposal. Let your inner child come out, and play with your friends! Having fun is an enjoyable and effective way to combat stress. (If you’re on the fence about this, read up on the importance of having fun and get motivated to play.)
  • Write A Gratitude Letter One of the best tools that Positive Psychology has identified as a route to good feelings is the gratitude letter, a letter that you write and give to someone that outlines what you appreciate about the positive things they’ve done in your life. (Here is a positive psychology-based guideline for creating a gratitude letter.) People don’t always write gratitude letters outside of a course in positive psychology or a therapy or coaching session, but I really believe that the would would be a better place if people did this regularly. Why not take this opportunity to create a version of this experience? While it is recommended that you write a full letter and read it in front of the person, you can send it in an email, casually share a quicker version of what you might write in a letter, or find other ways to express your gratitude that feel right for you. The point is that you can show your appreciation for your friends today, and specifically mention what you love about them.
  • Hang Out With Your Friends This is probably the best way to celebrate, if you can swing it. Not everyone has time to get together on a Thursday, so you may just want to make plans to spend time together (in person, if you can, or via Skype or the phone if distance and scheduling are an issue). Spending time with your friends and just having fun can strengthen the relationships, and help you to blow off steam and manage stress as well. Have fun!

For more on the importance of social support, read the following articles. I also encourage you to leave your best ideas for celebrating in the “comments” section if you’d like, or check out what people are saying on Facebook. Enjoy your day!

Social Support: The Hows and Whys of Cultivating a Circle of Friends
Why are friends so great, and how can you find more of them? This article clues you in.

How To Maintain Social Support
Friendships don’t always come easily. Here are some skills you need to maintain these important relationships.

About.com Friendship
I love About.com’s Friendship site–there are some fantastic resources here on creating and maintaining a supportive circle of friends. Whether you’re working on creating stronger friendships, helping your kids get the hang of it, or working through a challenging issue with a friend, this site can be very helpful.

Again, you can find more stress management resources on Facebook–find our page and be sure to “like” for regular updates and discussions.

Please feel free to add your own tips for embracing laziness in the comments section, sign up for the free stress management newsletter for ongoing updates, and have a wonderful week!

Photo from iStockPhoto.com

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Source: About.com


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Posted in HealthComments Off

Does Obamacare Destroy Full-time Jobs?

A reader asks: “I saw that 90% of new jobs were due to part time jobs. Isn’t that corporations getting ready for Obamacare? That’s not going to help the economy, is it?”

The article in question states, “Since January 2009 the country has added a net total of 270,000 full-time jobs, but it has added 1.9 million part-time jobs, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.” The Republicans on the Committee assume that businesses are adding part-time jobs only to avoid providing health insurance to full-time employees, as mandated by Obamacare.  (Source: Washington Times, Obama Economy: Part-time Jobs Swamp Full-Time Jobs, August 5, 2013)

There are a couple of fallacies with the Committee’s assertion. First, Obamacare wasn’t signed into law until 2010, so the part-time jobs added in 2009 weren’t in reaction to the Affordable Care Act. Second, part-time and temporary jobs are always added during a recession and the early parts of a recovery. That’s because businesses are trying to ramp up production without taking the risk of adding full-time workers.

With or without Obamacare, employers don’t want to add the 40% extra cost of benefits until they’re sure demand is strong. Third, this recovery — especially — has seen a transition to employers hiring part-time, temporary and freelance workers. Employers have found that, overall, this gives them the flexibility to switch production in response to changing demand.

Therefore, there are lots of reasons for the shift to part-time workers. Some of it probably is in reaction to Obamacare, but there are lots of other powerful reasons, too. I noted back in 2009 that this was probably a permanent trend. See Welcome to the Freelance Economy.

As for whether this is good for the economy, it’s good for businesses, but bad for workers. Businesses can respond more quickly, which makes them more competitive with those in foreign countries. As U.S. companies maintain market share, they will be able to hire even more part-time workers.

It’s bad for workers, who have been losing perks for years. (Just try to find a job that offers a pension instead of a 401k plan.) Many workers are finding they have to take two part-time jobs, without benefits, to try and replace the full-time job they lost. Fewer benefits means that disposable income must be spent on health care and insurance instead of new cars and furniture. That’s one reason income inequality continues to worsen in this country.

How It Affects You

Check out these sources to Find Jobs in the Freelance Economy. Most of these position don’t pay well, and of course don’t have benefits, but they do give you the opportunity to try on different types of jobs and different industries to see if you find something better. They can also lead to full-time, better paying positions. For some workers, they could lead to a career change into something they enjoy better.

Second, get familiar with the Obamacare health care exchanges. You’ll be able to compare plans in just six weeks, when they open for business. However, you can get familiar with how they work, the subsidies you might be eligible for, and the essential health benefits that all insurance plans must provide.

Related Articles

  • How Does Obamacare Work?
  • Obamacare Pros and Cons
  • How Obamacare Taxes Affect You

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Sex After a Heart Attack: What Women Want to Know, and What Women Want Their Doctors to Know

Our inability to talk about sex stymies us at every turn. Take heart attacks. Having an enjoyable sex life reduces ones risk of a heart attack. Once you’ve had a heart attack you’re more likely to have another. And the lack of opportunity to get information about the safety of having sex after a heart attack means more of us either don’t resume sex, or when we do, we do so with increased fear and anxiety (not two of the great aphrodisiacs).

So you’d think that the thing to do, if you’re a doctor and you’re preparing to release someone from the hospital after they’ve had a heart attack would be to say a thing or two about sex.

Indeed, guidelines both in the U.S. and Europe recommend that physicians talk with people who have had a heart attack about sexual activity after recovery. Unfortunately research suggests that most doctors aren’t following the rules. When they do, they are much more likely to talk to men than women, making a recent report in the Journal of the American Heart Association all the more important to note.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers conducted 17 qualitative interviews with women, from 43 to 75 years of age, about their experience resuming sex post heart attack and conversations they had with doctors prior to resuming sexual activity.

The majority of women received no information about when it is safe to resume sexual activity. Those that did usually initiated the conversations with their doctors, and overall reported being dissatisfied with the answers they got.

Despite participants reports that they did have fears about the safety of resuming sex after a heart attack, most of the women started having sex within four weeks, and by six months all participants reported resuming sexual activity.

As the authors point out, there isn’t a lack of safety information regarding sex after heart attack, as multiple studies have shown that sexual activity after a heart attack is relatively safe. What is missing is communication, and what the women in this study identified was a need for information to be communicated prior to discharge from the hospital, that it be offered consistently throughout the recovery period, and that their sexuality be acknowledged as a part of who they are. A comment from one of the participants which was used in the title of the article sums it up nicely: “I’m not just a heart, I’m a whole person here.”

Read the Study: Journal of the American Heart Association: “I’m Not Just a Heart, I’m a Whole Person Here”: A Qualitative Study to Improve Sexual Outcomes in Women With Myocardial Infarction

Related: Sex After a Heart Attack ; Myths about Sex and Heart Disease ; Heart Attack During Sex ; Talking to Your Doctor About Sex and Heart Disease

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Source: About.com


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