Thriving After Long-Term Unemployment

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Not Once, But Twice UnemployedIn the past four years, Michael Young has experienced not only one, but two rounds of unemployment. Five months into his first job out of college Michael found himself unemployed and then again after a two-year consulting gig. In total, he was without a job for nearly a year and a half. Today, he is happily employed full time as a Content Specialist at Middlebury Interactive Languages and Michael says the job “hits all my strengths-language, writing and teaching.”Repeat unemployment and long-term unemployment are major issues today. As of February 2013, 40% of unemployed Americans experience long-term unemployment, referring to those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more. The percent of the total unemployed population in the US has been 27% or higher for the last 46 months. To put this in perspective, since 1948, the highest that number has ever been in a given month was 26% in June, 1983, reinforcing the seriousness of today’s employment crisis.How Michael Beat Long-Term UnemploymentMichael is on the “employed” side of these statistics after trying everything from job boards, to substitute teaching and self-improvement. It was finally the latter that helped him find work. Writing is one of his passions and he attends conferences to improve his skills and keep up with others in the field. At the Utah Valley University Book Academy Conference in 2010 he saw a flier in his conference packet from Middlebury Interactive Languages, advertising the need for a creative writer. It gave instructions on how to craft a writing sample, targeting grade school children and incorporating certain vocabulary words.He sent in his entry to the representative listed on the flier, Kandyce Coston, and she invited him to meet with her and another company representative to discuss a creative writing project for their online world language courses over lunch.In speaking with Kandyce, Michael let them know that he had a degree in German teaching and could speak the language fluently. He even suggested that they meet at a German restaurant to drive the point home. They exchanged business contact information and Kandyce outlined a plan for a series of creative stories to be incorporated into their courses.This writing project, however, never materialized, leaving Michael to continue seeking employment.When the company’s needs changed a year later, Kandyce remembered that Michael was fluent in German and had high school teaching experience. She contacted him about a two-year consulting opportunity to create their German language module and Michael accepted the position.Trained as an educator, Michael was thrilled to transition his career in a direction that utilized both his writing and language capabilities. Two years flew by as Michael gained professional experience, creating online language education programming. At the end of those two years, there were no other open assignments and Michael’s contract ended. Over the next five months he kept in touch with his former colleagues and began a Master’s Degree program in Instructional Design (i.e., training program design) to build his skill set. After five months of unemployment, Middlebury hired Michael for a two-month consulting project based on his former manager’s reference. During that time, he put in extra effort to show how much he could contribute to ongoing projects and could apply many of the skills he had learned during his last contract to help other departments.His hard work paid off and Middlebury Interactive Languages hired him full time shortly after he began the consulting project.”Make Yourself Invaluable”This recession has led to a significant increase in the use of temporary workers (according to the BLS, 2.3 million in 2011 vs. 1.8 million in 2009) by companies. In my own experience as an independent consultant, it almost always led to an offer of permanent employment.Michael says, “It is easy to get depressed in this job market, but I always felt better by being proactive and taking on temporary work.” His advice for those looking to find work is to stay hopeful, put yourself out there, make an action plan and find ways for self improvement. And if you have the chance to sub or temp, make yourself invaluable to your employer. It can work out.

Why Buy A Canon 60D – What Are Buyers Saying

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Canon’s most recent Digital SLR release, the Canon 60D, is getting lots of attention. But this is the case with any new model from either Canon or Nikon, the two most popular DSLR camera manufacturers.I wanted to know, not what the reviewers were saying, but what the buyers are saying. I know that not every buyer is an expert, but that is the exact reason to read their comments. In most cases, they will give their absolute honest opinion about their experience.Some of the things I want to know are these:
Are buyers feeling “cheated” because the 60D does not have the same metal body and high continuous shooting rate as the 50D?
How do new owners like the articulating LCD?
Of course, I want to know from those who buy a Canon 60D how high they are rating this new camera and why.Before getting to the questions, the first thing I noticed is that there is no common denominator that describes the experience level of Canon 60D buyers. There are some who are pros, and on the other end, there are some who are moving up from a point and shoot camera. And, of course there are all levels in between.

There are many high ratings, and only one low rating. However, there are not very many user ratings as of this writing. It would be a good idea for you to visit the online stores and read some of them for yourself, since this new camera will be receiving user feedback on a daily basis.First question: How about the camera build?There was not one comment about the “cheap” feel of the 60D.. Not one. In fact there are a few who like the fact that this camera is lighter than its predecessor. Interesting. The one I like best states that the camera does not feel inferior at all, and he makes the point that he will probably not be using his DSLR to “deflect a bullet” anytime soon. Time will tell if the polycarbonate material the body is made of will hold up, but for right now, buyers are happy with the feel of the camera, and it still looks like a very professional model. One buyer made the comment that his new camera is lighter, which will be good for carrying it all day.Second question: What about the articulating LCD?Comments about this new feature to Canon DSLR cameras were what I expected. People love it. It seems that some were actually waiting for this release just to get this versatile LCD screen. This would be true of folks moving up from a digital point and shoot camera, since many of them have had this type of movable LCD screen for quite a while. It’s a very useful addition, as commented by several buyers.Third question: What are the ratings and why?The basic meaning of this question is to find out if buyers are happy with their purchase. This is always good to know. I have noticed that some buyers are highly influenced by the comments of professional camera critics, and most of the “professional reviews” I have read will at some point comment that Canon could have included the features that are already in the 50D, but instead chose to downgrade in order to get this model “in between” the T2i and the 7D. What I see is that none of the commenters have given much thought to that situation. As already mentioned, the comments available are highly complimentary. Many say that they “love this camera.” These are the kind of statements that make me sit up and take notice.

While those who buy a Canon 60D are not former 50D owners (at least I didn’t see any), there are some who have tried, or purchased, the Canon T2i and the 7D. And these buyers are totally satisfied with the 60D in comparison to these other new Canon models.

Evolution of Remote Access Technology

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In the past 2 decades the Remote Access technology has evolved many times to its perfection. Almost all companies and corporation now heavily rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and the use of PC remote access for remotely accessing their VPN when outside their premises. Employees however are blessed with this technology as they can now work even at home without having to be at the office to use the VPN.However the use of this kind of software to access its VPN can burn a hole in the pockets due to the ever increasing prices and security concerns. A recent report by Infonetics showed that the VPN security market grew 11% this year and is expected to reach $6.6 billion by the year 2015. With interests shifting from just remote access to ‘secure remote access’, the remote access industry has had many innovative changes to help in the evolution of this technology and its uses.In over 20 years the evolution is going steady. Starting from a humble use by using a network of private modem pooled together via dial up connection and then followed by the use of internet IP protocols to navigate between the VPN & clients. Today the change has made is possible to access VPNs without needing to download and install special client software on the PC. This is quite convenient as it allows complete access from anywhere including smart phones by utilizing SSL, SSLv3 & the new player in the industry TLSv1 (Transport layer security). The use of TLS & DTLS has helped in balancing endpoint limitations and reducing risks against each user and the application. While these new security features may not mean much to home users of Remote Desktop Software, they are extremely useful for corporations that are active in industries where secure access to company data is a priority.The constant changes have its added disadvantages as well, since there are now hundreds of different PC remote access tools that are available in the market. Currently product selection involves SSL VPN tools to support secure web portal access to an application from limited endpoints. Better proxy access to common clients from many endpoints, secure port forwarding via java or ActiveX and network tunnels from endpoints with Installed TLS VPN clients are also used in certain software solutions. Therefore, before you make a decision as to which solution will be the best one for your company, you truly need to take the time to analyze your needs both in terms of what kind of access will be required (web based, PC applications, mobile applications, etc.) and the type of security mechanisms that you will need.

Learn Digital Photography – Understanding Exposure Bracketing

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Have you ever been in the situation when you are not quite sure what your exposure settings should be? You have taken the step of not shooting on automatic and you are little nervous that your photo will come out too dark or too light. You think that the aperture setting you’ve chosen is correct but are not completely sure. Then bracket your exposures.Most advanced compact cameras and all digital SLRs have this feature that brackets automatically. But what is bracketing? Bracketing is when you choose an aperture setting that you think is perfect and then add a little insurance. Film photographers did this all the time in order to be sure they got the perfectly exposed shot.So what’s insurance got to do with photography you may ask? Basically what you do is take three shots of the same scene or subject at the same time using three different aperture settings. With the automatic exposure bracketing feature you simply tell the camera to take three photos, one at your chosen aperture, one at a third, half or two thirds of a stop higher or lower than that setting. You need to choose how far over or under you want to go. What’s nice about this feature is you can go over or under in thirds or half stops depending on the camera. Another bonus is that the camera uses the multiple shot feature to take three shots in quick succession by holding down the shutter button.

You can use automatic exposure bracketing in both aperture priority (Av) and shutter priority (Tv). The only difference when using it with aperture priority is that you choose an aperture and the camera chooses three variations of the shutter speed. Conversely when you choose a shutter speed in Tv mode the camera will choose three variations of an aperture.Now this is all well and good if you have an advanced compact camera or DSLR. But what if you don’t have this automatic feature. No problem. There is a way around it. You wouldn’t be able to use the multiple shot feature to take in quick succession. You would need to do it manually.First choose the aperture setting you think is correct or the one recommended by the camera and shoot your first image. Then change your aperture to one stop above the recommended setting and then again one stop under the recommended setting. Voila! You’ve bracketed your shot and are guaranteed, using my insurance theory, to get the correct exposure out of the three shots you’ve taken. The only little problem you may have is that you are bracketing using a full stop instead of the range of half stops and thirds using an automatic bracketing feature.But, again I have a little solution to your problem. There’s another setting that most compacts have and all DSLRS have. That’s called aperture compensation. You’ll have to read your manual to discover how to use it. Each camera is different. When you are bracketing manually you change the setting by one stop over or under. The aperture compensation setting allows you to change the aperture by one third or half a stop giving you more flexibility and better exposures.

Of course manual shooting does not limit you to only three shots like the automatic mode. You can take as many images as you need to ensure the perfect exposure. What you need to remember is that bracketing is an essential part of any photographer’s tool bag of skills. The skill is knowing when to use it and in what conditions. This can be learned by experimenting and then practising. Practise makes perfect so keep at it until you have buttoned down. Happy shooting!

Strike Finder Elite – Camera Trigger w/ RS60e3 cable for Canon cameras(Activated by Lightning, Laser, Sound and Motion)

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  • Lightning-Activated Shutter Trigger – The Camera Trigger was designed to capture lightning strikes either day or night. It uses microcontroller-based technology along with an infrared sensor to capture the most stunning photographs with complete ease! The device mounts onto the camera hotshoe so you can walk away and let it do all of the hard work.
  • Laser Trigger – The Laser Trigger was designed to capture anything that breaks the beam from water droplets to people walking through it. Once the laser has been tripped, the device instantly sends a signal to the camera telling it to release the shutter. The shutter releases about 45-60ms later, depending on the camera.
  • Sound Trigger – The Sound Trigger allows you to do high speed photography. The sound trigger attachment plugs into the side of the Strike Finder with an 18″ cable. When it senses a loud signal, the device sends a signal to your camera to release the shutter.
  • Motion Trigger – The Motion Trigger attachment works by detecting motion. When moment motion is detected, the device will trigger your camera every time! The motion sensor comes as an attachment that plugs into the side of the Strike Finder Elite with an 18″ cable. The sound trigger attachment plugs into the side of the Strike Finder. When it senses a loud signal, the device sends a signal to your camera to release the shutter.

The only 4-in-1 camera trigger (Laser, Lightning, Sound and Motion) in the world that receives so many inputs to respond and release your camera’s shutter! This is quite simply the best triggering device on the market today! The Strike Finder Elite is the only trigger that comes with four extraordinary inputs that allow you to photograph things that would otherwise be impossible with the human eye! It comes with a laser trigger sensor, a trigger activated by lightning(or other high flash event), a sound trigger and motion trigger. These sensors were selected based on feedback by other photographers looking for this capability! All you need is a DSLR camera and you’re ready to go!