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Gaming Keyboards – Why Are They Confusing?

What is a gaming keyboard?

Firstly, what we need to look at is what do the words “gaming keyboard” actually mean. Well I will tell you that it is exactly what you think it is. It is a keyboard for gaming. Now with most people it stops there because they think that just because it is a gaming keyboard it can only be used for gaming and nothing else. They don’t realise that a gaming keyboard can be used for much more than just gaming. So this article is aimed at giving some advice in regards to choosing the right gaming keyboard for you. I remember my first programmable gaming keyboard (the Logitech G15) and how I struggled with it. The only reason why I wanted it, was because it was the best on the market at the time and I felt for that reason I needed to own one. I had absolutely no idea what to do with it or what I was going to use it for. I did however, almost add another feature to it’s already impressive list of pre-installed features by illustrating just how effective the keyboard can be in a game of cricket or anything involving a bat. It really irritated me because I did not need it for all the functions and because they were there, I felt I had to use them all. I did use them all in the end, but that was only because I advanced my game play and in doing so required more functions out of the keyboard.

So let’s take a look at some of the aspects that we will have to deal with when looking at gaming keyboards.

 

  • The features installed on a gaming keyboard and what they actually do
  • The terminology used in gaming keyboards
  • What are the best types of gaming keyboards
  • How do we know which is the right type of gaming keyboard for us

 

Now many people are already gamers, serious or not and know exactly what the features are and what they can do. But there are as many people out there that don’t know what the features are supposed to do and whether the features are in fact what they actually need. So I have put together a list of the features that you will find on gaming keyboards and below I will explain each one of them more clearly.

Here is a list of the features that you will find installed on gaming keyboards. I would like to add, that not every gaming keyboard has all of the features mentioned below installed on them at the same time.

 

  1. LCD Display screen
  2. Programmable G-keys (for macros and macros on the fly)
  3. Back Lighting
  4. Anti-Ghosting
  5. In game mode switch
  6. Media controls
  7. Detachable Key Pad
  8. High Speed USB Ports
  9. Automatic Profile Switching
  10. Cruise Control

 

Now as we can see there are many features that you will find installed on a gaming keyboard, but the important thing now is to know what they can do and when to use them. Let’s take a closer look at the features and see how they can be used for gaming but also for outside of gaming.

The LCD Display screen is a screen at the top of the keyboard (typically in the middle) which displays a host of information to you during game play. An example of the information displayed is; vital game statistics, system statistics, VOIP communication data and you can even see what server your friends are playing certain games on, such as World of Warcraft. You can also watch photo slide shows on the screen as well as YouTube videos (this feature is only on the Logitech G19). So there we can see how good the LCD screen is. Outside of gaming you can still see system statistics displayed, but only on the Logitech G19 can you watch videos and photo slide shows.

Programmable G-Keys (or game keys) are keys that can be programmed to execute certain commands. You can program multiple keys to be executed with a single keypress. So in other words, if you have a command which you would like to execute but it has more than one keystroke required then you would program a G-key to perform all those keypresses for you. Now this is vital in game playing, especially in strategy and role-playing games. But programmable keys can also be used in everyday computing. I own the Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard and I use the programmable key feature to program my passwords and small snippets of text which is normally login information. This is a great feature for those that work with databases or anything where numerous logins are required. It is also good for designers and editors where numerous keypresses are sometimes required.

Back Lighting is a really cool feature. This is standard on all gaming keyboards irrespective of all the other features mentioned above. Basically what this feature does is illuminate the keys from underneath. There are typically three levels of brightness for the back lighting, however all though back lighting is standard on gaming keyboards not all of them have the same colours or as many colours as others do. The Logitech G19 and G510 are gaming keyboards with a host of different colours, whereas others have only three or just one. This is not only good for gaming especially if games are played in low lighted or even dark areas, but also a great asset to changing the style of your workstation. There are people out there that just want a new look for their workstation and backlit keyboards do the trick.

Anti-Ghosting is a feature whereby missed keypresses are in fact actually recorded and not voided. This happens with multiple keypresses albeit not frequently but without anti-ghosting the keypresses won’t be recognized.

In game mode switch is a feature which disables the Windows/Context key during gameplay, so you don’t accidentally get kicked out of your game. Which I am sure has happened to all of us at some point.

Media controls, this feature is great as you can control volume, playback and mute from the keyboard itself. This feature works for headsets that are connected to the keyboard and also for the sound emitting from the computer itself. So there is no need to find the controls on the screen if you want to quickly turn down the volume.

Detachable Key Pad. This is also a really neat feature as you can move the keypad to either the left or the right side, depending which hand you are more comfortable using for operating. Again, this feature is another feature you can use outside of gaming.

High Speed USB Ports are a great advantage as you can Plug and Play with comfort. Also through this feature you can transfer data between devices, such as MP3 Players and Flash Drives and you can do all this while charging your devices that are battery-powered. Another great feature that can be used outside of gaming.

Automatic Profile Switching is a feature that allows you to automatically or manually change the profile you are in or want to be in. With the automatic function, the keyboard detects the application you are running and automatically applies the profile that you previously set for that application. Really cool feature especially if you like to play in different modes (Microsoft Sidewinder X6 had this feature).

The cruise control feature is also a really handy feature to have as it allows you to continue an action without having to hold down all the different keys required to perform the action. You can even use the cruise control function for up to four keypresses (installed on the Microsoft Sidewinder X6)

So as we can see all the features that are installed on a gaming keyboard can also be used for everyday computing, although the obvious design factor was initially for gamers in the first place. Another thing we must look at is the structural design of the keyboard. First thing we will notice is that some of the keyboards are slightly bulkier than a standard keyboard. Now this is to be expected as the keyboard itself houses more keys, requires more space for electrical components and other hardware utilities that are required for game play. But what is also great about the design of gaming keyboards, is that they are designed for ergonomic purposes. This is because gamers spend a lot of time in front of their keyboards and they are more prone to wrist, arm and hand discomfort than users of a standard keyboard. So the idea behind ergonomically designed gaming keyboards is to install some features that will reduce the risk of wrist discomfort overall. These features include; detachable and adjustable wrist wrest, keyboards with zero slope designs, different keyboard feet lengths for effective raising or lowering of keyboards for comfort and also keys that can accommodate softer keypresses.

Now I am not sure how familiar you are with the terminology that is used in the gaming keyboard field, but below is a list words that you will come across with regards to gaming keyboards.

WSAD – This is the four keys that you use to control movement which is typically your W, S, A & D keys.

ANTI-GHOSTING – Typically in a standard keyboard (or dome switch keyboard), the design is in such a way that the keyboard uses columns and rows of wires. Through this design the results that occur can be inaccurate when lots of keys are pressed at once. When this happens the dropped keys become “ghosts”. With keyboards that have anti-ghosting capabilities, they use a small dab of carbon at each switch site to prevent the contact of the keys from shorting the rows or columns of wires. In doing so, this allows the keyboard to decode each key press separately.

MACROS – A macro is a collection of operations and property values that can be applied to an existing visualization or visualizations. So in other words macros are not linked to the objects or visualizations to which they are applied but when they are used, the operations or property settings will be applied to the objects currently selected. This means that property settings can be applied to multiple visualization types, unlike property settings in styles.

OPTICAL – Optical is basically a device used for producing or controlling light. So if you took an optical mouse for example, it would be a mouse that produces light and in doing so uses the light to register it’s movement on your computer.

ULTRA POLLING – Ultra-polling in gaming mice increases the amount of times the firmware on a mouse reports it’s tracking data to the computer to 1ms (1000hz). In doing so, it reduces the interval between each transmission of movement calculations and therefore giving the cursor on the screen a smoother and more precise feel with increased responsiveness.

HYPER RESPONSE – On a hyper response button, there are two stages that go into the development of the button. This is basically to ensure that it can always be actuated no matter where it is pressed and also how quickly is it pressed. So therefore if you don’t completely press down on a button or don’t press hard enough, the button will still actuate and you will not lose response time.

ON-THE-FLY – This is basically just when you doing something in a hurry or to create something quickly when needed.

G-KEYS – These are basically game keys. The keys that you can program with macros.

ERGONOMICS – This is basically a study to see how things interact with the human body. So if you were to take a pen for example; holding it for long periods of time and writing with it could eventually cause discomfort to the hand and wrist. By making the design of the pen more ergonomically, it would allow for long periods of use without causing discomfort. This study is applied to everything that interacts or can interact with the human body

Now the only answer I can give you about which gaming keyboard is the best is simple. It depends entirely on what you want to use the keyboard for. The industry is lead to believe the Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard is the best on the market and to a certain degree it is. It has all the features that other keyboards have but more advanced and it is designed with serious gamers in mind, therefore lending itself to being classed as the best gaming keyboard ever. But in my opinion a gaming keyboard, or anything for that matter is only as good as what you need it for. If you don’t need it for a lot of things then don’t buy one that can do everything.

With regards to what gaming keyboard is best for you, well again that depends on what you want out of it. If you are a novice gamer with little experience with programmable keyboards, then it is probably better to take a gaming keyboard with either no programmable keys or a keyboard with a limited number of programmable keys. However in saying that, many of the gaming keyboards have really good instruction manuals and CDs. But again, if you only need a few keys that can be programmed then don’t buy a gaming keyboard with massive amounts of programmable options. So it all boils down to what you need it for. If you take the time to think clearly about what will you want to get from a gaming keyboard and read all the reviews on the different types of gaming keyboards, then your decision won’t be wrong.

 

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Good and Bad in Gaming

Gaming is one of the biggest hobbies and even careers in the world. People play games for fun or learning while others record videos about the games. In this article, I will focus more on gaming itself and not so much the side of how to make gaming videos. Gamers come in all different ages, genders, religions, locations and shapes. The backgrounds of people who are gamers make gaming that much more fun.

Backgrounds of gamers can play a part in the type of games that people play. There are all kinds of combinations for different categories relating to the type of games and type of gamers. You really need to look at the game’s website to get all the pertinent information prior to buying.

There are many online platforms where you can buy games from such as Steam or Humble Bundle. Those sites will give you the description, videos by the company, pictures, user and non-user tags, reviews, website, company and their social account(s). Be aware the game’s website might not show you everything you need to know. As a minimum, a gaming company will show a short sales pitch description, small amount of pictures (5 at best), one or two videos by them and their social accounts. The most they will provide is an informative description, their social accounts, user reviews and videos by them.

Let’s dive right into what is perceived as negative about gaming. The majority of the negative things about games come from the real-life people on those games, the type of games and the types of games for the wrong person. A game can be poorly made but it’s not always the case where the game itself is bad. It could be where it was the wrong type of game for the wrong person. This is where the categories come in. Maybe a game has a bit of violence. That doesn’t make it bad; it just makes it the wrong type of game for a seven year old. Or maybe you bought a puzzle game for a person who loves action type games. So the action loving person won’t enjoy it, but that doesn’t make the puzzle game bad!

The types of games are endless from nudity, drugs and alcohol, horror, gambling with money and more. These different types are wrong for youth gamers as well as wrong for people who don’t like seeing such things.

Gaming has good and bad sides just like everything else. The key is how good and bad are those sides. For example, some games have a bad side with players that like to fight a lot. This is common in games. Understand for a lot of gamers this is not a big deal; however, for youth who are new to the game or even gaming in general this can be frustrating. There are times when you want to avoid the bad sides all together. There are times when the good outweighs the bad. If this happens and there are no problems with the game itself; then the bad side is just that one little fly in your room which is no big deal. Caution: If the bad outweighs the good, I would strongly recommend avoiding that game.

Another aspect that people will nag a game developer or creator about is representation. Should I say, a lack of representation which is not limited to race, body type and message in the game. If you are able to customize your character, then of course you will not have a problem with representation. There is a problem in some games where they don’t represent strong and smart females, minority females and males, big, small, tall, and short females and males. Notice how I didn’t put “males” after female for strong? That’s because males in games are ALWAYS represented as strong and smart.

In games that show a male strong and smart, he will mostly likely be white, tall, thin, movie star looking and buff. You will rarely see him be a minority, short, chubby, not buff, nerdy looking, while still being strong and smart. You see this even LESS for females. Some females in games are also white, tall, thin and strong while showing skin like no tomorrow. You only see THESE females in MMORPG games (Massively Multiplayer online Role Playing Game) though. RPG games are meant for fantasy worlds where you mostly fight people and monsters. Of course the females’ stats will be strong but they won’t look strong.

In most games, when they add a character for you to play they always add a white male first, then a white female, then a black male, and then a black female. They don’t even really add people who are mixes of races or in between. When it comes to the black characters they only add one shade of “black” or “African American” and not every black person on earth is that shade.

In games, the majority of the characters are always thin and tall. You don’t really see characters that are short and thin, tall and chubby, short and chubby, etc. There are a lot of people who aren’t thin and who aren’t tall.

Then lastly, there is the mental message that goes with the gender, race, and body type. What do I mean by the mental message? Some games send an indirect message about that character being strong and smart or something else. While for other games it can be a mental message either on purpose or not. For example, in the game you play and you see a minority female who is short, chubby, nerdy looking and her traits are to be a goof ball, naive, and dumb. It could send a mental message to you that people that look like her are just like her. They’re not smart, they aren’t thin, and are not tall. They did poorly in school, etc. etc. So you start thinking those things based on not only seeing this in that game over and over again, but when it happens in other games too.

The worst part is NONE of these things are true. Yes, some people aren’t thin, tall, and maybe not that bright; but not EVERYONE is like this! You do have short chubby minorities who are smart as all get out! You have all kinds of combinations of people who ARE smart! Of course, all these things about gender, race, body type, and messages aren’t just in gaming; they’re in movies, TV shows, ads, etc. What’s interesting is that some of the creators who make the games, movies, TV shows, ads, etc., are minorities themselves and they make up the population of the earth. (Search “world population by race 2016” and click the first three links if you don’t believe me.)

Quick disclaimer: I AM NOT BASHING ANYONE! Yes, I was shouting that. This section of the article is telling you what I know, read, hear and experience in gaming.

If you don’t believe me go look at today’s TV shows, movies, ads, and games. A show to look at for good representation is Milo Murphy’s Law. Two games to look at as a reference for good representation are OverWatch and Atlas Reactor. Now in these fields it has gotten better for representation specifically gender, race and just now starting body type (specifically in this order). Some games even add robots and creatures as playable characters to avoid having problems with representation. This removes the problem of users wanting a character to represent their actual or preferred gender, race, or body type because now there is a character most users can agree on. After all, you can’t please everyone.

Alright, now that I ranted and got the bad stuff out of the way; let’s get into the good parts of gaming! You have gamers as young as three years old and as old as 90+! No matter your age, race, gender, religion, culture, or location gaming can be good for anyone. Gaming can not only be fun, but beneficial and educational.

A benefit with gaming is it can help youth have more confidence in themselves and be more social. If they play an online multiplayer game and talk to other players around the world, this can help then get used to talking to other people besides family and they gain confidence in what they’re saying. They can go from an introvert to a social fanatic! It can happen fast or slowly. Even if it’s not a game but a place for gamers, artists, fashion designers, car enthusiast, etc. to chat; it will still help them be more social. Keep in mind though, typing to someone and then voice chatting to someone are two different experiences. Youth can be very social when typing but very shy when voice chatting.

This is how I am. Before I was shy when talking to people I didn’t know whether it was online or offline, now I’ve become more comfortable with it because I know how to handle myself and have confidence in myself. But when it comes to voice chatting online, I’m the quiet person on the chat. Counterproductive right! You might even forget I was in a call with you! Before when the people at the bank said “Hi” I wouldn’t say anything, now I actually respond and say “Hi. How are you?” After that I don’t really expect to talk with them so I’ll be quiet again lol. See what I mean? After socializing, in general, over time you get better at it and become less nervous and more confident in yourself.

Another benefit with gaming is team work. Sometimes in games the only way to win or accomplish a goal is to work with one or more players. In certain games, players are allowed a task can be accomplished with only one player, but it might be harder unless you have more players than yourself. Other times certain tasks can’t be accomplished with one player and need two or more. There are times you make a group with your friends or family to finish the goal. Other times you can make a group with people you didn’t know.

This is where it can get tricky. If it’s a game where you can make a group that’s invite only, you’d just invite your friends or family. You can strategize with them, you’d be more comfortable talking with them, and you’ll all agree to work together. If it’s a game where there is no group system but you can still work with others, aka free for fall, and you can talk with them there may still be a goal that can only be completed with multiple players. Do you have to play with other players you’ve never talked to before if your family and friends can’t join you and you really want to complete this goal?

This isn’t a bad thing though! This is where you not only become more social but you learn how to work with other players you’ve never met before. If you always play with your family and friends you both already know how to work together, how the other thinks, etc. But if it’s someone you’ve never met it can be a little difficult. Me and my brother grew up doing everything together without really having any friends, maybe colleagues and associates but not really friends. So we were very used to knowing what the other wanted or how they played etc. But when we actually got two friends, it was very difficult to agree on many things. So if you play and work with other people now it will be easier later. Me and my brother have improved our skills to work with others.

Another benefit is patience which ties in with team building and socializing. After all, in order to get better at something you not only have to keep doing it but you have to have patience while doing it. There are many times in games where you have to wait. Just like reading is in everything, you have to have patience for everything. In games you always have to wait for something. You need to have patience for finding something, something to finish cooking, something to finish dying, your friends to come back from going afk (Away From Keyboard), the next wave of monsters to come, the next level to open up, etc. etc. I had to have patience when writing this article! So gaming can help you have more patience in gaming and everyday life.

Another benefit is hand and eye coordination. When you’re gaming you have to pay attention to what’s happening on your screen while also pressing your controller or keyboard button to do more things on your screen. If you want to move your character in that game, you have to use your keyboard and mouse or a controller while still looking at your screen. It’s like learning how to type. Most of the time you’re supposed to learn how to type words and sentences while looking at your screen without looking at your keyboard. This same thing applies to gaming. You have to be able to press the needed keys in order to accomplish that thing you’re trying to do while looking at your screen. After all, if you’re pressing your keys but not looking at your screen, how are you going to know if you’re doing it right?

Now, this one is a benefit and educational benefit – memory. Games can help improve your memory. How? Let me tell you. Take what I said above about typing. The people who can look at their screens and type without looking at their keyboard have something called “muscle memory”. When they want to make a certain letter appear on screen they just have to press that key and they don’t have to look at the keyboard because they have press that key so many times they themselves and their muscles remember where that certain key is. You have muscle memory already. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your keyboard right now. You see where all the letters, numbers, and symbols are right? The letters are not in alphabetical order. So whenever you tried to type your name or something on a digital keyboard where the letter were alphabetical; Did you take you longer than usually to type that word and was it weird and confusing? It was. I’ve done it. You know why?

When you type or text to someone you know the word you want to make appear on screen and you remember where the keys are. Maybe you can’t tell them in order if someone asked you but if they asked you to type a word you’d be able to type it because you know where the keys are. For me I know how to spell certain words when I’m typing but maybe not how to spell it verbally. This is because I’m seeing the word being spelled in front of me. Technically when we type to each other we’re spelling out words and then reading them in our mind. But when you speak out loud you don’t see the words you just hear them. Sure, when you read text on screen you hear them in your mind, even right not you hear these words I’m typing, but you don’t verbally hear them and you’re seeing each letter make up that word. When someone spells something wrong you immediately notice it because it’s not spelled right and you read it. When someone speaks something you don’t read any letters, you only hear the word.

So games can help you build up muscle memory and mind memory. If you can store items in game you have to remember where you put it, or if you need a recipe to make something you might remember the recipe, or maybe you remember a detail about something important, or maybe you remember the way through a maze or the way home. Some games are even built just to help improve your memory or the only way to keep progressing is remembering certain facts. My mom can type without looking at the keyboard but struggles with trying to walk in games.

So now let’s get into the educational benefits. One educational benefit is math. Now, the game doesn’t have to have a goal to teach you math in order for it to have math. The point of going to school is to get an education! Not socialize, but you still might make friends. So this applies to all games. The game doesn’t always have to have a goal of J but it might include J. Its goal might be X but it might still have J. In some games you can build houses and use recipes to make items. How big do you want your how to be? 30 blocks X 10 blocks X 60 blocks? Did you understand what I just said? Let me say it differently. 30 blocks on the X axis (left and right on the ground), 10 blocks on the Y axis (up and down on the ground), and 60 blocks on the Z axis (up and down in the air). This is how you’d build a house, using math, in a game called Minecraft. With these coordinates it means your house will be a rectangle with a very tall roof. Let’s use Minecraft again for this next example.

If you want to make 4 swords for example, what do you need? You need wood and iron. How much wood? How much iron? We’ll start with the handle. You need two sticks to make the handle for one sword. One wood log can be turned into four wooden planks, take two and you can then make four wooden sticks. You want to make 4 sword handles. So how many wooden logs do you need? One. For the sword itself it takes two pieces of iron. You want to make 4 swords, so how much iron do you need? Eight. See? Depending on what you’re making and how many of that thing the recipe can call for lots of resources or just a few.

Another educational benefit is problem solving. There are lots of games with puzzles or none but it can still include problem solving. A good game for example is Scribblenauts Unlimited. In this game you go to make different places solving people’s problems to make them happy which gives you an item to cure someone. In order to solve their problems, you have to use adjectives and nouns to solve the problem itself or make something to solve the problem. The best part is you can solve that problem many different ways and no way is the wrong way. Some games even change based on your choices and we call these “paths”. Some paths can change, stay on the same route, or end. So you need to solve each problem the best way otherwise you may choose the wrong path or a path that ends.

Another educational benefit is reaction timing. If you don’t want to die in a certain game your reaction to something could be the deciding fact of your survival or grave. The more you test your reaction timing the faster you will get and soon you’ll be able to react to things quickly. This can come from games with combat like MMORPGs, shooters, and PvP (Player V Player).

You do a lot of these things in games without even knowing it! When you play that game you just have to do A, G, M, and S to do whatever it is you’re trying to do, without knowing in the real world those skills are technically called B, H, N, and T and used in 3, 6, and 9. See? So you just have to get used to applying those skills in the real world.

Some games are better for certain ages or interests. Some games are meant for little kids, some are for teen and young adults, and others are for adults. Then there are games just for people interested in robots, cars, fashion, princesses, ice skating, etc. So the games could have the same benefits, but those benefits might be better for certain people than others.

Some games are being used in schools or college, as tests for robots and even to teach certain topics. I recently got a game that will teach me how to read and write the Japanese characters while surviving in a game world. Some people who don’t speak English now know it enough to talk to English speakers just by playing or watching games in English! If you find someone who knows how to speak, read, or write a little Japanese; ask them if they have watched Anime. Most English speakers know some Japanese because they play or watch Anime things.

So when you see your youth or grandparents playing some games, don’t think it’s bad. It could be helping their memory, problem solving skills, math skills, or they may be learning another language or learning more about a topic.

As you read, there are good and bad sides to gaming. I recommend you just have fun and be safe while gaming. There are plenty of games out there for every type of person and more games are still coming. Games can help you improve and teach you skills you not only use in game, but you will use in school and in the real world. Games can help you get sharp and stay sharp. Have fun gaming and y’all stay safe!

 

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Jon Gabriel Recipes – What Type of Food Does Jon Advocate?

The Jon Gabriel method is a revolutionary yet fully scientifically endorsed method to lose weight.

There are no Jon Gabriel recipes because he does not really advocate any particular diet. At most, he says that one should eat healthy, nutritious food and stay away as much as possible from processed food. The reason why there are no Jon Gabriel recipes is that there is no need for any special diet when you adopt this method. Jon teaches you to regularize the production of two vital fat controlling hormones – the insulin and the leptin; once you manage this, your body would and should actually tell you what you need to eat.

Therefore, Jon advocates no specific diet or food. There are no Jon Gabriel recipes. He believes that all you need to do to lose weight is tune in to your body’s language. The body would right itself and bring itself to its ideal weight, provided you help it regain its inner balance. The key to the success of this weight loss method is that there are no recommended recipes like other famous weight loss programs people advocate. People are fed up with complex diets that forbid this and that type of food; or recommend specifically packaged meals.

If you run a search on ‘Jon Gabriel recipes’ you will get some very interesting collections of recipes. However, make no mistake; these ‘recipes’ are not part of the book (or guide) he wrote. These are concocted based on the premises that he advocates; he has always advised to eat healthy and nutritious foods, but has not imposed any taboos on eating styles or foods.

What happens when you follow the Jon Gabriel method? Your body becomes tuned to its internal logic and identifies the ideal fat content it should have. Basically, the body finds its balance and once it does so, it works single mindedly to eliminate all the excess fat from the body. In the process, it starts craving for specific foods that provide particular nutrition as per the inner requirement. As you can see, there is no need for specific Jon Gabriel recipes in such a process.

As your body rights itself, it speeds up its metabolic rate and burns fat faster and more effectively. The result is a new you, without any torturous diet or exercise regime or any other side effect. You can do this with or without the so-called Jon Gabriel recipes because you do not actually look for certain type of cooking but foods that provide adequate (read required) nutrition to the body.

The transformation comes from within, driven by your own body and mind’s inner power to balance itself. The Jon Gabriel method is meant to activate this inner power and to sustain it just long enough to empower it to take over the body’s regulating systems.

While healthy, unprocessed foods would greatly help you, you definitely do not need any specific Jon Gabriel recipes to achieve this goal. Just listening to your body is enough.

 

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How a Consumer Advocate can Help You Handle Debt Collectors

A Consumer Advocate specializing in Debt Collection Practices can be an effective option to help you get through the credit collection process. Consumer Advocates or Unions such as ACU (American Consumers Union) or UCAN (United Consumer Advocacy Network) are set up to act as a layer of protection between you and the creditor/collector once your debts fall behind. Most Consumer Advocate’s help their clients through a combination of client Education and Protection.

The first goal of the Consumers Union is to educate clients on their rights when they are being pursued by a debt collector. These rights are granted by state law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These laws are commonly violated by collectors either because they are poorly trained or counting on the fact that the consumer does not understand or are unaware of their rights. Being in debt and getting creditor calls can be an extremely stressful and intimidating situation. Even some people who do know their rights are too frightened by the collectors to take action. This is where the Consumers Union can step in between you and the creditor to offer the protection you need in this vulnerable situation.

A Consumer Advocate is not only designed to educate but also to protect their members. If you are dealing with a collector who is ignoring the laws which regulate their industry, the Consumers Union should be able to contact the abusive creditor on your behalf. In many cases a cease and desist letter will be sent instructing the Debt Collector to cease all communication with the client. If this is ineffective they can help you file a complaint or even refer you to an attorney if need be.

In the Debt Relief industry, the services of a Consumers Union will usually be offered with or as part of a Debt Help program such as Debt Settlement, Debt Reduction, Credit Counseling, Debt Management or Foreclosure Relief. Most of these organizations have in-house customer service departments that can help clients deal with Debt Collectors and the Consumers Union will be utilized in extreme cases of abuse and harassment. For many people the Consumers Union can help relieve a lot of the pressure associated with the inevitable Creditor Collection calls when a debt falls behind.

 

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CMM and Project Management – Tracking and Oversight

The goal of the Software Project Tracking and Oversight Key Process Area (KPA) is to provide sufficient insight into project performance so that the project manager can detect variances between performance and the plan and take preventive or corrective action. This KPA influences all PMBOK knowledge areas and is most closely associated with the Monitoring and Controlling group of processes. As with the other KPAs Software Project Tracking and Oversight is organized into goals, commitments, abilities, activities, measurements, and verifications.

Goals
The goals of this KPA relate to and support project oversight and corrective actions. The goals are that results are tracked against project plans, that corrective actions are taken when there is a variance between planned results and actual results, and that corrective actions that change the project plan are agreed to by the affected groups. The abilities and activities all support the achievement of these goals.

Commitment to Perform
Commitments to this KPA are required at the executive level. The first commitment is that a software project manager be assigned to the project. This commitment will be made by default for most IT projects. The project manager responsible for the entire project is likely to be someone who is considered a “software project manager”, or at least has experience managing software projects. When larger projects require a sub-project for the creation of a software system or application to be defined, this commitment requires a project manager to be assigned to manage the sub-project. This is an organizational commitment, but might require you to identify and assign a project manager to manage the software sub-project if you are the overall project manager.

The second commitment is also at the organizational level and it is that project management follows a written organizational policy for managing software projects. PMs working out of a PMO or PMC should have such a policy to follow. If you are a project manager leading the charge for CMM/CMMI certification you should undertake the writing of this policy to govern your project and future projects for your organization.

Ability to Perform
There are 5 abilities required to meet CMM/CMMI level 2 criteria. The first ability is that software project has a project plan. The second is that the software project manager assigns work to the project team. This means not only that the project manager defines, organizes, and schedules the work in their plan, but that they direct individual team members to do the work. I believe that meeting the criteria for this ability requires the software project manager to be given the authority to direct the project resources work for the duration of the project. The best way for this authority to be officially granted is through the Project Charter which governs the project.

The third ability calls for adequate resources to be provided for tracking and oversight activities. Planning of the activities will be supported by the project’s plans and schedule. Adequate funding will be demonstrated by the budget for resources to perform oversight and tracking activities being part of the approved project budget. Ability 4 requires the software project manager to be trained in managing the “technical and personnel aspects” of the software project. I would argue that there is no better way of demonstrating this ability than by the certification of the software project manager as a Project Management Professional (PMP®). The Project Management Institute oversee this certification and are recognized globally as the leaders in the area of project management certification and project management best practices. Certification of your software project manager is straight forward, providing PMI’s criteria for project management experience are met. Providing they are, the project manager can choose from a host of quality PMP® courses or PMP® exam preparation training products to prepare them for the certification exam. These courses will train project managers in Project Management best practices and their implementation, as well as helping the project manager pass their exam.

The final ability calls for first-line software managers to receive “orientation in the technical aspects of the software project”. CMMI defines a first-line software manager as someone who has direct management responsibility, including responsibility for providing technical direction, for staffing and activities of a single organizational unit. This definition matches the PMBOK®’s definition of a functional manager. The first-line manager should be educated in the tools, processes, procedures, and standards used for the project.

Activities

 

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10 Project Management Priorities

A project is only possible to the degree that it is managed and rolled out. Managing a successful project isn’t just a technical and organizational issue. It is generally and usually about handling people. Most projects fail to take off or achieve results due to reasons ranging from lack of teamwork, poor or no communication, little or no support on the part of management, internal politics and infighting and shear lacking of planning. Sometimes people are thrust at the hem of huge projects with little or no experience. They then have to grapple with having to learn the best practice of project management and expectations of the projects speedily. When you manage your life like a project you will soon realize that you are effective, you do not leave anything to chance and you become very organized and alert. A lot of money and potential is lost when projects are taken casually. Sometimes life is lost in cases where danger is not managed properly. I have managed a number of projects ranging from IT ERP systems implementation, IT User Training for hundreds of employees and construction projects.

1. Define the scope and context of the project – Without properly establishing the scope and extent of the project, it is hard to implement and successfully roll it out. It will be hard to reach a level of satisfactory completion as each success will seem like a step not the end of the project. Important questions to ask are: What are we supposed to achieve as we manage the project? What are the deliverables or expected output? What is considered a successful implementation of the project? What are the aims and objectives of this project? Write all the expectations down as they will help to break down the project into steps which produce results. As you define the scope, it may be necessary to also make indications of issues that are not part of the scope or context of the project.

2. Check and gather the human resource skills needed – A project has a leadership structure in terms of who is championing the implementation and coordination but most importantly a project relies on the skills, gifts and talents in the team that is assembled. It is usually important to have the best brains the organization can put together. The project’s success relies on people with varying or diverse skill sets coming together to achieve a common purpose. Get the team to know each other and be clear in terms of the importance of their role in the success of the overall project. A project manager has an overall picture of the entire project. His/her ability to get results through others is important as the project cannot be carried by a few people but each one does their part to the best of their ability and experience.

3. Consider the cost element – Every decision you make has a financial effect or consequence. As you plan the project, you cannot ignore the issue of how much capital injection is needed at each level of the project implementation process. Where costs are underestimated, extreme delays in implementation are experienced. Money is necessary to solve the many demands that do come up. Whether is the labor, consultancy, raw material, equipment needed, buildings etc, you need to know that money has to come from somewhere to bring to pass the vision and goals that you may have. A project budget should be created showing how much money is required at each level of the project. Once established and approved, this becomes one of the deliverables of the Project leadership; whether they stayed within the budget and forecast of costs. When the budget is done, there is need to factor in the prevailing economic conditions befalling a country or region where project is being implemented.

4. Plan for the project – A project plan clearly spells out the step by step procedures or progression of the project from start to finish and beyond. A project plan cannot be left in the minds of the strategists. Once deliberations have been done, a project plan must be printed out and everyone involved in the project should be briefed on what they are expected to do. Any questions the project team members have should be answered so that everyone is reading from the same page and everyone is clear on what their commitment requirements are. Break the work down into smaller manageable chunks or tasks spelling out how long that task should take and who is in charge of the deliverable coming to fruition. On the timeline produced, spell out the major steps and milestones as well as the smaller steps that lead to the big ones. Enough time must be spent on this stage to ensure that the plan works on paper. All the test and “dry-runs” are done on paper before going live. Questions such as “What If” come at this stage so that all the relevant risks, contingencies and fears are taken care of.

5. Implement the project plan – This is the stage where everything that has been spelt out on the plan is rolled out and expected tangible results are observed and recorded. As you implement you need to monitor the tasks, analyze the processes and correct where oversights or under estimation was done. As the project is implemented, reports are generated which show the progress of the implementation. Such reports reflect not only the expected deliverables but what is on the ground as it is. How are people performing so far? How much has been spent on what so far? How does that compare to the plan and budget. Which equipment has been procured and what are the statistics from each machine in terms of production.

6. Handle Communication Effectively – It is vital that throughout the entire project phases there is enough communication happening between all the members of the team and the relevant stakeholders which include internal and external parties. All communication must be recorded or documented for future reference. No verbal agreements will be left at that level. Every commitment and progress should be communicated in a way that can be traced back. Every meeting should be recorded and minutes circulated. Communication of project process must be done to the team to motivate them and show them how far they have gone. Failure to communicate leads to teams working in isolation and assuming they are doing what is required within the expected timeframes. Any changes that have been done to the master plan must be relayed to every member to remove the risk of wrong things being done by uninformed team members.

7. Project Presentation – This is a stage where all the things that were planned have been done. The client or whoever commissioned you and your team to run with the project comes for a presentation where you outline how the project went. If there any minor adjustments and revisions necessary, this is the meeting where that is spelt out. The presentation process calls for the Project Leader or Director to enlighten the selected stakeholders as he/she knows more about the project than anyone else in the team. It is important for the one presenting the project to be articulate and have exceptional presentation skills. Stakeholders will ask questions hence some senior members of the project team have to be available to assist in answering the questions to the satisfaction of the client or stakeholders. Presentation is as important as implementation. How you present the project may leave the stakeholders with more questions than answers hence this is an important meeting to prepare for.

8. Evaluate the Project – This is when we look at the objectives and expectations and weigh them against the deliverables that have come through so far. Evaluation is actually a part and parcel of the entire project plan. You cannot leave out evaluation of project lest people leave thinking they have accomplished all. Evaluation and feedback meetings help the participants to know how not to do certain things in the future. Failure to give feedback may cause a recurrence of the same oversight in the next project. Draw out lessons from the successes and failures. Draw a list of all successes and why that success was achieved. Be honest about the failures and loopholes as well as why they happened. No victimization can ever change the result. People must

9. Conclusion of the Project – Regardless of the success or failure of the project, there should come a time when the project is considered to have come to an end. At this point the project team hands over the project back to the people who commissioned them. All the documentation and training is made available to ensure that those who run with the concluded project know exactly where to take off from. All documentation is necessary to ensure new users of the system know what to do and it also becomes a template for the next similar project. You don’t need to keep re-inventing the wheel but rather you modify what you have developed before.

10. Project Dynamics and Helpful Tools – There are many tools available that can help you execute you project with a high degree of proficiency and effectiveness. Such tools include Project Management Software which has templates and all project related indicators already built in. The software can help produce a project plan, project budget, and Human resource gap analysis to name a few of the things you can get. Software helps you to electronically monitor and track progress. In some instances the software can be made available over the internet such that updates on progress are available to all authentic users of the system. They can make their contributions, assessments and feedback online. Dynamics that you have to work with in every project include human management skills; dealing with different attitudes from different backgrounds as you set up the team. You may have selected your team based merely on skill and not so much on attitude hence these dynamics are important to take note of. The other dynamics could be that a client wants you to accomplish wonders with minimal financial resource. You are caught between having to complete the project without compromising quality.

 

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Antique Automobiles

The automobile has a long and exciting history–from the very first contraptions outfitted with wheels down to today’s impressive range of motor vehicles. Through the years, the automotive industry has produced automobiles that have eventually become classics. These antique cars are symbols of bygone eras–a testament to the spectacular evolution of the automobile.

Generally, an automobile can be considered a classic or an antique if it is over 25 years old. The term “classic antique” usually indicates that something possesses lasting significance.

Owning an antique automobile is a mark of prestige. It is the dream of many automotive enthusiasts to own a valuable piece of automotive history. To be the owner of an antique automobile is to have something of great worth.

Obviously, antique cars are very valuable. And, like any antique object, the worth of an antique automobile appreciates as time goes by. Most antique cars are now extremely rare, with only a few intact models to be found. Such rarity means that restoring, maintaining and refurbishing an antique car may prove painstakingly difficult as well as expensive.

Antique automobiles are vestiges of the illustrious past of the automobile. They serve as a constant inspiration for the future directions of the automotive field. Although owning and maintaining antique vehicles require a lot of effort and money, mainly because of the dearth of replacement parts, the fulfillment of owning these vehicles far outweighs the disadvantages.

When investing in an antique car, it is recommended that you consult with the leading authorities in the field. There are also a number of enthusiast clubs and communities where members can share their inclination and love for antique automobiles. Remember, an antique car is not just any old car. It is a piece of glorious heritage that should be preserved for future generations.

Automobiles [http://www.WetPluto.com/Antique-Automobiles.html] provides detailed information on Automobiles, Used Automobiles, Antique Automobiles, Electric Automobiles and more. Automobiles is affiliated with ATV For Sale

 

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Automobiles

The automobile is one of the most important inventions ever created by man. It has revolutionized modern society as we know it. Can you imagine our world today without automobiles?

Ever since the pioneers of automotive technology created the first car, the automobile has gone a long way in changing the world. Today, the automobile–whether it is a car, truck or van–is an indispensable tool. It is the primary mode of transportation used in almost all human endeavors.

From the first rickety cars produced, automobiles have evolved to become the familiar and common motor vehicles of today. Many automotive manufacturers have introduced various innovations in terms of design, performance, safety and other technological aspects. Automotive technologies continue to improve as automotive engineers and designers strive to enhance the vehicles they produce.

The automobile continues to develop at a very fast pace. There are scores of auto manufacturers from different countries all making their respective contributions to the development of automotive technology. Year after year, new models, innovations and features are being introduced by these automakers. Needless to say, each advancement in the automobile industry brings a slew of advantages to the lives of billions of people all over the world.

Automotive technology continues to move forward into the next big innovation. But there are still many challenges facing the automotive industry, some of which effect the whole world. Two of the main issues are eliminating the threat to the environment posed by automobile emissions and the rising prices of oil.

Despite these and other issues, the automobile is still one of the most significant achievements of man. As the technologies continue to progress, automakers will roll out better, more sophisticated automobiles that will meet the increasing demands of consumers in terms of functionality, safety, performance and reliability. Given this, the future of the automobile looks more exciting than ever.

Automobiles [http://www.WetPluto.com/Antique-Automobiles.html] provides detailed information on Automobiles, Used Automobiles, Antique Automobiles, Electric Automobiles and more. Automobiles is affiliated with ATV For Sale

 

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News Blogs – A Concept Gaining Popularity

There is a plenty of people who are staring an online business for better exposure of their products and services internationally. This phenomenon has proved lucrative for them but for this purpose they have to adopt special measures like internet marketing. Publish your press release to the news and business directories to fetch massive traffic to your website. When you publish your news, readers who are interested in your niche query on search engines. The matter of fact is that if you are intending to publish your news manually on every news and business website one by one then you have to waste a lot your time in filling up the forms entering captcha etc. So, to publish your news to top 100 news and business websites, developers has invented News Publisher.

This is an efficient and handy tool to publish news on top 100 news sites with just one click. So if you are intending to do internet marketing for your own business website then you need to do is to craft a press release or business information and publish your news with this software. After clicking the submit button, be sit back and relax as this software will publish press release or news to all well searched directories automatically. The attracting feature that is provided in this software is the recognition of captcha codes. If you do registration on any news or business directory then you would observe that you have to put the security captcha code to publish news. This saves you from the overhead of typing captchas to publish your news.

This software automatically adds the hyperlinks to your website and or business information page when you publish news. This also helps to enhance the number visitors to your website. If doing news publish manually then you have to keep the record of each article that is submitted to various websites. With this software, you don’t need to care about the submission reports as it automatically generates them while you publish news to top 100 news and business websites. To publish your news of different authors, number of accounts and submission reports is not limited. You can make as many as you want to publish your business news, press release and business information on news and business sites.

If you thoroughly read the contents of a news or business directory then you would realize that you have to follow numerous rules when you publish news to that directory. This problem is also solved by the News Publisher as when you publish news it is automatically adjusted according to the rules of that directory and it selects the appropriate category itself. When you publish news, you always need to stuff keywords in order to keep rankings high in search engines. So this software detects the targeted keywords and also publish the with your news and press release articles.

 

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Publish News With Single Click

There is a plenty of people who are staring an online business for better exposure of their products and services internationally. This phenomenon has proved lucrative for them but for this purpose they have to adopt special measures like internet marketing. Publish your press release to the news and business directories to fetch massive traffic to your website. When you publish your news, readers who are interested in your niche query on search engines. The matter of fact is that if you are intending to publish your news manually on every news and business website one by one then you have to waste a lot your time in filling up the forms entering captcha etc. So, to publish your news to top 100 news and business websites, developers has invented News Publisher.

This is an efficient and handy tool to publish news on top 100 news sites with just one click. So if you are intending to do internet marketing for your own business website then you need to do is to craft a press release or business information and publish your news with this software. After clicking the submit button, be sit back and relax as this software will publish press release or news to all well searched directories automatically. The attracting feature that is provided in this software is the recognition of captcha codes. If you do registration on any news or business directory then you would observe that you have to put the security captcha code to publish news. This saves you from the overhead of typing captchas to publish your news.

This software automatically adds the hyperlinks to your website and or business information page when you publish news. This also helps to enhance the number visitors to your website. If doing news publish manually then you have to keep the record of each article that is submitted to various websites. With this software, you don’t need to care about the submission reports as it automatically generates them while you publish news to top 100 news and business websites. To publish your news of different authors, number of accounts and submission reports is not limited. You can make as many as you want to publish your business news, press release and business information on news and business sites.

If you thoroughly read the contents of a news or business directory then you would realize that you have to follow numerous rules when you publish news to that directory. This problem is also solved by the News Publisher as when you publish news it is automatically adjusted according to the rules of that directory and it selects the appropriate category itself. When you publish news, you always need to stuff keywords in order to keep rankings high in search engines. So this software detects the targeted keywords and also publish the with your news and press release articles.