On this blog we hope to keep abreast of interesting business news. However it is good for writers to stay connected to what other writers are penning. Here are a few snippets from round the web that we have found from the writing world.
Next Week Only – Free Live Training from John Carlton and Colin Chung
You’ve heard of the legendary John Carlton, right? One of Gary Halbert’s original “road dogs” who’s known as the “most ripped off copywriter” on the planet? The brains behind the one legged golfer ad and “gun to the head” copywriting? Of course you have. […]
So you’ll be interested to know that next week ONLY John’s offering training that normally costs $708 for absolutely FREE! Zilch. Nada. Cero.
The training will teach you 3 vitally important skills:
– How to Discover Your Unique “Copy DNA”… and never run out of ad ideas ever again…
– The Simple “Fill-in-the-Blank” Sentence… that turns your elevator pitch into instant sales!
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5 Karate-Inspired Moves to Beat Fear and Doubt for Freelancers
Are you one of those freelancers in the writer’s dojo who secretly thinks you’re too weak at this writing thing to earn a living? Maybe you’re scared you’ll screw up, suck at getting clients, fail to deliver high-quality work, and basically punch yourself in the face.When you’re a white-belt freelancer, it can be hard to know where to focus your energy. Lots of established freelancers have good advice. But where to start? Master these techniques, and you’ll be on your way to competing for high-paying clients with the best freelancers around.
The Content Marketer’s Guide to Starting a Meditation Practice Today
For the execution of our craft, we depend on some key inner resources every day. Creativity and focus are two biggies. And I’m sure you’ve noticed that — like gold and platinum — those are precious and limited resources.
From the #DeleteUber campaign to fake news, the industry found itself in the crosshairs this year and it was a long time coming, experts say
When Jonathan Taplins book Move Fast and Break Things, which dealt with the worrying rise of big tech, was first published in the UK in April 2017, his publishers removed its subtitle because they didnt think it was supported by evidence: How Facebook, Google and Amazon cornered culture and undermined democracy.
When the paperback edition comes out early next year, that subtitle will be restored.
Its been a sea change in just six months, Taplin said. Before that, people were kind of asleep.
Techs annus horribilis started with calls to #DeleteUber, but the way things are going it will end with calls to delete the entire internet.
2017 has definitely been a year when tech has found there is a target painted on its back, said Om Malik, a venture capitalist. The big companies have been so obsessed with growth that theres been a lack of social responsibility. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.
The surprise election of Donald Trump acted as a catalyst for scrutiny of the platforms that shape so much of our online experience. Even so, its taken many months for the enormity of their role to sink in.
Perhaps the biggest wake-up call has been the showdown in Washington. Congress summoned representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google to testify over their role in a multi-pronged Russian operation to influence the 2016 presidential election. All three companies admitted that Russian entities bought ads on their sites in an attempt to skew the vote.
The election shows the stakes involved here, said Noam Cohen, author of The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball. In the past, to be a critic of Silicon Valley was to say the smartphone is making us dumb. Now its incompatible with democracy.
Its not been the only example of technology companies monetising and distributing unpalatable content and acting surprised when its uncovered.
Appeal judgment on hold until US supreme court rules on the latest version of block on people from Muslim countries
The US appeals court has said Donald Trumps hotly contested travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries should not be applied to people with strong ties to America.
The San Francisco-based 9th US circuit court of appeals, which covers several west coast states, also said its ruling on Friday would be put on hold pending a decision on the latest version of the travel ban from the Trump administration by the US supreme court.
Since taking office in January, the president has been struggling to enact a ban that passes court muster.
A three-judge panel from the 9th circuit narrowed a previous injunction from a lower federal court to those people with a credible bona fide relationship with the United States.
It also said that while the president has broad powers to regulate the entry of immigrants into the United States, those powers are not without limits.
We conclude that the presidents issuance of the proclamation once again exceeds the scope of his delegated authority, the panel said.
The ban targets people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen seeking to enter the US. Trump has said the travel ban is needed to protect the US from terrorism.
The ban has some exceptions. Certain people from each targeted country can still apply for a visa for tourism, business or education purposes, and applicants can ask for an individual waiver.
We are pleased that the supreme court has already allowed the government to implement the proclamation and keep all Americans safe while this matter is litigated. We continue to believe that the order should be allowed to take effect in its entirety, US justice department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said in a statement.
At a meeting in Moscow later, Mr Johnson will tell his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, that the UK does not accept Russia’s “hostile” behaviour.
Ahead of that trip, Mr Johnson said that relations between the UK and Russia “haven’t been so bad for a very long time”.
“There are areas in which Russia is behaving in a more hostile way towards our interests than at any time since the end of the Cold War.
“I will make clear… that there are things that we find extremely difficult to accept, and we can’t accept.”
The two politicians are also set to discuss the threat posed to global security by North Korea, the search for a political settlement in Syria and preservation of the Iranian nuclear deal.
Mr Johnson will raise the subject of the safety of English football fans when Russia hosts the World Cup next year.
Russians were blamed for injuring more than 100 England supporters in Marseille during the 2016 European Football Championships.
‘Not business as usual’
By BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins
So what’s the point of this meeting, which has been cancelled twice before?
From Britain’s perspective, it’s to persuade Russia – as a fellow permanent member of the UN Security Council – to co-operate against common threats: from North Korea in particular, but also from a ruined Syria where no peace settlement is in sight.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says Russia is interested in “seeking a way to normalise relations with Britain, and to reactivate cooperation”.
But Boris Johnson says it cannot simply be “a return to business as usual”. There are low expectations of any substantial progress.
Select one as appropriate and watch everyone around the table relax. Hopefully.
Sound scarily informed
Your father-in-law at Christmas lunch – or the boss at your office party – starts asking you about the negotiations. You want to sound at least a little bit informed. Here are a few tips from BBC Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming to stop them in their tracks.
Mention “tariff rate quotas”. This is weapons-grade jargon and no-one will want you to explain it. (They allow a certain amount of products such as lamb from New Zealand’s to be imported duty free)
Suggest a bilat: When two leaders meet in a small room for an awkward handshake, most normal people would describe what happens next as a “chat”. Not in Brexit world, where it is called a “bilateral” or – if pushed for time – a “bilat”. As in “May and Tusk had a really positive bilat this morning”.
“Oh, that was in the guidelines”: The EU has stuck religiously to the guidelines approved by leaders in April. They should provide a safe response if you’re caught off guard (unless the other person has memorised them, in which case you’re in trouble).
The post-dinner Brexit conversation has been dragging on for hours, and you’re desperate to get to the pub.
How to box it off without putting anyone’s nose out of joint?
Declare that “Brexit means Brexit”. Theresa May’s slogan is hard to argue with, and will leave everyone scratching their heads as you head out of the door.
Say “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” with a knowing wink. It’s become the negotiations’ catchphrase, used by both sides to keep everything on the table. Ministers sometimes use it to fend off tricky questions. Deploy it here and keep everyone happy as you make your excuses.
Avoid Brexit altogether
Perhaps the safest option – just don’t go there. It’s an approach suggested by The Spectator’s Lara Prendergast, who has bemoaned people’s insistence on debating Brexit at social events.
“My approach is to avoid telling people how I voted in the referendum,” she says.
“I have taken to saying ‘would you mind if we talked about something else?’ There’s no topic more divisive and more boring.
“People used to say you don’t talk about sex, politics or religion – I think maybe Brexit should be the fourth one on that list.”
Toys R Us will continue to trade under its company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which is a step short of going into administration.
Steve Knights, managing director of Toys R Us UK, said: “The vote in favour of the CVA represents strong support for our business plan and provides us with the platform we need to transform our business so that we can better serve our customers today and long into the future.
“All of our stores across the UK will remain open for business as normal until spring 2018. Customers can continue to shop online and there will be no changes to our returns policies or gift cards across this period.”
Toys R Us factfile
The toy retailer started in the US in the 1950s
It reached the UK in 1985, as a subsidiary of the US chain, when it opened five stores
It launched its UK website in 1996
The retailer now has 105 stores around the UK
Its flagship stores are at London’s Brent Cross shopping centre and in Bristol
The company sells largely from warehouse-style stores at the edge of towns, but says these are now “too big and expensive to run”. It is also finding it hard to compete against online toy retailers.
The chain said that, as part of the CVA proposal, a number of these stores had been identified for closure.
It said talks with employees would start in the New Year.
Catherall was denied access to the airline’s business class lounge because the boots are considered sleepwear.
Boots… that you wear outside… are classified as sleepwear. We’d love to hear the reasoning behind this classification.
The singer took to Twitter to voice her frustration with the outrageous policy. A Qantas lounge staffer reportedly recommended she purchase new shoes at one of the airport’s shops in order to gain entry, adding further insult to injury.
Denied access @Qantas business class lounge in @Melair Melbourne Airport apparently Ugg (Australia) Boots are deemed sleepwear by the lady working there although no problem in any of the other lounges so far.Helpfully she suggested I go to one of the shops & purchase some shoes
As outlined on the Qantas website, the dress code isn’t limited to Melbourne Airport; it applies to all of the airline’s domestic airport lounges:
To ensure an enjoyable experience when you’re visiting our domestic Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, we ask that you follow our smart casual dress guidelines.
The company’s website further adds: “These guidelines are intended to create an environment that everyone can enjoy and we look forward to welcoming you into our lounges soon.”
We checked with several airline dress policies and can confirm some, but not all, ban Uggs from their lounges.
Another Twitter user chimed in with a similar experience when flying from Brisbane Airport:
I had exactly the same issue just last week in Brisbane Airport! If you pay for Business Class you should be able to travel in whatever you feel comfortable in – whatever footwear you choose to wear is not going to ruin other passengers travel experience!
Banning Uggs from its lounges definitely sucks. It’s unlikely to change unless there’s widespread public outcry. Perhaps, Catherall’s unfortunate encounter could be the catalyst.
An Ugg spokesperson sent along a statement that touted the brand’s popularity and accessibility without addressing the airline’s definition of which footwear does and doesn’t qualify as sleeping apparel.
Millions of loyal fans love to wear UGG when they travel and beyond. The UGG brand is renowned for unparalleled premium quality, effortless comfort and timeless style. While we can’t speak to the airline’s dress code policy, UGG provides a multitude of styles that offer endless wearability for casual and fashionable occasions.
Oracle will pay $1.2 billion in cash to buy construction software developer Aconex, the companies announced today. Based in Melbourne, Aconex’s cloud-based software allow teams working on building projects to collaborate and share documents. Oracle agreed to pay AUD $7.80 (about $5.97) per share in cash for a total of $1.2 billion. This price represents a 47% premium over Aconex’s Friday closing price of AUD $5.29 (about $4.05).
This marks Oracle’s second acquisition of a cloud-based construction software maker so far. Last year, it purchased contract and payment management platform Textura for $663 million and combined it with its own construction management software, called Primavera, to form the Oracle Construction and Engineering Global Business Unit.
Construction projects consist of many moving parts, including multiple contractors and suppliers, complicated building codes and piles of paper documents, and managing everything can be a costly, time-consuming nightmare. This, of course, gives the tech industry an opening. In the past few years, several startups have launched to modernize the building industry, including Fieldwire, PlanGrid, Net30 and UpCodes.
Founded in 2000, Aconex currently has offices in 30 countries and says it has been used to manage over $1 trillion in construction projects. The company claims 5.5 million project users, who can manage and communicate about building progress, documents, safety checklists and other issues on desktops or mobile devices. Oracle says Aconex will complement its cloud-based construction software, which focuses on project planning, management and payments, to create an end-to-end solution for builders. After the acquisition’s close, which is expected to take place in the first half of 2018, Aconex will become part of Oracle’s construction and engineering unit.
In a letter to Aconex’s customers, co-founder and chief executive officer Leigh Jasper said “we expect that Oracle’s continued investment in Aconex will deliver more functionality and capabilities at a quicker pace, as well as provide better integration and alignment with Oracle’s other product offerings.”
One of the largest enterprise software companies in the world, Oracle makes several acquisitions a year. According to Crunchbase, Oracle has agreed to buy three other companies in 2017 so far: API design platform Apiary, developer tools startup Wercker and Moat, which measures ad engagement. That’s a small number, however, compared to Oracle’s acquisition spree last year, when it bought nine companies, including NetSuite for $9.3 billion and Textura.
Spellcheck Is Lying to You – Why You Absolutely Must Proofread!
Proofreading is a tedious task and one that seems less important nowadays with the miracle of spellcheck. Just click on spellcheck and let the machine do it for you. The only trouble is that spellcheck is often wrong. Here are some proofreading tips.
You should never rely solely on a computer for your spelling. Here are some of the reasons.
Proper Noun Problems
One of the most common problems with spellcheck is that it recognizes only a limited number of proper nouns, abbreviations, technical terms and words from foreign languages. So, even when you use spellcheck, you still have to make sure that those words are spelled correctly.
Spellcheckers locate misspelled words and correct them. Hopefully. At least that’s what they’re supposed to do. But if a spellchecker auto-corrects a word to the wrong word, this is bad news.
For example, if you’re writing about “espresso” and mistakenly spell it “expresso,” your spellchecker might give you a helping hand and make it into “express.” It might turn your “definitely” into “defiantly,” which could definitely confuse your readers.
Making Spellcheck Dumber
If you consistently misspell a word, you may “train” your spellchecker. This is a natural function of most spellcheckers so that they can accept proper names and alternate spellings.
For example, if you write “color” as “colour,” spellcheck may correct it the first time or two (if it’s an American version). But as you consistently write it that way, it will eventually come to accept the fact and stop correcting you.
The danger is that if you keep misspelling a certain word, spellcheck may follow your lead and misspell it as well.
Human vs. Computers
Especially frustrating to writers is the fact that spellcheck will sometimes mark something as incorrect that simply isn’t. Who knows what’s going on in your computers algorithmic brain?
This leads to frustration as you look at the word or phrase, puzzle over it, and go on a web-wide quest to figure out how you’re breaking the rules of English. All the while, you could’ve trusted your gut and you’d be paragraphs down the page by now.
Spellcheck Checks Spelling – Only
Spellcheck actually does only one thing – it checks spelling. It can’t do all of your proofreading for you because it operates under a limited set of rules. Grammar check is the same way. It can’t handle complex sentences and can’t understand context, both of which are important.
You should spellcheck and proofread. If possible, have a few others proofread your work as well. Writers don’t do all of their own proofreading. It’s important to get as many eyes as possible on your copy. Someone will catch what someone else missed.
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