Sunday, September 30, 2012

Airlines see surge in traffic to Africa

Published: Saturday, September 29, 2012, 1:32 p.m.

FRANKFURT ? After decades as the poor relation of global air transport, Africa is attracting carriers from Brussels to Beijing as a commodities boom spurs economic growth.

British Airways began serving its 19th destination there on Sept. 10, while Qatar Airways adds its fourth route of the year next month and FastJet starts flights in November with the aim of becoming the first ever pan-African discount carrier.

Airlines hurt by traffic declines elsewhere are rushing to tap a rare growth market as economies in the sub-Saharan region expand an average 5.3 percent in 2012, outpacing Russia, Brazil and much of Asia, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. Hurdles to expansion include safety issues, corruption, state interference and of selling tickets in economies reliant on cash and lacking ready internet access.

"With the right cost structure there's no reason why airlines shouldn't succeed," International Air Transport Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler said by phone from Dakar during a visit to Senegal this month. "We've seen that happen in Asia, Latin America and other parts of the developing world. People here say the easiest way to fly anywhere in Africa is via Paris, which is ridiculous."

British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group, added flights to Liberia via Sierra Leone on Sept. 10 and now serves 16 Africa countries. Brussels Airlines ? 45 percent owned by Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa ? has almost doubled the number of passengers it carries to the continent since 2008 and founded a subsidiary in the Congo.

Gulf carriers are also adding African routes, with Dubai- based Emirates, the world's biggest airline by international traffic, leading the way with 22 destinations, including the addition this year of Lusaka in Zambia and Harare in Zimbabwe.

Qatar Air will fly to Mozambique from October, its 18th African route, after already adding the sub-Saharan destinations of Mombassa in Kenya, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Kigali in Rwanda ? the fastest growing of Africa's top 25 airports. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways this year began flights to Nairobi and Lagos, the continent's two busiest hubs, and will serve Addis Ababa from November for a total of eight African cities.

Asian operators are also joining the rush, with China Southern Airlines Co., the nation's biggest carrier by passenger numbers, prioritizing African expansion above other markets, Si Xianmin, the Guangzhou-based company's chairman, said June 6.

Still, the industry is starting from a low base, adding $8 billion to Africa's gross domestic product in 2011, the smallest contribution in any continent, and employing 260,000 people, IATA says. That compares with $231.9 billion and 3.1 million jobs in North America, which has the biggest aviation economy.

Air links have traditionally been strongest with former colonial nations in Europe, in southern and eastern Africa, and on a north-south axis down the continent's spine. That means growth opportunities are greatest on ill-served east-west routes, both within the region and to the Americas and Asia, said Herman Carpentier, Africa sales chief at Brussels Airlines.

The company's response has been to establish Korongo Airlines, an $11 million joint venture with mining entrepreneur George Forrest's Groupe Forrest International in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a former Belgian colony where the economy is forecast to grow 3 percent this year.

The unit, which operates from Lubumbashi in the south of the country to the capital Kinshasa and to Johannesburg, plans to expand to commercial hub Mbuji-Mayi and mining center Kolwezi in the next year, according to Carpentier, who said the model could be replicated in other African countries if successful.

"There's a general lack of intra-African flights, yet other infrastructure is very basic or non-existent in some areas, so air travel is the best way to get around," Carpentier said in a phone interview from Brussels. "I think there's real demand."

High fuel prices generally viewed as negative for airlines are also driving growth in states with crude deposits, boosting business flights and stirring leisure demand among a nascent middle class. Oil is spurring travel across central Africa, from Angola as far east as Uganda and Kenya, Carpentier said.

It's in the east that FastJet will commence flying with the aim of becoming the first discount carrier to span the region. The company is building a fleet of Airbus SAS A319 jets and will operate first from Tanzania then Kenya, Ghana and Angola using licenses held by majority investor Lonrho, a mining, oil and agricultural group active in Africa for more than 100 years.

The challenges for such startups are very different from those faced elsewhere, according to Ron Peri, CEO of Orlando- based airline ticketing specialist Radixx International, who sums them up as the "Three Cs" ? for a cash-based economy, the prevalence of corruption, and a general lack of competence.

"If you have strong cash markets but not necessarily the strongest personal ethics you wind up with corruption all over the place," Peri said in an interview. "You need to have audit trails everywhere. In Africa they talk about 'revenue leakage,' which is shorthand for 'my employees are robbing me blind.'"

Graft isn't limited to those directly involved in revenue collection, according to IATA's Tyler.

"Governments can't stop interfering and squeezing to try and get money," he said. "They should look at aviation not as a cash cow to be milked but as an engine for economic growth which in the long run will provide much more tax revenue, employment and social development. We've seen that happen in Asia."


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No. 9 West Virginia beats No. 25 Baylor 70-63

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (12) looks for a receiver during their NCAA college football game against Baylor in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (12) looks for a receiver during their NCAA college football game against Baylor in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

West Virginia's Stedman Bailey (3) is tackled in the endzone for a touchdown by Baylor's K.J. Morton (8) during their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

West Virginia's Tyler Anderson (53), right foreground, tackles Baylor's Terrance Williams (2) before the goal line during their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith gestures to fans after their NCAA college football game against Baylor in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. Smith threw for 656 yards and tied a Big 12 record with eight touchdown passes to lead No. 9 West Virginia to a 70-63 win over No. 25 Baylor . (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen discuss a call with officals during their NCAA college football game against Baylor in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. West Virginia defeated Baylor 70-63. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

(AP) ? No. 9 West Virginia and the Big 12, perfect together.

Geno Smith and the fast-moving, high-scoring Mountaineers proved they fit right in with their new conference, outracing No. 25 Baylor 70-63 on Saturday in the Big 12's highest-scoring game ever.

Smith tied a conference mark with eight touchdown passes and narrowly missed another one with 656 yards passing.

"It did feel like one of those classic Texas shootouts," said Smith, whose school moved over from the Big East this season. "That's kind of what the Big 12 is about."

Smith outdueled Baylor's Nick Florence, who broke Heisman Trophy-winning predecessor Robert Griffin III's school record with 581 yards. Florence threw for five TDs.

School, conference and FBS marks all got rewritten in this one.

The game also set a new record for the most points scored in a game involving a team ranked in The Associated Press poll. The previous mark of 124 was set in No. 12 Oklahoma's 82-42 win over Colorado in 1980.

How wild was it? Smith, the early Heisman front-runner, had more TD passes than incompletions (six). He finished 45 of 51 and still doesn't have an interception this season.

"Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?" West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said.

Maybe not on offense, but both defenses have plenty of work to do.

West Virginia amassed a school-record 807 yards and the teams combined for 1,507 yards of offense and 67 first downs. Six receivers had at least 100 yards receiving.

The Bears' Terrance Williams set a Big 12 record with 314 yards receiving. The old mark was set minutes earlier by West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, who had 303 yards and a school-record five TDs.

Williams' 8-yard scoring catch brought Baylor (3-1) within 70-63 with 3:08 left.

But Dustin Garrison ran for 17 yards on third down and the Mountaineers ran out the clock to snap Baylor's nine-game winning streak, the second-longest in the nation.

"We expect to score that many points a game," Florence said. "But the goal is to score more than our opponent and we came up a little short today."

The combined 19 touchdowns tied an FBS mark, last reached when Navy beat North Texas 74-62 in 2007. That matchup set the FBS record for most points in a regulation game at 136.

Baylor, meanwhile, tied an FBS mark for the most points scored by a losing team.

Among the other records, Smith set school single-game marks for completions, yards and touchdown passes.

Bailey and Tavon Austin became the first FBS teammates with 200 yards receiving since 2007.

Going back to the Orange Bowl, West Virginia has scored 10 touchdowns three times in its last five games.

"Statistically, it's my best game ever," Smith said. "But I think it's more about the team, and I think it just lets us know that we're going to have to battle it out every week against some really tough teams in the Big 12.

"I could care less about a Heisman Trophy. The big thing for us what that we won the game today. We're on a mission, and we want to win them all."

West Virginia went ahead for good early in the third quarter, but Baylor almost always had an answer.

Austin made long touchdown grabs three minutes apart while Baylor punted and missed a long field goal. Smith stayed in a groove, throwing three passes of 45 yards or more in the third quarter alone. His 47-yarder to Bailey set up Andrew Buie's second short TD run for a 56-35 lead.

The way this game was going, though, no cushion was safe.

Williams caught a 37-yard scoring pass from Florence and, after Baylor's defense forced a rare punt, Florence's sneak brought the Bears within 56-49, and there was still 14:14 left.

But Bailey scored on TD grabs of 87 and 39 yards after that.

"We fought hard," said Baylor coach Art Briles. "But we didn't respond well enough to win the game."

Holgorsen talked at length about how impatient he got watching Maryland's offense run the clock down before each snap last week.

There was no chance of a slowdown from Baylor.

The teams scored on 10 of their final 13 possessions of the first half. Seven of those drives lasted under two minutes.

Smith, whose passing yardage total was 5 yards shy of the Big 12 mark, completed a school-record 14 straight passes at one point. After a dropped pass, Smith completed 12 more in a row.

Smith's fourth TD pass came with 29 seconds left until halftime, but that was more than enough time for Florence. On second down he threw down the left sideline to Lanear Sampson, who juked two defenders and went 67 yards untouched to tie the score at 35-35.

The Mountaineers now must hope they can generate points on the road when they head to No. 12 Texas and Texas Tech over the next two weeks.

"Not every Big 12 game is like this," Holgorsen said.

Associated Press


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Planning a Move | Home Improvement and Remodeling

When faced with the expenditure of taking on a moving company for a cross-town travel, most of us will gather together their family members, acquaintances and even neighbors to get their belongings loaded up to the moving car or into a moving truck. You should know that there are so many cheap moving companies and moving services out there nowadays! Moving can be worrying, and the very last thing you will worry about from the period of your move is whether your things will reach your destination, and if so, in what state. The moving industry is in the midst of a major change, as competition for services increases and the Internet allows just about anyone and everyone to share their good and bad experiences with the various moving services. Organization in packing and moving can save you time and limit stress at the end of a long process that transitions you into or out of your home. Proper planning and preparation for the moving season makes moving easy.
Often times new home owners will focus on the immediate obvious tasks of moving and omit or not realize the importance of the little details. Advance planning will make moving pressure and stress free. Many move to take a new job, but others move because they are looking for a better place to raise a family. Most of us have to watch our budget closely when planning a move. Depending on how much stuff you have and the overall move distance, you may find that moving is quite expensive. Most of the large and respected moving NYC companies offer solutions for both commercial and residential moves.


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QE Infinity 1.0 Update: Apple, Bonds, Dollar, Gold, Google, Real Estate, Stocks!


Google Soars, Gold Up, Dollar Rallies!

This isn?t over. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is now being called a Kamikaze pilot! David Stockman said the Federal Reserve and central banks are the fundamental threat to the economy. September 13, 2012 was the American Day of Infamy and the death knell of the American Dream. The Federal Reserve announced indefinite quantitative easing, QEternity, plus a zero-interest rate environment extended through mid-2015.

Quantitative easing is an addictive drug. Is the current injection enough? Already there is talk of more QE! Would this be QE Infinity 2.0? How long can this addiction continue? The answer is as long as the U.S. Dollar is the world?s reserve currency -or- the Great American Sovereign Debt Default occurs.

An economic globalization approved by the USA 2-party political dictatorship and funded by the Wall Street Banksters precludes a sound internal USA economic policy and structure. Yet we continue voting for the same empty promises offered by both parties over and over as if this next time will be different. Albert Einstein called this insanity: ?doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?.

The economy itself has fundamentally changed with cheap human labor outsourced abroad (suicide nets and police state control expenses paid for by the slaves via subsistence pay) and rapidly expanding automation (rise of the machines) implemented domestically. The downward spiral from higher paying production jobs to lower paying service jobs to ultimate obsolescence continues for Americans.

Therefore, the Federal Reserve will flood the world with U.S. Dollars, Congress will run budget deficits and borrow more money, interest rates will remain artificially low lest the insolvency of America be revealed by skyrocketing debt service, and the Fed will continue expanding the central bank balance sheet until the bluff is called. Follow along with the Fed Hail Mary, indefinite quantitative easing, as I periodically monitor the value of selected assets in the new QE Infinity Economy.

QE Infinity Performance To-Date

Google +9.21%, Gold +2.44%, Bonds +0.73%, Dollar +0.36%, Real Estate +0.31%, Stocks +0.29%, Apple -0.40%

QE Infinity Performance by Week

Federal Reserve Game Plan

Business Insider: Chart of the Day (Source: KT ZMICO economist Isara Ordeedolchest)

Disclosure: I have a beneficial interest in a long position in AAPL stock.

Market values are as of the close on September 12, 2012, the day before QE Infinity was announced, and the weeks ended on Friday. The 6 assets reviewed are Apple ($AAPL), Bonds ($BND), Dollar ($USDX), Gold ($GLD), Real Estate ($IYR), and Stocks ($SPX). Google ($GOOG) is included as an aside this week.



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Thousands of Poles protest pro-market reforms

(AP) ? Thousands of Poles blew horns, prayed and waved flags in downtown Warsaw on Saturday to show their anger over a new law that raises the retirement age and a host of other issues.

The protest was organized by the conservative and nationalistic opposition party Law and Justice, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, as well as the Solidarity trade union and other groups.

Dubbed "Wake Up, Poland," the protest is an expression of the deep anxieties gripping many Poles as the government tries to lower state debt by embracing pro-market reforms that are weakening the social safety net.

Many of the protesters are also conservative Catholics ill at ease in a country that is quickly growing more secular as it grows wealthier and more integrated with the West.

A key source of anger for the protesters is a new law put through by the pro-market government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk which will gradually raise the retirement age to 67 for all Poles from 60 for women and 65 for men.

Participants also expressed anger at a decision by the Polish national broadcasting council to strip a Catholic TV station, TV Trwam, of a free digital TV signal. They argue that it marks a blow to freedom of expression and an attempt to silence their conservative and Catholic world view. The broadcasting council, however, has said the station lost its transmission rights because of a lack of transparency in its funding.

Protesters sang patriotic and religious songs as they gathered at Three Crosses Square in downtown Warsaw, some of them holding rosaries.

"Our presence here is a sign of opposition to the discrimination against Catholic media and TV Trwam," Zbigniew Ziobro, a leading conservative politician, told protesters, according to the news agency PAP.

Police had no estimate yet for the number of protesters, but private broadcaster TVN24 said tens of thousands turned out.

Associated Press


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Saturday, September 29, 2012

75% tax for high earners? France unveils new budget

PARIS (AP) ? The French government presented a budget Friday that was heavy on taxes ? including a controversial 75 percent income rate on high earners ? but which critics said lacked fundamental reforms that could jumpstart economic growth.

President Francois Hollande's cabinet defended the spending plan for next year, calling it a "fighting budget" that would win the "battle" against joblessness and help growth.

Like many European countries, France must tread a fine line between cutting the debts that dragged them into the current financial crisis and investing in the economy to spur growth.

The French economy, the second largest among the 17 countries that use the euro, has not grown for three straight quarters, the national statistics agency confirmed Friday. Its gross domestic product stands at ?1.8 trillion ($2.2 trillion). Unemployment has been on the rise for more than a year and stands at 10.2 percent.

Economists warn, however, that things could get much worse in France if it doesn't get serious about slashing state spending and reforming stringent labor laws.

"This is a serious budget, it's a leftist budget and it's fighting budget," Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told French radio station Europe-1 Friday morning.

Because Hollande promised that he would slash the country's deficit to 3 percent of its GDP next year ? a limit required by European rules ? the government must find ?30 billion in savings. One-third will come from spending cuts. The rest will come from new or higher taxes on the wealthy and big companies, including a new 75 percent tax on earned income that exceeds ?1 million.

Among the other measures included are a new income tax level at 45 percent for those making more than ?150,000 ? the current top rate of tax is about 41 percent for income above ?70,000. Also included in the budget is an increase of capital gains taxes, which start around 19 percent, to bring them more in line with how salaries are taxed, and a cap on certain deductions for large companies on their income taxes.

The 75 percent tax will last for two years and has always been billed as a symbolic measure since it will bring in very little revenue. Several businessmen and politicians in the opposition have said that's exactly what's wrong with the 2013 budget: It sends the message that France doesn't like the rich and isn't open for business.

"France is sick from a model that isn't viable," said Guillaume Carou, CEO of Didaxis and president of the Club of Entrepreneurs, which represents 15,000 small businesses. "But (the government has) chosen to keep it, that's what the 2013 budget reveals."

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault rejected that characterization, however, insisting that the budget would win the battle against unemployment.

"It's a budget that aims to inspire confidence and to break the debt spiral that keeps growing and growing," he said after the budget was presented to the Cabinet.

The budget is built around an expectation of 0.8 percent growth for next year. If growth misses the projections, more cuts could be needed later.

Moscovici conceded that most economists predict the French economy will grow just 0.5 percent, but said that if the European debt crisis stabilizes, France would meet its targets.


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Christina Aguilera Unveils "Your Body" Music Video


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Omar Khadr back in Canada [Photos] [Video]

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Convicted terrorist Omar Khadr is back in Canada.

Khadr landed at CFB Trenton military base at 7:40 a.m. (ET) Saturday after being transported from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, aboard a U.S. government aircraft, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed during a news conference in Winnipeg.

Khadr was then transported by to Millhaven Institution, a maximum security penitentiary in Bath, Ont.

"I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr's sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration," Toews said. "Any decisions related to his future will be determined by the independent Parole Board of Canada in accordance with Canadian law."

The 26-year-old Toronto native struck a plea deal in 2010 that saw him sentenced to eight years in prison for five war crimes, including killing U.S. Special Forces medic Christopher Speer 10 years ago in an Afghan firefight.

His sentence ends Oct. 30, 2018.

Despite green-lighting the repatriation, Toews expressed several concerns about the case to the media on Saturday.

These included the fact Khadr has "had very little contact with Canadian society and therefore will require substantial management in order to ensure safe reintegration" and that he has "participated in terrorist training, military operations, and meetings involving al-Qaida leadership."

Amnesty International Canada, which has been lobbying for Khadr's repatriation for years, was celebrating news of his return Saturday and is among his supporters who argue he was a child soldier at the time of his capture.

Hilary Homes, a security and human rights campaigner at the organization, said the "decision is long overdue" and that it would continue to monitor his case.

"The quest for justice in the case of Omar Khadr is far from over, and in many ways this repatriation back to Canada is really just the start of a new chapter in what's now a saga that's lasted over a decade," she said.

The NDP and the Liberals are also supportive of his return, though the Grits didn't push for his repatriation when they were in power before 2006.

Khadr had been held at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay since 2002, following his capture during a firefight in Afghanistan when he was 15-years-old.

A Canadian citizen and the last Western detainee being held at Guantanamo Bay, he had been petitioning the Canadian government for his returned as early as 2005.

In January 2010, the Supreme Court refused to order his repatriation but did rule Khadr's right to life, liberty and security of the person had been violated during his detention.

During his 2010 trial, a diplomatic note between Canada and the U.S.indicated Canada was "inclined to favourably consider" his transfer from Guantanamo Bay to serve the balance of his sentence north of the border.

Still, signing off on his transfer to Canada was in Toews' hands.

Khadr's personal transfer application landed on the minister's desk in March 2011 and Toews received the formal U.S. application in April.

Khadr's lawyers have accused the Canadian government of dragging its feet on the Guantanamo Bay inmate's repatriation and as recently as this summer had taken that matter to Federal Court in a bid to speed Khadr's return.



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ZTE Engage coming exclusively to Cricket

Android Central

The ZTE Engage, a mid-range Ice Cream Sandwich device, is coming exclusively to Cricket for $249.99 without a contract on Tuesday, October 2nd. The Engage takes advantage of Cricket's new Muve Music service, which lets users choose a plan that has the service built-in to the cost and offers unlimited downloads to the device. For the service, a 4GB MicroSD card is built into the device specifically for the downloads. Overall, the device has specs that you would expect for the price:

  • 4.0" WVGA TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • Qualcomm MSM8655T Scorpion processor at 1.4GHz
  • Dual-Facing Cameras: Rear (8.0MP) w/LED Flash & Front (VGA)
  • MUVE Music Ready with 4GB Muve Music SD Card included
  • Removable MicroSD Memory Card (up to 32GB)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Lithium Ion 1900 mAh battery

There are three plans available for the device -- all without contract. Starting at $50 for unlimited talk, text and 3G data (1GB of full-speed data) per month. A $10 bump to $60 gives you 2.5GB of full-speed data per month, and $70 offers 5GB. Both the $60 and $70 plans include the ability for customers to tether their device to power additional wireless devices.

read more


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A Simple Guide To Begin Your Own Internet Business | Travel

There are thousands of individuals every day coming to the Internet in an effort to start earning more money, but they don?t know how to get started. Of course simply because so many folks are doing this it has opened the doors for people to develop programs which claim to have the ability to help them make this extra cash. For individuals who truly want to start making money online there?s one thing you?re going to need more than anything else, and that?s having the appropriate information which can actually help lead to your success. You will be glad to know that were going to be explaining to you how you are able to actually begin making cash online without having to purchase one of these expensive programs.
You?re going to see that most folks will simply start off using affiliate marketing and advertising in order to start generating an income. For people who are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing and advertising you need to understand that this is actually a way to sell other people?s products and generate a commission in the process. Not all affiliate programs will pay the same commission rate, so it will be essential for you to do your research so you know how much you will earn for each sale you develop. One of the greatest places to find products to market as an affiliate is through a program which you can find on the net called ClickBank.
One thing I want to mention about ClickBank is that it is totally free for individuals to sign up to and use this online service. For any product you elect to promote they?re going to supply you with a special link that you will promote in order to track the sales you create. Producing sales is going to end up being your primary goal so you need to drive enough traffic to this link to be able to create as many sales as you?re able to.
The only thing you actually have to do is promote this link in order to start earning (hausratversicherung vergleich) an income on the web. Even though this may seem like an extremely simple process you?re going to see that advertising and generating traffic can be hard. There?s a really popular approach right now for advertising affiliate links and you are going to find that by starting a blog and advertising the link on the blog can be effective. Your blog is still going to require traffic if you want to wind up being profitable, and you will see that when done properly you are able to get this traffic straight from the search engines. Other individuals will simply wind up buying traffic to send to these links in the hopes that they are going to earn more cash than they invest on marketing and advertising.
You may be surprised to learn this, but that?s all there actually is to it in relation to generating an income online. Keep in mind that generating traffic is going to be the main key to your success and what most people find very difficult when they?re first starting off. In relation to generating free traffic I should point out that you need to focus on one technique of doing this at first and if that?s not effective for you go onto another technique. So for anybody looking to begin making money on the internet I would recommend you start a blog, and monetize it with different affiliate programs you would like to promote.

This entry was posted in Business by admin. Bookmark the permalink.


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RIM shares pop as 2Q not as horrible as feared

NEW YORK (AP) ? Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. popped Friday after the BlackBerry maker's results in its fiscal second quarter weren't quite as awful as investors had feared.

But analysts cautioned that RIM is still struggling in the increasingly competitive mobile market.

The Canadian company posted another large quarterly loss and its BlackBerry smartphone shipments shrunk 30 percent to 7.4 million in the quarter ended Sept. 1.

RIM is losing market share in North America, where Apple's iPhone and phones that run Google's Android software are increasingly dominant. But it has stepped up sales in developing markets and actually increased its subscriber base and cash position.

Its latest loss came to $235 million, or 45 cents per U.S. share. Revenue totaled $2.9 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected worse: A loss of 47 cents on revenue of $2.49 billion.

But investors' relief Friday does not imply that all is well for the once-pioneering smartphone maker. Shares, up 64 cents at $7.78 in late morning trading Friday, remain a far cry from the company's heyday. The stock fetched nearly $150 in June 2008.

Yes, RIM boosted its cash balance, but its core operations are still losing money, said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. And he remains concerned that the company's upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform will not be able to compete well against iPhones and Android phones.

The company said Thursday that the BlackBerry 10 remains on track to be released in the first quarter of 2013. It is banking its future on the much-delayed upgrade, meant to offer the multimedia, Internet browsing and apps that users now demand.

And the better-than-expected quarter was largely the result of promotions and phone upgrade programs, which ultimately reduced the average amount of revenue the company generated from each of its customers, said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. That doesn't bode well for the future.

"All hope is on BlackBerry 10. We won't know success or failure until next summer," he added.


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In Virginia, Romney blames Obama for potential defense cuts

SPRINGFIELD, Virginia (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, lagging behind in polls, squared off against rival President Barack Obama on Thursday over potential defense cuts that could kick in early next year.

Speaking in the suburbs of Washington which are home to thousands of defense jobs, Romney blamed Obama for the proposed $1.2 trillion that is set to be cut from Pentagon spending as part of a deal Obama made with Congress in the summer of 2011.

Known as "sequestration," the mandatory cuts in defense and other areas were agreed on by the White House and Republicans in Congress last year in a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

"It's a strange proposal in the first place, it's even stranger that it's being put in place," Romney told a crowd at the American Legion in Springfield.

The obligatory cuts are due to begin in January if the two parties in Congress cannot agree on budget savings.

"How in the world as commander-in-chief you can stand by as we shrink our military commitment financially is something I don't understand, and I will reverse it," Romney said.

The former Massachusetts governor was speaking only a few miles from the Pentagon in Virginia, a swing state in the November 6 election.

He said that the defense cuts would cost Virginia 136,000 jobs if they go through, and he blasted Obama for what he said was an "unthinkable" cut to America's military strength.

With 40 days until the election and early voting already underway in some key states, Romney took shots at Obama over second-quarter gross domestic product numbers that were revised downward Thursday morning.

The Republican compared Russia's economic growth to that of the United States, which experienced 1.3 percent growth in the second quarter, and said it was evidence that the economy is a national security issue.

"1.3 percent versus Russia at 4 percent. China at 7 to 8 percent," Romney said. "We're at 1.3 percent. This is unacceptable. It is not working," he said.

(Editing By Alistair Bell and Claudia Parsons)


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FCC votes in favor of rethinking spectrum holding rules, goading broadcasters into wireless selloffs

Cellular tower worker

FCC meetings can be momentous occasions under the right circumstances, although it's seldom the case that we see the agency pass two potentially far-reaching measures in one sitting, like we just saw on Friday. To start, regulators have voted in favor of a proposal that will review spectrum sale rules and might drop the case-by-case determinations in favor of a more consistent screening mechanism. The reexamination will also consider a change to the ownership rules surrounding wireless frequencies that treats bands below 1GHz differently than those above -- the better to address a chorus of smaller carriers that don't like all the prime spectrum going to the companies with the most existing clout, namely AT&T and Verizon. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski argues that reform could spur innovation through more competition, although dissenting Commissioner Robert McDowell is worried that consistent rules will somehow create "uncertainty."

Side-by-side with the review, the FCC is proposing an incentive-based reverse auction strategy to have TV broadcasters voluntarily give up their spectrum for cellular and data use. The multi-phase approach would have TV providers set the price at which they're willing to sell their spectrum to the FCC; those that just can't bear to part with their airwaves would be corralled into a tighter band range to make for larger available frequency blocks in the auction that follows. As with other FCC proposals, there's likely to be a long interval between the auction vote, the review and any definitive rulemaking, let alone an impact -- auctions by themselves can take years to play out. Still, any success with the measures could head off spectrum crunches while simultaneously preventing any solutions from consolidating too much power and creating their own problems.

[Tower photo via Shutterstock]

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FCC votes in favor of rethinking spectrum holding rules, goading broadcasters into wireless selloffs originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 21:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Assange: Obama exploiting Arab Spring in campaign

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ? WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of seeking to exploit the Arab uprisings for personal political gain, as he addressed a sideline meeting of the U.N. General Assembly via videolink from his hideout at a London embassy.

The Australian activist has sheltered inside Ecuador's embassy in London ? beyond the reach of British police ? since June 19, when he sought refuge after he exhausted all legal routes to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sex crimes allegations.

Assange and his supporters claim that the Swedish sex case is part of a Washington-orchestrated plot to make him stand trial in the United States over his work with WikiLeaks, which has published thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables and other documents. Both Sweden and the U.S. reject that claim.

At a sideline meeting organized by Ecuador, the activist attempted to draw parallels between himself and the instigators of the Arab Spring ? claiming that they had all been let down by Obama.

"It must come as a surprise to Tunisians for Barack Obama to say the U.S. supported the forces of change in Tunisia," Assange said, speaking from Ecuador's tiny apartment-sized London mission.

He claimed that uprisings across the Arab world had been inspired, in part, by his organization's disclosures about despotic rulers, including Tunisia's deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Assange claimed that Obama ? whose administration he accuses of building a criminal case against WikiLeaks and of harassing its staff ? was seeking to exploit the reforms of the Arab Spring during his reelection campaign.

"Mohamed Bouazizi did not set himself on fire so that Barack Obama could get reelected," Assange told the meeting, referring to the 2011 self-immolation by a Tunisian fruit vendor which sparked the uprising that toppled Ben Ali.

Assange, who made no reference to the Swedish sexual misconduct case as he addressed diplomats, also accused Britain and Sweden of failing to provide guarantees that he would not face extradition to the U.S. to help preserve close military and intelligence links with Washington.

Both European nations insist that Assange must be sent to Sweden under international and European law, and that they cannot legally offer any pledges to refuse a possible future U.S. extradition request.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has granted Assange asylum, but if he steps outside the country's London embassy he will be arrested by police who surround the building.

The case has left Britain, Ecuador and Sweden at a diplomatic impasse. Foreign ministers from Quito and London will meet Thursday in New York, as Assange marks 100 days holed up in the embassy.

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino told the meeting that he believed there were "many ways to achieve a solution," without specifying potential routes. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday that he saw "no sign of any break through" in the saga.

Britain's foreign ministry said it was "committed to seeking a diplomatic solution" with Ecuador, but insisted that it was legally obliged to send Assange to Sweden.


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The same old bad argument against gay marriage | Pharyngula

Riley Balling, patent attorney, is certain that gay marriage will affect his marriage. Why? Well, he splutters on in a long op-ed in the Star Tribune, but all he manages to say is the children, because?the children, that?s why.

For many of us who favor traditional marriage, marriage is about raising children in a healthy environment. Thus, any change to the definition of marriage affects our marriage. Our ?traditional? marriages and the children they produce are our greatest source of happiness, and we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

Shorter Riley: ?I have defined marriage, and marriage is defined this way, and therefore changing the definition of marriage changes marriage by definition. Oh, and my marriage is all about pooping out kids, therefore your marriage damn well better be too.?

You know, my marriage is pretty much the very definition of straight, conventional, and middle class: I married the girl next door when we were in our twenties, we had three children approximately 3.5 years apart, we have a mortgage and live in a nice middle class neighborhood, we sent the kids to public school, they grew up, they moved out and got jobs and lives of their own. If there?s a poster for the standard nuclear family, just like one in a 1950s sitcom, we?re on it.

But our marriage was about us, not the kids. We got married because we loved each other and wanted to make a partnership in all things?and kids weren?t even on our radar in the beginning. We were finishing our educations. Our marriage was about cooperation and sex and shared interests and mutual respect. We also had kids later on, and we were happy about that, but that was never solely what our relationship was about, and we?d still be happy together even without them. We had our last child in 1990; finishing that chore did not lead to the dissolution of our partnership. We now have a completely child-free home, and we?re not at a loss for things to do with our lives.

So I can appreciate that if Riley and his spouse want to marry to build a home for kids, that?s just wonderful, they can do that with no obstacles from me ? I won?t be sponsoring bills to prohibit his reason for getting married. But I hope for the sake of his and his wife?s sanity and happiness that they also have additional reasons to want to live together. They don?t have to have all of our reasons ? if he doesn?t need a mutual support partnership to get through the strains of graduate school, that?s fine ? but I don?t understand why he can?t grasp the idea that people have a huge cloud of reasons to find happiness and productivity in a long-term relationship, and that not everyone will have an identical set of reasons.

There are many who tout the modern definition, and we are susceptible to these influences. As we listen to these influences, we change our view of marriage and our marital relationship accordingly. Same-sex marriage will only increase these influences and make it harder to promote traditional marriage.

Yes! Exactly! Our view of marriage will?evolve!

Mr Riley seems to be a Mormon (and isn?t it sweet that the Mormons continue their tradition of afflicting other states outside of Morridor with their narrow and bigoted views?). I presume he?s not in a polygamous relationship. Or is he trying to argue that we should promote the 19th century traditional Mormon marriage?

Why should we accept the dogmatic views of a member of a freaky-assed Christian cult as an authority on what constitutes ?traditional marriage?? We?re in Minnesota! Clearly, that means we should only listen to lonely Norwegian bachelors of the Lutheran persuasion? or was that a second-generation Hmong medical student? Or a recent immigrant from Somalia? Or maybe we should be really traditional, and consult the Dakota elders on one of the Indian reservations ? they?re the ones who?d have a good handle on exactly what the longest tradition on this bit of earth has been.

Or, just maybe, we should let people living in the now decide what social arrangements give them the greatest satisfaction, happiness, and success.

Although not all are able to participate in a traditional marriage that yields children, we all benefit by its establishment in creating strong homes for the next generation with strong direction from self-sacrificing parents. The disestablishment of this ideal affects us all.

OK. But, you know, ?creating strong homes for the next generation with strong direction from self-sacrificing parents? sounds precisely like what some gay families want to do. Why don?t we let them?

I also don?t think that telling everyone that there is this magical ideal which is the sole purpose for marriage is a good idea. Some people are not suited to, or not interested in, having children. Are we going to tell them that they can?t get married unless they buy into Riley Balling?s narrow definition of what marriage is for, even if they?re boring straight people? Are we going to stop by their house after they?ve been married for a few years and chastise them if the woman hasn?t gotten knocked up yet?

Also, I?ve got to say that if your ideal is the two-person heterosexual lifelong relationship, the greatest enemy of that are the patriarchal religious assholes who turn a partnership into a prison for women?who naturally and intelligently want to escape. If we really want to improve the likelihood of progeny-producing stable relationships, I say we should ban religious marriages, not gay ones. Godless relationships based on romantic love all the way! Yes, the only marriages allowed should be marriages exactly like mine.

I?m sure Riley Balling will be able to sympathize with that sentiment. We have found common ground.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


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Lexus LF-CC Concept shows the future of touchscreen interiors

We're boots on the ground at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Lexus is one of the first auto makers to roll out its concept hardware for the show. The company had a few machines to unveil, but the highlight is definitely the curvaceous LF-CC. It is, alas, just a concept that is intended more to show the future design direction of the company than give a clue into an actual production model to come, but more interesting is the clues this is hinting about both interior design and electrification on the powertrain front. Join us after the break for more details -- and more pictures.

Gallery: Lexus LF-CC

Lexus LF-CC

Continue reading Lexus LF-CC Concept shows the future of touchscreen interiors

Lexus LF-CC Concept shows the future of touchscreen interiors originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Causality test could help preserve the natural world

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JT's ?800k legal bill - The Sun

JOHN TERRY faces a mega ?800,000 bill over the Anton Ferdinand race row.

And Chelsea will not pay a penny of it.

JT was ?disappointed? after the FA yesterday found him guilty of racially abusing the QPR defender.

He copped a four-game ban and an FA record ?220,000 fine.

But that is only a fraction of the sum Chelsea?s captain spent fighting his case.

Terry, 31, has run up legal fees estimated at ?750,000 battling his criminal and FA charges.

He hopes to recoup around ?400,000 from the court case, where he was found not guilty.

But the ex-England skipper is now liable to pay the costs of the FA hearing, too, said to be at least ?200,000.

That brings his total bill to a whopping ?770,000.

But if Terry decides to continue his fight and appeal against the FA?s punishment, his legal bill will rise even further.

A statement issued on his behalf said: ?Mr Terry is disappointed that the FA commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law.

?He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.?

Terry has 14 days from receiving the FA commission?s written report to decide what to do next.

His fine and ban will be suspended until any appeal is heard, the 14 days expire or Terry announces he will not appeal.

But if the Blues defender does appeal and loses, the FA?s punishment could be increased.

Terry announced on Sunday he was quitting international football, claiming the FA had made his position in the England team untenable by continuing to persue the charge against him.

Westminster Magistrates cleared him in July of racially abusing Ferdinand, 27, after Chelsea?s Premier League clash at QPR last October.

Terry admitted in court using obscene words towards Ferdinand ? but not as a racist insult.

A club statement last night said: ?Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today?s decision.

?We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision.

?It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time.?


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Discovering the Louisville Loop [Family and parenting] |


Personal safety concerns have kept me from the completed portion of the Louisville Loop paved near my home for months. With its 100-mile span of discernible solitude, I imagine people lurking in the woods waiting for prey. I could never feel safe running the Loop alone, and at one time when I addressed public safety during an online Q&A with Mayor Fischer, I wasn't able to get a satisfying answer about what kinds of enforcement the Metro was planning, if any.

Occasionally, I see dog walkers or cyclists using the Loop as I drive by on my way to a metro park. At our parks, one can find populations of active people, or frightening (but enjoyable) seclusion surrounded by forest that always promises to loop back to the safety of my car, or to bring me by the patrol of an LMPD officer. But the Loop goes on and on, only promising more miles ahead.


On Saturday, at the end of a lazy afternoon, my family and I decided to explore the Loop. Feeling excited for adventure, but reasonably cautious, I slipped my $20 camping knife into my back pocket and handed my very lucky husband a pink canister of pepper spray.?


Hand in hand, we walked the winding path of the Loop together. The kids occasionally let go to chase butterflies and grasshoppers. We took photos that will become family treasures. We crossed the I Love Cameron bridge, and peered into the rocky Polar Pop Pit, a man-made hole filled with busted concrete and plastic soda cups from a nearby Circle K convenience store that are certain to defy the ages. It was quiet with the sounds of nature. The Loop was so tranquil that when I turned around to see a bike whizzing by within mere feet of me, I screamed. My husband laughed, "Didn't you see him coming?"


I really didn't.


After we covered a very slow single mile, my daughter wanted to continue on, demanding that we walk the entire Loop. I insisted we turn back, while her dad explained it would take us days and days [at her pace], and as I expected, when we arrived back to where we first began, her feet ached in her new black school shoes I bought that afternoon. We were homeward bound.


My fears of freaky solitude were unfounded when I was reassured by others enjoying the Loop, too: An elderly couple getting some exercise together; the man on his bike with his daughter, whizzing by. Nowhere to be found were the teenage users of the Polar Pop soda cups and whomever loves Cameron, but they probably stagger out of the woods around dusk.


If I can offer any advice about safety along the Loop's path, don't mess with the residents of cave-like holes the size of dinner plates dug into mounds of earth next to trees. Surely, something lives there.


For families who love our bountiful parks and preserved forests, the Loop offers even more natural experiences within the Metro, with transportation as a perk. You can use the Loop to go places, or you can simply turn around to get back to where you began once little feet get tired.


Basic personal safety precautions apply.


For more information about the Louisville Loop, visit


Contact the writer at


Photo: Rachel Hurd Anger


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Pray for Rain

The weather forecast could have a big effect on America?s economic forecast next year. The more rain, the better.

A brutally persistent drought across the Midwest is exacting a toll on U.S. growth, the Commerce Department confirmed on Thursday. The department revised its estimate of second-quarter growth for this year down to 1.3 percent from 1.7 percent. Half the drop came from plunging farm inventories due to crop loss.

You don?t need to parse those stats to see drought effects across the economy now. You just need to shop for groceries. Prices are rising for grains and grain-fed livestock; last month?s producer-price index showed a whopping 23 percent jump in the price of eggs.

The longer those effects persist, the worse the outlook for the U.S. economy. When American consumers spend more for food, they spend less on other things, particularly the services that have largely accounted for what passes as a growth engine in the still-weak recovery.

Rising food prices could also hurt exports ? cash-strapped consumers abroad won?t be able to afford as much of our stuff ? but that effect could be mitigated by the Fed?s latest round of quantitative easing, which will likely serve to devalue the dollar against other currencies.?

History suggests that falling farm inventories might not be as big of a concern going forward. Barclays pointed out in a research note this month that the last drought-driven drop in farm inventories, in 2002, was followed by a much smaller drop the next quarter.

Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight, predicted in a research note Thursday that the drought will continue to hurt growth this year, ?but that effect will unwind in 2013, assuming better weather next year.?

That?s a big assumption. And one every American needs to hope is correct.



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Need Help Dealing With Your Allergy symptoms? Please Read On ...

Almost everyone has to manage allergies sooner or later during their lives even though for many people they can be a minor irritation, for others they could be a serious problem. In case you are sick and tired of working with your allergic reactions, help is about the way. The following tips can assist you find the comfort you want.

Maintain your windows closed to restriction the quantity of pollen that can enter in your house. Mount an air conditioning model which utilizes HEPA filtration system so that it can trap contaminants in the oxygen in your home. Make sure to clean or modify the filter often while in allergy season, plus clear the air vents in each and every area.

It is essential that you view the foods you eat and beverages, should you suffer from ragweed allergies. Believe it or not, particular foods and refreshments can induce your ragweed allergic reactions. Several of the food items you need to stay away from consist of cucumbers, bananas, sunflower plant seeds, melons, zucchini, and chamomile teas.

In the event you practical experience allergic reaction and simply are not able to figure out and workout outdoors throughout your peak allergy time of year, you should think about seeing a fitness center or signing up for a health and fitness center so that you can have an alternative choice to training in the open air. There are many gyms which do not require you to indicator a binding agreement.

Many kids have trouble swallowing prescription medication in pill or capsule develop, which makes it a major undertaking to have allergy medication lower without tears or even an overcome. If it may sound like your baby, think about transitioning with an orally disintegrating tablet computer. These lozenges break up easily about the mouth and style like fresh fruit or peppermint.

Throughout peak hypersensitivity periods, take off your disposable lenses and dress in your glasses instead. When eye grow to be inflammed, connections make your problem even worse. They capture allergens from the eyes and bring about the itchy, watering experiencing that usually means hypersensitivity season is 100 % force. In the event you must put on relationships, take them out regularly and rinse all of them with saline option.

Nice and clean your house from top to bottom at least once per year, ideally early in the year. A deep cleaning can eradicate airborne dirt and dust, pollen, mold and also other substances. If this type of cleansing is way too difficult, hire a company to complete the position for you personally. You may keep up with the outcomes yourself or plan normal visits in the cleaning services, after the initial deeply-nice and clean.

If your child often complains of signs just like a stuffy nose area, or frequent sneezing, allergy symptoms may be to blame. Over time, these complaints causes it to become difficult for your child to do properly in school, or get to their total probable. In these cases, allergy treatment method may possibly generate a marked big difference in the manner your kids seems, and behaves.

Do not possess a great deal of plant life in your house if you suffer from allergic reactions. Not only do numerous plants set off allergy symptoms, in addition they tend to acquire a lot of dirt and may even develop mildew. If you want to have plant life, have them within an outdoor back garden and put on a mask when taking care of them.

Whether or not your allergic reactions are simply causing you some minor pain, or developing a strongly unfavorable result on your daily life, you can find relief from them. The techniques and strategies you might have discovered in this article provides relief from allergies. Begin to use them right now and have top of the hand on your allergic reactions.

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Facebook Changes Offers Feature: What You Need to Know | Social ...

Earlier this year, Facebook launched Offers for Pages, letting businesses on Facebook share deals with fans. Users could claim offers from their Facebook news feeds and redeem the vouchers at stores to get discounts.

Last week, Facebook announced several changes and additions to the Offers feature. Changes include:

  • Offers are now available worldwide to all Pages with more than 400 Likes.
  • Merchants can add a bar code to an Offer so they can track results more easily.
  • Only the first time you try Offers, it?s free. After that a budget is required. The amount you pay is based on how many people you want to reach.
  • Creating Your Offer: Step-by-Step

    First, visit your practice?s Facebook page. If you have 400+ Likes, at the top of your timeline, where you post status updates, choose the option to create an offer.

    Once you choose ?Offer? you?ll be given three options to choose from. Decide whether you want your Offer to be ?In Store Only,? ?In Store and Online,? or ?Online Only.?

    For online offers: You can provide the web address where users can redeem your offer with an optional redemption code. We recommend using a redemption code so you can track the success of your online Offer.

    Then, you?ll be prompted to upload a thumbnail image (90 x 90 px) and write a headline in 90 characters or less. You?ll also be asked to choose a limit for the number of claims, an expiration date and add terms and conditions. You can also add a barcode number to track in-store purchases.

    Lastly, hit preview to view your Offer. Review and click ?Back? to make changes. Once you?re happy with your offer, you?ll be asked to set a budget. Please note you can also choose to promote your offer with a Facebook ad.

    Frequently Asked Questions!

    How can a patient redeem my Offer?
    Each time a potential patient clicks Get Offer, your offer will be sent to their email address associated with Facebook. When they come to your location, they can redeem your offer by showing it in printed form or on their mobile phone. If the offer is online, they can visit the given web address and plug-in your redemption code.

    How much does it cost?
    Your first offer is free of charge, after that a budget is required. The amount you pay is based on how many people you want to reach. After you create your offer, you?ll be prompted to set a budget. Please note you can also choose to promote your offer with a Facebook ad.

    Tips for Designing a Successful Facebook Offer

    Keep it Simple: Make sure your headline and terms & conditions are straightforward. If patients are confused, they may not claim your Offer.

    Chose an Appealing Image: Choose an image that demonstrates your offer and make sure it?s clear when viewed at thumbnail size.

    Make Discounts Significant: Make an Offer your patients can?t refuse. A few good examples:

  • ?$100 Off Teeth Whitening!?
  • ?20% Off Botox?!?
  • ?Buy One Skincare Product, Get One Free!?
  • Track Success: New features allow you to add a barcode to in-store offers and an online redemption code for online offer. Facebook Offers also provides you information on how many people claimed your offers. Keep track of redemptions and keep your staff aware of offers as well.

    For more information about Facebook Offers, visit Facebook?s Help Center.

    Create your Facebook Offer Today!

    Creating your Offer is a cost-effective and simple way to draw in more business. Don?t have 400+ Likes? This is a great incentive to start promoting your Page. Start today and watch your business grow!

    Now is the time! Let MedNet launch and manage your social media campaign. We?ll plan and execute a cohesive social media strategy for your practice and get potential patients talking! Contact a MedNet Representative to learn more.


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