Introducing the Huawei P8

Introducing the Huawei P8

The new Huawei P8 is a beautiful smartphone that will ignite your creativity, ignite your style and ignite your power. Come experience how its innovative design, superior craftsmanship, and enhanced performance will enable you to see and capture the world through a whole new lens. It’s time to be inspired and ignite infinite creativity.

Huawei P8

Huawei has been selling phones in the U.S. since 2011—we’ve reviewed 30 of them—but you still might not have heard of the company. Its global launch of its flagship P8 phone today is part of a slow process of turning that around. Earlier this week, we got to handle a P8 and talk to Huawei U.S. president Zhiqiang Xu about what the P8 (which isn’t coming to our shores) means for Huawei’s presence here.

Huawei P8First, of course, the phone. The Huawei P8 is a long, golden slab that borrows design cues from a lot of the high-end devices out there right now. It has a metal body, rounded corners, and chamfered edges on the metal bezel, and it has a 5.2-inch, 1080p screen. It’s 2.83 inches wide and 5.7 inches high, making it slightly taller and wider than the Samsung Galaxy S6. There’s a 13-megapixel Sony camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. All in all, it’s pretty standard-measure for a mid- to high-end Android phone.

The P8 won’t come to the U.S. formally, although it’s banded to work well on T-Mobile and AT&T (including T-Mobile’s new Band 12, but not AT&T’s Band 29.)

So what’s special about the P8? Huawei wants to talk about low-light camera performance thanks to very aggressive optical image stabilization, and some “light painting” camera modes, but everyone has camera modes. I have something more important: the modem and antenna.

This One’s a Phone First
Huawei’s big business is in networking equipment. Because it makes routers and base stations as well as handsets, the company knows antennas in a way few others do. The P8’s “Signal+” antenna supposedly handles cell-to-cell handoffs better than other phones, reducing dropped calls and improving data speeds, especially when the phone is in motion. It picks up a signal very quickly when you turn on the phone, too. Huawei claims that it has 50 percent fewer dropped calls and three-times faster initial network connection time than mysterious competing phones.

Better signal capture also means the phone’s radio doesn’t have to work as hard, so it improves battery life. For people who struggle with coverage, the antenna could be this phone’s killer feature.

“Our background is as a network infrastructure company, so the experience of connectivity for phone calls and data connections is optimized,” Huawei spokesman Drew Crowell.

The antenna is backed up by a proprietary chipset, Huawei’s Hisilicon Kirin 930. This is a 2GHz, 64-bit processor which competes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 you see in a lot of other top-end smartphones. While initial reports say it isn’t quite as fast from an application processor perspective, I’m very interested to see its modem performance.

“The key is the modem; there aren’t many companies that can do the modem, and I think that’s a higher barrier,” Xu said.

The phone has two LTE SIM card slots; one of them doubles as a MicroSD memory card slot. It runs the latest version of Huawei’s “Emotion UI” software, which eliminates the traditional Android app drawer in favor of putting all of your app icons on an expanding set of home screens, like the iPhone does.

The P8 has looks, taste, style, and performance. But I don’t think Huawei has had a problem with that in its high-end phones for a while now. We’ve written quite positively about Huawei’s Ascend Mate2 and Ascend Mate7 phones, and I was impressed by the glass-slab design and dual cameras on the Honor 6 Plus released at Mobile World Congress last month. What Huawei is missing in the U.S. is a brand.

Live an Inspired Life

I don’t know about you, but it can be hard to stay inspired this time of year. It’s cold outside. It gets dark really early. The holidays are all but over (for a while anyway). Maybe it’s just me, but these seemingly simple factors can get me feeling like I’m stuck in a rut. So I’ve been trying to dream up ways to keep myself staying inspired and motivated. And it’s got me thinking about what it means to live an inspired life.

I first want to clarify that I’m not talking about living an inspiring life. An inspiring life is pretty lofty, like a hero. I think Steve Jobs led an inspiring life, or Audrey Hepburn or Eleanor Roosevelt. Trying to live an inspiring life puts the focus on others. I’m not sure it’s wise to go about life trying to impress or gain approval from others. Instead I think we should focus on ourselves. Try to impress yourself. Try to top your best efforts. Set up your life, so in the end you will look back and be proud. And that’s what I mean by living an inspired life. But how in the world do you do that when we all feel so busy and tired, and well… uninspired?

1. It’s about attitude, not circumstances.

Wouldn’t it be cool if every single day we faced big opportunities that could change our lives? What if every day was the Olympic race we’d been training for or the job interview we’d been dreaming of for years? Guess what, it’s not. Every day is just that: It’s every day. But it’s the little steps that propel us forward. The same attitude you would apply to a big important event, that’s how you should approach your everyday tasks. For example, let’s say your dream was to write a novel. And you think, “If only I had a book deal, then I would wake up early every day and write.” Wrong. You should do that anyway, without a book deal. You’ve got to have the attitude of the inspired even if you don’t have the circumstances (yet).

2. It’s your choice.

Inspiration is not always going to find you. There are times when you just don’t feel it. Maybe the weather has you feeling blue (that’s how I’m feeling this week!). Maybe you are going through some painful circumstances, like a break up or losing your job. Maybe you have started receiving a lot of criticism over your work, and it’s got you feeling like you don’t even want to create anymore. Or maybe you’re just tired, feeling worn out and in need of a break. We all go through situations like these. And chances are, your heroes went through them too. It’s hard. But it’s your choice how you will deal with it. You can choose to press on or be defeated. The power is in your hands! This may sound like a responsibility or chore, but I think it’s super empowering. It puts the ball in our court.

3. Start NOW.

I’ve heard a lot of comments to the effect of “one day when I have X, then I will be able to live an inspired life.” You can fill in the blank with your own perceived limitations: money, a better job, more space to create in, a more supportive relationship, more time (!!!!), etc. Don’t wait for life to be perfect. It never will be. Start living your inspired life now. Maybe you don’t have tons of extra money to start a creative hobby. Did you know that’s why I started cooking and then food blogging? I was living on a really tight budget, but I knew I needed a different creative outlet in my life. I figured I had to eat, and I was already spending money on groceries. So I started to research cooking online and using what I had to learn and create new recipes. And it’s turned into a major part of my career. I’m so glad I didn’t wait to start!

4. Make goals and do them.

It’s no secret that Elsie and I whole hearted-ly believe in making goals. We often participate in challenges, like 4 Simple GoalsNew Year’s Resolutions, and our annual Birthday Goal lists. Goal making can give so much structure to your dreams. Try it! It’s ok to start small, just as long as you start. But if you’re feeling it then dream big, and make a tangible plan to get there. Break it down into steps. Document and reward yourself for progress made. Start a challenge or set a goal today and watch yourself gain confidence and feel inspired as you work to accomplish it.

5. Get out and dream.

Sometimes you just need to go somewhere and fill a notebook with a ideas. It’s necessary. You can do this at home, if you are able to escape there. I often find myself compulsively cleaning when I’m home. And that’s because my house is, apparently, always a mess. Ha! So sometimes it’s good to get out. You don’t have to go to Europe to find yourself. (But you can, of course. :) Here are 10 places to get inspired. If one sounds interesting or doable to you make a plan to go there this weekend and dream, make goals and start living inspired. Good luck!!! xo. Emma


Alan Shearer said Chelsea are the closest we have in Britain to Barcelona


I for one was surprised to hear Alan Shearer state on BBC’s Match of the day that Chelsea are “The closest to Barcelona we have in this country” on Saturday night but then again are we surprised?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am far from going over the top here about our new playing style and attacking three this season but you have to admit, the way they have got used to playing alongside each other and the understanding they have already is surprising and things are going well.

You think of Barcelona and you think of their midfield. Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas and Pedro all playing behind Lionel Messi and we have all seen just how amazing they can be.

We look at Chelsea now and we see Mikel, Ramires, Hazard, Mata and Oscar all behind Torres and you have to say we are well on the way to something similar but to say we are close to Barcelona is early days indeed.

The thing is, I can’t help but think that the more the likes of Mata, Oscar and Hazard play alongside each other, they can only get better and better.

Maybe then, and only then, we can even be compared to the best team in the world over the last few years (even though they still haven’t beaten us!).

Culled from

Microsoft Surface Tablet on sale from October 26th; Pros and Cons (Advantages and Disadvantages) by Quentin Moore

Planning to buy the Microsoft Surface Tablet when it goes on sale this October 26st?  This next generation Windows Tablet definitely has some great features.  It also has some potential issues to consider.  Before you go to your local Microsoft Store to purchase the device, considering reading this article about the Microsoft Surface Pros and Cons.

I have been following all of the coverage since the Surface Tablets were announced.   I plan to buy one myself as soon as it’s available.  I’ve been craving for a tablet PC that can run the desktop version of Windows for a long time.  I’m hoping that the Microsoft Surface will fit the bill, however, I recognize that this tablet might not be for everyone.  Below are some advantages and disadvantages of the Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface Pros

Microsoft Surface Pros

Advantages of the Microsoft Surface Include:

  • Surface Pro runs Windows 8!  It should be able to run most, if not all of the apps I run today on my desktop.  This includes full versions of Microsoft Office.  It may include more demanding apps such as Adobe Photoshop.  Thus, when I’m on the go, I can still have the same functionality I have with my huge desktop at home.
  • Touch Cover and Type Cover look awesome!  No other tablet offers anything close, although I’d bet that some similar iPad covers will be on the market soon.
  • The surface has expansion slots.  Both Surface devices will have an microSD slot.  The Surface RT will get a normal USB port while the Surface Pro will get a USB 3.0 port, plus a mini display port for external monitors.  I wonder why it has taken this long to get a regular USB port on a tablet.
  • Although it hasn’t been announced, we expect the Surface to support Adobe Flash.  This definitely gives it an advantage in an Surface versus iPad comparison.
  • The surface has a wide HD display.  It has the correct aspect ratios for displaying movies without letter boxing.
  • The built-in kickstand is great too.  I expect to see more tablets include this nifty feature.

The Surface definitely looks promising.  But before you get too excited and break out your credit card, let’s examine the Microsoft Surface cons.

Microsoft Surface ConsMicrosoft Surface Cons

Disadvantages of the Microsoft Surface Include:

  • The Microsoft Surface for Windows RT will not run your desktop apps.  Will consumers know this before they purchase a Surface RT at Launch?  I just hope Microsoft is able to make a clear distinction between Surface RT and Surface Pro.  Else, they may see a lot of product returns.
  • Windows RT Developer Support is an unknown.  What apps will be available at launch?  How many apps will there be?  Will these apps compare to those on other platforms?  Hopefully some of these questions will be answered between now and when the Microsoft Surface is released.
  • The Microsoft Surface Price might be too high.  OK, this isn’t a con until we get official pricing.  However, I don’t think anyone is expecting the Surface to be cheaper than the iPad.  If the Microsoft Surface price is too high, the devices might be dead on arrival.  The RT version of the Surface needs to be priced near the iPad and higher-end Android Tablets.  If it’s more expensive, I think Microsoft will have a difficult time wooing consumers away from the cheaper options. I think the Surface Pro will sell as long as it performs well.  I think the price will determine if the Pro will be a consumer device or a high-end device for businesses and tech geeks like me.
  • The Surface will be a heavy device.  This is probably why someone was smart enough to think of the built-in kick stand.  While the Surface RT is on par with my heavy iPad 3+4G, the Surface Pro will be even heavier.
  • The Surface doesn’t have built-in 3G/4G connectivity, or at least this hasn’t been announced.  I consider this a minor con since I suspect it’s a temporary one.  In the meantime, I guess an air card is an option.  I don’t know if the RT will support one however.

I think all of these issues can be addressed.  We’ll just have to see what Microsoft and the OEMs can come up with.

Will the Microsoft Surface Succeed?

It’s hard to say at this point if the Surface will succeed.  Microsoft is attempting to break into a tough and crowded tablet PC market.  The success of the Surface will largely depend on how good of a product it is.  If it performs well and has good touch apps available (especially for the RT version), I think the Surface has a chance.  Another significant factor is the price.  I don’t think consumers will pay too much of a premium for Surface tablets, no matter how good they are.  Hopefully Microsoft is releasing set of devices that will be great to use without breaking the pocket book.

Introducing Microsoft Surface Tablet

From touch to type, office to living room, from your screen to the big screen, you can see more, share more, and do more with Surface.

Create, collaborate, and get stuff done with Office.

Explore your world with fast, fluid Windows 8 apps.

Discover new music, movies, and games in the Windows Store.1

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Always on the go

Surface is thin, light and it has a great battery. At 9.3mm, Surface for Windows RT is just thin enough to still sport a full sized USB port. Print, share, or charge your phone on the go.2 Head out knowing that you are ready for anything.

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Hands off entertainment

Surface has a 10.6″, 16:9 widescreen HD Display. Microsoft’s ClearType HD Display technology delivers a great picture for movies. An ultra-wide viewing angle makes it easy for your friends to share in the vibrant experience. The auto-adjusting screen intensity delivers great visual clarity, indoors and out. The addition of the Micro SD card slot means you can bring your entire movie and music collection with you on vacation.

Type with ease and get stuff done

Some activities call for a keyboard. Surface comes with an integrated Kickstand and a revolutionary, 3mm thin, pressure sensitive cover that doubles as a fully functioning keyboard and trackpad. Your Touch Cover connects to your Surface with a single magnetic click. Now you can chat with friends and respond to emails comfortably.

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Capture life from all sides

Surface has not just one, but two cameras. Use the front LifeCam to chat with the people that you care about. The rear-facing LifeCam is angled to 22 degrees so you can flip out the Kickstand and record meetings and events hands-free. Stereo speakers and dual microphones tuned for Skype help you sound like you are right next door.

Protect what matters

Surface was designed to be your go-to-device. It comes with a precision crafted VaporMg casing that protects the vital technology inside and leaves a high quality finish and feel.

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Express yourself

Touch Cover comes in five vibrant colors. Type Cover offers classic typing experience for those who prefer a more traditional keyboard. Pick the one that best meets your needs and represents your sense of style.


10 Ways to Personal & Professional Success

By Louise Ledbrook

According to Wikipedia “Personal development includes activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitates employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.” And “Professional development refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement.”

If you want to be the best leader, manager or professional that you can be then you need to make sure you are the best version of yourself you can be.  So what exactly does that mean?

That means you need to constantly be looking at ways to improve and grow on your current personal skill set and the tools and attributes you poses to enable a more successful career and life.

Have you ever been in a meeting or at a networking function and met someone that just had a way about them.  They commanded attention with their presence and vibrancy.  You remember them, don’t you?  Well you too can be that person, you just need to know how to work on being that person.

Or what about those people that just seem to be able to get a thousand things done in a day yet still walk out the door at 5.30pm to be home with their family for dinner. Again this can be you, you just need to learn how to manage yourself and those around you more effectively.

Whatever it is you want to be, or have more of, money, power, time, it is all possible. It is time to look to yourself for the answers and stop looking around you.  Here are some of the key areas to work on to get ahead.


1. Clear Personal Vision and Goals

It is common in many organization’s for employees to set goals and objectives for the year and these are usually somehow aligned to your bosses goals and those of the organization as a whole. But what about your own personal vision? What do you want from life? What are your goals both short and long term?

Until you can define and know where you are going as a person in life and career how can you make sure that the goals you set at work and the choices you make in life, be it in relation to who you network with or what course you take, are taking you in the right direction not just the direction of the organization you work for.

Take a few minutes to define your own personal vision, who and what do you want to be and have?


2. Personal Brand

So who are you anyway?  How do people see or perceive you?  What sort of impression do you convey to the outside world? Do you have a different persona in your social life to your work life?

Considering what personal brand you convey to the world is actually quite important. Have you ever considered that how you present and conduct yourself has a direct link between you and your career success.

For example if you come to work in jeans and a t-shirt each day, yet are hoping to be promoted to General Manager one day, consider if jeans and a t-shirt is appropriate for a GM, do you think people will look at you and think ‘he is GM material’?  Obviously that example will not always apply, but work on your brand, what message do you want to give to the world and find ways to convey that with your presentation and behavior.


3. Success Mindset

You know the old saying “mind over matter” well it applies to your ability to be successful also.

Amazingly if you believe in yourself that you are not worthy of a pay rise or a promotion or success in general, well then you will find that those things rarely come your way, or they take a lot of really hard work.

Believe in yourself and take the time to train your mind with the use of positive affirmations.  There are many different ways you can work on your mindset but the first step is wanting to.

Try and have a positive outlook and find the lesson, be that positive or negative, in every experience.  Don’t ask yourself ”why does that happen?” Ask yourself “what can I do better next time?”

Find time for you and your thoughts, it’s important to have think time for creativity and reflection.


4. Time Management and Productivity

Time is one of those things that everyone wants more of, yet it is a finite resource forever disappearing faster and faster as the years go on.

So how do we get more time? By making the time we use more efficient and effective.

What are you spending your time on? Do you Really need to be doing that? With everything you do consider how great an impact it will have on your end goal, and if you are tossing up between two tasks, decide which will have the greatest impact, even if it is the harder of the two.

Rarely do we take the time to look at how we use our time.  Look at what you do with each minute of your day for a few days and see if there are situations where you could have used that time better.  How many things do you do on your To Do List just because they were on there because 1 week ago it seemed like a good idea but in the scheme of things, you didn’t really need to do it.

Are you making the most of the skills of your team members? Are you able to relinquish control, to the betterment of you and your team?

Consider that a few hours of mentoring on a task could free up weeks of your time in the long run, and help someone else grow their skill set also.


5. Communication

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good communication in all aspects of life.  “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. This brilliant quote by George Bernard Shaw sums up so many of the communication problems in the work place and the home.

Have you ever stopped to consider your communication style?  How well do you get the message across?  How well do you listen?  Communication is a two way street. It is about how you give and receive information.

If you find some people are continually misunderstanding or not getting the whole message from you then you need to consider yours and their communication styles.  How compatible are they and what do you need to change so it works better.

Do you speak to others the way you would like to be spoken to?  Are the messages you give contradicted by your body language and tone?  There are many aspect of communication that need to be considered.  Take a look at the way you communicate.


6. Interactions

Working well with others is what makes for a happy life.  The absence of conflict, tension and frustration results in a smoother running team and family life.

There are many things to consider in relation to your interactions with others.  We are all very different people with varied personalities and they will not always mesh nicely together.

Working with people that you don’t get along with is inevitable, so you need to work out how you can best work with them.  Analyze the differences in your styles and try and find ways to adapt or avoid if need be.

Get to know people you work with, the more you know about a person and what motivates them the more you will be able to find better ways to interact with them and generate a more constructive relationship.


7. Leadership

You do not have to have the title of a leader to be a leader.  A manager is not inherently a leader.  Some say you either have it or you don’t but there are definitely skills you can learn from great leaders.

Look at the behaviors of great leaders before you, from those you admire in your life.  What is it about them that you admire?  That makes them a great leader?  That makes you want to follow?

How can you apply those techniques in your everyday life? And remember you don’t have to be the boss to lead your team to greatness, a leader can be in any role in an organization, it’s not necessarily about control, it’s about being able to interact and communicate with people so they want to follow your ideas.


8. How you handle situations

How you behave in various situations will tell a lot about the person you are, so remember that others will remember you for the way you conducted yourself in a situation.

In any situation consider, how would you like this to end up?  Whatever the outcome is you desire you need to find the best way to reach that goal while maintaining your good reputation.

Now many people make a reputation on being aggressive and making their point heard, but that is not necessary, there are much better ways to reach a positive outcome.  And you will be remembered in a positive way.

Always remember your ethics and values and don’t ever compromise them. Negotiate with the end goal in mind of a win win situation. Consider how you would like to be treated in every situation and treat the other person that way.

Analyze a situation from your past and really consider what you could have done differently to have improved it.  It is no good working out what the other person could have done because you have no control over that, but you have control over your own behavior and therefore will have more control over the situation as a whole in the future.


9. Work-life balance

Do you have it? Do you want it? Well sadly it is one of those things that can take the most effort to put in place.

Stress and chronic fatigue are just a couple of the modern day illnesses that plague our world.  Somewhere along the line the work smarter not harder slogan seems to have been lost and all we do is work hard.

Believe it or not but working too hard is actually detrimental to our ability to work well.  It can result in poor concentration, leading to errors and even result in physical illness which means you can’t work at all.

You need to make finding ways to maintain work life balance a priority.  If you do manage to make more time for yourself by managing your time better, don’t fill that extra time with more work; utilize some of it for yourself and your friends and family.

Make work life balance a priority in your team and make it a standing agenda item on your team meeting to look at ways to work smarter to create more time and ways to ensure each team member has balance.  Some things you could encourage is an ‘eat right’ program and have a nutritionist speak to your team.  Have the whole team join a walk-a-thon and raise money for a chosen charity while getting some exercise.

What can you change to find that balance you need?


10. Sharing knowledge

Mentoring and teaching others is a great way to enable yours and others personal growth.

Sharing what you know not only helps someone else it makes you feel good.  So take the opportunity to share what you know with other people.  Whenever you have the opportunity to show someone a better way, don’t say ‘too hard, I don’t have time’, make the time to show them.  You will be amazed at how those few minutes actually gave you the positive boost you needed and will result in you working better too.


Obviously there are many other aspects of yourself that you can work on but the above list is a few of the key areas that will enable a more successful career and happier life.

How can you expect the best out of your team if you aren’t continually trying to be the best yourself. And it’s not about being the hardest worker, or the person willing to do the most overtime, or help the most people do their work.  It’s about learning better ways to do things.  As you discover a better way you can then teach those around you so they too can grow and improve with you.

Don’t get left behind, take the time to work on yourself, the investment will be repaid tenfold as you move forward and up.

Start Web Development Now

The web development field offers a variety of languages from front-end development, like HTML, CSS and Javascript, to back-end programming, like PHP, ASP and Ruby on Rails. So how do you start learning how to code?

In this post, I want to offer a variety of great tips on beginning your journey to learning web code. At the end of the post, I want to share a simple site structure with you to get started in HTML and CSS.

I’ll focus on HTML and CSS in this article. HTML and CSS are the most basic web languages that everyone must learn before they can move on to another web language. Even if you plan to do all backend programming, you’ll still need to use them often.



Learning Code from Web Development Books

I don’t advise trying to learn coding from web development books. They’re often filled with syntax errors, outdated or they focus too much on following exercises and not enough on explanation.

These neither help you memorize proper code, nor do they help you critically think out your first site on your own. While you may find it easy to follow along with the exercises, or even do the exercises without looking at the book, you won’t be able to piece together code different from the examples provided.

That being said, books are still a great way to get the very basics down and provide a great point of reference throughout your learning process. When you look for a web development book, try finding one that:

  • presents a basic history of the web and how websites are made and interact.
  • focuses more on web theory and less on shuffling you from exercise to exercise. You need to know why you do it that way, not just how you do it that way.
  • teaches you basic tags and what they mean. For example in HTML you would need to know:
    • <html><body><div><a><img><head><p> just to name a few!

Make Some Friends

After you’ve read a bit about web development, it’s time to start looking for a web developer friend. If you already have a friend who’s a developer, great; but if not, try making some connections on Facebook or Twitter. Ask them politely if they can spend a few minutes talking a little bit about the development process. Ask them if they can provide you with a coded template or old site code that you can use for your learning process.

Make sure the developer has enough experience and is good at what they do. You’d don’t want to learn their bad habits! Make sure their sites are not built in <table>’s and that it validates with W3C (the people who make HTML/CSS standards).

Take a look at the code they give you. Do you notice any patterns? How are the lines spaced? How is the code laid out compared to the layout of the actual site you see in the browser?

Jump In Feet First

Now it’s time to get your feet wet. The best way to learn how to code is to simply start coding. So what do you do with the template the developer has given you?

  • Design a site similar to the template you were given. Make it similar enough to easily use the code provided, but different enough to make you have to change some of it. Learning is the only time copying someone’s code and designs are okay.
  • Start coding. Retype the code line-by-line. Check what each line of code does in your browser as you go along. Some great Firefox plugins to use while you’re coding are Web Developer and Firebug. These will help you debug in the browser, saving you time, and are great for beginners to get used to looking at their HTML and CSS.

Google is Your Best Friend

It’s okay if you don’t understand much, or any, of the CSS and HTML you’re retyping. Google it. You’ll be amazed at how many tutorials exist on the web.

For example, I used to know very little PHP. However, most of my WordPress work I do has to be dynamic. Instead of paying a back-end programmer to do the work, I’m able to Google and find almost any function I need in WordPress. Because of this, I’ve saved lots of money and my knowledge of PHP has grown substantially. While I still may not be able to write it from scratch, I’m able to easily find what I’m looking for and customize it to my needs.

Some Googling tips:

  • Search for specific phrases instead of general terms. For example, instead of Googling  ”WordPress”, try “How to exclude children categories in WordPress.”
  • Learn to hack, or customize, the code. A lot of code you search for can simply be copied and pasted, but you’ll often find that one developer’s solution may not perfectly fit your problem. Even if you don’t plan on learning PHP or Javascript, it’s still good to learn a few basics so you can easily change your found code, as you’ll come across these languages often in the web development world, even if you plan on sticking with CSS and HTML.

Code Problems Are Good Problems

When you first start coding, nothing will work and everything will break. Don’t give up. Just by trying to debug your code and figure out the problems, you’ll learn a lot and will quickly begin to anticipate what happens when you code one way or another. Treat these problems as another HTML learning lesson.

Mix It Up

What happens if you put a div inside of a p tag? If you moved one block of code to the bottom of the page? What can you do to make the site unvalidate or break? How do you fix that? Don’t be afraid to move code around to see what happens.

Next Steps

After you learn basic HTML and CSS, you should jump in to some more advanced layouts. Some great ways to learn advanced coding:

  • Follow tutorials on web development blogs.
  • Continue copying sites you find that you really like. Learn to spot bad and/or unorganized code. Just because the site looks great in the browser, doesn’t mean it’s built great.
  • Team up with a local developer for some tutoring.
  • Take a few web development courses at your local tech college. They can be surprisingly affordable. Get some reviews on the professors first, to make sure they know what they’re talking about, and are easy to learn from.
  • Forums are another great place to post questions and meet with developers.

Ready to Code?

If you’re now ready to jump into your first site, you’re in luck! I’ve coded up the simplest of basic web layouts–a two column layout with a header and footer, along with a jpg of how it should look. It already validates and is organized/spaced correctly, with semantic code.

You can download the zip file here.  Feel free to hack, change, or even use it for your first development portfolio. If you want, I also offer step-by-step coding of this site, from breaking down the layout to the CSS, along with basic explanations of what each line of code is and does.

Discipline for strong-willed child

 How should disciplinary techniques for my strong-willed child differ from those I use with my compliant child?

Discipline for a strong-willed child requires a firmer hand, often with a greater show of love, than his compliant, eager-to-please sibling. Discipline must be tailored to the child. My grandmother used to say, “Show me a family with ten children, and I’ll show you ten unique personalities.” My own children were living proof that grandma was right. For example, my first-born was a daughter, very sweet and very compliant. When she misbehaved, often all it took to straighten her out was a “look” from mom or dad.

Then along came my second child, a son – and he came out fighting mad. He couldn’t have been more different! His full accompaniment of allergies, asthma, and hyperactivity made him quite a challenge. If someone (like grandpa) would sneak him even a little sweet treat, the child literally climbed the walls (and everything else) for two days. Diet was a definite factor. Now granted, much of his behavior was influenced by his physical issues, but not all of it. He was willfully defiant as well. To put it simply, he was a strong-willed child.

So how did we, the parents, handle discipline differently with these two very different children? With our daughter, we could speak calmly, issue time out, give “that look,” or if needed a scolding or a swat. She got it right away. With my son, there was a lot of trial and error. Finding something, anything, that would work was work itself. We knew we couldn’t give in. In time, with consistency and a lot of prayer, he (and we) survived.

There were two critical factors in that survival:

  • Finding out what our child valued most.
  • Discipline consistently applied without breaking his spirit.

Time-outs, scoldings, spankings – meant little or nothing to him. So we had to find out what did matter. He was a child who loved the outdoors, nature, and climbing trees. When discipline became necessary, withholding an outdoor activity was the only thing that worked. Knowing your child is critical to any effective discipline.

So let’s recap.

For compliant (and all) children:

  • Speak to your child in a calm even tone. Never scream or yell.
  • Set clear and concise boundaries, explain consequences (beneficial and disciplinary). Spend time teaching and training your child in what you expect. They don’t know until you teach them.
  • Be consistent and firm; giving-in is detrimental to your success.
  • Encourage and give praise when your child is compliant.

For a strong-willed child (All the above PLUS):

  • First determine any physiological reasons for behaviors; seek help if needed (doctor, pastor, other experienced parents).
  • Keep trying until you find the leverage that works with that child.
  • A more rigid behavioral system may need to be applied. Try removing liberties until the child desires compliance. Remember they are willfully defying you. Much of what they do may be for attention.
  • Resist the temptation to make allowances for this child, just because he is screaming at you, which you would not make for a compliant child. In an even tone of voice, tell him that his behavior is not acceptable. Establish your control and don’t give it to the child.

Overall, know your children, and know what is age/behavior appropriate. Create a healthy, non-chaotic environment. It’s hard work, but so rewarding.


Bayern Munich v Chelsea – Early Preview

The UEFA Champions League certainly has its issues, which sadly, we are all far too familiar with. Sometimes the decisions that are made and their consequences make it very difficult to look past allegations of preferential treatment. The way in which the impartiality of UEFA is so frequently called into question, does nothing to help the sport and it leaves the fans of teams like Chelsea (who so often bear the brunt of the tournaments almost routine scandals) with a needlessly reduced enthusiasm and regard for the competition.

However, as this week showed, it does have the one slightly redeeming feature of being unbelievably entertaining! The drama and the emotion and excitement of this year’s semi-final ties, for me, was proof enough that beneath all the politics, the Champions League is professional sport at its very best.

As a result, to see our own team succeed in it should mean we are left with a resolute sense of pride and satisfaction, and no doubt we would be if it wasn’t for all these stupid and arrogant pieces of writing that lament our tactics, labelling them ‘anti-football’. The aesthetics vs results argument has existed for decades and anyone who thinks Barcelona (or any other team) have ended it/found the perfect compromise, are horribly deluded in my opinion. Nobody can say what constitutes a ‘better’ method of playing or indeed which method is ‘better’ for football. There must be hundreds of ways to win a game of football and what’s good for the sport, in my eyes, is to see as many of these methods utilized as possible and to see teams aspire to perfect as many of them as they can.


Anyway, we did it! Chelsea are in the final of the Champions League for the second time, and if there is a victory for football here, it’s in UEFA not getting the Classico final we assume they were hoping for. Bayern and Chelsea both gave extremely courageous performances away from home, making sure that Spain’s overwhelming duopoly of power won’t spill over into Europe just yet.

Looking ahead then to the final, there isn’t much history between the two sides to look back on, Bayern though, of course possess the far superior record in the competition, this being their 9th final! So far they’ve won four and lost four, but interestingly have lost more often than not when matched up against English opposition, with Aston Villa beating them in 1982 and Manchester United in 1999. Neither of those matches though were in Munich, a place where English sides have only ever won once in European competition (Norwich in 1993!)

There’s no question Bayern go into the final as massive favourites and annoyingly, the threat the pose can’t really be dealt with by digging your heals in like we did against Barca. Bayern are arguably the best dribbling team in Europe with the likes of Robben and Schweinsteiger and Ribery; they also have a world-class, in-form #9 in Mario Gomez, who holds the record for having the highest strike rate in the history of the UCL, for players with more than 15 goals. Their goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, is also arguably the best in the world. If we want to win this final then it’s going to require a performance of equal heart to the amount we showed against Barca, but it’s going to require a lot more tactical awareness; Bayern may not be as consistent as our semi-final victims, but they can hurt you in a far greater number of ways.

One area of weakness, however, will be in their defence, with them not having any real replacements for Davide Alaba or Holger Badstuber, who are missing through suspensions. Suspensions that are arguably the result of the most ridiculous ruling in professional football, a ruling that means some of the season’s greatest players will miss out on its most important game, in some cases, because of the most trivial offences. What’s even worse though in my opinion is that these players aren’t allowed to go up and receive medals with their teammates, should their team win, when the match is over. How twisted is that! Players like Ramires and Ivanovic deserve as much credit/recognition for their contributions to this campaign as any of our squad members and now they have to spend the entire night in the stands. Even worse still is John Terry, even though he deserves his suspension, the man has put everything into captaining Chelsea to this point and for him to be forced to watch as his teammates celebrate the victory he’s craved and deserved for so long, just makes absolutely no sense. It actually makes me really angry. If John went up anyway to lift the trophy and was handed a consequent 6/7 match ban, I don’t think I’d actually care.

But there’s nothing we can do, and although Di Matteo will be disappointed with this list of unavailable players, it will certainly make picking the team a far easier task. The backline of: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Ashley Cole pretty much picks itself. Mikel Obi, Lampard, Mata and Drogba are all definities. Then with Ramires and Meireles out, you would expect Michael Essien to get the nod in midfield (his form hasn’t been great this year but he remains a legend of both CFC and African football and I can’t imagine him letting us down).

This leaves one place left to fill, for which the contenders will be: Daniel Sturridge (attitude problems are becoming worryingly apparent but he’s still unquestionably talented and dangerous), Florent Malouda (has the experience of playing in a UCL and World Cup final before, okay he lost them both but still…), Saloman Kalou (most likely choice, seems to be rated highly by Di Matteo) and Fernando Torres (English pundits love the fact that neither Drogba, nor Torres have ever scored whilst on the pitch together,  but it’s got to happen sometime and when could possibly be a better time?)

Whatever happens on the 19th of May we can be very proud supporters. The amount of times we’ve effectively been out of this competition and fought back is almost unreal. Common sense still prevents me from predicting a Chelsea win but that doesn’t mean it would surprise me, the ability of these players to transcend themselves when it matters is near immeasurable and I would say reaching this final is the greatest achievement in all of their club careers. I feel at this point I have no right in asking them, but please lads… just do it one more time.

WOW Gospel 2012 is out

The contemporary gospel music by males artists like Smokie Norful, 21:03, Kirk Franklin and Donald Lawrence praise God all the way to the throne. Add to that songs from ladies like Kim Burell, Mary Mary and Dorinda Clark-Cole, and you’ve got 30 solid hits from WOW.

Filled with songs that lived at the top of the charts at Gospel radio, this double CD set is chock full of hits, including songs from Kirk Franklin , Mary Mary, and Marvin Sapp plus newcomers Wess Morgan and BET Sunday Best winner Le’Andria Johnson. Each WOW Gospel installment to date has achieved great success, garnering Gold and platinum certifications along with a faithful fanbase.

The Track in wow gospel 2012 are below;

01. Before I Die – Kirk Franklin
02. Walking – Mary Mary
03. In The Middle – Isaac Carree
04. He Has His Hands On You – Marvin Sapp
05. Well Done – Deitrick Haddon
06. Put It On The Altar – Jessica Reedy
07. Back To You – Dorinda Clark Cole
08. Sweeter – Kim Burrell
09. Incredible – 21:03
10. Love God, Love People – Israel Houghton
11. Boasting – Lecrae
12. He Lives (2011) – Fred Hammond
13. Encore – James Fortune & Fiya
14. Believe – Jennifer Hudson
15. God Is Great – Ricky Dillard & New G
16. You Are – Kierra “Kiki” Sheard
17. YRM (Your Righteous Mind) – Donald Lawrence
18. Chasing After You – Vashawn Mitchell
19. I Need Your Glory – Earnest Pugh
20. Bless The Lord – Myron Butler
21. Trust Me – Richard Smallwood With Vision
22. I Choose To Worship – Wess Morgan
23. The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power – Smokie Norful
24. Speechless – Anita Wilson
25. Blessings – John P. Kee f/ Rance Allen
26. Excellent – Martha Munizzi
27. It’s All God – The Soul Seekers F/ Marvin Winans
28. Make Me New – Mali Music & Together We Stand Community Choir
29. Let The Church Say Amen – Andrae Crouch
30. Heaven – forever JONES

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