Archive for the ‘Goods’ Category

Spain Tops US as Tourist Destination

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Considering the relative size of the economies and how important tourism is to each, then this is quite a surprise. That Spain will this year overtake the US as a tourist destination is an incredible achievement for a country which has had great economic and political upheaval in recent times. For those of us in the UK it probably comes as no surprise, the British have been holidaying in Spain in their millions for decades. Indeed many of us spend large parts of the year, relaxing in the Winter Sun happy that we’ve learnt how to watch BBC iPlayer in Spain too.

Spain, where tourism accounts for about 11% of the economics, has seen a spike in international visitors partly because of security concerns in other popular vacation destinations like Egypt and Turkey.   Although the US is still popular just like American culture via US DNS and Netflix, the strong dollar and relatively expensive airfare cost means that it’s not experiencing the same growth as some of the European countries.  Preliminary data released late on Wednesday showed the number of visitors coming in Spain rose 8.9% year-on year to 82 million tourists, that makes Spain the world’s second most visited country after France and push the US into third position, this was from a Reuters report. Figures showed that tourist spending also hit a brand new record in 2017, rising 12.4 percent in the year from 2016. According to final data for the first 11 months of 2017, too published on Wednesday tourists remained Spain’s biggest group of visitors from nationality, accounting for 18 million tourists up 7 percent from a year before.

Catalonia remained the most visited region of Spain in 2017, despite two strikes at tourist haunts in August which left 16 people dead and more than 100 people. Tourism from the region’s capital Barcelona dipped slightly after the strikes, then dropped in October following a liberty vote prompted scenes of police violence and mass protests, but it’s since rebounded. Tourism has also benefited from a boom in leasing flats outside to tourists through internet platforms like Airbnb.  This has made a combination of cheap airfares and affordable accommodation which makes Spain an extremely attractive holiday destination.

Nevertheless, this has prompted a backlash in favorite destinations like Barcelona, Palma de Majorca or San Sebastian as locals complain of a drop in long term rentals and costs. The sector will continue to grow in the coming years due to expected economic improvement in visitors home nations and increased flights and destinations, the tourism association Exceltur said on Thursday. Spanish tourist companies expect a 5.6% growth in their earnings and 5.3% growth in their profits in 2018, Exceltur vice president Jose Luis Zoreda told a news conference. But, general sector growth might slightly lighten this year to 3.3% year-on year by an annual expansion of 4.4% in 2017 due in part to many tourists returning to destinations in North Africa and Turkey, he added.

US Economy Continues to Grow

Friday, February 9th, 2018

President Trump’s main priority, well one of them, is of course the US economy. So how has it been performing? In between Tweets, shutdowns and scandals the US economy has actually responding well to the global upturn. Both GDP, jobs and most economic forecasts are looking fairly promising and are expected to continue. Judging by most economic reports across the world that is leading to enhanced optimism in other countries too, check out BBC reports –

The U.S. Economic sector grew at a good rate of 2.6 percent from the final 3 months of last year, aided by the fastest consumer spending since the spring of 2016 along with a large rebound in home construction. The Commerce Department says the 4th quarter advance from the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of services and goods, followed gains of 3.1 percent in the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the next quarter. The most recent downturn reflected a trade deficit and growth in stock rebuilding by businesses. For many of 2017, the economics grew 2.3 percent.

That’s a considerable improvement in the 1.5 percent gain in 2016, but little changed from the small 2.2 percent average growth rate turned in since the Great Recession ended. International growth, dollar, push orders for durable goods 2.9 pct. There are of course, some who point over to the European economies which in many cases are doing much better than the US economy. Global growth is also rising with demand being pushed from less developed countries recovering from the global recession. So it’s difficult to say if US economic growth is as a result of

Orders for long lasting manufactured goods rose 2.9 percent in December, the fastest rate since June and another indication of power for American industry, the Commerce Department said Friday. Orders were increased by a 15.9 percent spike in demand for airplane and aviation parts, which could bounce around from month to month. Excluding the volatile transport sector, orders increased by 0.6 percent in December.

Total orders for durable goods, that is good which are intended to last at least three decades, have climbed in four the last five months and were up 5.8 percent for the year 2017, the best in six decades. Still, a group that measures business investment, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding airplane, dipped 0.3 percent in December. American producers are benefiting from a pickup in global financial growth and weaker dollar, that makes U.S. Goods more affordable in overseas markets.

The Commerce Department upgraded the Nov increase in orders for durable goods to 1.7 percent from the 1.3 percent profit it initially reported. Orders for computers dropped 4.4 percent, second straight monthly decrease. Machinery orders rose 0.6 percent last month after being flat in November. Orders for automobiles, trucks and auto parts climbed 0.4 percent, decelerating after gains of 2 percent in Nov and 1.5 percent in October.

John Allen

Blogger from Identity Voucher

Las Vegas TV Coverage

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

When there’s a huge news story like the awful shooting in Las Vegas I always like to try and get access to the US News media.  Although an event like this terrible massacre will obviously be covered in the International press – it’s usually more comprehensive in the US News channels.  Unfortunately it’s difficult to access these sites sometimes because of something called region locking.

This is the procedure where a web site will look up your physical location when you connect and then determine what you can see.  In the case of most of the US TV channels, being outside the US means you’ll get very limited access to their online streams.  This can be very frustrating for those of us who travel a lot as internet based news media is really ideal for the international traveller.

The reasons are unclear but probably revolve around ‘rights issues’ or copyright restrictions but that doesn’t make it any less inconvenient.   Fortunately there is something of a workaround and it involves using a security program to hide your true location.  The programs are called VPNs and you can see them in action in this video.

This is being used to access the BBC News channel online from outside the United Kingdom however the process is virtually identical to access CNN or ABC from outside the USA. The only alteration you need is to ensure you connect to a US server rather than a UK one in order to bypass the US only region blocks. It’s worth mentioning that some of these media sites are starting to fight back – read this article – BBC Block VPN connection.

IN the coverage of the Las Vegas massacre there was a distinct difference between North American coverage and that of European (where I currently am). The CNN reports were more up to date and factual, whereas coverage from other country’s sources seemed to be more obsessed with US Gun laws. It is certainly legitimate coverage considering the situation yet I felt I was missing out on much of the facts because of the subjective studies of US gun laws.

Using these VPN systems is pretty much essential for those of us who travel a lot. Without them your internet connections firstly are extremely insecure especially if you have to use un-trusted networks in hotels, airports and cafes. Secondly you can control where you appear to be located which means that you can access US only sites from anywhere in the world by selecting a US VPN server to connect to. You can even use it to change regional options too, this post – IP Address for American Netflix shows how to change your Netflix subscription back to the US one.

Improve the Quality of your Blog

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes but if you are writing a blog to promote or represent a business then you need to be very careful.    Not only does a spelling mistake look bad, it can also seriously affect your businesses reputation.

You do the same thing – we all do, and that is becoming more alert to written or grammatical  mistakes when you spot one.  Some readers will even be on the lookout for more of them, and if they see several in proximity with each other, then they’ll have one foot in the door. This is all a tricky area because there can be mitigating factors that can influence their decisions. If your blog looks good enough, then they may be willing to try and trust you but it’s not guaranteed. So don’t take it personally, it’s totally natural to look for signs that your product or service is of good quality.

For instance, spelling might not be that important to your product but mistakes will create a very poor impression.  For example if your company is focussed on selling US Netflix in Canada, yet can’t create a simple blog post without mistakes.  That implies a rushed and careless attitude which might easily extend to your core business.

These days, you need to keep social media in mind with your blogging, and one immediate thought concerns the length of your headlines. You can make your headlines too long to the point where it interferes with social sharing. People will be more inclined to share a post if the headline is not like sales copy headlines which is long. The typical blog reader will scan the headlines looking for what they want or something interesting. So what you can also do is read a little on copywriting so you know how to format your content.

As with any kind of writing, you should edit and proofread your blog posts several times. You will usually find that your writing can be improved by removing words and phrases that are not needed. If you’re not used to doing this, it will probably seem difficult in the beginning. This is, however, worth doing, as it will make your blog more enjoyable to read. Your goal is to write what you intend to mean and do it concisely. You don’t have to be serious and on topic all the time, as you may want to make a joke or digress every now and then. For the most part, though, your posts should be focused on your main topic. You always have to keep your audience in mind, as this is who you’re writing for.

You can find differing opinions about links opening in a new tab, or window, or on top of your page. To me it’s far more of a hassle to have to navigate back to the main site I was just on. No matter what you decide, you will make some people unhappy. Are you going to make people click more times or give them convenience?

When you have links, in content, open in a new tab, then it’s just a once click response to get back to the original page. You’ll not want to include much more than about two outbound links, anyway. You can get to the point where your reduction of mistakes in your copy, or post writing, makes a impact. The thing to do is be conscious of what you’re trying to do and always go over your work. You cannot rush something like this even though it would be an admirable effort. If you need motivation, then maybe look at your blogging profits and know you can improve them.

Further Reading – UK VPN

Choosing a Camera to Suit your Pocket

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Choosing a camera used to be a fairly straightforward matter, you’d choose a budget and then look at the two or three options that were available. However that has all changed and now there’s literally hundreds of options at most price levels. What’s more you’re choosing more than a camera in many instances because many allow you to shoot video too, sure it won’t be as good as streaming the BBC News like this, but it’s something to consider.

Finding the right camera, the “best pocket camera of 2017”, will be hard to do since so many are available to purchase. It can be difficult to figure out which one of them is actually worth your money and your time. Can you really discern whether or not a camera is the best pocket (or point and shoot) camera available today? You read articles like this one. Before choosing a camera, you should evaluate different criteria along the way.

In the following paragraphs we’ll talk about them. Giving you a few options we will discuss a couple of the cameras on the market right now. To find your next camera, continue reading this article.

The weight of the camera is something you need to consider. Most do not realize how heavy a point-and-shoot pocket camera can actually be. Cameras like this are sometimes heavy because of how much stuff is in the camera. Much more durable than DSLRs, pocket cameras are designed to last. So make sure you actually lift the camera before you buy it. You really don’t want your pants falling off when you put your camera in your pocket. This is a consideration you need to take seriously. A camera that can take great photos, and is lightweight, is what you’re looking for.

Sensor size is something to consider. On small sensors, some pocket cameras try to cram way too many megapixels. Not a good idea! The sensors in pocket cameras are small and trying to do too many megapixels causes a bunch of problems. Shooting in low light is actually a problem. It also makes the differentiation between colors quite stark, instead of gradual. You can, however, look for a much more powerful zoom on the camera that has these features. This difficulty with pocket cameras has almost always existed. To zoom longer distances away, the sensor size is indicative of its capabilities.

One very popular and well-engineered pocket camera is Canon’s Elph 110 PowerShot HS point and shoot. It doesn’t have the greatest zoom range, but it does work well for sharp and wide angled shots. The zoom is a little noisy, but the Canon take pictures fast. The photo is taken the instant you press the shutter button. There is no delay. This Canon is also good for those of you who like to shoot continuously. If you’re at a sporting event, or any event that is very active, continuous shooting is a big plus. This is a feature that many point and shoot cameras don’t include. Including this feature, makes the Cannon PowerShot Elph 110 HS a contender for best pocket camera for 2012.

There are so many pocket-size cameras available, you need to really think long and hard before purchasing one of the best pocket sized cameras of 2012 in stores today. Choosing the right camera for you has to do with using the shopping techniques presented in this article, and finding a camera that fits your needs. You will discover many different cameras in your research, and a great deal of criteria to keep in mind. You have to do this research before you go shopping just to be safe. This article has provided you with strategies to consider when buying a camera. Hopefully, they will help you in some way.

Further Information:

IP Addresses are Different

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Many people are under the illusion that an IP address is just a string of numbers and that’s it.  Unfortunately it actually tells people a little more than that and it is data which is actively used when you visit any major web site.  So what does it say?  Well first of all an IP address determines what country you are in, so you can be categorized as a French web surfer or an American surfer and so on.   Further this location can be more detailed, easily to the specific town you are in and in many cases even more specific.

Yet there’s more, you see IP addresses are also classified into categories based on use.  So you can determine whether an IP address has been assigned to a commercial organization, an educational establishment or a home user.   This information is also used to categorise you even further, for example in advertising or restricting access based on your situation.    So to summarise that meaningless number that allows you to access the internet can identify your exact location and whether you’re surfing from home or not.  Compiling this information together with everything you do online soon builds up a very accurate picture of a person, their likes, employment, political and  social status.

This information is obviously used to target people with online advertising and to customise the products you might see in an online store. You imagine that everybody sees the same web pages when they visit but that’s not true.  All this information is used to tailor the major web sites to an almost individual basis.  It’s also used to restrict access, for example try getting the BBC News streaming abroad, unfortunately if you’ve got a non-UK based IP address and that’s not going to happen.  The BBC restricts access not based on whether you have a TV license or not, merely if you happen to be in the United Kingdom when you try and use the site.

Fortunately this is relatively simple to spoof, however it get’s more and more difficult depending on how much information they use.  For example a company which has a very extensive web presence is the media giant Netflix, however they also have a complex tax to deliver their service.  They have to license shows on a per country basis, so a movie may be available in USA Netflix for example but not in UK or French Netflix.  To enforce these restrictions they initially relied on the location of the IP address, however millions of people managed to bypass these.

Within a few weeks there were many workarounds, you didn’t have to look far to find a a post with the title – How to Change IP Address to USA for Netflix. Which basically explained how to use a VPN or proxy to hide your real location and watch whatever version of Netflix you wanted.