Category Archives: Android

VLC prepares to add AirPlay support as it crosses 3 billion downloads

VLC, the hugely popular media playing service, is filing one of its gaps with the addition of AirPlay support as its just crossed an incredible three billion users.

The new feature was revealed by Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of the service’s lead developers, in an interview with Variety at CES and it will give users a chance to beam content from their Android or iOS device to an Apple TV. The addition, which is due in the upcoming version 4 of VLC, is the biggest new feature since the service added Chromecast support last summer.

But that’s not all that the dozen or so people on the VLC development team are working on.

In addition, Variety reports that VLC is preparing to add enable native support for VR content. Instead of SDKs, the team has reversed engineered popular hardware to offer features that will include the option to watch 2D content in a cinema-style environment. There are also plans to bring the service to more platforms, with VentureBeat reporting that the VLC team is eying PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Roku devices.

VLC, which is managed by non-profit parent VideonLAN, racked up its 3 millionth download at CES, where it celebrated with the live ticker pictured above. The service reached one billion downloads back in May 2012, which represents incredible growth for a venture that began life as a project from Ecole Centrale Paris students in 1996.

Shareholder suit alleges Google covered up its sexual harassment problems with big payouts

Months after an earth-shattering New York Times investigation exposed Google parent company Alphabet’s $90 million payout to Android co-founder Andy Rubin, despite the accusations of sexual misconduct made against him, a Google shareholder is suing the company.

James Martin filed suit in the San Mateo Superior Court Thursday morning, alleging the company’s leaders deployed massive allowances to poor-behaving executives to cover up harassment scandals. Both Rubin and Google’s former head of search Amit Singhal, who peacefully left the company in 2016 amid harassment allegations that weren’t made public until the following year, are listed as defendants in the court filing. This is because the plaintiff is seeking a full return of the massive payouts awarded to the embattled former execs.

With charges including breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, abuse of power and corporate waste, per The Washington Post, the lawsuit asks for an end of nondisclosure and arbitration agreements at Google, which ensure workplace disputes are settled behind closed doors and without any right to an appeal. Martin is also requesting Google incorporate three new directors to the Alphabet board and put an end to supervoting shares, which gives certain shareholders more voting control.

The lawsuit also targets Rubin, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, chief executive officer Sundar Pichai and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Former human resources director Laszlo Bock, chief legal officer David Drummond and former executive Amit Singhal are also named, as are long-time venture capitalists and Google board members John Doerr and Ram Shriram.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Following the release of the NYT report, Googlers across the world rallied to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations. The protestors had five key asks, including an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination, a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity and a clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously. Google ultimately complied with employees and put an end to forced arbitration; other tech companies, such as Airbnb, followed suit.

This DIY smart mirror is small, stunning and full of features

Several years ago Google X engineer Max Braun published a medium post on a smart mirror he made and now he’s back with a new version that’s smaller and smarter. This is a smart mirror I can get behind though I still find smart mirrors completely frivolous.

He published his project on Medium where he explains the process and the parts a person would need to build their own. This isn’t a project for everyone, but Max gives enough instructions that most enterprising builders should be able to hack something similar together.

I recently reviewed a smart mirror and found it a bit silly but still useful. Ideally, like in Max’s smart mirrors, the software is passive and always available. Users shouldn’t have to think about interacting with the devices; the right information should be displayed automatically. It’s a balancing act.

At this point, smart mirrors are little more than Android tablets placed behind a two-way mirror. Retail models are expensive to be buy and hardly worth it since a person’s phone or voice assistant can probably provide the same information. After all, how many devices does a person really need to tell them the weather forecast?

Google quits selling tablets

Google has quietly crept out of the tablet business, removing the “tablets” heading from its Android page. Perhaps it hoped that no one would notice on a Friday and by Monday it would be old news, but Android Police caught them in the act. It was there yesterday, but it’s gone today.

We (well, Romain) called tablets dead in 2016, which was probably a little premature, since over 160 million of them shipped last year — but even so, it’s not much of a life they’re living.

Google in particular has struggled to make Android a convincing alternative to iOS in the tablet realm, and with this move has clearly indicated its preference for the Chrome OS side of things, where it has inherited the questionable (but lucrative) legacy of netbooks. They’ve also been working on broadening Android compatibility with that OS. So it shouldn’t come as much surprise that the company is bowing out.

Sales have dropped considerably, since few people see any reason to upgrade a device that was originally sold for its simplicity and ease of use, not its specs. I, for one, have been using the 3rd-gen (1st Retina) iPad since its release approximately 500 years ago and have never felt any compulsion whatsoever to get a new one.

Cheap Kindle tablets from Amazon have proliferated somewhat, presumably as distractions for kids who would otherwise get fingerprints all over mom’s new phone, or for ultra-compact time-wasting on airplanes.

Google’s exit doesn’t mean Android tablets are done for, of course. They’ll still get made, primarily by Samsung, Amazon, and a couple others, and there will probably even be some nice ones. But if Google isn’t selling them, it probably isn’t prioritizing them as far as features and support.

Fortunately tablets aren’t subject to quite the same feature mania as smartphones, so it won’t really matter if your new Galaxy Tab or what have you doesn’t do all the cool new Google Assistant things. It plays a few games, stores your Pocket articles, and lets you watch Netflix in coach. Something cheap along those lines will always be available, but Google’s done with that whole scene.

I’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update if I hear back.

Google is quietly formulating a new strategy for China

Google is slowing piecing together a strategy for China to ensure that it doesn’t miss out on the growth of technology in the world’s largest country. It’s been months in the making through a series of gradual plays, but further evidence of those plans comes today via a product launch.

Files Go — a file manager for Android devices released last yearhas made its way to China today. Not a huge launch, for sure, but the mechanisms behind it provide insight into how Google may be thinking about the country, where it has been absent since 2010 after redirecting its Chinese search service to Hong Kong in the face of government pressure.

For Files Go, Google is taking a partner-led approach to distribution because the Google Play Store does not operate in China. The company is working with Tencent, Huawei, Xiaomi and Baidu, each of which will stock the app in their independent app stores, which are among the country’s most prominent third-party stores.

Let that sink in a little: the creator of Android is using third-party Android app stores to distribute one of its products.

On the outside that’s quite the scenario, but in China it makes perfect sense.

There’s been regular media speculation in recent about Google’s desire to return to China which, during its absence, has become the largest single market for smartphone users, and the country with the most app downloads and highest app revenue per year. Mostly the rumors have centered around audacious strategies such as the return of the Google Play Store or the restoration of Google’s Chinese search business, both of which would mean complying with demands from the Chinese government.

Then there’s the politics. The U.S. and China are currently in an ongoing trade standoff that has spilled into tech, impacting deals, while Chinese premier Xi Jinping has taken a protectionist approach to promoting local business and industries, in particular AI. XI’s more controversial policies, including the banning of VPNs, have put heat on Apple, which stands accused of colluding with authorities and preventing free speech in China.

Political tension between the U.S. and China is affecting tech companies. [Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Even when you remove the political issues, a full return is a tough challenge. Google would be starting businesses almost from scratch in a highly competitive market where it has little brand recognition.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that it hasn’t made big moves… yet at least.

Instead, it appears that the company is exploring more nimble approaches. There have been opportunistic product launches using established platforms, and generally Google seems intent at building relationships and growing a local presence that allows its global business to tap into the talent and technology that China offers.

Files Go is the latest example, but already we’ve seen Google relaunch its Translate app in 2017 and more recently it brought its ARCore technology for augmented and virtual reality to China using partners, which include Xiaomi and Huawei.

Bouquets of flowers lie on the Google logo outside the company’s China head office in Beijing on March 23, 2010 after the US web giant said it would no longer filter results and was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong — effectively closing down the mainland site. Google’s decision to effectively shut down its Chinese-language search engine is likely to stunt the development of the Internet in China and isolate local web users, analysts say. (Photo credit: xin/AFP/Getty Images)

Beyond products, Google is cultivating relationships, too.

It inked a wide-ranging patent deal with Tencent, China’s $500 billion tech giant which operates WeChat and more, and has made strategic investments to back AI startup XtalPi (alongside Tencent), live-streaming platform Chushou, and AI and hardware company Mobvoi. There have been events, too, including AlphaGo’s three-game battle with Chinese grandmaster Ke Jie in Wuzhen, developer events in China and the forthcoming first Google Asia Demo Day, which takes places in Shanghai in September.

In addition to making friends in the right places, Google is also increasing its own presence on Chinese soil. The company opened an AI lab in Beijing to help access China-based talent, while it also unveiled a more modest presence in Shenzhen, China’s hardware capital, where it has a serviced office for staff. That hardware move ties into Google’s acquisition of a chunk of HTC’s smartphone division for $1.1 billion.

The strategy is no doubt in its early days, so now is a good time to keep a keen eye on Google’s moves in this part of the world.

Where Are the Women in Tech?

According to the National Center for Women Information Technology (NCWIT), the U.S. Department of Labor estimated that 1.4 million computer related jobs would be available in the U.S. between 2010-2020. At current graduation rates for Information Technology, we can expect to fill only 32% of those jobs with U.S. Information Technology graduates. The NCWIT further states that although women hold about 57% of professional occupations in the U.S., only 26% of computing occupations are held by women. Even worse, only 3% of those jobs are held by African-American women, 5% by Asian women, and only 2% by Hispanic/Latino women.

The computing industry is failing to attract women to the field and sadly retention is poor. Women are leaving the industry at staggering rates, according to the NCWIT. Overall, the number of people graduating with computer or information science degrees has been steadily decreasing since 2004. There is a severe shortage of talent in IT. Salaries for.net programming and other popular technologies are the highest ever and the need for developers is rising. Companies are in near crisis mode as they fight to retain and attract IT talent. American women with computer science degrees can help fill some of these gaps.

Personally, I have been a woman in IT since the late 70’s when I graduated with a business degree and the MIS Manager at the company I worked for noticed I had programming on my resume. At the time, I was only making a summer pit-stop before pursuing further education in interior design. Struggling with a shortage of programmers even at that time, I was made a very lucrative offer as a full-time programmer, which I accepted. I never thought I would stay in the field, but as the years wore on I realized I was destined for a career in IT. Oddly, it wasn’t my passion but the money was good and the opportunities were like none other for a woman in the 80’s.

The software development career path led me to work with managers and co-workers in a highly male dominated field. Even from a client perspective, all upper management and power lunches that I was included in featured a roundtable of suited men with one petite suited woman – me. I never actually thought much about it. My opinions and work were always highly respected. The knowledge of software and the creation of highly necessary business programming provided a “20 something” woman with opportunities that I could have never had in most other fields. Besides being highly compensated, the work was challenging and I worked with business executives at the highest level.

One of the best things about software development is that you are filling a business need. To sit across major players at top companies and work with them to develop software that will make their business better is an amazing experience. Further, technology is exciting to work in because there is always something new to learn and some new development perspective to take.

I encourage developers to take a field trip to visit users that are performing their daily tasks utilizing the software that the developer wrote. There is no better feeling than watching people doing their jobs or playing a game using something that you made. Further, if you work for a national software manufacturer, there are people all across the nation in many companies and offices or homes using something that you produced. It’s like a song that people listen to everyday and enjoy. As a software developer, you can create a program that is utilized daily and enjoyed.

Software developers create tools that make the world more efficient. Companies rely on software to cut costs and increase revenue and profitability. The career path for software developers is wide in range and offers a host of benefits, including some of the highest salaries. The field of IT is broad and there is a need for IT Managers, Designers, Team Leads, Programmers, Testers, and more.

Although I am a woman in IT, before analyzing some of the statistics, I never realized that there was such a lack of diversity in the industry. Even in my own company, we have a 4 to 1 ratio of men to women in the development role. That statistic is even worse when assessing incoming job applications.

There are solid reasons for women to consider roles in development. First, unemployment statistics are favorable for jobs in IT. Also, tech companies are generally profitable which means some extra job security. The work is very interesting, challenging and always changing. You can get creative. Job growth is steadily increasing. Highly competitive salaries are standard issue. There is no variance in pay between men and women in IT (for comparable experience, education, and skills). This was confirmed by a salary survey performed by Dice.com®.

Why aren’t there more women in tech? Good question. Working in IT can be life changing, and the first step for a woman conquering a development role is making the need for women developers known. Let’s get that pipeline flowing. College students should explore the field, talk to tech companies, and find out more about how coding is cool. The future of IT depends on it.

Realtor Lockboxes Explained: A Summary of Lockbox Options and Alternatives for Real Estate Agents

Real estate professionals today have a plethora of high tech options out there to enhance their business, but rarely do we fully consider the value of the lockbox – the sole piece of equipment responsible for allowing agents to show the homes that we sell everyday. The lockbox itself has evolved over time, and today agents find themselves comparing the value from a standard combination lockbox to that of a more high-tech electronic lockbox. Real estate agents today are pressed from all sides for fees, dues, and expenditures that are unavoidable costs of doing business, so when it comes to making a decision between a combination lockbox that’s just a few bucks versus a high-tech electronic lockbox that is substantially more expensive, does the increase in cost justify the value? Also, what are all the options out there for electronic lockboxes? This article highlights the findings of current industry options available.

Having the ability to show a home without the sellers there to watch your every move was a move in the right direction for the real estate industry. Agents know very well the situation where a seller will remain in a home during a showing and “pretend” like they are minding their own business while the buyers tip-toe through the home trying not to impose while attempting to get a sense of what the home was like.

This is a wild departure from the typical showing when the sellers aren’t there; clients love to snoop around in order to get a good sense of the home. With the sellers not there, the buyers get a good opportunity to get a true sense of how that particular home would feel and if they can see themselves living there. Put simply, it allows for a better, more convenient showing experience.

From this dilemma the lockbox was invented. A device securing the key for entry by licensed real estate agents to show their prospective buyers, and it allowed sellers (or their agents) the opportunity to have the home shown without the need of their presence. It saved time, and allowed for a better showing experience. Truly, it was a win-win.

However, early lockboxes were simply a combination lockbox. They are certainly inexpensive, but an obvious downside was the lack of security for the home in question once the lockbox code was known. Sellers would rely on the professional ethics of real estate agents to keep the code confidential, but sometimes the code would slip into hands of non-agents. Less frequently, the code would be found by people with malicious intent.

With the obvious shortfall of relying on the honor system to keep lockbox codes confidential, it offered the opportunity for a better solution that would allow for accountability along with the ability to show a home without the seller being present. As a result, it did not take long for “smart” lockboxes using electronic technology to come into existence, thus revolutionizing the process of showing a home. Before a seller and their agent wouldn’t really know who was showing the property other than the confirmed appointments that were made. Flash forward to today, and you have the ability to know exactly who and exactly when someone shows a property through the use of an electronic lockbox. With these smart electronic lockboxes, only an agent or other authorized party can access the lockbox itself, further emboldening the assurance to a seller that only licensed agents and properly authorized individuals are showing or entering their home.

Today there are 2 main companies that provide these smart electronic lockboxes to real estate agency associations. They are Supra key and Sentrilock. Together they comprise the majority of the lockbox industry market; nobody else comes close.

Supra (or SupraKey) is owned by general electric and provides lockbox solutions to all sorts of niche industries, real estate lockboxes being one of them. Bill Love, national account manager for Supra, says that out of a given state or region in the country, Supra, on average, maintains an 80% market share. Supra has sold several million lockboxes throughout the years to real estate agents, and currently Love estimates that there are 1.5 million+ Supra lockboxes currently in use by about 750,000 real estate agents throughout the country.

The supra key itself features a cylindrical design up to the “shackle” (the loop part of the lockbox that will noose around something and keep it in its place securely) where the shackle fits in seamlessly. Its simplistic design is pleasing to the eye, and to activate the lockbox, an agent has a “digital key” that’s about the size of a small flip phone and has a number pad and screen on it. The agent sets the key to open a box and points it in the direction of an infrared sensor on the box itself. When the lockbox recognizes that it being accessed by the remote digital key, it will release to allow access and the bottom of the lockbox will fall out when it’s pushed by the agent, and voilà, the key to the home is available for the agent to take and open the door for the showing.

Love says that Supra has plans for upgrades to the current model lockbox that will include the ability for wireless Bluetooth access and syncing. Also, rather than having the digital key, if the agent has a smartphone, Supra offers an app for access with the phone instead, which makes it easier and more convenient, for a monthly fee. Love claims that the key difference with a Supra Lockbox is that “it keeps intelligence in the hands of the user.” Rather than having to rely on extra equipment or other trades people, the user has the control. Supra has had the current model for several years now with incremental software updates along the way. If an agent wants to buy a new Supra lockbox, it costs around $90, but the actual price that an agent will pay is determined by the association that they belong to.

Sentrilock is the other major player in the real estate lockbox industry. Sentrilock, which is based out of Indiana and is partially owned by the National Association of Realtors has been around for less than a decade and currently services about 250 of the 1000+ Realtor associations throughout the country and Canada as well. These associations comprise about 250,000 agents and approximately 500,000 lockboxes in current use. Sentrilock has 2 main models that are currently used; one is a silver lockbox that resembles a cell phone from the late 1980’s, bulky and heavy and somewhat longer in size than the supra lockbox. It has a key pad directly on the front of the lockbox itself, and holds the key within a drop-down door that pops open when accessed.

The other lockbox they offer is a smaller, more compact blue lockbox that is more cube-ish in shape but with the similar functionality features. The main difference between the silver and blue lockbox is that the blue lockbox allows for more space within the lockbox itself (which is important for people trying to sell a condo and who need to include an “access fob” in addition to the key to the front door of the unit itself – there just isn’t enough room for multiple keys or when including the access fob with Sentrilocks’ silver lockbox). Sentrilock sells their lockboxes for about $125 a piece, but this also depends on where you are getting it from, as the actual retail price is determined by the local real estate association that sells the boxes.

Both lockbox companies offer substantial warranties on the product themselves. They also have a support team that is almost always available in the event there is difficulty in accessing a lockbox, or for troubleshooting purposes. Both companies offer a comprehensive online tool that can provide the analytics from the showings and use of a specific lockbox which agents can use to share with their clients.

Some of the main differences between these two are how the lockbox itself is accessed. Sentrilock doesn’t need an extra piece of equipment to open a box. Rather, they utilize a “Smart-Card” which is essentially a credit-card that fits into the lockbox and has a chip inside it that shares your information with the lockbox you are accessing. This card is all you need to access the lockbox, whereas Supra requires the digital key, although they have addressed this by means of offering the smart-phone app so an agent can use their phone in place of the digital key. Both systems require updating; in other words, the smart card for the sentrilock system requires you to stick your card in a “card reader” that you get when you buy your smart-card that hooks into your computer. Every few days (the exact amount of days is determined by your local Realtor association) you must update the card through the card reader, which will allow you to show property, and at the same time uploads the information of the places you have shown to the Sentrilock system, which in turn is then able to be seen by the agents who owned the lockboxes of the places that you accessed. In a pinch you can update your card over the phone, but you can only do this once or twice.

On the other hand, supra keys update wirelessly. They didn’t always do this, where you were required to keep your “digital key” docked on a charging station that was hooked up to a phone line. You had to do this every day and that’s how the system would both update your card as well as share your showing information to the system. The wireless updating feature has been in place for a year or two now, and takes the headache out of the equation of having you update your key each and every day.

The back end system for Sentrilock allows an agent to create specific access codes for one-time access of a specific lockbox. This makes it really convenient for a contractor, appraiser, termite inspector, etc. to be able to access a property with a code, but only one time because that code will expire after the day the code was intended to be used. This is a great feature that Supra doesn’t have an answer to.

Although there are benefits to both systems, any agent can’t simply choose which lockbox system they want to use – this is decided, agreed to and contractually obligated between either Sentrilock or Supra and an agent’s local real estate association. These associations, once they have agreed on a system to use can then “tweak” the system to their discretion and preference. Things like the cost of a lockbox, whether the lockbox is leased or sold to agents, the amount of times an agent can renew their key by phone, the amount of days that can elapse before an update of an access key is required, these and more options can be tweaked and most real estate professionals are unaware that other options or preferences exist.

When comparing the benefits over your standard combination lockbox, an agent must be able to justify the added cost of a smart-electronic lockbox by the value it provides. It’s easy to do so, especially when taking the seller’s best interests at heart, as the smart lockbox will ensure accountability and a better safety and security measure for the showing process and for the home itself. Its analytics information and the ability to control who can actually gain access to the home are tantamount to successfully being able to gauge the interest in a home by means of how many people are interested in seeing it as well as being able to rest assure the seller that a home is being shown but in the most secure manner possible.

During this most recent downturn in the economy, most real estate markets throughout the country were inundated (and some still are) with foreclosure property. Certain real estate brokerages that specialized in this type of distressed property had the best years of production on record for the 2008 and 2009 years. All of these properties that needed to be shown and sold needed lockboxes, but the value provided by a smart lockbox through Sentrilock or Supra didn’t justify the cost to acquire, as distressed-property brokerages had inventories of 50, 100, 200 or 300 properties at a given time. The smart lockboxes were too expensive, especially when taking into account that the home in question was owned by the bank, it was vacant and the analytics of showings didn’t matter when a given foreclosure property is selling in no time at all with multiple offers. If an agent is carrying even 50 listings with a smart lockbox, it entails $5000 worth of lockboxes needed on all the properties he/she has for sale. At this point, a less expensive combination lockbox from Lowes for $7 looks way better and the total outlay for the lockboxes is substantially less. It’s a combination of utility value and overall price paid from the standpoint of the real estate professional, so it begs the question, why are the smart lockboxes so expensive?

Put simply, the market will bear the current price point of both the Supra and Sentrilock lockboxes because the value they provide are well worth the cost. That being said, certain companies have come into existence that are poised to take advantage of the amount of agents that want to sell their used lockboxes as well as the agents out there who don’t want to pay retail for the lockbox(es) they need for their business. Blake Nolan, co-owner of San Diego based LockboxSwap has created a website where a secondary market has been created and regulated for both the Sentrilock and Supra lockbox systems. Nolan says his company can help agents buy or sell their lockboxes and in the process save time and money. “Right now there is no real place online that offers what we offer” Nolan Says. He continues that “if you call into (any association) and ask about used lockboxes, or where to sell your own lockboxes, they say to go try craigslist or Ebay. We created LockboxSwap to address this vast and untapped market opportunity.”

Nolan’s’ LockboxSwap company plans to unveil the business this summer, and preliminary beta-test users have offered rave reviews.

In the world of Realtor lockboxes, smart-lockboxes are preferred because the overall value inherent in being able to secure a home, controlling the use of entry and having analytical accountability far outweighs the alternative of your standard combination lockbox (or no lockbox at all) Although the 2 main players in the Realtor lockbox arena have 2 excellent products, both fall short of being 100% perfect. They both do some things quite well and have the capabilities that the other does not. It would be great to be able to merge both products and concepts together, but since that is not possible, it’s up to each individual Realtor association to interview and determine which company is a better “fit” for them. At the end of the day, the 2 companies and respective products, although imperfect, represent competition between one another which keeps productivity and innovation high while keeping prices in check. Companies like that of LockboxSwap help to do this further by inventing and establishing the precedent for an industry that hereto has yet to exist, but has the ability to offer a cost-efficient alternative to Realtor professionals when it comes to their lockbox needs.

No matter what, it’s obvious the industry is moving in the right direction; we are witnessing technological advancements that help to serve Realtor professionals do their job better and more efficiently, and it is interesting to see what will be the norm in the near future as well as the long term. For now, Realtor professionals should be confident in knowing that while it’s great where we stand today, the future is only getting brighter.

Nail Technician, Nail Salon & Beauty Salon – 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Kill Your Profits

Are You Killing Your Nail Profits?

Nail Salons and Nail Technicians often get caught up into thinking nails are all they do. This type of thinking limits nail technicians and box them into offering just the typical nail services to their clients. Nail salons and nail technicians are part of a bigger industry. This bigger industry is beauty. Yes, the Beauty Industry! The beauty industry is hot and booming and if your not taking advantage of this huge industry, your leaving a lot of money on the table. This world of Beauty opens up many additional streams of income and ways to make money as a nail technician!

Yet still, a lot of nail techs are not taking advantage of this industry and are killing their profits. They are practically giving away business and money that could be theirs! Lets examine a few ways nail techs can set up road blocks in their business that result in lower income and fewer clients.

Top 5 Mistakes Nail Technicians & Nails Salons Make And How To Avoid Them

1. Focusing More on Learning Nail Art Designs and Application than Sales and & Marketing. Believe it or not, Sales and Marketing should be a strong focus point, just as nail designs and application. It does not matter if you are the hottest nail art designer in town, if you don’t have enough clients to keep you in business you will not make the kind of money you desire. A nail tech that knows Sales and Marketing will out grow and make more money than the nail tech that is only good at nail designs, application, pedicures and manicures!

2. Not over delivering on services. In order to survive and keep clients coming back to see you. You will need to be different and offer services that other nail techs and nail salons are not. Every nail salon in town does manicures the same way practically. What can you do to make your manicure different? Always go the extra mile to give your clients more than what they were expecting. This keeps clients coming back to you and not going anywhere else to get there nails done.

3. Not Creating a customer Loyalty program. The best way you can thank your clients and keep them coming back is with a customer loyalty program. For example, offering a punch card that offers the 10th visit free or at a discount is a great way to say ” thank you” for being a loyal client and coming back! Clients love free stuff! So make it a point to keep rewarding them for their loyalty to your business.

4. Not Getting Contact Information for Each Client. For every client that a nail tech service, there should be a customer card that highlights their name, phone number and email address. This information is valuable to you as it is your way to keep in contact with your clients, promote specials, events, products and give nail care tips. Having contact information keeps you fresh in their minds and coming back to see you for their beauty needs.

5. Not offering back-end sales. If your services are great. Then getting the customer to spend more at each visit would not be hard to do! By offering complimentary services in the beauty industry such as eyebrow waxing and lip waxing may enhance your bottom line a lot. (Make sure you check for licensing requirements if you get into these types of services in your state). You can also get into carrying a few nice costume jewelry pieces, skin and hand care products and more! Keep it simple, just a few nice things to enhance your bottom line and get your clients to spend more at each visit.

While these are just a few profit killers, there are many more ways to kill your profits. Such as not keeping up with the latest beauty news and techniques, Not continuing education, and not being attentive to health concerns and more! Knowing what to avoid will keep you ahead of the game and keep money flowing into your business consistently!

The nail care industry is hot right now and if approached right you can make a lot of money at what you love to do- Nails! If you want to be successful and a have a rewarding career as a nail tech don’t make these mistakes, they can hurt your business and your bottom line.

High-Tech Billing Solution That Meets CMS, NUCC, HIPAA Regulatory Standards

With EMR gaining its importance post the stimulus bill; the Billing application can’t be ignored. For any small, medium or large level of medical information business, medical billing health care services is the most indispensable and easy on the pocket for the healthcare industry.

Binary Spectrum’s billing application is a robust platform that automates electronic claims, remittances, member enrollment, eligibility and disenrollment processes for a large HMO. The application has delivered adaptability to client software and billing process with prompt medical billing services, thereby saving on client’s staffing and operational expenditures. It helps scale up the claims processing capability, and is able to do so in a timely manner while being able to deal with a variety of vendors.

The billing solution provides seamless integration features for charge creation based on the data provided in the clinical charting functions to avoid duplicate and error prone data entry. The transmission of claims could be done either through electronic means i.e. ECT or paper based preprinted forms.

The following are the list of EDI Messages supported:

For Batch transactions-

• 837 P/I (professional / institutional) – Electronic Claim files

• 835 – Healthcare electronic Remittance advice request form

• 834 – Enrollment and disenrollment for Medicaid eligibility

• 820 – Electronic response files for premium Payments to insurer

For Real time transactions-

• 271 / 272 – Member eligibility request / response

• 276 / 277 – Claim status request / response

• 278 – Authorization and Referrals

The key differentiator of the Medical Billing application is that there are multiple ways of creating a final charge for a patient.

• At the time of booking an appointment, an encounter can be started, treatment plan details can be captured and the encounter can be ended which takes the user to charge creation screen & for creating the charge for the encounter.

• Another flow is from the book appointment page. There is the option of super bill which starts the charge creation process, imports all the services that are captured in the super bill to the charge creation screen & creates the charge, associating the appropriate prices for the services.

Benefits for the Billing Companies:

Billing companies can benefit from the following:

• Reduce efforts in entering data

• Automated Workflow and Rule Management

• Compliance checks and acknowledgement generation

• Support for multiple integration mechanisms for Vendor interactions

• Parsing and Validation mechanisms

• Integrated processes related to primary care physician, the HMO and the government funding bodies (CMS / ACHA)

Benefits for Physicians:

The billing solution will help physicians to:

• End medical billing hassles

• Support for Real-time Messages

• Support for both Government and Private multiple health insurance plans and in variety of ways including guarantor, co pay, primary/secondary/tertiary

• Timely and accurate charge entry and claim generation

• Implementation and conformance to applicable standards including HIPAA, standard procedures CPT and illness nomenclature ICD.

• Faster payment to doctors accurately

Binary Spectrum delivers significant system and personnel designed software with superior 24 / 5 customer services. Our solution centric approach helps us to endow with technical expertise for cost effective robust solutions to our clients.

Google launches Pixel smartphones with built-in Google Assistant

Google the Internet Giant made a lot’s of new announcement on it newly Launch event in San Francisco starting from the latest smartphone from Google’s known as Pixel aiming to include hardware and software together, powering with its virtual AI assistant in the all together.

Not only Pixel and But google introduced many new products in its lineup including Google Virtual reality (VR) headset, Wi-Fi router,Chrome cast ultra & smart speaker Home Assistant.

*The first phone with the Google Assistant built in.

Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are finally official announced. Separated principally by the size and determination of their screens — 5-inch 1080p presentation on the Pixel and 5.5-inch Quad HD board on the XL — these two gadgets are worked by HTC, however Google assumes full acknowledgment for their configuration and makes this express with its “telephone by Google” marking. Both Pixel models are controlled by the most recent Snapdragon 821 processor and run a particular form of Google’s Android programming, which incorporates support for the Daydream virtual reality stage that was declared at Google I/O in the late spring.

The five key points for the new Pixel phones are as follow.

google-pixel-keypoint

Google Assistant –

The newly announced smartphone from Google is fully powered by Google assistant built inside. Pixel the first smartphone to be powered by the Google personal assistant making your smartphone more incredible then ever.

Camera experience –

Pixel and Pixel XL rear camera scores an 89 in DxOMark, the highest rating ever in smartphone camera rating standards making it the Best among the all beating its Competitors by a good margin including iPhone

Special NOTE – Google Pixel and Pixel owners will get free Unlimited Endless cloud storage for their smartphones at full resolution.

Connectivity –

Pixel users will be getting the latest Android updates directly from Google as soon as they become available and user’s now will not have to download and install manually it will automatically be upgraded in Background so when you restart next time your phone will be updated automatically.

  • Charging

The new Battery life on new Pixel offers fast charging that gets you up to 7 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging. Google has also built in 24-hour live phone support right into the Pixel’s software, so that a tech support operator can see exactly what’s on your screen and thus help you better and provide you better services right at your phone directly.

communications –

Pixel comes pre installed with Google Duo letting you make video calls much easier then ever.

Daydream virtual reality –

Smartphone Pixel is the first Daydream-compatible phone Daydream View comes bundled with a tiny motion controller that is so precise, claims Google, that you can even draw with it. When you’re done using it, the controller tucks inside the Daydream View itself for safe storage.

Pricing starts at $649 for the smaller 5-inch Pixel with 32GB of storage, available for preorder today. That number scales up to $749 with 128GB of onboard storage, $769 for the larger Pixel XL with 32GB, or $869 for the XL with 128GB. Google gives a choice between black or silver for color, with an exclusive “really blue” option with Verizon in the US, though the latter is limited to just 32GB of storage.

 

The post Google launches Pixel smartphones with built-in Google Assistant appeared first on Gadgets Freak world.

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