Sunday, March 30, 2014

5 Ways Technology Can Make You MORE Social


Day after day we hear about the effects technology is having on our social skills. “People can’t talk to each other anymore”, “all people do these days is sit on their phones” yada yada yada. I’m sure those cries of concern are more than familiar – it seems the current generation is yet another that believes its advancements in technology are set to doom society as we know it. The telephone was invasive, the TV was the end of all productivity, and don’t even get me started on the internet. As usual though, we live on, and learn to take advantage of our feats of science.

As suggested in the title of this article – we believe technology if used correctly can in fact make us more social. There are plenty of clever people creating clever platforms that encourage interaction and get us out the door enjoying the company of others. Here are 5 ways in which tech can make you more social:


1) Find and Save on New Hobbies with OfferBook.

Always wanting to crawl under a rock when someone asks what your hobbies are, instead of telling them that you like reading webcomics and dressing up your cat? The things you do in your spare time give you ammunition for your social life, something to connect with those around you. So, we recommend utilizing that new-fangled smartphone to go beyond taking cat selfies.

OfferBook is a cool app that caters to every set of interests; it’s a specially designed search platform for daily deals so gives you access to all sorts of opportunities for new experiences and chances to figure out your new hobby. It means that you’ll have access to the cheapest way to try new things, in a super easy-to-navigate way. So go back to basics and learn something new and meet some likeminded people. Using OfferBook means you'll be able to try that aqua-jogging class without losing a bunch of money and you can figure out if you actually LIKE it before committing time and cash.

OfferBook is available on the iOS marketplace for free, so check it out here.

2. Schedule some Friend-time with Doodle

Doodle.com lets you check when everyone’s free in a simple, user friendly way. Just fill out session options and send the link to your elusive friends; they can simply click the options for when they’re free. No longer does the too-complicated-to-meet-up argument for groups of people a valid one! Now that it’s so easy to set up your hang-outs, you can improvise meetings to bump into new people. Try obligating your friends into expanding their friend groups too, by setting up an event where all those friends you're so used to hanging out with bring one new friend each to your next event. Make sure that it’s someone that at least half of the original group hasn't met. They can also bring their partners that have to do the same. Do something interactive like have a dinner party together or go to a pub quiz. It’s quite possible that you'll have a lot of fun with people you never knew existed!

3. Find a match with POF and Tinder

If you're looking for love or something similar; consider trying out a dating website, like POF.com or the infamous Tinder app for your smartphone to find some prospective matches. POF asserts its status as the most visited dating site of them all! With “chemistry test” to check your subliminal needs as well as an action plan for your next relationship with advice on what went wrong in the last one, this is a very serious site committed to find you love. Tinder is a bit shallower with a visual system where you can either swipe Yes or No on each person with the app in your specific vicinity. You can message those people who also swipe you with a Yes. Tinder is available on the iOS and Android marketplaces for free. Even if your matches don't work out, maybe you'll meet a few people and find some friendships or learn valuable things about what you're not looking for!

4. Stay Connected with Facebook

This is an obvious one, we know – but when you talk about connectivity and the internet, we can’t go without mentioning Facebook. There are always those few people at your work or school that you've never spoken to or simply assumed you had nothing in common with. Try chatting to them and give them a good chance to actually reveal themselves as a person, a little kindness and interest goes a long way (as long as you’re not being creepy). Facebook and other forms of connection that your school or college might have can be great to connect with people if chatting in real life is a bit difficult. You might connect with people you never expected. Perhaps you'll find yourself with homework help or just make their day if they were feeling a bit average; it’s a win-win!

5. Happy Snapping with VSCO

While the more obvious option when you think about photo-sharing is Instagram, we believe the VSCO app is a fantastic platform for those slightly more into their photography. Utilized mainly for shooting & adding filters to photos at the moment, VSCO have recently added a grid feature to their app which works in a similar way to Instagram. You take and share photos to your grid, follow other users, and explore the universal grid to see popular snaps. What differentiates VSCO is the exceptional design & UI on show, and the type of user currently occupying the app. You tend to see much higher quality photos, and a more interesting range of photo subjects (i.e. not just coffees, Bieber/1D pics and selfies).


So – there you have 5 bonafide ways to utilize technology in order to become more social and more active in your little community of friends. Take that, societal doom-mongers and technophobes.

What are your favorite apps for staying connected? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Understanding the Mobile Website


With more and more people getting hip to the advances in technology, it makes sense for consumers to actively seek out information on how to make their current website a mobile website. There is no particular formula to going mobile online. Actually, many web hosting companies that also offer website templates have an active option to customers if they would like to make a mobile website. Having your website available to mobile users makes it easier to access from a cellular phone, tablet or iPad. There is an innate financial benefit from having a mobile website, and that is there is the potential to have more eyes accessing your product. If you are on the fence about going mobile, here are a few things to keep in mind prior to making your website active to mobile users. For more information, or to speak with a representative on how to optimize your mobile website, visit www.web312.com.

Perks

Believe it or not, sometimes you can create a mobile website for free. This all depends on who hosts your current website and whether or not you are willing to create a mobile one through a mobile website host. This aside, a mobile optimized website is guaranteed to increase the sales of your current products. This increase is due in part to the notion that 55% of all web searches are done on a mobile device. Additionally, it is important to understand that a mobile optimized website offers the end user a quicker and improved experience. The user can experience smooth and quick browsing sessions without dealing with unnecessary information. Furthermore, there is a greater chance that your target consumer will linger on your website.

Another perk includes a faster loading speed as compared to a regular website, a website that is optimized for mobile viewing has the capability of loading exceedingly fast. There is better SEO content on a mobile website as well due to the fact that people by nature can be impatient, so with your website catering to mobile device accessibility, the content is more apt to be SEO rich and written in a way that is logical to the user.

Competitive Advantage

When it comes to sales, competition is fierce. Regardless of what you may be selling, on the internet just about everyone is vying for a sale. One out of every three companies does not have a mobile optimized website. This statistic creates a marginal advantage in the marketplace regarding online sales. The best way to see if the competition within your niche is riding the mobile wave is to visit their websites from a mobile device. This will give you the information that you need in order to ensure that you create a mobile optimized website that has everything that your competition does not have. For example, you can add a blog to your mobile optimized website that links to one of your company’s social media accounts. This will enable you to keep your mobile customers aware of what is going on via a feed on a popular social media site. The sky is truly the limit.

When it comes to going mobile with regards to your website, you may have to do a bit of research. The good thing is that after you do this research, you just might find that you have an upper hand on your competitors within the mobile web access playing field.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Globe extends Free Facebook until April 25

Good news to all Facebook addicts! Globe is extending again their Free Facebook promo until April 25, 2014 - which means it will be available to over 38 million subscribers allowing access to this top social networking site with no data charges.

Amazing right?  This promo has been extended a lot of times already because of the overwhelming response from the subscribers. And it is just perfect for the summer season to allow users  to enjoy an innovative, seamless, and worry-free Facebook experience.

This  promo was even recently showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his keynote.  Zuckerberg cited the partnership with Globe in connecting more Filipinos to the Internet, as he shared his vision of a connected world through his pioneering project Internet.org launched last year. The collaboration between Globe and Facebook paved the way for all Globe prepaid, postpaid, and TM customers to enjoy free access to the social networking site alongside customer experience innovations that address the fear of mobile browsing.

Among these customer experience innovations include accessibility on feature phones and smartphones* across all Facebook mobile platforms whether via the Facebook app or Facebook’s mobile site m.facebook.com.

Customers are also guaranteed of no billshock or “nakaw load” as you will be notified if you will incur data charges once a link that leads out of Facebook is clicked.

For a seamless experience, you can also enjoy a one-click registration to the data plan of choice to continue browsing sites or links outside Facebook without having to leave the site. In the spirit of customization, recommended data plans consider a subscriber’s available prepaid balance and/or megabytes (MB) balance of existing data plan.

Lastly, if you don't have enough prepaid load - you can “loan” a 10MB data plan for only P10 which will be deducted on your succeeding top-up so you can fully explore content outside Facebook.

So what are you waiting for? If you are still not connected just  dial *143# and select FREE FB or text FREEFB to 8888 to get more. You can also go to m.facebook.com/free on the phone's web browser or open the Facebook mobile app while on the Globe network to access Free Facebook.

# # #

*Except BlackBerry.  Free Facebook will soon be available to Nokia Xpress and Opera Mini users

Why The BMW 5 Series Is A Great Car For Geeks



BMW are known for being a rather innovative car manufacturer, and it is not uncommon for the German car company to spend vast sums of money researching and developing all sorts of cool and useful technologies in future generations of their cars.

You will have probably associated BMW as a company that produces luxurious cars; this is true, but they also incorporate a lot of brilliant technology in their vehicles! The BMW 5 Series is one such model; here are some reasons why the 5 Series is a great car for geeks!

Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission



I know that many people prefer to drive cars with manual transmissions, but there are so many reasons why an automatic is better! In the current BMW 5 Series models, the transmission of choice is the firm’s eight-speed automatic transmission. There are shorter shift times with it thanks to the responsive engines they are mated to, making gear changes considerably quicker and more convenient.

I don’t know about you, but I used to hate driving older cars with automatic transmissions because there was all-too-familiar ‘lurching’ from second gear, and the gear changes could literally be felt throughout the entire car! Luckily, you don’t get this problem with the BMW 5 Series!

iDrive Touch Controller



Available as standard with BMW’s “Professional Multimedia Navigation” system, the iDrive touch controller is essentially a convenient way of controlling the iDrive system using just one hand. It has an integrated touchpad controller and enables you to enter all sorts of information into the system such as destinations and other key details.

Everything that you do using the iDrive touch controller can be viewed on the main control display located on the dashboard.

Anti-Dazzle High-Beam Assistant



Thanks to this technologically-advanced piece of electronic wizardry, night-time driving is so much safer and actually enjoyable for a change! One thing that I don’t like about driving cars at night is being dazzled by the headlights of oncoming vehicles (or ones behind me too, for that matter) with their high-beam lights on.

It’s a technological system that basically detects when there are other motorists on the road, and excludes them from the high-beam distribution using some technical wizardry. This ‘assistant’ works in conjunction with adaptive LED headlights (or just standard adaptive headlights).

Touchscreen Display



All current BMW 5 Series models contain a 6.5-inch touchscreen display that helps drivers to better interact with the cars that they are driving! Combined with the iDrive controller that I mentioned earlier, this display in essence acts as the electronic hub of the 5 Series and has a plethora of features to satisfy any car driver - geek or otherwise!

Aside from helping you to ensure that your BMW 5 Series 2010 engine is running smoothly, the touchscreen display can also be used with the optional BMW ConnectedDrive services to further enhance your driving experience. Who says that cars aren’t intelligent? Because the BMW 5 Series certainly is!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

How Technology Can Help To Prevent Abysmal Customer Service

It is a sad fact that customer service levels fall far short of “acceptable” in many countries around the world.

Granted that there are many reasons why some people don’t offer great customer service, such as low pay, poor working conditions and general job dissatisfaction, there are still some people that actually have really good and well-paying jobs yet feel that it is far beneath them to treat their customers with respect and dignity.


Photo via Flickr (credit: Alan Cleaver)

It seems that the general work ethic for a lot of people these days isn’t about making the customer happy or their lives easier, and, unfortunately, this means that customers will literally go and use a competitor service provider instead of you!

But aside from firing your less-than helpful employees, what else can you do to improve the customer service experience that your customers receive from your business? Well, there is a few ways that you can utilise, and they all revolve around one thing: technology. Here is how technology can help improve customer relations and stop your customers leaving you in droves!

Realise that customers want to talk to people, not voicemail

One of the biggest complaints from customers of all sorts of different businesses is the fact that when they call up to query something or to place an order during a busy period of time, they are put into a queue (sometimes without any “hold music” playing), and they aren’t made aware of an estimated period of time when their call is likely to be answered!

This typically results in increased levels of customer frustration, and if they try to get through on multiple occasions without success, they end up venting by writing a letter or email complaint to your firm, or worse, they post their complaint up on your Facebook page!

I actually recall having a similar issue a while ago when I tried to phone my local GP up to make an appointment. Patients are encouraged to phone up at 8am each morning to make appointments, but because hundreds of other people try to do so at the same time, you can hardly ever get through!

Taking issues such as these on board, they decided to streamline their telephone service with a menu system and took on more staff to handle calls. The new system was much-welcomed, especially as it told you how long you are likely to have to wait until your call was answered, as my local GP annoyingly uses a premium-rate phone number in a bit to generate more revenue for the practice!

Offer multiple contact methods

Another way that you can streamline your customer experience management is by offering multiple ways for your customers to contact you.

If they can’t get through on the phone because you are busy, you should invite them to email you, and use an email system that: a) automatically responds to them and informs them that your message has been received, and b) gives you the facility to track and allocate all messages received so that all messages are actioned in a timely fashion.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

5 Weird And Wonderful Ways To Prevent Car Theft

When you own a car, one thing that you don’t like to think about but is a thought that sits at the back of your mind is whether your car will become a victim of car theft. Back when I was 18, I was pretty gutted when one of my first cars was broken into.

At the time, I had an aftermarket alarm system installed on it, and was lucky that when they smashed the window of my car and the alarm went off, it deterred them from stealing anything (it was quite a loud alarm in what was otherwise a sleepy street)!



Photo Source (Flickr: Tim Dorr)

If you want to know how to prevent your car from being attacked by the rogue elements of our society, take a look at these weird and wonderful ideas that can help you to do just that!

Remove the fuel pump relay



Photo Source (Flickr: Ryan McLean)

This rather low-tech and free way of securing your car will effectively prevent it from being started and driven away, regardless of whether the thief has stolen or cloned your key, or has simply hotwired it.

You will need to determine where on your car the fuel pump relay is, but this can be easily done by checking the owner’s manual or doing a quick web search on the Internet.

Install a removable steering wheel



Photo Source (Flickr: Vetatur Fumare)

When a would-be car thief wants to steal a car, he or she will obviously target a car that they can physically drive away in! Of course, this is going to somewhat impossible if the car does not have a steering wheel attached to the steering column!

A quick-release steering wheel can be installed on any car, but bear in mind that if your car has a driver’s airbag on the wheel, you will not be able to use it on your quick-release steering wheel.

Set fire to the car thief



Photo Source (Flickr: rob bell)

Invented by someone in South Africa to prevent carjackings, the “Blaster” is an LPG-powered flame-thrower device which is activated whenever someone tries to break into a car. As you can imagine, this method of car protection is somewhat controversial and extreme, given that you will end up roasting the perpetrators!

Additionally, there is also the question of how much damage such a device can do to your car’s paint and bodywork…

Chain your rear wheel up


Photo Source (Flickr: wonderferret)

A rather novel way of ensuring that no-one drives off in your pride and joy is to simply chain up one of the rear wheels and attach it to a padlock! Of course, one obvious issue that the guys over at Junction 17 cars pointed out is that a would-be car thief could just cut the chain off with a pair of bolt cutters!

Fit a GPS tracker



Photo Source (Flickr: basibanget)

A technological solution to helping you find your car if it has been stolen is to track its whereabouts using a GPS tracker! These insurance-approved forms of car security help you to pinpoint exactly where your car, so that you and the police can get it back as quickly as possible!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cut Down Your Film Rental Budget

With the advent of online film streaming services that have become the standard in the last few years, hard copy film rentals from a brick and mortar store appear to be going the way of the dodo bird. But the good news is that this decline means that consumers can spend approximately what it would have cost to rent a few DVD films in order to get online database access to thousands and thousands of movies, new and old. Services like Netflix, by partnering with many film making companies in order to acquire the rights for distributing so much Hollywood, Bollywood, and independent cinema, are able to offer a huge array of selections to their subscribers at a tiny price.

If you haven't made the conversion over to an online based film streaming service, consider doing so to  shave a huge amount off what you are currently spending on film rentals. By foregoing the standard rental and subscribing to one of the popular online services, you will have more money left over in your entertainment budget to attend cinema showings, especially at matinee prices. Plus, you will save yourself not only cash but also the hassle of renting and returning films from your local shop.

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Nissan Qashqai




Also known as the Dualis in Australia and Japan, the Nissan Qashqai is a compact crossover that has been in production for over 7 years now and is the successor to the popular Terrano II SUV (sport utility vehicle). The idea for the interestingly-named model came from the Qashqai, a tribe of semi-nomadic people living in south-western Iran.

Produced at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in north-eastern England, this successful compact crossover is a familiar sight on the streets of Britain.

Since its inception, over half a million of these models have been built. If you are considering buying a car that is similar in size to this one, here are 5 reasons why you should forget about those other models and instead, buy a Nissan Qashqai!

1. They look great




As I mentioned a moment ago, the Nissan Qashqai is a familiar sight on our roads, and you will have doubtless seen a few in your time. One of the main reasons for their popularity is that they look pretty good! It’s a perfect car for someone that wants to have a large and stylish vehicle without paying the luxury car prices for similarly-sized cars.

2. They are cheap to buy




It has to be said that one of the main reasons I was originally attracted to the Nissan Qashqai is that they are extremely affordable!

Prices start from just £17.5k brand new, and if you wanted one of the older first-generation models you could very easily snap one up for prices start from as little as £5k! Who said that practical and comfortable motoring had to be expensive?

3. There is a good choice of engines



On the first generation, there are two petrol and three diesel engines to choose from, and on the current generation you have a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines.

Both generations are available with manual or automatic transmissions, so you can choose whether you want a super-economical diesel with 6-speed manual transmission, or perhaps a really powerful petrol power plant with an auto gearbox!

4. Insurance is reasonable



On some cars of this size, insurance can be rather expensive (BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne, I’m looking at you both), but surprisingly the insurance on the Nissan Qashqai is actually really affordable.

Insurance groups are generally between groups 15 and 23, which means that even younger drivers or perhaps those with very little driving experience can still afford to insure this car without having to remortgage their homes!

5. They are one of the safest cars on the road





When it comes to safety, the Nissan Qashqai has got you covered. Did you know that both generations of this award-winning car have received five out of five stars in Euro NCAP safety testing?

For those of you with young families in tow, the Qashqai is certainly a car you should consider in order to ensure the safety of your precious cargo on board!

Monday, March 17, 2014

In Need of Refurbing Those Pitted Old Alloy Wheels? Try This PowderCoating Method

Alloy wheels look pretty awesome when they are brand new. I know this sounds a little sad, but some look so shiny and clean that you just want to eat your dinner off them! Of course, in reality I wouldn’t advise that you do such a thing, because alloy wheels are designed to help you propel your car forwards or backwards, and aren’t a particularly light or practical substitute for a plate.

Sadly, alloy wheels don’t always have that shiny, unblemished look about them and considering the amount of abuse they get (i.e. being driven over potholes, into kerbs and so forth), they end up looking pretty sorry for themselves.



When I was giving my car a wash the other day, I gave my alloy wheels a good scrub with a special brush which can fit through the spokes, and I even used an alloy wheel cleaning product (Meguiar’s Hot Rim Wheel & Tyre Cleaner, in case you wondered), but despite my best efforts the alloy wheels were still nowhere near as great a condition as they were brand new.

The lacquer (i.e. the clear coat of paint layer applied to all paint finishes on cars) on the outer surface of the wheels was peeling, and the front wheel on the passenger side is badly scuffed due to various kerb mountings in the past; some by me, some by the car’s previous keepers.

Considering there is nothing more I can do in terms of using cleaning products on the wheels, the only options left to me are to either buy brand new alloy wheels, or refurbish my existing ones.

The advantages of powder coating

As I don’t have a huge disposable income, I have decided not to opt for brand new alloy wheels mainly because they cost around £200 each from my local main dealer, but also because I would have a set of alloy wheels left over that I would realistically have no use for.

Perhaps the most-popular way of turning those sad-looking alloy wheels into showroom condition items like they once were is to get them refurbished by having them powder coated. There are numerous alloy wheel refurbishing experts across the United Kingdom that can refurbish your wheels, and the best ones often use expert equipment from companies such as PB Powder Coating Plant.

One of the main advantages to powder coating alloy wheels, apart from their low cost, is that the paint coating can be applied onto the wheels thicker than simply spraying the wheels with paint. This results in longer-lasting wheels which still look as great as painted ones!

How alloy wheels are powder coated

In a nutshell, alloy wheel refurbishers tend to prepare your wheels by stripping off any oxidation and lacquer from the outer surfaces and repairing wheels that have bent or missing pieces of metal (9 out of 10 times this is on the lip of the alloy wheel, where it meets the tyre).

Once the wheels are ready, they are then powder coated in a colour of your choice. Some refurbishers tend to ‘heat up’ the wheels beforehand, so that there are no problems with contaminants getting in the way of the powder coating process.

Why Modifying Your Car Is A Pointless Exercise

Have you ever travelled on the road somewhere and spotted a car that doesn’t look as though it was produced by the car’s manufacturer that way from the factory? If so, you probably came across what is known as a “modified car”.

In a nutshell, these are cars that have been modified from the car’s original specification for the purposes of improving its aesthetics or increase the engine’s performance. For some people, they modify a car for a specific purpose, such as for track day events around racing circuits such as the Nurburgring in Germany.



But for most modders, they simply do it because they want to stand out from the crowd. The problem is, the latter reason is a completely pointless waste of time and money, and as a person that did just that in his younger days, I can explain to you why!

Some modifications look stupid

I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of examples in the past where people have modified their cars, and they look really tacky and stupid. There seems to be a rise in the number of people going for the “Euro” look, as per the mk1 Volkswagen Golf pictured above.

This includes having ridiculously wide and small alloy wheels with stretched tyres on them, lowered so much that any extra weight in the car will undoubtedly cause the tyres to scrape on the arches and fail any government-mandated car tests, such as the annual MOT test for cars that are more than three years old in the United Kingdom.

Performance modifications can make your car slower

Companies that sell tuning products such as aftermarket exhaust systems, air filters and so forth market their products as being able to increase an engine’s power. But the sad truth is that these “performance” modifications in many cases cause your car to have less power than it started off with!

That’s because the owners of these cars do not have their car’s ECU remapped. This is the electronic brains of the car, and contains a set of manufacturer-set operating conditions ‘mapped’ to a chip that ensures the car runs at its best under different conditions using the parts the car was built with (like the original exhaust and induction system).

They add no value to a car

The people (typically teenagers) that modify their cars have to waste their time taking their modifications off their cars, because they know full well that these mods don’t add any value to the car and so will have to go to the trouble of selling them off separately.

It would be better to simply buy a car with a decent engine in the first place, such as from car supermarket www.carbase.biz.

They have a negative impact on car insurance

The majority of car insurance firms will refuse to insure a car that has been modified from the manufacturer’s standard specification, because it increases the risk of it being the victim of theft or being involved in an accident.

Want To Relive The 80s? Buy A Classic Jaguar XJS!

Everyone at some point will have seen a Jaguar XJS on the streets of Britain, Europe, North America and pretty much around the world. A total of 115,413 models were produced in the car’s 21-year history from 1975 to 1996.

Classed as a luxury grand tourer, the Jaguar XJS never quite had the same ‘sporting’ image as its predecessor, the iconic E-Type, but was still very popular nonetheless. If you are considering a purchase of this classic Jag, then you should firstly read this handy buyer’s guide so that you know what to expect, and what to check for.



Engines

Between 1975 and 1980, the Jaguar XJS only had one choice of engine: the Jaguar 5.3-litre V12. From 1981, the following engines were used:
  • 3.6-litre straight-6 AJ6 engine;
  • 5.3-litre V12 HE engine.
From 1991 to 1996, Jaguar offered these choice of engines in the XJS:
  • 4.0-litre straight-6 AJ6 (including the AJ16 variant which has a distributorless ignition);
  • 5.3-litre V12 HE engine;
  • 6.0-litre V12 HE engine.
The 6-cylinder engines are easier to work on than the V12s, but you should watch out for the following problems:
  • Parts can be hard to find for the early 6-cylinder engines;
  • Head gaskets generally need to be replaced every 50,000 miles;
  • Valve problems are commonplace due to poor quality cooling parts such as thermostats;
  • Worn timing chains and valve timing can cause poor acceleration;
  • Manual versions tend to suffer more problems than automatics.
The V12 engines are probably more reliable, but when things go wrong they can be complex (and expensive) to put right, so you might wish to go for a 6-cylinder version instead.

Bodywork

Like all cars that are between 18 and 39 years old, you will inevitably have to deal with problems such as rust.

Bodywork problems are typically due to poor maintenance by previous owners (i.e. not getting stone chips or panel damaged repaired), so if the example you are interested in has misaligned panels or rust, you will need to put some money aside to get them sorted properly.

Interior

According to Jaguar dealers H.A Fox, the interior of the Jaguar XJ6 is probably one of the most hard-wearing interiors you are likely to ever find in a car! They are generally in good to immaculate condition, although you should bear the following points in mind as you inspect your future Jaguar XJ6 for problems:
  • The walnut veneer can be prone to lacquer peeling off. This is only a cosmetic problem rather than anything more serious, but if it annoys you, expect to pay a lot of money to have the various components removed, refurbished and refitted;

  • If the interior smells of damp, water is getting into the interior of the car from either the door seals or due to blocked vent drains from the scuttle panel (by the windscreen wipers). Another source of water ingress will be underneath the carpet by the accelerator pedal;

  • Check that the doors operate correctly. If they don’t, you will need to have the hinge pins replaced.

5 Amazing Tips To Help You Sell Your Car



At the moment, I am currently in the process of selling my car. I have a lot of experience in the past of selling my previous cars, but the sad truth for some people is that this process can be somewhat daunting, especially if they have never sold a car before.

Some folks take the easy option and just trade their car in at a dealership, but unless you are driving around in some old banger worth around £200 you should definitely have a go at trying to sell your car yourself rather than letting a car dealership give you a figure for your car that is a fraction of the price of what it’s worth!

If you are new to the world of car selling, here are 5 amazing tips on how to sell your car.

1. Valet your car



You are far more likely to get a higher value for your car if you make sure that it is clean inside and out! In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that fact. When prospective buyers come out to look at the car before deciding whether to make an offer for it or not, the first thing they will be greeted with is the car’s exterior.

 2. Gather your car’s important documents together



Before you sell your car to anyone, it is important that all of your car’s paperwork is collated and kept in one central location. This makes it easy to refer to when interested parties ask you specific questions about the car’s service history.

3. Give it an oil and filter change




Even if your car has only been serviced a few months ago, a fresh oil and filter change will help to make the engine sound sweet and not ‘tappety’. This job won’t cost you a lot of money, and will help to put any nervous or cautious buyers at ease.

Some people even do the job themselves if they do a lot of DIY work on their car, as it can certainly save you money on your labour costs.

4. Determine a fair value for your car



By now you will have done most of the work to prepare your car for sale, so now it’s time to determine how much it’s worth. There are many websites on the World Wide Web that you can utilise for this purpose; all you have to do is enter the make and model of your car, as well as the year of manufacture and how many miles it has done, and then you can get a guide price based on its condition.

 5. Decide where to sell


As I mentioned earlier, you won’t get the most amount of money for your car if you trade it in at a car dealership for another car. The easiest thing to do is sell your car online, either through dedicated classifieds websites or on enthusiast forums. Offline, you could also sell your car through an auction, but be wary of auction house fees before you sell.

With thanks to Sam Gatt, a blogger on all things cars, for this useful article.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Have BMW Accessories Been Changing?

There have always been accessories for BMWs, even from the first year that they hit the market. These are the little extras that some buyers want to increase the functionality of their cars, but they are things that were not deemed valuable enough to be released as stock parts. Often, this just has to do with the fact that not everyone would want them; a bike rack is great for someone who loves to drive into the mountains and go trail riding, but it is not something that someone who does not even own a bike would want to pay for when buying the car.

If you look at the way that things have been changing over time, though, you can see that there have been some shifts in the types of accessories that are on the market. In fact, if you bought a BMW ten years ago, there are many things out there that will not even work with your vehicle at all, and there are options for the newer models that you might never have considered. The way that things have changed can tell you a lot about the cars themselves.

For one thing, if you get a BMW in Roswell, you will find that it probably has Bluetooth connectivity. Basically, this creates a short-range field so that you can wirelessly connect things like your phone or a computer to the car. People use this to hook up their smartphones and play music, for example. They can also use it to connect a GPS unit if there is not one built into the car already.

Another type of accessory that you will find for a BMW in Roswell is a keyless entry system. You still need to have a key fob in your pocket to use this, but the car senses the key fob when you get close to the door. As you reach up and touch the handle, it unlocks for you. If someone comes up to the door without the key fob, it will not unlock for him or her.

A third type of accessory to consider, which is similar to the keyless entry set up, is the remote starter. On the key fob, there will be a button next to the lock and unlock buttons. If you push it twice and you are in range, the car is going to start up on its own. You still have to push the start button when you get in to activate the car, so no one can steal it, but this allows it to run and warm up before you get in.

So what does all of this tell you about the accessories for a BMW in Roswell and the way that they have been changing? This biggest thing that you can take away from it is that people now want more and more technology in their cars. They are starting to expect it. It is a safe bet that rising tech levels are here to stay.

About the Author:

Seth Tucker gets all of his biking accessories online at United BMW.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Wackiest Awards Ever Received

While an award is typically a good thing, and a sign of a job well done, occasionally crystal plaques and awards are used to poke fun at something or celebrate the craziness of life. Most people enjoy being awarded something, even if it’s just for something funny or crazy they did.

In the awards world, statues and awards often symbolize something to do with the organization giving the award. While some are classy and sophisticated, others are downright crazy and different, but perhaps that makes them even more noticeable.

Worst Picture

The Golden Raspberry Awards are given every year in an effort to lighten the atmosphere and poke fun at those in the entertainment industry. Each year, an award for Worst Picture is given. It’s tough to find a filmmaker, director or actor that actually wants to win this award, although it does showcase the ability of the individual to relax and laugh at the work they’ve done that hasn’t been so great

Surfboards for All

Whether you like surfing or live in Alaska, winning a Teen Choice Award means that you are given a life-size surfboard for your efforts. Many awards are easy to store and display, but this particular award may cause many to scratch their heads and wonder how in the world they will even get it home. Despite the strangeness of the award itself, the Teen Choice Awards are a constant hit for young adults and teenagers to enjoy the work of their favorites in the entertainment industry.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

How to Use your Globe Reward Points to Pay at Bench and other Globe Partner Stores

Globe Rewards, Globe Partner, Bench
Last week, I was finally able to use my Globe Rewards Points to buy an item at one of Globe's Partner Store - Bench. With an accumulated points of P321.12, I only added P9 so I can a buy a new umbrella from Bench. Cool right? The points were really as good as cash. :) One point is equal to one peso. 

The process is just easy. So, if you are a Globe subscriber, take note of the following steps:


Handy Tips for Saving Money on Gasoline

The price of a gallon of gas continues to rise, and these days filling up your car's gas tank can put a real dent in your weekly budget. But as much as we may hope and dream of a return to cheap gas, it's unlikely to happen any time soon. With the global demand for oil increasing, and with oil supplies limited, prices are only going to continue to rise. So now, more than ever before, it's important to learn how to save money on gas so that trip to the pump doesn't wreck the family budget. The following money saving tips are easy to adopt, and will help every driver save money at the pump, and get the most out of a gallon of gas.

Maintaining Your Automobile

For many of us, the family car is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Saving money on fuel costs begins with how we care for our cars. A well maintained automobile performs more efficiently, and therefore squeezes more mileage out of a gallon of gas. To ensure that you are getting everything you pay for at the pump, have your car serviced regularly. Scheduled tune-ups and oil changes will help to increase your car's fuel efficiency, and will cut down on your trips to the pump. It is also important to keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommendations, and to keep your car's front end properly aligned. Proper tire pressure and alignment are important components in an automobile's over all fuel efficiency, and will also help to prolong the life of your tires.

Speeding and the Cost of Gas

While proper maintenance can do a lot to improve your car's performance, and help you save money on gas, your driving habits can often have an even bigger impact on fuel economy. For example, consider the effect speeding can have on you mileage. Driving at over 60 mph greatly reduces your car's gas mileage. In fact, every 5 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like adding an extra 25 cents to the cost of a single gallon of gas. That's significant, and it doesn't take long for those quarters to add up. By keeping to the speed limit you will waste less fuel, save more money at the pump, and have a safer trip to boot.

Short Trips vs Long Trips 

It's all too easy to fall into the trap of making a short trip to the shops whenever we run out of milk, or feel a craving coming on. But those short trips can be costly. Cold starts have a serious impact on fuel efficiency, and a series of short trips will use up a tank of gas much more quickly than a few longer trips. Plan your weekly errands for one afternoon, and try to reduce the necessity for separate short trips throughout the week. This will help you make a tank of gas last longer, and that means fewer trips to the gas station.

Carpool to Save Money

Commuting to and from work probably has the greatest impact on fuel consumption, but there are even ways to save money on the daily trip to the office. Carpooling can help you cut your fuel costs by as much as 50%. Sharing the trip to work with a co-worker, and splitting the cost of the gas, will help you both save money because you are both contributing to the fuel costs, also cutting mileage which will help save on car insurance.  Carpooling also helps to reduce wear and tear on the family automobile which will lead to fewer repairs, lower maintenance costs, and better trade in value when you decide to upgrade to a more fuel efficient model.  Saving money at the pump isn't difficult, it just requires a commitment to fuel efficiency and a dedication to smart driving habits. These few money saving tips will help you cut down on your gas usage, make fewer trips to the pump, and keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Save Big on Your Next Computer Purchase

In our current mode of society when it is nearly passe to be without a laptop computer, there is no excuse for spending an amount over your budget when it comes to making your next laptop purchase. Because laptops are so ubiquitous among business persons, students, families and professionals alike, the turnover rate of secondhand computers is rapid and ever increasing. It has never been so easy to acquire last year's laptop model for a reduced price by buying it pre owned. Consequently, though, it has never been quite so expensive to purchase a brand new laptop computer. Take advantage, therefore, of this pricing structure, you may still require to look for external funding. Payday loans can provide extra funding when buying your next laptop although you may wish to go for a model that is a year or two old. You won't be too far behind the most up to date technology, and you will be paying a price that is much less than the standard market tag.

Why Buy Secondhand?

Skip the lines at the Apple store and the holiday bargains and deals on new laptop computers, which won't provide discounts nearly as good as those you will find when shopping for a secondhand computer. Essentially, there is no reason to own the brand new version of the laptop from your favorite brand of electronics unless you need to be abreast of the absolute latest in technological advancement. You wouldn't necessarily get rid of your motor vehicle just because a more current version of it came out, would you? The same principle ought to apply to your laptop, if you are a savvy consumer. Barring your computer malfunctioning or growing simply too far behind in specifications and features, aim to hold on to your laptop for as long as you can in order to utilize its maximum value. Only upgrade when it is absolutely necessary, and even then make sure you recycle or trade in your old laptop computer through one of the many available programmes to get a chunk of change that can go towards your next purchase. 

Where to Buy Pre Owned Laptops

Although you may be able to try your luck posting up advertisements in your local community or searching on UK based secondhand networks for laptop computers, your best bet when hunting down a quality pre owned laptop is no doubt going to be worldwide auction leader eBay. The secondhand laptop selection on eBay runs the gamut from computers for parts to brand new, in the box laptops that have never been used. But all are priced far below what you would pay if buying the device new.  Because of the auction format of the service, you may be able to get lucky and score a deal that is unbelievable simply because you were the only bidder. Searching for the precise computer you want is made easy on eBay with their advanced search function, in which you can specify the make, model, year, hard drive capacity, speed, features and price range of the laptop that you want. Depending on how old the model of laptop you are eyeing is, and what sort of condition it is in, you may be able to get a deal in which you are paying somewhere between 20%-75% of its original price.  When shopping for laptop computers on eBay, make sure you take into account the return policy of the seller as well as their particular ratings before your purchase. Some sellers may provide you with insurance for a specified amount of time, but otherwise it is a prudent idea to take out household goods insurance on your laptop once you make your purchase, so that you are protected in case of hard drive failure, water damage, or theft.