Category Archives: General


A Space Shuttle Tank’s Legendary Journey Through Los Angeles

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While ET-94 never made its amazing journey to space, the huge space shuttle fuel tank is getting a second life. On Thursday, it was announced that the piece of machinery would travel along the Panama Canal and soon make its way through the streets of Los Angeles until it arrives at its new home.

That new home will be the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The tank, which weighs 32.5 tons, will join Endeavor, a space shuttle. One of the most surprising aspects may be the size of the fuel tank, which is longer than the shuttle. The ET-94 measures 27.6 feet in diameter as well as 154 feet in length.

The journey could take up to eight weeks this April via barge from a New Orleans NASA facility. After passing through the Panama Canal, the fuel tank will debark at Marina del Rey in Southern California. The following journey may be the most difficult part, in spite of the fact that it encompasses just 12 miles. The tank will be hitting the freeway and city streets, eventually arriving in downtown Los Angeles.

The road portion of the epic journey alone is likely to take up to 18 hours. The museum expects that the tank will arrive on May 21st, and not without huge fanfare. Preparation for the big day is already underway. Plans to trim back trees, raise telephone lines, and temporarily remove light poles will make for a smooth ride. It may have cost $10 million to move the Endeavor, but it will cost less than one-third of that to move the tank.

Tanks like the ET-94 were designed to be expendable; however, this one was never used. Only three tanks survive. This one was originally designed to fuel engines by holding oxygen and hydrogen before being dropped to burn or fall into the ocean.

This tank did not fly, but researchers did use it to learn more about the Columbia disaster. It was able to help researchers determine why the shuttle broke as it entered Earth’s atmosphere in 2003, which led to the deaths of seven crew members on board. Foam insulation had broken off, damaging one of the wings of the shuttle. This allowed the combination of wind and heat to take out the wing entirely.

By looking at the insulating foam of the ET-94, researchers were able to learn much about the piece that could influence the future of spacecraft.

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Los Angeles Unemployment Declines Despite Drops in Jobs

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In January 2015, Los Angeles, California saw an 18,000 drop in its employment numbers even though its unemployment rate for the previous month was relatively low at nearly six percent. This may seem strange, but once you ask a few people why they are out of work, it may make better sense. Perhaps Mary has not found the right fit for her, while Harry grows weary of never finding work and eventually gives up.

Los Angeles had about 4.4 million workers in January 2014, as opposed to the dropped numbers for January 2015. Surprisingly, Los Angeles county’s unemployment rate was the same as the whole state of California. Normally once the holiday season is over, employment numbers decrease anyway because the seasonal positions are no longer needed. This is expected to happen within certain businesses each year, and Los Angeles County started it with about 88,000 empty positions.

The numbers keep record of the progress, or lack of progress for the county within a given year. To the person who was holding out hope that their seasonal job would turn into a permanent position, those numbers mean unemployment. The devastation of the loss could make him or her decide to give up on finding another job, or make the long-term decision to go back to school. Earning a degree could be a step up to a more permanent position, giving that many SEO companies in Los Angeles prefer to hire people with some secondary education.

The Employment Development Department in California takes in affect the loss of those seasonal jobs after the holidays are over. With this factored in, Los Angeles still recorded a loss of 14,000 jobs in January. Unfortunately, the manufacturing business loss about 7,000 jobs. Once the adjustment was made by the EDD, the December 2014 employment number for Los Angeles was more like 4.37 million instead of the previous 4.4 million reported in January 2015. The seasonal jobs were not considered actual jobs. Therefore, the numbers could not reflect a loss of those jobs.

The loss also does not completely come from the elimination of seasonal positions. There could be companies needing to lighten their payroll for reasons such as filing for bankruptcy. According to the EDD, retail businesses suffered the harshest loss at nearly 19,000. Retailers are normally the businesses that tack on more workers during the holidays to meet the high shopping demand during the season.

Even though the unemployment rate drop for Los Angeles County was a good thing, there was a big drop in the amount of jobs to be had. All in all, Los Angeles had a 2.2 percent growth in payroll numbers from January 2014 to January 2015. This included up to 12, 400 for professional business services; up to almost 20,000 for food accommodation services, and health care and social assistance went up to a little over 27,000.

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Autonomous Google Car Crashes In Los Angeles

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One of the first accidents to happen between Google’s self-driving cars and a public transit bus was due to the fault of a computer algorithm. According to the reports filed on February 14th by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Los Angeles, California, a Lexus RX450h SUV crashed into a bus while in autonomous mode.

The accident between the autonomous vehicle (also known as an AV), and the transit bus happened in Mountain View, California on El Camino Real, near Google’s headquarters.

There was a test driver in the vehicle, but the car was in autonomous mode. Luckily, there were no injuries from the accident.

According to the reports, the self-driving Lexus SUV was prepared to make a right turn on Castro Street. The vehicle was in the right-hand lane of a three lane street. The Google self-driving car wasn’t able to make the right turn due to sand bags that were obstructing the lane. This required the vehicle to move into the center lane in order to make a right turn.

The self-driving vehicle correctly allowed multiple vehicles to pass before attempting to proceed around the sand bag obstruction. A bus approached behind the Lexus SUV at 15 MPH. It was noted that the test driver, who sat in the front passenger seat, could see the bus in the left-hand mirror. The self-driving Lexus was going 2 MPH when bus collided into the SUV causing damage on the front-left fender, sensor and wheel of the Lexus.

As reported from the Los Angeles DMV accident report, the test driver thought that the bus would have come to a complete stop, allowing the Google AV to proceed. However, it took only three seconds for the SUV to make contact with the bus.

These are everyday situations that human drivers have to deal with on streets and highways.

The Google AV positioned itself to proceed while another vehicle was incoming. The computer algorithm predicted that transit bus would either stop or slow down enough to allow it to pass. Even the test driver had the same notion. However, in this case, both the computer and test driver were wrong.

Alphabet (the parent company of Google) has taken the blame for the Google AV accident. This is the believed to be the first autonomous mode accident out of 1.5 million miles driven. As reported in Reuters, Google has stated they bear some reasonability. However, the transit agency is still investigating and has not determined liability.

Accidents with self-driving cars will provide more evidence to Consumer Watchdog groups who are constantly warning about autonomous driving to make their case regarding stricter regulations, vehicle standards and technology.

Groups against self-driving vehicles state that accidents like these are all the proof they need to show that the technology is not efficient as a human driver would be. The project director for a Consumer Watchdog group, John Simpson noted that for every autonomous vehicle crash, police must be called to the scene, video and technical data should be gathered as evidence and the information should be made public.

Although this may be the first autonomous vehicle accident reported in Los Angeles by the DMV in 2016, there have been 17 reports filed by Google over the past six years. In those 17 cases, Google was not blamed in any of those accidents.

With over 1 million miles, Google has launched a fleet of 23 Lexus RX450h SUV’s on the roads of California. Alphabet Inc. will not only improve on the technology, but also, will learn from this incident to ensure self-driving improvements for situations like these.

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Los Angeles Isn’t the Friendliest City for Female Entrepreneurs

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Being a female in the entrepreneurship world isn’t only challenging, but it’s not always accepted with open arms. In fact, in studies conducted by WalletHub, Los Angeles as a whole doesn’t provide a very welcome environment for female entrepreneurs.

Another national survey of “2016’s Best and Worst Cities for Women-Owned Businesses,” studied one-hundred metropolitan areas across the United States. From here, the people conducting the survey looked at specific metrics, including the average profits of businesses in the areas, how friendly the areas are toward working mothers, and even the percentages of businesses that were owned by women in the local economy.

Statistics for Metropolitan Regions

Now looking at the specific statistics for the metropolitan region of Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, we can see just how low the rankings are toward the friendliness of female-owned businesses. This region ranked 78th of the one-hundred metropolitan areas studied. It also ranked 70th place for female business owners for “Overall New-Business Friendliness.” Other rankings include 59th by “WalletHub ‘Working Moms’,” and 85th on the topic for “Average Revenue Growth of Women-Owned Businesses.”

A study performed by the Los Angeles SEO Firm, not all feedback was reported as bad news. Los Angeles ranked in 7th place in the category of female entrepreneurship. On top of that, it came in 18th place nationally for the highest percentage of women owning businesses in its local economy. This just comes to show that even though Los Angeles doesn’t have the friendliest attitude toward female entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurship is on the incline and is hoped to become more widely accepted as the years go on.

Overcoming Obstacles

Although there are many obstacles that average female entrepreneur faces, there are also ways to get through these obstacles step-by-step. Here’s a list of helpful tips female entrepreneurs can utilize while climbing to the top:

– Utilizing connections with other business owners
– Being decisive about decisions whether large or small
– Having the necessary access to funding when opening a business
– Not allowing others’ expectations to get the best of them
– Managing time well
– Last but not least, not fearing success

Local Economy

According to the Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ), small businesses overall face tough times in Los Angeles. A recent job forecast report released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC) shows that economic growth will begin to level off during 2016. By adding 95,000 jobs to the economy in 2015, the growth rate increased 2.2%. However, by creating an estimate of 73,000 new jobs this year, the economy is estimated to decline to 1.7% in 2016. On top of that, looking out at 2017, it’s only estimated that 44,000 new jobs will be created, causing the economic growth to decline even further to a rate of 1.0%.

Even though this is estimated to be a steady decline in the job growth rate, the calculations don’t factor in all the businesses that have cut jobs or have closed—in reality, on average, 1 in 4 companies close after their first year of operation. Even though the rate of economic growth is estimated to decline, the unemployment rate in Los Angeles rose to approximately 6% in 2015 and is only expected to remain fairly constant up to 2017.

Although Los Angeles isn’t the friendliest city toward female entrepreneurs, there are always ways to overcome this obstacle by following the tips stated previously in this article. Females have the potential to overcome anything when pursuing entrepreneurship, even with the odds stacked against them.

Local Vs Nationwide SEO

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Marketing requires attention to detail and an understanding of the demographics being targeted. Certain campaigns are going to be restricted to local audiences (i.e. towns and cities) while others are going to extend to the entire nation depending on the brand’s range and desired target market. Generally, larger brands focus on a nationwide campaign and small businesses restrict themselves to the area they are housed in. Let’s take a look at how this changes up the approach taken to SEO and the marketing being done for the business as a whole. It is essential to compare local vs nationwide SEO to get a better understanding of which approach is best suited for your business and if the SEO company your hire is up for the task.

Emphasis On Using Location Indicators

Local SEO is built on the premise of using location indicators. This could include the city name, zip code, famous attractions in the city, and other related information locals can jive with. This is where a lot of personalization can be done for the SEO campaign being run.

Nationwide Targets Broader Keywords

Nationwide campaigns are going to be targeting broad keywords and not personalizing their approach as much. The goal is to hit all of the major keywords a person from any part of the nation would search up in Google and/or related search engines.

Aggressive Campaigns Are Reserved For Nationwide Campaigns

Nationwide campaigns tend to be done on a larger scale due to the competition for the keywords. Imagine being one of two bakeries in a city, now imagine you are competing with multiple big budget bakeries all at once. The former option seems easier doesn’t it?

This is why nationwide SEO tends to require further focus, a bigger budget, and aggressive campaigning to see results. Anything else in such a situation is not going to suffice and the business is going to lag behind. It is imperative to sit down and put together a plan in accordance with these needs and remain aggressive.

Importance Given To Personalized With Local SEO

This is another factor often seen with local SEO and should be taken into account. The demographic being targeted is narrow and, therefore, the business has more to work with online. How is this possible? There is a lot more personalization that can be done in accordance with where the business is housed, local interests, and other related information. It is easier to connect with people and this can help the site rank in major search engines.

These are the difference between the two types of SEO and many times the similarities can lead to ignorance in one’s approach. It is essential to sit down and map together a reasonable campaign based on expectations rather than wasting time with an approach that is not going to cut it for the market being targeted. Attention to detail is essential and the crafting of a campaign is always going to begin by pinpointing the target market and moving forward from there. This can also have an impact on the budgeting as well, which should be kept in mind at all times.

How To Inspire Motivation

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Motivating somebody to the point where they will get out, take action, and make a difference in their lives isn’t exactly a simple task. It requires consideration, the right approach and inspiration. The following tactics, or suggestions if you will, form a very good basis for reaching this goal.

1. Show You Care

The best place to start when you want to motivate somebody is to show you genuinely care. They have to know for a fact that you aren’t serving your own personal agenda. Instead, you are completely focused on helping them bring a much needed change into their lives. If you don’t care you are not going to motivate anyone.

2. Show Enthusiasm

Just like whistling and laughing, enthusiasm is very contagious. When you communicate with the person you are trying to motivate then stay as enthusiastic as possible. Your energy will naturally catch on and help the motivational process.

3. Emphasize The Reward

It doesn’t matter what the situation might be, there is always a reward at the end. Whether a person will be leading a healthier lifestyle, quit smoking or get a raise, there is a bigger picture to always use as a focus point. Remind the person of this reward on a constant basis and let their perspective remain on the bigger picture.

4. Give Compliments

There are few things in life that are as motivating as compliments. Telling a person how good they are and what makes them unique is part of the foundation for inspiration. Find their strengths and let it overshadow their weaknesses completely.

5. Focus On Their Feelings

Even though rewards are great motivators, everything comes down to feelings. The great saying that you can only help a person who wants to be helped still rings true after all this time. Use their feelings to drive them into the direction of change and really make it personal.

6. Be An Example

The most inspirational people aren’t the ones that relate stories of other great individuals. It’s those who practice what they preach. If you want to work up inspiration in somebody then they’ve got to see motivation in your life. Apart from just gaining their respect, you’ll gain their attention.

7. Present A Challenge

The Google company has a policy where they allow employees to do whatever they want one day of the week. In other words, they can put their creativity and ideas to work, as long as it’s work related. Presenting somebody with a challenge that will see them pushing themselves on an exciting level is a proven method that always works.

8. Set Specific Goals

Last but not least, help the individual to set specific goals with deadlines and everything that goes with it. This will provide a little pressure with the motivation and results will come much sooner.

A Last Thought

Earn a person’s respect and trust before trying to motivate them, otherwise they won’t take you seriously. Once they allow you to influence them the possibilities are endless.

A User Experience for Marketing

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With the great advancements and competition in the marketing world, including digital marketing, user experience proves to be an essentially increasing feature.

The term User experience has been widely used for website design and development justification as well as content decision and optimization of search engines. Responsive design, daily posts, blog creations and reduced download time are all good for user experience, data structure implementation for the best searcher experience. Generally, there exist a number of design fundamentals of user experience which greatly impact the marketers’ work, as discussed below:

Content is key: keywords must be included and placed in their proper context for the benefit of technology and the market participants. The used user experience facets should be measurable while the effectiveness of their findability should be test-determined. Use of formative and summative tests should allow measurement of their usability while accessibility should be both technology and human measurable. User experience honeycomb integrates the elements of the technique being desirable, valuable, findable and accessible, usable, useful and credible.

Most marketers view user experience as only about creation of attractive interfaces, not as a part of the broader experience and skills in the field. User experience is all about creating the right relationship between humans and technology by identification, design and development of the latter. It is good to understand that this relationship weakens with increase in technology levels and the resultant digital world disruption.

Marketing is not all about promotions and other aspects of attracting customers to like things. It rather touches on the products by producing exactly what people want through different product designs, irrespective of any available experience but rather by being more creative. Working in close proximity with digital marketers could help strengthen valuable intelligence campaigns and optimize search engine marketing activities.

User experience employs a combination of several research approaches. Usability is viewed as being different from user experience with usability, which is an attribute of quality, being part of the user experience. This technique advocates for marketing systems that are effective and efficient, learnable and memorizable with error handling aspects thus user satisfaction. The design should eliminate overwhelming and complicated navigation schemes and cluttered pages.

Findability aspect of the user experience: The system ought to provide users with easy way of finding/locating online contentment as desire raises, either by query searching, asking from the available social networks or browsing. Other findability aspects include labeling, refining, formatting, organizing teleporting, reading and scanning amongst others. Lack of experience or education in information architecture, human or computer interfaces, usability existence of search engine spam and spammers collectively spoil the industrial reputation.

Social web has already caused incredible marketing disruptions thus turning the digital market into a conversation and contribution management discipline. Consequently, marketing organizations have shifted to creating real value for their specific target customers. Thus, it is important to note that the discipline is solely about people and not technology.

In summary, trends and techniques for a producing a more attracting user experience are very dynamic. With the rise in the modern day interaction in the social networks, there are perfect opportunities for production of effective user experience. With user experience creation being a predetermined process, the development of the same has several elements of other production development. As a result, it is necessary to strictly follow each stage and acquire the right research and implementation for the same. Use of a positive user experience design, technology and content decision justification requires proper content reasoning presentation.

Understanding the Power of Social Media Contests and How They Can Influence Change

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In 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge too social media by storm. The contest featured people challenging their friends, co-workers and family members to either post a video of them dumping a bucket of ice on their head, or they must donate to charity. This challenge proved to be both fun and powerful at the same time, since it raised awareness about a disease that many people didn’t know about. Since the initial ice bucket challenge, the ALS Association has announced that it will now become an annual event.

This shows that the power of social media is here to stay and can be used for any number of measures. Take the movie Straight Outta Compton, an NWA biopic, for instance. This movie shattered box office records, due in part to the fact that their template meme went viral on social media. It gave people from anywhere or with any organization to put a frame around their pictures with the Straight Outta Compton graphics. So for instance, a person from Albuquerque, NM could use the service to make a Straight Outta Albuquerque photo. This was fun for the people, but heavily promoted the movie, due to the power of social media.

The key now is to harness this power of social media to learn how best to promote causes. Doing this will allow any organization to get the word out about their initiatives, which will captivate the public as a whole. Social media is now not just something that teenagers are taking part in. Everyone from middle schoolers to grandparents are on social media, as are companies, nonprofit organizations and social clubs. You will be able to tap into this network to give people the opportunity to raise awareness about any cause that you have.

So if you are planning a 5K race for cancer awareness, one of the first places you should turn is social media platforms. These platforms are where the people congregate and it will allow you to begin the conversation in a way that is as subtle or aggressive as you would like. Many companies have had success forging campaigns on social media and continue to do so on a regular basis. One of the best things you can do in this regard is hire the help of a social marketing company who is knowledgeable about how to tap into social media. While anyone can post on these platforms, it is truly both an art and a science that must be mastered in order to tap into this power and develop a rapport with the people.

So the next time that you have any kind of cause or initiative that you are passionate about, make sure that turning to social media is your very first step. This will allow you to reach the people where they are in order to make a difference and get the word out in the most organic and widespread manner.