Video conferencing takes next leap to connect colleagues in the cloud

 Video and Web conferencing have been around for decades, but the quality of the video and audio has proved disappointing and frustrating due to technology glitches and overall poor performance.

However, a new cloud-based system, OmniJoin, recently launched to change all of that. The OmniJoin cloud infrastructure provides a number of benefits to video and Web conferencing such as reduced costs from less hardware and IT; more scalability and increased response time compared to systems based on standard servers.

This video and Web conferencing technology provides the following unique advantages:

* Users can enjoy crystal-clear video images (up to HD quality) and seamlessly-synched audio

* It allows for enhanced collaboration and integration: During meetings, teams can view and edit documents in real time, and can then save the marked-up files for future reference. Users can also transfer files, and access presentations and videos, without having to exit the meeting

* Secure video meeting recording lets hosts concentrate on the discussions, knowing they can replay the meeting again later

Despite its advanced features, OmniJoin Web conferencing is surprisingly simple to use,” says Bill Henderson, vice president of Brother International Corporation. “We designed its user controls – like on all Brother products – to be clear and intuitive. This ease of use, combined with free customer support for the life of your license, makes OmniJoin service a smart, worry-free choice for any business.”

In addition to its cutting-edge product features, the conferencing tool helps small, medium and large businesses maintain the bottom line by eliminating airfare and other travel expenses – not to mention removing the added stress of going through airport security and potential flight delays. According to numbers provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, round trip domestic airfares in the past year are up 10 percent overall across the country. As companies search for new ways to do more with less, OmniJoin provides one solution without sacrificing quality and collaboration.

For example, Secure Telehealth, a Web-based platform for telepsychiatry, needed a video conferencing system to serve as a virtual meeting room between patients and health care professionals across different regions. It was important that the system provided superb audio and video quality to meet the demands of independent practices for sudden consultations. Secure Telehealth implemented the OmniJoin system to address these challenges via the cloud, thus eliminating hardware costs and travel expenses.

Courtesy of BPT

Five modern bathroom design ideas

Would you say your overall design style is sleek and chic? Do you enjoy the true architecture of a space with its linear simplicity rather than an overly adorned and accessorized space? If you’d like to translate your modern vision into your Master Bath here are a few design ideas to help get you started.

1. Cabinetry – When it comes time to selecting the design of your cabinetry lean toward clean, crisp and streamlined furniture. To create a lighter and sleek bathroom environment consider cantilevered cabinetry secured to the wall creating a minimal look to the vanity piece. Create some drama with strip lighting added to the bottom side of the cabinet which will cast a warm glow to the floor below.  Provide additional built in wall-to-wall storage elsewhere in the bathroom to compensate for the reduced storage in the vanity area. Deep dark rich woods evoke a sense of warmth to the clean lines of contemporary design.

2. Fixtures – Crisp clean and sleek white fixtures speak to the contemporary/modern design.  If space allows introduce one of the hottest trends – a free-standing bathtub. They are available in all shapes and sizes, and nothing creates a more dramatic focal point in the bathroom than an exquisite free-standing tub. Simply position it in front of a spectacular picture window with a breathtaking view as the backdrop.

3. Surfaces and Materials – Utilize solid surfaces for countertops, whether quartz, limestone, granite, concrete or glass to give it a clean contemporary look. Keep the edges simple and square for easy maintenance and sophisticated style.  Always introduce an interesting backsplash material in contrast to the counter top color and material. Whatever the surface I like to apply it on all walls from floor to ceiling. It creates instant architecture and adds great detail and drama to the space. Glass tile, mosaic, stone or ceramic details are just a few of the highly decorative backsplash products out on the market today that create a sense of modern style.  Keep geometry in mind when selecting the material for your contemporary backsplash. Consider tile shapes that are rectangular, oversized, or small mosaics to create detail in the pattern of the application. If the tile is oversized and rectilinear install it in a brick pattern. If it’s shape is longer and thinner then stacking the tile creates a very interesting modern vibe. Stay away from the common square tile in any size.

4. Luxurious Shower – Create a steam shower with multiple rain heads, and body sprays. If your budget allows, add chromatherapy and aromatherapy to your master bath wish list as well. These fittings represent the epitome of modern luxury design. Don’t forget a built in bench and access panel to hide the steam system.  Design a full seamless glass enclosure from floor to ceiling and finish the interior with complimentary mosaics or stone tile to set it apart from the rest of the space. This glass enclosure creates a more visually open space within the overall space.

5. Accessories – Remember to keep clutter and display to a minimum. – Accessorize with towels in a bright color for punch or stainless steel and woods. Keep everything to a minimum and clutter free.  Select chrome, nickel or silver toned drawer/door pulls, towel bars, towel hooks and paper holders for sparkle.  Frame vanity mirrors in woods or silver tones  in similar finishes to the other accessories adorning your modern bath.

Draw the bath and enjoy the modern luxuries of your new space.

 by: Lori Gilder

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6145.shtml

New resource helps moms overcome dinnertime challenges

As every parent knows, the dinner hour can be fraught with friction and frustration – how can you get your picky eater to abandon his “no green foods” rule or make your chatterbox stop talking long enough to take a bite?

Relax, says mother of three, parenting expert and author of “The Big Book of Parenting Solutions,” Dr. Michele Borba, who notes that all parents want to feed their kids well and enjoy the time together at the table. “Sometimes, the littlest members of the family establish patterns at mealtime that are difficult to break,” Borba says. “Thankfully, there are scores of parents out there who have gone or are going through the same challenges; communities where moms can discuss and, hopefully, provide solutions to the everyday dinner time challenges from picky eaters to table manners.”

Other tips for dealing with picky eaters, provided by Borba and registered dietician, Dr. Felicia Stoler include:

  • Don’t make it a big deal. “Research shows that picky eaters can become even pickier depending on how we respond,” Borba says. “It’s best to be neutral and calm and hold off on lectures. In fact, the less said about the food, the better.”
  • Branch out. “The best way to get the pickiest eaters to discover new foods is to send them to a friend or family member’s house,” Stoler says. “I am amazed at what picky kids will eat at my house and what my kids have tried at other people’s homes.”
  • Turn your kid onto cooking shows. “One mom swore her kid was the world’s pickiest eater,” Borba says. “One day she caught her daughter watching a cooking show and it was the ‘moment’ she’d been waiting for. She bought her a small recipe box and showed her daughter how to find recipes on the internet. Each week her daughter found a recipe and encouraged her mom to make it. The best part: she ate it.”
  • Mix favorites with new tastes. “Children will refuse to try new foods without anything familiar on their plate,” Stoler says. “Try filling their plate with their favorite foods and add a small amount of the new food to inch them toward exploring new flavors.  My son loves pasta so I just make sure to mix in different vegetables each week to have him try something different. On top of that,  traditional pasta sauce has two servings of veggies in every half cup so I always feel confident that he’s receiving a wholesome meal.”

Finally, trying a family-friendly recipe like Veggie Pizza Cupcakes that’s fun to make and eat with the kids will get everyone around the table and asking for seconds. 

Veggie Pizza Cupcakes

For meat-lover’s cupcakes, substitute cooked ground beef for the veggies. Simply mix it in with the sauce and continue as in recipe.

Ingredients
1 package (12 oz.) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups assorted diced fresh vegetables (red bell pepper, zucchini, summer squash, onion)
1-1/2 cups Traditional Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 oz.)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll biscuits and press each into a 3-inch round. Evenly press each biscuit in bottom and up sides of each cup in 12-cup muffin pan; chill until ready to fill.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in 10-inch skillet and cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in pasta sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly reduced.

3. Evenly spoon vegetable mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Evenly sprinkle tops with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Gently remove pizza cups from muffin pan and serve.

Preparation time: 15 Minutes

Cook time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 10 pizza cups

Nutrition Information per serving

Calories 140, Calories From Fat 45, Total Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 460mg, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 5g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A 6 percent, Vitamin C 25 percent, Calcium 4 percent, Iron 6 percent.

Courtesy of BPT

Cost-control tips for bridesmaids-to-be

Cost-control%20tips%20for%20bridesmaids-to-beStanding up for your friend as her maid of honor or bridesmaid is a special experience you’ll both remember all your lives. Yet your happiness for your friend, and your joy at participating in her wedding, can be tempered by concerns about the costs associated with being a member of the wedding party.
Just like the bride and groom, attendants often need to use credit to fund their wedding experience, including the cost of a dress, gift for the happy couple, the bachelorette party and perhaps traveling to the wedding location. Still, if you rely too much on credit, you could end up with debt – which is a lot worse than a dress you’ll never wear again.
Careful planning and an honest discussion with the bride and groom about cost control can help ensure no one overspends on the big day. 
Before you agree:
The first question you should ask yourself is: “Can I afford to be in this wedding?”
If the person asking for your participation is your best friend in the world, and saying “no” will harm your relationship, you’ll have to find a way to fund your bridesmaid duties without breaking the bank. But if the invitation comes from a friend you’re not particularly close to, it may be appropriate to decline, especially if the associated costs will be a financial hardship.
When the answer has to be “yes,” your next move should be to assess your finances. How much cash can you reasonably set aside between now and the time the bills start to arrive? How much of your participation will need to be funded through credit? 
If you know credit will be a big part of your wedding party budget, monitoring your credit for a few months may help you manage your finances. Membership in a product like CreditReport.com offers members valuable tools to help them monitor their credit for a monthly fee.
When it’s time to say “yes”: 
Once you have an idea of how you can budget, it’s time to have a candid discussion with the bride and groom. Let them know what you’re comfortable with, and what will be beyond your budget. Determine what their expectations are for the costs you’ll bear, and what they’ll pay for.
If you find that your financial abilities and their expectations are too far apart, give them the opportunity to reconsider their invitation for you to be in the wedding. 
Ironing out money matters at the beginning of the wedding planning process will help ensure you don’t have to distract the bride and groom with the discussion as their big day approaches – and their stress levels go up.
When you’re committed:
Once you’ve said yes and agreed on expenses, it’s time to put your plan into action. Begin setting aside money right away, even if the wedding is a year away. The longer you have to save cash, the less you’ll need to rely on credit as the wedding approaches.
Look for ways that you can cut expenses without impacting the wedding itself. For example, if the bridesmaid’s dress must come from a pricey boutique, perhaps you can find matching shoes for less at a different retail store. If you’ll be traveling to the wedding in another state – or even another country – shop for the best airline deal, and explore the possibility of using reward miles or hotel points to help defray your travel costs.
Compromise with the bride: If she agrees to let you wear your favorite little black dress, rather than drop a few hundred on something new that you’ll never wear again, make it up to her by helping out in some other way. Perhaps you’re a skilled crafter who can make one-of-a-kind favors for the reception. Maybe your graphic design skills could help her save money on custom-designed invitations. Or perhaps you can use your flower-arranging skills to help her save money on centerpieces, boutonnieres and bouquets.
With some advanced planning and loving honesty, you can help ensure your friend’s big day is as perfect as possible-and that the only thing you’re left with afterward are happy memories.

Courtesy of BPT

Don’t settle for a mundane bathroom remodel

Walking through the door you notice beautiful tile in rich, deep tones beneath your feet. Then you see polished, elegant fixtures, and warm, gentle, ambient lighting. Have you walked into a posh resort with a top of the line spa? No, you’ve simply entered your own modern bathroom designed with your style and your needs in mind.

When it comes to bathroom remodels, the sky is the limit. In fact some plumbing contractors also provide total, upscale bathroom makeovers. Long gone are the days of the water closet where function is the only driving force in design. Today, aesthetics, functionality, indulgence, and personal taste rule the design and remodeling of the modern bathroom. 

It is no longer necessary to limit yourself to the regular old standards for bathroom design. So many options are available in a wide range of budgets that it is completely realistic to design the bathroom of your dreams and go far beyond the mundane. What about going for a spa type bathroom with a whirlpool tub, warming lights, and heated towel racks? Or why not create a man cave with a state of the art sound system and television screens?

Although today’s bathrooms offer all the functionality of designs past, they are no longer stark and minimalist. One look in the showroom and you will see many style choices from classical to contemporary to modern. There are also many choices in the type of products. Indulge in such things as rain shower heads, saunas, tankless water heating systems, and surround sound systems, to name a few.

Completely modernized whole shower systems with multiple jets, temperature controls and individual memory options can be installed to suit your personal needs. If a bath is more your style, whirlpool bathtubs, nostalgic claw foot style tubs, or the larger and more spacious garden tub may be the option for you. Perhaps both will find their way into your design, and why not? With professionals available to make sure your quality products are installed correctly there is no reason not to pamper yourself.

When it comes to a bathroom design or remodel, using a professional will not only save you endless time, but it can potentially save you a lot of money as well. No one else knows the products they work with better than a professional, let alone how they should be properly installed and maintained. Performance is extremely important and no one wants to worry about whether their fixtures and appliances are going to be installed to work correctly. Peace of mind, after all, is priceless.

For your new bathroom, whether it’s a new construction or a bathroom remodel, contact a professional. They can help make your vision become reality. And should the need arise, you can also call them for help with water heaters, drain cleaning, and sump pumps. All of your needs can be addressed by the professionals.

by: Nick Messe 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6428.shtml