Category Archives: Yakking

This is where I go off and yak yak yak…

Happy New Year and Three Great Ways To Keep Business Buzzing During Slow Months

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Happy New Year everyone!

Sorry for not blogging as much as I've wanted to and I've resolved to change that for 2013. Things have been extremely busy for me lately as I just got back from CES 2013 in Las Vegas just over a week ago and there's a ton of follow up to do with all the companies I visited for Futurelooks and MEGATechNews. We also did some amazing coverage so you can check that out over here (Futurelooks CES 2013 Coverage) and here (MEGATechNews CES 2013 Coverage) if you're into computers, gadgets and other techie stuff.

Like any business, there are periods of the year where things seem to die down quite a bit. In some cases it can be so slow that it can be quite terrifying for businesses that rely on more regular business. If you're wondering what that looks like, just look at the picture above, courtesy of Michael Kwan. In fact, that's what I look like this time of year because even my business goes through this slump around the January and February periods where advertisers start to cut back to reset themselves for Q2 when things start to pick up again. After the busy holiday season, people just don't seem to want to look at stuff that they might want to buy, possibly putting them into further debt, which I totally understand.

If you do have a business that has a dip sometime during the year, it’s important to take some extra measures to ensure that it's business as usual. And this might involve spending dollars that you might otherwise keep saved, in exchange for the potential pay off of more business down the road.

While cost cutting for those lean times is an effective means of riding it out, sometimes a bit of out of the box thinking is needed to stand out from the crowd. Let's face it. Email blasts only go so far, especially with SPAM filters set to kill these days. Here are three good ways that might help your business out.

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Enter the Futurelooks and MEGATechNews GIGABYTE Motherboard Giveaway!

I had to push all the stuff that's over a year old off the front page so I figured I'd use the last spot to let you know about an amazing contest. The top prize is one of GIGABYTE's G1.Killer Assassin2 motherboards valued at $399 US!

Futurelooks and MEGATechNews have teamed up with GIGABYTE Technology to give away their flagship INTEL X79 motherboard. This board is aimed directly at hardcore gamers looking for an easy to setup, reliable, and purpose oriented board for their pwning needs. With enhanced networking, audio, and the ability to run up to three high end graphics cards, this board is an easy choice for a very high end gaming system build. It'll be even better if you win it.

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It's Time For a New Look!

Since I'm trying to get things going again here, I figured it was time to get a new look for this site. Actually, no, that's not exactly the reason why I decided I needed a new look...

Apparently, when you don't update your blog for 19 months or so, things tend to change, and updates tend to take place. As a result of updating the blog to the latest WordPress along with all the plugins, the site stopped working right. It was pretty horrible as things just starting breaking as I started to use them. Michael Kwan can attest to that. He was trying to post a comment and ended up trying to post it three times, each time, something weirder happened.

The theme is actually the brand new default theme for the next version of WordPress (4.0 I believe?). Morten from Pink and Yellow Media pointed me to it. At first, I wasn`t sure about the uber clean look, but I think it's a good way to start fresh. I'm actually thinking of keeping it this way simply because it's so different. It's just so clean compared to any of the designs I`ve had in the past and I feel that anything I post is just amplified by the lack of clutter.

I guess we'll have to see how things progress in the next week or so. There are still many tweaks that I'd like to make. Hopefully I don't take another 19 month break after this post. I better pace myself.

2011 - It's Time To Come Back to Blogging!

Wow. It's been nearly a year hasn't it?

2010 has been a very busy year for me as many of you know. Those of you that follow me on Twitter and Facebook have been getting the play by play while the blog has sat dormant for most of 2010 until now. But there was a lot that kept me away.

I found out I was going to be a father and then in August of last year, my beautiful baby daughter, Alexis, came into the world. Yes, she does have a Twitter Account, naturally. I'm changing a lot of diapers these days and that's in addition to my day to day duties running Futurelooks.  Around the same time she came into the world, we also had to deal with the tragic loss of her grandmother, her mom's mom, who finally succumbed to cancer.

Before that, I was leaving my pregnant wife, who at the time, could have actually popped at anytime, and headed off to COMPUTEX in Taipei. Thankfully, Alexis didn't pop out while I was in Taipei. Those of you on Twitter seemed to enjoy my never ending stream of pics and short messages about where I was and what I was seeing in one of the coolest cities in the world.

After COMPUTEX, came the worst time in Futurelooks' history as our hosting solution through Amazon failed miserably. Despite some conjecture that we may have been "mismanaging" our instances, the company eventually took the blame for the issues, admitted the fault was with them, but refused to compensate for losses. To those that blame mismanagement, I'd like to know how you manage server instances that simply disappear? Amazon EC2 is a horrible service that has oversold itself and was the root cause of a 50% drop in traffic for an otherwise thriving site. It was a very rough time indeed.

Luckily, we've been taken care of by a company called EZP.NET that specializes in FAST, FINELY TUNED and RELIABLE web hosting. The best part of this is that he's basically my neighbour. I really owe Shane and his team for bailing us out.

Yes, this past year has been full of life altering experiences. And for 2011 I'm hoping that I'll be able to share a lot more as I've made a promise to start updating my blog again right after CES 2011 which I can't believe ended just a little over a week ago. It was definitely something to blog about as I won the Build Your Own PC Race for Charity which takes place every year. I've come in second and fourth before but I've never won. What a GREAT way to kick off 2011. The best part is that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will get $10,000 US and 30 computers. I've got a post coming with some more pics and vids for you to enjoy a bit later.

I really hope the momentum keeps going for the rest of 2011 as I work on bringing Futurelooks back to its former glory and begin plans to kick MEGATechNews into high gear. My little side project will finally get the funding it needs and will have the talents of the formerly non-committal, freelancing writer, Michael Kwan, at the helm. Yes, his life is about to change too in 2011. Let's just say he liked it so he put a ring on it 🙂

Well, enough rambling from me. What's up with everyone for 2011? Let me know what's happening!

ASUS Sends an Early Xmas Gift

Today I got a package from ASUS, those guys that make netbooks and motherboards. Since I've gotten packages in the past from companies like ASUS, I thought this was just another piece of hardware that was in need of reviewing. We do often get things just showing up on our doorstep and I was just going to toss it into the pile to check out after Xmas till I opened it up and saw that it was just a little more special than what we normally come across.

The package was stacked five tiers tall and held together with an elaborate bow. It was like one of those fancy wedding cakes. The bow was topped off with a snowflake encrusted with sparkles. I know that ASUS has been experimenting with the unboxing experience with some of their products but nothing this elaborate. Could it be a prototype EeePC or maybe a new media player, cellphone or piece of hardware? I was excited.

I took the bow off and saw that it consisted of five boxes of different sizes. I was leaning towards it being a new cellphone because obviously we need boxes for a charger, case and probably other accessories. Since BC is cracking down on driving and cellphone use, maybe it was an assortment of ASUS' latest cellphone gadgets?

I started with the smallest box and found some chocolates inside from Cheryl&Co, makers of high end gourmet brownies, cakes and fancy cookies, including seasonal cut-out cookies topped with a signature buttercream frosting. So of course, being me, I eat them and move on. But as I moved on, it revealed more and more tasty treats from Cheryl&Co but no gadgets. Hmm...

So here I am surrounded by some tasty treats. In fact, a quick look at the Cheryl&Co website revealed that this little slice of dessert/cookie heaven was in the $49 buck price range. This definitely isn't your typical COSTCO gift box of miscellaneous Xmas biscuits. Since I'm a bit of a connoisseur of all things edible I have to say that I'm quite taken back by just how tasty these high end treats are. Someone from ASUS was definitely reading my blog and knew how to butter up this Editor In Chief. More pics of this gift pack after the jump if you have a huge sweet tooth like me.

So as I'm sitting here stuffing my face with cookies, I'd like to take this chance to wish everyone Happy Holidays and  I hope that all your Xmas Wishes come true. Now go make me proud and demolish that Xmas Turkey, Stuffing and Ham 🙂

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