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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:51 AM No comments
85% of Yelp survey respondents say they trust written reviews over stars only

In a recent survey led by Yelp and conducted by Material, 2,000 Americans were asked to reveal what they consider to be trustworthy reviews. The respondents said they read, on average, five reviews about a business to inform their spending decisions, and 77% say they’re reading more online reviews now than they ever have before.

Key findings. In their survey, Yelp found the following:

  • Respondents say they research and consider online reviews more for restaurants (67%), household repairs/work (57%), car repair/services (55%), medical needs (51%) and professional services (42%).
  • When respondents think they’ve spotted a fake online review, they will read other reviews to gather additional opinions (49%), ignore the potentially fake review (34%), find another business (27%) or report the review (24%).
  • Only 28% of respondents are looking out for incentivized reviews, but 71% say they would no longer visit a business if they learned the business has fake or compensated online reviews.
  • 85% of respondents trust reviews with written text over only a star rating.
    • Yelp requires that ratings be accompanied by actual review text.
  • 88% of respondents say it’s important that they understand how online review platforms determine which reviews are reliable and which are less trustworthy.
  • 79% of respondents would prefer to see all the reviews for a business or product, including those that the review platform believes are fake or untrustworthy.

Combating fake reviews. The survey also revealed that or respondents who think they’ve spotted a fake review, 49% will read other reviews to gather additional opinions about the business. 34% ignore the potentially fake review, 27% find another business, and 24% report the review to its respective platform.

85% of those surveyed trust reviews with written text over only a star rating.

Extortion controversy. In the blog article, yelp goes on to mention a Google Reviews extortion scheme that affected numerous restaurants in major cities. These restaurants experienced an influx of one-star Google reviews without any review text, as scammers tried to extort the restaurants for $75 Google Play gift cards to remove their fake reviews. This did not occur on Yelp because of our mandatory review text policies.

But similarly, Yelp also dealt with an extortion controversy of its own several years ago, as well as inconsistencies with its review solicitation rules.

Dig deeper. You can read the full Yelp study on their blog.

Why we care. Local businesses on Yelp should use ethical and legal tactics when asking for reviews. Alternatively, businesses can use paid ads to show higher in the search results, respond to any negative reviews, and keep their pages updated to optimize their business listings.

The post 85% of Yelp survey respondents say they trust written reviews over stars only appeared first on Search Engine Land.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:54 AM No comments
Begin The New Year With A Fresh Career Start With Help From This Resume Writer

The start of the new year will be here before you know it.

Many people will mark the occasion by setting goals or listing things they want to accomplish during the new calendar year. While some New Year’s resolutions will revolve around personal betterment, such as more exercise or learning a new language, others will include more ambitious life-changing shifts like finding a new job.

You don’t have to search too deeply to find articles chronicling the job market’s state. The recent paradigm shift regarding remote employment has only added to the market’s robust nature. So if you’ve considered tapping into the job market, this extended Cyber Monday deal is just what you need.

For a limited time, purchase a lifetime subscription to The Complete Resoume AI Assistant Resumé Writer for $19.99. That’s a savings of 97% from its MSRP ($19.99). Extend Cyber Monday is available through Nov. 30.

Resoume AI is an easy-to-use resume, portfolio and cover letter builder that helps you create aesthetically pleasing ATS-ready documents. Essentially, it helps your resume and portfolio stand out so that an ATS doesn’t automatically reject it.

You can import your details from LinkedIn, which speeds up the process by eliminating the need to copy and paste into Resoume AI. From Resoume AI’s interface, you can connect your materials and portfolio with your website.

For each application or website you have connected, you’ll be able to view the analytics and see how many visitors you have attracted. Additional tools include a CV score, an AI writing assistant, resume feedback, and 20 resume templates, among other tools to help your portfolio.

This program is rated 4.7 stars on AppSumo.

You can access Resoume AI via a web browser. Chrome or Firefox is recommended.

As the job market continues to sizzle, you’ll want to ensure your portfolio is in the best shape to seize that perfect opportunity. With Resoume AI, you can rest assured knowing your materials are just that. Purchase it today.

Prices subject to change.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:00 AM No comments

Online payment systems handle credit card transactions for retailers, acting as a trusted channel that connects the merchant’s website, the card networks, and the merchant’s banks. These payment gateways facilitate billions of dollars in online sales annually by capturing payment information and securely communicating transaction details.

In this article, we’ll explore payment gateways, delving into what they are and why every online retailer needs one. We’ll cover how much payment gateways charge, discuss what online retailers should consider when choosing a payment gateway, and share useful information about fifteen popular payment gateways.

If you sell online and need a way to accept payments, read about this vital component of eCommerce – payment gateways!

Why Online Businesses Need eCommerce Payment Gateways

74% of US consumers say they prefer to shop online. Global eCommerce revenue is projected to grow to $4.2 trillion by 2025. Between 2020 and 2021, eCommerce sales of clothing and accessories grew 19% in the US. Statistics like that create a positive outlook for eCommerce and support the idea that any motivated small business owner can succeed online.

To participate in the eCommerce boom, a small business needs a secure and stable way to process credit card payments. That’s where payment gateways come in – a full-featured payment gateway manages the process at every step.

Online payments are processed as a card-not-present transaction – that is, the card is not physically swiped at a POS terminal. The online retailer must collect card information from the customer during the checkout process. In card-not-present transactions, there’s a greater risk of fraud. A payment gateway keeps transaction data secure and validates each transaction.

A payment gateway creates a painless checkout process, maximizing convenience for the customer. It securely processes sales transactions and chargebacks, protecting the business and customer data.

What Is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway facilitates the processing of credit card payments for eCommerce sites. More specifically, it’s part of an eCommerce solution that checks for authorization and enables secure transaction data communication.

An online retailer learning how to process sales on their website will find information about getting a payment gateway, a merchant account, or a payment service provider (PSP). The terminology can be confusing, so let’s define the three terms:

  • Payment Service Provider: A payment service provider, or PSP, is a payment processor serving as a secure conduit between the customer and the business. The PSP encrypts and sends transaction data to the business’s credit card processor.
  • Payment Gateway: A payment gateway creates a secure connection between a merchant’s eCommerce site and a payment processor. It’s responsible for the transaction processing step in which authorization is verified.
  • Merchant Account: A merchant account is the bank account that a credit card processor accesses to execute transactions. As the final step of a sales transaction, funds are deposited in the merchant account, and in the case of a chargeback, funds are removed from the account.

The eCommerce service market consists of companies that identify as PSPs, payment gateway providers, and banks offering merchant accounts – they’re all selling the same thing!

PSP service typically comes with a payment gateway and a merchant account. Likewise, payment gateway vendors include processing features and easy merchant account setup. Banks that provide merchant accounts usually include a payment gateway and processing as add-on services.

In a mixed-up market, seeking a “payment gateway” will send you in the right direction toward some of the most popular credit card transaction processing services there are. Now, with the terminology details settled, let’s look at how a payment gateway works.

How Do Payment Gateways Work?

Customers’ cards get charged; the money shows up in your merchant account – payment gateways make that happen, but how do they do it?

To fully understand how a payment gateway works, it helps to learn about the lifecycle of a credit card transaction. The payment gateway securely transmits card information to the card network or bank, waits for authorization, and completes the transaction. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the steps involved:

  1. The customer enters their card information on your checkout page.
  2. The payment processor, via the payment gateway, sends the information to the credit card network, and the authorization process begins.
  3. To get transaction approval, the card network contacts the issuing bank, the bank that issued the credit card.
  4. Authorization is returned to the payment processor from the card network. If there are insufficient funds, the transaction is denied.
  5. After the transaction is authorized, the issuing bank will place a hold on the transaction amount.
  6. The merchant sends an approval transaction via the payment processor.
  7. The card network forwards the approved transaction to the issuing bank
  8. The transaction funds are released to your merchant account.

While a payment gateway is instrumental in eCommerce, transaction processing doesn’t always happen on the retailer’s website. There are three ways a payment gateway can fulfill its role in executing eCommerce transactions:

Redirects: In this scenario, your payment gateway takes customers away from your site to complete the transaction. PayPal is an example of a payment gateway that can function this way. Redirecting customers for payment processing is a trouble-free option for the retailer, but it creates an extra step in your checkout process, making the experience less convenient for customers.

On-site checkout with payment off-site: Several popular platforms work by handling the front-end checkout on your website and processing the payment through the company’s back-end system. This process can appear seamless to the customer and gives retailers peace of mind, knowing that a trusted third party handles customer data.

On-site payments: Larger organizations lean toward this model, handling payment processing on their servers. Solutions of this type are typically developed in-house or purchased at enterprise software prices.

That’s how payment gateways work, but how do they make money? We’ll explore that topic in the next section.

How Do Payment Gateways Make Money?

Payment gateways make money off every sales transaction your online store generates. Most take a percentage of the total value of each sale plus a transaction fee. Payment gateways often hit retailers with other charges, like statement or chargeback fees, merchant account fees, or fees linked to transactions made with certain payment methods.

The charge applied by a specific card network is called an interchange fee, and not all cards charge the same amount. To account for this, some payment gateways use an interchange-plus pricing model. That means, for each transaction, you’ll be charged a fixed processing fee plus an amount that’s determined by the payment method’s interchange fee. This can be a beneficial pricing model, depending on your customers’ credit card. 

Some payment gateway providers use a flat monthly subscription model in which the monthly fee is high and per-transaction costs are low. A subscription-based plan can benefit a retailer with predictably high sales volume.

Now that you know how your payment gateway will make money off your transactions, you’re probably interested in some numbers. The next section provides a snapshot of how much payment gateways charge.

How Much Do Payment Gateways Charge?

When you shop for a payment gateway, you’ll find one rate that pops up repeatedly – 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. It’s become an industry standard, but that doesn’t mean some vendors don’t charge more, and you can find better deals if you look.

Think of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, with no monthly fee, as the deal to beat. There’s a section below that introduces fifteen popular payment gateway providers – you’ll find a range of rates that hover around the industry standard. To decide on a provider, you’ll have to consider your business’s revenue and do some basic math.

If you have a payment gateway that charges 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction, when an online customer spends $100, you’ll pay $3.20. (That’s $2.90 plus $.0.30). With another provider that lowers the percentage taken but increases the flat transaction fee, say 2.5% and 49 cents per transaction, your outlay for the same $100 online sales transaction would be just $2.99. That’s a 21-cent difference that can add up over time.

There are payment gateways with interchange-plus pricing models, where your fee will vary based on the card the customer used. Some services charge a high, flat monthly subscription fee and small amounts per transaction. With these providers, retailers must meet the sales volume required to qualify for low rates.

In a market populated by reputable payment gateway providers offering similar services, the cost may be a major factor in your selection. Carefully assess how gateways charge for transactions before making a final decision.

What to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway

When selecting a payment gateway, the security of your customers’ credit card data should be your top priority, followed closely by the need to make the checkout process fast and easy. This section will explore the importance of security, ease of use, and four other factors you should consider when choosing a payment gateway.


Security: Your payment gateway must be PCI compliant, which means it must meet security standards designed to ensure all companies that handle credit card information maintain a secure environment. All reputable payment gateways are PCI compliant, and many exceed the mandated requirements for creating a safe checkout experience.

Easy checkout, fast payout: In the middle of the checkout process, cart abandonment occurs 75% of the time. Don’t let a slow checkout process or one that’s hard to navigate cause you to lose sales. Choose a payment gateway system that makes checkout a painless experience. While considering speed, look for a gateway that processes transactions quickly. Look into the payout time a provider commits to before deciding on your payment gateway.

Compatibility and customization: You need a payment gateway that plays nicely with your existing systems. If you have a WordPress website, you need your gateway to work with a particular shopping cart feature or want it to connect to your accounting software. For example, ensure the payment gateway you select is compatible. You should also make sure the platform is customizable since a basic implementation may suffice today, but in the future, you could need to change the look and feel of the checkout process or add new features.

Multiple payment methods: A retailer considering a particular payment gateway must ask themselves an important question: does the gateway support the payment methods my target market uses? 50% of online shoppers say they would abandon their cart if their preferred payment method wasn’t available. Be sure to factor in customers’ preferred payment methods in other countries. If your payment gateway supports multiple payment methods, you’ll eliminate a conversion barrier for more people who want to buy your products.

Transactions in multiple currencies: If you’re targeting customers in other countries, they’ll want to pay with local currency. Choose a payment gateway that handles all the types of foreign currency transactions you’ll need it to.

Cost: Most of the top-tier providers charge similar rates. Some offer low-cost plans with limited flexibility, while others differentiate themselves by offering rates that are favourable for high-volume sellers only. Providers that charge special fees offer service add-ons that justify them.

In addition to these factors, you should consider a gateway’s payment processing model. Does the payment gateway you’re considering redirect customers away from your site to complete the transaction, and if so, how will your customers feel about that? If off-site payment would create an unsettling bump in your checkout process, choose a payment gateway that takes care of front-end checkout on your site and processes the payment through the gateway’s back-end system.

If you carefully access the feature set of top payment gateways, you’ll find one that’s a perfect match for your online store.

Top 15 Payment Gateways

Below are fifteen brief reviews of popular payment gateways. It’s a summary of feature sets and cost information. Consider your needs carefully before choosing your payment gateway.

Best-Payment-Gateways-Inner-02Amazon Payments

The Amazon Payments platform lets retailers use a checkout process that their customers are familiar with. A setup process is as easy as adding a free plugin. Rates are industry-standard – 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. You get secure transactions completed on your site, plus API-driven website integration for maximum customization potential.


Adyen makes it easy for retailers to accept online payments from any device. The platform supports numerous payment methods, and it’s built to provide a pain-free checkout experience. Adyen uses interchange-plus pricing. For each transaction, the processing fee is 12 cents, plus the payment method’s interchange fee. There are monthly sales volume minimums that may disqualify some small businesses.


Stripe helps online retailers create a fast, simple checkout experience for their customers. This full-featured payment gateway offers customizable on-site checkout and easy site integration. The platform charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. It offers prebuilt checkout pages and gives retailers the tools to customize their payment process in countless ways.


With website-building options as a notable add-on, Square is ideal for online retailers who want to get their online store up and running fast. Plus, it offers a slick POS system for in-person sales. Square’s service fee for online sales is 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction; card-present transactions cost just 2.6% plus 10 cents.

PayPal Payments Standard

The trusted provider PayPal offers a service that boosts checkout conversion and includes fraud protection, plus options to customize the checkout experience. This service’s fees are 2.99% plus 49 cents per transaction. In addition to high fees, the PayPal Payments standard plan has another drawback—customers must leave your site to pay. You’ll have to upgrade to the Pro version for on-site checkout, which adds a $30 monthly fee.


WePay is flexible, adapting to the unique needs of your online store. This service supports many payment options, and an easy-to-use API lets you customize your checkout experience. With WePay, you’ll find industry-standard pricing at 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.


Braintree helps retailers create a simple checkout page that works on any device, and this provider stands out among payment gateways in its support for a wide variety of payment types. With rates of 2.59% and 49 cents per transaction, you’ll have to consider your sales patterns and do some math before picking this provider. supports on-site processing, sets up your merchant account for you, and simplifies PCI compliance. The service handles a variety of payment options and enables recurring or subscription billing. This provider’s transaction fees are standard, 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, but a $25 monthly fee is tacked on.


2Checkout offers a snap-in payment API that simplifies on-site credit card processing. With 2Checkout’s easy setup, retailers can demo the checkout experience and customize the process for their online store. Charging more than other providers, 2Checkout takes 3.5% plus 35 cents per transaction. 

Merchant E-Solutions

This trusted payment gateway enables retailers to create a payment experience tailored to their customers. Merchant E-Solutions provides a customizable API and offers personal consultation to help you set it up. For most credit cards, transaction fees will be 2.69% plus 30 cents.


Stax is a scalable payment gateway that offers flexible plans to suit any online business’s needs. The platform makes integration simple, and advanced plans include API key integration and enhanced dashboards. Stax uses a flat monthly subscription model that can save retailers a lot on credit card processing. Plans start at $99 per month. This service is ideal for high-volume sellers who want a payment gateway with predictable pricing.


Helcim provides a low-cost payment gateway with features that help small businesses, like invoicing, set-up assistance, and the ability to process international payments. Its flexible API lets users customize the checkout experience. Helcim’s competitive interchange-plus pricing can keep fees low – processing a lot of transactions gets retailers a considerable discount, which is applied automatically based on your monthly sales volume.

Chase Payment Solutions

Chase Payment Solutions offers a low-cost payment gateway and a solid banking partnership. Retailers can get their money the next business day, which beats most processors by at least one day. The fees for this service start at 2.9% and 25 cents per transaction. Some plans come with a monthly fee.

Payment Depot

Payment Depot offers a full-featured payment gateway that integrates seamlessly with shopping cart platforms and includes the ability to create invoices. There’s a three-tiered subscription model that’s great for growing businesses. Plans range from $59 to $99 a month.

Simplify Commerce

Simplify Commerce, a payment gateway created by MasterCard, makes it easy for online retailers to receive payments. The service charges 2.85% plus 30 cents per transaction. It’s flexible to meet the needs of any online store, and Simplify Commerce supports a wide range of payment options. A user-friendly API and software development kit enable retailers to process transactions from custom checkout pages and mobile apps.

Choose a Payment Gateway that Fits Your Business

The moment a customer enters their credit card information on your checkout page, a series of verification steps begin, with multiple systems working together to communicate transaction data securely. The result is money from a sale deposited in your merchant account. None of that could happen without a payment gateway.

In this article, we looked at why online retailers need payment gateways, discussed how much payment gateways charge, and covered all the factors that sellers should consider when choosing a payment gateway. If you carefully consider your sales volume, customer payment methods, and how you want your checkout process to feel. In that case, you’ll find a payment gateway that perfectly matches your business.

The post The 15 Best Gateways for Online Businesses appeared first on HostPapa Blog.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:56 AM No comments
12 reasons the travel industry should care about autonomous vehicles
Autoura CEO Alex Bainbridge explains why the airline, hotel, experiences and travel retail sectors should care about autonomous vehicles

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:57 AM No comments

This week’s top stories include small business advice covering the following four topics:

  • Business Contract: What it is and How to Write It
  • Nearly Every Swedish Economist Says This Is the Financial Concept You Most Need to Understand
  • The Creator Economy is the future of the economy
  • When Should Startup Founders Start Handing Out Equity and Titles?

Each week we scour all the top business-related magazines and newspapers for articles with the best advice for the small business owner, so you do not have to.

Business Contract: What it is and How to Write It

By: Alice Zdraj

Image Credit: Canva

Being a long-term business owner is closely related to sealing various deals with your workers, customers, and/or vendors. That, in its turn, requires working with business contract templates regularly. In this piece, we’ll dwell upon contract management especially claiming business contracts, their meaning, their types, and how to write them.

SteveBizBlog - Read the full story

Related Post: Why And How to Prepare a Simple Letter of Agreement

Nearly Every Swedish Economist Says This Is the Financial Concept You Most Need to Understand

By: Jeff Haden

Getty Images

A guy at the gym said he was getting a great deal on a new car. “My payment will only be $500 a month!” he said. Then he asked for my opinion.

“What are you paying for the car?” I said.

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “$500 works for my budget!”

I tried to (gently) explain that a low monthly payment in no way indicates a good deal. He should negotiate the price first, then negotiate loan terms.

I’ve had similar conversations a number of times in the past; if asked what’s the most common financial mistake made by consumers — as well as by entrepreneurs who need financing to start a business, buy equipment, etc. — I would have said, “payment shopping.”

Turns out, I was wrong.

A team of researchers asked nearly every Swedish economist which financial concept would be the most beneficial for the average person to understand.

The clear “winner,” according to the 2020 paper published in Studies in Higher Education, wasn’t interest. (Although interest was number two, so I wasn’t far off.) Nor was it inflation nor supply and demand.

The most important concept? Opportunity cost.

SteveBizBlog - Read the full story

Related Post: Why You Need to Always Assess Opportunity Cost

The Creator Economy is the future of the economy

Fast Company
By: Richard Florida

Getty Images

Nearly 60 million Americans—as much as 40% to 50% of the workforce in some cities—are members of the Creative Class, meaning they are directly employed to work with their intelligence and creativity in fields spanning the arts and culture, science and innovation, and the knowledge-based professions. This is up from just 10% to 15% of the U.S. workforce in 1980.

The more recent rise of online creators and the Creator Economy is the digital manifestation of the rise of creativity as a key element in our economy, society, and everyday lives. Although creators are often thought of as merely digital influencers, they’re better understood as anyone who makes and publishes unique content online, whether that’s videos, films, art, music, designs, text, games, or any other media that audiences can access and respond to. Therefore, the Creator Economy is the economic, social, and professional ecosystem that creators work in, including such digital platforms as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Substack, and Patreon; the digital tools and apps that they use; the startup companies that are constantly advancing their technologies; and the people and companies that support creators’ work and help them monetize it, from videographers and makeup artists to business managers, accountants, and branding consultants.

The scale and scope of the Creative Economy is large—and it is growing. More than 85 million Americans and more than 300 million people across nine large nations were estimated to post their creative content online in 2022. Roughly 17 million creators were found to actually earn revenue on nine major digital platforms as of 2017. The overall size of the Creator Economy was pegged to be more than $100 billion; and almost $15 billion in venture capital has been invested in some 300 Creator Economy startups since 2021.

But what’s less appreciated is how key elements of the Creator Economy are geographically clustered.

SteveBizBlog - Read the full story

Related Post: 10 Ways to Drive Sales With a TikTok Marketing Strategy

When Should Startup Founders Start Handing Out Equity and Titles?

By: Joe Procopio

Getty Images

When you’re a first-time startup founder, it can be tempting to start thinking about the organizational structure of your company and team a little too early. If you’re a serial entrepreneur like me, you probably go the other way, and delay conversations about roles, equity, and titles until they can no longer be ignored.

There’s a happy medium in there somewhere. And after 20 years of founding startups myself, or sliding into a startup’s org structure at various stages of growth, or even just participating at arm’s length as a startup advisor, consultant, or board member, I’ve discovered that the timing of when you dole out equity and titles is often as important as how much and to whom. If you get it wrong, you either won’t get the early talent you need to succeed, or you’ll wind up with underperforming team members who own way too much of the company to smoothly remove them.

So before you create your cap table or offer your first option grant, check these boxes.

SteveBizBlog - Read the full story

Related Post: How to Allocate Equity in a Startup



The post Small Business Advice – Pick of the Week Nov 26th, 2022 appeared first on How to Advice for your Side-Hustle or Small Business.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:00 AM No comments
Koh Racha Yai Diving
Do you enjoy diving in warm waters? Clear blue ocean with plenty of marine life? Then Koh Racha Yai Diving is surely for you. With some of the amazing dive sites, the diving at Koh Racha Yai stands out in Thailand and the best part is that the dive tour is just one day dive ... Read more

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

Monday, November 28, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:57 AM No comments
Podcast 136: Why buy natural beauty products?

Podcast 136: Why buy natural beauty products?

Seek out, support and buy natural beauty and discover indie businesses dispelling the myth that only mainstream cosmetics’ brands can be high performance.

The post Podcast 136: Why buy natural beauty products? appeared first on Formula Botanica.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:56 AM No comments
How to Buy McDonald’s Shares and Benefit from Dividends
Does McDonald’s Corporation continue to provide value? Learn how to buy McDonald’s stock and benefit from dividends the company continues to provide.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:02 AM No comments
Protests Breakout In Shanghai, Beijing And Other Cities Over China’s Rigid Zero Covid Policy
Protestors took to the streets in Shanghai, Beijing and other major cities demanding the reversal of China’s draconian zero Covid measures.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:54 AM No comments
Employee Shoots And Kills Six Co-Workers At Virginia Walmart

A Walmart employee in Chesapeake, Virginia shot and killed six co-workers before turning the gun on himself on Nov. 22. According to NPR, 31-year-old Andre Bing died after shooting several people inside the Walmart where he’d worked since 2010.

A witness who Bing let go, Jessica Wilczewski, said that several employees were gathered in the store’s break room at around 10 p.m. to work the overnight shift. Bing entered the room with a 9mm handgun and opened fire. Wilczewski said that Bing seemingly hunted down the people he killed. After seeing her hiding under a table, she said Bing ordered her to come out. However, after recognizing her, he let her go.

“Jessie, go home.”

Wilczewski said that she believes Bing let her go because she was a new employee. She also noted that he shot several people after they were already dead.

“The way he was acting — he was going hunting. The way he was looking at people’s faces, and the way he did what he did, he was picking people out.”
“What I do know is that he made sure who he wanted dead, was dead,” she continued. “He went back and shot dead bodies that were already dead.”Bing, who was a team leader at the store, left a note titled “death note” on his cell phone. He claimed in the note to have been harassed and mocked by his co-workers. 

“Sorry everyone but I did not plan this I promise things just fell in place like I was led by the Satan,” he said.

“My only wish would have been to start over from scratch and that my parents would have paid closer attention to my social deficits. I was harassed by idiots with low intelligence and a lack of wisdom. The associates gave me evil twisted grins, mocked me and celebrated my downfall the last day.”

The Chesapeake Police Department identified the victims as 16-year-old Fernando Chavez-Barron, Randy Blevins, 70, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, Lorenzo Gamble, 43 and 22-year-old Tyneka Johnson. Six others were also shot and two remain in the hospital in critical condition including 24-year-old Jalon Jones.

Bing reportedly bought the gun on the same day of the shooting. Chesapeake Police officers arrived on the scene and found Bing and two other people dead inside the break room. Another deceased victim was found near the front of the store and three others later died at the hospital.

A candlelight vigil will be held in Chesapeake at City Park on November 29 at 6:00 p.m.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:54 AM No comments
TikTok’s New Tool Gives Businesses Helpful Audience Insights
A new business tool from TikTok uncovers audience insights that can assist with planning paid and organic content strategies.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
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In October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut growth forecasts for 2023, as fears of a recession loomed large. According to the IMF, economic growth will slow from 3.2% to 2.7% next year.  

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) echoed the same sentiment when it predicted that 2023 will see economic growth hovering around 2.2%, as biting inflation, geopolitical issues, and high interest rates leave little wiggle room. The predictions are not set in stone but some analysts fear that the global economy might slip below 2%.

 economic growthThe IMF believes that the economy will go down before picking itself up. (Financial analysts study market growth; Image Credit – Freepik)The IMF Forecast and World Economy

The IMF anticipates that global inflation will peak in late 2022, increasing from 4.7% in 2021 to 8.8% and that will remain that way for a while. The agency noted that central banks across the globe have tightened monetary policies to fight high inflation and steady economies.

China’s covid restrictions and lockdowns have affected global supply chains and economies. In its Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF wrote “The global environment is fragile with storm clouds on the horizon.”

The report acknowledges that policy makers are struggling with an unprecedented crisis and it has affected growth forecasts for major economies. The IMF admitted that financial markets are showing signs of stress as fiscal policies remain unpredictable. In a discussion, in October, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that things will get worse before they improve.

The energy crisis has also impacted economies across Europe, and the effects will be seen for a long time. “Winter 2022 will be challenging for Europe, but winter 2023 will likely be worse,” the IMF said.

Analyst Predictions

Barclays expects developed economies to contract across 2023, with the UK and Eurozone experiencing recessions. It expects the weakest growth in four decades, as inflation soars on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to Goldman Sachs, economies will see below-potential growth and labor market rebalancing in 2023. In its 2023 US Economic Outlook report, the financial services firm stated that inflationary overheating can be reversed without a recession. But for this to take place, the labor market must cool down and wage growth must come down.

Europe’s energy crisis is expected to worsen its reliance on Russian gas has left it cold. Rising gas and energy prices have crippled much of Europe’s industry and policy makers have criticized Germany for over-reliance on Russia. Europe could see a recession in the coming months. 

Meanwhile, investment firm Morgan Stanley believes that global inflation will peak in the fourth quarter of 2022. As discounts to clear off inventories and a slowdown in the housing market will help temper inflation, central banks will be forced to reevaluate fiscal policies. Seth B Carpenter, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Global Economist, said that he is hopeful “as consumer goods’ supply chains recover and labor markets see less friction, we could see a sharper and broader fall in inflation, which would imply a somewhat easier path for policy and higher growth globally.”

OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann acknowledged that inflation has become persistent and broad-based, affecting “real household incomes across many countries have weakened despite support measures that many governments have been rolling out.” The OECD is of the opinion that the US will grow by 1.8% in 2022, 0.5% in 2023, and 1% in 2024.

Analysts predict that the Fed interest rate hikes will make it difficult for heavily indebted governments, businesses and consumers to pay their bills. 

In the labor market, Morgan Stanley believes that by 2023 companies will have slowed hiring and find it difficult to fill laid off positions. They are of the opinion that Asia will have a relatively upbeat outlook as China, Japan, and India will mostly lead the way. Improving supply chains and tech infrastructure in these regions could help emerging markets break out of a cycle dominated by the strength of the US dollar.

The post Growth Forecasts for 2023: It’s a Grim World appeared first on Industry Leaders Magazine.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

Friday, November 25, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:50 AM No comments
Video Corsi Professionali Di Marketing, Business, Amministrazione E Miglioramento Personale.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
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Let Steve G. Jones Teach You How To Succesfully Market Your Own Holstic Business.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
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Anna’s Edit: The Best Of The 2022 Cyber Week Sales
Anna’s Edit: The Best Of The 2022 Cyber Week Sales
As always with my Black Friday round-up I’m aiming to cut out the fluff and deliver you the best deals, on the pieces that you’ll love and use time and time again, so I’ll keep this intro snappy. Not got much time to browse? Check out my ‘Five Best Black Friday Deals’ featuring pieces direct […]

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:58 AM No comments
Top social media management tools with prices starting at $19

Social media managers have a time-consuming job to do. They need to optimize their brand’s social media profiles, produce quality content, and communicate effectively with their followers. That’s why they need to have access to the top social media management tools to help them manage their time better.

Why do I need these social media management tools?

As we mentioned in our post about essential Instagram tools for social media managers, professionally maintaining your social media isn’t easy. Your profile’s bio has to be perfectly tuned so that your target audience can find you easily. What’s more, your content must be interesting enough that your followers stay loyal and perceive your brand in the way you intended. So how can you manage to do that?

When it comes to content, it isn’t enough for social media managers to just come up with a good idea for a post. First of all, you have to plan your content strategy ahead of time. You also need to know what hashtags are relevant for your post and audience.

Social media management is a challenging job, but we compiled a list of tools that will make it a little easier. These tools can help you in a number of ways:

  • Analyzing your social media profiles
  • Engaging with fans
  • Finding the best hashtags to use
  • Sharing blog posts on social media
  • Scheduling posts
  • Planning your social media calendar
  • Previewing your social media feed

Sotrender is a tool that can be used for analyzing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition to users analyzing their own profiles, they can add competitors’ profiles to benchmark their performance. To maximize efficiency, you can schedule autogenerated reports depending on the number of days you want to measure. Users can check the most popular metrics such as:

  • Follower demographics
  • Engagement
  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Top-performing posts

as well as ad-related metrics, including reach, impressions, CPC, CPM and more.

social media management tool analytics

Additionally, we’ve also added our own engagement metric known as the Interactivity Index which combines comments, shares, and reactions to a brand’s posts. Not every action is worth the same in terms of engagement. That’s why we made this metric that accounts for the weight of each action. This means that:

  • 1 Like = 1
  • 1 Comment = 4
  • 1 Text comment = 8
  • 1 Multimedia post = 12
  • 1 Share = 16

However, we know that not every profile in a niche has the same amount of fans. Our Relative Activity Index adjusts for Page size. Using this metric, you can compare brand Pages on Facebook that have 2 million followers, as well as those with 50k.

Analyze your social media performance

If you want to give Sotrender a try, you can do it with the 14-day free trial (no credit card needed). When it comes to the prices, the smallest package starts at just $59 per month. This gives you 120 days’ worth of historical data with five users. You can even get up to 3 years’ worth of data and an unlimited number of users with the Unlimited package. 


Networking is a crucial part of establishing your place in the market. Customers look to brands they appreciate for their recommendations of other products and services. Ampjar could be especially helpful to those trying to get their content and brand in front of new audiences.

ampjar campaigns

Ampjar is a tool that helps brands connect with other brands in order to help each other grow. Their platform helps you gain more visibility and increase your posts’ reach by inserting your best content into other brands’ emails, social feeds, and thank you pages. 

ampjar connecting to brands

Brands shouting out other brands can have a tremendous impact on reach and exposure – Ampjar does this automatically with the goal of helping you find your best customers.

Pricing for Ampjar starts at $22 per month, and they can even help you get set up with a free 30-minute phone call.


Increase your sales by using Plann’s social media planner. A gorgeously graphic platform made to simplify marketing, trusted by over 3 million brands worldwide. Plann not only takes care of your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest scheduling for you, but it also offers strategy tools to ensure you’re posting with intention (hello, results!) and will streamline your workflow.

Have an amazing feature, like a visual calendar with a beautifully simple space to solidify your plans for the week. Socials, emails, blog posts – everything. Also had Daily prompts for post ideas where you can find an everyday strategic post idea, with images, captions + hashtags to help keep you on track.

plannthat calendar

Another feature of Plann is a Social Media Home which is an overview of your brand’s day ahead with a to-do list manager and post ideas. Another thing with Plann is it has countless ready-to-use professional photos and movies.

Plann is accessible via desktop or mobile apps for iOS and Android. Start your free 7-day trial right away.

Desygner DAM

A digital asset management system (DAM) is a network of organized information for organizations, brands, and businesses. This system aids in the formation of a network based on the brand’s foundations, principles, and messaging.

desygner dam

Even with Digital Asset Management systems, it can be difficult for businesses to efficiently manage and deploy content. No brand owner wants to be one of the 50% or more of businesses that have storage issues, frequently lose files, struggle with a jumble of unorganized content, and, worse, waste valuable time and money on recreation and legal copyright issues.

Permission for multiple downloads is part of maximizing the use of digital assets. Simple download processes should be supported by digital asset management systems. They should support multiple file formats and ensure download quality. Control over download permissions and the ability to convert the uploaded file into another format should also be included. A JPG file, for example, can be converted to a PNG or PDF file. Because DAM makes it simple to resize and reformat with a click, it is possible to meet the sizing and format requirements of various social media platforms without having to redesign from scratch.


One of the fastest-growing social media schedulers out there, SocialBee was born in the summer of 2016 in one tiny little room out of a desire to help entrepreneurs and small businesses refine their social media presence with less effort, ultimately generating more leads.

SocialBee has many features that keep the customers hooked, but one of the most beloved features is its possibility for users to recycle evergreen content, thus ensuring consistent posting and increasing efficiency. At the same time, with SocialBee you can organize your content into categories the way you see fit and schedule the posts according to best practices in the industry.

socialbee dashboard

With Social Bee, you can post on every major social media platform at once – from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Google My Business.

Last but not least, SocialBee is very affordable with pricing starting from $19, and did we mention how helpful and praised their Customer Service is? Definitely worth trying!


We know that using the right hashtags can make your tweets more visible. People won’t notice your posts if your hashtags are too general or irrelevant.

That’s why Hashtagify had to be mentioned as one of our top social media management tools. This Twitter tool allows you to create a profile for a hashtag so you can see what other hashtags are related to it. You can use it to research correlations between hashtags, trends, and even which Twitter influencers are using the hashtag. What’s more, you can use it to filter out unresponsive hashtags that you were thinking about using.

Using their hashtag analytics, you can monitor the reach of a given hashtag and what is the best time to post a tweet.

The personal package pricing starts at $29 per month. You to track two hashtags, have two Twitter users, and view the top 10 Tweeters per tracked hashtag. This gives you the opportunity to access 50,000 data points per tracker.

If you’re looking for something more serious, their business package starts at $86 per month. You can track two hashtags and have two Twitter users on the account, however, you have access to 200,000 data points per tracker. You’ll also be able to see the top 30 Tweeters per hashtag.


Most brands on social media immediately think of creating a Facebook Page, but they might not be aware of Pinterest’s potential. Did you know that 90% of weekly Pinterest users use the platform to decide what to purchase? Furthermore, according to Neil Patel’s Pinterest Marketing Guide, pins can be spread 100 times more than a tweet. Hopefully, you see the potential that Pinterest has for your social media marketing strategy.

Tailwind is a social media tool that’s helpful for marketing on Pinterest and Instagram. In general, small businesses, agencies, and bloggers use it.

Tailwind comes with a number of functions to help you work efficiently. For example, Tailwind’s SmartSchedule indicates when you should pin your posts according to when your audience is active. 

If you have evergreen content you want to reshare, Tailwind will republish your top Pins with SmartLoop.

Social Web Suite

Sharing content from your blog is a practical way of engaging with your followers on social media. Blog posts help your followers acquire information about your product and their interests in your niche. Therefore, it’s important to use a social media management tool to properly share your content.

For those using WordPress, we recommend Social Web Suite. Social Web Suite helps users manage their WordPress posts and schedule them on their social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Social media managers who regularly schedule social media posts can save time and focus on other activities. You can use tags or categories from WordPress as hashtags on your posts to stay organized. 

social web suite screenshot

Social Web Suite allows you to use it as a social media calendar, which is easy to use and isn’t difficult to learn. The upside is that it also integrates your blog posts and RSS feeds, YouTube, Squarespace and more.

social web suite calendar

Hopper HQ

Hopper HQ is a relatively versatile social media management tool. It is somewhat similar to Social Web Suite as a calendar. However, it’s for a variety of posts. You can use Hopper HQ for social media planning, editing, and analytics.

What works well for Hopper HQ is their Instagram Grid Planner. It’s important to plan your Instagram feed ahead of time and consider how your posts fit together. Luckily, Hopper gives you the opportunity to work with an unlimited amount of teammates from your department. Your team can schedule and organize your Instagram feed more efficiently in this way.

Their calendar is fairly intuitive because you can simply drag and drop your posts. Bulk uploading is another key feature worth mentioning. You can upload 50 posts in bulk at once to save time. What’s more, if you’re working with cloud storage like Dropbox, you can integrate the two tools. The good news is that Hopper HQ can be integrated with more than 20 types of cloud services.

One of the issues with other tools is that you have to consider the aspect ratio of your posts. Again, Hopper HQ comes through with their tool. It can adjust image resolution according to the social media platform you’re using.

Finally, for the social media manager on the go, you can use their iOS app to manage your Instagram grid while you’re away.

hopper hq instagram preview

Overall, this is a fairly good social media management tool, and the pricing starts at $19 for one Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter account.


In 2018, Twitter prohibited their users from sharing identical or almost identical tweets. This means that sharing evergreen content requires additional effort. It may seem like there’s only a finite amount of ways that you can paraphrase the content of your post, but this is where MeetEdgar comes in.

This tool is especially helpful for posting and reposting time-sensitive and evergreen content. It can generate quotes from you and schedule them as posts and tweets. Simply provide a link to the content you want to share and it will autogenerate variations based on how it scanned the content.

MeetEdgar categorizes your scheduling depending on the categories you set. You can categorize your posts based on content (blog posts), day of the week (Fridays), or another custom category.

What’s more, this tool gets bonus points for versatility. It also gives you the opportunity to:

  • Edit videos and images
  • Conduct A/B testing to see which social messages had higher traffic to your site
  • Create a library of posts to reshare

MeetEdgar costs just $29 per month for 4 months for new clients, though it usually costs $49 per month.


Video content is an important component of many marketing campaigns on social media. We know that video content is the most engaging, especially on platforms like Instagram. According to Cisco, videos on social media get 1200% more shares compared to other posts. That’s why it’s important to use the right tool to create video content. One of the top social media management tools that’s affordable is Animoto.

 Animoto helps you create videos that can be adjusted to different platform’s aspect ratios. You also acquire access to Getty Images, which means you don’t have to worry about copyright in your marketing campaign. You can even add your brand’s watermark or logo to establish ownership of the content.

Animoto is particularly trustworthy because they are the certified partner of LinkedIn, Instagram Partners, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and HubSpot. 

Pricing for Animoto starts at $33 per month, and you’ll also get a lifetime license for your projects.

What else is there?

That’s our roundup of the top social media management tools that are affordable. Of course, there are many more tools out there, and we would appreciate any contributions to our list! Have you had any experience with any of the tools we’ve mentioned? Let us know. ?

Top social media management tools with prices starting at $19

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 4:56 AM No comments
Palm oil buyers accused of failing to police zero-deforestation pledges
Palm oil buyers accused of failing to police zero-deforestation pledges

Research from ZSL argues greater transparency needed across industry to make good on forest protection commitments

Over half of the world's most significant palm oil consuming companies are failing to publicly assess their suppliers' commitments to sustainability and zero-deforestation, a new assessment by ZSL has found. 

Published today ZSL's annual Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) ranking of palm oil producers, processors and traders found that while 39 per cent of companies report a clear process to assess suppliers, the remaining 61 per cent have limited or no public commitments for evaluating the risk of their suppliers being associated with habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. 

The analysis also found only 58 per cent of the companies assessed have a public zero-deforestation commitment that applies to all their suppliers, and just 12 per cent have disclosed a time-bound action plan for suppliers to become compliant with sustainable palm oil sourcing commitments.    

Eleanor Spencer, ZSL's Sustainable Business Specialist for Asia, said it was possible to source palm oil that adheres to sustainability standards, but many firms are failing to adequately demonstrate that they are adhering to these best practices.

"Palm oil can be a difficult topic due to unsustainable practices linked to the industry, such as deforestation, being some of the biggest contributors to habitat and biodiversity loss across the tropics - but it doesn't have to be that way," she said. "As demand for palm oil continues to increase, ZSL is calling for the industry to provide stronger transparency on its assessment of and support for suppliers at all levels of the supply chain, to guarantee that they are complying with key social and environmental commitments - and legal requirements - needed to play their part in addressing the biodiversity and climate crises. 

"Without transparent supplier evaluations and support, it's impossible to know whether supply chains are avoiding environmentally damaging practices. Risk assessments are vital to improve sustainability in palm oil production and prevent greenwashing."

The analysis reveals that only 11 companies report having a programme to support high-risk mills in ensuring compliance with their sourcing policies, presenting another opportunity for palm oil that is linked to deforestation to enter the supply chain.   

Spencer warned that palm oil purchasing firms that fail to adequately disclose how they are ensuring agricultural commodities have been produced in line with sustainability standards could soon face significant legal risks.

"The current lack of support in these areas may become a bigger issue for some businesses when the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) comes into force next year," she said. "This will require that palm oil and related products sold in the EU are produced without causing deforestation and human rights abuses. Without clear processes for assessing and engaging with suppliers on compliance, it is hard to see how some companies will meet these requirements."

However, she stressed that the industry's focus should be on the adoption and effective management of sustainability standards, rather than a full blown phase out of palm oil.

"Palm oil is one of the most efficient vegetable oils to grow in terms of yield per hectare and so a complete rejection of its use could have unintended negative impacts - as a less efficient alternative may be adopted in its place," she said. "ZSL believes one of the fundamental steps to achieving sustainability is through increased transparency and commitments, which is why it's concerning that so many companies continue to score so low in our assessment."

Peter van der Werf, executive director for active ownership at asset management company Robeco, said investors also wanted to see assurances from firms that they are adhering to effective sustainable palm oil policies.

"We have a shared responsibility to halt deforestation," he said. "To address biodiversity loss, palm oil companies need to provide clear sustainability expectations towards their suppliers and empower them to move towards efficient and conversion-free planting and harvesting practices that allow for both food security and environmental resilience."

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here
Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 3:58 AM No comments

JW Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announced its debut in Saudi Arabia with the opening of JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh. The highly anticipated luxury hotel welcomes guests for a transformative and elevated stay to nourish the mind, body and spirit. Spanning 349-rooms, the property is the ideal choice for travellers seeking a refreshing stay in the heart of Riyadh’s new commercial and residential district.

“We are excited to debut JW Marriott, an iconic legacy brand,in Saudi Arabia with the opening of JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh,” said Bruce Rohr, Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott Hotels. “JW Marriott combines personalized, luxury service with principles of mindfulness that are integral to today’s business and leisure traveler. Those seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle of this dynamic city will find JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh the perfect place for a modern, wellness-focused and balanced stay.

“The opening of JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh marks the brand’s long-awaited debut in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Guests will be encouraged to experience every moment to the fullest at this luxurious new destination that follows the JW Marriott’s philosophy to provide guests the ideal haven to recharge and reflect,” said Candice D’Cruz, Vice President – Luxury Brands, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International.

Inspiring Design

A sense of luxury is present from the first moment of arrival as guests are welcomed into a lobby adorned with an emerald-green wall accented by unique light fixtures and textured furnishings that give a nod to the aesthetic of a wadi environment. Leveraging the natural wonders of the local surroundings, the guest experience begins with a reception area inspired by the capital’s desert sand dunes, from the curved reception desk that reflects the movement of the landscape, to the patterned wall with a modern take on Riyadh. The inviting lobby, a space to socialise, seamlessly blends Saudi culture with Asian rituals with a quaint tea lounge, where side tables are a nod to ancient Saudi jewellery pieces with decorated bases, adorned with lamps that pay homage to the oil lanterns, which were once the only man-made light source in the Kingdom.

All 349 modern, spacious rooms and suites are ideal for rest and relaxation, complemented by carefully landscaped exteriors, dedicated to the wellbeing of travellers – even the littlest ones. Fostering the principles of balance, togetherness and human enrichment, the Family by JW programme offers playful and interactive experiences for the whole family. Parents and children can delight in thoughtfully curated activities that are full of fun and let kids explore their budding artistic or creative foodie talents.

The elegantly designed guest rooms vary in size across twelve categories and offer stunning views through floor-to-ceiling windows of the Riyadh skyline, coral tones encapsulating the warmth of Arabia against luxe marble flooring and high-quality amenities that provide a sanctuary laced with comfort, chic style, and subtle opulence. The Royal Suite glimmers as the jewel in the crown of the hotel, spanning 280 square meters and encompassing a private gym and entertainment room. The hotel’s 54 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites all provide scintillating views across the heart of Riyadh. 

Distinct Culinary Experiences

JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh demonstrates the brand’s celebrated dining legacy through a diverse range of venues, underpinned by fresh, local ingredients to create authentic and sustainably sourced gastronomic experiences. Taking inspiration from the local market, Kitchen On 3 promises a seamless blend of culinary traditions within a modern setting. An all-day dining restaurant, it presents a multitude of cuisines to ensure guests will be spoilt for choice. From hosting lavish brunches to fun activities to keep younger guests entertained, the family-friendly option has charming, traditional nuances such as spice displays, a brick oven for freshly baked bread, hung clay pots and rope screen dividers.

The latest high-end offering to the city’s thriving food scene, the signature JW Steakhouse reflects Riyadh’s desert landscape with a palette of darker tones and an open-kitchen concept. The menu specialises in meats that are grilled, smoked and     slow roasted.

With sustainability at the core of the culinary experience, JW Glass Garden offers greenhouse dining for the perfect daytime escape. The glass-encased eatery provides both warmth and light, complemented by a plethora of fresh, organic produce, grown on-site, and sourced from local farms for fragrant, seasonally inspired plates with zero carbon footprint. Guests wanting to take in the sunset whilst sipping refreshing mocktails can head to Club Fumée, with an ambiance that matches the pulsating energy of the city. This unique dining venue offers creatively concocted drinks, paired with delicious bites. JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh is home to a secret sanctuary, Fork & Pipe, where a stylish outdoor terrace bestows views of a lush landscape and delectable sharing plates, shisha, and a live DJ.

Adding to the endless possibilities of confectionary delights, The Capital Lounge is sure to entice gourmands with its dessert-driven concept, featuring a signature chocolate trolley, dedicated chocolate bar, and a bespoke High Tea. Paying homage to the tea culture of the Middle East, The Capital Lounge features an expert sommelier who takes guests on a journey of flavour discoveries, with a selection of over sixty tea blend varieties sourced from across the globe. From a classic English breakfast to Asian fusion dishes, the exclusive lounge is a place of indulgence. Light, savory bites are also available throughout the day.

Guests can satisfy sweet cravings at Casa Cacao Boutique, the first international shop for the luxury Spanish chocolatier and brainchild of three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca. The boutique offers a bounty of handcrafted chocolate creations by world-renowned pastry chef Jordi Roca, from pralines and carambines to nougats. The utterly chic Spanish import continues where the Girona original began, showcasing high-quality, chocolate creations, following Roca’s coveted bean-to-bar philosophy, with elegant organic packaging made from recycled cocoa fibres. Cocoa seeds are bought directly from the farmers, offering the best quality – part of the Roca philosophy of chocolate perfection.

A Haven for Holistic Wellbeing

In line with JW Marriott’s commitment to holistic well-being, authentic and mindful experiences will be offered at the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness and wellness centre including yoga sessions and refreshing outdoor swims. Those looking for a unique, tranquil atmosphere to nourish the body and mind can indulge in a range of signature treatments in the elegantly designed spa, SPA by JW, dedicated to pampering men and women in separate facilities. For female guests, the spa offers five treatment rooms with a double treatment suite, sauna, steam room, plunge pool, Roman style laconicum, relaxation room, fitness centre and outdoor pool. Similarly, men can enjoy duplicated facilities, while mixed groups can access the tennis court and two curated spaces for reflection.  

Ideal Destination for Events and Celebrations

JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh boasts an array of meetings and event facilities that provide a spectacular setting to elevate any corporate or social occasion. The hotel offers 2,933 square metres (31,570 square foot) of indoor meeting space  with 26 meeting rooms, high-end audio-visual equipment, a 2,000-person ballroom complete with external entrance and bridal room, and a 24-hour business center. Certified event planners are on hand to assist with event execution and catering options are plentiful, ranging from light refreshments to full banquet menus.


* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Posted by Tamila Deniece Harris 5:50 AM No comments
He worked on Apple’s secretive EV project. Now he’s designing a battery with 600 miles of range

Electric vehicles have reached a tipping point in the U.S. But even as EVs see sales increases, the vehicles’ batteries may still have to change significantly before they can fully replace fossil-fueled cars and trucks. That’s the argument made by Mujeeb Ijaz, an entrepreneur who previously worked on Apple’s secretive electric car project.

“I decided we really need to double the amount of energy onboard an electric vehicle to make the market satisfied,” says Ijaz, who left Apple in mid-2020 to launch a battery startup called ONE, or Our Next Energy. (Some other former Apple engineers joined him.) “And no one was targeting that.”

[Photo: ONE]

The existing range in EVs is fine for most everyday use—if you’re driving to work and running errands and then plugging in the car at night, there’s no issue. But longer trips can be challenging. Ijaz, who has driven EVs for 15 years, recalled a recent drive with his family from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe. The battery was drained from climbing up a mountain on the way. He had to find a place to charge, and because it was a holiday weekend, the line for the charger was long. Then there was the wait while actually charging the battery. “It was just complicated,” Ijaz says. “It was not like I could own an electric car as my only car.”

As ONE worked on increasing range, there was also an effort to move away from two key materials in current batteries: nickel and cobalt. The raw materials are almost all mined outside the U.S. (The only cobalt mine in the States opened in October; there’s just one nickel mine, which will be exhausted by 2026.) The constraint on supply pushes up prices. And the materials can self-oxidize, meaning there’s a risk of fire. Cobalt mining also often exploits workers and is linked to other social problems.

[Photo: ONE]

The ONE team looked at different materials, but most didn’t offer enough power. Then they had to get creative. “It forced us to rethink the assumptions that were being made in how you get to high range,” Ijaz says. “Up until this point, most people in the auto and battery industry would say the way to get to higher range is just more density of material and more capacity. And each chemistry evolution is usually an incremental change.”

Instead, ONE came up with something completely different: a “hybrid” battery that packages two technologies in one box. When someone’s making short trips around town, it uses one side of the battery. For longer trips, it switches to the other side automatically.

“It’s only around 1% of the time that your vehicle needs to travel a very long distance,” Ijaz says. “We decided that we could have two different chemistries, one for daily driving, one for range extension. And that, by itself as a premise, unlocks a brand-new way to solve this problem of having electric vehicles with low-cost and robust coverage.”

[Photo: ONE]

The battery, called Gemini, has a 600-mile range. The Chevrolet Bolt, by contrast, can go around 260 miles before recharging (driving on highways alone, its limit is roughly 233 miles, partly because it’s not very aerodynamic). The Gemini design also cuts battery cost in half because of the change in materials. The side of the battery used for everyday driving has completely eliminated nickel and cobalt, using iron instead. The side used for long trips currently uses nickel-cobalt chemistry, but the ONE team is developing a version that replaces the cobalt with manganese, a low-cost, abundant material.

[Photo: ONE]

If the Gemini battery replaced the one in a Tesla or GM Hummer, for example, it would “have 20% less lithium, it would have 60% less graphite, 75% less nickel, and it would have zero cobalt,” Ijaz says. “So we’re moving in a direction where we’re getting double the range with many, many reductions in materials to accomplish that.”

[Photo: ONE]

In October, the company announced that it’s building a new battery factory in Michigan, where it will retrain workers for its more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs. The factory will also use a unique model to help make manufacturing in the U.S. more cost-competitive: When the batteries are tested in the factory, they’ll serve a dual purpose of storing renewable electricity for the grid, so ONE can get paid by the utility for that service.

“We use that for quality assurance and for cost reduction, making the factory a giant battery for the grid, and using the batteries in grid service for 30 days,” Ijaz says. “And then we ship them on to automotive customers.”

[Photo: ONE]

BMW, one partner, will help test the battery in vehicles early next year. Car companies quickly showed interest after the Inflation Reduction Act offered new incentives for batteries made in the U.S.

“It made a big difference in the customers that we’re seeing switch from curiosity with our company to now wanting to sign deals with us and reserve capacity,” Ijaz says. The technology will go through more research next year, and then reach a point when car companies can sign production contracts. The batteries could be on roads by 2026 or 2027.

* This article was originally published here

* This article was originally published here


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