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Drinks on Padika - January

Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Thank you to all our guests who attended “Drinks on Padika”, the January networking event which Padika Marketing Solutions hosts monthly. “Drinks on Padika” is a private (invitation-only) event with a venue rotating within the most high-end lounges of Toronto.
This time “Drinks on Padika” was hosted in “Sassafraz Restaurant” in the heart of Yorkville, Downtown Toronto. The location was perfect for all business professionals who work in the same area to drop by for a formal evening to network and mingle. The background live music, open bar and the hors’ d’oeuvres being served created a pleasant environment for a Thursday informal, yet professional networking event. Our guests strengthened existing, and made new connections for potential business opportunities.
Special thanks to or fantastic event planner, Shaghayegh Mobed for making this event possible for a night to enjoy.
“Drinks on Padika” creates an ambiance set to make new connections and to open opportunities to enhance your business. If you are an entrepreneur, a request for an invitation to be extended to you will be considered by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Your Vote Counts

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

Why is social media optimization so important? How connected we are seems to be at the forefront of life this millennium. Is it the hype of new trends that make it seem more important than it is to be so connected, or is there more to it than that? Anybody can go crazy with trying to stay up with it all, so questioning the sanity of it has to be about the only sane thing to do.

There is hardly a person left on the planet than can imagine life without the internet, but there seems to be a love/hate relationship with much of the rest of it as social networking sites take over our lives, infringing on our time, our privacy, and our sanity. Facebook and Twitter, U-tube and blogging sites are all nothing short of addictions, so what is the rationale?

Well, the internet has grown so immense that literally thousands of websites come up on any given subject, yet most people only ever click on sites from the first page, and often only the first three or so on the list. Search engine optimization helps to bring websites to the forefront. It is a career that keeps experts clawing to get to the top and scrambling to stay on top. Let’s just say that there are tricks that are not entirely legitimate or fair to get sites popping up number one. But with search media optimization, it is possible to get promoted – honorably.

This way, with social media optimization, users are able to make recommendations. An ordinary person’s vote counts and helps to rank the web pages. Each time you click “like” on a commercial site, it counts towards that webpage’s quality so that search engines can rank websites and they can come up properly listed when searched on the resulting pages. It is difficult for search engine optimization experts to influence these kind of results, so when you see how many “likes” a product or a company has, it takes on greater significance, making social media optimization an important factor in ratings.

8 Ways to Take a Stand

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

If you think that you are immune to the woes of our society and to the modern-day desk sentence that is killing us, you are wrong. The more you sit, the more likely you are to die sooner, no matter how fit you are. Going to the gym is not going to change that. Half an hour of a hard workout at the gym, or even an hour, after a day at the office is not going to make up for the damage done. This is why we see so many people, especially women, struggle with weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol in spite of watching what they eat and exercising.

So what is a person to do besides say “Shoot me now!”?

Take a stand.

You might wonder how you can stand when you have to sit at a desk all day at work, but there are ways, and your employer just may thank you when they realize what’s in it for them.

While many people may think that there is little risk for injury if they are just sitting all day, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety says otherwise. Employees who do not have movement in their jobs, whether sitting or standing all day, suffer from back pain, muscle tenderness, aches and pains. They get varicose veins, stiff necks, and numbness in the legs – all negative effects from lack of movement, and all negative effects considered to be job injury or occupational health and safety problems. They are problems not associated with workers employed doing heavier tasks.

And, you may think that if you are not doing anything but sitting all day that you shouldn’t get tired, but fatigue is actually increased by inactivity. Our muscles are forced to hold our buttocks, necks, and shoulders in a fixed position that squeezes blood vessels in the muscles, thereby reducing the blood supply to those muscles, accelerating fatigue and making muscles prone to injury.

1). Take a break.

It has been proven that those who take more breaks from sitting throughout the day have slimmer waists, lower body mass indexes (BMIs), and healthier blood fat and sugar levels than those who stay seated.

2). Switch positions.

The best thing to do is to alternate between sitting and standing and other positions that require movement. But note that even frequent changes in position are not enough to prevent the blood from pooling in employees’ legs.

3). Incorporate vigorous activity.

It is recommended that for every 40 to 50 minutes of sitting, that you spend at least 5 minutes engaged in vigorous activity. Run around the building if you have to. Run up and down the stairs. Strike a pose that makes you breathe and gets your muscles working or exercise in place. The heart, lungs, and muscles need counterbalance to the effects of sitting.

4). Take “activity breaks.”

The Canadian Centre for Health and Occupational Safety explains that jobs should include “activity breaks.” These are work-related tasks that take the employee away from the desk and may involve simple exercise. Researchers explain that our bodies don’t know the difference between lifting weights at the gym or books at the office, just get moving.

5). Change your desk to a workstation.

These days, with all of our new technology, there is also new office technology, and standing workstations are becoming popular among some of the bigger companies that are getting smart and want to save on employee sick days and gain in productivity. Workstations should ideally still have a chair so that positions can be altered.

6). Use a treadmill desk.

Some of the really savvy companies are taking advantage of walking treadmill desks. They know that what is good is good for their employees, is good for them.

7). Have walking meetings.

Ever wanted to walk out on a meeting? You might want to do just that. Walking meetings are becoming a new trend for when going to a golf course is not practical or affordable.

8). Use exercise balls and yoga matts.

Some workplaces are even sitting on exercise balls instead of chairs, while others may create space to spread out a yoga matt. Stretching out on the floor with a laptop is a great way to switch position and get blood flowing to the limbs – and the brain.

These recommendations are not weird. This is the new smart, and if we are really smart, these alternatives to sitting will be the new trends. The future is ours – if we take a stand.

So far, we have been working more and producing less, but with new ways of incorporating movement into our daily work lives, we can have more energy, be more alert and creative, be more productive, be happier and healthier, and get sick less.

Smart employers know that they can save on sick days if they help promote the health and general well-being of their employees. And the better people feel, the happier they are, no matter where they are – even if they are at work. This promotes a more profitable, dynamic work environment and contributes to employee loyalty. These are all pluses for the employer, which is why small investments in office modification can have huge payoffs, and possibly have your employer thanking you for taking a stand.

Modern-Day Desk Sentence

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

The moment we sit down, our bodies go into complete shut-down. Thanks to modern technology, mechanization, and automation, the majority of us spend the majority of our lives sitting, and our sedentary lifestyles are killing us. It’s time we took a stand. So, yes, push back your chair and stand up.

The Institute for Medicine and Public Health has found that we spend about 56 hours a week rooted on our butts. Between work hours at a desk, commute time to and from work, driving time to go anywhere else we need to go, time slumped in front of computers at home, sitting down to eat, hours couched in front of the television or curled up reading or looking at magazines or talking on the phone or whatever we do – we are sitting for most of our lives.

Women tend to be even more sedentary than men, holding jobs that require more sitting and being less involved in sports, so unless you want to either remain a pear or turn into one, then get off your butt and incorporate movement into your day.

Did you know that there is even a whole new area of medical study devoted to our unhealthy lifestyles? They call it Inactivity Physiology. Inactivity Physiology is the study of the negative effects of our sedentary lives, as well as a deadly new epidemic called “sitting disease.”

We may have modern technology, but our bodies still have the needs of cavemen and are designed to hunt and gather food, not sit at computer desks. James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and author of “Move a Little, Lose a Lot,” says that “Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to do one thing: move.” Human beings have evolved to stand upright, not to sit.

It was not so long ago that our environments required nearly constant movement. But now we are advanced. We have the internet and other technology that we hardly dreamed possible even fifty years ago. And, of course, we have that great Puritan work ethic a manifest destiny mentality that drives us to constantly want more and do more and thus – work more, consequently spending longer hours sitting at desks and more time driving longer distances to get to our jobs. The little we have left, we are plugged in. Aren’t we supposed to be up to date with the social networks? What if we miss a post on Facebook? The result is less time – not just for exercise – but for movement in general. Our electronic living is robbing us of energy and life.

What exactly does all this sitting do to our bodies?

1). Metabolic rate slows/Obesity increases

Marc Hamilton, Ph.D, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri, explains that the body shuts down at the metabolic level. When large muscles, such as those in our legs, become immobile, our circulation slows and we consequently burn fewer calories. But it is worse than a matter of a few calories. There are flab-burning enzymes that start to switch off, and after a day of sitting, they are depleted by 50%. The fat keeps swimming in our blood stream until it finally gets stored as fat or is forced to clog arteries. It is so harmful that doctors have equated sitting to be as detrimental to our health as smoking.

Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic, with an estimated 2.3 billion overweight people by 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

2). Diabetes chances go up.

With just 2 hours spent sitting each day, our chances of getting diabetes increase by a whopping 7%. Quite simply, the less we move, the less blood sugar our bodies use.

3). Heart disease risk goes up.

When we are inactive, so are enzymes that keep blood fates in check, driving up our chances for heart disease.

4). Cholesterol rises.

Sitting causes enzyme activity to drop by up to 90%. With inactive enzymes not capable of using fat for energy, harmful cholesterol rises and healthy cholesterol drops by 20%.

5). Depression increases.

If you are not depressed by sheer boredom of a job that makes you sit at a desk all day, the physical side effects of sitting will do it. When we sit, there is less blood flow in the body, and with less blood flowing, there are also fewer hormones circulating to the brain that we need to feel good, causing us to be more prone to depression.

6). Back and neck pain increase/Posture and spinal health decline. Chronic lower-back pain in women has increased times three since the nineties. As our hip flexors and hamstrings shorten and tighten from sitting, the muscles that support our spines become weak and stiff, resulting in poor posture, back pain, neck pain, and a general decline in spinal health.

7). Herniated disk risk increases.

With pressure from sitting on hips and spine, we are at risk for herniated disks. When spinal pressure causes a disk to come out of place, it creates a condition so painful that medication, and even surgery can be required, not to mention physical therapy.

8). Knee pain risk increases.

While back pain is often associated with sitting, we do not always think of knee pain being associated, but ninety degrees at the knees all day wreaks havoc too. It puts too much pressure on the knee caps that can cause swelling and force people to wear knee braces – just to sit at their desks all day.

9). Muscle mass decreases/muscle weakness increases.

Loss of major muscle mass is dangerous for our health. We need our muscles to retain proper body function and movement, and our muscles must stay strong for everything else to work. The gluteus maximums are named just that because they are some of the biggest muscles in the body and important to our well-being. The weakening of these muscles contributes to lower back pain and hip bursitis, among other problems.

10). Arthritis risk increases/worsens.

A lack of movement contributes to a higher C-reactive protein. This triggers inflammatory disease, including rheumatoid arthritis. And for those who already have arthritis, lack of movement of the muscles and flexibility of the joints increases pain and further decreases flexibility.

11). Deep vein thrombosis risk increases.

Sitting for hours without moving puts us at risk of potentially deadly blood clots in our legs. This is why people are warned to not sit without getting up on long airplane flights, but you don’t have to be on a plane to suffer deep vein thrombosis and keel over dead, just sitting at your desk can do it.

12). Fatigue increases/vitality decreases. You may think that if you are not doing anything but sitting all day that you shouldn’t get tired, but fatigue is actually increased by inactivity. Our muscles are forced to hold our buttocks, necks, and shoulders in a fixed position that squeezes blood vessels in the muscles, thereby reducing the blood supply to those muscles, accelerating fatigue and making muscles prone to injury. So at the end of the workday at your desk – you are tired. You drive home (while sitting on your butt), you sit down for dinner, you sit on the couch to watch TV, you sleep, and you do it all over again, with no vitality to do anything else. Don’t let this be you.

13). Death rate increases/life span decreases. Sitting for more than 6 hours a day will kill you faster, on average, by 35% for women and 18% for men than compared to those who exercise and do not have sedentary jobs. Sitting all day and not exercising puts women at a 94% higher risk for premature death, and men at a 48% higher risk. Serious statistics for a serious problem. Get up off your butt, get exercising, and change up our sedentary lifestyle before you become part of that statistic.

Don’t let the modern-day desk sentence kill you. Take a stand.

Four Golden Nuggets of Marketing

Tuesday, 08 January 2013

Four Golden Nuggets of Marketing

Everybody would like to strike it rich and find the gold at the end of the rainbow, but you don’t need to look so far. The four golden nuggets of marketing are right here for you to use.

1). A Catchy Slogan

The best slogans are the ones we never forget. “Where’s the beef?” is still repeated every now and then, even years after the famous Wendy’s commercials. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” has come to represent more than just Sin City, and can be heard in shows and movies and among regular people the world over. Or how about KFC’s “Finger lickin’ good?” Everybody knows that slogan began with the fried chicken, but it’s become a household phrase for anything good, advertising for the chain no matter what we are eating or where we are.

But you don’t have to be a big chain or a big city to gain big recognition. A great slogan is a great slogan, and these days, there are plenty of ways to get your slogan circulating so that it becomes the next catchphrase on everybody’s lips.

My children and I used to pass a billboard advertising an attorney who specialized in personal injury. It was just a picture of a guy, his name, and a phone number. Pretty simple. But we could not drive by without my kids singing the guy’s jingle they’d heard umpteen times on television. They could have been the commercial. They knew the one to call, and they knew the phone number. In fact, the jingle was so catchy, they often sang it just because.

So maybe you don’t want to spend the cash to invest in television advertising, but radio can get your slogan or jingle out there too. Any way you can be heard is valid. You could even put up a u-tube video or add a video to your website. And, if you are not sure how to make videos or effectively post them on a website, there are great companies like Padika Marketing Solutions, in Toronto, that can post your videos, make them for you, and even come up with the perfect catchy slogan.

With the right words, your fortune may come to you. And, with a catchy slogan, children a generation from now may just still be singing your slogan to their parents while you are long retired to wherever your paradise is.

2). Image or Brand

One of the biggest problems new companies have is defining their image. They are not always sure of who they are or what they stand for. They don’t necessarily care, as long as they make money, but they should care. Knowing who you are as a company and defining an image that exemplifies that is exactly what will draw success.

True, you can’t please everybody. But it is better to offend some while pleasing others than to be wishy-washing or mediocre and not be anything in particular to anybody. Defining your image will create a niche and give your company the cutting edge on the market. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Dare to be different. Go ahead and be completely outrageous. Marketing is about attracting attention and making people remember you. So what if you attract the wrong kind of attention? If that were to really happen, at least you’ve got the attention of your market, so now you can change it up and re-work the message you are putting out to draw better attention. Any attention is better than no attention. And besides, anybody attracting attention is always under scrutiny, precisely because you cannot please everybody, and not everybody will be pleased that you are getting the attention they want – and the customers.

3). The Human Element

We often forget that we are selling to people – real people just like us with problems, dreams, families, aches, pains, ideas, fears, and hope. When we take the focus off just making money and the nitty-gritty of running a business, and focus instead on the people we hope to serve, those people become more responsive. Real people need real help and as a business, that is what you are offering. So instead of focusing on everything that you have to offer and what it does or how much it costs, focus on what people want and how you will help them.

Tell your company story about how and why you do what you do.

Engage the emotions, and you will gently tug your customers in.

Find a core value in your business. This will help define who you are and it will create common ground with people who share similar values. Identifying something in common creates bonds and customer loyalty before they even walk in the door.

4). Promotional Items

So you have the right words. You have a great slogan that will bring you the business you want.

You have defined an image.

You have found a human element within your business and in how you do business.

Now you must provide the tangible. You need real items that people can see and touch and keep to concretize all these ideas, images, and phrases. What will you choose to represent your company other than a business card? If you go to a wedding, it is well to say that love is in the air, but somebody figured out along the way that people like to have something to take home to remember the day by, other than a picture and memories, and your customers are no different.

Where is that pen from? …Oh yeah, that woman from the open house gave it to you. Wasn’t she a real estate agent? That house was really nice…

The array of promotional items is never ending. From t-shirts to balloons, coffee mugs to posters, magnets to bumper stickers, pens to paper, if it’s something people can use, chances are, they will. You’ve just wedged a way into their life, and they may just come back into yours with money to spend.

The bottom line is that our businesses are growing, evolving entities. It takes creativity to constantly market a business, to keep things fresh, yet retain a constant identity. It is work, but if you make it fun and explore the possibilities, your customers will reward you with appreciation – and business. The four golden nuggets of advertising are your rainbow of wealth, especially when work becomes play. 

Happy New Technology

Wednesday, 02 January 2013

A new year is just that – it is a new year that begins with a clean slate, presents new opportunities, delivers refreshed hope, and renews zeal for the up-and-coming. Just what is up-and-coming for 2013? The future is upon us and bringing exciting new technology with the turn of each calendar month.

1). In 2012, Microsoft came out with the Surface RT, a tablet that transitions to a notebook. The difference in 2013, is that the Surface RT will now be offered with Windows 8. This version of the tablet will be called the Surface Pro and will be available in January. The original Surface RT is available for $499, but the Surface Pro will be $899. The jump in price is because the Surface Pro makes the jump from a device that is more tablet to a device that is more laptop.

2). Research in Motion (RIM) is coming out with a new BlackBerry phone that is believed will be called the Blackberry X10. It was supposed to come out in 2012, and being that the launch never happened, the missed date is considered to be a flop of the year. However, many news leaks from December 31st, 2012 have shown pictures of the new phone, and it is believed that it will available to the public soon, with an official launch… next month?

3). What about bendy phones? Now that’s a new one. Apparently Samsung’s OLED display can be wrapped around your wrist anytime in 2013. The expected name is Galaxy Skin, and just because these phones will be thin, don’t expect they’ll have anything less than any other phone. They still have cameras, high resolution screens, and powerful processors.

4). If 2013 brings bendy phones, then foldable cars should not surprise you either. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is scheduled to release the Hiroko, a fold-up car. The car is small to begin with, but folded, three such vehicles can fit into just one parking space. Drive this baby with robot wheels that turn on a dime, steering from the widescreen LCD panel instead of a traditional steering wheel. Step out the front windshield, because it’s the door too, and step directly onto the sidewalk. Perfect for crowded European streets.

5). As if you didn’t have enough choices in cell phones in 2012, now in 2013, you will have the option of an Amazon phone. That’s right – Amazon, the company that makes your Kindle E-reader, is about to introduce a phone. Expect it to integrate Amazon’s Appstore, MP3, and Cloud Player. It may even still let you read, and should be out by summer, 2013, so you may only need one device for your days at the beach instead of a phone and a Kindle, like in the olden days.

6). Rumor has it that Sony is due to release its next console, which would be the PlayStation 4…

7). There are rumors of an iPad 5…

8). Google Glass has been prototyped, has been walked down the runways, and now, in 2013, will be on the market for all. Pop on your glasses, check email, stay up to date with your social media networks, get directions – in short, wear your computer right before your eyes.

9). Last, but not least, in 2013, will be the release of the much anticipated Xbox 720, otherwise referred to as the Xbox Loop. The exact name is still unknown, as is the release date, but it is already being marketed as the best new item to add to your 2013 Christmas list, as if anybody is ready to think about Christmas again on January 2.

10). There has to be a number ten, so how about pen and paper? So old-fashioned, pen and paper may become new again. Imagine – you don’t have to worry about battery life or memory loss or viruses. Now that is refreshing. And the last time I checked, both items are still available at the dollar store.

Whatever your new year brings, may it be a happy new year, with just the right mix of old-fashioned charm and new world technology to create your best life yet.

What’s New in 2013?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New electronic gadgets seem never ending, yet it seems there is so much hype about the newest electronics, such as Google Glass or the iPod Touch, 5th Generation, that they are old news. The new iPods grace Christmas wish-lists, and models flaunt Google Glass as they glide down runways, and the talk is everywhere. If you haven’t heard all about the new must-haves, just take a look at the recent blogs right here at Padika Solutions.

So what is new? Or rather, what is going to be new in 2013? The question itself seems an invitation for a prediction of the future. And there is no shortage of predictions or prophesies. At the moment, End-of-the-World websites are counting down our last hours on Earth – the last hours of the earth.

If these were our last hours though, there wouldn’t be future predictions. The most scientific of the predictions though, is hardly new either. Scientists have believed for years that a solar flare will erupt in 2013, causing mass destruction on Earth. And not only that – it has happened before.

Solar flares have probably been happening since the beginning of Earth’s time, however, we only know of them being recorded since the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1859, the most powerful solar flare ever recorded caused a geomagnetic storm of great proportions. As a result, telegraph systems failed and the sky lit up at night as if it were day. If a solar flare of that scale happened today – or in 2013, as predicted, it could potentially wipe out the internet and all communications systems and electricity, leaving the world in darkness – or in the blood red light of the flare.

Scientists expect the solar flare of 2013 to mirror the power of the flare of 1859. In fact, Liam Fox, England’s former Defense Secretary, called an emergency conference in London in January, 2011 to discuss the impending disaster. Also, former U.S. Defense Advisor, Dr. Avi Schnurr, warned: “A geomagnetic storm could shatter nations all over the earth. We cannot wait for disaster to spur us to action.” But what governments are planning to do to stop it remains a mystery – as if any government can stop the universe, which is maybe why it is not widely talked about, even though the prediction of an imminent solar flare is scientifically sound – and right around the corner.

Solar flares cause geomagnetic storms, which then create solar wind pressure that compresses, and then increases Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetism of the moon affects the oceans’ tides, regularly raising and lowering them many meters. Even our own bodies are mostly water. So if the magnetic field of the earth is to be so severely altered, what will happen to our planet? And what will happen to us?

A smaller flare occurred in Quebec in 1989, causing the failure of power stations for over nine hours, leaving more than 6 million people without power. Solar flares happen about once every 100 years, but the one due in 2013 is believed to be the worst one yet.

A disturbed magnetic field will have devastating effects to life as we know it on this planet, as so much of modern life and technology depends on magnetic fields. Radiation storms will cause massive power surges, which will then cause systems failures. The radiation will also manifest as radiation poisoning in living beings, including humans, causing multitude health problems including cancer and even death. Large doses are immediately fatal.

On the bright side, those who survive power outages and fatalities could find the heavens raining down precious jewels, as scientists also believe that dust storms from faraway planets could be full of rubies and sapphires. So maybe what will be new will be similar to the Gold Rush. Forget Google Glass. We may just get earthy and have a whole new gem industry, full of iJewels.

All I want for Christmas is…

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

If you are reading this blog, you are probably of the age where you are too busy worrying about what others want for Christmas than what you want, unless you have a weakness for malls and want about everything you see when you shop.

My kids are past the age of being satiated with toys or being delighted with the boxes they come in. These days, they want iPhones and iPads, which it seems many of their friends already have. But if that’s the case, what do kids these days want? What does anybody want when we live a society that is overabundant with materialism?

I had to actually look up the answer to that question. World peace and health and food and homes for people everywhere were not on the list. The number one item seems to be the new iPod Touch, 5th Generation, by Apple. iPhone, iPad, iPod… I can keep them straight – they’re all by Apple. Maybe if I just slipped a couple of apples in their stockings, that would suffice? It would be an innocent mix-up.

So what is this iPod Touch, anyway? For starters, it’s a device that comes in some really cool colors. You can hang the Touch Loop from your wrist and carry it with you. The iPod Touch comes with newly designed Apple EarPods and a lightning connector to USB cable. It has an iSight camera with panoramic photo ability, a video recorder with widescreen proportions, Siri, the intelligent personal assistant, AirPlay Mirroring, which allows you to stream to your television, apps, including Maps, games, email, Passbook, iMessage free texting to and from Apples devices, FaceTime video calls, Game Center social gaming, Facebook and Twitter integration, Safari web browser – and, oh yes, it still has music. All that, beginning at only $299. Imagine.

So what does the rest of the world ask for for Christmas, assuming iPods won’t dropped into their stockings? What happened to the ten dollar games of Twister or Hungry Hippo, or those much needed pjs to stay warm? Surely not everybody is asking for iPods, although I wouldn’t complain if Santa dropped one into my stocking.

Based on over 4500 wish-list entries on Christmasgifts.net, the top ten items asked for are:

1). Clothes – 3.8%

2). Doll – 3.6%

3). Wii – 3.4%

4). Cell Phone – 3.2%

5). Toys – 3.2%

6). Nintendo DS – 3%

7). Laptop – 3%

8). iPod – 2.8%

9). Household – 2.3%

10). DVDs – 2.2%

So I guess we can relax a little – some kids still want toys, although Wii systems and cell phones are the preferred toys. I found it interesting that just as many people want new cars as people who want puppies, both at 2% of requests. The iPod did make it onto this list too though.

If your shopping is done and your gifts are wrapped, maybe all you will want is to sit back and listen to some music on one of those new iPod Touches – and enjoy a little peace. Now that isn’t too much to ask, is it? In moments you’ll be singing “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…” and saying “Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night,” as you find your way back up a chimney. 

It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

… And I feel fine because the new technology is really cool. The future is here, and although it hasn’t over taken us in one day, technological evolution has happened quickly, in fact, in lightning speed compared to human history or the history of planet Earth.

Much like end-of-the-world predictions, the new era of technology has been dreamed of and envisioned for years. We used to call it sci-fi, and now it’s just – life. The idea of wearing glasses that would have built-in computers so that the screen could be seen virtually in 3D has turned into Google Glass, or what is otherwise known as Project Glass.

Google Project Glass, by Google X Lab, Google’s secret facility that reportedly develops everything from self-driving cars to these futuristic glasses, unveiled prototypes last spring, in 2012. With Google Glass, smartphones will be outdated because the glasses themselves will display similar information, only now you will be hands-free. You are able to give voice commands to enjoy Internet from within your glasses – and soon enough, from your contact lenses. Mass market release is scheduled for 2014 and the glasses should cost around $1500.

Today, on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, seven days before the end of the world as claimed by doomsday theories and ancient prophesies, or, more accurately, the end of the Mayan calendar, Fox News states that “The end of the smartphone era is coming.” Not that sales for iPhones, Androids, and even Blackberries are not still soaring, just that with all the new technology being developed and introduced so rapidly that is gearing away from the traditional hand-held phone, our smartphones may not get the attention they do now, and eventually, well…

… like everything else, they will have lived their life, not unlike the old-fashioned corded phone. Books have lived on, in spite of tablets and Kindles. Possibly the new smart glasses will be too ridiculous to wear – but not likely. Smart glasses look not much different than regular reading glasses, except for and small Bluetooth-looking device that is part of one of the armbands. And remember, these are only the first. Soon enough they will become as stream-lined, attractive, and comfortable as any other glasses. They may be so desirable that many people will have several pairs to coordinate with their outfits.

Our wardrobes, in fact, are already taking a turn to include wearable technology, and claim to do everything from promoting increased activity and healthier eating habits, to managing weight and facilitating better sleep.

When you put your Nikes on, you can now put on a Nike Fuel Band to go with them that will track your activity.

Fitbit boasts a family of wireless trackers meant to be worn and designed to motivate you “to stay active, live better, and reach your goals,” including “The One” and “Zip.”

Jawbone is a company that sells devices for a “holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle,” as if technology is as natural as organic vegetables. They offer a wristband called “Up” that monitors everything from your activity and sleep to your food and your mood. Then “Up” takes that information and formulates it to offer insights to help motivate you.

Wear one of the Jawbone devices such as the Jawbone “Era,” like you would any Bluetooth device, only the “Era” is poised to out-do Bluetooth technology. It utilizes a MyTALK platform, enabling it to download apps and customize features such as caller ID. It sends emails and texts as you talk and is the first headset ever with built-in accelerometer MotionX capability. Just ShakeShake or TapTap and you can answer your calls.

Pebble E-Paper watches are already prototyped. These watches are the most highly funded Kick-Starter yet, with over $10 million in venture capital and pre-orders. They appear clunky, but with downloadable watch-faces, internet apps, and the ability to connect to both iPhones and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, plus alerts to incoming calls, emails, and social networking messages such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as activity tracking offered by other wearable devices, these E-Paper watches just might be the new must-have.

For those who grew up watching The Jetson’s, a futuristic cartoon television show, the idea of common households giving orders to robots was fantastical, yet we live in the fantastic now with voice activated systems that are incorporated into wearable technology. And while there are now robots in our world also, it seems maybe we’ve gone one step further than the Jetson’s characters in our continuing obsession with being connected. We can wire ourselves up and plug ourselves in. Maybe we will become the robots… or maybe December 21, 2012 will pass and we will wake up to find we already are. 

These days, the infamous chorus of “It’s The End of The World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” plays through the minds of many. With the day pegged by the Mayan calendar to be the end of the world looming closer, most people, even if not end-of-the-worlders, are at least curious to see if there will be any changes at all.

There are those who believe that December 21, 2012 is doomsday, that predictions for world destruction will prove true. After all, anybody living on this planet knows that natural disasters have been escalating since the turn of the century, the last time people became wrought with anxiety that it might all end. But it didn’t happen then. Will it happen now?

The new-age school of thought believes that the world will not be destroyed, but that instead we will come into a new age of enlightenment and world peace where we will possibly even rise to higher forms of consciousness.

Science says that there is an asteroid that is heading closer to Earth, but unlike the doomsdayers who believe it will collide with the earth on the day the Mayan calendar mysteriously runs out, NASA claims collision is only a possibility and that whether it hits Earth or passes, the event will not occur until April 13th, 2036.

However, another scientific theory is of a galactic alignment, where the sun and the earth will line up with a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, creating a gravitational pull upon the earth that will cause catastrophic natural disasters that could, possibly, end the earth in 2012.

While there may be some truth to any of the theories floating around, most people do not believe that “some” truth or possibilities equate the wiping out of the entire planet. Many people are recognizing major shifts in the world though, whether they be environmental or technological. And, in the world of technology, it just may be the end of the world as we know it…

… and the end of the age of smartphones as technology continues to evolve at lightning speed. Get ready to see more and more people walking around with hands-free, voice activated, augmented reality head-mounted displays (HMD), which essentially are glasses with built-in computers, such as the up and coming Google Glass, to be on the market as soon as 2014. Other companies such as Jawbone have similar technology in headsets, while still others are wrapping it around your wrist into watches like the E-Paper ones by Pebble.

It truly may be the end of the world as we know it as the beginning of a new era in technology will leave the smartphone outdated and take us into a future that we have only envisioned until now. The countdown continues, currently at 7 days, 17 hours left until…

Riding a Trojan Horse

Thursday, 06 December 2012

Apparently, my laptop has been riding a Trojan Horse for over a year and seems unable to kick it. Yes, I thought that the Trojan remover on my computer was there to remove viruses – I didn’t think that it was the virus. In fact, didn’t the fellow on the phone who was removing the first virus put the remover there? The technician I spoke with at Staples this time about removing the virus asked where I’d had the virus removal done before. I hadn’t taken it into a place. I had called this company, I told him. I couldn’t remember the name. I’d never heard of them before. Who is familiar with virus removal companies, anyway? It was in Las Vegas, where we’d been living at the time, but I couldn’t say for sure the company was from there. I’d probably found it online.

“Big companies would never do that,” he explained, naming his employing company among the list of examples of big companies that could be trusted. Smaller companies show up overnight, “fix” viruses while installing other viruses that are time sensitive, set like bombs to go off at a later date, and disappear – only to operate again under new names. But why would anybody do this? What has anybody got to gain from installing a virus into somebody’s computer? Malware, such as Trojan, or Trojan Horse, looks like a legitimate file on your computer and it grants access to hackers.

The name “Trojan Horse” is derived from Greek mythology. The story is told in Virgil’s “Aeneid” and in Homer’s “Odyssey.” The Trojan Horse was a wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to hide some of their army in. They gifted it to the Trojans who then pulled the wooden horse into Troy, while the Greeks pretended to sail away. The men hidden in the horse then emerged and opened the gates to the city for the rest of the Greek army to enter. The Greeks then destroyed Troy, and were victorious in ending the ten year Trojan war.

The term Trojan horse has come to mean, metaphorically, “any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or space.” (Wikipedia). Now, malware is labeled with the term “Trojan Horse,” a term surprisingly fitting in spite of originating in the eighth century B.C.

Computer programs are therefore “presented as useful or harmless to induce the user to install and run them.” (Wikipedia). They may appear as legitimate files or even helpful programs, as I was led to believe. Then, once the Trojan Horse has gained access to a computer, it may steal information, including data theft such as passwords and credit card information, and even electronically steal money. A hacker may download or upload files, delete files, and crash the computer. Additionally, a hacker may anonymously view the internet. Obviously, if a person needs to hack into your computer to see something online, they are engaged in illegal activity that would appear as your activity.

These hackers ride their Trojan Horses into your computer system via drive-by downloads. The victim does not realize they are allowing the Trojan Horse in as it is often disguised as a Windows program from your computer, and not the internet. It pops up and says there’s a threat, and the only way to get rid of the threat, or the pop up, is to click – but once you click, you have given the Trojan Horse access. Another way it happens is through online video games and internet applications that are designed to attack targeted computers.

The best thing to do if you see a pop up is to not touch it. Instead, immediately press the power button to turn your computer off. This may not stop the Trojan Horse, but the sooner your computer is off, the less time it is given to infiltrate. Once you turn your computer off using the power button rather than clicking to turn it off, take it in to a real person in a reputable business to deal with the Trojan Horse – and hopefully salvage your computer.

Drinks on Padika - November

Friday, 30 November 2012

From Padika Marketing Solutions, we would like to extend our appreciation to all who attended our new monthly networking event in November, “Drinks on Padika.” Hosted at Canada’s celebrated Centro Restaurant and Lounge, located on Yonge St. by Eglinton Ave, in Toronto’s midtown, “Drinks on Padika” packed the private lounge with an invite-only crowd.
The iconic location set the perfect tone for business professionals to mingle while enjoying cocktails from the open bar and hors’ d’oeuvres served throughout the evening. A musical trio played while guests greeted one another, found familiar faces, and made new acquaintances also, creating a lively mix.
Again, our event planner, Shaghayegh Mobed, did a fabulous job coordinating the evening. If you missed our event this time, Padika Marketing Solutions will be hosting “Drinks on Padika” in the future, and with an invitation, you are our guest. “Drinks on Padika” is an informal, yet professional venue where the ambiance is set to create new connections and to open opportunities to enhance your business. As an entrepreneur, a request for an invitation to be extended to you will be considered by emailing:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ..

November2012 Blog

The Apples to Oranges of Websites

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Now, with two services for two businesses that I want to advertise for, I thought I would at least begin with checking out some business cards and create the branding. In doing this, I saw that the same websites that do business cards also offer websites. Maybe I could do it myself. It sure didn’t cost a lot. But in wondering about what I would be getting – or getting myself into, I grew suspicious.

I also began doing a little research to see what the competition is doing. One website was not bad, so I clicked on the site developer’s name. It took me to another website design company that was offering services for cheap. They even offer content writing, which is part of what I do. But for what they were charging, how on earth could they be offering the same services that we offer at Padika Solutions? Quite simply, I knew there was no way they could be. It’s like apples to oranges – or maybe lemons.

Just be careful and don’t make the mistakes I have with websites where that great deal ends up costing more than you ever bargained for in both time and money. Do it right the first time and choose one place that can do it all and that will be there for you so that you can get what you want without the hassle. Because when service is personalized and there are real people behind it who work with you in person to understand your goals and to develop your vision, you know it is not something you are getting by clicking away your credit card numbers online, only to enter cyber space where monthly charges keep seeping from your bank account. Good luck on your own, because the promised help is never there – and even if it is, what help is it when they don’t know you or what you or your business is about or what you want to develop? And it is just not the same when some call center person is not there to actually show you on your computer.

There is no comparison. Just decide what you want and know what you are getting. Is it an apple, an orange – or a lemon?

Define Your Roles

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Who does what? Who are the major players?

When we share ideas with the people we are going to be working with, it is easy to overlap roles. After all, we share the same vision and we are all part of it. A million things have to be discussed and we have to understand each other. But we also have to understand what are roles are.

Each person must define what they are going to contribute so that people are not stepping on each other’s toes and so that no task is left undone or we are not wasting time by having two people go over the same thing. Everything must be covered – by someone, and if no one is specifically appointed or has taken on the responsibility, you are looking for troubles. Assuming your best friend will pick up the cake from the caterer’s just because she likes your idea will not do. And it gets extra sticky when you have a team of very talented people – each capable of doing many of the tasks that need to be done. Just because one person is able to keep the books doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be the one to greet your guests, so make a decision. And no matter what you do, don’t be the one who tries to do everything just because it was your idea or it is your business. Delegate!

On your website, your customers will appreciate seeing professional titles and names. Some people include a brief description of who does what as well, but you do not have to. As long as you have defined and written out each person’s role for your own clarification, that will suffice. Even with a name and a title, clients will know who to talk to according to what they want to know, and they will gain a greater sense of what the company is all about.

The roles the major players have act as the structure that holds up the company. Your clients want to feel strength behind the brand, so define roles that they can recognize.   

Detail Your Products

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

People want to know exactly what they are getting. The more specific you are, the more likely they will come to a decision whether or not to purchase. If you describe a product in a “can’t resist” kind of way and have pictures to show it or even a video to demonstrate how it works, you will attract the attention you want. You want people to fall in love with what you’ve got, so go ahead and gush.

Listing the products you will sell, besides describing exactly what they are, will help you to think of other products you may not have considered and will help you to expand your business. Just be careful not to try to be everything to everybody or to offer such a wide range of merchandise that you lose the original focus of what you are about.

Know what you’ve got and flaunt it. Update your products to reflect your evolving business. And keep things fresh – even if you don’t sell produce! Whether your products are your bread and butter or are the icing on the cake, the details are not only what separate the best from the rest – the details are what will engage potential clients with your product. Engage them so they won’t want to disengage themselves – and will have to make that purchase.

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