Tag Archives: Tips

3 tips for negotiating with your public cloud providers
November 24, 2018 12:01 am|Comments (0)

The last time you renewed or got a new contract in place with a big pubic cloud provider, how did your negotiations go? For most enterprises this past year, such negotiations did not go very far. These days, the amount of money on the table is much larger, and the public cloud providers are starting to negotiate more like enterprise software providers—like IBM, Oracle, Adobe, and SAP—than like public cloud utilities.

So, I am commonly asked, “How do I negotiate with my cloud provider when they already know that I’m dependent on them as my cloud platform of choice?”

Here are three tips that will give you some advantages, even if your back is up against the cloud wall.


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'No Man's Sky Next': Tips To Get You Started And Ease Your Way
August 4, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

‘No Man’s Sky Next’Credit: Hello Games

No Man’s Sky Next is a satisfying and addictive game that overflows with discovery, wonder and challenge. It’s finally the game that No Man’s Sky notoriously was not when it first released in 2016. It can also be immensely confusing for first time players. You’re most likely to begin the game in threatening circumstances with a clock ticking down and no idea what to do or how to do it. Here are some tips to get you started and ease your way if you haven’t played No Man’s Sky before or don’t remember much about the game.

The opening

You begin the game on a random, procedurally generated planet. You may luck out and start with a planet that doesn’t present a life-threatening hazard, but the chances aren’t good. Most planets demand protection from the environment. Your Exosuit’s Hazard Protection system protects you, but when the game begins it needs to be recharged. You have some time left, but not much. When the charge runs out, you begin to take damage. You need sodium to charge Hazard Protection. Where do you find it? How do you get it? How do you use it?

The most common source of sodium is a plant that emits a golden glow. Harvest the plant by clicking on it.

If you don’t see any plants or crystals, you can use your Scanner to find some, but first it has to be repaired. Fixing it requires ferrite dust which is easy to acquire. Almost all of the small rocks and many of the large ones are sources for ferrite dust. Shoot them with your Mining Beam and you can gather the 50 ferrite dust needed to repair the Scanner in a minute or less. If you don’t immediately see a sodium source in your area, shoot rocks and repair the Scanner.

‘No Man’s Sky Next’Credit: Hello Games

Three main conduits for interacting with the game

Once you have either sodium or ferrite dust you have to use them. This is a good time to become familiar with No Man’s Sky Next’s three main conduits for interacting with the game, the Exosuit, Starship and Multi-tool. Each conduit serves as an inventory space for related subsystems, tools, devices, and upgrades. The Exosuit and Starship also store the things you collect and the crafting components you gather.

The Exosuit houses the Jetpack, and the Hazard Protection and Life Support subsystems. Clicking on Hazard Protection will let you charge it once you’ve acquired sodium.

The Multi-tool houses the Mining Beam and the Scanner. Click on the Scanner to repair it.

The Starship houses the Launch Thruster, Pulse Engine, Deflector Shield, Photon Cannon and Rocket Launcher. You need to repair the Launch Thruster and Pulse Engine before you can fly the ship.

Finding your starship and leaving the star system

If you gathered sodium, use it to charge Hazard Protection and then repair the Scanner; if you repaired the Scanner, use it to find sodium and charge Hazard Protection. If the Scanner doesn’t reveal any sodium sources, don’t worry. Getting into your ship will also charge Hazard Protection. The ship is close by and easy to find because it shows up on your HUD as soon as the Scanner is repaired if you haven’t moved too far away.

Repairing your ship is your next task once you’ve found it. After your ship is repaired you can explore the local star system while you complete the in-game tutorial which unlocks new tools, devices and capabilities.

There’s so much to do in No Man’s Sky Next that it’s easy to get sidetracked. It’s not a problem if you do, but you may not have advanced far enough into the game to take advantage of many of the things you discover. Following the tutorial will keep you on track and give you everything you need to warp out of your first star system.

‘No Man’s Sky Next’Credit: Hello Games

Tips to ease your way.

  • If you have a long distance to travel on a planet, boost into space, move until you’re above your target location, and then dive down through the atmosphere. It’s much quicker.
  • Use your Mining Beam carefully if there are Sentinels around. If you’ve attracted their attention, go somewhere else until they lose interest. They call for backup if you get into a fight.
  • You can avoid most fights by running away from Sentinels and boosting away from space pirates. The AI isn’t too bright.
  • Build the Analysis Visor as soon as you can. The visor lets you scan flora, fauna and minerals as well as locate buried items and large mineral deposits. The large deposits can be harvested with a Terrain Manipulator which the tutorial will show you how to build. The Analysis Visor also locates your ship and keeps it on your HUD which is a life saver if you get lost.
  • Scan everything that’s unidentified. Scanning gives you units, the game’s main currency, and uploading your discoveries gives you nanites which are used to buy blueprints and upgrades.
  • Stockpile blueprints. They don’t take up inventory space, let you reinstall your favorite upgrades after you pick up a new ship or Multi-tool, and may be just what you need for an on-the-spot upgrade.
  • You can buy additional inventory slots for the Exosuit at one of the merchant kiosks on the space station. Walk past the merchant to get to the suit-upgrade device. The first slot costs 5000 units and the price doubles for each additional slot.
  • Discover buildings and points of interest on a planet by feeding Navigation Data to the Signal Booster. It beats flying around randomly looking for things. The orange octahedrons inside buildings yield either Navigation Data or nanites. Asking lifeforms for directions will also reveal planetary locations on your Exosuit and Starship HUDs.
  • Visit all the planets in your star system once you get your ship repaired. Each planet has its own ecosystem to scan and is loaded with things to find. Planets with extremely hazardous environments also tend to have more valuable resources to harvest. A relatively benign planet is a good base of operations while you complete the tutorial.
  • Carbon, ferrite and di-hydrogen are often-needed crafting materials that are plentiful and easy to acquire on most planets. Sodium and oxygen are not rare but not as abundant either. It’s a good idea to keep some in your Exosuit inventory because they’re needed to charge Hazard Protection and Life Support.
  • Don’t forget to pick up your deployable machines like the Signal Booster and Portable Refiner after you’ve used them. Having to build a new one because you left the old one behind is annoying.
  • If you swap ships with a lifeform to increase your ship inventory, make sure you empty your ship before you make the trade. All of a ship’s cargo and upgrades go with a ship when it’s traded. Upgrades can’t be removed but they can be salvaged for parts. Move cargo you don’t want to lose to your Exosuit inventory and sell the rest before you trade ships. You’re going to have to make some hard choices about what to keep and what to sell but it’s better than losing it all.

No Man’s Sky Next is a complex game with a lot to discover and do. I haven’t even scratched the surface here, but it should be enough to ease your way through the early stages of the game.

If you’re interested in No Man’s Sky Next, here is another article you might enjoy.


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Build Your Branding Empire With These 7 Effective Tips
July 21, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

A successful brand is able to convince people to loyally pay more for something simply because it is from that brand. This is why household names such as Google and Bounty have immense control over their consumers, and why they heavily invest in and prioritize their brand assets. 
Ultimately, brand power comes from having a high-quality product and building the brand as an essential part of people’s days. If you spot an opportunity to fit yourself into someone’s life you are then able to constantly interact with them and convert them into a long-term customer. There is a long road from a startup company to a massive brand empire, but these seven tips can guide your journey to building a trendy yet durable brand.

1. Know your audience.

One of the initial first steps for a venture is to pinpoint your exact audience. You should be able to describe their tastes and preferences. What does their average day look like? What’s their favorite clothing store? What kinds of marketing media do they see? 

This can help you gauge what is important to them and how you can appeal to them. It’s crucial that you understand your audience so that you can keep them into consideration every step of the way. For over 20 years Amazon has relentlessly prioritized their audience. Their dedication is, in part, what has kept them at the forefront of the tech and e-commerce industry. 

2. Get it right once.

Lukas Kurzmann, founder of Women’s Best says, “you only have to get it right once.” This means that you need to constantly experiment with new things until it finally works. Like most things in entrepreneurship precision and accuracy comes from the efforts of trial and error. Branding is no different.

As you try to build your brand, focus on approaching it through the lenses of experimentation and innovation. This could include trying new marketing techniques and potentially hiring consultants to offer a new brand perspective. Building a branding empire starts with pivoting until you finally get it right.

3. Build influencer relationships.

You can’t talk about branding without discussing your companies social media strategy. An incredibly effective way to build your brand on social media is by collaborating with influencers. One of the things that have best helped Kurzmann, has been influencer marketing. He spends over 60 percent of his ad budget on influencer and has built a massive number of influencer relationships. The best approach here is to start with a small project and grow the opportunities as the relationship grows.

4. Interact with consumers.

When making decisions that matter to your consumers, you should consult with them for input. Keep them involved as much as possible. A great example of this is the way that Ben & Jerry’s encourages their audience to create and submit flavor names.

Another productive way to do this is to base decisions off of data obtained from your consumers. Use the information you already know about their habits and preferences, in order to maximize impact and return. For example, when choosing an influencer, work with one who your audience already aligns with. Whether you use a survey, social media poll, or a suggestion card included with purchases, you should be interacting with your consumers–and utilizing their feedback. 

5. Continuously develop your story.

Whether you are a company that has just started or one that’s been around for decades you need to continuously develop your brand story. This includes mixing up the type of marketing material you are putting out and introducing new elements to your brand for consumers.

Developing your story cultivates a relationship with your consumers. When you neglect to do that your audience will grow bored with your brand and give their attention to the next best thing. Developing your story is a huge part of staying relevant and building a loyal relationship with your audience. 

6. Optimize your funnels.

Kurzmann states that the most important metric for him is Return on Ad Spend. He works through every marketing campaign to optimize its performance and boost his returns. Additionally, he notes that he is always eager to experiment and find new marketing channels to improve his ROAS.

A great way to optimize your funnels is to ensure you are not only being seen, but you are providing a call to action. If you’re a shoe brand and you are running a summer campaign for sandals be sure you provide verbiage that encourages your audience to buy the newest pair of sandals. 

7. Attend in-person events.

There are a variety of in-person events that offer valuable growth opportunities for your brand. If you have a consumer product, you can attend trade shows and get your brand in front of top buyers. If you have a tech product, you can attend pitch competitions to mingle with venture capitalists. These opportunities will have a slower return, but they will convert higher-impact individuals to your brand.

Building a brand is an incredibly intense process. It requires time, dedication, and innovation. These seven tactics are a great start to building a long-lasting brand for your company. 


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Preakness 2017 picks, odds, analysis and weather: Betting tips
July 20, 2017 10:50 am|Comments (0)

Cloud Computing 3. Always Dreaming. Gabby Gaudet — Maryland Jockey Club Analyst: 1. Classic Empire 2. Always Dreaming 3. Cloud Computing.

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Preakness 2017 picks, odds, analysis and weather: Betting tips
July 17, 2017 3:25 am|Comments (0)

Cloud Computing 3. Always Dreaming. Gabby Gaudet — Maryland Jockey Club Analyst: 1. Classic Empire 2. Always Dreaming 3. Cloud Computing.
Cloud Computing

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Preakness 2017 picks, odds, analysis and weather: Betting tips
July 16, 2017 2:10 pm|Comments (0)

Cloud Computing 3. Always Dreaming. Gabby Gaudet — Maryland Jockey Club Analyst: 1. Classic Empire 2. Always Dreaming 3. Cloud Computing.

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Here Are 4 Tips You Need To Know On Managing A Newsletter
November 1, 2016 1:00 am|Comments (0)

Level Up is a curated email that offers our subscribers our take on career tips, life hack and success stories.

Cloud Computing

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Going Hybrid: Expert Tips On How To Mix And Match IT Resources
August 4, 2016 7:20 pm|Comments (0)

By combining virtualization and the public cloud, companies get the best of both worlds in most, but not all situations.


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5 tips for running your first influencer marketing campaign
September 27, 2015 2:35 am|Comments (0)



This article is part of SWOT Team, a series on Mashable that features insights from leaders in marketing, brand-building and public relations.

The rise of social media has given consumers more power than ever before, arming them with a platform where they can engage brands in real time. This has created a shift in marketing. While traditional tactics involved pushing out brand content with little focus on creating conversations, new campaigns tap influencers to engage with consumers and create brand loyalty among them.

In spite of the positives, the rise of influencer marketing has also led to many questions, like how to select the right influencer agency or measure ROI. Here are the five most important things to know before you begin your first influencer campaign Read more…

More about Influencers, Branded Content, Business, Marketing, and How To

Cloud Computing

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