What Not To Do When You’re Flying Your Drone

Drones have been around for some time now so chances are you may have one already. But if not and you’re considering buying a drone for yourself in the near future, it is worth knowing what you shouldn’t do when taking your drone out for a spin. We will list some of these ‘don’ts’ here, although it’s worth noting that they still apply to you if you already have a drone in your possession.

Here’s what not to do when flying your drone!

#1: Don’t spy on your neighbours

Drones have many practical applications, especially when they have a camera affixed to them. However, this doesn’t give you a license to spy on your neighbours. Whether you have reason to or not, you will be impinging on their privacy and if spotted, you could face legal ramifications if the police get involved. There are also safety risks to consider, as you may inadvertently hit your neighbour with your drone if you pilot it incorrectly. Again, there may be legal consequences, so it’s better to fly your drone in private areas. 

#2: Don’t fly your drone near airspace

Your drone is unlikely to bring down an aircraft but it’s still illegal to fly it near airspace. As you have probably seen on the news, it can also be an inconvenience, as some flights have been grounded while drone sightings have been investigated. Would you want to be the next news item to be discussed on television? We are guessing not as you would have a lot of people to answer to! As with the previous point, it is important to be responsible. Take note of the legal advice here and stay out of any potential trouble. 

#3: Don’t lose sight of your drone

It’s important to keep a close eye on your drone, even if it does have a camera attached, as you need to keep both the drone and nearby people and buildings safe from harm. While it’s possible to get your drone repaired if an accident occurs, perhaps via these DJI drone repair services, life becomes more complicated if you cause damage to property or another person.

#4: Don’t fly your drone in crowded areas

The primary reason for this is as we have discussed already. You could cause injury to another, especially if there is a sudden gust of wind that sends your drone off course. It might also plummet to the ground if the batteries fail. In both circumstances, you could hurt a member of the public. However, there is another reason not to fly your drone in crowded areas, and that is theft. This is is less of an issue if your drone is well above head height but if it does fly down at a lower level, for whatever reason, somebody could get their hands on the drone and take it. 

Drones are a lot of fun and there are practical advantages too. However, as we have discussed here, care does need to be taken. So, take heed of our advice and protect your drone, yourself, and the well-being of others.

Are House Prices Headed for a Fall?

After reports that house prices had fallen for the first time in years on July 2021, there was much speculation about the future of the housing market. Was this a precursor for a larger slump, and were we headed for a fall in house prices sooner rather than later? Were steadily rising house prices before the drop evidence of an unsustainable market trend? And what does this mean for the market? We will discuss the future of house prices in the UK, by examining past trends and recent data to find out if the market is destined for a bust.

Trends Before the Pandemic

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a series of effects on the housing market (and which we will address shortly) house prices had been growing mercurially. After the 117% increase in average house price in the 2000s, the 2010s saw a comparatively meagre 33% growth – a rate seconded only by the 21% growth of the 1990s in recent history. Recession was the primary cause for both of these slumps, with the 2000s showing a significant bounce-back under New Labour. The 2009 banking crisis and subsequent recession, which coincidentally started as a result of sub-prime mortgages, saw a much slow return in the rate of house price increase – as the effects of quantitative easing rejuvenating the rate of house price growth over time.

The Effect of Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic severely affected the number of house sales taking place in 2020; despite laws allowing ongoing house moves to continue, successive lockdowns resulted in a downturn in sales, which in turn had an effect on the housing market. To stimulate growth again, the government announced a 12-month freeze on stamp duty in June 2020. This made selling more expensive properties a far cheaper process, and with the advent of online property conveyance solicitors, transactions could take place again.

What’s Next?

The house price drop mentioned at the start of this piece was the direct result of stamp duty being reinstated in full, with a majority of sellers aiming to complete their sale ahead of the 30th June deadline. The drop in house price was a function of the market adjusting for stamp duty, and does not appear to be the harbinger of future slumps. Instead, house price growth is projected to be robust, with August 2021’s growth already back at 10.6%. There is no indication that house prices will suffer in 2022, and in fact it seems more likely that the rate of growth will continue to increase with demand.

Why a Young Family Needs a Financial Plan

Starting a family is an incredible feeling quite unlike any other in the world. While this is an incredibly exciting time, it can also be daunting and this is for a few reasons. One of the biggest concerns that young families have is money and this is why it is so important to have a financial plan in place.

How Life Changes Immediately

Life changes when you start a family and in more ways than one. You will notice that your financial situation changes and this can be quite a shock to the system, especially those that have enjoyed the double income no kids lifestyle. When you have a baby, obviously you will have many new costs that need to be covered and these can quickly add up. On top of this, you are likely to have a dip in household income as a result of maternity/paternity leave or permanently quitting a job.

The Future

In addition to the above immediate changes to your financial situation, you must also think about the short and long-term future. The cost of childcare is an enormous cost to cover for parents that want to go back to work and you will then have to consider the increased costs as the child gets older and saving for their education. As if this was not enough, you then have your own financial situation to think about including mortgage/rent payments, the increased cost of living and your retirement.

The Importance of a Financial Plan

It is easy to panic when you factor in all of the above, but a strong financial plan can put you in control and help you to make the most of now while also building for the future. It is a smart idea for new parents/those starting a family to speak to a financial planning specialist that will be able to create a financial plan for your family based on your situation, needs and goals.

What a Financial Plan Consists of

This financial plan can cover all important aspects, including reducing spending, increasing income, saving for education, growing the family, helping your child to get onto the property ladder, retirement and even inheritance. Having a long term financial plan like this is important for helping to keep you on track while also greatly reducing the stress that can be involved with money when starting a family.

Life can feel very chaotic and expensive when you start a family. There is a lot to think about in the short and long term, but smart financial planning will help you to manage and build a comfortable lifestyle for your family.

The benefits of using HR software

A human resources (HR) software system is a computer-based program that can make it easier to manage staff. From tracking performance and work schedules to monitoring payroll and benefits, HR software can help your HR team manage your staff more efficiently and effectively. This can be particularly useful as your company grows. Below, we explore the benefits of using HR software.

Saves time

HR software can take over routine departmental tasks, saving your team time and allowing them to dedicate themselves to creating a better workplace for your staff. For a start, the software reduces paperwork by ensuring there’s a uniform response to dealing with employee information processes. Plus, by keeping employee information all within the system, you won’t need to sift through physical documents searching for information.

Have important information in one place

HR software keeps important information all within one place. With most companies carrying enormous amounts of data on every employee – much of it confidential – it can take a long time for the HR team to update this manually. With the help of software though, this data is updated quickly allowing your team to focus on more impactful work.

Security

Protecting employee data is crucial. You have a moral duty to protect your staff, and if you fail to then you could end up paying GDPR compensation and a fine should there be a leak. Fortunately, a solid HR software system can bolster your security. Personal information is encrypted to ensure that hackers and unauthorised personell can’t access data even if they manage to get onto the platform.

Track/monitor employees and help them to progress

HR software can also produce sophisticated employee performance data. By tracking this data you and your employees will get instant feedback on performance. This can allow staff to pinpoint precise areas for improvement and also plan ahead with goals to improve towards. With the help of performance data it should help your team consistently become more productive.

Monitor annual leave/sickness

The system can track the number of days an employee is absent without making mistakes – the worry of human error fades away with HR software. Clear management of sick days and leave can avoid time-consuming email trails and ensure that everyone understands the days off they have remaining each year. Again, this can help ease the workload on your HR team so that they can focus on improving the working environment.

The larger your company grows, the more important it is to invest in HR software. As you employ more staff, keeping track of their data becomes less manageable. By using HR software, though, you’ll be well equipped to run an efficient and effective HR team.

HTC VIVE Breaks new Ground with Launch of Portable VIVE Flow Immersive Glasses

Lightweight, compact, immersive glasses designed to help people find moments throughout their daily lives to relax, refresh and restore

HTC VIVE today announced VIVE Flow, a compact, lightweight immersive glasses device that transports its wearers wherever they want or need to be – anytime, anywhere. Designed with comfort and portability in mind, VIVE Flow lets people find moments of calm and well-being for themselves throughout the day, including:

  • Meditation 2.0 with apps like TRIPP, or taking a scenic, immersive drive down Route 66 with MyndVR’s original series: A Road to Remember
  • Watching TV or movies on their own personal, cinema-sized VR screen
  • Exercising their minds with brain training apps
  • Collaborating and socializing with colleagues and friends on VIVE Sync

VIVE Flow is designed to help people nurture their minds, relax and have fun on a daily basis, and go with the flow. Pre-order opens on 14 Oct from vive.com/vive-flow, and partners including Elisa in Finland, and Etisalat in the UAE. 

Vive Flow - Image Credit: HTC Vive
Vive Flow – Image Credit: HTC Vive

“With VIVE Flow, HTC is taking technology in a new direction, focusing not on what we do, but on how we feel. Maintaining our wellness has come to the forefront in the last few years, with so many millions feeling stressed every day, so it has never been more important to take time out to calm our minds, and VIVE Flow provides the perfect opportunity to escape our four walls and immerse ourselves in our ideal ambience,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC.

“Meditation, gentle stretches, brain training, streaming our favourite shows or even meeting friends or coworkers in VR with VIVE Sync can all be enhanced by a device light and compact enough to fit in our pocket. VIVE Flow represents the next evolution of technology, as we take a more holistic view of how we can make life better.”

“Relaxation means different things to different people,” said Nanea Reeves, CEO of leading XR wellness service TRIPP. “It’s important to find your own version of zen, whether that means meditating, watching videos, or playing games. The fact that HTC gets it, that we can use VR in these ways that can benefit peoples’ emotional and mental well-being is something that I personally am very excited about as is our entire team at TRIPP.”

Go with the Flow 

Even on a hectic day, it’s easy to find time for meditation, entertainment, or productivity with VIVE Flow thanks to its lifestyle-minded features. With VIVE Flow, you can:

Shen Ye - Senior Director, Global Head of Hardware Products - HTC - Image Credit: HTC Vive
Shen Ye – Senior Director, Global Head of Hardware Products – HTC – Image Credit: HTC Vive
  • Dive into a range of immersive experiences via the Viveport app store anytime, anywhere, using your Android smartphone as a controller. 
  • Connect wirelessly to your 5G Android smartphone and stream content like TV shows and films from your favourite platforms.  
  • Meet with colleagues and friends in realistic virtual environments via VIVE Sync. 

Portability meets power 

Designed to fit into your life easily, VIVE Flow weighs about the same as a chocolate bar at just 189g. Its dual-hinge design and soft face gasket allow it to fold down into a compact footprint for effortless portability. VIVE Flow’s unique hinge is designed to fit many different head shapes and sizes. Its face gasket takes inspiration from the acclaimed VIVE Focus 3, with magnetic connections making it simple and quick to swap out – perfect for when you want to share.

VIVE Flow also has built-in diopter dials, allowing users to easily make adjustments for crystal clear visuals. Its active cooling system pulls warm air away from your face, keeping you comfortable throughout the day.

Under the hood, VIVE Flow opens new worlds with on-the-go immersion like never before. An expansive 100-degree field of view allows for cinematic screens to lose yourself in HD quality content, with a sharp 3.2K resolution and a smooth 75 Hz refresh rate. Featuring full 3D spatial audio, VIVE Flow delivers immersive sound and can also connect to external Bluetooth earphones.

Unwind to your heart’s content 

HTC VIVE is also unveiling a special Viveport subscription plan following the launch of VIVE Flow. The plan is priced at USD $5.99 per month and gives people unlimited access to a wide range of immersive apps covering well-being, brain training, productivity, light gaming, and exclusive content like a Lo-Fi room designed to look and feel like a cozy café.

Pricing, accessories, and availability 

VIVE Flow has a matching carry case available for purchase, giving you peace of mind no matter where you go. A small but powerful 10,000mAh VIVE power bank can be purchased separately, providing extra battery life for long days.

VIVE Flow retails for £499 / from €549, and for USD $499 from vive.com/vive-flow. Pre-orders start on 14 Oct globally, and anyone pre-ordering will receive the official VIVE Flow carry case and a gift bundle of 7 pieces of content. Open sales begin in November 2021.

Sneak Peek!

I was exceedingly lucky to be invited to a preview of the HTC Vive Flow in London a few days ago. The whole event took place in an incredibly cool venue near Old Street.

The HTC Vive team had set up different within an apartment to showcase this incredible piece of technology.

  1. Mindfulness and Chillout Area – I experience the mindfulness side of this technology where I was transported to a beach someone exotic and watch the sunrise, whilst I was gently coached on my breathing and reached a really nice calm place!
  2. Disney+ – Here I was able to experience the full cinematic version of the Disney+ streaming platform and had a chance to watch a segment of Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds. The video quality was exceptional as was the surround sound. It was very impressive!
  3. Pirates – This was a VR pirate game where I had to shoot cannonballs at pirate ships – Lots of fun!
  4. V&A Curious Alice – This was an interactive experience in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was really good fun again, you can find out more here.
  5. Lo-Fi Cafe – I really liked this experience, it was an incredibly immersive and calming experience. I was sitting in a Cafe with a steaming coffee in front of me, music playing on a record player, an open book on the table and a laptop. There were empty tables which I was able to transport over to. I could also surf the internet in a VR browser. I could also draw and write in thin air. Most importantly, I found it really relaxing. Living in a house that can be very very noisy, I really felt I could actually take myself away from the hustle and bustle of life into that virtual cafe and watch the rain running down the window and just relax.

What I realised more than anything was that VR has indeed reached a point when the brain can be fooled enough to be calmed into a sense of relaxation wherever you might be. In a workplace, busy home or even on a transatlantic flight. Very very impressed.

Hopefully, I will have an opportunity to fully test the Vive Flow very soon!

You can view more HTC Vive products here, if you decide to purchase, we may earn a small fee as an Amazon affiliate, which of course helps continue to fund this site.

What Mistakes Could You Be Making With Your Online Business?

There are a lot of mistakes an online business owner can make. Sure, the online world is a very accessible place, but when it comes to navigating these waters safely, there’s a lot you need to account for in the early days. And if you don’t, there’s a good chance you could be working with a foundation that’s not as secure as you’d like it to be! 

After all, you’ve got cyber security to always keep an eye on, and the social media landscape to attune to, and doing so gets more complicated as you go on. So you need to know you’re working with a reliable, well-built website. But don’t worry, there’s lots you can do right now to refocus your energy for the better, especially in the areas below. 

What Mistakes Could You Be Making With Your Online Business?
What Mistakes Could You Be Making With Your Online Business?

Not Having a Quality Customer Service

Customer service is always a necessity. You need to have a reliable and dedicated ‘desk’ to answer any and all queries and complaints you receive, otherwise, your business will be swamped with unhappy customers and no way to placate them. At the least, you need to be able to filter out the emails and/or direct messages you get to the right place, to make them easier to sort through and answer. 

So think about how you’ve been dealing with customers until now. How long is your average response time? Do you have a chat bot to rely on? Do you even make it easy for customers to get in contact with you, by displaying your details clearly on the website? If not, it’s time to rearrange your homepage a little! 

Not Focusing on Cyber Security

Cyber security should always be a top priority for you. Keeping customer data safe is a business’ number one job, after turning a profit, and you should never compromise the details of those who have shopped with you. Not only does it prove you’re not a trustworthy company, but it could cost you a lot of money in the long run. 

Which means it’s time to look into your online business security; start making backups at least once a week, make sure any software you use is updated to the latest patch, and change any passwords you’ve been using. This should be done about every 30 days anyway, and try not to use a similar arrangement of characters each time either. 

Not Enough Social Media Coverage

Finally, do you put much thought into your social media coverage? How often do you post? Because without a proper use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s going to be hard to get your name out there. People will find it harder to relate to your brand, and your chance of recognition will go out the window. So think about putting a content schedule in place, and use social media much more constructively in the future. 

It’s easy to make a mistake when working online, but it’s not that hard to rectify them either.

Affordable Ways To Improve Your PC Experience

Computer upgrades can be very expensive, but not every upgrade to your PC needs to be. Improving the setup around your PC can have a big impact on your day-to-day experience of using your computer more than faster render times or higher framerates. If you’re looking for an affordable way to improve your laptop or desktop, try some of these affordable options. 

Affordable Ways To Improve Your PC Experience
Affordable Ways To Improve Your PC Experience

Clear Desk Clutter While Adding Convenience

You can make a lot of difference to your experience with a budget-friendly device that combines an under-the-desk hanger for your headset, a USB hub, and a jack for plugging in headphones. Depending on where you put this device, this will likely be more convenient than plugging into your top-panel connector or running audio cables around the back of the PC. Cable tidies and other options to shift some of the clutter from the top of your desk can make a lot of difference, so it’s well worth doing.

Give Your Wrists A Break

Whether you’re a gamer or you use your PC a lot for work (or both, like many of us), using the computer without a wrist rest for a long time can soon become uncomfortable and painful, which can even lead to serious joint issues over time. Some keyboards, such as higher-end gaming keyboards, come with wrist rests already attached, but these are often uncomfortable and made of rigid plastic, which is not ideal. For a low amount of money, you can make an excellent wrist rest, with memory foam surrounded by gel. This is very comfortable for your wrists, making using it a lot more pleasant. 

Even an older gel wrist rest that’s getting a little worn out can be enough to help, so it’s well worth considering this upgrade. Your wrists will thank you, and your desk could even end up looking a lot more hygienic and smart too. 

The right keyboard, such as a custom mechanical keyboard, can also be a lot nicer to type on. It’s worth trying a few different types to see what suits you and you find most comfortable. 

Eliminate Mouse Drag

If you have an old mouse for your computer that you love and have been using for years, then in all likelihood, it’s probably showing some signs of wear and tear by now. The slick parts on the bottom can wear down. If you’ve had to take the mouse apart for a thorough clean, you might have had to remove these pads to get at screws, and they’re difficult to get back on properly. 

You could replace the mouse entirely, or upgrade your current mouse with a kit that will help your mouse to glide around the desk like new again. These kits have six ceramic feet that are compatible with both optical and laser mice, although you may have to recalibrate your lift distance due to how thick these feet are. Make sure your mouse software will let you do this before you part with your money. 

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Running a Business

Running your own business has the power to open up so many doors in your life. You’ll be able to make a better income, become more self-assured, don’t need to deal with pressure from a mean boss, and can constantly track your own progress. While running your own business can be something extremely rewarding, it can also be stressful. There is a lot that goes into running a business. You have to take a lot into account when it comes to your own business. You’ll need to think about each action that you do and how it affects you, your clients, and your business overall. Here are some very important things that you must consider when you’re running your own business.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Running a Business
6 Things to Keep in Mind When Running a Business

Hiring the right staff

If you’re needing help, you need staff, right? Well, you’ll want to make sure that you hire the right person to get the job done. Depending on your line of business and what is available, you may be able to look into fire and security recruitment.  When you find the right staff for the team, this is going to help in harnessing a good connection but it also is going to increase the efficiency of the business as well. This is because you’re not having to spend so much time finding the right people and trying to train them. While finding and hiring the right person is a big trial on its own, it’s worth it in the long run so you can have a functional business that is operating smoothly.

You need to understand your customer

Most go people into business because they have a solution to what a customer is after. You need to know who your customer is and you need to know what they want. If you want to have your marketing strategy become a success, then you need to target the market accurately. This means that you need to analyze your current customer base and the customer base that your competition has. You want to try to tailor your business and your product to what the customers are after. You can do this by using technology for business advantage. This can include doing marketing research, having a good and compelling marketing strategy, and just engaging with possible customers.

Your finances

As a business owner, you’ll need to manage your business finances. It’s so important that you do your finances properly. Because if your decisions are bad, especially in the first year of your business, they can have some serious consequences later on. Also, you need to think about how much you’re spending and how much you owe. A lot of small businesses quickly fizzle out due to being in too much debt or they entirely run out of money.

You’ll have to make a lot of hard decisions
You’ll have to make a lot of hard decisions

You’ll have to make a lot of hard decisions

You are a boss, you are your own boss, and if you hire a team, then you are also their boss. As a business owner, you’ll need to make a lot of decisions. Unfortunately, some of these decisions may be very hard too. This can be something such as firing someone, staffing costs, dealing with finances, and so much more. It’s definitely not fun but it is something that you must be aware of as it is the reality of being a business owner.

You’ll need a support system

This support system can be from your friends and family but it also is from other small business owners. These owners can be within your community or even the same industry as you. It’s always good to have a support system, especially if it’s from other business owners. You’ll be able to share ideas, network, give advice, and just cope with the ever-changing world of business. You can find plenty of business networking events online which also can include trade shows.

You’ll work harder than ever before

Many people switch to running their own business because they think it will be a breeze. They worked hard and had long hours at their previous job, so working for yourself is going to be smooth sailing, right? That’s completely wrong! You’ll most likely find yourself working longer hours for yourself than you will for someone else. It’s crazy to think about but it’s usually the case. When it comes to trying to get your business off the ground there is a chance that you’ll have to spend late nights, holidays, and even weekends doing what you can in hopes that this business will be a success in the long run. 

Is it Actually Easy to Become a Digital Nomad?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe, a lot of people were looking into becoming digital nomads. These are people who work remotely (whether it be freelancing or working for a company) and just travel around the world while they do it. There was a sort of beauty to it. People were incorporating slow travel, continuing the career, all while getting to change up their setting and way of life whenever they chose to. Since the world is slowly going back to normal, countries are opening back up, and travel is becoming easily accessible, the idea is becoming popular once more. But is it truly easy to jump in and become a digital nomad? What are the risks? You can find out all of that here!

Is it Actually Easy to Become a Digital Nomad?
Is it Actually Easy to Become a Digital Nomad?

How does a digital nomad get work?

So, digital nomads will find work in a variety of ways. Some may be content creators and continuously create content while they travel. They can work for a company remotely, and their company allows them to travel freely. When this is the case, it does allow for a lot of security and there is a safety net to it. Looking into it infrastructure jobs could be a way to get started when looking for a reliable company that offers remote work.

Another way that digital nomads find work can be through passive income ( selling courses, eBooks, printables, or anything else), crypto, and day traders, but they can also own their own business. This can be something such as a freelancer, or someone who owns their company. Honestly, there are so many ways that digital nomads can sustainably make their income.

How do digital nomads travel?

Just like with obtaining income, travelling can also be various. There’s this idea that digital nomads are constantly travelling and they do their work at the side of a pool in a resort. There could be some truth to it, but for the most part, it’s just hyper glamorization. Digital nomads can live in different ways, and they’re usually not travelling all the time unless they’re making passive income or they’re content creators.

Most digital nomads will stick with something specific and will rely on that. Here is an example: the whole idea of “van life” is becoming very popular. While there are questions of how much does it cost to hire a van, usually digital nomads who work in vans will drive somewhere and stay for several days while they get their work done. Sometimes it stays far longer than several days in one location. Other nomads will stay in an Airbnb for close to a month, they’ll work and in their free time just enjoy the area. They’ll do this before they move on to somewhere else in the world.

How do digital nomads travel?
How do digital nomads travel?

Are there any risks when trying to become a digital nomad?

The short answer is, it all depends. You need to have enough money in your bank account in case anything happens such as an unexpected medical bill, hidden fees, or an emergency that happens back at home so you need to take a flight there. In short, anything can happen so you always have to keep your finances in check. It’s important to use budgeting tools to help you out with this.

The lack of good Wi-Fi and the constant difference in time zones can make it difficult to operate a business, make clients happy, or even do your job all around. If the work you do requires little to no deadlines or communication with clients or coworkers then it could be something to consider. In short, these risks can be avoided especially if you know where to find good wifi and where your body can adjust to the difference in time zones.

Can being a digital nomad affect the search for a job?

This answer will also depend. If you’re planning on travelling constantly, some companies will not like that as they want stability for their employees. However, it can also just depend on the company culture. Some companies are entirely remote and all of their employees work remotely too. There are company cultures out there that completely encourage travel while working, but you may need to do some deep searching to find those.

What are the downsides to being a digital nomad?

When it comes to being a digital nomad, it’s unfortunately not all sunshine and rainbows. There are some downsides. One of the biggest downsides is that it can’t last forever. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that as many countries have to go into lockdown, this included forcing visitors to leave, and having hospitality-oriented businesses close their doors until told otherwise.  

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