7 Steps to Writing A Great Blog Post

Writing great content isn’t easy. Anyone who has ever tried knows this. Thankfully, however, there are techniques designed to make writing a great blog post easier. One of those this is to create a process for how you’ll do it.

great blog post

As a writer in the search marketing space, much of my time is spent crafting content designed to educate and (sometimes) entertain my audience. As the VP of Strategy at Overit, I’m also responsible for helping our team to write content to be published on various platforms.

As such, I’ve had to develop a clear and effective process to keep myself and my team on task with the content we have to write. In doing that it’s not only helped us to get content out in a timely manner, but to create content people actually want to read and share with their communities.

Turns out, the more you enjoy sharing your words, the better those words tend to be.

My process for content writing looks like this:

1. Decide On Your Topic

Start by creating a list of everything you’re passionate about or that you feel like you can write on authoritatively. As a freelancer or small business owner, your list will undoubtedly be a mix of not only your subject-matter excellence, but also topics related to business, productively tools, work/life balance, and how you manage your day.

Also think about the questions that you’re constantly answering. What are the common problems/concerns your customers come to you about? What information are you often seeking? If you can pinpoint areas related to your business where many face difficulties, you can create a great benefit to your reader by solving their problems.

Start keeping a list of potential topics to write about. My team uses Google Docs to suggest blog topic ideas, both for themselves and for other departments.

2. Outline The Post

There are two great ways to work out an outline for your blog post.

The first way is that traditional outline our teachers taught us in grade school. It involves breaking out the main points of our post and creating a list of everything you want to include, in the order you will address it. By creating a traditional outline, it helps you work out the flow of your post and organizes thoughts in a logical manner so you’re better prepared when you start writing.

The second way to outline your post is verbally. Grab a friend or a voice recorder and talk out your post and main points instead of trying to write them. Talk about your topic like you’re explaining it to a friend or a customer. For many, talking through your post is a lot more effective than trying to write about it from a blank slate. Once you record yourself, you can take the transcript and use it to build an outline.

3. Fill In The Blanks

With a workable outline for your post created, start filling in the blanks. Add supporting evidence, show research, cite sources, give examples, tell stories, and just write. Don’t worry yet about how it sounds, just get the words out and work on building your story. Focus on the ideas you want to convey, not your ability to say them intelligently. Because writing and editing are very different skills, trying to do both at the same time will hinder your process and cause you to get “stuck” rewriting and editing the same three lines.

In step 3, just focus on getting your ideas out and saying what it is you want to say.

4. Edit

With a first draft down, read your post out loud to help you spot any writing awkwardness, typos, wrong words, sentence fragments, and anything else that may be hindering the flow of your post. If you have a difficult time being able to read it, that’s a good indication a reader will have a hard time getting through it, as well. If you’re not currently in the process of reading your writing out loud, I’d encourage you to start. You’ll spot a lot more typos and awkward writing that way.

5. Work On Your Title

Writing effective blog titles is hard. You need to not only describe your post and set your reader up for what you’re about to show them, but you need to engage them and be descriptive for the search engines as you do it. To become better at writing blog titles (and writing, in general) I’d recommend following blogs like Copyblogger, which truly make crafting blog titles an art.

6. Add Images

Adding compelling images to your content will help tell your story and affect how users perceive it. If you’re going to use stock photography, you may want to re-read our post on things to avoid when using stock photography to help you focus in on the photos that will add the most to your content. Concentrate on images that will set the tone for your post and draw people in. Images of people or that use warm colors often work best.

If you don’t already have a preferred site for purchasing images, TJ McCue’s post on 50 places to find images can help you get started.

7. Share Your Post!

Now that you’ve done the work, make sure to share your post via all of your social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever else you participate. While you don’t want to overload or spam people, sharing your post multiple times can help account for different time zones or preferred reading times.

Above is my process for writing blog posts that people want to read. What do you find works best for you? How have you handled the content writing process?

More in: Content Marketing

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration

Halloween offers many potential advertising opportunities for businesses. You can use the holiday to promote a sale or event. You can show off your festive spirit. Or you can even show off how some of your products might be useful for various Halloween activities.

If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to Halloween advertising, there are many great examples out there that you can learn from. Below are 20 great ads you can use for inspiration for Halloween advertising ideas.

Halloween Advertising Ideas

M&M’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - M&M's

These minimalist M&M’s ads show off the product in a really festive way, with Halloween imagery and colors. They don’t include a whole lot of actual information, but consumers pretty much already know what they’re getting with M&M’s. So the ads serve as a simple but festive reminder.

Disneyland

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Disneyland

In a series of ads released by Disneyland Paris, the company used some of its recognizable characters to get a Halloween message across. The holiday is the perfect time to highlight villains of any kind, so the ads featured a number of Disney’s famous bad guys.

McDonald’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - McDonald's

This ad repositions a classic McDonald’s menu item as another classic treat. Since you normally think of candy when you think of Halloween, showing off the burger in that setting adds a festive twist to the ad.

Heineken

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Heineken

In this ad, Heineken uses humor and a selection of recognizable Halloween characters to get a message across about celebrating with Heineken.

Snickers

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Snickers

This is another ad that uses humor to get a point across. Snickers sends a clear message about its candy by using a familiar Halloween scene with just one strange twist.

Cheetos

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Cheetos

Cheetos included some Halloween imagery in this campaign. But it sticks with its recognizable branding by including mascot Chester Cheetah in that Halloween setting.

Mini Cooper

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper normally sticks with a pretty minimalist style in its ads. So when it released the Halloween themed ad above, it added a little bit of a spooky twist.

Burger King

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Burger King

Burger King used Halloween as an excuse to release a whole new product. The ads touted both the look and the flavor of the Halloween Whopper, which was a special product just released for the season.

Martha Stewart Pets

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Martha Stewart Pets

Sometimes you don’t even need a groundbreaking idea to sell a product. For example, if you sell Halloween costumes for pets like Martha Stewart Pets and Petsmart, you can just use some pictures of cute dogs dressed up in funny outfits.

Chobani

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Chobini

Even if you’re not a business that sells products for animals, you can still use the cute factor in your advertising like this one from Chobani.

Papa John’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Papa John's

Pumpkin carving is a popular Halloween activity. So you can use that method to show off your logo or branding in advertisements. This Papa John’s ad also details some deals customers can get around Halloween.

Guinness

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Guinness

Guinness released an actual promotional item to celebrate Halloween – some simple coasters with a Halloween theme. So the company created an add to promote those items along with its beer.

Woolite

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Woolite

In this ad, Woolite wanted to show off how dark it can keep clothing even through many washes. So the depiction of witches (or lack thereof) is a unique way to integrate the holiday.

Oreo

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Oreo

Oreo constantly comes up with new and different ways to show off its products in ways that celebrate different seasons or events. This one has a Halloween theme, but still features branding elements that are consistent with Oreo’s other campaigns.

Chipotle

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Chipotle

For its Boorito campaign, Chipotle wanted to highlight its own natural ingredients by positioning the ingredients used by other companies as “spooky.”

Goodwill

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Goodwill

Goodwill can be a great place for people to get Halloween costumes or other supplies. So it created a minimalistic ad campaign to support the idea of celebrating Halloween without creating a lot of additional waste.

Pepsi/Coca-Cola

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Pepsi/Coca-Cola

Halloween also presents a unique opportunity for brands to position themselves against the competition. Pepsi tried that here by positioning Coca-Cola as scary. But Coke fired back with a different interpretation of the same image.

Steak-n-Shake

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Steak-n-Shake

Steak-n-Shake opted for a retro vibe for this advertisement for its fall and Halloween themed flavors. It works with the restaurant’s vibe but also presents a festive twist for the restaurant.

Absolut

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Absolut

Absolut sticks with a very consistent design throughout its ads. So for its Halloween and fall themed ads, it simply included some festive and seasonal elements in that same recognizable format.

Reese’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Reese's

Reese’s also has a very recognizable advertising style. So the brand kept it simple with its signature orange packaging, which also happens to work for Halloween, and a zippy tagline.

Halloween Cake Photo via Shutterstock

Check out our Business Gift Giving Guide for more tips about holiday trends.

More in: Holidays

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

15 Great Microsoft Word Add-Ins for Social Media, Email Marketing, More

15 Great Microsoft Word Add-Ins for Social Media, Email Marketing, More

Ever since its launch in 1983, Microsoft Word has been an integral part of daily office life for millions of workers. It doesn’t matter what sort of business you’re running or what type of industry you’re in — chances are, you’re going to need to use Microsoft Word more than a few times per day.

But just because Word is the processor of choice for a vast majority of businesses does not mean the program is absolutely perfect. That’s why Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has opened the floodgates and allowed scores of developers and companies to develop their own plug-ins to improve on Word.

There are plenty of Microsoft Word Ad-Ins to choose from, and they’ve all got dynamic business solutions in mind. But to help get you started on improving your own word processing experience, we’ve picked out 15 of our favorite add-ins for Word.

Microsoft Word Add-Ins

1. Pickit Presentation Images

The Pickit Presentation Images add-in provides users with access to a virtually unlimited number of free-to-use images. The app has an easy-to-install task pane that enables you to browse themed collections of photos, icons and GIFs without having to leave Word. It’s free to use, although a premium version is available for a monthly subscription fee.

2. Document Wizard

Document Wizard allows you to alter the author details of your documents with one, simple click. The add-in also enables you to configure a series of heavily-used Word templates so that you’re able to insert brand names and contact points into multiple documents with one swift swoop. This add-in requires an Office 365 subscription, and costs a small monthly fee.

3. DocuSign for Word

DocuSign for Word is perfect for business owners who regularly need to add eSignatures onto contracts and documents. After editing a document, users can then use the DocuSign app to securely sign a document or send the document to someone else to complete and sign. This add-in boasts an intuitive drag-and-drop design, and is free to download.

4. Selection Diff Tool

Selection Diff Tool helps users to instantly compare two regions of text within a document. By selecting areas of text or using direct clipboard copying, you can instantly search for key content differences within particular line, paragraph or page. Selection Diff Tool is available for a monthly subscription.

5. Maps for Office

Maps for Office allows you to generate an interactive Google Map and insert it directly into your Word document. As with ordinary Google Maps, the add-in lets you choose between road maps, various terrains or satellite views.

6. Contextual for Word

Contextual for Word is a content discovery app that helps you to track down fresh and relevant content from across the web without even having to open a browser. The add-in then has the power to insert chosen pieces of content directly into your Word documents.

7. Training for Word 2013

If you’re worried you might not be getting the most out of Microsoft Word, Training for Word 2013 could be perfect for you. The add-in features a diverse range of 134 interactive tutorials designed to provide users with in-depth help solutions that aren’t necessarily covered in Word’s own built-in support tool.

8. Wikipedia

Quite a few different versions of Word now come with Wikipedia pre-installed. But if you haven’t already got it, you should definitely look into downloading it. As one would imagine, the Wikipedia add-in for Wordautomatically searches the site for topics based on your selection in an Office document without ever needing to open a live browser.

9. Dolphin Compose Common Phrase Library

Dolphin Compose Common Phrase Library is a dynamic, cloud-based central library that helps users to search, edit, reuse and retrieve phrases or clauses that are repeatedly used within a wide range of company documents. This helps to establish a uniform brand voice for your business, and also ensure that all company documents are up-to-date. Dolphin Compose requires an Office 365 subscription.

10. QR4Office

QR4Office is an intuitive add-in that helps you to instantly create custom-built QR codes for your company, and then integrate them into various Word documents. This fairly simple app enables you to alter your code’s color, background and size, and is free to use.

11. AP Stylebook Online

If your business requires a lot of crisp content, AP Stylebook Online is a pretty crucial Word add-in. It instantly scrutinizes word usage, spelling, punctuation and syntax without the need for a browser. That being said, it’s worth pointing out you will need a current AP Stylebook Online user name and password in order to use this app.

12. Arabic Authoring Services

If you’re keen to do business with individuals or companies across the Middle East, the Arabic Authoring Services add-in makes life a whole lot easier. This free app can instantly convert Romanized script into Arabic script. More important still, it restores missing diacritics in the Arabic text to ensure nothing gets lost in translation.

13. Word Facebook Integrator

Facebook is often blamed for hindering productivity. But if your company is involved on social media, you very well may benefit from downloading Word Facebook Integrator. This add-in enables you to post messages and quotes instantly to Facebook from Word. You can also view social media photos and insert them into documents without having to open your browser.

14. MailChimp for Microsoft Word

MailChimp for Microsoft Word allows you to draft and design an effective HTML campaign directly within Word. You can then easily export your work to any MailChimp account. Add-in features include native placeholders to optimize design and the ability to merge tags.

15. KStudio – Office Script Editor

KStudio’s add-in script editor is a great tool for tech-savvy businesses and coders. It helps users to organize your workflow by way of an easy-to-install task pane. There, you can draft script from online temporary libraries, deploy it to cloud storage or publish it virtually anywhere.

This list is by no means exhaustive. To be honest, there are literally thousands of Word add-ins available online. No matter what it is your business needs, chances are there is already a perfect plugin that will help you to meet those needs. So if you’re wanting to get more out of Microsoft Word, get looking. You’ll definitely be surprised by what you might find.

Microsoft Word Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Microsoft

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration

Halloween offers many potential advertising opportunities for businesses. You can use the holiday to promote a sale or event. You can show off your festive spirit. Or you can even show off how some of your products might be useful for various Halloween activities.

If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to Halloween advertising, there are many great examples out there that you can learn from. Below are 20 great ads you can use for inspiration for Halloween advertising ideas.

Halloween Advertising Ideas

M&M’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - M&M's

These minimalist M&M’s ads show off the product in a really festive way, with Halloween imagery and colors. They don’t include a whole lot of actual information, but consumers pretty much already know what they’re getting with M&M’s. So the ads serve as a simple but festive reminder.

Disneyland

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Disneyland

In a series of ads released by Disneyland Paris, the company used some of its recognizable characters to get a Halloween message across. The holiday is the perfect time to highlight villains of any kind, so the ads featured a number of Disney’s famous bad guys.

McDonald’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - McDonald's

This ad repositions a classic McDonald’s menu item as another classic treat. Since you normally think of candy when you think of Halloween, showing off the burger in that setting adds a festive twist to the ad.

Heineken

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Heineken

In this ad, Heineken uses humor and a selection of recognizable Halloween characters to get a message across about celebrating with Heineken.

Snickers

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Snickers

This is another ad that uses humor to get a point across. Snickers sends a clear message about its candy by using a familiar Halloween scene with just one strange twist.

Cheetos

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Cheetos

Cheetos included some Halloween imagery in this campaign. But it sticks with its recognizable branding by including mascot Chester Cheetah in that Halloween setting.

Mini Cooper

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper normally sticks with a pretty minimalist style in its ads. So when it released the Halloween themed ad above, it added a little bit of a spooky twist.

Burger King

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Burger King

Burger King used Halloween as an excuse to release a whole new product. The ads touted both the look and the flavor of the Halloween Whopper, which was a special product just released for the season.

Martha Stewart Pets

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Martha Stewart Pets

Sometimes you don’t even need a groundbreaking idea to sell a product. For example, if you sell Halloween costumes for pets like Martha Stewart Pets and Petsmart, you can just use some pictures of cute dogs dressed up in funny outfits.

Chobani

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Chobini

Even if you’re not a business that sells products for animals, you can still use the cute factor in your advertising like this one from Chobani.

Papa John’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Papa John's

Pumpkin carving is a popular Halloween activity. So you can use that method to show off your logo or branding in advertisements. This Papa John’s ad also details some deals customers can get around Halloween.

Guinness

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Guinness

Guinness released an actual promotional item to celebrate Halloween – some simple coasters with a Halloween theme. So the company created an add to promote those items along with its beer.

Woolite

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Woolite

In this ad, Woolite wanted to show off how dark it can keep clothing even through many washes. So the depiction of witches (or lack thereof) is a unique way to integrate the holiday.

Oreo

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Oreo

Oreo constantly comes up with new and different ways to show off its products in ways that celebrate different seasons or events. This one has a Halloween theme, but still features branding elements that are consistent with Oreo’s other campaigns.

Chipotle

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Chipotle

For its Boorito campaign, Chipotle wanted to highlight its own natural ingredients by positioning the ingredients used by other companies as “spooky.”

Goodwill

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Goodwill

Goodwill can be a great place for people to get Halloween costumes or other supplies. So it created a minimalistic ad campaign to support the idea of celebrating Halloween without creating a lot of additional waste.

Pepsi/Coca-Cola

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Pepsi/Coca-Cola

Halloween also presents a unique opportunity for brands to position themselves against the competition. Pepsi tried that here by positioning Coca-Cola as scary. But Coke fired back with a different interpretation of the same image.

Steak-n-Shake

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Steak-n-Shake

Steak-n-Shake opted for a retro vibe for this advertisement for its fall and Halloween themed flavors. It works with the restaurant’s vibe but also presents a festive twist for the restaurant.

Absolut

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Absolut

Absolut sticks with a very consistent design throughout its ads. So for its Halloween and fall themed ads, it simply included some festive and seasonal elements in that same recognizable format.

Reese’s

20 Examples of Great Halloween Advertising Inspiration - Reese's

Reese’s also has a very recognizable advertising style. So the brand kept it simple with its signature orange packaging, which also happens to work for Halloween, and a zippy tagline.

Halloween Cake Photo via Shutterstock

This is part of the Small Business Trends holiday article series featuring tips, advice and news about the latest holiday trends taking place in today’s business world. Check out our Business Gift Giving Guide for more.

More in: Holidays

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Amazon Great Indian Sale: Our Top Picks From Day 1 Deals

Amazon Great Indian Sale: Our Top Picks From Day 1 Deals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon Great Indian Sale will last for 3 days
  • It comes with early access for Prime members
  • Deals on popular mobiles, other electronics, and more

The Amazon Great Indian Sale 2016 is here, bringing with it deals on mobiles and other electronics, home & kitchen appliances, fashion apparel & accessories, and more. The three-day deals marathon kicked off at the stroke of midnight on Monday, with a bunch of new deals going live every hour since.

Before we get to our pick of the deals so far, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Amazon is offering Prime members early access to many deals, so this is as good a time as any tosign up for Prime. Amazon Prime costs Rs. 499 for a year after a 60-day free trial if you sign up right now, and comes with other benefits like free one-day shipping on eligible items with no minimum order.

(Also see: Amazon Prime Launched in India, Amazon Video ‘Is Coming’)

2) Amazon is offering SBI credit and debit card holders an additional 10 percent off if they shop via the app, and additional 7.5 percent via the website. There’s a minimum spend requirement of Rs. 5,000, with a maximum discount of Rs. 1,500 per card.

3) Deals are going live throughout the day, so keep coming back for more. Some deals may have limited quantities available (indicated by the percentage claimed), so if you are really keen on buying something, go ahead complete the purchase while you can.

Without further ado, here are the best deals of the Amazon Great India Sale so far:

    1. Logitech X50 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
      The Logitech X50 is a Bluetooth speaker that’s bit of a crowd favourite with 4.5 average rating on Amazon India. Rated to deliver up to 5 hours of audio playback on a single charge, the speaker is deceptively loud, and comes with an Aux port as well. Available as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale at Rs. 1,249.
    1. Xiaomi Mi 5
      The Xiaomi Mi 5 (Review) is one of the best all-around smartphones you can buy right now, and Amazon is offering the black and white variants of smartphone at a discount of Rs. 2,000. That may not be a big amount, but if you are already in the market for a Mi 5, this is a good time to pick one up.
    1. Obi Worldphone SF1
      It’s a phone that most of our readers would be familiar with, and it’s going at a great price right now. The 16GB variant of the phone is available at Rs. 7,999, while the 32GB variant is going at Rs. 9,999. In our review the Obi Worldphone SF1 scored high on design, battery life, though the camera performance could’ve been better.
    1. Samsung On7 Pro
      Samsung has again become a contender in the budget smartphone space and it’s thanks to products like the On7 Pro. Launched in October last year, the smartphone is available as part of the Amazon Great India Sale 2016 in gold and black at Rs. 10,190.
    1. Logitech K480
      The Logitech Bluetooth multi-device keyboard K480 for computers, tablets, and smartphones is one of our favourite Bluetooth keyboards. It can be connected to up to 3 devices at once, and you can switch input between them using the dial. The built-in stand doubles up as cradle for smartphones and tablets. As part of the Amazon Great India Sale, it’s available at Rs. 1,799.
    1. Teewe 2
      The Teewe 2 (Review) is one of our favourite home-grown media streamers, and a pretty decent alterantive to Google’s Chromecast. It’s available right now at Rs. 1,499.
    1. Logitech accessories
      Logitech is one of the preferred names when it comes to accessories and there are decent deals going around on a bunch of them. Our picks include the Logitech B170 Wireless Mouse at Rs. 549, the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver at Rs. 1,499, the Logitech Type Plus Protective case with Integrated Keyboard for iPad Air 2 at Rs. 2,999, and Logitech C270h HD Webcam and Stereo Headset at Rs. 1,249.
    1. Jawbone activity trackers
      Many popular of Jawbone activity trackers are discounted by 25 percent as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale.
    1. Sanyo IPS TVs with A+ grade panel
      Sanyo is offering two good deals on TVs with A+ grade IPS panels and 178 degree viewing angle, along with HDMI*2, USB*2, PC*1, AV*2, RF*1 ports. The 49-inch model is going at Rs. 34,990, while the 43-inch model is available at Rs. 24,990, making them good bang for the buck.
    1. Other AmazonBasics accessories
      As you would expect, there are deals on Amazon’s own range of AmazonBasics accessories. If you’ve had your eye on certain laptop or tablet sleeves, or some other cables, this might be a good time to check them out.
    1. Other mobiles
      There are deals on plenty of other mobiles like the Acer Liquid Jade, Blu Win HD LTE, Micromax Canvas Win W121, Canvas 2 Colours, Canvas Nitro 2, Phicomm Passion 660, and Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Do note that most of these phones are rather dated at this point, and may not represent the best bang for your buck. But if you are in the market for these specific models for some reason, this information might come in useful.

Expired deals

    1. Sony SRS-X55 Premium Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth and NFC
      This is probably one of the best audio deals that you will see over the next 3 days. The Sony SRS-X55 Premium Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth and NFC has an average of 4.5 (out of 5) user rating on Amazon India, and is usually available around the Rs. 12,500 mark, compared to its MRP of Rs. 13,999. But you can buy it at just Rs. 7,990 until stocks last.
    1. Soundmagic ES 19S
      If you are looking for a decent pair of earphones to go with your smartphone that don’t cost a bomb, the Soundmagic ES 19S are worth considering. They work with both Apple and Android smartphones and are available at Rs. 799 as part of the Amazon Sale.
    1. Logitech UE Boom
      One of the better Bluetooth speakers out there is available at a sub-Rs. 10,000 price point. The Logitech UE Boom comes with water and stain resistance as well as a claimed battery life of 15 hours. Yes, a successor is out already, but at UE Boom is still worth considering at Rs. 9,599.
    1. Lightning cables
      Apple Lightning GeekTitan 1m MFi cable is available at Rs. 499, against a usual price of Rs. 599, making it a decent deal if you are in the market for a new cable to charge your iPhone or iPad. Amazon’s own Lightning cable is available at just Rs. 599, though be warned that the cable is just 4-inches only.

Keep coming back to this page for more Amazon Great India Sale deals throughout the day or check out all Amazon Great Indian Sale deals>. Did you find any other good deals? Let us know via the comments.

Tags: Amazon, Amazon Great Indian Sale, Amazon India

[“source-ndtv”]

Back to School: 8 Great Gifts for College Students

Back to School: 8 Great Gifts for College Students

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The academic session is about to get underway
  • Great tech gifts can range from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 20,000
  • Some options include a wireless speaker, a Kindle, and a battery pack

The start of the academic season is around the corner, which means someone in your family or someone you know is (probably) preparing to join a university in the next couple of months. If you’ve been looking to get them something that simplifies or makes their life better tech-wise, here’s a guide that could help.

Note: Prices are accurate as of July 6, at the time of writing.

1. A wireless speaker

For occasions when people are having a few friends over, or for their personal entertainment in the shower, you can’t go wrong with the UE Roll. It’s waterproof, fits even in a small bag and has good sound quality to match. It can also be paired with another UE Roll for stereo sound. You can pick one up at Rs. 8,495 in India, or import it from the US starting at $84.98.

back_to_school_gifts_ue_roll.jpg(Also see: Logitech UE Roll Review)

If your budget is substantially higher, consider the Bose Soundlink Mini II – at Rs. 18,000 / $179 – or theUE Boom 2 – at Rs. 15,990 / $179.72. They are both louder, which makes them better suited for a dance party or a backyard barbecue. Plus, the Boom 2 now supports Siri and Google Now, which the Roll cannot as it doesn’t have a mic.

2. A portable battery back-up

With our personal electronic devices having more and more value in daily life (and also getting thinner), you can never go wrong with a battery pack. It’s important to find the right one that suits the kind, and number of devices to be charged. One option is the EasyAcc 6000mAh Ultra Slim Power Bank, which has a built-in micro-USB cable along with a second output and a flashlight to boot. It’s available for Rs. 3,051 in India and $19.99 in the US.

back_to_school_gifts_limefuel_blast.jpgIf you need something beefier, the Limefuel USB External Battery Pack Aluminum 20,000mAh is a great choice. It’s got excellent standby times so you won’t find it drained even if you get it out of the bottom drawer after weeks. And its massive capacity means there’s juice for everyone in the house. You can pick one up at the official website for $49.99 (approx. Rs. 3,375) with worldwide shipping. If you’re looking for one with similar capacity that has a USB Type-C port and supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0, consider the slightly more expensive RAVPower 20100mAh Power Bank. It costs Rs. 4,735 /$55.99.

3. An ebook reader

There are still quite a few options in this category, but the Kindle remains the best pick. The companyrecently announced a new version as well, which means it’s now available in both black and white colour options. It’s also 11 percent thinner and 16 percent lighter, though we doubt that’s going to be noticeable to most people. Plus the battery can last for multiple weeks, because the device has no backlight. Though, since it has no backlight, you should probably include a clip-on light to accompany the Kindle as well. It’s not just useful for reading books either – the Kindle can actually find use in day to day work by helping stay on top or articles and reading material.

back_to_school_gifts_kindle.jpg(Also see: How to Use Your Kindle as a Read It Later Device)

The new Kindle will cost you Rs. 5,999 in India, and $79.99 in the US. If you’re looking to splurge a little more, choose from the Paperwhite (Rs. 8,999), Voyage (Rs. 16,499) or Oasis (Rs. 23,999) – all part of the Kindle family. To help you decide, here’s our review of the Kindle Paperwhite, Voyage and the Oasis.

4. A pair of headphones

Students can’t always play music loudly, especially if they are going to be living with someone. That’s where a pair of on or over-ear headphones come in to help. The wireless Jabra Move is a sound pick, and comes with a mic so they can make calls as well. It’s got wonderful sound reproduction and is light on the bass, for those who prefer it that way. The Move costs Rs. 4,987 in India, and $68.50 in the US.

back_to_school_gifts_jabra_move.jpgA good upgrade pick is Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK, over-ear and wired, mind you. It come with three different cables, two standard 1.2m and 3m ones, and one 1.2m cable with in-line controls and microphone. Costs Rs. 12,599 / $244. If you’re looking to gift noise-cancelling headphones, Sony’s MDR-100ABN h.ear on – coming in at Rs. 19,790 / $348 – is what you should go with. It’s even got support for Hi-Res Audio and NFC, in addition to the usual Bluetooth.

5. A smartwatch

While most college-goers already have a smartphone, not many of them will have a smartwatch. There are genuine reasons for that, primarily owing to their price and a proven lack of use-case. But if they have expressed an interest towards the growing platform, the Pebble Watch is a great starting point.

back_to_school_gifts_pebble_watch.jpgIt supports both Android and iOS devices, and while it may not provide as much functionality as Android Wear devices or the Apple Watch, it counters that argument by starting at just Rs. 5,999 /$72.95. If you’re looking to gift something that’s fashionable at the same time, consider the Pebble Time – at Rs. 9,999 / $99.99 – or the Pebble Time Steel – at Rs. 15,999 / $203.71. It also rocks a silent alarm, so that’s like two devices in one, really.

6. An Apple Music or Spotify membership

What can be greater than giving someone the gift of all the world’s music (except Prince and a few others)? Apple Music and Spotify are two of the leading music streaming services, and both cost the same where they are available – $9.99 per month in the US. India only has Apple Music for now, and you can gift a subscription with iTunes Gifts – either through iTunes or by using an iOS device via the App Store. For an annual subscription, you’d need a gift card value of Rs. 1,200.

back_to_school_gifts_apple_music.jpgSpotify gift cards are available via Amazon.com, Best Buy and other partner stores.

(Also see: Apple Music, Wynk, Gaana, Saavn, Rdio, Guvera, or Hungama: Which Is the Best Music Streaming Service in India?)

7. A smart notebook

College means a fair share of note-taking, but why have your notes only available on paper? That’s where Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set comes in. The notebook is made up of the quality paper the company is known for, but with the added benefit of some special technology that works with the companion smart pen to recognise where each pen stroke is being made. Plus, the app can transfer your notes and illustrations to your device in real time, according to Moleskine.

back_to_school_gifts_moleskine_smart_writing.jpgYou can pick up the product from Moleskine’s official website for $199 in the US, roughly Rs. 13,509. They don’t ship to India yet, so refer to our international shipping guide to get it here.

8. A USB wall charger

While the smart devices we use have tended to increase over the years – phone, watch, speaker, fitness tracker and more – wall plugs have stayed the same, offering a traditional socket when what you really want is a USB one. Replacing those with USB plugs doesn’t really make sense, when you can get a multi-port USB wall charger, like the Anker 40W PowerPort 4.

back_to_school_gifts_anker_powerport.jpgIt offers four slots, provides 2.4A per port, sports a compact design, and an 18-month warranty. It costsRs. 1,765 in India and $25.99 in the US. If you are looking for something that’s a little bigger, consider the iClever BoostCube 50W 6-Port USB charger. It’s available for Rs. 3,413 in India and at $22.99 in the US.

If you’re looking for one that supports Qualcomm’s QuickCharge tech, consider the Anker 42W PowerPort+ 3 (Rs. 1,945 / $25.99).

Have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments below.

Win Star Trek merchandise and movie tickets by participating in our Star Trek Beyond contest.

Tags: Amazon.com, Amazon.in, Android, Android Wear, Anker, Anker PowerPort, App Store, Apple, Apple Music,Audio Technica, Audio Technica ATH MSR7BK, back to school, battery backup, Bluetooth speaker, Bose,Bose Soundlink Mini II, clip on light, college students, EasyAcc, EasyAcc Ultra Slim Power Bank, ebook reader, gift cards,headphones, Hi Res Audio, iClever, iClever BoostCube USB charger, international shipping, iOS, iTunes, iTunes Gifts, Jabra,Jabra Move, Kindle, Kindle Oasis, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, Limefuel, Limefuel Blast,Limefuel USB External Battery Pack, Moleskine, Moleskine Smart Writing Set, NFC, Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel,Pebble Watch, portable battery, power bank, Qualcomm, Quick Charge, RAVPower, RAVPower Power Bank, school gifts,smart notebook, smartwatch, Sony, Sony MDR 100ABN hear on, Spotify, students gifts, UE Boom 2, UE Roll, Ultimate Ears,university gifts, USB wall charger, Wireless speaker
[“Source-Gadgets”]

MacBook, iMac, Apple Watch, and More Great Gadgets on Sale Right Now

MacBook, iMac, Apple Watch, and More Great Gadgets on Sale Right Now

This week we have some of the best products from Apple at an amazing discount along with a cost-effective all-in-one printer, and more.

1. Apple iMac 21.5-inch
Planning to get a Mac on your desk? The 21.5-inch iMac is down to Rs. 73,799 (effective after cashback). That’s a pretty good deal considering the marked price on this iMac is above Rs. 90,000. Use coupon code LIT10 to get a cashback of Rs. 10,000 in your Paytm Wallet. The iMac is powered by Intel Core i5 processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. It comes with a 1TB hard drive and runs OS X El Capitan out of the box. The 21.5-inch Retina Display makes everything else look blurry when you start using it. There are four USB 3.0 ports at the back, along with two Thunderbolt ports. There’s a FaceTime HD camera that’s built right inside the display. At this price, it’s a great way to switch to a Mac-based workstation.

Price: Rs. 73,799 (MRP Rs. 91,900)

Link: Paytm

2. Apple MacBook
If the high-price tag is what’s kept you away from buying the ultra-compact MacBook from Apple, here’s a deal for you. Paytm is selling the 12-inch MacBook at Rs. 73,980 (effective after cashback). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the MacBook. The MacBook is powered by the Intel Core M dual-core processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. This variant ships with a 256GB SSD, and runs OS X Yosemite out of the box. If you need a laptop with a strict requirement of portability, the MacBook won’t disappoint. It’s not the powerful Mac out there but it can surely get the job done while you’re on the move.

apple_macbook_12.jpgPrice: Rs. 73,980 (MRP Rs. 99,900)

Link: Paytm

3. HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4675
The HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4675 is down to Rs. 7,297 (MRP Rs. 12,172) this week on Flipkart. You can also get two free HP ink cartridges worth Rs. 1098 with the printer. The all-in-one printer can also connect wirelessly to your devices. You can print, scan, copy, and even fax documents. There’s a touchscreen display that lets you access some functionality without having to use a computer. The printer can also print and copy two sides of a page automatically. If you’re in the market for a decent all-in-one that can do the job well, and which doesn’t make you buy highly expensive ink cartridges, the HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4675 is a great option. You get one-year standard hardware warranty from HP India with the purchase.

HP_DeskJet_Ink_Advantage_4675_flipkart.jpgPrice: Rs. 7,297 (MRP Rs. 12,172)

Link: Flipkart

4. Lenovo U41-70 laptop
The Lenovo U41-70 laptop is down to Rs. 37,500 (MRP Rs. 40,232) this week on Infibeam. Use the coupon code LAPPY to get a discount of Rs. 1500 on the laptop. The Lenovo U41-70 laptop comes with a 14-inch full HD display, and is powered by a fifth generation Intel Core i3 processor, supported by 4GB of RAM. There’s a 1TB standard hard drive along with an 8GB SSD in the laptop. You can use the SSD to store the operating system as well as your most frequently accessed applications to speed up your usage. The laptop runs Windows 8.1 out of the box. The laptop includes a backlit keyboard, an HDMI port, and two USB 3.0 ports.

Lenovo_U41_70_infibeam.jpgPrice: Rs. 37,500 (MRP Rs. 40,232)

Link: Infibeam

5. Apple Watch 42 mm space grey
Paytm is offering a cashback of Rs. 5,000 on select Apple Watch models. Our pick is the 42 mm space grey sport edition which is down to Rs. 26,500, which is one of the lowest price points for the Apple Watch. The first-generation Apple Watch will get the new watchOS later this year, which will bring a ton of new features along with speeding up the existing interface on the Watch. If you are not too keen on spending the full amount on the second-generation Apple Watch which is likely to ship by 2017, this is quite a deal. Of course you’ll need an iPhone to use the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch includes support for full-fledged notifications for e-mails, text, and other supported apps from your iPhone. The Watch is also water resistant which means you can stop worrying about a little rain or a few splashes of water, but just don’t go swimming with it.

apple_watch_using_pixabay.jpgPrice: Rs. 26,500 (MRP Rs. 34,900)

Link: Paytm

Harpreet is a technology enthusiast who is obsessed with hunting down great deals on online stores.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

Win Star Trek merchandise and movie tickets by participating in our Star Trek Beyond contest.

Tags: 4K Retina iMac, Apple, Apple Watch, Deals, Flipkart, HP, HP Deskjet, HP Printer, iMac, Infibeam, Laptop, Lenovo,MacBook, Paytm, Printer, Printers, Tech Deals, Windows
[“Source-Gadgets”]

would You e book a journey with out understanding the destination? inside the great international of wonder journey

 

Photographed by means of Angelo Pennetta, style, September 2015

some people hate surprises. however, in the case of critical Saint Martins picture layout students James Robinson and Georgia Harman, the reward is in the big monitor. For a recent school venture, the pairchanged into requested to create typography and labeling for a fictitious airline. Their concept is known asTraverse—an airline that caters to curious vacationers. The Traverse tickets have locations on them which can be blacked out via a scratch-off surface, and they’re discovered to the passengers simplest on their boarding skip. tourists also receive a package deal containing the itinerary and guidebook that suits thewonder destination.

What a thrill it might be to board a flight now not understanding wherein you might turn out to be. Andwhile Robinson and Harman’s concept has now not but come to fruition, there are IRL services thatprovide the identical kind of wanderlust-friendly adventures. This summer time, be amazed, take adanger, and comply with within the footsteps of those four wildly precise companies, however blind your journey can be.

percent Up + go
if you’re itching for a summer weekend getaway however need something a bit more out of the field, then% Up + pass is the proper vicinity to start. travelers can sign on to the agency’s internet site, offer abudget, and fill out a survey. as soon as completed, p.c. Up + cross will plan a surprise ride, inclusive of journey and resorts, someplace inside the continental united states of america. a week earlier thanthe scheduled trip, you receive an e-mail with advocated gadgets to percent for the surprise vacation spot, as well as a weather report for the thriller region and where the departure area is and what time. a few days before the ride, an envelope containing the destination arrives and you’re instructed to open itbest when you’ve reached your departure factor. no longer a awful manner to spend a summer Friday.

Brown + Hudson
This luxurious global journey agency gives an itinerary calledjourney without a destination.” Theretailers at Brown + Hudson will conduct an interview and then select predeparture meetings and in-u . s . a . visits and activities. the various trips are tailored to help vacationers become immersed inside thenearby tradition. you may land up in a temple in Tokyo or an oil subject in Texas.

Lufthansa marvel
The airline has recently released a tour alternative in which clients can pick among nine classes thatinclude such topics as Nature, solar & Sand, and Partying. every of these capabilities seven to 12 eutowns like Bilbao, Warsaw, and Lisbon, and you could pick your top choices; you won’t recognise whichvacation spot you’ve been given till after your purchase. even though this service is currently only beingprovided out of the Frankfurt and Munich airports, we’re guessing that the trend may grasp hold of greatermajor airlinesthose in need of a customer rankings improvein the months to return.

Magical thriller excursions
Don’t be fooled with the aid of the marginally cheesy call—Magical mystery excursions is the real deal for marvel vacations. You give the organisation’s dealers your desired journey dates and finances, and fill out a survey about persona and journey alternatives (you hate tenting, say, or are uncomfortable at thebeach). when you reach your precise airport, teach station, or bus terminal, you’ll open an envelope revealing which you’re being sent anywhere from a faraway metropolis in Costa Rica to the center of bustling Hong Kong.

Roomba 980 overview: iRobot’s great vacuum but, however too high priced for maximum summary

The Roomba 980 is iRobot’s great robot vacuum yet, however it is way too high priced for the general public to stomach.
hardware and design

If you haven’t paid close interest to Roombas during the last few years, you might not initially note a whole lot distinctive about the 980. It has the identical circular, low-profile layout that iRobot has been refining for years. appearance a chunk nearer, though, and you will word a small camera on its top. Onthe bottom, you have got the same two “AeroForce” extractors because the Roomba 880, which permits it to clean your floors with out conventional brushes, as well as the same massive trash bin withdetachable HEPA filters. One exciting distinction from different Roombas: The 980 feels appreciablyheavier, particularly because of all the extra hardware internal of it.

What hardware, you ask? The Roomba 980 is iRobot’s first customer device to encompass its “visualsimultaneous localization and mapping” (vSLAM) generation, which became previously relegated to itsmore steeply-priced employer offerings, just like the Ava telepresence robot. using a aggregate of thetop camera and a ground sensor, it could tune in which it’s been in your home by way of locatingvisual landmarks, and it may additionally keep away from boundaries alongside the way. Thatgeneration is also the centerpiece of iRobot’s new iAdapt 2.0 navigation answer, which permits the 980 to move around your property greater without problems.

With all of its new mapping generation, iRobot claims the 980 can smooth an entire floor of your private home on its own. And if it doesn’t end the activity, it can also return to its charging base, juice up and head returned out to work. The Roomba 980 is also loads smarter in relation to cleansing: it candiscover when it’s on carpet and growth its electricity to collect up more dirt. And when it’s on hardwoodflooring, it’s also quieter than preceding models.

This new Roomba subsequently brings something lovers had been trying for some time: WiFi assist, and a companion app. you could use the app to start and prevent cleaning classes remotely, in addition tocontrol your Roomba’s time table. It additionally maintains a history of all of your beyond cleansingjobs, which is particularly useful if you‘re no longer domestic to look Roomba work. iRobot repsadvised us that many customers never used the scheduling feature on previous models as it requiredplaying with buttons and menus right at the Roomba, the use of archaic menus. (i am responsible of that, as properly.)

In use

i’ve been a Roomba proprietor for over a decade now, beginning with a refurbished in advance version (Ican’t even don’t forget the exact one), and maximum lately with a trusty Roomba 770. over time, iRobot dumped Roomba’s brushes, progressed the battery existence and brought HEPA filters. otherwise,though, there were not many groundbreaking modifications. it is a shame, however it is comprehensiblewhy many consumers are not very excited about them — not one of the follow-up fashions had been asthrilling because the first. And the truth that they’ve usually been pretty highly-priced, making themextra akin to toys for the elite, as opposed to something beneficial for all and sundry, does not assistboth. The Roomba 980 doesn’t do lots to modify that elitist notion, but it is superb because it represents a essential exchange within the way Roombas paintings.

however permit‘s start from the beginning: As on different fashions, iRobot recommends that you pricethe 980 for a piece once you get it out of the field. It ships with the battery charged to 40 percentage,although, so you can use it immediately if you‘re overeager. Connecting the 980 to WiFi is just aremember of downloading the iRobot home app on your iPhone or Android phone, and following the stepsto add a new Roomba. The procedure isn’t precisely seamless; you have to connect with the Roomba’s WiFi community, after which add within the credentials of your house WiFi setup, all of the whilsthopping among your telephone‘s setting screen. i used to be capable of get it related to my homenetwork in round 5 minutes.

You don’t want to have your Roomba 980 connected to WiFi to use it, however it’s well worth doing. Evenin case you do not plan to control it remotely, or set a agenda, it is nonetheless useful to see theeffects of your cleaning jobs within the app. Hitting the largeclean” button at the app usually begins acleaning activity within 10 to fifteen seconds, depending for your WiFi community. The cleansingqueue works similar to a printer queue. when you have connectivity issues at the same time as looking tobegin the Roomba remotely, you may discover your self with several stacked cleansing jobs.

in place of cleaning your flooring in reputedly random patterns (which i’m sure make sense to robots), the 980 moves in immediately, clever traces. It moved around limitations in my home easily, as opposed to just bumping into them ad infinitum. And it did a pretty high-quality activity of cleansing my floors too,mainly a wool carpet in my bed room it’s essentially a magnet for cat hair. It ended up accumulatingaround two times as a great deal debris as my Roomba 770, protecting the identical territory. And even as it nevertheless sucks up some cables, they don’t get jammed inside the 980’s rollers, whereas thatturned into a constant issue with past Roombas.

All of its sensors do greater than simply help the Roomba 980 avoid furnishings. After it runs thru your own home a few times, it will also understand in which, exactly, it is in your property. If I start acleaning process from my workplace, it’ll paintings its way through my condo, hitting my dwelling room,dining alcove and foyer, until it reaches my bedroom. And if I start inside the bedroom, it is going the opposite course. maximum impressively, the Roomba 980 changed into capable of maneuver thru myapartment with none assist on my element. My 770 might constantly get stuck cleaning one portion ofmy apartment repeatedly, which might force me to select it up and drag it to a new room. The 980 is sensible sufficient to move on when it needs to, and it is aware of precisely in which to move. it is the first Roomba you won’t need to babysit.

The app’s scheduling characteristic is likewise a nice addition, in particular if you like coming domestic to a easy house. The 980 did not have any trouble following the time table I set up, judging from the spotless carpet (and freaked-out cats) that I came home to. Of path, it can only clean successfully till its particlesbin is complete. if you have a huge domestic, don’t assume the Roomba to work magic.

The 980 takes approximately an hour to run through my entire apartment, slightly faster than the 770.but way to its new sensors, I additionally have extra confidence that it surely cleans greater thoroughly. Inow not must deliver it returned to heavily dirty carpet spots, or nooks that it is able to have neglected. Itcontrolled to run for a complete two hours, that’s what iRobot promised, however you may need to make sure to hold it on its charging bay continuously if you need to apply it on a whim. whilst the 980 is usingnewer lithium batteries, in place of the NiMH (nickel-steel hydride) batteries from preceding fashions, itnonetheless loses its charge after a few days.

The opposition

there may be no shortage of competing robot vacuums: LG’s RoboKing line has been on the market for years, and has sported cameras and advanced sensors for some time. Samsung, in the meantime, has the newly launched PowerBot, which seems to be a first rate cleaner, however is also quite expensive atround $900. however the most direct challenger to the Roomba 980 is Neato’s Botvac related, which also can map your flooring and may be managed through a cellular app. it is also notably less expensivethan the 980 at $699. Dyson’s upcoming 360 Eye (above) also appears to preserve tempo with the 980 sensor-wise, however it is best to be had in Japan right now.

Of course, iRobot’s existing Roomba lineup consists of first rate alternatives, especially if you‘relooking to keep a few bucks. The brushless Roomba 880, which cleans almost as well as the 980 butwithout the sensor smarts, is selling for round $625 now, even as the 770 version goes for around $480. With the holiday season drawing close, you could be sure older variations can be going on sale too to make manner for new inventory. I managed to snag a 770 for around $four hundred closing yr, and i’m able to best believe it getting less expensive. sincerely, given the breadth of cheaper oppositionaccessible, it’s a piece difficult to belly the Roomba 980’s $900 rate.

it’s tough sufficient to extol the virtues of robotic vacuums when they may be around $500 — for some thing in the direction of $1,000 it’s nearly impossible. As i was checking out the 980 round AOL’splaces of work, for example, it attracted plenty of onlookers who were intrigued by using it, however wereright now turned off by using the charge. Or perhaps they simply could not justify spending almost ahalf-month’s hire on some thing to easy their tiny the big apple city rental.

Wrap-up

there’s absolute confidence that the Roomba 980 is iRobot’s nice vacuum but. it’s no longer just a dumb bot bouncing against the partitions; it’s like a navy weapon with a assignment to are seeking for out andtake away grimy floors. (recollect iRobot builds plenty of merchandise to be used with the aid of lawenforcement and the navy.) but at $900, it’s not precisely a blind purchase. If anything, though, the Roomba 980 is a awesome sign for the destiny of home robots. they may want advanced cameras and mapping systems to maneuver around our homes, keep away from boundaries and interact with us. The 980’s charge can be tough to stomach, but it’s the clearest signal but that advanced domestic robotsaren’t too far off.

View from Dawn: India sees Pakistan as a roadblock in its path to Great Power status

India’s ambitions of achieving Great Power status cannot be fully realised unless Pakistan is strategically neutralised. A conventional military defeat of Pakistan has been a costly and unlikely option ever since the latter acquired a credible nuclear deterrence capability. Pakistan has also built a strategic relationship with China which provides it with the capacity to balance, to a considerable extent, India’s larger military and economic capabilities.

India’s need to bring Pakistan to heel has intensified in the context of the emerging Great Power contest in Asia. Pakistan’s incorporation into an Indian sphere of influence would be a grave setback to China’s future role in South, West and Central Asia and the western Indian Ocean. The prospect of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, while India has no land access to the West and Central Asia, has added a new dimension to India’s determination to neutralise Pakistan. India’s strategic goals, if not its methods, are fully supported by the US and its allies.

India has adopted a complex strategy to wear down Pakistan’s resistance. This strategy encompasses: military and political pressure; subversion; terrorism; diplomatic isolation; media and public defamation and cultural domination.

Some elements of India’s comprehensive strategy and actions are now public knowledge, such as Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s boastful speech recalling how Indian agencies eroded the Kashmiri freedom struggle through corruption and intimidation; forecasting the separation of Balochistan; and expressing glee at the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s beheading of Pakistani soldiers in Fata.

India’s strategy has a wide canvas.

Resistance to Indian domination

One element of the strategy is the attempt, pursued in tandem with the West, to neutralise Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence capabilities. Thus, the discriminatory Western restraints on equipment and technology transfers to Pakistan and the vigorous US opposition to Pakistan’s deployment of theatre nuclear weapons and long-range missiles which are designed, respectively, to counter India’s Cold Start doctrine and its second-strike capability.

Meanwhile, India maintains military pressure on Pakistan through deployment of advanced weapons systems (ballistic missiles, anti-ballistic missiles etc), expanded offensive deployments, military exercises to refine the capacity for a surprise attack (as envisaged in India’s Cold Start doctrine) and frequent shelling along the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Subversion, involving infiltration, sponsorship and support for dissident or disgruntled groups within Pakistan, is a third element of this strategy. The sponsorship of the Baloch Liberation Army and terrorism in Balochistan and Sindh has now been confirmed by the recent capture and confession of the Indian spy. Disaffected groups in Karachi, rural Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkwa have been encouraged for many years to disrupt peace and security.

Substantial proof has been gathered by Islamabad’s agencies of Indian sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan through the TTP, in collaboration with Kabul’s National Directorate of Security and certain power brokers. Some of this evidence has been shared with the UN but has not evoked any action so far from the world organisation. An Indian link to the Lahore park atrocity, responsibility for which has claimed by an affiliate of the TTP, cannot be ruled out.

Pakistan’s armed forces are one of the few organised institutions left in the country. Not surprisingly, because of their profession and training, their resistance to Indian domination is robust. Tarnishing the reputation and credibility of the Pakistan Army is an important element of the Indian strategy. Through the Indian and Western media, the Pakistan Army is incessantly accused of doing today what it did yesterday – supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Kashmiri jihadi groups.

Acceptance in Pakistan

The reality is clouded by ‘fifty shades of grey’. Despite old relationships, Pakistan’s security establishment is either confronting some of these Jihadi groups or has little influence over them (the Afghan Taliban). The violent sectarian groups in Punjab are known to have enjoyed in recent years the protection of some politicians rather than the security establishment. Notwithstanding this, the Indian-inspired mantra against the army and the ISI is frequently echoed not only by the Western media but even within Pakistan.

At the opposite end of India’s kinetic actions, is the wide and successful use of its “‘soft power’, epitomised by Bollywood. This song and dance culture has been warmly embraced by large segments of Pakistan’s young and moneyed elite. Over time, this can lead to greater acceptance in Pakistan of India’s political and strategic goals.

Since early days, India has attempted to co-opt Pakistani politicians, by fair means and foul. When out of office, some political leaders have had intimate contacts with the Indians. Shamefully, some of them – excluding the ruling party – are known to have expressed the desire for Indian and other foreign intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs. Even today, the desire of some of Pakistan’s leaders to ‘normalise’ relations with India at any cost is inexplicable.

India has been able to play on the fears and predilections of Pakistan’s politicians to set the tone and pace of the bilateral relationship. Dialogue is held out as a favour to Pakistan. India’s positions on both substance and process keep hardening with each encounter. Concessions continue to be made by Pakistan on process and substance – to no avail or purpose.

It is high time for Pakistan’s National Defence Council, which includes both the civilian and military leadership, to undertake a frank and in-depth review of India’s objectives and policies towards Pakistan and evolve a coherent and consensual strategy to respond to each of the elements of India’s policies aimed against Pakistan.

To those Americans who disingenuously chide Pakistan for being paranoid about India, I would respond as Trotsky did shortly before being assassinated: “Just because I am paranoid, does not mean I am not persecuted.”

[“source-Scroll”]