Hobby / Internet

Command and Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge

Red Alert 2 was a nice surprise.

Between the release of Tiberian Sun and Emperor: Battle for Dune, Westwood, quite out of the blue, announced the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed RTS games.

It turned out to be spectacular, and fans were not long after treated to news from Westwood that an expansion would be coming out, and would contain an entirely new side to boot!

Eagerly awaited, it finally arrived on shelves, and now that I have had the chance to play through it I can safely say that it is one solid expansion.

The title under scrutiny, Yuri’s Revenge, continues the story of alternate history begun in Red Alert 1, in which Einstein went back in time to kill Hitler and forever alter the balance of world power.

Red Alert 2 took the more serious tone of the first game and threw it out the window, instead of creating a corny but loveable game world that depicted every Cold War stereotype to the umpteenth degree.

Einstein was no longer an earnest, brilliant man, but rather an absolute loon.

Tanya was as voluptuous as ever, and the harebrained Alex Romanov had replaced the vicious Stalin as leader of the Soviet Union.

It seems appropriate then that Yuri’s Revenge focuses on the deranged psychic Yuri-arguably the coolest character in the series.

Yuri is back and his plans for world domination have been unveiled.

As the Allied Forces struggled against the expansionist Soviet Union, Yuri had been secretly constructing Psychic Dominators (big mind control devices) in key locations around the globe.

In the new allied campaign, one of them pops up out of the ground on Alcatraz Island.

The President declares war on Yuri’s forces and launches an assault on the Dominator.

The United States is thus spared, but the rest of the world comes under the mind control of Yuri.

Einstein just happened to have recently designed a time machine, however, and sends Agent Tanya back to prevent Yuri’s victory.

The Soviet campaign has the Reds going back in time to both stops Yuri and alter the course of the war against the Allies depicted in Red Alert 2.

Both of the new campaigns are satisfying if a little short.

Veteran players will have no difficulty completing them, but they are arguably more satisfying than the original campaigns.

For one, they take place in a variety of new locales, each one extremely detailed.

The map of Hollywood is brimming with personality, and even lets you take control of a few movie stars (shooting communist troops with Clint Eastwood is oh-so-satisfying).

Fighting takes place on the moon, complete with gravitational effects, and the Soviets even travel back to prehistoric times–forced to fend off stampeding dinosaurs.

The mission structure itself is a bit more elaborate in Yuri’s Revenge as well, requiring players to be more careful in their approach.

For instance, one mission in Sydney, Australia requires players to take over buildings to advance on Yuri’s position.

To accomplish this, I sent out fighter planes to level enemy-occupied structures, then had troops mop up the enemy.

Afterward, an engineer repaired the building and it was occupied by my troops.

This little game of cat-and-mouse was wholly satisfying and could have been approached in a variety of ways depending on the player’s style.

You may be asking yourself, “What?

Only two campaigns?

I thought there was a new side?”

My answer would be “Chill!”

The armies of Yuri, the third side introduced into the series, is playable in skirmish and multiplayer (insert groans here https://warpath.guide/).

I have to agree with the designers’ decision on this matter.

As they explained on the Westwood website, they wanted Yuri to be a seemingly unstoppable villain.

Granted, leading a villain to world domination is always fun, but towards the end of the game, I absolutely hated Yuri and could not wait to crush him once and for all.

I gather this is the emotion the designers want to evince in players.

After about a dozen threats and scalding remarks from Yuri, you’ll feel like dipping your arms into the monitor and wringing his neck.

His mind slave my foot!

Luckily, Yuri’s army is nicely balanced with the two existing sides and is an absolute pleasure to play.

Being a master of mind control, Yuri depends on psychic units to form the backbone of his assaults.

To that end, Yuri can create clones of himself to control enemy units and can even construct a gigantic brain on wheels, called the Master Mind, that assimilates all units in its path (when you see one of these approaching, run).

Even his method of collecting resources shows off his love of enslaving people.

Large transports drop off helpless drones to dig up the gold.

Destroying one of this transports-free of its mind slaves, of course–breaks the psychic grip.

You’ll watch in glee as they yell, “I’m free!” and start attacking with their shovels-consequently getting wasted rather quickly.

To deal with the mechanized might of the Allies and Soviets, Yuri can construct Lasher Tanks, the equivalent of the Soviet Rhino, as well as Gattling Tanks, which can fire .50-caliber rounds at ground and air targets.

In terms of air and sea power, Floating Discs (think UFOs) can hover above power plants or defensive structures and basically switch them off.

The Boomer Submarine is capable of attacking both sea and ground targets, making it a formidable weapon.

A very cool Yuri structure is the Grinder, which can actually dispose of unwanted infantry, turning them into raw materials to fund your war effort.

Fortunately, fans of the Allies and Soviets have not been forgotten.

Each side has 5 new additions to be exact, and each one does a good job of addressing the respective side’s weaknesses.

I’ll let you play the game to discover them all, but two of the best additions are the Allied Robot Control Center–which allows you to build Robot Tanks impervious to Yuri’s mind control schemes–and Boris, a Soviet hero that can snipe enemy units in addition to laser designating buildings for attack by MiG fighters.

Being a hero of the Soviet Union has its perks.

Yuri’s Revenge also sports a host of gameplay tweaks that are spelled out in the manual, as well as a new multiplayer mode, Team Alliance, which puts allies very close together on specially made maps.

But the most significant improvement is in the game’s skirmish mode.

The AI is much stronger, and playing hard this time around will put players’ skills to the test, as the AI will build a strong defense and continually assault your base.

Medium difficulty is still a little easy if you play the AI one on one.

But pit two or more AI teams against you and it will take some effort to win.

Being that Yuri is only playable in multiplayer or skirmish mode, this improvement is extremely important.

Look, if you liked Red Alert 2, you don’t want to be without Yuri’s Revenge.

The new campaigns are fun and creative, the skirmish mode is much more enjoyable, and the new units and structures are all rock solid.

In my estimation, if you are going to be a gaming slave, you might as well serve Yuri-it’s a blast!…

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Internet

How to Get More YouTube Views?

If you have an online business, chances are good that you’re wondering how to get more YouTube views?

After all, if you only have a few hundred or even a few thousand subscribers, getting thousands of visitors to your videos can be a major challenge.

Fortunately, there are some simple tips and tricks that can help you get the results you want.

But first, let’s talk about why so many people are making the switch to using the video-sharing website.

First of all, it’s free.

There’s no cost to upload your videos online, which means you don’t have to pay anyone to make them for you.

You’ll have to pay for hosting (which is actually free) but that will be covered in the next section.

You can pretty much just get started making videos once you set up an account and find an available video host.

It’s very easy to get started.

Once you have an account, there are just a few simple steps to follow.

For example, most people start out by choosing their video topic.

You can find a lot of information on the site so all you have to do is pick one.

From there you’ll need to upload the video, insert your website link and promote it.

In order to get more viewers to view your videos online, you have to promote them.

One way you can do this is by signing up for an account with social networking giant Instagram.

They have an awesome page builder that makes it easy to create a page quickly and easily.

You’ll also find other social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter that will allow you to add a link to your video.

This way your friends and family can click the link and easily become members of your account.

One of the best ways to get more traffic is simply by writing about your topic on article-hosting sites.

Make sure the articles are interesting and give your readers something to read.

Just because you have created the perfect video does not mean it’s ready to be seen online.

You should always edit your video for better results.

Adding a title and short paragraph explanation will help viewers understand what your video is about.

With more than fifty million members worldwide, YouTube should be a huge part of your online marketing strategy.

However, the real secret to how to get more YouTube views is to submit your videos to directories + by using SMM World to speed up the whole process.

Directories are basically online “shops” where you can submit your video for free.

These directories will provide you with backlinks to your video and will increase the number of views quickly.

Not only will the video boost your website’s search engine ranking, but the added backing will help with your search engine rankings as well.…

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Internet / Posts

How to Build an Instagram Following From Scratch

With close to 500 million users, and counting, Instagram is slowly becoming a leading social media site, and we will try to help you get your first followers.

Simplicity is a major part of success when it comes to Instagram, and as we live in the society where information overload is a normal thing scrolling through the pictures with short captions seems like a perfect combination.

Both major and minor brands are trying to capitalize on this fast rise, so you should consider start to buy followers for instagram and avoid missing out on this opportunity.

In the next few paragraphs, we will lay down a roadmap and try to explain how to get free instagram likes daily, whether you manage your personal or professional Instagram profile.

1. Figure out your strategy

Before going any further, you should answer these few questions.

What is your end goal on Instagram?

Creating a community of regular paying customers on you web page from followers while providing good service. This is a top priority!

How will your Instagram page affect your business?

 

Your best bet is to have few established Instagram users in your niche promoting your product in exchange for money or free stuff. This way, you can bring traffic to you web page fast and have a better conversion.

What are you going to offer to your followers?

Ask questions, research, ask your peers what kind of content would they like to see from you. Check what hashtags are your followers using and use them in your posts only if they are relevant, you don’t want to annoy them.

After you got this down, you are ready to move on.

2. Setting up your Instagram profile.

This one is pretty straight forward. You just need to fill some basic info and add your profile picture.

Profile image

You should consider an image that is representing your product or your brand. Logo of your company is always a good solution.

Your bio

If you are not an established brand already, then you need to utilize this feature as much as possible. Make it sound natural and positive; you can also use symbols.

Link to your web page.

If you use Instagram for business, then this one is really important. Add your web page address at the end of your bio. This will give your followers a chance to buy your product and turn them into your customers. Make sure that your web page is mobile friendly; most of the Instagram users are on their mobile phones.

3. Setting up your content plan.

Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators like shares, comments, likes) are essential. Set them and use them to track your progress.
Your next step should be schedule for content uploading. There are various apps that can help you with this like ScheduGram or Simply Measured.

 

Choose pictures that you are about to post very carefully. Use only pictures that are related to your brand and your brand’s story. Make sure that quality of a picture, description and hashtags are all on point.
When it comes to effectiveness, you should consider this:

Brand-inspired images

Posting beautiful images with a powerful message can bring you a lot of exposure as people tend to react to the images that trigger emotions.
Some of the biggest brands in the world are using this technique and investing money in the production of their photos so they can use the power of visual storytelling to their advantage.

Reactive storytelling

Reactive storytelling is a great way of sparking conversation because when businesses use this technique, they can leverage a human truth or insight to generate instant feedback. This includes a cultural action, a brand relevant action or a niche action.

Inspirational quotes

One of the best ways to create a viral buzz is to trigger a strong emotional response. If you can achieve this, there is a big chance that you are going to see more shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
You should start by preparing ten images; this will be enough for the next three to four days, depends on how you spread them.

A Track Maven released a report suggesting that major brands are getting thirty-seven likes and comments per thousand followers. That’s 3.7 reactions for every hundred followers you make.

4. Build relationships with influencing people

There are places where you can get exposure and more followers like FreeInstagramFollowersNow.com, but there are people that have a big influence, and they are available only through direct contact. You can offer them free promotional stuff for shares, or pay them for the shoutout.

 

Instagram Direct is probably the best way for you to get in touch with the person who can help you promoting your product. It is private so you can send your offer that only influencer and you can see.

5. Manage your profile

With you profile, your connections and followers in place, it is time to manage your account. You can find a lot of very useful applications that can give you a better overview of your activities and activities on your account and also give you statistic and charts. Always have content ready for deployment and use the schedule as much as possible, it will make your life a lot easier.

How to grow an Instagram account from SCRATCH (With ZERO Followers!) - YouTube

Final thoughts

By now we hope that you realize how easy it is to have a successful Instagram page. Visual content is in high demand, and millions of users are already making a good use of it. Just remember to be clear with your ideas and always be in contact with your followers and respect them so you can see your brand grow and flourish.

Make sure to connect your Instagram page to your other social media accounts. This way you will be able to spread your brand and reach more people.
Leave your comments below and let us know if you had any success with the roadmap that we laid out for you, and how you managed to push your Instagram campaign to the next level.…

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Internet

Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite

Installation only takes less then 20 minutes. Constant updates take place via the Internet, so your computer is always up-to-date when it comes to protection.

To be on the safe side, the software is set to a higher security setting so expect to see more pop-ups as you open different programs immediately after installation.

This gives you a great opportunity to track any unauthorised data transmissions via trojans or malware. You can choose to deny or allow any communication attempts and once you have verified them, you can proceed to do a full sweep of the computer.

It may be annoying to see many pop-up notifications in the beginning, but once you have set the settings, everything runs in the background. Settings for firewall and anti-virus are pre-configured so users do not have to worry about setting it.

If there is an intrusion on the firewall or a malware detected, a notification will prompt you about it. The surprising thing is the software is not embedded in the browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to warn you when you visit dubious website. Other security suites like Norton grade the authenticity of all the websites, in case users are misled into visiting a falsely created site.

With phishing sites that try to extract information from your computer, a notification bar on your browser is handy for warning your whether a site is legitimate or not. When I tried accessing a website frequented by hackers, Zone Alarm did not inform me about it but Norton and McAfee did. So if you use your computer primarily for surfing, Zone Alarm may not be what you are looking for.

What worked well though are the parental controls. One can chooose to limit user access to sites which have pornography, drugs, or online games. There are also interesting block options such as the occult, weapons and military, to name a few. So if you set controls to limit "illegal drugs", a search for ecstasy will allow you to read online news about the drug but not visit websites dedicated to the drug itself.

Conclusion, Zone Alarm is easy to use and handles most of the work. However, the omission of any Internet surfing security features is glaring.…

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Internet

Review: Norton Internet Security

Product: Norton Security
Category: Anti-Virus Suite
Publisher: Symantec

Review:

Overview:
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One would expect a quality product from a notorious company such as Symantec. Since PCs are attacked by threats within the first 15 seconds of being connected to the internet, it seems as though it would be a great idea to buy a protection suite from a larger company. For the purpose of preventing, detecting, and removing threats, Norton Security 2006 does its job very well. Nonetheless, I advise avoiding this product at all costs.

Positives:
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I compared Norton Security to the freeware virus protection program Avast! and was impressed by the improvement. Norton removed threats that were not touched with Avast!, and I have not had a virus contaminate my machine for more than a few seconds, for Norton eradicates threats almost instantaneously with its active scan feature, which allows Norton to run in the background. The interface is easy enough to navigate; it is simple, yet effectively organized, as well as easy on the eyes. However, there are some things that are terribly wrong with this product.

Negatives:
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Thus far the product has sounded like an excellent source of protection. What could be so terrible about it? The suite is so buggy, I often wonder if Symantec completely forgot to check for bugs and released it after its initial development. First of all, about 70% of the time when you attempt to access Norton's main menu, it does absolutely nothing. No response. However, click it again, and it may work the second time, although usually incorrectly. Take a look at the screen shots below and see how Norton showed up on my screen when I attempted to launch it. Often times, Norton will launch the outline of the menu, with the middle (all of the important stuff) being blank. The solution? Reboot. Often times, reboot more than once – if you are lucky, Norton may just allow to you access its menus.

Oh, but there are more Norton annoyances than a menu that refuses to appear. Many people these days have a Google Mail account. Unfortunately for those who do, Norton interferes with Gmail operations, leading to messages being blocked and message content disappearing. Solution? Attempt to access your firewall settings through Norton's menu (good luck with that) and reconfigure.

Yet one more annoyance keeps me from liking this suite. One would expect an security program to ask the user if a certain program is allowed to access the internet or not. For example, for someone who wants to play poker online, Norton should ask if that program is allowed to access the internet, just to confirm that it is not spyware that you inherited from somewhere. But the programmers at Symantec had the idea that this process should be automated! That's great, in theory. However, often times, Norton just takes initiative and decides to block certain programs' connection to the internet without your consent. Since Norton has decided to block your favorite online poker program from the internet, it looks like you will have to do a bit of work to undermine it. Once again, you will have to attempt the unthinkable – access Norton's menus. From the firewall settings, you can have Norton scan for programs that can access the internet and compile a list for you to manually change the connection settings for. So, after about 7 or more minutes of waiting for Norton to scan your entire drive, you can manually explain to Norton that online poker is not spyware or some other intruder, and – if you are lucky – Norton will comply and let you play.

Final Word:
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As you compare the short paragraph containing the positives to the essay of compiled negatives, you can see that Norton Security 2006 just is not worth the hassle – or the $70 price tag. Although it does have a good set of features, so does practically any other anti-virus program that is not freeware. Do yourself a favor and walk past this program at your local electronics store.

Ratings:
________________________________________________________________________

Interface: 8/10
When you are able to access it, it's actually quite nice.

Performance: 4/10
For the purpose of finding and eliminating threats, Norton does its job very well, but the abysmal functionality and inconsistency makes you want to rip your hair out.

Installation: 8/10
Straight forward to install, but Live Update often times causes some problems.

Value for money: 2/10
For $70, you could buy an anti-virus program better than Norton and a good PS2 game.

Overall: 5/10…

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Internet

Product Review: Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky is well known as an excellent anti-virus program and now you can get the best overall security in a suite of programs designed to protect your computer including firewall, anti-malware and anti-spam along with its award winning anti-virus.

Ease of Use, Performance: 24/25
Look & Feel: 24/25
Features 25/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Total: 98/100

I received another full internet suite of computer protection programs in the Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 program that protects your PC from viruses, malware and other threats. Like my review of Trend Micro's Security suite I will not be testing the program on its detection and removal of known viruses and malware like professional testing companies.

Unlike those companies and sites that test and use viruses and threats to rate and certify the program I will see how easy the program is to use and install like your average user. While I will add comments about the certification and other testing results to show if the program works well at virus, malware and other threat detection and removal I will also see how user friendly the program is.

Run the installation and you will have everything you need for complete internet security including anti-spam and firewall protection that includes parental control and most importantly that award winning antivirus. Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 is a full suite of computer protection programs including anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-phishing, anti-banner and identity theft protection.

The program really does make use of a full suite to protect all your activity including things you might not realize but find a comfort when you do find out about it. I had heard of a virtual keyboard and when I saw the feature when looking at the Kaspersky Internet Security suite it makes perfect sense to include it.

A virtual keyboard protects you from yourself as you type by blocking key stroke recorders from recording your passwords, personal information like social security numbers and more. This is just one protection as the program has plenty more to help keep your identity safe and your computer secure and it really works well.

I was taking screenshots of the program for the review and started the virtual keyboard to take a picture of that and could not take any screenshots. With the virtual keyboard activated the screenshot program does not copy pictures of my desktop at all which just adds to my confidence in the security features of Kaspersky's programs.

Installation is simple and pretty much a one step process unless you want to install it to another location other than the main drive. The computer does not require a reboot after installation which is a nice surprise and you should perform a full scan once you have it installed.

Kaspersky does things a little different in how it runs not only its spyware and attack detection but its general behavior for detecting access from programs and how it detects these. Kaspersky uses heuristic analysis to detect attacks instead of already known threats which preempts threats, blocking them before the Kaspersky company even knows about these attacks.

If you look for already known threats you are always behind the attacks and playing catch up, only looking for known viruses and other threats while heuristic analysis looks at problems before they are well known. Kaspersky programs detect the problems and risks then weighs whether they are a threat before alerting you while their white list of known programs helps you as well.

A white list of programs that Kaspersky records and uses through updates tells the security program what programs you have that are not threats and allows them access without you having to do anything. When you allow a program it tells the Kaspersky company that it is a safe one and they further investigate the program to see if adding it to their white list would be beneficial for other users.

You not only get protection from the Kaspersky program but help them in evaluating other threats and safe programs for continued protection and security. The program does not have many popup warnings that ask if a program should be allowed like other security suites I have recently used such as Trend Micro's.

Once you have Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 running it will integrate itself into your email program like Outlook Express, Outlook 2007 or Thunderbird. The program adds an anti-spam toolbar which you can easily tell by the red and green flags you use to mark emails as spam or not spam.

If you have an email you've received and it goes to a spam folder or your junk folder simply tell Kaspersky that it is or is not spam using the flags. All you have to do is highlight the email in your folder and click on the appropriate flag and the program will not only mark it appropriately but continue to use that designation for the same types of mail and from the same address if you keep getting more.

The program learns as you use the flags and will not bother you as much by marking emails with the flags as you mark them yourself. When I first started using the program a lot of my emails were marked as spam but after only a few days the number of false marks dropped significantly.

The same can be said for many of the functions like the pop-ups when you use a program or access the internet through a program and Kaspersky questions the access or use. Once Kaspersky Internet Security figures out your habits and routines as well as the programs you use it will learn from this and hassle you less and better monitor your system.

The program works well for spam, anti-virus and general protection both from outside attacks and from your own actions like visiting bad websites. The program has won several awards recently for antivirus and anti-malware so the program is not without its accolades from others as well.

Checking some of the professional anti-virus and security testing that is available the Kaspersky programs are well liked and among the top performers. West Coast Labs and ICSA Labs are both independent testing labs for anti-virus and certify the Kaspersky anti-virus program.

West Coast also adds checkmarks to say the program does well with detecting Trojans and malware as well as the program receiving the highest rating for malware removal and detection of threats from AV-Comparatives.com. I also found the program did well at detecting and removing malware as well as viruses but do not have the knowledge or programs to test these features myself like the professionals.

I wanted to review the program and test it out for general use as my average reader would and use it just like any person to see how easy it is in regular everyday use. I found the Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 works very well and is easy to use, a bit easier than other security programs like Trend Micro's.

On the bad side of the program I did find it slowed down my system just a bit when using but not enough to be a hindrance or even a downgrade in rating. I am so used to previous versions of anti-virus programs on lower systems like the AMD Athlon 62 X4 5000+ that would make the system almost unusable when scanning for viruses.

Using the current tri and quad core systems with Windows 7 or Windows Vista would make the system much faster and being able to still perform image editing or website editing while performing scans is great. I now run scans and updates of my antivirus while doing web surfing and other work like image editing using Photoshop and even watch television on my PC.

Before changing to the better AM2+/AM3 processors I would not be able to run scans and do work but now with the better processors I can do both. Kaspersky virus and malware scans do not hinder the system enough to make a computer unusable but it does make it slightly noticeable when doing other CPU intensive work like image editing.

While watching television using a TV tuner card it does not slow down the system but for CPU intensive things like the image editing you notice a slight hesitation and just know something else is running. Using Windows Task Manager you can see that the scan uses about the same memory but varies at CPU usage for at least one of the cores.

I saw from mid 20's to mid 50's percentage of CPU usage while running the virus scan that amounts to some slow down of my system but not enough to make it unusable. Other than this I did not notice any problems with Kaspersky Internet Security 2010, I actually like the program better than Trend Micro's similar security suite.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 makes for an easy to use and simple to install all around suite of protection that it does rate high with me as well. Using the program is simple for the easy stuff but is also simple to use for things like allowing programs access through the firewall.

The program has main menu pages that are very easy to understand and even includes a few extras like a privacy eraser and rescue recovery disc creator. The rescue disk allows you to create a backup of the security suite so that if you get a virus or other threat and the system becomes unusable the recovery disc can be used to repair and remove the threat and return your system to normal.

The disc will boot your system into a Linux recovery mode that will update the virus scanner, scan and remove any viruses and then restart into your usable operating system. This procedure is a bit confusing if you have never done anything like it before but is easily spelled out in both the disc creation process and the use of it when you do have problems.

Running the disc creation is simple and should be done as soon as you install the security suite, it is straightforward while the use of the disc is just as easy but does take a little time. The program when you are having a problem will boot as a simple black screen with steps on what to do and you simply follow the steps to a final reboot then, hopefully Windows will boot normally.

If you do have problems with the RescueCD creation or any other part of the program you can use the help section or ask Kaspersky themselves through their support. I found the website and help sections easy to use to find answers and their support is also easy to get the help you need.

Kaspersky has a knowledge base and forum to ask questions of both the company and users to get answers and help as well as a chat and telephone support. You can contact them 24 hours a day seven days a week as well as chat from 9 AM to 9 PM any day of the week except on holidays.

Kaspersky is a great and highly respected company in anti-virus and internet security and the latest 2010 release is another highly regarded product. I highly recommend Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 so much that it earns my Blue Ribbon for Excellence.…

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Internet

Chinese Internet Security and the Cartoon Mascots Used in China to Keep the Internet Regulated

When you see the names Jingjing and Chacha, you'd probably automatically assume that those are character names for a children's show on Chinese TV. You may sit up and take notice then when you realize that it's actually a play on words for the Chinese word of Police: Jingcha. And those two cute names have an equally cute caricature design showing a tiny Chinese male and female dressed like police officers. Only, they aren't promoting real police but rather an unseen force to help regulate the internet. Yes, all that as a new cute marketing effort by the historically tough Communist regime in China to keep the younger generation from doing anything they shouldn't when they go on the internet.

That marketing campaign was directly implemented by the Internet Surveillance Division located in Shenzen, China within the last couple of years–perhaps as a way to keep any approaching influence from the Beijing Olympics in making the young Chinese generation think they can start making political statements on message boards or even looking up things that most Chinese youth probably don't know exist in cyberspace.

Quite a concept of keeping the children there from dialing up porn or putting their cyber foot in their mouths posting fly-by-night comments on MySpace or on highly-visible message boards, isn't it? It almost sounds attractive when you see how much of a mess America's internet has become and how kids get exposed to websites either on purpose or by accident. Not that many Americans want to have a regulated internet here, even though seeing mascots that would incite kids to mind their P's and Q's on the net just might work in a generation not already tainted by pop culture.

For China, they've imposed a new concept for the children of their country that could also work for the innocently new generation of America: Building up a personal desire to impose self regulation.

That concept is quite different from a few years ago when the Internet Surveillance Division was just one division set up by the People's Republic of China where harsher crackdowns were imposed for those saying or looking up forbidden internet content. Now that things are slightly different from a few short years ago, the PRC is employing what's called, in a bigger picture, a chilling effect where people don't partake in certain activities due to thinking Big Brother is watching their every move and potentially putting the offender in legal hot water if they don't comply.

Yes, we know Orwell's "1984" is playing out all over China, Japan and other countries well outside of Asia with shades of it in America. It's hard to deny, though, that self regulation is the only real hope for those who want a regulation of the internet here in America.

But lest we use China as the ultimate model of how to regulate the internet, most people in America have no idea how many of those Chinese internet police (who probably look nothing like Jingjing or Chacha) are monitoring every single move of internet users…


The 30,000 who keep the internet peace…

When you realize that some Chinese adults at one time almost let pop culture lead the way with providing sex and controversial politics on the net, you can see why the Chinese internet police have grown to a staggering 30,000 force. Many of them are assigned to internet chat boards and having the ability to intercept private IM chats in the event someone is planning a covert political revolution similar to what happened in Tiananmen Square. They've also constructed the other Great Wall of China: The Great Firewall, or otherwise known as the Great Shield that was the first protective system for the internet back in 1998 and since refined to be the ultimate Big Bother for many.

It's those 30,000 internet police who had to learn how to tone down their protectiveness when the Summer Olympics arrived to Beijing this year. The complaints from the International Olympic Committee was that blocking certain types of content on the net would inhibit many of the international reporters covering the games who depend on the internet to get information. As of this writing (three days into the games), that's apparently been settled and certain sites that were blocked have been lifted just for the games.

With some Chinese adults having sophisticated minds and not being afraid to jump at the chance of seeing or exploiting something on the internet, it has to make you wonder if a lot of the more daring Chinese citizens won't take advantage of the timeframe of the Olympics to look at sites they ordinarily wouldn't be able to see. Try as they might, the internet police are said to still be on heavy duty, especially because the country has some Chinese teens out there who try every single day to penetrate the Great Firewall as hackers do here in America. In fact, when you look at those maps on your firewall programs when someone attempts to infiltrate one of your computer ports, the location sometimes says China.
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Does that mean that the Jingjing and Chacha characters won't help shape a new Chinese generation in how they handle themselves on the internet? Kinder and gentler is better than barbaric crackdowns, though there isn't any doubt that China can't entirely prevent the insidiousness of the evils that lurk on the internet and how it can be accessed. Nevertheless, the PRC are onto something with the self regulation and one that could work potentially well with certain realistic guidelines.

Then again, maybe it's too late for America to deal with self-regulation on the internet. For China, the refreshing idea that Jingjing and Chacha are forwarding the rare concept of children keeping their innocence gives the Chinese government some points during a time when their horrid human rights record is still one of their biggest blights in their history.

To see the copyrighted images of both Jingjing and Chacha, click on the links below from Wikimedia Commons:

Jingjing: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3e/Internet_police_officer_jingjing.jpg

Chacha: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/07/Internet_police_officer_chacha.jpg…

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Internet

Dangers of Internet Security Associated with Passwords

Something happened to me yesterday that reminded me of the importance of creating more difficult passwords, and making sure that they are well protected. When I loaded one of my websites, I saw a nasty little note from my web host, stating that my account had been suspended. Evidently, without knowing it, I had violated the Terms of Service Agreement. My host had cut disabled all of my sites, and had shut down my incoming and outgoing email. I could not imagine what I had done to violate my TOS Agreement, so I jumped on the phone to contact Customer Service.

It turns out that someone had gotten one of my passwords for an email account, logged in, and sent at least one SPAM email through my webmail account. Upon identifying it, my host shut everything down, leaving it impossible for me to get into my account to find out what was going on. In their defense, this is the procedure outlined in the TOS Agreement.

This event made me start thinking about how important it is to have good passwords, and to keep them protected. I had gotten comfortable with the same old password, using it or a slight alteration of it, for years. I have used the same password for email, online accounts, and signing up for "freebies" on the internet. Simply put, that is about the dumbest thing that you can do! It is my guess that I signed up for something, and the owner of that site went back to my email account, and tried the same password (or some alteration of it), and got back into the account, and then used it for his or her own purposes!

So, here are a few suggestions to use when making up passwords to help to make sure that you don't get hacked like I did:

  1. Do not use the same passwords on multiple accounts. This is just not a smart way to operate on the internet. You need to pick different passwords for all the accounts that you use. If you use any online financial institutions especially, make sure that each account has a different password. At least that way, if one is broken into, the rest will still be secure.
  2. Do not use easy to guess elements in your passwords. Never use things like your kids' names, or the names of pets. Anyone set on getting in to your accounts will try these things first, as they are commonly used for passwords. Also avoid common numerical strings, such as birthdays, anniversaries, addresses and especially Social Security Numbers!
  3. Use a mixture of letters and numbers. This makes passwords harder to remember, but it also makes them harder to guess. If you just add a number into your current passwords, perhaps changing only the number from time to time, it will make your passwords that much more secure. Even if someone is able to guess one element, they probably will not be able to guess a number inserted in, especially if it is completely random.
  4. Use capital letters randomly throughout the password. Most of the time, passwords will be case sensitive. If you capitalize a letter in the middle of the word, something that would not be capitalized, it will make it extremely difficult for a hacker to guess. Put 2-3 capitals in the password string, just to solidify the difficulty of the password.
  5. Use long passwords. Most people choose short passwords, just because they are easier to remember. But, if you choose longer passwords, they are harder to guess. Put two or three words together, but choose words that really don't go together. If there is no relationship between the words, then it will make them that much harder to guess.
  6. Use random strings of numbers and letters. If you use the "generate password" feature that is now available on many accounts, you will find that the password is almost always just a random string of numbers and letters (some of which will be capitalized). This provides a very secure password, because the chances of simply guessing all the elements are very slim.
  7. Do not save passwords on your computer. If you are in any kind of environment where there is the chance that another person will be using your computer, do not save your passwords in the "auto save" feature of your browser. Doing so makes it too easy for another user to hack into your account, or save your passwords for doing so at a later time.

The chances are, if you follow these recommendations, your accounts will be much more secure. However, you will not be able to remember all the passwords that you create. That will mean that you will need to have a master list of your passwords. Write them down, and keep them with you. Make sure, however, that you do not lose, or misplace this list, as it will open all of your accounts up to the finder of the list.

It is sad to say, but there is a need for hundreds of passwords if you use a computer or surf the internet today. Just remember, there are a lot of people out there trying to find out what your passwords are so that they can hack your computer, send out their spam, steal your identity, or get into your bank accounts. Protect those passwords so that your information will remain secure!…

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Internet

Online Internet Security Degrees: Transaction Security and Job Security

If you've ever received an ominous letter from your bank about your debit or credit card getting compromised in an online transaction, you know firsthand the importance of internet security. As technology grows increasingly sophisticated, so, too, do our means of protecting ourselves online. But as our security measures get stronger, the hacker's way of subverting those measures grows stronger as well. Now more than ever is there a demand for professionals with Internet Security Degrees, and if you're interested in becoming a part of this growing field, an Online Internet Security Degree might be for you. But to figure that out, you might first want to know what you'll learn in an online degree program, which online program you should pick, and what your opportunities will be like after graduation.

What will I learn in an Online Internet Security Degree program?

You will study a number of different things in an Online Internet Security Degree program. In terms of your specific degree choice, you may want to pick a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Systems Security. Alternately, you could choose a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Information Systems. Whichever program you pick, however, your coursework will be comprised of design, programming, and information systems courses, with additional coursework in Business should you choose to major in that.

There will be a number of required courses for your major, but a few standard classes are: Database Concepts, Introduction to UNIX, Introduction to Information Systems Security, Management Information Systems, Web Design, Development, Java Programming, Windows Server Networking, Enterprise Security, Application Implementation, Project Planning and Implementation, SQL for Business, and Fundamentals of Business Systems. Overall, the subjects you'll study will be a mix of programming, design and information systems.

Which online program should I pick?

The most critical component to any online degree program is its accreditation. If your program is not accredited, it is a "diploma mill," or a scam that preys upon students seeking an online diploma wherein the student receives his or her degree simply by paying for it and doing little else. Prospective employers will understand that these degrees are scams, and the student will have lost their money with no realistic way to recoup it.

However, avoiding this scam is easy. Simply check online or inquire with your program about its accrediting agency (if they are not forthcoming with this information, that's probably your first sign that something is amiss). Then, go to the United States Department of Education's website and cross- check the agency your degree program named with the Department of Education's list of approved accrediting agencies. If your agency is not on that list, the program is a diploma mill and you should dissociate yourself from it immediately.

What are my job prospects like after graduation?

In a word: great. The field is expected to show a 20% increase in job growth from 2008 to 2018, and salaries are generally higher than they are in most other areas. On average, internet security professionals earn $65,260 annually. High earners make between $79,160 and $97,080 per year. However, most companies prefer to hire internet security professionals with between three and five years of experience already under their belts.

That means the sooner you earn your Online Internet Security Degree program, the sooner you'll get that experience – and the top-earning job that comes with it. The increasingly complicated nature of transaction security online may be a complicated thing to get a grasp on, but, once you do, it will ensure your job security for years to come.…

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Internet

Kaspersky Internet Security Review

I recently updated my anti-virus from ESET Nod32 antivirus to Kaspersky's Internet Security 2011 software. While I do not have the tools necessary to do an in-depth analysis of things such as virus detection and similar functions, I will do my best to write a comprehensive review of my experience with the Kaspersky AV for anyone who may be considering this anti-virus system. This includes a look at the features, as well as the ease of use of the Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 software.

First, I will try to outline my experience with the software's GUI, starting with installation. Kaspersky was very simple to install, and the process was very efficient and quick. Since I was upgrading to Kaspersky from my previous AV, Nod32, I had to fully uninstall my old anti-virus to ensure that the new anti-virus would function properly. While removing Nod32 was a simple matter, readers with other AV systems may have different experiences. After removing my old anti-virus, it was a simple matter of installing Kaspersky. I simply inserted the disk, which ran the installation process. All I had to do was to enter my serial number when prompted. I had no problems transitioning from my old anti-virus to Kaspersky, but others may have a different experience.

The GUI was simple to use. The interface is clearly labeled and makes all of the most common procedures simple to do. This includes scanning for viruses, updating the anti-virus signature database, and enabling or disabling various components of the anti-virus system. Other, more advanced features, such as the settings and adding exceptions to the anti-virus and/or firewall, are also simple to do without much or any prior knowledge or experience. Kaspersky 2011 also features useful tools, such as the system vulnerability scanner, which will search for and list any settings that can be a risk to your security, and provides a button that will fix the problem for you. It also describes what the fix will do, so that unintended changes can be avoided.

Overall, Kaspersky 2011 has been a more than capable anti-virus for me. While your situation may vary, I would recommend Kaspersky as one of the anti-virus systems you should consider if you are in the market for one.…

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Family / Posts

What Car Should I Buy: A Beginner Guide!

What car should I buy for a beginner?

There are several cars you can start with, starting with an economical small car towing a light trailer behind a truck.

It is best to find at least two cars that are affordable and will get you on the road.

Once you know how safe a car is to drive, you can work your way up to a more powerful sports car.

The type of car you should buy depends on your style of driving, safety concerns, your wallet, and your needs as a driver.

When you consider what cars to buy for a beginner, the first thing you need to consider is the safety rating of the vehicle.

Is it worth buying or should you stay away?

How safe is it?

This question is most important when it comes to four-door sedans.

If the car has a low rating, it may not be worth buying, especially if the car will be used for transporting children.

A safe driver can get good grades in school, but that doesn’t mean you can take your car out on the highway without knowing how to drive it.

In fact, some people who are involved in an accident don’t even know how to fix their cars.

That is why it is so important to purchase a safe car.

There are so many different makes and models available on the market today that finding one that has been well maintained can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Before you even begin thinking about what car to buy for a beginner, you want to think about what level of driving you plan to do.

Are you just learning to drive for pleasure or do you have a goal of becoming a safe, dependable driver?

Even if you want to become a safe driver, you can start by selecting a safe car from the beginning.

This is a great way to begin learning how to drive because you won’t have to worry about losing money if you get into an accident or have an accident that costs you lots of money.

The first and best thing you need to do is find out how safe the car you want to purchase is before you even begin looking.

You should first try to find out how much damage each vehicle has been through.

In most cases, vehicles that are sold for cheap are known to be unsafe because they have been abused.

Ask friends or family members if they can recommend any reliable dealers who sell cars for cheap.

If you don’t have anyone who can give you advice [click here] you can always check online to see what other people have said about various dealers.

Another way to find out about the safety of a particular car is to ask around your community.

People living around you will be able to tell you if a car is safe to drive or not.

Of course, you have to take their word for it, but it’s a good idea to ask around.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

It would also be a great idea to find out from your local police force if they know of any reliable dealers in your area.

Ask them for advice.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

If you are new to driving, you should get a vehicle that has a high safety ranking.

High-ranking cars are known to have a reduced chance of having accidents, which means that they are less likely to cost you a lot of money in repairs.

Now that you have found out what car should I buy for a beginner, you should make sure that you are ready to go out and drive it.

You never know when you might have an accident, and it would be horrible if you had an accident while on your first trip with your new car.

You never know when something may happen that could have unforeseen consequences.

That is why it is important to make sure that you are insured because if you get into an accident without insurance, you could owe a lot of money and be unable to get any money to fix the car.…

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Fashion

Zipper Fashion Rosettes

Supplies:
Metal zipper
Fabric scrap
Scissors
Hot glue
White glue

You might have been saving zippers to sew into other garments, if those zippers go bad, but sewing zippers into clothing isn’t the only way to reuse them. Cut zippers up and use them in an unusual way to make embellishments for fashions and home decorating projects, rosettes for crafting, and other fanciful items. If you already have zippers, you won’t pay a penny for the rosettes, which can be used in many different ways.

Unzip a zipper and cut it, straight across, to remove the zipper pull, and to separate the two sides of the zipper. Since each piece has fabric stitched to it, it’s necessary to remove the cloth. Cut the stitches to remove the biggest part of it; use a lighter to burn off the rest. Remember to hold the zipper with a potholder because the zipper will get hot as you burn the fabric off.

When all of the cloth is off of the zipper it’s the easiest thing to turn it into a rosette. Simply lay it flat on a table and begin winding it around itself. Hold one end down, and wrap the other end around and around the stationary end. You’ll make a flat circle of zipper teeth, which is metallic and lovely. If you want the rosette to be larger than it is when you finish wrapping, use a dot of hot glue to hold the end in place, and start wrapping another zipper-half around it.

The rosette you make is a flat one but you can give it dimension by making another one on top of it. The top rosette should be a bit smaller than the bottom one. Add another rosette, and another, to create the depth that you want; make each rosette smaller than the previous one.

The zipper rosette will be easiest to attach if you glue a piece of cloth or felt to the bottom of it. Glue the finished flower to a purse, a garment, a lampshade, a mirror or picture frame corner, or even a hat. Attach it to a piece of fabric to make a curtain tie-back, or make a large zipper rosette, and turn it into a coaster.

Don’t like the metallic color of the rosette? Paint it! You can easily spray paint the zipper before you start, or paint the rosette when you’re finished. That gives you many options for coordinating colors on your fashions, or for your home decorating.

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Internet / Posts

How to Build an Instagram Following From Scratch

With close to 500 million users, and counting, Instagram is slowly becoming a leading social media site, and we will try to help you get your first followers.

Simplicity is a major part of success when it comes to Instagram, and as we live in the society where information overload is a normal thing scrolling through the pictures with short captions seems like a perfect combination.

Both major and minor brands are trying to capitalize on this fast rise, so you should consider start to buy followers for instagram and avoid missing out on this opportunity.

In the next few paragraphs, we will lay down a roadmap and try to explain how to get free instagram likes daily, whether you manage your personal or professional Instagram profile.

1. Figure out your strategy

Before going any further, you should answer these few questions.

What is your end goal on Instagram?

Creating a community of regular paying customers on you web page from followers while providing good service. This is a top priority!

How will your Instagram page affect your business?

 

Your best bet is to have few established Instagram users in your niche promoting your product in exchange for money or free stuff. This way, you can bring traffic to you web page fast and have a better conversion.

What are you going to offer to your followers?

Ask questions, research, ask your peers what kind of content would they like to see from you. Check what hashtags are your followers using and use them in your posts only if they are relevant, you don’t want to annoy them.

After you got this down, you are ready to move on.

2. Setting up your Instagram profile.

This one is pretty straight forward. You just need to fill some basic info and add your profile picture.

Profile image

You should consider an image that is representing your product or your brand. Logo of your company is always a good solution.

Your bio

If you are not an established brand already, then you need to utilize this feature as much as possible. Make it sound natural and positive; you can also use symbols.

Link to your web page.

If you use Instagram for business, then this one is really important. Add your web page address at the end of your bio. This will give your followers a chance to buy your product and turn them into your customers. Make sure that your web page is mobile friendly; most of the Instagram users are on their mobile phones.

3. Setting up your content plan.

Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators like shares, comments, likes) are essential. Set them and use them to track your progress.
Your next step should be schedule for content uploading. There are various apps that can help you with this like ScheduGram or Simply Measured.

 

Choose pictures that you are about to post very carefully. Use only pictures that are related to your brand and your brand’s story. Make sure that quality of a picture, description and hashtags are all on point.
When it comes to effectiveness, you should consider this:

Brand-inspired images

Posting beautiful images with a powerful message can bring you a lot of exposure as people tend to react to the images that trigger emotions.
Some of the biggest brands in the world are using this technique and investing money in the production of their photos so they can use the power of visual storytelling to their advantage.

Reactive storytelling

Reactive storytelling is a great way of sparking conversation because when businesses use this technique, they can leverage a human truth or insight to generate instant feedback. This includes a cultural action, a brand relevant action or a niche action.

Inspirational quotes

One of the best ways to create a viral buzz is to trigger a strong emotional response. If you can achieve this, there is a big chance that you are going to see more shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
You should start by preparing ten images; this will be enough for the next three to four days, depends on how you spread them.

A Track Maven released a report suggesting that major brands are getting thirty-seven likes and comments per thousand followers. That’s 3.7 reactions for every hundred followers you make.

4. Build relationships with influencing people

There are places where you can get exposure and more followers like FreeInstagramFollowersNow.com, but there are people that have a big influence, and they are available only through direct contact. You can offer them free promotional stuff for shares, or pay them for the shoutout.

 

Instagram Direct is probably the best way for you to get in touch with the person who can help you promoting your product. It is private so you can send your offer that only influencer and you can see.

5. Manage your profile

With you profile, your connections and followers in place, it is time to manage your account. You can find a lot of very useful applications that can give you a better overview of your activities and activities on your account and also give you statistic and charts. Always have content ready for deployment and use the schedule as much as possible, it will make your life a lot easier.

How to grow an Instagram account from SCRATCH (With ZERO Followers!) - YouTube

Final thoughts

By now we hope that you realize how easy it is to have a successful Instagram page. Visual content is in high demand, and millions of users are already making a good use of it. Just remember to be clear with your ideas and always be in contact with your followers and respect them so you can see your brand grow and flourish.

Make sure to connect your Instagram page to your other social media accounts. This way you will be able to spread your brand and reach more people.
Leave your comments below and let us know if you had any success with the roadmap that we laid out for you, and how you managed to push your Instagram campaign to the next level.…

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Family

Having and Planning Family Night

Family night is growing more popular as children are finding more things outside of the home to do. Here are some tips and ideas to help you plan and have a wonderful family night.

Set a night of the week that everyone will be home and available. Plan your family night for this night.

Tell each family member and post it on the refrigerator, calendar and anywhere else that you can think of that will help remind everyone.

Decide your plans for family night. Do you want to play games, go somewhere else, see a movie or something else creative. There are some tips and ideas at the end of this article.

Do any shopping that is needed for that night prior to the scheduled night. This will reduce the stress on you.

On the planned day be sure to remind everyone that that night is family night and what time it is planned for.

Enjoy the night with your family and have lots of fun.

TIPS AND IDEAS

For each family night, choose a different family member and make on of their favorite meals.

Choose games that everyone enjoys. Some popular games are Monopoly, Uno, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. If you don’t have any games you can do several things to get some. Go to www.freecycle.org and sign up. Once signed up post a wanted ad for games and activities. Search at garage sales and thrift stores. You would be surprised what you can find in these places. If all else fails, and you can afford it, go to the store and purchase new ones.

Family night doesn’t have to be indoors or about games. You can take it outside or anywhere. Go to the park, play volleyball, go swimming, go to a museum, go to a movie, etc.

Make sure that everyone feels included. This will make family night much easier on you and more exciting for everyone else.

Try to do something different each night. Don’t tell everyone what activities you have planned. This will heighten the enjoyment and anticipation. Repeating the same activity will bore them and discourage everyone from wanting to do it again.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect night. This will discourage you from wanting to plan and do this again. Remember this is supposed to be fun. Things happen and it is OK. Just pick it up and try again.

If you have little children, plan many different things. Remember that young children have a smaller attention span and will lose interest quickly.

Ideas for young children could be anything such as reading books, playing with blocks or legos, coloring, doing crafts (also good for older children as well), watching a movie, playing outside, going to the park, etc.

Remember that family night is not about what you do. It is about being together as a family and enjoying each others company and time.

If it doesn’t go great the first time, don’t give up. Use this time as an example and change the way you do things and what you plan for the next time.

Once you start having weekly family nights, sit down at the end of each one and ask for suggestions for other family nights. This helps everyone feel involved and helps you come up with new ideas.

Try having a themed night. This could include Hawaiian night, pajama party, camping or whatever else you can think of. This makes things fun and exciting and you can come up with some pretty creative stuff to do.

Have a night where you all make the meal together or instead of making a meal, everyone makes their favorite snack. (It’s OK to do this every once in a while.)

I hope these ideas have helped you come up with some activities and a great way to plan your family night. Enjoy your family and the time you have together.…

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