HTC Legend – Oozes Style and Substance

The HTC Legend is a smartphone which combines appealing aesthetics with an impressive list of specifications. With key features including a 5 MP digital camera, Wi-Fi internet access, the HTC Sense UI and Android v2.1 OS, it certainly ticks all the boxes in terms of features.

The HTC Legend is constructed from an aluminium “unibody”. This is a single piece of brushed effect aluminium which gives the handset a look of sophistication and class as well as sturdy build quality. The handset has relatively compact dimensions, and is lightweight at 126 grams, so it will fit comfortably in a pocket or handbag.

Wi-Fi offers the fastest means of accessing the internet; however respectable speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps can be achieved via HSDPA in areas covered by 3G. Fans of social networking will love the FriendStream App which consolidates feeds from social networking sites and SMS messages and displays them on the same screen, sorted by contact rather than source. This essentially gives a timeline of updates and messages so you can see what that contact has been up to rather than check on each individual website. Android v2.1 (Eclair) is the OS of choice, and provides access to the android Market. This allows users to browse and download thousands of apps, similar to the Apple AppStore. This gives scope for endless possibilities with the HTC Legend.

Whether you are a photography enthusiast or simply a person who likes to take random snapshots, the HTC Legend has a versatile and powerful 5 MP digital camera. The pixel resolution of the camera is 2592x 1944, which results in good quality images, and the accompanying software allows more advanced photographers to alter various settings and customise the look of their pictures. The camera can also shoot video footage in quality of up to VGA. Pictures and videos can immediately be uploaded to a number of different websites and social networking profiles at a touch of the screen.

A very nice internal media player accommodates most of the common file formats of both music and video files. Alongside the standard internal storage, expandable storage is available in the form of a micro SD card slot. This can take a memory card with a capacity of up to 32GB which should be ample to store moist people’s digital music collections. As well as the media player, there is also a radio player and a selection of pre-installed games (as well as downloadable games from the Android Market) to keep users entertained.

The screen on the HTC Legend is a 3.2 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. This allows a dynamic means of navigating the UI with very little lag thanks to its 600 MHz Qualcomm processor. Also, the screen is great for watching video clips and viewing photos or content rich web pages thanks to its ability to display up to 16M colours within a pixel setup of 320x 480. An accelerometer sensor allows content to be viewed in both portrait and landscape forms by automatically rotating the contents of the screen based on the orientation of the phone.

Whether you are constantly browsing the web or taking spontaneous snapshots, or always talking and texting, the HTC Legend is ideal for anyone looking for a super stylish yet highly functional Android smartphone.



Satellite TV Troubleshooting And Finding The Signal

Anyone can mount a Satellite with no problem. Running the cable is also very straightforward to do. But, when it comes time to find a signal; that separates amateurs from the pros. I have always said, that finding the signal is not easy to do. But, it is simple. Why do I say that? Because, patience is what comes to place. Do you remember the old saying: Patience is a virtue. Well, finding the signal is a virtue.

I don’t care if you are a professional or not. The fact of the matter is: if you have right attitude approach towards concentrating in finding the signal, you will get it done. But, if you don’t…I will suggest you. Save your grief and hire someone to do if for you.

If you still want to try to find it for yourself, be my guest. But, before you try, here are some tips, you should consider.

1) Make sure you have a direct cable line from the dish to the receiver box. This is one of the most popular problems I seen so many times. When you are into finding the signal, you must eliminate any boosters, splitters or switches.

2) Get a clear line of sight. So many times, people are trying to find the signal when there is obstruction in the way. I will mention once: Satellite Signal Cannot go through trees, branches of anything solid blocking the way.

3) Use RG6 Coax Cable. If you want to avoid problems, it is strongly suggested to use the right type of cable. In this case, RG6 cable is what you need to use. Otherwise, the other type will deteriorate with time.

4) Check cable connectors. Connectors can be sensitive. If the connectors are corroded, you won’t get much signal. Or, maybe, they aren’t tight. Change then and crimp them properly. Last and not least, check for shorts: one of the aluminum filaments is touching the copper part. Thus, that creates a short. Subsequently, no signal will be shown on the TV screen.

If you follow these for basic steps, then you will find the signal always, whenever you are. And if you want to make it easier for you, get a signal finder. You can get either an analog or digital type.



Nokia Phones – Incredible Means of Communication

In this technology world, people have become quite depended on their handsets for the manipulation of their many manual and multimedia needs. So, in this way, they strictly preferred to purchase branded handsets. Basically, there are many brands ruling in the realm of communication like LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and many more. These all brands have launched their several outstanding devices in the mobile phone market, which are furnished with remarkable features and also support to the latest technologies. But, the huge number of handset user are delighting to purchase Nokia phones, with great zeal. Because the devices of such big brand are embedded with many useful features and also available at very much affordable prices. Here, one can find many valuable Nokia handsets in domain of communication like Nokia 3120 Classic, 3710 Fold, 5730 XpressMusic, 6300, 6600 Slide,7100 Supernova, E75, N97 and many more. These all Nokia handsets have become first choice of every kind of handset users. Because the features of such devices are full of innovation and appreciated by many handsets users. So, lets go through the features of few Nokia phones like Nokia 3710 Fold, 5730 XpressMusic and N97 and try to find what kind of innovative features are available in these devices, which make them so much lovable for many handset users.

The Nokia 3710 Fold, is an elegant looking stylish handset for one. This devices is blessed with a 3.2 MP camera feature, which lets one capture stunning pictures of loved ones. This camera also permits one for video calling, video streaming, video recording and many more. One will surly like the Internet connectivity features of this handset like 3G, EDGE and GPRS. Such features will allow one to connect this device with Internet at fast speed. The Bluetooth feature of this gizmo lets one to share pictures, videos and other data to the Bluetooth compatible devices of dear ones. The music of this device can be experienced through its FM radio, MP3 music player and other Polyphonic ringtones.

On the other hand Nokia 5730 XpressMusic, is a gorgeous looking musical phone for handset users. This quality device is loaded with a 3.2 MP camera that enable one to capture decent pictures of loved ones. This camera is also capable for video recording, video calling, video streaming, video playing (MPEG4 & H263 players) etc. A remarkable battery of this handset allows one for 5.2 hours of GSM talk time and 300 hours GSM of standby time. The Internet facility in this handset can be possible through its connectivity features like 3G HSDPA, WLAN Wi-Fi technologies and EDGE etc. The GSM Quad band of this handset (GSM 850,900,1800 & 1900) is able to provide hassle free network anytime and anywhere.

Similarly, the Nokia N97 is also a stunning looking Nokia phone, which is embedded with many dynamic features and available at reasonable price. This ultimate handset comes with a 5 MP camera, which is able to capture gorgeous pictures of friends. This camera also ensures one for TV Out, video calling, video recording, video playing (MPEG4 & H263 players) etc. An excellent battery of this handset allows one for 6.6 hours of GSM talk time and 432 hours of GSM standby time. The music of this gadget is also mind blowing, which can be delighted through its FM radio, MP3 music player and MP3 & Polyphonic ringtones. The Java enabled games and other embedded games of this handset give more provisions of entertainment to one. The connectivity features of this device such as WLAN Wi-Fi & 3G HSDPA technologies, EDGE are good options to connect this device through Internet at fast speed. Thus, the above three Nokia phones are really blessed with many valuable features, which make them so much lovable for handset users.



Leadership Style With Vision and Focus – David Chitel, Founder of New Generation Latino

Latinos are getting great attention through the vision of David Chitel, founder of New Generation Latino Consortium. I recently interviewed David who also is Co-founder with John Leguizamo on Urbano TV. They are having a New Generation Latino Marketing and Entertainment Conference at the Harvard Club in New York on April 11th. The panel speakers are top of the line, including Ana Flores, founder of Latina Bloggers Connect.

MC: Could you describe what a New Generation Latino is?

DC: There are so many different ways which the audience can be defined and therefore can get confusing to people and subsequently, for people to put together marketing programs that are geared towards them. In general, our demographic is anywhere from 14-34 years old from a media perspective and people who were born here in the US, or grew up here and have lived here for at least 15 years and are foreign born.

There are many commonalities and for the media perspective it is important to focus on those so people can assign budgets. That is what my organization is about, to bring clarity to that and help to make them actionable because it is too big of a segment of the market that gets so easily lost in the dust because it is not so easily defined just by status. It is more about culture and lifestyle.

MC: I am part of the Latism.org community, Latinos in Social Media. We recently had a twitter party about the mujer Latina. Some of the main points discussed were the lack of role models in leadership, promoting education, and breaking some of the typical stereotypes of women as sex symbols. Are there any initiatives in what you are doing to help with these issues?

DC: I am bringing clarity to the media market so people can say, “This market exists. I need a specific advertisement to reach this market.” Or “I should be producing entertainment that is functionally relevant. “

And out of that, my hope is that more role models come about. We have examples of role models, but there is no consolidation of it that is actionable. Latism is definitely one of them, and I as well. But there is none specifically for Latina’s. I try to put Latinas and Latinos on high profile stage in my conference.

For example, I have Rosie Perez who is a very well known Latina. She is going to talk about her journey at the conference and is going to be interviewed by Jackie Hernandez, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Telemundo, obviously a very prestigious position she holds.

So my hope is that by continuing to put together people who have broken to the other side, where others who are aspiring to be like them, can hear their stories. That will get things moving. I am also going to be doing that extensively through Urbano TV. But right now NGLC is like a business platform, and Urbano TV is more of a consumer platform.

MC: What is your definition of Leadership and what can you say to the Latino youth about what leadership means to you?

DC: Speaking specifically to up and coming Latinos: To realize how much power they have both inside themselves and collectively as a group. We saw it in the last elections and we see it in the pure numbers that Latinos represent. Specifically US born Latinos who are the majority of Latinos, who have a lot of klout and can come together and leverage that as a group.

I say that because there’s 23 different Latinos nationalities and different reasons for being here and different regions. I find that the Latino market as a whole tends to work in different silos and have many successes in the different areas that they are focused on. But if we could come together more and leverage our collective, I think that will be very powerful.

And I think that is going to be my message to the millenials in particular, because they are the ones that are going to drive the agenda forward. I certainly would be proud to be a part of it. But I think we need more people to be leaders and leverage the collective. I think that is what moves forward the African American population and we need more of that. That is what will make a difference.

MC: I just received your email newsletter today for Urbano TV and saw how you are featuring different people. I think that is great because it gives them some empowerment. Tell us more about Urbano TV.

DC: What I am going to be doing with Urbano TV is democratizing the process for aspiring Latino content producers in the same way that You Tube or other platforms have done, unadulterated without the need to be distributed through television or on the cover of a magazine.

If they are uploading good content, it is going to be seen by Latinos who are interested. So I am hoping to empower content producers, bloggers or photographers who are interested in the Latino audience or if they are Latino themselves or both. That is the vision for this platform, to put the power in the hands of us and not anyone else. And no one has really done this in the media world.

MC: As a visionary, what secret ingredients can you share from going from idea to reality?

DC: To be able to handle getting something off the ground, you have to do it for the right reasons, obviously to make it for your entire life. Otherwise it is going to be tough because there’s a lot of monetary hurdles or logistical hurdles, or if you will fail, you will be questioning yourself or other people will be questioning you.

You have to be able to see through all that, have a vision over the visibility of exactly how to get where you are going and you have to be able to adapt. Some of the advice might not be good, but some of it will be good. You have to be able to listen to that and adapt to get to the other side, so to speak.

I have already built and sold a company and being a little older now, and having a little understanding of how it works, by nature I become an elder statesman, i.e. over 40. I have a little more patience and know that it is a marathon, not a sprint. It is something you have to be patient with. You have to stick with the vision and be super passionate about it regardless of any outside forces that is telling you otherwise.

MC: Since my website is called Mi Caminar, which means My Walk, and we all have a journey to take in this life, what do you do to find your own inner peace?

DC: I find a lot of peace and grounding in my family, particularly my children that remind me every day to be patient and not take life too seriously. I also have a very big outlet by playing music. I play the guitar. Physically, I do the New York City triathlon which requires a lot of training. This is what keeps me focused. I like to set crazy goals. I never even ran a 5K and jumped into a triathlon. I really love it.

MC: Since you are helping all the New Generation Latinos share their voice by creating a platform to do so, what do you think is a core thing they are craving?

DC: I think Latinos are looking to see themselves reflected more in the world of media and entertainment and not so much in the way that has been done in the past which is TV shows from Latin America or TV shows which their parents or grandparents would watch. I think they are looking more for lifestyle and something that is culturally driven. I am meaning not just Spanish market television, but general market television, films and advertising… all across the board.

I blogged about it the other day. There was a cool aha moment when I was watching American Idol when Karen Rodriguez, one of the 13 finalists, sang Mariah Carey’s ” Hero”. She went back and forth from English to Spanish and gave J Lo goose bumps.

While there were several Latinos in the mix, I think she stole the vote by showing a reflection of who she is through that song and really touched a nerve. I think more Latinos are looking to see themselves represented in that way, proud and true to who they are and where they came from and I don’t think there is enough of that. I’m looking forward to see more of that.

Thank you David for sharing your thoughts and empowering vision as you lead the way for many.

What are your thoughts and ideas as to how Latinos can be more empowered with their voices?



Cable TV And Satellite TV – Which Is The Better System?

Cable TV and satellite TV – which is the better system? There’s a battle going on between Cable TV and Satellite TV. Today, consumers have a choice between conventional cable TV, digital cable TV, and all-digital satellite TV. Do you want to know which of the TV system is best for you? Lets compare cable TV and satellite TV head-to-head here.

First, some general things about Cable TV and Satellite TV:

Cable TV & Digital Cable TV

It is obvious that the conventional cable TV are by far the least advanced. Compare to satellite TV, cable TV provides limited features to their customers. Hence, most cable companies now are pushing hard to get their customers on their digital systems in order to compete with satellite TV providers in the market. Digital cable television has many advantages over conventional cable. Through digital cable signals, consumers are able to get high-speed internet access and video on demand, as well as hundreds of cable channel choices.

Satellite TV

Most of the features offered by digital cable TV are offered by satellite TV. Example? Major dish networks offer their own version of high-speed internet through broadband. DirecTV has DirecWay , and DISH Network has partnered with EarthLink to bring high-speed internet to their customers. Besides, satellite TV providers also provide electronic program guides, parental controls, and automated timers.

Here are major comparisons of cable TV and satellite TV:

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Popularity

Both Cable TV and Satellite TV are popular. Although cable still is more popular overall, satellite TV has made huge gains on cable TV. Equipment Cable TV systems require a cable to be installed from the network to your house. If your street has no cable you may need to wait a while before it is available in your area. Besides the cable you need a receiver. With digital services you need an additional box. Satellite TV requires a satellite dish, a receiver and a cable from the dish to your TV (no digging in your garden).

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Reception Quality

Cable TV and satellite TV used totally different systems for signal transferring. Cable TV has analog channels and even though you can upgrade to digital services, analog channels will still be analog, meaning an often fuzzy picture. Satellite TV is completely digital, which gives you all the advantages of digital systems. Very heavy rain or snow can obstruct reception briefly, but generally this happens very rarely. Reception quality is much better with Satellite TV.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Programming

Cable TV and satellite TV both served high quality programming channels. Cable TV can handle up to 260 channels. Satellite TV can handle more channels. Also, Satellite TV is more advanced in HDTV (High Definition Television) services.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Pricing

Pricing for cable TV and satellite TV have huge differences. Satellite TV is less expensive than Cable TV due to many additional costs that are related to Cable TV: franchise fees, taxes, plus costs for any pay per view services, and equipment costs. Dish Network Programming Package starts at only $29.99 per month.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Interactive Services

In general Satellite TV has more interactive services than Cable TV. Digital services like Dish Network’s DVR (Digital Video Recorder) which gives the option to rewind while recording even in live broadcasts, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), Instant Weather, video on demand, etc. are all available on Satellite TV, but not all are available on Cable TV.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: High Speed Internet

Cable has high speed broadband internet services. Satellite has this too, but is somewhat slower. DirecTV: offers Direcway High Speed Internet, which is ultra fast but somewhat expensive. Overall conclusion: Satellite TV is less expensive, has better picture quality (digital signal) and gives you more channels and programming options than cable TV.

I believe that currently satellite TV providers are giving a better services with a lower price. Satellite TV apparently is a must if you want excellent picture quality, fantastic value with excellent features and varieties in TV programming. There are lots more of satellite TV benefits to be talked about, in case you want to find it oput your self, I suggest this site to be viewed: http://www.satellitetvissue.com



The Impact of Communications – Marketing, Business, Behavior and Culture

In order to comprehend the impact of communication within your organization, members must understand that this particular element of your marketing mix is used to deliver advertising messages and assist target audiences and customers to make purchases. Communication builds a relationship with current loyal customers, while increasing brand awareness and convincing targeted consumers to buy your brand over your competitors.

There are many factors that can have a major impact on your organization’s communication strategy, but here are four key attributes:

1. Marketing

Companies create databases through many ways, such as surveys and transactions for mass customization. Mass customization means to take products traditionally designed for mass markets and reshape them to appear to be personally designed for your targeted customer. The structure of communication starts with the source, which gets the attention of the receiver or end-user, by stimulating their interest of your message. The receiver or end-user interprets the message provided by the sender, in order to provide feedback of the message.

2. Business

Through product and service quality, customer satisfaction is achieved through the creation of increased brand loyalty and elevated repeat purchases. With changes in the environmental factors affecting traditional advertising spending, marketing managers are seeking new and innovative media avenues to reach their current and targeted audiences. We are continuing to witness a shift from traditional media methods (TV, radio, newspaper and magazines) to strategic product placement (Internet commerce, mobile commerce and buzz marketing or viral marketing). As we examine two major categories of communication channels, we discover that they are either personal or non-personal. Personal communication channels involve direct communications through professionals, salespeople, by phone or through email communications. Non-personal channels include attributes such as TV, newspaper, radio, direct mail, Internet, etc.

3. Behavior

When communicating with your current or potential customer, you are building and maintaining a rapport for continued and future business. Cultural and environmental changes affect social, technological, political and economic performances. Physical responses to advertisements will stimulate a shopping environment. These responses are based on awareness, attention-knowledge, desire, conviction, action, price, purchase, evaluation presentation, innovation, information, decision-making and behavioral responses. Regional differentiation (national or global) will have an impact on population, the perceived value of your products or services by customers, need segmentation and cultural preferences.

4. Culture

When marketing and communication managers are promoting their products and services to current and targeted audiences, cultural values and elements of culture are taken into consideration, in order to analyze the impact of their purchasing decision process. Behavioral and demographic attributes consist of values, language, religion, attitudes, population, age, social organizations, education, technology and geography. A common and advantageous concept occurring among many small businesses and large corporations is cultural diversity. Embracing differences and variety within a company and among their target consumers, includes age, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, race and gender. These attributes are a part of the company’s culture. Cultural diversity is becoming an integral part in most companies today and drives economic development, marketing, employee development, vendor relationships and consumer loyalty and spending.

Brand equity communicates the value and quality, or other aspects of your products or services. Communications help customers make more informed decisions about their purchases. Marketing, business, behavior and culture not only impact an organization’s communication, but they build relationships.



New Samsung Chromebook

Samsung has come out with the latest in its Chromebook series the Chromebook 3G. This third generation is priced at $250, which seems more like a distant cousin of MacBook, in looks and design. One might claim that the design is a rip off from the Apple MacBook Air; still, the uncanny resemblance is striking to a viewer in the first glance. You will find it covered with a silvery plastic finish material, it is lightweight and .75 inches thin weighing 2.5lbs. The battery backup of this device is 6 hours nonstop all thanks to its ARM processor. Let us find out more about this Chromebook.

Screen Display

If you are the one who is a big fan of Netflix then you may be disappointed to know that it is not supportive of the ARM Chromebook. Seems like Samsung still has something to work for, however, streaming other content and media through Hulu would not be a trouble at all. Additionally, you can also tune into Instant Video by Amazon and Crackle by Sony effortlessly. The only drawback it seems is the screen display that is not as impressive as it is suppose to be. You will not be able to view content at 45-degree angle; all you will see is shadows. Therefore, now you know that viewing angles are not its strongest trait and so avoid sharing picture with your friend sitting next to you.

Keyboard and Trackpad

You will enjoy working on the keyboard as Samsung gives you best in quality. The trackpad is highly responsive to touch and you will never be caught with a jittery pointer on the screen. The only thing that may confuse you is the placement of Ctrl and Alt keys that are not in the usual order as in a conventional keyboard. They are placed in reverse order.

The trackpad is touch sensitive and you will find a smooth glide through a webpage or while surfing.

Sound and Audio

Keeping in mind the given pricing factor at$250 you will find the sound quality decent enough to satisfy you. A 3W speaker with stereo sound quality is something to go by, though not as loud but you will still enjoy listening to songs and blasting music. Other things include speaker port for mic input or through Bluetooth give you the option of karaoke, so now you can play a song and sing along.

Ports Connectivity

The ports and its location on Chromebook is what sets it apart from the Apple product. The ports for USB 3 & 2, power port and HDMI output for Video are located at the back of the unit. However, if you are looking for audio inputs then you will find the location of headphone/ mic on the side. Adapter charging can be done via HDMI that can double up as video, DVI or VGA and even be used as projector input.

3G Connectivity

The Chromebook is favorable in connecting to 3G; of course, this new series is designed to support it. Therefore, now you can be sure that browsing and content streaming are seamless and without any glitch. Having an in-built version that supports 3G media connectivity is something that makes it faster when it comes to browsing. Additionally, you are entitled to avail 100 MB free data streaming every month; this comes along with Gogo hotspot cards.

Conclusion

In conclusion, to what all has been said above it if you are in favor of purchasing a budget friendly laptop with good processor and other media inputs then this one scores well. Additionally, fast browsing, 3G connectivity and photo editing. Chromebook is what you can say a low-maintenance, light weight, stylish and easy to use product. So, anyone on a look out for a good deal priced in $250 can opt for it. However, if you are looking for better processor, more pre-loaded software including Microsoft Corporate apps or the likes of desktop publishing then choosing another brand will be a better option.



No Animals Were Harmed – All About Animal Actors

ANIMAL ACTORS: Interview with Sandi Buck, American Humane, Certified Animal Safety Representative

Q: What is the American Humane Film & TV Unit?

A: American Humane (AH) Film & TV Unit is based in Los Angeles and we monitor the use of animals in media. American Humane is a national organization with headquarters based in Denver, Colorado. I’m one of the Certified Animal Safety Representatives who go on set and monitor the use of animals in film and television. We award the “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Movie” disclaimer seen at the end of the credits in a movie.

Q: How did the American Film & TV Unit start?

A: Back in 1926, AH set up a committee to investigate abuses of animals in the movie industry. At that time, horses were the most at-risk animal actors. But, then, as now, animals have no inherent legal rights, so we couldn’t mandate the safety of the animal actors. In 1939, for the film “Jesse James,” a horse and rider were sent hurling over a 70-foot cliff into a raging river for an action shot. The stuntman was fine, but the horse’s back was broken in the fall and it died. Outrage over this sparked a new relationship between AH and some motion picture directors and producers and caused the Hays Office to include humane treatment of animals in the Motion Picture Code. The following year, AH received authorization to monitor the production of movies using animals. We worked on set for quite a while after that until the Hays Office was disbanded in 1966, ending our jurisdiction and excluding us from sets. This was a pretty dismal time for animal actors who were being used in some brutal ways. Then, in the early 1980s, another incident caused another public outcry and American Humane was added to the agreement with SAG that mandated that union films contact us if they were using animals. This agreement now includes any filmed media form, including television, commercials, direct-to-video projects, and music videos. A more detailed history is on our website. Right now, we monitor about 900 films a year, maybe more. That’s not counting commercials.

Q: Did you say animal actors no have legal rights?

A: That’s correct. Animals have no “legal” rights in the sense that humans have. But because of our SAG agreement, animal actors in SAG films have “contractual” rights because the AH office must be contacted by productions using animals and an AH Film & TV Unit representative be on set during the filming.

Q: What about nonunion productions?

A: Nonunion productions are not contractually bound to contact us, but we find that a lot of people want us there anyway. I’ve worked with several productions that say – “We want you here. We want that rating at the end of our film and we want people to know what we had you on set.”

Q: So people on set are happy to see you?

A: Generally yes, but sometimes no. Actors always love seeing us there. They look at the AH patches on my jacket and come up to me constantly on set and say – “Oh, you’re here for the animals. That’s so great, I’m so happy you’re here.” That’s what we want. We want people to look for us, to know we’re there, and why we’re there. As for production, it depends on their perception of us and if they’ve worked with us in the past. People we’ve worked with before love having us there. The ones who haven’t worked with us before sometimes think “oh, no, here comes the animal police to patrol us,” like I’m going to stand there with my hands on my hips telling them what they can and can’t do. It’s not like that. We’re not there to criticize. We’re there to work with filmmakers, not against them. If we see a problem, we’ll address it and work it out together. In Florida, for instance, one of the big concerns is heat. During one production, the producer wanted a dog to walk back and forth across the pavement. I told the director there was a problem with this. I already knew he didn’t like having me on set, but I told him anyway, “You take off your shoes and walk across that street.” He went out to the street, put his hand on the pavement, and said – “Yeah, you’re right.” He wasn’t trying to harm the animal, he just wasn’t thinking about the animal, the heat, and the pavement. That’s part of the reason we’re on set. We don’t expect filmmakers to also be animal experts. Even producers who personally don’t care about animals usually realize it makes sense for them to have us there. Many people say they won’t watch a movie in which they think or have heard that an animal was injured or killed. People look for the AH disclaimer at the end of movies saying – “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Film.”

Q: How do filmmakers get a “No Harm” disclaimer for their movies?

A: The process starts when production contacts our Los Angeles office to let us know that they plan to use animals. We direct them to our Guidelines which are available on the internet and we request their script. We review the script and arrange to come in and observe the animal action to ensure that the conditions in which the animals are working and kept is safe and comfortable. This doesn’t cost the union production anything – that’s part of the arrangement with the SAG office.

Q: What about nonunion productions? Can they get this “No Animals were Harmed®” disclaimer?

A: The process to get the disclaimer is the same, only there’s a $30 an hour fee for the hours we’re on set. The time we spend in pre-production script evaluation and then screening the films and writing up reviews is included in that $30 an hour on set fee.

Q: Can student and independent filmmakers get your disclaimer?

A: Definitely, if they meet the guidelines for it. If they have questions, all they need to do is call our LA office and ask. Our LA office is happy to help young and aspiring filmmakers with guidance and information on safely using animals in their films. If they’re in the process of writing a script, they can call us and ask if certain scenes are feasible and for advice on how to get the scenes and action they want. Productions who can’t get an AH representative on set because of cost or scheduling conflicts can write down what it is they plan to do, document the filming of the animal action with a little video, a behind the scenes – this is how we did it, kind of thing – and send it in. We review it and though we can’t say we were actually there, we can say that through our review, it looks like the production followed the Guidelines. That rating is called: “Not Monitored: Production Compliant.”

Q: How many ratings are there?

A: We have several ratings which range from our highest “Monitored: Outstanding” and receiving the “No Animals Were Harmed”® disclaimer which appears in the end credits of the film, to “Not Monitored,” to our lowest rating which is “Monitored Unacceptable” – where our guidelines and animal safety were disregarded and or negligence caused the injury or death of an animal. Striving for a good rating helps ensure that the production will go well. If a production is half way through shooting and an animal that is key to the movie gets spooked and gets loose or injured, it’s like losing a lead human actor. What’s the producer going to do? Re-shoot the animal scenes with another animal actor? Rewrite the script? Scrap the movie? Professional trainers have several different dogs with different talents that look alike. One’s a really good barking dog, one’s a really good jumping dog, another does something else. That helps in the event one dog gets sick or injured, it won’t halt filming. A lot of the worst scenarios can be avoided with planning. I look for potential problems and to keep everything as safe as possible for everyone. There can always be accidents, there’s no way to prevent that. That happens in life. You can work to make things as safe as possible, but there can still be accidents. We understand that. The bottom line is at that any time filmmakers plan to use animals, even their own pets, they should contact our LA office.

Whether or not one of us comes out to your set, they should refer to our Guidelines For the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media so they know what they need to prepare for, to say to themselves – this is what I need to prepare for if I’m going to use an animal on my production. Am I prepared to do what I need to do to make sure that everything is safe for my animal? Having us involved benefits the production in that if there’s ever any question as to how a stunt was done the filmmaker can say – call AH. Filmmakers with the reputation of abusing animals for the sake of producing a film or commercial won’t get hired and people won’t want to watch their movies. We are the only organization authorized to make and uphold these standards and people look for it. When people see animals in films, they look to see that no animals were harmed. If they have any questions on how things were done, they can go to our website and read about it. They can see that this stunt that looks absolutely horrible was actually done with computer graphics, a real animal wasn’t even involved.

Q: Are personal pets allowed to be in movies?

A: Our Guidelines recommend that filmmakers use professional animal actors obtained through trainers, but we know that filmmakers, especially small independent and student filmmakers are going to use their own pets or the pets of friends and family in their movies. We understand that, that’s a reality in this business. But even if it’s no more than filming their own pet cat or dog sitting in a chair or walking across the room, filmmakers should get in the habit of contacting our office. When producers choose dogs, for instance, they should look for dogs with outgoing personalities, dogs that aren’t afraid of people. Fear can cause a disaster. The dog can bite someone out of fear if they get in a situation in which they’re not comfortable. If more than one dog is to be used on set, the dogs should be used to being around other dogs. If one dog shows aggression toward another dog on set, the aggressive dog must be removed. Dogs that live together and are accustomed to being with each other are good choices.

Q: You mentioned education as being part of the goal of AH. Would you talk some about that?

A: We’d like to work more with film schools developing programs where as part of the curriculum, students take a course or attend a seminar held by an AH representative about using animals in film. If the school can’t put us into their program yet, just having our Guidelines available at the school or distributed to students will help educate them. The earlier we reach the students, the better. These filmmakers will grow in their careers and will eventually be involved in large productions where they might end up working on films with large animals. That’s the point where you really worry about safety, so the earlier we can educate students, the better.

Q: What can you advise students or aspiring filmmakers wanting to use pets? Your Guidelines can look daunting.

A: If filmmakers choose to use a pet instead of trained animal, we have no control over that but we still recommend they review and adhere to our Guidelines. If the Guidelines seem overwhelming, call our LA office with questions, say – “All I want is for my dog to sit in a chair or walk across the room while we’re doing our filming, what are the guidelines?” Most of it is just common sense. Know that the animal you’re using is friendly and completely safe to be around people and other animals. You don’t want an animal on set that’s aggressive, skittish, or snaps. Think about what you’re going to do with this animal while you’re setting up shots. How many times do you actually need the real animal? Can you use a stuffed animal if there’s any concern about using a real animal? You don’t want a real dog sitting under hot lights while you’re setting up. Go to a toy store and get a stuffie look-alike of whatever animal you’re using. Make sure the animal won’t be in the way of a moving dolly and that she won’t be in area in which she can get stepped on. When she’s not being used on set have a suitable place for her to hang out, that she’s not running around loose. There needs to be a safe area like a crate or separate room for the animal. Make sure the pet has breaks and gets to lie down and rest or get something to eat and drink. If the pet isn’t kept in a crate, make sure it’s on a harness or leash so that should she get spooked by a loud noise or quick movement, she can’t jump down and run away. Plan ahead and prepare for all possible scenarios. That’s critical. If an animal won’t do what you want, what are your options? Have back up plans. How far should you go to try to get an animal to do something? If the animal won’t or can’t do what you want him to do, forcing him is inviting disaster. Even if the animal normally does something, an animal is an animal. You can never predict what it’s going to do or not do. It’s like working with a child. The producer has to be prepared.

Q: Who is responsible for the safety of a pet during filming?

A: The ultimate responsibility lies with the owners as they will suffer the anguish and grief if something happens to their pet. I recommend that pets not be passed around to people on set to play with. That can be overstimulating to animals, and if they’re all excited, they may not be able to perform the action you want them to perform. Many trainers make a general announcement on set – don’t touch animals while they’re working. Obviously, with the exotics, people are pretty good about asking before touching them but a lot of times, with dogs and cats, people just walk up and pet them without asking.

Q: Does AH have a problem with certain action shots?

A: If filmmakers wonder if a certain action shot can be obtained safely, call and ask us. If a filmmaker wants a dog to run off the end of the dock and jump into a lake to get an exciting shot, they should make the obvious choice. Pick a Labrador Retriever who loves to swim and run and jump off the dock and has actually practiced this. They shouldn’t choose a little Chihuahua that’s never been in the water.

Q: How did you get into the field?

A: I grew up in Michigan in a very animal-oriented family. We had the house with the invisible sucker sign hanging on the front of it – animals could see the sign, but we couldn’t. Animals constantly showed up at our door and people dumped their puppies and kittens off in our barn. We had dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, and hamsters, and just about everything else. As a teenager, I raised and trained a working Seeing Eye dog. After that, I raised a wonderful Doberman for obedience. After college, I tried a few careers, but didn’t really care for any of them. In the early 1990s, I moved to Key West, Florida. That was about the time the series “Key West” with Fisher Stevens and Jennifer Tilly was being filmed as a pilot. I accidentally met the medic on set and we started talking. He learned that I was a dive master with dive master medical training and said they’d been looking for someone else to work on set when they went to series. He asked if I was interested and I was. So, I went and got EMT certification and worked on that series as the medic when the other medic wasn’t available. After the series ended, I worked fulltime as an EMT paramedic and part time as paramedic in film. I also volunteered with my dog in the education department at the Humane Society of Broward County. We went around to schools and taught pet education to the kids. Through that, I began working as a surgical assistant for the shelter. I was basically done the same things for animals that I was doing for humans. It was hard working for the shelter, for obvious reasons, but it was also very rewarding and I loved it. One day I was watching a movie through the credits and saw the “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Film” disclaimer and that a representative was on set to monitor all animal action. A light went off in my head – “Hey, that’s a job. If somebody was on set that means it’s an actual job.” I sent my resume to the recruiting office in LA and got an interview. My background with horses and dogs, and dog training, and medical and film experience worked well together for the position. I then went through the AH training which basically teaches film and set etiquette, which I already knew from my experience on set, and learning report writing and the Guidelines. Right now, I live in Virginia. As my husband is in the military, we move around a bit, but as my job requires a lot of travel, I can do it from wherever we’re based. Though most of my work is in this area, I’ve traveled all over the country. I’ve been to Mexico, Canada, Wyoming.

Q: What films have you worked on locally?

A: Susan Jackson, our representative based in Richmond, and I have worked independently and, in the case of large films such as “Dreamer,” we’ve worked together. During the filming of “Dreamer,” producers wanted something that looked like ointment to slather on an animal and they didn’t know what to use. Susan suggested a solution of milk and water. So they mixed the milk and water and said – “oh, that’s looks really good.” Another instance on “Dreamer” was a barn scene. The crew needed the barn cats out before they could start filming. Susan came up with and organized a plan to catch the cats and send them off to be spayed and neutered. By the time filming was done, the cats could come back. It helped everybody. These are simple solutions that have helped producers get the scenes they want. We don’t expect filmmakers to be animal experts; that’s why we’re there. We’ve been in this business a long time and have a lot of training behind us. A lot can be done with camera tricks, computer graphics, stuffie stunt and photo doubles and some creative solutions. Most recently I was one of the Safety Reps on “Evan Almighty.” “Birds and Animals,” a huge animal company for the film business supplied the animal talent. They have offices in Florida, California, New York, overseas and have all kinds of animals and I’ve worked with them for years since I started at AH seven years ago. They’re great to work with and have excellent trainers who very concerned about the safety and welfare of their animals. Another huge part of our job is perception. It’s often the perception of actors who aren’t familiar with animal training. For example, when I was on “Evan Almighty” there was a scene with all these different small animals. One way to lure small animals like skunks, rats, and porcupines from point A to point B is with a buzzer. These little animals can’t be trained to come like dog or even a cat. These little animals are taught that when they walk across the room to the buzzer, they get a food reward. One of the actors watching this came over and asked – “Are these animals being shocked?” I said, no, and explained the whole buzzer thing. Without someone like myself being there to ask, this actor could have walked off set thinking that the animals on set were being shocked. It was amazing to watch the whole process on “Evan Almighty.” A huge ark was built in Charlottesville, VA, and they had a special camera that exactly replicated every single move of the animals. Animal were brought in one at a time, so if there were forty animals in a scene, they did that take forty different times at least, each time with each different animal. Sometimes there were pairs of animals, sometimes there was only one – the same animal walked across the room twice. It was all put together by computer to look like all these pairs of animals were in the same room, even though they weren’t. That was a lot of fun to work on.

I also do the “Puppy Bowl” in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the Discovery Channel which airs on the Animal Planet at the same time as the Super Bowl. A little stage is built that looks like a football field and puppies go out there and play. They have “Kitty Half Time” and a “Tail Gate Party” for the dogs that didn’t get into the game. It’s hilarious. Initially, they were a little wary of me, but now we have a great relationship. It’s nice when you walk off the set and the people you met when you first came in were looking at you like – “here she comes,” then say – “thank you so much for being here, we want you back next year.”

American Humane was founded in 1877. It is the oldest national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, the American Humane Association develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link® between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed”® End Credit Disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. American Humane is endorsed by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance and has been awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence.

Animal actor “Angus,” Actor Ken Kline’s black Labrador Retriever was cast as “Dog with Man” in “Capitol Law,” an ABC Pilot filmed in Washington, D.C., and also on “Shooter” as a quadedestrian in Baltimore’s Federal Hill. Ken met American Humane Film & TV Unit representative Sandi Buck on the set of “Evan Almighty” in Richmond, Virginia, where she was overseeing the use of wild animals like bears, wolves, and mountain lions on set. Angus decided stay to home for that particular film.



How to Build Your Business With Radio, TV, and Print Interviews

One fast and easy business building strategy for solo professionals is to get interviewed on radio, the Internet, television, and in print media. It’s easier than ever to catch a request for an interview, what with YouTube, BlogTalk Radio, and Internet TV channels. With Webcam and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technologies, you might well get the chance to be on radio or TV anywhere in the world without leaving your office. This series of articles will cover everything you need to know to deliver an interview with ease and in a way that will make you welcome on shows and in print media, too. I’ll show you the five key steps of pro interviewing, along with these tips:

1) How you can “drive” the interview in a direction you want to go

2) What the people interviewing you REALLY want from you

3) How to create marketing opportunities right in the interview

4) How to recycle your interviews to build more presence for your business.

First, though, let’s talk about where giving interviews fits into your business. A successful entrepreneur has three things going that ensure business success. These components are a solid business plan with financial projections that take you where you want to go, a creative and low-cost marketing strategy for the business, and a willingness to remove any personal blocks that keep the business from succeeding. Each component is equally important to your business.

Interviewing is a part of your business’s marketing strategy. If you are unsure or resistant to thinking about interviewing as a way to showcase your expertise and experience, you more than likely have inner blocks that are in your way. Working to change that is a part of personal growth. For solo professionals who decide to do it, interviewing can be easy, fun, and help you build your business.

Before you begin to accept interview opportunities, you’ll need to put together a simple media kit or media page on your website. As a beginning, this should include:

1) A head shot of you (both black & white and color) that can be downloaded from your website or sent as a.jpg file in an e-mail

2) A brief (250 words) bio about you and what you do

3) A list of topics you can speak about

4) A list of your speaking and media experience (if you have any).

Pulling together this simple media kit will allow you to quickly respond to a request for an interview. You can refer the person to the media page on your website, or e-mail the information quickly.

There are five key steps to interviewing like a pro. Here they are, in the order you will probably use.

1) Know your goal.

2) Pick gigs based on your goal.

3) Prep the call.

4) Answer questions briefly but strategically.

5) Follow up diligently.

If you follow each step, you’ll find yourself quickly and easily handing interviews and benefiting from them in more ways than one. Each step helps ensure that your interview will be of benefit to the person interviewing you and to your business. Any time a solo professional can take an action that has a double benefit, it’s sure to be a winner!

Know Your Goal

Just as with anything else you do in business, being interviewed takes your time away from other things you could be doing. You won’t be getting paid, but you still do want a return on your investment of time and sharing of your expertise. Setting a goal for each interview you decide to give will help you get a return.

Ask yourself why you want to do this particular interview, and what you would like to get out of it. There are at least five ways to benefit, and you can probably hit two of them with each interview. The first goal is to build visibility for your business. Think about where and how much the interview will be publicized, the likely size of the listeners or audience, and how much introduction you are likely to receive.

Gaining credibility is a second goal. No one is going to ask you to be interviewed if they think you have nothing of value to offer their listeners or audience. Just by doing the interview, you gain credibility. It’s a good idea to keep a list of all the places you’ve done interviews, and add this to your media page. Reporters and others who are always looking for guests will be impressed that you’ve interviews and will be grateful to find someone who knows the ropes. Just like many other things in the business world, doing interviews can create its own energy. Word spreads that you are both interesting and willing, and you will get more opportunities once you break the ice.

A third goal for doing interviews is to build your list of prospects. Especially if you are an Internet-based business (or have an Internet-based component to your business) constantly building your list is a key concern for you. For Internet businesses, a list of potential customers is the goose that lays the golden egg. For businesses that are not Internet-based, their database of contacts and prospects is also important.

How does interviewing help you build your list? Many times, the person interviewing you will require people who want to listen in on the call or radio show to register ahead of time, even if the call is free. The interviewer may be building his own list using this strategy. He may need to know roughly how many people to expect on a telephone interview so that he can reserve enough phone lines through his conference call provider. He may want to collect information about the industry his listeners are coming from. Whatever the reason, there is often an opportunity to share this information and build your own list, too. If you do this, make sure that when a prospect registers for the event she is told that registering means she will receive the call-in access information and that she will receive a free subscription to your own electronic newsletter (e-zine). Make sure that you operate within the Federal laws regarding e-mails and SPAM.

Even if the person interviewing you doesn’t require a registration to listen in on the event, you can still build your list right on the call. Your bio should include information about your website’s URL. Include a statement something like, “Be sure to go to my website and subscribe to my e-zine, for you’ll receive valuable marketing tips several times a month.”

Product development is the fourth goal you can meet by doing interviews. Once the interview is done, there will likely be a recording of it. Viola! You have a product, a half-hour or hour-long interview about a particular topic that you can give away as an MP3 file, burn to a CD and sell, or have transcribed and make part of a product bundle. Interviewing is a quick and easy way to build up a library of low-cost products that can create a passive income stream for you. Agree ahead of time that you will get to share the audio file of the interview with the person who interviews you. The majority of times, this is understood at the outset – that both of you can use that resource in any way you want. Having the file is useful, for you can create audio clips from it to use in advertising or presentations along with using it as a product to give away or sell.

Finally, you may have a goal to make a special offer to the audience during an interview. Most hosts will be more than willing to take a brief time during the interview to let you offer something special to their listeners. This helps the host become known as someone who offers special deals or surprises, which in turn builds their audience. For you, it can be a way to test out a new product or service with an audience, or to raise some quick cash by offering one of your services with a special add-on for the same price. To make special offers effective, limit the time it is available (usually that day or 24 hours only) and/or the quantity offered. Build a special link in your website for this special offer, and announce it on the call, leading the audience to browse to your website, purchase the offer, and perhaps browse the rest of your website, too.

My next article will explore more of the five key steps to interviewing like a pro. Stay tuned!

(c) Sue Painter



Choosing a Healthy Ferret Baby

So now you have decided that you are adopting a baby ferret, or kits as what they call them. You visit the pet store, breeder, shelter, and there are just so many ferrets you want, but can not take them all. How do you pick the best one for your home – for its lifespan of 7-10 years? It will really have to depend on your experience level, where you are getting your ferret, the ferret himself, and your personal lifestyle and preferences. Here are some general guidelines.

Quick note: Do not adopt a baby ferret if this is your first time to care for ferrets. Baby ferrets are a challenge to handle and is best left to more experienced owners and breeders. Ideal to a first timer is a 2-year-old ferret most ideally taken from a shelter.

If you are experienced however that you are willing to train it not to chew, or nip, or teach it to use a litter box which is a difficult feat), make sure that the dealer/breeder is not selling kits (or baby ferrets) any less than 8 weeks old. If you do, you can expect to have many medical and behavioral problems in your pet ferret.

Some indicators to look for in a HEALTHY Ferret Baby:

(Worry about size, gender, and fur color later on.)

– Eyes must be bright and of equal size. They must not be crusty or runny.

– Ears must be CLEAN as in with no odor, wax, or ear mites.

– Teeth must be CLEAN – no tartar, chipped teeth, bad breath, or inflamed or swollen gums

– Whiskers must be long, shiny, not brittle, and not broken.

Ferret noses can be wet, cold, dry or warm, and is usually not a health indicator. As long as it is not running, your prospective ferret baby is healthy!

– Fur must be soft and silky.

– Skin should be free of parasites, bumps, and red or flaky patches.

– Foot pads should not look dry or scaly, and nails should be trimmed and not split.

– The baby ferret can walk around with no limping, staggering, or wobbling.

– Kits or baby ferrets should have a series of three distemper shots (Fervac-D or   Galaxy-D ) by the time they are 4 months old and a rabies shot (IMRAB-3) by the time they are 6 months old. Adult ferrets should have had an annual rabies and distemper shot within the last year.

– Check to see also if a health guarantee comes with your ferret baby. Some sellers offer this guarantee to ensure that you have purchased a ferret free from illness or congenital defect though these guarantees do not cover illnesses later in the ferret his life.

If all of the above is in check, next step is to check their environment.

How did they care for the ferret baby? Is the cage, litter box, and bedding appropriate? Are these clean? Make sure you do not see any wood shavings, clumping or drying litter, and no dangerous toys.

How about fresh food and water? Are these available and appropriate to baby ferrets? Are they kept indoors? If kept outdoors, most likely they have been exposed to heat or mosquitoes and are indicators that they can develop severe health problems.

Once all other details mentioned above are checked, it is time to check the personality. Is he alert and interested to interacting with people? This is a good sign if he is. Try it on a squeaking toy to see if your prospective ferret reacts and to check whether he is deaf or ill. Is he playful? Does she want to be cuddled? Does he respond to an invitation to play, or feel threatened by biting and running off in fear? What does the seller have to say? If the seller tries to punish the ferret by a slap or any harmful punishment, go away and find another seller. Baby ferrets punished this way will only come to mistrust people and may have discipline problems later on.

Baby boy ferrets are larger and heavier by 1.5 to 3 pounds and are cuddlier than baby girl ferrets that are more active, and boys are apt to eat and poop all the more. Take into consideration the spaying and neutering costs before your baby ferret is 6 months old. Boy ferrets that go neutered are very aggressive and smelly while girl ferrets can die if left unspayed and not bred when they go in heat.

Ferret colors and markings play a major role in genetic diversity and future health. The healthiest ones are the browns or the sables while the rare ones often pose genetic problems with being mutated or interbred. Panda ferrets with the white stripe covering the head are often deaf that may pose behavioral and discipline problems later on. You may want a rare one, but you may not want any health problems later on.

Good luck on choosing your ferret baby!