The Very Reason Why You Should Turn on “Find My iPhone”

This post sounds solely applicable to iPhone. But actually it doesn’t. Android users can relate to this with the equivalent application you have on your phone. I am sharing this story with you now so you’ll be able to see the reason why that feature is a must.

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On August 2014, I was on a trip with my best mate, Wayne to Indochina. We had a lot preparation prior and it included making sure we turned on this “Find My iPhone” in both of our phones.

I will cut all the fun parts in the trip to get to the point of this post 😉

One morning we checked out from Hoang Hai Long Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to catch a Mekong Express bus to Cambodia. The check-out process was annoyingly long, considering we’re gonna be late for our bus. By the time, we got in our taxi to the bus station, Wayne realized his phone was gone.

We went back to that hotel. He turned the room upside down and found nothing (of course, I had a strong feeling someone must have taken that). It was so hard since the trip was just starting and this happened. When we got to the bus station, I got to the office across the street to print out our tickets (we ordered the tickets online). Wayne couldn’t find his phone in his backpack and suitcase (he checked in case he forgot that he had put it in there before). He insisted to stay in the city until we could recover his phone. And then, it just clicked to me to check Find My iPhone!

I explained the situation to the lady at the office (she is super super nice. She asked the bus driver to wait for us while we were dealing with this) and she allowed us to use her desktop computer to check the location of the phone using http://www.icloud.com.

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Wayne logged in using his Apple ID and then he clicked the Find My iPhone thumbnail on the screen. We located the lost phone from there. We were not sure where it was so we asked that super super nice lady and she informed us that it was our hotel.

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The Three Musketeers

                       The Three Musketeers

We turned on the Lost Mode and Play Sound. Through Lost Mode, we sent a text message to the phone notifying that this phone was lost and asked the handler to call my phone. I was pretty sure that we’re gonna be able to get the phone back because if you turn on that Play Sound, that phone won’t stop ringing until it’s stopped and with Lost Mode, the phone is practically useless without the password for Apple ID. And no one will be able to circumvent that but the owner.

We called the hotel back and guess what? Surprise, surprise. They found the phone under a furniture. Wayne then took a motorbike taxi to collect the phone.

So, I hope after reading this, you, yes you, will go to your iPhone setting then go to Privacy, Location Services (switch it ON), Find My iPhone (switch it ON). You’ll notice that if you want to switch it back off (which you shouldn’t do), you’ll be asked for your Apple ID’s password. Great isn’t it?! No one will be able to stop you when you are looking for your phone!

And as I mentioned in the beginning of the post, Android users can totally relate to this story too. You guys can use Find My Phone or other anti theft apps on PlayStore. The purpose of the app is just about the same: Find our phone when it is lost from our sight.

Please introduce this feature to anyone you know so they won’t need to mourn over their lost phone. You can just use the share button down there for less of a hassle 😉

And this concludes the post. Later! 🙂

4 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

Before I start telling you all the reasons why you should start journaling, I think we should be on the same ground on what a journal is. In French, the word jour itself means day so to my own definition, a journal is something in which you record your daily activities. 

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Ok. So we are now settled with the definition of a journal! Let’s get going 😉

When I mentioned to my friends that I keep a journal, all of them raised their eye brows.

“What? Journal? You mean a diary? Like a dear diary thing?”

“Dude, that’s for chicks!”

“So you keep a notebook with you everywhere like old people?”

“What? Now you plan to make an autobiography out of it one day? Who are you?” 

Yup, I got all those responses. And I believe you too will get at least one or you had one of those in your mind when you read the title of my post. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

I first encountered the idea of journaling back in 2006. I can’t recall specifically where I got that idea but I do remember that I wanted to improve my English and writing skills. Writing a journal was an exercise for me. I started doing that religiously and then I discovered that writing a journal is actually a therapeutic activity. Why?

First lemme answer a question with another question (I know someone’d hate this haha): How many of us spend a good quality time with our inner self on a regular basis? With all the activities and the rising trend on social media, I doubt any of us can actually spend time just sitting still and talk with ourselves. Oh well, if you manage to have time to do this or even meditate, that’s good for you! But I honestly think not everyone can do that and this is where journaling comes in. 

1. To evaluate your day

You can spare 10-15 minutes per day and rewind your day on a journal. By having that process, you will be able to spot some things that you missed or took for granted. And the next time you are on it again, you can make a better situation out of it. 

2. To keep track of things

I often have trouble remembering when a certain occasion happened in the past. I am pretty sure I am not the only one haha. But since I keep track of activities or important moments of my life in my journal, I can just check. I am using digital journal so it’s easier to search using keywords. 

3. To keep your emotions in check

Do you realize that as human beings we can’t hold all emotions to ourselves for a long time? If that is what you are doing now, beware my friend, you are a ticking bomb. You may explode at any given time. I understand when you have something in your heart that’s been bugging you for a long time but you have no one to talk to. Whether because it is very personal to you or because at the very moment, no one is available for you. You know what? Use a journal to let out all sorts of emotions. You will feel much better afterwards. Trust me, by letting it all out, you will see things more clearly afterwards. 

4. To keep on the right track

I believe each one of us has goal in life. It can be a short or long term goal. But sometimes there are many distractions out there to keep us focused. I think you will agree with me on that. But, hey, guess what? Journaling can help you to keep on track. You will feel more responsible about reaching your goal by logging in your process on a regular basis. It just works!

I used to have a binder to keep a journal. But then, thanks to technology. Oh well, thanks to Apple haha. I have been using my iPhone to keep a journal. If you want to start journaling, I’d recommend you to use a digital/electronic journal, like on your phone/tablet. It’s portable and you can fill it in anytime anywhere. 

So what are you waiting for now? Start journaling! 🙂

Jonn

Tips For Accommodation

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After booking your flights, the second most important thing to do is ensure you have a place to stay. We found that the best prices were from hotels.com and agoda.com. Both had a wide selection of hotels to choose from and provided helpful reviews and discounts. When you’re booking accommodations, you should do it as soon as you book your flights because you can often get a discount for booking a room a certain number of days in advance.

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One thing to note is that different websites offer different benefits at the hotel such as breakfast and free wi-fi. Often you’ll see two identical rooms but the prices are different. Click on the “amenities” link if there is one next to the room and read the description. For our trip, if the room price was not too different between the breakfast and no-breakfast package, we spent the extra few dollars and got breakfast. Many hotels just had the breakfast included as part of the room price. For the hotels we didn’t book breakfast for (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand, it wasn’t too hard to walk down the street and find something to eat for breakfast, so don’t feel obligated to get a room package with breakfast. We did find it more convenient when there was breakfast, but it wasn’t essential.

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The way we selected rooms was by using Trip Advisor to check ratings and reviews, and then we took the hotel name and booked it on Agoda or Hotels.com because the pricing was better. When choosing hotels, we looked at the photos (be weary of hotels that have a lot of photos of the grounds but none of the inside of the rooms. Especially the bathrooms and the bed areas…), the rating of stars, the reviews, and the price. When it comes to reviews, the best thing is to disregard the reviews that have a “5” and the reviews with a rating of “1”. These people tend to be extremists in my opinion, they either loved all of it or hated all of it and everything was the absolute worst. What we did was read the reviews of “3” and “4” because I find that those individual tend to be more honest with their reviews. The 3’s are essentially saying “so-so” and they’re more likely to give you concrete reasons for being torn in their decision. They’ll typically give a good balance of the good and bad of the hotel unlike those who rate a “5” or a “1”. The reviewers who leave a “4” are also valuable because they liked most things, but there was something that made them hold back from giving it a 5, and they will likely be honest about it. It may be something that bothers you as well and may make you want to avoid that hotel, so be sure to read up.

Another thing with reviews is to read the most recent ones. Check the dates as some people write their reviews over a year after they travel and in that time the hotel could have gone through major upgrades and renovations (e.g., someone “travelled in” Feb 2013, but the review was “posted in” July 2014. Over a year has passed and some of what was said may have been resolved in that time, so just use caution. Lastly, take all reviews with a grain of salt. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I think sometimes hotel staff go in and write reviews…

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One last tip, if you see a hotel where the management has replied to the recent reviews, that is also a good sign. I like to see that the management has taken an interest and is listening. It also helped me to avoid a few hotels because the managers were quite rude and condescending in their response to visitor comments/reviews. If they’re willing to be a jerk online, then how do you think they’ll act in person when/if you have an issue during your stay?

Lastly, remember to print the confirmation of every hotel you book because often you will be asked for it when you arrive at the hotel. They will also ask for your passport and the passport of all others staying in your room as well as the credit card of the person who made the booking (for incidentals) at check in. This was surprising to me at first, but I got used to it after the second hotel. Printing the confirmation will also allow you to have the address of the hotel on hand, and will help the taxi/tuk-tuk driver out when you use their services from the airport.

By: Wayne Thomas 

Market Research. How Does it Work? Part Deux

On my last post, I have provided a study on how a market research works perfectly prior producing mass products in the market. Now, we will see another case how market research has become something common to big players in business.

I am pretty sure anywhere in the world, telecommunication holds a great deal in every single aspect of a living. Telephone as a mean of modern telecommunication has evolved into something that was inconceivable in the early days of its invention.

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From a cable dependent telephone to a wireless one. From a conventional phone call to video call. From a simple text message to a picture message. From your hand to the world with Internet.

As time goes by and as technology evolves, telecommunication company has to evolve to support the even more demanding customers. I think you know where I am taking you with this. Yes, let’s use the highly competitive cell phone carrier industry as a case!

It’s common in a country to have multiple cell phone carriers. In general, no matter where we reside, we’ll have two kind of cellular service: GSM and CDMA. GSM is the biggest player in terms of market share in the industry. Competition in providing the best GSM service is rigid. Every company will try their best to gain the biggest piece of pie chart in the market.

Here we have JoCom, a struggling mobile network operator in a country with 7 other competitors. JoCom was one of the new comers due to the emerging number of cell phone users in the country. Data has shown that the number of cell phone users has reached its peak since the release of cell phone itself. Top 3 place were held by long existent companies. JoCom has been operating for 3 years yet they haven’t seen anything significant with the number of users.

They know they need to do something with their brand and their service in order to gain more share. Releasing more promotion like affordable service did not gain them anything decent. It hit them later that they had to recognize what kind of market they should really aim and what do these people really need of a cellular company. They decided to take the basic approach.

A big market research was conducted in several big cities that was believed to be representing the total inhabitants. A sample number was set with a precise calculation.

Now you must be wondering what sample number has to do with total number of inhabitants. In market research, we have two big methodologies to gain data.

1. Quantitative methodology

2. Qualitative methodology

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As the word itself suggests, you might presume that quantitative has to do with numbers. Yes, you are right. With this approach, you will have to deal with a great deal of numbers. If you love statistics, this is definitely your field! In this technique, mostly it will be done throughout questionnaire. You may find people stop you somewhere or even calling you up to answer some queries, this is actually one of the technique used to collect data.

But as two sides of a coin, this approach can not solve more in-depth query.

This is where a qualitative approach chips in to give out some help.

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Qualitative methodology has been known by many as a method in answering the “why” to every answer. Why is that? No pun intended for this one J

Because unlike in quantitative technique where you are limited to the multiple-choice questions and very little of open-ended questions, in qualitative technique, you will be able to meet the consumers directly and probe as much as you need with only time as your concern.

The limitation of it though lies on the number of number of samples. Since it’s an in-depth research, meaning you will mostly go to one-by-one interview or group discussion, you won’t be able to cover hundreds or even thousands of consumers like you do in quantitative method. In-depth research takes time; the interviewing time and the analyzing time. That’s why in terms of cost, with the same number of samples being used, qualitative research is more pricey than quantitative one.

This post has been quite a long one as I planned to make it as readable to anyone who does not like reading much.

On my next post, I will continue on JoCom and some other hands-on explanation. Make sure you follow and check it out!

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