Quito in Ecuador

Ecuador is a place that many mainstream holiday folk do not regularly visit however it is one that should be visited due to it’s many brilliant attractions and culture.

The capital of Ecuador is the city of Quito which was founded in 1534. Interestingly, the city was actually built on an ancient Inca city which sat in ruins. The historical significance of the city has meant that it has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The city itself is surrounded by two mountain ranges and has a high altitude of around 9000 feet. This height will meant that you may take a couple of days to get used to the altitude.

Like many ancient cities, this one is split up into three different sections being the old city and the southern and northern parts.

The most interesting sites include the Conjunto monumental San Francisco, Museo del Banco Central and Museo de la Ciudad.

Find a great deal on a hotel in Quito from Hotels.com. Use a Hotels.com discount code to get an extra 10% off your booking.

Cyber attacks on Australian sites

The Australian Financial Review has requested information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics under the Freedom of Information Act. The information that the Australian Financial Review was requesting was whether there were any occurrences of hacking against the Australian Bureau of Statistics websites and data and if so, the nature of the attacks.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that it has indeed been under cyber attack and that the hackers where trying to get access to information that could be deemed market sensitive prior to it being released to the general public.

In terms of the number of attacks, there were at least 11 incidents over the space of seven months in 2012 alone. The attempts at access involved the coordinated attacks of thousands of computers simultaneously. Fortunately for the ABS, no one was able to penetrate their defenses and the data remained safe.

If accessed, hackers may be able to correctly predict currency and share market movements and hence, the potential to make huge amounts of money.

The Iconic gets further investment

The Iconic has cemented it’s brand as one of the most popular online retailers in Australia. They have ridden a wave of success over the past couple of years that has now culminated in new investment in the company from investment giant, Summit Partners. Summit Partners is a US based investment firm and they have announced that they will be investing over $25 million into the young company. This is the second major investment that The Iconic have received following an initial $19 million investment from JP Morgan.

The new funds will be used by The Iconic to consolidate and further expand the company’s operations in Australia. They are hoping to use the money to fund purchasing of more brands and stock as well as increasing funds to acquire new customers. They will also direct some funds toward streamlining some business processes.

Purchasing from The Iconic can be a great experience as they have free shipping and free returns. They also have a great prices and frequently off a The Iconic discount code to consumers.

Lenovo looking to boost profit

Lenovo has reviewed it’s current strategy and has advised that it’s focus now will be to boost it’s profit by changing the companies focus. Currently, Lenovo is the second largest computer maker in the world in terms of unit of sales behind Dell.

To achieve it’s goal of boosting profit, the company will focus on the profitable server and storage market and will aim to make it one of the top revenue sources over the next three years.

Globally, there has a been a huge drop in PC sales worldwide, much of this is attributed to the trend towards tablets and smart phones. This has put pressure on PC makers such as Lenovo, Dell and HP to find other areas of revenue growth.

The server and storage market is seen as one of the areas where Lenovo can improve their offerings and therefore a logical choice for the company to focus.

Lenovo offer a great range of PC’s in Australia and frequently have a Lenovo promo code available to help with your purchase.

Amazon planning it’s own Set-top box

Amazon is expected to join the hoards of companies offering video streaming set top boxes. The offering of digital content via a set top box is a competitive environment however can be a lucrative one should you have to marketing power to gain customers and content providers over others.

This is an area where Amazon has the potential to do better than it’s competitors. It is already the largest online shopping network in the world and also are one of the biggest sellers of books.

The device is expected to arrive late this year and will connect directly to your television. The company will compete directly with the likes of Apple which make the Apple TV and other device manufacturers. They will also be in direct competition with consoles such as the XBox and the Playstation.

Amazon already has a large video catalog which can be accessed from some devices so it makes sense for the company to offer this new hardware product directly.

Hollywood – land of the rich and famous

A trip to LA is not a trip to LA unless you visit the most famous city in the world, Hollywood.

Hollywood is actually a district of LA and caters for both residential and businesses. There are three main highlights for tourists in the city which consists of three boulevards. These are Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard is well known for it’s nightlife consisting of clubs, bars and entertainment. Melrose is more of a centre for shopping as well as nightlife and Hollywood Boulevard is known for it’s entertainment history.

The city was founded in 1903 as an independent city but later merged with Los Angeles in 1910. Hollywood became popular as movies started to have momentum in the 1920′s. Studios started to move away from the city however it still remains the important to the industry due to the production facilities located there.

Zuji Australia are offering some great deals to Hollywood. Right now you can get a Zuji promo code which gives you a huge discount on flights and hotels to the region.

Dell slides before being taken private

It looks like Dell really needs the shakeup that founder Michael Dell is hoping to bring to the company with his private equity buy-out. The company has reported a drop in net profit of 31 percent. The figure is due to mostly to a fall in business demand which is an important part of Dell’s business.

Dell has reported in the fourth quarter, revenue of $US14.3 billion which resulted in a net income of 30 cents are share, or $US530 million. This was actually above what analysts had expected.

Michael Dell is hoping to take the company private in a deal worth $US13.65 to share holders with himself being the largest shareholder in the company. There are obstacles however with four of the company’s major share holders not happy with the company being valued at $US24.4 billion.

Dell offer a wide range of computer products. You can get a great deal on Dell products with a Dell Coupon code which is often available.

Vision direct comes to Australia

One of the world’s biggest online retailer of contact lenses in the world has made it’s way into the Australian market. Australia is seen as a great market to enter into despite it’s low population and geographical distance.

Australian consumers are among the highest spending consumers in the world and the online retail space is a relatively untapped market with very few players that do things well.

Vision Direct was purchased recently by company drugstore.com and have huge buying power and is the 2nd largest online retailer of contact lens in the US. The goal of the company is to provide the cheapest prices available on contact lens and will even match any online competitors prices and give an additional 5% off the difference.

The company stock a huge range of contact lens from the leading manufacturers and offer custom made ones as well.

In Australia the company is making a big push into the market and are often giving away a Vision direct coupon to entice consumers.

Why buying clothing online is growing

Business has had very little success in the past in trying to convince buying clothing online was the way to go. Over the past couple of years however, we have seen a number of smart players become very successful doing it the way it should be done.

The key to convincing consumers that they should purchase clothing online is by making the cost benefit of doing so irresistible. It is difficult to convince a consumer that they should buy clothing online due to the nature of the product. Clothing is something that needs to be tried on and modelled in front of a mirror to confirm the purchase. In the past, making a bad purchase meant a possible expensive return or difficult process.

Companies like The Iconic have made it super simple for the consumer by allowing them free delivery and free returns and every so often, a The Iconic coupon, lowering the cost of purchase. The combination of all these elements as well as lower prices has made this a very appealing method of shopping for the consumer.

Buying online can really save you loads

One of the main problems with the Australian retail environment is that it has not been able to keep up with the trend towards internet shopping. This has meant a few online stores have been able to pop up and capitalise on what is a market that is growing day by day. Allowing these internet retailers to grow means that the bricks and mortar stores are losing their relevance and the online stores are growing in stature.

Bricks and mortar stores have long relied on the foot traffic to generate sales. Consumers now, however, are much more savvy and want more options when they shop. One of the biggest trends is the convenience of internet shopping has moved consumers away from the walk in shopping they would normally do in the past.

It is not only the convenience factor, it can also be much cheaper to buy online. Stores like StyleTread often offer a Styletread coupon to entice customers to buy online, often making products a huge amount cheaper than buying it in store.

The iPhone 5 pre-orders are going gangbusters

The iPhone 5 was announced just a couple of weeks ago, and Apple opened up their pre-ordering process a couple of days ago. The phone is available in 3 different sizes. It is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB just as the iPhone 4S was.

Apple announced that after day of pre-orders, the demand for the device exceeded the available quantity available in the first shipment. This has meant that the company has been able to sell over 2 million units of the iPhone 5. This figure makes it twice as popular as the iPhone 4S.

In Australia iPhone 5 plans are offered by all the 4 major carriers. iPhone 5 plans are actually more expensive than the previous iPhone 4S however this has not stopped consumers flocking to the device.

The iPhone 5 is the first major change in the appearance of the phone since the iPhone 4. The iPhone 5 has a longer screen than the iPhone 4S but is the same width. This change in size means another row of icons can fit on the screen.

Victorians doing it tough

According to a recent investigation, it seems that Victorian and Northern Territory first home owners are doing it the toughest in the country.

In this time of unstable world markets, dropping house prices and interest rates low, the one good thing to come out of it is that the number of first home owners entering the market is increasing back to levels not seen since the global financial crisis.

House affordability seems to be the best it has been since approximately March 2010 however it did highlight that Victoria and Northern Territory have the toughest markets for first home buyers.

It has been highlighted however that the research used to conduct this report may not be up to scratch and did not take into account one major benefit that first home buyers in Victoria received which was the stamp duty levels that have been cut in other states.

One thing these new home buyers can do to save money is to find a Zanui coupon code for cheap home wares and a BooHoo coupon code for cheaper clothing.

The iPhone 5 is almost here

As with every iPhone, you get a huge build up of speculation on what will feature in the new device and not of it can really be confirmed.

However, we can soon rest easy as the Apple iPhone 5 will be announced in San Francisco on Wednesday. There are a few things we can expect to feature in the new device.

The first feature which is almost guaranteed is that the iPhone 5 will work on 4G / LTE networks. The Apple iPad 3 is already capable of 4G / LTE so we should expect the iPhone to also be.

To ensure it keeps up with other smart phones, we can also expect that the iPhone 5 will feature a bigger screen as well. It’s biggest rival, Samsung, is having huge success with their Samsung Galaxy S3 which features a larger screen than the iPhone.

In terms of pricing, we can expect iPhone 5 plans to be on par with current iPhone 4S pricing to remain competitive.

Tasting Wine, a great past time

One of the favourite things for people to do is to do a wine tasting course.

The activity of wine tasting is one which is meant to use your sensory skills to examine the quality of a wine. Wine is made up of many chemicals that are obtained from fruits, spices, and vegetables. One of the key factors in a good wine is it’s sweetness and this is determined by how much sugar is in the wine after the process of fermentation is complete.

A wine which is considered to be dry is a wine which has only a small amount of sugar in it. A lot of times you will notice many places decant a wine prior to drinking it. The process of decanting allows the wine to breath prior to drinking. This breathing will allow bitter sediments to disappear.

If you are into wine tasting grab yourself a Dan Murphys promotional voucher and purchase a good wine.

Visting Lisbon

One of the favourite places that I have visited in the world has got to be Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the largest city in Portugal and has a population of over half a million people.

The city is considered to be one which is important from a financial perspective and tourism perspective.

The city is one of the biggest growing financial locations in Europe and this is one of it’s major draw cards for international companies.

A proof of the popularity of the city is the fact that it is the seventh most visited city in Europe and recorded 1.7 million tourists in 2009 alone.

The city is steeped in history and one of the oldest cities in the world and is even older than some major cities such as London, Paris and Rome.

The city has many beautiful hotels and you can grab a great deal with a hotelclub promotion code.

The city has also got a couple of world listed heritage sites that are worth visiting.

The best way to see Edinburgh

Many people enjoy sitting in a bus and taking a tour of a new city, however those that are in the know, know that taking a bike tour is one of the best ways to see a new city.

Edinburgh is a big beautiful city and is steeped in a lot of history, and it is a city where taking a bike tour reaps many benefits. The city has many bike tour companies and it is not hard to find a place that will accommodate you.

The primary advantage of taking a bike tour is that it will keep your fitness up. We all know how going on a holiday makes us fat and lazy. Taking a bike tour will definitely make you feel better about yourself.

If you want to buy a bike instead of hire one, find a Wiggle coupon and buy online.

The great thing about a bike tour in Edinburgh is that you will always see things a regular traveler will not see.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 versus the HTC One X

Everything you hear in the media these days regarding smartphones centers around the excitement of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Although the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an exciting phone, is it really that much better than existing phones such as the HTC One X?

There are actually many similarities between the two devices, however due to Samsung’s big following they have had a lot more excitement and hype behind their device.

To start with, both devices both sport a quad core CPU which clock in at 1.4GHz and 1.5Ghz.

In terms of the screen, they both have a Gorilla Glass display with the Samsung Galaxy S3 having a Super AMOLED 4.8 inch screen and the HTC One X having a Super IPS capacitive screen which measures 4.7 inches.

Both devices have an eight megapixel camera and a front facing camera. The front facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a slightly better resolution of 1.9 megapixels versus 1.3 megapixels.

You can compare HTC One X plans and Samsung Galaxy S3 plans at www.phoneoptions.com.au.

The super fast Apple iPhone 4S is performing well in Australia

The iPhone 4S has been announced and the iPhone plans start at $199 for the 16GB version. When it was revealed the iPhone 4S looked to be exactly the same in design as the previous iPhone 4 model.

Upon closer inspection it appears that there are minor differences in the design of the phone. When comparing the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 side by side, it looks like they have very slightly moved the volume and hold buttons a few millimetres.

The reasoning for this may be because of the introduction of a second antenna in the iPhone 4S. The second antenna was introduced as a way of improving reception and speed at which the iPhone 4S can download data.

The only issue that this poses is that most people would have probably hoped that their existing cases would fit perfectly onto the iPhone 4S. This will be fine for most cases however the ones that are designed to fit millimetre perfect may have issues.

The Samsung Galaxy Note is very unique

Samsung have introducing a new frontier in the smart phone and tablet markets by creating a new device that is somewhere between both. The device is called the Samsung Galaxy Note and can be confused for both a tablet and a smart phone. This is because the device has a 5.3″ screen which makes it too big to be a smart phone, and too small to be a tablet.

The device is expected to sell extremely well because it does include some excellent features including a Super AMOLED WXGA screen. This screen has a resolution of 1280×800 and 285 pixels per inch. The device is now slouch either as it is powered by a dual core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of ram.

The unfortunate thing is that at time or release, the device is only running Android 2.3 however an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update is expected very soon.

Can Nokia get out of the huge hole that it is in

Nokia has had a rough road over the last few years with Android and Apple devices taking over the highly lucrative smart phone market while they sit on the sidelines and watch their market share dwindle down from astronomical highs.

Their downfall has come due to the fact that they have not been able to capture the requirements of users and smart phones and instead giving users something that is neither functional or easy to use.

Nokia has long been stuck with a platform called Symbian OS which has always been used to run their smart phone devices. The operating system was never designed for touch screen devices, and when they tried to adapt it to these devices, it really did not work.

To combat their weakness in this area, Nokia have teamed up with Microsoft to produce Windows Phone 7 powered devices. The first device in this series is the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 800 plans are now available.

The Apple iPhone 4S has got a new challenger

The iPhone 4S was released last week and looks like it will be another great success for Apple. The question most people are asking is who can challenge the iPhone 4S and it’s dominance of the smartphone market.

The biggest challengers to the iPhone at the moment are coming from the Android platform. The only real contender at the moment is Samsung and their Samsung Galaxy S II. This has sold reasonably well against the iPhone although the iPhone is still quite a way ahead.

A new challenger has now emerged, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The phone was announced last week and looks to have the goods to take on the iPhone 4S especially since it is running the all new Android 4.0 platform.

The new Android platform, called Ice Cream Sandwhich, has a host of new innovative features that will impress including the ability to unlock the phone with your face, dictating into the phone and beaming data to other phones.

Apple makes waves with the iPhone 4S

What makes the iPhone 4S popular in Australia is the fact that it far exceeds the usability of other smart phone devices on the market. It has also been able to grab a huge chunk of the market prior to other manufacturers being able to get their similar devices out. This has meant that Apple have been able to develop a relationship with the consumer which the consumer is extremely hesitant to break. The is also strengthened by the fact that you can purchase iPhone plans on any carrier.

The iPhone 4S integrates a number of devices all into one. The device has evolved from Apple’s previously most popular device, the iPod, into an all in one device. It integrates an camera, a great web browser and even a gaming machine.

The iPhone is also able to make you commit to their platform. They offer many applications for the device that you can only use with the iPhone.