The Best Countries to Work In Around the Globe

There are many countries that a person can work in if he or she wants to go somewhere other than his or her home country. The most popular countries in which to be an expatriate and work are the United States, France, and Switzerland. They all have much to offer for locals, for tourists, and for people who are only there for a while due to work commitments, and they are all great countries. Many people like to go to the United States because it's such a large and diverse country both in its people and in its geography.

There are deserts, mountains, forests, and large bodies of water, making it a beautiful place to enjoy. There is also a good minimum wage, many great companies, and a lot of places where the cost of living is relatively low. If you can find a company that will hire you to work in the United States and will help get you moved and settled, you should be able to have a great time as an expat in that country. The United States might not be for you, though, or you might not find a company that you really want to work for there. If that's the case, you should consider heading to France or Switzerland.

Many people think of the French people as being aloof, but most are actually warm and friendly with a good work ethic and a willingness to help others. You can learn a lot from them, and many fine companies have their homes there, or at least have branches there where you can work. That's a great choice for people from the UK who do not want to go really far from home. Another great choice for international jobs is Switzerland. It has a very strong economy and its treatment of workers overall is impressive.

It's also home to breathtaking scenery, so when you're not working you'll be able to take a look at the country that you're temporarily calling home and see what there is to see. All three of these countries have a lot to enjoy and there is so much to do in all of them that you'll never be bored. They also have great companies that you can work for, so you can make a decent living while exploring someplace new and learning about a new culture. It's like a great job and a holiday all at the same time, and you'll be richer for the experience.

A List of Clothing Fashion Don’ts

There are plenty fashion rules that have circulated for centuries, and these days, the old rules will not cut it. Today, you need to forget about the old rules of not wearing white after labor day and saving all of your shimmer for the evening. If you want to learn how to dress your body well and look better everyday, try to avoid the following brand new fashion don'ts.

Do not think function over fashion. If your excuse for not wearing your body better is simply that you are dressing for the weather or you just want to be "comfortable," it is probably time for a change. Do not just by oversized clothing that is frumpy and totally not figure flattering because you want to be "comfortable." If you take your time and try things on you will find that well fitted clothing that is appropriate for your body type actually is quite comfortable. If you get the proper size and the proper style, you can look good, be shielded from the weather, and feel comfortable.

Do not use size numbers alone to determine whether or not your clothes will fit you. Every boutique, department store, and clothing shop is going to have sizes on their outfits. Your size will not be the same in all stores, so get over it. Sometimes, even though you might feel bad about it, the appropriate size for your body will mean looking for a higher number in some stores than in others. It is much better to buy a larger size and look good than to wear something that does not really fit you, and will make you look bigger. If your outfits are busting at the seams, you will look larger than you are.

The final do not is this: do not think that your appearance does not matter. You might say that you do not care what other people think. The reality is, however, that if you have certain career goals in mind and you do not look the part, you will not get the part. Everyone, even if they try to deny it, wants the respect of others, especially at work. Dress to look the best that you can look in appropriate clothing for your profession. Do not make excuses or sell yourself short of the opportunity to look put together to potential clients and potential employers.

The clothing that you put on your body says a lot about who you are. Let it match who you are inside. Let the world know that you respect yourself enough to dress well.

Treadmill Deck Info: Treadmill Decks Materials and Warranty

Treadmill deck is the material that forms the hard surface on which you run. In other words it's the supportive surface. This article identifies the decking from the tread belt which is the belt that moves across the decking.

Important

Treadmill manufacturers do not provide a great deal of information about the actual construction materials of their decks. These days most treadmills, especially if priced above $ 1,000 are constructed with decently strong tread decks (usually medium density fibreboard with a duo phenolic coating – all discussed in detail below).

However, strength is not the be all and end all. If strength were most important, more treadmill manufacturers would use metal. Metal is used, but not extensively.

What are decking construction objectives?

Like I said above, if strength was the only objective, metal or steel decks would rule the day. But strength is not the only objective. Quality decking should:

  • Be strong
  • Be durable
  • Have some elasticity (ie slightly flexible, but not bouncy)
  • Minimize noise (ie muffle noise if possible)
  • Have a smooth surface to minimizeize tread belt friction

What materials are used?

Often you'll see reference to solid wood, medium density fibreboard (MDF), and metal as materials used for treadmill decks. For coating you'll usually read about phenolic coating. The article explains these different materials.

Materials

1. Medium density fibreboard (MDF)

MDF is created by breaking down wood into fibers (sawdust) and then forming the fibers into a solid treadmill deck with wax and resin. The usual thickness is 3/4 "to 1". You can read more about MDF here.

MDF is the predominant material used for treadmill decks.

2. Solid wood

The deck is made out of 3/4 "to 1" solid wood. The trouble with solid wood is it's hard to find a piece of wood that is perfect. MDF, although not perfect either, ensures a consistency that's hard to find with solid wood.

Particle board: Particle board is no the same as MDF. Particle board is not fiber-based. It's a solid wood composite product. The result is that particle board is much weaker than MDF. MDF is denser and stronger.

Avoid treadmills with decks using particle board. You'll be lucky to get a year out of it.

3. Metal

Metal decks are not nearly as durable as solid wood or MDF decks. It's heavier and does not create as "soft" of a surface as wood or MDF. Running on metal or steel simply is not as enjoyable as on solid wood or MDF.

What material do I recommend?

MDF deck that is duo or triple coated with phenolic resin coating.

The coating

Some treadmills are covered on both sides (duo-coating, sometimes also referred to as triple-coating), while lower-quality treadmills coat only 1 side of a treadmill deck. The better deck is coated on both sides which helps reduce warping. It's also better for reducing friction with the tread deck along the entire surface area on which the tread belt moves.

Best material used for coating:

Phenolic: This is the best coating material. You'll pay more for phenolic coating, but it's worth it.

What is phenolic resin coating?

Phenolic resin coating is a plastic resin. When a treadmill deck is covered with phenolic resin, wax the wood deck is unnecessary.

Can you build your own if your original deck breaks?

Yes, but it's not advisable unless you really know what you're doing. Simply slamming in a sheet of plywood or MDF is not going to do it. There's properly coating the deck and ensuring it securely attaches to the treadmill.

The last thing you want is your deck to break apart when running or walking.

This is why having a lifetime warranty on your treadmill deck is important. Decks often break or crack (especially with lower-priced treadmills).

Decking Considerations

Replacement frequency

The range in the number of hours of use treadmill decks are good for is astounding. Some lower-end treadmill decks are designed for 500 hours, while other warranty their decks for life. Naturally the intensity of use and weight of users will impact the duration of a treadmill deck.

Is it reversible?

Some treadmill manufacturers make reversible tread decks so that you can get more mileage out of them.

Is reversible good?

It depends. Some manufacturers make treadmill decks that are warrantied for a lifetime without having to reverse them. Others do not come with a lifetime warranty and can not be reversed. These may have the shortest lifespan. Then there are treadmills with reversible decks which in theory doubles the lifespan of the treadmill deck.

The warranty

Ideally, the treadmill you buy will have a lifetime warranty on the deck. This is indicative the manufacturer stands behind the deck and in the event the deck fails, you get a replacement.

Cushioning technology

Cushioning technology is pretty cool these days. Treadmill cushioning technology includes the amount of, type of, and quality of the treadmill cushioning.

PayPal IPN – Creating Listener Code to Process IPN Messages

You have finally decided IPN is the solution to your website application. You do not want to pay someone else to do it. It can not be that hard, can it? Where can you get some practical advice from people who have been there, done that. This article will answer these questions and help you decide if you are able to write that code. If you find it too complicated there are a few commercial products out there that will handle everything for you so do not lose heart if you find yourself stuck.

PayPal IPN

Instant Payment Notification is better known as PayPal IPN and is PayPal's interface for handling real time confirmation of purchases. A typical use for IPN is where you want to use the software to download.

PayPal provide 3 different types of account. Personal, Premier and Business. You will need Premier or Business to use IPN.

Listener

PayPal IPN messages are not synchronized with actions on your website. You detect IPN messages from PayPal with a piece of code known as a listener.

You specify the URL of your listener in your PayPal account's profile but you can override this for specific transactions when you setup a button or API operation. You can also temporarily turn off the sending of IPN messages, useful if your site is down for maintenance. They are still generated and stored until you switch sending back on again.

You must perform a number of checks on the IPN message received from PayPal.

  • Check the email address to make sure it is yours
  • Check that you have not already processed the transaction identified by the transaction ID
  • Make sure that the transaction's payment status is "completed"
  • Verify that the payment amount actually matches what you intend to charge

PayPal Sandbox

When you are developing your website you really do not want to be trying to get it working by experimenting on a real money system. Any early bugs in the system could leave security holes but even if you write perfect code it is best not to do your testing using real money.

PayPal provides what they call a sandbox, almost identical to the live PayPal system. You can setup fake customers with fake money and make as many test purchases as you want. The perfect system to fully test your web application.

There is a Sandbox Forum on the developer network. It's a great place for advice.

Testing your Listener

The Sandbox has an excellent IPN Simulator (under Test Tools) which lets you choose the transaction type, fill in all the parameter values ​​and send a test IPN to a specified address.

IPN History

PayPal provides an IPN history page under the My Account tab. Click on History to see it. It includes everything you want to know about each IPN message including the following Status values.

  • Sent: indicates that PayPal sent the message to your IPN listener
  • Failed: indicates that PayPal did not receive an acknowledgment to the message
  • Queued: indicates that PayPal is ready to send the message
  • Retrying: indicates that message was resent between 1 and 15 times and PayPal continues to be resend the message
  • Disabled: indicating that the message will not be resent because the merchant's account has been disabled

Conclusion

The best place to search for information is the PayPal Integration Center which has guides, code and links for everything to do with integrating your website with PayPal.

The one place you MUST visit is the PayPal IPN Forum on the developer website. As well as a constantly changing list of discussion topics about IPN, there are some good sticky posts about troubleshooting tips, IPN variables, template code etc.

PayPal IPN is a difficult subject but the combination of an excellent testing environment in the form of the sandbox and the good quality advice provided through the forums should make it possible for you to get your website application up and running.