Archive for May, 2016

Bulgaria Prevents 215 Irregular Migrants from Crossing from Turkey, Greece

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Bulgarian border police have prevented 215 migrants from illegally crossing into the country from Greece and Turkey over the past 24 hours, the Ministry of the Interior announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Ten irregular migrants were detained at Lesovo crossing, on the border with Turkey, on Monday. The migrants, all carrying Afghan passports, were found in a Romanian-registered Renault truck. Police used a gas analyzer which showed elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the back of the truck where the migrants were hidden.

Another 10 irregular migrants were detained on Tuesday morning at Lesovo. The people were discovered with the help of a gas analyzer in the back of a truck carrying tractors and driven by a Turkish citizen.

The migrants, who carried no identity papers, claimed to be Syrian citizens.

Bulgarian border police using heat-seeking infrared cameras have prevented some 60 people from entering the country from Greece near Novo Selo checkpoint over the past 24 hours, according to the statement. The migrants returned to Greece after they saw Bulgarian border patrols approaching the site of the attempted illegal crossing.

Border police have also thwarted attempts of 155 migrants to illegally cross into Bulgaria from Turkey over the past 24 hours.

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Ooma Office Adds IP Phones to Analog, Mobile Lineup for Small Business

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

 Ooma Office IP phone

Ooma, a cloud-based phone service provider for small business, just announced on its blog that it intends to include IP phone support for its Ooma Office phone system, which means that businesses can now use analog phones, fax machines, mobile and IP phones in combination.

Initially, the company plans to sell and support three phones — Cisco SPA 303, Yealink SIP-T21P E2 and Cisco SPA 504G — but will increase selection in the future.

Ooma Office Changes

The IP phones will be sold exclusively by Ooma as part of Ooma Office, the blog post said, and will come with “enterprise-level” features, such as blind transfer (1-step transfer), supervised transfer (2-step transfer), extension dialing and a “Do Not Disturb” function, in addition to caller ID, call waiting, three-way conference calling and others.

Regarding the addition of IP phones, Ooma CEO Eric Strang, in an interview with Small Business Trends, conducted via telephone, said, “Until now, we weren’t able to grow with the small business. With the addition of IP phones to our lineup of analog, mobile and fax, we can.”

Strang said the phones will come preprogrammed to work with Ooma, so they are literally plug-and-play. The company also provides 24/7 365-support, based in the U.S.

Enterprise Solution at Small Business Price, Company Says

The addition of IP phones aside, through the Office product, Ooma prides itself on providing what it says is an enterprise-grade solution at a price small businesses can afford. And at $19.95 per user per month with no contract required, the company is well on its way toward fulfilling that promise.

In a separate release, dated May 18, 2016, Ooma stated that the average business saves more than $1,800 per year. The company provides an online calculator, which businesses can use to estimate cost savings compared to their current supplier.

“Most small business of the size Ooma serves — 10 employees or fewer — get a couple of phones from AT&T or a cable operator and are pretty much stuck with that,” Strang said in the interview. “Ooma brings the power of the full PBX, including features like music on hold, extension dialing, and virtual receptionist, all at a price that saves the business as much as 75 percent over a traditional system.”

Each business receives a local and toll-free phone number, a virtual fax extension and a conference extension, Strang said. Subsequent users each get a direct personal phone number and virtual fax extension.

Additional features include:

  • Unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada
  • Low international rates
  • Caller-ID and name
  • 9-1-1 service
  • Free number transfer
  • Toll-free numbers

Ooma’s System: On-premise and in the Cloud

Ooma’s system, which combines on-premise and cloud architecture, is built around a small, network-managed, secure Linux computer (shown below) that sits on-site and acts as a router, connecting to the Internet. It also has a fax mode built-in.

Ooma's System: On-premise and in the Cloud

Extension devices hook up to employee phones wirelessly, linking them to the network. Hardware costs start at $199, which includes the base and two extensions, and is available from Ooma or through retail outlets such as Staples, Best Buy and Amazon.

In addition to its business products, Ooma offers a home phone service that includes free calling within the U.S. and a free mobile app. The service also integrates with Amazon Echo, enabling users to initiate phone calls by number or contact name and check voicemail.

Cloud-based Security and Redundancy

Ooma backs up all data in the cloud, ensuring a level of security and redundancy not available in on-premise PBX systems.

It is this redundancy that enables Ooma to also guarantee excellent voice quality, so users never experience garbled communications, a problem endemic among Internet-based services.

“Ooma lumps four technologies together into something we call ‘PureVoice,’” Strang said, explaining how the system works. “It gives us the ability to ensure excellent voice quality. Our systems actively monitor voice packets. If there is a delay in one, thanks to our adaptive redundancy, the next one has the information.”

Previously, Small Business Trends reported on Ooma in 2013, when the company announced the launch of its small business product, Ooma Office, and again in 2015, when it unveiled an addition to Office called Ooma Office Business Promoter, a marketing service aimed at increasing a small business’s online presence through promotion to search engines, mapping sites, business directories and location-based advertising.

Image: Ooma

This article, “Ooma Office Adds IP Phones to Analog, Mobile Lineup for Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Bulgarian PM Discussing Gas Link, Border Protection with Greek Foreign Minister

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Diversification of sources and routes of natural gas supply is among the top priorities of Bulgaria’s government, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said at a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

Therefore, the construction of gas interconnectors with neighbouring countries and Greece in particular is of key importance for Bulgaria, Borisov has said, referring to the pipeline that would link the gas transmission systems of the two southeast European neighbours.

“This is a strategically important project not only for Bulgaria and Greece but for the whole region of southeastern Europe,” Borisov said at Monday’s meeting with Kotzias, according to a statement from the government press office in Sofia.

Nikos Kotzias is in Bulgaria for a meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

The increased state guarantee – from EUR 80 M in 2015 to EUR 110 M in this year’s budget – clearly indicates the strong commitment of Bulgaria’sgovernment to the project, Borisov said. He also highlighted the Greek government’sefforts to create all conditions for the implementation of the gas interconnection project.

The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) is expected to enter into commercial operation in the middle of 2018. Bulgaria and Greece signed the final investment decision for the project in late 2015. The interconnector will give Bulgaria  access to the future Southern Gas Corridor and reduce the country’s almost total dependence on Russian gas supplies via a single pipeline crossing Ukraine.

Borisov said that the second phase of the market test project for submission of binding bids for IGB capacity is expected to be launched next month.

In the first phase, which closed last month, nine companies placed offers for booking a total of 4.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year of the capacity of the interconnector.

Borissov and Kotzias also discussed the measures which the governments in Sofia and Athens had taken to curb migrant influx into Europe, as well as the common problems that both countries face in protection the European Union’sexternal borders.

Borisov and Kotzias estimated as successful the cooperation between the law enforcement authorities of Bulgaria and Greece in tackling the migration flow. They also pointed to the positive impact of the agreement for police and customs cooperation between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey signed earlier this month.

Thanks to these joint efforts migration pressure on the common border has decreased significantly, Borisov noted at the meeting with Kotzias, according to the statement.

Borisov added that the rapid readmission of irregular migrants detained at Bulgaria’s border with Greece last week was an example of successful bilateral cooperation.

 

 

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Hemla Vantage closes in on Iran gas deal

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Contract with Kharg Petrochemical Company comes after lifting of sanctions against nuclear arms

What is Gboard for iPhone and What is it For?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Gboard for iPhone

The rift between Apple and Google is well documented, but in reality they need each other more than they let on in order to give their customers the solutions both companies provide. The latest evidence of this is the new Gboard for iPhone keyboard app Google just announced.

With tens of millions of customers on the line, the Gboard is a no brainer for Google.

So What is Gboard For iPhone?

Gboard is a keyboard app made for the iPhone (an Android version will be coming soon). It has been developed to appeal to the design sensibilities of Apple product customers, while ensuring Google search remains a prominent feature.

gboard_gif_regularSearch

The app lets you search and send information, GIFs and emojis. By now you are probably saying to yourself, I can already do that from the keyboard I am using. The difference is, you can do all of these things and more without leaving the app.

No More App Switching With Gboard From iPhone!

Even though you might like the keyboard app you are currently using, switching apps back and forth is not the most efficient way to get the information you need when you are doing more than one task. With Gboard for iPhone, you can tap the Google button on the app while you are texting to find a restaurant, a movie theater or anything else.

Search and send anything from Google

You can search anything you would search on Google, including videos and images, news and articles, sports scores, nearby stores and restaurants, and more.

Additionally, it also lets you search GIFs and the perfect emoji to quickly express what you are feeling.

Gboard 1

Gboard 2

Gboard5

Gboard 3

Glide Typing

Another smart feature of the app is glide typing. Let’s face it, using your thumbs on a small keyboard is probably causing some serious damage to our opposable digits. With glide typing, all you do is slide one finger from letter to letter.

This feature might sound like it would be prone to errors, but the auto-correction works just as fast for an all-around smooth experience.

Gboard for iPhone glide typing

Privacy

If there is one thing Apple is known for it’s privacy, and Google made sure it kept your private information private on Gboard.

Google said when you search for something on the app, it sends your query to Google’s web servers to process it, along with anonymous statistics to diagnose problems when the app crashes, and features that get the most usage. The company said that is all it sends, nothing else.

Conclusion

Apple users are leery when it comes to using third party vendor products, especially when it is from the parent of Android. But by all accounts, Google has done a great job on this app. Reviews have been very positive so far, but let us wait and see until more people download it.

If you want to try Gboard for iPhone, you can go here. Once you have it up and running, please let us know if it the improvements Google has made introduced are better than the app you are currently using.

Images: Google

This article, “What is Gboard for iPhone and What is it For?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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30 Top Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs

 

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For minority entrepreneurs, choosing a business location that includes a diverse community and business friendly services can make a huge difference.  Business ownership in the United States is varied and reflects our diverse and growing population.

However, minority businesses are also found concentrated in communities with strong tourism, fashion, fashion, finance and food service industries — among many others.

In an effort determine the different kinds of entrepreneurs drawn to different communities, Small Business Trends conducted a study drawn rim U.S. Census data beginning last week with the 30 Top Cities for Women  Entrepreneurs.

The 30 cities listed below represent the cities with the most minority entrepreneurs, according to the U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners in 2012, which is the last year that the Census gathered this data on entrepreneurship.

30 Top Cities For Minority Entrepreneurs

Read on to see which cities have the most minority owned businesses and the industries they are in.

New York City

As the biggest city by population in the U.S., it shouldn’t be too surprising that New York City also has the largest number of minority entrepreneurs, with 539,447. In addition to the large population, the large base of minority entrepreneurs can be attributed to booming industries like tourism, fashion, finance and food service.

Los Angeles

los angeles

The second largest city in the U.S. is also boasts the second largest number of minority business owners, with 247,710. Due in part to the large entertainment industry in L.A., there’s a huge need for businesses in a variety of different creative fields. Hospitality, tourism, transportation and food are all large industries in this city.

Houston

The fourth largest city in terms of population is third on the list of most minority entrepreneurs, with 155,654. Aside from the population, Houston also has Texas’s lack of corporate income and personal income taxes on its side. Houston also has a number of incentives and programs, such as enterprise zones and industrial districts, aimed at getting business owners to start or relocate their businesses to the city.  Key industries attracting minority business owners are engineering, construction, technology and medical.

Chicago

With 140,109 minority business owners, the third most populous city in the country has the is fourth in terms of minority owned businesses. Chicago’s large number of professional and educational institutions, along with tourism, retail food, technology and creative industries, are key reasons why the Windy City is one of our top cities for minority entrepreneurs.

Miami

miami is one of the top cities for minority entpreneurs

Although Miami is 44th in the U.S. in terms of population, the city has 77,125 minority entrepreneurs. Aside from the warm climate and diversity of the city overall, Miami also offers business incentives such as enterprise and empowerment zones.  Tourism, cruise, retail food, entertainment and construction attract minority businesses to Miami.

San Antonio

San Antonio has about 71,287 minority business owners and ranks seventh in terms of overall population. Aside from Texas’s lack of business and personal income taxes, San Antonio also offers some property tax programs that could benefit local businesses, along with foreign trade zones, industrial districts and more incentive programs to bring businesses to the area. Manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and engineering opportunities attract minority business entrepreneurs here.  The community also has the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is one of the oldest chamber organizations servicing the hispanic community.

Dallas

Dallas is another city that has Texas’s tax structure on its side when it comes to attracting business owners. The ninth largest city in terms of general population has 65,749 minority entrepreneurs. Aside from the tax structure, Dallas’s infrastructure, cost of living and available workforce may contribute to the large number of minority business owners. Target industries such as building, food manufacturing, sports, media, and IT make Dallas a prime top city for minority entrepreneurs.

Detroit

detroit is one of the top cities for minority entpreneurs

The city with the 18th largest population in the U.S., Detroit, has 50,946 minority business owners. Aside from the overall diversity of the city, other contributing factors include the city’s large number of engineers, construction and manufacturing professionals, along with a growing tech sector that’s attracting business owners to the area. Some of the city’s organizations and businesses have even banded together to form the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to support minority owned and run businesses in the area.

San Diego

With 50,762 minority entrepreneurs, this popular city ranks ninth on this list. San Diego draws in entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, including aerospace, maritime, cybersecurity and manufacturing, through research, advocacy and similar support programs.

Philadelphia

philadelphia

Philadelphia has the fifth largest population in the U.S. and about 48,743 minority business owners. The city’s neighborhood revitalization efforts, skilled workforce, centralized location and corporate support initiatives are draws for businesses in the tourism, sports, retail food and technology fields. Philadelphia also has a minority led entrepreneur accelerator program.

San Francisco

With 46,128 minority entrepreneurs, the city with the 14th largest population has a larger than average entrepreneurial community thanks to a diverse and innovative community. San Francisco’s research centers, universities and business leaders make it an attractive option  for tech business owners and those in creative industries.

San Jose

The 10th most populous city in the U.S. has about 45,686 minority owned businesses. San Jose works to attract entrepreneurs through workforce development, real estate and cultural programs. Minority business owners in the area also have access to organizations like Yes We Code, which help African Americans and other minorities find entrepreneurial opportunities in Silicon Valley.

Hialeah

hialeah

The sixth largest municipality in Florida and 88th largest in the U.S., Hialeah boasts a minority entrepreneur population of about 45,245. The city has a large Hispanic population, proximity to major transportation and a vibrant community of independently owned shops and restaurants contribute to Hialeah being one of our top cities for minority entrepreneurs. city.

Memphis

Memphis ranks 20th in the country in terms of population and has 43,949 minority entrepreneurs. The city offers tax incentives, site selection assistance, research services and similar resources in order to attract businesses to the area. Target industries include bioscience, manufacturing, green business, and music and tourism.

El Paso

El Paso has about 43,311 minority business owners and is the 19th largest city in the country. In addition to the lack of corporate and individual income tax expenses for entrepreneurs in Texas, El Paso offers foreign trade zone incentives and is home to the second largest Army base in the US.

Phoenix

The sixth largest city in terms of general population has 39,596 minority business owners. Technology, manufacturing, bioscience and advanced business services are all growing industries in Phoenix. In addition, the city also has a diverse talent pool and proximity to several high profile educational institutions as well as an Entrepreneurial Training Program for African Americans.

Fort Worth

With 33,952 minority business owners, Fort Worth attracts entrepreneurs with its low cost of living, business friendly tax structure and talented labor pool. The city, which is 16th in terms of overall population, also offers enterprise zones, public improvement districts and neighborhood empowerment zones to increase entrepreneurship in the area.

Charlotte

charlotte

Charlotte ranks 17th in terms of general population and has 32,449 minority owned businesses. The city draws in minority business owners with programs and incentives like tax credits, financial programs and even contracting opportunities. The city also has several business districts that it is working to revitalize making it an attractive option in our list of top cities for minority entrepreneurs.

Atlanta

Ranked number 40 in terms of overall population, Atlanta boasts 30,104 minority entrepreneurs. The city works to attract business owners and grow its business community by providing small business loans, issuing bonds to spur commercial development and promoting other relevant business incentives. The city also offers plenty of affordable housing options and other quality of life perks, like a large number of sporting teams.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital has about 29,983 minority business owners, and is the 24th largest city by population. Government contractors and political service providers are of course more popular in Washington, D.C. than they are in many other cities. But the city also offers business improvement districts, community development corporations and similar programs to improve and grow its business community.

Austin

one of the top cities for minority entrepreneurs is austin texas

Austin ranks 11th in overall population and has 28,888 minority entrepreneurs. The city offers the same tax benefits as the other Texas cities on this list. And with a vibrant music, arts and creative scene, it’s a big draw for diverse, creative and young entrepreneurs.

Honolulu

With 28,092 minority entrepreneurs, Honolulu has the 54th largest population in the U.S. The city’s booming tourism, hospitality, agriculture and film industries lead to it being a top pick for entrepreneurs in many different areas.

Baltimore

The 26th largest city in the U.S. has about 27,673 minority owned businesses. With business friendly features like steady tax rates, counseling and talent recruitment, Baltimore’s local government and business community works to create a diverse and tight-knit business community.

Jacksonville

jacksonville

Jacksonville currently has about 27,446 minority entrepreneurs and ranks 12th in overall population. The city is working to redevelop some of its economically distressed areas and promote private capital investment for businesses in the area. In addition, the largest city in Florida offers huge local festivals and a growing cruise industry, part of what might draw some of those business owners to the city.

Long Beach

With 25,159 minority owned businesses, Long Beach is the 36th largest city in terms of population in the country. The city’s business friendly tax structure, improved city services and a number of other incentives make this a popular community for business owners to settle in.

Laredo

Laredo is the 81st largest population in the U.S. and boasts a minority entrepreneur population of about 24,727. Aside from Texas’s business friendly tax structure, Laredo also has a large Hispanic population and close proximity to Mexico.

Oakland

oakland

Oakland’s 22,217 minority owned businesses make the 45th largest city in the U.S. one of the top choices for minority entrepreneurs. The city’s innovative and diverse community, along with its proximity to several other cities that are popular with entrepreneurs, make for a large minority entrepreneur population.

Columbus

Columbus is the 15th most populous city in the U.S. and has about 21,926 minority business owners. The city has some very specific goals for adding capital investment and creating jobs in the community. So it is working to attract investments for local businesses, connecting startups with local resources and helping existing businesses to expand.

Las Vegas

The booming tourism industry in Las Vegas is part of what attracts some business owners, including the 20,882 minority business owners, to the city. Tax credits, financing and other state and local incentive program also attract some entrepreneurs to Las Vegas.

New Orleans

neworleans

With 20,400 minority owned businesses, New Orleans, the city with the 51st largest population in the U.S., rounds out the list. A vibrant arts and tourism scene, diverse population and a talented workforce that’s dedicated to revitalizing the community.

Images: Discover Los AngelesMiami and the BeachesVisit DetroitVisit PhiladelphiaCity of Hialeah, FloridaCharlotte NCAustin, TXVisit JacksonvilleNew Orleans 

This article, “30 Top Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Iron ore leads commodity losses in May

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Copper and gold face biggest monthly drop in six months as $ strength takes toll in market pricing

There is no good reason to fly business class on short-haul flights

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

YOUR correspondent received a rare treat last week. On travelling to speak at a conference, it emerged that the client had stumped up for a business-class flight. This in itself is not a surprise. After all, there is a point to travelling at the front of the plane beyond merely quaffing better quality food and drink: being able to stretch out and sleep or work comfortably in transit can be invaluable in helping you arrive sharp and ready for action the moment you reach your destination.

Still—and without wishing to sound churlish—on this occasion, it seemed like a perk too far. The posh tickets were for a flight of barely 90 minutes from London to Norway, the evening before the conference. No chance of jetlag hampering my performance in this instance. Which invited the question of what utility business-class travel brings to short-haul flights.

The answer is very little. Fast-tracking passengers through security is all well and good, but in reality saves precious little time for additional work. Equally, a few inches more legroom and metal cutlery are pleasant, but not essential for a flight that lasts such a short time. And beyond…Continue reading

Authorities Prevent 215 Illegal Migrants from Crossing Bulgarian Border

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

In the past 24 hours, Bulgarian authorities have prevented the entrance of 215 illegal migrants into the country, the interior ministry informed on Tuesday.

Police officers patrolling along the border with Turkey prevented the entrance of 155 illegal immigrants.

Another 62 migrants attempted to cross the border from Greece into Bulgaria in the area of the border police department in Novo selo, but were detected with thermographic devices. After noticing the Bulgarian patrols, they stepped back.

On Tuesday morning, MER truck loaded with tractors, driven by a sixty-year-old Turkish citizen, was stopped for inspection at the Lesovo checkpoint on the border with Turkey.

The border police officer on duty conducted an inspection with gas analyser which detected heightened levels of carbon dioxide in the freight compartment of the truck.

Ten illegal immigrants were found hiding among the tractors. None of them was in the possession of identity documents and they claimed to come from Syria. The driver and the migrants have been detained.

On Monday, another ten illegal immigrants were detained at Lesovo checkpoint after an inspection with gas analyser detected their presence in a freight vehicle bearing Romanian licence plates.

 

 

 

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Bulgaria’s Pironkova Equalises Score in Roland Garros 1/8 Final Against Radwanska

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

In a match from the fourth round of Roland Garros, the highest ranking Bulgarian female tennis player Tsvetana Pironkova managed to equalise the score against Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland.

The encounter between Pironkova and Radwanska began on Sunday, when the Polish player won the first set with 6:2 and was 3:0 in the lead in the second one when the match was suspended due to the poor meteorological conditions.

The match could not be renewed on Monday due to the continuing rain in Paris and as a result all matches were cancelled.

The match was renewed on Tuesday when Pironkova managed to win six consecutive games and to claim the second set.

However with the beginning of the third set the match was suspended anew due to the rain.

Pironkova is making her best performance at Roland Garros so far, having reached the fourth round of the tournament for the first time in her career. The Bulgarian did not lose a single set in her first three matches.

This is the twelfth encounter between the two players, with Radwanska having won on nine occasions.

 

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