Mergers and Acquisition – A Case Study and Analysis of HP-Compaq Merger

Brief Description

The following is a brief description of the two companies:

HP

It all began in the year 1938 when two electrical engineering graduates from Stanford University called William Hewlett and David Packard started their business in a garage in Palo Alto. In a year’s time, the partnership called Hewlett-Packard was made and by the year 1947, HP was incorporated. The company has been prospering ever since as its profits grew from five and half million dollars in 1951 to about 3 billion dollars in 1981. The pace of growth knew no bounds as HP’s net revenue went up to 42 billion dollars in 1997. Starting with manufacturing audio oscillators, the company made its first computer in the year 1966 and it was by 1972 that it introduced the concept of personal computing by a calculator first which was further advanced into a personal computer in the year 1980. The company is also known for the laser-printer which it introduced in the year 1985.

Compaq

The company is better known as Compaq Computer Corporation. This was company that started itself as a personal computer company in the year 1982. It had the charm of being called the largest manufacturers of personal computing devices worldwide. The company was formed by two senior managers at Texas Instruments. The name of the company had come from-“Compatibility and Quality”. The company introduced its first computer in the year 1983 after at a price of 2995 dollars. In spite of being portable, the problem with the computer was that it seemed to be a suitcase. Nevertheless, there were huge commercial benefits from the computer as it sold more than 53,000 units in the first year with a revenue generation of 111 million dollars.

Reasons for the Merger

A very simple question that arises here is that, if HP was progressing at such a tremendous pace, what was the reason that the company had to merge with Compaq? Carly Fiorina, who became the CEO of HP in the year 1999, had a key role to play in the merger that took place in 2001. She was the first woman to have taken over as CEO of such a big company and the first outsider too. She worked very efficiently as she travelled more than 250,000 miles in the first year as a CEO. Her basic aim was to modernize the culture of operation of HP. She laid great emphasis on the profitable sides of the business. This shows that she was very extravagant in her approach as a CEO. In spite of the growth in the market value of HP’s share from 54.43 to 74.48 dollars, the company was still inefficient. This was because it could not meet the targets due to a failure of both company and industry. HP was forced to cut down on jobs and also be eluded from the privilege of having Price Water House Cooper’s to take care of its audit. So, even the job of Fiorina was under threat. This meant that improvement in the internal strategies of the company was not going to be sufficient for the company’s success. Ultimately, the company had to certainly plan out something different. So, it was decided that the company would be acquiring Compaq in a stock transaction whose net worth was 25 billion dollars. Initially, this merger was not planned. It started with a telephonic conversation between CEO HP, Fiorina and Chairman and CEO Compaq, Capellas. The idea behind the conversation was to discuss on a licensing agreement but it continued as a discussion on competitive strategy and finally a merger. It took two months for further studies and by September, 2001, the boards of the two companies approved of the merger. In spite of the decision coming from the CEO of HP, the merger was strongly opposed in the company. The two CEOs believed that the only way to fight the growing competition in terms of prices was to have a merger. But the investors and the other stakeholders thought that the company would never be able to have the loyalty of the Compaq customers, if products are sold with an HP logo on it. Other than this, there were questions on the synchronization of the organization’s members with each other. This was because of the change in the organization culture as well. Even though these were supposed to serious problems with respect to the merger, the CEO of HP, Fiorina justified the same with the fact that the merger would remove one serious competitor in the over-supplied PC market of those days. She said that the market share of the company is bound to increase with the merger and also the working unit would double. (Hoopes, 2001)

Advantages of the Merger

Even though it seemed to be advantageous to very few people in the beginning, it was the strong determination of Fiorina that she was able to stand by her decision. Wall Street and all her investors had gone against the company lampooning her ideas with the saying that she has made 1+1=1.5 by her extravagant ways of expansion. Fiorina had put it this way that after the company’s merger, not only would it have a larger share in the market but also the units of production would double. This would mean that the company would grow tremendously in volume. Her dream of competing with the giants in the field, IBM would also come true. She was of the view that much of the redundancy in the two companies would decrease as the internal costs on promotion, marketing and shipping would come down with the merger. This would produce the slightest harm to the collection of revenue. She used the ideas of competitive positioning to justify her plans of the merger. She said that the merger is based on the ideologies of consolidation and not on diversification. She could also defend allegations against the change in the HP was. She was of the view that the HP has always encouraged changes as it is about innovating and taking bold steps. She said that the company requires being consistent with creativity, improvement and modification. This merger had the capability of providing exactly the same. (Mergers and Acquisitions, 2010)

Advantages to the Shareholders

The following are the ways in which the company can be advantageous to its shareholders:

Unique Opportunity: The position of the enterprise is bound to better with the merger. The reason for the same was that now the value creation would be fresh, leadership qualities would improve, capabilities would improve and so would the sales and also the company’s strategic differentiation would be better than the existing competitors. Other than this, one can also access the capabilities of Compaq directly hence reducing the cost structure in becoming the largest in the industry. Finally, one could also see an opportunity in reinvesting.

Stronger Company: The profitability is bound to increase in the enterprise, access and services sectors in high degrees. The company can also see a better opportunity in its research and development. The financial conditions of the company with respect to its EBIT and net cash are also on the incremental side.

Compelling Economics: The expected accumulation in IIP gains would be 13% in the first financial year. The company could also conduct a better segmentation of the market to forecast its revenues generation. This would go to as much as 2 and a half billion dollars of annual synergy.

Ability to Execute: As there would be integration in the planning procedures of the company, the chances of value creation would also be huge. Along with that the experience of leading a diversified employee structure would also be there. (HP to buy Compaq, 2001)

Opposition to the Merger

In fact, it was only CEO Fiorina who was in favor of going with the merger. This is a practical application of Agency problem that arises because of change in financial strategies of the company owners and the management. Fiorina was certain to lose her job if the merger didn’t take effect. The reason was that HP was not able to meet the demand targets under her leadership. But the owners were against the merger due to the following beliefs of the owners:

The new portfolio would be less preferable: The position of the company as a larger supplier of PCs would certainly increase the amount of risk and involve a lot of investment as well. Another important reason in this context is that HP’s prime interest in Imaging and Printing would not exist anymore as a result diluting the interest of the stockholders. In fact the company owners also feel that there would be a lower margin and ROI (return on investment).

Strategic Problems would remain Unsolved: The market position in high-end servers and services would still remain in spite of the merger. The price of the PCS would not come down to be affordable by all. The requisite change in material for imaging and printing also would not exist. This merger would have no effect on the low end servers as Dell would be there in the lead and high-end servers either where IBM and Sun would have the lead. The company would also be eluded from the advantages of outsourcing because of the surplus labor it would have. So, the quality is not guaranteed to improve. Finally, the merger would not equal IBM under any condition as thought by Fiorina.

Huge Integrated Risks: There have been no examples of success with such huge mergers. Generally when the market doesn’t support such mergers, don’t do well as is the case here. When HP could not manage its organization properly, integration would only add on to the difficulties. It would be even more difficult under the conditions because of the existing competitions between HP and Compaq. Being prone to such risky conditions, the company would also have to vary its costs causing greater trouble for the owner. The biggest factor of all is that to integrate the culture existing in the two companies would be a very difficult job.

Financial Impact: This is mostly because the market reactions are negative. On the other hand, the position of Compaq was totally different from HP. As the company would have a greater contribution to the revenue and HP being diluted at the same time, the problems are bound to develop. This would mean that drawing money from the equity market would also be difficult for HP. In fact this might not seem to be a very profitable merger for Compaq as well in the future.

The basic problem that the owners of the company had with this merger was that it would hamper the core values of HP. They felt that it is better to preserve wealth rather than to risk it with extravagant risk taking. This high risk profile of Fiorina was a little unacceptable for the owners of the company in light of its prospects.

So, as far as this merger between HP and Compaq is concerned, on side there was this strong determination of the CEO, Fiorina and on the other side was the strong opposition from the company owners. This opposition continued from the market including all the investors of the company. So, this practical Agency problem was very famous considering the fact that it contained two of the most powerful hardware companies in the world. There were a number of options like Change Management, Economic wise Management, and Organizational Management which could be considered to analyze the issue. But this case study can be solved best by a strategy wise analysis. (HP-Compaq merger faces stiff opposition from shareholders stock prices fall again, 2001)

Strategic Analysis of the Case

Positive Aspects

A CEO will always consider such a merger to be an occasion to take a competitive advantage over its rivals like IBM as in this case and also be of some interest to the shareholders as well. The following are the strategies that are related to this merger between HP and Compaq:

* Having an eye over shareholders’ value: If one sees this merger from the eyes of Fiorina, it would be certain that the shareholders have a lot to gain from it. The reason for the same is the increment in the control of the market. So, even of the conditions were not suitable from the financial perspective, this truth would certainly make a lot of profits for the company in the future.

* Development of Markets: Two organizations get involved in mergers as they want to expand their market both on the domestic and the international level. Integration with a domestic company doesn’t need much effort but when a company merges internationally as in this case, a challenging task is on head. A thorough situation scanning is significant before putting your feet in International arena. Here, the competitor for HP was Compaq to a large degree, so this merger certainly required a lot of thinking. Organizations merge with the international companies in order to set up their brands first and let people know about what they are capable of and also what they eye in the future. This is the reason that after this merger the products of Compaq would also have the logo of HP. Once the market is well-known, then HP would not have to suffer the branding created by Compaq. They would be able to draw all the customers of Compaq as well.

* Propagated Efficiencies: Any company by acquiring another or by merging makes an attempt to add to its efficiencies by increasing the operations and also having control over it to the maximum extent. We can see that HP would now have an increased set of employees. The only factor is that they would have to be controlled properly as they are of different organizational cultures. (Benefits of Mergers:, 2010)

* Allowances to use more resources: An improvised organization of monetary resources, intellectual capital and raw materials offers a competitive advantage to the companies. When such companies merge, many of the intellects come together and work towards a common mission to excel with financial profits to the company. Here, one can’t deny the fact that even the top brains of Compaq would be taking part in forming the strategies of the company in the future.

* Management of risks: If we particularly take an example of this case, HP and Compaq entering into this merger can decrease the risk level they would have diversified business opportunities. The options for making choice of the supply chain also increase. Now even though HP is a pioneer in inkjet orienting, it would not have to use the Product based Facility layout which is more expensive. It can manage the risk of taking process based facility layout and make things cheaper. Manufacturing and Processing can now be done in various nations according to the cost viability as the major issue.

* Listing potential: Even though Wall Street and all the investors of the company are against the merger, when IPOs are offered, a development will definitely be there because of the flourishing earnings and turnover value which HP would be making with this merger.

* Necessary political regulations: When organizations take a leap into other nations, they need to consider the different regulations in that country which administer the policies of the place. As HP is already a pioneer in all the countries that Compaq used to do its business, this would not be of much difficulty for the company. The company would only need to make certain minor regulations with the political parties of some countries where Compaq was flourishing more than HP.

* Better Opportunities: When companies merge with another company, later they can put up for sale as per as the needs of the company. This could also be done partially. If HP feels that it would not need much of warehouse space it can sell the same at increased profits. It depends on whether the company would now be regarded a s a make to stock or a make to order company.

* Extra products, services, and facilities: Services get copyrights which enhances the level of trade. Additional Warehouse services and distribution channels offer business values. Here HP can use all such values integrated with Compaq so as to increase its prospects. (Berry, 2010)

Negative Aspects

There are a number of mergers and acquisitions that fail before they actually start to function. In the critical phase of implementation itself, the companies come to know that it would not be beneficial if they continue as a merger. This can occur in this merger between HP and Compaq due to the following reasons.

Conversations are not implemented: Because of unlike cultures, ambitions and risk profiles; many of the deals are cancelled. As per as the reactions of the owners of HP, this seems to be extremely likely. So, motivation amongst the employees is an extremely important consideration in this case. This requires an extra effort by the CEO, Fiorina. This could also help her maintain her position in the company.

Legal Contemplations: Anti-competitive deals are often limited by the rules presiding over the competition rules in a country. This leads to out of order functioning of one company and they try to separate from each other. A lot of unnecessary marketing failures get attached to these conditions. If this happens in this case, then all that money which went in publicizing the venture would go to be a waste. Moreover, even more would be required to re-promote as a single entity. Even the packaging where the entire inventory from Compaq had the logo of HP would have to be re-done, thus hampering the finance even further. (Broc Romanek, 2002)

Compatibility problems: Every company runs on different platforms and ideas. Compatibility problems often occur because of synchronization issues. In IT companies such as HP and Compaq, many problems can take place because both the companies have worked on different strategies in the past. Now, it might not seem necessary for the HP management to make changes as per as those from Compaq. Thus such problems have become of greatest concern these days.

Fiscal catastrophes: Both the companies after signing an agreement hope to have some return on the money they have put in to make this merger happen and also desire profitability and turnovers. If due to any reason, they are not able to attain that position, then they develop a abhorrence sense towards each other and also start charging each other for the failure.

Human Resource Differences: Problems as a result of cultural dissimilarities, hospitality and hostility issues, and also other behavior related issues can take apart the origin of the merger.

Lack of Determination: When organizations involve, they have plans in their minds, they have a vision set; but because of a variety of problems as mentioned above, development of the combined company to accomplish its mission is delayed. Merged companies set the goal and when the goal is not accomplished due to some faults of any of the two; then both of them develop a certain degree of hatred for each other. Also clashes can occur because of bias reactions. (William, 2008)

Risk management failure: Companies that are involved in mergers and acquisitions, become over confident that they are going to make a profit out of this decision. This can be seen as with Fiorina. In fact she can fight the whole world for that. When their self-confidence turns out into over-confidence then they fail. Adequate risk management methods should be adopted which would take care of the effects if the decision takes a downturn. These risk policies should rule fiscal, productions, marketing, manufacturing, and inventory and HR risks associated with the merger.

Strategic Sharing

Marketing

Hp and Compaq would now have common channels as far as their buying is concerned. So, the benefits in this concern is that even for those materials which were initially of high cost for HP would now be available at a cheaper price. The end users are also likely to increase. Now, the company can re frame its competitive strategy where the greatest concern can be given to all time rivals IBM. The advantages of this merger in the field of marketing can be seen in the case of shared branding, sales and service. Even the distribution procedure is likely to be enhanced with Compaq playing its part. Now, the company can look forward to cross selling, subsidization and also a reduced cost.

Operations

The foremost advantage in this area is that in the location of raw material. Even the processing style would be same making the products and services synchronized with the ideas and also in making a decent operational strategy. As the philosophical and mechanical control would also be in common, the operational strategy would now be to become the top most in the market. In this respect, the two companies would now have co-production, design and also location of staff. So, the operational strategy of HP would now be to use the process based facility layout and function with the mentioned shared values.

Technology

The technical strategy of the company can also be designed in common now. There is a disadvantage from the perspective of the differentiation that HP had in the field of inkjet printers but the advantages are also plentiful. With a common product and process technology, the technological strategy of the merged company would promote highly economical functioning. This can be done through a common research and development and designing team.

Buying

The buying strategy of the company would also follow a common mechanism. Here, the raw materials, machinery, and power would be common hence decreasing the cost once again. This can be done through a centralized mechanism with a lead purchaser keeping common policies in mind. Now Hp would have to think with a similar attitude for both inkjet printers as well as personal computers. This is because the parameters for manufacturing would also run on equal grounds.

Infrastructure

This is the most important part of the strategies that would be made after the merger. The companies would have common shareholders for providing the requisite infrastructure. The capital source, management style, and legislation would also be in common. So, the infrastructure strategies would have to take these things into account. This can be done by having a common accounting system. HP does have an option to have a separate accounting system for the products that it manufactures but that would only arouse an internal competition. So, the infrastructural benefits can be made through a common accounting, legal and human resource system. This would ensure that the investment relations of the company would improve. None of the Compaq investors would hesitate in making an investment if HP follows a common strategy.

HP would now have to ensure another fact that with this merger they would be able to prove competitors to the present target and those of competitors like IBM as well. Even the operations and the output market needs to be above what exists at present. The company needs to ensure that the corporate strategy that it uses is efficient enough to help such a future. The degree of diversification needs to be managed thoroughly as well. This is because; the products from the two companies have performed exceptionally well in the past. So, the most optimum degree of diversification is required under the context so that the company is able to meet the demands of the customers. This has been challenged by the owners of HP but needs to be carried by the CEO Fiorina. (Bhattacharya, 2010)

Source by Rohit Agrawal

Moving With the Gear-Train of Modern Science

Fire was the first discovery and wheel was the first invention. Since that time, we have traveled far. Science has taken us to territories we could not have envisaged some centuries ago. 20th century was when science really came into its own. It produced magic realism for us. Half of our present day inventions were inconceivable a century ago.

Science had brought great laurels in every field but the one place where it has really shone is technology. Today, we have access to some of the most unbelievable technical inventions. A few centuries ago, a mastermind called Leonardo da Vinci made the first blue-print for an aero plane. Today, even the economy class, domestic seaters have become passé. It is time for the new avatars. Who would have thought that we could fly miles above the ground on a machine that is streamlined to fight air resistance?

A few days ago, NASA launched a Space Shuttle called Discovery. It is supposed to use truss bands and solar wings to propose a new means of solar reception. Imagine, a tangible metallic object run on hydrogen fuel, stationary in space, thousand miles away, bringing us news, data and newer means of improvement.

It's not only about the aerial endeavors. Vehicles which run terrestrially are packed with newer inventions by the day. The Lamborghini, Masseratti, and Maybachs have technology written all over them. These are the mechanical devices which have made us a Nano-race.

We have rewritten the rules for acoustics and the auditoriums and theater studios are a testimony to this. We have come into a digital age. Computers have given way to laptops and then to notebooks and palmtops. Picture-tube televisions have metamorphosed into LCDs and Plasma. They offer High Definition Imaging which again is a vanguard formula.

Landlines took a leap with mobiles. The mobiles have converted into a complete island of entertainment and communication.

Internet has brought the impossible within means. It has made online education possible through its familiarized territory. A teacher in Spain can teach a student in Nigeria with the help of Elluminate whiteboards and Voice Chat modules.

Heat Sensor technology and technical receptors have advanced to such an extent that we can make refractors which respond to heat and temperature variations a hundred miles away.

Mathematicians such as John Nash; scientists like Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, and many others have turned the tables of the world. Theory of Relativity and Gravitational Constant has been the cornerstone of many scientific inventions.

Science has really beautified life. Today, you can visit your ailing relative on the other side of the globe within a day. You can look at an award ceremony held in London, sitting in a nook of Algeria. You can convert thousand and thousand pages of data into a pin size chip and still have plenty of space left.

You can not come back from the dead but that's probably the only thing you can not do. The borders of time and space are certainly shrinking.

Source by Ajeet Khurana

Can a Virgin Be Part of Tantra Sex

God in his infinite wisdom gave a gift to man in the form of a virgin. This is one of the wonders of nature. Equally the science of tantra advocates a path to God through the act of maithuana (sex). The question that begets an answer is how tantra is compatible with defloweration of a virgin.

Tantra theory is applicable when both partners believe in what they are doing and have full knowledge of their acts and consequences if any. In addition a woman is supposed to be an active partner in the act on the path envisaged by tantra. It stands to reason that she must have some knowledge of the act and its relation to tantra.

A virgin on the other hand is only a beginner and it is a moot point whether the tantra and the sex act for God and its realization can be understood in a strict sense as she has never had sex before. However tantric philosophy talks of sex as sacred and in case a man can lead her to the path laid down by tantra then a virgin can be a part of tantric sex. This can be an elevating experience.

For this to happen the man must be learned in the affairs of the tantra and its philosophy. Thus it may entail a man who is much older than the girl. For only an older man with experience can guide a virgin in the tantric and related sex. But a younger man who understands tantra and all its manifestations is not a bar to guiding a virgin. For the man it becomes a sacred duty to rouse the girl and bring her to a level that makes her believe in the tantra and the sacred sex.

It goes without saying that for a girl her virginity is something very emotional for her hence to initiate her with tenderness and love is of great importance.. Awakening her senses will be real test for the man hence his experience and age will be a factor. Once a man has decided to deflower the girl and the girl is willing then he needs to talk to the girl and explain the concept of Tantra and all related matters. As tantra involves giving yourself of your own free will it is important for the girl be aware of this act and give her assent for it.

The girl will not know much except the fact that she is gifting to the man something very precious. Thus it is important to take the girl into the room and talk to her for long on the art of love. Relate to her the theory of tantra and the fact that the sex act can lead to exciting possibilities like previous births and extra sensory perceptions. The kiss soft and succulent must play a major part in this act as well as the build up to the act as undressing and massaging the body with aromatic oils.

There is to be no rushing. Surges of power must be controlled and always think of God at these times. Take your partner with you to the higher echelons of the mind. Rise above pure carnal pleasure. This may take a long time and hence the experience and knowledge of the man will matter a lot.

Tantric sex is not finishing anything like a cannon ball but conserving energy till you can reach sublime bliss. Thus the entry is a small part of tantra and it should be slow and steady.

Taking a girl’s virginity is one of the great acts in a human life. It is her transformation from a maiden to a woman and the significance needs to be appreciated. Sexual union (maithuana) as per tantric thought is a method to awaken and harness the inner energy. Coercion or force has no place and the aim of the man should be to initiate the virgin to a world she would never have experienced earlier. Treat the initiation more as sacred duty than anything else.

At some stage after prolonged foreplay a thrust may be necessary. Do it gently. Some blood could be the result. Stop all movement and continue soft kisses. Move only once acceptance is total. Procreation is Gods gift. Hence the man must treat it as a sacred duty. Awaken the girl to the finer points of Tantra and this by itself will give you immense satisfaction and happiness. This is a sacred duty. A novice will fail and hence an experienced man can only carry out what is envisaged in tantra.

Source by Madan G Singh

Tips to Organizing a Successful Bug Bash

A Bug Bash is an event in the software development life cycle where the entire team comes together and logs bugs on the product, all the interest of improving the quality of the product before shipping.

Here are some tips in order to organize a great bug bash on your team:

1. Get the Entire Team involved in the Bug Bash.

This is extremely crucial. Testers test the product day in and day out. They have an eye on the product every day. It’s the third person’s eye that we are looking for here. If there is a person involved in building/deploying or even sustaining the product, have them all participate in the bug bash. This could range from designers, business analysts, testers, developers, release management, User Experience designers, operations, sustained engineering teams, and even high level managers. The more people looking at the product, the better bugs you will get. Bugs during the bug bash could be just feedback in general as well. It is this feedback that could drive certain design decisions that make the product successful when released to customers.

2. Give High Quality Guidance to people participating in the Bug Bash.

There would be a number of people involved in the bug bash who would be looking at the product for the very first time. Hence it is very important that they propel in the right direction when running the bug bash scenarios. This involves a number of important points and we will capture them all here:

a. Prepare a high quality test environment for testing – Folks should not struggle to log into the system or see random crashes. Be prepared in terms of your test environment. Have different log in accounts. Document all the information in a document and distribute it to all the people involved in the bug bash. That way there is no concern on the day of the event.

b. Prepare a document of all the core end to end scenarios for your system – It’s important that people know how to get started. A document outlining the core scenarios and how to execute them would be extremely helpful. That way the team can get started in the right direction and then test around those scenarios and find good bugs.

c. Have a Bug Bash template that the team can use to log bugs – Many people would be logging bugs for the very first time. They should not struggle with the actual process of using the bug management software that your team uses. Having a good quality template will ensure that the focus is on finding bugs rather and spending time with the tools of the team. The entire process should be encouraging to people rather than tiresome.

3. Time the Bug Bash properly.

A bug bash should be held at a time in the cycle where the build is in decent quality. If you time it too early where the build is still in flux, the focus moves away from logging good quality bugs and customer issues, but you will find blocking issues in the core scenario flow. You really don’t want to be in that state. You want to find all the low hanging fruit, the last-minute bugs that could really push the quality of the product. In my opinion its best to have a bug bash close to the end of the milestone/cycle. Maybe a week before you plan to release (again depending on how long your cycles are). Do remember that you will need some time to triage all the bugs and even fix the ones you want to take. So timing it too late might be problematic as well, especially if you find ship stopper bugs right in the end.

4. Block a Time during the Day on Every one’s Calendar

It’s important not just to send an email saying that there is a bug bash happening on the team during a particular time. Put the event on everyone’s calendar. Maybe an entire afternoon on a Thursday or Friday where it’s light-weight in terms of work on the team. Have detailed instructions in the meeting invite for the bug bash (as described above). This will ensure more folks get involved when its an actual meeting on their calendar.

5. Give Incentives to Participate.

The activity of a bug bash needs to be fun. Hence, having some good incentives to participate would ensure that more people come to the event.Some of the following could be used:

a. Give out prizes at the end of the event – You could have prizes for “Best Bug Logged”, “Top Bug Finder”, “Best Bug Finder – Developer”, “Best Bug Finder – “Program Manager” etc.

b. Make it a morale event – Have goodies, maybe some beer, food. Book a conference room where people can come and participate as part of a group if they would like. You can be creative in this space to make sure that everyone is encouraged to come and have a good time. I worked in a company once where alcohol was free-flowing during a bug bash. 200 bugs were logged in an afternoon of 3 hours:).

6. Encourage an “Anything Goes” attitude.

Don’t have certain rules for logging bugs. Encourage an “Anything goes” attitude. Let people be creative in their testing and log anything they see is not right. Of course this could result in a number of bugs that are “Duplicates”, “Not Valid”, “As per the Design” etc. but the more you have the more you can think about how customers perceive or will perceive your product. Bugs could be in the form of “usability feedback” like “It is difficult to do X”. With these bugs, the product teams can get some valuable feedback on changing the design in the future. You will be surprised as to how many design changes can occur due to a bug bash.

7. Have Management Encourage a Good Bug Bash.

If you want more people participating in the bug bash, management support is crucial. Having a top-level manager enforcing it for people or at least sending an email to people would ensure you get many more people to participate. The bug bash is normally organized by the test team, but having high level management support it will give you more benefits as compared to just an email sent out by a tester on the team. It should come top down. If you need to convince upper level management, then having a bug bash plan reviewed with them with details on the benefits and advantages will get them thinking in the right direction.

8. Have Teams focus on outside their Area of Expertise.

This applies to the product teams working on the product. If you are product that has two teams, have each team test the other team’s area. This will give you the advantage of a true bug bash. How many bugs will you find if you as a product team test the area that you have been working on through the milestone? It’s when you reverse roles that you get advantages of good quality bugs.

With these tips you will ensure that your product will meet a high quality bar right before shipping.

Source by Kunal Chopra

Learning English With Native Speaking Teachers

Learning English can seem like a complicated and time consuming task. Understanding English slang, and how native English speakers engage in conversation, is something that cannot be learned in a text book. Learning English from a native speaker teacher has a number of advantages. Although there can be miscommunication regarding culture and customs, native speaker teachers can make it easier to learn and understand the English language.

The advantages of learning English with native speaker teachers include:

1. Authentic Learning: A student will be exposed to the authentic English language. Through learning activities such as games, students will learn about the culture and how to speak like a native speaker. This includes the use of slang and accents. Students will be able to engage in real and regular conversations that English speakers use every day.

2. Pronunciation and Language Use: Native speaker teachers provide a natural way of learning English words and grammar. Students will learn how to properly pronounce words and phrases. They will also learn how to speak and write using proper grammar and vocabulary. They can provide instant and accurate feedback to help students overcome bad speech patterns. . For instance, if a student pronounces a word “ate” but means to say “hate,” a teacher will provide proper enunciation of the letter “h.” Many words look the same but are pronounced differently. Phrases such as “I have read that magazine,” and “I like to read” are good examples. These types of words can be confusing for a student learning English. A native speaker teacher will understand the background and meaning of the words.

3. Cultural Questions: Because the English language is often integrated within a culture, native speaker teachers are able to provide answers to questions about customs or cultural practices that may come up during class.

4. Grammar: People whose native tongue is English are quick to catch grammar errors. For instance, a phrase such as “will not to tell” is a grammar mistake a teacher will pick up on every time. They will provide positive feedback to help a student learn to say “will not tell.” After a series of positive feedback sessions, students will begin to monitor themselves and catch their own mistakes and correct them.

5. English Conversations: By conversing with native speakers, a student of English will be able to pick up on the meaning of phrases and the teacher will be able to make sure the student is applying the proper meaning of the words and phrases they use. The English teacher can explain why a phrase is spoken in a certain way.

6. Verbs: Some English verb phrases can be very confusing. A teacher can explain phrases like “come up with” or “checking in on” much more easily. There are also many irregular verbs used in the English language. Rules for such verbs as “sing, sang, and sung “can be difficult to comprehend. A teacher who is fluent in English can make these rules regarding irregular verbs easier to understand.

7. Strange Vocabulary: Explaining the difference between such phrases and words as “wise man and wise guy” can be difficult. The teacher will have an easier time explaining types of words that seem illogical to a student.

English is not the most complex language in the world, but it can be one of the most difficult to learn. Native speaker teachers will have the experience of speaking the language and have a better and less complicated way of providing explanations. When implemented correctly, teaching English to foreign students can be rewarding and enjoyable for both the teacher and the students.

Source by Amy Nutt

Great Quality Education – University of the Philippines in Angeles City in the Philippines

The University of the Philippines in Angeles, Pampanga is a division of the university’s flagship campus located in Metro Manila. The University of the Philippines is the country’s premier university boasting of one-hundred years of excellence in the academe.

The University of the Philippines in Angeles, Pampanga aims to bring the finest standards of research and education in the region. It basically makes research and education accessible to yearning students and institutions residing nearby.

The University of the Philippines in Pampanga is located in the Claro M. Recto Highway in the Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles, Pampanga. To get there, one can take a jeepney from downtown Angeles going to the main gate of Clark Freeport Zone. From the main gate, one can ride the jeepney going to NBI. The jeepney will pass in front of the University of the Philippines, and one can get down from the jeepney at that point.

The University of the Philippines in Angeles, Pampanga was constructed in 1953 to function as an extended division of the university’s flagship campus located in Metro Manila. In 1980, it was decided that the campus move to San Fernando, the capital of Pampanga, to expand the presence of the university within the region. However, the operations of the campus ceased during the Mount Pinatubo eruptions, forcing the campus to continue operation in Clark in Angeles.

Courses offered in the University of the Philippines in Angeles, Pampanga includes BA Psychology, BA Business Economics and BS Business Management. The BA Psychology program offers studies in the field of psychology with heavy concentration on social aspects of the study. The BA Business Economics is a joint program between business studies and economics, while the BS Management program is heavily concentrated on the study and practice of business applications. The University of the Philippines also offers a Master’s Degree program in Management for those who want to specialize further in tat field.

The University of the Philippines is subsidized by the government, so expect the tuition fees to be lower compared with that of other reputable universities. The tuition fee per unit is 1000 to 1500 pesos per unit, depending on income assessments conducted by the campus authorities. Miscellaneous fees are no more that 1500 pesos.

The University of the Philippines in Angeles, Pampanga displays the ideals of state education brought about by its secular curriculum. With its renowned faculty, extensive research and effective curriculum, the university offers quality university education to its students.

Source by Kenny Leones

Creating Your Own Table Top Jurassic Park – A Cheat’s Guide to Making a Prehistoric Landscape

Building your own Dinosaur Playmat

Creating your own prehistoric habitat for your dinosaur models and toys is quite easy and a lot of fun. With the Summer holidays approaching here is a super dinosaur themed craft idea to help the kids make the most of their free time and perhaps they might even learn something about prehistoric life back in the Age of Reptiles.

We have built a number of dinosaur play mats with young children to help us, we recommend this exercise for children from 5 years and upwards, although Mums, Dads and guardians may have to help when it comes to using scissors and such like. Building your own dinosaur land is an inexpensive and fun thing to do, the whole project can be completed in a few hours (allowing time for paint and glue to dry), and can be built at a fraction of the cost of buying a playmat or similar item from a toy store.

Starting with the Basics – Choosing a Base

First get your base, a solid base is always best as this will help with sticking objects onto it and make a firm platform for the dinosaur models and toys to stand on. Many toy forts and castles are supplied with a square, reinforced cardboard base and these make an ideal foundation for your dinosaur jungle and landscape. A quick visit to a high street charity shop can offer reward the canny shopper with the purchase of a cheap toy fort or castle base for just a few pence. It does not matter if this base is worn or damaged slightly, it will get painted over and have things stuck to it. Anyway dinosaurs were always churning up the ground and damaging the landscape, scientists even have a special word for this when they come across evidence of dinosaur activity in sediments – “dinoturbation”.

Alternatively, if the base from an old toy fort or castle is not available simply re-cycle some cardboard boxes to create the base for your dinosaur land. Take a large cardboard box (one with big sides is preferable), push in the base, so that it falls flat and paint the base green or sandy coloured, depending on the sort of habitat you wish to create.

A Cheat’s Way of Getting the Perfect Base for your Dinosaur Land

To avoid any printing on the cardboard showing through the paint, cover the whole base in strips of paper mache (strips of paper soaked in glue), allow to dry and then paint. To create a cheat’s folding dinosaur land simply take two equally sized boxes and lay them side by side leaving a small gap of about 3cm between them. Cover the whole lot in paper mache, including the join but only lightly in the area of the join. This allows you to build in a “hinge” into your model so the base can be folded up and put away when not needed. To avoid having to paint the model with several coats of paint to remove all trace of any print, simply don’t use printed material for the last layer of paper mache. For example, old photocopy paper (printed on one side only), is ideal for the final layer of paper mache. A lot of dinosaur landscapes have been created by raiding the re-cycle paper box from the office.

Creating your Landscape

Using other strips of newspaper or re-cycled paper you can build up a landscape so there are areas of different gradient on your model. Don’t over do this or there will not be any even ground to put your models on. You can build up some higher ground (suggest you do this on the back area of your model), by layering strips of thick card down on top of each other. Aim to produce raised areas that look a little square in appearance, at least that way you can be sure that dinosaur toys will stand up on them. Once you have landscaped your base you can use poster paints to paint the landscape green or sandy coloured. It is a good idea to paint a small pond towards the front of your model, as we know dinosaurs congregated around waterholes. Once the paint has dried you can add some details to the base by drawing some tufts of ferns and horsetails. Use a fine green marker pen for this, simply draw stick-like plants for the horsetails or simply “v” shapes to represent the ferns.

Dinosaur Landscapes – adding the First Plants

Surprisingly, if you were to travel back in time to the late Cretaceous of North America you would have recognised much of the vegetation. The dinosaurs that you encounter may look incongruous in such familiar woodland surroundings but you would have seen dinosaurs wandering in and out of groves of oak, sycamore, maple and ash trees. Ponds would have been covered in water lilies just like lakes today and you can add some lily pads to your dinosaur pond for that little bit of realism. Take some plain paper or card and colour in a small section with dark green paint or crayon. Then taking some small coins, draw round them to create an array of small circles. Cut them out and cut a nick in each circle, a simple triangular shape would suffice and there you have your lily pads waiting to be stuck to the surface of your pond. Your dinosaur landscape has its first plants, dinosaurs taking a drink at a waterhole with a water lily growing in it – a scene straight out of the late Cretaceous.

Source by Mike Walley

Poor, Depressed, And Economically Enslaved College Students – Professors Are Dumbfounded As To Why

Why are the suicide rates up for college graduates? Why do not corporate employers value Bachelor's Degrees, and why is a Master's Degree no guarantee to a good high-paying job? Why are college graduates economically enslaved as they leave college and get out in the real world? Why are University students overwhelmingly depressed, hint: It is not because of the Donald Trump election victory?

Could it be a multitude of reasons, starting with their Smart Phones and social networks to their brain-washing education regiment? Let's talk shall we?

There was a rather troubling article in the Activist Post titled; "Researchers Developing Smartphone Mental Health Surveillance App For University Students: ISee," by Nicholas West published on January 13, 2017. The article stated:

"The objective of this study was to explore the detection of daily-life behavioral markers using mobile phone global positioning systems (GPS) and usage sensors, and their use in identifying depressive symptom severity."

The rising growth of University Students depression is due to victimhood brain washing and unnatural leftist propaganda into the minds of formerly healthy students, plus the outrageous debt they are forced to endure so leftist professors can have huge unjustified salaries and incredible pensions at the systems expense. Thanks to grade inflation at our High Schools, Colleges and Universities, students have been led to believe they are special, smart, and the future. Sure, they might be the future, but they are hardly prepared for the real world.

Professors are busy protecting students from the outside, the real world, keeping them safe from negative comments, competition, right-leaning politics, racism, misogyny, homophobics, Islamiphobics, bigots, and anyone that disagrees with their professors. These professors who live in their academic echo chamber are also living in a bubble, one which is about to burst and now they are swinging at windmills. The professors are teaching their students how to shout down dissent in the name of being politically correct, as if that is going to help these kids, yes kids, once they graduate.

The combination of culture shock once the kids graduate, along with their social networks and smart phones is causing depression – and if that's not enough, consider the incredible challenges of paying off their student debt and unlearning all that social justice warrior nonsense? What a nightmare we have, this is not good for anyone except the multi-billion dollar a year industry for anti-depression medicine.

At some point all of these students are going to have a rude awakening – drowning in debt – and no one wanting to hire anyone with their left-leaning jaded mindset. Their professors and universities, well their day of reckoning is coming too, as soon as all that outstanding college loan debt bubble bursts, and it will, delivering a huge crisis to higher-education. Please consider all this.

Source by Lance Winslow

Left or Right – Who Are You?

It came before Trump, so he cannot be blamed for it. I’m not sure what can, but the divide between the Left and the Right has now come into lounge rooms, workplaces, not just the public squares, and especially through social media platforms everywhere.

In a world where compassion fatigue is showing, and where we can no longer tell quality news from fake news, it cannot be escaped.

The world and its issues is forcing people to decide which side of the political agenda their allegiances lie. And choose either side, it isn’t pretty.

In fact, we’re ripping each other apart, and that’s an enigma given both sides are so ardently for democracy.

The political issues are not in themselves the main thing. But attack seems to be everyone’s most consistent defence, and the vitriol in many quarters is incredible. Social media allows people their say, through ‘comments’ of aggression, to ‘reactions’ of adherence, to ‘shares’ of allegiance.

A few years ago, the critical mass was moving to social media – it was social media’s win, making it mega powerful. Now, empowered by their social media of choice, the critical mass is taking to the streets to design a ‘better world’… through the misplaced justice of anger, an advocacy that shoots itself in the foot.

No one has told them that two angry poles don’t make for a better world. Nobody having their one-eyed say has realised they’re not happier for it. Anger is not the way to contentment, though, I concede, contentment must not be their goal. It’s victory. It’s a tug-of-war and only one side can win at any one time.

The point of creation is cooperation, not competition, so anytime someone makes a point for justice using dog-eat-dog competition tactics rather than conciliatory cooperation, they fool themselves, but others can see right through them.

People have forgotten what a democracy does in enlisting change. Maybe social media in a postmodern age has killed any chance of democracy. It’s a runaway train.

The world is asking you… who are you… you need to choose. Are you Left or Right?

Of course, it’s not that simple. Not many of us are on one side. But every day we’ll still be asked – “So, who are you for?” “What are your principles?” “Ballsy enough to stick to them.”

Wise people will not enter that arena.

The trouble is we’re partial creatures. We cannot stand not having a view. It will cost us our freedom.

Source by Steve Wickham

Hair Growth And Meditation: Can Meditation Actually Help Your Hair Grow?

Recently there has been a serious emphasis on organic or alternative solutions because of the not so pleasant side effects of pharmaceutical prescription drugs. It’s well known that meditation can have positive effects on our overall well-being, however can this type of therapy assist in the treatment hair loss?

Some state it definitely can, but how?

Meditation has been around for hundreds of years and has evolved into a structured practice that men and women use every day. It is well documented that meditation is effective in reducing high blood pressure and strengthens the heart as well as reducing stress and quite possibly cholesterol levels. But how can this at the same time aid in hair growth?

Though there have not been any direct scientific studies to date on the effect of meditation and hair growth we can still take a look at various scientific studies and see just how it might possibly be a benefit to one’s locks.

In research conducted by R. Jevning, AF, Wilson and JM Davidson in 1978 it was demonstrated that Plasma cortisol decreased substantially for long term practitioners of meditation and it even showed a slight decline of plasma cortisol in beginning practitioners.

Cortisol is a hormone created by the adrenal gland. Cortisol aids in a range of metabolic functions. Levels of cortisol are able to fluctuate over the course of the day, with afternoon quantities typically being about half those in found in the morning. High levels of cortisol can be triggered by an ailment such as Cushing’s disease, or Addison’s disease. Increased levels may also be a barometer of stress. Stress filled incidents can elevate cortisol levels in the blood for extended periods.

Stress has long been considered to be a factor in hair loss. One telling report that can be found is in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2004) tiled Burden of Hair Loss: Stress and the Underestimated Psychosocial Impact of Telogen Effluvium and Androgenetic Alopecia. This article shows many studies that reveal that stress does in fact possess a negative impact on hair growth.

Furthermore, stress can also cause insomnia, poor eating habits, and disorders as well as contributing to a tendency to partake in not so healthy habits such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, all of which tend to be not only harmful to your general well being but, also can affect the health of your hair, skin and nails.

The impact of meditation on hair health doesn’t stop at stress.

In a study published in the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association, researchers documented a sizable drop in total cholesterol in individuals who practice Meditation.

The research workers selected 23 patients, all with elevated cholesterol; all participants were of comparable age, body weight, diet choices, and physical exercise routines. Twelve of the patients were trained in Meditation, and performed it for 11 months; the other eleven were control subjects that did not meditate. The meditating group exhibited a marked decrease in cholesterol levels, from an average of 255 to 225; there was no significant decrease observed in the control group.

An independent analysis done by the same research workers showed comparable reductions, and in addition revealed that a boosted cholesterol reading inside of the average range can be reduced

But exactly how does this help in hair loss?

Recent research discovered that excessive cholesterol and androgenetic hair loss could be correlated, although the exact causes remains unclear.

Clinical conclusions implied that the majority of males who are affected with high cholesterol also suffer from androgenetic alopecia. Studies conducted on nearly twenty-two thousand volunteers spanning over 11 years starting from 1982 noticeably illustrated that men with hair loss also have a higher threat of experiencing heart attacks. Further research only made this finding more powerful in both men and women but additional research is still in progress to authenticate this particular hypothesis.

Another way to comprehend this finding is that people who currently possess a genetic predisposition to hair loss can find that a rise in cholesterol will result in producing an increase in production of ‘androgen’ which is a hormone. This in turn will increase the production of a hormone called DHT which causes loss of hair.

Another school of thought is that DHT causes an increase in cholesterol. This also may be the reason for why women are less afflicted with hair loss or heart conditions in spite of producing androgen hormone almost 20 times lesser than men.

Cholesterol is also believed to mix with sebum and causes its solidification thus obstructing the hair follicles and impacting hair growth by causing the shaft of hair to reduce in dimension in every successive growth phase.

Even though much more research is needed, meditation may help in hair loss. So, why not take some time out of your busy, stressful day to maybe lower your cholesterol and your stress.

This will not only enhance your overall health, but your hair as well.

Source by Donna Moss