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A Model Life: How Petra Nemcova transformed tragedy into joy

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – If Petra Nemcova’s life were a movie plot, nobody would believe it.

Girl grows up under Communism in the former Czechoslovakia, climbs to the top of the fashion world as one of the most famous models on the planet, and nearly has it all taken away as a victim of the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia.

But Nemcova, 38, survived and she now heads a foundation called All Hands and Hearts (www.allhandsandhearts.org), to help victims of natural disasters around the world rebuild their schools and communities.

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For the latest in Reuters’ “Life Lessons” series, Nemcova sat down to talk about how to transform tragedy into joy.

Q: You grew up under Communism, so what was that experience like?

A: You were part of a system. So my dad was a bricklayer, my mom was a teacher and we grew up with very little, picking up pennies to help put food on the table. Our staple diet was lentils and eggs, and maybe we could afford meat once a week. Once I wore the same pair of winter shoes for seven years.

Q: How did you handle the transition to modeling?

A: Communism fell when I was 11 years old, so at that point my generation got to follow their dreams. I grabbed opportunities in modeling, because I knew that would get me out of the Czech Republic, and I could take care of my parents, who had always taken food out of their own mouths to feed us.

I entered the “Look of the Year” competition, won it, and started traveling to places like Milan, Paris, London and New York.

Q: Coming from that experience, how did you handle the money that started coming in?

A: In those early days there were lots of situations where I was misled because I was young and naive, and I didn’t know anything about the financial world.

After that, I started investing in real estate, which seemed like a much solid and safer choice for me. My first was an investment property in Paris, and then I bought places in New York. I have invested in real estate ever since.

Q: Working with famed designers so closely, did you learn from any of them?

A: I learned by observing them, how passionate and dedicated they are – in particular, Giorgio Armani, his work ethic and how particular he is.

Another role model, when Communism fell and I got exposed to Western culture for the first time, was Audrey Hepburn. Not only her incredible grace, but how she used her platform to put a spotlight on those suffering.

Marc Benioff, (CEO) of Salesforce, is one of the most powerful business leaders in world, but I have never met anyone who takes so much time to help others.

Q: Are you able to talk about your traumatic tsunami experience, and what you learned from it?

A: Life has a way of teaching you its lessons. I was extremely successful. I was happy with my partner, and we were on a romantic vacation. In a few seconds, we went from a beautiful walk on the beach to something that shattered everyone’s lives.

My pelvis was crushed in four places, and for eight hours, I clung to a palm tree in the waters. What I learned from that is that anything can happen at any time. Nobody knows what will happen next, and every moment is a gift.

Even when you are going through tragedies, you can still focus on the positive. When I was in the hospital and didn’t know if I would ever walk again, I told myself: ‘Well, I still have my eyes and ears.’ I lost my partner, but I still had my family. You deal with hopelessness by being grateful.

Q: How did that experience inspire you with your foundation?

A: After natural disasters, when first responders leave, there is a gap where communities have no support. In particular, children would wait for years for schools to be rebuilt. We have focused on rebuilding schools after natural disasters – 171 of them in 10 countries around the world.

Q: What life lessons do you try to pass on to others?

A: Take the time to really experience giving and not just write a check. Go to the places you are helping, because it will give you a different understanding of life, and a new dimension of joy and gratitude. If you don’t do that, you are missing out on what life has to offer.

Editing by Lauren Young and G Crosse

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Intel’s 8th-gen Core processors won’t be revolutionary

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It’s clearer than ever that the days of tick-tock Intel chip upgrades (new process one generation, new architecture the next) are long gone. Intel has revealed that its 8th-generation Core processors, due in the second half of 2017 will once again be built on a 14-nanometer process — yes, for the fourth time in a row. The company is shy on what these new chips will entail, but it’s claiming that it’ll manage another 15 percent performance improvement (in SysMark tests, anyway) like it did with the 7th-generation Core designs you see now.

AnandTech notes that the upcoming refresh might focus more on the low-voltage U- and Y-series chips you see in very thin and light laptops, just as you saw with the initial 7th-gen processors late last year. That has yet to be confirmed, however.

One thing’s for sure: when Intel’s long-delayed 10nm processors finally do arrive, you won’t see a wholesale switch to the new technology. Intel says that future process uses will be “fluid” depending on the segment they’re targeting, and that data centers will get first crack at these upgrades. Don’t be surprised if the Xeon line gets first dibs on 10nm, then, or if only some mainstream chips make the leap at first.

The decision might be necessary given the challenges of shrinking large CPUs down to a 10nm process, but it’s likely to leave Intel feeling nervous. After all, mobile giants like Qualcomm are releasing 10nm processors this year. While mobile tablets probably won’t outperform most laptops any time soon, this could narrow the gap enough that you might be tempted to skip buying a conventional Intel-based PC in the right circumstances.

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How To Make A Successful Application For Your Loan Against Property?

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Loan against property

Loan against property is one of the popular ways to meet your financial requirements without selling your piece of land or jewelry when in dire needs. Under LAP (Loan Against Property) you offer your property in the form of a house or plot as a collateral that makes it a secured loan.

Today, there are leading private finance companies and banks who offer LAP at attractive interest rates, low processing fee, and flexible repayment options. For instance, there is HDFC housing finance, India bulls, L & T finance, etc. who are pioneering in the sector. But before you send an application to get a loan there are few things you need to know. So, let’s understand these things and make your LAP application a successful one:

Property Value & Age

The maximum loan amount you get qualified for depends on the property value and its age that you would be offering as a collateral. For instance, if your property is in metropolitan and has been recently developed you’ll get more money compared to suburban areas and one in old building construction. The market value of the property plays a major role in deciding your loan eligibility.

Credit Score

Whether you want a secured or unsecured loan, your credit score will always be reviewed well to adjudge a loan amount. If your score is above average you’re chances of getting Loan against property (LAP) is higher as well as you can negotiate the interest rates. While a bad score can affect your loan amount as well as hamper interest rates. To minimize the risks you can clear all your existing debts, build a good score and approach the bank or finance company for the loan. You can improve your credit profile by getting a co-applicant as well provided their score is better than yours. It may increase the odds of your loan approval.

Loan Repayment Capacity

Naturally, when the lenders are giving you a loan they would like to know your repaying capacity. Your number of dependents and prior financial commitments also come into the picture. They need to assure that you can comfortably pay the loan EMIs and on time.

They will check if you run a business or earn a fixed monthly salary. If its business how old and established the business is? How long have you been working? When was the last time you changed jobs? They will mull over questions to find if you’re able to repay the loan without problems. So, if you start a new business or joint a job recently, your credit profile looks risky for them.

Ownership of the Property

Having the full ownership of the property improves your chances of loan approvals easily and without hitches. Partial ownership has a chance of raising dispute between the applicants. They might not come to a consensus on a particular point and it may create a doubt in the minds of lenders.

Loan Tenure

If you have applied for Loan against property, your tenure would be an important thing to consider. Because longer the tenure higher would be the interest rate you are going to pay. Shorter the tenure more will be your monthly installment to clear off the debts. So, lender will consider your repaying capacity else you may have to shell out more from your pockets.

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How can UX design be useful for e-commerce business?

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Ecommerce Solution

E-commerce business is one of the most profitable businesses in the market. The total revenue of e-commerce business worldwide was 2.3 trillion dollars in 2017 and is projected to be 4.5 trillion dollars by 2021. And now the e-commerce business skyrocketed from desktop to mobile in the recent years. And now the mobile devices for e-commerce shopping are the most popular medium at this moment.

How can UX design be useful for e-commerce business?

So if you own an e-commerce business, it is really important to serve your user properly and make sure they have a good experience with your platform. Importance of user experience is trending among development companies and is adapting to the new features and design trends that UX design promises. Many apps and website without UX design tend to fail after the release of their product only because they compromise with their UX design for faster and cheaper development process. The development company who pays attention to UX design are prone to generate substantial financial returns.

What is UX design?

UX or User experience can refer to the experience of a user while interfacing with your system. Here the system refers to your e-commerce platform. And UX design means the interactive features and graphics that enhance the experience of the user with the system. And understanding the user can help you improve the UX design. A good interactive UX design can help you ensure the development of an enjoyable e-commerce platform.

How can UX design be useful for e-commerce business?

But how can UX design be beneficial your e-commerce business? What are the factors that can define the success of your e-commerce business? Keep reading ahead to find out…

Increases user retention and user conversion rates

For any e-commerce business, online usage is the only way to boost business. This makes UX design the foremost important factor to attract customers online. If your platform has a weak UX design then there is no hope to increase your customer base. Customers are attracted to attractive, appealing and unique designs of your website or app.

How can UX design be useful for e-commerce business?

A good shopping experience can easily convert a user into a customer. And the increase in customer base can increase the popularity, in turn, increasing revenue generation of your website.

Usability testing

Usability testing is a really important part in the development process. Any changes required in the UX design can be done with the help of usability testing. A simple and plain UX design can help the user understand and perceive your application’s products and features and the way to use it. Initial funds spent on UX design can be a money saver at the end of your product development, so it is important for the company to keep a different budget for a robust support system.

Usability testing useful for e-commerce business?

Prevents repetitive work in development process

A UX design employed during the design phase can prevent any repetitive work in further phases of development. A minor implementation of usability features can also save you from expenses that can be incurred in the later phases of development.

Prevents repetitive work in development process

If any design alteration arises after the design phase, it can repeat many development phases that can further extend the delivery date, hence increasing the whole development cost.

Increased revenue

Any new technological implementation of your system that can impact overall sales can be referred as profitable. UX is a major deciding factor in success when it comes to e-commerce shopping. Besides everything, the loading speed of your platform is an important factor to increase user retention on your platform. In a study conducted by experts, it was shown that there was a reduction of 7% in user retention in the websites which took more than 6 seconds to load. An attractive webpage or application can oblige users to spend more time on your e-commerce platform.

Prevents repetitive work in development process

A quick and plain checkout experience can also encourage users to make purchases from your application and website, hence increasing revenue for your e-commerce business. Implementation of good UX design is pivotal for the success for your e-commerce business. There are many good development companies that provide E-commerce Solution in India, UK, US, Australia, etc. As the most dominant customer base of e-commerce business, Millennials are well aware of their needs, and satisfying their needs takes more than just good products. It becomes more important for new e-commerce companies to include UX design to provide a good UX design rather than a great website.

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