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Reviews

BLU – V5 with 32GB Memory Cell Phone (Unlocked) – (Product Description)

If you are looking for an affordable smartphone with a nice metal build, robust octa-core processor, and high-resolution front and back cameras for taking impeccable photos, the unlocked Blu V5 32GB smartphone is a good purchase. For selfie fanatics, the 8.0MP front-facing camera solves the problem most other smartphones have: blurry selfies and video call image quality due to low-resolution capacity. And what’s the point of taking so many beautiful photos when you don’t have enough memory space to store them? The Blu V5 comes with 32GB of internal memory, expandable by up to 64GB with a microSD card. That’s enough space to store at least 4000 photos. But that’s not all. Together with a robust octa-core 1.6GHz processor and 2GB RAM, the Blu V5 is capable of handling most demanding mobile games such as Injustice 2 or Age of Empires. Even if you are not a hardcore gamer, the strong technical specifications guarantee smooth performance and seamless running of programs. For those who have more than one number, the dual-SIM card slot means that you can use both your numbers without needing an extra phone. Priced at only $49.99, the Blu V5 unlocked dual-sim smartphone is a steal considering what it can offer.

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Off the Beaten Track Travel

Enjoy a break in a coastal Idyll at a holiday apartment in Lisbon

(This article was written for Tuivillas)

Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city situated at the mouth of the Tagus River, just before the Atlantic ocean. Given its stunning location, Lisbon is one of the most visited destinations in Europe, also thanks to its vibrant atmosphere, historic architecture, pleasant climate, and range of attractions that capture the interests of visitors of all ages. Your dream vacation starts with a comfy holiday apartment in Lisbon that you can return to after exploring the sights and sounds of the city. Extending your long weekend to a week will allow you to discover the unique towns surrounding Lisbon.

Experience the romance of Portugal’s coastal capital from a holiday apartment in Lisbon

Your exploration begins the moment you are settled in your holiday apartment in Lisbon. Being famous as a welcoming city, Lisbon entertains all ages and interests with its thriving creative scene and rich cultural heritage. Unique traditions mingle with modern lifestyles to create a charming city that takes you from one surprise to another.

The famous number-28 tram

Your visit to this exciting yet historic city is not complete until you have taken a sightseeing tour aboard the famous number-28 tram. Dating back to the 1930s, this tram line is a historic symbol of the city. While sitting on the historic tram, navigating through the narrow streets of Lisbon will give you a nostalgic feeling of Portugal in the old days. It passes through all the famous districts of São Bento, Baixa, Alfama, Graça, and Chiado and terminates in front of the impressive Estrela Basilica church. Booking in advance is recommended to find a holiday apartment in Lisbon near the tram station, as it gives you easy access to exploring the city from the comfort of your apartment.

Experience the Bairro Alto nightlife

Bairro Alto is the place to be for experiencing Lisbon by night, and one of the two best hot spots for nightlife in Lisbon – the other one being Cais do Sodré. Live music venues, clubs, and trendy bars are situated next to one another, perfect for bar-hopping tours. The real fun begins at weekends, when people spill out onto the street late at night, creating one large party. In Bairro Alto, the night starts late and continues until early morning. Lisbon has an open and accepting attitude when it comes to people of all backgrounds and ways of life, so the party environment is always friendly and relaxed. Book your holiday home in Lisbon near Bairro Alto if you’re looking for a cocktail of nightlife in a coastal setting.

Don’t forget the beaches

Whether you have come to explore Lisbon’s nightlife or the culture and history of the city center, all visitors are inevitably drawn to the spectacular beaches lining the coast. These unspoiled beaches are also just a few stations away from the city centre by tram. The Costa da Caparica coastline extends along the western part of the Setubal Peninsula, offering pristine beaches, quaint resort towns, and great locations for surfing. On the southern part of the Setubal Peninsula is Serra da Arrábida coastline, which is famous for its calm turquoise waters. For a short beach day trip, consider visiting Praia São Pedro do Estoril or Praia de Carcavelos where the waves are ideal for surfing. Booking your holiday apartment in Lisbon early will ensure that you find the perfect ocean view.

Throw a coin for the statue of Saint Anthony to meet your match!

Are you single and looking for some holiday romance? You are in luck. In Lisbon, they have an interesting tradition that you can take part in. It is said that, if you are able to throw a coin and get it to land on the open book of the Saint Anthony statue, you will soon find a new partner. If you end up meeting your future spouse on holiday, you’ll have a great story to tell! The Saint Anthony statue is located in front of Igreja Santo Antonio, which is a small but historical Roman Catholic church dating back to the 15th century. You can get here by taking a tram from your holiday apartment in Lisbon.

Other popular destinations and neighboring locations

As the capital city, Lisbon is a great entry point in your journey to Portugal for exploring the rest of this scenic country. Ideally located on Portugal’s stunning coastline, Lisbon also has great transport links for exploring the country’s picturesque surroundings. From Lisbon, you can hop on a train from the Rossio station to get to Sintra, a small city praised for its natural beauty – British poet Lord Byron even described it as ‘a heaven on earth’. Located near Mafra, Ericeira is a fabulous seaside resort that is well-known to international surfers. From Sodré station, visitors can also reach Cascais, a charming coastal town about 45min away from Lisbon.

How to get to Lisbon from the UK

The fastest way to get to Lisbon from Great Britain is by plane, and many airlines offer competitive rates for this journey. You can depart from several cities in the UK, including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. If you’d prefer a more off-the-beaten-track journey to Lisbon, consider taking the train. Starting in London, you can take the Eurostar train to Paris, and from there, the high-speed TGV service to Barcelona, which offers ever-changing scenic landscapes. Once in Barcelona, you can take the AVE train to Madrid, where you can book the famous overnight Lusitania ‘train hotel’ to Lisbon, which disembarks in the heart of the city. Once in Lisbon, you can get around easily by train, bus, car, tram, and bicycle.

The best time to book your holiday apartment in Lisbon

The best time to visit Lisbon is during the shoulder months from March until May, or September to October, as the weather is still nice and warm and the ocean temperatures are swimmable. Rates are also reduced in the off season and there are fewer visitors, creating a more quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Holiday apartments in Lisbon and the surrounding area are usually very modern and come equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. TUI Villas offers a wide selection of trusted and reliable holiday homes in Lisbon with secure payment and dedicated support.

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Self-Esteem

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem (And How Would It Help You Anyway)

Good and Bad Self Esteem

You initially think as long as it’s high self-esteem, it’s good, right? After all, isn’t it something most books taught you? “Be confident. Believe in yourself. Believe in what you want. And you will get what you want.” I’m not criticizing the aforementioned statement, on the contrary, that’s what I live by. What I’m talking about here are different spectrums of self-esteem.

Back in the 1980s, the Californian State lawmakers carried out an experiment: They funded a project to help increase the self-esteem level of all the Californian residents. The purpose? Because some books stated that low self-esteem was the root cause of all bad things in society: homicides, robberies, unemployment, abortions, teen pregnancies, low grades. Therefore, in an attempt to lower people’s dependency on drugs, state funds, boost the economy and make the world a better place, the legislators came up with the idea. Self-esteem boosting programs were introduced as part of the education system. Grades were inflated to make the students/pupils feel better about themselves. The result? Not so much promising. In fact, the lawmakers were so disappointed that doubts started to creep in.

How Is Self-Esteem Measured

The scientists currently use the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to measure a person’s self- esteem level. If you want to do a little test on your own self-esteem, head over here: www.health.harvard.edu/mentalextra and complete some simple questions regarding your emotional intelligence.

When Is Self-Esteem a Good Thing?

High self-esteem is what motivates people to achieve great things in life. Studies have shown that people with high self-esteem tend to have less mental or relationship problems. They also have a higher chance of success in life. Why? Because their belief in themselves is so high that they don’t view every challenge appearing on their route to obtaining their goal as a dead-end thing or get de-motivated about defeats. And because they keep on going, they will eventually reach their destination.

If you know that low self-esteem increases your risk of poverty, would you be motivated enough to change yourself? Here’s a simple explanation of the phenomenon: People who have low self-esteem don’t usually believe in themselves or the things they do. They negatively self-talk themselves into believing the negative scenario of the future. And when they don’t think their actions will work out, what do they do? They don’t put in their full efforts, and stop trying on encountering the first challenge (which is inherently part of any goal/process). Thus, they achieve minimal or no results. And there goes the circle again. “I knew this wouldn’t work out!” They told themselves so, reinforcing the low self-esteem that was the root cause of their failure in the first place.

Research has also found out that people with high self-esteem tend to bounce back quicker when undergoing a tough time, and their stress hormone levels tend to return to normal quicker as well.

When Is High Self-Esteem Bad?

When high self-esteem is not justified by reality, it becomes questionable. I would scratch my head in confusion if you continue to feel good about yourself while your life is falling apart around you. If you just focus on feeling good all the time, you will become a delusional narcissist who refuses criticism and chase after feeling good no matter what.

John is a person who is always confident about himself. He tells people about the grand schemes he has for his life. He’s always busy chasing after his dreams. The problem is, he has no facts to back his confidence up. Even though he’s busy building, he hasn’t found success. He sells his dreams to his relatives, friends, and anyone who is willing to listen so as to get them to lend him money to fund his projects. Whenever people criticize him, he refuses to listen and counter-strikes back that they are merely jealous or do not understand his scheme. He spends borrowed money on extravagant things such as expensive dinners to impress partners, newly met people, or girls. He has the need to show off his luxury lifestyle to prove to people how successful he is. But soon, reality will catch up with him. People are tired of asking for their money back time after time and all they got was more bullshit promises from John. He cuts contact with them.

John may not be the intentional con artist, but his narcissistic personality makes him one.

Do you know what’s the most dangerous thing about focusing on feeling high all the time? That you end up chasing after the things that make you feel high, regardless of whether they are meaningful to your life or your goal or not. Surely buying new expensive shoes or designer clothes feels good, but does it help if the price of each item is your entire month’s salary? Surely listening to this song feels good, but does it help you pass your imminent test tomorrow morning, which you haven’t even studied yet because you are busy listening to music?

And to make matters worse, most criminals, sex offenders, and child abusers do not suffer from low self-esteem either. In fact, bullies and psychopaths tend to think highly of themselves.

I feel very strongly that we need to regard self-esteem in a more practical way. Toxic self-esteem will not help you grow as a person. Healthy self-esteem does.

Practice Gratitude

Believe it or not, even when you are at your lowest point, you still have something to be grateful for. Being alive at the moment is among those things. You may not realize because your brain works on autopilot, but breathing in the fresh air and feeling it permeate your body is something beautiful and to be grateful for.

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” 

Charles Dickens

Even if you are feeling totally shitty and wonder what the heck to be grateful for, stop, and think. IS IT REALLY THAT BAD?! Now, rewind your memory a little bit to think of another difficult time that you have been through. How did you overcome it? The last time you encountered a challenge, you thought it was the end of the world, just like this one, right? The funny thing about our brain and perception is we tend to negative-talk ourselves into believing the extreme. If you are a bit of a stuck-up asshole who thinks too highly of yourself, to the point of delusional confidence, you tend to view everything, you, the situation, your talent, your appearance, in a much better light than the reality. The reverse is true for a pessimistic person. That’s why it gets tricky. That’s why next time your brain tells you how terrible or how brilliant you are, counter-question it.

Now, back to the topic of gratitude. What does it have to do with improving self-esteem anyway, you ask. Well, the basic of high self-esteem is the appreciation we have about our self. Since you can only be appreciative of yourself if you are grateful for what you have, who you are, etc. , gratitude does play a part here. Oprah Winfrey had something to say about gratitude. She said that if you are grateful for what you currently have, you will end up with more. If you only focus on the lack of things, sure enough, you will never be happy, no matter how much you have. Happiness is a state of the mind, so it stands to reason that you can instantly feel happy by changing your state of mind. How do I change my state of mind, you ask. By thinking about something good. And researches have shown that just by changing our posture, we can change the way we feel. The next time you feel sad, just straighten up, and smile. You’ll see the difference.

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Off the Beaten Track Travel

Top Off-the-Beaten-Track Routes in South Africa (And How to Plan Your Trip)

If you want an affordable trip where you’ll be able to get up close to the lions, hyenas, elephants, relax in a hut in the middle of a jungle, enjoy enormous feasts days in days out, and get to taste some exotic wines, you definitely need to come to South Africa. The country offers a diverse landscape that changes dramatically when the season changes. After arriving by plane, the best way to explore the country is by car. A well-planned South Africa road trip will offer some of the best moments in your life.

What makes South Africa a great destination for a road trip?

For the intrepid travelers, getting in a car and drive from one point of interest to the next is the joy of the journey. You can drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town and visit countless points of interest on the way, such as the Wild Coast, the Drakensberg Mountains, or Kruger National Park. Road condition is generally good here, and traffic jams are minimal, with the exception of Cape Town.

The best road trips in South Africa

With its changing landscapes, wide-open spaces, and abundance of quirky towns, South Africa will never disappoint you on your South Africa road trip. Here are the top 5 road trip routes in South Africa for your reference.

The Garden Route

The Heads at the entrance to Knysna Lagoon, South Africa, looking north towards the town.

This is by far the most famous road trip route. Tackling the picturesque 200km stretch from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the numerous sublime beaches, beautiful lakes, dense forests, and varied vegetation along the way.

Route 62, Western Cape

Route 62 got its name from the R62 road that brings you to quaint rural towns, mountain farms, lusty green mountains, and lovely vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

The Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

The 350km trajectory will take you from the beautiful coastal city of East London to South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal. Most people spend about 7 days completing this South Africa self-drive road trip.

The Waterberg Meander

The 350km South Africa road trip will take you through the heart of Waterberg Biosphere where you can enjoy an excellent view over the countless Kalahari bush savannah below. And don’t miss the chance to get up close to the animals at Marakele National Park.

The Panorama Route

If you want dramatic vistas and countless walks in pure nature, take the Panorama Route across the Blyde River Canyon where you can enjoy a panoramic view over the whole region, or take a stop at Kruger National Park, one of Mpumalanga’s most famous attractions.

Tips and advice for touring South Africa by car

Start your road trip in South Africa with proper planning. It’s relatively easy to rent a car here, and if you need help organizing your routes, accommodations, and on-the-road visits, the guys at Evaneos can be a great source of information.

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Technology

Getting started with Azure Sentinel – a Cloud-Native SIEM

Microsoft Azure Sentinel is a cloud-native security information event management (SIEM) solution that delivers security threat analysis across multiple platforms. Azure Sentinel tackles the problem that most companies who have gone cloud-based face: cloud security breach. What Azure Sentinel does is that it collects all security data from other applications, both cloud-based and on-premise. This way, you don’t have to switch consoles or log into different programs to keep track of all the threat alerts. Azure Sentinel makes it available to you on one single dashboard. Like any other SIEM, Azure Sentinel allows you to customize use cases of how a threat is defined and reported, as well as whether a response could be automatically applied or not.

Azure Sentinel uses AI which is powered by Microsoft Threat Intelligence, an artificial intelligence database that receives over 6.5 trillion processed signals on a daily basis, therefore, making it the largest security database in the world. By leveraging this powerful resource, Azure Sentinel is capable of detecting threats faster than other SIEMs. No matter how big your enterprise is, this SIEM tool can be seamlessly integrated into the system without modifying existing tools. Azure Sentinel grows as your enterprise grows, with no upper limit on cloud speed and scale.

How to Get Started with Azure Sentinel


It’s extremely simple to integrate Azure Sentinel into your existing system. Azure Sentinel is built on Azure Port, so you just have to navigate to the Azure portal to search for Azure Sentinel. The next step would be to integrate your existing security solution into the cloud-based SIEM. You can import anything that outputs Common Event Format or Syslog logs into Azure Sentinel. On the dashboard, you’ll see a number of one-click setups for certain data connectors such as Microsoft Office 365, AWS, Cisco ASA, Windows Firewall, Palo Alto Networks, etc.

Azure Sentinel has partnered with many security companies who helped build custom dashboards for the platform. For example, Palo Alto Networks has many built-in dashboards for Azure Sentinel that you can easily install upon accessing the connector corresponding to Palo Alto on the main dashboard.

To be able to have a bird’s-eye view of your data, you need to install all the dashboards corresponding to your data sources. Azure Sentinel has made this easy with just a few clicks of a button. After all dashboards have been installed, you can start threat hunting configurations which can be accessed clicking on the Hunting blade from the dashboard. This is where you can configure how Sentinel will detect threats. It already has some built-in log queries that you can use, but you are free to use your custom queries as you see it. Another option is to import the Azure Sentinel Notebooks from Github to access Microsoft’s predefined hunting patterns. You can access it by clicking on the Notebooks blade.

Taking It to the Next Level


Azure Sentinel is not just another SIEM solution. You can empower it with AI by enabling Sentinel Fusion. Sentinel Fusion uses advanced machine learning models for threat detection. Remember what we talked about Microsoft Threat Intelligence earlier? With Fusion, you’ll be able to tap into the power of the largest security dataset on the planet. For example, the AI will try to correlate events from different data sources to see if there’s a pattern indicating threats from the same entity. The AI can also help you automatically decide if your low or medium security events are worth looking into or not. This will save the security analyst precious time not having to micro-manage everything.

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Dropshipping

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