20 Outstanding Architectural Designs From All Over the Globe

Posted by Harshad

20 Outstanding Architectural Designs From All Over the Globe

20 Outstanding Architectural Designs From All Over the Globe

Posted: 14 Jan 2014 07:01 AM PST

As with all other kinds of design work, creating good house designs is no easy task. Fortunately, we won’t be running out of new, impressive architectural designs thanks to the many talented architects all over the world. Besides, we have all the state-of-the-art technologies at our disposal nowadays. It’s really amazing how the boundaries of conventional building designs are constantly being stretched.

Today, we would like to share with you 20 outstanding archtiectural designs from all over the world. From buildings with unusual design themes to a house that stands upside down, each of them is truly a spectacle to behold.

Habitable Polyhedron by Manuel Villa. This unusual polyhedron-shaped house was designed by Colombian architect Manuel Villa with the suburban atmosphere in mind. It’s made mainly of wood, with one wall made of glass. There’s also a round roof window, ensuring a good view of the sky at night.

Kinetic Façade Brisbane Domestic Terminal Car Park. This amazing 8-storey high, 5,000 sq miles of suspended aluminium panels provide shade and natural ventilation to the car park within.

Diamondhouse by XTEN Architecture. This unique house extension with a creative stensil-like design belongs to a house in Santa Monica, California, USA.

UFOGEL: A Spaceship Lodge Lands on the Austrian Alps. This UFO spaceship-like house looks even cooler inside. Made almost entirely of wood, it makes a simply perfect combination with the beautiful East Tyrol landscape.

Disk Office with a Hole by Joseph DiPasquale. Built in Guangzhou, China and just recently completed, this 138-meter-tall structure was designed in the likeness of the ancient Chinese double jade disk.

Apartment Building by Studio Daniel Libeskind. This futuristic-looking apartment building in Berlin, Germany is scheduled for completion next year. Covering 10,000 sq meters, it will house 73 apartment units.

Bloom Aquatic Farm by Sitbon Aarchitectes. Okay this probably won’t be built anytime soon, but it sure is a very interesting concept. It’s basically a phytoplankton farm that tries to cope with global warming by absorbing excess carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen.

Transparent House by by Philip K Smith. By making use of mirrors, LEDs, and other electronics, this house in California creates two optical illusions for onlookers: transparent by day, disco by night.

Floating House by Dymitr Malcew. I bet this would be the ideal home for most nature lovers out there. A house that floats on water, with enough rooms for a small family – it almost seems too good to be true.

The Barbie Dream House. This is it, the ultimate dream house for every Barbie fan. It’s painted almost entirely in pink and has 13 rooms – all with Barbie-inspired designs.

A Modular Hexagonal Home by Barry Jackson. The design of this house was inspired by the structure of a honeycomb. It has 100 sq feet of living space and can be easily expanded depending on your requirements.

The $500 DIY Glass Home by Nick Olson & Lilah Horwitz. Believe it or not, this house in West Virginia was built with just $500. It’s made of wood and recycled glass.

Maruma House by Fernanda Canales. This spacious house is located in a residential area in Mexico City. The idea behind it was to create an open concept house full of overlapping box shapes while keeping it private at the same time.

Rotunda Residence for Series of Spanish Holiday Homes by Johnston Marklee. This is another UFO spaceship-inspired design, with a circular roof and floor. It’s one of the vacation houses for a national park in Spain.

Villa Vals by studio SeARCH & Christian Muller Architect. The most creative aspect of this design is that it’s an attempt to fully build a villa within a natural landscape. The result, as you can see, is truly astonishing.

Crofthouse by James Stockwell Architect. The design of this zinc-clad house in Victoria, Australia was inspired by the shape of a sand dune.

Upside Down Polish Cabin by Daniel Chapevski. Trust me, these photos have not been photoshopped. This upside down house really does exist, in Szymbark, Poland.

Piano House by Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project Co. This is truly amazing; a violin and piano combined to make up a fully functional and elegantly designed building. A must-see for any music lovers who happen to be in Huainan, China.

Blooming Bamboo Home by H&P Architects. H&P Architects from Vietnam have come up with this ingenious design in an effort to cope with floods of up to 3 meters high. The house is made entirely of bamboo.

Unique Bubble Palace by Antti Lovag. Using the shape of bubbles as its design motif, this villa in the Massif de l’Esterel simply looks gorgeous. It also spans almost 13,000 square feet.


Free & Premium Support Ticket Systems – Best Of

Posted: 14 Jan 2014 05:01 AM PST

Customer service has been greatly enhanced with technology and online services, particularly when it comes to handling customer satisfaction. When customers have a problem they can now issue a ticket, bearing their info, details of their problem or requests for a solution, at the service provider’s website to get them to look into their problem.

However, the process of support ticketing is not a one-task process. It involves filing a complaint, sending confirmation emails, assigning the complaint to a member of support staff, analyzing and solving your problem, and updating the records and sending notification emails etc. Companies that have a large customer database should take advantage of support ticket systems to handle their customer problems in a fast, efficient and organized manner.

In this post we will be listing top free and premium support ticket systems which will help you improve your customer support experience. Do check out the features offered and the pricing plans or visit their sites for more information.

Free Ticket Systems

Here are five ticket systems you can download and use for free. They provide various features and support so do pick a ticket system based on your requirements.


osTicket is the most popular open source ticket system and it comes in 2 versions: downloadable and hosted. The downloadable version is free and has to be hosted on your own server. The hosted version, branded as SupportSystem, is a paid ticketing service with the reliability and security of managed cloud-hosting.

[Download | Demo]


HESK is a free help desk software. It has features like ticket submission, attachments, spam protection, email notifications, knowledge base, access restrictions, canned responses, reports and rating, etc.

[Download | Demo]


Spiceworks is a free software suite for IT professionals and companies. It offers many tools to simplify IT work such as network manager, help desk software, questions and answers, etc. Its help desk software is equipped with features such as tickets submission via web portal or email, tickets organization, automating ticketing job, knowledgebase etc.



OTRS is free and open source help desk software. It offers features like ticket management, knowledge management, self-service interface, time accounting, reporting, surveys, access management, etc. Its functionality can also be extended using feature add-ons.


Request Tracker

Request Tracker is a free and open source issue tracking system. It is full of features like dashboard, relationship graphs, mobile-optimized interface, time-tracking and reporting, PGP support for emails, branding and custom theming, knowledgebase etc.


Premium Ticket Systems

Have a budget to spare and want a more heavily supported ticket systems? Check out these premium support ticket systems instead.


Zendesk is a top-of-the-market software suite which is designed to suit the needs of the customer, agent, and manager. Its easy-to-use interface allows customers to submit their tickets via various channels (like website, email, phone, Facebook etc.). Agents can get customer profiles and threaded group conversations and managers can get relevant analytics and reports.

It is available for various mobile devices including Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc.

[Pricing | Demo]


Freshdesk is one of the best premium support ticketing software. You can even get it free for life for 3 support staff under the Sprout plan. Freshdesk is no less than Zendesk in features and simplicity. It is easy to use and easy to manage. Freshdesk enables your customers to effortlessly submit complaint tickets, and provides your support staff with the right tools to manage those complaints easily.


Vision Helpdesk

Vision Helpdesk is a multi-channel web-based helpdesk software. With unique features like Satellite helpdesk, Ticket billing, and Blabby, it stands out of the crowd. It even links separate helpdesks to a central helpdesk. Its features can be extended using modules and app integrations, and it is available for mobile too.

[Pricing | Demo]


HelpSpot is a comprehensive, web-based help desk software. It has plenty of great features like centralized help desk portal, ticket management, filtering, automation, mobile-optimized interface, customer management, time tracking, benchmarking and performance reporting, multi-brand support, etc.

[Pricing | Demo]

JitBit Help Desk

JitBit Help Desk comes in two variants: Web Based Help Desk and SaaS Help Desk. The former can be can be downloaded (upon purchase) and hosted on your server while the latter is hosted remotely in JitBit’s cloud and can be accessed through the Web. It offers features like knowledgebase, reporting, asset-tracking, customizable interface, allows unlimited agents, email integration, etc.

[Pricing | Demo]


Kayako provides unified help desk support and multiple channels to more than 30,000 organizations. Some of its features include tickets through helpdesk or email, routing and prioritizing tickets, reports, feedback and ratings, etc.

[Pricing | Demo]

BMC Track-It!

BMC Track-It! is a fully integrated help desk and asset management solution. It is affordable, easy-to-use, and can provide outstanding support to the customers with features like problem (ticket) management, self-service, mobile capability, knowledge management, dashboard, analytics and reports, etc.


Bonus: Ticket Systems for CMS

WordPress Advanced Ticket System. This ticket system is loaded with features and has two versions. The free version has basic ticketing features, while the premium version gives you more features to handle customer tickets more easily and efficiently. Features can be extended using plugins. [Demo]

Support Ticketing System. Here’s a ticketing system for Drupal. It does not offer many features, only elementary ticketing features like creating tickets, assigning tickets to users, email integration and notifications, ticket overviews, and ticketing activity charts. [Demo]

RSTickets! Pro. This is a premium help desk ticketing system for Joomla. It includes features like ticket creation and management, automatic ticket assignment, performance management, integrated knowledge base, customized email messages, and a dashboard for quick access to all areas of the customer support. [Pricing]


Freelancers: 7 Traits That Make Clients Love You

Posted: 14 Jan 2014 02:01 AM PST

So you have jumped into the world of freelancing, learned about the common problems freelancers face and how to fix them. You’ve learned what to put in your contract, that criticism can help inspire you to improve and become a better freelancer.

After knowing how to manage your reputation as a freelancer, how to use testimonials to win more new clients, how to get rid of the bad habits that destroy a freelancing career, and how to handle different client types like a charm, you probably think everything is set and ready.

And yet it seems that you can’t get your clients to love you enough to keep you on their speed dial. If you are facing this problem, this post may be of some help. We’re going to look at 7 traits you must have to keep clients coming back because in many cases, at the end of the day, good chemistry is the most important part of most client-freelancer relationships.

1. Committed To Professionalism

Commitment is required in any job but freelancers who are clearly committed are the client’s favorite. Is commitment just about deadlines though? No, there’s more to it. It’s about giving your best in every little task, getting to the problem in-depth to find the best solution for the problem at hand.

Clients love freelancers who go the extra mile, are proactive and professionals. With these kinds of freelancers, you never have to instruct them to give their 100%. They think you deserve no less, and are seriously devoted to get the job done.

2. Accepts clients as his boss

Sure, when freelancing, you consider yourself the boss, but in truth, the client is the freelancer’s boss. The freelancer produces work based on the creative brief as provided by the client, and takes payment as provided by the client.

Even if, you don’t see him face to face every day, the client is still the boss. As a freelancer, you must carry that attitude with you, and always be eager to produce work that will make "the boss" happy. At the very least, you have to be respectful of their wishes, opinions and thoughts. And like how you treat any other boss, you will need to learn to tolerate some of the idiosyncracies of clients.

3. assumes The client Is always right

This is far from a phrase you use in mockery. It’s an attitude, a behavioral pattern that culminates in the way you treat your clients, and your work. I have come across freelancers who think they are more knowledgeable than me, who knows better, and are therefore "more" correct. They think my way is neither good enough nor the right way; their way is better.

Safe to say, those relationships did not last long (did you think it would?). I have my reasons for requiring things done a certain way, and I acquired their services because I needed their skills, not so much, their views. A freelancer must understand where their clients are coming from and assist them in achieving their visions, where possible.

4. Has The Ability to surprise

And yet, you have to leave the door open, just a little, for surprises. Clients love those who can surprise them with something new, fresh and unexpected in the project. It can be just about anything that the client has never thought about: a new or a novel way of doing a task, or something surprisingly peachy about the project.

Just make sure the surprises have a positive bearing. Never surprise him with your crazy antics or something that is the total opposite of what they wanted; otherwise, you might be off his list.

5. Handles Mistakes Well

We all make mistakes, as the adage goes, but note that if you make mistakes you should be the one responsible for fixing said mistake. Be smart about it, find a win-win solution that can serve both you and your client. And do it fast, not after it has escalated to a point of no return.

No one likes to be pointed out where they have done something wrong, but we are only human, and we make mistakes even when we try not to. When criticized for a job not-so-well done, accept it, deal with it and let go. Having a huge ego gets you nowhere, especially in a profession where you have to depend on someone else liking your work.

6. A no-Nonsense attitude

Successful freelancers don’t take nonsense or produce nonsense. There is a need to place an invisible gate between freelancer and client. Just because the both of you play the guitar and stay in the same city, don’t think that you are now both best of friends and projects will drop on your lap.

If you expect that, then also start expecting when your clients will turn around and ask for discounts for your services because you guys are best buddies. Doesn’t sound too appealing now, does it? Keep your distance, and you might be able to keep your bills paid.

7. Pick Up Things Fast

A client is expected to be a busy person, that’s the reason he hired you in the first place. He doesn’t have enough time to devote to his projects. So it’s no surprise that clients love freelancers who know what they are doing and who can pick up things fast. If it takes too long a time for you to understand their instructions or their methods, the client may prefer another freelancer who can "get it" faster.

That said, every project offers something new to learn, hence the eagerness to learn has to be there. Otherwise, we would stop learning and won’t ever improve. Some clients love those who have this "I want to learn anything" attitude. It’s way better than a "this is beneath me, let someone else do it" attitude.

Have more traits you’ve seen in successful freelancers? Share them with us in the comments area.


Stream Region-Locked Content Anywhere With Media Hint

Posted: 13 Jan 2014 11:01 PM PST

Let’s face it: region-locked content is really annoying. How many times have you wanted to watch something on the Internet, but were stymied by regional restrictions? More often than you’d like, most probably. Well, this particular annoyance may soon be a thing of the past: say hello to Media Hint.

Media Hint

Media Hint is a free extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that allows you to stream region-locked content anywhere in the world. No need to deal with VPNs or changing your DNS; Media Hint does all of that for you. It’s quick and easy to use, and doesn’t seem to affect your streaming speed and quality too much. Interested? Read on.

Streaming Region-Locked Content

Media Hint is available as both a Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox extension. Note that the Chrome extension isn’t available on the Google Chrome Webstore, so you’ll have to install the Chrome extension manually. It’s pretty easy; the instructions are all available on the website.

Let’s use BBC’s iPlayer as an example. Usually, if you try and watch any of the TV programmes on iPlayer from outside of the UK, you’ll be told that BBC iPlayer TV programmes are only accessible in the UK:

BBC iPlayer Unavailable

Once you have Media Hint installed, though, the message should no longer be there and the video should play normally as if you were in the UK.

BBC iPlayer Playing

BBC’s iPlayer isn’t the only service that Media Hint unblocks. It also works with Hulu. Here’s what you’d usually see if you tried to access Hulu from outside of the United States:

Hulu Blocked

With the Media Hint extension installed, that warning popup is a thing of the past and you can access videos without a problem:

Hulu Playing

What’s more, Media Hint isn’t limited to just video streaming sites; it can also unblock region-locked streaming audio. With it, you can access free streaming radio services such as Slacker:

Slacker Playing


Of course, these aren’t the only streaming media sites that Media Hint will unblock. The thing is, there’s no definitive list out there, so you’ll have to give Media Hint a try yourself to see if it works with the service(s) you have in mind.

Since it’s free and so easy to install, there’s really no reason to not try it out and see. One thing to bear in mind, though, is that Media Hint will not unblock sites if they have been blocked by your ISP or country.


JUMP Cable: A Smart Charging Cable That Doubles As A Battery

Posted: 13 Jan 2014 09:01 PM PST

One of the biggest drawbacks of smartphones is their battery life. That’s the only obstacle to constant connectivity and while the many heavy battery cases and bulky power banks can you help you keep your smartphone powered, sometimes they give you more headaches (remember, they need to be separately charged too) than reprieve in keeping your smartphone up and running.

If you can relate to this, then Native Union’s JUMP Cable might just be the solution to your smartphone-charging problems. The JUMP Cable is a lightweight USB charging cable with a twist: it also has a small self-charging inline battery that should provide your smartphone with some much needed emergency back up power.

What Is The JUMP Cable?

The JUMP Cable is a USB charging cable with an inline 800mAh battery that weighs less than two AA batteries. It is also small enough to fit in your coin pocket. The makers claim that the 800mAh battery is powerful enough to add a third to the battery life of an iPhone 5/5s and is good for nearly 4 hours of talk time or web browsing.

Jump Cable Charging From Laptop

The cable itself works like a normal USB cable: it will charge and sync your phone, and it supports high speed data transfer. One of the most interesting things about the JUMP Cable’s battery is its patented AutoCharge technology. When you plug it into your phone and a power source for charging, the moment the smartphone battery is full, JUMP Cable automatically charges itself.

Jump Cable AutoCharge Technology

The JUMP Cable will also work with wall sockets and car chargers, so you can use it with just about any source you’d normally use to charge your smartphone.

Jump Cable Charging From Wall

The JUMP Cable comes in both Lightning and Micro USB versions. It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter, and a $40 pledge will get you either version if you’re in the United States.

If you’re outside of the United States, you’ll have to add $10 for shipping. The JUMP Cable has already hit its funding goal, so barring any manufacturing issues, you should be recieving your JUMP Cable in May 2014.



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