CALIFORNIA: The Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWCBExpo LA) picked a great time to convene in California, especially since there’s a measure on November’s ballot to legalize recreational…
This New Economy
Google Fiber has slowly been spreading to U.S. cities, and its recent acquisition will bring it to five additional ones. Its goal is to reduce the cost and increase the availability of high-speed internet.
Related: Google Fiber Team Looks to Cut Costs, Staff
Fiber’s development, however, has been slow, to say the least. But this latest acquisition by Google and its new license with the FCC will likely help get the initiative moving a little faster. Here are six things you should know that will help you understand Google Fiber.
Many people assumed Google Fiber would be available in all major cities almost instantly. After all, it was a Google product — and that mega-company essentially has unlimited funds, so everyone expected a fast launch. It’s been the complete opposite, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
The growth of Google Fiber should speed up now that it is focused on 5G. Its acquisition of Webpass, a company that was deeply invested in 5G networks and wireless technology, along with a license granted by the FCC to explore “experimental radio service” in 12 cities over the next 24 months, is a good sign for the future.
2. Cities that currently offer Google Fiber
Google Fiber is currently available in these nine areas:
3. Where Google Fiber will land next
Some cities that have already been confirmed as upcoming Fiber locations include:
Potential locations include:
Related: Chicago and Los Angeles Could Get Google Fiber. And That’s a Very Big Deal for Entrepreneurs.
Some experts have been performing their own research and crunching data to come up with a list of logical cities where Google Fiber might land next.
4. What speed to expect from Google Fiber
Google Fiber speeds are fast — very fast.
A gigabit per second, or 1000 Mbps, is attractive, especially for households that have multiple internet users and devices. Multiple computers, laptops, mobile devices and tablets can really bog down a traditional internet connection.
With Fiber, multiple devices can stream simultaneously without causing any performance issues. If you want to visually understand how fast a gigabit is, check out this video.
5. How much Google Fiber will cost
While the monthly cost of Google Fiber varies depending on what location you are in, each city’s cost is in relatively the same ballpark. For example, if you live in Charlotte, you can get internet plus TV for $130 a month, plus an additional $10 if you want to add Fiber Phone.
These prices don’t include applicable taxes and fees but, relatively speaking, they are affordable for the speed delivered. My current internet/TV/phone package runs more than $160 a month, and I’m definitely not receiving internet speeds of a gigabit per second.
6. What Google Fiber offers in addition to high-speed internet
In addition to a faster internet connection, you can also add Fiber TVand Fiber Phone. TV gives you access to 150+ channels, and with Google Cast built in, you can watch anything on your mobile phone or computer on your TV screen.
Related: AT&T: Google Fiber Demands Government Favors
Fiber Phone, which will add an additional $10 per month to your bill, gives you unlimited nationwide calling. Just as you experience with any phone carrier, you can use your existing number or pick a new one. Google also offers its users spam-filtering, something that I personally believe to be worth the $10 — by itself.
The U.S. cannabis market is very promising. It’s so exciting that thousands of industry movers and observers descended upon theCannabis World Congress and Business Exposition on Sept. 7 in Los Angeles, to share their ideas and developments in the cannabis space.
There was some talk at the four-day event about how American marijuana producers are behind the curve in terms of farming innovation. American investors are putting big money into cannabis retail futures, but even bigger money is going to high-tech cannabis farming in other countries. Israel, for example, has been labeled “The World’s Cannabis Research Leader” where companies like Philip Morris have made a significant investment.
Cannabis Industry Talks Diversity This Week At Cannabis World Congress LA
CALIFORNIA: The Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWCBExpo LA) picked a great time to convene in California, especially since there’s a measure on November’s ballot to legalize recreational…
This New Economy
“Every business can touch the future cannabis economy,” says Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of iCAN, a Beit Shemesh, Israel-based marijuana startup accelerator and consultancy. “If you’re a marketer, if you’re an online guru, if you are a tech person, if you want to develop a drug, a prescription medication, if you want to develop grow-tech, everything can be developed into this new economy.”
Research in this space in Israel centers largely on developing the potential of medical marijuana and its derivatives for mass production and distribution. Such focus could lead to a synthetic with no need for agro-farming. Despite that direction, research will produce valuable bits and pieces that others may adapt to cannabis farming and harvesting.
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Under the radar, bootstrapped amateur farming methods continue to rule in the U.S. However, the launch of Newport Beach, Calif.-based cannabis agricutlure startup Terra Tech Corp. the first publicly-traded medical marijuana producer, and the continued government-contracted medical marijuana research at the University of Mississippi, could lead to standardizing methods, processes and quality.
What Does It Take?
The high-tech challenge is to produce large quality crops indoors where lighting, climate and cultivation often present problems. Cultivation, growth and harvesting require close watch, continuous monitoring and pricey equipment. High-tech cannabis farming also means planning for space, soil composition, energy cost and climate control. Choices are additionally influenced by square footage, market potential and scale of production.
A large number of operations are using farm technologies that have been developed for other agra-industries, such as large-scale food production. “There are technologies in climate control, soil management, nutrient applications, integrated pest management and the like, all being used in both large-scale food production and large-scale cannabis cultivation,” said Rachel Gillette, a Denver-based marijuana regulatory compliance attorney and shareholder with the law firm Greenspoon Marder.
The High-Tech Alternative
One advanced technology marijuana-growing alternative is hydroponics. Hydroponic systems let you grow cannabis without soil. Plants are rooted in nutrient-rich water in any number of configurations. Among these are:
Active systems: Programmed mechanical systems feed the cannabis roots.
Aeroponics hydro grow: This suspends seedlings above a dark growth chamber set at 100 percent humidity to maximize the oxygen and nutrients absorbed.
For a business of any size, having a custom iPhone or iPad app developed is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. Typically a far more cost-effective, versatile, and efficient solution is to develop a custom database using FileMaker Pro 13 and then grant employees access to it from an iOS mobile device using the FileMaker Go app.
In fact, the latest editions of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server, as well as the companion FileMaker Go app, work even more seamlessly together and can provide customized database management solutions to companies in a wide range of industries.
FileMaker’s main attraction, especially for small businesses, is the capability to quickly and inexpensively create highly customized and branded solutions for handing a diverse range of tasks.
To see a small sampling of what’s possible using the FileMaker platform in conjunction with the FileMaker Go app, FileMaker has created a demonstration website.
As you’ll discover, most tasks that previously involved completing or accessing information from paper-based forms, spreadsheet data, and/or that required any type of data collection can now easily be handled using a custom database created with FileMaker Pro and accessed using FileMaker Go.
Companies have implemented FileMaker-based solutions related to point-of-sale applications (that involve processing credit card payments and capturing signatures in the field); time management and scheduling; guest list management for events, sales and customer management; Customer Relationship Management (CRM); invoicing; inventory; asset management; resource scheduling; project management; time billing; and on-site job estimates.
Using FileMaker Go with an iOS mobile device enables information to be collected and shared from anywhere—whether it involves manually entering data using a mobile device’s touch screen and virtual keyboard, capturing signatures on the touch screen, taking photos using one of the mobile device’s built in cameras, or scanning barcodes.
The same FileMaker Go app can also access and display data from a centralized database, or present customized reports on an iPhone or iPad’s screen.
When FileMaker Go is used, everything is managed from a secure server, and the FileMaker platform offers total control over who has access to what data. As a result, it’s never before been so easy to automate a wide range of tasks and ensure that everyone in a company or on a team can access the precise information they need, when and where they need it.
It’s important to understand that there are countless stand-alone database applications available for the iPhone or iPad, as well as for Macs and PCs. Many of them offer some level of customizability, but this is often limited. Plus, each database on each device or platform typically needs to be managed separately, even though it’s often possible to sync data between devices and platforms.
FileMaker has changed this database management approach entirely, allowing for one database to be custom created and then securely accessed by PCs, Macs, and iOS mobile devices, or any web browser.
FileMaker, as a company, is a subsidiary of Apple. The FileMaker database platform has been around since 1998, and has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide for PCs and Macs. The latest edition of FileMaker Pro, which was released in December 2013, represents a major evolution in the platform, with greater emphasis on ease-of-use, flexible design, as well as mobile device and online integration.
FileMaker Pro 13 offers more than 50 new features, including major improvements to its database design tools that require far less training to use than ever before.
The ability to access FileMaker databases remotely using an iPhone or iPad has allowed companies to envision and implement entirely new ways in which this database platform can be used to collect and disseminate information. In fact, as of February 2014, more than one million copies of the FileMaker Go app have been downloaded from the App Store for use in conjunction with FileMaker Pro 13 and FileMaker Server.
Now, within just a few hours, any company can use FileMaker Pro 13 to create a customized database solution that will be fully compatible with PCs, Macs, and iOS mobile devices, and also be accessible online. Yet, all data remains encrypted and secure.
FileMaker Pro 13 continues to be a complex application that has a learning curve associated with it. However, a wide range of free and fee-based training materials are readily available in book, online, and video form. Once a custom database solution is created, it can be accessed and used by anyone with ease and virtually no training.
FileMaker Pro 13 includes 16 predesigned templates that can be fully customized to meet a company’s most popular database-related needs. Using one of these templates speeds up the “getting started” process. However, someone who understands how to use the FileMaker platform can just as easily create a fully customized and highly complex database application from scratch using the latest collection of tools that’s offered.
Pre-existing data from a spreadsheet, contact management, or scheduling application, for example, can easily be imported into a FileMaker database, typically by using a drag-and-drop method. Manual data entry to populate a newly created database with pre-existing data is seldom necessary.
Using FileMaker’s built-in design tools, once data is imported into the FileMaker platform, customized solutions for displaying and working with the data, from a computer, an online-based FileMaker application, or an iOS mobile device (using the FileMaker Go app) is a straightforward task that’s literally as easy as filling out or reading a form.
A database’s custom fields can be set up to accept and manage text, numbers, dates, or other types of content, including photos, documents, or videos. This is done by creating a database form that takes just minutes to create using FileMaker’s intuitive drag-and-drop method.
A database form can be created so it’s accessible from computers and/or mobile devices, meaning that forms can easily be set up to accept touch-based interactions, as well as signature captures from an iPad, for example.
Once a custom database solution is created using FileMaker Pro 13, it can be uploaded to the cloud-based FileMaker Server, and become an online-based application that’s secure but accessible from anywhere.
The FileMaker Go app can then be used to access and manage the database from anywhere by using an iPhone or iPad. As new data is entered, the entire database gets updated instantly, so everyone is always working with the most up-to-date data, whether they’re sitting at their desk, working from home, visiting with clients, or working in the field.
Using FileMaker Is Extremely Affordable
The FileMaker platform is priced based on the number of users who will be using it. An individual FileMaker Pro 13 license is priced starting at $329.00 (although per-month pricing, starting at $9.00 per user, is available). This allows a database to be created and managed from a PC or Mac.
To add the online component and FileMaker Go compatibility, FileMaker Server 13 is required. Access is billed on a monthly basis, starting at $29.99 per month (for up to five users). The FileMaker Go app, which is used to work with existing databases (not for creating them), is available for free from the App Store.
Are you experiencing difficulty spending a monthly bill today? Do you need some more bucks to help you get from the 7 days? A payday advance could be what you require. Should you don’t understand what that is, it is actually a short-expression loan, which is effortless for many individuals to acquire. Even so, the following tips inform you of some things you have to know initially.
When you are considering taking out a payday advance to repay an alternative credit line, end and ponder over it. It might wind up pricing you drastically more to use this method over just having to pay past due-transaction service fees at stake of credit rating. You will be saddled with financial charges, software charges as well as other fees that are connected. Think long and challenging should it be worthwhile.
As an alternative to wandering in to a retailer-top payday loan middle, go online. When you enter into a loan retail store, you might have not any other prices to compare from, and the people, there may do anything they can, not to enable you to abandon until finally they indication you up for a mortgage loan. Visit the net and perform required research to get the lowest monthly interest lending options prior to deciding to go walking in. You will also find on the internet companies that will match up you with payday creditors in your town..
When looking for a payday advance vender, investigate whether or not they really are a direct financial institution or perhaps an indirect loan provider. Direct loan companies are loaning you their own capitol, whereas an indirect loan provider is in the role of a middleman. The services are possibly every bit as good, but an indirect loan provider has to obtain their cut as well. Which means you shell out a better interest rate.
Be sure to try looking in all areas to get the best charges on interest. You can find pay day creditors on the web and in genuine shops around where you reside. These bank loan businesses keep their costs very low to obtain your company. Many creditors provide first-time consumers a price reduction. Evaluate and comparison cash advance costs and alternatives before you choose a loan provider.
When identifying when a cash advance fits your needs, you need to understand that the sum most online payday loans allows you to use is not too much. Generally, the most money you can get from a payday advance is approximately $one thousand. It may be even reduce in case your revenue is just not too much.
The word of many paydays lending options is approximately 14 days, so ensure that you can pleasantly pay off the financing because period of time. Failure to repay the money may lead to high-priced charges, and fees and penalties. If you feel that you will discover a probability which you won’t be capable of pay out it back again, it can be finest not to take out the cash advance.
When looking for a payday loan, ensure that every piece of information you give is accurate. Quite often, things such as your employment historical past, and home might be approved. Make sure that your entire information is correct. You can prevent acquiring declined for your personal payday advance, leaving you powerless.
Assume the payday loan firm to call you. Every single business must confirm the data they acquire from each individual, and that signifies that they need to speak to you. They should talk to you face-to-face just before they say yes to the money. As a result, don’t provide them with a amount that you in no way use, or apply while you’re at work. The more it will require for them to speak to you, the longer you must wait for the money.
Avoid making decisions about payday cash loans from a placement of worry. You may be during a monetary crisis. Believe long, and hard before you apply for a cash advance. Keep in mind, you need to pay it back, additionally fascination. Ensure you will be able to do that, so you do not create a new problems for yourself.
When you are picking a company to get a cash advance from, there are various significant things to be aware of. Make certain the organization is signed up with all the state, and follows express suggestions. You should also look for any grievances, or the courtroom process in opposition to every single firm. Furthermore, it contributes to their reputation if, they are in running a business for several many years.
In case you are personal-used, guaranteed personal personal loans could be a better option than payday loans. This is because payday cash loans are certainly not generally given to those who utilize themselves. Since these loan companies call for confirmation that you have standard earnings, the volatile the outdoors of independent cash flow means that you probably won’t be able to demonstrate your ability to cover the financing rear.
If you find that you will be often obtaining payday loans, treat the root reason behind why this is going on! Payday loans can help you in the short term.Over time they are able to really kill your individual finances, should you be not very careful. Determine the reasons you maintain requiring these lending options, Try to altering the issues associated with it.
With any luck ,, you may have found the data you required to achieve a determination regarding a potential cash advance. All of us need a little bit support a while and whatever the original source you ought to be an educated customer before making a dedication. Look at the suggestions you might have just study and choices meticulously.
In recent days, Dr. Tom Insel, M.D., left his post as chief of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, a position that made him the nation’s top mental health physician. A neuroscientist and psychiatrist, Insel is a leading authority on both medicinal and public policies that are necessary to deal with mental problems. Although he’s leaving his government job at 64 years of age, he isn’t retiring; the UK Telegraph reports he’s going to work for Google.
Insel will be working for Google Life Sciences, one of the more unusual divisions of the tech and media behemoth. He is going to apply his expertise investigating how technology can be employed to help diagnose and treat mental health conditions, according to a blog post at the National Institutes of Health.
The company that has been busted repeatedly for fraud and other abusive practices now wants to get into the “business” of repairing minds. What could go wrong?
“Wearable” technology is key to Google’s new mind endeavor
Then again, Google is merely launching into a technological field other companies have already entered. Apple, IBM and Intel are among those exploring the same field, the Telegraph reported, adding:
IBM this year carried out research with Columbia University that suggested computer analysis of speech patterns can more accurately predict the onset of psychosis than conventional tests involving blood samples or brain scans. Other researchers theorize that a person’s internet search history or even shopping habits (so handily recorded by your innocuous loyalty card) can identify the first signs of mental illness. Computers can now tell when something is about to go terribly wrong in someone’s mind.
As scary as that technology is in and of itself, the manner in which researchers like Insel want to utilize the technology ought to raise even more alarms and questions.
There is no question that wearable technology is growing in popularity and use, and that is especially true when it comes to wearable medical technology. Think about devices like Fitbits, which are used by a growing number of people who want to track their physical activity. Even some businesses and corporations are offering them to employees at discounted prices or for free because they see long-term cost benefits such as lower health insurance/health care costs from their use by employees. These devices also monitor movements, pulse rates, sleep patterns and more.
Using technology to self-monitor has benefited health care by allowing patients to electronically transmit their health conditions in real time, reducing the number of routine and expensive medical consultations with providers and ensuring a faster response to changes in health that require intervention and attention.
Therefore, it is highly likely that self-monitoring will also begin to play a larger role in public health, and governments seeking reductions in taxpayer-supported expenditures will likely adopt them.
However, with these devices in use in both the private and public sectors – in which they might eventually become requirements of insurance companies and government agencies – the wearers will be in danger of having all of their activities monitored.
What if you want to sneak in an extra beer or glass of wine? That will be monitored. How about a sinful snack? The extra glucose will show up. Imagine the possibilities.
Constant tracking is inherent in all new Google technology
Apply this concept to mental health. What happens when mental health monitoring technology registers periods of anger and depression, perhaps because you’re having a bad few weeks at work or someone in your family is sick or has passed away? What happens if you and your spouse fight too often, or your kids have become teenagers and are harder to discipline than before?
We have already seen the Obama administration pushing for new gun control restrictions with veterans who need help managing their finances.
“…[W]earable technology allows continuous monitoring. A small portable device might monitor your tone of voice, speech patterns and physical movements, picking up the early signs of trouble. A device such as a mobile telephone,” the Telegraph notes.
Google is obviously working with government to assist in the implementation of total control over the world’s population. There can be no denying that; every new technology developed by the tech behemoth is dual-use and always includes the ability to monitor personal activity and behavior.
One search site, however, is not interested in tracking you, tracing your footsteps or monitoring your personal habits: Good Gopher, the world’s first privacy-protecting search engine that bans corporate propaganda and government disinfo.
If you want to simplify your daily investing ventures, then I truly believe that you need to have a few of the right apps to help you along the way. The right app can simplify investing, help you stay connected with the outside world and expedite the entire trading process for you. Here are four of the best investing apps for any trader to consider.
1. iPhone’s stock app.
Let’s start with the basics. The iPhone’s basic default stock tracking app is actually a pretty good tool that you can use to keep an eye on the major indices throughout the day as well as select stocks in your portfolio. This isn’t an app that you should be using to do analysis and make buy or sell decisions. But it will help you keep your finger on the pulse of the market no matter where you are. The top mistake investors make is not checking in with the market frequently enough. That’s how small losses become major losses. So even when you’re away from your desk or do not have access to a trading dashboard, even a simple tool like this could save you a lot of money.
Related: How to Find Your Perfect Investor Match With the Axial App
If you haven’t tried the eTrade app to manage all of your trades, then it is time that you start. This app is super convenient and it puts all of the wealth-building tools you need right at your fingertips. When you want to make quick trades on-the-go, this is one of the tools I suggest you turn to. Plus, it is filled with tons of information and analysis features to help you make smart decisions.
When I need a program that can help with scanning stocks and examining charts, I use StockToTrade. This software program claims to be powerful enough for a hedge-fund, but that it’s built for the average Joe investor and in all reality, I agree with them. I love this software program. It is super powerful, it’s easy for my students to use and it’s easy for me to use when I need to make huge trades from my home office or whenever I’m traveling. StocksToTrade also has scans for news as it relates to trading setups and patterns. One of my favorite features is being able to sort stocks based on a multitude of characteristics such as share price, market cap, etc. The pre-programmed scans for certain trade setups also make it very easy to build a trading strategy.
Related: 5 Rules for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Get Rich Trading Stocks
When it comes to the tools I rely on most for investing, there is nothing quite like Entrepreneur.com. This is a prime example of it being about more than just apps, this site simply makes it easier for me to invest. I truly believe that investing without knowledge is risky. This is why I am always reading and always finding out new information. I spend a lot of time studying the articles on Entrepreneur to see what is happening in business.
And now, for the one app that I don’t use…
5. Robinhood free broker app.
I am always willing to look at different apps in order to find programs that can help me in my everyday investing ventures. Some apps are great, others are just OK, but this app is one that I simply won’t use. I warn all of my students against using the Robinhood app, for a few reasons. This app has bad executions, weak short-selling options and it tries to lure people in by being “free.” Be careful with this one. Plus, there are no after-hours trading. In my opinion, it is better to just pay for quality.
Facebook is more than just the largest social-media platform on the planet. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based behemoth also uses its vast resources to help app developers make super-smart products.
If you haven’t already, say hello to Facebook Analytics for Apps. Since launching in 2015, more than 800,000 unique apps have used the service. And for good reason.
Facebook recently added web measurement and cross-platform analytics to the service’s growing stable of services. Leveraging demographics and rich audience insights from Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, the service offers developers a simple, streamlined way to understand the people who use their native mobile apps, desktop web and mobile web presences.
With that knowledge, developers can optimize the customer experience and reach them more effectively. Facebook Analytics for Apps goes beyond the usual stats like age and gender to provide anonymized and aggregated audience information including job titles, education level and even what Facebook Pages your customers like.
“Driving retention, engagement and conversion are important [for developers] and we wanted to lean on our expertise and infrastructure to help partners with the full set of growth tools,” says Facebook Product Manager Josh Twist.
“We have a saying to ‘think people, not devices,’” he continues. “If you’re not looking at a cross-platform picture to understand how individuals are using multiple devices then you’re not fully understanding user behavior.”
And it’s 100 percent free to use. You don’t need to use Facebook Login or any other of the company’s products to start developing smarter apps with Facebook Analytics for Apps.
Here, Twist talks about three tools within Facebook Analytics for Apps that highlight the service’s power to help developers create smarter apps and grow their businesses:
Cohorts: User retention is one of the most important parts of a developer’s growth strategy. As Twist says, “Without good retention you’re just pouring new customers into a leaky bath.”
The cohorts tool allows product teams to understand the retentive qualities of any event. For example, you can answer questions like “for a person who made a purchase in their first week as a user, how likely are they to return to the product in the following weeks?” Or, “how likely are they to make another purchase?”
“You can see this data by cohort which allows you to see how changes you make to your app are improving your retention over time,” Twist says. With cohorts, you also can see how the lifetime value of customers improves as you make improvements to your product.
Funnels: For product teams, funnels is a common concept that helps them understand how customers are moving through their key processes, such as registration, completing a share or checking out.
“With the introduction of cross-platform analytics, we can help you understand how individuals are moving through these processes across multiple devices,” Twist explains. “By understanding where people drop off or struggle in your funnel, you can test improvements to your product experience at those specific points and help improve conversion.”
Global personal computer shipments declined for the eighth consecutive quarter, marking the longest downturn in PC history.
Worldwide sales totaled 68.9 million units in the third quarter of 2016 — a 5.7 percent drop from the same time last year, according to Gartner. The research firm cited manufacturers’ “many challenges,” including weak back-to-school demand and lessening appeal among the consumer market, especially in emerging areas.
“There are two fundamental issues that have impacted PC market results: the extension of the lifetime of the PC caused by the excess of consumer devices, and weak PC consumer demand in emerging markets,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal Gartner analyst, said in a statement.
Most people own and use at least three different types of devices, she continued, adding that “the PC is not a high priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade … as often as they used to.
“Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again,” Kitagawa said.
For now, Lenovo is the top PC maker with 20.9 percent of the market, followed closely by HP with 20.4 percent; Dell pulls up the rear with 14.7 percent. But while Lenovo is in the midst of a six-quarter slump, HP and Dell have recorded shipment growth since Q2. Rounding out the top five are Asus (7.8 percent), Apple (7.2 percent) and Acer (6.7 percent). Gartner’s data covers desktops, laptops and ultra-mobile (Microsoft Surface) PCs; Chromebooks and iPads were not considered.
And while mobile PCs — notebooks, 2-in-1s, Windows tablets — showed single-digit year-over-year growth, the overall results were marred by a decline in desktop shipments, according to Kitagawa.
In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 16.2 million units in the third quarter — a 0.3 percent decline from the same period last year. “With so many PCs already in the consumer market, U.S. consumers do not feel the need to buy new PCs; many parents hand down old PCs to their kids,” Kitagawa said.
The U.S. did, however, see an uptick in Q2 shipments, according to July reports, which tipped the country’s growth at almost 5 percent, according to IDC; Gartner suggested a more conservative, but still positive, 1.4 percent.
Lithium-based batteries have been powering our portable devices for 25 years.
But consumer demand for smaller, longer lasting devices is forcing manufacturers to push the technology, battery experts say, testing the limits of how much energy they can safely pack into smaller spaces.
“A battery is really a bomb that releases its energy in a controlled way,” says Qichao Hu, a former researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of SolidEnergy Systems, a battery startup.
“There are fundamental safety issues to all batteries, and as you get to higher energy density and faster charge, the barrier to explosion is less and less.”
On Tuesday, Samsung Electronics scrapped its flagship Note 7 smartphone and told customers return their devices after weeks of bruising reports of phones igniting and images of scorched handsets.
In early September, the world’s largest smartphone maker blamed “a very rare manufacturing process error” for the problems. It has said it is still investigating reports of fires in a second, supposedly safe, batch of phones.
Exactly what caused the problems will be the subject of detailed studies by regulators, the company and its suppliers.
Experts are baffled by what could be causing the overheating in the replacement phones, if not the batteries. Samsung says it would be “premature to speculate” on the outcome of its investigations.
“We are reviewing every step of our engineering, manufacturing and quality control processes,” Samsung said in an emailed response toReuters.
An official at the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, which is also investigating, said the fault in the replacement devices might not be the same as the problem in the original product.
Both Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Ltd., which supply batteries to Samsung Electronics, declined to comment.
Samsung’s Note 7 crisis may be its biggest, but the problems with lithium-ion are not new.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued recalls for battery packs, snow blowers, hoverboards, flashlights and power recliners in the past year, all because of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.
In 2013, Boeing was forced to ground its entire fleet of advanced 787 jetliners after some lithium-ion batteries caught fire. The fleet was allowed to resume flights after changes were made to the battery and charger, and to better contain battery fires.
“We remain confident in the comprehensive improvements made to the 787 battery system following this event, and in the overall performance of the battery system and the safety of the airplane,” Boeing said in 2014 after an investigation into one incident.
Lithium is the lightest of all metals, and can pack a lot of energy into a small volume — making it perfect for batteries.
The market has grown from a few hundred million cells in 2000 to 8 billion last year, according to Albemarle, a U.S. chemical company.
But for the same reason, lithium-ion batteries need safety mechanisms built in, adding to production costs.
And with prices falling 14 percent per year for the past 15 years, according to Albemarle, smaller scale players have scrimped on safety, says Lewis Larsen, CEO of Lattice Energy, a consultancy.
There is no evidence Samsung or its battery suppliers cut corners with the Note 7, and Tony Olson, CEO of consultancy D2 Worldwide, said the problem was not limited to cheaper products.
He ran tests on batteries in laptops a decade ago, highlighting the dangers of them catching fire. Some 9.6 million Sony Corp. laptop batteries were subsequently recalled.
But when Olsen repeated the tests on other laptop batteries seven years later he found that “very little had changed in battery safety design, despite being under tremendous scrutiny.”
Sony, HP Inc., Toshiba Corp. and Panasonic Corp. have all recalled laptop battery packs this year over fire hazards, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Panasonic, which supplied the batteries, said the problem was caused by manufacturing issues which it had now resolved.
there’s still no clear indication when or if Microsoft will release a version of Office for the iPhone and iPad. However, if you’re a PowerPoint user or if you have the need to create, edit, and/or present digital slide shows using your mobile device, Apple’s own Keynote app offers a viable solution.
Keynote is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint. This means that if you create a presentation on your PC or Mac using PowerPoint, you can import it into Keynote on your iOS mobile device in order to review, edit, or present it to a group. It’s also possible to export a presentation from Keynote using the PowerPoint format.
This import or export process can be done with iCloud, the online version of Keynote that’s available for free on iCloud.com, email, iTunes Sync, or by using another compatible cloud-based service. When PowerPoint presentations are created on another computer and imported into your iPhone or iPad, or created on your iOS mobile device and exported to a computer, you may run into minor compatibility issues related to fonts, animations, and slide transitions. Some—but not all—of these issues have been resolved within version 2.1 of Keynote for iOS, which was released on January 23, 2014.
During the import/export process, minor formatting issues typically fix themselves automatically, but it’s important to review your presentation carefully before presenting it to others.
For example, if the presentation was created using a font that’s not installed on the computer or mobile device being used to view it, a substitute font will be used, and a warning message is displayed during the import process. This substitute font might alter a slide’s layout and appearance, requiring manual adjustments to be made.
The good news is that Keynote for the iPhone/iPad is fully compatible with Keynote for the Mac and also with the online edition of Keynote that can be run from iCloud.com.
Creating a Keynote Presentation Begins by Choosing a Theme
The redesigned user interface used by Keynote offers a more streamlined design. Upon launching the app and accessing the Library screen (which displays the presentations stored within the app), you can begin creating a new presentation from scratch simply by tapping the plus sign icon that’s displayed in the top-left corner of the screen on the iPad, or by tapping the Create Presentation thumbnail that’s displayed in the main area of the Library screen, along with your other presentations (see Figure 1).
The Choose A Theme screen is displayed next (see Figure 2). From here, choose one of the 30 predesigned slideshow themes built into the app. A theme allows you to choose an overall design and color scheme for your presentation work with a series of blank slide templates that fit into that theme. Any of the app’s themes and individual slide templates can be customized as you’re developing or editing a presentation.
If you’re working on a business presentation, choose a theme that’s best suited for your presentation’s topic and audience. As a general rule, keep it simple so you don’t accidentally distract your audience from your intended content using visual eye candy.
Plenty of Third-Party Themes are Available
Choosing an appropriate theme sets the tone of your entire presentation for your audience. If the app’s selection of themes isn’t enough, visit the App Store, and within the Search field, enter the keywordKeynote. A selection of third-party theme and slide template options are offered.
For example, Templates for Keynote Pro ($4.99) offers an additional assortment of 40 customizable themes. Each theme includes preformatted slides for displaying text, bulleted lists, tables, pictures, charts, diagrams, and/or quotes.
The optional Templates for Keynote Presentations ($3.99) app expands your selection of themes, but also includes a handful of new slide transition effects and a graphics library that makes it easier to create impressive 3-D charts as well as eye-catching tables and diagrams.
The Templates for Keynote (for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) app ($1.99) includes a selection of 55 templates, each with a unique collection of preformatted slides that can be imported into the Keynote app and used just like one of the app’s built-in themes.
For an additional collection of 60 optional themes for Keynote, the optional Still Themes for Keynote app ($2.99) is also available. Many of these themes are visually simple, making them ideal for business presentations.
The optional Toolbox for Keynote app (free) gives your iPhone or iPad access to online-based themes, slide templates, clip art, stock photography, bullet graphics, and other assets that can be downloaded and incorporated into a Keynote presentation. Individual in-app purchases (priced between $0.99 and $9.99) are required to gain access to some of the content that’s available for download. To access this content, the smartphone or tablet must have Internet access. To access the entire app’s content, the Toolbox for Keynote app can be fully unlocked for a one-time fee of $29.99.
Separate third-party add-ons for the Keynote for Mac app are available from the Mac App Store. If one of these themes, for example, is added to a presentation that’s created on a Mac and then transferred to an iPad, it will typically work fine on all computers and mobile devices with which the presentation is ultimately viewed.
If you’ve created your own template from scratch, or have done a lot of customizations to an existing template or theme and know you’ll want to use it again, the free Template Saver (for Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) app allows you to save the template or theme and allow it to appear within the Choose A Theme screen of the Keynote app in the future, so you have easy access to it.
Choose the Best Way to Convey Your Information
The trick to creating a great presentation is to begin by sitting down and determining exactly what information you want to convey within each of your slides and then choose the best way to present that information visually, based on the slide formats available to you.
In some cases, using a slide that displays text will help you to emphasize an important point. When using text within a Keynote presentation, keep the number of words displayed on the screen at once to a minimum (see Figure 3).
You need to make sure that the audience will be able to visually see the text that’s displayed, but not have to focus too much on trying to read each word while also listening to what’s being said. Figure 4 shows a slide that is very text-intensive, which could deflect the audience’s attention away from what the speaker is saying.
Often, bulleted lists are an effective way to share text-based information with your audience. When creating a bulleted list, include no more than five bullets per slide, and keep each bullet short.
It’s often appropriate to use sentence fragments instead of complete sentences within a bulleted list. Thanks to formatting features built into Keynote, instead of using dots as your bullets, it’s possible to choose from a wide range of graphic symbols and then customize the color and appearance of the bullet graphic using visual effects (such as a drop-shadow).
Add Graphics, Photos, Charts, and Graphics to Your Presentation
Using one or two photos or clip art images within a single slide can sometimes help you convey a particular point. Many individual slide templates offer designs for easily incorporating graphics with text.
As you create or edit any slide, adding a graphic or digital photo that’s already stored within your mobile device is very easy. On the iPad, simply tap the plus sign icon that’s displayed near the top-right corner of the screen and then tap the Photos, Table, Chart, Text, or Shape tab (see Figure 5).
Depending on which tab you select, a related submenu is then displayed. For example, tapping the Photos tab enables you to choose a digital image, video clip, or piece of clip art; resize it; position it within your slide; and then add a visual effect or animate the photo’s appearance or disappearance from your slide that’s seen during the presentation. To do this, after the photo is sized and positioned, tap it once so a blue frame with resizing dots is displayed around it.
Next, tap the Animate tab that appears just above the image. To further customize the image’s appearance, tap the Formatting icon (which looks like a paintbrush). It’s found near the top-right corner of the screen. Tap the Style tab to add a custom frame, border, or drop-shadow around the image. To edit or replace the image, tap the Image tab. To flip the image horizontally or vertically, or reposition the image so it is displayed in front of or behind other elements within the slide, tap the Arrange tab.
The trick to capturing and keeping the attention of your audience when giving a presentation is to share what would otherwise be boring or confusing information in an entertaining and easy-to-understand way. In some situations, using tables, charts, and/or graphs within a presentation can be a valuable tool.
Keynote allows you to create colorful and customized tables with the number of columns and rows you need. It’s just as easy to incorporate colorful 2D or 3D charts into a slide and then animate them or make them interactive. Again, the goal is to present information is a way that’s easy for your audience to visually digest while the presenter is speaking.
Jazz Up a Presentation Using Animations and Slide Transitions
Among the features built into Keynote is the capability to animate elements within each slide. So, with a tap on the screen or a click on your remote control that’s being used to control the presentation as it’s being given, you can have specific elements within your slide appear, move, or disappear using an animated visual effect.
Built into Keynote are more than 25 Build In effects, any of which can be added to an element in a slide to make it appear on command in a visually interesting way.
The app also offers an equal number of Build Out effects used to make an element within a slide disappear in a visually interesting and animated way. Each element within a slide, such as text, a bulleted point, a photo, or a chart or graph, for example, can be controlled separately using Build In and Build Out effects that are controlled manually or that happen automatically once each slide is displayed.
Animated effects within slides can be used to emphasize information and add visual flare to a slide. However, if overused, these effects can become visually distracting and take away from the professional quality of a presentation.
Another way to visually jazz up a presentation is to use animated slide transitions, which determine what’s seen as the presenter moves from one slide to the next.
To add or edit slide transitions, tap the Tools icon. It looks like a wrench and is also displayed near the top-right corner of the iPad’s screen. Then tap the Transitions and Builds menu option. For each slide thumbnail that’s displayed along the left margin of the screen, tap the plus sign within the arrow icon that’s seen to the left of the selected thumbnail in order to add or edit a transition.
When the Transition pop-up menu appears, tap the Effects tab to choose between several dozen animated slide transition effects. You can also use the Magic Move option, which allows you to move one element from a slide into the following side using an animated effect. Once a Transition is added, tap the Options tab (seen at the bottom of the Transitions menu) to customize a transition effect’s appearance and timing.
One way to make a presentation more visually interesting is to use different transition effects in between each slide. Another option is to use the same transition for all slides related to a specific topic, but then switch transitions each time you move onto another topic.
If you’re spending very little time displaying each slide, a very simple transition or no transition at all should be used. Otherwise, you could slow down the pace of your presentation and provide too much visual distraction. Ideally, one slide should be used every 2 to 3 minutes during your presentation, and the goal should be to emphasize what’s being said by the presenter.
Gene editing is now considered a national security threat alongside cyberattacks and nuclear weapons. That is, at least according to the government’s latest annual report on national security threats. The report listed gene editing as a technology that, “probably increases the risk of the creation of potentially harmful biological agents or products.”
Back in 2012, a popular gene editing method known as CRISPR, or “gene drive,” surfaced, which enabled researchers to change the DNA of almost any organism with ease. CRISPR tools target, cut and repair snippets of DNA. According to an article published in Nature, researchers plan to use CRISPR to, “adjust human genes to eliminate diseases, create hardier plants, wipe out pathogens and much more.”
There are plenty of advantages to be reaped from CRISPR, but they are overshadowed by its disadvantages. So much so, that James Clapper, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, deemed gene editing a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) in the annual worldwide threat assessment report.
A weapon for bio-terrorists
Authorities have been worried that gene editing technologies like CRISPR are a national security threat for a while. With CRISPR, scientists have created gene drives that guarantee an altered gene is inherited by an organism’s offspring and subsequent generations. The FBI, the Pentagon and the United Nations bio-weapons office have been monitoring the technology out of concern that bio-terrorists could use it to bring about mass destruction.
Clapper did not specify why CRISPR has the intelligence community nervous, but several bio-security experts have. In particular, a gene drive that spreads DNA that kills pollinating insects could collapse a country’s agricultural system. Terrorist groups like ISIS could use gene drive to breed super killer mosquitoes, which harbor and transmit deadly diseases.
For this reason, Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security, was called on to testify about the dangers of gene editing by a National Academy of Sciences panel last year. He described gene editing as “entomological warfare.”
Although super mosquitoes are an unlikely threat, the threat CRISPR poses to bio-security is real. Since the technology behind gene drive is relatively inexpensive and widely available, countries increase the risk of spurring dangerous biological agents. Recent discoveries, “move easily in the globalized economy, as do personnel with the scientific expertise to design and use them,” states the report.
Piers Millet, an expert on bioweapons at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., said he was surprised that Clapper singled out gene editing on the WMD list, since creating a bioweapon requires a level of expertise in a broad range of technologies.
The unintended consequences of gene editing
The intelligence community is worried about the unintended consequences of CRISPR too – not just the intended consequences of bio-terrorists. Although the goal of CRISPR is to weed out the genetic basis for various illnesses, the technology is not 100 percent effective. Sometimes, gene editing hits more than just a targeted cell. Previous gene therapies have even caused cancer in some patients.
No one is sure what reverberations altering the genome of an organism could have on the environment. It’s not just weeding out genetic defects either. In the era of designer babies, parents would be able to hand-select which traits they wanted for their children. After all, who gets to deem what is regarded as an “improvement” of the genome?
“Humanity does not have the maturity and ethical boundaries to play god with organisms of any kind. CRISPR and other genetic editing techniques are amazing marvels of technology, but great technology combined with a wholesale lack of wisdom can lead to catastrophe on a planet wide scale,”said Mike Adams, the Editor of Natural News.
Furthermore, it is not known how germ line editing will impact future generations. Those genetic changes could be passed down when a person has children. According to John Holdren of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, germ line editing for clinical use, meaning pregnancy, “is a line that should not be crossed at this time.”
Guidelines and laws about what is and is not allowed by germ line research vary across the globe. Some places ban the research altogether, others allow lab research but not pregnancies, and some have no policies whatsoever. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health does not fund germ line research, but private funding is permitted.
Americans appear to be just as weary of gene editing as security officials. According to a STAT – Harvard poll, approximately 83 percent of Americans are opposed to germ line editing to improve IQ and appearance. According to that same study, however, 59 percent of Americans thought federal health regulators should approve gene therapy, whereas 30 percent thought they should not.