Monthly Archives: June 2016

How to Sharing Notebooks in OneNote

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).

Figure 1 From the Library screen of Keynote, you can create a new presentation or load an existing presentation

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.

Figure 2 Once you choose to create a new presentation from scratch, select one of the presentation templates to get started

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).

Figure 3 Use a few words and graphics to convey key points within your presentation. Brevity works in your favor as the presenter

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.

Figure 4 This slide is very text-intensive and uses several different colors, which might distract the audience

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).

Figure 5 Digital photos stored on your mobile device, as well as charts or graphs created using Numbers can easily be imported into a slide

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.

Government’s latest annual report

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.

Cannabis Farming Business

download-2The 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.

View image on Twitter

Up-By-The-Bootstraps

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:

  • Passive systems: In passive hydroponics, you set plants above a reservoir of nutritious solution, which the plant absorbs through a wick, which feeds, not smothers, them.
  • Active systems: Programmed mechanical systems feed the cannabis roots.

    • Ebb and flow: These systems periodically flood the root systems and then drain for 20 minutes.
    • Bubbler systems: An air pump regularly percolates a nutrient solution up towards the roots systems of suspended plants.
    • Drip feed: Drip tubes feed nutrients from above into the plant’s potting medium.
    • Nutrient film: Water passes down a tray where it feeds a number of plants 24 hours-a-day.
    • Aeroponics hydro grow: This suspends seedlings above a dark growth chamber set at 100 percent humidity to maximize the oxygen and nutrients absorbed.