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What Were the Inventions of the Vikings?

The Vikings were a powerful seafaring culture that rose to prominence in 8th-century Scandinavia and carried out large-scale mercantile and military explorations of Europe, Russia and beyond until the late 11th century. They were a rugged people often depicted as savage and barbaric, but they were actually an innovative, cosmopolitan group of people. Much of what they invented and pioneered is still with us today.

Viking riding a horse.

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GlobalizationWe often think of globalization as a recent process of integration made possible by advances in technology. But the Vikings were early pioneers of the practice. The sheer amount of travel they accomplished would be extraordinary now; at the time, it seemed almost magical to the people they encountered. Despite what many histories depict, Vikings did not always have a destructive effect on the hundreds of societies they came upon. They did not plunder or subjugate most of the peoples they encountered, although they were active slave traders. Vikings were the preeminent merchants of their day, and like merchants today, their motivation to globalize was largely financial. Where they set up their (predominantly male) settlements, they integrated into the ruling culture, often intermarrying with local women. The Vikings sailed uncharted seas as far south as North Africa and east to modern-day Russia. They created settlements in the British Isles. They had a short-lived settlement on the coast of North America, and one in what is now Baghdad, traveling and trading deep into the Middle East.

A viking boat in a small harbour.

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LongshipsAs the leading mariners of their time, Vikings employed state-of-the-art boat building technology. One of their signature inventions was the longship, a wooden boat with a shallow-draft hull and one long row of oars along each side. Side-mounted rudders allowed these boats to be pulled from water onto land quickly, instead of being anchored at the shore. Longships were sleek, lightweight and symmetrical, easily turning in any direction and going backwards and forwards with little exertion by the oarsmen. Maneuvering and docking longships required much less effort and time than previous ships, and this gave Vikings a distinct advantage when traveling long distances to foreign lands.

The rudder on a viking boat.

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Sun Compass and SunstonesThe Vikings’ standing as the world’s greatest explorers was only as good as their navigational aids. Their sun compass is a marvel in engineering. The tool has a light, portable circular wooden sundial with a peg in the middle call a gnomon. Viking mariners carried gnomons of different lengths on their long journeys, to adjust for seasonal variation. The gnomon would cast a shadow onto the wooden disc, allowing the Vikings to determine the latitude of their position within a 4-degree margin of error of our modern magnetic compass – very accurate for the time. On overcast days, the clever Vikings used the compass in conjunction with calcite crystals from Iceland that they called “sunstones.” They carved the crystals into large square blocks when on land. Then, at sea, they would hold up a crystal and rotate it slowly until it caught the light of the sun, even a setting sun. Once they could identify where the sun was, they had established a reference point from which to plot the ship’s direction. These simple, brilliantly conceived tools allowed the Vikings to travel more widely on sea than any other culture at the time.

Man's hand holding a modern compass.

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SkisWe have the Vikings to thank for present-day skiing. The origin of skiing is not absolutely determined: The earliest known skis, the Kalvträsk skis, were discovered in Sweden and carbon-date from 3200 BC, but there are also descriptions of items that may have been skis mentioned in Chinese records from around 200 BC. In any case, the Western skiing tradition comes directly from the Vikings, who skied for both recreation and practical transport in their snowy lands, and whose descendents in Scandinavia have carried on the unbroken tradition of skiing. In fact, the word ‘ski’ comes from the old Norse word ‘skío.’ The Vikings’ mythological pantheon included the Norse goddess Skaoi and god Ullr, both often depicted on skis or snowshoes.

Man downhill skiing in snow.

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Companies That Will Buy Your Invention Ideas

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Companies across the United States and around the world continually seek innovative ideas from private citizens to find the next great product or technology and gain an edge within a particular market. An inventor with patent-friendly ideas can take advantage of lucrative licensing deals should a company show interest in his invention. Whether the invention idea be in technology, skin care, or even windshield wipers, an innovator can usually find at least one company willing to have a look at the idea.

Every invention starts from one small idea

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The Sharper ImageThe Sharper Image is a company dedicated to the very latest in tech toys and gadgets for consumers looking to stay ahead of the curve. The company maintains a dedicated team of technicians to review product ideas submitted by potential inventors. Candidates should email the Sharper Image (productideas@sharperimageonline.com) with a description of the product, a video or picture(s) of the invention, and where the product is currently being sold (if it is in that stage of production).

Sharper Image 27725 Stansbury, Suite #175 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 415-445-6125 sharperimage.com

Stacking blocks

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Henkel North AmericaHenkel is the parent company of bath and body products Dial and Right Guard. The company maintains the Henkel Partnership Program, an ongoing contest for potential inventors and technology innovators to submit ideas and prototypes for development by Henkel. Inventions are encouraged in the areas of home care, laundry, cosmetics/toiletries, and adhesive technologies. Henkel is especially interested in product ideas that support sustainable living and feature environmentally friendly technology.

Henkel Corporation 10 Finderne Avenue Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-575-5001 henkel.com

Woman doing laundry

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The Difference Between a Computer Science & Information Technology Degree

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Computer science and information technology degrees are closely related. A CS degree focuses on how the computer and computer programs work, while an IT degree focuses on how to make everything work together in the most efficient manner possible.

CS Degree Focus

  • A computer science degree focuses primarily on programming with an emphasis on the foundations of computers rather than software and hardware applications.

IT Degree Focus

  • An information technology degree focuses on application integration, analysis and management. This degree has a greater focus on communication and business.

CS Degree Jobs

  • A computer science degree is used to obtain jobs such as software engineer, research and development, interface designer and web development.

IT Degree Jobs

  • An information technology degree is used to obtain jobs such as network manager, web development, messaging administrator, web analyst, business analyst, project manager and technical analyst.

The Future

  • Future job prospects for both degree fields are accelerating at a faster than average pace thanks to the constant demand for new and more advanced technology. Because of the quick change in the field of computers, continuing education is important.

The Advantages of Modern Technologies

Technology has taken unimaginable strides over the past couple of decades, affording people all around the world possibility, flexibility and, above all things, convenience in their everyday communication and overall lifestyle. It is ever-changing. Whether you’re sending a love letter, making a purchase, running a business, researching a paper, financing a house, getting in touch with your old college roommate or booking a flight to Fiji, it all comes down to one simple thing: the click of a mouse.

It's difficult to imagine where technology will take us in the future.

Social Networking

  • It’s possible in today’s world to reconnect with high school and college friends in a matter of minutes. Before the Internet came to be, it was nearly impossible to stay in touch. Unless you ran into them at your 10-year reunion, you had no idea where they were. Nowadays, in this growing culture of social networking, it’s nearly impossible not to know what they’ve had for dinner, not to mention where life has taken them. No matter how many miles stand between you, social networking has allowed both old and new friends to keep in touch from moment to moment.
    Social networking allows both old and new friends to keep in touch.
    Social networking allows both old and new friends to keep in touch.

Opportunities to Work From Home

  • The flexibility of working from home in your pajamas or from the beach in your bathing suit may be one of the most attractive advantages modern technology offers for some. Not only does it save you a long commute to the office, a ton of gas money and the inevitable stress of hitting rush hour traffic, but it buys you more time in the day to spend on more important matters like family and friends.
    Working from home buys you more time in your day.
    Working from home buys you more time in your day.

Convenience in Education

  • Getting an education is as simple these days as turning on your laptop and taking classes online. Although it’s not your traditional classroom, the kind housed with a roomful of students seated in wooden desks and a professor lecturing in the front of the room, it is nonetheless an effective alternative to a good education. Even though you may be curled up on your couch in the middle of the night with a hot mug of tea and your cat on your lap, you are, in fact, in the modern learning environment, earning your degree from home. Even high school classes are being offered online for students seeking summer school and degree programs.
    Earn an online degree from the comfort of your couch.
    Earn an online degree from the comfort of your couch.

Future Technology Changes in the Office

Offices are major innovators in technology. Whether they seFuture technology will transform the office environment.ek to create new products that customers will buy or work to improve their own office processes, many offices consistently embrace change. Information technology has allowed businesses to communicate over long distances cheaply and instantaneously, and they may be able to accomplish other tasks at a distance.

Automation

  • Technology has automated various jobs in almost all areas of business. With automation, businesses can carry out necessary tasks with fewer workers, thus cutting down the costs of hiring employees and paying out benefits. However, this automation might increase unemployment. Employment losses have already begun. Forbes reported that companies such as McDonald’s employed 400,000 employees in 2008, while Google employed only 20,000 employees, demonstrating how more technology-oriented companies tend to use fewer employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that between 2008 and 2018, chemical manufacturing employment will decline by 13 percent, automotive manufacturing employment will decline by 16 percent and machinery manufacturing employment will decline by 8 percent. The BLS reported that these declines primarily come from improvements in production technology.

Information Technology

  • Information technology has increased the speed at which companies can communicate and also has cut costs on information storage. Also, future technology advances minimize office dependence on paper, which not only reduces waste but also allows information to be transmitted more quickly. As offices become more networked, they will more easily communicate with other offices. As a result, these offices might become more interconnected, which will foster more cooperation between offices.

Product Development

  • Future technology creates new industries as these advances lead to the development of new products. For example, the multi-billion dollar computer industry did not exist until computers were invented. New technological advancements can create new offices devoted to developing, testing and marketing new products. As robotics become more affordable and useful, more robotic technology might enter the market.

Security Technology

  • Technological advancements in computer security have reduced the number of computer crimes that cost businesses money. Also, as future technology advances, bandwidth and other technological resources become cheaper and criminal attacks such as denial of service attacks have a smaller impact. Companies continue to develop more secure systems so that customers can give companies personal information without fearing identity theft. This has increased customer bases for various companies, especially companies that operate entirely online.

Green Technologies

  • Companies have increasingly moved towards innovating processes that minimize waste. This waste minimization saves the company money and also reduces the environmental impact that the company has on the Earth. Composting techniques have allowed many companies to transform waste into compost that can be used to grow food and perform other actions beneficial to the environment.

RFID Technology

  • RFID technology is allowing offices to more closely monitor products than ever before. This RFID technology can help businesses monitor the performance of products, provide updates to the products and analyzing products for potential defects. Businesses might also be able to power products at a distance with advancements in wireless power transmission.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial intelligence will provide automated thinking for offices. The more advanced the artificial intelligence becomes, the more tasks the artificial intelligence programs will be able to perform. Recent advances have helped detect credit card fraud by comparing credit card purchases with past credit card behavior. Businesses are seeking to implement artificial intelligence in areas where human workers cannot survive, such as in areas with insufficient oxygen and physical space. Artificially intelligent robots may play a large role in elder care, allowing a robot to perform actions that elderly patients cannot, allowing the patient to avoid the nursing home. This will stimulate growth in new industries.

3D Holographic Projection – The Future of Advertising?

 

With many of the latest big budget cinema releases being available in 3D, and everyone talking about the 3D future of television, many eyes are starting to focus on 3D hologram projections…without the glasses!

Where does this technology originate from?

3D holographic projection technology is loosely based on an illusionary technique called “Peppers Ghost”, and was first used in Victorian theatres across London in the 1860s. Pepper’s Ghost was typically used to create ghost-like figures on stage. Hidden from the audience’s view, an actor dressed in a ghostly costume would stand facing an angled plate of glass. The audience would be able to see the glass, but not the actor directly. Specifically angled lighting would reflect the actor’s image into the plate of glass, a transparent ghost like reflection would appear in front of the audience. Cutting or fading the lighting could also add to the ghostly effect.How is this technology used today?With the use of the latest HD projectors, CGI animation, specialist HD film techniques and special effects created in post production, Pepper’s Ghost technology has been upgraded to the 21st century. Instead of a real object or person’s reflection appearing on a plate of glass, high definition video and CGI animation is beamed directly onto a specially designed, chemically treated transparent film via a high power HD projector. Although much more expensive, this modern approach results in a much clearer, believable hologram projection.What kind of images can be projected as holograms?Due to the modern approach of projecting CGI animations and pre-recorded footage, almost anything is possible. The “blank canvas” approach is often adopted, creating a storyboard only limited by imagination. The storyboard can then be handed over to a CGI animation team who can make it come to life using the latest 3D software such as Maya or 3ds-Max.Real people can be filmed giving a speech, dance or presentation for example, and then be projected as 3D holograms. Holographic special effects can be added in post production to make a life-like person beam into the room, Star Trek style, or have their product appear and spin above their head at the click of their fingers.

Who have used 3D Holographic projections and why?

In August 2009, Endemol, the producers of the famous reality TV show Big Brother, working together with activ8-3D holographic projections, beamed housemates’ friends and families into the house to deliver messages of support and encouragement. The messages were pre-recoded using HD cameras and specifically angled lighting. A stage was rigged inside the Big Brother house task room, compiling of a HD projector, media player, lighting, and audio equipment. Each housemate entered the room in turn and took a seat in front of the stage. On cue, the housemate’s family member or friend was beamed into the stage before delving their message. Although the hologram displays were difficult to judge on 2D television screens, the event was hailed as a great success, evoking brilliant reactions from the housemates which made for great TV.“Any other screen message on video isn’t a touch on that. They are in front of you – none of this flat screen or plasma screen – they are really there.” exclaimed David.t’s lovely. It’s like you wanna touch it. I can’t believe it. I’m shaking,” replied Lisa.In January 2009 Coco-Cola gave a sales conference presentation in Prague for over 800 people. Senior directors of the company were beamed into the stage as 3D holograms before giving a presentation about how the Coco-Cola brand has evolved over the years. The content of the presentation was also in the form of 3D holographic projections. The centre piece was a giant 3D hologram Coco-Cola branded spinning clock, representing the progression of time. A showcase of previous Coco-Cola bottles, logos, and labels amongst other objects were also projected as 3D holograms to create Prague’s first 3D holographic projection display.What range of sizes can the holographic projections be displayed in?This technology has been known to scale down to as small as a ten inch hologram display. The smaller range of holographic display units, ranging from ten inches to television sized monitors are predominantly used for retail, exhibitions and point of sale. Famous brand companies such as Diesel, have used this type of holographic display in their shop windows.One of the largest holographic projections to date was in South Africa in 2007. A holographic projection screen, 12 metres wide, by 4 meters high stretched across a stage in front of 700 BMW officials, celebrating the launch of the latest X6 model. By increasing the size of the stage and number of projectors, there is no limit to the maximum size of the holographic projection displays.

Which other technologies are being used together with 3D hologram projections?

activ8-3D, the London based holographic projection specialists, have recently developed motion capture systems to couple 3D holographic projections. Motion capture systems are far from a new technology. An actor wearing a motion capture suit can have his/her movements picked up via various sensors. These movements can then be played back in real time onto a screen in the form of an animated character. Working with hologram display technology, these characters can become life size 3D holographic animated characters, both technologies working together perfectly to complement each other.Hologram projection displays have also recently seen advances in audience interactivity. Using a wireless remote control, the holographic projections can be moved around the stage, rotated on their x and y axis, and can even be programmed to start or stop an animation on the click of a button.What is the future of 3D holographic projection?3D holographic projection technology clearly has a big future ahead. As this audio visual display continues to get high profile credibility, we are likely to see more companies advertising their products or marketing their business in this way. Whether it be large scale, big budget product launches or smaller retail POS systems, they are likely to become a common feature in the advertising world.Where can I see an example of this technology?A 3D holographic projection demonstration can be seen at The Movieum of London Museum, located in Westminster, England. The company behind it, activ8-3D holographic projection, are showcasing their large scale show and event holographic display, their medium and small size exhibition and retail hologram displays, as well as motion capture and interactive systems. For a free demonstration visit their website www.activ8-3d.co.uk or send an email to info@activ8-3d.com

The future of biometric system — trends and emerging uses for biometric technology

Biometric system

The future of biometric system holds great promise for law enforcement applications, as well for private industry uses. By measuring facial geometry, surveillance systems can identify suspects against characteristics stored in the biometric system database. “There is a popular tendency to regard biometric products as sci-fi mythology, but the reality is that biometrics is the future of the security industry and is quickly becoming recognized as the most accurate identification technology in the market,” claims Don Mihae who was recently hired by JAD Communication & Safety Systems (JADCS) to lead its security division.Biometrics biometric system future will include e-commerce applications for extra security on the checkout page, and biometrics will guard against unauthorized access to cars and cell phones. In the future, biometric technology will further develop 3-D infrared facial recognition access control, real-time facial recognition passive surveillance, and visitor management authentication systems. Already A4Vision, a provider of 3-D facial scanning and identification software uses specialized algorithms to interpret the traditional 2-D camera image and transfer it into a 3-D representation of a registered face. This makes it almost impossible to deceive the biometric system with still photos or other images.Strengthening existing biometric innovations for future growthAll of these security innovations will make biometric technology more accurate and make its usage more widespread.* Access control facial recognition — Biometric technologies will permit authorized users entry to a property or to specific location in a building. Today, A4Vision uses a 3-D infrared facial recognition system to project subdued light onto a subject’s face for optimal identification. But in the future, this biometric technology will be strengthened so that the subject will not have to be a just few feet away from the video surveillance cameras.* Facial recognition passive surveillance — Hidden surveillance cameras will be set up to monitor an entranceway of any type of building to accurately identify a potential suspect or terrorist against a database of millions of images in less than one second. Alerts will then transmitted to security personnel in real time.* Alert management — This is a fully customizable command center to guard against potential security breeches. The center uses real-time technologies to deliver security alerts to multiple locations through PDA (personal digital assistant) devices, and other mobile technologies.

Award-Winning Software Solutions Pvt Ltd. is committed to provide fingerprint scanner, biometric system, security products, access control system, attendance system, Geographical Penetration and ability to address various Customer Segments by providing “Cost Effective IT Security Solutions to Business Enterprises focused on Quality, Service and Customer Satisfaction” and also Continually improve the effectiveness of Quality Management System through Involvement of all Personnel.

Solar panel meaning-the future of solar panel system

Let me inform you that energy efficiency and clean renewable energy will mean a stronger economy, a cleaner environment along with greater energy independence for America.  Now by investing in technological breakthroughs like solar panel meaning and solar panel system our nation can look forward to a more resilient economy and secure future.

In reality far reaching technology changes will be essential to energy future of America since we are working with a wide array of state, community, industry and university partners. In the coming days US department of energy’s office of energy efficiency and renewable energy will invest in a portfolio of energy technologies that will surely conserve energy in the residential, commercial, and industrial and transportation sectors.

Investment in solar panels will increase energy supply with a focus on renewable domestic sources. Our government should upgrade our national energy infrastructure and facilitate the emergence of hydrogen technologies as vital new energy carriers. They should use domestic, plant derived resources to meet our fuel power and chemical needs.

In US these days homes, schools and business are using less energy due to use of solar panels which are less costly to operate and ultimately generate as much power as they use. So we need a more reliable energy infrastructure and reduced need for new power plants.

This will lead to less dependence on foreign oil and eventual transition to an emission free, petroleum free vehicle. We need to tap earth’s energy to meet our heat and power needs and this will pave the way towards a hydrogen economy and net zero carbon energy future.The government should boost the productivity and competitiveness of US industry through improvement in energy and environmental performance. It can be done by utilizing the suns natural energy to generate electricity and provide water and space heating.The US Government should accelerate the use of today’s best energy efficient and renewable technologies in homes, communities and business by harnessing America’s abundant natural resources for clean power generation. In general solar power works well for most items except large electric appliances that mostly use electric heat element such as water heater, clothes dryer and electric stoves.For total electric home heating system it is not really cost effective to use solar power. In such cases conversion to natural gas, propane, and other alternatives is usually recommended. In reality solar power can be used to operate a gas clothes dryer since the electrical requirement is limited to the drum motor and the ignited lighter.Let me remind you that using solar power to produce electricity is not the same as using solar power to produce heat. In general solar thermal principles are applied to produce hot fluids and air. Photovoltaic principles are used to produce electricity and a solar panel is made of natural element, silicon which becomes electrically charged when subjected to sun light.In a solar panel system there are losses due to such things as voltage losses as the electricity is carried across the wires, batteries along with invertors. Solar panel meanings are not 100 percent efficient since efficiency losses vary from components to components and from system to system. Now if you want some more information on solar panels then please visit

The Future of VOIP Technology


Few communication technologies have grown as big in as short a period of time as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). VOIP, the method by which millions of people use their Internet connection to make telephone calls has grown in percentages reaching the triple digits in each of the past three years, as more and more people are drawn to the inexpensive price and ease-of-use of the service.

But what do VOIP companies need to do in order to maintain this growth? The following list illustrates those things which VOIP providers must give (or continue to give) their customers in order to stay competitive.

Inexpensive Price

Obviously, the mainstream appeal of VOIP would cease to exist were in not for the low price of set up and calling. People weren’t drawn to VOIP because it was simply a “cool” technology, but rather because the long distance packages and FREE calls to other VOIP users made it an offer than was hard to resist.

In order to maintain this benefit, VOIP providers must work hard to keep costs low.

Customer Service

Question: How does a VOIP provider grow as large as a major telecommunications company?

Answer: By NOT acting like a major telecommunications company.

VOIP companies are popular with their customers because they provide a level of personalized customer service that has seemingly disappeared from the large carriers. In order to keep their market share, VOIP companies must never lose sight of the fact that this interpersonal connection needs to stay strong.

Wireless Capability

For the first several years of its existence, VOIP was great, provided you had the proper headset and wanted to make your calls from your desktop or laptop PC. Then, Wi-Fi kicked in and people were free to move around their homes or office and make VOIP calls – as long as they stayed within signal range.But in order to grow, VOIP providers must cut loose these bonds and give individuals the opportunity to make calls from standard cell phones. Many leading VOIP providers have caught on to this fact and now work with wireless nationwide networks that let people call from their cars, or other mobile locations.We have become so attached to our cell phones, that for any calling system to reach the masses, cellular phone capability is an absolute “must have” feature.Free CallsOne of the strongest selling points of VOIP technology continues to be the free calls that individuals can make to those in the same plan. If this were simply an introductory offer, then individuals might leave the service after it expires. But if it remains a bedrock offering from all VOIP carriers, then more and more people will be attracted to this potential money-saving featureFor reliable, affordable VOIP service in the New York area, visit www.itpvoip.com. Unparalleled customer service and amazing price packages are what helped ITP VOIP be rated #1 in customer satisfaction in New York and the #1 VOIP provider in the United States by users. Every day, ITP VOIP strives to bring you the best service is the country. Contact www.itpvoip.com today for more information about how to get started.

Medicine of the Future: The Incredible Developments in Medical Technology

We have entered the second decade of the twenty-first century. Today, affordable smart phones are widespread, computer game graphics look almost life-like, computer animation is almost indistinguishable from actual footage, remote-controlled drones patrol the skies, and Google maps provide street views of practically any city on Earth. What’s more, every year, the storage capacity of the average computer hard drive increases along with the computing power. We are living on the threshold of what could be a highly advanced future.

Along with the computer technology, medical technology is also advancing rapidly. Micro-computers, bionic limbs, artificial organs, nanotechnology, and lab-grown organs can potentially improve the quality of human life and change modern medicine. Such changes may take some time to be fully realized, but they are in their infancy today.

Micro-Computers and Nanotechnology

Micro-computers are a fascinating concept, and, until fairly recent years, they were only just a concept. But, today, the concept has become a reality. The phrase “worth your weight in salt” does not apply to micro-computers. One such computer that has actually been manufactured is smaller than a grain of salt (4). Professors Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw, from the University of Michigan, have created a tiny, millimeter-long computer that contains a battery, a central processing unit (CPU), sensors, a tiny radio emitter, and electronics for powering the chip (4). The tiny computer is powered by light, requiring 10 hours of indoor lighting or 1.5 hours of sunlight exposure (4). The device is designed for being inserted into the eyeballs of glaucoma victims. It collects data with sensors and transmits the data through a radio wave (4). If there is too much internal pressure, the chip will transmit the data to medical professionals who will know what to do with the patient. Regarding this incredible technology, Sylvester said, “This is the first true millimeter-scale complete computing system. Our work is unique in the sense that we’re thinking about complete systems in which all the components are low-power and fit on the chip. We can collect data, store it and transmit it. The applications for systems of this size are endless” (5).

DNA-Computer.jpgAnother kind of micro-computer is in the process of being developed. Unlike Sylvester and Blaauw’s micro-computer, this one would use DNA for its electrical components. At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem a team of scientists has created the first DNA logic gates (3). Like their non-biological counterparts, the DNA logic gates represent one of two possible states, such as the zeros or ones of binary code (3). When one of two inputs was present at a DNA logic gate, the gate fluoresced, giving off light. And, when both of the two inputs or neither were present, the gate ceased fluorescing. This is similar to how a computer logic gate works. The DNA logic gates, when connected together and injected under the skin, may be able to form a biological-based computing system that can detect, diagnose, and treat common sicknesses or medical conditions (3).

gold-nanotech-2.jpgSpeaking of computers, a fairly new technology field has been gaining ground in recent years. Ever since Don Eigler of IBM spelled out “IBM” with 35 individual xenon atoms in 1989 (13), nanotechnology has been making many breakthroughs. Unlike most technology, which is easily visible to the unaided eye, nanotechnology deals with components much smaller than the head of a pin. Instead of being measured in meters, these components are measured in nanometers. To get a picture of how small this is, a billion nanometers can fit in one meter. Some examples of nanotechnology already in use would include carbon nanotubes (made out of billions of individual carbon atoms). These are currently being used to give extra strength to mountain bikes, golf club, and other high-end sporting equipment (7). Because they are composed entirely of carbon atoms, carbon nanotubes are used in water purification systems. Carbon, which is found in filters and diamonds, is good at attracting impurities and has a strong bonding arrangement.

Nanotechnology also has great promise for the future of medicine. One application of nanotechnology to the medical field is through the use of nanobots–microscopic machines made out of molecules–for fighting infection. Researchers at the Southwest UK Paediatric Burns Centre at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol have teamed up with scientists at the University of Bath to develop a “dressing” that kills pathogens (such as bacteria) by releasing antibiotics from “nanocapsules” (12). The harmful bacteria produce toxins which eat through the “nanocapsules”, releasing antibiotics (12). If this is perfected, the way doctors treat diseases may change. A patient may find that all he or she needs to do to recover from an illness is to simply swallow a pill: a pill filled with “nanocapsules”. Some other possibilities for nanotechnology in medicine might include nanobots for repairing damaged cells, nanobots for accelerating bone repair, and nanobots for killing cancer cells (14). Yes, you read it correctly, nanotechnology is thought to be a possible cure for cancer.

Bionics

iLimb2.gifNanotechnology also has another application in the developing area of medical technology called bionics. Imagine that you lose both your hands. Now, you are unable to work or do a lot of the things you enjoy. But, there is no need to worry. All you have to do is purchase an i-LIMB and have it installed. It sounds like it could be something made by Apple along the same lines of an iphone or ipod, but the i-LIMB is not another phone or portable computer. It is a prosthetic, robotic hand, created by Touch Bionics, that allows users to pick up a variety of objects, including glasses, playing cards, and suitcases. It works by detecting tiny electrical signals from arm muscles to control the movements of its individual, robotic fingers, wrist, and thumb (11). Bionic legs that work in a similar way to the i-LIMB are also on the market.

Besides prosthetic limbs, bionic technology offers replacement hearts, lungs, eyes, ears, and the potential for much more. Since we don’t have time to delve into all these unique and cutting-edge technologies, let’s take a look at the bionic eye. The Argus II, an amazing device created by Second Sight, a California-based company, allows the blind to see once again, albeit with lircjRetina.gifmited vision. According to Robert Greenberg, president and CEO of Second Sight, “Patients can locate and recognize simple objects, see people in front of them, and follow their movement. They can find doors and windows, follow lines, and in the best cases read large print slowly” (6). This limited amount of sight comes with a cost: 115,000 U.S. dollars (6). It makes use of an array of electrical photoreceptors that stimulate retinal cells at the back of the eye, which then send a signal through the optic nerves to the brain. A wireless signal is transmitted from a camera built into a pair of glasses, worn by the patient, to a chip implanted near the retina (6). Besides having limited seeing capabilities, the Argus II only works for people who have a rare disease called retinitis pigmentosa, which only damages light-sensing photoreceptors and leaves the other retinal cells alone (6). The Argus II is currently only available in a number of clinics in the U.K., France, and Switzerland (6). If you live in the United States and you have retinitis pigmentosa, you’ll have to hop on a plane and have over 115,000 dollars at your disposal. For most, this is far too costly. Perhaps, as the technology is refined, it will become cheaper and more available to the general public.Pretend that you had a healthy eye, but your optic nerve was damaged. Is there any way to repair the damaged nerve? We have looked at bionic hands and mentioned bionic legs, but is there such thing as a bionic nerve? Surprisingly, the answer is “yes”. Scientists at the University of Manchester have converted adult fat-tissue stem cells from animals into nerve cells (2). Their goal is to make an artificial nerve to replace damaged nerves or nerve sections. Soon, they will be collecting adult stem cells and will try to convert them into nerve cells. They plan to make a “bionic” nerve by inserting the converted stem cells into a biodegradable polymer tube, which they will then surgically place into a break in a nerve (2). The growing nerve fiber will be able to pass through the tube and connect with the other end of the nerve, repairing the break (2). This “bionic” nerve could replace broken nerves in patients with cancer, in patients who have had tumor surgery, and in patients who have had severe injuries to their limbs (2).

Regenerative Medicine

fingerDM1705_468x315.jpgRe-growing nerve cells is one thing, but re-growing a finger or a limb is another thing entirely. The technology for re-growing fingers and limbs seems like it would belong in a science-fiction novel. But scientists today think that such science-fiction-like ideas are possible with a new type of medicine called regenerative medicine. Though regenerative medicine is currently in its developmental stage, a few amazing breakthroughs have been made. In 2005, a Cincinnati hobby-store owner, Lee Spievack, cut off his finger tip when showing a customer a model airplane (1). His brother, Alan Spievack, who is a medical research scientist, gave him a special powder to sprinkle on his finger. After taking the powder, Lee Spievack was astonished to find that his fingertip was growing back. Four weeks later, it looked as good as new (1). The powder he took was made from a substance called extracellular matrix. It was developed by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine (1). The extracellular matrix powder is made from pig bladders (1), but it does not contain in pig cells (9). Instead, the matrix is composed of proteins, such as collagen (9), and connective tissue, which scientists believe stimulates the regeneration of tissue (1). The function of the extracellular matrix is to form a structure that helps cells generate any given body part (9). All animals have this special structure, as do developing babies (or fetuses). Two-year-olds have even been documented to re-grow missing finger tips with no medical help (9). This amazing framework for cell regeneration has many possibilities for the future of medicine. Some believe that the human body may be able to re-grow entire limbs due to the extracellular matrix. If that were possible, bionic prosthetics may be unnecessary.

FE_DA_BH_Pioneers_Atala.jpgRegenerative medicine is not limited to special powders for regeneration. Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University has grown muscle tissue, heart tissue, and a total of 18 different types of tissue in his laboratory (1). He’s even grown a mouse heart (1). Atala is quoted in a New York Times article as saying, “A salamander can grow back its leg. Why can’t a human do the same?” (10). One idea Atala has for replacing damaged organs is to surgically insert a biodegradable scaffolding, containing regenerative cells, into the body (10). The cells will theoretically grow to form the replacement organ and the scaffolding will eventually decompose. If this actually works, replacement organs will no longer need to be taken from organ donors when they’ve died (10). Perhaps, in the future, people could extend their lives by replacing their organs and damaged tissues with lab-grown counterparts, but right now that technology is still experimental.

Extending and improving the quality of life is the whole purpose of modern medicine. This article focused on some of the technologies being developed in three areas of modern medicine. We looked at the role played by micro-computers and nanotechnology and how nanobots could theoretically stop infections. In the area of bionics, we briefly examined some of the bionic technologies scientists are working on, such as the bionic hand. In the last section, we saw how regenerative medicine has allowed people 6a00d83451c79e69e2015391fbad99970b-500wito grow back their finger tips. Finally, we learned that organs and cell tissues are being grown in laboratories with the goal that they will be used to replace or repair natural organs. There seems to be a pattern in the goals set for the future of medicine technology. Scientists, technologists, and thinkers have envisioned a future where medical technology will provide people with a vehicle to live forever. Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist believes that sometime in the future, the process of aging will be stopped. He told a Reuters correspondent that there is “a 50/50 chance of bringing aging under…a decisive level of medical control within the next 25 years or so” (8). He added, “And what I mean by decisive is the same sort of medical control that we have over most infectious diseases today” (8). If this prediction is true, we may find ourselves in a very different world from the one we know. Living for an eternity sounds wonderful, but, on our decaying planet, would it really be such a good thing? Aside from the good reasons for the development of medical technology, does it seem at all like some people may be trying to play God? I leave that thought for you to ponder.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

(1) Andrews, Wyatt. “Medicine’s Cutting Edge: Re-Growing Organs.” CBSNews.com. CBS Interactive Inc, 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(2) “‘Bionic’ Nerve To Bring Damaged Limbs And Organs Back To Life.” sciencedaily.com. ScienceDaily LLC, 17 Oct. 2007. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(3) Dillow, Clay. “World’s First DNA-Based Logic Gates Could Lead to Injectable Bio-computers.” Popsci.com. Bonnier Corporation, 2 June 2010. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(4) Eaton, Kit. “Meet the Cutting Edge of Medicine: 1mm Injectable Computers.” FastCompany.com. Mansueto Ventures LLC, 22 Feb. 2011. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(5) Fahey, Mike. “The World’s Smallest Computer Wants To Be Inside Of You.” kotaku.com. kotaku.com, 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.

(6) Graham-Rowe, Duncan. “A Bionic Eye Comes to Market.” technologyreview.com. MIT, 7 March 2011. Web. 9 Feb. 2012.

(7) Kahn, Jennifer. “Nano’s Big Future.” NationalGeographic.com. National Geographic Society, June 2006. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(8) Kelland, Kate. “Who wants to live forever? Scientist sees aging cured.” Reuters.com. Thomas Reuters, 4 July 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.

(9) Layton, Julia. “Can humans regrow fingers?” health.howstuffworks.com. Discovery Communications, LLC, n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2012.

(10) Parson, Ann. “A Tissue Engineer Sows Cells and Grows Organs.” nytimes.com. The New York Times Company, 11 July 2006. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(11) “Rebuilding humans using bionics.” Science.org.au. Australian Foundation for Science, n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(12) “Revolutionary Medical Dressing Uses Nanotechnology to Fight Infection.” sciencedaily.com. ScienceDaily LLC, 7 July. 2010. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(13) Shankland, Stephen. “IBM’s 35 atoms and the rise of nanotech.” news.cnet.com. CBS Interactive, 28 Sept. 2009. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

(14) “25 Ways Nanotechnology is Revolutionizing Medicine.” FutureMedica. FutureMedica, 19 Jan. 2010. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

What Is The Best CRM For Ecommerce Businesses?

While CRM software is crucial to the success of any business in the modern economy, it takes on a new level of importance for online businesses and ecommerce. Companies that operate online require efficient methods of communicating with customers, generating leads, analyzing the data from social media and creating customized sales campaigns. The best CRM for ecommerce includes all this, along with a number of other features that assist companies in improving their marketing and sales divisions.

Simple Interfaces:

The most important aspect to any CRM software is an easy-to-use interface. Companies do not have time to learn complex CRM software, because they need to spend that time completing other tasks. Online companies are even less likely to adopt complicated software, because they probably have fewer employees. The best CRM software works right out of the box and only requires an adjustment period of a few days.

The internet is of vital importance where ecommerce is concerned. Online companies require access to their CRM software wherever they can find an internet connection. This remote access is especially important if the company’s employees do not work from a centralized location. Remote access allows them to access the software and its data from any location.

Along with remote computer access, CRM software must also come with mobile integration. This ensures that employees can take out their smartphone or tablet and begin using the software to generate leads or bring up a customer record as needed.

Social Media Integration:

Social media is important for all companies, but it plays an even bigger role in modern ecommerce. The marketing potential of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter is endless. By incorporating social media with CRM software, companies can better communicate with their customers through this medium, along with gaining data to better understand their target markets and what those markets think of the company and its products/services.

CRM software helps the most with combining the comments and mentions from different social networks into one platform. This makes it a lot easier for a company’s employees to respond on social media and serve their customers. Being able to bring up a customer’s record through the software also makes for more detailed and personalized responses to social media queries.

Analysis and Management:

Analysis of the data collected by CRM software is vital to ecommerce. If companies have pages of data, but no method of understanding how this impacts their business, the CRM software is not fulfilling its complete potential. When data analysis is part of the equation, companies are getting their hands on the best CRM for ecommerce by searching for this specific feature. Analysis also helps with managing

In Building Solution for Mobile Coverage

Users expect mobile broadband everywhere, especially indoors, where more than half of all mobile traffic is generated. Operators need to meet those expectations if  they want to be competitive.
But poor  Indoor coverage for mobile services will lead to Poor coverage quality and availability – dropped calls, crackling of voice, missed calls, no signal etc and of course a big bottle neck for future technology rollout

Solution…..Ubico Networks provide “one-network”. Ubico Networks designs, builds, manages, and Licenseneutral-host in-building Distributed Antenna Systems (“DAS”), enabling property owners and mobile service providers to offer excellent wireless experience to their customers.Ubico Networks supports all GSM/CDMA/WI-FI/3G operators  requirementUbico Networks is one stop shop for all the communication/coverage/capacity requirements in the  building Pioneering Green network concepts in India Very strong relationship with all the mobile service providerAbout Ubico Networks:Market Leader Position & pioneer  in neutral In building solution.             End to End Solution from One source

  • Complete range of Technology addressed from CDMA to 4G ( Wi- Fi)
  • 300 Plus Major landmarks with Ubico’s IBS for Ubiquitous Coverage. 
  • Presence in over 6 major cities covering the entire country.
  • 150 Plus strong team implementing the solution.
  • Customized solution for Verticals like Hotels, Hospitals, Retails, IT parks etc
  • Major Customers Include Prestige Group, UB Group, Lodha , Unitech, BDB..etcUbico’s strength lies in developing telecom solutions tailored to the needs and the architecture of each building.  Ubico focuses solely on digital utility infrastructure. Our team consists of highly skilled personnel with extensive experience in the telecom industry, having several years of experience in deploying infrastructure for Distributed Antennae System (DAS), FTTH / FTTU, WiFi networks and related technologies. The team designs customized solutions to provide ubiquitous and uniform coverage of numerous digital utilities across all areas of the building. All solutions deployed use world-class networking products, taking into account future technologies and scalability.Having strong ties with service providers, Ubico is a pioneer neutral-host providing digital utility infrastructure. Our quality, speedy implementation and maintenance services have been well appreciated by both end users and service providers. With our strong focus on quality of service and the ability to consistently exceed client’s expectations, Ubico has gained a reputation for being the best in the field.Ubico has a Telecom Infrastructure Provider Category 1 (IP-1) license, granted by the Department of Telecom (DoT), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India.

A Look into the Future of Test Automation Tools

This in turn has ensured that the mega minds of software technologies pay better attention to the software testing procedures which has paved way to test automation tools in place of manual processes by which software testing was initially done.In the current days, automation tools have taken up a large portion of the software testing procedure and replaced the manual testing process at large. With the constant advancements, customized automation testing tools are now being produced in order to provide more optimal results to the whole testing scenario. But what next?But before getting into the future of the test automation tools, we need to look back on the huge changes that have been brought about in the UI interfaces. The CRT monitors have now been replaced by the LCD ones, no longer can you see big, space consuming laptops, and people are now fond of small portable devices which are efficient at the same time. This has paved the way for mobiles and tablets which has now become the platform of development as well as testing of the various software. Along with the devices, there has also been a huge change in the internet which has become far more accessible and easy to use. All these changes have affected test automation tools hugely.

  1. Test automation tools are now being programmed in order to support these new and developing UI interfaces and technology.
  2. With the development of newer software is coming the requirement of developing newer test procedure to test them and free them of the ever advancing bugs which are also striding towards the future.
  3. With the advent of newer testing procedure, people are finding the need of test automation tools to cope up with this change.UDD or UI Driven Development is now largely influencing the test automation tools where the tools along with the testing procedures will be controlled by gestures of the respective testers. The UI Driven Development has some key features which are to be taken into consideration for its development which are as follows:
  1. Plug-in Manager: The whole system has to be supported by various plug-ins that will contribute to the whole system. This should also ensure that the addition or removal of a plug-in would not affect the set of core plug-ins and the whole system wouldn’t have to be restarted for normal operation.
  2. Discovery: The newly developed test automation tools should be able to use the already using codes and discover them in a new fashion which will be useful in the future. Reverse engineering is to be used for the benefit of the suture of test automation tools.
  3. Execution and Reporting Engines: Execution and reporting engines are to be introduced which will increase the flexibility in the method of testing of the various software as well as help in the consolidation of the various results available from the different tests performed.This was in short a look into the future of test automation tools which is going to be introduced into the world of software testing in the very near future to ensure the betterment of quality of software and profitability of the organizations.ZenQ has proven experience in providing efficient and reliable qa test automation solutions. We offer both test automation consulting & maintenance.

Emerging technologies in electrical drives and power distribution systems in future aircrafts

 

It is projected that in future aircraft, all power, except propulsion, will be distributed and processed electrically. In other words, electrical power will be utilized for driving aircraft subsystems currently powered by hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanical means including utility and flight control actuation, environmental control system, lubrication and fuel pumps, and numerous other utility functions. These concepts are embraced by what is known as the “More Electric Aircraft (MEA)” initiative. The MEA emphasizes the utilization of electrical power as opposed to hydraulic, pneumatic, and mechanical power for optimizing aircraft performance and life cycle cost. It would eliminate the need for gearboxes and transmissions since the power transmission is through electrical rather than mechanical means, which reduces the weight of the aircraft and increases the fuel efficiency. Detailed analysis of

interaction between an Electro Mechanical Actuator (EMA) connected to the DC bus of the power distribution system in a next generation transport aircraft with the bus regulator is presented. Development of reliable power-by-wire actuation systems for both aeronautical and space applications has been sought recently to eliminate hydraulic systems from aircraft. Aircraft

engineers have tested electrohydrostatic actuators (EHAs), which combine electrical and hydraulic power, hence the

evolutionary “more electric aircraft” idea. Efforts are being made to replace

all the hydraulic systems with electrical systems, which will lead to a new technology called “All Electric Aircraft”.

Introduction:

Flight Control System

A flight control system consists of the flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkage, and necessary operating mechanism to cont4rol aircraft in flight.

Classification

Flight control systems (FCS) are classified as follows:

  • Mechanical FCS
  • Hydro mechanical FCS (powered flight control units (PFCU))
  • Fly-by-wire FCSMechanical FCS:The mechanical FCS is the most basic designs. They were used in early aircraft and currently in small aeroplanes where the aerodynamic forces are not excessive. The FCS uses a collection of mechanical parts such as rods, cables, pulleys and sometimes chains to transmit the forces of the cockpit controls to the control surfaces.Hydro mechanical FCS (powered flight control units (PFCU)):The complexity and weight of a mechanical FCS increases considerably with size and performance of the airplane. Hydraulic power overcomes these limitations hydraulic FCS has 2 parts:The mechanical circuitThe hydraulic circuitThe mechanical circuit links the cockpit controls with the hydraulic circuits. Like the mechanical FCS, it is made of rods, cables, pulleys, and sometimes chains. The hydraulic circuit has hydraulic pumps, pipes, valves and actuators. The hydraulic pressure generated by the pumps in the hydraulic circuit powers the actuators. The actuators convert hydraulic pressure into control surface movements. The servo valves control the movement of the actuators. The above two-control system has a major drawback that it contains heavy mechanical circuitry, which increases the weight of the system. To overcome this drawback a new technology “MORE ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY IN AIRCRAFT” was developed. The aircraft in which this technology was used was called “MORE ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT”(MEA).When describing the MEA, flight control actuation systems can be considered to involve two main technological areas: fly-by-wire (FBW) and power-by-wire (PBW). FBW technology comprises the design, development and implementation of electronics for flight control systems. Electronic control provides flight control and actuator control functionality implemented using either centralized or distributed architectures. Distributed control systems reduce the processing load on centralized flight control computers, and offer more flexibility during system architecture development. A further benefit is the reduction in weight achieved by reducing harness size and component quantity. In recent years, technological advancement has centered on the FBW field, to the extent that FBW control systems are now the standard in today’s commercial and military aircraft. Power-by-wire (PBW) actuation is the next major breakthrough in aircraft control. Just as the fly-by-wire flight control system eliminated the need for mechanical interfaces, power-by-wire actuators eliminate the need for central hydraulic systems. Control power comes directly from the aircraft electrical system. This has several advantages. Central hydraulic systems are complicated and difficult to maintain. Removing these systems would greatly reduce the amount of support equipment and personnel required to maintain and operate current air and space vehicles. In addition, PBW actuators have the potential to be more efficient than their hydraulic counterparts. A central hydraulic system must generate and sustain significant hydraulic pressure (3,000 to 6,000 pounds per square inch) at all times, regardless of demand. PBW actuators only use electrical power when needed. Finally, PBW actuation systems can be made far more fault tolerant than those depending on a central hydraulic supply. Once a hydraulic line is compromised, it usually leads to the loss of that entire hydraulic circuit. As a result, multiple hydraulic circuits are required to maintain some level of redundancy. With a PBW system, a failed actuator can simply be switched off, isolating the problem to a single surface.

Types of PBW Actuators

There are several different types of PBW actuators, including electrohydrostatic actuators (EHA) and electromechanical actuators (EMA). EHAs use a reversible, electrically driven pumpmotor to directly pump self-contained hydraulic fluid to a piston. This drives the ram in the same fashion as a standard hydraulic actuator (Figure 1(a)). An EMA has no internal hydraulic fluid, instead using electric motors to directly drive the ram through a mechanical gearbox (Figure 1(b)). Compared to an EHA, the EMA has certain advantages. It is lighter, smaller, and less complex than an equivalent EHA because of the absence of an internal hydraulic system. Since there is no hydraulic fluid in the load path, the EMA tends to be stiffer than an equivalent EHA. The EMA tends to be more efficient because there are no windage losses or pump inefficiencies. Finally, since there is no leak potential with an EMA, it is better suited to long term storage or space applications.

Electromechanical Actuation (EMA)

An EMA uses mechanical gearing to couple an electric motor to a flight control surface. This is achieved using a rotary gearbox, and depending on the actuation method required, can include some form of rotary-to-linear conversion, such as a ball screw. Electric motors requiring a DC electrical supply are typically used, although the addition of a diode rectification stage will also allow them to operate from an AC electrical supply. Motor speed, direction, and torque translate directly to speed, direction, and load in the actuator. Figure 1 shows an EMA currently being developed by TRW for a high-power flight control application. In its basic form, the EMA is susceptible to certain single-point failures that can lead to a mechanical jam, and consequently presents complications for flight certification on certain surfaces. Additional devices can be used to mitigate against this failure mode, but in doing so, complexity, cost, and weight are increased. For these reasons, the basic EMA is not suited for primary flight control applications. However, spoiler systems and secondary actuation systems could accommodate EMA technology.EMA system layoutLarge EMA for High-Power flight controlsBaseline Power System ArchitectureThe proposed power distribution system is built around a 270V DC distribution bus. The typical baseline power system architecture for a next generation aircraft is shown in Fig. 1. It can be seen that the key components that control the power are the bidirectional power converters (BDCs). A bus regulator provides an interface between the starter/generator and the distribution bus. Most of the loads, including the actuators, are regulated using bidirectional power converters, which control and condition the power from the DC bus.

With the proliferation of bidirectional power converters and advanced actuators in the power distribution system, it is important to develop methods to analyze the interaction between the different subsystems. Due to the complexity of the baseline power system and the large number of subsystems, a sample power distribution system, which captures the essential features of the baseline system but is not as complicated, is introduced. The sample power system is represented as a interconnection of a source and load subsystem.

Sample Power Distribution System

The sample power distribution system is shown in Fig. 2. The source subsystem represented by subsystem 1 consists of an ideal three phase voltage source, a three-phase boost rectifier to provide the regulated 270V DC required by the DC bus. The load subsystem represented by Subsystem 2 is an electromechanical actuator used to control the secondary flight control surfaces on the aircraft. The other loads on the DC bus are modeled by a current source, or a simple resistance.

The EMA model shown in Fig. 5 is shown to include a DC motor with constant field, a ball screw transmission between the motor and the control surface, and a model of the surface dynamics. The motor voltage is controlled by a PWM bidirectional buck converter with an input filter. The EMA is controlled by a multi-loop controller, which includes a motor current, motor speed, and the ball screw position feedback loops.All of the other loads on the bus are modeled by a resistor or a current source.

Electro hydrostatic Actuation (EHA)

  1. In contrast to EMA, EHA (Figure 2) uses fluidic gearing between the electric motor and the surface actuator. Hydraulic fluid provides an intermediate means of transmitting power to the surface. Here, a variable-speed electric motor (typically DC) is used to drive a fixed-displacement hydraulic pump, which in turn, powers a conventional hydraulic piston jack. Change in direction is achieved by the use of a bi-directional motor. A major advantage to this approach is that the EHA operating mode can be managed like a conventional hydraulic actuator. This approach is achieved using standard hydraulic bypass or damping valves (Figure 3); thus traditional active-standby, or active-active, actuator configurations can be readily adopted. This capability makes the EHA more suitable for primary flight control applications than the EMA. Although EHA technology reintroduces hydraulic components and fluid, it is totally self-contained          within   the        actuator assembly. Compared to traditional hydraulic actuator systems, the inconvenience   of         hydraulic disconnection from aircraft supplies and the complications of bleeding the system during reinstallation are not encountered during     maintenance.
    Electrohydrostatic Actuators (EHA)Large EHAEHA Control SchematicBenefits of electrically powered Actuators:The potential benefits of electric actuation at a system level have been well publicized.Electric actuation can offer:Improved aircraft maintainability:
  • Fewer hydraulic components are required,
  • Faster aircraft turnaround,
  • Fewer spares and tools are needed,
  • Improved fault-diagnosis through        built-in test (BIT).
    • Improved system availability and reliability:
    • Electrical distribution is more practical and offers system flexibility with respect to reconfiguration Ñ a capability previously difficult to achieve using hydraulics,
    • Improved mean-time-between-failures (MTBFs) through removal (electromechanical actuation or EMA) or on-demand usage   (electrohydrostatic actuation or EHA) of hydraulic components.
    • Improved flight safety Ñ in the MEA configuration, improved system safety is achieved through dissimilar actuator power supplies and subsequent avoidance of common mode failures.
    • Reduced system weight Ñ weight saving, achieved through the replacement of entire hydraulic systems, including pumps, distribution networks (pipes and fluid), and valve blocks, by electric systems.

The main benefit is the reduction of aircraft operating costs, for example, reduced fuel cost (as a result of reduced weight), and lower maintenance costs (quicker turnaround). However, before such benefits can be realized, additional work is required to improve the technology and provide the appropriate application platforms to introduce the technology into service.

Furthermore, the aircraft maintenance industry must realign its infrastructure so that it can reap the benefits of electric technologies.

Some additional benefits of both EMA and EHA actuators are:

  • Low quiescent power consumption during standby operation,
  • Rapid start-up response,
  • Can be easily adapted for use with AC or DC electric supplies,
  • Insensitive to supply frequency variation of AC electric supplies.EHA versus EMA?An alternative to EHAs, are ‘electromechanical actuators’ (EMAs), in which the motor torque is mechanically amplified and transmitted to the control surface using a gear set, screw or other mechanical transmission device, can be seen as an alternative. Indeed, as far as complexity, weight, reliability and maintenance requirement are concerned, EMAs are potentially more attractive than EHAs, at least for low power applications. In particular, all hydraulic technology relevant problems are obviously eliminated from the EHA configuration. However, in the three following areas EHAs are still preferable to EMAs:?The jamming probability of an EMA used in a primary flight control application is difficult to predict and substantiate from existing in-service experience. Jamming probability of an EHA, can be directly assessed from the current servo control experience, and shown as ‘extremely improbable’ if properly bypassed. In contrast, the jamming probability of mechanical systems incorporating hundreds of gear teeth and screw mechanisms is questionable and present-day experience in secondary flight control applications may not be directly transferable to primary flight controls, due to very different duty cycles in particularWear of the mechanical transmissions components may result in control surface ‘free-play’ or other non-linearities, which may generate unacceptable limit cycles?The introduction of an EHA in parallel with regular servo control in the basic more-electric architecture described above is easier than an EMA. EHAs can easily be made reversible in standby mode, they can incorporate identical damping devices to those currently used for flutter protection, and they can be built with many components common with the adjacent servo control such as the piston, cylinder, associated position transducer or the accumulator. In an obvious move to spread the technical as well as financial risk, Airbus has called on the talents of several companies for the design, production and supply of the many actuators on this mammoth aircraft. Specifically, the A380 aileron and elevator EHAs, as well as rudder EBHAs are purchased from Goodrich, while Messier-Bugatti will supply the associated EHA pumps. Meanwhile, the spoiler EBHAs are from Liebherr, which supplies its own pumps. Phil Hudson, Goodrich VP engineering for actuation systems notes: “The electronic EHA concept can also be designed to serve more functions than simply motor control. It can serve as a smart actuator controller in its own right and be part of a distributed control system or to control a set of multiple actuators. Another benefit is that this distributed technology puts intelligence local to the actuation elements in a control system and can substantially reduce harness weight and improve fault detection and isolation.”Maintenance benefits are also substantial. Power-by-wire EHA actuation units are line-removable with only mechanical and electrical connections to the aircraft, which eliminates the need to refill or bleed systems of hydraulic fluids as is required with central hydraulics. Since power-by-wire actuators are self contained and remotely located at the surfaces, the area exposed to damage is greatly reduced. Additionally, power-by-wire actuators can be designed as position sensitive, which means that the actuators provide only the flow and pressure necessary to move and hold the actuator in a desiredposition. Conventional central-hydraulic systems are configured to produce continuous pressure. Flow is metered at each actuator, which can lead to a large consumption of power and generate unwanted heat. William Schley, R&D supervisor, Parker Aerospace, Controls Systems Division explains that EHAs only consume power on demand.  Specifically, they consume power in proportion to the power delivered to the load. In contrast, a conventional EVSV-equipped hydraulic servoactuator consumes power in proportion to output speed, allocating power to output load as needed, with the remainder of the power being dissipated through pressure drop (heat) across the main control valve. Whilst hydraulic actuators become more efficient the more they are loaded, loads are typically low during most of a flight.” Another important advantage of electric actuators is survivability. Ballistic or explosive damage to an electric power distribution system or actuator usually does not cause loss of function of that entire channel, particularly if the damage is peripheral. In a hydraulic system, depending on its design, even a small leak can cause a major loss of function and/or fire. Although some electric actuators contain

hydraulic fluid, the system as a whole is still usually more survivable. For now, these more advanced failure management functions are being provided by the EHA and its variants. EHA combines the best of electric actuation and conventional hydraulics for a hybrid design approach, which is more fault tolerant than most current EMAs. Moreover, EHAs are mechanically simple, and immune to gear train jams. The typical long-term storage capability for EHA is 10 years plus.Next-Generation—All-Electric Aircraft:The “All-Electric” aircraft is a concept that emerged in the 1970s and has engendered a large amount of research activity. An all-electric engine, which could replace current aero gas turbines, would drive all accessories electrically, via a distribution network, from motor/generators embedded in the engine spools. Extending the function of the motor/generators to include service as active magnetic bearings would facilitate deletion of the oil system. The all-electric concept thus offers a huge scope for both engine and airframe reconfiguration and operational improvements, with studies indicating benefits of overall weight reduction, increased reliability, easier maintainability, reduced operating costs (including reduced fuel burn), and enhanced safety.Conclusion:Beginning with the scenario of a single hydraulic power supply replaced by an electric one, it is possible to establish the relativity and scale for the changes required in the migration toward the “All-Electric” aircraft concept. On a small civil airliner, typically a minimum of five electric actuators would be needed to provide one lane of electrical control for the primary flight control surfaces. If all hydraulic systems were converted to electric, in excess of 20 electric actuators would be needed to provide complete control of all primary and secondary flight control surfaces. The consequential increase in electrical power demand has major implications for electrical power generation and distribution systems. Thus, a significant amount of work is still needed to address the consequences of distributing many electrical actuators around an aircraft, and the consequential start-up, steady state, and peak demands required of aircraft electrical power supplies.

It is clear that the migration to electric actuation systems is affecting both civil and military markets. As described previously, the replacement of a single hydraulic system by an electric substitute is a major step in the transition to all-electric technologies. It is quite evident that the demands being made on aircraft generators and distribution architectures will increase considerably to meet the needs of this migration. A company named TRW has already developed products to meet the current demands envisioned by PBW and has programs to ensure that it will meet any future demands required by the all-electric aircraft. Finally, it is envisioned that once in service, electric actuator technology and electrical system architectures will improve the commercial viability and in-service reliability of the airframes to which they are fitted. These improvements will undoubtedly drive the adoption of greater levels of electric actuation on future aircraft.References:Weimer J. A, “Power management and distribution for the More Electric Aircraft”, Proceedings of the30thIntersocietyEnergyConversion Engineering Conference, vol. 1, July 1995, pp. 273-277Technology Review Journal — Millennium Issue • Fall/Winter 2000ACTUATOR DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEWD. Tesar, UT Austin, Robotics Research Group April 1, 2006

Back to “Mythstakes” of Technology Planning in the Future Classroom

Introduction

Myths around educational technologies are to be found in any higher education institution.  These myths are perpetuated among administrators, academic staff and students.

The incorporation of educational technologies requires a strategic plan that envisions educational technology as integral to curriculum development.  In many aspects educational technologies are underutilised and need to become better integrated with the curriculum if students are to be better prepared for the workplace.  All higher education institutions do have a strategic plan, or maybe, should have a strategic plan, for technology integration, but to which degree are the administrators incorporating the academic staff in the planning and strategizing phases?Lecturers are the key to effective incorporation of educational technologies, not support services like the IT department and development services, although all these parties play a vital and irreplaceable role in the whole planning process.  There is concern over the lecturers’ involvement because of all the myths that are perpetuated among these staff members.The great promise of educational technology is that it can improve student achievement, motivation, critical thinking and cooperation, but lecturers need to improve their own educational technology literacy levels and need to learn how to adapt their classroom teaching styles and extend their instructional strategies to include greater use of educational technologies.Educational technology is not an end in itself.  The high costs of technology require a justification for technology planning that is visionary and comprehensive.  A successful educational technology plan must also focus on improving learning and communication.  This necessitates the continuous allocation of resources to equipment and software upgrades; a commitment to ongoing lecturer training by the Instructional Designers and Curriculum Practitioners; and a desire to provide access to global resources.Unfortunately, because of the complexity of technology and the rapid changes, the use of educational technology can be misguided by myths fostered by a lack of knowledge.  Has the institution’s development and support services made the academic staff knowledgeable about technology integration in the university classroom?Dichotomies, Advantages and BarriersResearch exposes some of these myths, but more importantly, points back to the fact that lecturers and students have myth busting attitudes.  All of these myths can create potential dichotomies between lecturers and students, lecturers and the higher education institution, lectures and the higher educations’ support services, and between educational technology and curriculum.These myths alert one to the risks of the use of educational technology in student success, but potentially also undermine a student-centred focus.  A student-centred and learning-centred perspective can bust some of these myths and create an attitude of going back to the future in the face of barriers to learning in higher education institutions.  It is best to investigate these myths under the headings of technology planning, professional development, and technology utilisation.Technology planningSome higher education institutions have technology plans in place that provide the flexibility needed to respond to changing needs and equipment.  Others have plans that are never used or their plans are so restrictive that they defeat their purpose.  The question that every higher education institution must ask is: “Is our technology plan flexible or is it restrictive that it defeats the purpose of educational technology integration?”Myth 1: technology planning is useless because educational technology changes rapidlyThe fact is that many plans fail because of a lack of strategic planning.  Higher education institutions might attempt to be too specific about hardware and fail to consider in depth how educational technologies can benefit teaching and learning.Myth 2: the development and support staff (i.e. IT, ICT, Instructional Designers, Curriculum Practitioners) should design the technology planThe fact is that technology by nature is complicated.  Increased specialisation among professionals forces them to cooperate and to plan under complex conditions.  Therefore, decision makers must rely on input from administrators, librarians, administrators, support staff, curriculum designers and practitioners, Instructional Designers and IT specialists.Myth 3: higher education institutions should buy what the workplace is usingThe fact is, given the rate at which technology changes, purchases made today are not what students will be using in the workplace in 1 or 5 years time. When planning and strategizing the powers to be mustn’t be overly concerned about what platform and software to purchase, but to rather ask the question: “How will educational technology be used and with what impact?”  If the priority is for students to learn more effectively subject-specific content, via educational technology, then software should be chosen that accomplishes that goal and equipment purchased that runs that software.The technology planning committee should also consider the longevity of a type of software.  They should also consider the amount and type of technical support that is provided with equipment warranties.   More expensive, high-quality equipment that includes competent technical support and fast on-site repairs will save time and money over less expensive equipment that lacks the level of support.

Myth 4: educational technology means computers

The fact is that higher education institutions need to consider how to incorporate the many varied forms of educational technologies.  Various educational technologies are available to higher education institutions. Examples include audio CDs, data CDs and DVDs, bulletin boards, posters, photos, radio, PowerPoint slides, telephones, mobile phones and other mobile technologies, television, integrated Learning Management Systems, Internet, computer-based tutorials, computer-based and paper-based drills, role-play and simulations, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, email, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Audio and Video Conferencing, voicemail, and screen capturing software like Camtasia, etc.

The focus must be on the information that educational technologies enable students and lecturers to access, and on the connections that will support that information’s flow.

Myth 5: do not invest a lot of money in computer labs because it will be obsolete shortly

The fact is, just because new hardware models and educational software arrive on the market weeks after equipment were ordered does not mean that a purchase cannot meet learning needs and accomplish desired objectives for years to come.  Educational needs should dictate the extent to which technology is replaced, and not the other way around.  Higher education institutions need to consider how they can repurpose older equipment.  There are ways of integrating the use of both old and new educational technologies.  The technology plan should include ways and means of utilizing both.

Myth 6: complete the technology plan, build computer labs, then reallocate the funds

The fact is that a good technology plan will consider that educational technology use may and will increase over time as lecturers and students become more comfortable with and knowledgeable about educational technology. The technology plan will also recognise that the ongoing use of educational technology necessitates upgrading hardware, software and skills, planning for repairs and maintenance, and investing in telecommunications access.  This is an absolute requirement of the information age.  To ensure funding for long-term maintenance and growth, the strategic plan must integrate the workplace needs with curriculum goals.  So, the funds should/must not be reallocated to other projects!  Are higher education institutions guilty of such practices?

Professional development

Lectures are the key to effective and efficient educational technology utilisation, and not so much the Instructional Designer or the curriculum practitioner, although they also play a very important role.  It is safe to say when educational technology is available it is frequently used with styles of teaching that fail to maximise its full potential.  This could be the result of inability, improper training, technophobia, or a lack of practice using alternative teaching strategies.  Therefore, adequate professional development is needed if educational technology is to help higher education institutions improve learning.

Myth 7: lecturers don’t take advantage of training opportunities

The fact is that some lecturers are technophobic, afraid to try to use educational technology with their students, due to a lack of exposure or to prior bad experiences.  To help overcome resistance, professional development efforts can start by concentrating on those areas that make the lecturers’ job easier, more efficient, or more effective and should address the needs and concerns of the lecturers and the students.

The timing of professional development activities, training opportunities and workshops should also be carefully coordinated.  Too frequently, there is a long time lag between training and the opportunity to use what was learned.  Equipment may be installed weeks after training is conducted, or vice versa.  Lecturers become discouraged by the delay.  This might be detrimental to a higher education institution’s effective use of educational technologies.

Furthermore, training needs vary among lecturers according to their skills and comfort levels.  Different training opportunities should be scheduled according to the different skills levels of the lecturers.  Higher education institutions should vary their training to lecturers in the use of educational technologies.

Realistic amounts of training need to be provided to achieve the desired results.  Research shows that 30 hours of training are needed to successfully use technology at a basic level.  For a lecturer to have a good operational knowledge of hardware and perform basic troubleshooting requires 45+ hours of training and 3 months of experience.  For a lecturer to actively develop entirely new learning techniques that utilize educational technology requires 80+ hours of training and 4 to 5 years of experience.  The question is, what are higher education institutions’ training schedules like?

Myth 8: lecturers are not using the educational technologies that are available

Sometimes, educational technology is purchased in response to a particular interest or need or to run a pilot project.  A small group of lecturers may be using the technologies frequently, and others are not aware of the extent to which it is being used or think it should receive widespread use.  Other lecturers, however, may perceive that its use is restricted.  This is exacerbated by housing the equipment in a limited-access area such as a science lab and to only include a limited number of lecturers in a pilot project.  Small-scale innovation attempts like these frequently fail because they lack a critical mass of people, funding, or equipment and the traditional system of rewards does not encourage adoption.  Few people initially adopt innovation.  The rate at which others adopt innovations depends on, amongst others, their perception of its relative advantage and complexity, their level of involvement in making decisions, and the nature of their professional and social systems.  Professional development efforts should consider these factors.There are also other barriers that inhibit the adoption of educational technology in classrooms, e.g. the difficulty finding appropriate media or software, a shortage of time for preparation, unfamiliarity with hardware or software, inaccessibility of educational equipment, poor technical support, and the inability to quickly solve problems.  Also, equipment failures in class in front of students are embarrassing and a threat to a lecturer’s sense of competence and authority.These can be overcome by providing professional development opportunities, by creating incentives to learn and use educational technology, and by recognizing that comfort and expertise come only with experience.  Does higher education institutions incentivise, and if so, how and to what degree?  Effective technology planning is needed to help turn scared lecturers into educational technology adopters.  Enthusiastic support staff, with a concern for change will communicate their expectations, advice and support lecturers, monitor their progress, and provide a source of motivation.Myth 9: lecturers will change from knowledge experts to knowledge facilitatorsIn this myth students are self-directed in their search for knowledge – which assumes an unqualified love of knowledge and a great deal of self-motivation.  The fact is, we all know that this doesn’t really happen, and (most) students must be motivated and guided by their lecturers.This myth also presumes that lecturers and students can readily accept different classroom and campus cultures.  Lecturers are normally viewed by students as both information experts and authority figures.  Changing their role to knowledge facilitators does not diminish their roles.  Instead, it adds the dimension of managing the labour of students who may be working at different speeds on different tasks.  The culture of these classrooms can also be more active, energetic, and noisy and may require greater flexibility in scheduling and assessment methods.  Professional development efforts must address these concerns.Technology utilizationThe desired outcome of technology planning is to impact learning in positive ways by investing in appropriate educational technology and effective professional development.  One determination of whether educational technology is used successfully or not depends on how equitably it provides access to information to all students and lecturers.  It is about how the educational technology gets used.  The ultimate determinant of success is not reaching some ratio of equipment to students but ensuring that knowledgeable lecturers are using technology efficiently and effectively to meet lecture goals and objectives.Myth 10: although there is no technology plan, get computers in every classroom.The fact is, getting computers and using them in teaching and instruction is not the same thing.  Without adequate professional development, or technical support staff these computers will be underutilised.For instructional benefits to be realised clearly defined objectives must be established for how the hardware will be used and integrated with the curriculum.Lecturers in general are not very knowledgeable about how to integrate any type of educational technology into their lessons, much less computers or software.  Coming up with imaginative, educationally inclusive ways for students and lecturers to use educational technology remains a difficult task for technology planning.Myth 11:  lecturers will be replaced by computersThis myth ignores the culture of the classroom and doesn’t consider how lecturers meet important social and emotional needs for their students.  This myth stems from efforts in artificial intelligence that are applied to instruction.  Although highly advanced computer-based tutorials that use artificial intelligence technology are being designed and used that adapt to students’ individualised learning styles and needs, they are expensive and labour intensive to design.  It will still be some time before this technology is common in the classrooms and available for all levels and curriculum areas.  It is also doubtful they will be able to respond the way lecturers do to changes in the students’ readiness for learning and the social context of the classroom.

Understandably lecturers at higher education institutions are concerned about the role of technology in their classrooms, but it is unlikely that these technologies will ever replace them.  Technology planners must rather understand that these technologies are there to support the lecturers and that there must be a synergy between lecturers and the educational technologies in the classroom.  The lecturers must understand their students, the classroom setting, and the complexity of the campus environment and design their educational tasks accordingly and it is here where the Instructional Designers and other support staff play a vital role.

Myth 12: educational technology will transform education

The fact is that lecturers, students, and communities can transform education – educational technology merely provides some of the tools and processes that can support educational reform and create pressure for change.  Educational technology and media in the classroom do not benefit all students equally and does not result in across-the-board increases in achievement.  Educational technology, however, can help lecturers become more efficient and effective and can help improve student motivation and engagements with the learning process.Myth 13: e-learning does not workThis myth has two points of view:  Firstly, IT and network support staff say e-learning does not work because the network  or IT is always slow or down because of limited bandwidth. Secondly, teaching practice is hardly ever rewarded.  Lecturers do not bother to develop teaching skills utilising educational technologies and e-learning because teaching is not rewarded enough in higher education.  Lecturers believe that only research gets rewarded.  Isn’t it time higher education institutions and technology planning committees start thinking of rewarding staff members for using educational technology?ConclusionSo what does the road into the future for educational technology at higher education institutions hold?Higher education institutions mustn’t embark on a track that leads to nowhere, or a track that doesn’t make ends meet.  Institutions should seek out and bust any educational technology and e-learning myth that wrongfully creates dichotomies, and address any plausible educational technology and e-learning myth with research and actions, starting with technology planning.  Technology planning has to be more integrated, more flexible, and requires more research on newer educational technologies and literacy. In higher education institutions there is a need for a focus on student-centred learning, and a focus on lecturer-friendly teaching – a holistic wellness focus – where best practice is celebrated and excellence for teaching is recognised and rewarded.BibliographyFULLERTON, K. 1997.  Common “Mythstakes” in Technology Planning. (In Westbrook, K. 1997. Technology and the Educational Workplace.  California:  Corwin Press Inc. P.63 – 75)GORDON, M. 2005. Ten common Myths in American Education.  Brandon: Holistic Education Press.GREENHOW, C, ROBELLA, B & HUGHES, JE. 2009. Web 2.0 and classroom research: What path should we take now? Educational Researcher, Vol 38, No 4, p.246 – 259KLEIMAN, GM. 2000. Myths and Realities about Technology in K-12 Schools.TAPSCOTT, D. 2009.  Higher Education is tuck in the Middle Ages – Will Universities adapt or die off in our digital world? Posted 17 June, 2009. Online:

Helpful Tips and Benefits of Reseller Web Hosting

One of the wonderful advantages of a reseller web hosting UK is that you can earn some good money simultaneously as having web hosting. You can also get an opportunity to making a permanent income with a reliable hosting reseller. A few hosting resellers pay really well.

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Selecting The Best Reseller Hosting

It is a wonderful idea to recognize what is the most effective hosting reseller for your position. You will want a consistent reseller of web hosting that can give you with good client support. A trusted reseller will give you with important tools you want to be successful with their service both for the aspects of reseller and yourself.

What Is Web Hosting Reseller?

Reseller web hosting UK offers an account of reseller hosting to the reseller who sell again the bandwidth and space to their own customers. There is normally ample of space and bandwidth for this kind of service.

What Is A Hosting Reseller In General?

Reseller of web hosting is a company or a person that treats like an agent to sell again the services and products of web hosting companies. The reseller web hosting service provider can get discounts and commissions from the company that is providing web hosting reseller account. They can also make their individual custom accounts for web reseller to re-sell to clients.

It is essential to understand that when working with a company of reseller web hosting, a few of the control has been completely taken out of your hands. You would need to confirm the reseller service of web hosting is not having troubles with downtime. You may complete up missing out on essential sales and or emails from your valuable clients.

With the correct hosting reseller service provider, developers of the web site can be doing well with a reseller web hosting business or service. They can offer their clients with effective web hosting and make good looking and useful web sites simultaneously. So, it is a wonderful idea to search a company of web hosting that provides multiple accounts of hosting with their reseller services. Then, a website developer can host their customer’s web sites from their personal account of reseller web hosting.

The only most effective things to do before selecting a company of hosting reseller service is to get a complete reference site’s list and you can check out to confirm in case they have downtime. With the help of web reseller hosting services and companies you can request other website developers regarding what hosting resellers they have had high quality and useful service with.

One more essential part to remember is, does the hosting reseller have a complete and wonderful list of features and services that you will be capable to provide to your clients. It can be the only reason you are thinking about a hosting reseller in the first position. Take some of your time to check around for the most effective reseller and you will understand you have done the best decision.

 

Future Technology – Smart Materials

A family of materials with an ability to change few of its original properties by the application of any external stimuli, such as stress, temperature, moisture, pH, electric and magnetic fields are called Smart Materials. Some of the materials which include in this class of materials are piezoelectric materials, magneto-rheostatic materials, electro-rheostatic materials, thermo-responsive materials, pH-sensitive polymers, halochromic materials, electro chromic materials, thermo chromic materials and photo chromic materials. Smart materials are lifeless materials that assimilate different functions such as sensing, actuation, logic and control to adaptively react to alterations in their environment to which they are exposed, in a constructive and mostly recurring way.
To quote a few illustrative examples of smart materials undergoing change in their property due to effect of any external stimuli, we will consider piezo electric materials.Piezo electric materials are those materials which generate voltage due to the application of stress. The reverse effect of production of stress when voltage is applied across the piezo electric materials also holds good. Hence, we find extensive application of piezo electric materials as sensors in different environments. They are mainly used to measure fluid compositions, fluid density, fluid viscosity, or the force of an impact. An example from our day to day life would be an airbag sensor in cars, where the piezo electric material senses the force of an impact on the car and sends an electric charge, there by triggering airbag inflation.
Another example of piezo electric material would be electro–rheostatic and magneto-rheostatic materials, which undergo change in their viscosity. These are fluids which almost change to a solid substance from a thick fluid in a matter of a millisecond, when exposed to a magnetic or electric field. Electro-rheostatic fluids undergo viscosity change when exposed to an electric field whereas magneto-rheostatic fluids undergo similar changes when exposed to a magnetic field. Some common electro–rheostatic fluids are milk chocolate or cornstarch, while magneto-rheostatic fluids are minute iron particles suspended in oil.

Thermo-responsive materials such as shape memory alloys or shape memory polymers are smart materials which change their shape with change in temperature. Magnetic shape memory alloys experience shape due to considerable changes in magnetic field. pH-sensitive polymers enlarge or collapse when they experience change in pH of the surrounding medium. Halochromic materials change their color in response to change in acidity. One of the most common application of such materials would be in paints which undergo change in their color as an indication of corrosion of the material beneath them. Chromogenic systems change their color due to the effect of electrical, optical or thermal changes. Electro chromic materials change their color or opacity as a result of the application of voltage, thermo chromic materials change in color based on changes in temperature, and photo chromic materials change their color in response to a change in light. An application of electro chromic material would be in liquid crystal displays and an application of photo chromic materials would be in sunglasses which darken on exposure to bright sunlight.Smart materials find a wide range of application areas due to their varied response to external stimuli. The different areas of application can be in our day to day life, aerospace, civil engineering applications and mechatronics to name a few. The scope of application of smart material includes solving engineering problems with unattainable efficiency and provides an opportunity for creation of new products that generate revenue. Sensual devices which can sense their environment and produce information to make use of in health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) find applications in aerospace for the purpose of aircraft checking. An airline requires umpteen numbers of man power which conduct routine, ramp, intermediate and most important checks in order to check the health and usage of fleet. These checks involve quite a number of tasks that demands a lot of time. Hence, an aircraft constructed from a sensual structure has an advantage of self-checking its performance to a greater level than that of current data recording, and provide ground crews with improved health and usage monitoring. This would reduce the expenses associated with HUMS and thus such aircrafts could fly for more hours without human intervention.
These sensual structures also find application in the area of civil engineering. They are used to monitor the civil engineering structures to evaluate their durability. They are also used in food packaging to keep a check on safe storage and cooking. However, smart materials and structures are not restricted to sensing but they also adapt to their surrounding environment and such materials have an ability to move, vibrate and demonstrate various other responses, in addition to the sensual aspects. Few applications of such adaptive materials include the capability to control the aero elastic form of the aircraft wing to reduce the pull and improve operational efficiency, to control the vibration of satellites’ lightweight structures, etc.

Magnetic Therapy – The Myths and Mysteries Prevailing Round the Corner for Pain Relief

The new age medicine has discovered different ways of treatment for joints and pains in the human body. One of them is by gaining popularity and it is the magnetic therapy. However, there are various myths and mysteries prevailing around regarding its usage and how far it is effective.

We would like to draw your attention regarding the most common myths prevailing, in order to help you get rid of your doubts, and how effectively it can be implemented in your daily routine.

  • A magnetic bracelet will provide relief in pain from all over the body.

The magnetic therapy is effective on the part that is worn. For instance, if the magnetic bracelet is worn on wrist, it will act as pain relief only on hand, arm and wrist.

  • The strength of the magnets depends on the metal objects

The magnet will be able to hold a larger surface of the material as compared to smaller area. This is because the magnetic field is able to penetrate in larger areas and not deeper.

  • The bigger magnet has more strength.

The size of the magnet is not important. For instance, a 2cm diameter magnet will measure 800 gauss whereas 0.5cm diameter measures 3000 gauss magnetic strength.

  • Wearing multiple magnets is dangerous.

This is untrue since the MRI uses multiple magnets using average 15000 gauss magnetic strength. You can wear multiple magnets at the same time and improve the healing power since it does not have any side effects.

  • Magnet immediately works in healing pain.

The magnet is not painkiller and does not work as the pain killers do. The pain killer blocks the pain signal to pass to the brain whereas the magnets actually treat the pain by increasing the blood supply and other nutrients to the damaged area. It acts at the root of the pain and hence takes longer time to treat. But the relief lasts long as compared to pain killers.

  • There is no need to keep wearing the magnets.

In order to completely relieve the pain, it is essential you keep it wearing at all times. This is because, the magnetic effect nullifies when worn out and the healing process beings again. If you wear it all times, the magnetism will help in healing the pain relatively faster.

  • All the magnets are same and so the fridge magnet.

The magnets are available in different shapes, sizes, strength and properties. Fridge magnets are made from ceramic ferrite. These magnets are bulkier and do not retain strength as compared to neodymium magnets. Hence these are not popular for healing purpose.

  • You can cure your condition with magnetic therapy.

The magnetic therapy is used for providing ailment against pain and discomfort. It is not possible to cure the condition. For instance, there is no cure for arthritis, but the pain, discomfort, stiffness and swelling which stops you from doing the routine activities will be healed.

  • The magnetic therapy will affect my body dramatically.

The magnetic therapy has no side effects and does the healing work without affecting any other body parts. The magnetic therapy works on the area where the magnet is placed and heals by increasing blood circulation only on the affected area.

  • Metal implants are affected by magnetic therapy.

The metal implants done in injuries are generally made of SS (316L) which don’t have magnetic effect; hence it can be safely used. However, in internal defibrillator pump, pacemaker or in pregnancy, it cannot be used. The magnetic therapy will create malfunctioning in pacemaker and defibrillator pump.

There are many myths and mysteries prevailing around the magnetic therapy. For more details and to buy magnets, you can visit http://www.usneodymiummagnets.com/.

LEO Privacy Guard as the Ultimate Solution App for Protecting Android and iOS Devices

Technology in recent times, though considered in making the lives of the people easier and faster, has increased the threat of data and information leaks along with that. The people or the users of the latest technology are equipped with the latest gadgets but are often less aware of the potential dangers of data leaks and the spreading of private information to the outside world. The Leomaster Company proves to be of great help and support for the users providing them with the ultimate advantage of protecting their devices.

Several features of the Leomaster app

The Leomaster enables the installers to protect their devices from many such intruders and hackers in order to prevents the leaking of private information and data. There are many tools and functions available for the user to choose from. The safe box system enables the users to have a private vault or a locker system where he or she can keep their messages and information saved. They can also hide their private contacts, messages and call logs from the privacy intruders. They do not expose the information and data to any other person without accepting proper and high security passwords and patterns that the users provide with. The LEO Privacy Guard has broken in alert system where pictures maybe taken of the person to enters the wrong password.

The exclusive and additional features of the Leomaster

This free app comes with the ample of features and uses for your devices, which are mostly updated on a regular basis. The features which have been recently added to the overall outlay and design of the LEO Privacy Guard V3 is the scope of better and improved interface design which have better viewing and screening capacity. The additional FAO feature in this app provides more an easier and more effective working of the app. The crank call interception features facilitates the prevention of the crank call in the person’s device. They also have regulators for improved privacy scanning for the advantage of the user. These benefits also reduces the overall power consumption of the device instead of increasing them on a drastic level.

FACEBOOK LEAD ADS – HOW TO CREATE, CRM INTEGRATION AND MORE.

Following on from our recent review of setting up a shop on Facebook, comes a review and detailed look at Facebook Lead Ads. Facebook Lead Ads seemed like a great idea when they announced them a couple months ago.  2 days ago they rolled them out globally. So what’s all the noise about? Well, it seems Facebook are finally figuring out easy ways to help Marketers and business obtain all that sexy demographic data they’ve got on their suscribers. Let’s take a look at how you can use Facebook Lead Ads to grab leads from Facebook users really easily and generate more leads for your business.

 

What are Facebook Lead Ads?

Lead Ads are another strategy by Facebook to enable advertisers to obtain essential information (name and email) easily and quickly without the user having to navigate away from their feed. Whilst they enable you to ask for much more information than just name and email (I’ll get to this in a minute), the concept is to allow Facebook users to click your ad, be shown a pre-filled form with their name and email (which they are able to edit prior to submitting) and hit submit; then return to their feed. They are given the option to visit a landing page of your choice after submitting the form, however, the idea is you get a quick lead and the user is only required to tap twice and carry on.

 

Given its simplicity and speed, I’d expect to see much greater engagement metrics and much lower cost per acquisition for leads.

 

How to Create Facebook Lead Ads?

Advertisers can create Facebook Lead Ads either through Power Editor or you could simply call us and we can set them up and manage them for you! This post will walk you through the Power Editor process so you can do it yourself.

 

  1. From Power Editor, navigate to Manage Adverts, then Create Advert. Select Lead Generation from the drop down as highlighted below. Within the ad set, you’ll notice the only option at this time is mobile. This will change soon when Facebook rolls out desktop lead ads.

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  1. You will optimize for leads by default, with Facebook attempting to get you the most leads for the best price. You can also manually set the value of that lead.

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You also have the option of using CPC bidding.

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  1. Much of the ad creation process is identical to what you would do when creating a typical link ad. You’ll need to provide:

Text that goes above the image

Link headline

Link description

Image (1200×628 pixels)

Note that while Facebook will pull the headline, description and image from meta data for link ads, you’ll need to provide those manually for lead ads. You will also then select a CTA (Call to Action) button from the provided list

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Advertisers have the following CTA options:

 

  • Apply Now
  • Download
  • Get Quote
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe

 

 

  1. The next step is to create a Facebook Lead form.

 

How to Create a Facebook Lead Form

Once the creative is complete, you are then given the opportunity to create the form which interested users will complete when they click on your ad.

 

  1. Simply click the button to Create New Form.

 

  1. Give the form a name and click next.

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By default, Facebook will generate the first page of the lead form with two fields – name and email. If you want to ask for more information, just click the ‘show more options’ link.

 

Now a world of options will be opened up to you based on name, address, phone number, demographic information and work questions.

 

You can also add a custom question. Click “Add a question” at the bottom.

 

Facebook brings up requests based on automotive, education, e-commerce, B2B, professional services, health insurance, auto insurance, need help and purchase intent. For each of these, Facebook will request information (like “Choose a car brand”) and you can enter potential responses that a user can select from.

 

Here are all of the options…

 

Automotive:

 

  • Car make
  • Car model
  • Trim
  • Year of make
  • Car dealership

 

Education:

 

  • Interested field of study
  • Current field of study
  • Highest level of education
  • When do you plan to enroll?
  • Course of interest
  • Campus location
  • What degree are you interested in

 

Ecommerce:

 

  • How often do you want to hear from us
  • Select a category

 

B2B:

 

  • Size of company
  • Size of sales team
  • Primary trade

 

Professional Services:

 

  • Type of legal service

 

Health Insurance:

 

  • Health insurance coverage status

 

Auto Insurance:

 

  • Annual mileage

 

Need Help:

 

  • Need help
  • What are you looking for
  • What is the problem
  • Select services

 

Purchase Intent:

 

  • Time to purchase
  • Time to join
  • Size of budget
  • Waitlist

You can also choose to create up to three custom questions from scratch by clicking “Add Custom Question” at the top right.

 

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You can either leave the answer open ended or provide options the user can select from.

 

When you’re ready, click “Next” and you’ll be taken to the privacy policy and disclaimer view. Here you will be asked to provide a link to your website’s Privacy Policy page. If you don’t have one, you will need to create one before you are able to run Facebook Lead Ads. During this step, you can also add any further disclaimers that might be relevant.

 

Finally, add a link to your website. After the user has submitted your form, they will be given a link they can click.

 

While it would make sense for this to be a link to a landing page on your site, Facebook doesn’t allow you to customize your text for the CTA. So doing so may be confusing.

 

After adding the link, you’ll be prompted to preview your form. If you are happy with the form, click “Create Form”.

 

How to Access Leads from Facebook Lead Ads

It would be really nice if these leads were emailed to you or just showed up in your CRM, but unfortunately Facebook haven’t progressed that far (yet). There are some third party CRM’s that already integrate with Facebook Lead Ads (such as Eloqua, Driftrock, Marketo, Maropost, Sailthru and Salesforce). I’m pretty sure all other major CRM players will be furiously developing an integration to extract this data from your Power Editor so if you’re not using one of ;the above mentioned CRMs, maybe give your provider a call.

 

In the meantime, you’ll need to visit your Facebook Page, navigate to ‘Publsihing Tools, then select Forms Library from the left hand column. You should see your Lead Ads Form there witha  link to Download leads. You’ll then need to manually import them into your CRM, email prgramme, Mailchimp or whatever else you are using to track and follow up on these. I would suggest doing this once a day given leads will be expecting a prompt response from their interest in your ad.

 

Ah, bugger this, its all too hard!

The easy way to do all of this, is to just give us a call or contact us using the form below and we can help you get set up and running with Facebook Lead Ads!

 

We are currently running a Facebook Lead Ads Campaign to test the results, so keep an eye on the blog or our Facebook page for updates!