Category Archives: Technology

The Role of Satellite in Delivering Banking Services to Rural Areas

satellite servicesBanking plays a significant role in rural development. Unfortunately, generations of rural residents did not live to see a bank in their area. On top of other pressing problems, the utter lack of financial services is what hindered progress in many remote places.

Because of the sparse distribution of rural areas, constructing a terrestrial communications system would be extremely costly. But in recent years, satellites area playing an increasingly important role in extending banking services, allowing rural residents, even those in unconnected places, to transfer and withdraw money with ease.

How it Works

Rural banks operate in the same way they do in urban areas, except that a satellite terminal sits on the roof. When a person withdraws cash or transfers money, the machine will send the information via satellite and goes through a virtual private network (VPN) tunnel to the bank’s primary headquarters.

In a few minutes, the machine will send back confirmation through the same system, and the transaction is complete. This system has been around for several networks across rural areas in Africa and Asia. Before, banking transactions in these regions took days, but now, they take only a few minutes.

Role in Addressing Poverty

Following the advent of advanced satellite technologies, both NGOs and private and government organisations can now reach out to and conduct business rural and remote areas, where an estimated 47% of the world’s populations live.

The aid community hopes that the availability of financial services could assist in the rural development and help ease poverty, which is quite a serious issue in these areas. In addition to banking, satellite technologies also play a significant role in providing services education, healthcare and communications.

Security

Singtel Satellite, a company that has revolutionised rural banking via satellite communications’, note that satellite networks offer the same level of safety as terrestrial networks. Sensitive information passes through a private tunnel, a system engineered to prevent security threats involving satellite communications.

In rural communities, where people live a more modest lifestyle, and technology is scarce, satellite technology is a highly valuable asset. It fills some gaps in different sectors in the community. The lack of technology and advanced infrastructure is a primary source of disadvantage, especially with regards to agriculture, health, education, disasters, and social services.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Solar Energy is the Hope of the Hopeless

solar energy installationThe first ever solar power generator was at a display in Paris’ Universal Exposition, in 1878. Since then, the technology of solar energy has come a long way.

Light Up the Dark

In Nigeria, electricity is a luxury. They make do with candles, batteries and gases as their source of light energy. Electric fans were rare in the villages, and lamps fueled by kerosene couldn’t provide enough light for a child to read at night. Based on a case study by Ecolution, an installer of solar panels in the UK, a lot of countries in the world still couldn’t afford to harness solar energy no matter how low the prices have dropped in the last couple of years.

Today, however, the tables have turned. Nigerians now have access to solar power, enough to light an entire house or charge electric appliances for hours. What was the most heart-warming to hear was that Sandra Besong, a mother of three, was happy to know her kids could study at night and watch cartoons on TV. Nigeria also frequently has blazing hot temperatures that could reach up to 30 degrees Celsius. Now that they can use more electric fans, the children could get a good night’s rest.

Hand-held Accessibility

Kenya, Rwanda and India are a few of the countries that have been using off-grid solar-powered kits for the past few years. Nigeria, Africa’s largest country, is next to get the energy reform. The country has seen major solar energy investments and transformations, faster than any other in Africa.

Other than powering a house, what solar power changed for Nigeria is their usage of mobile phones. A villager may use solar power to charge their phones and pay for their solar energy kits through pre-paid mobile credits. Mobile phones revolutionised commerce in Africa without the need for bank accounts or credit cards.

There is no other energy that has given the less fortunate more opportunities than solar power. From the idealistic and unattainable concept that it was, solar power continues to change lives and give hope to those who seek a brighter future.

A Product That Sells

Brand Selling

Brand SellingEverywhere you go, everywhere you look, even sitting at home in front of your computer or TV, you can see companies, small or large, selling you their products. This is how companies make millions, by flaunting their brand and attracting the attention of customers. That is how advertising works. Now, if you are one still starting out your own company and brand, you might be thinking of doing the same thing.

Here is a guide that can help you get people to notice your brand.

Think Before You Advertise

One of the first things you have to think of is the group of people you want to buy your brand or the so-called target demographic. These people are most likely to be attracted and willing to buy your product. If your target demographic includes millennials, you can reach them out via social media, streaming videos, and virtual ads. As simple as creating a social media account where you can reach out to your target population and they can reach out to you can gain popularity for your product. For senior citizens, you might consider using television, radio, newspapers or direct mail.

Choosing an effective means to get your message across is an important aspect if you want your ad to be noticed. Melbourne ad agencies, such as Sphere, are more than capable of helping you choose the best way to maximise your audience. Another important thing to note is the content of the ad. Most people are attracted to product advertisements they can relate to. Even if they do not have the urgent need to buy the product as long as they see themselves using it, your advertising content is doing its job.

With all these ideas in mind, remember that a truthful advertising campaign is still the most effective. Present your target demographic with an ad based on what your brand can really do. A product that does not deliver will fizzle out before it even starts.

FBO Tracker Software: The Next Step in Airline Efficiency

FBO SoftwareWith everything from handling their documents to waiting out delays to dealing with the TSA, passengers are too distracted to notice a crucial component that makes airlines all over the world work: fixed-base operators or FBOs. Like contractors in countless other industries, FBOs provide a comprehensive range of services, which generally includes:

  • Airport real estate and aircraft sales
  • Baggage handling
  • Fueling services
  • Hangar services
  • Mechanical services
  • Parking
  • Pilots’ lounges
  • Repair and maintenance services
  • Taxi services
  • Towing services

But, with the ever-expanding list of services FBOs in the US need to provide, and provide well, the demand for robust and reliable FBO tracker software has increased in recent years. Airlines and FBO companies looking to implement large-scale monitoring of all their operations need to find software they can rely on to determine and supply the following information:

  • Availability of fuel trucks upon the planes’ arrival
  • Availability of ramp space upon the planes’ arrival
  • Conditions in competing airlines
  • Customers’ arrival times
  • Fuel types needed by incoming planes
  • Personnel schedules according to arrival times
  • Probable weather conditions

Of course, orchestrating a number of services to keep flights on time and planes in prime condition requires adherence to a number of industry standards. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates how airlines employ FBOs, particularly prohibiting US aviation companies from hiring a single provider, unless it is unreasonably costly, burdensome, or impractical to hire more than one FBO. In most cases, such is not true, but the FAA permits some airlines to pursue the setup that works best for them.

This particular FAA statute is another argument for the widespread adoption of FBO tracker software, as airlines aim to streamline the entire travel process for their customers and for their employees, no matter how many FBO providers they may be working with. The best way to achieve this is by implementing a system that empowers workers with data they can easily collect, share, and update.

Muscle Up With These 3 Strategies to Increase Your Gym Membership

Fitness CenterFitness is big business. Fitness centers in the US had total revenues of $24.2 billion, with membership surging to $54.1 million from $32.8 million. Is your fitness center or gym capitalizing on these opportunities?

Here are three strategies to help you grow the business today:

1. Trim the Fat

Before you make the most of the lucrative opportunities, you need to identify problems preventing your business from growing. One issue is the risk of someone being injured in your gym while using your equipment.

There are two ways to address this problem: one, get liability insurance to offset the cost of this risk, and two, require members to sign an informed consent document, releasing you from claims.  

2. Run for Endurance

Another potential barrier to your fitness studio’s success is the lack of management. Managing any business is tough, but the answer isn’t always being on-site. While your presence gives you a sense of control in the gym and allows you to engage with members, you can do more by using technology.

Management software for gyms or fitness studios can help you improve the business. With the right software, you can organize your gym membership, automate processes, including enrollment and payments, and speed up administrative tasks.

3. Spot Fitness Trends

Competition will be tough in the health and fitness industry. You can set your business apart by choosing the right equipment and offering new classes. The American College of Sports Medicine reveals bodyweight training, strength training and yoga are big fitness trends next year. You can raise membership to your gym by adding these classes to your fitness programs.

People will commit more to health and fitness today. By using strategies that meet market needs, your fitness studio can stay competitive and benefit from lucrative opportunities

Singapore Experts Seek to Improve Lorry Crane Safety

Lorry Crane Safety in Singapore

Lorry Crane Safety in SingaporeSingapore established a workgroup of experts to study different ways in improving the safety of lorry cranes used in the city-state.

Lorry cranes and other crane-servicing equipment used in the country are safe, although the National Crane Safety Task Force recommended the creation of the expert panel as a way to enhance safety and reduce accidents.

The Ministry of Manpower has 26,500 cranes in its registry with 3,500 units representing lorry cranes. Sam Tan, minister of state for manpower, said that the frequent presence of lorry cranes in public areas such as roads and residential properties is one of the reasons for striving to develop better safety measures.

Risk Reduction

Despite the potential of significant damage on houses and the threat of injury to humans, lorry cranes relatively carry a lower amount of risk to people and property compared to larger, heavier-duty cranes, according to Tan.

In addition, Singapore implements best practices on using such equipment. Operators are also expected to pass training certification prior to using them. Aside from reviewing safety, the panel of experts also plans to evaluate the best practices on safety and training guidelines.

The workgroup will release its findings on the study after six months.

Panel Composition

The expert group comprises crane manufacturers, operators and owners headed by National Crane Safety Taskforce Chairman Akbar Kader, who said that the panel would aim to evaluate how classroom-style education can teach operators about safety practices on crane servicing and operation that are otherwise only possible to learn on the job for now.

For example, Kader said that crane operators “go by experience” in determining the level of extension needed for the equipment’s “outriggers.” Also called struts, the panel seeks to teach operators about an alternative way to do this, which involves measuring the required extension based on the eight of the load carried by the crane.

Overall, lorry cranes are safe to use with proper handling by operators. An engineering partnership is also one way to ensure that you’re in good hands when contracting the use of this kind of equipment.

Oil & Gas Production: How is It Done?

Oil & Gas ProductionThe sensitive nature of oil and gas industry prompts the development of highly specialized tools and equipment. This is to promote better and smoother workflow on-site especially when it comes to the completion of tasks.

Generally, there are four major processes under the oil and gas development, which uses specific mechanisms and these are classified as the following:

Exploration

This stage involves the discovery and the search for rock formations, which are associated with oil and gas deposits. The process may involve geophysical probing, remote sensing, and exploratory drilling, which usually require the use and rental of a downhole camera, says Mount Sopris Instruments.

Some of the equipment used for this stage includes:

  • Drill Stem Test Kit
  • Modeling Software
  • Oil Well Stabilizers
  • Seismic Surveying Tool
  • Well Logging Mechanism
  • Wellhead Equipment
  •  Magnetometers

Oil Extraction

Once the deposit has been located, the next step would be the construction and development of wells. The completion of this phase depends on the amount of hydrocarbons that are found on the site.

The process requires the use of the following tools:

  • Battery Tanks (for Storage Purposes)
  • Coring Tools & Equipment
  • Hydraulic Fracturing Equipment
  • Oil Drilling Rigs
  • Oil Pumps

Oil Refining

This industrial process commences the production of oil and natural gas. In this phase, the hydrocarbons will be separated and refined to a more useful product, which usually ends up becoming gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum.

Here the following equipment typically used for this stage:

  • Chemical Purifiers
  • Electric Energy Generating Units
  • Energy Generators
  • Mini Oil Refineries
  • Oil & Gas Metering System
  • Oil & Gas Processing Plants
  • Oil Filtration Unit
  • Oil Heating Units
  • Oil Treating Equipment
  • Turbine Expanders

Petroleum Transport

This is basically the process of transporting petroleum and other related derivatives to the consumer. The method to be used highly depends on the quantity, as well as the destination of the petrol product. The biggest challenge for this stage is the pollution and the risk of oil spill.

There are four different ways to transport and delivery petroleum these are through:

  • Marine Vessels
  • Oil & Gas Pipelines
  • Rail Cars
  • Tanker Trucks

The petroleum industry is quite complicated, but knowing the processes involve during the course will make the whole experience easier. Take time to understand and learn the four methods under it, including the tools and equipment for better execution and operation on-site.

When Your SEO Gets its GIF Mode On

A collection of GIFToday, sites aren’t content with stationary images. Anything that moves is where the money’s at.

Giphy, the world’s largest website for animated GIF creation and search, continues to rise in popularity. GIF-content continues to revolutionize our method of information sharing. By using animated GIFs, contents transform from dull blog posts to entertaining, must-read pieces.

Even Google has come to accept the role of GIFs online. But its benefits remain debatable. Are GIFs good or bad for your SEO practice?

Google Gets its GIF on

A number of seasoned SEO practices have good faith in GIFs because of Google. The search engine giant has been encouraging GIFsonline, recognizing the rise of dynamic content. After Google’s initial move, social media sites followed.

While Tumblr was the first to experiment with GIFs, it was Google who made a way for GIF content to exist on browser extensions, social sites, and regular web news. It’s impossible to escape these moving images. Almost everyone’s “thinking in animated GIF.”

Heavy GIFs, More Views

GIFs improve content, especially if you use them wisely. Since Google’s a big fan of GIFs, it allows users to find content associated with a popular animated image. As a result, you get more traffic. These images pave the way to better engagement, connecting with users who drive more traffic.

It sounds easy, but GIF fans beware.

Too much of a good thing is bad. In this case, too many GIFs will compromise your site’s performance. GIF-filled websites perform slower than sites without it. Since slow sites turn off users, it harms your rankings. If you want to use GIFs, do so in moderation or reduce their sizes.

The Deal with GIF Content

When used effectively, GIFs can put the odds in your favor. It entertains users and also invites more traffic to your site. But going GIF crazy might sabotage your chances with Google indexing your content effectively. Prevent this by giving Google as much meta data concerning the content.

As Google develops more GIF supporting hardware, one thing’s for sure: GIFs are here to stay and everyone should deal with it.

Pro Tips for Improving Field Service Productivity

Field Service ProductivityField service management has become an integral part of every business. Gone are the days when companies would engage the field service management as a last resort; after facing surging fuel costs, IT conundrums or disgruntled customers. Organisations are therefore looking to hire field service managers and teams that increase not only productivity and efficiency but also have accurate measures of productivity. However, managers find it difficult to monitor metrics that improve productivity as teams are dispatched an entire day thus limited supervision of progress. 

JobLogic looks at ways managers can use to improve the productivity of his field service team and quickly set and manage accurate metrics.

Efficient management of teamwork

Managers often assume that teamwork is all about assigning roles to individuals that help solve a problem. While it is partly true, they often forget that their team members are people with different perspectives and use different approaches when solving problems. Such differences often cause friction among team members; thus, reducing the overall productivity. As such, managers ought to appreciate these differences, define the goals and terms of engagement to minimise conflict. Additionally, they should create a conducive environment for teamwork and monitor the process.

Keep track of the team in real-time

A field service management assigns tasks a day ahead making it difficult to adapt to changes. Additionally, poor tracking of field works in real-time leads to loss of valuable time. Therefore, managers ought to invest in conventional technological devices and practices that allow the dispatch centres to monitor everything the field technicians are doing. Field service management software come in handy to help you control and make relevant changes in real time.

Incorporate all dynamic when forecasting

Traditionally, field service managers make forecasts solely based on factors such as power outages or the weather. However, plenty of other factors come into play when forecasting; factors like community events and promotions have more impact than the weather. Field service management should, therefore, incorporate views from every department in the company to make smarter forecasts. This way the company won’t have to hire overtime contractors or extra equipment during the peak season.

The suggestions highlighted are only a few of the many ways to increase the productivity of your field service team.

Accurate Diagnosis 101: Using Virtual Microscopy

Medical MicroscopeAs medical science is becoming technologically advanced, so is the study of pathology or histopathology. One of the latest addition to this technology is the slide scanner, which is an essential part of virtual microscopy.

Mikroscan Technologies explains that with slide scanners, you can take images of partial slides and upload it to a monitor to be studied by a team of pathologists. The images make it easier to study the slides and reduce the chances of misdiagnosis.

What are the Advantages of Virtual Microscopy?

Here are some of the benefits of virtual microscopy.

Study of slides made easier: In the case of cryogenics or microscopic slides, it becomes easier to study such slides. The scanners can evaluate the slides from various angles and can upload the image on monitors. The primary analysis of the slides is done by the software, which reduces the chance of human error.

Multiple studies carried out simultaneously: The images can be loaded directly on multiple monitors with the help of web based virtual microscopy. This will allow teams, even if they are spread across the world, to study the same slide at the same time. This too reduces the chance of a wrong diagnosis.

Study of partial slides: In case you do not have the whole set of slides, diagnosis can be done based on partial slides as well. This is important in case the whole set of slides is unavailable.

Storage of images: With slide scanners and virtual microscopy, the images of the slides can be stored to be used later on. This is important because the slides themselves can get contaminated over time, but the images will provide a preview into the original state of the slides.

Hence, it can be concluded that the future of pathology or histopathology lies with further advance and development in the field of virtual microscopy as well as the manufacture of better slide scanners.