Category Archives: Software

Benefits of Custom Application Development

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Different companies develop different needs over time, needs that can’t be generalized. Trying to apply cure-all solutions to very specific problems will never get you the best results – in fact it can even set you back. Modern times require a modern approach with new strategies involving all the available technology. Running a company, even a medium sized one, will entail a multitude of tasks on all pay grade levels and staying organized can become quite a nightmare. As many generals in the past have learned the hard way, having a huge and well-armed army is of no use if it isn’t disciplined and if it cannot be effectively managed. Even when dealing with an endeavor as seemingly crude and barbaric as warfare, you still have to take into account logistics, communication, information gathering, keeping track of inventory, connecting with the right factories for timely resupplying, etc. A modern company cannot afford to rely on just any run-of-the-mill standardized software and try to make it fit all the nuances of the company’s specific needs. This is why having a professional develop custom applications for you can make a huge impact on efficiency and productivity within the company. Outlined below are some of the beneficial aspects of investing in custom application development.

You are involved in the development process

Unlike buying some software, trying to adapt it to your personal needs and working out difficulties on the fly, having software developed specifically for your company means that you have a say in it from the start. You can carefully explain what you are looking for and try to find what would work best for the way your company is run. As the development process goes along, you can be there during all the various stages to ensure that you are getting a product that is user friendly and easy for your employees to adapt to. After the initial product is complete you can test it out and suggest some minor changes, so that the final product can be 100% reliable. The best thing about this is that you can be sure that the final product will meet all of the specifications as well as being free of any major glitches, because they were evened out during testing.

Any required maintenance will be performed efficiently

Once the development is finished, the end product tested and fully implemented, any problems that arise will be covered by the company that designed the application. You will have full support, and can count on necessary changes being implemented down the line. When we are talking about changes here it refers to improving application performance in a way that suits your best interest and makes it easier for your employees to optimize their workload. Preventive measures can be taken by spotting potential problems well in advance and implementing the right solutions, which is less costly and time consuming then waiting for failure and then resorting to maintenance operations. As time goes by you will have access to professionals that will update and optimize the application.

You will have your application running on the newest platforms

A lot of companies nowadays have applications that are running on dated platforms and are spending money on modernization and re-engineering of old applications. When you get a custom application developed for your company you can rest assured that it will be running on the latest platform and have all the modern bells and whistles, so to speak. Not only this, but as your current application technology becomes outdated down the line the maintenance and optimization aspect kicks in, and you have someone that knows the ins and outs of your software and company dynamics that will help get you modernized in a timely fashion. While your competitors will be back in the Stone Age, you can count on your applications being updated consistently.

So in summary, having a custom application developed specifically to fit your needs gives you many advantages like having the right tools for your job, having a say in how the final product should look like, not worrying too much about maintenance and having your application consistently updated and optimized as the need arises.

Point-of-Sale to Get Business Booming

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The main goal of business is to satisfy customers and make a decent profit. The tools you use in your business can either help you or hurt you. When cashing out, iPad POS systems help to streamline the process and are sure to increase customer satisfaction and sales.

How Will this Help You?

You can instantly check your sales throughout the day. This will help you to know when you need more staff during the day and when you can cut back a bit as it will show you when your highest sales are. This will also help you determine when you should have sales and promotions and when they will turn you the highest profit. For example, if you have a coffee shop and notice that you get a little late afternoon rush between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, you can have a little happy hour during this time to help bring in more customers and keep the ones you already have feeling appreciated and coming back for more.

Core Features that are Available

The majority of programs have similar core features because these are very important for your business. The following features will help you run your business efficiently and smoothly:

  • Purchasing system that lets you know when inventory is low so that you can reorder
  • Offline mode so that your system will continue to work even when Internet service is disrupted
  • Kiosk support so that you can make the system available even when an attendant is not
  • Time clock that will show you exactly when the system is being used and who is using it
  • Digital menu board support so that you have the ability to change menu displays

Cost to Use this System

This type of system is around $1,000 on average. When you compare this cost to a traditional POS system, or even a fleet of cash registers, you will see that it is quite inexpensive. How many iPads you will need depends on the size of your business and how you will use them. For example, if you are a small coffee shop, one to two will be enough. However, if you are running a busy furniture store you may want a few that can be carried around by sales associates as well as one or two upfront to cash out customers.

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Main Benefits Of Updating Your Business Software

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Every business owner should update the business software from time to time – this is important because new features are added on a constant basis. Besides, freshly updated software is significantly stronger in front of viruses and hacker attacks. Here you will find some of the most important benefits of updating your business software, and why you should do it on a regular basis:

Increased Productivity

Old, outdated software can run very slowly, and this is anything but time-effective for a company. Moreover, these programs also freeze constantly and can affect the overall productivity of your business. Besides, as software becomes more and more efficient with every update, it also becomes easier to use in order to store and manage files. Moreover, software update is directly linked to employee productivity – if the software works perfectly and does not freeze all of a sudden, then employees are automatically more productive.

Improved Security

As stated above, one of the main reasons why developers update their software is to make them stronger against viruses and hacker attacks. Hackers are known for attacking large corporations and causing extensive damage. In addition to affecting a company from the financial point of view, an old software can also cause massive downtime and this can affect sales and the overall credibility of the company. Updates aim to “patch” the security holes that appear in old programs, and this decreases the security issues that may arise.

New Features

Generally speaking, whenever a software is updated, it receives several new features (or the already existing features are significantly improved). Having said that, a freshly updated software can provide essential customer feedback that the company can use in its best interest. Updated point of sale business software can analyze customer behavior, filter the information and provide data about what customers like or dislike, details that are absolutely essential for the success of future marketing campaigns.

Improved Inventory Management

Updating business software has another important benefits: it allows you, as a business owner, to better manage the inventory. In other words, by updating the business software you make sure that the customers will get their products or services right when they need them. In addition to improved services and better inventory management, you can even save some money by updating the software, since you do not have to bear the cost of stocking extra inventory.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Working with a software that is out of date is considerably more expensive than using a freshly updated software. Businesses have the tendency to grow, and software must keep up with the business, otherwise this can affect the overall productivity of the business. Old software fails more often than new software, and this can overload the help desk personnel and result in increased costs in the long run. By updating business software on a constant basis, you will face lower maintenance costs over the years.

To sum up, these are 5 of the most important reasons why every business owner should take software updating into account. Updated software ensures improved security and inventory management, increased productivity, improved services and lower maintenance costs.

British Student Develops iPhone Software to Turn Table Top into Complete Keyboard

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Here is a good news for all iPhone users as a British computing student at Goldsmiths named Florian Kraeutli has reportedly develop unique software. By using the software, any table top can be converted into a full sized keyboard that is invisible. The tool analyses vibrations when fingers tap the surface. The software is named as Vibrative that makes use of iPhone’s 3D accelerometer for measuring the attributes of every tap that is made on the table. The vibrations cause strength and frequency, which is compared with the ‘training data’ for working out the exact location.  This location is then converted into a virtual keyboard where the user can type.

The system is designed in such a way that it is successful to determine the keys a user intends to type almost every time (around 80%). To ensure the words are accurately spelled, the system feeds data into a dictionary that is auto correct.

British Student Develops iPhone Software

Some people are saying that the signals are not that strong. Even Kraeutli also said the same thing. He said that the system is a proof that using iPhone as an invisible full fledged keyboard on a table top is possible. Once the sensitivity of the accelerator is improved the quality of signal and accuracy will also increase. He also elaborated on why the prospect of this system is higher if the smartphone accelerators are made more sensitive. The accelerometers in the smartphones are made less sensitive so that the devices can store more battery power. The software now works better on the surfaces that are smaller because more vibrations are made on such surfaces with every tap.

While elaborating the usage of the software, he said that it is important to make the system learn diverse patterns of vibrations of every surface on which it is being used. However, it is not necessary to teach the software of the different patters of individual keys. He also demonstrated the usage of the technology on a video. Kraeutli made use of a paper where “keyboard” is printed for the purpose of training the system and then typing a text message. He also demonstrated that for a tough typist, how the paper is not necessary. When Vibrative is properly trained, it can be used directly onto a wooden tabletop. The initiative of Kraeutli has won appreciation and the software seems to be useful by many experts.

Those who haven’t checked the video where Kraeutli is shown to train the keyboard software, are amazed on how he did it using iPhone as Apple do not permit the way how the iOS keyboards function. It was revealed that Kraeutli made use of an iPhone 4 that is jailbroken and thus he demonstrated the system without any issue of Apple’s restrictions. As the Android smartphones do not have such constraints, keyboard app technology such SwiftKey have flourished.

Now, it is to be seen how this software is further developed so that the smart phone users can use a table top like surface as a virtual keyboard easily.

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Anti-virus Software Is Vital For a Healthy Computer

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Computers get infected with virus and it is very crucial that you provide your computer with anti-virus software to defend your system against any kind of virus attacks. Virus gets spread in many ways such as through e-mails, by copying a virus infected file and many more. There are certain syndromes which your computer would show up if it is infected by virus, like:

  •  Error messages would pop-up during start up.
  •  Applications may not work properly.
  •  Disk or USB drive cannot be read.
  •  Printer may create problems in printing.
  •  Pull down menu may not be same.
  •  Computer slows down/freezes/crashes.
  •  Files LOST or CORRUPTED!

Certain changes will definitely occur in your computer files infected with virus, these may include:

  •  File size may change without any reason.
  •  Date modified may not change with the date of last use.
  •  Number of files may change without any addition or deletion.

Some of the above mentioned happenings may not because of virus but because of few of the following reasons:

  •  Spyware may be loaded onto your computer without your knowledge, this software is usually used for monitoring computer activities and get info from your system. To avoid this issue, user should have an anti-spyware.
  •  Too many programs may be running in your PC, which may be a reason for your computer to slow down.
  •  There may be a scheduled program running in your PC which the manufacturer thinks to be vital for your computer. These programs are Windows Updater, Anti Virus software, Backup Programs, etc.

There may be ample number of reasons for poor performance of your PC however, it is very important that you have updated anti-virus software in your PC. Such software do not remove virus completely but prevents virus from attacking your system. Therefore, this should be the first software to be loaded in your PC. It is very important to update your anti-virus software frequently as new viruses are discovered at a very fast pace and without updated software, it would be difficult to protect your computer from severe attacks.
When you upload an anti-virus, scan your PC before running any other program. If there is any virus detected then go for anti-virus software recommendation. If virus can’t be cleaned then see whether that file is important for your system, if not go for delete or quarantine. If it is important then find same file which is virus free to replace the infected file. Restart your computer to make sure of a virus free system.
It is always good to install two anti-virus software but if your system becomes slower, it is advisable to have single anti-virus software. After all, computer is one of the most valuable assets of yours and you can let it corrupt so easily.

This post is sponsored by jianjames, who is an expert in the field of computers and technology.  Apart from writing  jianjames loves to review about the local business organisations in an around the world. – Mytechgurus.

Mytechgurus is an computer tech support company, that provides hassle free support to customers around the world.

 

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Increasing Driver Retention

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Driver retention is as important to fleet companies as server retention is to the restaurant industry. Without capable and efficient freight movers, products are unable to make it successfully to the consumers, halting all transactions. Retaining drivers shouldn’t be a difficult task, but if the employee pool is dwindling then it may be time to evaluate the company turn-over rate and determine the possible cause. If the reasons are not black and white then engaging in some effective, high quality retention strategies may change the pattern in both the short and long terms.

Hire Wisely

Sometimes the best retention strategy is to start at square one by making the right hiring choices. Finding drivers who love what they do, have a history of being safe and efficient and who add value to the team is the key to finding employees who are going to be the ones that stick around for the long term. If a hire-on does not meet the above criteria, not only will they not last in the industry, they probably won’t be providing the organization many benefits anyway. Fleet management products and applications can greatly ease the hiring or assessment processes and even increase overall profitability.

Provide Time-Off

Another strategy for driver retention is to allow them to have time-off at home or with their families. Fulfilling the promises that are guaranteed to the staff will prevent them from feeling overworked and will eliminate family deprivation issues. If a driver is promised time at home every 3 weeks then they will be promising that to their spouse and children in turn. If the promises are not fulfilled, the frustration from the family will only further increase the dissatisfaction of the driver. When forced to choose between family and work, the former will usually win out, leaving the freight company the task of having to replace drivers.

Offer Competitive Pay

Possibly the most obvious technique toward keeping the drivers on staff for a long period of time would be to offer competitive pay. Compensating the drivers fairly and providing bonuses or incentives for efficiency and productivity will lead your staff toward overall satisfaction and will certainly improve work ethic. Awarding seniority with small pay raises will also encourage newer drives to stick with the position for the future incentives. Paid wait times and a new hire signing bonus can improve driver retention.

Make Their Job Efficient

Drivers generally want to get to their destination and back as quickly as possible, so help them make their jobs easier. There are various technologies out there that can assist with GPS tracking, route management or hours of service regulations that will help take the load off the driver and make it easier for them to get from point A to point B without any hassle. By providing your drivers with less paperwork and faster routes, you’re alleviating some of the biggest stresses they can face on the job.

If all of the above tactics are employed with no result, then sometimes the overall most important key to determining unhappiness is to ask the drivers firsthand. This can be done by offering frequent surveys in order to acknowledge dissatisfaction causes and keep everyone content overall. If a freight company acquires habits of making wise hiring decisions, fulfilling time-at-home promises, providing competitive pay rates with incentives and, in general, respecting the sacrifices and work ethics of this extremely important asset, then retention of drivers will become unavoidable.

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Why Should I Get Microsoft Certification?

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Whether you are a seasoned technical specialist or someone just starting out in the field of IT, Microsoft Certification can prove invaluable if you want to work in almost any technical environment.  If you are an expert they validate your existing skill set, look good on your CV and are often what non tech-savvy recruiters and HR teams look for when deciding whom to bring in on interview. For new people to IT, Microsoft Certification can provide a clear learning plan and structure to help you get the skills you need and ensure that they are industry recognized wherever you are.

How Do I Get Microsoft Certified?

With all the courses you can opt to use the learning materials provided by Microsoft or other third parties, work through the content at home via self-study or go through a recognized course provider on a residential based training course. If you are confident in your skills you could just take the exam at an approved testing center but it is recommend you at least read through the sample exams and material provided online by Microsoft first.

What Qualifications are Available?

 

With a wide range of qualifications and certifications available there is something for everyone at every level from causal office users to hardcore programmers.  Below is list of a few of the certifications available, please check out the outstandingly useful Microsoft Learning Site (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/default.aspx) for full information and guidance.

MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)

Perhaps the most common and most prestigious Microsoft Certification. There are a variety of tracks and specialization available to get this certification and it is worth giving some thought about what direction you want to focus your skills. This qualification grows out of other certifications so you will also build a portfolio of certifications as you progress.

MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist)

Suitable for professionals who don’t want to become coders but need to prove a level of proficiency with commonly used office-based software. This is leveled so as to be suitable for both everyday office workers and help-desk support staff.

MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician)

A straightforward qualification that can really improve your chances of getting a well paid IT support role.

MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer)

For all the coders out there, this qualification covers a range of development tools and languages, which you can select according to the area of expertise you want to develop.

 

Robert is writing for Exam Certify which is very well known for reliable pdf material provider for Microsoft exams.

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Cloud Computing Models

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There’s a lot of discussion about all sorts of issues related to cloud computing. In a nutshell, cloud computing as a whole encompasses any subscription-based service that offers computing in the cloud, or on the Web, if you prefer that nomenclature. This can include anything from a software application, computing platform or infrastructure solution. There are three major cloud-computing models: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

This new technology seems to be picking up where Web 2.0 left off, and taking it to the next level. The cloud computing space is picking up steam for a few reasons. It costs less to develop and deploy cloud-based solutions. The cloud offers a new level of unprecedented computing accessibility and, as budgets shrink on both personal and business levels, data management is proving to be most efficiently and cost-effectively handled in the cloud.

This will affect Web users and the world of computing in profound ways in the coming years. Namely, computing solutions will become more accessible, and as a result, the Web will become a more powerful and integrative tool for everyday life. The key to understanding this major shift is first understanding the basics of cloud computing. Let’s take a look at the three most popular service models in more detail.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS providers make up one of the largest group of cloud service providers in the industry, mainly because SaaS services are among the easiest to deploy. In a nutshell, as opposed to simply downloading a heavy-duty application to a physical storage device, SaaS providers offer users access to applications on a hosted server. This means either using the application inside a Web browser, or within a lightweight, downloaded application. This can include anything from a customer relationship management (CRM) application to cloud-based music software. In the future, SaaS applications will become more integrated with mobile devices.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

The IaaS model is perhaps the most complex of the cloud computing models. As medium and large enterprise-level organizations used to use dedicated data centers, many are turning to IaaS providers to cut infrastructure-related costs. IaaS is the basis by which all other cloud computing models operate. There are various platforms—including vCloud Director and OpenStack–used to control cloud instances, growing servers and bridging cloud services, IaaS providers offer a pool of resources relating to infrastructural needs – physical servers, virtual servers, load balancers, etc., — from an offsite data center. The customer then downloads all the necessary operating systems, and applications necessary for operation.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS solutions are more geared towards developers. A PaaS provider will furnish the customer with a computing platform that includes an operating system, execution environment and a database and Web server. This is to ensure quick and easy application deployment within the cloud. This also provides a cost-effective way for Web developers to deploy their software solutions without buying or purchasing heavyweight hardware and software solutions usually associated with application deployment.

 

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Fleet Tracking Software Can Save Business Owners Thousands

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For years consumers enjoyed inexpensive gasoline. Drivers would fill their cars at the pump and not worry about how much a barrel of crude was going for at the moment. Today the price of gasoline has almost tripled and is still rising. “We buy gas in a very different manner than everything else,” said HIS Global Insight economist Chris Christopher. “It is a very visible transaction. You go to the tank and squeeze, and (see) the cost go higher and higher.”

Car owners are trading in their luxury vehicles for compact cars with smaller gas tanks, and sanitation departments in many cities have cut back on the number of days they pick up trash. Everyone is feeling the pressure. Spending must be trimmed, but the question is: How?

The Problem

The taxi and trucking industries, which provide nationwide transportation (of people and goods), are affected the most by rising gas prices. These companies spend an average of several hundred dollars per week, per truck on gasoline, and this amount continues to rise.

In situations like this the customers are usually the ones who eventually absorb the increase. However, some companies are determined not to burden their customers with any additional charges. For these companies the solution is an obvious one: it’s time to create a cost-effective business plan, the high-tech way.

“Compared to this time last year we’re spending about $500 more a week on gasoline,” said Robert Crawley, owner of Robert’s Coffee and Vending Service, which operates a fleet of about 20 delivery trucks and service vehicles. “So far, we’ve absorbed the expense and haven’t had to pass it along to our customers.”

The Solution

Fleet tracking software is an option that many companies are considering. The software offers great advantages for fleet companies looking to save money, time and gas. Companies can configure quicker routes for their drivers and minimize delays. There is always a shorter way to get to point A to point B, and with this software, fleet operators will be able to find it.

The software provides the latest features in fleet management: mapping properties, team management options, fuel efficiency modules, satellite imageries, 2-way messaging and route optimization. All of these advance features work together with GPS technology to enhance their company’s travel time and save money during the process.

The fuel efficiency module displays and monitors real time gas levels for each truck, as well as how much fuel each truck has consumed. Owners control drivers’ expenditures and only allow them access to the amount of gas they need for each trip. When this feature is used in harmony with the fleet, driver and team management tool owners can expect to see a huge savings and increase in the amount of money they normally spend on fuel.

Whether you are a fleet operator or a consumer who uses the services of companies that use vehicle fleets, the advantages of fleet management software are obvious. By cutting unnecessary vehicle use, companies not only save money and are able to pass those savings onto customers, but they are lessening their impact on the environment, making this a win-win situation for all involved.

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2012’s Newest Technology

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The 2012 International Manufacturing Technology Show will be the 29th offering of this premier event held in Chicago’s McCormick Place complex. Coordinators of the show state that the over 80,000 expected visitors will experience more than 1,100 technology-based exhibitions. Each Pavilion of the complex will host a specific industry, giving the heavy hitting companies in that field a chance to boast about their newest gadgets.

Who Will Attend?

Attending the IMTS will be technology and manufacturing professionals from around the world. The show is also open to students who wish to pursue a career in any one of the fields offering exhibits. Each company will provide educational information relevant to their business and industry.

The industries showing at IMTS in 2012 include aerospace, automotive, machine shop, medical and power gen/green. Prominent exhibitors this year include Aerospace Manufacturing and Design, Bluco Corporation and Delcam.

Aerospace Manufacturing and Design

Under the category of Books, Publications and Information Services, Aerospace Manufacturing and Design will be offering an exhibit in the Tooling and Workholding Systems Pavilion.

Aerospace Manufacturing and Design is a magazine resource for the tooling and manufacturing industry. A visit to one of the AMD exhibitions will provide an informative and appealing source of information. The company features industry related stories both online and in print with a staff that covers a range of topics including the newest technology solutions or design and CAD programs yet to be released.

This publication provides an in depth look at the industry that includes software, hardware, news and trends in tool and design. The AMD booth at IMTS will provide visitors a chance to meet the faces behind the words. Attendees that stop by will get to discuss industry news with the writers and editors that keep them informed.

The Aerospace Manufacturing and Design booth will be number is W-100 in the Tooling and Workholding Systems Pavilion.

Bluco Corporation

This year Bluco Corporation is one of the featured exhibitors at IMTS, showing in the Metal Forming and Fabricating/Laser Pavilion. Bluco offers modular fixturing systems for welding. Each unit features precision machined tables and reusable tooling components.

During their exhibit, Bluco will offer a closer look at their distinctive modular solutions. The company promises to create a system for any size or shape weldment. This Aurora, Ill. manufacturer will provide information at their booth to will help customize the right system for businesses.

The Bluco exhibit is at booth N-6021 in the Metal Forming Pavilion.

Delcam

In Controls and CAD-CAM, Delcam offers a taste of some of the newest design software available. Delcam produces applications such as ArtCAM, Delcam for SolidWorks, PowerINSPECT

Attendees will meet the programmers that create some of the most powerful CAD design platforms and simulator software available. The booth setup should offer a chance to see and play with the programs. Delcam will have people on hand to answer any questions visitors might have regarding applications they are considering for purchase or ones that they might already use for business.

The Delcam exhibit will be located in booth E-3222 in the Controls and CAD-CAM section.

Show Information

IMTS offers online registration and travel bookings. Attendees generally stay at a local Chicago hotel associated with the show. Registration will require deposit for one night and taxes. Deadline for registration and hotel booking is August 15, 2012. Companies looking to book rooms must provide names of guests no later than August 1st or risk losing their housing.

IMTS is held every two years. This year the event will open on September 10th and run through to the 15th. Shows begin in the East and West buildings at 9 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. In the North and South buildings, the exhibitions start at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

IMTS is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. No other show offers this quality and quantity of industrial trade information and technology. This is the place a company can find solutions for manufacturing needs. Businesses can use this trip as both a motivator and training platform. In the over 1,100 booths, IMTS offers the trendiest technology in nine different industries.

Business is about networking as much as anything else. The show will give professionals a chance to meet the people who make the decisions in their field. IMTS attendance opens up a world of business contacts that may be potential vendors or customers one day.

The show promises to be one of the biggest and most informative to date. This is the place to find 2012 newest technologies. Those who miss it will have to wait two years for another International Manufacturing Technology Show.

 

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Voting Technology to Help the Disabled

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Cities in the United States often use various methods to assist the disabled on voting day. This typically consists of transporting the handicapped to voting sites in a wheelchair van and ensuring the disabled have access to voting sites. Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures that polling places accommodate disabled voters.

Now, voting machines have the capability to accommodate people with a range of disabilities. This technology ensures that the disabled voters truly do have equal access to polling places.

Long Beach, California plans to use voting machines for visually impaired individuals during the April 2012 primary elections, according to Gazettes.com. These machines are able to issue audio commands to users, allowing them to vote without assistance, even if they are completely blind. This will mark the first use of these voting machines in Los Angeles County and is an important step in providing independent voting for the disabled.

Dolores Nason, executive director of the Disabled Resources Center, was nearly brought to tears when she saw some of her volunteers, workers and clients using these machines during a demonstration. “People who have disabilities, they still want to be independent and they want to keep their dignity,” she told Gazettes.com, “and being able to vote can be a big part of that.”

Los Angeles County has 88 cities, 60 of which have municipal elections. Long Beach used an independent contractor to conduct its elections until 2006, and this city has been improving its voting facilities in-house ever since. In 2006, Orange County began using the e-slate voting machines, electronic machines that directly record voting machines. Anyone can use these machines, but they are especially useful for people with disabilities.

E-slate machines issue voice commands through headphones for the visually impaired. The large buttons are easy for people with motor disabilities to control, and those without any use of their hands can control these machines with a sip and puff device. An e-slate machine displays the entire ballot as if it was a paper ballot and also allows the user to modify previous choices before submitting the ballot.

Long Beach officials will install four e-slate machines at City Hall for the 2012 elections, which run from March 12 to April 3. The city decided to buy these $24,000 machines instead of electronic poll books, which allows voting officials to review voter information. Officials plan to install e-slate machines at all 270 polling locations, although this will require several years to fully implement.

Voting machines allow the disabled to maintain their independence and keep their dignity while voting, in addition to increasing the number of people who vote. These machines also allow the handicapped to vote independently, thus ensuring privacy for all voters.

In order to ensure equality at the voting booth, this technology should be widespread, rather than contained in such a limited area. With technological advancements being made every day, it is feasible that, assuming everything goes as planned in California this year, this technology can be available nationwide by the next presidential election.

5 Handy Softwares: Short Reviews

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Here’s the review of 5 very useful softwares.

Protect Your Data: NewSoftwares Folder Lock

Keeping your data secure has never been more important, and if you’re in business, you know that data is often your most valuable asset. With Folder Lock from NewSoftwares, you can protect and back up your private and personal documents located on PCs or portable devices. The suite consists of an encryption utility (256-bit), an online backup utility, portable encryption for USB drives and discs, a file locking utility, encrypted wallets utility, file shredder, built-in stealth mode for hiding the application’s very existence on the system, and more.

Build A Better Website: Intuit Homestead

Intuit’s Homestead is designed to help small businesses tap into the practically limitless opportunities of the Web by helping them create professional-looking and searchable websites. Homestead is free for 30 days and provides intuitive website-building software, inexpensive Web hosting services, and a toll-free customer support hotline. Once your website is up and running, you can also use Homestead to help you create an online store, get professional design help, and even increase the traffic to your site.

Fast Tax Filing: H&R Block

H&R Block’s take on taxes leverages the local brick-and-mortar offices as an additional resource for online tax filers. From the website, you can file using the Free, Basic ($19.95), Deluxe ($29.95), and Premium Editions ($49.95), which are suited to federal e-filing, simple tax situations, homeowners, and the self-employed, respectively. By the time you read this, you’ll have access to Block Live, which lets you connect to a real tax professional via face-to-face videoconference, starting at $39 each for federal and state returns.

From Idea To Startup: Palo Alto Business Plan Pro

The daunting task of putting your business plan on paper and wrapping your head around the complex calculations and financial terms shouldn’t slow you down. This software features more than 500 sample business plans, expert advice, and helpful examples designed to assist you in crafting a professional business plan all your own. Features include instructional videos, notification icons for collaborative business plans, an easily searchable Sample Plan Browser, and step-by-step guidance for editing and rewriting a plan to suit your needs.

Edit Photos Like A Pro: Serif PhotoPlus X5

Whether you use a digital SLR, point-and-shoot, or your cell phone to take photos, Serif’s PhotoPlus X5 will help you take them to the next level. This photo-editing suite lets you tweak and enhance your images to get professional-looking results, and it also helps you keep them organized. Features include red-eye removal and the ability to restore old photos and add impressive effects while editing your images.

Author Bio:

Guest Post written by Kashif Raza. Are you looking for android apps developer in Dubai to build your andorid app? webologyworld.com has 2 years of Industry experience in mobile and web.

 

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10 Ways Cloud Computing Has Changed Business

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Cloud computing is a method of delivering computing services. Initially conceived in 2006, it has become a common method of transferring files through the Internet. Cloud computing represents a fundamental shift in business, where computing has traditionally been considered a product. Here are 10 ways in which cloud computing has changed business.

  1. Cloud computing has greatly simplified the task of sharing files on a network. This typically requires users to place an application icon for the cloud computing software onto their computer’s desktop. A file can be shared simply by dragging it into the icon. File-sharing previously required expertise in networking.
  2. Large companies began developing the tools that provide cloud-computing services. Gartner research predicts that customers will spend $16 billion per year on cloud computing services by the year 2016.
  3. Cloud computing has caused business leaders to assume that all digital information is available through the Internet.
  4. Cloud-computing businesses are becoming extremely competitive. Box.net, CloudMe, Dropbox, Egnyte and SugarSync are all cloud-computing startups that have been founded since 2000. Big companies such as Apple and Google are also getting involved with this trend.
  5. Businesses that provide cloud-computing services are able to obtain large amounts of funding. For example, Dropbox obtained venture capital worth more than $250 million in September of 2011.
  6. Cloud computing allows average users to transfer files between devices, rather than just high-end users. The transfer of files between devices started becoming an issue for average users in 2007.
  7. Cloud computing also allows users to connect different types of devices on the Internet, which have proliferated since the late 1990s. In addition to a PC or Mac, users today may also have a smartphone or tablet, which is fully integrated with cloud computing services.
  8. Businesses now consider data sharing to be an integral part of computing, along with having the right data and Internet connectivity. These three elements are now business requirements, rather than options.
  9. Cloud computing has allowed users to become more mobile. IDC, a market research firm, reports that 758.6 million mobile users were connected to the Internet 2006. That number is projected to increase to 1.3 billion by 2013.
  10. The transfer of large files such a multimedia files is faster with cloud computing. Prior to cloud computing, these files were typically transferred by downloading them from a server. This process becomes time consuming when it is performed frequently.

Whether you’re sharing documents with office mates or trying to decide what to do in Chicago, cloud computing has many valid uses that has made sharing information infinitely easier. Gone are the days of snail mail and bulky file cabinets. Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, you can stay connected and up-to-date, making cloud computing a winning solution for the business world. With all of these innovations, who knows where we will be five or ten years from now? The possibilities seem limitless.

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Technology that Changed the Business Landscape

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Doing business isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago. Technology has made administration and management of business resources easier and safer. This technology has become essential in some industries because it guarantees greater efficiency and protects business resources from improper use. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remember what office life was like prior to some technological advances that many companies now take for granted.

Payroll Software for Implementing Employee Benefits and Salaries

Once upon a time, businesses had paper timecards, large filing cabinets that held employee time and payroll records, and the business kept track of insurance and benefits manually. With payroll software, employee pay is completely automated, and paycheck stubs are available online. This software eliminates the large filing cabinets of paperwork, so businesses can save money on office supplies. Although payroll software is an initial cost for the business, it ultimately saves money on business resources involved in processing employee payroll records.

Keylogger Software

Keylogger software has a couple of useful functions. First, it stores passwords, and it is used to monitor children on the Internet. For businesses, keyloggers keep track of employee activity on a workstation by logging each key stroke. A keylogger not only keeps track of passwords, URL addresses entered into a browser address bar, and content typed during production hours, but it also uploads the content to a central server for review. If the employee is doing anything against the company rules, the keylogger can alert the business owner to the issue.

Workstation Monitoring Software

Workstation monitoring software is a little more advanced than keyloggers. This monitoring software takes snapshots of the employee’s desktop and sends those snapshots to a central server. Instead of only reading contextual content, the business owner can see images of the employee’s desktop during work hours. This type of monitoring software ensures the employee is productive instead of browsing the Internet or performing unrelated tasks during work hours.

Fleet Management Software

Fleet management software is beneficial for companies that have fleets of cars or trucks. This software includes a GPS system, so the business owner knows exactly where the truck or car is located at any given point of time during the day, and keeps record of the hours of service the vehicle is in use, along with information such as gas volume and fuel mileage. By tracking this data, this software saves money for business owners, because accounts for wear and tear on the vehicle, and improves overall fuel mileage while holding drivers accountable.

Technology helps business owners manage administrative tasks, protect company resources and keep track of business expenses. Additionally, software programs hold employees accountable while sparing employers the headache of having to keep vigil over them. Finally, the Internet and various interactive programs enable many offices to be virtually paper-free, removing the hassle of mountains of paperwork. With these advances, the business landscape has changed for the better, improving productivity and decreasing unnecessary expenditures. This, in turn, increases revenue and lowers overhead expense, making it a winning solution for businesses.

Social Page Builder: Facebook Fan Page Builder

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Facebook is a fun and interesting way to reach the online masses, whether it’s for your blog, website, or ecommerce site. With over 750 million account holders, all over the world, you are more than likely to attract the audience you are looking for through a well designed Facebook fan page. But the only problem is most of the generic tools provided by Facebook are not appealing enough to maintain the attention of your audience. To fill this gap Social Page Builder is designed to provide you with the necessary tools and templates to develop a truly unique and appealing Facebook fan page.

 

When it comes to online marketing, there are various methods that have been available to website owners, such as pay per click programs, newsletters, banners, etc. Over time these methods of marketing have become saturated and unappealing, hence ineffective. With the current rise of Facebook, a social networking site, you can be able to tap into this steadily rising online audience and gain a greater exposure for products/services. Through social page builder, you can create a fan page that is appealing, and is able to convey your message more effectively.

 

Social page builder comes packed with a variety of multi layered templates that you can easily edit, to make your own design. You can develop up to 15 different fan pages, with their own individual tabs to gain some feedback from users.  You can set up “like” tabs, and links to your website, for easy access to your products/services. To make the design process clear and easy to do, social page builder come equipped with WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) feature. You can also input HTML code into the interface, for more personalized themes, such as contact forms. It is designed to be user friendly, though the better your understanding of Photoshop and other visual design methods, the better you chances at developing a really good Facebook fan page.

 

In our test, we found it a bit tricky to use on Mozilla Firefox, but worked just fine while using internet explorer.  Make sure to subscribe to the company’s newsletters, after subscription. They offer various guides and handy tips that will keep you updated on the latest trends currently being used in the market. Social page builder is a really good option, for someone looking to tap into the Facebook social audience. The set up costs will vary, depending on the type of subscription you want.