Fun And Practical Wind And Weather Gadgets

As a society, we’re consumed with the weather. Our personal, business, and economic well being can often depend upon wind and weather conditions. Travel, shopping, and social decisions are often dependent on the weather, and it’s a well known fact that most conversations begin and end with comments about wind and weather.

What’s even more interesting about weather and wind is not only their impact on our daily lives, but that forecasting weather and wind have become one of today’s hottest hobbies, no pun intended! Wind and weather gadgets and related instruments are now a large part of attractive home decor. Items such as portable weather stations, wind gauges, specialty thermometers, and wind and weather home forecasters serve practical and decorative purposes for the well designed home.

Let’s take a look at some of today’s latest weather and wind gadgets, with a description of what they do. Each of these are applicable for home use and add a fun, practical element to your home decor.

Weather Stations: These desktop weather centers are designed for those who are most interested in optimal conditions in their living area or garden. Weather stations typically display temperature and humidity levels for multiple locations, and 12-24 hour advanced forecasts. Usually, a desktop weather station shows forecasts, at a glance, for rainy, sunny, snowy, cloudy, and partly cloudy.

Wireless Rain Gauges: Designed for the gardener or hobbyist, wireless rain gauges normally have a 100′ tracking range and display rainfall history tracking data. Most wireless rain gauges also track current temperature and temperature trends at a glance. In most cases, these handy units can be placed on a desktop or wall mounted.

Wind Resistant and Lighted Umbrellas: Even umbrellas have gone high tech. If you’ve ever had your umbrella turned inside out due to high winds, you should know that wind resistant umbrellas are designed to avoid that unpleasant problem. Further, lighted umbrellas are a unique rain protection device where the shaft is made of clear acrylic which lights up in dark conditions and doesn’t require bulb replacement.

Hygrometers: Hygrometers are designed to measure and display every environmental factor imaginable. Recently, hygrometers have trended toward hand held models, designed for outdoors enthusiasts. These units display current conditions in digital format, and trends both past and upcoming.

“Family Friendly” Weather Forecasters: The latest fun weather gadgets are designed for youngsters. Animated weather forecasters show all the relevant wind and weather factors, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, and upcoming trends. The unique and fun aspect of an animated weather forecaster is a built in “weather boy” who wears an outfit appropriate for the day’s weather. Geared toward children, animated weather forecasters help guide children to dress appropriately for upcoming weather.

Learning and understanding weather is no longer the cut and dried forecast in the local paper or the news channel. These fun and practical weather gadgets are part of a growing hobby appropriate for all ages.

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Advantages of Using Digital Marketing

Before digital media came along, marketers had to rely on print, radio and television advertising to reach customers. All of these channels are essentially one-directional modes of communication, requiring clever thinking to generate a response and ensure customer engagement. With the advent of mobile telephones, the Internet and other forms of interactive communication; marketers can today enter into a two way dialogue with the customer.

Print advertising of the past utilized a strong call to action and typically a voucher to be redeemed or a tear off coupon to be posted back. In addition to the hit and miss nature of this approach, not representing a true picture of customer interest, paper based campaigns can be costly and require a high level of administrative management. Where print advertising is utilized, the buyer incurs additional media placement costs on top of the agency fee for the development of the advertisement. Radio and television offer phone in opportunities from time to time, but like print they are essentially single-direction communication channels.

Digital technology and information capture
Internet and mobile telephone technologies have revolutionized the marketing industry, providing the means to track consumer interests and obtain an inexpensive link direct to the customer. A form on a website can capture customer details and ask key questions to assist with market profiling. The voluntary provision of email or mobile telephone contact details allows the marketer to ‘get in front of’ the customer without breaching privacy regulations.

Customers are often drawn to relinquish personal information through the offer of free materials and giveaways, or the opportunity to enter a competition. The more closely consumers become connected to digital technologies, the greater the power of the information channel for marketers. With mobile telephones and other electronic devices kept on the person, the rate of ‘hits’ is likely to be far higher than the scattergun approach of traditional media.

When the immediacy and accessibility of digital media is combined with metrics, analysis and customer profiling / segmentation, the online world becomes even more powerful for marketing purposes. Today we can reach the customer when we want to, losing no time as an issue or leveraging opportunity arises, send targeted information that reflects the profile we have gleaned online and reasonably expect a fair percentage to engage in two way communication.

Keywords and internet marketing
Internet marketers utilize popular search terms to isolate what potential customers are interested in and to ensure that content is available online which meets a customer need but also serves the purpose of engaging the customer with the marketer’s brand.

Poor internet marketers do this badly, overestimating the value of keywords and underestimating the importance of providing value to the customer. Customers resent hollow content which is designed purely to drive web traffic to a particular site, and search engines such as Google develop tools to seek out poor quality sites and reduce their ranking. Poor copy online can often mean a low search engine ranking, meaning when the customer types in your keyword, many other sites will appear before yours in the results list.

The process of getting a website ready to attract the most traffic possible and maintain a good search ranking is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Online marketing experts can assist a business in raising their ranking and keeping it high and ‘Google friendly’.

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A Short History of Computers

One of the greatest inventions of the time is obviously the computer. Billions of people use computers in their daily life throughout the world. Throughout decades, computer has evolved from a very expensive and slow device to today’s extremely smart machines with unbelievable processing power.

No single person was credited with the invention of computer, many believe that Konrad Zuse and his Z1 machine was the first in a long line of innovations that gave us the computer of today. Konrad Zuse was a German who was famous for the creation of the first freely programmable mechanical computing device in 1936. Zuse’s Z1 was created with a focus on 3 basic elements that are still necessary in today’s calculators. Later, Konrad Zuse created Z2 and the Z3.

The first of the MARK series computers were being built at Harvard. The MARK I began in 1944 and this computer was huge filling in a room having a size of 55 feet long by 8 feet high. The MARK I could perform a wide variety of calculations. It became a success and was utilized by the US Navy. It was in service till 1959.

The ENIAC computer was one of most important achievements in computing. It was commissioned during World War II and used by the US military. Vacuum tubes were used by this computer instead of electric motors and levers for fast calculations. Its speed was about thousand times faster than any other calculating device during that time. This computer was enormous and had a total cost of $500,000. The ENIAC was in operation till 1955.

RAM or Random Access Memory was first introduced in 1964. The first RAM was a metal detector plate positioned close to a vacuum tube which detected the difference in electrical charges. It was an easy way of storing computer instructions.

There were plenty of innovations in the 1940s. The Manchester Baby was developed by Telecommunications Research Establishment. It was the first computer to use a stored program and it went live in 1948. The Manchester MARK I went live in 1951 and showed tremendous progress against computers. Researchers had found that there was a huge chance of development for the computer.

The UNIVAC which stands for Universal Automatic Computer was built by the creators of ENIAC. It was the fastest and most innovative computer capable of handling many computations. It was a masterpiece of its time and was praised by public.

IBM is known for creating the first personal computer widely affordable and available to the people. IBM 701 was the first general purpose computer developed by IBM. The new computer language called FORTRAN was used in the new 701. Other IBM computers also followed like the 704. The IBM 7090 also was a big success and it dominated business computers for the next 20 years. In the late 1970’s and into 1980 IBM developed a personal computer known as the PC. IBM has had a huge influence on the computers used today.

In 1984, the Apple Macintosh was released and Apple computers dominated the market. It was not a quick success. It went into production from January of 1984 to October of 1985.

With the growth of personal computer market in the early and mid 1980s, many companies realized that GUI or Graphical User Interface was user friendly. This led to the development of an operating system called Windows by Microsoft. The first version was called Windows 1.0 and later came Windows 2.0 and 3.0 editions. Microsoft is increasingly popular today.

Today, computers are extremely powerful and more affordable than ever. They have practically infiltrated into every aspect of our lives. It is used as a powerful tool of communication and commerce. The future is computer is tremendous.

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Run Your Business in the Cloud

According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is “computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services.”

When you run your business in the cloud, everything works, your information is always available, and the cost is usually lower than housing your business data onsite. Let’s discuss how the cloud works for my customer Pam’s e-mail. Everything just works

Pam’s company was running their e-mail and SPAM filtering in-house. They were receiving more than 5,000 SPAM messages per day. I kid you not. This far outweighed the number of legitimate messages. They needed a separate server just to filter and store the SPAM messages. If they didn’t have this additional box for SPAM filtering and storage, their e-mail server would have run out of storage space and stopped working.

I migrated them to a hosted Exchange provider in Texas with a 100% uptime Service Level Guarantee and 46 of the Fortune 100 as customers. Pam no longer has to think about SPAM filtering-her company now enjoys enterprise-level SPAM filtering. Pam no longer has to think about a server running out of storage space-her company has infinite storage space. Pam no longer has to think about e-mail working if her building suffers a fire, flood, theft, or power outage. Her e-mail is in Texas.

The Exchange provider’s facility has high-security, redundant power and reliable HVAC equipment. They also have multiple high-speed Internet connections. If one of them happens to go down, another would take its place almost immediately. Pam no longer pays me hourly to keep e-mail working. Her company now pays a fixed monthly fee per mailbox. Everything just works for Pam.

It’s available from anywhere

Hosted Exchange is a database that Pam and her staff can get to from anywhere with Internet access. She can be at her desk and use Microsoft Outlook to get her e-mail. She can power up her notebook computer from anywhere with Internet access, launch Microsoft Outlook, and get her e-mail. She can be at home, launch Internet Explorer, log into her mailbox and get her e-mail. She can also check her e-mail from her smartphone. It is always available.

This applies to contact info. Suppose a customer calls Pam from his new cell phone and says, “Pam, I have a new cell phone number. Please update your records with the number you see on the caller ID.” Pam can make that change once.

This applies to calendar info too. Suppose a one-hour visit to a customer’s office ends up running four hours. Pam can update her calendar on her smartphone and type in some notes from the four-hour visit. When she returns to the office and launches Outlook, her calendar will reflect four hours at that customer, complete with the notes she typed into the smartphone.

The cost is usually less

Pam’s company has 15 mailboxes and uses Exchange’s Public Folders. They pay less than $200 per month for their hosted Exchange with Public Folders. That annualizes to $2,400 per year.

This was not the only option. Pam’s company could have purchased a new server and run Exchange in-house, but they would have incurred a very long list of expenses in doing this, including:

Capital cost of a new server

  • Software and licensing cost for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Exchange Server, virus protection, and SPAM filtering
  • At least 15 licenses for all the above products
  • Tax and shipping on the new server hardware and software
  • My time writing specs and pricing
  • My time setting up the server, Exchange, virus protection, and SPAM filtering
  • My time updating all the above products
  • My time migrating their existing mailboxes from the old server to the new server
  • My time updating users’ MS Outlook to point to the new server

This is just the project cost. You can add maintenance, power consumption, heat generation, and annual license renewals for the virus protection and SPAM filtering. This could very easily end up more than $10,000 for the initial project and more than $1,500 per year afterward. Her company’s five-year cost with an on-site server would be $17,500 before adding the electricity consumption and extra load on her air conditioner to keep the server room chilled. With the cloud solution, the five-year cost is only $12,000.

The Cloud Works for the Self-employed Too

Maybe you don’t have 15 users at your office. Maybe you’re self-employed, like me. The cloud works for honorable self-employed Americans too.

I use the same hosted Exchange service Pam’s company uses. I do not need Public Folders since I am sharing my data with nobody. My hosted Exchange runs $12 per month. It is a valuable tool and well worth this cost. Here’s how.

I manage my calendar on hosted Exchange. When I leave a customer, I can pull out my phone and update my calendar before departing for the next customer. This lets me create a more accurate journal entry for that site visit. I can also update the start and end times to show how long I was actually at the customer. This is usually longer than I initially scheduled. With this updated appointment, I can bill for my actual time at the office.

I have less undocumented and underbilled time-I recoup at least one hour per month when I update the phone. My current hourly rate is far more than $12 per hour. Does it make sense to spend $12 per month for a service that lets me recoup much more than that?

I’m sure the cloud will work for you too.

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