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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hang up and fly right: More evidence of in-flight interference

 

By Rob Lovitt, msnbc.com contributor

Maybe you really should turn off your cell phone when the flight attendant tells you to. No, really.

According to a confidential report obtained by ABC News, interference from cell phones and other personal electronic devices (PEDs) may, in fact, present serious safety concerns for aircraft.

The report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global industry trade group, surveyed commercial pilots and crewmembers and cited 75 incidents in which the respondents believed PEDs may have created electronic interference that impacted flight systems.

Twenty-six incidents affected flight controls, while 17 affected navigation systems and 15 affected communication systems. Thirteen, says ABC, produced “engine indications” and other warnings. According to respondents, activated electronic devices caused GPS and altitude-control readings to read incorrectly and change rapidly.

Live Poll

Do you think cell phones and other PEDs interfere with flight controls?

“It could be that you were to the right of the runway when in fact, you were to the left of the runway,” Dave Carson of Boeing told ABC.

Although the report doesn’t confirm that the incidents were caused by PEDs, it does note that in several instances, instrument readings returned to normal after crewmembers made passengers turn off their devices.

“We can’t say categorically that these devices cause interference,” IATA spokesman Chris Goater told msnbc.com, “but there are enough anecdotal reports from pilots to raise the question.”

Finding that direct link may only get more difficult, especially as the number and variety of PEDs increase and airplanes rely more heavily on “fly-by-wire,” or electric systems that may be more susceptible to interference than the mechanical systems found in older planes.

“The upshot is that those PEDs emit energy that could interfere with the signals from the control column to the control surfaces,” said aviation safety consultant Steve Cowell of SRC Aviation LLC. “There’s quite a bit of shielding, but it’s also possible that it may not be enough.”

 

A Sure Fix for the Economy – Revolution

Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

by: Deena Stryker, The South Africa Civil Society Information Service | News Analysis

An Italian radio program’s story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt.  The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here’s why:

Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country’s banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors.  But as investments grew, so did the banks’ foreign debt.  In 2003 Iceland’s debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent.  The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro.  At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution.  But only after much pain.

Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures.  The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros.  This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeer’s back.

What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.

Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country.  As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF.  The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: “We were told that if we refused the international community’s conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North.  But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.” (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)

In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt.  The IMF immediately froze its loan.  But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis.  Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

But Icelanders didn’t stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money.  (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word ‘president’ replaced the word ‘king’.)

To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.

Some readers will remember that Iceland’s ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond’s book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution.  And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.

They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.

That’s why it is not in the news anymore.

 

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The Who of Public Relations: Your Public

It’s easy to become focused on the tactics in public relations. It can be sort of fun to plan big PR events, prepare new brochures, and write press releases. They say that speaking without thinking is like shooting without aiming: I would assert that running a PR campaign is the same. Running a stellar PR campaign will be about as useful as driving a car with out wheels if you don’t know who you are talking to.

A school district public affairs director could have many audiences he or she needs to target. They may want to target parents to encourage them to be more involved in their students lives. High school students are another audience if you wish to encourage them to avoid drugs and violence. If your district is hiring, you may want to target graduate students from a local college. Where do each of these groups receive information? Would it be effective to use Facebook to target parents? Would you want to use a televised news clip to target high school students? Do potential teachers read the paper?

Here are a few things you need to find out about an audience:

Who are they: What demographic group are you targeting? Simply targeting teenagers isn’t enough. Teenagers in San Francisco, California are likely going to be much different from teenagers in Rexburg, Idaho. Teenagers at the public Seaside High School will likely be different from students at the private St. Peter‘s Holy Cross High School (both names I invented, just FYI).

Where do they turn for information: Do they attend town hall meetings? Are they likely to attend an event with a pop star DJ? Do they have a Facebook account? Do they watch the evening news? Or do they watch Jay Leno? If you mis-target your ad campaign, your audience will never get it.

What are their key interests: What drives your audience in life? What do they want? It is important to know what your audience’s key interests are. What are their needs? How can your company, service, product, or message satisfy that need? If you misinterpret your audience’s key interests, even if they get the message they probably won’t care.

Give them a name: An excellent public relations professor taught our class to even give your key audience a name. For example, if you were planning a PR campaign to promote a new online job search tool, you might target someone like Joe. Joe is a 40-year-old man from Atlanta, Georgia. He works for a power plant and makes $35,000 a year. He watches Stephen Colbert every night and checks the Internet frequently looking for a new job.

Putting a face and a name to your audience helps you to humanize them. It connects you with what they need in life. Faceless masses usually won’t be very helpful to your cause. Public relations isn’t just about serving the needs of your employer (although that is paramount). PR is about creating value for your publics so that they can act in their own self interest.

About the Author

Derek Gurr is a public relations student at BYU and a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers can be of great assistance to those that are trying to locate and register to go to the best online universities.

 

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Get Big by Being Small

When dentists take on the responsibility of managing their own practice, they always aspire for one thing and that is to see their practice expand. Every big corporation we know of right now have humble beginnings. For instance, the multinational company which sells sporting goods which we know of as Nike sold its first product from the trunk of a car. The first custom-built computer that Dell ever sold was shipped from a college dorm room. And the well-loved Starbucks evolved from a mom and pop coffee shop.

It’s ironic to think now that being big isn’t all that there is. In order for your practice to get big, you need to act small. There are a lot of advantages to being a “small” practice which patients find endearing. Here are a number of ways for you to get big by acting small.

Strive to be the best.

Although you need to keep an eye on your profits, you also need to understand that it’s not all about sales. You will become impersonal and lose beloved patients when you start thinking of them as nothing but moneybags. You should instead strive to deliver excellent service instead of just focusing your sole attention on expansion. When you are just as dedicated to your patients as you are to your own goals, then you are rewarded not just through your patients’ loyalty but also through word-of-mouth referral.

When you have already built a reputation of being the best in your craft, you will then be afforded the means to expand. You’ll know that you have the ability to capture a bigger market because of your dedication and the credibility which you have solidly built through the years and that is one of the most important requisites to expanding your practice.

Love your practice.

Practices which flourish are those which were founded not just because of the desire to make money but out of genuine love and passion. When you are passionate towards helping your patients have topnotch dental health, they’ll be able to spot that and will not only appreciate your genuine concern but they may also realize the imperative need to take care of their teeth which again helps your practice. And your passion should be shared by your employees as well. This is why you should select the members of your staff properly and not just settle for live bodies.

Elliot likes writing and is interested in Dental Marketing and Dental Practice SEO. Please take care of your teeth.

 

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American Entrepreneurs Can Succeed Without Speaking English

 

 

The international census is that spoken and written English is needed in order to financially succeed as an immigrant in an English speaking country. However America has recently produced a series of entrepreneurs who have built multi-million dollar Empires from nothing, speaking little or no English. These new American Entrepreneurs used technology and clever marketing within the immigrant diasporas to attain considerable wealth.

Felix Sanchez de la Vega has been living and working in the United States for 40 years but still his English hasn’t progressed and remains very basic. When he arrived from Puebla, Mexico to New York City, he was uneducated and poor. He moved from various low paying jobs and eventually started his American entrepreneurship by opening up his own small business as a street vendor, selling authentic Mexican tortillas. Back in the 1970s the Mexican population in New York was still relatively small, but as it grew so did the demand for authentic Mexican products.

Using nothing more than his ingenuity and dedication, Sanchez’s small business eventually turned into a $19 million food manufacturing and distribution empire that weaves through the various Mexican communities from coast to coast and even back down into Mexico itself. This successful American entrepreneur achieved all this despite his lack of English. His success is rooted in the fact that in general, large cities have big enough immigrant populations to insulate business owners from everyday transactions that require English. After gaining footage in a local area, modern technology makes it possible and easy for immigrant American entrepreneurs to expand their business and tap new immigrant markets across the country or even the world. Furthermore, professional translation is readily available if English is eventually required.

Other examples of successful American entrepreneurs include Zhang Yulong from China. After emigrating in 1994 he now owns a $30 million a year earning company that deals with cell phone accessories, also in New York, that employs 45 people. Kim Ki Chol is another Asian American entrepreneur who arrived from South Korea in 1981. He started a clothing accessories store in Brooklyn and is now a highly successful retailer and real estate investor.

These stories of success although unusual are not isolated. According to the Census Bureau, in 2010, 4.5 million who were the heads of household in the United States spoke English ‘not well’ or ‘not at all’. Of these households, about 35, 500 had household incomes of more than $200,000 per year, indicating a longer list of American entrepreneurs from non-English backgrounds. These unique stories of great American entrepreneurs as well as the statistics prove that in today’s global world it is not impossible for an entrepreneur to succeed without English. With the amount of international companies now offering certified translation via the Internet as well as the continued development and accuracy of Google translations, the opportunities for success as an American entrepreneur are endless.

Sally Roberts is an experienced writer in technology-related news from around the world.

 

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The Rise of the Serviced Offices Market

The serviced offices market may be in full strength in many of the economic capitals of the world, but there is still a huge potential for this type of business lease. While London serviced offices are at the top end of the market, comprising more in serviced office workstations than the other top 5 cities from around the world, there is still a mass of areas in the capital and the UK which can offer growth to this emerging office market trend. So what are the benefits of serviced offices in comparison to others, and why will this market continue to grow around the world? The benefits are all in the flexibility and low risk associated with the Serviced office market, as businesses can tailor their premises needs in short periods of times and have choices that normal leases cannot offer.

Serviced offices are the perfect option for international corporations planning on making headway into new territories and this is why huge amounts of international growth are expected over the next decade, especially in Asian, American and African economic capitals. Corporations can make a low capital investment for starters and expand the size of their offices as they expand their influence in the local market. Should they require more space immediately, the flexible lease terms allow for almost immediate changes, and cancellations can be made without bankrupting an organisation. Due to these factors, Africa and certain Asian markets, such as India, are seeing new centre being opened almost monthly to ensure that businesses looking to invest have access to A-grade office space when entering a new market. These offerings also include everything that a company needs for start up, including desks, communications equipment and maintenance staff to ensure that as soon as employees move into the location they are ready for business from day one, without having to source furniture and equipment. Serviced offices can also be an interim solution for many companies sending advance teams into regions to solidify presence before making the full commitment to a region for business.

While serviced offices may seem to be an expensive package, the benefits and costs associated with them are very reasonable for the benefits received. Although rates in emerging markets may be slightly more expensive than in developed economic capitals, new centres will drop prices as markets flourish, benefitting the end consumer. New York has the second highest number of serviced offices, but only occupies a small percentage of the property market, so the area for expansion is available and the percentages are set to increase. Even in London, Office space Wimbledon is set to increase, as West End and Central London properties become saturated. With the ample benefits and the rise of business expansion, the serviced offices market internationally is set to increase dramatically over the next decade. For more information on the growth of the serviced offices market, read the full report online.

Sarah Mancini is a Freelance writer who specialises on articles regarding the corporate property market. She hopes to educate readers on the varirty of Office solutions available.

 

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How To Organize A Seamless Office Refit

While office space design may seem inconsequential, studies have shown that office space layout and colors will affect productivity in an office. Businesses need to ensure that the lighting is adequate, the area is open and the desks and chairs are ergonomic. New office design considers each of these elements. An office re-fit may be just the answer to improving your employees’ morale and productivity.

• Stage 1: Consultation

Schedule an appointment to show the design team your office space and determine how an office refit can benefit your company. During the consultation address all of the major issues, such as lighting, color schemes, storage solutions, partitioning systems, ergonomic furniture, as well as, voice and data cabling solutions. Clearly define the objectives for this project and describe them in depth to the re-fit designer. Study the positioning of the columns and any other obstructions that may stand in the way of designing an ideal office solution. Dimensions must be taken, along with determining ceiling heights and regulations. Window positions, door positions and other elements are also of major concern. Design consultants will consider each of these elements before concluding the conversation to render a three dimensional layout of the potential design.

• Stage 2: Two and Three Dimensional Layouts

During the next phase of the project, the designer will render a two or three dimensional floor plan based upon the initial consultation. From the designer’s product library, a number of innovative design solutions will be selected. Furniture layout and color schemes are not typically included at this stage of the project. The client will mainly focus on the general layout of the office. A company representative will view the office from all angles to determine if there will be any obstacles in terms of accommodating employees, office furniture, office equipment or any other limitations. Once the representative signs off on this stage, designers may move into the final stages to produce the fully rendered three dimensional drawing.

• Stage 3: Fully Rendered Visuals

During this stage, fully rendered three dimensional visuals will be produced with office furniture, partitioning, colour schemes and flooring finishings. Clients can fully visualize the product. When the rendering is shown to the client, he or she may make requests for changes in the design. Some design companies will offer clients multiple options to choose from so that the client receives the most desirable finished product.

• Stage 4: Implementation of the Design

During the implementation phase, the client may be invited to view the office re-fit and make any last minute changes before the job is completed. After the implantation is complete, employees will enjoy the benefits of their new office space.

Summary

Many designers have very modern and advanced partitions and designs with bright colors. Gone are the days of the drab gray partition walls. Most of the new designs are modern and art deco style. Glass partitions are also available. The benefits of office refits are apparent. Just follow the steps, and you are on your way to organising a seamless office re-fit.

Will writes for Principal Corp a leader in the consumer electronics and managed services industry, Principal specialises in Office Systems and fax machines amongst other practical IT based solutions.

 
 
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