How to Avoid Critical Email Marketing Mistakes

In our world of mass information, email marketing can be both a challenge and a boon. Despite the new social media age, email marketing is still a quick and cost-effective way to reach out to your target audience. Yet, all too often we see talented professionals with outstanding services to offer- but are not approaching their campaign with critical thought and execution.

Common email Marketing Mistakes

“Memail” Marketing

Sending your customers email newsletters and messages that are only about you or your company is not smart e-mail marketing. We have nicknamed this unhealthy marketing practice: “Memail” Marketing. Memail Marketing is selfish and will alienate your subscribers. They will become annoyed, see no value, unsubscribe and have a negative reaction to your brand.

And worse, if you subscribe people to your email lists without their specific permission and send them a “Memail”, this is a serious danger to your company and others! The bottom line: If your email is more about you then it is about your customers, then your marketing execution is not helpful to you or to your readers.

Lack of Strategy

Think critically about your use of email as a marketing tool. Define who you are targeting. What information can you include in your message that would be of value? Where is the call to action (why should your customer open this)? It is OK to talk about your company as long as it is helpful, relevant and educational. The goal here is to create an email marketing campaign that will:

o Serve your customers

o Support your sales message

o Sell from a place of education and value

Neglecting the Core Foundation of your email Marketing

Loren McDonald, Vice President of Industry Relations at SilverPop.com, says in his article Email Mistake No. 10: Lack of Personality, Positioning and Proposition:

“One of the biggest mistakes I see with company email programs is the lack of differentiation, personality and a clear value proposition. I call these the “Three Ps” that form a core foundation of your email program:

-Proposition (Value): What value does your email program provide for your customers/subscribers?

-Positioning: How does it differ from your competitors?

-Personality: What kind of image and tone do your email s convey? “

Tips to Building a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Try these practical healthy marketing tips to guide your email marketing execution so it is on purpose and offers relevant value and you will win big with Web marketing.

Be Authentic and Relate to your audience.

Whether you’re a famous defense attorney, a respected marketing expert, or a shop owner, you HAVE something valuable to offer to your audience. Show that you can relate to your audience’s problems by understanding their perspective. Empathy + Personality = Good email!

Use Your Name or Company Name In the “From Line”

People are more likely to open emails from people/organizations/companies that they recognize. (Example: From: Web Marketing Therapy). Make it very clear who this email is coming from and you will get a higher opening rate.

Be Concise in Your Subject Line

You only have a few short seconds to grab your audience’s attention. Make sure your subject line is concise, to-the-point. Avoid the use of excess punctuation (Example: Read This!!!!!!) Avoid placing overused marketing words like “FREE” as your first word (Example: FREE download). Instead, draw your audience to open your email with something they can relate to (Example: Learn How to Blog at Our Free Workshop).

To not BE spam, you have to NOT spam.

Receiving a business card from someone you just met does NOT mean that you can add their name and email to your newsletter list unless they specifically agreed to it. This is about respect-if you simply assume people will want to receive your newsletters you will run the risk of being intrusive. People who did not agree to be part of any email list may feel less respected by you if they are automatically added onto your list-this in consequence, could mean they will respect YOU less.

Think BEYOND the “Box”.

Don’t stick to any prescribed “box” of marketing. Have fun with your emails, make them interesting and engaging-the result could be more subscribers forwarding them to their contacts. If you make your content interesting and fresh, your audience will be more likely to look forward to your next email.

Make Sharing Easy.

Insert social media widgets, forward widgets, and share widgets so that your recipient can very easily share your email s with friends. See if your email newsletter service can insert social media sharing widgets such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn directly into your templates. Have a call to action that is clear and easy to do!



Source by Lorrie Thomas

Blockchain: Open Source Money

"Blockchains are simply distributed transaction processing engines. The technology allows data to be stored in a variety of different places while tracking the relationship between different parties to that data. a transaction, such as a currency changing hands or a new device being added to a network, it is recorded in the chain and anyone can track what has happened. trace. " Fortune tech, Stacey Higginbotham, May 29, 2015

What if we lived in a world where global access to money was available to everyone? Money can zoom around the globe at the speed of digital as a peer-to-peer decentralized and cooperative process – no top-down banking system needed. Trust relationships happen automatically via digitally signed, permission-less transactions, destroying the inevitability of poverty. Would this represent a giant step for humanity?

Such is the utopian dream of tech developers. The next generation of computer networking gears up to surround the world for the greater good. Welcome to the intended blockchain (financial) transformation of the world.

Ignore it at your own peril.

My article of May 2016, The Power Behind the Throne , discusses the mostly under-reported, yet steady advancement, toward a cashless society via blockchain technology, and my thoughts about who really benefits. It could end up as the giant leap for the banking industry, gaining omnipotent control over our financial transactions. A Bloomberg article, Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash, May 2, 2016, cited representatives from NASDAQ, Citigroup Inc., Visa Inc., Fidelity, Fiserv Inc., Pfizer Inc. and others in attendance.

Enter 2017 and the documentary produced to inspire and excite: The Blockchain and Us. Some say that 2017 will be the year this technology moves into the mainstream; others say it's just too risky.

The infomercial-type documentary introduces "leaders" from countries around the world who extol the value of open source money, the grassroots, and bottom-up cultural game-changer begun by Bitcoin in 2008. Blockchain technology and its potential impact is likened to how the introduction of the airplane changed society; the structure of the financial services industry, alone, is said to transform 100% to digital within 20 years. Additionally, blockchain technology is expected to:

  • Affect every industry as a "value" platform with military-grade cryptology
  • Create a generational shift in technology, an opportunity capable of "lifting people out of poverty"
  • Accommodate what they called, "smart" contracts
  • Exert a substantial shift in how the Internet could be used to create new forms of value and new ways of transacting value
  • Generate more jobs due to automation

There you have it … Blockchain and Us. Yet naysayers, such as myself, can not see the commensurate personal benefit. Surrender the paltry financial privacy we have left via cash to the Goliath banking industry? It occurs to me we may not have a choice since the "little" people appear to be the revenue units simply along for the ride.

That said, using cash and paying as you go, has obvious and maybe not so obvious benefits:

  • Choice
  • Transaction privacy
  • No bank-interest charges (overdraft, credit cards, loans, lines of credit, etc.)
  • Possible 5% vendor discount upon request
  • Fiscal responsibility that credit use has destroyed
  • Curbing the instant-gratification mindset easy credit encourages
  • More personal time when keeping up with debt means working harder / faster

I think living in a material world makes is easy to forget that the complete definition of wealth includes more than accumulation. The intangible wealth of personal wellbeing and peace of mind are priceless until they are overlooked and under-valued. Instead of the utopian dream, imagine this: We no longer make purchases we do not need, with money we do not have to impress people who do not really care about us. If more people would make a habit of using cash, we could strengthen our own money-management skills towards building real wealth, and also send a message to those who own the gold.



Source by Susan Boskey

Geomagnetic Storm & Impacts on Technology

How a geomagnetic storm can impact your life

It’s only when a geomagnetic storm affects our livelihood that we begin to appreciate its power and our fragility. A geomagnetic storm disrupts our way of living by damaging the satellite technology that orbits our planet. For example, when satellite systems fail, airliners can no longer use weather data to plan safe travel routes. As a result, all fights get grounded. This may have happened on October 2011 when the Anik F2 satellite failed due to an “anomaly” as cited by the owner Telesat, Canada. The satellite failure grounded all flights into and out of all 25 communities in the territory of Nunavut, Canada. The technological failure also closed all banks and ATM’s, restricted retail transactions to cash and reduced work productivity.

Our lives have become intertwined with technology. While in most cases this has created efficiencies, it’s highly contingent on the technology’s redundant systems. If there are none, then you’re risking a lot. But even if there are redundant systems, the above example illustrates that failures happen.

Most of the time we would take solar storms for granted, not fully appreciating its power. That changed on May 19, 1998, when the Galaxy IV satellite failed after experiencing a geomagnetic storm generated by the sun. Galaxy IV carried the signals of over 90% of North America’s pagers and several major broadcast networks, including US National Public Radio (NPR) and CBS. This failure also left radio and TV programmers scrambling, medical doctors out of contact with hospitals, and destroyed critical components of electrical power grids. Experts have determined that the Galaxy IV fell victim to a solar storm.

A massive solar storm occurs when there is an enormous explosion of plasma from the Sun’s corona, otherwise known as a coronal mass ejection or a CME solar flare. If a large enough CME solar flare is directed towards earth, it would result in the total failure of all satellite communications, resulting in a loss of air transportation, communications, banks machines, weather reports, time synchronization, etc. The good news is you can prepare for this type of geomagnetic storm by developing a plan, stocking up on emergency food and getting an emergency kit.

While you may think, you can’t do anything about a geomagnetic storm; you can. Always remain cognizant of your dependence on technology and ways it affects your life. And, prepare for any eventuality by storing your emergency food and emergency kit, just in case our connected world gets unplugged.



Source by Jake Buckland

Social Media Tips For B2B Insurance Agencies

A strong social media presence can be challenging to achieve for B2B (business to business) insurance agencies. Many B2B companies struggle to showcase their professionalism, and build an audience through social media marketing. Consider the following tips to help make sure your agency is maximizing your social media marketing efforts.

Create Your Online Persona

Your social media presence should have a well-defined personality. Informative, helpful, engaging, timely and relevant are all characteristics top B2B social media accounts consider when creating their online persona. Decide what your online voice will sound like. Will you be formal or informal, speaking to individuals or businesses, sounding like a reporter or an op-ed contributor? Will you be sharing company employee events, creating contests, reporting on industry changes or regulations, or all of the above? Your agency goal is to build rapport and a sense of community with both clients and prospects. But first you need to determine your social media persona.

Create a Written Strategy Including Prospect Scorecard & Buyer Persona

When creating your marketing strategy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your target online audience – and how diverse is this group? Start by creating a Prospect Scorecard.
  • Which social platforms will best target that audience? You may have to search the different platforms to see which social media platforms are most applicable to your clients and prospects.
  • What type of content will that target audience find most useful? Would it be infographics, long-form articles, tech support information, breaking news commentary, regulatory updates, or some combination of all of these?
  • What are your short term and long term social media goals? Perhaps your short term goal is simply consistent content sharing. And your long term goal includes an ad budget for growth and prospect engagement.
  • How are your competitors using social media? You can learn a lot about what to do and what not to do by studying your competitors.

Comment on News & Regulations Relevant To Your Target Industries

Offering commentary on breaking news and changing industry regulations is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge in your industry and to provide your clients with insights on how to understand these updates. This can lead to higher engagement levels and increased exposure to your social media pages. You can use Google Alerts and social media alerts to monitor industry keywords and stay on top of dynamically changing events.

Organic Vs. Paid Posts

Once your insurance agency is consistently posting quality content, you can consider posts boosts and ads. You may want guidance with this, as the budget can get sprint quickly, and multivariate split testing with compelling images and custom graphics can dramatically improve your reach and ROI.

Achieve A Respectable Follower Base

Looking professional and demonstrating a respectable number of followers and engagement level is half the battle when starting on your insurance social media marketing initiative. The top platforms your agency should leak are: LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, likely in that order, though your target markets could impact this. LinkedIn and YouTube can be very valuable to B2B businesses. LinkedIn is a good place to start, it's very much a business centric platform. Then leverage YouTube videos, recorded webinars or even simple voice over PowerPoint updates. Try to build up your follower base as quickly as possible, to a respectable number. For example, this might be 500 followers on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Although 5,000 or more would be great, initially your agency is striving to attain a baseline of professionalism and credibility.



Source by Alan Blume

High-Tech Architecture

High-tech architecture, which is also known as the Late Modernism or Structural Expressionism, is one of an architectural style which emerged in the 1970s. The various features of the high tech industries were used as a design to build new buildings.

Lots of steels and concrete was being used in this kind of architecture. This kind of architecture appeared to be a bridge between the modern architecture and the post modern architecture. However it is still not known that from where this kind of architecture started and where the post modern architecture ended.

In the year 1980s the high tech architecture started to look different from the post modern architecture. Many of the themes and ideas which originated during the post modern times were added to the high tech architecture.

As you would have experienced the brutalism, I must say that the structural expressionist buildings also revealed the design both inside and outside the house.

If you will look at some of the style’s premier practitioners then you will find that it would definitely include the British architect Norman Foster, whose work has since earned him knighthood, and Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava who is also known for his organic, skeleton-like designs.

Those buildings which have been designed in this style usually consist of a clear glass facade, with the building’s network of support beams exposed behind it. If you will look for the most renowned, the most famous and easily recognized building built in this style then you will definitely come across the I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. The World Trade Center in New York City, although generally considered to be an International Style building, was in principle a Structural Expressionist design due to its load-bearing steel exoskeleton.

Characteristics

Characteristics of high-tech architecture have really not remained unique and have varied somewhat, yet all have emphasized technical elements. They included mostly included the prominent display of the building’s technical and functional components, and also an orderly arrangement and use of pre-fabricated elements. Glass walls and steel frames were also hugely popular.

To swank technical features, they were externalized, often along with load-bearing arrangements. If you want to see an example then I must say that you will not find the more illustrious example than Pompidou Centre. The ventilation ducts are all outstandingly shown on the outer surface. This was a fundamental design, as preceding ventilation ducts would have been a constituent hidden on the inside of the building. The means of admittance to the building is also on the outside, with the large tube allowing visitors to enter the construction.

This kind of architecture are really quiet popular now days and you will definitely find out that they are more powerful as well.



Source by Layla Clark

Scientists Discover First Evidence That Multiple Universes May Exist!

Many of you may have heard the term ‘Multiverse’ over the last couple of years. And if any of you have spent any amount of time surfing the History or Discovery channel lately you may have been exposed to the ‘Multiverse Theory’ there as well. If you have not, then stick around. I will attempt to explain to you what that theory or idea is as well as to shed some light on what scientists have recently discovered. Because if what they theorize is indeed true, and what they found indeed really there, then the way of life as we know it may be in for a real shock!

So on that note, we bring you the theory of the Multiverse. In many ways the theory is exactly what it sounds like. Multi meaning many, obviously, and verse from universe. But in more common terms you may better understand the idea as multiple dimensions. The idea of multiple dimensions has been around for years. Both in Hollywood and many science fiction stories. The idea states that you have the dimension that we all live in and are familiar with, but then right next to you without you even being able to see it, hear it or touch it, is another dimension much like our own except for a few major differences. For example, in one dimension you are you. And everything is as you see it today. In the next dimension everything is exactly like your known dimension except you have four arms! And the idea is that there are an unlimited number of these dimensions, all slightly different in certain ways. Now this takes a bit of the sci-fi approach, but the idea is somewhat similar. Multiple dimensions, multiple universes. Each the same, yet different.

Now of course nobody knows what any other universe may hold, so everyone is allowed to guess and make up their own mental images. However.. here is what we do know. Or at least, what some scientists are trying to figure out and prove. The term ‘Multiverse’ was coined in the year 1895 by the American philosopher and psychologist William James. Sometimes called ‘Parallel Universes’ or ‘Parallel Dimensions’, the various universes that are said to make up the ‘Multiverse’ consist of a set of universes that together comprise everything that exists. The entirety of space, time, matter, energy and all the physical laws and constants that describe and define them.

Recently while on the journey of research and discovery about the Big-Bang and Pre Big-Bang science, a team of scientists from the UK, Canada and the U.S. revealed that they may have discovered something. What they discovered may seem like nothing to the average citizen, but to those in the science world or their circle of peers actually turns out to be a big deal. They found four statistically unlikely circular patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) that could resemble ‘Bruises” incurred by our universe as it collided with other universes. Now how is this significant? Let me explain in a bit more depth about where this all stems from.

The CMB or Cosmic Microwave Background is background radiation that exists everywhere in the universe and they believe it has been there since our universe was a baby. Only 300,000 years old. As such, scientists can use information found in this background radiation to explain many different things. One of these things is the various temperature fluctuations that occur in the universe. Scientists are now using the information on these fluctuations to prove the Big-Bang theory. Showing how the temperature either fluctuates randomly or in a uniform manner helps to explain cosmic inflation and therefore the beginning of the universe from a single point into what it is now, and as such the result of a ‘Big-Bang’.

Now, that all being said, these four circular patterns found in the CMB are thought to be collisions, or those ‘bruises’ mentioned earlier and are brought on by other ‘Bubble’ universes colliding with our own. This is because the temperature fluctuations that have so much to do with the Big-Bang also bring about an idea that the inflation or dramatic growth spurts cause universes to form a sort of bubble or balloon or some other irregular circular shape. And these sometimes have a tendency to collide with one another. And when they do, they create a ‘Big-Bang’ which in turn creates another universe and shows the results of that birth as the patterns that the science team had found.

So essentially you have multiple universes out there. These universes are separated by a very thin margin. And as of yet, no one knows what this separation is or what it is made of or if it even exists. Remember this is all theory so far. But these universes are all separated and when they get too close, they collide and you have an explosion on the scale of what has never been seen before. Much like what the Big-Bang is thought to be. When this explosion happens you have the creation of another universe as everything expands at a very fast rate from the point of the collision. This continues at an endless rate until this universe then collides with another, thus helping to create yet another universe. And this is where we are right now. We are living inside one of these universes of which there are many. And of course the sizes and scale of what we are talking about is just un-imaginable. But this is the so-called Multiverse.

This search for the explanation of our existence has gone on since the beginning of man. Much in different ways, considering the technological and philosophical level of society. But it has existed since our first thoughts and will continue to exist until we either figure out the answer or perish from this existence. But a few scientists have what they think is an explanation of how it all started and they think they have evidence of that fact. Whether they do or not we may never know. For all we know their theory about the multiverse may be the farthest thing from reality. But I give them credit for trying. This is what we must continue to do. We must continue to look for the answers in the face of adversity and regardless of criticism. It is only those who will ask questions that will ever get any answers!



Source by Tony Pronenko

Top 10 Ways to Clean Up, Organize & Save Space On Your Hard Drive

If your computer is running slower these days, or freezes up when you have too many programs running, you might need to reorganize your hard drive. Even if your computer runs smoothly right now, it is still beneficial to know all of the space saving techniques that you can use to make sure your computer is clean, easy to navigate and in it's best possible condition. Before you begin, take a look at the current disk space you are utilizing and how much free disk space you have available.

Go to "My Computer"

(PC Users) Right click on "C Drive"

Go to "Properties"

In the General tab, it should give you pie chart and information regarding the amount of free space currently available on your hard drive. If your space is less than your used space, it is important that you make sure you are maximizing your computer's performance by cleaning up your disk. Here is a list of ten ways to clean up, organize and save space on your computer's hard drive.

1. Save space on your hard drive: Disk Clean Up

In the "Properties" dialogue box that you checked out by right clicking your "C Drive" folder, again, go to the "General Tab." Click on "Disk Cleanup." After this function has scanned your computer for available space, it will present you with another dialogue box. Here, you can view the files that are currently available to be deleted without causing problems on your system. These types of files include: Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin and can even compress your older files. You can click on each item, and view a brief description of what their purpose and reason is for being on your system. If it says, "You can safely delete these files" definitely check mark these items. The other items you will have to use severe discretion, as once they are deleted they will not be available again. After checking marking the files you want to delete, click on "Clean up."

2. Save space and organize your hard drive: Defrag your Computer

In the "Properties" dialogue box that you checked out by right clicking your "C Drive" folder, go to the "Tools" tab. Click on the "Defrag Now" button and your computer will analyze the space and information on your hard drive. After this, it will let you know if you need to defrag. If it recommends that you defrag, go ahead and do this. Nothing will be deleted, but your computer will maximize all the information it has on it by reorganizing the files.

3. Save space on your hard drive: Delete old or unused Program Files

Go to your control panel; Open up the folder entitled, "Add or Remove Programs." Your computer may take a couple minutes to list your currently installed program files. Once it compiles the list, look through it and observe carefully the amount of space each program is taking up, how often you use each program, what company the program was downloaded from, and the name of the program. Do not delete any program that you are not aware of its use. It could possibly be a very important windows program that you are not aware is running to ensure proper computer functionality. But, if there are old, unused programs that you do not plan to use any longer, or do not need, go ahead and remove these programs.

4. Save space on your hard drive: Invest in an external hard drive

External hard drives are a great resource for anyone and everyone. They provide a great way of saving space on your computer by allowing you to transfer old, rarely used files that you may want to access later, onto another hard drive that will store them safely. Another great use for a hard drive is for back up purposes. An external hard drive will not get a virus, so by transferring important files onto it; you are guaranteed a safe back up of all your documents.

5. Save Space on your hard drive: Zip it up!

Zipping up your files is basically a way of compressing your files into very, very small files, while keeping them easily accessible if you ever need them. There are many ways to do this, but the most common and easy way is to use a program like "WinZip." You can get a free version of this program at:

Winzip Archive Utility

It advertises as a free trial, but, between you and me, you never really have to purchase the full version. The evaluation version will work fine.

Good files to zip up are documents and files that are important, but you do not need to access very often. If you need these files at least once a month, do not archive them, because it will become a hassle trying to open them back up all the time. Take the files you do not need to use all the time, zip them up into pertinent folders, and delete the originals. Anytime you need to use the files, simply unzip the contents of the folders and enjoy!

6. Save Space on your hard drive: Save onto Data Disks

Saving files onto data disks is not the ideal scenario, as you can not really fit all that much onto them, and they cost money. But, if you first zip the files up that you're going to transfer onto the data disks, then you will be able to fit more information onto them. After that, you can go back and delete all the files from your computer. Personally, if you're going to purchase data disks, and go through the trouble of transferring files onto them, it would be better to invest into an external hard drive. They will hold more information and be easier to work with.

7. Save Space on your hard drive: Music Files

Music files take up a ridiculous amount of space on your computer. By transfering these files onto an external drive, zipping them up, or burning them all onto data disks you will free up an exorbitant amount of space.

8. Organize your Hard Drive: Delete Files from your Desk Top

Having too many files on the desk top of your computer can feel cluttered and obtrusive. If you work on the computer, or use it for any time at all, you will feel all warm and fuzzy inside by deleting or moving the files from your desktop and putting them into files within your "My Documents" "Pictures" or other directories within your computer. It will also help you to access the files more intuitively and stay organized.

9. Organize your Hard Drive: Book Marks

This is not necessarily related to your hard drive, but it is refreshing to have a nice set of organized, well titled and descriptive bookmarks in the browser that you prefer. Open up your book marks, and properly title, organize in folders, delete unused links and view all your book marks. This will also take some time, but will probably save you time in the long run, by finding the sites you need right away and with ease.

10. Organize your Hard Drive: Delete, Rename and Organize your Folders

On your computer, the top tier of folder should be: My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, Program Files, Temp, and Windows (or whatever operating system name or design is here.) There may be some others depending on what you have downloaded onto your system, like PHP, APACHE or others. Under these folders, you should do your best to organize, delete, rename and prioritize your files so that you can access them as easily as possible, and as intuitively as possible. It may take some time, but it end up saving you time in the long run; instead of searching through your entire computer for a file or folder, you'll know exactly where it's at. Also, by doing this, you might find folders and / or files that you can safely delete. DO NOT delete any files or folders within your windows or other operating system directory. In fact, do not even go in that folder unless you are an experienced operating system professional.

More resources



Source by Christina Freeman

New Products and Technologies Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

While no one knows exactly what new technology will make jaws drop this year the way the iPhone did last year, one place to get a good idea was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association, the 41st annual CES was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The show has become somewhat of a juggernaut in the electronics industry – it's the largest tech trade show in the United States, with over 2,700 exhibitors and attendance of around 140,000 people. Many companies (large and small) use the CES to preview new products, make announcements and create buzz. In the past 40 years, the show has seen the debut of the VCR (1970), CD player (1981), HDTV (1998), Xbox (2001) and Blu-Ray (2003).

Along with more electronic inventions, gadgets and gizmos than you could fit into ten Best Buys (exhibit space is 1.8 million net square feet), the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show also offered appearances by celebrities like Michael Douglas, David Ortiz and XENA: Warrior Princess. Technology guru Bill Gates kicked off the electronic extravaganza, delivering his final keynote address as chairman of Microsoft and poking fun at his pending retirement in a video featuring guest spots by Al Gore, Jay-Z and Bono. In his speech, he painted a picture of the dawning "second digital decade" as a time when high-definition displays will surround us, touch screens and speech recognition will replace traditional keyboard / mouse interfaces and every device we own will be connected to the Internet.

Judging by many of the new products and technologies on display at the CES, Gates' predictions seem pretty accurate. Certainly the HDTV's were more loyal than ever before. Panasonic awed onlookers with its 150-inch Lifescreen Plasma TV, the largest in the world, while LG introduced super-slim TVs only 1.7 inches thick. Meanwhile, Logitech worked to bridge the media gap with its diNovo MiniTM, a cordless, palm-sized keypad that connects TV with PC, and Eye-Fi won Yahoo's "Last Gadget Standing" contest for its memory card that wirelessly sends pictures from a digital camera to a computer. Beyond Gates' digital prophecy, other trends at the 2008 CES point to a future filled with global positioning system (GPS) technology and, of course, more automated products for everyday life.

Ideal for hunters and hikers, the SPOT Satellite Messenger takes GPS to the next level by enabling people to call for help from anywhere in the world (even places where cell phones will not work – ie, deserts, mountains, the Arctic Circle). Tracking progress with Google Maps and sending basic messages are also available at the push of a button. For the roaming pet, there's the Zoombak Advanced GPS Dog Locator. The lightweight device attaches to a pet's collar and pinpoints the location of the animal on a full-sized Web map. Zobbak also has a voice-based service that provides directions to the GPS receiver's location. In addition to these gadgets, Nav N Go has invented new 3D Navigation Software, which brings GPS maps to three-dimensional life.

While GPS systems help people to find their way, automated cars may actually be taking them there. GM announced at CES that the company plans to test driverless car technology by 2015 and have cars on the road around 2018. Of course, the company still faces the difficult obstacle of convincing drivers to give up the wheel. Some other automated devices at the CES designed to make everyday living easier included iRobot's LoojTM, a gutter cleaning robot that can scour a 60-foot section of gutter in just 10 minutes, and Interactive Toy Concepts' RC Cooler, a radio-controlled, wheeled cooler than has a 30-foot range and can hold a six pack on ice.

Also of note at this year's CES was the increased presence of "green" products. Cell phones chargers, TV sets and laptop computers designed to reduce energy consumption illustrated the industry's contemporary focus on making electronic products more resource efficient. Even the CES itself invested in new initiatives this year to offset the carbon footprint of the large event.

Next year's Consumer Electronics Show is scheduled for January 8-11, 2009.



Source by Shad Connelly

Top 10 Solar Systems in the Market

Photovoltaic cells, or solar cells, as they are commonly referred to, have come a long way since their inception in 1941. The solar cells in the earliest days had an efficiency of around 2 percent. It was Les Hoffman, the CEO of the Hoffman Electronics Corporation who initially increased the efficiency to a staggering 14 percent.

The efficiency of a solar cell refers to the cells’ ability of transforming the incoming solar radiation into electrical current. According to the solar technology news, the continuous research and development of solar technology has lead to a new world record in the efficiency levels: 44.7 percent is the current highest level of efficiency ever achieved by a solar cell in experimental stages, and the credit for this goes to Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems.

Installing a solar panel for residential and commercial purposes has become quite affordable – and this article brings to you the top 10 solar systems in the market.

1. Solland Solar – model Sunweb

Solland Solar is a company that specializes in producing Polysilicon PV cells. Their facility is capable of producing such cells non-stop with their full capacity being 135 MWp / per year.

The efficiency of their modules is by far the highest of any commercially produced solar modules at 16.00%.

2. Siliken – model SLK72P6L-305

Siliken has greatly enhanced their manufacturing standards of solar modules by automating the production process. They have been creating some of the finest solar modules out of numerous materials. They are a world-recognized brand with their solar panels worth 500 MW installed worldwide.

They have achieved an efficiency of around 15.70%.

3. LDK Solar – model LDK-200P-24(s)

LDK Solar is a Chinese company that is known to be the world’s largest solar wafer producer in terms of capacity. They target the PV industry by offering numerous products such as wafers, cells and modules besides various other products.

Their model LDK-200P-24(s) solar cells have an efficiency of 15.67%.

4. Vikram – model Eldora 280

Vikram is a leading manufacturer of PV systems in India. They have managed to secure the number four position with their Eldora 280 module that boasts an efficiency of 15.63%.

5. Wiosun – model E300P

Wiosun is a German company that has created some of the most excellent PV modules in the world. There unique blend of two technologies into one has made them stand out from the rest of the competition. The E300P module features an efficiency of 15.54%.

6. A2peak – model P3-235-60

A2peak is a company based in Taiwan that specializes in creating PV systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Their model P3-235-60 is currently among the best PV modules in the world with an efficiency of 15.50%.

7. CNPV Solarr – model CNPV-300P

The CNPV-300P module has an efficiency of 15.40% and is ideal for residential and commercial use. This module is made up of a premium poly crystalline for optimal performance.

8. Latitude Solar – model Latitude P6-60/6

Latitude Solar is a Scandinavian company that builds PV solar panels to a very high standard. Their P6-60/6 model is a fine example of excellent Scandinavian engineering and offers consumers a 15.30% efficiency.

9. JA Solar – model JAP6-60-250

JA Solar is the world’s largest solar cell producer and is based in China. Their JAP6-60-250 is a multicrystalline silicon module with an efficiency of 15.29% and is suitable for residential and commercial use.

10. China Sunergy – model CSUN295-72P

China Sunergy’s CSUN295-72P model secures the tenth place among the top 10 PV systems in the world as revealed by the latest solar technology news. The efficiency of their module is 15.24%.



Source by Moe Tarhini

Could Solar Roads Reduce Pollution?

Scientists have spent a good part of the decade trying to improve solar-powered panels which are used in harvesting energy from the sun. While modular panels are widely being used in houses and commercial spaces, the idea of installing them on roadways is picking up steam fast. But the latest idea to hit the streets (literally) is that of paving the roads with solar panels made of ruggedized glass in place of the usual asphalt.

Roads that Pay for Themselves

As far as solar technology news goes, while this plan seems a bit crazy and unorthodox, it’s the idea of Scott and Julie Brusaw who are residents of Idaho. The husband and wife team developed their modular pavement system back in 2009. Today the couple claims that solar panels that will be used in their project can withstand a load of over 250,000 pounds (which happens to be four times the legal weight of a semi truck) and can last for up to twenty years. The robust panels will also be able to melt both snow and ice on contact along with providing warm light via LED bulbs so that drivers can see debris along the road.

The solar panels are basically the same as those which are used in normal solar panels which are used in houses. The solar panels are then encased in specially designed version of bullet proof glass, which has been developed and tested at the top materials and research institutes at Penn State and University of Dayton. The base layers of the solar panels which will be used in the project will be made of 10% recycled glass, which from a manufacturing point of view is the most cost effective way of churning up the material for this monumental undertaking.

After building and testing the prototype courtesy of funding from the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) the couple plans to install their solar panels throughout the U.S. which will be a pretty big project considering the amount of highways and motorways that are in the U.S already.

Co2 Reduction

A grid of using solar roads will not only help generate electricity for street lights and quite possibly surrounding homes, but could also significantly reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere by providing a means of clean reusable energy. The long term aspiration of the couple is to replace the power grid with a smart grid, which will not only help the environment, but also the economy as well.

The Latest Update

According to the latest in solar technology news regarding Solar Roadways, the project is already the highest grossing campaign in the history of IndieGogo, and while its run on the crowd funding website still has a few days until it ends, the Solar Roadways campaign has gone way passed its initial goal of one million dollars. What made all this possible was the contributions that have been made by more than thirty-five thousand people from over forty countries. Way to go Scott and Julie!



Source by Moe Tarhini