Powerful Solar Storm that Can Wipe Out World’s Power May Occur Next Decade

Solar StormIn 1859, a powerful geomagnetic storm hit the Earth and caused telegraph lines to explode. It resulted in power outages across Europe and North America.

If a similarly powerful solar storm hit the planet today, the effects would be far more devastating because of the technologically reliant civilization we have.

Unfortunately, the possibility of another Carrington event happening is not far-fetched. Aware of this possibility, the White House has already come up with action plans should a powerful solar storm hit the planet again.

What Could Happen if a Powerful Solar Storm Hits Earth?

Research suggests there's a 12 percent possibility that a powerful solar storm would occur in the next decade. Just like with other natural calamities, unwanted events could occur. A powerful storm may penetrate our magnetic field, damage our electric power system, and bring our civilization back into the dark ages in as little as a few hours.

Without electric power, we cannot use many of the devices we rely so much on in this modern world, such as computers, home appliances, and ATMs.

A 2008 study has found that if a similar event happened today, it would have devastating economic consequences 20 times the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Are You Prepared?

A power outage after a powerful solar storm may last months. It may take a long time to replace damaged transformers. Humless Reliable Power Systems says it may help if you have a portable solar generator powerful enough to provide crucial backup power when outages strike.

Basic emergency preparedness can also boost your chances of surviving and bouncing back after a disaster. Experts recommend having evacuation routes and a family emergency plan. Have an emergency kit that contains medication, flashlight, non-perishable food, and water.

It may be trivial to prepare for an emergency, but your preparation could be your lifeline when calamity strikes.

Step Up! Honing Your SEO Skills to Build Competitive Advantage

SEO Skills Search engine optimization is no longer a catchphrase for a few experts. It is fast becoming the norm, especially with the changing of Internet behavior and prevalence of mobile devices. As a business and website owner, we must improve and hone our skills constantly to keep our competitive advantage.

Through SEO training in Minnesota or any other state in the country, for instance, businesses can enhance and update the information and techniques to bolster their online marketing campaigns.

Interactive Media

Published content is shifting towards multimedia, but text is still important because of the keywords you put in a post. Music and videos are easily absorbable content because users simply need to play and watch or listen. They don’t have to read anything, everything they need to know is on the video they watch.

Adding more multimedia content to your websites enable you to attract more visitors and improve your conversion rates. Search engines such as Google are also encouraging webmasters to use videos on their pages to boost their page rank results.

Social Network Engagement

Social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and others are great avenues for you to socialize and engage your target audience. These websites are quick and easy ways to gauge the interest level of your potential customers. They post on your wall, tag you on posts, or send messages about their views of the products and services you offer.

Honing Content

As an online marketer, you need to understand your audience and be an expert in a particular field. Building authority is much more important than being a jack-of-all-trades. With a specific focus on the content you publish, you might lose yourself in the glut of competition. Know who you are and the values you want to embody as these enable you to create stronger brand equity.

These are only the tip of the iceberg; there are a lot of things you need to know to enable you to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. It is important to hone your skills and knowledge in Internet marketing through training.

Your Five 10GbE Transceiver Options for Network Environment

10GbE TransceiverWhen it comes to setting up a powerful network environment, IT experts should not fail to consider the components used to connect their cabling system to the network itself. One of the most important considerations here is the transceiver to use.

When you need to rely on a 10GbE technology, you have five transceiver options to choose from.

  1. XENPAK

The root of all 10GbE pluggable transceiver, XENPAK transceivers support the standards set for transmission optics (802.3ae standard). Large and bulky, network environments use them primarily LAN switches. Classified as “hot pluggable” devices, they can also support the new Copper standard (802.3ak)

  1. XPAK

Used mainly for network environments that rely on Network Interface Cards (NICs) as well as Host Bus Adapter (HBA), the use of XPAK transceivers apply mostly for NAS devices and Servers applications.

  1. X2

Basically the smaller form of the XENPAK transceiver, X2 form factor features the same specifications, such as being hot pluggable devices. They also have the capability to support all of the standards for 10GbE applications, copper included. One of the primary differences is that the X2 delivers more port density when it comes to switches.

  1. XFP

One of the newest pluggable types of transceivers available today, the XFP, has a size similar to that of the SFP. Although it has its benefits including the ability to increase port density for cost-effectiveness, it remains one of the most expensive to use and operate since it relies on costly serializer/deserializer (SERDES). Also, it does not support the current standards for Copper (802.3ak) nor those for 10GBASE-LX4 standards.

  1. SFP+

With the use of SFP+ transceivers, you can achieve up to 10G of speeds supporting a variety of link lengths. For instance,when you take a look at the Cisco SFP-10G-LRM datasheet, you will see that it can support link lengths from 200m to 300m. This is just one of Cisco’s SFP+ modules you should check out.

Money You Don’t See: How Much is Your Company Losing & Why?

Company LossYour company is making more money than you think. Most business owners and managers are unaware of this, or if they are aware they are too busy managing the day-to-day operations of the business and trust their accounting and project managers to keep track of expenses versus profit.

To make sure you know exactly what’s going on with your finances, consider doing the following.

Get Rid of Black Holes

Black holes are those parts of your business that suck in money without generating anything in return. Your first step can be deciding who among your employees are like this; you pay them their salary and provide them benefits yet all they do is hang out by the cooler to find out who’s dating who. These are your weak links; people who do not perform the task they are being paid to perform. Talk to your legal department regarding the steps you can take to get rid of such people if they refuse to perform even after a conversation with your HR.

Do a close scrutiny of your processes. There are companies you may hire to perform such checks. Know what parts of your processes are making them take longer or cost more. If you can get rid of those parts, your company will save money while becoming more efficient.

Know Your Money

Every penny counts, and knowing exactly where each one goes is good for your business. Your accounting manager and staff should be reliable and trustworthy. Have them undergo Deltek Cobra training from LoadSpring so you can find the real value of EVM (Earned Value Management) and make the most of your resources, among others.

There are different ways to find out how much you’re really making and how much of the money you’re currently losing can be saved. Take some time to check and you’ll see how much more money you should be earning and keeping.

Civil Estimating Software for Quicker, More Precise Estimates

Civil Estimating SoftwareMost civil engineers specialize in various subsets and practices including geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, transportation, construction, environmental and land surveying. Because of the many roles they play in different industries, one of their main concerns is accuracy when it comes to estimation.

Quick Estimation Facts

The term “estimation” refers to the process of estimating the cost of a job. It involves calculations from the projects’ plans and specifications.

Civil engineers use this scientific method to work out the estimated cost of a project before they actually start working on it. Keep in mind, though, that estimation is different from the post-cost-calculation, since the latter already involves all the costs after they finish the project.

All experienced civil engineers have the ability to provide accurate estimates because of their extensive knowledge of construction procedures, continued research on material and labour cost, and of course, their most important qualities: good judgement, skill, foresight, and experience.

Civil Estimation 101: Its Critical Roles

Feasibility is one of the most critical aspects of estimation, as it aids engineers to establish approximate expenditures of the projects they work on. With the help of a comprehensive civil estimating software, Pronamics says engineers can rely on the program to make their lives easier through faster, more precise estimation.

Another important aspect of estimation is determining material requirements, especially of controlled materials, including steel and cement.

Then there is the cost calculation, used to frame the works’ tenders and examine the work done by the contractor during and after the project completion so that they can make the necessary and adequate payments to the contractor.

Lastly is planning and scheduling, used by engineers to allocate adequate resources to each aspect of the project.

The Program that Allows for Easier Estimation

Much thanks to the advancements in technology, even civil engineers now have an easier time for an even more accurate estimation outcome.

Get an A+ for Your CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ Test PreparationA career in IT is more than rewarding. There’s more to it than dealing with common hardware problems. You also gain access to the latest and most sophisticated technologies before anyone else does. More importantly, there are many career advancement opportunities in this field.

If you want to up your career in IT, it’s advisable that you take a CompTIA A+ test. Some claim that the certification test is difficult. But if you prepare enough, you’ll have greater odds of passing it.

Here are some pointers to help you out.

Get Yourself a Trusty Guide

If you’re reviewing by yourself, you should get a set of reliable learning materials. They may be expensive, but keep in mind that they’re good investments. If you can’t afford all these guides and books, you may borrow them from a friend who took the test. You may also go online for free resources.

Enroll in a Test Preparation Center

Don’t hesitate to enroll in a test preparation center if you find it hard to study on your own. These review centers have instructors that will help you learn the areas you don’t understand. You may also choose to get a private tutor if you’re not comfortable studying in groups.

Practice with an Old Computer

To further understand what you’re studying, you should apply what you’ve learned to real life situations. If you have an old computer at home, you may take it apart and study each individual part. Familiarize yourself with cables, boards, cards, and drives.

Take a Practice Quiz

At the end of each manual or guide, there’s usually a set of quizzes that you need to answer. Treat it like it’s the real exam. Time yourself as you answer the questions. You may also ask a friend to quiz you if you feel like practicing through oral recitation.

Relax — this is the most important thing you need to remember. Don’t stress yourself over the results. You know you’ll pass the test if you’ve prepared enough.

Lessons from Great Business Leaders: How to Deliver Impeccable Customer Service

Great Business LeadersTo ensure that your reputation in the business stays positive, it’s best that you give the right kind of customer service to the ones who patronise your business.

Joblogic.com shares what some of the best in business do.

Get a Reliable Software and Check Social Media Feedback

First, you have to make sure that you have good customer service software, such as mobile job management software, and that you check feedback from social media. According to burrito legend Boloco’s CEO John Pepper, you will learn a lot from social media because it’s the first thing your customers use to say what they think about your company – and it can make or break you. Therefore, you shouldn’t just check social media, but act on what you’ve learned, too.

Respond to your customers in a positive manner

Remember when negative reviews were posted about Amy’s Baking Company? Yes, that infamous restaurant featured on Kitchen Nightmares. Aside from providing less than stellar service to their customers, they also replied and argued with them on Yelp.

Remember: take the high road and focus on improving your efforts – and don’t fight with your customers.

Try to respond in real time

How would you feel if you aired complaints against a company and they only respond to you after months – or worse, years?

Well, here’s the thing: when answers take too long to come, people would think your company is no longer prolific, and chances are, they will look for other alternatives. Time is important in business – and that includes replying to your clients, too.

Motivation is key

And more than anything, you have to start empowering your employees so they will learn how to work as a team. Let them know what they need to do, but also tell them that the company wouldn’t be successful without them around. This way, you can also pluck the bad “weeds” out.

Delivering impeccable customer service is important because it shows the public that you’re committed to giving only the best kind of work available. And you know what? That’ll make you one of the best in the industry.

The Importance of Job Management Software

Job Management SoftwareAccording to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, projects are different from other types of work, as they 'have specific objectives to deliver new benefits' to the client. Service companies such as maintenance usually operate on a per-project or per-job basis because each client has different needs. This is the reason job management software is so important, JobLogic states, which is especially true for small- to medium-scale companies. 

Here are some great things you can expect when using software for your maintenance business.

Control

It is easy for a company to lose control when the project happens away from the business premises. You need to constantly monitor progress, solve problems, and address issues, which can be hard when you are not onsite. Software can help you lead and guide your workers on the field without having to be physically present. They can update you on what is happening, and you can help them make decisions. It is, therefore, important that your software enables you to be in constant communication with the field.

Schedule

Many service companies have to deal with scheduling problems. Deploying a limited number of workers to different projects can be challenging. Job management software can help you do effective scheduling so you can maximise your resources and keep the clients happy. You can avoid broken promises and sloppy work by giving enough time for each job completion, giving your clients a realistic schedule for work to begin.

Cost

Your software can help you manage your money. You can see where you can cut costs or make more money by analysing previous projects using software generated reports. You can also track inventory, payments, and collections more efficiently. Many companies lose a lot of money over time for failing to collect payments on time and overstocking on supplies.

Job management is not just about managing the job. It is about doing it more efficiently. With the right software, you can make more money without stressing.

Lab Software Solutions: Why You Should Consider On-Demand Software

Software SolutionsWhen you are in the market for lab software and you are torn between traditional and SaaS solutions, it is important that you do not choose in a hurry. While each solution has its own advantages, there are particular reasons why you should opt for SaaS.

In this article, the experts at LABWORKS highlight a couple of those reasons.

It is Cost Effective

Unlike traditional software systems, SaaS is sold on a subscription basis. This means that there would be no licensing fees to talk of. You would also incur lower hardware, software, and maintenance costs. Since most subscriptions operate on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, you would not incur large up-front costs.

Quick to Deploy

Most people prefer SaaS because it is easier to adopt. With a basic knowledge of how to use the internet, anyone would be able to use SaaS. To be precise, there would be a lower learning curve with this type of solution compared to traditional software solutions. Since you would not require installing anything, you would be able to access your new system immediately.

Seamless Upgrades

Your service provider would manage all necessary upgrades and updates for you. This means that you would not need to download and/or install anything. You would also not have to worry about the sophistication of the core IT infrastructure. Working with a SaaS provider would guarantee you the latest and greatest software features.

Data Backup and Recovery is Easier

Most traditional software systems require costly automation for them to backup data as is required. While backing up data manually is still possible, doing the same every week can be demanding. With SaaS, however, your data will always be safe even after a crisis.

You should only choose among SaaS providers focused on providing the highest level of support to all clients. While it is important to choose an affordable service provider, it would be a mistake choosing the cheapest there is. You should also not assume that costly service providers are the best.

Is Your Career as a Computer Technician Stagnating: Acquire CompTIA Security Certification

The Advantages Of The CompTIA Security CertificationThe Information Technology (IT) sector is a field that is bound to gain traction with the current advancements. If you are looking to change your career progression and become a computer security expert, you will have to consider taking the CompTIA Security+ practice test.

The CompTIA Security+ practice test will equip you with the knowledge essential to completing the certification course. Moreover, CompTIA Security Certification enables you to choose from a myriad of career options like being a computer technician, security expert, software analyst and many more.

What Are The Advantages Of The CompTIA Security+ Certification?

Some of the benefits of completing the CompTIA Security+ Certification are as follows:

  • Securing your future: You might consider the examination to be on the expensive side. However, once you have completed the course and received the certification, your career options will increase. You will also be in a better position to negotiate for a better position and higher salary, even in the company you are presently working for.
  • Increased salary: Various surveys carried out by the CompTIA team has conclusively proven that those who have competed the CompTIA+ Security Certification earn higher salaries than those who do not have the certification, but have a similar career pattern. Thus, if you complete the certification, you too would fall under the higher earning group.
  • Skill development: If you are presently working as a security expert, then the CompTIA+ Security Certification would put you in an even advantageous position. As it is a vendor neutral certification, you can seek for jobs in any software firm once you have the certification. It would increase your value as now you have both theoretical and practical knowledge of computer security.

So if you are seeking to give your career a boost or to shift to an entirely different career path in the IT sector, you should definitely complete the CompTIA+ Security Certification and enhance your career opportunities.