India trounce Bangladesh for Asia Cup title

first_imgDHAKA (AP):OPENER Shikhar Dhawan hit a career-best 60 as India won the Asia Cup for the sixth time after beating Bangladesh by eight wickets yesterday.The home side was put into bat and posted 120-5 in a rain-hit game that was reduced from 20 to 15 overs after a two-hour delay.World T20 host India won with seven balls to spare, reaching 122-2 as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a towering midwicket six.Dhawan and Virat Kohli combined for a 94-run partnership for the second wicket after India was reduced to 5-1.Kohli was unbeaten on 41, while Dhoni was on 20.”The top order played sensibly and made it easy for us,” Dhoni said.”It’s looking very good now, we are on track for the World T20. It’s the beauty of the side that everyone is taking responsibility to finishing the game.”Bangladesh’s fast-bowlers Taskin Ahmed (1-14) and Al-Amin Hossain (1-30) shared the wickets.To the delight of the home crowd, Al-Amin broke through in just the second over when he swung one nicely to get the edge of Rohit Sharma (1) who was caught by Soumya Sarkar at first slip.Dhawan and Kohli spent some uncomfortable moments at the crease against the pace of Al-Amin and Taskin. They took their frustration out on Abu Haider, who was playing his first match. Haider conceded 14 runs in his first over and the quick didn’t bowl further in the match.Both Dhawan and Kohli also found Shakib Al Hasan’s left-arm spin to their liking as they kept India in the hunt.Dhoni hurried the victory for India with 20 off six balls including one four and two sixes.”We are disappointed, no doubt. They played really well and we couldn’t keep the pressure,” Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said.”We have exciting batsmen and bowlers, hopefully this team will carry on from here.”last_img read more

Unmasking the serial killer

first_imgMonrovia- The epidemic Ebola is the most venomous of viruses often disguising itself as malaria, typhoid, flu, diarrhea, headache or a combination of the above or even more.Ebola has defied conventional medical protocols and brought to knees the healthcare systems of some of the countries where the epidemic is rife. It has exposed the lapses in the healthcare protocols of even some of the most advanced countries- case of the Texas nurses that treated Thomas Eric Duncan.However, Ebola comes with a strong but sobering message-that countries should focus energies on preventive healthcare.  Public healthcare systems should put their lenses on population health. Ebola has proven that the general well being of a population supersedes individual healthcare. Those at the lower end of the economic ladder who cannot afford basic healthcare coverage are often left unnoticed.Ebola is a serial killer that is indiscriminate in selecting victims. No one is shielded from the killer virus. Perhaps, if more efforts are concerted towards population health and preventive healthcare, there might be a decrease in the rise of Ebola and other infectious diseases. Similarly, diseases that tend to affect poorer countries would not be subjected to neglect but rather seen as a potential global health epidemic and would require solid attention.Global health bodies like the World Health Organization; the US Centers for Disease Control should align their efforts with frontline organizations like the Doctors Without Borders and Samaritan’s Purse. Ebola is a serial killer that tears down everything in its path from the economy, socialization, cultural practices, education, and also poses a security threat.  In Liberia, one of the countries at the epicenter of the epidemic, mid-term elections for the senate are forced to be postponed because of fear of assembly of a huge number of people.Another vital lesson that Ebola has taught African governments is the need to prioritize the general healthcare of its citizens. Most public officials in Africa prefer medical services abroad, leaving their healthcare systems at home in shambles. The weak and poor are left with no choice but to attend those horrible facilities. This trend has to stop. There is no safe haven for Ebola. Healthcare systems of African governments should be upgraded and public monies directed at research to discover treatments/vaccines for such epidemics.In Liberia, where there are scores of persons reported to have survived the virus, such survivors should be sampled and their blood plasma tested for possible antidotes to the virus. In a recent report, Dr. Kent Brantly of the Samaritan’s purse relief who had survived the virus is reported to have offered his blood plasma to nurses in Texas. Laudable move! Perhaps Liberia has a chunk load for such experiments.It is also reported in Liberia of a medical doctor who had been treating his patients with antiretroviral drugs and recorded success stories. There is no yet known cure for the virus, thus experiments should not be dismissed but subjected to further research. Donors should direct funding to research to ensure donations are not just directed at paying experts but to find a remedy. Ebola has presented an opportunity to research and find treatments for other potentially dangerous infectious diseases and STD’s.Governments in Africa, especially in the region where the epidemic is raging, need to implement robust surveillance, information sharing, effective contact tracing, simple information dissemination and sending clear messages. Finger pointing and the blame game is naïve. As the virus has shown, it has the ability to travel, undetected, evading radars and screenings until it gets set to strike. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as of October 24, there are total cases of 10141, Laboratory confirmed cases of 5692 and total deaths of 4922. This is scary.Healthcare systems should encourage community Health Workers (CHWs) through training and providing better incentives and insurance.  Trainings will unravel new techniques on unmasking the killer earlier and applying universal precautionary procedures.Governments should improve weak infrastructures like roads to enable ambulances to reach even the remotest parts of the countries to transport the sick. The fear of health workers potentially getting Ebola should not subject other patients to die of curable causes because healthcare workers are either poorly trained; incompetent, or lack insurance.The alarm is up and the serial killer is out there, staring at a panicked population, planning a next strike. Identifying the killer is a step in winning the war.While the war on Malaria and AIDS is yet to be won by Africa, she is confronted with an even deadlier Serial Killer that attacks on all fronts. She cannot fight them alone. The sooner the rest of the world realizes this, we’re all safe. About the Author:Lekpele Nyamalon lives in Monrovia, Liberia and can be reached at nyamalon@yahoo.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Balotelli signs for home town team Brescia

first_img0Shares0000Mario Balotelli will return ‘home’ to Brescia as he attempts to regain his place in the Italy team © AFP/File / Boris HORVATMILAN, Italy, Aug 18 – Mario Balotelli will return to Italy with home town team Brescia after it was confirmed on Sunday he has signed for the newly-promoted club.The Italian forward has penned a “multi-year contract” and will be officially presented on Monday, the northern team confirmed on their website. “Mario returns home,” Brescia said in a statement.“The return to Italy, after three years, was made possible by Mario’s determination and enthusiasm to return to Brescia, the city where he grew up and where, since he was a child, he stood out for his physical and technical skills,” the club continued.Balotelli, who was born in Sicily but adopted and raised just outside Brescia, has reportedly agreed a three-year deal with the Serie B champions after being released by Marseille in June.“Finally back in MY CITY,” Balotelli posted on social media along with a video collage of photos and clips of different moments of his career.Balotelli made his debut in local team Lumezzane in Serie C as a 16-year-old, before moving to Serie A giants Inter Milan in 2007.However, Balotelli’s debut in the Brescia shirt is not imminent as the striker has to serve a four-match ban and his return could be on September 25 against Juventus.Sky Sports Italia reported Balotelli has signed a three-year deal worth three million euros ($3.3 million) for the first year, plus a further three million if the club remains in Serie A.In the following two years he will receive six million euros per season if Brescia remain in Serie A, Sky reported.The 29-year-old rejected a move to Brazilian club Flamengo as he pushes for a place in the Italian national team as Euro 2020 approaches.Balotelli, who has 36 caps for Italy, has not featured on the international stage since last September as coach Roberto Mancini said he was not playing at a high enough standard.Brescia have been promoted back to the top flight for the first time since being relegated in 2011.Balotelli last played in Serie A with AC Milan on loan from Liverpool in the 2015-2016 season.It was his second spell at AC Milan after 2013-2014. He was part of the Inter Milan side coached by Jose Mourinho that won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble in 2010.He won three Serie A titles with Inter before switching to Manchester City and helping them claim the Premier League crown in 2012.Brescia, meanwhile, crashed out of the Coppa Italia in the third round on Sunday losing 2-1 to Serie B outfit Perugia, who went through thanks to two goals deep into injury time.0Shares0000(Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

RB council makes library top priority

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.After banking money for the past few fiscal years and watching the local library foundation host countless fundraisers, the City Council on Tuesday night finally agreed to make up the difference. Bridging the gap could amount to more than $3.5 million, even with the $1.9 million already earmarked for the building and roughly $600,000 put up by the Redondo Beach Library Foundation. But no one wanted to sit on the plan, considering how the library’s $6.3 million price tag has grown significantly over the past couple of years. After weighing a list of capital improvement projects and hearing pleas from residents toting signs, the councilmen ranked a new Artesia Boulevard library their top priority and asked staff members to find money for it. They’ll revisit the issue at a meeting Nov. 20, when the staff is expected to return with funding options. At 10,800 square feet, the library would be the city’s first new public building in more than a decade, the most recent being the Alta Vista Community Center in south Redondo, completed in 1996. The main library on Pacific Coast Highway was built shortly before that. Mayor Mike Gin said he believes the foundation’s ongoing support helped influence the council’s decision to make it a priority. “This project I think really speaks volumes of our community’s dedication and commitment in partnership with the city,” Gin said. “Were it not for the dedication of (citizens groups), we would not be here.” Foundation President Becky Sargent summed up her reaction Wednesday morning in one word: “Relieved.” As the years passed and the project lingered in the planning stages, Sargent said some donors were beginning to rethink their pledges. “We have been looking at the possibility of a withdrawal of funds by supporters of the project. With much regret, they felt that they needed to tell us if this was not going to get under way, they couldn’t support it,” said Sargent, a former school trustee. “I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the decision.” Still, she said, the foundation doesn’t plan to stop working and will continue rounding up donations for more books, computers and other amenities. It remains to be seen how the council will fill the budget gap, but a likely source is the workers’ compensation and general liability reserve funds. The council considered transferring or borrowing money from the $16.4 million pot Tuesday but decided to wait for new information. Following the advice of city consultants, staff members had recommended keeping a sizable cushion in reserves to pay for unexpected or ongoing workers’ comp claims. And while some councilmen indicated they’d favor putting at least some of that money toward a library, they want staff members to collect data from other cities and analyze the effects of having a smaller reserve fund. Councilman Steve Aspel said he didn’t want to make a drastic reduction to the workers’ comp budget. But, he added, “we have to reduce this somehow, so we can use the money for citizens’ needs.” A new north branch has been a long time coming. The existing building at 2000 Artesia is overstocked and cramped with only 3,663 square feet of space. It was built in 1949, and Redondo’s population has more than tripled since the library was last renovated in 1960. The foundation kicked off a campaign in August 2004 to help make the project a reality. Redondo Beach, which had been planning for a replacement well before that, had also applied for a chunk of state bond money. But hopes sank in December 2004 when the Public Library Construction and Renovation Board doled out the remaining $80 million from a 2000 library bond measure and passed up Redondo. Later, officials gave the library fund most of a $1.1 million reimbursement from the state, which borrowed motor vehicle license fee money during the budget crisis. The total, though, was still short. “I think we’ve finally reached the point where the council and I are going to take some real, concrete steps toward funding the gap,” Gin said. The library wasn’t the only project to get a lift this week. City leaders also agreed to find money for a traffic-calming device at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and South Francisca Avenue and for repairs to the Redondo Beach Historical Museum at Dominguez Park. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BUILDING: Leaders will look for ways to bridge funding gap of as much as $3.5 million. By Kristin S. Agostoni STAFF WRITER The long, frustrating campaign to replace the tired and tiny Redondo Beach north branch library may be nearing its final chapter. last_img read more

America’s No. 1 car gets a face-lift

first_img The standard four-cylinder, 158-horsepower model is expected to get 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 34 on the highway, while mileage for a 268-horsepower V-6 is estimated at 22 in the city and 31 on the highway. The 192-horsepower Camry hybrid is expected to get 43 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DETROIT – Seeking to put an end to the idea that the No. 1 selling car in the United States is too vanilla for many who drive it, Toyota on Monday unveiled the fully redesigned 2007 Camry. The new Camry has a sleeker, more refined look, with a lower roofline and longer wheelbase than its predecessor. It will come in five models, four of which are scheduled to hit dealer showrooms in early March. The fifth is the first hybrid version of the Camry, which is expected to go on sale a few months later. “Camry’s new style is athletic and elegant,” said Don Esmond, Toyota Motor Sales USA’s senior vice president of automotive operations. “It is infused with new energy and is better proportioned.” Pricing is expected to be announced later, but Esmond said the new Camry will maintain the Toyota tradition that each new Camry should offer better value and more car for the money than the previous one. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The Camry has been a perennial top seller, with 2005 figures showing it was the best-selling car in the United States for the fourth year in a row, and eight of the last nine years. It again topped sales of the Honda Accord and other mid-size competitors, such as the Chevrolet Impala. Since the model was introduced in the fall of 1982, Toyota said it has sold more than 6.5 million Camrys in the United States. Like many of its counterparts, the Camry has evolved from its boxy and utilitarian beginnings to a more stylish exterior and refined interior. But reliability, affordability, good gas mileage and improved safety have been among the key factors in its continued popularity. “We went from basing our decisions on what is the definition of a Camry to focusing our energies on what a Camry can be,” Esmond said. “For the first time in a long time, designers pushed the styling envelope.” The new Camry is designed to give the feel of a bigger interior. And it has optional touches in the XLE model that include fabric coated with a substance extracted from silkworm cocoons that’s billed as a moisturizer with natural healing properties, meant to be gentle on the skin that touches it. last_img read more

My Donegal… with Eileen Sweeney from AIB Letterkenny

first_imgEileen Sweeney is a Business Customer Advisor with AIB Bank Letterkenny, with over 30 years’ experience working in the Financial Services Industry in Ireland. Eileen is a Qualified Financial Advisor and with extensive experience across the retail banking sector.Eileen Sweeney“As a Business Customer Advisor, my focus is on the delivery of ongoing superior customer service and advice to both existing and new business start-up. This is a lovely role, and I enjoy getting behind our customers’ ideas, and in particular how they come up with the names for their Limited companies. They all have a story to tell. It’s really satisfying when we can help our customer achieve their dreams and ambitions,” Eileen said. Eileen is also a proud member of the Donegal Women in Business Network.She said: “In AIB Bank, we work hard to provide strong customer relationship, and as a member of the Donegal Women in Business network, in particular, I have built up strong business relationships. This network is a credit to Donegal, but would not exist if not for the hard working committee, in particular, Evelyn, Patricia and Trish. The network is full of energetic, inspiring, like thinking women, who help each other achieve their dreams.”Eileen Sweeney, Business Customer Advisor at AIB Letterkenny and Gaye McGoldrick, AIB Donegal Service and Sales Manager at a Donegal Women in Business EventMy Donegal… with Eileen Sweeney(1) What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?I have to say the waterfalls on the River Eany, in Inver, where I was born. They were just at the bottom of the field beside our home, You walked through a wooded area to the most beautiful falls. When the water was low you could even walk across the breast of the fall, and pick out trout from the hole on the side of the fall. Such good memories. (2) What would your ideal day off in Donegal be like?Walking up a mountain, with a few friends, my favourite is Muckish, as when you get to the top you have all that area to walk around on and such spectacular views. And of course a cold beer or two (Heineken) when you get back down. A friend of mine got me interested in walking, she took me up the Blue Stack for my first walk … 6 hours later we were still walking. And I love hill walking ever since.(3) Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?My Sister Mary, she has always done it her own way. She was very successful in the corporate world. And at the same time, she had looked at different alternatives, yoga, reiki, meditation etc., And has since given up the corporate world to devote her time to the Isha System, and is helping people around the world to deal with their issues. She is brilliant at understanding and helping people be the best of who they are. Mary has definitely kept me sane a number of times!(4) Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner? Packie Bonner (sorry Daniel)(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?Being called the ‘Coolest Place’ by National Geographic. I think that is fantastic. Donegal is such a fabulous county.(6) If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be? Nothing, I love Donegal, it’s such a beautiful County. The infrastructure could improve, make it easier to access. Donegal is a hidden gem, so many have missed out on.Donegal Women in Business Network members: Clare Mc Nickle, Eileen Sweeney, Dearbhla Kelly and Frances Spears(7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product?Donegal Tweed, is world famous, and Magee suits, they both remind me of my Dad. He was such a smart wee man, and loved to dress well.(8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?What Davitt Walsh did that day to save the Baby in Buncrana was incredible. Such a brave, selfless act. I truly applaud that.(9) Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?David Gildea (CloudRanger) – I just love David’s story. It a fantastic example of believing in yourself, and risking all for something you know will work. In a very short time David has had great success, but went through a tough time to get there. And had to get family support which is vital.(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?Michael Murphy, he is brilliant on the field, and a great leader. But he is such a good guy and has time for everyone. A great example to young people, and full of community spirit.(11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?It’s hard to name one, but, I love Pats Pizza, my daughter and I go there a lot, it’s one of our favourites, I have the organic salmon, and my daughter has the Pepperoni Pizza. They don’t really have to ask us what we want. Lovely atmosphere, and great food.(12) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?‘What’s the craic’(13) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?Brexit is a big challenge, it’s going on for so long, and we still have no idea how it will all end up.(14) What is your favourite Donegal food?Oh the wild salmon that my Dad caught in the Eany River. (I’ll not say how he caught them!!) My mum cooked it so well, all the Americans loved it. Nothing now tastes near as good.(15) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?Well the biggest annoyance at the moment is all the roadworks in Letterkenny. It’s a disaster getting home from work in the evenings. I appreciate the work has to be done, but oh dear the chaos is mental.(16) Do you have a favourite local band?I would be a big fan of RAW, love it when they are playing, it’s a brilliant night’s craic. And went to see Maris McCormack at the Jazz & Blues weekend she was brilliant as well. We have so much talent, again hard to choose. I love good music. (but not country)(17) If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?The roads, an airport in Letterkenny!!Donegal Women in Business members at the launch of the AIB-sponsored hotdesk at the CoLab Letterkenny(18) What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?I have been with AIB Bank for 37 years, it’s a lifetime!! I have enjoyed my Career with AIB Bank, they are a great employer, and I have made such good friends over the years. There has been a lot of moments in that time. Too many to mention at this stage. But I suppose one does stand out, last year I succeeded in getting the AIB Women in Enterprise event to Harvey’s Point in Donegal.There was just 4 of these events held in the country: one in Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Donegal. So that was a great achievement for the county to get it to Donegal. It was a great event. I succeeded in getting the event to Donegal with, I must say, the help of the Donegal Women in Business (namely Evelyn). The Donegal Women in Business Network is such an energetic, enthusiastic organisation, that has a great dedicated committee, helping Donegal women in business to network, work and succeed together.It was through my conviction that, in partnership with the Donegal Women in Business, we could make the Women In Enterprise event successful in Donegal – even if it was so far away from a main city!! It was agreed to hold the event in Donegal. And it was a success. That was a great day.(19) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of? The people. There is great community spirit, especially when things go bad. Everyone helps each other out. That is something we could all be proud of. It’s just in us.Would you like to share your views on Donegal? To take part in this interview series, just send us an email on info@donegaldaily.comMy Donegal… with Eileen Sweeney from AIB Letterkenny was last modified: July 15th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:business customer advisoreileen sweeneyMY DONEGALlast_img read more

CAF makes adjustments in Champions league and Confederations cup schedule

first_img Tags: CafKCCA FCvipers sc Vipers will kick-start their bid to win Uganda its maiden CAF Champions league trophy in November as opposed to 2019 like it was first anticipated.This is one of the many significant changes announced by the Confederation of African Football in relation to the Interclub competitions effective 2018/19.The competitions will kick off in November of every year and end in May of the following year unlike before when they started in February and ended in December of the same year.The circular, dated May 15, 2018 sent to all federations also says the winner of the Caf Champions League will qualify for the group stages of the following year’s tournament and not go through any qualifiers like it has always been the case.It was also decided that Caf Champions League matches will be played on Fridays and Saturdays while the Caf Confederation matches will be played on Sundays.Previously, there have been matches played on week days for the two competitions.On a brighter note, dates for the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 have also been communicated to all FAs.Uganda will be represented by Vipers and KCCA in the Caf champions League and Caf Confederation Cup respectively in the next campaign.KCCA are currently Uganda’s representatives in the Champions league and are currently third in group A, with three points after two rounds of matches played.KCCA are currently third in group A (Photo by Lubega Shaban)The Kasasiro boys lost 1-0 to Botswana’s Township Rollers before downing record champions 2-0 at the Mandela national stadium in Namboole.KCCA lost 1-0 to Township Rollers in the first game of the Champions league.Their next two fixtures will be in a double header with Tunisian giants Esperance.Comments last_img read more

Calculating Heating Degree Days

first_img2012-1343,328 — 2,77515.61— 46,518 Using degree daysLet’s say that hypothetical of yours is in Atlanta, and you did the work in the summer of 2013. Then you download my spreadsheet and find your total energy usage for those two years. Let’s keep it simple here and just look at the effect on winter heating bills. Here are the numbers for November through March of the pre- and post-improvement years: 2013-1440,987 -5.4% 3,37212.16 -22.1% 36,237 What is a degree day?A degree day is a combination of time and temperature difference (ΔT). The basic idea behind it is to give you an indication of how much heating or cooling a building might need. (Emphasis on the “might” there.) Degree days are just an estimate of heating and cooling needs, and we’ll look at some of the reasons why you need to keep them in the proper perspective.A good starting place is the simplified† equation for heat flow shown as Equation 1 (see Image #2, below)Now, this equation actually give you the rate of heat flow. In the Imperial system of units that we use here in the U.S., the result will be in BTU/hour. So if we multiply that rate by the time period, as shown in Equation 2 (see Image #3, below), we end up with the quantity of heat flow in BTU.Yeah, I know both equations here use the same variable, Q, for rate of heat flow and quantity of heat flow. The first equation will usually have a dot over the Q in physics or engineering books, but let’s gloss over that and get to the main point here.If we take the (ΔT x t) factor at the end of the second equation and use an appropriate base temperature, we can call the combination degree days. For example, in the U.S. we typically use a base temperature of 65°F when calculating heating degree days. (More about that in Part 2 of this series on degree days.) If the temperature stays constant at 64°F for one full day, that would give us one heating degree day (HDD). If the temperature is 60°F for a full day, we get 5 HDD.Got it? It’s just the difference between the outdoor temperature and the base temperature multiplied by the time it’s at that temperature. Many sources of degree days use the mean daily temperature. Instead of being a constant 64°F or 60°F above, you get the same result if the mean temperature for a day is 64°F or 60°F.Using mean hourly temperatures would be a better approach. Using mean minutely (is that a word?) temperatures would get you even closer. (If you’ve had some calculus, you know where this is headed, right?) The smaller you can make those time intervals, the more accurate will be your result for degree days. (OK, calculus lovers, we’re not going all the way there. Sorry. It is left as an exercise for the reader to do a Riemann sum with your temperature data and limit the size of the intervals to zero yourself.)When we combine ΔT and t like that, we can substitute degree days (either HDD, CDD, or total DD) into the equation. The result is Equation 3 below. This is the form of the equation I used in my recent article on the diminishing returns of adding more insulation. Here’s where the power of normalization shines. If you look just at the reduction in kilowatt-hours, it looks like a 5.4% reduction. When we normalize for the colder winter post-improvement, though, you can see that we really reduced the consumption by 22.1%.That works in the other direction as well. If the post-improvement weather is milder than what you had before, you may think you got a bigger benefit than you really did if you look only at the change in consumption without normalizing to degree days. Finding degree daysMy favorite site for generating degree days is It allows you to generate degree days for whatever base temperature you want to use. (See a discussion of that issue in Part 2 of this series.) I’ve been tracking heating degree days for Atlanta with data from for the previous seven years, and you can see my graph below.You can find degree days in other places as well.The Weather Underground website has tons of weather data, including degree days. Go to their page called Historical Weather and enter your location and the date. Once you get the data, you can select different time frames to see more than one day at a time.I prefer because they base their calculations on more than just the average daily temperature. (I’ll explain further in Part 2.) It’s also easier to get what you want if what you want is degree days. What are degree days good for?I’ve already mentioned one of the uses of degree days, but let’s go ahead and make a list here.Normalizing energy use for changes in weather. This is what I referred to above and will illustrate below. If you make energy improvements to your home, degree days help you discover the real effect of the improvements.Comparing one climate to another. Degree days are one important measure. Design temperatures are another.Comparing the energy efficiency of one home to another home in a different climate. Just as you can normalize to weather changes in one location, you can get a feel for differences in the energy efficiency of homes in different climates. Year         kWh   % Change  HDD  kWh/HDD   % Change   Normalized kWh Complicating factorsIn Part 2 of this series, we’ll go further into the discussion of the base temperature and some other complicating factors. If you want to read ahead, check out the the article, Degree Days – Handle with Care!, on the Energy Lens website.Despite the complicating factors and limitations, degree days are quite a useful invention. Whether you’re a homeowner just trying to understand your energy bills or a home energy pro who wants to know everything, it can be helpful to understand how they’re calculated and what they do. 2013-1440,987 kWhcenter_img Year            kWh Let’s say you did some work on your home to make it more energy-efficient: air sealing, more attic insulation, and a duct system retrofit. You’ve got your energy bills for 12 months before and 12 months after you did the work, and now you want to see how much energy you saved. So you sit down with all 24 months worth of utility bills, convert everything to a common unit if you use more than one type of fuel, and take a look at the numbers.Unless, however, you take into account another important factor, you may be led to incorrect conclusions.You can’t simply compare the total amount of energy you used in the year before and the year after you made the energy improvements. As it turns out, weather changes from year to year, so an abnormally warm winter before the improvements followed by a really cold winter after the work might cause your home to use even more energy than before. But if you adjust for the difference in weather, you should be able to see the effects of the increased energy efficiency.That’s where heating degree days and, to a lesser extent, cooling degree days come in. 2012-1343,328 kWh The reduction in energy consumption is the difference between the two numbers, or 2,341 kWh. At $0.12/kWh, the savings amounts to about $281 per year. Actually, it’s even worse than it first appears because a good chunk of those kilowatt-hours were actually from the natural gas used, and gas is really cheap these days. That’ll push the annual savings down below $200, making the return-on-investment not so appealing. (Of course, the actual ROI includes more than a financial return. With a good home performance retrofit, your home is more comfortable and healthful, too.)We still need to account for the change in weather from one year to the next, though. If we expand the table to include heating degree days and some calculations based on it, we get this: It’s not a unit of timeOne point of confusion for many people is that “degree days” sounds like a unit of time. It’s not. That’s why we can have 5 heating degree days in one day and well more than 365 degree days in a year. Atlanta, Georgia has about 3,000 heating degree days each year (65° F base temperature).It’s not a unit of time. It’s a combination of time and temperature: ΔT x t. RELATED ARTICLES Choosing a Base Temperature for Degree DaysAll About Climate ZonesHow to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 1How to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 2Energy Modeling Isn’t Very AccurateWhich Building Energy Statistics Make the Most Sense? Q&A: How do deviations in average winter temperature affect energy consumption? Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Footnote† To do heat flow right, you’ve got to use the full-blown partial differential equation (shown below) because the variables above actually vary over a smaller scale than a whole assembly. The hygrothermal modeling tool, WUFI, solves the full equation numerically and gives you a lot of power to manipulate the inputs…and a lot of opportunities to get screwy answers if you don’t know what you’re doing. The simplified form above is fine for a lot of things.last_img read more

The Freelance Entrepreneur’s Guide to Surviving In The World of IoT

first_imgFreelancing has been dubbed the on-demand economy, where businesses hire independent contractors to perform tasks for the company instead of regular employees. Contractors are generally less expensive to hire because you only pay for what you need. This can make them more appealing for smaller or shorter term projects, but some Silicon Valley startups are moving away from hiring freelancers. If this shift becomes a growing trend, surviving in the freelance Internet-of-Things (or “IoT” for short) world will become even more competitive.Regardless of competition, there will always be businesses that want to hire freelancers. The problem is, if fewer businesses are hiring freelancers, then freelancers have to compete harder for the limited opportunities that exist. That means if you are a freelancer in the tech world, it is time to step up your game.It is not easy to survive in the freelance world to begin with. This guide is designed to help you survive and thrive in a gig-based economy no matter how competitive it gets.Learn, practice, and perfect high-level communication skillsCommunication is not just an exchange of words and ideas. Communication requires taking responsibility for how your words and ideas are interpreted and understood. That does not mean you are responsible for what other people hear. Of course not. You cannot control what others hear through their listening filters. You are responsible for refining your communication until your idea is understood by the other person. For instance, when someone does not understand what you have said, be willing to ask questions to find out where they got lost, rather than repeating yourself in frustration.Clients that are not tech savvy will not understand technical jargon, and you may not be aware when you use it. You need to know how to communicate with the intention of helping your clients understand.Although difficult to master, high-level communication skills should be applied to online communications, too. In today’s IoT-centric world, kids use their devices to communicate with their peers and even their parents more than they are using verbal language. Even adults use text messaging, email, and social media messengers to talk to each other, sometimes for hours, rather than making a phone call.An important communication skill to have is refraining from sending an immediate response to an electronic communication. Electronic communications should be precise, since you do not have the ability to address misunderstandings and refine your message in a back-and-forth conversation.When dealing with clients, communication skills are gold. Clients are notorious for having unrealistic expectations and making difficult or impossible requests from techies. If you want to survive as a freelancer, you will need to communicate with those types of clients in a non-threatening way. You need to be able to talk them out of their bad ideas without making them mad.Limit your social media sharingTechnology comes with an unfortunate side effect: your clients are going to Google you and find you on Facebook. Think twice before sharing anything on social media that can be taken out of context or intentionally twisted. Over-sharing on social media has become the norm.Your friends might appreciate your sarcasm regarding sensitive topics such as religion and politics, but potential clients may not. Even sharing videos from politically incorrect comedians can turn a client off.If you want to survive as a freelancer, you need to be your client’s top choice. You cannot give them any reason to doubt their relationship with you. If you are posting photos of yourself drinking beer from a keg on Facebook and making sarcastic jokes that could be offensive, be prepared to lose some projects.Use data security best practices even when your clients do not require itEven when left unspoken, clients naturally expect you to keep their sensitive data private. They do not always know the proper protocols for data security, so you may not be given specific instructions for how they want you to protect their data. It is still your responsibility, and clients will drop you as a freelancer if you do not.You are legally responsible for protecting your client’s data. For instance, if you send unencrypted emails to a sub-contractor containing sensitive client data, you can be held responsible for damages if that transmission is intercepted. You could also be held responsible if your sub-contractor fails to protect the data once they receive it, and a hacker gets ahold of it.To keep client data safe, never outsource tasks you have agreed to perform without explicit permission from the client. Always notify the client when you need to transmit their sensitive data over the internet to a third-party. If they want you to transmit data in an unsecure way because you cannot transmit it securely, make sure they understand the consequences and get it in writing to cover yourself later on. Avoid entering client passwords on public Wi-Fi networks unless you can encrypt your connection using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).Be picky about public workspacesIf you need to work from public coffee shops and restaurants, be picky about where you work. Forcing yourself to work inside a noisy Starbucks simply because you want a Frappuccino or do not have a workspace is not a smart choice. Ideally, you want to find the sweet spot, where the location you work from has something you like on the menu, and you can be relatively undisturbed.Prioritize locations with secure Wi-Fi. Unless you live in a small town, you probably do not need to ask for a code to access public Wi-Fi. Open Wi-Fi networks are convenient but less secure. If possible, prioritize working from a location that offers secure Wi-Fi. Your clients’ data is at risk anytime you log into their accounts or communicate with them through email.If you cannot find secure public Wi-Fi, install a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a firewall, and other security software on your computer. A VPN encrypts your internet communications so even if a hacker steals your data, they cannot read it. A VPN can also hide your true location and make it look like you’re browsing the internet from somewhere else.Be aware that a VPN is not a guaranteed solution to all security problems. The recent Heartbleed bug makes it possible for hackers to decrypt your communications over a VPN, including passwords. Not all hackers can exploit your VPN, so even though a VPN is vulnerable, they still work to keep the majority of cyber criminals from accessing your data. For example, anyone can download free software from the internet and monitor public Wi-Fi traffic, stealing passwords and sensitive data. A VPN will protect you from most of those people because the majority are not real hackers.Avoid locations that require a purchase every hour. Businesses rely on customer purchases to make money, but when you are an entrepreneur on a budget it is in your best interest to avoid making multiple, unnecessary purchases.If you cannot avoid working somewhere that requires a regular purchase, buy a drink that offers refills at a lower price, like drip coffee or iced tea. You will be able to revisit the counter every hour or so and ask for a refill to fulfill your obligation to make a purchase.Avoid working in locations where people know you. This one is tough. If you live in a small town, you may only have one or two options, and you are going to run into people you know. If you live in a big city, you have a better chance at blending in undetected.When you cannot avoid working in public spaces where people know you, you have several options: place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the side of your table and point to it when people approach you; place a similar sign facing people from your back so people entering the space know not to disturb you; or, you can be straight with people and let them know if they see you buried in your laptop, it is not a good time to talk. Or maybe it is time to stop working in cafes altogether.Find a designated coworking space. Although hosted in public spaces, a coworking space is different. Instead of going to a random restaurant and letting the waitstaff move you around when they need their tables, a coworking environment is a structured system. The restaurant designates an area as a workspace between certain hours.The fee for participating in a coworking space is easy to budget since it is a predictable expense, unlike hourly refills and purchases. Most spaces like the ones from Kettlespace, are organized during an establishment’s downtime so you will not get shuffled around. Like a regular office, most coworking spaces come with unlimited coffee, tea, and snacks. You will not feel guilty for hiding in the corner to avoid drowning yourself in refills you do not want.Coworking has been around for a while, and when orchestrated well, becomes an ecosystem for creativity and productivity. You do not need to sacrifice your health by pumping yourself full of caffeine and consuming specialty coffee drinks all day long.You might pay more for a coworking space than you would for a daily cup of coffee, but peace of mind (and unlimited snacks) are priceless. However, shop around to find the right coworking space – there are options for all budgets and needs.Protect your time with fierce boundariesYour time is more valuable than you think. Valuing your time is not merely about making sure you charge the right hourly rate, or ensuring you get paid for the time you spend with clients. Valuing your time means protecting it fiercely; making sure every minute you give to another person is worthwhile to you. That is not to say you need to be selfish with your time and not do anything unless it benefits you. It means being consciously aware of how you are choosing to spend your time and not giving it out absentmindedly. This requires careful thought prior to making a commitment.For example, if you are someone that says “yes” to every request, you are probably wasting a good amount of time finding ways to get out of commitments you wish you never made. Or, those commitments are overloading you and stressing you out. Instead of saying “yes” in the moment, protect your time by telling people you need to think about it for a couple of days and you will get back with them. When you are high on inspiration, opportunities will sound more appealing than when you come down from that high.You do not need to gnash your teeth to be fierce. Fiercely protecting your boundaries means saying no when you want to say no, and sticking to it. It means creating rules everyone must play by when interacting with you. It sounds robotic and sterile, but it is what all the top entrepreneurs have to do to maintain any kind of order in their lives. For example, successful entrepreneurs do not take unscheduled phone calls during business hours, even from friends and family. Unless they are lounging around and are not engaged in work.Seeing the face of a loved one flash on your smartphone makes it hard to ignore the call even when you are busy. It is tempting to answer and quickly tell them you cannot talk and you will call them later, but there are two major problems with that.If you answer the phone to say you cannot talk, you are creating the expectation that even when you are busy, you will still answer your phone. This gives others the impression that you are available 24/7, even when you are not. The one time you do not answer, the caller will get upset. You can tell them you were in a business meeting, but if you have always answered previously, they will wonder why you chose now to ignore their call. They will take it personally, create a story around why you did not answer their call, and you will have to deal with the drama.You need to restrict access to your time. Set business hours (like Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and let people know during those hours you only accept scheduled calls, unless it is an emergency. This applies to friends and family as well as business associates. You will never get ahead in your business if you allow clients to have unrestricted access to you.Be strategic when offering pro bono workFreelancers do not make money unless they charge for their services. They also have frequent tech breakdowns that cost money to fix, so earning money is important.If you are going to offer pro bono work, be strategic about it. Always ask for something in return. Clients who are not willing to reciprocate on even a basic level are going to take advantage of you.Avoid pro bono work that is not reciprocated in some form, and do not discount your services to the level of a small donation. The client could interpret that to mean you are willing to work at a discount. They might pass another project your way, expecting the same deal. If you need the money, you will be tempted to take their new project. If you take their new project, you will continue to take low paying gigs and you will be exhausted and have nothing to show for it.Instead of discounting your services, request something of equal value from the client in return. If they have products or services you would benefit from, come to an agreement for a fair trade. You could trade time for time, so for every ten hours you work, you receive ten hours of their services, excluding work that either of you need to outsource to a paid third party.Regardless of your agreement, make sure to send all pro bono clients a professional invoice so they can see the monetary value of the services they have received. Adjust the wording on the invoice to reflect your agreement but treat the project as if they are a paying client. Surviving as a freelancer in a competitive market requires charging full-price for your services even when you are performing pro bono work. There is no such thing as a free lunch.Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologiesThe world of Internet-of-Things (or “IoT”) is constantly changing in big ways. For example, cloud-based software like Microsoft Office 365 and Photoshop are popular enough to be considered a trend. They are also useful and have a bright future. For instance, cloud-based software can be updated automatically on the server side, rather than forcing users to manually download and install each update. The applications installed on a user’s machine are lightweight, and the server does the majority of the work, which leaves the user with more of their local computer resources. Nearly everyone experiences an increase in speed when using cloud-based applications. Also, bugs can be fixed on the server-side, and users do not need to lift a finger or worry about endless software security patches.Your clients need every option available to them, and their options are only as diverse as the software in your portfolio of knowledge. The more you stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends, the more knowledgeable you will be perceived to be by your clients. Clients like working with freelancers who provide them with options and do not try to convince them to use the only software they know.Hire a tax professional to do your taxes each yearTo stay afloat as a freelancer, you need to stay on top of your taxes to prevent getting behind. Each year, the tax rules change. The only people who stay on top of the multitude of changes are the tax professionals who need to know the tax code inside and out to do their job.The home office deduction is the most common deduction for entrepreneurs, but the requirements are ever-changing. For example, for 2017, the home office deduction requirements changed yet again, requiring a work area to be an enclosed space with some kind of door. No longer is it acceptable to claim a home office deduction if your workspace is merely in a separate, designated area in your home such as the kitchen table.By completing your own tax returns, you are risking making deductions you may not qualify for, even when you qualified the previous year. Tax professionals can spot inconsistencies immediately and prevent you from making innocent mistakes.Create a productive home working environmentForget about painting your walls the perfect shade of blue to evoke a sense of importance from your brain. Hold off on buying a bunch of ergonomic furniture, too. Workspace décor and furniture are important, but it is secondary to the layout of your furniture and the way you arrange your tech tools.For example, before you fill your office with ergonomic furniture, determine where your desk will be located. You do not want the sun to come in through the window and shine in your face for half the day, but you do not want to be in a dark corner, either. Plan out where you are going to work first. Then you will know how much wall space you have for each item. You could have the most expensive, highest rated ergonomic setup one can purchase, and with the sun shining in your face, your productivity will be next to zero (but you might get a nice sun tan!)Do not get too comfortable settling into your grooveGetting comfortable as a freelancer means you are not growing. Without the structure of a regular 9-5 job, you have to create your own growth opportunities. You have to create limits to push yourself through and do your own research to figure out what is next.When the freelance world becomes competitive, you will be more likely to survive if you are willing to throw your hat over the fence and take on projects beyond your perceived abilities. If you do not get in over your head, you will never have a reason to research solutions to dig yourself out of a hole. What you learn by digging yourself out of a hole, you will take with you to your next project. The more you learn, the more valuable you become as a freelancer, and the more likely clients are to choose you in a competitive gig economy. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Frank Landman Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who …center_img Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts Follow the Pucklast_img read more

Royalty Free Music Playlist: Spring Awakening

first_imgSpring is finally here! Bring your project to life with this curated playlist of uplifting royalty free music!The birds are chirping. The bees are buzzing. The flowers are blooming… The season of renewal is upon us! Whether you’re trying to capture the warmth of the new Spring sun or suggest the crisp refreshment of an April shower, adding these royalty free music tracks to your video and film projects will surely put your audience in a breezy mood!I’ve curated this collection of my favorite Spring-inspired royalty free music tracks from the PremiumBeat music library. We work with professional composers from around the world to ensure our extensive library of exclusive royalty free music remains high quality and constantly expanding. With thousands of tracks, PremiumBeat’s royalty free music music is ideal for your needs, whatever they may be. Music is our passion, and it’s our mission to share this passion with you.Remember: The PremiumBeat Standard License covers most usage, including ALL web video (Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, etc). Find the perfect track below and help your film or video project blossom!last_img read more