Convergence: profitable futures or a dangerous mirage?

Three to four years ago it seemed the most seductive of visions. Digitalisation of content would make possible ever more combinations of communication and information technologies, industry barriers would quickly tumble, lives would be made much easier and lucrative new opportunities would be created for traditional players and new entrants alike.

In practice, it hasn’t been that simple – so what went wrong? What happened to all those mergers built on the altar of convergence? Was technology too hastily adopted as the business driver? Were customer needs forgotten in the rush to exploit new ideas? Where now for companies willing and able to harness the still potent forces of convergence?

In the current edition of Vishay-Liteon we have lined up our usual panel of distinguished experts to address these and other issues. We begin with an essay setting the context for the debate and pointing out that it is as fashionable to decry convergence today as it was a few years back to invest in the hype.

Next comes US business technology pundit Peter Berns, whose hard-hitting critique is perhaps the most sceptical contribution on this topic, followed by Wharton Professor Gerry Winder and Vijay Pinder with Bobby Gunter who argue that the really significant convergence has taken place inside the head of the consumer. John Black is well known as an author and Chief Scientist – his contention is that convergence of the physical and virtual worlds is the key issue and that its shape is evolving the whole time through the dynamic actions of new communities for business.

Reasons Why Dog Boarding Facilities Are Good Investments

If you own a dog and plan to go on a trip, you may be considering a dog boarding facility. Some people prefer to have a neighbor or friend check in on their dog. They believe this option is cheaper and easier, but it may not be as beneficial. This post discusses the many reasons why dog boarding facilities are great investments for pet owners.

Dogs Stress When You’re Gone

Your dog is likely to experience separation anxiety when you go out of town. This is true whether you will be gone for a few days or a few weeks. The staff members at dog kennels are trained to deal with this anxiety. Your dog may feel much more comfortable and safe when they are surrounded by loving, experienced carers.

Keep The Dog’s Routine

A busy dog at a kennel.

A busy dog at a kennel.

Most pet owners have preferred routines for their furry friends. For example, you may want your dog to get exercise each day or eat a specific brand of food. You cannot be sure that specific needs are met if someone is simply stopping by to check on your pet. At a dog boarding facility, you can give detailed instructions about your dogs needs. They will be met with the utmost care and attention.

Safety for Your Canine!

If your dog is an outdoor animal, you may have considered allowing him to stay in your yard while you are gone. This can be very risky, even if the weather is nice and your neighborhood is safe. Accidents and unpredictable events occur at any given moment. There is no way to be 100 percent sure your dog is safe outside. When your furry friend is at a boarding facility, you can feel confident about his or her safety.

A Las Vegas Dog Boarding Company Chimes In

We asked our local Las Vegas dog boarding facility why they recommend having a pet boarded while owners are away, and they said the following:

Dogs get valuable attention when in boarding.

Dogs get valuable attention when in boarding.

“Dogs are social animals and enjoy spending time with people (and sometimes other animals). When they are left alone, they easily become distressed and lonely. When you leave your pet at a dog boarding facility, he will be surrounded by people and other pets. This will create happiness and a positive environment for your dog. You can rest assured that he or she is not feeling lonely at all.” (You can visit their site for more info at http://www.lvdoghotel.com/long-term-dog-boarding/ or visit their company yelp page.)

Boarding is Best

As you can now see, there are many benefits to using dog boarding facilities. While they do cost money, they are a worthwhile investment for your beloved pet. Ensure that your dog is safe, healthy, and happy when you are not at home. Use a dog boarding facility to make this happen.


Not the kind of dog boarding we’re talking about, but too cute to pass up!

Home Theater System Installation Tips

completed home theater system installation

More and more Phoenix residents want to enjoy a good movie from the comfort of their homes. As most TV sets have low-quality built-in speakers, they are never able to deliver the same sound quality as theater settings. This is what makes home theater systems a popular option among movie lovers who want to bring the magic of the cinema into their own living room. Such a system can make a huge difference, but only if it has been properly installed.

Home theater installation has to follow a set of guidelines regarding the placement of the speakers and of the sub-woofer. Usually, you can find such instructions in the user manual. It’s a good idea to measure your room before you buy your system, in order to see whether it can fit inside or not. Ideally, you should be able to place your couch in the middle of the room, so that you can experience surround sound as intended by the manufacturer of the system. The rear satellites have to be placed behind the couch, as illustrated in the book. You also need to respect the minimum distance between the couch and the front speakers. The sub-woofer is the only piece that can be placed anywhere, as bass sounds aren’t directional. Nonetheless, most people prefer to place this unit nearby the TV set or below it, in the case of wall mount setups.

The best Phoenix home theater system installation advice is to prepare your room even from before buying the furniture. If you opt for a wired system, you should make sure that all wiring is placed beneath the floor. A room full of wires is not the most agreeable view, so you should avoid this situation by planning your home theater from the very beginning. In addition, wires can be very dangerous for you and for the other people living in the house. The hospitals are full of victims of domestic accidents, so you should minimize the risk of tripping over and getting yourself injured.

You can enjoy the optimal sound only when all audio components are correctly positioned. If you don’t know how to do this positioning by yourself, you should seek professional help. There are companies that can position, mount and connect all your elements together so that you can have the best possible experience with your system.

home theater construction from the backIf you have to buy the wiring yourself, make sure you choose high-quality wires with gold connectors. The quality of the wiring has a direct influence on the sound quality, so you shouldn’t choose cheap wires, thinking that they don’t matter. In addition, you should never connect two or more pieces of wire together with the purpose of obtaining the needed length. The more connections there are, the weaker the signal. Measure your distances very well before purchasing your cables.

These are only a few tips for a proper home theater system installation for your Phoenix home. It is up to you to follow them or to hire specialized help. Either way, if you do everything right, you are going to enjoy your home cinema to the full.

Carpet Cleaning Tips for Removing Stubborn Stains And Odours

carpet steam cleaner

Many people choose carpets as the perfect flooring solution for their homes. Beautiful and versatile, carpets are available in an endless range of patterns, fabrics and colours. It’s hard not to find a carpet that suits your taste. The only problem is that carpets are more prone to getting dirty than other types of floors. In addition, they are more difficult to clean. The improper use of harsh chemicals or mechanical actions can destroy a carpet for good.

The other downside of carpets is they can attract and retain various odours. For instance, pet urine and other similar substances may impregnate the fibers with persistent smells that are very hard to get rid of. Nonetheless, even people with pets and small children love their carpets. The only thing they need is a bulletproof method of cleaning stains caused by accidental spills or even dirt tracked into their Port Coquitlam home.

Don’t Rub Your Carpets Too Hard

The first thing to know is that you should never rub your carpets vigorously because this action is going to deteriorate the fibers and cause discolorations. You gain nothing by replacing a stain with a worn out area. If you need to clean stubborn stains from your carpets, you have to learn what works for each type of stain. For instance, you can remove wax by placing a newspaper sheet over it and flat iron it. The heat is going to determine the wax to melt and stick to the paper.

Professional Port Coquitlam carpet cleaning can be the best solution in most cases of grime, dirt and stubborn stains. Professional equipment is more powerful than regular tools, so it can be successful where everything else fails. Steam cleaning solutions, especially, are proven to work even in the most difficult situations. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of hot steam. It can easily dismantle tough dirt and grime from the carpet fibers, thus removing stains and odours without any kind of scrubbing and rubbing.

Steam Cleaning Your Carpets

You can steam clean your carpets at home by yourself. There are many brands and models of steam cleaners available on the market, most of them at affordable prices. Nonetheless, you should be aware that in the case of very old stains, you may need a professional cleaning service. These services have more powerful machines, so they are able to clean even the most difficult stains. Such machines are very expensive, so it wouldn’t make sense for you to buy one, as it’s more cost effective to have a professional carpet cleaner help you once a year or whenever necessary.

One of the best tips for enjoying spotless carpets is to make sure you don’t spill anything on them in the first place. “Nonetheless, when you have pets or toddlers, this can be impossible. Pet urine, especially, is a very big problem. Cats and dogs tend to urinate again on the same spots if they feel the smell. Unfortunately, their sense of smelling is extremely sharp, so they may feel the odour even if you can’t smell a thing.” says Mike Scott of Refresh Carpet Clean in Port Coquitlam, BC.

The best thing to do is to learn what works on this type of stains and apply the substance on a regular basis. For instance, vinegar is a very powerful odour removing agent, so you should use it after the steam cleaning in order to make sure all traces have been eliminated.

Lemon is also a good cleaning agent in many situations, so you can use it to get rid of wine and milk stains, to give you only an example. If you learn what works and you use it as soon as your carpet gets stained, you are going to be able to clean it much easier. You should never wait until a stain gets old. This is perhaps the best tip of all.

Tamper Proof Fasteners Help Deter Vandalism

It is incredibly simple to attach items together with screws. There are typically two types of screws that you can choose from, standard screws and tamper proof fasteners. The latter one offers home owners and property owners plenty of security and protection. A fastener that is tamper proof is similar to a typical fastener. However, once it is placed on an object, it is difficult to remove. This means that if you are looking for total security; you should consider using this type of fastener.

Protection Fasteners

Usually fasteners are used to help make two or more items connect with each other securely. There are two different types of security fasteners. One is tamper resistant, and the other is tamper proof, and there are a variety of different types of security drives. Screws that are tamper resistant offer a high level of security because it takes a special tool in order to remove them. This is in contrast to regular fasteners that can be removed with an ordinary tool.

Tamper resistant screws are very popular because they can be purchased from many different suppliers. They are less expensive than tamper proof fasteners.

Materials Used To Make The Fasteners

There are a variety of materials that are used to manufacture fasteners, but steel is the material that is commonly used. Steel is resistant to climate changes, and it is the material that is used the most often. However, materials such as bronze, brass and titanium are also used to make the fasteners.

Three primary systems are used to create fasteners including:

•    Heading
•    Thread rolling
•    Coating

A tamper proof screw

An example of a tamper proof ‘SnakeEyes’ screw

Places Where Tamper Proof Fasteners Are Used

These fasteners are typically added to objects that need a higher level of defense that regular fasteners do not offer. Machine fasteners and wood fasteners are common, but shear bolts are another type that has gained in popularity. Shear fasteners and bolts are designed to perform a specific function for a specific object.

Since the fasteners are heavy duty, they are used on playground equipment, in public areas, gaming systems and any other items that require a heightened safety level in order to protect them from vandalism or other damage.

Practical uses include:

•    Prisons and correctional institutions
•    Display cabinets
•    Seat security in stadiums and other recreational areas
•    Public rest areas

These are just a few areas where it is critical that items are secure with the assistant of fasteners.

Anti tamper screws are beneficial when you are constructing woodwork or repairing appliances. They also help to deter vandalism and robbery, and this makes them a valuable crime prevention tool.

Is There Asbestos in My Edmonton Home or Business?

When it comes to finding out whether your Edmonton home has asbestos, there are some important aspects that need to be taken into consideration. If your home was built before 1980 when the government initiated ban on the use of asbestos in the manufacturing of construction materials and other tools, then chances are that your home could be contaminated with this deadly element.

Before the plan got implemented, a number of homes were built with construction materials having asbestos. Materials like shingles, floor and ceiling tiles, and flashing were made with asbestos in Edmonton. In addition to that, sidings and insulation could also have this type of material.

Importance of Asbestos Removal:

Being a homeowner, it is imperative that you are particular about the safety and security of your home and family and make sure asbestos removal is your #1 priority. Considering the fact that asbestos is an extremely dangerous substance, it is crucial that you take necessary steps to remove this substance from your home. Once it becomes powdered, the particles become small enough to enter the respiratory system.

Knowing that there is asbestos in your home is one of the most significant ways of keeping your family safe from its deadly effects. After that you are able to determine which parts of the house contain asbestos, you need to stop from there. Don’t touch them, as drilling through them, as fibers may get released posing immediate threats to the well-being of you and your family. When the asbestos fibers become airborne, there is an array of health issues that may affect your family.

Underlay made out of asbestos

An example of Asbestos underlay for linoleum

Why Choose A Professional Inspection Company?

Therefore, it is recommended that you use the services of a good asbestos testing company. They will have necessary inspection equipment that will protect them from the immediate threats posed by exposure to asbestos. Moreover, they receive proper training and know how to deal with this delicate material.

According to experts, a visual inspection of old homes is not sufficient to declare that a house is free of asbestos. There could be materials that may be hiding underground, or in the basement area. Therefore, it is recommended that you have an experienced inspection team perform a thorough examination of your space.

Asbestos worker

An Edmonton asbestos removal professional at work

Which Areas are Likely to Contain Asbestos?

Some of the common areas where you are more likely to find asbestos include ceiling and wall panels, vinyl floor tiles, outer wall cladding, roof sheeting and cladding, insulation to pipes, laminated panels, fences, adhesives, support columns, etc. Thus, if you want to have a peace of mind that your home is free of asbestos in Edmonton, make sure to consider these aspects.

A Video Explaining What Asbestos Looks Like

Starting Options Trading

options tradiing

If you want to start an option trade business, you will need a trading account together with a reliable option brokerage company or services provider. The procedure of creating an option trading account is cushy and involves simple steps. The purpose of a brokerage services provider is to offer you marketing services to help you raise the amounts you make from option trade.

After you have created and activated your account, you will be able to place options ready to be traded, and then the brokerage services provider will handle the rest. Actually, your brokerage will execute these options on your behalf. When opening an option trading account, you will be given the chance to choose either opening a margin account or a cash account. Despite the kind of your brokerage firm, you have an equal chance to open either of the above, though, depending on your choice and preference.

Now that you have to choose between two types of trade accounts, you must understand them; know the profit you can make when you open either of the accounts before you proceed to setup either account type. Here is a clear explanation of margin accounts and cash accounts.

Margin Account vs. Cash Account

The difference between a margin account and a cash account is that a cash account only allows you to use the cash available in your account to pay for options trades and all your stocks. A margin account on the other hand, allows you to utilize your current holdings, for instance long-term options and stocks as collaterals which are in turn used to borrow funds from your brokerage, and then use them as additional cash to finance additional purchases.

Minimum Deposit

Usually, there is a minimum amount that must be deposited before your open trading account is activated. The amount you will be required to deposit varies from one brokerage to the other and is also different for different types of accounts. Little or at times no amount is required to activate a cash account. According to federal regulations, a margin account, on the other hand, requires at least $2000 to be activated.

After you have created an account, you must go ahead and choose the apt brokerage to use. Unlike in earlier days when you were only able to handle open trade offline, in the modern society you have a chance to choose between an online brokerage and offline brokerages. Here is a simple guide to help you choose the one that is most apt.

Offline Brokerage vs. Online Brokerage

To be successful in option trading, it is necessary that you trade using an online trading account since they are available in wider and typical options as compared to stock trade. The online ones are extra effective since they save you from the hoax involved with stock option trade. Having to send detailed messages in one trade with your broker, especially through phones, may increase chances for miscommunication and ends up being much expensive.

With the developed technology, these days’ online brokerages which are reliable for option trading offer highly intuitive interfaces for users, where it is easier to place trade options online than when doing it over the phone. Besides, online brokerages are far much convenient since they are unlike human brokerages which can only handle a single client at a time. They otherwise handle thousands of trade options simultaneously.

Having created an open trade account then chosen an appropriate brokerage, you are in a good position to trade options. Clearly, online brokerages are the most reliable and are the ones you must use if you want to get the best results.

Jeffrey Alan Rosensweig – Speaker on International Business and Finance

Jeffrey Rosensweig is the Director of the Global Perspectives Program at Goizueta Business School of Emory University. Previously, he served for six years as an Associate Dean. An international business and finance professor, he focuses on global investing and business in the global economy. He also specializes in financial, macroeconomic, and business forecasting. A frequent keynote speaker on topics related to global economic and financial trends and forecasts, he is selected annually as the global-investing keynoter at the Security Industry Association’s Annual Institute. In 2000, Dr. Rosensweig was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Petroleum Geologists: Who Are They And What Do They Do

petroleum geologist

Petroleum geologists are earth scientists working in the field of petroleum geology, which encompasses all aspects of oil discovery, processing, and production. Petroleum geologist are generally linked with the discovery of oil and the identification of any possible leads or deposits and are scientists that focus on the estimation and extraction of combustible resources like oil and gas buried deep in the earth. This process can be extremely labor-intensive and involves the use of elaborate equipment and different fields of science. These specialists mainly focus on studying the sedimentary and structural aspects of the strata/stratum to try and identify any possible oil traps.

Before one can become a petroleum geologist, they will require significant amounts of formal education. The recommended level of education before one can be considered to be a certified petroleum engineer is a Master’s Degree. At the same time, there are extra requirements, which include a good knowledge of GPS and GIS and a voluntary certification that may be required – to be discussed in depth later on.

A Petroleum Geologist’s Duties

The duties of a petroleum geologist generally include the discovery, locating and determining the amount of useful fuel reservoirs or sediments. Geologists in this career line are required to conduct field studies in an effort to analyze project data, interpret geophysical info in project reports, interpret and effectively implement drilling rig strategies for the extraction of these essential resources, create project reports that summarize the project and the estimation of fuel amounts in identified oil pockets or reservoirs.

A Petroleum Geologist’s Qualification Requirements

Generally, the educational requirements a petroleum geologist should attain to be employed will normally be dictated by the specific hiring company. However, there are still more requirements that need to be attained before one can be hired. Let’s have look at a couple of them.

Education

Most petroleum geologists have a master’s degree in geosciences. Often, most employers will prefer candidates who possess this degree over those holding a bachelor’s degree. In most cases, Masters Degrees include courses in geophysics, mathematics, hydrology and other essential geoscience studies. At the same time, extra training in reservoir engineering, economics, computer programming, and oil property valuation can be an added advantage to people majoring in petroleum geology.

Certification and Licensure

There are some states that will require petroleum geologists to get a license if they directly deal with the public. Voluntary certification can be gotten via an accredited agency like AAPG or American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Extra requirements

petroleum engineeringAs earlier mentioned, there are extra requirements that a petroleum geologist may be required to know or be in possession of before they can be considered or hired. For instance, most employing companies will require that the scientist be well knowledgeable when it comes to working with GIS (geographic information systems) and GPS (global positioning systems). This is essential as this line of work relies heavily on data that has been collected using such systems as these. At the same time, a petroleum geologist needs to possess good interpersonal skills as they normally work in teams with other geoscientists.

Career Outlook

Considering that there are still many more undiscovered oil pockets in the world, this is one career path that has great demand for fresh skill and exemplary minds. The current average salary of a geoscientist currently stands at well over $100,000 per annum.

If you are considering venturing into this line of geological work, then you will be glad to know that there are plenty of options and spots available. However, it is crucial that you achieve all the required requirements and that you get certified for a better chance of landing a job in the industry.