Shipping Container Repairs – Don’t Weld It, Patch It – A Quick Patch Hardens in Sunlight

I have sold shipping containers for a number of years and I sell them because I like them. I like the recycling aspect, I like the subsidised cost of them – subsidised because of the huge number of containers needed in the shipping industry. And I like the modern form of the symmetrical cube, a container home can be a thing of beauty but…

There are some serious issues to overcome if you are going to use a seacan for any of the numerous practical uses. Yes a container provides instant low cost storage. A shipping container can be easily modified as an office, workshop or cabin. Taken to their limits they are used as exhibition centres, hotels and of course homes. As long as they are primed, painted, sealed and elevated you can hold back the rust. But that’s a lot of effort if you purchased a rusty old seacan and need some easy non-insulated storage. Usually vehicle, materials or equipment storage.

So in the old days you either painted it or got a welder in every season or two. Now there are simple fibreglass pliable reinforced polyester patches that harden in uv light and are ready to sand, tap, drill or paint within an hour. Yes that is just sunlight! The patches will even bond to rusty surfaces, patches are waterproof and resistant to extreme temperatures, extreme heat and cold.

If your working with UV Quick patches inside, UV light may be an issue but UV flashlights are available for around $20 available in hardware stores. Although for shipping container repairs you are probably working on the outside of the seacan anyway.

Identifying a leak in a container is in my experience as simple as going inside the container in the light of day, closing the doors and searching for light. Once a hole is identified, locate it on the outside of the can and remove the pliable patch from the silver foil and apply over the hole. You can cut and mould the patch to shape. Bond the patch to the steel with pressure. Keep applying pressure over the entire area of the patch for a minute or 2 and your done. I use my thumbs to press down on the patch. Applying the patch is best done on a clean dry area so take a cloth with you. A wire brush if you’ve got some surface rust or a grinder with a wire brush attachment for more serious rust issues.

The patch will be rock hard in half an hour on a cloudy day. 15 minutes on a sunny day. You have about 3 minutes to place your patch from opening the foil package. After an hour you can sand and paint the patch. Or drill a hole and hang a shelf. It really is a solid bond.

I have now repaired a dozen or so shipping containers using this method over the last 6 months and now the rain and snow have arrived my container inspections have proven that this product really does work well.

Online Business Step By Step: The Three C's

To run a successful business online you will need three essential pillows. This article explains what those are.

Conception

Starting out as a solo entrepreneur your conception, or "vision" is the first thing you must define, because later on it will work as the fuel that keeps you going. You need to be clear about your motives to self-employ. The harsh truth is, that otherwise the first upcoming obstacles will end your enterprise.

One way to concretize your vision is a "treasure map" or a "vision board", which is often times an image-based collage or a written manifesto. Some studies state that taking the effort of concretizing your vision may actually increase your chances to succeed up to 40% (source: The One Thing, Jay Papasan, Gary Keller).

You will also need a vision for your business, even though at first it may seem they are just measurable goals. You should start by defining your goals for the first year: what kind of services and products do you sell? Will you hire people or outsource and what is your role? What are the targeted customer base and turnover numbers? And so on.

Those will then determine the actions you need to take and allow you to see the potential. Then for a long term plan you can ask yourself how big the business grow and what is the time frame.

Commitment

Just like an athlete who wants to climb up to the top of the world, you need to commit to doing the work it takes to achieve your goals.

It's no accident every successful athlete has a coach. Not only do they assist with practical issues, but that kind of relationship also enables the athlete to comfortably focus on the essentials and strengthen the commitment.

The study I mentioned earlier stated that by having someone to hold you accountable you will double the chances to succeed. But of course you do not have to hire a business coach, but you can also for instance recruit a friend, a family member or a mastermind group to support you and act as your accounting partner.

Curiosity

You must always remain curious and willing to learn. That can mean many things: you need to learn something yourself, or you'll learn that your capacity is limited. You may need to learn to give up and let go, or to make fast decisions. Some need to learn to communicate, manage their tasks or say no. Or to plan, delegate or keep their promises.

A solo entrepreneur often must learn and streamline all the processes of her business herself, because only after that she can effectively outsource them. For a startup that may feel like a daunting task, and it often is if you need to gather the information from multiple sources. Another solution is to invest on a program which enables to proceed with a minimum amount of stress.

The main thing is to keep an open mind.

The Picturesque Thornhill-Dumfries and Galloway

Thornhill-Dumfries and Galloway is a town in Scotland. The area has an extensive history although the current town was not created until 1714. The town was designed specifically as a staging post for travelers from Glasgow to Dumfries. There are still many 19th century inns that serviced coaching travelers. These are located along the A76.

The main street of Thornhill is very lovely as it is wide and straight. Lining the street are lime trees and beautiful Victorian villas that were constructed from red sandstone from the area. The main historical site is the Mercat Cross. This is a column that has a winged horse all supported by an octagonal base.

A main historic attraction is Drumlanrig Castle. Construction began in 1679. While it is technically a castle it is more of a baroque country house that was fortified. The building is pink due to the red sandstone used. It is an excellent example of grand Scottish architecture. There is a central courtyard with circular towers at each corner of the house. The interior has many examples of French furniture, a very old chandelier, porcelain, tapestries and more. You can also explore the extensive parklands.

The countryside is quite stunning as many artists have made this area their homes. There is a sculpture park at Glenkiln. You can find sculptures created by Jacob Epstein, Rodin and Henry Moore to name a few. There is an excellent guided walk through the sculptures. There are 3 giant arches which is part of the Striding Arches project. You can also experience panning for gold during the spring and summer months in Thornhill.

The New Abbey is a historic spot as you can visit what remains of an old saw mill. This mill is over 200 years old and is still in working order. At the mill are a tea shop and a national museum of costumes. You can also wander through what remains of the Sweet Heart Abbey in Thornhill.

Definition & Types of Diaper Bag

A diaper bag (or nappy bag) is a storage bag with many pockets which is spacious enough to carry diaper and all baby-related items while taking a family outing. It is ironically needed in administering a mother’s everyday life after having a baby, rather than an optional luxurious gear. It almost replaces the importance of mothers’ purse before and after their pregnancies. Without the required essentials in the bag, mothers will not be daring to step out of their house. Simply think of the great embarrassment if the babies throw up all of a sudden in a shopping mall, but you got nothing (diaper) to change in front of public? Hence, a mom must physically get ready for anything, e.g. sudden diaper change and timely feeding of the baby.

Generally, a diaper bag comes with several pockets of different sizes tailored for your outdoor needs. These internal or external pockets coupled up with compartments are a great organizer for your immediate sorting or retrieval of baby essentials. It is usually featured with adjustable shoulder straps as you commonly seen everywhere, to distribute the weight and free your hands up. Some modern designs are also being engineered with rigid handles and even concealed wheels. This is to enable the parents to carry the baby more firmly and complete more tasks concurrently e.g. paying a cashier or answering a phone call. It could greatly reduce lower back pain as well. Some studies also revealed that diaper bag with brighter color is relatively harder to get lost and could somehow heal or to certain extent reduce “baby blues”. Vibrant colours can brighten the day and make your baby and everyone smile by just looking at the bag. Happy baby will lead to a happy outing…

Diaper bag should be chosen with the designs that precisely reflect daily routine of the parents, on top of other factors like stylish taste and buying budget. There are various sizes, colours, styles, features and materials that created to suit consumers from all different levels and categories.

1) Stroller Diaper Bag

This bag is equipped with additional loops that you can smartly fit over the handle of baby stroller or attach to other travelling systems. It is not only freeing your hand, but your entire body so that you can have absolute freedom in enjoying your journey. With the availability of adjustable strap, it can be converted to be a backpack as you like. This bag is usually made with water-proof materials for a trouble-free strolling for those stay-at-home parents.

2) Messenger Diaper Bag

Designed with a long single strap for you to wear across your chest or over your shoulder, the weight of the diaper bag is no longer concentrated on your shoulder. You may load more accessories in the bag perhaps. With waist-to-shoulder style, you can professionally hang the bag on same side, or cross it trendily till the opposite part of the body. Having such carrying method, you will have quick-access to the pockets and compartments to get whatever baby item that you need.

3) Backpack Diaper Bag

It is almost similar to any ordinary backpack that popularly used by backpack travelers or school students. Literally, it has 2 adjustable straps so that you can carry through your shoulder at your back. This will greatly reduce the stress exerted on your shoulder, which in turn uniformly distribute across your back. Your hands are totally free for any other activities, provided someone is carrying your baby. It is ideally designed for the parents that always on-the-go.

4) Tote Diaper Bag

It just looks like your daily shopping bag that you used to lug around. This bag is normally larger than a traditional diaper bag, with a pair of carrying handles in various lengths so that you can either carry in your hand or place over your shoulder. Simplified internal rooming with lesser pocket and compartment, you can freely use it for a quick journey. Once your baby outgrows it, it can still be retained as your personal bag.

5) Designer Diaper Bag

This is normally referring to the city-chic design from a distinguished designer. From a signature collection till limited edition in their flagship inspiration, rest assured on the spectacular workmanship, exclusive warranty and “celebrity effect” as it will bring along. Some eye-catching products are made by superior materials with premium-quality and great practicalities like insulated bottle pockets which is dedicated to the esteemed customers.

6) Eco Diaper Bag

As the trend of supporting green product is getting popular globally, there are more diaper bags innovated with eco-friendly materials like synthetic leather or even a recycled material like a tyre that you will never think of earlier. While carrying your baby essentials for a simple outing, you are devotedly inculcating your second generation in taking great care on our earth.

7) Daddy Diaper Bag

With a wise selection on design and colours, daddies are more receptive and indeed love to carry a diaper bag. It will benefit dual-income families whereby the parenting responsibilities are shared more evenly. Apart from keeping all baby needs, this bag with multiple pockets and compartments can always serve as daddy’s cool personal carrier for his belongings like key, mobile phone and wallet. With a rugged design and guy-delighted patterns, daddy can now be sportier and trendier even with a baby.

First-time parents are prone to buy small and impractical diaper bags, and subsequently purchase bulky backpacks or duffel bags as a substitute. In fact, whenever possible, all families are recommended to have two different sizes of diaper bags. For short trips, a smaller one works fine with a couple of diapers, some wipes and a change of clothing. For a whole day-out or an overnight, you need to bigger one to accommodate more supplies like full changes of clothing, more diapers and wipes, first aid supplies, pacifiers, baby bibs and other accessories for the days. Bear in mind, the functions of the bag can always be doubled to carry your belongings at the same time.

A wise selection of diaper bag will not only embrace your sense of self, but will also appropriately showcase your stylish lifestyle, trendy taste and unique personality even after stepping into another important milestone, of being a great parent.

By Ding

Laptop Data Safety

Basic levels of password protection on laptops are easily overcome by the experienced thief and this is causing concern within the industry.

There are two things you should do:

  1. Physical security – Do not let your laptop out of your sight. Never leave it unattended in a public place. Never leave it in the boot of your car overnight at hotels. Always use a steel cable to attach it to a firm structure when in use outside your normal environment.
  2. Electronic security – Do not have sensitive data on a hard disk in the first place. Use a complex password and if possible second level authentication, such as a token or other device. When the laptop is on but is not being used, use the electronic lock facility to activate the password entry facility. Use a password on any screensaver.

That takes some account of security for the laptop, but with attached devices such as SD cards and USB pen-drives the situation is different:

Anyone stealing the SD Card or Pen-drive can read the data on any computer loaded with similar software. This is clearly a point of vulnerability; the best method to protect this type of device is to encrypt it so that it is useless without the decrypt key.

This protection is not the expensive option it used to be, with open source software freely available. The best of these encrypt and decrypt on the fly and are transparent to the authorized but render the device useless to the thief and in may cases appear to be a blank device.

ISO27001 and Laptop Security

Interior Design London UK

Whatever your interest in interior design, London is likely to have what you are looking for. Maybe you are seeking inspiration and imaginative tips on interior design for your own home or you are an interior designer and want to promote your own work, or sometimes you want to hire the services of a professional designer or even study interior design yourself, no matter what your need is, there is no better place to satisfy it than the design capital of the UK itself, London.

Visiting Exhibitions in London

London hosts a number of exciting exhibitions every year, some of which focus on a specific area of ​​interior design and others that are broader in their approach. Exhibitions serve many purposes, they can showcase new talent and fresh ideas from up and coming interior designers often along the work of already well established and highly thought after designers in the industry, they highlight the latest fashions and trends, spark new creative ways of thinking , provide opportunities to network and increase business sales and of course they offer the chance to view the work of some of the best interior designers in the world.

The following list represents just three Interior Design Exhibitions that regularly take place in London:

o 100 Percent Design – Exhibition usually takes place in September over 3 days and is open to the general public on one of those days. More information can be found at http://www.100percentdesign.co.uk

o Decorex – This exhibition also takes place each September but is only for trade and professionals in the interior design industry. Details of the next exhibition can be found at http://www.decorex.co.uk

o New Designers Exhibition – opens to the public and exhibits the work of thousands of new and up and coming designers every July. You can find out more information from http://www.newdesigners.co.uk

There are of course many other exhibitions taking place throughout the year and a list of them can be viewed on the British Interior Design Association website at http://www.bida.org

Hiring a professional Interior Designer

Many of us would like to transform our own home and although we may start out with great ideas and intentions, quite a few of us never actually get around to doing anything about it. Hiring a professional interior designer is one way of getting it done and if you do not have someone in mind already; one place to start looking is The British Interior Design Association. The BDA keep a list on their site of interior designers who are either registered members or associated members.

Registered members are the most qualified and have the most experience as in order to get registered they have to satisfy the Association's strict criteria. An Associate member has to have been working in the industry for at least a year and will have passed the association's interview process for membership. You can search for an interior designer at http://www.bida.org .

Another option is the Interior Design Handbook website at http://www.interiordesign.com , where you can search a list of potential designers by location as well as specialty. You will also be able to view their profiles online.

Studying Interior design in London

London offers hundreds of courses on various aspects of interior design starting from the most basic right through to graduate degrees and beyond and so finding the right one can seem like a daunting task but it should not be if you know where to look.

A small sample of interior design schools in London include:

o The KLC school of Design

o The AIU School of Interior Design

o The Interior Design School

You could also try searching for other courses at http://www.floodlight.co.uk , which is the official guide to all the different adult education courses on offer through London. UCAS will also be able to provide you with comprehensive information on different undergraduate courses that are interior design related and what colleges and universities are offering these courses.

Why London for Interior Design?

London joins a wealth of talent and creative thinking within the interior design Industry and is an important springboard for launching the very latest designs from some of the best interior designers in the world. London also provides endless opportunities for up and coming interior designers to showcase and promote their own work and can be a source of inspiration for anyone interested in interior design at any level.

Fixing Wine Stained Lips and Teeth After Red Wine

Most people have been in this somewhat embarrassing situation before: they’ve had several glasses of red wine-Merlot, Cabernet, take your pick-and the evidence is all over their teeth and lips. Whether enjoying an evening glass at home or while eating out with some friends, people don’t require anything special to rid themselves of wine-stained teeth or lips. A few easy fixes-and some solid preparation-can mean having your cake and eating it too, or, better yet, having your red and drinking it too.

Pre-Drinking

If someone notices they have red teeth as well as red, wine-stained lips, it is likely the byproduct of the wine’s pigments clinging to the plaque on the teeth’s surface, so the easiest fix would be to remember to brush before partaking. It’s also essential to brush your teeth before drinking because wine is very acidic. Enough exposure to the acid in such drinks can wear enamel down, therefore making teeth susceptible to tooth sensitivity or decay. Vigorously brushing to rid teeth of stains could cause further damage, so opt for a soft-bristled brush after a night out.

Additionally, when lips are dry, it’s more likely for them to become stained from red wine as dry lips will absorb more moisture from whatever a person’s drinking, which might manifest as flaky, red lips. Before drinking, take a moment to exfoliate the lips using a clean, dry toothbrush, some water with baking soda mixed in, or a towel for ridding the lips of its dry skin. From there, use a quality lip balm for hydrating the lips, which should lessen the likelihood of stains.

During Drinking

Admittedly, it may not exactly be a refined way of enjoying red wine, but it could at least protect the lips from stains: use a straw, so that the wine bypasses the lips altogether. In case you’re in a restaurant and feel uncomfortable requesting a straw, just ask your waiter for a wine spritzer or a mixer in a tall glass rather than a standard wine glass.

Post-Drinking

For those in public who notice their lips have stained already, they can ask for a lime or lemon wedge with their drink. It’s easy to discreetly bite into the citrus using the lips, and the high amount of acidity can help dissolve the leftover stains from the wine. If the lime or lemon juice touches the teeth, swish some water around in the mouth to keep the acid from lingering on the teeth’s enamel.

For those who notice they have red lips, there is always embracing the color by making it appear intentional. A fast onceover with some lip balm could add enough shine so the red color looks like gloss rather than wine residue. There is also keeping clear gloss inside a purse to avoid any further embarrassment from wine-stained lips.

Understanding the Steel Production Chain

Introduction

Investors in the steel sector often come across terms such as slab, hot dip galvanized sheet, or coated sheet – but the definitions of these terms and interrelationships between the different steel products in the production chain are by no means always clear. In this article, the authors describe the steel product 'production' chain and the flow of products from semi-finished to finished product.

The Three Semi-Finished Product Groups

The three main finished steel product groups are tube, flat products and long products. These finished products are produced from semi-finished steel products which are usually made by continuous casting of liquid steel. These so-called semis corporation,

  • billet: typically a square some 6 or 12 meters in length with cross-sectional area of ​​100 – 120 mm square to a maximum of 180 – 200 mm square – used for long products and seamless tube
  • slab: usually up to 12 meters in length and conventionally from ~ 150 mm up to ~ 400 mm thick – used for flat products (and subsequently, welded tube)
  • bloom: usually above 180 or 200mm square to around 300 – 360 mm square (to a maximum of ~ 400 mm square) – used for large section and long products.

The Finished Products

Turning to the different finished product groups,

  • billet is typically hot-rolled into light long products. These products generally combine bar – which can be round, square, angled etc. This light long category often includes merchant bar products (rounds, squares, hexagons, rectangles, flats etc used mainly as support structures for building, construction, machinery) as well as reinforcing bar (typically 8 – 18 mm in diameter, and used for concrete reinforcement). Light long products can also include wire rod, which is generally under 13.5 mm in diameter, and is formed in coils rather than in lengths. Steel wire, steel mesh, nails and other fasteners are typically made from wire rod.
  • slab is typically hot rolled into plate or into hot rolled coil. Beyond this step, there is cold rolling, which typically takes hot rolled steel coil and further reduces the gauge to produce cold-rolled coil. Cold-rolled steel can be used as such (eg in machine components), but is often coated to produce zinc coated sheet or tin plate. Zinc coated sheet is often processed further still – to make so-called organic coated sheet – where a plastic coating further adds to the anti-corrosive properties of the steel.
  • bloom is typically roled in a blooming mill, to produce large sections or very big bar shapes.
  • welded tube in turn is usually made by bending of hot rolled coil or sheet (made from slab); although plate or cold-rolled steel can also be used for welded tube making depending on the desired wall thickness.
  • seamless tube is usually made by billet piercing.

The steel production process chain in summary therefore, usually consist of the following steps:

  • production of liquid steel
  • production of semis
  • hot rolling of semis to make light long products such bar or hot rolled plate or coil
  • cold rolling of the hot rolled bar or coil product, to produce cold-rolled coil or cold drawn products such as steel wire.

Baby Teeth Vs. Permanent Teeth

Whether you have kids or not, everyone goes from having baby teeth (or primary teeth) to getting adult ones. It can be easy to think that baby chompers are just smaller, temporary versions of permanent teeth. While both tooth types are made of the same material and are structured in a similar way, there are noticeable (an unnoticeable, but equally significant) differences. Ultimately, because of these differences, baby and permanent teeth should be cared for in certain ways.

Baby Teeth: More Than Small Teeth

Young children will have up to 20 baby teeth instead of the 32 adults have. Adults have an additional four third molars (wisdom teeth), four first bicuspids and four second bicuspids. Baby chompers, like the rest of the baby's or young child's body is delicious and fragile. Contrary to the belief that the enamel (or outer layer) of the tooth is the toughest material of the body, the enamel of a baby's tooth is not as tough because it is still developing. As primary teeth often fall out to make room for the permanent ones, the enamel can not develop as fully as that found on permanent ones.

Because baby chompers are not as strong, they are more prone to breaks, chipping and discoloration from acids found in tooth staining foods and drinks. This makes the them more susceptible to cavities. With the enamel being so thin in places, it is more difficult for fills and bonding to be applied should a tooth chip or fraction. Children who clench or grind their teeth will have more noticeable wear and tear due to the extra softness of their teeth.

Both baby and permanent teeth have a pulp located in their center. This is where the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth are located. The ligaments that help hold the tooth in place can also be found around the pulp. While the pulp in adult, permanent teeth are small compared to the rest of the tooth, the pulp found in baby teeth are much larger. This means that it does not take as much for the nerves of a tooth to become inflamed and infected. The risk of nerve death is also higher in primary teeth than in permanent one.

The appearance of primary teeth are also different than that of permanent ones. Besides being smaller, they also have a different color and shape. Baby teeth are much whiter than adult teeth, even permanent teeth that have been whitened. Adult teeth naturally have a more yellow hue to them. The color difference can be seen when children lose their baby teeth and their permanent teeth begin coming in. Primary teeth have flat, smoother edges due to their recent eruption from below the gumline. Adult teeth have jagged edges that are also rounded. Baby teeth more often have a square look, looking like boxes. The larger, flatter surfaces of baby teeth mean there is more surface of contact between surrounding teeth.

Finally, the most obvious and well-known difference between adult and baby teeth is that permanent teeth can not be replaced with another natural tooth like a baby tooth can. While baby teeth fall out on their own and are replaced by permanent teeth growing up underneath them, there is no such replenishing of lost or faded teeth.

It is important to care for both baby and permanent teeth even though the former are temporary. Regular check-ups for both adults and children are necessary for great oral health.

If you have not already done so, schedule an appointment for your child (and yourself) with your pediatric dentist.

What is CSS Or Cascading Style Sheets?

Web developers first developed CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets) in 1997 as a means to identify the feel and look of their Web pages. It was aimed to let the web developers split the content and design so the HTML could carry out more of the task that it was initially based on, the markup of content, without worrying about the design and layout.

It was in the year 2000 when CSS finally gained its popularity. This was the time when Web browsers started utilizing more than just the fundamental aspects of CSS. Nowadays, however, all modern Web browsers support all of CSS level 1, a big chunk of CSS level 2 and several features of the 3rd CSS level.

There are some designers who do not use CSS when doing Web development and design, but their number has significantly decreased in the past years. For this reason, it is important for a Web developer or designer – or those wishing to become one – to gain knowledge about the basics of CSS in pretty much the same way that they know about HTML.

Cascading Style Sheets are significant tools for Web developers. The style sheets are used in coming up with good layout technical specifications. In addition to this, a style sheet is also useful because it is one way of communicating with the Web browser in terms of how the document is to be rendered so that people can view it properly.

Imagine water hitting rocks in a waterfall and you will get an idea of what the cascade in CSS is all about. When water hits the rocks in a river or waterfall, only the rocks that are in the bottom will ultimately affect the water flow. This is also how it works with Web style sheet cascade,

For each Web page, there is always one dedicated style sheet. And this is true even for those that were not styled by the designer. There are always user agent style sheets or default style sheets that show up in a page, especially if there are no specific instructions given. However, if the designer chooses a design, it is always important to give instructions as to which style should be prioritized.

Aside from helping web developers and designers come up with highly stylized Web pages, CSS is also useful for styling one’s XML and XHTML markup. It is likewise utilized by Web developers in defining the way Web pages are supposed to come out when viewed by people in other forms of media, like how it should appear when used for a slide show projector.

CSS is a very important Web development and design tool because it helps designers come up with specific tones and moods for the site they are creating. Although it is a little bit more difficult than HTML, it is still the best option for Web designers to choose if they want to come up with a style or Web site look that their clients will like.

Labeling Process Made Easy With Label Dispensers

Labels are commonly seen on all the products that are available around. It is important to have a label on every item that you purchase from the market. Think about the labeling process and you would find that it is in fact time consuming. Initially labeling was done manually but with the advent of technology, the process has also been mechanized. The label dispensers and label applicators are widely used to apply labels on packages, bottles etc. The label dispensers are machines that are used to simplify the task of removing a label from its liner or backing tape. Earlier the peeling off process was done manually. But with the label dispensers it is done fast and efficiently. The pre-dispensed labels coming out of the machines just needed to be applied on the wanted surface easily. The machines accelerate the process thereby reducing manual work.

The label dispensers are available in many sizes and types and it can be purchased based on the requirements. One of the most important uses of labeling machine is that it reduces label wastages. Moreover, the process of labeling is made simpler and perfect with help of these machines. Many packaging industries including pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, fertilizers etc. make use of the machines. The machines are very easy to maintain and any snag can be repaired with minimum expenses.

There is yet another machine that accelerates the labeling process. It is the label applicator. As the name suggests, the label applicators are used to apply ready to use pressure sensitive labels to all types of surfaces. They are fully automated machines which performs dual functions of label dispenser and also applicator. The label applicators have exceptional placement accuracy and speed. If you want to efficiently utilize the labeling process without wasting time and labels, it is important that you select the best label applicator that would suit your requirements. If you are running a small scale company, invest in a good labeling machine to flourish in business within a short time.

Label dispensers come in different variety and there are basically three divisions based on their working energy. For simple works in small scale industries, the manual dispensers would be used. Due to its low cost and good output, people prefer this machines which are operated by hand. The second type is the semi-automatic ones used for applying multiple row address tags for bulk mailing. The label would come out of the machine detached from the liner and is traditionally applied over the packages. As soon as the label is dropped out, a trigger in the jaw end is released automatically and the next label would get ready to come out. For heavy duty operations, the fully automatic label dispensers would be used. They have the capability to do the dispensing and applying work completely. Manual labor is not required and the process is well organized and swift. The machines are cost effective and very easy to maintain. Label wastage would be very less since increases productivity.

The Spirit Bear Story, Part One

This is a true story.

New Years Day was the beginning of an odyssey that would change my life, and my wife Stephanie's life forever. No it was not about a New Years resolution about changing some behavior. It was the day I would crack through the snow and ice and fall into a wild White Kermode Spirit Bear's den, while hiking on my property. Here's the first part of the story.

Each winter, Steph and I took great pleasure in hiking the ambit or circumference of our property line of ten acres. Located just north of Terrace, BC In a small mountain hamlet called Rosswood. The temperature at this time of year was minus twenty-seven degrees. At minus twenty, it really doesnt matter if it's Fahrenheit or Celsius. It's still dam cold. At minus forty they both equal out as the same anyway.

This particular winter, the arthritis in my hip was causing me so much grief, I was not sure I could make the usual two hour trek along the ambit of the property. I did not want to let Steph down, knowing how much she enjoyed the annual excursion. Even though I was doubting if I could make it.

If you do not know what an ambit is, it's the measure or outline of your land. At one time, a King could own and rule as much land as he was willing to walk around the property line of once a year. If he could not complete the trek, he had no right to own or rule the subjects within it. This made for healthy Kings.

Anyways, back to the story. I usually have some disdain for people who drink alcohol during the day. Myself included. However, on this fine sunny but freezing day, I grabbed a double shot of rum on my way out the door in an attempt to override the pain in my hip and secure me that I could make the trek with my adventurous wife.

Our property line is usually disguised on one side by some swamp and marsh during most of the year, and is impassable to navigate. The swampy hawthornes will rip you to shreds if the mosquitoes do not. So we always welcomed our annual tour de ten acres. It also allowed us to see the back forty so to speak. There was a nice stand of firs and birch back there, where a house could sit quite well.

At the end of our hike, we were near an area between our property and my neighbor and brother in law Paul's place, the next ten acres over. An undeveloped piece of marshy land. Plus a great place to photograph bears who loved to relax and sleep in the tall grasses there. As long as we were downwind they never knew we were there. Especially when the wind blew. The wind was like a great white noise machine that made the sound of your footsteps disappear completely. Allowed us to photograph those big forest dogs with ease.

As I hiked along, by this time, heading for home, I approached a small mound of snow. Instead of going around it, which was a little longer than walking over it, and because of my painful hip, I chose to walk over it.

When I reached the top of the mound the snow suddenly wave way under my feet, and I found myself falling through the snow into a cavity in the earth. At first a little stunned. It took a second or so to get my eyes readjusted to the darker environ around me. It smelled dank and earthy. Like mushrooms and mud.

Not sure where I was, I looked down at what at first I thought was some strange kind of fungus. So I reached my hand out and palpated it and rub my hand back and forth over it. Trying to figure out what it was. That was when I realized that it was not fungus at all. It was fur! It's amazing how thoughts can race with adrenaline when you suddenly realize you are in a dangerous situation.

By the time my hand had pressed lightly into the fur and softly into the bears body, it was not seconds before a bears head raised itself from the other darker end of the cave, and looked straight at me. It was then that I realized that I was palpating a bears rump. The second time he raised his head and looked at me was all the information I needed to instantly jump straight out of the den at top speed to save myself.

My fear was the bear would come after me and I would become dinner. After all, at twenty below zero, if it is not frozen, it's someone's dinner. I did not know at the time, that when bears hibernate, they can wake in a dopey kind of sleep and protect themselves if they need to. If there is no danger, they'll just go back to sleep. All I knew was that I had to climb out of that den and get to safety.

I caught up to Steph, who was unaware of what had just happened to me as she was hiking in the lead. I described what had just happened and what I had seen. I described the bear as a light brown motley color. She knew at the time something was off. I have a certain degree of color blindness which caused her to question if indeed it was a brown bear.

About two weeks later, Steph decided she wanted to take a picture of the bear, so we headed out to the back forty for some picture taking. Steph is fearless when it comes to bears. More on that in the next part of the story. When Steph approached the den the second time, to our great surprise, out poked the head of large beautiful male Kermode Spirit Bear.

The Spirit bear, is a bear of almost mythological proportions. Moxgmol as the indigenous natives would call him. Most people in the region have never seen a spirit bear, let alone had one hibernating in a winter den on their property. Even my mother in law who had lived in the area for forty years had not seen one.

We had been seeing this white bear around our property since we moved there and a mother spirit bear dropped him off as a cub. We would enjoy his sightings for years to come.

Steph got her pictures and all was well. Thinking that the best thing we could do for him, was to leave him alone to finish his hibernation cycle. So it was not until a few weeks later when we borrowed our friend Ann's video camera, and went out to take a few more pictures and a prized first piece of film.

This ends the first winter of our experience with the spirit bear and our story so far. We decided to name him Apollo, where he would go on to become a powerful figure in the 2010 winter BC Olympics, and the whole world. The footage that was ustreamed of Apollo is the rarest ever.

Please come back for part 2. Thanks Harreson Waymen

A Buyer's Guide to Flatbed Scanners

Flatbed scanners generally deliver the best combination of quality, flexibility, and usability in scanning. They can be used to scan different kinds of media, including photos and film (with the additional use of a transparency adapter); they can be used to scan text for OCR and document archiving; and they can be used to scan material of varying sizes and thicknesses – from small postage stamps to large mechanical blueprints and 3D objects. To determine the flatbed scanner for your needs, this buying guide covers some of the more important flatbed scanner specifications that you will need to know.

Bit depth and color pass

Practically all scanners today are single-pass types with 48-bit color. Gone are the scanners of yore that required three passes to capture the full RGB (red, green, blue) color information from an image in individual, painstakingly slow takes. Gone too are 24-bit and 36-bit scanners that proved sufficient in the past for delivering up to 68.7 billions of color.

Today's single-pass, 48-bit scanners are fast and can theoretically capture up to 250 trillion colors – clearly more color than the human eye can distinguish or what monitors and printers can reproduce – but impressive nonetheless for the promise of yielding hues as close to life as possible and delivering smoother color gradations. Ignore all but single-pass scanners when shopping for a flatbed, and aim for 48-bit color as well. Consider lower-bit models (such as 42-bits) only if your scanner of choice has other specs that a higher-bit counterpart may not have – such as patented technologies and special features – that more than compensate for the lower bit depth of your selected model.

Resolution

The resolution of a scanner determines the level of detail that can be captured; the higher the resolution, the sharper the scan will be. There are two types of resolution: optical and interpolated, with optical resolution being the more important spec, as it relates to the scanner's actual optics and amount of information that it can sample. The interpolated resolution of a scanner is helpful only in specific applications – such as scanning line art, where higher resolutions can even out jaggedness and produce smoother contours.

Most flatbeds today feature respectable specs for optical resolution, ranging from 2400 dpi to 4800 dpi. Any scanner with such resolution figures would prove a respectable choice, since these specs are more than capable of delivering sharp detail or enlarging images for most print applications. Remember, too, that scanning your images in the full resolution of the scanner is likely to yield file sizes of unmanageable proportions – without delivery any discernible benefit towards increasing image clarity or quality. So forget the resolution wars of the past when manufacturers trotted out their resolution specs to trump their closest rival. Instead, look for other features today in flatbeds that may be more important for your needs, or consider the resolution spec TOGETHER with these other features when choosing your choice of flatbed.

CCD vs. CIS Sensor Technology

Image sensors in flatbed scanners can be of two types – CCD or CIS. Scanners with CCD (charge-coupled device) sensors use a system of mirrors and lenses for redirecting light reflected from the original document to the CCD array. Because of the required optics, CCD scanners are more expensive to produce and result in bulkier scanners, compared to their CIS counterparts. The image quality produced by CCD scanners, however, is far superior to that produced by CIS scanners.

CIS, or Contact Image Sensor technology, is a more recent development in which the sensor array lies just under the scanner bed, so that the sensors catch reflected light directly. Since CIS scanners do not need a complex optical system, they are cheaper to produce and are smaller in size, resulting in portable, lightweight models that may be prove ideal for cramped desks. CIS sensors also contain on-board logic that consumes less power than CCD. But because the on-board logic utilizes space that would normally be used for the mirrors and lenses in a CCD to sense light, scans from a CIS scanner are lower in quality. As a result, most people tend to forego the slight savings that can be obtained from a CIS scanner in favor of getting higher-quality CCD models instead.

Connectivity & Interface

Most consumer-level scanners today will feature USB ports – either Hi-Speed ​​USB (USB 2.0) on more recent models, or the earlier USB 1.1 standard. Hi-Speed ​​USB is backwards compatible with the USB 1.1 and has a data transfer rate of 480 megabits per second (Mbps). Higher-end scanner models are likely to include the FireWire interface as well, allowing scanners to be used in advanced, professional such as audio / video transfer and data storage. Scanners with either USB or Firewire interface are hot swappable – which means the scanners can be plugged or unplugged from other devices to which they are connected without having to turn the scanners off and on. Older scanners will include SCSI or parallel ports, but you should not have to consider these legacy-type models – except you are using the scanner to connect to older computers. When shopping for a flatbed, any scanner with a Hi-Speed ​​USB port should be purchase-worthy, but consider getting a model with dual Hi-Speed ​​USB and FireWire interfaces to expand your range of possible connections to many other devices and peripherals.

Scan Speed

Speed ​​specifications in flatbeds are hard to determine – except the scanner manufacturer provides the specs or the exact conditions in which material is scanned. Scan speeds can run from seconds to several minutes, depending on a wide variety of factors. For instance, to compare scan speed between two comparable models, one will need to know the size of the material being scanned, the resolution setting, the interface being used, and the processing speed and power of the computer to which the scanner is connected. Check speed claims carefully if these are made at all; it may help to do an actual or sample scan with the model of your choice, and see if you are satisfied with the reasons of the preview and actual scans. You could also check to see if your flatbed model has been reviewed in computer magazines or sites and rated for speed, as benchmark tests may give a more comprehensive picture on how fast the scanner runs.

Size of Scan Bed

Most flatbeds today will start out with a standard scan bed size of 8.5 "x 11.7", approximating the dimensions of a letter-size image or document. From there, various bed-size configurations could come into play, including 8.5 "x 14" to accommodate legal-size material, and 12 "x 17" for large, tabloid-size scanning. It's usually a good idea to consider a flatbed with a bed size that's beyond the bare minimum – in this case, larger than the barebones 8.5 "x 11.7". Not only can you fit larger-sized material onto the scan bed, you can also group some smaller pieces on the scan bed and perform batch scans (scanning in groups) to save time and effort.

Dynamic Range

The dynamic range of a scanner measures how well it can capture the tonal range of an image, ranging from the bright highlights to the dark shadows. Dynamic range is measured on a scale from 0.0 (perfect white) to 4.0 (perfect black), and the single number associated with a scanner indicates how much of that range can tell apart. The minimum and maximum density values ​​that can be captured by a scanner are called Dmin and Dmax, respectively. If a scanner's Dmin was 0.2 and its Dmax was 3.0, then its dynamic range would be 2.8.

While dynamic range is a term often bandied about, in truth the spec is more important for film scanners used to scan slides, negatives, and transparencies – as these types of media have a BROADER range of tones compared to photos, and for which a scanner's higher dynamic range can make a difference. Most flatbed scanners will have a dynamic range of 2.8 to 3.0, but do not be surprised if you can not find it in the specs, as this is not critical information needed by the average user looking to scan photos or prints.

Software

In selecting the scanner of your choice, consider the software that comes with it. Software will always include the scanner's own driver or scanning software, as well as a host of complementary programs such as image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop to which the scanned image is delivered; optical character recognition software like ABBYY FineReader Sprint for text scanning and OCR; color calibration software for higher-end scanner models; and even photo-repair software like DIGITAL ICE. Check for extras as well, such as proprietary or exclusive technologies. For instance, some Microtek dual-bed scanners (a flatbed for scanning photos, a separate bed for scanning film) include a technology called EDIT, which features glassless transparency scanning to eliminate artifacts such as Newton Rings and improve image quality.

The driver or scanning software is a critical component of your flatbed, as it will determine how easily and efficiently you will be able to perform your scans. Good scanning software will offer fast previews, automated settings if you wish to simply operations, and plenty of image adjustment or enhancement functions to scale images up or down in size, calculate input vs. output dimensions, set brightness and contrast, correct histograms, apply filters, and more. Microtek's ScanWizard scanning software, for instance, offers a standard interface for simplified and automated scanning, as well as an advanced interface for more detailed and sophisticated control of the entire scanning process. Make sure you find out what scanner driver and software bundles are included with your scanner before finalizing your purchase.

Accessories

Flatbeds are able to extend their function and versatility when outfitted with accessories such as a transparency adapter or automatic document feeder.

The transparency adapter – which may also be known as a transparent media adapter – allows you to scan film and transparencies in addition to the photos that can be scanned by your flatbed. TMAs are installed easily, with the lid of the flatbed scanner removed completely and the TMA installed in its place. With its own overhead lighting, the activated TMA is able to control the amount of lighting it shines on the film to be scanned, preventing overexposure of the film and delivering correct image results. Usually included with purchasing a transparency adapter are any number of film templates or holders to scan various types of film, such as 35mm slides, 35mm filmstrips, 4 "x5" film, and medium format (6×6-cm up to 6×17-cm panoramic) film. Premium color targets for calibrating the scanner to obtain optimal film scans may also be part of the package.

The automatic document feeder, or ADF, enhances the document imaging potential of your flatbed scanner. ADFs allow continuous scanning of multi-page documents – anywhere from 50 to 100, or even more pages – for imaging or OCR. With an ADF attached to a scanner, you can simply put a sheaf of documents into the ADF, launch the OCR software for your scanner, and choose the appropriate settings for scanning pages of text. The pages can then be saved either as graphic or image files for reference and record keeping, or the pages can be prepared for OCR and further text editing.

In deciding on the flatbed scanner of your choice, see if it can accommodate a transparency adapter, automatic document feeder, or both. The additional options may cost a bit more, but the money spend will be worth it if these accessories allow you to do so much more with your flatbed, boosting your efficiency and extending the range of the scanner's functions.

Other components

A final element to consider in your flatbed scanner purchase will be your service and warranty options. Depending on the price and level of your scanner model, service and warranty options can be free for a limited period of time, with extended warranty options available if you think you need additional protection and security. Most manufacturers will offer some form of service and warranty plan; check to see if these are adequate and fit your needs. The best warranty will cover parts and labor, and a more intensive warranty for a shorter term may serve you better than a long-lasting but watered-down warranty. It may be a good idea to check what sort of technical support may be available with your flatbed purchase, and when online support, downloadable drivers, and update information can be obtained from the manufacturer's web site.

Why Amazon’s Secret Weapon Is Disrupting Your Business

What do today’s buyers give a flip about? They care about buying value that starts with the product or service as most of us think of value. However, part of the value equation with today’s customer often includes meeting personal objectives, e.g., shopping convenience, relevant information and/or experience, sustainability, brand purpose, monetary incentives, and tech tools to make it all happen ASAP, to name some of the more important factors.

Here’s a word of caution about today’s retail environment: If your business thinks of brand value only as the intrinsic value of your product and/or service you deliver, you are ripe for disrupting!

Since it’s our business to help you be more successful with Internet technology, the focus of this article centers on an effective tool that you can deploy to help create a better than ordinary customer experience. It may not be a right fit for your business, but read on to decide for yourself anyway.

How much we value business disruptions are typically linked to whether we are the disruptor or the disrupted. And when such disruption is fueled by genuine innovation, then many more people may benefit than not by such disruption and the world becomes a better place.

Take Amazon for example. Is Amazon disrupting your business or helping your business? Maybe Amazon is the frenemy of brick-and-mortar retail? If you are a retailer of packaged commodities and you have a successful Amazon store, then your daily shipments via the Amazon network may exceed your daily walk-in business.

Even more, according to a recent survey, online buyers have the highest regard for Amazon and may be more inclined to purchase your product because of this overall sense of goodwill and trust that Amazon has built with customers.

Of course, the Amazon store may be just one click away from being a competitor, too. Regardless of where your coin lands on this merchant dilemma, I’m going to suggest that all of our business challenges are bigger than any one competitor. Amazon deserves a lot of credit for being a true innovator by significantly improving the customer experience.

Here’s the real dilemma: We now live in an age where customers, competitors, and technologies are changing so rapidly that common problem analysis and problem-solving are too slow at addressing solutions!

Adam Richardson, the creative director at global innovation firm, frog design, characterizes this enigma quite well in his book, INNOVATION X – Why A Company’s Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantages.

He provides two key points of what he calls colliding business disruptions that are affecting all businesses regardless of size:

  • POINT 1: Today, we have disruptive competition and blurring of industry boundaries as companies leap into each other’s spaces (this is a traditional way a business disrupts the marketplace).
  • POINT 2: Today, we face more demanding customers who place a higher premium on the experiential qualities of using a product-ease of use, how it makes them feel, how it fits into their lives, what it communicates to others, does it sync with personal values-that go above and beyond familiar objective criteria like performance and price (this is relatively new phenomenon… the connected generation is driving massive changes in the marketplace).

Richardson summarizes where he sees this leading, noting that “there is a need to create integrated systems of physical products, software, online experiences, and services that work as a single whole. (Often these integrated systems are the keys to meeting customer needs in ways impossible from a more isolated offering.)”

He is talking about something related to product eco-systems, but that subject is vast, and we need to boil it down to one important detail if we are to gain a better grasp of what we might do to help SMB businesses succeed in the rapidly changing present.

With this in mind, let’s consider Amazon’s secret weapon that they deployed with large success but not much fanfare over the last couple of years. It facilitates and drives both customer experiences and satisfaction.

Some of you are currently using their secret weapon; it’s their well-designed and functional mobile app. According to Millward Brown Digital research in early 2016, 76% of all digital shoppers have downloaded the Amazon app, and that is by far the largest acceptance of any mobile shopping app in the United States. The next closest is Walmart’s at 33%.

If you are a B2B owner or manager, you may be thinking right now something like this, “I don’t compete with Amazon, I don’t sell consumer products-none of this really matters to my business!” If that is you, I’m really amazed you read this far-but I’m glad you did. It’s important not to discount app technology too quickly, even if you are not in a consumer business where shopping convenience rules.

What does rule in any business is customer service, and if a well-designed app can give you an edge in customer service, there may be one in your company’s future, too.

App technology is a tool that can have a significant payoff for your business in the form of better customer convenience and service, and if you think of it the way Amazon thinks of it-it’s all about delivering better customer convenience, experience, and service, relentlessly.