Liquid Battery Offers Promising Solar Energy Storage Technique

first_imgThe all-liquid battery: discharged (left), charging (middle), and charged (right). Molten magnesium (blue) is the top electrode, in the middle is the electrolyte (green), and molten antimony (yellow) is the bottom electrode. Image credit: Arthur Mount. Recently, researchers from MIT have designed a new kind of battery that, unlike conventional batteries, is made of all-liquid active materials. Donald Sadoway, a materials chemistry professor at MIT, and his team have fabricated prototypes of the liquid battery, and have demonstrated that the materials can quickly absorb large amounts of electricity, as required for solar energy storage.”No one had been able to get their arms around the problem of energy storage on a massive scale for the power grid,” says Sadoway. “We’re literally looking at a battery capable of storing the grid.”The battery consists of three layers of liquids: two electrode liquids on the top and bottom (electrodes are usually solid in conventional batteries), and an electrolyte liquid in the middle. In the researchers’ first prototype, the electrodes were molten metals – magnesium on the top and antimony on the bottom – while the electrolyte was a molten salt such as sodium sulfide. In later prototypes, the researchers investigated using other materials for improved performance.Since each liquid has a different density, the liquids automatically form the three distinct layers. When charging, the solid container holding the liquids collects electrons from exterior solar panels or another power supply, and later, for discharging, the container carries the electrons away to the electrical grid to be used as electricity.As electrons flow into the battery cell, magnesium ions in the electrolyte gain electrons and form magnesium metal, rising to form the upper molten magnesium electrode. At the same time, antimony ions in the electrolyte lose electrons, and sink to form the lower molten antimony electrode. At this point, the battery is fully charged, since the battery has thick electrode layers and a small layer of electrolyte. To discharge the electrical current, the process is reversed, and the metal atoms become ions again. As Sadoway explained in a recent article in MIT’s Technology Review, the liquid battery is a promising candidate for solar energy storage for several reasons. For one thing, it costs less than a third of the cost of today’s batteries, since the materials are inexpensive and the design allows for simple manufacturing. Further, the liquid battery has a longer lifetime than conventional batteries, since there are no solid active materials to degrade. The liquid battery is also useful in a wide range of locations compared with other proposed solar storage methods, such as pumping water. Most importantly, the liquid battery’s electrodes can operate at electrical currents tens of times higher than any previous battery, making it capable of quickly absorbing large amounts of electricity.The researchers hope to commercialize the liquid battery in the next five years. As Sadoway explained, connecting the batteries into a giant battery pack to supply electricity for New York City would require nearly 60,000 square meters of land. Such a battery pack could store energy from enormous solar farms, which would replace today’s power plants and transmission lines as they become old.via: Technology Review© 2009 PhysOrg.com New superomniphobic glass soars high on butterfly wings using machine learning (PhysOrg.com) — One of the biggest challenges currently facing large-scale solar energy technology is finding an effective way to store the energy, which is essential for using the electricity at night or on cloudy days. Explore further Citation: Liquid Battery Offers Promising Solar Energy Storage Technique (2009, March 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-liquid-battery-solar-energy-storage.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Prototype binoculars from NHK showstop CEATEC crowd

first_img(Phys.org)—NHK is drawing interest at this week’s CEATEC in Japan with its prototype 3-D binoculars. They take advantage of something called “8K” resolution so that the user can now zoom into an image without sacrificing image quality. 8K resolution means that you can zoom up to sixteen times and not have to make do with lower image quality. Ultra-high definition television now includes both 4K (2160p) and 8K (4320p) digital video formats. Broadcasts in 8K will offer a resolution sixteen times as sharp as current HD TVs with 2MP resolutions. NHK showed off the technology in London recently during the Olympics.The CEATEC binocular display, beyond TVs, allows NHK to demonstrate the benefits of 8K.which NHK also calls Super Hi-Vision. The binoculars showed 3-D diorama images of locales in Japan that were filmed with Super Hi-Vision cameras in 4K or 8K. The goggles have a lever for manipulation and by panning the viewer zooms in and out of the image. Suggested application could be as viewing tools for sightseeing spots and museums. Sharp, NHK develop 85-inch direct-view LCD display (w/ video) © 2012 Phys.org via Engadget More information:center_img Explore further Credit: Engadget Citation: Prototype binoculars from NHK show-stop CEATEC crowd (2012, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-prototype-binoculars-nhk-show-stop-ceatec.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions in fuel cells slow down because of

first_img Explore further Emissions-free cars: Study characterizes essential reaction for renewable energy fuel cells This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: J. Zheng et al. Universal dependence of hydrogen oxidation and evolution reaction activity of platinum-group metals on pH and hydrogen binding energy, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501602AbstractUnderstanding how pH affects the activity of hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is key to developing active, stable, and affordable HOR/HER catalysts for hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers. A common linear correlation between hydrogen binding energy (HBE) and pH is observed for four supported platinum-group metal catalysts (Pt/C, Ir/C, Pd/C, and Rh/C) over a broad pH range (0 to 13), suggesting that the pH dependence of HBE is metal-independent. A universal correlation between exchange current density and HBE is also observed on the four metals, indicating that they may share the same elementary steps and rate-determining steps and that the HBE is the dominant descriptor for HOR/HER activities. The onset potential of CO stripping on the four metals decreases with pH, indicating a stronger OH adsorption, which provides evidence against the promoting effect of adsorbed OH on HOR/HER. © 2016 Phys.org In order to make a better catalyst for these fuel cells, Jie Zheng, Wenchao Sheng, Zhongbin Zhuang, Bingjun Xu, and Yushan Yan from the University of Delaware and Columbia University studied the factors that affect the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in a hydroxide exchange fuel cell. Their previous studies showed that the dominant controlling factor in the HOR/HER reactions is hydrogen adsorption on the platinum electrode, i.e., hydrogen binding energy. In this study they determined that the hydrogen binding energy was directly related to electrolyte pH, not metal identity or the metal’s oxophilicity. Their work appears in Science Advances.Previous studies have shown that there is some correlation between the hydrogen oxidation reaction, hydrogen binding energy, and electrolyte pH. These factors seemed to be independent of the metal’s properties. In this study Zheng, et al. sought to better understand the effect of pH on hydrogen binding energy and how hydrogen binding energy affects the HOR/HER kinetics. They tested this by investigating current densities over a large pH range on carbon-supported platinum-metal nanoparticles (e.g., Pt, Ir, Pd, and Rh).Using cyclic voltammetry, Zheng, et al. determined desorption peak potentials for deposited hydrogen on each of the supported metal nanoparticles at various pH values. They observed a similar linear correlation for all of the metals in which higher pH lead to a positive shift. The results of this study indicate that there is a generalizable trend between hydrogen binding energy and electrolyte pH that is independent of the metal used.If pH affects hydrogen binding energy, then does it also affect the hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions? In order to relate pH to HOR/HER activities, they used a rotating disk electrode and calculated exchange current density. They found that as pH increased, current density decreased, demonstrating that, indeed, higher hydrogen binding energy leads to lower HOR/HER activity.Armed with this data, Zheng, et al. then used mathematical manipulations to generalize the trends between exchange current density and hydrogen binding energy. From these they could calculate the activation energy of the hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions in 0.1M KOH for all of the metal nanoparticles. Their results verify that the reaction’s high activation energy is due to hydrogen binding energy, and therefore, it is the dominant factor in HOR/HER kinetics in alkaline electrolytes.Finally, their last study looked at whether hydroxide ions played a role in the hydrogen oxidation reaction. Since hydrogen binding to the metal electrode is the key factor in HOR kinetics, Zheng, et al. wanted to determine whether adsorbed hydroxide ions also affected the kinetics. By looking at potentials where carbon monoxide is stripped from the electrode, they were able to deduce that hydroxide likely does not play a key role in HOR/HER activities.This research provides important insight into why the reaction kinetics is significantly slower in hydroxide exchange fuel cells. The pH apparently affects hydrogen binding energy, which directly affects HOR/HER kinetics. Of particular significance is that this trend holds regardless of the platinum-group metal used. Further research will look into ways to tailor hydrogen adsorption. Citation: Hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions in fuel cells slow down because of hydrogen binding (2016, March 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-hydrogen-oxidation-evolution-reactions-fuel.html Journal information: Science Advances (Phys.org)—As scientists look for alternative energy sources, fuel cells that operate in a basic environment have garnered much attention. Typically fuel cells require an expensive catalyst, such as platinum. Hydroxide exchange fuel cells involve the movement of hydroxide ions (OH-) across a polymer membrane. The alkaline environment is conducive to the oxidation and reduction reactions without the need for expensive metals. However, these reactions are quite slow requiring a better catalyst.last_img read more

Astronomers detect new massive stars in the young cluster VVV CL074

first_img Astronomers detect 130 short period variable stars © 2019 Science X Network Massive stars evolve into different types of objects depending on their initial mass. However, many aspects of this process remain unknown as the evolution of massive stars is still not fully constrained. One of the methods that could be helpful in resolving these uncertainties is the study of young, massive clusters hosting various populations of massive stars.So a group of astronomers led by Fabrice Martins of the University of Montpellier, France, performed observations of a massive young cluster known as VVV CL074. For this purpose, they used the Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared (SINFONI) instrument on VLT.”In the present paper, we describe new spectroscopic observations of the young massive cluster VVV CL074. Using integral-field spectroscopy, we characterize the spectral properties of the brightest members and identify new OB and WR [Wolf-Rayet] stars,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.In general, the team has investigated the presence of hydrogen, helium, and sometimes carbon and nitrogen lines in the K-band spectra of 25 massive stars in VVV CL074. The results show that 19 of the studied objects are newly discovered stars. Fifteen of the newfound stars are most likely the members of the cluster, while the remaining four were classified as foreground stars.From the sample of the 25 studied objects, three of them were found to be WR stars, while the rest turned out to be O and B stars. Besides these stars, the astronomers additionally identified 21 objects with spectra exhibiting strong carbon monoxide absorption.According to the study, the distance to VVV CL074 was calculated to be about 33,000 light years, which makes it one of the farthest young massive clusters identified to date. The astronomers estimate that most of the stars in the sample are between 3 and 6 million years old. They also found that the initial mass of two WR stars (designated WN8 and WC9) was apparently between 40 and 60 solar masses.By comparing the results with properties of other similar clusters in the Milky Way galaxy, the researchers drew final conclusions that could improve our understanding of evolutionary pathways of massive stars.”The central cluster of the galaxy is older than VVV CL074. Its WR population comes from stars with lower initial masses compared to the progenitors of the WR stars in VVV CL074. WN8 and WC9 stars being present in both clusters, this shows that such spectral types are encountered during the evolution of stars with a range of initial masses,” the authors of the paper concluded. Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), an international team of astronomers has investigated a population of massive stars in the young cluster VVV CL074. The observations resulted in disclosing fundamental properties of 25 stars, out of which 19 were identified for the first time. The findings were presented in a paper published July 4 on arXiv.org. K-band image of VVV CL074 from the VVV survey. Observed fields (squares) and stars identificators are overplotted. Squares of the same color correspond to the same observing block. The size of the observed fields is 8′′, corresponding to a linear distance of about 0.4 pc at the estimated cluster distance (10.2 kpc). Image credit: Martins et al., 2019. More information: F. Martins et al, Massive stars in the young cluster VVV CL074 arXiv:1907.02357 Explore further Citation: Astronomers detect new massive stars in the young cluster VVV CL074 (2019, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-astronomers-massive-stars-young-cluster.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Playing the devils advocate

first_imgPerhaps the typical first question – why the pseudonym/pen-name? Why not just be co-authors?We like to keep our fiction separate from our non-fiction. We weren’t originally intending that anyone should know who Alex Rutherford is. Also, we understand that publishers prefer a single name on the cover but you’d better ask them. We’ve now got very used to ‘Alex’ who’s a real person to us.What inspired you to write Empire of the Moghul series? Our travels in India first sparked our interest in the Moghuls as well as the country’s other cultures and dynasties. We’ve spent over 18 months of our lives in India at different times. It inspired us, among many other things, to start reading the Moghul chronicles and then to write a non-fiction book on the Taj Mahal (under our real joint names!) before embarking on the Empire of the Moghul series. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Since it is history you are dealing with – whose side are you on? The victors as always or do you have some sympathy for the losers as well (in this case the rest of India that the Moghuls conquered)?It’s true that history favours the victor because that’s who generally writes the history. Victory often goes to the strong, not to the best or nicest people, so, of course, we have sympathy for those who do not win and have to live with consequences and still preserve their culture, which the Indian people did magnificently. Even within the Moghul hierarchy, there are winners and losers. We have great sympathy for Dara and Jahanara for example. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWho is your favourite Moghul and why? Gosh, that’s a hard one. We liked Babur for his determination to succeed in the face of all the odds and for writing such frank memoirs, even though Baburnama now only exists in parts. We also have huge admiration for Akbar for trying to make his empire inclusive of all peoples and all religions – something very rare for his time anywhere in the world, especially when different sects of the Christian religion (Protestants and Catholics) were killing each other in Europe and fighting cruel wars. Why write about the Moghuls and not go further back in time and write about the Guptas? Or Ashoka? (Alternately – would you ever write about another dynasty?) We are currently thinking of going back further – with the encouragement of Hachette India – perhaps to Ashoka, but first we still have one more Moghul book to write, about Aurangzeb.Does the fact that the dynasty had Islam as its religion give it a more global appeal than writing about a Hindu dynasty or one Hindu ruler with a glorious career?That wasn’t a factor in our choice. We chose the Moghul dynasty for its richly-textured story. We hope the books are about characters and universal themes, such as love and ambition.From a publisher’s point-of-view, how feasible is historical fiction? We think historical fiction is still very popular and we’re very grateful to people in India for reading our works and hopefully enjoying them. The question about how marketable historical fiction is really should be aimed at the publishers.Is it harder to write historical fiction than a mythological one?Never having tried to write a story based on mythology, so this is hard to answer. But perhaps historical fiction imposes more constraints, particularly where there are detailed chronicles and other sources to which the writer has to have access.In The Serpent’s Tooth, your sympathies tend to lie with Shah Jahan and not with Aurangzeb. Will the loyalties shift by the next book to Aurangzeb?Aurangzeb is a complex character who had problems in his personal life – imprisoning and fighting several of his children as well as killing some of his brothers. In his public life, he alienated by his actions the majority of his subjects. We will try to understand what in his character and early experiences led him to do these things. For example, in a letter he wrote that his father never loved him. Perhaps, there lies a clue.There have been problems with revisiting Mughal history, as there is a rise in Hindu nationalism at present in India. Does that bother you?We always try to be true to what happened. We try to look at people’s characters and hopefully to cause offence to no one. We want people to enjoy our books and not be offended by them.last_img read more

The puppets of genesis

first_imgThe plays staged during the Bharat Rang Mahotsav has touched many issues from woman safety to the hygiene of the city but that’s not it, during the final days plays have more metaphysical themes and audience learnt much about human behaviour by watching these plays.Hey Manush was an urgent wake-up call for human beings to take notice of the destruction and chaos that surround our world now. The play opens to a universe before creation, and then leads us to the evolution of life. It talks about the constant struggles of human against nature for existence. The humans discover fire and invent various tools and techniques to fortify their position. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With time they use their creativity and talents to create good lives for themselves and others, but greed, lust, anger, pride, and jealousy transform them into cruel beings driven by the desire to control. The play mentions the Kurukshetra War and World War II, both of which result in mass destruction and death. We are in the twenty-first century – a world of weapons, nuclear power, but still a world that is dangerous and carries the potential of large scale destruction. After discovering so many things, it is time, Hey Manush asks, for man to discover themselves. The play Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixNight’s End was story of Krishnan whose born into a family of Kathakali artistes and trained in the form since childhood.Krishnan runs away from his native village in Kerala and becomes a forest guard in a tiger sanctuary. In moments of emotional intensity the Kathakali artiste in him finds solace in dancing. The play traces Krishnan’s attempts to enlist the help of the tiger-hunting Mogiya tribals to save the tiger, his friendship with Billu Mogiya, the drummer, his romance with Chandni Mogiya and his encounters with the poaching mafia. The play explores the themes of abandonment and individual responsibility; the loneliness, loss and love experienced by individuals caught in complex socio-political webs as they struggle to survive. Play Penalty Kick was inspired by a Malayalam short story Higuita by NS Madhavan. Higuita is a Columbian football player renowned for his fabulous, canny scorpion kick and in the story he is the measured metaphor for Father Gee Varghese, a priest in Delhi, who in order to save a poor tribal girl, Lucy Marandy, from Bihar, faces the pimp Jabbar.  Higuita creates its own syntax with its subtle connections of crisscrossing dialogues and images that reflect the sensibility of change.Uney Purey Shahar Ek is translation of Girish Karnad’s Kannada play Benda Kaalu on Toast. Story of a  city which used to be something else and that something else is history now. The history of this city is the chain of events, ambitions, aspirations, frustrations and efforts of the people who loved it even when it was a mere piece of land. Over it they built a town that later ruled the country.People’s dreams made it grow bigger. However, the dreams of people on this piece of land no longer form a part of the city’s future, it now thrives on the dreaming people themselves and not on their dreams. It is a complete city full of incomplete people. Yet, even if one piece of this jigsaw is lost, the picture will still be complete.Dolls theatre from Kolkata, performed an hour long non-verbal play titled Taming of  the  Wild. This performance in modern puppetry comprises of four episodes which explored  themes like The World Within, Floral Tribute, Movements in Wilderness and Call of the Wild.last_img read more

All loved up

first_imgAn alluring décor, extravagant food for a love buffet, ceaseless flow of sparkling wine and musical renditions by live singers will create an unforgettable experience in Baywatch at Sheraton, Saket. It is Rs 2500 plus taxes, per person for the dinner buffet. Book a table for a great evening! Festivities start 8pm onwards on Friday.Let high dining set your mood this Valentine’s Day! Nehru Place’s Eros hotel has quite a spread planned for you. Treat your love to a lavish multi-cuisine spread with Ghazal singers and live band  at Blooms and Singh Sahib (Rs 2750 plus taxes per person with sparkling wine; Rs 3,750 plus taxes with Drappier Champagne). Delight your beloved to a candle-light dinner at Empress of China at Rs 2495 plus taxes per person or make your sweetheart feel like a princess! We put romance on the menu of our Private Terrace and welcome couples for an intimate and exclusive candle-light dinner with first class service. Experience every moment of love under the star-lit sky (Rs 20,000 plus taxes per couple)! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Delectable five course menu with a glass of champagne create magical ambience while tugging your heartstrings in signature canopies placed by the sprawling gardens at 1911, The Imperial (all day dining restaurant). Priced at Rs 20,000 plus taxes. You can also choose from the lavish dinner buffet spread for a magical evening at 1911 priced at Rs 7000 plus taxes per couple or opt for a satiating brunch buffet in the afternoon priced at Rs 6000 plus taxes per couple. One couldn’t ask for more than a specially crafted five course aphrodisiac menu put together under a starlit sky by the San Gimignano lawns ( Tuscan Italian restaurant), it is priced at Rs 50,000 plus taxes per couple. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe South East Asian five course menu offered with a bottle of sparkling wine is an affair to remember with the traditional Thai Khantok seating, artistically raised on a wooden platform and beautifully lit up with candles, at The Spice Route courtyard, priced at RS 50,000 plus taxes per couple. While Daniell’s Tavern (Pan Indian restaurant) offers an exquisite Indian fare at Rs 12000 all inclusive per couple, giving you the taste of ancient Hindoostan from the culinary journey of Daniells. Guests at Shangri-Las’s Eros Hotel can celebrate Valentine’s week with exquisite sweet delights such as Chocolate Duo Mousse, Strawberry Cheese Cake, Caramel Fudge and Chocolate Ganache Tart, Strawberry Swan; White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake amongst others, crafted by our Master French Patissier Cedric Houze at UNO2GO. Tune into passion at all day dining restaurant, Café Uno with rose wine, soulful music performances and a buffet spread that says the three magical words. It is priced at Rs 6000 plus taxes per couple and includes a glass of sparkling or rose wine and unlimited soft beverages. For dinner with unlimited soft beverages only, the price is Rs 5000 plus taxes per couple. Guests will have a blast with our funky photo booth set up at Cafe Uno with loads of valentine props. We help you capture the romantic moments with a picture to take away as a special memory. Enamouring notes by Russian crooner Iryna at specialty Asian restaurant, 19 Oriental Avenue along with an exquisite romantic dinner with live music and a menu titled ‘love is in the air’. The  Island Bar is the perfect destination to celebrate love, as guests dance the night away to popular tunes played out by a live band and a guest DJ. Each couple is can enjoy a barbecue and unlimited select alcoholic beverages for Rs. 5000 plus taxes, party starts at 8 pm. The Spa at Shangri-La offers an amorous journey called ‘Moksha’. Guests can spend quality time with their beloved over a couple’s spa date. Each treatment lasts one hour and thirty minutes and priced at Rs 9440 plus taxes per couple.last_img read more

Delhi Police to seek custody of cop arrested by ACB

first_imgDelhi Police will seek the custody of its head constable who was arrested by the Anti Corruption Branch of the Delhi government in an alleged case of bribery as the former has registered a separate FIR and launched a parallel investigation in the case. The FIR was registered yesterday by Delhi Police’s vigilance department which has a dedicated police station to probe cases of corruption and indiscipline in the force. Police has asked the ACB to share with it all the evidences regarding the case and have also contacted the complainant to provide a digital copy of the sting operation which he had submitted to the ACB.  Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreA senior official said they will also seek the custody of the head constable for their probe. The SHO of Sonia Vihar Police Station, where the accused head constable was posted when he was arrested by ACB, has also been shunted out in this connection to ensure a fair probe. “We have registered a case and taken up investigation. Whatever will be needed will be done,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) Sindhu Pillai said. A turf war had broken out between the Delhi Police, controlled by the central government, and the Delhi Government after head constable Anil was arrested by ACB on the intervening night of May 1 and 2.  Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe Delhi Police had registered an FIR of kidnapping in this connection on the complaint of the constable’s wife. Senior police officials had argued that they were informed about his arrest by the ACB only the next day and the FIR was registered before the official intimation was received by them. The move triggered off a controversy with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleging that Delhi Police was covering up a corruption case involving its officials by registering an FIR of kidnapping.last_img read more

Two arrested from Siliguri over gold smuggling

first_imgSiliguri: Two persons arrested in connection with gold smuggling were produced at Additional Chief Judidical Magistrate (ACJM) Court in Siliguri on Friday. They had been arrested by the sleuths of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and gold worth around Rs 2 crores was seized from them.DRI sleuths arrested the duo from Pradhannagar area of Siliguri on Thursday. Around 2 kg 308 gm of gold with markings of a foreign country was recovered from the possession of Nagendoseyanam (29) and Kapliyasanga (20). They are the residents of Mizoram. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Preliminary investigations have revealed that the gold was routed in from China through the Indo-Myanmar border in Mizoram. The smugglers had planned to get a bus to Kolkata from the Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in Siliguri. They had already fixed up a customer in Kolkata,” stated Tridib Saha, lawyer representing the DRI.The plans of the alleged smugglers were foiled. Working on a tip off, the DRI officers raided the lodge, where the two had put up in Siliguri. Investigations are on.Siliguri is fast emerging as a gold smuggling corridor with its close proximity to international borders and is also the gateway to North East.Gold from China is being smuggled into Siliguri through Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar border in North East India. From Siliguri, the smuggled gold makes its way to different parts of the country.last_img read more

Bridge collapses in Kakdwip

first_imgKolkata: Following Posta and Siliguri, another under-construction bridge collapsed at Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas on Monday morning. However, no one was injured. A detailed investigation has already been ordered by Sundarban development minister Manturam Pakhira. According to locals, the bridge was sanctioned and work started approximately two years ago. It was being constructed to connect West Steamer Ghat and West Gangadharpur. On Monday at around 10 am, locals heard a loud noise. When they moved towards the source of the sound, they found that a large portion of the bridge had collapsed. Administrative wings of the Sub-Division and the District Magistrate were immediately informed. Police also reached the spot to secure the area. Later, government officials arrived and inspected the situation thoroughly. “Some children were playing nearby. But all of them are safe,” said a local resident. Some of the locals claimed that during the construction of the bridge, a crack was found. But following an inspection by the engineers, a green signal was given to continue with the construction work. According to the government officials, there might have been some fault in the girders. Sources informed that the agency which was given the contract, has been showcaused by the Sundarban development department. The Sundarban development minister also raised finger toward the construction agency. A high power committee has also been formed following the incident. Four contractors have been ordered to appear before government officials on Tuesday by Pakhira.last_img read more

Parenting has to evolve to understand youth

first_imgActor Kubbra Sait, who is playing a pivotal role in the upcoming youth-oriented web series ‘Rejctx’, says that the language of parenting has to be upgraded to understand the mindset of youngsters. Kubbra is playing a student counsellor in the show, who listens to students’ problems and tries to get solutions. As the show addresses teen problem, asked what kind of problems she faced while growing up, Kubbra said: “I think when I was growing up, for me, the only way to show rebelling is to bunk classes for no reason actually. Today’s rebellions are different. They are into drugs and porn. Today’s challenges are identified with sexuality. I think today’s challenges have a lot to do with parenting of the past as well. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”If parents are not evolving with their children, they really would not be able to understand the internal problems that children are going through. Children will live in suppression. That will make them depressed and they will remain misunderstood by the elders,” shared the “Sacred Games” fame actor. Created by Goldie Behl, “Rejctx” features Sumeet Vyas, Masi Wali, Anisha Victor, Ayush Khurana, Prabhneet Singh, Ridhi Khakhar, Saadhika Syal and Pooja Shetty among others. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It is important to understand that youngsters rebel because they are trying to tell us something,” Kubbra added. The show has started streaming on the OTT platform ZEE5 from Friday. Before this, Kubra marked her presence on the web space with the much loved show ‘Sacred Games’. Featuring the actor as a transgender named Kuku, the show also stars Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Sacred Games is based on Vikram Chandra’s 900-page thriller from 2006, set mainly in the Mumbai of the 1980s and ’90s, when encounters between gangsters and the police were common and film actors paying obeisance to gangsters was routine. The crime drama, co-directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, has received positive reviews from critics around the world.last_img read more

Audrey Munson – Americas First Top Model Ended up in an Asylum

first_imgYou might have never heard of Audrey Munson, but if you have spent any time in New York, you have probably seen her face. Her likeness can be seen right across the city, from the gilded figure by Adolph Weinman that stands on top of the Manhattan Municipal Building, to the carved stone facade of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Born in 1891, in Rochester, Audrey Munson is regarded as “America’s first supermodel.” She was stunningly beautiful and spent her youth posing for sculptors.While her beauty was eternalized in the hands of New York artists such as Isidore Konti, Daniel Chester French, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and many others…by the time she was 30, Munson was jobless. The interest in her faded away, and after she tried to take her own life in 1921, “Miss Manhattan” spent 65 years in a psychiatric institution.Audrey Munson in 1922.Her longevity was a punishment for Munson who lived up to the age of 104, only to remember, in loneliness, how America desired her once upon a time. When she was five years old, Munson got her fortune told by the Gypsy Queen Elza. She told her:“You shall be beloved and famous. But when you think that happiness is yours, its Dead Sea fruit shall turn to ashes in your mouth. “You, who shall throw away thousands of dollars as a caprice, shall want for a penny. You, who shall mock at love, shall seek love without finding. “Seven men shall love you. Seven times you shall be led by the man who loves you to the steps of the altar, but never shall you wed.”Audrey always believed the telling was a curse.Audrey Munson in “Purity,” Liberty Theatre / Apeda, N.Y.Her parents divorced when she was eight, and little Audrey remained living with her mother. Having aspirations to become an actress and chorus girl, at the age of 17, Munson moved to New York City with her mother. However, her limber figure and long bones, her symmetrical face with chiseled cheekbones, high brows, an almond jaw, perfectly straight neoclassical nose, and gray-blue eyes were first spotted by the photographer Felix Benedict Herzog, while she was window shopping. Herzog immediately invited her to pose for him in his studio in the Lincoln Arcade Building.Actress and model Audrey Munson on the cover of the July 1, 1922 Movie Weekly, from a still from the American film Heedless Moths (1921).That was her gateway to fame, to becoming America’s first supermodel. Herzog introduced her to the people in the art world and very soon, artists started requiring her as a model for their work. It was the sculptor Isidore Konti who first asked her to pose naked. He claimed that for them, the artists, it doesn’t make such a great difference if the model has on nothing or is all dressed up, because they see only the work they do. Those words convinced her mother, and Audrey posed in her birthday suit. After that, every famous artist wanted her to pose for them.From Miss Manhattan to Panama-Pacific girl. In 1915, Munson posed as the model for more than a half of the sculptures displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the World Fair held in San Francisco, which earned her the name Panama-Pacific Girl.Heedless Moths is a 1921 American silent melodrama film written and directed by Robert Z. Leonard.That same year Audrey received her first role in the silent movie Inspiration, about a sculptor who is in search of the perfect model to inspire him. Unfortunately, it is believed that all copies of the movie are lost. How much Audrey was desired on the film screen is indicated by the fact that actual actresses were chosen as her doubles to do the acting part while she only appeared in the scenes without clothes.In the following year, 1916, Munson performed in another movie, Purity, which is the only surviving movie of all four she appeared in. It was rediscovered in 1993, in an obscure French collection, and later obtained by the French national cinema archive.Promotional brochure for “Inspiration,” 1915.This gave her hope for her acting aspirations, so between 1915 and 1917, Miss Manhattan moved to Santa Barbara, hoping to pursue a movie career. However, without any success, Munson returned to her sculptors in New York.Of course, there were seven men who fell in love with her, and maybe more, but she never fell in love with any of them. Instead, she got involved in their love fantasies and unwillingly became part of crimes she probably didn’t anticipate nor want.In 1917, Hermann Oelrichs Jr., an heir to the Comstock Lode, and the richest bachelor in America at the time, proposed to Munson, and her mother was very supportive of the idea. What happened next is lost to history, but it is known that in 1919, Munson sent a letter to the U.S. State Department, accusing Oelrichs of being a member of a pro-German network which conspired to sabotage her film career. She also wrote about her plans for leaving for England and restarting her acting career there.Memorial Fountain for Spencer Trask in Saratoga Springs. Photo by N-Lange.de CC BY SA 4.0After that, Audrey and her mother lived in a boarding house owned by Dr. Walter Wilkins who eventually fell in love with Audrey. In February 1920, his wife, Julia Wilkins, was found lifeless and it turned out that Dr. Walter had done her in so that he would be able to marry Munson. Whether she had an affair with the doctor or was in any way involved with him is unknown. When questioned by the police, Audrey denied any romantic relationship with Wilkins, who was sent to the electric chair.In 1921, Munson appeared in a move Headless Moths, based on her life story. She received a $27,000 check which she claimed to be invalid and for which she filled a suit against the agent-producer, Allan Rock.Illustration of a review in The Moving Picture World.Things went downhill for Audrey. No more marriage proposals, no more job proposals, no income, living off the earnings by her mother who sold utensils door to door. In 1922, at the age of 31, she swallowed a solution of mercury in an attempt to end her own life. In 1931, Munson was committed to St. Lawrence State Hospital for the Insane in Ogdensburg where she remained for 65 years, until her end.Read another story from us: Evelyn Nesbit: world’s first supermodel and the main reason for the “trail of the century”America’s first supermodel had no visitors at the hospital until 1984 when she was found by her half-niece, Darlene Bradley. She died in 1996, at the age of 104.“Long after she and everyone else of this generation shall have become dust, Audrey Munson, who posed for three-fifths of all the statuary of the Panama–Pacific Exposition, will live in the bronzes and canvasses of the art centers of the world.” – New Oxford Item, April 1, 1915last_img read more

The 17th Century Blood Countess – Known as the Most Evil Woman

first_imgAlthough one may wish that she was pure myth, Erzsébet Báthory, better known as Elizabeth, was a real person outrivaled in her bloodthirst only by Count Dracula. However, it is now impossible to determine where facts end and fiction begins in the 17th-century horror story that Elizabeth spread across Transylvania. According to the legend, “the Infamous Lady” bathed in the blood of some 650 servant girls who she enjoyed torturing before murdering them. Legend has it that “the Blood Countess” had a torture chamber in her castle designed in agreement with her husband.Copy of the lost 1585 original portrait of Elizabeth Bathory.She was born in 1560 in Transylvania and her parents, allegedly, were both Báthorys by birth. Ever since her childhood, Elizabeth was the witness of brutality and bloodshed performed by her family on petty criminals and wrongdoers.One of her uncles introduced her to Satanism, while one of her aunts taught her everything about sadomasochism.Transylvania, central Romania.At the age of 14, she married the 20-year-old Count Ferenc Nádasdy, an ambitious soldier who led the Hungarian armies against the Ottoman forces in Central Europe. They were both highly intelligent and knowledgeable about many subjects.Count Ferenc Nádasdy.Since Ferenc was passionate about military business, he left Elizabeth to run the estates. She had a profound understanding of classical studies, economics, and politics, and she was fluent in Greek, Latin, and German.In the absence of her husband, Elizabeth enjoyed the presence of many lovers in the famous Csejthe Castle, in what is today Slovakia, and gave birth to four children. But there was nothing she enjoyed more than her torture chamber in the castle where she experimented with torture techniques on servant girls.Csejthe Castle. Photo by Martin Hlauka (Pescan)Accounts say that although Ferenc built the chamber for Elizabeth, he managed to control her sadistic appetite to some degree. However, after his death in 1604, things slipped out of control.“The Infamous Lady” mastered the torture techniques while her sadistic urges intensified with time. Among some of the methods she used were biting the flesh from the girls’ arms, faces, and breasts before killing them, sticking needles into their eyes and lips, cutting their bodies with scissors, burning them with red-hot metals, beating, and starving them.Ecsed, the lake and the old castle.Elizabeth ate bits of flesh from her victims’ bodies believing that it would help her keep her youth and looks, and bathed in their blood with a belief that it would make her stronger and healthier.The villagers became so afraid of the rumors that no girl ever returned from the castle that they started hiding their daughters. Elizabeth even had assistants to provide her with new ideas and supplies for torture. One of them was Dorottya Szentes, a local witch who helped Elizabeth hunt for girls around the castle.Main tower at Csejthe Castle, Slovakia. Photo by Jacomoman78 CC BY-SA 3.0Through the years, the rumors of horrors in the castle spread around, but the Countess’ sick behavior was ignored due to her powerful family. However, after the murder of a noble girl in 1609 which Elizabeth tried to rule as a suicide, King Matthias of Hungary and Croatia decided to put an end to the madness.He ordered a night raid on Csejthe Castle, during which officials discovered the dead bodies of young girls in each corner they looked. It was the end for Elizabeth. Along with her assistants, Elizabeth Báthory was convicted of 80 murders, but some estimates suggest that the total number of her victims was 650.Read another story from us:“Halloween” reboots with a brand new sequel starring Jamie Lee CurtisHer crime associates were sentenced to death, while she was imprisoned in a room in her own castle for life. There were only tiny slits for air and food in the chamber where she endured barely three years before she was found dead on the floor.She is considered the evilest woman in the history of humanity.last_img read more

A Test of Gullibility – One Magicians Famous Hoax to Draw a

first_imgMagicians, or conjurors, are a very small subset of the street performing scene who use an impressive array of tools, from sleight of hand to contortionism, to make an impression on the crowds that they inevitably draw. These people are popular and interesting; historically, they would often be the only magician in any given town, unlike circus performers or theater troupes, who usually were part of a large network of performers.Kellar’s “Levitation of Princess Karnac.”The result was a mystique and charm surrounding magicians, making them even more appealing to the people of major cities throughout history.This is where the Bottle Conjuror comes into the story. With many impressive and mysterious rumors surrounding magicians, revolving mainly around sleight of hand and pseudo-magic, the people of London were interested when a show was announced at the New Theater in Haymarket on January 16, 1749.Haymarket Theatre, c. 1900The advertisement stated that the “conjuror” would perform such tricks as identifying people who were wearing a face-covering mask and use a wooden walking cane to mimic the sound of numerous types of instruments while singing with said instruments in perfect harmony.The true marvel that the Bottle Conjuror said he would achieve, however, was that he would stuff himself into a standard quart bottle in front of a crowd of people and then have the bottle passed around to prove that he was inside it.This set rumors flying throughout the streets of London. The public was abuzz with chatter, impatient for the impending show that guaranteed amazement. January 16th arrived, and the people of London flooded the theater, the excitement almost palpable. The Paris Review states “On the appointed night the theatre was crowded to suffocation.”Image of William Phillips as Harlequin in a representation of the Bottle Conjuror, English broadsheet dated 1748.The audience was on edge, impatient, and excited. However, they would be disappointed, as when the time came for the show to start, nothing happened. No performer appeared on stage, no music came to soothe the crowd, and when the angry tension broke, it broke radically.The crowd started to hiss and make catcalls, causing a general ruckus to show their dissatisfaction, and restraint was quickly exhausted as a representative of the theater told the amassed crowd they would get their money back if the performer didn’t make an appearance. The crowd responded with more catcalls and shouts which created a cacophony within the confined space.The Haymarket Theatre in 2008. Photo by K. B. Thompson CC BY-SA 3.0Suddenly, a man in the crowd threw a lit candle onto the stage, and a riot started. Many of the patrons pulled down curtains, gathered up benches, and took all the woodwork to the stage, burning it in a show of anger. Then, once the damage had been done, the rioters fled, leaving the theater to burn as the police arrived, with the crowd dispersed and no one to charge for the damage.For a while, the Bottle Conjuror remained a mystery as no one knew his true identity, but according to an article by Geri Walton, the people of London suspected the theater manager Samuel Foote of perpetrating a hoax.He denied these accusations vehemently, and eventually, it was proven he was telling the truth when the Bottle Conjuror was found. It turned out the culprit was the aristocratic 2nd Duke of Montagu, John Montagu.Read another story from us: The Magician’s Scroll that Includes a Spell to “Get Women to Dance Naked”During a gathering of noblemen, he had bet he could find a full audience of people in London who would show up at a theater if he claimed he could do something impossible, and after the events of the Bottle Conjuror hoax, he was proven correct.For some time afterwards, The Bottle Conjuror was a joking reference to human gullibility.last_img read more

Colin Texas AM is the most underachieving college football program in the

first_img Advertisement Watch Colin’s rant here:“Texas A&M is the most underachieving program in the country.” — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/FVeEmM6GxO— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) April 24, 2017 How is that even possible?They have NFL caliber players, but in terms of draft prospects, they turn out a lot more Luke Joeckels and Johnny Manziels than Von Millers and Mike Evans.Colin thinks A&M should be a perennial Top 10 program based on their resources and prime placement in arguably the top high school football recruiting state in the country. There’s something wrong with the culture if Bill Snyder is winning 10 games a year in the middle of nowhere at Kansas State and A&M has one legit contender in 20 years.“Texas A&M, to me, is the most underachieving program in the country, and has been for years.”center_img NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was recently critical of potential #1 overall NFL Draft pick Myles Garrett. Sapp said he didn’t see consistent effort and production when watching Garrett’s tape, and isn’t convinced he is going to be a star in the league.While both sides can debate if Garrett is the next Julius Peppers, or another Courtney Brown, the idea of an NFL Draft bust coming out of College Station is hardly a foreign concept.Today in The Herd, Colin called A&M out for perpetually turning out NFL underachievers, and underachieving as a program.Despite being the second largest university in Texas, they’ve had one double digit win season since 1998. They’ve only finished ranked in the top 25 three times in the last 17 years.last_img read more

VIDEO Phil explains how he used Tony Romo as an unwitting pawn

first_img Advertisement Listen to Phil talk about his well laid master plan, and how Romo got used like a piece of meat. Ahead of Tiger Woods’ and Phil Mickelson’s $9 million, winner-take-all Pay Per View showdown, HBO is following the longtime rivals around to document the lead up and promote the event.During the first episode, Phil told a funny story that perfectly represents he and Eldrick’s long history of gamesmanship that involved him using then Cowboy QB – and wannabe PGA pro – Tony Romo as an unwitting pawn to troll Woods.As Phil tells it, Romo was paired with Woods at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which Tiger apparently took more seriously than any normal person would. Phil knew Tiger didn’t like his partner getting friendly with their competition, so he used a dinner held by Jim Nantz as an opportunity to sit next to Tony and buddy up before they all played together the next day.Romo was terrified how Tiger would react if he found out about him making nice with the opposition and asked everyone to keep it hush, hush. The next day when all three were on the course together, Phil picked the perfect time to shout across the fairway to Romo and tell him how much he enjoyed their dinner. Tiger overheard it and was pissed. Mission accomplished.last_img read more

YouTube Founders Launch MixBit Video App to Rival Vine and Instagram

first_imgAugust 8, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Thanks to the proliferation of video cameras on mobile devices, we are all citizen photojournalists. With the launch of MixBit, we can all be citizen video editors, too.Launched by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the new video application for your mobile phone is positioned to rival six-second video app Vine and Instagram’s new video capacity, which allows users to record up to 15 seconds of video at a time.With the MixBit software app, a user can record video clips up to 16 seconds long, and then edit as many as 256 video clips into one single presentation, according to the description on Apple’s iTunes store. The entire editing process can be done on your mobile phone. Users can also use content uploaded to the site by the community. At the bottom of this article, there is a sample video made with the app. To fund the development of the app, AVOS, the company behind MixBit, raised venture capital money in April last year from Google Ventures, the China-based incubator Innovation Works, Madrone Capital and New Enterprise Associates. Exactly how the app will make money is not clear yet. “The focus is on creating a product and service that people love,” MixBit says.Related: Apple’s App Store Turns 5: A Look Back at the Most-Popular Business AppsThe app is free and now available for Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It is expected to be available on Android devices in the next few weeks.“We started YouTube to democratize video distribution. Now, we are democratizing video creation,” said Chad Hurley, co-founder of San Mateo, Calif.-based AVOS, in a statement. “Video is the most interesting and engaging way to share an idea with others. We want to remove barriers to video creation, while encouraging and enabling open collaboration.”Hurley and Chen founded YouTube in 2005 and sold it to Google for $1.65 billion in stock in 2006. Today, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute, according to AVOS.Related: How to Make the Most of YouTube’s New Redesign Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img 2 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Creating a Responsive Email Design Infographic

first_imgLooks like this on a mobile device: Listen Now June 5, 2014 Mobile email use is increasing, with about 50% of email being opened on a mobile device. The majority of mobile email opens are on iPhone, with Android and iPad remaining relatively equal.It’s crucial that marketers understand this shift and adapt accordingly. Why? Because even if you write a perfect email with beautiful images and flawless copy, it still doesn’t mean it’ll get read. A survey conducted by BlueHornet asked users what they would do if a mobile email didn’t look good. 80.3% said they would delete it, and 30.2% saying they would unsubscribe.If your email doesn’t look good, people will delete it. Every email you send needs to look perfect, regardless of device.So how do you send the same email to everyone on your subscribership list and ensure that it formats well?By using responsive design practices.A “responsive” email (or website) means that it provides optimal design across devices. It “responds” to the device being used. When viewing on mobile, a well designed responsive website ensures the user doesn’t have to pinch and zoom. A responsive website is a usable website.Responsive emails ensure that what looks like this on desktop: 2 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. This story originally appeared on KISSmetrics The design of the email changes to fit on a mobile device. The images adjust to the appropriate size and the CTA moves from being made for a click to being made for a tap. Also notice the copy change on the CTA. When on mobile, the CTA says “Get the app and try it now”. It’s a much more appropriate and targeted CTA.Want to learn how to make your emails like this? Check out this infographic, courtesy of the folks over at Litmus:Click to Enlarge+last_img read more

The Future of Mobile Payments Awaits Your Fingerprint

first_img 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global July 6, 2015 You may have swiped your phone recently to make an in-store payment. Yet that act was hardly more convenient than swiping a credit card, right? Related: The 15 Most Popular Online Payment SolutionsThat’s probably why you’re seeing only 3 percent to 7 percent of consumers using their phones for in-store purchases. But that’s about to change.By 2017, mobile payments are expected to reach $90 billion in the United States alone, a significant bump from 2012’s $12.8 billion total. Of that $90 billion, $41 billion will come from mobile proximity payments — or, to put it bluntly, the act of waving your mobile device — where you once swiped a credit card.Predictions aside, consumers are still apprehensive about using mobile payments. They’re convinced that losing their phones would mean simultaneously losing wallets. Plus, there’s all that sordid business about security.In reality, though, mobile payments such as Apple Pay can be more secure than swiping a credit card. Even if a consumer loses his phone, someone else will find it nearly impossible to access its mobile payment system without the correct fingerprint. This is where the innovation of Apple Pay truly lies.And considering how hackers stole millions of credit card numbers from Target and The Home Depot, mobile payments just might be the answer to more secure in-store transactions through tokenization (a term in data security that describes the substitution of a sensitive data element with a nonsensitive equivalent). Related: 25 Payment Tools for Small Businesses, Freelancers and StartupsSpecifically: When you make an in-store purchase with Apple Pay, the retailer you’re buying from isn’t actually getting your credit card number.As more and more people come to understand the technology, then, the use of mobile payments will inevitably grow, and retailers would be wise to hop on board.To leverage mobile payments for your business, keep these four things in mind:1. Implement mobile payments immediately.Mobile payments are here to stay. By adopting early, you’ll not only provide more convenience for shoppers, but also outpace the competition. Staying ahead of the curve with new technology can also lead to revenue growth and better market positioning. Take Dash, a startup from our accelerator program. Its app allows users to split and pay a bill directly from their smartphones. This was initially done by allowing users to store credit card information within the app, but now the app also supports Apple Pay. By adopting this technology early on, the company was able to carve out a nice niche in the marketplace.2. Rethink checkout flows.When you enhance checkout flows, simplify the process and optimize for mobile payments, you remove obstacles that may be impeding conversions. This can result in more users, larger shopping carts, more impulse buys and less cart abandonment. Integrating mobile payments makes the process even faster, easier and more secure, ensuring that only the user (and his or her fingerprint) can close out that tab and make that purchase. It may also help attract new customers to your business, largely due to the simplicity and intuitiveness of mobile payments — something mobile users have come to expect.3. Build around mobile payments.If you haven’t yet entered the marketplace, take a closer look at your product or service to determine whether you should build around the mobile payment technology right off the bat. Making it native to your platform is much easier than retrofitting it later on.A number of startups have hit the scene already equipped with this payment option. They include Spring, a shopping app, and Caviar, a food delivery app currently serving 15 cities in the United States. Eventually, this could become the norm.4. Create loyalty programs. If you’re looking to encourage mobile payments, consider rewarding users for utilizing the system through discounts or deals. Promotions often have a way of incentivizing users and could cultivate larger purchases from your customer base in the long run.Like all technology, innovation is inevitable. By adopting this new feature now, you can blaze the trail of the mobile revolution, keep pace with consumer trends and enjoy the wealth that lies ahead.Related: Google Lifts the Veil on Android Pay, Its Apple Pay Competitor Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

Youve Got Cloud Now What

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read So, you’ve managed to sell the idea to your CEO that your company should move to the productivity and efficiency heaven that is the cloud. And he or she agrees.Related: Why Cloud Technology Is the Smart Move Right From Start UpAnd, why not? No longer just a cost -cutting solution, the cloud today, with its many facets, has become a business enabler, offering companies large and small the ability to be fast, agile and innovative.But while multi-cloud adoption is through the roof, many businesses realize too late that the real battle begins only after the cloud has been adopted. From not sizing bandwidth needs to assuming the cloud is secure just because someone else is handling it, these unsuspecting companies’ failure to define the cloud has taken a toll on many of them.Don’t let your company be one of them. Make sure that you get the best bang for your buck by using the following suggested four strategies to make your cloud experience the best one yet …Use server-less computing.Don’t let the name fool you: “Server-less computing” still requires server (all cloud computing does), but hides server management from the operators: hence the name. Server-less computing is simply a cloud-computing execution model that dynamically allocates resources based on demand.Also known as “function as a service,” server-less computing breaks up applications into individual functions which are performed as individual tasks; these tasks can be scaled to any limit, as needed. So, even as you work in traditional cloud computing, you rent space in a server or container that is constantly running, in FaaS, and pay only when your function runs.Server-less computing presents numerous advantages over regular cloud usage, including a faster time to market, incredible scalability and even more reduced costs. These advantages make it an ideal addition to your cloud strategy.Add data de-duplication to the mix.Companies that rely on a high number of redundant operations always have to deal with managing server space and bandwidth. Traditionally, every time a new version of a file is created, both versions are stored, resulting in wasted storage.Data deduplication gets around this storage efficiency problem by storing only unique pieces of information instead of the whole group of files. So, if the same 1MB file has been sent as an attachment 100 times over email, your backup will need 100MB of space to save them all. With de-duplication, your system will store only one instance of the file and point back to it for every other instance, thereby reducing the total demand to just 1MB.Data deduplication can be performed on the client side or server side and can reduce storage space requirements by 80 percent.The advantages of such a system cannot be overstated. Storing and transferring less data over a network means greater security, as your disaster recovery can cover data that was previously not stored. Sending less data to backup also means less cooling will be required, which reduces a company’s carbon footprint.Use SaaS business intelligence.While most companies will be tempted to have their own set of data-analytics tools in-house, cloud analytics tools can help you do everything your own hosted software can, without any of the drawbacks.The cloud-based analytics solution offers substantial benefits over on-premise analytics. First, you don’t have to bother with a data center, upgrade and patching. All maintenance is handled by the service provider. Since cloud-based business intelligence (BI) is usually deployed as a pay-as-you-go model, you can forgo the licensing and maintenance fees of a traditional BI software. In fact, it’s easy to shell out 300 percent to 500 percent of a software license’s ancillary cost when going for an onsite setup.Cloud-based business intelligence systems can automate everything from data discovery to report generation. Greater data security, more configurable options and enhanced agility are all points squarely in favor of using a SaaS BI.Use a multi-cloud architecture.Since clouds are not an all-or-nothing sort of affair, companies can go for different services and technologies depending on their budgets or requirements. In the past, a multi-cloud strategy was used to avoid redundancy and vendor lock-ins.Related: 4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Migrate to the CloudToday, however, companies opt for a multi-cloud approach to help them accomplish their business goals. These can include two advantages: 1) harnessing more features, capacity or speed of certain providers over others; 2) and obtaining greater redundancy and more price options to explore. By opting for a multi-cloud approach, you can distribute your resources across the different service providers that best suit your needs.Such an approach offers many benefits. For instance, certain cloud providers might provide better data warehousing while another might have a more efficient sales-support setup. Your developers might also prefer the virtual environment of one cloud service. A multi-cloud approach can also help you scale effortlessly in the future.Related: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of the CloudConclusionCloud computing is all about scaling hardware and software to the tasks at hand; so it’s best not to think of it as a start-all, be-all. Keeping your options open will help you not only to cut costs, but add (or subtract) services as — and when — they are needed. Doing so will help you manage some of the risks inherent in cloud computing while keeping your organization secure and future proof. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. August 22, 2018 Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more