Understanding the ebb and flow of client statistics, demographics, analytics, and cloud storage takes a careful eye, as companies, governments, and even smaller businesses leverage powerful tools to operate. Business intelligence software can help IT locate problem areas and identify solutions with greater speed, and help decision-makers visualize clear data reports. The data crunching tools used by governments are quickly being adopted into the business world, allowing us to make sense of large sweeps of information. Take a look at these five ways governments utilize big data.
1. Creating Jobs
Big data requires a high amount of specialized analytics and upkeep. Finding useful information and building reports can translate slews of statistics into extremely important research. Finding trends in data can help a company build realistic goals, find problematic areas, and identify successful processes. High tech workers with experience in analytics are finding great new opportunities in big data, where interpreting information has become a priority for most companies.
2. Tracking Human DNA
Starting in 1990, the Human Genome Project was launched by National Institutes of Health working together with the U.S. Department of Energy. They compiled an enormous database, supported partially by Amazon Web Services, to catalog and map out human DNA. By leveraging cloud sharing, researchers and IT specialists everywhere are able to refer to the database and add their discoveries on the human genome. This has led to new theories of evolution and human ancestral travel.
3. Mapping out the Brain
Another major scientific project that big data has been used for is the BRAIN initiative. This acronym stands for the “Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies,” and has received considerable support from President Obama. The initiative hopes to use big data to make strides toward Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease treatments. In their attempt to map out individual neurons of the human brain, researchers hope to identify patterns and possible solutions for deterioration.
4. Protecting Finances
Monitoring online transactions with big data can allow companies to identify suspicious trends. Many red flags can be avoided by having an analytics specialist keep an eye out for illegal activity. Governments have used business intelligence software to find out when citizens are using illegal loopholes for vehicle registration, state benefits, or fraud.
5. Massive Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is crucial to big data, since researchers and IT specialists are able to access information from all over the world. The convergence of big data and cloud solutions makes analytics more accessible to mobile devices. Collecting video, photo, and text information is easier and more affordable than ever. Businesses are now able to buy into these technologies that were formerly used by governments exclusively.
Vampires seem like the hot thing these days, but there is something that today’s vampire fanatics don’t know: they are annoying the rest of the world! What follows are just a few of the ways that the vampire obsession is particularly annoying.
These Vampires Don’t Follow The Rules That Make Vampires, Vampires
Let’s get one thing straight: vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight, they spontaneously combust into a pile of ash. Or at the very least, get some crazy burns. They also aren’t supposed to be able to enter a home without being invited in first. These are just a few of rules vampire lore has historically followed, yet it seems these new modern vampires don’t adhere to them and instead are simply portrayed as humans that get to stay young and pretty.
Modern Vampires Are Brooding Crybabies
It used to be that when people read books or watched movies about vampires, they expected to be scared or at the very least, see some action. However, it appears like the vampires seen in media today just hang out with humans and like no one understands their deep angst. Suddenly shows about vampires have the same plot lines as the average soap opera or teen melodrama with some ads in the middle for drinks like the admittedly yummy tru blood soda.
Vampire Fanatics Don’t Seem To Realize That Being A Vampire Would Suck! (Pun Intended)
Another thing that contributes greatly to making the current vampire obsession is the fans of this new style of vampire. They don’t just like vampires, they want to be them, be loved by them and raise freaky vampire children with them. What they fail to consider is that being a vampire would get pretty boring, pretty fast because they can’t have anything to eat or drink other than blood (not even tru blood soda), they’d have to stay inside all day and they would get pretty sick of their new vampire lover as the centuries crawled by without any other lasting friendships.
Vampires Don’t Love People, Vampires Eat People
This cannot be stressed enough: vampires are supposed to eat people. Some books or certain film franchises might try to gloss over this fact to hold on to their only plotline, but even then they have to include some kind of specification that usually involves dramatic and constant suppression of the vampire’s base instincts to justify it. If vampires were real, the whole time their ‘super special human love’ was sitting next to them drinking a tru blood soda, the vampire would be looking at them as if they were a cheeseburger.
Being nerdy in middle school may have been a bad thing, but in today’s world of ever-changing technology, it’s now chic to be a geek. You probably have a couple of dweeby pals in your own life that might be a little hard to shop for. Here’s a list of eight perfect gifts for them.
The Geeky Homemaker
Nerd cooking isn’t really the highlight of the culinary world, but everyone deserves a delicious meal. Surprise any Star Wars fan with a Darth Vader toaster. Or they might even want a Jesus toaster for their daily bread.
If your dorky friends are expecting a little bundle of geeky joy, surprise them with a “Diaper Loading…Please Wait” onesie. Their baby will look absolutely precious!
Geeks on the Go
It’s a well known fact that geeks love convenience, so why not give them a gift that can help them in their day to day life? Cute USB drives are ideal for storing all of their info, such as games, that screenplay about robots they’re writing, and all of their MP3′s.
Hey, gals can be geeks too! Surprise the woman in your life with an adorable Adventure Time Wallet phone case. Featuring a delightful image of popular cartoon characters Finn and Jake, the lucky lady will be able to hold her smart phone and credit cards securely.
Why would you want to go to outer space when you can enjoy astronaut food right in the luxury of your own home? Get the geeky foodie in your life a package of Astronaut Ice Cream, freeze dried ice cream that comes in three yummy flavors. It makes the perfect present for any survivalist with a sweet tooth.
Who doesn’t miss the good old days of Atari and other arcade games? Thrill the gamer geek with the iCade Jr. Mini Arcade cabinet. This awesome mini arcade fits any iPhone 4, 4S or 5 and is compatible with hundreds of games!
Allow the entire family to celebrate their geekdom with Star Wars family car decals! They can proudly display their devotion to “The Force!”
Nothing screams “I’m a geek!” like someone who is still touting a wristwatch, despite having three or four other things on their person that also tell time. Nerds are not typically known for their fashion sense, however, there are some hallmarks so be sure that your geek looks the part.
Few things spread more rapidly on the internet that memes — defined as “a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes” by Dictionary.com, memes go viral more often than most other internet sensations. Spread on all social media sites, particularly Tumblr and Facebook, memes are an occasionally offensive, but nearly always comical way to state truths about modern society that would otherwise go unreported.
After perusing the Meme Dictionary, a few particularly funny memes have been selected as the top five for 2012, though they’re still going strong thus far in 2013.
Five Memes that Will Make You Chuckle
A funny man himself, Gene Wilder makes a painfully condescending face in this photo, thus giving this meme its name. Used for any and all disdainful messages, some text highlights include “Everything you have to go through sounds so heartbreaking, tell me more how it isn’t your fault” and “Oh, so you use Instagram? You must be a professional photographer.”
A whole album of photos are used for the grumpy cat meme, though they all portray a very unhappy looking flat-faced Siamese cat. Though the internet has always been a haven for cat-lovers, this particular feline pairs the cat craze with a generally disillusioned, miserable attitude. Some winners for this meme: “Having 9 lives would be great, if they weren’t mundane and devoid of meaning,” and “Good morning? No such thing.”
One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor
This meme is much more amusing for the Lord of the Rings fan base, but has become increasingly more popular as science fiction fans have become more vocal on the internet. It shows an image of Boromir, quoted in the movie as saying “One does not simply walk into Mordor,” but the text is changed to include anything related to pop culture, for example: “One does not simply leave the EU without damaging the economy.”
Bad Luck Brian
One of the more unfortunate memes circulating the internet is an unfortunately dorky school photo of a boy presumably named Brian, who has, as you might guess from the title of the meme, the worst luck. Some of the best moments include “Goes out for 21st birthday party. Designated driver” and “Wins raffle. Hunger Games.”
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
A photo from a marathon in South Carolina became the subject of a particularly popular meme, as it documents an attractive, smiling man mid-run — the kind of candid shot that happens once a decade, and only to the fortunate. One of the best text additions to this photo: “Goes for run. Inadvertently teaches the world how to spell ridiculously.”
Check out more top memes of 2012 in this article from ABC.
Some kids can be really difficult to shop for. However, parents don’t need to break the bank on the latest uber-expensive tech gadgets to give kids gifts they’ll love. Get creative and get on the fast track to choosing gifts that pack some serious punch. When it comes to gifting presents to kids, they want things that really stand out. Here are 5 crazy gifts that kids will absolutely adore.
1. Bean Bag Chair
Everyone loves a bean bag–especially kids. Now, they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Shop on a site like AhhProds.com for a wide selection. Whether a kid has a penchant for the color pink, wants an oversized chair cum bed for sleepovers or prefers fuzzy materials for curling up with their favorite Harry Potter book, it’s all possible. Go bean bag crazy for a gift that’s sure to please. Just make sure plenty of wrapping paper or a big bow is on hand.
2. Fred and Friends Souper Action Figure
For kids that love super heroes (and who doesn’t?) this will do the trick. It’s basically the body of a superhero and the head of a spoon. It makes any meal much more enjoyable, and it’s equal parts utensil and toy. However, just don’t expect kids not to play with their food. A great complement is the Fred and Friends Food Face, which is a plate that allows for “getting ready” with food.
3. Crayon Rocks
Crayons in that old school shape can be so boring. Pick up a box of crayon rocks instead–they’re just what they sound like. Rock shaped and in an eco-friendly box, they’re sure to be the next hot thing at the arts and crafts table. For kids who don’t care to color within the lines, this is an easy choice.
4. Inflatable Robot Head
Created by Bluw Inc., this massive inflatable robot head comes with a matching blaster. Simply blow it up, put it on and get ready for endless make believe fun. For kids who have a penchant for anything space or robot-related, this is a great gift that seriously ups the wow factor. Buy a few (they’re very affordable) for a bot-themed party.
5. Wall Decals
Wall decals aren’t just for adults. There are plenty of options geared towards kids featuring their favorite characters, landscapes they enjoy (like fairy tales) and a variety of other options. Often made in vinyl, wall decals are simple to apply and remove. If a kid is only into dinosaurs for four months, no problem–those T-Rex decals were cheap and they remove in seconds.
Before heading to the toy store again, think about something a little more out there. The kids will thank you for it.
Bars have been using neon signs pretty much since the invention of neon signs to get people into their fine establishments and encouraged them to partake of the libations and spend lots more money. But anyway, technology has managed to bring lighting into, well, the 21st century, and now the lights are programmable and can do some pretty awesome stuff.
1. Make a curtain
It’s true. These lights can be used to create a curtain, which can then be hung on the wall or the ceiling or across a doorway. It’s pretty simple, as well. It just takes a piece of fabric, a glue gun, and some strings of white LED Christmas lights. Just apply them in whatever design suits the need and make sure it can be hung next to an outlet.
2. Time them with the music
Remember when the music players on the computer would show a pretty trippy, hypnotic sort of display that moved in time with the music? Well, that can be done on a much larger scale with LED lights. It’s a fairly simple project but it can add a lot of umph to a display. It takes lights, a power supply, an audio jack, and a Tip31 transistor. Basically, hook everything up and plug in the audio jack and ta-da, instant music thumping.
3. Build a volume meter
I remember in elementary school, we had a stoplight in the cafeteria that measured our volume. Green was all good, yellow meant we were a little too loud, and if we got to red, we had to have five minutes of silence. However, the idea of building a light that reacts to volume is pretty cool, and it can add some spice to any situation. It could also be used to measure applause or something like that. They’re simple to make, and not very expensive.
4. Upcycle bottles
Since we’re on the bar theme, our next project consists of using empty bottles to make a display. Essentially, the clear bottles are mounted on the wall with an LED behind the base of the bottle. This project is a bit more technical, because the LEDs are controlled by a computer, and they can be arranged in any configuration to make designed and movement, as well as words.
5. Make balloon art
There’s a term in the LED world known as “floaties”, which is essentially a helium balloon with a small LED light inside of it. These floaties can be arranged into any shape, held together with a grid, and then mounted on the wall or outside of the establishment. This effect will also not affect your ability to have a LED light with other movement and will last as long as the balloons and batteries hold out, and it’s definitely a talking point.
Neighbors yammering upstairs, budding guitarists, and crying children can contribute to distracting living quarters. A quieter environment can lead to more rest. Depending on one’s hobbies, soundproofing an apartment makes sense if a resident plays loud music or uses noisy equipment. A soundproof environment can lead to higher recording qualities and less disturbance, for people who want to record podcasts or musical instruments at home. Take a look at these four ways to decrease sound traveling in and out of an apartment.
1. Layouts and Placement
Examine the wall materials around the apartment. Some walls will be thinner than others. Make note of areas in the apartment where sound seems to carry. Vents connecting kitchens, plaster walls, and shared balconies may be the sources of most noise. Windows are easy portals for sound to escape. These will need to be blocked off in some way later. Should one room or an entire apartment be soundproofed? Blocking off the gaps between doors and the floor will help create a quieter space.
2. Clear a space
Soundproofing an apartment will usually require the use of materials on walls, windows, and doorframes. Remove fixtures from walls, like picture frames and decorations. Hard surfaces tend to reflect or carry sound, so watch out for hard, metallic surfaces that may enhance noise. For musicians preparing rooms, focus on soundproofing the room that instruments will be played in. Move potted plants, wind chimes, and other window decor, as windows will need to be closed to fully soundproof an area.
3. Absorbent materials
Attaching foam or other absorbent materials, like carpet, can soundproof thin walls. Keep in mind, carpet will not be as effective as professional soundproofing materials (like fiberglass and foam), but carpet can help absorb and block sound from passing barriers. Insulation, cork, heavy drapes, and boxes covered with absorbent materials can also seal in noise.
4. Sealing out noise
Various types of tape can be used around windowpanes and doorframes to block cracks between rooms. Door sweeps from a hardware store can block the passage of sound between closed doors. If possible, find doors that are constructed out of heavier materials that block the passage of sound. When sealing off openings, make sure to never cover smoke detectors or exits. Soundproofing should not happen at the cost of one’s safety. Avoid sealing vents around the kitchen, since these are necessary to filter smoke and food smells away while cooking.
Plenty of people use neon signs for a multitude of purposes. They can advertise a bar, a business, or they can just be cool decor. However, these neon lights, with all their good intentions, can sometimes go awry. I mean, imagine owning the Canal Street Bar and having the “C” burn out…yeah. Could be bad for business. However, for those who wish to utilize these neon signs, there are some ways to prevent these embarrassing displays.
When deciding on a name for the establishment or designing the text for the sign, go through and block out each letter, just to see what would happen if one of them were to burn out. Try to avoid anything disastrous.
2. Preventative maintenance
As with any piece of equipment, it’s better if the problems are taken care of in a preventative manner instead of a reparative one. Having someone routinely come out to service the sign and make sure all the wires are intact and the bulbs aren’t burning out is a good idea.
3. Replace them – quick
It’s really important to make sure that every day, someone checks the sign to make sure nothing’s out. If it is, get the repairman out straight away – don’t let a sign sit in disrepair. While it may be funny to passerby, it also sends the message to customers that the business doesn’t care enough to take care of the issue – or that they can afford it. A burnt out sign doesn’t inspire much confidence in the consumer base.
4. Power down
If part of the sign burns out, turn it off. If the repairs can’t be done immediately, go low-tech with a replacement sign until it can be fixed. Don’t sit around with a sign on the fritz. Also, make sure to turn the sign off when not in business. This will save the bulbs and extend the life of the sign. I mean, there’s really no point in burning the electricity 24/7 for a business that’s only open 12 hours.
5. Learn the basics
Depending on the size of the sign, see if it’s possible for someone on the premises to learn how to do some amateur repairs on the sign. The internet is a wealth of knowledge, and it can save business owners time and money to be able to make basic repairs on their own. Always remember, safety first; and check a few different sites to make sure all the information adds up.
For some of us, traveling is an acquired pastime that many of us learned to love. Growing up, we took road trips in the family car, bus rides to neighboring cities, train rides to visit different States, and plane rides to explore other countries. As adults, we have taken these fond childhood memories and created our own adventures.