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Choosing the Right Delivery Service for your Small Online Business

As a small online business, working with a delivery company who you can rely on is crucial to your success. Not only is the delivery company your only point of contact directly with the customer, it also reflects hugely on the way that your company is perceived by others. So how can you choose the right delivery service for your online business to make sure that you’re projecting the very best company image, here are four things you should consider first.

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Image courtesy of I-Stock



1. What type of delivery options do you want to offer?


Online businesses should be striving to offer their customers as many different and flexible delivery options as possible. An increasing trend with big online retailers is offering same and next day guarantee delivery however, a lot of smaller business will struggle to offer this type of quick and immediate delivery. Smaller business should instead ensure they are partnered with a reliable delivery, as while it is important to offer different/flexible delivery options like bigger companies can, it’s more important first that your partnered courier company can deliver orders on time and in the condition described. 


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Image courtesy of I-Stock


2. What type of image do you want to project?

Thinking about the different type of image you want to portray will hugely influence on the type of courier service you go for. As an online business, using a courier service which is well presented, maintains a well-kept fleet of delivery vehicles, reliable staff and has a reputation for being on time and efficient, will make all the difference to enhancing your company’s business services and image.



3. Time and Customer Service

Using a delivery courier service which is less than efficient wastes your time as a business. Responding to customer queries and complaints over late deliveries or parcels which have been left in a poor condition can give your business a bad reputation by association and once things are online through complaints and bad reviews on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, it can be hard to erase them. Choosing a reputable courier like InXpress can mitigate the amount of time you spend doing damage control and free up your time so you can devote it to developing your business further.



4. Are you going to expand?

If you have plans to expand rapidly in the near future, choosing a delivery company that you trust and can rely on will be essential to this process. A delivery courier which has experience of handling tricky shipments or international deliveries is a real asset and can be a vital part of any successful expansion plans therefore, its essential to build up and establish a reliable network of courier contacts that you can work with if you decide to expand internationally, it may also aid with negotiating better prices and deals. 


By following these tips to select the best possible courier service for you, you’ll be able to present the most positive image of your online business.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

You Can Now Turn Your Instagram Posts Into A Coloring Book



Color Me Book is a company that lets you create your own custom coloring book made from your favorite Instagram photos.

“I personally love adult coloring books and have been using them for about a year now,” Cory Will, Creator of Color Me Book, told BuzzFeed. “I thought it would be awesome to upload photos and make my own personalized adult coloring book. I was shocked I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I reached out to a friend who runs a print shop in Los Angeles to see if he could make them for me. When I showed some friends, they wanted to order their own. So I decided to build a website to see what kind of response we would get.”

And it’s really easy. Just upload the photos you want, and BAM. It’s your own Insta-coloring book.




“The reaction so far has been incredible. We launched less than a week ago and have already received orders from the US, Australia, and the UK, bulk orders for events, and wholesale inquiries,” Founder Cory said.

You can personalize your own book for $25 You can also choose from the pre-made coloring books for $15.

Source  Color Me Book


The Demand For IT Infrastructure Is On The Upswing



Global Center IT equipment is already Big Business but within the next several years, the market will increase -- reaching more than $101.5 billion in revenue.

That’s according to technology market research firm Technavio, which says that by the year 2019, the demand for more sophisticated equipment will skyrocket because ever-changing technological needs are, again, on the rise. Currently, say analysts, servers are consuming nearly 300 watts of power; much higher than systems of yesteryear at 50 to 80 watts of energy. The company’s technology survey indicates that nearly 27% of a data center’s power usage comes from its computer and IT servers. But with more companies moving toward creating in-house centralized data centers, the number of energy-efficient IT operations is very likely to increase within the next several years.
To understand the comparison, in 2014, for example, the IT development market valued the traditional global rack data center market at more than $21 billion. Those data centers included backup batteries, storage capabilities and switches. Since then, sales of these items (as well as rack servers) have increased because of business growth and the need for more and reliable infrastructure. Companies are increasing their computer and technology budgets to keep up with the expenditure demand. In 2014, the blade server systems market spent more than $9.2 billion that year and the micro-server market was valued at less than one billion dollars. In today’s market, virtual technology with micro-servers is more costly than other server systems but that could change if product vendors can increase innovational development. Also, market growth for micro-server technology may rise as these systems are used in modular data centers.


What’s in an IT Data Center? 

Simplistically, it’s a structure that houses servers, storage and networking capabilities -- these elements lead the computers in a business. But as the world of computers and technology continues to evolve, innovations such as flash-based storage, micro-servers and software data centers are also increasing. IT Data Centers typically include:

- Towers, racks, blades and micro-servers that comprise the actual server system
- Storage networks including network attached storage (NAS) and direct attached storage (DAS)
- The Network itself, including routers and Ethernet switches
- Security essentials The trend for businesses building separate data centers for housing all IT equipment is on the upswing. 

In addition to containing storage, networking, servers and the like, data centers include security measures to better protect business operations. With new applications and software on the market at any given time, data centers and their operations are also evolving -- that means more and sophisticated program needs.


The outlook? 

In the next several years, says Technavio, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) will lead the modern data center in its ability to be flexible and adaptable so that network administrators can better control the operation (without having to engage the company’s computer experts in all aspects of everyday business). This includes (but not limited to) cloud storage centers, analytics, IT security and product lifecycle management; all part of the increasing sales market of computer and networking technology and its infrastructure.


About the report: Technavio ‘s Global Data Center IT Equipment Market 2015-2019 report is based on market analysis from IT equipment industry leaders, major technology producers and vendors, and expected future growth in the marketplace.

Author bio: Katrina is a product specialist for RackSolutions, the market leader for designing and manufacturing custom racking products for the IT industry! You can read more about our company here


Featured images:
License: Image author owned 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kite - Internet-connected programming



Kite augments your coding environment with all the internet’s programming knowledge.


Kite is a heads up display (HUD) for programmers that surfaces proven engineering knowledge in a live internet­ connected environment helping developers write better code, faster. Kite is the first tool to offer a connected way to program; it is integrated with text editors and it uses type inference to reveal examples as programmers type without having to leave the screen for a web browser.




Source: Kite


Monday, April 18, 2016

InkHunter - Try tattoos in real-time with augmented reality (Video)



INK HUNTER - the best mobile app for try on tattoo designs in real time with augmented reality




Cinebody - Turn your iPhone into an 8mm camera



The Cinebody combines the technology of modern digital video with the design, ergonomics and the storytelling narrative from the golden age of Super8 film cameras.

How it Works

Plug in Cord
1

Insert iPhone

Slide your iPhone 6 or 6s into the case and snap the latch closed to keep your iPhone safe and secure.
Plug in Cord
2

Connect Device

Connect the red power cord to your iPhone to enable the digital trigger, the directional microphone and our suite of digital controls.
Launch App
3

Launch App

Launch the free Cinebody app. Access precision controls, Easy Roll shooting, and editing with Cameo.
App Available Soon
Pull Trigger
4

Pull Trigger to Record

Pull the trigger to film and let go to stop. It’s that simple. You’ll never miss another shot wondering if you’re recording or paused. And for hands-free filming simply tap the record button on the screen.

Features

ABC
A
Cold shoe is the industry-standard for mounting mics, lights, handles and other accessories.
B
App (coming soon) allows for manual control of exposure and focus.
C
See what you’re shooting in even the most extreme bright-light conditions with our patented focusing eyepiece.
DEF
D
Interchangeable 58mm optical-quality glass lenses. Wide, fisheye, telephoto.
E
Simple, intuitive trigger. No more missing the shot or filming the ground.
F
Handles don’t just look stylish, those ergonomics mean you get a steadier shot.


Source: Cinebody


Api.ai for Facebook Messenger



Api.ai provides developers and companies with the advanced tools they need to build voice interfaces for apps and hardware devices.

The Api.ai platform lets developers seamlessly integrate intelligent voice command systems into their products to create consumer-friendly voice-enabled user interfaces. Api.ai is also the company behind Assistant, a first of its kind conversational assistant app created in 2010 that now has more than 20 million users and is the highest rated assistant app available.

The Api.ai team and board of advisors brings decades of experience in artificial intelligence, machine learning and human-computer interaction services.


Source Api.ai


Facebook Live API - Build immersive and interactive live video experiences



Introducing the Facebook Live API


Today, we’re introducing the Facebook Live API, a new way for developers and publishers to join forces to build immersive and interactive live video experiences on Facebook. With the Live API, media organizations can seamlessly incorporate Live into their existing broadcast setup and also create new ways to interact with their viewers. The Live API also makes it possible for device manufacturers to integrate Live directly into their latest video products.
In the short time since we’ve rolled out Facebook Live to people and publishers around the world, we’ve seen incredible adoption, creativity and engagement. Media organizations are inventing new formats on Facebook and experimenting with ways to create more engaging experiences with their audiences. We’ve been inspired by the innovation we’ve seen so far, and we know it’s only the beginning.

Source: Facebook


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mevo - The live event camera



Mevo was created so you could share the events that matter most in your life with the production value these events deserve.


Each day powerful performances, product launches, inspiring talks, skilled athletes, and talented kids delight the audience in front of them. Mevo transports guests who can’t attend in person to these events in a more powerful way than a simple photo, tweet, or 10-second clip.
A video is only as good as the story it tells. Whether you are watching a live sporting event or a sitcom, professional directors with multiple cameras cut between shots, zoom into emotion, and pan to follow the action to bring their stories to life. Mevo enables you to achieve professional-quality, sophisticated storytelling with just one camera.
The Mevo team uses the latest advances in compact, ultra-high resolution sensors to enable multi­-camera storytelling instead of simply pushing additional pixels to the viewer’s screen. The power to tell stories through video, in real ­time, without time consuming and laborious editing, is the breakthrough video enthusiasts need.
Our team has over 200 years of collective live video experience, providing expert solutions from stage to stadium, conference to campus, and everything in between. With our best­-in-­class suppliers and manufacturing partners, we designed and built Mevo from the ground up so that everyone, regardless of skill or budget, could experience multi­-camera features that were previously only available to TV studios and companies willing to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and manpower.

Source: Mevo

How To Impress Investors



If your business is looking for investment, there are some steps you need to undertake to ensure that you impress investors. The following tips will help you to get your point across and to make your business seem like the obvious choice to invest in.


Show Your Margins 

While it would be great to find an investor that believes in you and your vision, you need to be realistic as to the reasons that people invest in you. People look to give you money so that they can make money in return. This is the bottom line of investments and it is something that is something overlooked or forgotten about.

This means if you are looking to impress investors, you must make sure that you show your margins and give them an indication of what they should expect. Numbers aren’t everything and they don’t always tell the full story, so you need to offer more than just the financial figures, but if you don’t offer the financial figures, you’ll find that your business is in big trouble when it comes to enticing investors to you.

Show them that there is the potential for growth Investors want to know about the opportunity for growth and they want to see that you are in a marketplace that offers a stable audience and the chance to gain in value. You want to show the past, the present and the future of your business, and this should be an integral part of any presentation or meeting that you have.

If you can show that you have carried out research and that you can justify the claims that you make, you’ll find that investors will look at you in a more favourable manner. Investors want to know that you are serious and in showing that you have studied the market and pinpointed the changes, and areas for growth, you will be well on your way to impressing investors. You want to show new markets and potential new revenue streams but at the very least, put the hours in and show that you can give confidence to any investor.


Have a business model 

This seems like an obvious thing but it is something that many people forget. A business model which is scalable is a great way of showcasing that you have thought about the business and it pinpoints why you need investment. It also showcases how you plan to behave and act in order to achieve your aims and goals.

You may not have created a business model before, but you’ll find that learning how to do so and creating a viable one will impress investors while also giving you tools and information to drive your business forward.

If you have problems, don’t hide them, engage them All businesses have issues or problems to deal with, and owning up to these issues is a big aspect when presenting your company. If an investor believes you are trying to hide any issues, they won’t trust you. If you want someone to give you money, they need to trust you and this is why you have to be honest and open about any issues you have. By pinpointing flaws and problems but showcasing how you plan on overcoming these issues, you’ll come across as more genuine and trustworthy to any potential investor.

You should also look to show that:

- You are different from rivals and other options in your market
- That you can engage and connect with your audience
- That you have the right people on board These are all important things to prove to an investor, and if you can resolve these matters and showcase yourself in the correct manner, you will be well primed to receive funding. If you are in the property market, you want to be where the investors are, and this is why you should look to be present at the MIPIM event.

This is the leading annual conference for the global property market and it takes place in Cannes in March 2016. Booking a good standard of Cannes rental apartments is the starting point for being able to present effectively to your audience. Anyone looking to find funding in the property market will find that this is the event that they have been waiting for.


Author bio:
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn't sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.


How Technology has changed the way we operate our deliveries



In simple terms a ‘delivery service’ can just be defined as some goods being transferred from one place to another within a certain timeframe. However, while the fundamentals of this remain in today’s modern delivery services, technology has certainly done its part to influence consumer expectation and in many cases the methodology.

So how exactly have deliveries changed? If we look back over the last decades we still had regular local and international deliveries, but today things are quite different thanks to innovations in technology.


Increased Speed

The speed in which we can order and indeed receive our consignments is perhaps one of the most significant changes, a lot of which is down to the expectations of society today. We are now used to receiving information much faster via our smartphones and tablets and as such expectation is spilling out into other aspects, including deliveries. Now you can even get super-fast same-day deliveries from companies like TNT Direct, which as the name suggests you can order your items and have them arrive in the same day.


More Flexibility

To build on the above point, we also have technology to thank for the great flexibility we have to order and receive deliveries. From the palms of our hands via our phones and devices we can order items at the push of a button and even arrange for them to be delivered at a certain time and place, from all over the world.


More Efficient Methods


If we go beyond our devices and computers the methods of delivery have evolved as well. There are still wagons, trains and planes being used for international shipping but these are now bigger, faster and overall more energy efficient. In some cases there are even purely electric vehicles being used to transport our goods.


Future Developments

The future also looks set to be bringing about even more technological advances in deliveries. There have been developments in using drone technology to possibly be used to deliver parcels remotely from a depot direct to a doorstep. Also, there’s also rumoured to be the potential for packages to be sent via underground pipes between locations.



So the next time you are about to purchase something online or over the phone for a delivery, just think about how far things have come from the days of long delivery times and slow processing. What’s more, be sure to keep a look out for some of the potential new tech that could see your parcels arriving quickly and autonomously.


Image courtesy of iStock


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Air Case - The thinnest iPhone battery case



Air Case is compatible with iPhone 6, 6S, 6+, and 6S+. The Air Case provides an additional 2400mAh battery, which is equivalent to more than 12 hours extra talk time, 10 hours extra video play, 10 hours extra game time and 8 hours extra internet time. 

Air Case is only 3.8 mm (0.15") thick. This is the world’s thinnest battery iPhone case. When it is on your iPhone, it feels like it’s just a part of it.




Source: Indiegogo


Startup TV - Behind the scenes w/ makers and tech influencers, daily



Startup TV gets behind the scenes of the startup world, daily.

The world's most passionate founders, makers, and startup enthusiasts hang out on Startup TV on Snapchat and share their stories, products, and insights about tech.

Every day a new maker, founder, designer, investor, influencer, or anyone interesting from the tech ecosystem will do a "takeover" on our account to share their story, what they're working on, valuable tips, deep dive into their local startup ecosystem, etc. Sometimes it will be an individual maker, and sometimes we'll have an entire startup team taking over the account. We'll also do exclusive product demos where you'll see products from awesome teams well before they're ready to launch to get the inside story on what problem they're addressing and how they plan to conquer the market.

Sometimes we'll focus in on a city and cover startups/founders and sometimes will do interesting things like stack a series of takeovers with millennials(multiple takeovers on the same day) so they can give you the inside scoop on the products they're using day to day.

Source: Startup TV


Impossible I-1 Instant Camera



When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, Impossible stepped in to buy the last remaining factory, days before it closed down. The machines had already been dismantled, there were no formulas to follow and the supply chain had already been destroyed. If we wanted to keep instant photography alive, we had to reinvent instant film from scratch.


INSTANT PHOTOGRAPHY REINVENTED
We make fresh instant film for classic Polaroid cameras. We believe in making real photos, with a life after the shutter clicks. With our new line of cameras, we’re reinventing instant photography for the digital age.






IMPOSSIBLE I-TYPE

I-type is a new instant camera system for the original format. Ideal for all skill levels, I-type cameras connect with your smartphone to take your photography further.


IMPOSSIBLE INSTANT LAB UNIVERSAL

The Instant Lab Universal is the only way to transform digital images on your smartphone or tablet into classic instant photos you can hold. It's not a printer, but a real, fully functioning camera. The Instant Lab Universal is designed to work with the latest high-definition smartphones and tablets on the market today using the updated Impossible Project App, available free for iOS and now for Android. The new Instant Lab Universal works with all Impossible B&W and Color film for Polaroid 600 and SX-70 cameras.





URB-E: The world’s most compact, foldable electric vehicle



URB-E is designed and built in Pasadena California by hand out of carbon fiber and aircraft aluminum. Engineered by former Porsche Lead Engineer, we’ve created the highest quality foldable electric vehicle in existence. Super lightweight. Super portable. Super powerful. Made in America.


  • URBAN626 was founded in 2015
  • Pasadena-based startup primarily funded by local investors.
  • Unlike other e-vehicles designed primarily for entertainment (e.g. phunkee duck), the URB-E is a functional electric vehicle that is versatile enough to solve pain points for the last mile commuter. That said, the URB-E is designed to be fun, easy to use, and customizable with inserts and accessories.
  • URB-E’s Cofounding designer is a professor at Pasadena Art Center and former Designer at Vans and DVS.
  • URB-E’s Cofounding engineer came from Saleen GT, Porsche and Fisker.



More info/Source: URB-E


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