Samsung’s mcap goes down due to Note 7 battery issues

Samsung’s market capitalization has taken a severe beating on account of Note 7 battery explosion issue. Samsung had sold more than 2.5 million Note 7 phones and it was forced to issue a global recall of the Note 7 phones after incidents of battery explosion were reported in the United States. These explosions were of serious nature and posed severe threat to phone users. During the same time, Apple announced the new iPhone 7 model and it could not have been a better time for Apple’s shares as the company benefited due to Samsung’s woes.

Although Samsung was quick to try and fix the issue, the damage had been done. For a start, Samsung issued a recall and then offered customers refund in the event they wanted to return the handsets. The company also developed a software update that would limit the charging of battery to 60% of the total capacity. The software update also flashed warning message to those users who would try to charge the battery. This update was rolled out on 20th September, and Note 7 users should be able to access these without delays.

The company has shipped 500,000 Note 7 replacement handsets to United States. The replacement program is already open and Note 7 users may visit the store from which they bought the original phone to get a free replacement. Users have reported that the replacement effort does take some time and it may take a couple of hours for the entire process to be completed.

Note 7 was launched at an introductory pricing of $900 and comes in multiple variants; iPhone 7 comes between $649 to $849. For a detailed review of the top ten features of Samsung Note 7’s features, have a look at this video:

Plastics and environmental pollution

Plastics are a major hazard to the environmental well being and a direct impact on the future generations. Some 300 million tons of plastic is being consumed by the world population as of end of 2015. Of this, nearly 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste ends up in Oceans, thus polluting the oceans in an unprecedented way. The quantity of plastic waste entering the oceans is likely to double by 2025, aggravating the marine life as well as posing damage to the coastline and aqua culture. Sea animals that ingest plastic are unable to survive, and many times the dead animals have been washed ashore.

It is clear that plastic is cheap and offers an easy alternative for commercial establishments in packaging industry. Plastic is an essential part of our life, but the problem is with the waste that we are generating. The plastic waste sits on landfill sites and water bodies and it does not get destroyed with time as it is not bio-degradable. What this essentially means is that plastic waste needs recycling or we need to control our plastic consumption in one way or other. France became the first country to ban use of disposable plastic cups, plates and cutlery from 2020 and it seeks to put an end to use of plastic packaging in a bid to improve its environment.

France needs to be commended to have had a foresight to bring down plastic consumption with force. Hopefully more countries can learn from France’s resolution and inculcate plans to reduce plastic consumption and improve recycling and waste management of plastic debris. Nearly 60 percent of marine pollution in the world happens because of plastic debris.

We need to try and evolve into using less of plastic and more of bio-degradable materials. Plastic takes 500-1,000 years for degradation, and it stays as debris until that time in oceans and on the landfill waste sites. Have a look at the following video to see and understand the impact that plastic has on our environment.

 

Desalination plants could help quench thirst in arid areas

Latest water technology trends in the world indicate that successful use of desalination plants could help fulfill water needs of arid areas. Recent success of Israel in meeting its water demands through the use of multiple desalination plants is a case in point. From being drought-ridden and on the verge of seeing an economic crash in 2008, Israel has become a surplus water country in a terrain that is hostile and dry. Success of Israel stems from the use of desalination plants. It uses three different desalination plants to process the water from Mediterranean sea and make it fit for drinking purposes.

Israel uses refined and high-quality desalination plants that involve the use of multiple membranes within the plant. The membranes come in different sizes and do not allow metals and heavier particles to go beyond. Only water proceeds to the eventual collection points for further distribution. The reverse osmosis of water helps in making the heavy sea water completely potable for human use. Success of Israel can be attributed to using desalination technology and improving and evolving it to ensure that the solution is sustainable for the huge volumes of water that is needed for drinking. The desalinated water is also being used for irrigation purposes, thus boosting the farming activity in Israel and bringing in a quiet revolution.

 

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Use of desalination plants to augment drinking water resources of a nation could be especially useful if you are a resident of Middle-east part of the world, where water is not available even at 100 meters below the ground level. On a similar basis, this technology can be used to offer water to drought prone regions in the world and boost farming output through availability of potable water for irrigation.

 

 

Five Countries with the Highest Fuel Prices

Staying in the United Kingdom means that you are already fighting a battle against the constantly rising fuel prices in the country. You would have probably heard about the next increase in fuel prices on 1st August due to a 3 pence increase in fuel duty.

Most UK citizens feel that the fuel pricing in UK is very expensive. This includes the individuals, businesses that use fuel cards and all those business organizations that use different fuel card services such as the ones listed here for their European fleet presence. However, you would be surprised to read the latest independent study whose results are available on the Staveley Head website. Leaving aside those users who make use of fuel cards and other related methods to save on fuel pricing, UK’s petrol pricing is actually 7th highest in the world.

Well, I was also shocked when I read this report. However, it is clear that there are countries where fuel price is even higher than that in the UK. Norway tops the list of most expensive petrol price countries as its per litre cost of petrol is £ 1.64. Part of this price is attributed to the fuel duty and VAT on fuel in Norway.

Turkey is a close 2nd on the list with petrol pricing coming to £ 1.62, while Netherlands with £ 1.48 and Italy with £ 1.46 follow suit. Greece is a tad lower at £ 1.45 and is followed by Denmark whose petrol pricing is £ 1.43 per litre. UK comes next to Denmark with the current pricing being £ 1.42 per litre.

If you try to make the most out of this study, you will realize that Europe is by far the most expensive part of the world as far as fuel is concerned. Analysts say that this is on account of heavy high fuel duty across all the European countries. Specifically, they say, fuel duties are one of the highest in all the Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark. This is chiefly explained in terms of high excise duty and a VAT of around 20% on the fuel pricing.

 

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Most registered businesses in these countries can re-claim their VAT after fulfilling mandatory compliance conditions within the legal framework of each country. For other users, the prices continue to hurt their family budgets on a continuous basis.

Interestingly, we are already seeing a lot of concerted and unified action within UK to try and pressurize the treasurer to drop plans to levy an additional fuel duty of 3 pence. Whether that succeeds or not is something that we need to wait for.

In any case, European fuel pricing is clearly something that is in a hard-hitting territory. It would appear that the economists are plagued with a desire to cut-back the fuel duty, but a reduction in fuel duties could threaten recessionary fears because the Government’s deficits would increase exponentially across the entire Europe.

Recent crisis in Greece and Portugal and a burgeoning crisis that could thwart the economies of Italy and France is something that we would all like to be wary of. Hopefully, 2012 will end on a brighter note as far as the oil supply and oil pricing is concerned.

 

Web Hosting options for Small Businesses

If you intend to create a business website, you will require the services of a web hosting company. These days, web hosting industry has actually matured to such an extent that it becomes difficult to choose a web host that fits your needs. Generally speaking, business owners like to use the services of a company that could hand hold them through the year and offer them friendly support whenever the time arises. I have come across many business owners that do not mind paying premium for the services that a web hosting company could offer the business.

Most business owners would delegate the web hosting exercise to one of his junior, and it is imperative that whenever the concerned person needs help then he has the ability to call and speak to someone who speaks the same language. Apart from speaking the same language, the person on the other side needs to be knowledgeable and be able to resolve customer issues on a 24×7 basis through all the 365 days. This is where a small web hosting company that has a presence in your local metropolitan area would be of immense help. You could just pick the phone and ask the chap to meet you at the office. Having a professional web host appear in person to take care of business requirements and help resolve problems is a privilege these days. First, there are not many good professionals left in the industry. Then, there are so many bigger web hosting companies that have huge advertising budgets and eat into the margins of a true web hosting company that offers web hosting as a managed service.

 

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In my experience, we must try to find a decent web host locally, so that we can create a relationship that is valued by both the sides. A good web host will keep your business website flawlessly. You would, as a business owner, have one less problem to take care of. Performing a proper due diligence at the time of selecting a local web host is very important and I encourage most small business owners to ask as many questions as they can so that they are sure of the web host before offering any kind of business to the web hosting company. After all, we are looking at a long term engagement between the business and the hosting company and hence it makes a lot of sense to talk all the details before committing into a relationship.

Organic Foods and Health Benefits

Organic foods, including organic fruits, vegetables and staples are a big hit with the health conscious people all across the world. An organic food is considered to be pure form of natural food that is not contaminated with any artificial pesticide or fertilizer and is thus free of chemicals. There is no man-made interference in the organic or natural growth of food products. While scientific studies have not been able to establish any conclusive proof that organic foods are better than non-organic foods, the consumers are often more interested in buying organic foods and organic milk for the various benefits that they offer. Some of the notable benefits of consuming organic foods are that we are actually consuming lesser or reduced quantities of pesticides that are a hallmark of the non-organic foods. Some organic farmers actually mention that they do not use any pesticides. Even if we were to believe that not all organic foods are free of pesticides, the overall portion of pesticides on the organic foods is lower than in non-organic foods.

Organic fruits and vegetables are known to improve body immune system. Organic foods also slow down the aging process of body. Overall health of the body and skin improves with regular intake of organic foods. On a similar basis, organic foods are believed to promote heart health.  At the same time, organic foods taste better and also help in improving the health of environment and soil. Lesser use of pesticides implies that we are sending lesser metals in the environment and are, at the same time, strengthening the quality of soil. If soil is free of heavy metals, the productivity of soil improves and eventually leads to better crop yields all across the farming land.

 

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Organic milk helps in checking cases of animal cruelty because cows and buffaloes are not subjected to improper and unethical use of artificial booster injections that are known to have caused major damages to the cows.

The only problem with organic foods is that they are pricier than the usual and are not easily available at your local grocery stores. With the help of Internet, one is able to order organic foods online and enjoy the health benefits associated with the consumption of organic foods. It is time that concerned citizens across the globe must say no to use of chemicals in farming and the best way to do that is by encouraging consumption of organic foods.

Canary Islands Travel Tips

Canary islands is a Spanish archipelago that is a collection of thirteen islands. Located off the coast of Morocco in Northern Africa, it is a preferred location for European travelers. There are all sorts of  flora, fauna, scintillating sea and a volcano to add to the charm of the Canary islands. The Canaries comprise of the main islands of El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma and Tenerife. Within 200 Kms of the Canary islands, you have four major airports. The Las Palmas Gran Canaria airport is the nearest airport that is 21 kms away from the center of the islands. The other airports that offer access into the Canary islands are Granadilla de Abona, San Cristobal de La Laguna and Puerto del Rosario. All four airports are international airports and a part of Spain.

The Tenerife island is the most populous island with a population of nearly 9oo thousand people. It is followed closely by the Gran Canaria islands that have a population of nearly 8 million people. Other islands have considerably less population. These islands are considered to have a very good climate with the temperatures ranging between 24 degress in summers to 17 degrees in the winters. Consistent climate and weather patterns are the major driving factors for Canary islands to receive huge number of visitors from Europe. With comfortable flight times of 4 to 5 hours from major European locations, the Canary islands make for a compelling destination for friends and families looking for a welcome break from the routine of daily life.

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One must visit Tenerife for the highest moutain peak of the island. The Pico del Teide has a height of 12,200 feet and offers breathtaking views to visitors and tourists. Also called as Mount Teide, the best time to visit the peak is during the summer months of May and June when the wild flora is at its exuberant best. Apart from the Mount Teide, one could also look at the Loro Parque, which is considered the home of the largest collection of parrots in the world. It is home to more than 300 different species of parrots.

Aside from the Tenerife islands, the Las Palma has a population of some 85,000 people and is chiefly a destination for spending quality time in solitude. You may walk all by yourself through the Las Palma islands to enjoy the natural beauty in complete silence. The Gran Canaria islands are frequently visited by the tourist because of its mountains, valleys, beautiful beaches, shopping malls and continental style of living. Incidentally, the Tenerife islands and Gran Canaria islands are the two capitals of the independent Canary islands. Both these islands get to govern the other islands in a rotation of four years. So, every fours years, the Governance moves from Tenerife to the Gran Canaria islands. The capital of Gran Canaria islands is the Las Palmas.

There are many hotel, and resort options for visiting tourists in the Tenerife islands as well as the Gran Canaria islands.

 

SEO reports for Small Business Owners

If you have had a website for business, you would have heard of the term -SEO or search engine optimization. If you have not heard of the term previously, then it refers to a collection of efforts that are made to ensure that your website earns decent search engine positions. The result of a nice ranking on search engines is that your website would receive visitors through the search engines and your chances of doing business with those incoming visitors would improve your overall business bottom line.

The starting point of any SEO effort is to optimize your website’s content to make it more suitable for the search engine algorithms. Many people prefer to outsource this task to SEO agencies. There is no harm in doing it, but, it would make a lot more sense if you had some sort of an idea about what goes into the content optimization. Better still, it would have been better if we had a standard checklist which could, possibly, form a framework against which the business owner could hire an agency and then measure the services delivered by the agency in question.

There are so many different options on the marketplace that a newbie business owner will get overwhelmed with the quantum of information that is available. Boatloads of information will eventually cause the buyer or business owner to become confused and lose focus on his actual requirements. That is why, I tend to stick my neck out for two products that are basically more like hosted applications. You would run these applications online, specify your website address and these apps would measure your site’s content readiness, content optimization and overall website content scores. While no automated system can be a perfect fit, you would still have a basic structure ready. You will know a list of broad activities that need to be performed before your website reaches a level of standard that fits the business’s requirements.

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The two websites I am talking about Hubspot and WooRank. You could just Google these terms and you would reach the intended business websites for both. Both offer good terms of reference and you could try the product to see for yourself how things would move in perspective. Try to run in as many different reports as you can and then create a list of stuff that needs to be worked on. Both websites also offer expert services wherein certified experts would be able to take care of the stated objectives of optimization of your business website and help it improve the search engine score.

Nothing beats a standard list of items that need to be improved. Both these tools will provide you key data that would help you take the first little step towards improving your search engine rankings.

 

Trade Small Trade Often for consistent profits

Have you ever traded or dabbled on the stocks? If you have done so, you would have probably heard of the tastytrade network. Without getting into a discussion about how good or bad they are, I would like to bring out a particular concept that I learnt from being an avid reader on their website. The dictum -trade small, trade often. The underlying thought process is to trade with small trade size so that the risk is minimized. And, increasing the frequency of trades would mean that you are trying to eek out small gains on multiple trades through the day to eventually get a nice gain at the end of the day.

Trading small makes a lot of sense. However, trading often is something that not many people are comfortable with. Partly, a reluctance to increase the number of trades arises from the fact that if you trade more frequently, then your chances of putting up with failed trades will be higher than usual. Unless you have very tight stop losses, chances are that you would give back whatever you earned from the market during the course of the day or the week. Therefore, when you are planning to trade often, you need to be very very disciplined in regards to the strict stop loss. If your stop loss gets hit, you need to move out of the trade. Defining risk before entering a trade is very critical to your long term sustenance in the stock market.

 

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Many professionals do take multiple trades through the day. Some go to the extent of trading momentum through the day and end up taking upwards of 40 trades in a single day of trading. Such traders are very quick in spotting arbitrage opportunities on the stock exchange and they are even quicker in entering and exiting out of their trades. If you have the skills to sit through the day in front of trading charts on the computer, and if your reflexes are quick enough to allow quick entry and exits from the markets, then trading small size of your holdings and trading them often through the day will lead to smart gains on a net basis. Otherwise, you may do well to refine your strategy to suit your risk acumen, trading style and discretionary trading principles to trade in a profitable manner.

Fleet Management Through Fuel Cards in 2016

Fleet management is a tough task. There is a lot to do and lots and lots stuff to manage. Especially, the management activities involve so many diverse tasks that it becomes difficult to be on top of everything.

One of the critical aspects of fleet management is the fleet fuel expense management. A fleet comprising of more than 10 vehicles will require one dedicated resource to manage the fleet fuelling requirements on an ongoing basis. There are schedules that would need to be enforced and a whole lot of fuel receipts that need to captured in the accounting system. It is not simple at all, and for larger fleet size the entire activity could go out of hand in a matter of few weeks.

Fuel cards are an effective way to promote effective fuel expense management for the entire fleet. With a business fuel card, fuelling activity can be more efficiently managed and your management control over the fuel receipts and accounting will become seamless. It results in a win-win situation for all the people who are involved in the entire lifecycle of fleet fuelling. This would obviously include the vehicle drivers, fleet managers and the accounting personnel.

Besides simplifying the life of everyone involved in the fleet fuelling cycle, your business gains additionally. The gain is in terms of a better time management opportunity. With the inherent automation that is a part of most business fuel cards, you are sure to gain immensely in terms of increased availability of personnel time for other management and chore functions.

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Given the fact that fuel cards are being increasingly adopted for business use by the fleet managers in United Kingdom, it is quite clear that a genuine business would want to hire an expert fuel card company. Acquisition of a business fuel card is a seamless exercise for businesses that have a valid proof of address and have financial documents to prove the financial health of their business. Once you have assimilated all the information that needs to be provided to a fuel card company, the entire process of application and release of fuel cards would normally take 6-8 weeks.

One must also remember that fuel cards should be chosen after performing due diligence. It may be a good idea to spend some time at the planning phase of your fuel card acquisition process and end up with a company that has a proven history and an established business. For more information about fuel cards, you could visit the fuel card company website.

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