Baltimore Hacker Space is Crowdfunding
This non-profit technology educational facility is home to many great projects. Projects that people can’t work on at home ( not everyone has a garage). It has been member funded in the past and provided tools and training for anyone wanting to build something special. Their expenses recently went up. Here is what happened in their words. “Recently, our landlord “discovered” a number water bills that he’d missed over the past two years, and he’s passing that expense on to us. So we’ve run the numbers, and our $5,000 goal will keep us financially stable and allow us to focus on community outreach for the next two years. As a 501(c)3 charity, we work to promote growth and learning in our community by providing people a place to learn and work in a positive and collaborative environment. We are sustained by our membership dues. However, we do open up all of our classes and events to non-members. We try to provide at least 2-3 days per week where non-members can come in and work with our facilities.”
It’s all about helping a community resource stay a community resource. You can sponsor a go-cart. You can get T-shirts and even book some time in the shop to work on your ideas. You can have a storm trooper visit you or even pick up a years membership.
Support them here. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-our-hackerspace-baltimore-md#/story
International Parcel Couriers Predict That Deliveries Will Start To Track-Down Customers
2015 may well be the year that parcel deliveries go straight to customers or their Cars.
New progresses in GPS and mobile phone tech means parcel deliveries can now be made straight to consumers or right into the boot of their vehicle. The technology that enables your sat-nav, can also be used to direct people and a delivery straight to you. Everything from nutrition to clothing will be able to be delivered to your exact journey’s end. If you’re located in a city, the service might not be just same day delivery, but same hour delivery.
Some firms in the UK already use GPS to deliver parcels such as mislaid keys or laundry to a specific address, within periods being considerably less than an hour at some locations. However, couriers will be able to deliver to the right to the kerb anywhere you are. The same tech that controls Apps such as Find My Phone or Maps on your smartphone can be used to find consumers, so long as they have their phone or Smartwatch on them at the time. This means that there’s no need to postpone what you’re doing or be at a specific place so shoppers can carry on with their day without interruption.
If customers don’t wish their parcel to be delivered directly to them, then their car is also an option. Pick-up locations have proved to be an accepted substitute to home delivery, but, even more suitably, your car could well be a locker on the move, and on wheels. The owner doesn’t really need to be with it to take delivery either. Volvo’s Roam Delivery facility has been trialled magnificently in Sweden in combination with an online grocery supplier and a third party distribution firm. Shopper’s items were delivered right to their own car, which is located in the same way as mentioned above, via GPS, and unlocked and locked again through technology.
The UK seems to now be leading the way with direct deliveries to your car. When customers sign up for the deal a tiny signal transmitter is fixed to their vehicle. This is then used to locate the car and unlock/lock it remotely when the delivery lands. The firm can even track patterns of parking behaviour so as to plan parcel deliveries accordingly. Some people may be worried about security but all the data is time limited and the tracing can be turned off at any time. This kind of service is predicted catch on, with shares in companies rising sharply for those that provide this service. In time hopefully it will spread to international parcel delivery too.
Staying updated with the latest technology has been our cultural obsession for a long time now, and the world of business is no exception to this rule. However according to Neil Camenker unless your business model demands having the latest and greatest technological systems, I would encourage exercising a certain degree of restraint when it comes to staying up to date.
Because of the expense involved in buying new systems, a conservative approach can pay off dividends. While employees may be clamoring for the hottest PCs on the market to replace their current workstations, perhaps upgrading them would serve your purposes just as well. Part of your long-term technological strategy could include purchasing systems that are designed to be upgradable; buying a new system once every 4 years and upgrading 2 years after the purchase, rather than buying all new systems every other year. Not only would this reduce the costs of the systems themselves, but it will also increase employee productivity and decrease training time because the employees will already be familiar with how the systems work.
Computers go out of date so fast that keeping them current is a constant struggle. It seems like every release of the operating system slows them down more. They are a continual source of frustration to employees, and can hinder productivity when they don’t function the way they’re supposed to. This doesn’t always justify replacing them, however, as new computers are just as likely to have quirks and problems that make them frustrating for employees to deal with. Something that you may wish to consider is investing in some IT employees to handle computer problems.
Software is always being updated, and the different companies compete to release the programs with the most functions. New software tends to use up more computing resources than older software, so when upgrading software it can create the need to purchase new computers as well.
Networking equipment has a shelf-life just like any other piece of technology, and needs to be updated from time to time to keep up with new technologies and increased demand.
Servers run the web technology that your customers interact with, and are therefore an important thing to keep updated. As your web traffic and customer base increases, you should upgrade your servers to ensure that they have the capacity to handle the new demand being placed on them.
The web applications customers use on the web are some of the most important technological applications a company will ever buy, because they represent the company to the world and must therefore function perfectly. This is something that you should never skimp on.
Watch out for the Diderot Effect: the perception that one new purchase necessitates making further purchases. It’s not uncommon to see companies upgrading their entire range of technological systems at one time—an amazingly expensive endeavor.
By Neil Camenker