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May 19, 2017

Want to eliminate platform migration headaches? Reduce cost, effort, and lost time? You’re in the right place. I want to share some tips to help you simplify your migration activities.

I have been performing file-based migrations for well over 20 years, primarily with EMC Technology. The majority of migrations have been SMB-based including server-to-server, server-to-NAS, and NAS-to-NAS migrations.

Some of the tools that I have leveraged over the years include:

  • ROBOCOPY: This Microsoft utility, originally part of the Windows NT 4.0 Resource Kit, has been around since 1997.
  • EMCOPY: This EMC utility is used primarily to copy to a Celerra based file system; however, the other tools in the suite comprised of EMCopy, Sharedup, and LGDUP have been used on several occasions, even in conjunction with Robocopy.
  • RSYNC: This UNIX utility is used for NFS migrations.

As technology advanced, storage vendors provided a way to perform these migrations using internal tools. Some of the tools were developed for disaster recovery while others were developed explicitly for data migration. Two examples include:

  • VNX Replicator: This tool can replicate from Celerra/VNX to another Celerra/VNX array.
  • Isi_vol_copy: The isi_vol_copy utility from Isilon uses NDMP streams to copy data from a NetApp array to the Isilon array. Eventually EMC added isi_vol_copy_vnx that allowed NDMP- based copy from VNX to the Isilon.

Considerations: One of the major considerations that we face when performing file-based migrations is which tool is the best for the job. The answer to this question is not easy because it may take multiple tools to complete the job. Another consideration is the ability to streamline the data migration process.

Among the better known file migration tools that can address these considerations: Datadobi DobiMiner. For the last five years, I have recognized Datadobi for their CAS-to-NAS migration methodologies and their NAS-to-NAS migration tool, which is always evolving. DobiMiner helps streamline file-based data migrations, simplifies the entire end-to-end process, and tackles all of the following additional challenges:

Challenge 1: Bandwidth Throttling

Customers may need to throttle the bandwidth that is consumed by the migration. This may limit the amount of concurrent sessions or the actual time required to stop the migration if necessary.

DobiMiner can schedule bandwidth based on hours of operation per file server. This feature limits bandwidth during normal business hours so that migrations continue to run with reduced bandwidth and then automatically increases it during the next window. Imagine the flexibility to change schedules based on file server and managing multiple bandwidth schedules over the duration of the migration phase. It also includes file server scans to refresh the data.

Challenge 2: Detailed Reporting

Customers often ask to see a concise daily status report on all migration jobs. This includes successes, failures and the details surrounding both cases. Other tools do have log files associated with them, but it will take some tweaking to get an exact report. The ability to email a report, if supported, will typically require additional configuration effort.

DobiMiner generates reports on-demand. In addition to the source and target destination, the reports show the number of files, directories, symbolic links and errors. In the event of an error, the reports allow you to drill down to analyze the cause. Migration reports can be emailed daily, weekly, or monthly.

Challenge 3: Job Scheduling

Job scheduling needs to be done from the Windows scheduler at each server that is performing the migration job. The job schedules can overlap if multiple proxy servers are used for the migrations.

DobiMiner can schedule steady state incremental copies. Each individual migration can be scheduled to run based on the migration effort. For example, the migration can start with daily incremental copies and then be changed to hourly as the migration cutover window arrives.

Challenge 4: Estimating Switchover Time

This manual process includes reviewing the logs from each incremental run to estimate the time it takes to perform the incremental copy.

DobiMiner allows you to create migration windows based on the cutover time. DobiMiner determines if the final migration will fit within the specified time window. A dry run can also be performed to simulate the final copy.

Challenge 5: Creation of Migration Jobs

Job creation can be scripted, but needs to be imported on each server that will be performing the jobs, and then scheduled per server. For Windows, a batch file needs to be created, then scheduled with the Windows scheduler.

DobiMiner can perform a bulk import of not only the file servers, but also the migration pairs from a template. After the template is created, there is an import function that will create the migration jobs at the DobiMiner software level.

Challenge 6: Incremental Copies

All the tools mentioned have a way to perform incremental copies. Some need to perform a file compare and could take hours to find the one file that needs to be copied. Others will not synchronize the directories as per NDMP-based protocol.

DobiMiner performs a scan of the directory faster than the other tools mentioned. The scans are performed on a scheduled basis and information is stored in DobiMiner.

Because it scans and performs incremental copies faster than the other tools mentioned in this article, it helps speed up the migration saving you precious time.

Challenge 7: Mix of SMB and NFS Clients

If a customer wants to copy NFS files as well as SMB files, then two tools will be required, such as RoboCopy and Rsync.

DobiMiner migrates both NFS and SMB files in a single pane-of-glass. It supports the migration of SMB, NFS, and even mixed-mode protocols.


It’s no surprise that DobiMiner has been named as the tool of choice for file-based migrations on EMC Unity and other platforms. In my experience, DobiMiner has been a welcome addition to the file migration process and continues to impress me. DobiMiner addresses all of the current challenges presented in this article and offers technological advantages over other legacy tools.

Source by Tony Daniello

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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I love water sports! Since I did not learn how to swim until I was in my 30’s, I try to make up for lost time by being in or near the water as often as I can. A few years ago I learned how to water ski and jet ski in the Mediterranean Sea. Believe me, neither one was an easy task to master! After consuming half of the Mediterranean Sea while falling, I became hooked on these water sports; so, I am always on the lookout for a place close to home to test my skills. Last weekend I was invited to the perfect place to do this, Arizona, and I’m glad to report that I still have it! Having said that, I made the mistake of telling my parents about this trip and wouldn’t you know it.. they tried every way possible to persuade me to change my plans. “Why?”, you may ask. They think it’s not safe and that someone my age shouldn’t be participating in such activities. Women my age… what does that even mean? Is there an expiration date on certain activities? Is there a rule book that lists all the “do”‘s and “don’t”s after 50 that I am not aware of? Well, being the stubborn and rebellious daughter I am, I did it anyway. But I made sure to call them afterwards to put their mind at ease.

This situation with my parents inspired me to further explore the over 50 concept. We all know that beneath the label of mother, wife, businesswoman, sister or daughter is a dynamic woman with passion and power who can fulfill her potential in life, realize her every dream and make a difference. An empowered woman enhances not only her life, but the lives of her children, family and community. It’s time to bring forth the most important label of all… WOMAN! I plan to achieve this by working on a fun project that will inspire other women over 50 to come and share their stories. A project that will make a difference in the lives of women at risk. I am celebrating fabulous and divine women who are 50 or older and are actually living and loving life, in hopes that it will encourage other women to do the same. I am constantly meeting inspirational and empowering women who are pushing the boundaries and I salute them. Sometimes all it takes is hearing another person’s experience to motivate us to jump-start our own lives.

Passion? Desire? Let’s continue showing others how fulfilling life is when they embody these powerful words! Who knows? Maybe your story will ignite someone else’s passions and inspire them to live the life they’ve always dreamed.

Source by Silva Mirzoian

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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A few years ago, educational researchers David Pearson and Nell Duke asked the question, “What kind of thinking happens when proficient readers read?” This question led to ground breaking research results that have changed the way teachers teach children to read.

They discovered seven key strategies that good readers use during the reading process. Innovative teachers teach the strategies directly using metacognitive thinking (thinking out loud about your thinking) by modeling their own thinking out loud during the reading process. Students apply the new strategies by practicing their own thinking orally and in writing. Books like Mosaic of Thought by Zimmerman and Keene, Strategies that Work by Harvey and Goudvis, and Reading with Meaning by Miller explore these ideas in great depth and apply best teaching practices to teaching reading strategies.

Strategy One: Making Connections

Readers bring their own experiences and background knowledge to the text. They make personal connections, they connect one text with another, and make connections with the world. These connections enrich the text and helps the reader to understand the text at a higher level of meaning. Teachers teach these connections directly: text to self connections, text to text connections, and text to world connections.

Strategy Two: Visualizing or Envisioning

Readers see pictures in their minds when they read. The best part of reading is watching the “movie in your head.” Good readers experience seeing strong visual images. Children can be taught to visualize as they read. Often poor readers do not “see” when they read. We live in a visual world, yet it’s the visuals that many readers lack when they read.

Strategy Three: Questioning

Readers are constantly questioning, predicting, confirming their thinking, and adjusting their thinking. Good readers have a purpose for continuing to read. The purpose lies within their ability to question and predict throughout the reading of the text. The adjustments made helps readers to understand the text at a deeper level. Their basic and deeper comprehension soars when their minds are constantly making meaning through questioning.

Strategy Four: Inferring

Good readers read between the lines. The answers are not always black and white, and good readers are able to infer meaning based on background knowledge and text clues. When a reader is inferring they are thinking, predicting, adjusting, and confirming. This leads to deeper understanding of the text.

Strategy Five: Determining Importance

Good readers understand the main ideas of a text and can determine what is important. Readers are answering questions, determining key points, and stretching their thinking as they connect the important ideas with their own knowledge.

Strategy Six: Synthesizing

Good readers are able to synthesize their reading and produce their own ideas or products from their knowledge. Synthesizing is a higher order thinking skill that requires you to reach beyond basic knowledge and create new thinking.

Strategy Seven: Fix-Up Strategies

Good readers know how to tackle difficult text. If they run across a word they don’t know they chunk the word and use context clues to determine the meaning. If the just finished a paragraph and don’t have a clue as to what they just read, they reread the paragraph and focus on thinking about its’ meaning. They identify what they don’t understand and read back or ahead to try and clarify meaning. They look at pictures or other text features (like graphs or sidebars) to help them understand the concepts or ideas. Fix-up strategies can be directly taught to help students break down a piece of text and find its’ meaning.

These strategies are often taught separately, but they must be integrated and automated in the reader’s mind. Once students are aware of these strategies and learn to apply them during their own reading process they begin to become an automatic part of their thinking. The strategies help readers to understand text and gain meaning by applying their own background knowledge or schema, as well as understanding the author’s message.

Source by Lisa Frase

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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Uno is a fun game to play but sometimes you just don’t have the Uno deck to play with. What can you do instead? How about playing crazy eights?

Crazy eights is nearly identical to The Uno card game. The only difference is that this game uses a standard 52 card deck, which is easier to find. Here is how you play it.

Each player gets 5 cards and the deck is put in the middle with the first card flipped over. That suit is the color you must play on your turn, but you can also play a card of the same rank.

So if the first card is a 6 of diamonds you can play a 6 of hearts on top of it. Then hearts become the new suit, and so on.

The eights take the place of wild cards because you can place them on anything and just call out a suit. That suit is the suit that everyone must play with now.

All the other rules are the same as Uno, when you can’t place a card down you draw until you can; you want to get rid of your cards, and so on.

The only bad thing is the fact that this game doesn’t have all of the cards like draw two and skip. That kind of is a little bit of a bummer. But you can use your creatively and change that.

For instance you might want to say, all 2s are draw two cards, all 5s are skips and so on. That could make the game more entertaining. Also if you wanted to be really creative you could always make up your own rules such as 4s mean you skip two players, and things like that.

Basically the moral of the story is, if you want to play Uno and don’t have a deck you shouldn’t let it stop you. You could play almost the same game with just a regular pack of cards.

Source by John Rosenberg

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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Concerned About Fraud In Crude Oil Selling? Why, for Buyers, getting the 2 Percent Performance Bond by the seller is the Simplest & Surest Proof of a Genuine Seller

Credible research has shown that, while virtually every supposed crude oil seller who goes to a potential crude buyer to solicit business, would almost ALWAYS profusely forswear heaven and earth that he, or the crude oil he professes to be selling, is “absolutely trustworthy, reliable, genuine, authentic, and honest,” virtually every OBJECTIVE, CREDIBLE EVIDENCE available, on the other hand, gives a completely opposite and contrary REALITY – namely, that the overwhelming majority of these supposed sellers and their offers (in deed, up to the level of 99.999999%, according to one report) are totally fake, bogus, fraudulent or not legitimate.


The primary instrumentality by which these fraudulent con artists and crude “sellers” operate or perpetrate their con game, is the use of skillfully forged or false documents. Such fraudulent and fake “sellers” – or, at least, the ultimate masterminds who originate and stand behind the scheme – are notorious for being master forgers and excellent copiers of every conceivable legitimate refinery and government agency documents related to crude sales or purchases. In deed, according to experts, so masterful at this game are these fraudsters, that the documents they provide to prospective buyers are often so strikingly convincing and real-looking that they are frequently plain difficult, if not impossible, for almost all but the most skilled of document authentication experts to immediately distinguish from the real and authentic ones.

As one report by the Fraud Watch International summed it up, “Victims [of such fraud] are often convinced of the authenticity of Advance Fee Fraud schemes by the forged or false documents bearing apparently official Nigerian government letterhead, seals, as well as false letters of credit, payment schedules and bank drafts.”

The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, in a report titled “Nigeria Advanced Fee Fraud,” describes the documents employed by the Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud (AFF) or 419 perpetrators, as “official-looking stationery with appropriate government seals, stamps, and signatures,” whose quality, it says, has “evolved over the years, from poorly handwritten letters to more professional products prepared on word processors. Word processors also allow AFF criminals to generate more letters.” It adds that the “AFF criminals include university-educated professionals who are the best in the world for nonviolent spectacular crimes.”


The point is that, largely in consequence of the above reality, for serious international buyers of Nigerian crude oil, the single most critical and most difficult and risky problem they confront in the open market, is now often the verification and confirmation of the seller’s claims about having an authentic crude allocation and/or its current availability, and the confirmation of the proofs and documents submitted by them in support of those claims. For most buyers, undertaking that task is often dreaded and viewed as something fraught with massive risks and uncertainties that should only be threaded with the utmost caution, and the greatest care and deliberation.


Because verification and confirmation of such documents from sellers are generally so difficult and dicey, most such international crude oil buyers seek, therefore, to buy ONLY from sellers who can provide them what they consider the safest, most tangible, and most easily reliable kind of proof and evidence of credibility by a seller. And what is this “preferred” proof and evidence that most buyers would rather have? It is simply this – the provision by a seller of a 2% Performance Bond (PB) to the buyer.


In a word, the usual proofs and evidence of crude allocation and availability offered by sellers to prospective buyers, is often the provision to the Buyer of the cargo’s PROOF OF PRODUCT or POP. In a C.I.F. or F.O.B deal, for example, the typical manner by which a supposed crude oil seller shows “proof” or evidence to a potential buyer that the Seller has a genuine crude allocation or crude available to sell, is for the seller to provide the buyer the PROOF OF PRODUCT, and the buyer is asked to “verify and confirm” the authenticity of this on his own, and, upon that, for the buyers to issue their Bank Guarantee or Letter of Credit (or other payment instrument) to cover the purchase cost of the product at delivery.

But the problem with this traditional method, is that for most international crude buyers, the average Nigerian seller’s POP (an array of documents that could include the current loaded vessel documents, current Authority to Board (ATB) that was specifically issued to the initial buyer (consignee) of the crude in whose name the vessel was issued, Certificate of quality, Certificate of origin, Cargo manifest, Vessel ullage report, Certificate of quantity, Bill of lading, the Bulk Allocation Details, the Seller’s Authority to Sell (ATS) from the NNPC, etc), is NOT reliable or readily verifiable for genuineness. For example, the POP, which is, in a word, the seller’s main document that’s meant to prove to the buyer that the seller actually has the product being sold, might be showing that an owner of the oil allocation or commodity has possession of the product as of the specific time of the transaction, say, at a certain hour of the day today. But yet, there is no guarantee that the product might not have been sold to another buyer just hours, or even minutes, right after that transaction, and that the commodity is actually still available for sale or delivery to the buyer.

“Most buyers do not accept Nigerian sellers’ proof of product (POP),” says Sam Nelson, an expert in crude buying and selling methods and the author of a primer on the subject. “As a result of this, they (the Buyers) want a tangible (Physical) proof of product. The buyer would request that the seller inspect the cargo and present a verifiable inspection report from accredited agencies like SGS, Q & Q or Robinson International before they (the Buyers) will charter a vessel for the transaction. This is because some so-called Nigerian sellers have false claim over products that never existed and they would forge documents to present as POP. Nigerian market has to be followed very carefully and all documentations thoroughly verified.”

Nelson adds: “Please do not give any inspection money to the seller. Always pay the money directly to the inspection company after they have collected samples of the crude oil from the mother vessel for chemical analysis to confirm the quality and quantity of the crude in the vessel. Also, insist that the ATB (Authority To Board) from the vessel for inspection originated from the captain of that vessel. Do not accept any documents as authentic if you did not verify it from the captain of the feeder vessel. Any documentation from a Nigeria seller must be verified for authenticity.”


In deed, nowadays, the same problem of general inability to definitively authenticate genuine crude allocation or availability, now pervades even situations where “tangible, physical” POP inspection has supposedly been made. And some buyers find that even this cautionary advice by Nelson, that the buyers should “insist that the ATB (Authority To Board) from the vessel for inspection originated from the captain of that vessel,” would often not quite work any more in many situations today.

In a TTO deal, for example, the fact of the buyers’ representatives boarding the vessel to make an “inspection” or “confirmation” of the “loaded” vessel, is often no more a guarantee that the transaction is necessarily genuine or legitimate. Nigerian con men and 419ers who operate in the crude oil industry, have been known to work with fraudulent vessel managers and captains or con men disguised as staff of the Shell/JV terminal operators. And Vessels confirmed as “pregnant” (i.e., loaded) even by the buyer’s representatives and his appointed SGS inspectors invited to come aboard the ship on a presumed ship “captain’s” ATB document, have been known to be actually arranged by fake ship operators and ship managers and “captains”; and in such cases the buyer will only be taking over a ship and cargo with FAKE Charter Party Agreement executed between the buyer and fake ship manager, with no AUTHENTIC ship owner’s approval and no authentic shipping documents. And once the buyer’s representatives aboard the vessel confirms that the vessel is “pregnant,” the buyer pays for the cargo, takes over the vessel, and the con men quickly split the money and vanish. The buyer losses everything since the legitimate vessel owner never authorized the captain to issue the CPA, and the essential cargo shipping documents used in the transaction are all merely fake.

Nigeria’s bureaucratic quagmire

And there’s yet another problem involved in trying to authenticate Nigerian crude oil documents. The problem of the bureaucratic quagmire associated with doing business in Nigeria. One expert vastly experienced in doing crude oil buying business in Nigeria, put it this way to this writer: “NNPC Crude Oil Marketing Department, Abuja, is the authoritative source to verify the Authority to Sell document. But you will spend an endless amount of time trying to verify it. As with most Nigerian establishments, people use personal connections to get such documents, but that does not mean that they can deliver.”


In short, the point is that virtually all traditional manners of verification and confirmation of crude oil ownership and availability have become seriously infected and adulterated by con artists and fake operators to the point that many international crude oil buyers regard those methods as largely unreliable, too difficult to verify, and fraught with intolerable risks. And consequently, there has evolved among them what could today be called a “preferred” method for determining an authentic and credible seller of crude oil in today’s market. Such a seller is simply one who can meet one basic requirement – namely, is willing and able to provide the buyer a 2% Performance Bond upfront in a transaction.

What is a Performance Bond or PB?

This is, in a word, an insurance document issued for the seller by seller’s bank or insurance company guaranteeing that the issuer will pay a stipulated amount (a sum amounting, in this case, to 2% of the total value of the cargo being purchased) to the buyer in the event that the seller breaches (fails to perform) the terms and specifics of the contract signed by the seller with the buyer. (The Performance Bond could also be posted in the form of a Cash Bond). The bank or insurance company which issues the PB acts as the responsible “surety” of the bond

If a seller contracts with a buyer to put up a 2% PB – and is able to actually post that bond with his bank or insurance company – the seller is, in a word, guaranteeing the buyer that if he were to fail to perform his obligations under that contract, his bank or insurance company, in their roles as the “surety” of the bond, will pay the buyer a sum amounting to 2% of the value of the crude being purchased, regardless.


Buyers love finding sellers who can provide them UPFRONT 2% Performance Bond, overwhelmingly viewing that as the “preferred” option as they consider that the safest, most reliable, most tangible, and most assured and least fraud-prone kind of proof and evidence of credibility by a seller. Most experts contend that if a seller can offer a 2% PB deal – and, what is even more important, is actually able to post the PB because he has the financial wherewithal to do so – it is almost assured that the seller will not fail the buyer in the actual execution of the deal, but will almost surely perform those obligations as contracted with the buyer.

Sam Nelson, expert in crude buying and selling methods and the author of a primer on the subject, put it this way: “A contract with any of these bonds in place will be successfully completed. A bonded contract has a higher degree of success than a non-bonded contract. A bonded contract is a bankable contract. The players have their money at stake and that is a good reason for them to perform.”

And the Legal Dictionary explains it this way: “The purpose of a bond is to provide an incentive for the fulfillment of an obligation. It also provides reassurance that the obligation will be fulfilled and that compensation is available if it is not fulfilled. Performance Bonds guarantee for the satisfactory completion of a project.”

There are a few specific bases why buyers and experts feel that way:

1. Being able to post a PB is a sign of financial credibility and ability.

To be able to finance an actual posting of a 2% PB (which will mean, for example, at the current crude prices, 2% of, say, $200 million for a 2 million barrels cargo, something amounting to $4 million), a seller would have to have some substantial financial ability and resources.

2. Financial Cost and Penalty Involved In Posting a PB, is a Powerful Disincentive Not to Perform.

Sam Nelson: “The players have their money at stake and that is a good reason for them to perform.” In deed, most buyers, upon getting the 2% PB issuance from a seller, would promptly accept that as equivalent to POP and forgo having to review the POP.

3. The Normal Con Man or 419er Will Not Have the Disposition, the Reputation & Financial Wherewithal to Post a PB.

Robert Strickland of Strickland Associates, an experienced New York dealer in crude oil deals, says as follows: “If you are concerned with FRAUD! ONLY true Sellers that offer a 2%+ Performance Bond are genuine Sellers of Nigeria [crude oil].”

Sam Nelson, the crude oil deals expert and author: “These bonds are necessary to protect the interest of the parties involved for unnecessary losses due to fraud or complete negligence.”

4. Being able to post a PB is a solid indication to a buyer that the Seller has already been vetted.

Obtaining a PB is generally not an easy or automatic thing. Before a bank or insurance company would give a seller a bond, the seller shall have gone through a rigorous application process, and must have met a set of stringent financial and character requirements and conditions. Hence, when a buyer gets a seller who can, and does actually, post a 2% PB, the buyer is almost assured that he’s got a credible seller, and one most unlikely to be a fraudster or a 419er.

For just an example, one Syracuse, New York, insurance company requires applicants for a Public Construction job PB to provide them the following items, among others:

Surety Questionnaire Filled Out Completely

Copy of Contract/Award Letter or Solicitation Letter

Business Financial Statements (2 years audited fiscal year financials) OR

Last 3 years Company Income Tax Returns

Personal Financial Statements and Resumes on all owners of 10% or more

Work in Progress Schedule (if applicable)

Insurance Confirmation

A. Workman’s Compensation

B. Liability Certificate

C. Key Man Policy

Supplier and Contractor Reference Letters

Schedule of Completed Jobs

Bank Reference Letter

Company and Personal Indemnification (GAI we supply)

Articles of Incorporation

Corporate Resolution

Job Cost Breakdown and/or bid specs


To most buyers of crude oil in the international open market, getting an UPFRONT 2% Performance Bond issuance from a seller, is the overwhelmingly “preferred” method for doing a sales/purchase deal. It is the option they consider to be the safest, most reliable, most tangible, and most assured and least fraud-prone kind of proof and evidence of credibility by a seller.

For various reasons and factors, many of which are outlined above, most buyers and experts believe that if a seller can offer a 2% PB deal – and, what is even more important, is actually able to post the PB because he has the financial wherewithal to do so – it is almost assured that the seller will not fail the buyer in the actual execution of the deal, but will almost surely perform his own obligations as contracted with the buyer. Hence, in a deal of that kind the buyer has little or nothing to worry about concerning a potential risk of fraud or scam. In consequence, buyers love finding sellers who can provide them – who can actually post – a 2% PB, and consider that to be the best evidence and assurance of having a credible seller, and one most unlikely to not perform the contract, or to be a fraudster or a 419er

NOTE: As with many things concerning many a Nigerian crude seller, it’s one thing for a seller to claim to a buyer that he’ll post the PB, but quite another thing altogether for the seller to be able to actually do it, or to actually do it!),.



INSTRUCTION: You can do so. You can readily obtain the specific basic requirements you’d need to meet in order for you to become automatically considered “proven” as a truly LEGITIMATE seller who really genuinely has some crude to sell. USE THE AUTHOR’S FIVE BASIC OPTIONS PROGRAM.

Just send an email and simply ask for “the FIVE OPTIONS.” CONTACT THE AUTHOR ON THIS ONLY BY EMAIL, PLEASE, at: [email protected] OR [email protected]

MORE ON THIS AND RELATED TOPICS ON THE AUTHOR’S BLOG AT: http://www.affordablebankruptcy.blogspot.com/

Source by Benjamin Anosike, PhD

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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Good problem solving and the ability to make rationale and effective decision are at the heart and soul of good career management. It is your latent ability to solve problems and make unbias decisions and to choose between one thing and another, rather than letting yourself to follow blind instinct that is the defining feature of how you feel of your human nature.

Whether you work in or with an organization, the quality of your work depends on your effective ability to solve problems and make decisions. Here, I would like to share with you some strategies that you can use to hone your skill of becoming an excellent problem solver. Note that problem solving is not about how intelligent you are or the body of knowledge that you have. Problem solving is about your ability to think straight and keeping the relevant data and facts in the right perspective and having done that to get the process right.

To be an effective problem solver the first thing that you should try to achieve is to sharpen your knack of identifying and classifying the type of problem that you are facing.

Problems can be classified into four types. They are: “Question-based problems”, “Situation-based problems”, “Convincing-based problems” and “Solving-based problems”. Each of these types of problem requires a unique approach to tackle and overcome. Let’s review each of them.

Question-based problems

These type of problems involve a question that needs an answer. Sometimes it is difficult to derive the answer as you may not have access to all the relevant data and facts to make an informed decision. An example: Should the government help people who are retrenched?

Obviously this question begs further data such as how many people have been retrenched? Is it a problem that the government should handle? Why and how should they help them?

Question-based problems usually involve a long term plan of action and one which requires you to dig for more information and data to help you solve it. It also gives you an opportunity to delve deeper into the status quo that you are in and to see how you could improve your current state to the ideal state that you desire.

If you are faced with this type of problem you need to work towards getting as much facts and data as possible that will allow you to at least try to minimize the problem and make an informed decision.

Situation-based problems

These types of problems as the word suggest is based on a situation that is currently causing you a dilemma. For instance, your boss has asked you to work through the weekend to finish up a project for the company that is worth a million dollars. However, you’ve promised to take your family out for dinner to celebrate your spouse’s birthday. You now have a ‘situation’ here. Such problems can sometimes cause you to avoid the problem or to try to ignore it. The question that you need to ask is how are you going to deal with the dilemma?

This is when you need to keep thinking of how if at all you could satisfy these two contrasting situations. Or to make a decision as to what is more important to you. Having done this you need to convey your presence of mind to both parties. Situation based problems might expect you to make choice. In doing so, you need to weigh the consequences of your decision and as the saying goes to try to choose “the lesser of the two evil”.

Convincing based problems

These types of problem puts you in a situation where by you might have information that others don’t and a need to convince the others that they should see things your way. For instance, how do you convince your colleagues that they should not be coming late for their appointments and meetings always.

There may be a certain amount of sensitivity in such problems as the status quo that you are in is not an ideal state and might give rise to other problems if you do not handle it well enough. Convincing based problems requires you to be empathetic to the others’ feeling and to exercise a certain degree of emotional connectivity with others in order that the can be convinced.

Solving based problems

The last in the category is the solving based problems which basically means that you have a problem that needs solving. Example: The photocopier machine has broken down. You have a lot of photocopying to do. There is only one solution here and that is to solve the problem. The solution option you choose can be either short term, mid term or long term in effect. For the short term perspective, because you’ve got lots of photocopying to do, you might decide to outsource this. As a mid term remedy you may have to get the photocopier repaired. However this might not guarantee that it won’t break down again in which case you might have to think of a long term solution of replacing the whole machine.

Solving based problems usually will involve you being in a current non-desirous state of being and the need to move to an ideal state of being where the problem is resolved or if that is not possible at least in a state where the problem can be minimized.

Moving ahead

Becoming a good problem solver will also put you in a good stead to be a rational decision maker. It all depends upon your calmness and having a cool headed approach to the problems that you face. So the next time you are faced with a problem make it a point to classify the problem in one of the above categories and then see what you can do about it.

Source by Daniel Theyagu

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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Starting or Building a Hotel or a Resort is different from other Real Estate Development, due to the amount of capital investment involved, time required to complete the project and the number of specialties and processes involved.

Hotel Development involves careful planning and coordination of various aspects, ranging from the Selection of Land (which can either be purchased or leased) to the final Grand Opening of the Hotel.

Conducting Market Feasibility study and projecting the financial viability of the project is very important to ensure if the project can really generate expected return on investment (ROI).

Formulation a well prepared Business Plan plays a vital role in giving the right direction to the business and also in convincing potential investors, to raise finance from different sources, for Hotel Development, Construction and Operations.

Another important aspect is to contemplate, if the hotel can be run and managed on its own, under its own banner, or is it beneficial to have a Franchise or a Hotel Management Agreement/Contract with a reputed Hotel Operator and the benefits/drawbacks associated with it.

This is followed by getting the whole Project Team on board and formulating and developing a concept, which uniquely identifies the property in the target market and to finally get the preliminary sketches and drawings done for the project.

Hotel Development and Construction process involves various Approvals, Permits and Licences at various stages of the project: before, during and after Hotel Development and Construction.

Next step is designing the various Front and back house areas of the proposed Hotel, including Hotel Exterior, Hotel Entrance, Lobby, Guest Floors and Guest Rooms, Food and Beverage Outlets, Kitchen, Laundry, Technical Areas, Swimming Pool, Spa and other Front and Back of House Areas.

That’s only half way through, which is followed by Hotel Project Cost Estimate, to stay with in Budgets, which subsequently leads to Hotel Construction Scheduling and Planning, to the actual Hotel Project Management.

The whole construction process ends with the handing over of the Project to the Operations Team from the Projects Team, after the clearance of Punch /Snag List.

Selection, Procurement and Installation of various Furniture’s, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) for various departments of the hotel is very important too.

Another important aspect is to apply for and get the relevant Star Classification for the Hotel.

Then, its time for the Hotel Pre Opening process of actually getting the Hotel Management and the Operations Team on board.

Hotel Pre opening process involves conducting Staff Training, starting the Marketing and Promotional activity of the Hotel, Formulating Systems and Procedures, Conducting Trial runs and to get all the Operational Supplies and Equipment (OS&E) ready, for smooth operations.

Then, finally, there you go: Hotel Soft Opening before the actual Grand Opening. Soft opening is always recommended before the actual Grand opening, to correct any deficiencies in the systems and processes, before the hotel finally opens, fully.

Well, that’s only when the real challenge starts for the Hotel Owners and the Management, to rightly position the hotel in the target market, create product awareness, setting and maintaining standards, and finally the all important aspect of realizing the expected return on investment through good Gross Operating Profit (GOP), by the right mix of good occupancy and high average daily rate (ADR) and at the same time optimizing the revenue from Food and Beverage Outlets, Conference, Weddings and Banquets.

This is just a gist of the whole process. Detailed information on Hotel Development, Construction and Project Management can be found at:

Source by Santosh Koripella

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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Over the last few decades, the advancement in technology has surged at a rapid rate and spread across the globe. The accessibility and affordability of technology has pointed out several benefits, including improved quality of life, better scientific research and a higher average life expectancy in several countries. Since many parts of daily life are mechanized, people can focus on their interests and careers. Currently, in many technologically progressive societies, the population is not only living longer, but is also offering fewer children. Since many people are living up to old age and not many children are born to cover up the difference, there are lesser and lesser resources to take care of older groups.

The concept of the Robotic Nurse Assistant System was introduced to take care of elderly people and is running successful in countries like Japan where 30% of the population is over the age of 65. Currently, these systems are actively used in medical facilities & centers to lift patients safely without the involvement of humans.

Development of Robotic Nurse Assistants

• In 2009, healthcare research company Hstar Technologies started a research project designed to report the numerous clinical and technological challenges faced by different healthcare practitioners. It focused on developing a human-safe and heavy-lifting robotic system which can function in any clinical environment.

• The efforts of the research and development team resulted in the creation of the RoNA Robotic Patient Lifting System-a self-directed robotic nursing assistant designed to help healthcare providers operate and lift patients weighing close to 500 pounds.

Advantages of RoNA

In strong competition with ceiling-mounted lift systems, patient lift teams and mobile sling systems; RoNA provides some distinctive advantages such as:

• RoNA is an omnidirectional and mobile system with mecanum wheels to move in any direction. It can work in confined spaces, and explore areas where several portable lifting systems cannot travel. It is far better than mobility and maneuverability ceiling systems which are fixed.

• Telepresence support RoNA can function alongside a trained nurse, or can be supervised by a tenuously located nurse while operating with a less expertized attendant.

• Patient Safety RoNA is a smart, learning system, which is capable to sense center of gravity during the lifting process as well as automatically adjust its position. (This is primarily possible due to a unique stability system). It results is making the patient feel more protected during the lift as compared to a physical transfer involving human hands.

• RoNA works to reduce employee injury and premature retirements in facilities which have not yet organized lifting devices. This system will deliver the full benefit of a secure lifting program, decreasing workman’s compensation along with injury-related costs by almost 40%. In centers where safe patient handling programs are implemented, RoNA will enhance compliance, further decreasing injury-related costs.

Robotics Nurse Assistant System Market

• According to the healthcare industry report, the market for robotic nurse assistant system is quite flourishing in Japan. These robotic nurses are also utilized in the United States where they were thoughtful developed.

• It is predicted that in the near future nurse assistant robots may be fully prepared to help take care of the elderly population. In Japan more than a third of the population would be senior citizens by the year 2025, 12% higher from the statistics of 1990. According to reports, Japan required two million professionals in 2010 to offer care for the elderly, but lacked by a count of 700,000. If analytical trends continue, the deficiency will double by 2025 to reach 1.4 million.

• Presently, Japan is developing robot nurse assistants to help with mechanical tasks, empowering nurses to give their patients extra quality time. Currently, the only robot fulfilling safety standards in Japan is known to be the Cyberdyne (8C4 Frankfurt) Exoskeleton. Each of these robots cost $1,780, which is quite less as compared to the annual average salary of $25,000 for a nurse in Japan. This cost-benefit analysis is quite convincing.

• If robot helpers, like the Cyberdyne Exoskeleton, are compared to half of a nurse, then around 2.8 million robots will be needed to complete the shortage, developing a $5 billion market involving personal health care robots at current prices in Japan alone. It was revealed that, the sale of medical robots on a global scale valued $1.5 billion in 2013. Although not used for surgery, these personal care robots in the hospital environment would significantly surge the market for nursing robots. By satisfying nurse scarcities with nurse assistant robots, human nurses can grow more productive, adding fineness to the patient experience while dropping costs at the same time; making it a win-win situation for the healthcare system.

Source by Arun Gangwar

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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You fell head over heels with the perfect girl, there’s just one catch: she’s a bit older than you. Would you like to know the ways to attract older girls and hopefully get the girl of your dreams?

Attracting a girl who’s older than you is not much different than attracting any other girl. Here are some tips to help you.

1. Gather up your courage and don’t be afraid to ask her out. Hey, we’re living in modern times and age is not much of an issue anymore. Besides, she’ll be impressed if you had the courage to ask her on a date. It shows you’re mature and not intimidated by her.

2. Be conscious about your hygiene and appearance. You don’t have to go all out, but at least comb your hair and wear some cologne. You wouldn’t impress her if you approach her looking all scruffy and look and smell like you haven’t showered in days.

3. She may have a problem dating a younger guy, but this shouldn’t stop you from dating her. Prove to her you can be confident and mature. Avoid playing video games or joking about silly stuff, anything that you think will turn her off.

4. If she’s only a year or two older than you, then you’re pretty much into the same things. If you’re age gap is nearly a decade then you may have different interests and you’ll have to work extra hard to prove yourself. Just try to avoid doing immature things and impress her with your good manners and behavior.

5. During conversations, some older women would be more impressed with serious topics. You can talk about the concert you saw last week, but also tell something about work and ambitions. You can also talk about books, music and movies, as long as they’re always the type guys your age like.

6. Don’t dominate conversations and let her take the lead sometimes. You can’t talk about yourself the whole time and not expect her to get bored. This applies to all girls, so let them have their turn to talk.

7. Any girl wants to receive compliments, so tell her how beautiful she looks or how smart she is. Be honest though, she’s going to notice if you’re only kissing up to her. Also, never refer to her as an “older” woman.

8. Try to relax when you talk to her. She won’t bite, and being intimidated and nervous won’t make such a great impression. She’ll be more attracted to you if you’re confident.

9. One of the best ways to attract girls older than you – or any girl for that matter – is to be yourself. Don’t try to act smarter and be a know-it-all (unless you really are smarter). Trying too hard to make an impression will only cause you to look silly and she may not take you seriously then.

Source by Crystal K. Jones

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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It is troubling that the proper methods of scientific argument are not being brought to bear on the issue of global warming. This issue is meant to be based on good science practice, scientific evidence and the evaluation of that evidence. Briefly to run over the background science, the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere creates a greenhouse effect which contributes to keeping the atmosphere warm. This is accepted by all scientists. The global warming scenario then arises because we have injected a good deal of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through our activities – such as burning coal. This extra carbon dioxide may cause the atmosphere to warm to unnaturally high temperatures with potentially devastating consequences. Scientists have spent many years trying to discover if this scenario is correct. Environmentalists say yes, skeptics say no. Among the scientists, the great major say yes but a small and vociferous minority are crying no! What are we to make of this?

The way scientists work is as follows. We scientists, and I am one of them, have some hypothesis, some idea which we want to test. We make observations and do experiments, often backed up by calculations. What we look for is some test that can in principle prove that we are wrong; That is, we look for tests that could in principle show that our hypothesis is incorrect. It is essential that such tests exist. If you can come up with no test which you can perform which may in principle show that your idea is wrong, scientists will rightly turn their backs on you. This may at first seem a bit odd, but it is the way we work. What you do is to show that neither you nor anyone else else can show that you are wrong; Ergo, you are probably right! Remember that an observation that fits with your hypothesis is not in itself proof that your hypothesis is correct, since who is to say that some other hypothesis might not even fit the observations just as well?

Let's give an example where two competitive ideas came into collision. A classic case of this is the Copernican system vs the age-old Ptolemaic system of the sun and planets. The Copernican system with the Sun at the center was not accepted on both scientific as well as religious grounds at the time when it was promulgated, because the Ptolemaic system worked just as well – in fact better in some ways. There was no clear way to prove either system wrong, at the time.

Another and recent example is the ozone depletion problem of the 1980s and 1990s. The hypothesis is (was) that the release into the atmosphere of the chemicals used in bridges, and for hairspray and so on, could cause ozone to be depleted in the upper atmosphere. The test to show that this could be wrong is as follows. If we observe the ozone concentration in the upper atmosphere over a period of time and find that it is not reduced, then this falsifies the hypothesis that human actions are causing ozone depletion – since there is nothing to explain. Note that the opposite observation of finding depletion of ozone does not prove that human actions are causing ozone depletion. Something is doing it, but not unnecessarily human action.

A positive observation of depletion therefore leaves the question open of whether depletion is natural or due to human activity. All we can do for certain is to falsify the hypothesis that human activity is causing ozone depletion. What actually happened with ozone was the discovery of a massive ozone hole over the Antarctic, representing a dramatic depletion of ozone. Coupled with sound observational evidence of all sorts, for which a Noble Prize was given, this ozone hole lead to swift and decent international action in the form of the Montreal Protocol. Thus while we can initially only falsify a hypothesis, the great weight of evidence can be extremely convincing of the truth of a hypothesis. The risk that we were the cause of the ozone hole was very great indeed.

The same scientific method is not being applied in the case of the global warming debate. Indeed this method can not, in my opinion, be applied. However, the dispute is presented as essentially a scientific debate, with the many political and economic ramifications which follow put forward as resting upon the results of an objective scientific debate. I would contend that it is not an objective scientific debate, simply because the rules of science are not being followed. I suggest instead that it is a debate about perceived risk. What is the risk of the climate skeptics being wrong? What is the risk of the environmentalists (if I may call them that) being wrong? Rather than go on in this dry manner, I should like to present the reasons for my view by reciting a fictional conversation between two physicists, Horace and Twinkle.

Before we start, I would like to remind you that there are two types of climate skeptics: the absolute skeptics who deny that there is any global warming at all and the relative climate skeptics who agree that there is evidence for global warming but that it is Not caused by our introduction of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, that is, it is not our fault. Rather, the observed warmth is just some part of a natural warming cycle. Horace below lies somewhere in between, mostly relative but with a touch of the absolute.

Enter Horace and Twinkle; They sit down together with their coffee in the cafeteria on the seventh floor of a famous Physics Department, which will remain unnamed. The cafeteria overlooks the harbor and you can see way over to the hills on a clear day like the present one. But it's not the view that interests them. It's an old theme that they focus on. Horace is a climate skeptical. Twinkle, his friend, believes that humans cause global warming and that 'something must be done about it'.

'So the Copenhagen Climate Meeting has started,' Twinkle remarks, to get the ball rolling.

'Yeah,' Horace replies. 'Let's see if some decent arguments come up this time instead of just the repetition of the catechism of the faithful environmentalists!'

'Now, now,' mutters Twinkle, sipping his coffee.

'Well, you know what I mean,' says Horace. 'You can see what those e-mails from the University of East Anglia are saying. It's a bit of a put-up job. '

'I have not read them. I suppose I should, 'replies Twinkle. 'But it's the normal story. The skeptics say the e-mails change everything and the main-line people say they change nothing. You heard the Saudi representative at the Copenhagen Meeting. Talk about self-interest. '

'Yes, but he may be right! The climate has been changing over time, fluctuating a lot. How can we possibly know that it's due to human activity? '

'Look, we do know something. First of all the people people tell us that the temperature is rising so very fast that it's got to be unnatural. And all the models show that if you put more CO2 in the atmosphere, this will cause the temperature to rise. We have put more CO2 in the atmosphere. The temperature is rising. It speaks for itself! '

'Yes, you're right in principle. I accept that, more or less. I am not so sure about the temperature rise. But that's not the point. '

'What's the point, then?' Twinkle objects in as Horace pauses for a swig of coffee.

Horace holds up his hand.

'You know as well as I do that the models are …..' he starts.

'May I join you?' Socrates, the new professor from Greece, puts his tray down on the table beside them.

'Yes, yes, of course,' says Twinkle. 'We were just talking about the climate meeting in Copenhagen.'

'Yeah, I was just saying that these climate models are really poor,' starts Horace again. Socrates nods and Horace continues. 'The biosphere is not coupled in and the worst part is, from a physics point of view, the treatment of clouds is just completely unrealistic. We simply can not predict the amount of temperature rise associated with adding a certain amount of CO2 to the atmosphere. '

'The models are really so bad?' Socrates requests.

'Clouds are the key,' says Horace.

'So you would not trust any of the predictions of the models?' Requests Socrates.

'Except the general result that putting CO2 into the atmosphere causes warming – Horace agreements with that,' puts in Twinkle.

'Yes, but how much warmth?' Says Horace. 'I do not trust the numbers that people come out with. There could be quite insignificant effects. Perhaps it is not important what humans have done. Maybe natural changes are much more important. The models can not prove anything! '

'Oh! God! ' Says Twinkle. It is not clear whether this is an expression of general dismay or particular dismay with his friend and colleague Horace. The three sit silently for a few moments, drinking their coffee. The silence is broken by Socrates.

'Could I ask you something, Horace?'

'Of course!'

'If I were to ask you, what single piece of evidence would make you change your mind and say that you were wrong'

'You mean observational evidence?'

'If you like,' replies Socrates.

'Well,' says Horace. And then there is a silence as he mulls the question over. 'That's an interesting question.'

'He'd like to see a ten degree rise in temperature and then he would know that he's wrong,' puts in Twinkle mischievously.

'I did not say that!' Says Horace, grinning at his friend.

'Well, we're waiting. What would convince you that you are wrong? ' Requests Twinkle.

'Maybe I may ask you the same question, Twinkle?' Says Socrates. 'What would convince you that the skeptics were right all the time?'

'A drop of ten degrees in temperature!' Says Horace laughing.

There is silence again. But this time it is a different sort of silence. Horace and Twinkle are thinking.

'Well obviously,' says Twinkle after some time, 'if we went on at the present rate of putting CO2 in the atmosphere, and the temperature did not rise, well then ….. say in the next fifty years .. .. '

'What about you, Horace?' Requests Socrates as Twinkle dwindles to a halt.

'I'm not sure that there is one thing that would prove to me that humans are causing significant global warming,' replies Horace. 'Perhaps a set of factors,' he adds.

Horace and Twinkle look at each other and frown. They both know perfectly well that a theory is not a theory without it is in principle disprovable by some experiment or observation – or at least by a decent 'thought experiment'. Socrates crystallizes their unease.

'I wonder if one could say, then, that global warming is not so much a theory as a feeling?' And he gives a little embarrassed laughter.

'Well, there are things that might prove it, one way or the other. My point is that it's far from proven, 'says Horace.

'Yeah. But we were asked what would disprove our view! ' Retinks Twinkle. 'And what's more, any experiments which you're contemplating are not experiences which we are willing to risk doing, are they? Like doing nothing and waiting fifty years! That's the problem! '

Horace pulls a wry face but does not actively disagree.

'Could it not then be put down to a question of perceived risk?' Requests Socrates. He pauses a moment. 'Since global warming looks undisprovable,' he adds.

'You mean, what's the bigger risk? – that I'm right and he's wrong, and vice versa? ' Requests Twinkle

'Hey, wait a moment, I ….' says Horace, seeing a problem looming.

'Well, you have to admit since neither one of us has an acceptable proof, or rather disproof, then it does come down to risk, does not it?' Interrupts Twinkle.

'You mean that there's worse consequences if the skeptics are wrong?' Requests Socrates, turning to Twinkle.

'I should say so,' says Twinkle, 'would not you?'

'Look, this is daft.' Horace sounds a bit riled. 'On this basis, anyone could predict the end of the world, and because we can not disprove it, we have to act, turn the place upside down. That's not science, it's anarchy! '

'Yes, that's a good philosophical point,' says Twinkle. 'I'm absolutely with you that if I come with a crazy theory, it's up to me to try and prove it, not for you to disprove it. But there's two points here. First, we agree that global warming can not be proved or explained in a way that would satisfy us. Second, it's not a crazy theory …. not really a theory at all, after what Socrates has asked us. But it has a sound qualitative basis, though not quantitative, I agree. I think Socrates has asked the right question. What observation would convince you that you are wrong? I do not have an answer. You do not either. So it's risk that we're talking about, not decent rigorous science. The risk of you being wrong is worse, Horace, than the risk of my being wrong. '

Horace grunts but holds his peace.

What's the conclusion? I suspect that the great majority of people would follow Twinkle. The adverse effects of the environmentalists being wrong are fundamental of course, since we would be using so many resources, human and natural, in a very inefficient manner by combating a non-persistent problem. Perhaps the rate of growth of the world economy would be slower than it would otherwise be. However if Horace is wrong, and we do nothing or very little on his advice, no amount of bank survival packages, announcements by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve or wisdom from whatever source, will save us from a range of opponents, the least of Which may be a great calamity. Most people, and almost all nations at the Copenhagen meeting, advocate the 'principle of precaution'. They fall on the side of Twinkle. Precautionary measures must be taken.

The piece above provides a rather different way of looking at the global warming debate. It is somewhat liberating because, in the way that the debate is generally presented, it is quite impossible for non-experts to understand what the scientists are arguing about, even when the arguments are between the environmentalists alone. One says that the sea level will rise by 3 feet, the other say 6 feet! How are you to know who is correct? You can not make up your mind on the impact of global warming by listening to climatologists disagreeing about which is the better general circulation model of the atmosphere of the Earth! My view set out above is that the global warming debate is not founded on science because the proper application of standard scientific argument is lacking. Therefore, the non-scientist is free to make his or her own choice on the basis of how they see the risk, without feeling that their lack of expertise disqualifies them from holding an opinion.

Source by Dr.

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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Yield performance is an important issue for any steel plant manager, since poor yield performance can adversely affect both steel plant output and production costs. In this article, the author discusses the topic of yield losses and elaborates on their importance.

What are yield losses?

A yield loss arises in any parts of the iron and steel making process, when for a particular step, the weight of the steel product made is less than the input of steel that is used. In a cold rolling mill for example, if the input – often called a charge weight – is 100 tonnes of hot rolled coil, and the output is 95 tonnes of cold-rolled steel, the yield performance equals 95%. Another way of expressing the yield factor is in terms of tonnes per tonne – in this case 100 divided by 95 or 1.053. Typical yield loss values are:

  • in hot rolled steel coil production (slab to hot rolled coil), 3.5%
  • in rebar production (for billet to bar), 5%
  • in seamless tube making (billet to green pipe), 8.5%.

Why do the yield losses arise?

The yield losses arise for different reasons.

  • For example, during the rolling process, there may be a break-out during which the steel bar comes out of its usual rolling trajectory, landing (often at speed) in an area adjacent to the rolling mill stands. This length of steel bar would not be further rolled; rather, it would be recycled as scrap so lowering the yield performance achieved on that particular rolling shift
  • Scale will often be formed on a hot slab as it cools. This scale will later be removed from the surface as the slab is prepared for a subsequent process step
  • When a steel coil is produced, the edge will often be trimmed on the final product, giving rise to a small yield loss
  • When billet or slab is cast, the end is often cut. Irregularities arising during the casting process are often also ground away.

Each of the examples above reduces the final weight of steel product made, compared to the original charge weight of the steel.

Why are the yield losses important?

Yield losses are important for several reasons.

  • First, it is important to understand yields in order to be able to predict the output of a mill. A mini mill making one million tonnes of crude steel may for example only be able to produce 850,000 tonnes of finished steel, if the cumulative yields from casting, hot rolling and cold rolling of the steel amount to 15%
  • Second, yields are especially important also from the cost standpoint. This is because, whilst the scrap steel can generally be recycled, all the labour and energy costs associated with processing the wasted steel volumes are lost; and the value added (in terms of a final selling price) is not achieved. For some processes, the cost of the yield loss can actually exceed some of the other elements of conversion cost (such as the cost of consumables, electricity or other utilities). Management of yield performance therefore is an important aspect of overall steel mill cost control.

Understanding your own yield performance

A common way of understanding the yield performance of a particular steel plant is to compare its recent yield performance against that of similar plants. Typically, such plants will belong to competitors and may often be located in different countries. Technical visits to mills are however quite common in the steel industry; and are undertaken specifically so that learning benefits the industry.

Source by Andrzej Kotas

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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From all the qualified retirement vehicles offered by the government, a Roth IRA is probably the most appealing for the financial planners since finally common sense is winning over traditional wisdom. The fact that is better to pay the tax on the seed than on the harvest is being accepted now especially with the trillions after trillions of new federal debt created recently.

People are now struggling with the thought that all that debt will have to be paid and the easiest and more convenient way the federal government has at its disposal is TAXES.

When you understand that you are going to be paying way more taxes later, then you do better paying taxes now, and that is how a Roth IRA works. You deposit money in a Roth IRA with after tax money, which means the money that you deposit there is not accepted in your income tax as a deduction, but the good part is, when you get to spend it, you will not have to pay tax on that money.

There are lots of more details to look into with a Roth IRA and they have to do with restrictions and regulations, plus the fact that it is qualified by the Federal government should hint something to you. Could it be that the Feds have some purpose or plan with those? Could it be that they intend to control those? I will let you ponder on that idea.

Putting aside the fact mentioned in the prior paragraph, a Roth IRA does not allow you to have access to your money unless you wait 5 years and reach 59 ½ years of age. There are also restrictions on how much can you contribute to your Roth IRA annually, plus your income will determine how much you can deposit on it too. You have to follow many rules also about how to take your money out, otherwise you might have to pay taxes on the profits you obtained in your IRA. An advantage a Roth IRA has over traditional IRA and 401K is that you do not have to take the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by the required beginning date (RBD).

Most people argue that all those restrictions, specially the locking of your money till you are 59 ½ is good because otherwise you being an irresponsible, undisciplined, weak character, sloppy, hooligan individual, would squander all your money and then the government will have to take care of you. The fact is without you having all those nice attributes, the government is doing everything it can to reduce all your auto determination by leaving you penniless with taxes, inflation, rules and enforcement so the government eventually will end up taking care of you and asking in return unconditional servitude.

We have reviewed some of the advantages and disadvantages of using qualified plans and we found that a Roth IRA is a better choice should you still decide to go along with government control, restrictions and regulations. What about if we review the characteristics of the Infinite Banking Concept as an alternative for you to build your financial future, to build your retirement nest.

First of all, the Infinite Banking Concept is based on a contract between two private parties, you, a private individual and the insurance company, a private entity.

Second, you are the sole owner of the contract; the company is obligated to perform as long as you comply with your part. There are no restrictions on when and how much of your money you want to take other than the fact that you have enough in there to take, so in this case it works as a regular bank account, the bank is not going to pay a check that you write for more money than you have in your account.

It is not a perfect world though; there is a restriction on how much money you can deposit in it that could trigger the collection of taxes by the IRS if you cross the MEC (Modified Endowment Contract) line, but there is an easy solution for that, you can start a new contract.

Third, you have control over this vehicle; you can elect to leave the money alone, earning a reasonable interest plus a dividend. Using a mutual company will make you part owner of the company and the company will share with you the profits by way of dividends and for more than 100 years, the mutual companies offering these contracts have paid dividends.

If you elect to use your money (cash value) to finance your needs and pay yourself back what you were going to be paying the financial institutions, then you can harness and take advantage of the strategies banks use and grow your IBC stronger.

IRAs normally will develop profit by investing in markets so there will always be the element of risk that will ruin some of your sleep. IBC grows by guaranteed interest and dividends plus your election of whatever needs you want to finance and redirect the payments to you, also any investment you want to get involved with, it is up to you. Therefore with the Infinite Banking, the risk is not a part of it, it is an option.

Last but not least, there is always the protection offered by the insurance component that will provide peace of mind in case something unexpected happens to you and at the end of the line your loved ones will benefit from a larger sum that you built on a tax free basis.

This last benefit can be used for strategic management of money at retirement and estate tax planning.

Based on this elaboration a government qualified vehicle cannot even come close to the Infinite Banking Concept.

Source by Jorge Herrera

May 19, 2017 0 comment
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