Reducing Printing and Copying Costs of a Business

With the current plummeting economic rates, minimizing input while maximizing output is a necessity that guarantees whether your business thrives or crumples. Research affirms that even 3% of the business expenses are attributed to printing and copying expenditures. An even more worrying is that in the bid to minimize operational costs, most businesses overlook the costs of printing and copying, which as we have found out are eating up a big chunk of business resources, especially when it goes unnoticed.

Below are some of the ways in which you can cut down printing and copying costs and cut down the overall operating overhead.

Invest in High Quality Printers

The first step towards cutting down on printing and copying costs is to invest in the right printers for your printing needs. While these devices are more expensive at first, in the long run their use will save a lot of money for your business because they generally use much less toner. When choosing a printer you need to decide the amount of printing and the kind of documents needed. If most of your printing is just black and white text, you do not require multiple color printers.

Additionally, a laser printer is a better option since it is faster and thus suitable for business that print a large number of pages. Inkjet printers normally guzzle a lot of ink and are more suitable for home use. Buying a printer that turns off automatically is a good idea since it will also save on energy bills.

Upgrade Your Devices

Being stuck with an old device means that your business not only produces work that is below standard but also that it translates to more expenses, since such devices require time to operate. A business should conform to the current technology to improve production and simplify maintenance.

Decrease Your Printing

While printing, the most important thing to consider is what part if the document you want printed. Many employees will hand out a whole file for printing whereas they only needed a few pages of the printed. They usually later discard the pages which they don’t need, thus wasting time, paper and color.

Decreasing the number of prints you make per month will also help your business go green.

Implement Good Printing Practices

Good printing practices mean the following: utilizing photocopying of documents where multiple copies are required, this is because photocopying is more economical as opposed to printing. Teach the employees how to utilize the printer’s capability to produce varying degrees of quality depending on the purpose of a document. This means you save on ink. Avoid using dark-colored paper but instead use light paper that is cheaper and easier to recycle.

Establish Printing Rules

A lot of waste occurs when employees print documents that are not useful to the business. These can be anywhere from personal documents to unnecessary pages being printed regularly. To avoid this, establish rules to ensure only required documents are printed.

However, for all these tips to work for your business, it is advisable to step up and lead your people by example. That is the best way to ensure the new procedures are followed.

HTC one mini: Same but smaller?

HTC is surfing on the wave with its HTC one. The Taiwanese brand has been proposing a new experience to costumers with its flagship phone, and is planning doing it again. With over 5 million units sold, can the HTC one mini follow the same success story as its big brother?

HTC one

Design

First look and it appears the One Mini’s design is faithful to its big brother. It provides us with the same quality materials and the famous “zero-gap” full metal design. Most innovative functionalities such as the front-mounted Boomsound speakers, the “ultrapixel” technology and the Zoe features camera that allow multi-still/video functionalities are still present.

This new smartphone measures 63.2 mm wide by 132mm high with a 4.3 inches LCD screen . The total weight is estimated at 122g (slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S4, 107g). The device thickness is an impressive 9.25mm which make the One mini , one of the thinnest device in the market. Therefore, at a glance the HTC one only appears smaller and identical in term of features proposed from its predecessor.

Innards

The most challenging aspect for a manufacturer in the miniaturization process is to provide high-ended quality product, at a lower cost without damaging the brand or product image.  Competition is tough in this market segment and Samsung is perceived as the main competitor. Its main successful device series; the Galaxy has been proven extremely successful and set standards high in this ultra competitive market.

The One Mini is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

The 4G, Dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth (4.0) are also from the party.  Regarding the front-facing camera. It is a 1.6-megapixel unit that supports 720p HD video, while the main camera supports full-HD 1080p video recording. GPS is also of course present along with compass, gyro, accelerometer and light sensor. The Li-polymer battery (1,800mAh) is less powerful than the S4 mini ( 1,900mAh). However HTC claims up to 20.72 hours GSM talk time and 500 hours on standby. Moreover, according to different benchmarks, both phones have the same performance in term of battery drainage. As an example, a 90 minutes HD video would drain approximately 19% battery. We have seen much worse! What is missing from the One mini in comparison to the One is the infrared remote control feature, Sense TV and NFC support. HTC explained that it was a decision made due to space reasons.

Conclusion

As a cheap 4G smartphone , the HTC one appears to be an excellent device. Two prices point below its big brother. The rollout of the HTC One mini, which will be available in silver or black, starts in August at price of 450 Euros. Germany and the UK will be delivered first, and available everywhere as soon as September.

How Technology Is Great In Every Aspect of Life

Even if you don’t realize it, technology plays an important part in your everyday life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t work with computers or get on the internet, technology is somewhere working behind the scenes to make things a little easier. Advances in technology, even if they do not affect you personally, advance the lives of every member of society.

  1. Advances in Education

Technology has revolutionized the education system. Today, students can take notes electronically and access their books online. Technology has helped teachers streamline the grading process which frees them up to concentrate on new ways of teaching. Students can now do a large amount of research online. They have access to resources they would have never known about without the internet. Schools today are equipped with technology that past generations only dreamed about. Everything from electronic tablets to digital microscopes are available to help students learn. Technology has made education systems around the world more efficient and more connected.

  1. Social Media

There is no getting around social media. It seems like everyone has at least one social profile. Social profiles are not the only way humans use technology to socialize. Cell phones have become necessities in our modern society. People contact each other through text and voice calls. They can check their email or social media profile. They can even surf the web almost wherever they are.

  1. Safety

Technology also plays an important role in the safety of our society. Law enforcement officers use technology to ensure people are driving safely. They use it to catch criminals. They are also coming up with better way to detect and alert the public when hurricanes, tornado’s, or other natural disasters are imminent. This is all thanks to technology.

  1. Medicine

If people were forced to live without a phone or the internet, they wouldn’t like it, but they would do it. One thing most people would never give up that technology has given us, is advances in medicine. Everything, from vaccines to x-rays, owes their existence to computers and technology.

Without innovative humans who move technology to new places every day, the world would be an entirely unrecognizable place. People are so used to technology, that they sometimes forget how important it is. No matter what you decide to do, where you decide to go, or who you decide to be one thing is certain; technology will play a major role.

Living in the Cloud

Megaupload has caught much media attention with its shutdown. This issue brings up a larger and broader threat. The situations shows us just how easily content stored online can be taken down. It is important to remember that although Megaupload may have been used for piracy, it was primarily a form of online content storage resembling cloud storage services.

With that in mind, I will stick to storing things a little closer to home…… For now.

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Stop Complaining and Do Something!

With the current media frenzy regarding SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA, it is difficult to wonder what the future of the Internet will be. Although I hope none of these policies pass, if they did, I think fellow Internet surfers would find their way around these laws and still share content. In the end, the only people who will suffer are the mainstream users, who are not as computer savvy to bypass these restrictions or are too afraid to do so. The big content corporations are still going to lose money due to the increase in digitalisation of content. Right now, governments and business are losing their time with legislation instead coming up with solutions.

sopa-strikeThe music industry was one of the first hit by the Internet and the increase of “piracy” (I had to put quotation marks, as it’s just ridiculous that sharing is considered piracy in this day and age). With their profits being squeezed, and their record sales plummeting, they have now embraced the digital age and started exploring new business models. Today, there are various subscription services that have proven to be successful (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and they are also making their money on merchandise and events. In other words, they have finally realised that they should stop fighting the current and embrace it for their own benefit.

Now, other entertainment media are struggling, especially the video, movie/TV show and publishing businesses. So far, they have focused on fighting piracy. However, we are humans, we like to share our experiences and things we like. Sharing is not stealing: it is spreading the word about things we enjoy. The Internet facilitates this word of mouth, which entertainment companies could explore to increase their audience.

Of course, making money out of other people’s work is not right. However, the people who are making money from sharing will continue to do so, regardless of the laws. What companies should be doing is make the illegal business just not worth it. That is, make the content easily available, make piracy not worth it for the consumer. That way people will be more inclined to buy the original version instead of going the extra mile to get an illegal version. Between buying a pirated CD and the real thing, nobody would prefer the pirated one, unless it was either cheaper or easier to get.

Thus, companies supporting these stupid policies, this is an appeal to you. Stop fighting against the very thing that makes the Internet so great and go put your brains together to come up with a better way to make your money. I’m sure that when you do, you will be making much more than you do now, and people will actually be on your side instead of waiting to hack your systems and revolt against you. The world will always change; you can’t expect your old business models to work forever. So stop complaining and start working on the future of digital business! I’m definitely excited to know what you will come up with.

CES 2012… Conferences… The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

As CES 2012 comes to an end. It’s a good idea to consider who got what right and what wrong.

We begin with Panasonic… It seems as though they really need help with media training and the performance and running of a show for the trade and consumers.

First of all, you must focus on showing breakthrough technology, not periphery products. This was an opportunity for them to get the trade, media and consumers excited about their products and brand.

panasonictough

Unfortunately Panasonic seem to have failed for the most part. There was no need to have physical products on display, especially ones which do not offer anything particularly new or industry leading. The aesthetics of the conference were uninteresting and so were the performances. Not even the appearance of Justin Timberlake (promoting Myspace integration) was able to improve matters much, despite giving a superior performance.

samsung

Yep, that’s more like it.

Samsung arguably stole the show with presenters who communicated with clarity and more charisma than those of Panasonic. They focused on a Powerpoint style presentation which showed of its newest and industry leading technology. With a clean presentation space, which was unimpeded by physical products for a large part of the event.

Is this just one small reason why Samsung is the No.1 selling TV brand? Perhaps a small part of a great overarching strategy.

— DS —

The future of the Web Browser

The browser hasn’t changed much since its first appearance as WorldWideWeb by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, it’s still a program with roughly the same dynamics, it’s still the same old browser but tuned up and more secure (hopefully your not using IE 6 :p) to take advantage of new technologies such as flash, Java, PHP, .ASP and other languages but the essence is still the same, the user types in a URL which gets translated in a DNS server to a IP Address then forwarded back to the user as a HTML code so the browser can read it.

This is what every browser does, name it Chrome, Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Safari but in September of this year (2011) a revolution took place, many people didn’t realise what was taking shape at Amazons labs which is usually known for its online store.

But many non-techy users don’t realise that Amazon was one of the first movers with cloud computing with the introduction of the EC2 service.

“Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate themselves from common failure scenarios. ” -Amazon

So what has this got to do with your browser your thinking? Well Amazon is currently using its knowledge gained from its experience with server management and IT infrastructures  and has launched a web-browser called Silk which uses its own Amazon Cloud servers to process most of the page dynamics and network requests and centralises those requests in the cloud. Then all the browser has to do is showing you the content and runs much faster. Amazon has launched this browser on its new Kindle Fire and there is some speculation that Amazon will launch a version for the PC, Mac and Android. do you believe that this is the future of the browser?

Amazon explains it better in this video below

Local radio stations in danger of loosing advertisement revenue

Radio broadcasters have benefited from having a geographical advantage as radio stations can tailor advertisements to particular cities, regions or borrows around their masts allowing for local small businesses to take advantage of this geographic segmentation to tailor advertisements to local residents.

Radio has always been popular with small businesses in relation to the cost and directness of its adverts but with the introduction of new technologies from web-browsers such as Safari and Chrome which has allowed them to acquire geo-location data from local WIFI masts, web marketing sites are now able to tailor advertisements directly to a particular street and even employees of a particular company.

This creates a big threat to small radio stations, as their geo-uniqueness will greatly be affected by direct competition from the likes of large corporations and with the introduction of Google Places for businesses and PayPal soon to follow its clear that they are aiming to gain the local marketing segment.

But the question that needs to be asked is whether local businesses, which are already on local radio will remove their ads and go in favour of new social marketing strategy?