A Website Review For bbc.co.uk

Being the trailblazer among the global news providers, bbc.co.uk has proclaimed to draw a bee line of approximately 14 million users every month. According to some reports, it has overshadowed its competitors, owing to its ever-increasing user base. Let us have a brief review of bbc.co.uk and its performance:

Structure: The iconic site appears to be a cornucopia of international news articles, colourful snap shots, and podcasts on day to day basis.  The flashy headlines enable the readers to go through the global happenings at a glance.

Content: Besides, the articles are engaging, informative, and coherently structured under various sub-heads. As a matter of fact, some of them are even compelling ones, consequently demanding our attention till the end. The podcasts serve as the prime attention-grabbers with live, and sensational news clippings.

Site Navigation: Despite its acclaimed popularity, bbc.co.uk seems to be down-sliding in terms of popularity. This is primarily due to the increasing number of unnecessary commercial websites linked to the news site. Consequently, there has been a decline in the click-through rates, which would, eventually jeopardise its popularity in future. Also, it faces a tough competition from Google, which has lately witnessed a boom in traffic.

User Experience: According to the latest survey, users feel that the commercially vibrant links are not effective enough in promoting the site’s popularity. They rather betray the purpose catering to public service by creating unnecessary diversions.

Traffic Engineering & Its Scope- A Review

Traffic engineering is the modern branch of civil engineering, which primarily encompasses research, planning and geometric construction of roads, highways, railways, bridges, traffic lights and traffic signs. According to WHO, nearly 1.25 million people die every year due to fatal road accidents, and 20 million to 50 million persons are maimed. With the number of two wheelers and four wheelers increasing manifold every year, road accidents are expected to become the 7th major cause of death by 2030.

Also, there has been an alarming rise in railway accidents in the last 5 years. More than 80 percent of them are attributed to derailments, and human failures. Mishaps like bridges collapsing are also on the rise, which result in heavy casualties. It is, therefore, imperative in public interest for every government to pay special attention to traffic engineering.

Why is traffic planning essential?

Many people might thinking that disasters like road traffic crashes, and train collisions could be averted by installing more traffic signals at the right places, and by reducing speed limits. These measures, however, are not completely effective in reducing the instances of accidents. This is because of the fast-paced increase in the number of vehicles over the last few decades. Moreover, researches have revealed that excessive traffic regulations lead to a rise in traffic hazards. It must be noted here that slow speed does not necessarily associate with increased safety. People lose their cool amidst the honking vehicles and heat. These are the times when many people resort to jump signals, and flout the traffic rules.

These days, traffic engineers analyse speed data, accident statistics, traffic count and human psychology while laying out plans for an infrastructure. Safety is linked to smooth traffic operation, and any kind of disruption results in fatalities. In fact, traffic engineers are somewhat like medical professionals, who aim at doing away with all kinds of unwarranted impediments for traffic movement, thereby enhancing safety and smooth movement.

Traffic engineering promotes uniformity in traffic rules. It becomes easy for the traffic police to administer, and function while on duty. Commuters need not indulge in arguments with the traffic cops, since interpretation of rules is the same for everyone. Besides, traffic engineering lays guidelines for the public highway officials in administration, manufacture, installation and maintenance. Consequently, there is compatibility between commuters and administrators.

Importance of Traffic Engineering:

  • Traffic Control: Geometric design is an important aspect of traffic engineering, which is done on the basis of speed study, traffic volume study, and traffic flow study. Accordingly, pavement designs, road structures, and regulatory measures are determined. Automatic counters are installed to count the number of vehicles crossing a particular section of a road throughout the day. Spot speed study, and spot speed data also help the road planners in framing rules for traffic movement.
  • Smooth Movement: Researches have revealed that traffic engineering enhances smooth movement of traffic, irrespective of its volume. There has been a significant increase in the number of vehicles over the last few years, and yet, the instances of unnecessary traffic jams have reduced. On the contrary, traffic movement has become smooth, since most of the bottlenecks have been done away with. Hence, density of traffic does not affect speed much.
  • Introduction of Dynamic Elements: Instead of constructing additional infrastructure, dynamic elements are used in traffic management. Sensors are interconnected to guidance systems, which are used for monitoring traffic movement.
  • Smooth Movement of Traffic during the Rush Hours and Bad Weather: Rush hours pose severe challenges to the daily commuters. Also, bad weather jeopardizes traffic movement. Traffic engineers, however, have been assiduously working to do away with such impediments so as enhance speed, and public safety.

Review:

  • Huge Investment: Traffic engineering, however, demands huge investment, which inevitably drains the public exchequer. In developing countries like India, where a large population reels under poverty, it becomes imperative for the government to spend money on employment generation schemes, food subsidy, free education, and other development plans.

Besides, the government needs to maintain a stockpile of artillery, and firearms to safeguard the nation against external aggression. All these require huge funds, and it’s the tax payers who end up bearing the burden. Under such circumstances, mammoth schemes of traffic engineering tend to crush the middle class tax payers.

Traffic engineering demands huge upfront costs. Also, the process of training the city staff turns out to be expensive, and time consuming.

  • Failure of Signals: Although traffic engineering tends to sustain smooth flow of voluminous traffic, it fails to do so beyond a certain limit, consequently leading to logjams.

Also, there are instances when some signals fail, or stop functioning. This results in unnecessary commotion and chaos.

  • Problem for Emergency Vehicles: Emergency vehicles like ambulances, and fire brigades need to reach their destinations on time; however, they get held up in bee-lines of vehicles. Traffic engineers need to design plans that would facilitate unrestricted passage for such vehicles. There should be separate corridors along the roads, and highways so as to augment smooth transit for emergency vehicles. It would be a herculean task for the traffic cops to keep away the other vehicles from entering these corridors. This is because the other commuters would be tempted to use these lanes during the rush hours, and flout the norms.
  • Decline in the Number of Accidents: Traffic engineering has attained great milestones, notwithstanding certain defalcations. There has been a decline in the number of accident cases in the recent years. Traffic engineering has introduced countermeasures to reduce the number of hit and run cases in which, most of the victims are pedestrians. Also, the number of traffic crashes, and fatal deaths have considerably gone down.
  • Part of Smart City Projects: While our futuristic governments have great plans for setting up smart cities, traffic engineering would be instrumental in fomenting their grand schemes.

 

DMAi – Digital Marketing Campaigns – A Case Study

Encompassing more than 600 destination marketing organizations (DMOs), spanning over 25 countries, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAi) has become a colossal figure in the world of digital marketing. The current data corroborates the fact that DMAi caters to almost all the iconic DMOs by organizing campaigns, conferences, events and so on, thereby cobbling up platforms for their clientele.

Here are a few case studies corroborating DMAi’s credibility as an organization:

DuPont: In 2010, DMAi partnered with Times Now and DuPont to create two television series; ‘Quest for Zero’ and ‘Challenge for Zero’. The prime objective behind these endeavors was to slowly scale down the mammoth problems faced by India to zero or ‘Shunya’ and create awareness among the youth across the country. Besides, DMAi associates managed to rope in Anupam Kher, the much famed Bollywood actor to host the event so as to garner nationwide viewership. The idea was to highlight the schemes augured by Dupont to attain maximum growth rate at zero cost, reduce the number of hungry mouths to zero, modernise the existing infrastructure at the expense of zero casualties and so on through scientific methods.

Also, DMAi succeeded in showcasing DuPont as a trailblazer among the science based solution providers through numerous strategies. Apart from creating buzz through the digital media, the organization also circulated compelling articles, e-mailers and press releases so as to enable DuPont reach out to its target audience. Dupont also accentuated in popularity through the social media, and television broadcast of a 16 episode series.

The Dupont India website showcased 23 product-specific case studies and 5 films receiving about 160,000 million page views. Business increased manifold with 206 new customers and revenue potential of 5 Million USD.

Kaan Khajoora Teshan: Considering the increasing, ever increasing and everyday increasing population in India and looming power scarcity and poverty, it is, but obvious that a major chunk of the population is unable to access the news and entertainment channels aired on the television channels. In order to combat this problem, Unilever launched a mobile based entertainment channel. Besides being free on demand Kaan Khajoora Teshan caters to about 54 million population which is twice the number of television users. All one needs to do is to keep the mobile battery charged which consumes minimal electricity. By dialling a number catering to KKT hotline, users are able to access entertainment stream.

DMAi has further augmented the brand building activity through promotional messages such as;” Missed Call Lagao, Muft Manoranjan Pao.” The consumers were educated through targeted Outbound Calls. People were told to give a miss call to a toll free number and they received call backs from ‘Kaan Khajoora Teshan’. The pre-tailored programme entailed popular music, Unilever Ad Spots and jokes. Also, there is a Radio Jockey to host the show. Apart from the local and regional shows people are also able to view the movie releases of the year.

The consumer base has been expanding at an average of 25,000 per day. Besides, Kaan Khajoora has also served as a quick medium for promoting Wheel, Ponds white Beauty and Close up products to all the vestibular corridors across the country.

In 2014 a DMAi Awards and DMA International ECHO Awards competitions were conducted witnessing hosts of participants from countries across the globe. The contesting bodies had to fill up the entry forms which cited their goals and objectives behind their marketing efforts and strategies. Remit2India emerged as the ultimate winner. This is because DMAi has been managing its search campaigns for years. In due course of time Remit2India had reached the crux of publicity. However, it started experiencing decadence in the face of stiff competition posed by its competitors. Nevertheless, DMAi managed to revitalize the brand image without incurring additional costs. Currently, Remit2India hosts the highest number of registrations per month. Apart from managing to cap the cost per registration with just 6% higher than before, DMAi has also launched versatile Exchange Rate bearing ads. Currently, Remit2India advertisements have garnered 27 % of clicks in the US alone as compared to its staggering counterparts in the industry.

Intel’s Skylake Processor Release

It was just months ago in January 2015 that we were talking about the Fifth Generation release from Intel code named Broadwell processors for desktops, laptops, tablets and hybrids. The processor offered modest performance boosts and increased cell life. However, the next version of the Microprocessor was already waiting in the wings to be released soon, as there was considerable delay in release of Broadwell chip.

So, the Intel Skylake Processor was released at the Gamescom trade show in August 5, 2015, just about 6 months after the last release. It was released as two variants – Intel Core i7-6700K and Intel Core i5-6600K.  Intel Core i7-6700K is  the flagship processor at 4 GHz clock speed, quad-core hyper threaded ( meaning eight virtual cores), whereas Intel Core i5-6600K is a 3.5 Ghz processor, quad core, non-hyper threaded. There is also a provision for overclocking these processors.

The timing for the release was excellent as it coincided with Windows 10 Operating System release by Microsoft.  The release was the “tock” in the typical “tick-tock” release paradigm of Intel, with “tick” being the release of Broadwell processor.

Further, at the recently held Intel Development Forum (IDF-15) held in San Francisco between 18 August and 20-August 2015, Intel shared some of the architectural details for Skylake, the 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700k processor, which were missing from the initial launch.

The Skylake processor is the first Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) from Intel with DirectX12 support.  A GPU, also called a Visual Processor unit (VPU) excels in providing a highly parallel structure of information processing making it much more effective than CPUs, and therefore is very efficient in manipulating computer graphics and image processing.  DirectX12 is the latest version of Microsoft’s DirectX API and will be available on Windows 10 computers, tablets, mobile phones and Xbox. DirectX encapsulates hardware details from developers by means of these APIs and also helps Computer Games to be played much faster.  Providing for DirectX12 Support would help Skylake Processor to work very well on Windows 10 based systems.

An important feature of Skylake processor is its support for Rezence charging by wireless mode in laptops and all PC manufacturers have agreed to use this mode.  A move towards “wire-free” computing seems to be evident as many Skylake systems support wireless charging solutions. Intel is also reported to be working on having chains of hotels, automakers and coffee shops to install the charging stations and wireless systems will be in vogue.

We do not have detailed information from Intel on what the part numbers on future Skylake GPUs will be, or the correspondence between the cores and the chips, we may like to infer some relationships. What we understand is Intel has launched SKUs which are high-end of desktop type, which Intel calls GT2 configuration.  The next two configurations, GT3 and GT3e (with EDRAM) are meant for special desktop processors or mobile chips. GT1 configurations, on the other hand map to lower-end chips in the Pentium and Celeron families. Skylake’s graphics core consists of slices, sub-slices, and Execution Units just like Intel’s previous GPUs. A slice consists of 3 sub-slices, and further, each sub-slice contains 8 execution units (EUs). So, there are 24 EUs per slice. A GPU configuration consists of three slices which mean that there are 72 EUs in a GPU configuration.

Skylake processors as compared to Broadwell processors are expected to operate at lower power consumption, provide a 10%-20% CPU performance boost in single and multi-threaded applications, and 30% faster Intel HD integrated graphics performance.  The battery life is also expected to be 30% more because of improved energy efficiency.

The Skylake is available in 4 families like other processors and each of these series is expected to show performance improvement. Preliminary data suggests following percentage improvements in MacBook models as shown below:

– Y-Series (MacBook): This is targeted for the mobile segment and would provide at the most a 17% faster CPU, a maximum of  41% faster Intel HD graphics, with a peak of 1.4 hours longer battery life
– U-Series (MacBook Air): This is targeted for the mobile segment and would provide at the most a 10% faster CPU, a maximum of 34% faster Intel HD graphics, with a peak of 1.4 hours longer battery life
– H-Series (MacBook Pro): This is meant for the mobile segment and would provide at the most 11% faster CPU, a maximum of 16% faster Intel HD graphics, with a peak of 80% lower silicon power
– S-Series (iMac): This is meant for desktops and shows up to 11% faster CPU, a maximum of 28% faster Intel HD graphics, with 22% lower TDP (thermal design power)

The other excellent feature that Skylake provides is that it comes with a built-in Digital Signal Processor (DSP). This allows one to turn on and control PC by one’s voice. So, does that mean that we will not need a Power switch in our PCs with this chip going forward??

With all the exceptional features in Skylake, Intel has taken a great leap in processor technology ahead of its rivals, but it cannot be complacent. AMD is expected to launch new range – seventh generation A-series chips based on AMD’s Zen architecture in 2016.  AMD expects that this range will restore lot of its lost glory.  Intel cannot take AMD lightly and needs to have a roadmap to counter any surprises that AMD poses in 2016.

Business Ideas With A Small Budget

 

Are you planning to open a business that does not require a large amount of money? If your budget is limited, then here are some great ideas to look at to ensure that your money is channelized in the right way and not spilled in schemes that do not provide a decent return on your investments.

  1. Research , Research and Research – Research your market, do adequate research before you even think of having a business plan.  You may have a great idea. However, would the customers be ready for your idea?  A thorough research would show both the market potential, as well as the limitations of the idea.
  2.  Base your Assumptions on objective analysis –  Often, companies are misled by incorrect interpretations of the market and therefore, they rely on half-truths, or false assumptions. Any business needs to be objectively analyzed based on what could be the opportunities and threats to the business, the possible dependencies and a correct estimate is to be built. Buffers for unaccounted risks are to be considered as well as mitigation strategies for enterprise risks are to be planned.
  3. Keep a control on expenses –  Keep expenses low, be frugal in your spending, till assured of appropriate returns. For a startup, it is important to consider ways that keep the budget low. Adequate cost control measures are to be taken right from day one of business.
  4. Develop a team as you grow business – Do not keep every thing with yourself , even if you are a start-up. Time is crucial, and therefore take help of others, who could deliver work faster and cheaper.
  5. Maintain a financial buffer-  Always have a financial buffer which could help in case of emergencies. Ideally, have  a contingency fund of about 6 to 8 months to take care in case of emergencies. Else, have an alternate source of regular income to meet any eventuality that may precipitate.

Read : Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

 

 

– The Value Enablers

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