Social media success: 6 brands to learn from

We know you have heard this hundreds of times by now, but we will say it again: “Every business willing to grow must be active on social media.” However, posting content weekly or daily and answering fans and followers’ inquiries sometimes isn’t enough. What every brand needs is mastering social media in its own way. To do so, brands should act differently and uniquely. So as a social media agency, we decided to share with you 6 ways that made 6 successful brands on social media:

Smart response: In the last week of August 2016, Skyscanner’s Facebook account became the “talk of the town” due to an astonishing reply to one of its fans. For those who don’t know it, Skyscanner is a search engine for flights, hotels and car hire. Switching back to the story, one of its users found a baffling suggestion when checking for a flight, so he left a “sarcastic” Facebook comment wondering about their weird proposition. What happened next was definitely beyond expectation.

Instead of apologizing for their mistake, Skyscanner replied to the complaining person with a set of funny and smart answers that gathered, in few hours, thousands of likes, and hundreds of comments complementing this great internet win.

Impressive social media presence: With more than 1.2 million followers on Instagram, Airbnb isn’t only good in collecting followers, but is actually the “Best Overall Instagram Presence”. This title hasn’t been awarded by our digital agency, but by the 2016 Shorty Awards, a social media award. The reason behind this recognition is their ability to make a great use of Instagram’s core value by posting interesting visual contents. When searching for a vacation home, people often make up their mind according to pictures. And that’s exactly Airbnb’s social media strategy to attract followers and users.

Reaching out to people: Reaching out to people can be an effective way to gain exposure and master social media. Nivea’s activities on Twitter is a great example. This beauty brand look for people tweeting about skin problems in order to help solving them with customized tips. To find such issues, Nivea simply made use of the Twitter search feature without following specific hashtags. Sometimes, there’s no need to think too much or to spend a budget to promote your brand, a smart move can help you do it.

Inspiring people globally: Dove is another great example of a social media success, simply by trying to make the world better. How? Every once in a while, Dove post a new online video campaign to help women feel good about themselves, and each time their video goes viral. Every campaign is associated with a customized hashtag that allows people to directly relate to the brand and the mission. Their campaign “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” ended up to be the most viewed online ad of all time with more than 163 million viewers on Youtube only. The impact of this campaign was translated into millions of people sharing the supportive and positive message behind it.

User-Generated content: GoPro, the cameras company, is using a social media strategy based on user-generated content to promote its products. In other words, the pictures and videos are submitted by the consumers themselves in order to show their products capabilities, and the experience. Depending on the users to promote GoPro products makes the brand extremely interactive. In 2015, GoPro Instagram followers reached 6 million, and was the fourth most engaging brand on the social network.

Following trending news: Don’t we all love Oreo? Whether with their cookies or their social media presence, the cookie company is doing a great job. We all know how Oreo taste, so we will jump to their online presence. As a matter of fact, Oreo created one of the most successful social media campaigns ever. How? To celebrate their 100th birthday, Oreo produced 100 new posts on Facebook for 100 days inspired by trending news. Each post was shared more than 1,400 times on average boosting their engagement by 195% and gathering more than a million Facebook fans. Another great example of benefiting from trending news, is their “You can still dunk in dark” live post during the Super Bowl blackout which got retweeted more than 15,000 times.

In a world where digital competition is growing bigger and bigger, brands must focus on being unique. If you are willing to kick it up a notch, contact our social media agency to create an effective social media strategy or campaign.

The History of Brand Identity Web Design

Brand identity is the most important factor in creating a brand. It helps in creating awareness among the consumers about a specific company.
Brand identity web design includes the logo, typeface, color, design and everything else that represents the company in front of the customers. But, how did this began? Understanding the history of brand identity can make us realize its priority in a better way.
Take a look at few points that showcases the history of Brand identity web design:
1. The Introduction Of Logos:
There are hardly great logos in the current market. Few claim it’s easier to make a logo while few contradict it. To make an eligible logo one need to be good at typography, symbolism and must have an innovative mind for designs.
Going back to history Logos were driven by these aspects
• Symbolism
A logo is not simply a drawing neither a picture. It needs to be complex. During old ages, logos were driven by human expressions that carry symbols resembling visual codes and literary arts.
Mythology and its concept played an important role in logo designing. They helped in communicating effectively as all were able to relate to it easily. In historical period, people’s intrapersonal communication was held through various marks, signs, and symbols. They understood the objectives of these signs non-verbally.
• Semiotics
Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols for the purpose of interpretation. People believed in the message of signs and symbols for understanding several aspects of life.
Signs and symbols can take different forms irrespective of any matter. It may be a thing, an image, words, sound, smell, flavor etc.
The origination of symbols is basically evolved through cultural references.
2. Cave Paintings and Identifying marks
Before languages, the Stone Age had no words to express its feelings. The Man started displaying his feelings through visuals. The visuals were those that were carved on the walls of several caves.
These cave paintings had a deeper meaning as Man expressed his emotions through this only medium. The expression of emotions through visuals and drawings itself tells us that brand existed from the beginning of humans.
Gradually, the expansion created the Identifying marks. A variety of stamps, signs, symbols and signatures started taking its evolution.
For example,
• The orb and the cross theme meant ‘God shall reign over earth’.
• The printer’s trademark resembled a beautiful paradox used as conjunction called ‘make haste slowly’.
• Rembrandt Harmensz van rijn, made authorship in his paintings with a distinctive R.

3. Formation of Corporate Identity
As the time passed, the corporate revolution came into existence and within time, they began to develop. The companies realized that dealing with the marks alone isn’t providing an improvement.
Gradually, to compete in the national and the international market they decided to expand. This was how Logos were introduced.
These logos began to symbolize the core purpose and vision of a corporation with impact. Many of them got wider acclaim and began to spread.
Few identity designs began to prevail powerfully. The progress included

• It was a Vienna-based production community of visual arts. The logo displayed Werkstatte’s four elements:
The Werkstätte’s Red rose symbol plus the monogram marks of the Werkstätte, the designer, and the producer.
These standard elements also had the use of the square as a decorative motive, were used to design everything from invoices to wrapping paper.
• Designers like Milton Glaser and Alan Fletcher changed the perspective of graphic identity during the second half of the century.

• Growth in Television Bugs
After print, the logo designing reached over the television emphasizing its mark in various entertainment mediums.
4. The Brand evolution
After all these immense improvisation and development the twentieth century began with Brand.
Today, a brand has to showcase its aspect in various mediums to represent the corporation. Even though the logo has a lesser visualization with respect to the brand, it doesn’t stop to create impact.
The businesses started realizing the importance of Logos to create a brand identity in the minds of the people. Therefore, they came out with an innovative representation of their brand through logos. In no time logos became Brands forming an identity in between the people.
• At the initial stages, Brands were considered as things such as products or organization. But now, companies opt to consider services and reputations while forming a brand.
• Slowly, brands have shifted their priority from products to the firm or organization.
• Due to an increased uncertainty in religion and political institutions, the formation of brand is more depended on the individual
• Now, brands try to claim unique functions, attributes, and features to make the process effective.
Conclusion
From the history to the era now, brand identity design Singapore played a major role in communicating intentions.
Considering the path ahead, it’s quite imaginable. Brands are certainly going to be more pervasive. The importance of brand identity may generate value to the companies unbelievably.

3 Things You Need to Know for Optimization

SEO Images: 3 Things You Need to Know for Optimization

Did you know that images can have a big impact on your search engine optimization? In this article, you’ll learn 3 things you need to know to SEO images on your site.

Before We Begin: Think Like a Search Engine

Before we begin, we need to give you rule number one: Think like a search engine. Search engines need to know where to categorize images on your site. And, unlike us – they can’t actually see your image. You need to spell it out and make it obvious what your image is, and why it’s included on your website.

1. The Name of Your Image Matters

If your image is named “img_5422133.jpg.”, search engines aren’t going to know what it’s a picture of. It could be an airplane, a person, a graph, a chart – anything on earth. You need to make it simple. If your image is of a chart showing the benefits of SEO, name it something like “benefits-of-seo-chart.jpg” so that search engines will know exactly where to categorize it.

2. Optimize – Don’t Stuff – Your Alt Tags

You may not even know what an alt tag is – it’s not something you stumble across every day while browsing in the internet. Alt (short for “alternate”) tags are there to explain what your image is, if the browser can’t display your image. For example, if your image of a cat doesn’t load, text will appear to show there is an image. Make sure this is optimized for your keywords – but don’t stuff them in there. Include them only if they make sense for the image.

3. Image Size is Important

Don’t take your large photo, upload it to your post, and then downsize it manually. The browser will load the entire image, and then downsize it to fit the screen. This means your website’s load time will increase, which hurts your SEO in two ways: Search engines penalize slow sites in the rankings, and people will grow frustrated and leave your site if it loads too slowly (high bounce rates decrease your rank as well). Edit your photo in a photo editor, and reduce the size to the exact size you want. Then, run it through an image compressor to get it as small as possible (while still maintaining quality, of course).

SEO Images: The Basics to Get You Started

If you just did these three things every time you upload a photo to your site, it will go a long way towards the overall SEO of your site. Click here to learn more DIY SEO tips from iCanSEO that will get your site to the top of the search results where you belong!

Fiber Optics and its advantages for Commercial use

End of the day, everything boils down to communication…

Wonder how people lived in those days when there was absolutely no way of communication over long distances. There was an era when the string phones were used, the ones we see children playing around with, where they would use the string and a tin boxes with a diaphragm. It is basically the diaphragm that vibrates when the sound is emitted at one end and is transmitted through the string to the diaphragm at the other end. This is the idea behind the invention of telephones that dates back to 19th century. It is the culmination of the efforts of numerous scientists that we reap today and lead a blissful life enjoying the benefits of the telephone.

There are many cables that can be used for transmitting information from one end to another. Coaxial cables, the Ethernet cables and now the fiber optic cables are being used in the field of telecommunications. The larger bandwidth and the ability to cover long distances, is making the fiber optic cables hugely popular networking cables of late.

Understanding Fiber optics better:

A fiber optic cable is a cable that has a glass or a plastic fiber called optical fiber, which is capable of transmitting information in form of light particles. It could be a single fiber or a group of fibers inside a non-conducting tube. Each of the fiber has a thickness as that of one-tenth of a human hair and is capable of handling as many as 25,000 telephone calls. Simple math can tell you how many calls a single optical fiber can handle.

If you want to experiment to check how the fiber optics work, here is what you can do. Let us suppose you want to send information through fiber optic cable from your house to your friend’s house from a computer. First off, you will have to connect a laser to your computer, which would convert the electrical information in form of light pulses. Once the light particles travel down the laser and emerge out at the other end, ideally a photoelectric cell should be there at the other end to receive the light pulses, which will then convert it into its electrical equivalent.

Technology behind Fiber-optics:

Imagine a glass tube and a light wave travelling through it. The light-wave will bounce down the pipe hitting the glass at a certain angle which is ideally less than 42° with the glass tube, making it reflect back thereby hitting the surface like a ping-pong ball travelling down a narrow cylindrical tube. There is this theory that when a light ray hits the glass surface making an angle less than 42° with the surface, the light ray completely reflects back without leaking out as if the tube were a mirror. This phenomenon is called the total internal reflection. Even if there was a chance of light wave leakage; that would not be possible with the cladding that surrounds the core tube in which the light wave travels. The purpose of the cladding is to basically retain the light signals inside the core.

There are three types of fiber optic cables – single mode, multi-mode and a plastic optical fiber (POF).

Advantages of Fiber optics over conventional copper cabling:

Reduces EMI:

Have you ever experienced the noise while speaking over the phone, well in case you did, it is nothing but the Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI). EMI is the disturbance caused when an external source affects the electric circuit. Fiber optic cables are immune to Electro- magnetic Induction. In traditional copper wires, the current travelling through the wires interfere as copper is a conductor of electricity, however, in case of fiber optic cables, the light particles travel through the wire, even through the places, where EMI would otherwise block the transmission.

Data Security:

Magnetic fields and current induction not only creates noise, but also makes way to data leakage in case of copper cabling. However, where fiber optic cables are concerned, the magnetic fields are not surrounding the cable, but only within the fiber optics cable. So, there is no way that we can control the signal being transmitted unless we cut open the fiber optic cable.

Eliminating sparks:

This is one of the biggest advantages of using fiber optic cables. Unlike the copper wires, which are prone to emit sparks as they transmit current through the wires, fiber optic cables are much safer in the confined areas or oil refineries where there is a threat of catching fire.

Installations made easy:

In the process of increasing the transmission capacity or bandwidth of the cable, inevitably, the thickness of the cable also increases. This makes passing though the ducts in the buildings a somewhat difficult affair. Fiber optic cables on the other hand are thin and flexible making it easier for the installations. While using the copper cables, the fire retardants are also supposed to be used in order to avoid the fire accidents, which is absolutely not the case while using the fiber optic cables.

Greater bandwidth and longer run:

Fiber optic cables have greater bandwidth enabling the huge amount of transmission of data within fractions of a second. The fiber optic cables can carry the information over long distances without any noise intervention.

With the consideration of all the factors that are in favour of the fiber optic cables, these form the ideal choice for any sort of commercial use where data communications is concerned.

5 Easy Steps To Translate English Faster When Reading Your eBooks

Reading is the most effective way to quickly acquire knowledge. It is said that the average CEO reads at least one book per week, which gives them an edge to make better decisions. Taking one of the most illustrious examples of our time, Elon Musk reportedly devoured thousands of books and taught himself enough about rockets to found SpaceX just by reading. He also declared that humans should merge with machines in the age of Artificial Intelligence if we do not want to be replaced by robots. Whilst it might be a bit too late for us to catch up with such a supernatural force like Musk, you might still be interested to read more books for your own betterment. And in fact, we should all try to keep up and become cyborg readers according to his vision!

There are many speed reading tools and techniques available for us to read better and faster. It usually works quite well when it comes to reading in your own native language. But this becomes a lot more difficult when you have to process a foreign language where a lot of unknown words slow down your reading and lessen your overall understanding. This is particularly true if you are a non-native English speaker keen to read new trendy books from American or British authors in their original language. Reading English eBooks on your tablet, you have to juggle between multiple devices or screens to get a translation or a definition for the words that you don’t understand. And since you have to repeat this task over and over again, you end up quitting learning new words from the books that you read: when you realize the English language contains over 1 million words, it’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed by this vocabulary tsunami.

But you should definitely not give up by a challenge that can be turned into such a fantastic learning opportunity. Here is a trick to help you save countless hours and spare a fair deal of frustrating moments in a few easy steps that will not cost you anything:

Step 1: Sign Up For Free On Vokabee

Vokabee is a translation website created by a tech startup using innovative machine learning technologies to help non-native English speakers understand and learn unknown English words faster. The online portal is powered by an algorithm that processes digital media in English and translates the most difficult words into your native language. To start using this learning technology, all you need to do is to go to https://vokabee.io/ and click on the Signup button.

Next, create your user profile. It is important to mention your first language because Vokabee will use this language to translate difficult English words. You should be able to find your mother tongue among the long list of nearly 30 languages available, from Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Thai to Spanish, Portuguese or French just to name a few.

Finally, take a quick test to register your initial English level profile. Once this is done, you’re ready to process your first e-book.

Step 2: Process Your eBook

Vokabee allows you to process e-books in “.epub” or “.txt” formats. Whilst it is easy to purchase an eBook online that you are interested to read, you can also download some eBooks in compatible formats from a variety of websites such as Goole eBook Store, Project Gutenberg or Open Library.

Once you have found a suitable eBook that you would like to read, click “Upload files” and browse your device’s internal storage to select your eBook file. The “Process it!” button will appear almost instantly. In my case here, I have chosen a classic: “Around The World In Eighty Days” by Jules Verne.

You will then need to calibrate Vokabee’s algorithm that automatically translates the difficult words for you within your eBook file. Select One-star if you think your level is “Intermediate”, Two-Star for “Pre-advanced”. Three-Star for “Advanced” or Four-Star for “Expert” readers.

You are now ready to click “Process it” and decode your eBook – which usually takes about 5 minutes depending on the size of the uploaded file.

This result page will appear when your eBook is duly processed. Click “Download files” to save a copy on your device.

Step 3: Read With Understanding Your Processed eBook

Now that your file is saved, you can open it on your eBook reader and started reading more comfortably since difficult words have been automatically translated within your eBook text. If your tablet or laptop does not already have a built-in eBook reader, there are plenty of open-source eBook readers available such as Sumatra PDF (http://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/) or FBReader (https://fbreader.org/).

Step 4: Learn New Words From Automatic Word Lists

Now that you have fully read your eBook, you probably realize that you will forget most of the new words that came across if you do not schedule to review them at some point in the future. Memorizing something new takes some repetition and Vokabee generates personalized word lists out of the articles that you have processed: simply click the “Review words” button.

On this list, you can find all the new words that you should know with an assigned value (Low, Medium or High) for your English learning progress according to your initial language level profile. A definition in English is also provided beside the translation in your native language. You also have the option to delete words from the list by pressing the delete button. However, if you already know a word it’s best to click “I know this word” as then the system will not translate it next time: this helps Vokabee to refine its algorithm and tune the translations with the evolution of your language level. Finally, you can also edit a translation in your mother tongue if you have a better translation for a word.

Step 5: Read, Learn, Repeat

And this is how you can continue your life-long journey towards more efficient learning. As you read more, you expand your English vocabulary which enables you to read faster with sufficient understanding. Note that you can also process online articles and movie subtitles to build up a broader library of digital content so you can learn from. Bon voyage!

3 Reasons why your website speed matters

In general, people don’t like to wait, wherever they are, whatever they are doing. Everywhere we are, we witness impatient people cutting the line. It’s in the human’s’ genes to get what we want when we want. And this applies also on our digital life. When looking for a piece of information on the internet, we might check several websites in order to find it as we need a clear answer straight away. Therefore, it is in the businesses benefit to have a website with a fast load time. But don’t worry, it’s up to the web agency who is creating the website to make it fast.

Here are 3 main reasons why your website should open in less than 2 seconds:

Yes, Website Speed IS an SEO Factor

The fight for high ranking on search engines will never end. Every day, millions of businesses do their best in order to position their websites higher than the competition. For this, regular activities should be performed to optimize a website. And one of the very important factors of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is improving website speed.

Google has secrets. Some of them are still undisclosed, and others have been revealed. What is no more a secret for SEO agencies, due to an announcement made in 2010, Google doesn’t like slow websites; therefore, they could be penalized in ranking. Of course, no business would want that, or else it will be outperformed by the competition with faster load page.

Faster access to information = better user experience

Active internet users are faced with hundreds of information daily. This shows that the internet keeps them busy. And we all know that no busy person like to wait. So once users visit a website, they expect to receive the information needed as soon as they click on a page. Otherwise, they will look elsewhere.

This not only affects the user experience but also, in a more complicated way, the ranking of the website. To explain this point, we need your full attention. When a user accesses a slow website, he tends to quickly move away from it. The results of this action are 1) a high bounce rate (the percentage of website visitors who leave a site after viewing one page), 2) less opportunities for the content to be shared which is also an SEO factor, and 3) Google registers the website as irrelevant to the user’s need. As you can guess, these 3 points have a direct relation with the ranking of the website in SERP as it won’t be considered as a significant source of information.

Mobile internet users are on the rise

Since the big wave of smartphones, more and more people are accessing the internet via their mobile. In 2014, 94% of internet users in the Middle East surfed the web with their mobile. This represents a huge number for any business operating in the region. The main reason for users connecting online via their mobile is that they’d need information on-the-go, in other terms, as quick as possible. So making them wait results in the same consequences as the previous point.

In addition, a fast website speed is crucial for online stores, for the reasons mentioned and more. In 2015, around 50% of online shoppers used their mobile to purchase, which also represented a promising opportunity. Therefore, building an ecommerce website with a fast load time increases conversions. How? Well, as you probably know, in order to purchase online, a user passes through a process of several pages. So, a customer attempting to buy from a slow website will end up abandoning his cart.

In conclusion, several studies showed that internet users would wait on average 2 seconds for the page to load before losing patience. According to KissMetrics, a load page of 2 seconds has an abandonment rate of 10%. This rate increases to 25% when adding 2 more seconds to the load page. There are several tools to make sure that the web agency, when building your website, took into consideration the website speed. For example, check Pingdom in order to see if your site fits in the average or needs optimization for a better performance.

5 reasons why online video marketing is the new to-do

In 1941, the world watched the first TV commercial ever. More than 70 years later, with the booming of the internet and the social networks like Facebook, Youtube, Vine and others, the world witnessed a significant increase in video watching.
Due to this phenomenon, many businesses and web agencies in Lebanon and the world took advantage of this new opportunity by including online videos in their content marketing strategies. They were right to do so, and you should do the same.

Below are 5 reasons why online video marketing is the new to-do for any business willing to succeed online.

Youtube, a search engine not like any other
There’s no doubt that Google is the leading search engine in the world, without a serious contender. And in a totally different style, Youtube comes second. While Google has more than 100 billion searches per month worldwide, the video-based social network has more than a billion users who watch millions of hours of video. So with an optimized and interesting video, you can reach a huge number of viewers within days.
Another benefit of Youtube is the use of its online ads that can make any video be viewed by a specific target market. For example, if marketing for a music video, Youtube ads allow you to show it to users who are listening to the same style of music, and even songs for specific artists.
Finally, when a video is published on Youtube, it can be easily distributed on several other platforms in order to widen the reach.

Videos are also booming on Facebook
If Youtube is the second largest search engine, Facebook, with more than 1.65 billion users, is the biggest social network…ever! According to a study made in the end of 2015 by techcrunch, Facebook doubled its daily average video views from 4 billion to 8 billion in less than a year time. This enormous evolution created a rivalry between the social network and Youtube in video views.
In addition, according to Socialbakers, Facebook videos demonstrated to be the type of posts that is getting the most organic reach. Few years ago, due to an algorithm update, pages started depending on ads to reach more users, and without a media budget, it would become difficult for them to succeed. But here comes the videos.
Also, a media budget would be necessary to broaden the reach of your video campaign as Facebook ads proved to be an effective way to promote content in a targeted way.

Videos help people get connected and attached to a brand
It’s easier for humans to watch a video than read an article, as our brains process visuals faster than texts. In fact, a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words. For this reason, memorizing a story told in a video is less complicated than one told in an article. This helps users remember the brand, the product or the service that is being marketed in a video, which keeps them connected.

Your competitors are doing it
The impact of videos is obviously known to everyone by now, as more and more businesses are trying to take the lead by producing such content. In fact, in the US, 87% of online marketers use video content, according to Hubspot. This shows that a big part of businesses started adding videos in their marketing strategy, and there’s is a high chance that your competitors are too, and are probably reaching and attracting your target audience.

Videos ROI
One of the most important points, and probably the biggest concern is the Return On Investment of videos. Many studies show that videos are the most effective type of content, and here are some stats from Hubspot to prove it:
Including a video on a landing page increases the conversion by 80%
According to Youtube, video consumption on mobile rises 100% every year
After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product
65% of decision-makers visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video

In conclusion, using online video marketing to promote a brand, a product or a service is not a simple task to do, but is definitely worth doing. However, producing a video and paying to advertise it isn’t enough as the content is still king. Therefore, invest in coming up with a topic, developing and implementing it instead of wasting your time to create an unattractive video that won’t reach your objectives. So for a successful video campaign, collaborate with a web agency to plan and produce it.

Establishing Control of the Wire Harness Testing Process

One of the challenges in testing wire harnesses is maintaining control of the testing process. Typically, the testing process for wire harnesses is not fully automated. Operators connect an untested wire harness to the test fixture, and remove a tested wire harness from the test fixture. After a wire harness has been tested, it must be categorized as having passed or failed, and the operator must appropriately segregate the failed harnesses from the good ones. At times, an operator may fail to properly segregate a failed wire harness, causing significant problems downstream. Another potential problem occurs when an operator fails to wait until the test is completed and removes a partially tested wire harness from the test fixture. Selecting the wrong test program is also a potential problem.
Wire harness manufacturers who have several options available to them to control the testing process to minimize the possibility of intermingling defective wire harnesses with good ones. These methods include:
• Activating a fixture clamp when the wire harness has passed all tests
• Printing a label only when the wire harness has passed all tests
• Sounding an alarm if the operator removes the wire harness before the test is completed
• Ensuring that the operator cannot alter the test program
The following is a brief explanation of each approach.

Activating a fixture clamp:
Many high-volume manufacturers use fixture clamps to prevent the operator from removing the wire harness before the tester has verified that all tests have passed. In this scenario, a defective wire harness can only be removed from the fixture through intervention of a supervisor or other authorized personnel. This results in improved quality control.

A fixture clamp is a device that provides a means of locking a wire harness connector in place while the wire harness is being tested. Most fixture clamp designs use a mechanical locking device that engages when a connector is inserted into a holder. When all tests have passed, an electric solenoid is used to release the connector at the end of the test. It is best to use fixture clamps that are closed and held by a mechanical latch and are opened by activation of an electrical solenoid. This ensures that the clamp will remain closed even if the power is disconnected.
It is important for the tester to be able to activate the solenoid via a control port. Here is a description of the operational scenario involving the use of a fixture clamp controlled by the tester:
• When the operator inserts the wire harness connector into the fixture block, the connector becomes mechanically locked in place.
• When the wire harness passes all tests, the tester activates the solenoid which releases the harness connector.
• If the wire harness is defective, and cannot be repaired, a supervisor or other authorized person can use a security override procedure that releases the fixture clamp, allowing the defective wire harness to be removed from the fixture.

Printing a Label:
Some wire harness testers can be programmed to interface to a label printer, causing a product label to be printed when a wire harness passes all tests. This is a superior method to using pre-printed labels. Using the tester to print a label when a wire harness passes all tests ensures that only good products receive labels. This assurance does not exist when using pre-printed labels. Using the tester to print labels also allows for dynamic data to be part of the label information, such as the current date and time, operator ID, and tester ID. When only good wire harnesses get labels, it simplifies the process of segregating good product from bad.

Sounding an Alarm:
Some wire harness testers may be programmed to enter into an alarm mode when a wire harness is removed from the test fixture before the tester has completed testing. While in the alarm mode, the tester would do the following:
• Stop testing
• Sound an audible alarm
• Display a message indicating early removal of the harness
• Require activation of a security override by a supervisor or other authorized personnel to de-activate the alarm
Once testing has begun, if the wire harness is removed before testing is completed the tester enters the alarm mode. The alarm mode aborts the test, sounds a continuous alarm, and displays a message indicating that the wire harness was removed before testing was completed. This behavior continues until an authorized person activates a security override procedure. It is important that the alarm mode cannot be cleared by cycling power on the tester.

Ensuring that the operator cannot alter the test program:
To prevent problems associated with running the wrong test program, the tester must have the capability to lockout unauthorized personnel from selecting the test program. This ensures that once the proper test program has been selected, the operator cannot alter the selection.

Using one or more of these approaches can enable wire harness manufacturers to improve control of the quality of their products. It is important to use a wire harness tester that can support these capabilities.

10 Favorite Productivity Apps for Business Owners

Your business is running fine, but taking care of all the wok related to accounting, tracking the expenses, employees’ schedule, and answering queries and complaints of clients bogs you down. To overcome these constraints that a small business owner faces, using apps that can save your time and money is the best solution.
The app’s developers have gone all out to create utility-based apps. Choose the ones that work to make your task easy. Here is a list of some apps that are helpful for business growth and management.

Call Scheduler

When starting a business or trying to expand it, you require calling and talking to many persons. You might forget to call someone or miss out calling a critical client. The Scheduler is an app that helps you to pre-schedule any number of calls and text messages, by a fixed date and time. The app sends the messages and calls automatically. In case you cannot connect, it attempts to contact again.

Fuze

If you require an app that helps you to have conferences and meetings with your people, Fuze is the answer. This software can be used on all operating systems and devices. The best audio-visual quality allows you to host online meetings with up to 25 participants for free. Buy the pro-plan that allows connecting to 125 people at a low cost.

Producteev

A good manager of a company has to ensure that everyone working for the firm has a task assigned to him or her every day. You can now do this through Producteev, a free app that works on iOS and Android platforms. You get the app in regular and premium versions, designed to address the needs of organizations of varying sizes. You can assign tasks to individuals, create subtasks and implement privacy settings.

DocuSign

As the owner of business, you need to sign many documents related to your business or banking transactions and more. Going to a place physically takes up a lot of time. You do not need to rush back to your office from an important meeting or go to any location if you download the app DocuSign on your hand-held device.

Evernote

You need space to keep all useful information and ideas you come across every day. Evernote is like a journal that facilitates the storage of little pieces of information in one place. You can store videos and audio clippings, photos, files, and notes up to a maximum limit of 60 MB per month, in the free version. You have to pay a small price for the higher version that can store more data.

Kabanflow

If your business banks on people working from home or different locations, Kabanflow is an online task management app that can prove useful for you. The tool enables you to give an assignment to your colleagues to upload necessary documents and also assign due dates. You can easily visualize the workflow and communicate faster through this tool that works on the hand-held devices and the computer.

Basecamp

Members of your team may need to collaborate for completing a project. Basecamp is an app that provides a single view dashboard with links to a project. The app allows the project managers to exchange information and discuss the details through the discussion font and see files, tasks and the date of completion.

Paypal

Making regular payments is an essential part of business. To pay bills and make payments to different suppliers, you can use the Paypal that offers a convenient platform. Linking your accounts or debit and credit cards to the Paypal makes the transactions easy and fast. You can use it across all devices.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a file-sharing platform that offers many advantages to business owners. The application syncs documents across devices and you can reach them from any location. This is a reliable method of sharing files and folders with your group members for improved collaboration.

Clear

Time management is critical to running a successful business. Clear is a time-management app for iPhones and Android devices that you can use to plan and organize day-to-day work. The app also has the facility of setting reminders to help you. Through the justifiable program, you can pull down and pinch a task and swipe it off the screen once it is over.

Most of the apps mentioned above are free to use or offer a free trial period. Try using a few of them that suits your business needs. If you find that an application is not working for you, there are other flashiest apps, with similar functions, available. You will get some that will prove to be useful in increasing the productivity of your business.

The End of the Road for Picasa

Q. Is Google ever going to update the Picasa program again?

A. Google announced last month that as of March 15, it will no longer update or support its free Picasa photo-editing program for Windows and OS X. The software will not stop working after next week, but because the company has ceased development, there will be no more updates to add features, fix bugs or enhance the program in any way.

Picasa has been around since 2001 and was acquired by Google in 2004, but the company’s launch of its own stand-alone Google Photos app last year has meant the retirement of Picasa. Google Photos, which works through your web browser and your Google Account, is also available as an Android and iOS app for mobile devices.

Like Picasa, Google Photos can also be used to edit and organize your photos, and you can share albums with friends and back up your photo collection online for safekeeping. However, the Picasa Web Albums online photo-sharing service will change as of May 1, 2016, and some features will stop working. Google plans to move existing web-based albums (with all their photo tags and comments) into a new online space to preserve them, but you will not be able to create or edit new Picasa Web Albums.

The company suggests logging into Google Photos instead of Picasa Web Albums to edit your web-based Picasa files, as your pictures and videos will be available there as well. If you do decide to switch to Google Photos from Picasa, you can download a program to automatically upload the pictures stored on your computer’s hard drive to the Google Photos online server.

If you would rather stick to a familiar desktop-based editing program, you can keep using the final desktop version of Picasa, even though its Web Albums feature is ending. Microsoft Photos for Windows 10 (or its Photo Gallery program for older versions of Windows) or Apple’s Photos for OS X are easy-to-get alternatives, as is the free, open-source GIMP software for Windows, Mac and Linux. Paid programs like the Adobe Photoshop line or ACDSee’s image-editing software ( acdsee.com ) are other options.