Travel Tech: Smartphones


When you’re on the road you need gear that’s not only going to perform, but can withstand the beating that being dragged all over the planet will administer. It gets thrown into countless airport screener buckets, caught in monsoon rains, dropped, submerged in pools and rivers and cast to the ground in your pack, and so on.

The Samsung Galaxy Active series of smartphones, starting with the S4 back in 2013, are still the best rugged smartphones out there, if for no other reason than their competitors simply don’t make them. The competition just started making water resistant versions of their phones in the last year. So, as far as being able to take a thrashing, Samsung’s Actives, for now, still stand alone. Trust me, I conduct an exhaustive search at least once a year, and if you want top tier performance in a rugged case, it’s the Active Series.

I’m not going to regurgitate the Active Series’ specs for you here, you can find that out online. I’m going to explain why you should add this to your essential gear list. Having gotten the S4 Active back in 2013, I swear by these machines, I’ve been swimming in the ocean with the S4 and it never failed me, and the MILSPEC ratings for each subsequent model keep going up.

I’m not here selling phones for Samsung, I’m here making sure you get the right gear to take on the road with you. At $850 out of the showroom, wait a bit and start looking on craigslist or eBay, they always show up there for half price or less, often new in box or in perfect condition. So, other than its ability to withstand abuse, why the S8 Active?


Worldwide Communications

Get it unlocked and download Skype, and you have a device in your pocket that allows you to connect with any phone on Earth for really cheap. Put $25 in the Skype credit and anywhere there’s WiFi, you can call cell phones, landlines and send text messages most places in the world for 3 or 4 cents a minute. Unlock it so you can use SIMs anywhere in your Active. Just for the communications alone it’s indispensable.



I travel light, so I don’t lug a professional digital SLR with me everywhere. The camera on the Active series phones always take great pictures, even underwater. Try that with your SLR without the huge casing. You can get great shots of your excursions without carrying the extra weight.


The days of the laminated folding maps are long gone. I still have a stack of those things from all over creation. Navigating with Google maps on the Active Series phones has never failed me. I’ve never been anywhere that wasn’t covered. A few years ago, I was walking along a river in the middle of the jungle in southern Burma, tracking my progress in real time on my phone. Yes, I say go get lost when you’re traveling, but if you’re really lost, and you need to get unlost, if you have the right travel tech on you, you were never really lost in the first place. Am I making any sense?

The cost/benefit ratio of the Active Series smartphones to the itinerant globetrotter cannot be quantified, so don’t try.

World Music Festivals on Every Continent


No matter where you happen to be in the world, there’s a celebration of music happening somewhere close by at some point during the year. These festivals can be targets of opportunity if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, or you can coordinate your travels with (most of) these festivals as your primary objective. Either way, you can check each continent off your bucket list while you check out some good music.


Rock in Rio

This festival, which started in 1985, is taking place in its original hometown of Rio de Janeiro this year in September. Featuring every kind of music you can think of, and this year’s lineup has some pretty stellar international artists including The Who, Lady Gaga, Tears for Fears and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If you’re in South America and you’re a music fan, don’t blow it. Go to Rock in Rio.




Isle of Wight Festival

Held on the little island off the south coast of England, the legendary Isle of Wight Festival started in 1968 with seven bands backing up headliner Jefferson Airplane, and about 10,000 in attendance. By 1970, it had grown into a world class festival with the likes of the Doors, Miles Davis and The Who, which recorded a live album there, on the lineup. The Isle didn’t hold another festival till 2002, and every year since, the festival has been one of the world’s major music gatherings ever since. Recent years have featured Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, and Pharrell Williams on the lineup. The next one is in June 2018


The southernmost music festival in the world, IceStock has taken place every year since 1989. The lineup consists of bands made up of people working at McMurdo. This is an exclusive event with one way in: you must work at McMurdo Station on Ross Island and be there on New Year’s Day (summer in the southern hemisphere). It makes the list because, for obvious reasons, it’s the only music festival held on the continent.

Rainforest World Music Festival


This unique event held in the jungle on the island of Borneo is very much a world music festival. You won’t see your favorite pop stars here. Artists from across the spectrum of musical genres converge on a village at the base of Mount Santubong in Sarawak. Local music as well as music from the rest of Asia, Europe, Africa, The U.S.A., the Pacific Islands and Australia is represented at this gathering the jungle. The festival takes place every July.


One of the most famous music festivals (also an industry conference) in the United States, every March in Austin, Texas is SXSW (South by Southwest) when the whole of the music business and loads of popular artists take over the city for the week-long event. Rock, Hip-Hop, Blues, Country and all the other genres are represented. Music aficionados must attend.

Festival au Désert

The first of these festivals was held in 2001 in a remote area of the Sahara Desert in Mali. Due to the hazards of traveling through the Sahara and security considerations, in 2010, the event was relocated to an area outside the ancient desert city of Timbuktu. A world music festival where artists from all over Africa come together, and Tuareg music features heavily, the event has also hosted rock stars from the west including Robert Plant and Bono. Due to political unrest, the festival has been postponed since 2013, and went on tour in 2016, but check the website, that won’t last forever.

Splendour in the Grass

If you happen to be Down Under around the end of July, Byron Bay, NSW hosts the Splendour in the Grass music festival. Since 2001 the festival attracts big name acts from all over. Up to 30,000 music fans attend the 3 day event. Past headliners on the mainstage include Queens of the Stone Age, The Cure, and Jack White.

How to engage in an effective email marketing campaign


In today’s business world, email marketing is an essential tool enabling you to reach out to your customers, subscribers, clients, whomever they may be. Research shows that many number of people who received email marketing communications in the past year engaged in a purchase. This is an area you literally can’t afford to miss out on. Here are a few tips to ensure you engage effectively so that the full reward of an effective email marketing campaign can be displayed with pride on your balance sheet.


Hook your target from the outset

It may be a rather crude way to describe it, but effectively, you are choosing target group of people and attempting to make them engage in a purchase of a product or service. This does not mean you lack value or appreciation for your customers, but merely helps you maintain a clear vision.

People are busy, therefore. You must grab their attention IMMEDIATELY. We are all guilty of skimming our email and leaving many thousands unread. The secret to getting your email marketing read is making sure you offer something irresistible in the subject line to get that click. After clicking into your email thanks to its enticing title, you have overcome a huge hurdle where many others have already fallen.

Offer something of substance


It’s all very well getting someone to open your email, but, what they see next is even more essential. You have to offer something which is direct, quantifiable and of enough value to your consumer that they will spend time to read about it and actually want it.

Hopefully, if you have been direct enough in your subject line, they will already be engaged and know that they want to avail of whatever you are offering.

Don’t pester your mailing list

This is very important, you want to ensure you find the correct balance between staying in your customers mind and becoming an annoyance. You certainly do not want to become the latter.

Finding the correct frequency can be tough, especially if levels of engagement are low, temptation may guide you into sending emails more often. Try to abstain. If engagement is low, try altering your subject line or content instead of increasing contact. From a personal standpoint, I find one email a week to be quite sufficient.

Customization is key


Nobody wants to be just another face in the crowd. Make your targeted individuals feel special. Take the time to engage in customization of your emails. This can make all the difference, just by adding a few names and other unique details. Reducing the generic feel with a more personal touch will absolutely have a positive result in regard to levels of engagement.


Give it a go

These are just a few of the key points which will assist you in creating a successful email marketing campaign. One thing is clear though, building and engaging with you customer database is not only essential for building and maintaining a good relationship, it can also be highly profitable. Don’t delay, start building your email marketing campaign now.

Top 6 Fastest Growing Manufacturing Industries


In today’s world, there are endless choices for new business. Manufacturing in particular is a rapidly changing and diverse sector. With so many options available, you have to be prudent in your selection. Here we will take a brief glimpse into nine of the fastest growing manufacturing industries in today’s society.


Drone Manufacturing

The drone industry has grown at remarkable pace over the last few years, both for home use, entertainment purposes or on a commercial level with drone delivery systems being patented and tested throughout the market. This is further increasing the efficiency of warehousing storage systems and improving overall productivity. Expanding further beyond and into the military marketplace for drone technologies only proves to heighten the rapid growth and development of the industry.

The drone manufacturing industry has already shown rapid growth in the past years and is expected to grow an average of 5.8 percent annually, to $11.2 billion, by 2020. Although quite dependent on the introduction of more flexible regulations from the FAA, this industry in really ready to take flight in the near future.

To get involved, companies will need to be ready for a quickly changing industry and be prepared to stay vigilant and proactive to get ahead and maintain progress due to the regulatory changes and constant technological innovations.



Solar Panel Manufacturing


This is an industry which has seen steady growth over the last decade and looks set to continue at a rapid pace. The products themselves are constantly being improved upon and new innovations are entering the market all the time. The recent introduction of Tesla into this market place with their solar roof tiles exemplifies this as an industry which should be a primary focus going forward.

The involvement of such a big company may cause concern for new entrants, but, it is forecast that manufacturing cost of solar cell technology could fall by as much as fifty percent thanks to continued research and development of new advances.

As the world continues to focus more on renewable energy sources and attempting to reduce our carbo footprint, the solar panel industry will continue to expand and thrive. With fantastic government subsidies available to both companies and end users, this is a daunting industry from the outside that is in fact accessible to many, with the correct knowledge and research.


Electric Car Manufacturing

Electric car manufacturing is steadily on the rise and the number of manufacturers in the industry is growing by the day. Coupled with this, cost of manufacturing continues to fall as companies gain expertise and systems become more developed. In the US alone, there are at least thirty-five electric car manufacturers. The best known of these is Tesla Motors, who have recently released their latest “model 3” at the most affordable price point to date. Other big player include Chrysler and Hyundai, who have recently released their latest hybrid “Ioniq” and are reportedly working to become a dominant force in the industry over the coming years.

With a growing movement toward sustainability among the current generation, as well as a willingness from companies to invest in researching new technologies and methods, the electric car manufacturing industry is experiences its strongest period to date. Couple this with the amazing advancements in AI technology and we have a true powerhouse industry waiting to explode into life over the coming decade.




As mentioned, with the development of the AI sector, which will truly change the landscape of manufacturing itself as well as everyday life, the robotics industry is experiencing a surge of growth which will continue over the coming years. The robotics industry in one which is a vital component in the growth of other industries including manufacturing. It works in a complimentary fashion within the manufacturing industry as a whole, a concept known as “cobotics.” This has existed for many years, from assembly line machinery to automated packing of bulk containers, ready for shipping.

It is no secret that the world is moving at a fast pace toward fully automated manufacturing and other sectors. Robotics is the lifeblood of this movement. For every traditional labor job lost to automation, it is forecast that another will be created within the robotics manufacturing industry.  The industry predicts that the number of multi-purpose industrial robots in China will double by 2018.

With such a fast-growing manufacturing industry, intertwined within the future of so many others, it is quickly becoming an area which we requires great attention and study. It is likely to be fundamental in society’s future.

What are Values of the Two-Year Higher education.

State-of-the-art education and learning with this nation is easily turning into a necessity within the commerce team in contrast to an extravagance. Around the past the consumers who experienced a secondary faculty working out even now experienced the prospect to manufacture a excellent world for by themselves as well as their people. These days are very quickly turning into an alternate dieing coal belonging to the previous. For the off likelihood that you simply would want to have tremendous getting future amid your life span that you’re wholly limited by your knowing likely in addition to the level of instruction you’ve gotten gotten.

The uplifting information is that you really don’t want to have a very gain or bust method close to instruction. You may commence by earning infant strides close to highly developed training. To the off prospect that you simply possess a junior school with your normal vicinity, this really is one in all the top belongings for starting up your university instruction at any period in your own living. Most junior faculties make available lessons at distinct moments amid the day and evening, even some on Saturday keeping in your mind the tip aim to oblige understudies of assorted ages and foundations.

Junior schools moreover present you with a stunning chance to begin the process of your studying mission in the way that is certainly a great deal even more easily fair towards regular countrywide than an all out college. These schools are into a great extent employee educational facilities at the same time you will discover some that let understudies the practical knowledge of dwelling on a faculty grounds at a a lot of lower charge than most serious colleges demand for that same exact or basically the same as many advantages.

Junior faculties in addition allow you to definitely investigate your possibilities in case you aren’t primarily particular what heading you want in your exercise to choose without having having to pay like a very high price for that procedure. In case you recognize the vocation way you want to require you will identify a two-year diploma application which can have you ever from school and in a occupation much before a four-year system will allow. Relating to the off probability that that may not adequate information for yourself, a huge portion of the two-year jobs of study which might be available at the junior college or university degree would possibly just transfer effortlessly into four yr certification courses for the college or university degree.

Junior colleges give you a great start off for a few people today who are on the lookout for advanced schooling no matter whether to aid their professions or simply to discover satisfaction on an individual level in everyday life. There can be countless outstanding jobs in certified fields and scholarly fields that may be investigated and scientific tests in the junior faculty amount.

For graduating secondary college understudies junior colleges support understudies help in the alteration from secondary university to school without the need of suffering from the best way of living stun that just a few colleges can put understudies through. You will see that that there are regularly many probability to meet instructive and likewise social needs for the junior college degree for understudies that are occupied with in search of after a junior faculty exercising.

You must furthermore notice that junior colleges are much considerably less demanding to investing almost about placing aside finances and investment funds for either your own faculty exercise or perhaps the instructive costs within your youngsters. Using them head over to a junior university for your extended time then exchanging to the College can spare a good deal of cash and provides you a little bit of head that your boys and girls are as however accepting a great stage of instruction.

Definitely, about the off prospect that you will be trying to find an astounding quality with regards to instruction you would do oneself or your youngsters an injury in the event that you do not appearance within the junior school choices into your standard vicinity right before dove in and jumping into the university method of existence. You’ll find that junior colleges regularly make available an equivalent stage of instruction with the basic classes that earliest and 2nd year undergrads consistently require, they’re a vastly improved esteem for that hard cash, and they are an remarkable characteristics for that people today that are making an attempt to juggle their teaching with relatives and operate obligations.