Archive for August, 2017

Georgia Power provides lifeline for $19bn nuclear power plant

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Only new station still being built in US after South Carolina scheme suspended

YouTube’s New Design Overhaul Signals Changes for Small Business Users Too

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Check Out the Major New YouTube Design -- Including a New Logo

If you went on YouTube this morning and felt something was amiss but couldn’t quite put your finger on it, you were not alone. The company made several changes to the user interface (UI) for the desktop and mobile platforms, along with a redesigned logo.

A Look at the New YouTube Design

The logo change is the first for YouTube, and it represent the shift that has taken place in our viewing habits since the site was launched 12 years ago. The screen with the play button has moved to the left, signifying a flexible design for the many different devices now available in the marketplace. More importantly, the company also recognizes the creators who have made YouTube an industry in itself. So the changes are going to improve the way creators and viewers interact on YouTube.

Check Out the Major New YouTube Design -- Including a New Logo

In announcing the changes on the company blog, Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, said YouTube is far from finished. Mohan added, “Over the last few months we’ve started releasing updates and will continue to throughout the rest of the year. When all is said and done, we’ll bring a new level of functionality and a more consistent look across our desktop and mobile experiences.”

Mobile

The changes to mobile begin with a clean new design and more control of what is being watched. For creators such as small businesses, it includes a feature that changes shape to match the video format, such as vertical, square or horizontal when users watch it.  This means less time in post-production time spent on reformatting videos.

Additional mobile updates include videos that move with you, being able to watch at your own pace, and browse and discover videos while you watch. 

Desktop

The changes to the desktop also include some of the mobile UI improvements. A feature called Dark Theme delivers a cinematic look by turning the background dark while you watch a video.

 Check Out the Major New YouTube Design -- Including a New Logo

Highlighting the Content

YouTube is making changes, but addressing the UI first highlights the company’s desire to make consuming videos much easier. As Facebook Video continues to capture more of the market, YouTube’s dominance will not be as strong.

For small businesses that rely on video to engage with their customers, it will mean using YouTube and Facebook, as well any other platform as long as it delivers results.

Images: YouTube

This article, “YouTube’s New Design Overhaul Signals Changes for Small Business Users Too” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Energy sector poised for worst month since 2015

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)

Virtual offices bring together people from all corners of the world. And it’s creating a linguistic nightmare — even when people are speaking the exact same language.

If you’ve partnered with some freelancers or have clients living in the U.K., you may have already encountered this phenomenon. You’re having a normal conversation and suddenly the Brit on the other end has no idea what you’re saying. This goes beyond replacing Zs with Ss or spelling COLOR with a U.

Turns out, there are plenty of phrases and words in American English that simply do not translate to British English. These are phrases that Americans in business use every day — maybe a little too much — but are completely foreign to our friends over there.

In the blog written by Kerry Noonan on the Foothold America site, she says, “One thing that’s becoming more prevalent in UK offices, it’s the frequency of which we hear Americanism expressions spoken by British colleagues.”

She goes on to say, “Many of us use them without even realising (it is realizing for the American version) that they have origins across the pond.”

It may be some time before we start adopting more British business-isms in America. Don’t expect to hear people complaining about queues at the bank any time soon. But it does appear the British are catching on to the way American business colleagues speak.

American Business Phrases

Here’s just a sampling of the puzzlers that have Brits doing searches to figure out just what their American counterparts are saying …

Boiling the Frog

Apparently this is an American expression meaning, the art of managing a smooth transition, so much so it goes unnoticed. The frog analogy comes in from the folklore that frogs jump out of hot water, but do nothing if the water is heated slowly. 

Sausage and the Sizzle

This is an expression used in marketing about selling the sizzle and not the sausage. It means to sell the benefits and not the features. (Another version of this expression is to sell the sizzle not the steak.)

Aces in Their Places

It sounds pretty straightforward to an American audience. Clearly, this means having the best people in the roles best suited for them. In the U.K., it’s pure gibberish.

Ninth Inning

They don’t play much baseball in the U.K. Cricket has innings, too, but this just doesn’t translate. You’ll probably want to avoid most sports references unless you’re a soccer (err, football) fan.

Speaking a Foreign Language

Effective communications is key to any business relationship. And while the Brits have adopted some American phrases, it would behoove any small business in the U.S. to reciprocate.

Check out these stumpers that are spoken plenty in the U.K.:

Throwing a Spanner in the Works

To really understand the meaning of this, it helps to know that a spanner is a wrench.

Chuffed to Bits

If your business partner tells you they are chuffed to bits, take it as a compliment. It means they’re happy.

Check out the full infographic from Foothold America highlighting these uniquely American business phrases that baffle the Brits:

Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)

Flags Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Harvey aftermath hits a third of US oil refineries

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Damage to US energy infrastructure sends price of gasoline sharply higher

Harvey damage to energy infrastructure rattles gasoline markets

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

US Energy Dept releases crude from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Louisiana refinery

Storm Harvey exposes Achilles heel for global energy market

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Status of the US as an energy powerhouse means Gulf coast storms are global events

Cargill, an intensely private firm, sheds light on the food chain

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

ANGLERS love a record catch. Fish farmers, too. So when a salmon bred and raised near this village at the head of a Norwegian fjord was pulled out of captivity earlier this year weighing a sumo-sized 17kg, it was cause for jubilation. “It was fantastic,” says Einar Wathne, head of aquaculture at Cargill, the world’s biggest food-trading firm. Not only was it produced in 15 months, one-fifth faster than usual, it also looked and tasted good. Mr Wathne’s Norwegian colleagues celebrated by eating it sashimi-style shortly after its slaughter.

Cargill is a company usually associated with big boots rather than waders. America’s largest private company has built a reputation after 152 years of existence as middleman to the world, connecting farmers with buyers of human and animal food everywhere. Through a trading network that spans 70 countries (and that includes scores of ports, terminals, grain and meat-processing plants and cargo ships), it supplies information and finance to…Continue reading

Fitbit Smartwatches Remind Entrepreneurs Products Should Have a Reason for Being

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Fitbit Smartwatches Remind Entrepreneurs Why Product Purpose is Important

Fitbit’s (NYSE:FIT) new smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic, is currently available for pre-order. But the company wants you to know that this isn’t just another generic smartwatch — this one actually has a reason for being.

In keeping with the company’s history, the Fitbit Ionic has a specific focus on health and fitness. So it includes a lot of the features you can already find on other Fitbit products, like step tracking and heart rate monitoring, but surrounded by a more robust set of smartwatch features. It gives consumers who are concerned about health and fitness a way to monitor those factors on a device that they can also use for other things, rather than having to carry around a separate pedometer or smart band.

These features don’t just give the new smartwatch a niche within the industry — they give it a reason for being. Other smartwatches to this point have simply offered general features that customers can already access on their smartphones. So basically, it’s just a smartwatch for the sake of being a smartwatch.

Consider Product Purpose

Small businesses can take away an important lesson from this. The next time you’re brainstorming or developing a new product, ask yourself what specific purpose it serves or what problem it solves for your customers. Creating a new product just because it seems cool or you want to try out a new type of technology might seem innovative — but it could leave your new product without a market.

Image: Fitbit

This article, “Fitbit Smartwatches Remind Entrepreneurs Products Should Have a Reason for Being” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Of Indian banknotes cancelled last year, 99% are accounted for

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

ON NOVEMBER 8th 2016, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, stunned its 1.3bn people by announcing that most banknotes would soon become worthless. Indians then queued for weeks on end to exchange or deposit their banned money at banks. The comfort for the poor was that the greedy, tax-dodging rich would suffer more, as they struggled to launder their suitcases full of cash by year-end.

Not so. A report from the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on August 30th suggests that of the 15.4trn rupees ($241bn) withdrawn—roughly 86% of all banknotes by value—15.3trn rupees, or 99% of them, have been accounted for. Either the “black money” never existed or, more likely, the hoarders found a way of making it legitimate.

Defenders of the scheme say it is merely one plank of a wider fight against informal economic activity and corruption. Banks have enjoyed an influx of cash. Digital payments are up (from a low base), as issuance of replacement notes has not caught…Continue reading

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