Europe’s automotive industry might leave 80,000 unemployed soon even as fleet management systems grow!

Latest surveys in Europe indicate that the next three years could see as many as 80,000 employees shown the door as demand in car sales takes a further dip. That is further bad news in a time when nations across the continent are struggling with their debts and economies are barely on the path of recovery.

The news comes from Germany as makers like Volkswagen and ford among many others are “posting productivity rates in their plants that are unsustainable” and this means in the coming years they might have to shut down as many as 10 factories across Europe to compensate for the losses.

One of the reasons for the current crunch is the hesitation of consumers to spend more money on new cars while old ones continue to give them better mileage with time. Growing cash crunch in homes and reluctance to buy anything that is not an ‘absolute must’, mean that the medium-sized cars are taking a huge sales hit. The small car market though seems to be still pretty vibrant, but that does not really bring home the kind of revenue which will sustain profits in the long run. The report though comes at a time when improvement in vehicle tracking technologies and car fleet management services have indicated that 25.6 million fleet management units will be in operation by 2018.

That might create new employment opportunities elsewhere for those already involved in the automobile business, but it does take unique skill set and technical knowledge which will require different training and initiation programs.

But in an economy where jobs are hard to find and top car companies are handing pink slips, the fleet management sector surely presents a glimmer of hope in a report that is otherwise laced with gloom. Those close to the big car manufacturers say that it will take another 5 years at least, for things to get back on track; and even that is an optimistic

Global Sulphur Market to Reach 71.3 Million Metric Tons by 2015

The last couple of years might not have been the greatest for businesses across the globe, but with liquidity flowing back into both the US and the Euro zone, it is believed that the next few years will see a path that will put economies back in growth position.

We reckon it’s easier said than done, but let’s learn from the sulphur market where industry experts predict that it will hit the 71.3 million metric tons by 2015 — many saying that this might be on the conservative side of things. If the recovery and growth story is far brighter, then the final numbers might be a lot higher than the projected ones.

It is understandable that when it comes to metals and minerals, the market experts are a tad bit circumspect as there seems to be an element of volatility. Prices of both metals and minerals is going one way one morning and another the next.

Yet, the growing demand for sulphur mainly comes from the Asia-pacific region with China being one of its biggest markets in the region. The other strong holds for the Sulphur industry include South-East Asian countries and even the ones in Middle East. This vibrant new market with plenty of room for growth has meant that there is a constant demand for sulphur.

One of the major aspects surrounding the uses of sulphur is environmental in nature as pollutants like hydrogen sulphide, sulphur dioxide, and sulphur trioxide have been deemed as serious threats to ecosystems and hence the use of sulphur and its bi-products has been curtailed by stringent legislations in many countries.

While 2008 and 2009 saw turbulence in pricing in the sulphur market, growing demand and reduced supply has meant that there is plenty of scope for suppliers in the years to come. Industries such as agrochemicals, petroleum refining and metal mining are expected to be the ones to offer the biggest boost for sulphur market.

UK plans to up its electricity storage systems with £20m funding for innovative new technology

One of the major talking points in the UK energy sector in the recent past has been the high costs that people are being forced to pay for both domestic and business electricity.

Energy rates are simply a bit too high to the liking of the most and some complain that the so called ‘green tax’, which is there to try and fund future renewable energy generation schemes, is simply a burden that needs to be done away with.

But considering the long-term energy scenario, it might be better advised to continue devoting greater attention and funds towards alternate energy, which will bolster the conventional fuel sources that are rapidly depleting, in a considerable fashion.

The government seems to be on the right track though (at least in case of this news bit) as they have launched a £20m innovation competition, which will ask businesses and corporate houses to design and innovative storage system that will help in development of intermittent renewable energy and the building of a future smart grid.

Large scale energy storage demonstration schemes will be tested and the best ones will be approved and put to work, while a parallel system will further research in more efficient storage options and cost-effective components.

Storage systems are essential as they help balance out the fluctuations that are normally seen in generation of wind power and even solar power, to an extent. While the initial costs will be high, it is projected that energy storage could generate savings of £10bn per year and that is indeed a substantial amount, which can then go towards reduction of energy costs.

UK has been working hard in trying to push reforms in the electricity market and a more stable and reliable renewable energy system that can be seamlessly integrated into the grid will be a huge help in this regard. This though can only happen when both large wind and solar farms along with on-site energy and storage solutions for commercial buildings work in tandem.

What can you expect from a cheap courier service? More, for less!

If you’re sending documents or parcels within the EU then you might be tempted to think that any given International Courier will offer the same prices and services as most of its competitors. On the surface you’d probably be right, but if you look a little deeper you quickly find some key differences between each company. Understanding exactly where you can expect most courier services to be roughly the same should put the areas of difference in much starker contrast.

Most online couriers will work in partnership with at least one of the established global carriers – the likes of DHL and UPS. The more of these carriers that a courier works with, the more comprehensive their range of services will tend to be.

A full range of services should include:

  • Express Delivery – including next day delivery to the EU and the US.
  • Economy Delivery – taking between 2 to 4 days across the EU.
  • Timed Delivery – offering pre-9am, 10.30am and midday delivery to most locations.

Since the pool of established global carriers is limited to a select few, the reliability of the services offered by most couriers should be of a high quality and a comparable standard.

For the real differences we need to look elsewhere. The most obvious example of where a courier can really set itself apart from the crowd is in their approach to customer service. This will include how easy they are to contact (telephone, email and live web chat should be a standard feature), and how far they go to resolve problems on your behalf.

This second area can be crucial. Many couriers will expect you to track your delivery and tackle any delays should they arise. Some couriers though, take a more pro-active role, identifying issues and resolving them on your behalf.

In short; most couriers will provide broadly equivalent service in terms of reliability and cost, however where you can find the most difference, and the most advantage for you, will be in how they deal with problems if and when they arise.

Google buys Snapseed, a rival of Instagram

Google has announced that Nik Software becomes part of their organization. It is a company dedicated to photography that looks back on 17 years of activity, which has achieved special recognition for having developed the application Snapseed.

The Google vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra, has been commissioned to confirm this. So far no details have been specified of the deal with Nik Software but the deal is fully closed.

Nik Software is a company with a long experience in the field of photography. Its most recent success is Snapseed, an application that has had great success in Apple devices – iPhone and iPad – and it lets you edit photos with filters a la Instagram, the app that Facebook acquired earlier this year by 1,000 million dollars.

Snapseed, who had nine million users of Apple devices in its first year , had already announced it is preparing a version for Android, the mobile operating system from Google. The purchase could allow better photo service with Google+, its social network, and also on Android.

Nik Software have always stressed that bet on their motto “first picture” and have built quality tools based on that premise. “We have always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone and with the support of Google, we hope to be able to help many millions more to create stunning images,” explained from the recent acquisition of Google.

iPhone 5: Apple has received over 2 million pre-orders in 24 hours

The computer group Apple announced Monday that it has registered over 2 million pre-orders in 24 hours for the new iPhone 5, against only one million for the previous model during the same period.

The iPhone 5 will be available in stores in nine countries, including France and the United States, from September 21, but can be ordered online since Friday.

Some staggered deliveries in October

“Customer response to the new iPhone has been phenomenal,” said the chief of Apple marketing, Philip Schiller in the statement. “The demand has exceeded the initial offer, and if the majority of pre-orders will be delivered to customers on September 21, many will not be delivered until October,” says the group.

On Friday, Apple had extended delivery times advertised in online shops.

Some experts have predicted that the iPhone 5 would be the biggest technology product launch of the season, saying that 10 million copies could be sold in the early days of marketing.

After the first 9 countries (USA, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore), the list will be expanded to 20 more countries next week, and around a hundred other by the end of the year. This is one of the rhythms of the fastest launch for Apple phone.

More than half of the Spanish feel ‘overqualified’

64% of the Spanish feel ” overqualified ” for his current job and believes that training and experience are above their job duties, a fact that puts Spain on top of the European ranking, second only to the perception of Greek professionals (69% of respondents).

This is reflected in the third wave of the Randstad year on the job prospects of workers, noted that Spain stands 24 percentage points above the EU average, which places them far from countries like Denmark (25%), Netherlands (32%) and Germany (43%), among others.

On the corporate side, 45% of companies suffer finding professionals overall, opinion ranging between 53% of Germans and 51% of French and 33% of Italians, who occupy the last place . In the case of Spain, 35% of professionals surveyed hold this view, which puts ten percentage points below the European average.

Forecast for the coming years

The study also claims that four out of ten Spanish (43%) within three years will be short of skilled workers in the company, which puts them in the middle of the ranking of European countries, leading Germany (52%) and Sweden ( 51%). On the opposite side are placed Netherlands (33%) and Denmark (34%).

As for the interest that companies have regarding training , the report stresses that more than half of Spanish professionals, 55%, replied that their company is investing in a way, so scale percentage point above the European average (54%).

Leading the ranking placed Belgium (65%), Switzerland (60%) and Germany (59%), while on the opposite side are Greece (32%), Sweden (50%) and Norway (50 %), as the countries where companies invest less in training, according to its workers.

Motorola leaves Spain

Google has decided to close the subsidiary of Motorola in Spain later this year due to the deterioration of the Spanish economy and the unfavorable prospects for domestic consumption, which will affect the mobile device market.

The search company and Internet services, which Motorola acquired last May as part of its business diversification policy, European strategy will focus on three major markets in terms of turnover (Germany, UK and France), increasing share obviating the handset maker was making in the Spanish market, which currently exceeds 3%.

In operators like Orange, Motorola already had a 10% market share, and Vodafone and Movistar also presented new range devices ‘Razr’. In absolute levels, Spain is the European country in which Motorola sells more units .

The retreat from their positions in Europe also mean leaving the company of other markets in the euro periphery, such as Greece, Italy or Portugal, but also in countries such as Poland, Czech Republic and Scandinavia. Motorola’s workforce in Spain consists of about 50 employees.

According to published newspaper Friday ‘Expansion’, this story progresses, the decision means that as of December 31 phones that Motorola Mobility manufactures disappear from the shelves of Spanish distributors, while keeping all aftermarket services.

Google, which completed last August to buy Motorola Mobility for a total of 12,500 million dollars in cash (9,800 million euros), which shall then confirmed the closure or consolidation of the third of the 90 manufacturing that its subsidiary has spread around the world.

This restructuring plan will involve a workforce reduction and affect 4,000 employees, about 20% of the total workforce of Motorola.

Google said that “two thirds of the workforce reduction will take place outside the U.S.”, while pointing out that this decision is related to its plans to simplify telephony devices portfolio company to emphasize the production of those most innovative and profitable mobile.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility last May by 12,500 million dollars (10.245 million euros), after the company co-founder Larry Page is done with the reins of the popular search engine last year.

How can you be confident that your systems will perform?

With most modern businesses and establishments being built on a complicated software systems that are often specifically designed to each business need, it is essential for both providers and clients to ensure that their software systems perfectly without glitches and deliver the optimum output on a constant basis.

That though is easier said than done and it takes both plenty of effort in designing a system which is both consistent and competent. Yet, the biggest challenge comes for the programmers and the developers not during the development phase, but while the testing process takes off.

And proper performance testing is the key to gives both software firms and business clients the confidence that the product will deliver when it matters the most.

Nothing assures everyone involved with the development of an elaborate system more about its competence, than a comprehensive performance testing process that includes several detailed stages like Load Tests, Fail-Over Tests, Reliability Tests, Stress Tests and Network Sensitivity tests and Volume Tests, among many others.

Each software system and business client has its own set of requirements and its own output demands, which can be verified using the appropriate performance test. It offers a chance to test the developed system in real-time environment and allows the developers to monitor the output in work conditions. It also allows developers to fine tune defects, fix bugs and even compare two closely matched systems to figure out which one works best when put in a business environment.

Those involved in the project will obtain accurate stats on speed, sustainability, stability and durability of the developed system and can eliminate discrepancies before the final product is delivered. Performance Testing not only gives you a guaranteed assurance that your system will perform when it matters, but will also make sure that your company reputation is enhanced by making sure you deliver a final system that is as close to being perfect as possible.

McDonald’s launches veggie burger

Rod Mc, Mc Chicken, Mc Fish … The fast food giant McDonald’s expands its range for some time burgers to suit everyone. As part of this process, it plans to open two restaurants soon totally vegetarian in India, reports the “Financial Times “.

The famous “M” will be installed in two famous holy cities of country: Amrisar, sacred to the Sikhs and Katra, Hindu shrine dedicated to the worship of the god Vishnu. No beef or pork in the land of sacred cows in these two regions, the population is exclusively vegetarian.

Major crossing points because of their temples, they attract a significant number of visitors. However, the country of the sacred cow, Hindus, which represent 80% of the country’s population, and Sikhs, 2% do not eat beef. Muslims (13%) do not consume pork. In order to please its customers, the chain had already taken the initiative to propose lamb burgers or a revamped version of “BicMac”, this time filled with chicken instead of the traditional hamburger. The latter renamed the “Maharaja Mac” is a huge success, totaling a quarter of sales in the country. Regarding vegetarians, three sandwiches were already used. A market to 12 billion coveted Compared to France, the second largest market for American brand, India is still seen as a beginner. McDonald’s India has only 271 outlets in the country, against 1200 in France. But this is only a matter of time, because the leaders are hoping to double the number of outlets in the next three years, relying in particular on the concept of vegetarian restaurant, very promising. “India is a key focus of our development, and we are preparing to capture the market,” says Rajesh Kumar Maini, one of the leaders of the brand in the columns of the Huffington Post . In India, the market fast food estimated at $ 12 billion is highly coveted. U.S. Subways chain, which has 280 outlets in India, yesterday opened its first restaurant entirely vegetarian in the State of Punjab on a private university campus owned by vegetarians. Domino’s Pizza for its part developed ultra spicy pizza recipes for restaurants in the subcontinent.

Muscle tension, a scourge for 8 out of 10 French

81% of French people suffer from muscle tension. In detail, the French claim to be especially affected by cramps, stiff neck, body aches or back muscle pain.

The survey revealed that all age groups are affected by these muscular tensions, even if seniors are more likely to suffer.

Three-quarters of 18-24 year olds claiming to be affected by these tensions, against 78% of 25-34 years, 79% aged 35-49 and 85% aged 65 and over.

Coping up with the pain, everyone reacts differently. 40% of respondents prefer to wait a day or two before treatment, while 30% choose to take a painkiller quickly. A fifth panel completely ignores the pain.

According to the study, fatigue (86%) and stress (57%) are the main causes of the occurrence of muscle tension.

This survey was conducted online between September 11 and October 13, 2011, among a sample of 1,027 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

SnoopLion for Obama

Americans “should give four more years to Obama,” sidelines SnoopLion at the International Festival of Film in Toronto, Canada last Friday, where he presented “Reincarnated”, a documentary on reggae. The rapper most fluid phrasing of an entire generation, ex-sidekick Dr. Dre, dropped his name from Snoop Dogg to embrace a new career in Jamaican music. 

Snoop Lion takes two terms

The quadra now, with 40 million records sold, look carefully into the campaign in the United States. Away from promoting his film, he took the opportunity voice out his opinions. Former Republican President George W. Bush “fucking mess for eight years, so we must give eight years to Obama,” he firmly told before adding: “Barack has cleaned half of this mess in four years. It is not as if you had given him a clean house”. They left him a house with a TV that did not work, clogged toilets, and nothing worked, he added with images of flowers. artist attended the national convention of the Democratic Party. “You heard what Bill Clinton said? Do you like it? “He asked the audience in reference to the much applauded speech of former Democratic president Wednesday. These are the stars behind Obama. Finally, the singer welcomed the elimination of Bin Laden. “Obama came and found, that George Bush could not catch who vanished 11 September 2001. Now if everyone can live in peace, and have a good time, it is because he has done it. ” Without any mystery, Snoop Lion joined battalions connected artists, young and glamorous that support Democrats like Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce, Angelina Jolie and many others.