Category Archives: Technology News

Digital Flow Meter: Piping Requirements for Various Technologies

Some people don’t know this, but almost all installation guidelines for various flow meter types and designs are largely based on flow meter piping requirements. In fact, it basically plays a significant role in choosing the right metering principle or technology behind the instrument, specific to the flow measurement application.

Regardless of its characteristics, when fluid flows through a channel, it moves pretty consistently with the peak velocity occurring near the middle of the pipe. When flow meter installation is not done correctly, or if the wrong digital flow meter technology is installed, flow measurement can become inconsistent and inaccurate. Improper flow meter configuration may cause one of two types of common fluid disturbances; flow profile distortion and swirl.

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Maintenance Tips for Your Moisture Analyzer Equipment

Having clean and well-maintained moisture balance equipment is crucial to the accuracy of the readings it provides. If a certain process requires the ability to precisely maintain acceptable levels of moisture using a moisture analyzer, then it is important to establish and abide by a suitable maintenance program for the equipment itself. With a good maintenance routine that is regularly observed, you are not just extending the life of the equipment, you are essentially protecting an investment.

Moisture analyzers, otherwise known as moisture balance equipment, are incredibly sensitive tools that need to be kept clean, especially if you want to maintain their accuracy in measuring moisture levels. In a lab, for instance, moisture analyzers are ideally placed in a clean, protected area away from dust and other substances that could be detrimental to the equipment and may affect their accuracy and repeatability.

However, the lab is not the only place where moisture analyzers are used. There are many applications and processes that may require the use of such instruments; and some of the places that utilize moisture analyzers may not always have a clean and safe area or ideal conditions for such a sensitive tool. That is why having a good maintenance program is still necessary.

Additionally, when conducting moisture analysis, some of the samples being tested may end up spilling from the sample plate and onto other parts of the equipment itself. And certain samples, especially liquids and fine powdery substances, can present real hazards to the performance and condition of the equipment.

Moisture Analyzer Cleaning Tips

Before you start cleaning the instrument, you need to make sure that it’s unplugged from any power source. You then have to refer to the owner’s manual as to the manufacturer’s directions for the step-by-step cleaning process. Normally, you will be required to remove accessories and parts that can be detached from the equipment and clean those parts separately. The most common removable parts are the sample dish, the sample dish holder, the dish retainer, and the draft shield, as well as the base plate in certain models.

These parts can then be cleaned individually, using soft cloth dipped in soapy water. Make sure to wring out the cloth before you start cleaning the accessories. Use mild dishwashing liquid. Never use strong cleaning solutions, unless specified by the manufacturer. You then rinse the parts with a fresh piece of cloth dipped in clean water. Dry the accessories using a clean piece of dry, soft cloth.

As for the body of the equipment, the same caution should be applied. Remove any lose dirt or substances using a soft bristle brush or a handheld vacuum cleaner. Once the lose material has been successfully removed, you can start wiping down the surface of the equipment with your soapy water. Be careful not to let the solution penetrate the interior electronics of the instrument, so you have to make sure to wring the cloth first before you start wiping.

When cleaning sensitive equipment, it is always best to consult the user’s guide and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations as to how you should clean the device.

Stem Cell-Grown Blood Could Revolutionize Medical Transfusions

Stem cell technology is one of the most promising discoveries in the medical field. It’s been used as a platform to develop a variety of medical applications. Nowadays, it has been successfully used to grow fresh human blood.

In response to a request from the US military, researchers from the UK and Irish Blood services have teamed together last 2007 to build a machine that could be easily dropped off from a helicopter to a battlefield to supply wounded soldiers with stem cell-derived blood. Unfortunately, their first attempt was unsuccessful.

However, refusing to abort the mission, the team decided to refocus their efforts and came up with a similar technology that enables clinics all over the world to gain access to a limitless supply of lab-grown blood. The use of blood grown from stem cells would be highly beneficial to the field of medicine. As the blood supply is guaranteed to be fresh at all times, it would remove the risks of getting any infections from a transfusion.

The team has chosen to work with induced pluripotent or embryonic stem cells, which have the capacity to differentiate into various types of cells when placed in the right culture conditions. The team has changed their protocol to focus more on red blood cells after a year from human testing.

The project is led by the medical director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service along with Joanne Mountford of the University of Glasgow. According to Mountford, they are simply executing as what nature intended since they are making blood from human cells. “It’s the same thing your body makes but we’re just doing it in a lab.” She says.

She also went further to explain the advantages of using lab-grown blood over the traditional way of obtaining blood from a human donor. Mountford and her team propose that recipients of engineered red blood cells will receive “fresher and potentially more effective blood” as compared to blood taken from a donor, which are likely 110 or more days old. The latter batch is more likely to die sooner and won’t do the recipient much good. Aside from that, the team is also making type-O blood, which means it can be transfused to all types of patients even those with the rare AB-negative blood type.

Having a limitless supply of this stem cell-grown blood will take away the hassle of segregating and rearranging the different types of blood. Simplifying the logistics of global distribution, this process allows vital blood supply to flow faster and more efficiently to whoever needs it in whichever part of the world.

However, there are also challenges in implementing the fruits of the study into actual clinical practice. According to Mountford, it is possible for her team to produce around 10 billion red blood cells per batch. However, they still have a long way to go to beat the trillion cells contained in a single bag of blood coming from an average human donor. Moreover, in order for the actual process to be effective all over the world, her team would have to figure out a way to get it done at a cost that would suit the capacities of the developing world.

A Quick Guide to Choosing a Digital Flow Meter

Flow meters are important to various industries because they help determine the amount of gas, liquid, or vapor present in a particular area. If you plan to get one for whatever purpose, you’ll have to make sure you choose the right type of digital flow meter and that the device you get is of top quality. Never make the mistake of choosing based on price alone and then trying to justify your choice with the amount of money you saved with the purchase.

In choosing a flow meter, you’ll need to take a number of factors into consideration, including the ease of calibration and maintenance, durability, accuracy of reading, the credibility/track record of the manufacturer, and the availability of spare parts. The cost of the device should only be considered once all of the other important considerations have been taken into account.

Choosing the Right Digital Flow Meter

How do you make sure that the flow meter you get is the right one? The first thing you need to do is determine whether you need the flowrate information to be totalized or continuous. You also need to decide if you will only be getting the information locally or if you need to get it remotely as well. If the information needs to be gathered remotely, you’ll have to determine whether it will be best transmitted via analog, digital, or shared means. If you go for shared transmission, you’ll have to determine the minimum required data-update frequency.

When you have all of these data on hand, can you already consider yourself ready to start shopping for a flow meter? Not quite. There is still a second phase you need to go through in order to be absolutely sure you won’t be wasting your money on the wrong device. This second phase involves evaluating the flow characteristics and properties of the process fluid as well as the piping to be used for your flow meter.

Where the process fluid is concerned, there are things like temperature, pressure, allowable pressure drop, specific gravity, viscosity, conductivity, and vapor pressure at the maximum operating temperature to consider. The manner in which all of these properties are likely to interact and/or vary also has to be determined and indicated, along with safety and toxicity information as well as detailed information on the composition of the fluid. Data on the possible presence of solids and bubbles in the process fluid, a possible tendency to coat, and its light transmission qualities should also be provided.

In the case of the piping and the area where your flow meter will be located, the following factors will have to be considered: the direction of the piping (a downward flow will have to be avoided for liquid applications), the size of the pipes, the piping material, the flange pressure rating, the area’s accessibility, upstream and downstream turns, regulators, valves, and straight-pipe run lengths.

Of course, you don’t have to make all these determinations yourself, unless you really are familiar with the process. You can hire the services of a professional engineer who can assist you not only in the planning and preparation, but even in choosing the right flow meter and in the installation process. The engineer will also be responsible for determining whether there are vibrations or magnetic fields in the area, if the area has been classified for explosion hazards, if pneumatic or electric power is available in the area, and if there are any special requirements you need to fulfill prior to installation.

The third phase in ensuring that you get the right flow meter involves determining the necessary meter range. This is done by identifying what the minimum and maximum flows to be measured are (mass or volumetric?). You then need to determine what the necessary flow measurement is. Make sure your accuracy requirements are stated at the normal, minimum, and maximum flowrates. All of these requirements are important because they help you ensure that the performance of your flow meter is acceptable through its full range.

Key Questions

As a recap of what you need to do in order to make sure the flow meter you get is the right one for your needs, here are the key questions you need to ask before you go out to shop for a flow meter:

  1. What kind of fluid are you planning to measure?
  2. Will you be doing rate measurement or totalization measurement?
  3. If you plan to measure liquid other than water, what is the viscosity of the liquid you’ll be measuring?
  4. Will a local measurement display on the flow meter be enough for your purposes or will you require an electronic signal output?
  5. What are the minimum and the maximum flow rate?
  6. What are the minimum and the maximum process pressure?
  7. What are the minimum and the maximum process temperature?
  8. Is the process fluid chemically compatible with the wetted parts of the flow meter?
  9. If what you’re planning is a process application, how big is the pipe?

The answers to these questions will make it a lot easier for you to determine which particular flow meter you should get.

Installation Cautions

It’s not enough for you to make sure you buy the right flow meter; you should also make sure it is installed properly so that it functions exactly as it should. For one thing, you have to make sure that a flow meter used for liquid service remains full of liquid while it is installed because any amount of gas or vapor in it can change its geometry and negatively affect the meter’s accuracy. For flow meters to be used in gas/vapor service, the opposite is true: it has to remain full of gas/vapor because the presence of moisture or liquid can alter its geometry.

Note as well that any disturbance such as control valves and pipe elbows can also affect reading accuracy, so it is best to place them downstream, so the disturbance in the flow will not be reflected by the flow meter measurement.

Top Free Live Stream Video Apps for iOS and Android Devices

There’s a whole crop of lightweight live stream apps for mobile devices. These apps are specifically designed to broadcast video in real-time using only your smartphone or tablet. They don’t require camera add-ons – the camera on your device is sufficient enough; and they don’t need special microphones, just the built-in microphone on your smartphone.

If you want to try out these apps on your smartphone and perhaps stream real-time video over the Internet and share it with your friends, here are several free live stream video apps that are designed for the iOS and Android platforms.

  1. Periscope is a new live mobile video app recently acquired by Twitter early this year. It’s free to download in the iTunes apps store. The app is relatively easier to use than most live stream video applications available in the market. It offers public or private live stream options, as well as the ability to record your streams to be broadcast at a later time.
  1. Meerkat is a free app for iOS devices that was released earlier this year. It allows users to transmit live video on Twitter. It basically allows you to create a special video channel that your followers can interact with via tweets. This app, however, only broadcasts on Twitter.
  1. Bambuser is a relatively older live video app that’s been around for quite some time. It gained significant attention back in 2011 and 2012, during the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and neighboring countries, when protestors used the app to broadcast live video of the street protests. Bambuser is available for free on the Play Store and iTunes Apps Store.
  1. Stre.am is also a live stream video app for smartphones. It allows users to transmit live video from their mobile devices as well as view other people’s live streams. This free app is available for iOS and Android users.

With these apps, you can literally broadcast your videos live for hundreds, if not thousands of people. As the Stre.am’s motto goes, “Stre.am life as it happens.”

Finally a Headset That Perks You Up!

People love getting a fix. It’s practically the reason why alcohol and caffeine are among the world’s most heavily consumed commodities. Nowadays, you can get the same kind of fix from a mood-changing headset known as the Thync.

With the use of electrodes, this simple device can easily lift your mood up. It can produce the same energizing effect when you drink a cup of coffee as well as the same relaxing or calming effect when you down an alcoholic drink.

The device was developed by a startup company based in Silicon Valley. According to its CEO, Isy Goldwater, she imagines people wearing the mood-changing headset to help them obtain a caffeine-free pick me up or simply to unwind after a long tiring day. “We are giving people a way to overcome a basic limitation—that no one is really wired to co-opt energy and calm on demand.” He says.

The idea behind the Thync is undeniably amazing. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to feel good in an instant? However, the device may not work for everyone. This is due to the reason that people are not built the same way. About a third of the world’s population just don’t have a strong response. Some people may only feel a tingling when the device starts to make contact with their skin but feel no sense of serenity even after several sessions.

Nonetheless, it would be a great device for people who can actually feel a response. Basically, the headset employs tDCS or transcranial direct current stimulation. This allows the Thync to maintain and deliver a constant low current to the user’s head through a surge of electrodes. As an end result, the electrodes change the activity of neurons in a particular area in the brain. According to studies, this type of approach can help improve a number of cognitive abilities. Due to its range of potential uses, neuroscientists are currently experimenting on its application in the medical field.

Thync is currently the only device aimed to alter the state of mind of healthy people. As mentioned, it uses electric waveforms to target specific cranial nerves to change a person’s mood. When used in a 10-minutes session, the effects of the device can last for up to 45 minutes. As of now, the headset can be operated through a smartphone. With the application installed in the smartphone, the user can control the amount of current as well as the strength of the effect.

The device has been tested on more than 3,000 people. In addition, the company has also funded a study by the City College of New York involving 100 people to test the calming effect of the device. Although the effects varied from one individual to another, the tests showed that the device had indeed improved the user’s mood. “To their credit they have engineered something that, at least in this situation, produced a bigger change,” says Marom Bikson, the biomedical engineering professor who led the study.

To counter the safety concerns involving cognitive enhancing devices, the Thync will only be made available for adults.

Windows Laptop/Desktop Computer Organizational Tips

Whether you’re working, playing games, updating social media status, surfing the web, or streaming the latest season of your favorite show on Netflix, doing system maintenance and organizing files and folders will be the last thing on your mind.

Backing up data, getting rid of unnecessary files to free up a few gigabytes of storage space, running antivirus programs, defragmenting hard drives; these are tedious but necessary tasks if you want your computer well-optimized. Below are a few tips that will help you organize and maintain your Windows PC.

Organizing Important Data in Your Computer System

Before you can effectively backup your data or sync your files to another system, it has to be well-organized to avoid potential issues in the future. This is also essential for a well-maintained high performance machine.

Reasons why organizing data is important:

  • Locating files manually becomes easier.
  • Finding groups of similar files is a lot less stressful.
  • Moving important data to a new computer will not be a hassle.
  • Syncing files and other data to other systems is easier.
  • Determining which files to backup is quick and simple.

Organizational tips to help you get started:

1. Decide on an organizational system that works for you and stick to it. Choosing the right organizational system takes time. You have to figure out what works for you and what does not. Once you’ve decided on a filing system, stick to it. Otherwise, all these will be pointless.

2. Choose a root folder for your files carefully. Don’t be afraid to use subfolders. Think of the root folder as the gateway to all of your data. If your hard drive is partitioned, for instance, you can choose whether to use drive C: or D: for your root folder. If you choose the latter, then your structure should look like D:\My Files or D:\<Your Name > if the computer has multiple users. Once you have your root folder, organize files contained within it by creating subfolders and housing files of similar purpose in their designated folders.

3. Avoid grouping files based on file type. Instead, group your files based on purpose, i.e., your work files should be in a different folder from your family vacation photos, and your mp3 files should not be in the same folder as your video collection.

4. Name your files and folders intelligently and avoid long filenames. Names like New Folder (2) or Document2.doc are lazy names. That extra 20 seconds you spend thinking of a meaningful name for your file/folder is nothing compared to 30 minutes of scouring through New Folder (2) all the way to New Folder (12) just to look for a single file.

5. Separate software application files from the data files you’ve created. When you install a particular program, the components needed to make that software function properly is called application files. Some software programs will store saved files in the same location as the application files, as a default save location. Take a few seconds to check where you’re saving your data file to be sure it is in the right location.

The Moisture Analyzer: What It Is and How It Works

Before delving into the different types of moisture analyzers, what they are, and how they work, one has to first understand the process of moisture analysis. Analyzing moisture content in any given item, whether it be high level or trace amounts of gases, solids, or liquids, covers a wide range of methods. Measurement of trace moisture is important in a variety of applications, such as in process quality assurance and marketing.

Trace moisture measurements in solids like pharmaceuticals, plastic, heat treatment processes and the like must be done to control moisture content and maintain quality. For liquid or gas products, moisture measurement applications for moisture are hydrocarbon processing, dry air, bulk pure gases, pure semiconductor gases, natural gas pipeline transport, and dielectric gases like what is found in transformers and in power plants.

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Software Business Tips for Non-Techies

Non-techies: people who are not completely adept with technology, including those who know how to create and manage blogs but are not coders or programmers. These people are considered non-techies. For a lot of non-techies, especially those who have products and entrepreneurial vision but do not have developer skills, starting a software company is a challenge.

Even if a non-techie has a good business background, if he or she does not know how to manage the technical aspect of his company, he will have a difficult time achieving business goals. In some cases, non-techie software business founders can even be considered unqualified, and this makes it hard for them to find partners, investors, and potential employees. For many industry insiders, a software business owner should know how to make software for him to be effective.

However, there are things that you can do to ensure the security of your software business. If you want your business to be successful, you need to follow several tips that are meant specifically for non-techie founders and leaders.

What Non-Techies Should Do

A non-techie software business owner needs to consider doing the following:

  • Find/Identify your ideal market. As a business person, this is important for you. With your niche or market clearly targeted, you will be able to easily identify your clients or customers. And this, in turn, will help you decide what your company should focus on.

It will be a good idea to start by catering to a small niche so the company can build opportunities and offer products to a dedicated customer group. Product development will be easier, too, as you won’t have to contend with a large market yet. Later on, as your company develops, you can start expanding and catering to a larger niche.

  • Find a technical team that can dedicate their time to building your company’s software product. You cannot start your business without creating the software you are offering. As you are a non-techie, you have to find someone—or several persons—who can take this role from you.

Additionally, your technical team will be responsible for responding to customers’ needs and requests. The team’s task is to develop the company’s product and keep refining it until it becomes the best fit for the market you have targeted.

A dedicated technical team, one that is tasked only on this particular project, is the most ideal.

  • Do not wait for your technical team to finish what they’re doing before you go out and find prospective clients. You need to talk to possible customers even when the software or product is in development, because this is the best way to build interest in what you are offering. If you give prospects a good picture of what they are to expect, curiosity will build up and by the time your product is finished and is ready to be unveiled, you would have created a buzz. And prospective clients will be eager to sign up with your company.

Pre-selling your product is a good way of drumming up interest and building anticipation.

  • Remember, first and foremost, you are a business person. As such, your focus should be on the business side of things. It is, of course, all right to keep an open line of communication with your technical team. It is all right to fish for updates. But, always remember to leave all the technical details to the team. Do not meddle with their work; do not control them. You can provide guidance and help them understand what the clients want, but never interfere with their expertise.

What you should do instead is support them, try to understand what they are aiming to achieve, and give them your trust. Your task is to sell the product. Their job is to execute the company’s visions.

  • Before you decide to push through with your software business, you have to make sure that you have the budget for it. And this does not pertain to a budget that’s “just enough.” You need to have more than enough so that your technical team can keep working on the company’s product/s.

In the planning stage, you have to visualize your company’s development for a period of at least one year.

  • Finally, make sure that your expectations are realistic. In setting business goals, try not to go overboard. Focus on what can be done and what needs to be done. Do not yet focus on multiple goals. As yours is a new company, your main goal should be to make the business take off, attract customers and investors, and survive its first year. In addition, continuous product development should also be in the list.

While it’s true that you do not have 100% technical knowhow, it is possible to build a software company and translate your business dreams to reality. All you need to do is focus on your non-technical tasks and leave the tech stuff to the tech experts.

Surefire Strategies for Hiring the Best Software Developers

In today’s highly advanced society, technology is in demand. Anybody who has knowledge and experience in technology is considered an asset—to a company, an organization, to a community. Practically everybody wants a techie, which is why you need to know how to stay ahead of the pack if you want to hire the best technology experts.

If you want to attract the best software developers, you have to do more than look good and talk about how long your company has been in business. There are specific attributes that software developers look for. No worries, though, because you can always take advantage of several strategies to attract the right kind of tech talent for your company.

Strategies for Attracting the Right Software Developer

Make sure you have a strong brand. Software developers will not only look at a company’s background, they will also consider the brand. What kind of image does your brand project? What can your brand offer the best software developer? How strong is your brand? What makes it different from other brands in the industry?

These are the questions you need some answers to. Ask yourself these questions and if you get good, attractive answers, your company won’t have a difficult time getting software developers to knock on your door.

Do some research and find out where the best talents are. To gain access to the best software developers, you have to know where to look for them. It can be all about a specific place, or it can be an organization or talent pool. What you need to watch out for is the level of demand in particular areas. If the demand is high in, for example, New York, you are going to have a hard time looking for one. Look a place where the demand is not that high.

Once you have established contact with your prospects, it’s time for the interview. Interviewing prospective team members is the best way to find out if you have made the right choice. Of course, you should have at least three or four developers in the lineup to make sure you find the ideal one.

The interview is where you get to know more about the developer. As such, it is important to ask the right questions. First of all, you will want a developer who understands what your business goals are. In addition, your ideal software developer should be flexible and can work on one project after the other. A developer who knows how to relay information about complicated issues or ideas in the simplest terms is also a good one.

Develop your interview questions with these questions in mind, so you will be able to determine which candidate should be taken in by the company.

As it is inevitable, prepare to answer some questions fielded by your prospective developers.  You have to remember that these developers are being wooed by not just one or two, but multiple companies. Your answers to their questions should help paint an impressive image of the company. Of course, you should back up your answers with facts. Telling the truth is the number one rule.

Leave a positive impression on your candidates and you’ll have them jumping up and down with excitement.

Show developers what their future will be like if they choose your company. Stability, not just in financial terms, is an important matter for candidates. Therefore, you should be able to show your prospects a clear idea of what their future will be like in the company. If your company offers stock ownership options or fast career advancement, let your candidates know. It will also help if you mention opportunities for career development while employed in your company.

Build a good team by asking for referrals. If your intention is to build a pool of good software developers, your first step to fulfilling this goal is finding referrals. Where can you get them? From your newly hired developer!

If your new software developer is a treasure, it’s almost always a guarantee that he or she knows people who are as good as he or she is. So, ask for referrals. To make it more interesting, develop a program that will reward employees or team members who can refer good candidates for the position.

To make all these strategies work, it is important that you understand your company’s needs. Why do you need software developers? What are the goals you wish to achieve by hiring a developer? What other factors can developers contribute to your company? Most important of all, you need to understand what your company can offer and what it stands for.

Once you know all these, you will be able to come up with a good program for software developers, which you can then use to attract the best ones to your company or team.