How IT improvements are changing the courier landscape.

Since more and more courier companies have appeared on the market, each one of them is actively trying to deliver the best results. But that’s where the need for innovation comes into play and with that in mind integrating technology can be a very good idea at all times.

59% of all consumers are avoiding a company if they have bad courier support and that’s why they each retailer, especially those that are active online, need to try and deliver a very good user experience as fast as possible. A cheap international courier service will still offer good customer service, an example is live tracking of parcels. So if a client uses a courier to Australia they have instant access to online information about their shipment without needing a live person to provide the support keeping the cost down.

Companies like UberRush, Nimber, Piggybaggy and Starship will always be able to bring in the much needed support for retailers. The idea is that they work very hard to achieve their goals and the more you do that the better the results will be in the end.

Plus, technology also allows customers to have a better experience as well. It will provide

Four New Ways to Chill Computer Chips


Things are getting a bit too hot in the microprocessor world. Again.

Moore’s Law has always come with the caveat that more transistors, switched at a higher frequency, means more heat. Over the years, chipmakers have used tricks like throttling back clock speeds and putting multiple microprocessor cores on a chip to spread out the heat.

But heat continues to stifle chip performance. Hot spots on today’s processors can reach power densities of 1 kilowatt per square centimeter, much higher than the heat inside a rocket nozzle. A growing fraction of transistors on advanced microprocessors are not even operated at any one time because they would generate too much heat, says Avram Bar-Cohen, a program manager at the microsystems technology office of DARPA. “As we put more and more transistors on them, this ‘dark silicon’ fraction has gone from 10 to 20 percent, in some cases more,” he says.

There’s only so much that processor designers can do to keep chips from generating too much heat, and it’s time for some new ways to get that heat out.

The conventional approach to dissipating the heat is to attach

Spy Agency Bets on IBM for Universal Quantum Computing


A real-life U.S. version of “Q Branch” from the James Bond films has greater ambitions than creating personal spy gadgets such as exploding watches or weaponized Aston Martins. It’s betting on an IBM team to develop the first logical qubits as crucial building blocks for universal quantum computers capable of outperforming today’s classical computers.

Most quantum computing efforts have focused on building ever-larger arrays of quantum bits, called qubits, made from physical components such as superconducting loops of metal or charged atoms trapped within magnetic fields. Qubits can harness the weird power of quantum physics to exist in two states simultaneously and influence distant qubits through quantum entanglement, but the challenge comes from maintaining fragile quantum states long enough to perform computer calculations. As a next step, the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has given IBM a five-year research grant to assemble physical qubits into a single logical qubit that lasts long enough to perform complex computer operations.

“The idea is that the encoded logical qubit would last longer than individual physical qubits, so it could be part of a computation in a larger universal quantum computer,” says Jerry Chow, manager of experimental quantum computing at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center,

Australians Invent Architecture for a Full-Scale Silicon Quantum Computer


It’s looking more and more like future super powerful quantum computers will be made of the same stuff as today’s classical computers: silicon. A new study lays out the architecture for how silicon quantum computers could scale up in size and enable error correction—crucial steps toward making practical quantum computing a reality.

All quantum computing efforts rely on “spooky” quantum physics that allows the spin state of an electron or an atom’s nucleus to exist in more than one state at the same time. That means each quantum bit (qubit) can represent information as both a 1 and 0 simultaneously. (A classical computing bit can only exist as either a 1 or a 0, but not a mix of both.) Previously, Australian scientists demonstrated single qubits based on both the spin of electrons and the nuclear spin of phosphorus atoms embedded in silicon. Their latest work establishes a quantum computing architecture that paves the way for building and controlling arrays of hundreds or thousands of qubits.

“As you start to scale the qubit architectures up, you have to move away from operating individual qubits

Getting the Best Lender for Your Loan Online

Nowadays, you do not really need to worry if you have the bad credit score over your name. That is because you can still find some other options if you ever need a loan. One example is the online lender. This kind of loan system will give you some options of lender that you can simply pick like the one in For your consideration, there you will be able to find a lot of options and lenders that can help you with many different needs of loan. You just need to pick one that you think will match you need. Therefore, you will be able to get the one that suit you best.

When you are talking about options, most of those lenders will surely give you the similar terms and agreements. However, not all of the terms and agreements are totally similar so that you will need to have the keen eyes to be able to differentiate all of those lenders that you can find from the site. For example, you might be able to find some lenders that can give you the really fast application. Sometimes, you can even find the lender that

Three Tips on Purchasing a Used Smartphone

There is no secret that if purchasing a used phone you can save a bunch of money, but how to make such a purchase wisely and in the most efficient way? Read three simple tips from techno professionals and keep them in mind when making your purchase.

Bidding or Buying ‘Here and Now’?

Most private parties offer today the possibility to buy a used phone with only a couple clicks and this is called ‘here and now’. The second option you can find looks like an auction where you need to place bids and the last who puts the bid wins the challenge. Before we take a closer look at both options, keep in mind that regardless of the buying way you choose, check Nokia phone prices and biggest, smallest, and medium price for any device you are looking for to be ready for any negotiation deals.

So coming back to here and now and bidding ways of purchase. With

Computer glitches hamper healthcare delivery to Californias poor


Reginald Clarke is someone Obamacare was designed to help.

The 55-year-old, who was homeless for a time, now has an apartment in Gardena and a street-cleaning job that pays him $14,000 a year.

He hadn’t visited a doctor in four or five years. Then, last fall, his girlfriend told him he would be eligible for Medi-Cal starting Jan. 1.

“I was excited. I could go get a physical,” he said. “There are a few things I need.”

But joy turned to exasperation when Clarke’s application, filed in December, was mistakenly rejected — and then seemed to disappear from county and state computer systems.

By law, counties have 45 days to process Medi-Cal applications. More than three months after Clarke applied for coverage through the Covered California website, he is still waiting for a permanent insurance card he can use at his doctor’s office. He’s frustrated by how long the process is taking.

“I just don’t understand,” he said. “These people knew years ago that this was going to happen.”

Clarke isn’t alone. After thousands expressed frustration with glitches in signing up for insurance through the state’s online Obamacare marketplace,, an even larger number of patients now are encountering additional roadblocks with the second prong of the

Compton Community College library opens seven years later than planned

Jewel Wade remembers the tense atmosphere at Compton Community College in 2006, when it was rumored the school would close.

“The whole school was kind of depressing because nobody knew what was going on,” Wade recalled Tuesday.

State officials did strip the school of its accreditation and turned the campus into a satellite of a nearby two-year college. The $25-million library, which had been set to open in 2007, was found to be plagued with code violations and sat unused for nearly seven years before finally opening late last month after undergoing extensive renovations that cost an additional $4 million.

“It’s great,” Wade said as he studied in the building, which has been renamed the El Camino College-Compton Library Student Success Center. Wade received his associate’s degree from Compton but returned to get a nursing degree.

“The campus has changed a whole lot, and it doesn’t feel like we’re going anywhere,” he said.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, numerous officials recalled the defects in the original structure. One person said he found screws intended for wood rather than ones for metal holding the 45,000-square-foot building together.

Thomas Henry, the trustee appointed by the state to oversee the district, remembered tripping over a set of narrow stairs

NSA posed as Facebook to infect computers with malware

The National Security Agency has reportedly used automated systems to infect user computers with malware since 2010, according to a Wednesday report. And at times the agency pretended to be Facebook to install its malware.

The NSA has been using a program codenamed TURBINE to contaminate computers and networks with malware “implants” capable of spying on users, according to The Intercept, which cited documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Between 85,000 and 100,000 of these implants have been deployed worldwide thus far, the report said.

ALSO: Will Flappy Bird fly again? Developer is ‘considering it’

To infect computers with malware, the NSA has relied on various tactics, including posing as Facebook.

The federal agency performed what is known as a “man-on-the-side” attack in which it tricked users computers into thinking that they were accessing real Facebook servers. Once the user had been fooled, the NSA hacked into the user’s computer and extracted data from their hard drive.

Facebook said it had no knowledge of the NSA”s TURBINE program, according to the National Journal. However, the social network said it is no longer possible for the NSA or hackers to attack users that way, but Facebook warned that other websites and social networks may still be vulnerable

Friday Travel Ticker United computers down again

A computer outage at United Airlines delayed thousands of travelers on Thursday. The two-hour outage held up morning flights from Los Angeles to London. It was United’s third major computer mishap this year, Associated Press says . . . .

More than 1.792 million passengers will pass through LAX during the Thanksgiving holiday period, a modest increase of 0.3% over last year. If you need help navigating the busy airport, keep an eye open for red-vested volunteers, who will be there to answer questions . . . .  LAX is second to only Chicago’s O’Hare for Thanksgiving traffic,  the online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide reports . . . .

L.A. Tourism has become the first U.S. convention and visitors bureau to hit 1 million Facebook fans, according to a commissioned study conducted by Sparkloft Media.  The organization’s page,, was launched in May 2009 and is a resource on Los Angeles events, attractions and hotels . . . .

The Yellowstone Assn. Institute is combining yoga and winter recreation twice this winter. The Yoga and Ski Weekend Retreat will be offered: Jan. 18-20 and Feb. 16-18 . . . .

Touting its upcoming parade and holiday season, New York tourism experts are saying only

Professional tax return filing by Lacerte Online

Lacerte is a professional tax software application suite of features, tools and methods to file the tax returns. It can be used for personal or for an enterprise; it has both the solution for the customers. Intuit crafted this agile tax application to overcome manual method of taxation. Businesses of small and medium sized can get this application to operate their tax requirements of their company. Tax planning and execution was a complex task for professionals. It requires intense knowledge, expertise and time to make tax return process accurately. With robust tax software application, the manual tax process has become automated. Lacerte is a full-fledged application that runs for the enterprises to make their tax returns simple and faster. Accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers manage multiple customers with this application. Especially the self-employed individuals who have numerous clients and short of time during the peak tax season get huge help from this application. The simplified tax software is easy for users to understand the application process as Intuit has designed the application flow in simplest form. The application calculates taxes accurately and creates correct tax preparation. The application is efficient for local, federal and state tax return process as users can

Telematics On Cusp of Widespread Adoption

Telematics is nothing new – the technology’s been around for decades – but the ubiquitous smartphone is now expected to drive telematics penetration in private hire vehicles and taxis to 21% globally by 2019 according to market research firm ABI Research.

The predictive value of telematics data is gathered via wireless technology and depicts driver behaviors; it’s also allowing insurers to reel in humongous volumes of information on driver patterns as related to numerous factors, some of which include geographic regions, weather, climate, and time of day.

Denise Garth, a partner at Strategy Meets Action (SMA), a research and advisory services firm serving the insurance industry, said the goal of both connected and ultimately, autonomous vehicles, “is to make the vehicle smart and address driving situations with technology.”  She added that integrating ride-sharing apps with telematics and usage-based insurance will result in more cost-effective solutions.

Independent insurance agents, noted Garth, need to think about how clients will be able to “leverage the information coming off these devices to be able to reduce or eliminate risk. Meanwhile, the emerging ‘sharing economy has marked a larger societal shift from ownership to access,” she said.

Tim Evavold, director of connected car and dealer ecosystems for Covisint, which

Seven Keys to Scaling Your Supplier Scorecarding Program

A solid supplier scorecarding program can drive big cost savings in the supply chain. Executives know that clear performance metrics are the starting point for supplier management.

Yet, many companies find data management and sharing a roadblock. Through our work with customers, we’ve identified seven key attributes of better scorecard programs.

Segment your scorecard.
You can’t use a one-size-fits-all strategy for scoring supplier performance. Performance varies across supplier types. How you respond should match the suppliers strategic value and your available alternatives. Because its impractical to treat every supplier uniquely, organizing them strategically and creating differentiated strategies is more effective.

Set a high bar for data relevance.
Limit your KPI’s to 10 to 15 and establish supplier relationship management strategies for KPI’s ahead of time. Ideally, your scorecard will encompass supplier quality and risk dimensions.

Use an Advanced Information Hub.
Consider using a BI platform to run your scorecarding program. These systems include the needed data governance, data cleansing and reporting capabilities. Look for a system that combines BI, collaboration and mobility into an Advanced Information Hub.

Add data visualization.
Static reports give the necessary information for busy buyers and reps. But, these reports often fail to communicate the key dynamics that are impacting performance. For

Why We Need to Improve EHR Software Systems

Having had the privilege of practicing medicine for over three decades, I have witnessed exponential technological advances to advance the quality of patient care: ultrasound, CT scans, MRI’s, PET scans, the science of genomics, to name a few, have changed the way medicine is being practiced and  how patients are treated.

Unfortunately, some of the technology advances have not accomplished the promised end results and are in desperate need of improvement.  Topping the list of needed replacements is today’s electronic health records (EHRs) software systems.

While the promise of replacing paper charts and eliminating preventable errors due to illegible handwriting was certainly necessary, the EHR systems developed have contributed to a decline in the quality of health care.  Forty-three percent of physicians polled by the American Medical Association believe the EHR has made their jobs more difficult. It alone has contributed to burn-out of excellent physicians, causing many to prematurely retire from the medical arts.  A major reason given by those that have left or are contemplating leaving medicine is the fact that these technological systems have led to the destruction of the physician –patient relationship in favor of a relationship with awful software.

A few physician quotes:

  • “Sad to spend my day staring

Can Robot Racing Win Human Hearts?

Not much on live TV compares with the tension of watching human race car drivers risk possible injury or death at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. A split second of bad timing can quickly transform a tight, controlled race into chaos as machines spin out of control, careen off walls or smash directly into one another. By comparison, the rise of robot racing with flying drones or self-driving cars aims to attract both old and new racing fans without putting human lives at risk. The big question is whether human fans will tune in to watch speedy robots race without the added adrenaline rush of danger.

Drone racing has already existed for some time as an underground sport that pits nimble quadcopters against one another as they fly through aerial racetracks made of brightly-lit rings, illuminated barriers and pipe tunnels. The effect of watching flying robots racing among colorful obstacle courses is similar to watching a real-life video game in many ways. Such spectacle has inspired several companies that want to transform drone racing from a hobby into an official televised sport event. On Jan. 26, a new company called the Drone Racing League announced its inaugural racing season with a focus on giving spectators a thrilling, high-definition (HD) view of the race

How Supercomputing Can Survive Beyond Moore’s Law

Today’s technology makes a 1-exaflop supercomputer capable of performing 1 million trillion floating-point operations per second almost inevitable. But pushing supercomputing beyond that point to 10 exaflops or more will require major changes in both computing technologies and computer architectures.

Planning for such challenges has been a major focus for Erik DeBenedictis, a computer engineer at the Advanced Device Technologies department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. He has worked with the IEEE Rebooting Computing initiative and International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors to pave the way for the future of both computing and supercomputing.

DeBenedictis outlined several possible technology paths for supercomputing—the millivolt switch, 3-D integration, and specialized architecture—at the  session titled “Beyond Moore’s Law” at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC15) held from November 15–20 in Austin, Texas.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

IEEE Spectrum: The “Beyond Moore’s Law” session covered three general technology areas that could aid development of exascale supercomputing: the millivolt switch, 3-D integration, and specialized architecture. Which of the three areas piqued the most interest among attendees?

Erik DeBenedictis: I think it was clear that the audience understood what the set issues were and realized that all three paths were desirable options,

VR Glove Powered by Finger Motions

Tom Cruise would have looked much less cool in the 2002 film Minority Report if he’d swiped through images on his computer display with gloves that required clunky data cables or heavy battery packs. A real-world glove promises to bring that sleek Minority Report–style future one step closer by harvesting energy from the wearer’s finger motions.

The prototype glove, called “GoldFinger,” uses piezoelectric transducers that convert the mechanical motions of the glove user’s fingers into electricity. It doesn’t generate enough power to keep the glove’s battery fully charged during typical usage, but shows how the technology could boost the battery charge or potentially reduce the battery’s size. Italian and U.S. researchers who developed the glove sewed electrically-conductive filaments into its nylon fabric to ensure maximum flexibility for the wearer—a crucial factor for a human-machine interface (HMI) glove intended to control computer or virtual displays.

”The use of a glove requires comfort and reliability and these requirements are not less important than the increased energetic autonomy of the device,” says Giorgio De Pasquale, a mechanical and aerospace engineer at the Polytechnic University of Turin, in Italy. “This also makes the difference between GoldFinger and other HMI gloves that use wires to send data, or large and heavy batteries for the supply.”

HMI gloves were first proposed

Entangling Different Kinds of Atoms Could Be the Way Forward for Quantum Computers

Last week two research groups, one at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Col., and one at the University of Oxford reported experiments in which particles of different species were entangled for the first time.

Entangled particles—whose quantum properties remain linked, even if separated (in principle) by intergalactic distances—will form the building blocks of future quantum computers. Up to now scientists have entangled photons, electrons, and ions of the same species.  The NIST group reported in the journal Nature that they successfully entangled magnesium ions and beryllium ions, and used the entangled pair to demonstrate two key quantum logic operations—CNOT and SWAP gates. The scientists at Oxford obtained a similar result with ions of calcium-40 and calcium-43, and also performed tests proving that showed that the pair were properly entangled. They, too, reported their results in Nature.

Ions, because of their positive electric charge, can be trapped in the crossed electromagnetic fields of a so-called Paul trap, which was used by both groups to entangle the ions. A Paul trap is essentially a small glass tube with electrodes that supply the electromagnetic fields that force the ions into minimum-energy positions, a few micrometers apart. The Paul trap is placed inside a large, one qubic-meter

Taiwan Neglects Supercomputing

A quick glance at the new ranking of top supercomputers reveals a surprising showing by one of the world’s technological powerhouses: Taiwan does not possess a single machine powerful enough to make the list. While there are many nations that don’t make the list, Taiwan is peculiar in that it has such an outsized grip on the computer chip industry. What’s more, its political rival, China, not only has the world’s top machine, it now has more ranking supercomputers than any nation except the United States.

It has been a long decline. Taiwan’s most powerful supercomputer, the Advanced Large-scale Parallel Super­cluster, also known as ALPS or Windrider, ranked 42nd in June 2011, shortly after its launch.

But the process of upgrading Taiwan’s supercomputing infrastructure has been slowed by ineffective government budget allocation. Since 2013, the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC), located in Hsinchu City, which operates Windrider, has failed twice to get enough of a budget boost to strengthen its supercomputing ability. While other countries poured money into the installation of powerful supercomputers as a way to show national power, Windrider fell to 303rd and then 445th in June 2014 and June 2015.

“If our three-year budget proposal is approved early

Power Problems Threaten to Strangle Exascale Computing

For most of the decade, experts in high-performance computing have had their sights set on exascale computers—supercomputers capable of performing 1 million trillion floating-point operations per second, or 1 exaflops. And we’re now at the point where one could be built, experts say, but at ridiculous cost.

“We could build an exascale computer today, but we might need a nuclear reactor to power it,” says Erik DeBenedictis, a computer engineer at the Advanced Device Technologies department at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque. “It’s not impossible; it’s just a question of cost.”

Although nuclear reactors are its forte, the U.S. Department of Energy aims to use a more modest power source when it brings its first exascale supercomputer on line sometime in the 2020s. The goal is to have the machine consume no more than 20 megawatts.

Since 2012, DeBenedictis has been working with the IEEE Rebooting Computing initiative and the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors on a practical way to get to exascale. He sees three technologies that will lead the way forward: millivolt switches, 3-D stacked memory chips, and specialized processor architectures. Each involves some trade-offs, particularly in the realm of software specialization and because it will be difficult to predict when