Friday, 1 December 2017

Are You Ready For The New Apple iPhone?

Technology is fast changing and ever innovating. This is especially true in the modern, digital world we are living in now. Almost everywhere you look, technology dominates your surroundings and it even rules your life by feeding your smartphone and social media obsession. Almost all brands release new models every year and it is a major factor as to how often people replace their units even if their old one is still functional and has no issues at all. Among the leading tech brands in the world today is Apple. It is the smart technology innovator and the maker of the luxury smartphone brand, the iPhone, that is coveted by many.

Apple launches the new iPhone 8 this month and the Apple Event kicked off this week. People are already salivating at its new model and won’t likely hesitate to part with their hard-earned money just to be able to enjoy this new piece of technology. Its makers even dubbed it as the “the new step forward for iPhone”. With better features that boast of wireless charging, made of the most durable glass, augmented-reality ready calibrated camera, a home-less phone (say goodbye to the home button), and the smartest and powerful all-bionic chip available today, it sure is to sell like hot pancakes especially among loyal iPhone users.

CUPERTINO, Calif.,: Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook took the stage at the Steve Jobs Auditorium on the new Apple campus Tuesday for the company's biggest product launch in years, which included a completely redesigned top-of-the-line iPhone.

Cook unveiled two new iPhone 8 models, with a new glass-body design and other improvements on the iconic smartphone.

Apple chief executive Cook told a media event that the new handsets, the iPhone 8 and larger iPhone 8 Plus, represent "a huge step forward" for the California tech giant, which is marking the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

The Apple executive opened the event, where the company is also expected to roll out two other new phones, with the launch of an upgraded Apple Watch, a higher-definition Apple TV and with a tribute for Jobs, who died in 2011.


Of course, the price is always a consideration when it comes to mind-blowing technology. After all, nothing comes for free or sells cheaply anymore unless it is outdated. And with the latest technology, it comes at a high price too. So, better prepare your wallet if you want to have a taste of what the new iPhone 8 has to offer. If you are someone with the cash to burn, feel free to make the upgrade today but don’t get tempted to spend all your life savings just because you want to stay on trend.

The iPhone X has just introduced a new 3D facial recognition function (dubbed FaceID) which allows users to unlock their phones instantly.

The technology replaces the fingerprint scanner, which will disappear along with the home button in favour of an edge-to-edge display.

The facial scanner will bring another, more light-hearted feature to the iPhone X – Animojis.

Animojis are “custom animated messages that use your voice and reflect your facial expressions”.

Using the 3D sensor, users will be able to map create moving, talking versions of their favourite emojis. Think smiling monkeys, winking unicorns and frowning piles of poo.


Animojis – perhaps will be the newest game-changer in the smartphone technology. As if the specs mentioned above aren’t enough to make you spend all your money on the latest iPhone model, this cute animated emojis are sure to liven up your messaging, chatting and SNS game. And since the majority of the population can’t live without social media, this is the perfect tool to help them convey those emotions they can’t easily express with written words. It won't be hard selling these to most Millennials, then. So, brace yourself for another powerful handheld device that is sure to blow you away as it promised and you won't even have to wait for long.

The article Are You Ready For The New Apple iPhone? Find more on: Blog


Friday, 24 November 2017

How Hurricane Irma Hurts The Caribbean Tourism

Different nations have various means to make money and their geography often has a lot to do with this. If you live in flat lands that are perfect for farming, then it makes perfect sense to harness agriculture and teach the people to till and plant various crops instead. If you live in a coastal area, fishing is the ideal means of livelihood. But there are other parts of the world that are more beautiful than most places and is sought after by tourists every year. The Caribbean is one of those places that many consider as a paradise for many reasons and it is not hard to see why once you see pictures of its pristine beaches and crystal blue waters.

Unfortunately, it is also in the way of natural calamities like Hurricane Irma, this time around. We all know how devastated Texas became after it has hit by Hurricane Harvey with a force that nobody was prepared for. And days after its onslaught, a new hurricane in the form of Irma threatened US shores but without first passing the beautiful Caribbean islands and unleashing its fury there. Unlike America, the Caribbean does not have that much money in public funds making rehabilitation a major issue. How will they be able to recover and attract tourists to come if they won’t be able to rebuild whatever has been destroyed in the face of Mother Nature’s wrath especially for a tourist hotspot like them?

The white sand beaches of the Caribbean that lure tourists from across the globe and fuel local economies were devastated in the wake of Hurricane Irma, with some tourism officials predicting loses in the billions of dollars. In St. Thomas, four people died. In Barbuda, damages were estimated to reach $100 million after about 95 percent of the island's buildings were destroyed.

The timing couldn't be worse, with hotels, airlines, cruises and attractions generally counting on the fall and winter months to fuel annual revenue as armies of tourists flee their cold and blustery hometowns in northern hemispheres. And there could be more destruction soon, with Hurricane Jose, another powerful Category 4 storm, expected to whack the islands later this week.  

"Any disruption in the tourism industry is a disruption of our livelihood," Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) spokesman Hugh Riley told Reuters.


The storm hit at an especially bad time when the Caribbean is expecting an influx of guests in the coming months from those who want to escape the cold snowy months and frolic in the sand and beach instead. We are talking of billions of dollars of loss here, dead people and broken down properties. Tourism isn’t just possible at the moment and the worst is even expected because of an incoming hurricane that is said to hit the Caribbean just like Hurricane Irma did in the coming days.

A Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund has been set up to aid destinations devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Priority will be given to assisting areas most severely impacted, including Anguilla, the southern Bahamas, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St Barts, St Maarten-St Martin, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association is partnering with non-profit group Tourism Cares to assist with the recovery.

The fund has been created to help unite the industry and pool its resources aimed at dedicating support to help those areas most affected to rebound as quickly as possible.


In a place like the Caribbean that mainly relies on tourism to make a living, it is but a must for them to move on from the damage caused by the hurricane. Fortunately, there are nonprofit groups that already offered help and support so that the island nation can stand on its own feet once more. The association of hotel owners partnered up with NGOs and it makes perfect sense as they will all benefit once the Caribbean tourism industry picks up once more in the near future.

How Hurricane Irma Hurts The Caribbean Tourism was initially published on


Monday, 20 November 2017

Charities Struggle Over Consecutive Disasters

The whole world is aware of the various calamities striking different parts of the planet in rapid succession that charities are starting to get overwhelmed by the number of people that still needs help and their dwindling resources. From hurricanes to earthquakes, not to mention the political strife engulfing many nations, many innocent people are desperate for attention and help but only a few respond to their needs. Aside from various government agencies, charities are among the first to offer support to affected localities and families.

But if you have seen the news lately, you’ll see that in America alone, at least a couple of hurricanes hit certain states leaving them crippled for weeks. Let’s not also forget the many island nations that suffered in the wake of Hurricane Irma. And then a massive earthquake hits Mexico that destroyed properties and took away lives of unknowing Mexicans of this horrific tragedy. With all these disasters subsequently happening one after the other, charities are starting to feel the burden of their desire to help those in need and the realities they are facing.

A flood of natural disasters around the world in the last month has some aid organizations taking a different approach to fundraising to prevent donor fatigue.

For weeks, Canadians have been inundated with video of the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the United States and Caribbean — and two devastating earthquakes in Mexico. Before that, it was the wildfires in British Columbia.

Aid agencies usually issue individual appeals for single events, such as the 2004 Asian tsunami or the 2011 earthquake in Haiti

With so many disasters in the news right now, there can be a numbing effect for donors, said Kate Bahen, managing director of Charity Intelligence Canada.


Donors to charities can only give so much and with consecutive disasters requiring extensive help and support, many charitable organizations can only do so much as they are already stretching themselves too thin and are now worried how to respond to more calamities that may still hit the planet before the year ends. Even wealthy nations like the US still suffer in the midst and wake of natural calamities and neighboring states of affected areas also feel the extent of the damage.

Officials say it’s better to donate to charities you know, like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, and the Humane Society.

And beware of scammers creating charities that look or sound like other reputable charities. But don’t be intimidated into not donating.

“The big thing is, don’t hold back from doing it if that’s truly what you’re calling is, but at the same time, be smart about it,” says Barrett.

You can also donate to your local church if they’re collecting items or funds.


And as if the damage incurred by these disasters aren’t enough yet, scammers take advantage of the situation and pose themselves as charitable institutions asking for donations that will never get to the intended recipients. It is not new anymore but still many ends up as victims and this practice has likewise tarnished the reputation and good intentions of legitimate charitable organizations and institutions that have really dedicated themselves to the service of all unfortunate victims of disasters both natural and man-made.

All these things have made it difficult for charities now to mobilize and respond to disasters because funds are fast depleting and even the volunteers themselves are worn out from addressing one catastrophe to the other. While they voice out such issues, it still does not discourage them to act as soon as they can once disaster strikes and are still fervently asking everyone to pitch in and donate in whatever way they can to help everyone affected recover and move on from the tragedy they’ve just gone through.

Charities Struggle Over Consecutive Disasters was first seen on


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Machine Learning: Are Businesses Ready For It?

Business is a major driver of the world economy. It is basically what makes the world go round today. After all, we are living in a capitalist world that feeds on consumer wants and demands. But with how swiftly technology is advancing right now, businesses have a hard time keeping up. Some who don’t manage to adapt to all these changes fade into oblivion and replaced by new startups that know the name of the game today and how it is played.

Technology will always be a part of our lives and more so in businesses that deal with thousands, millions or billions of customers daily. The global market can be your market through the web. In a few years, though, everything is about to change once more as the possibility of using machine learning technology is likely inevitable in the world of business. I’m sure many of you are still clueless about machine learning but some organizations are already using it in their line of work.

Machine learning (ML) based data analytics is rewriting the rules for how enterprises handle data. Research into machine learning and analytics is already yielding success in turning vast amounts of data—shaped with the help of data scientists—into analytical rules that can spot things that would escape human analysis in the past—whether it be in pursuit of pushing forward genome research or predicting problems with complex machinery.

Now machine learning is beginning to move into the business world. But most organizations haven't truly grasped how machine learning will change the way they do business—or how it will change the shape of their organizations in the process. Companies are looking to ML to automate processes or to augment humans by assisting them in data-driven tasks. And it's possible that ML could turn enterprises into vendors—turning lessons learned from their own vast stores of data into algorithms they can license to software and service providers.


Machine learning is especially helpful now that businesses are taking their companies to the global platform and it definitely helps with efficiency too. It’s especially helpful in tasks that can be automated so that consumers no longer have to spend a great deal of time just to get a simple request done. It is still a work in progress, though, but there is a big possibility it will be our reality in the next few decades since there are continued developments involving artificial intelligence.

Concepts like “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” might conjure up images from science fiction tales about self-aware robots.

The team of tech gurus at Notch, a small Richmond company that specializes in machine learning, have heard all that. One manager’s daughter has even joked with her friends about dad working for a robot company.

What Notch really helps its clients do is less fantastic, but still has great potential to revolutionize how businesses use the vast amounts of data generated in the digital economy.


It is not impossible for artificial intelligence to be used by the public in their everyday lives if the rate of tech progress keeps up. And with the way things are going now, it is bound to happen sooner rather than later. Global brands like Amazon and Netflix are already using it as well as smaller businesses in the tech niche have adopted a similar technology. With its help, transactions will speed up and much can be achieved in the shortest time possible without relying on human help to get things done, unlike how most things are still being done today. It may sound too geeky yet as of the moment but that’s how most great discoveries begin, from a radical concept that has forever changed the way we live our lives.

The blog post Machine Learning: Are Businesses Ready For It? is courtesy of


Friday, 10 November 2017

Organizations Brace Themselves In The Face Of Major Calamities

Mother Nature is acting up and millions are affected and displaced once it strikes. From destructive hurricanes to powerful earthquakes that take everyone by surprise, people’s lives are lost, homes are destroyed, livestock and livelihood, etc. all gone in a snap. Perhaps it is her way of reminding us who is the boss and that we should pay for all the abuse we are doing to many of the world’s natural resources. These calamities are even intensified by climate change and global warming that is the reality of our day today.

The public counts on the government to help them out in times of need and provide the support they require to help them move on from these disasters and start anew. Fortunately, there are third parties willing to extend help and offer this support because they know that the government alone will have a hard time meeting the needs of the people because they’ll be stretching themselves too thin by then considering that some of the employees are also victims themselves. Hence, NGOs and many other organizations that pledge help in times of crisis are lifesavers in a lot of ways.

Hurricane Maria is over Puerto Rico, with the eyewall soon due at the capital San Juan. Its arrival follows Tuesday's 7.1 earthquake in Mexico, where rescue crews are searching for survivors.

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, how do organizations prepare and send help?  Garrett Ingoglia — VP of emergency response for Americares, a Connecticut based nonprofit — joined us to discuss how his group does it, and whether people are becoming too emotionally fatigued to help out. Below is an edited transcript.

David Brancaccio: How do you, as a disaster-relief outfit, coordinate all the moving parts?

Garrett Ingoglia: Like any organization, we have limited resources, but we also prepare for this. Any response organization has to have the ability to increase its workforce quickly to meet the demands of one, or in this case, multiple disasters. So we put in place systems to enable us to do that.


Each year, countless disasters strike various parts of the globe and we can only pray that it won’t be as destructive as the last one but no, it only gets worse and worse as the years go by. We can’t really tell for sure if climate change has to do with it but many are leaning toward that theory. It’s the reason why organizations both global and local that are involved in disaster relief and rescue and in the rehabilitation as well work hand in hand all-year round to ensure they are always ready to answer the cry for help of any place that has been struck by disaster.

  1. Donate money or supplies

Rescue, volunteer and emergency aid organizations will need as many resources as possible. Organizations including UNICEF Mexico, the Mexican Red Cross and Brigada de Rescate Topos, a local disaster relief volunteer organization, are looking for monetary donations. 

You can also donate to groups using crowdfunding sites, including Global Giving and GoFundMe, which has created a specific landing page for all verified Mexico donation pages. Actress Selma Hayek, who was born in Mexico, has also launched her own fundraising campaign for UNICEF to help the victims of the Mexico earthquakes. 

Nonprofits on the ground in Mexico City will need supplies, including water, batteries, medicine, food and canned goods. Groups and locations that are accepting all types of donations include: Oxfam Mexico, Save the Children Mexico, La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, World Vision, The Salvation Army and Project Paz.


This is an example of how organizations respond to disasters. Aside from using up their funds that have also been donated to them by various sponsors, they also ask those who are unaffected by the calamity to pitch in and help in whatever way they can. These organizations also send people on the frontline to offer physical support especially in dispensing basic needs and medical services and that is a risk they willingly take because of their desire to help and save the lives of other people. Through their intervention, the mobility of donations become faster and help gets to the people in need even without the assistance of the government or the local authorities. Without them, disaster relief will take far longer and people will suffer and even die especially in disasters with extensive damages.

Organizations Brace Themselves In The Face Of Major Calamities is available on SEMP Blog


Friday, 3 November 2017

Why Women Need To Get Screened For Cervical Cancer

Our health is so precious to us yet not everyone takes good care of it especially when you are still young. There is this misconception that being young means being free to do anything, even the ones that are bad for our health like engaging in dangerous vices such as illegal drugs, smoking, alcohol, and other forms of addiction. But as we age, we start to develop more debilitating conditions as our bodies degenerate. Yet the majority do not expect to get sick while they are still young. However, there is one condition that affects people regardless of their age – cancer.

By now, the world of medicine has already discovered various types of cancer affecting both the young and the old, man or woman, regardless of your status in life. Different strains affect the sexes too. Men are more prone to suffer from prostate cancer while women from cervical, breast, and ovarian cancer. Cervical cancer is a condition that is often asymptomatic and strikes women out of nowhere especially if they do not make it a point to get screened or undergo a Pap smear as recommended by the doctors. This procedure is something that most women ignore especially when they are still younger but surprisingly, many young women have succumbed to cervical cancer over recent years.

Women ages 30 to 65 may decide how often they want to get screened for cervical cancer depending on the test they choose, according new draft recommendations for cervical cancer screening from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Testing every three years requires a Pap smear, and testing every five years requires a test for human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes nearly all cervical cancers.

"A woman going to her provider for a visit would want to talk with her doctor about the last time she was screened, what type of screening she had, which one to have next and what the timing of that should be," says Maureen Phipps, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and a member of the task force. The draft recommendations update the 2012 USPSTF recommendations.


Roughly 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer alone each year in America alone and about 4,000 dies as the disease advances and prompt treatment was not given when they still had the time. A woman’s life is saved with early cervical cancer screening and it has proven to be a success as to how dramatically the mortality rate to this condition has gone down over the years.

"Cervical cancer is highly curable when found and treated early," task force member Dr. Carol Mangione said in a panel news release.

"Most cases of cervical cancer occur in women who have not been regularly screened or treated," explained Mangione, who heads the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the University of California, Los Angeles' School of Medicine. "Therefore, making sure all women are adequately screened and treated is critical to reducing deaths from cervical cancer."


You do not have to die even if you are diagnosed with cancer. Once you hit your 30s, women should make it a point to get Pap test at least every 3 years unless experiencing any related symptoms that will require them to get it annually. With the technology we have today, you can explore various options and not just go the old route. And because of our increasingly modern lifestyle that favors junks, technology, and chronic lack of sleep and physical activity, developing cancer is more common now unlike in previous years. So, do not miss out on that screening test if you are a woman over thirty in order to avoid having health issues like cervical cancer that is the stuff of nightmares but is apparently avoidable when detected early on.

Why Women Need To Get Screened For Cervical Cancer was first seen on The SEMP Blog


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Clean Air Issues In The West Coast

Clean air is life. Medicine has taught us so much about it. Remember the ABC’s of basic life support. When faced with a medical emergency, check the ABCs first before doing any life-saving measures where A stands for airway, B for breathing and C for circulation. A few minutes without air and your brain loses oxygen that is essential for living. You will soon be declared brain dead and you might go into a coma. That is just how crucial air is in living.

And breathing clean air is just as important as being able to breathe. Constant exposure to pollution damages important body organs and systems and puts you at higher risk of certain medical conditions like asthma, emphysema and even lung cancer. However, breathing clean air is becoming more impossible in a modern world dominated by technology. Fumes from vehicles, smoke from vices like smoking and polluted air emitted by factories and other manufacturing plants contribute to this major issue. It is likewise a common problem faced by a progressive nation like America.

A combination of unfortunate topography, a large population, and the realities of worsening climate change makes California cities some of the worst places to breathe air in America.

“No state has done more to address air pollution than California has done over the last 50 years. But they also have the biggest problems,” says Paul Billings, the senior vice president of advocacy at the American Lung Association, which issued its latest State of the Air report on Tuesday (April 19).

Eight of the 10 cities with the highest year-round concentration of particulate matter—or PM2.5—between 2013 and 2015 were in California, according to the report. The state is also home to seven of the 10 American cities with the worst ozone pollution. Both PM2.5 and ozone are linked to an long list of health problems, including asthma, lung cancer, premature death, and developmental delays in children.


California is home to the worst air pollution in the US and factors like spikes in particulate matters were all taken into consideration before declaring Bakersfield, California the grand winner in all of America. And it is an award they can’t be proud of. Imagine living in this smog-filled city and inhaling this toxic air on a daily basis.

State air-quality officials insist that the amendment won’t hinder efforts to ensure the cleanest, least-polluting trucks are on the road, but environmentalists and regional air quality regulators disagree. The stakes are particularly high in Southern California, where diesel-fueled big rigs are the top source of smog-forming emissions and pose a health risk to communities along major highways. In the coming years, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is expected to consider rules that would require companies to switch to zero- or near-zero-emission trucks, as well as rules that would require cleaner trucks serving the region’s ports, warehouses and railyards. AQMD officials warn that the amendment — even after it was tweaked ostensibly to address environmentalists’ concerns — will likely lead to lawsuits if Southern California and other regions try to enact new rules that affect trucks.

Some in Sacramento say environmentalists and health advocates should stop complaining. Nobody gets everything they want in a political compromise, and in this case environmentalists would get more dollars for public transit, bike lanes and other infrastructure investments to help get people out of cars. But a compromise shouldn’t undermine a top state priority, cleaner air. Brown and legislative leaders have repeatedly pledged to block any attempt by President Trump to roll back California’s ambitious climate change agenda. Why, then, would they sign off on an amendment designed to stymie Southern California’s efforts to clear the air?


California is trying its best to enforce reforms and improve the air quality in the state. The health of the people and the state’s image has been suffering for years but little by little, they are making progress for the better. Yet despite the progress California has made in improving air quality in this part of America, they still continue to face major obstacles, especially that major budget cuts imposed by the Trump administration include the US Environmental Protection Agency. The state will have a hard time pushing for positive reforms without enough support and funding from the federal government but we can expect the sunny state of California will find a way to improve living and health conditions in the state at all cost.

The blog post Clean Air Issues In The West Coast was originally seen on The Blog