Fun Fact of the Day: GMT and UTC

Royal Observatory Greenwich -® National Maritime Museum, London_banner

Fun Fact of the Day:

GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is a time zone used in some European and African countries; the time can be displayed using both the 24-hour format or the 12-hour format.

UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is not a time zone, but a time standard that is the basis for civil time and time zones worldwide; this means that no country or territory officially uses UTC as a local time.

Neither UTC nor GMT every change for Daylight Saving Time (DST); however, some of the countries that use GMT switch to different time zones during their DST period.

Fun Fact of the Day: What is HDL?

HDL

Fun Fact of the Day:

HDL stands for High-Density Lipoprotein. It absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

In order to raise your HDL levels, there a few things you can do:
1. Eat avocados, fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and any omega fats
2. Exercise on a daily basis
3. Quit smoking
4. Lose weight
5. Choose purple produce (contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant)


Have you checked your levels recently?

CBD Oil: What Is It?

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Ah, yes, the brand-new, all-happening, omnipresent CBD Oil. But what exactly is it and how can it benefit you?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and differs from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Both are from the cannabis sativa plant though.

CBD does not have the “high” effect of THC. It is a molecule and a cannabinoid. It is one strand found in the plant. There are over 80 other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Pain, anxiety, nausea reduction
  • Suppresses CB1 Receptors (the receptors that get you “high”)
  • Positive mood change
  • Decreases short-term memory impairment

There is a medical article that goes into much more detail here.

CBD can be made from flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant or a high-CBD strain of a THC-containing marijuana plant.

There are various ways to consume CBD oil. Here is a list of the most common:

  • Place onto finger or spoon and put on tounge
  • Put under tongue
  • Use a vaporizer pen
  • Chew as gum
  • Mix with your favorite food or drink (Gatorade, tea, coffee, oatmeal, etc.)
  • Rub on your skin
  • Use shampoos/conditioners to wash your hair

Companies that produce the product can be found on reddit. They are also listed here for your ease of use:

There are also up-and-coming companies that provide reliable products. Some of them are listed here:

 

Fun Fact of the Day: Eco, the New Cryptocurrency

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Fun Fact of the Day:

Eco is a new cryptocurrency being produced by Garrett Camp, Uber’s cofounder.

Eco is differentiated from typical coins in the following ways:

  • Eco’s blockchain, or shared ledger system, is designed to run on “verified nodes,” rather than on the machines of an anonymous network of volunteers.
  • Eco’s incentive structure. Instead of having cryptocurrency “miners” compete against one another for the entire crypto-lottery prize, in his proposed system, every time an Eco node confirms a block of financial transactions, the cryptocurrency reward gets dispensed across the network to all nodes and users.
  • Another factor is distribution. Camp doesn’t want a small group of speculators to hoard Eco tokens. The more people who get their hands on it, the better, in his view.

Mr. Camp expected to have a test site up and running soon, perhaps as early as 6 months from now.

Will you invest in this new-age currency?

Fun Fact of the Day: Nike

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Fun Fact of the Day:

Nike was founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, by Bill Bowerman & Phil Knight, & officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971.

The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, & subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International & Converse.

Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) from 1995 and 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro.

CES 2018: Full Review

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And so it all comes to a sad end. CES 2018 has officially ended and I cannot wait until next year (check out the videos and photos below).

Some of the biggest hits were:

1. Robot dogs– pet it, feed it, hug it, pick it up. Do as you wish, as this toy is as dog-like as they come. One little note…it has creepy eyes! (check out the video of it below)

2. Fitness trackers– there were compression socks with monitors to diagnose blood pressure, heart beat, etc. Also, shoes and insoles had monitors on them to help use statistics to help individuals change daily habits.

3. MicroLED screens– these bright LEDs allowed for an amazing picture, in what was titled “The Wall” in the Samsung booth (check out the video if it below)

4. 8K screens– double the amount of pixels as a 4K television. However, can an average consumer tell the difference between a 4K and a 8K? My assumption is no. Therefore, although this is a “wow” product, the reality is that this won’t go to market any time soon…especially at the current price point (tens of thousands of dollars).

5. Robot carriers– these help move trash cans, contaminated waste buckets, boxes, and anything else you need moving. Say goodbye to floor workers? Absolutely! I see this as a viable solution to decreasing a company’s SG&A line, decreasing on-site injuries and disasters, and increasing efficiency in the workplace. Plausible locations might take place at retail and manufacturing sites. (check out video of it below)

6. AR glasses– AR stands for augmented reality. Instead of VR, where the individual is fully immersed in a “new” world, AR allows the current “real” world to be seen, with data and information overlayed via smart glasses. This is a strong product in the manufacturing, health (think surgeries), and construction fields.

7. Smart home everything!- yes, there were hundreds of connected devices, all vying for the title of biggest, badest tech device that pairs with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. These included Wi-Fi light bulbs, smart ACs, smart sprinkler systems, smart shower heads, smart refrigerators, and smart stoves (to name a few). Who will be the next big player to integrate the majority of devices used in homes today? My take would be Google.

8. Robots in general– these robots can hang around the home and help protect those inside. Whether it be if someone is seriously injured and the ambulance needs to be called, or if a person wants to Skype her/his grandchildren in another state. Whatever it may be, these robots are the future and are going to help our generation live longer and feel more comfortable on a daily basis. Yes, these are creepy as well!

9. Autonomous driving– driving without the help of a human is Level 5. Every car company is competing vigorously to be the first-to-market for Level 5. Some of the big players include Intel (yay!), Nvidia, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz. One of the most unique technologies in this space is LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). LIDAR uses light laser pulses to gauge how far away objects are from one another.

10. Smart security– companies like Vivint, Ring, ADT, and others are implementing fingerprint detection, 2-way cameras, sirens, and motion and light detectors in order to help secure homes even more. The benefit of some of the smaller companies like Ring is that these devices can be set up with little to no effort, and don’t require a handsome amount of upfront cash to get started. Also, the consumer can cancel services at any time, without penalties.

11. All-in-One devices– I saw a lot of features that were included within all-in-one products. For example, instead of a simple speaker, the product included a bluetooth speaker, radio, night light, weather station, and accepted voice activated commands. The reason for this consolidation of features is to reduce the amount of products that one consumer needs. These solve the problems of clutter and one device not being able to connect with other devices.

Here are the statistics from this year’s massive event:

*As a side note, CES first kicked off in June of 1967, with 250 exhibitors & 17,500 attendees in NYC*

  • This year there was more than 3,900 exhibitors
  • 2.75M net sq ft of exhibit space
  • Largest show floor in CES’ 51 yr history
  • 860,732 tweets about CES 2018
  • 450,554 uses of the #CES2018 hashtag
  • Eureka Park presented more than 900 startups from across the world
  • 900 speakers, including 240 women, across some 200 conference sessions

Videos:

Pictures:

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Fun Fact of the Day: 2018 Tax Plan

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Fun fact of the day:

Here is an overview of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced Dec 22, 2017 by President Trump:

1. Top individual tax rate decrease to 37% (previously 39.6%)
2. Still 7 income tax brackets (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
3. Those 7 income tax brackets are as follows: 1- 10%; 2- 12%; 3- 22%; 4- 24%; 5- 32%; 6- 35%; 7- 37%
4. Standard deduction is doubled (single increased from $6,350 to $12K; married/joint increased from $12.7K to $24K) (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
5. Personal exemptions are eliminated ($4,150 could be subtracted for each person before)
6. Most itemized deductions are eliminated (i.e., moving expenses (except military), alimony (paying))
7. Deductions for charitable contributions, retirement savings, & student loan interest are KEPT
8. Deduction on mortgage interest is limited to the 1st $750K of the loan; interest on home equity lines of credit can no longer be deducted; however, current mortgage holders aren’t affected
9. Taxpayers can deduct up to $10K in state & local taxes
10. Medical expenses are expanded in ’17 & ’18 (deduction of medical expenses 7.5% or more of income; previously it was 10% for those born after 1952, while seniors had 7.5%)
11. Obamacare tax is repealed for those w/o health insurance in 2019
12. Estate tax exemption doubled to $11.2M singles and $22.4M couples (changes back to previous levels starting in 2026)
13. Alternative minimum tax increased from $54,300 to $70,300 singles & $84,500 to $109,400 joint; exemptions phase out @ $500K singles & $1M joint (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
14. Child tax credit increased from $1K to $2K; parents who don’t meet threshold to pay taxes can still claim credit up to $1.4K; income level is increased from $110K to $400K for married tax filers
15. Parents can use 529 savings plans for tuition @ private & religious K-12 schools & home-schooled students’ expenses; $500 credit for each non-child dependent
16. Corp tax rate decrease from 35% to 21%
17. Standard deduction for pass-through businesses is raised to 20% (ends in 2025)
18. Pass-through businesses include: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, S corporations, real estate companies, hedge funds, & private equity funds
19. Deductions phase out for service professionals once their income reaches $157,500 singles & $315K joint filers
20. Interest expense deduction is limited to 30% of income
21. 1st 4 yrs is EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation & Amortizations); then goes back to EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Taxes)
22. Depreciable assets can be deducted in 1 yr instead of amortizing them over several yrs (equipment has to be purchased from Sept 27, 17 to Jan 1, 23)
23. Carried interest is taxed at $23.8% instead of 39.6% before; firms must hold assets for 1 yr to qualify for lower rate (going to last 3 yrs)
24. Corporate AMT of 20% tax rate is eliminated; companies could not deduct R&D spending or investments in low-income neighborhood
25. System changing from worldwide to territorial system (corporations will not be taxed on foreign profit)
26. Companies can repatriate the $2.6T they hold in foreign cash stockpiles; they pay a 1-time tax rate of 15.5% on cash & 8% on equipment
27. Oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now allowed
28. Tax credits for electric vehicles & wind farms are maintained
29. Orphan drug research deduction is decreased from 50% to 25% (orphan drugs target rare diseases)
30. Taxes on beer, wine, & liquor is cut
31. Business cuts are permanent; individual cuts expire in 2025 (unless stated otherwise above)

Any questions? :)

Oh and…those in the 20-80% income range will receive a 1.7% increase in after-tax income and those in the 95-99% range will receive a 2.2% increase. The rich get richer!

CES 2018: What to Expect from LV

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CES is just around the corner. It takes place from Jan 9 – 12. My father and I will be attending the 11th & 12th. I cannot wait to take the drive up to LV!

I am now an experienced “CES-er”, having attended this large event the past 2 consecutive years.

Sony will be the biggest surprise when it comes to smartphones during the conference. The Japanese firm is expected to launch several new phones in 2018.

Some of the largest players are Google, Samsung, LG, and Sony.

Last year, Samsung had Virtual Reality “rides” that participants could join in on. These rides flipped, turned, and spun participants in every direction imaginable. It will be interesting to see what Samsung has in store this year. I believe it will be their rumored Galaxy X, which can bend and fold.

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Google might feature products such as the Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker, Google PixelBook, and Daydream View VR headset. They have reserved the outdoor Central Plaza of the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center), plus 8 suites at the Aria hotel.

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Sony will most likely reveal it’s new headphones, 4K projectors, Bravia TVs, and Xperia smartphones.

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LG will be displaying its lineup of smart TVs, with OLED and FHD technology. Their 88in 8K OLED TV might pop-in with an amazing resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels (record breaker for sure). The LG G7 smartphone and ThinQ speaker could take launch at this year’s conference as well.

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This year, the conference will feature smart fridges, 8K televisions, self-driving cars, VR (Virtual Reality), 5G, and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

How many of you will be attending this year’s CES?

 

Fun Fact of the Day: What are Polarized Glasses?

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Fun fact of the day:

Polarized lenses mitigate glare by using a chemical film either applied to or embedded in the lenses. The chemical filter on polarized sunglasses removes glare by absorbing the incoming horizontal light, while still allowing vertical light. What we perceived as glare is usually reflected horizontal light. The horizontal light that creates the effect of glare is absorbed and nullified by the chemical film on polarized lenses. The lenses only allow vertical light, acting as a chemical Venetian blind.

Fun Fact of the Day: Sweet Tates!

SWEET-POTATOES

Fun fact of the day:

Sweet Potatoes are extremely healthy for you. They contain the following daily nutrients (1 C; 200 G):

vitamin A 214% – eye disorders, acne, infections, wounds
vitamin C 52% – eye disorders, cancer, scurvy, cold, infection, stress
manganese 50% – connective tissue, bones, blood clotting, sex hormones
copper 36% – arthritis, wounds, red blood cell increase, reduced cholesterol
pantothenic acid (B5) 35% – asthma, hair loss, allergies, stress, heart problems
vitamin B6 34% – diabetes, piles, convulsions, morning sickness, stress
biotin (B7) 29% – skin disorders, metabolism, hair health
potassium 27% – stroke, blood pressure, heart & kidney disorders, anxiety, stress, muscle strength, metabolism, water balance
fiber 26% – bowel movements, cholesterol, blood sure levels, healthy weight
vitamin B3 19% – weakness, indigestion, skin disorders, migraine
vitamin B1 18% – beriberi, heart diseases, indigestion
vitamin B2 16% – cataracts, skin disorders, anemia, immune
phosphorus 15% – bone strength, urination, metabolism, energy levels, dental health, cognitive function
 
You can easily make sweet potato fries. Here is how:
Preheat oven to 425F or 450F. Clean outside of potato. Cut long ways. Mix with olive oil, black pepper, salt, and paprika. Cook 22 minutes. Take out, flip over. Cook another 22 minutes. Viola!

Fun Fact of the Day: Ohmmmmm

QRMslwz

Fun fact of the day:

Speakers and receivers/amplifiers are complicated. But, not as complicated as you would think. There are three main concepts: pressure (voltage), flow (current) and restriction (impedance, coming from the word impede).

Since voltage or pressure is what moves the current, increasing the voltage pressure should increase the current, assuming the impedance doesn’t change. Decreasing the voltage should decrease the current.

On the other hand, increasing the impedance restricting the flow of current will cause the current to decrease, like turning the water hose nozzle toward OFF. Lowering the impedance is like opening the hose nozzle to allow more flow.

This relationship was analyzed by a fellow by the name of George Simon Ohm a long time ago, and he identified a simple formula that is extremely important in electricity and electronics which bears his name: Ohm’s Law.

Make sure you match up your speakers ohms with the ohms of the receiver/amplifier. If speakers ohms > or < receiver ohms, this will result in weak output and poor tone! :(

Fun Fact of the Day: The North Face History

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Fun fact of the day:

The North Face began as a San Francisco-based climbing equipment retail store, founded in 1966 by Douglas Tompkins and his then-wife, Susie Tompkins.

It was acquired 2 years later by Kenneth “Hap” Klopp.

The north face of a mountain in the northern hemisphere is generally the coldest, iciest and most formidable route to climb.

For a time, the store offered only highly selective merchandise, targeted to climbers and backpackers. By the 1980s, skiwear was added, followed by camping equipment.

How many of you own The North Face gear?

Fun Fact of the Day: Get Your Dog that is Hot!

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Fun fact of the day:

The words “hot dog” might have come about from a story in the 19th Century. Some say the word was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds on a cold April day.

Vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks shouting “They’re red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!”

A New York Journal sports cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, observed the scene and hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not sure how to spell “dachshund” he simply wrote “hot dog!” The cartoon is said to have been a sensation, thus coining the term “hot dog.”

However, historians have been unable to find this cartoon, despite Dorgan’s enormous body of work and his popularity.

What is your favorite hot dog? :)

Fun Fact of the Day: The Ever-Dying iPhone Battery

Fun fact of the day:

This one is for all of you Apple (and other “smart” phone) lovers. I recently took a trip into the much-illuminated Apple store to get my brand new battery checked out (and by recent I mean last night, lol). These are the findings associated with prolonging your tiny battery (in terms of mAh, of course):

1. Do not constantly plug in your phone throughout the day. Allow your battery to fully cycle. Let it reach 0%, then charge it thoroughly to 100%.

2. Do not use your phone while it is charging. This equates to double the work for the phone by having it perform output and input tasks simultaneously.

3. Do not put your Night Shift on for long. This actually sucks up more battery than your normal screen brightness. (Settings–>Display & Brightness–>Night Shift–>Choose time range)

4. Turn off most of your location-finding apps; they do not truly need to know your location often, or ever. (Settings–>Privacy–>Location Services–>Choose which apps you would like to have your location…and how often)

5. Turn off most of your Background Refresh on apps; they do not truly need to be refreshed every second. (Settings–>General–>Background App Refresh–>Choose which apps you would like to have refreshed)

6. Make sure your latest iOS is updated

7. Make sure all of your apps are downloaded to their latest updates

Are you going to change your habits? I know I will because a new battery cost was $85 w/ tax, out the door. [Tr]ump change, right?

Fun Fact of the Day: Foxconn Dominates

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Fun fact of the day:

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Republic of China.

Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer & the 4th-largest info tech co by revenue. The company is the largest private employer in China and 1 of the largest employers worldwide. Its founder and chairman is Terry Gou.

This massive company produces 2/3 of the world’s iPads.

How many of you own an iPad?

Fun Fact of the Day: iPhone X Set to Launch in November 2017

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Fun fact of the day:

The *NEW* iPhone X will be available for pre-order on Oct. 27 and will ship on Nov. 3. The price is only $999.

It no longer has a home button and instead has a dedicated Siri button on the right side. On the top of the phone there is an IR camera, which allows the phone to recognize your face completely in the dark.

The screen resolution is OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), the nicest screen to be put on an apple product to date. The phone can be emerged in 3 ft of water for 30 minutes. Don’t try and do 31 minutes…might not be a good outcome.

Instead of one swipe to get to your notifications, now if you swipe down from the top-left, you get notifications, and down from the top-right, you get the control center.

Will you buy this new phone in November?

Fun Fact of the Day: Knopf Name CFO of Kraft Heinz Co

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Fun fact of the day: The Kraft Heinz Co. is a $100B market cap co. that generates more than $26B in annual revenue by selling iconic brands like Heinz Ketchup, Velveeta Cheese and Kraft Macaroni. Starting in Oct, Kraft Heinz’s finances will be overseen by a 29-year-old.
The company announced on Friday that David Knopf will be the new CFO of Kraft Heinz. Knopf has been working since 2015 at Kraft Heinz, where his responsibilities included overseeing the Planters Nuts brand and heading global budget and business planning, as well as zero-based budgeting and financial strategic planning as a VP.
What are your thoughts on age vs tenure?

Fun Fact of the Day: Bahama Bucks

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Fun fact of the day: Bahama Buck’s is a privately held franchise specializing in shaved ice and other frozen non-alcoholic beverages. The company is headquartered in Lubbock, Texas. It was founded in 1990 by the current president and brand owner, Blake Buchanan.

He started with 1 ice shaver and the hope of a college job that didn’t involve mowing grass or flipping burgers. Constructing the original store by hand, he enlisted volunteer help from 3 generations of his family, staffed it with friends and college students, and opened the doors.

The tropical sensation caught on, and with the help of his wife, Kippi (cool name!), and his friend, Eric Lee (now CFO), the summer job turned into a full-time vocation.

As of March 2017, Bahama Buck’s operates 100 stores (located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico) with over 100 additional stores in the works. Except for stores operated by Buchanan all stores are franchised.

Have you ever been? :)

Andre House

Intel Volunteer Andre House

Nothing like a Sunday dinner service to support your local homeless community. Slicing and dicing bread, buttering up each side. No better feeling in this world than helping those less fortunate than yourself. I mean, what is the alternative? Let’s see here…watch Netflix, go shopping, swim at the pool, or sleep. All of which sound particularly inefficient and boring.

I appreciate it when a company as big as Intel provides these types of service events. It gives me motivation to get out of the house and join my coworkers on a weekend afternoon. However, the real thanks goes to the individuals who sponsor and put on these events. Without them this would not be possible. Intel is a large Mothership, and the people make up the whole. Leaders rise to the occasion and help facilitate the get-togethers. After all, companies do not determine what type of person people are, but people determine what type of company they want to work for and how it is perceived by the general community.

I personally want to work for a company that helps make the world a better place. Call it the “basic millennial thought process.” I put in the effort to make this happen.

Citibank Mastercard Double Your Cash- THE BEST

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Fun fact of the day: I usually do not post “opinions,” but let’s try this out. Citigroup has a Mastercard (generally accepted everywhere) credit card titled Double Cash. If you do not use a points card, I HIGHLY recommend this cash card. Individuals earn 1% as they spend, and another 1% as they pay.

Like all other credit cards, it allows users to send text alerts when the card racks up so many dollars (reaches a sum threshold), or when a specific purchase is over a certain threshold (i.e., > $100…or if you are that big spender, always call me before you go shopping, and set your notification limit to $1,000).

The threat detection program works great. I just received a text asking me if I had made a purchase in Austin, TX, to which I called and had my card cancelled straight away (yes, Irish people use this expression) and a new card sent my way.

One of the unparalleled features is the direct deposit for your rewards. You heard that correctly; this credit card allows you to shove your earnings into that huge bank account you have (checking or savings)! Of course, there is always that 1-2 day delay before it is actually liquid “cash.” Another note is that the rewards amount has to reach a total of $25 BEFORE you can redeem any dollar amount. Other options include a check being sent to your residence, a gift card, or a statement credit (which I personally do most often).

One last alteration is the number is on the back (allowing for easier readability and security).

Any questions, let me know!

CES2017: Las Vegas, NV

Downloads:

Sony Displays

LG Displays

This year was CES’ 50th anniversary. It had record breaking numbers. I had the pleasure to attend last year’s event and it was so exhilarating (thank you brother). Here are some statistics:

  1. 3,800+ Exhibiting Companies
  2. 2.6+ Million Net Sq Ft
  3. 175,000+ Attendees
  4. 55,000+ International Attendees
  5. 6,500 Media
  6. World’s Largest Innovation Event

Some of the key highlights encompassed 5G, VR, AR, autonomous driving, Ultra-ultra high-definition TVs (yes, I just made that up), and drones. Sony, Samsung, and LG showed off their baddest TVs. Whether it was 8K, QLED, or OLED. Mass production of these resolution types are within 5 years. So if you didn’t buy that 4K TV this Black Friday, don’t worry, they will be even cheaper in the next 2 years.

Samsung tried to better their name by having a booth solely displayed as “GALAXY.” Since their debacle with the Galaxy Note, reputation has been ruined. This booth included two “rides,” where users could put on a VR headset and twist and turn in the air with a machine. Believe it or not, I was not willing to wait in line to experience this…I was at CES, not Disney Land!

LG had a super awesome clothes steamer DIY system for home use. Just put your suit pants, shirt, and coat in this electric machine, and it will clean your clothes like you took them to the dry cleaners.

LG also had refrigerators that had full-size screens on the front in order to see what food you currently have in the fridge. These screens can tell you your shopping list, or tell you that ice is out and the water filter needs to be changed. I believe some day that all refrigerators will have touch screen fronts to allow users to have more visibility into what they have in their fridge. Eventually, these devices will talk with their owner and help them cook–giving them directions and ingredients to include in meals.

BMW, Nvidia, Intel, and others all displayed self-driving vehicles. BMW’s booth was outside so that driver’s could wait in line and give their cars a test drive. I predict self-driving vehicles will become available to purchase by 2020. The company in the forefront will be Tesla (because of their competitive advantage of first to market with full-blown electric vehicles).

An interesting surprise of companies was American Greetings. They allowed CES-ers to write cards to their friends, loved ones, or peers and send it to this special person, for FREE! Their booth was also outside. They were also making digital cards that included hand-drawn sketches on the computer.

If you could not attend this year, try going down/up next year. If your company does not subsidize your badge entry, it is only $100 to get in for 4 days of awesomeness! Next year’s event will occur Jan 9-12.

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Employee Events- The Game Changer

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Working for a Fortune 100 (#51) company has been amazing. The perks offered are off the charts. The amount of resources provided could make you spoiled. One thing I appreciate most about Intel is the number of Finance get-togethers. You can tell that they truly care about their employees.

As pictured above, I had the opportunity to sit down with fellow coworkers one night and enjoy a bbq. It is pleasant experience to let your mind relax from work for one night and talk about “normal” things with others. Plus, having blow-up slides and corn hole for the kiddos is also wonderful. It allows for people of all different walks of life to come together at a specific point in time and share something common: food and games.

I am excited for the future and cannot wait for what I will bring to Intel in the near future. Cheers!

Interbrand Best Global Brands 2016

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The best global brands display a drive for growth. They cater towards the customer’s needs. Customers nowadays want things fast. They want it now…not in a minute. Delivering on this want is key.

Companies that have a growth mindset will never fall behind. They are constantly divesting and investing in different business units. Resources are allocated appropriately.

As an Intel employee, it is with bias that I am pleased to announce that Intel has made the Top 100 list produced by Interbrand. We come in at #14. The competition, or where we want to be in the future, is listed below:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Coca Cola
  4. Microsoft
  5. Toyota
  6. IBM
  7. Samsung
  8. Amazon
  9. Mercedes Benz
  10. GE
  11. BMW
  12. McDonald’s
  13. Disney
  14. Intel

http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2016/ranking/

New 10″ HP Pavilion Wave Desktop

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With Laptops, 2-1’s, netbooks, and notebooks all decreasing in size, it is of no wonder now to see a tiny 10″ desktop. Yes, you heard me correctly…10″!

It will be available to the public at the end of Sept 2016, for a measly $550.

HP shoved into the device up to 64GB of RAM, an Intel 6th-Gen chip (YAY! :)), and 2TB of Hard Drive (or 1TB if you want it SSD).

Check out the article below if you want more information.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/09/01/hp-pavilion-wave/

Universal Serial Bus: Different Options

There are many types of USB (Universal Serial Bus). The picture below displays most of them. The most common, which we are all familiar with, is Type-A. This is a large port.

One of the newest is Type-C. This can be inserted into a port either way (thank goodness!). The MacBook was the first computer to use this type. It is about 1/3 the size of Type-A.

There are also different versions of the USB. USB started with 1.0, worked its way up to 2.0, and is now on 3.0. USB 3.0 allows for a faster speed of transfer.

Soon, devices everywhere will be using Type-C (which has the capability to both charge and connect your device to another device).

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https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/universal-serial-bus-different-options-alexander-ricketts?published=u

10th Annual Governor’s Utah Economic Summit 2016

I had the incredible experience of attending the Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in downtown SLC, Utah. I sat in on a panel, representing Simply Mac, Steals.com, and Jamberry Nails. All entrepreneurs start with a problem they want to solve. Eventually they create a solution out of these problems.

It is awesome to see how far Utah has come in the entrepreneur space, and what companies have come to fruition because of the top-talent pool in the Valley. Utah’s economy is booming, housing prices are rising, labor is cheap, and the mountains are 20 minutes away. Who wouldn’t want to start a company here?

And yes, that is my classmate and I “riding” in a Tesla!

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Get Motivated Seminar Utah

Get Motivated Seminar

I had the privilege to attend an event that only happens so often. In April, Get Motivated came to Sandy, Utah at the South Towne Expo Center off of State Street and 9400 South. This event was from 8am to 5pm, and yes I stuck through the whole thing. But, it was well worth it.

Some of the speakers included: Dr. Keith Jonson, Dr. Willie Jolley, Bob Kittell, and the famous Les Brown. Les chose to be last on the speaker order, in order to see if people actually stayed for the entire seminar.

Speaker topics included: motivation, confidence, real estate, publishing a book, investing, and competitiveness. My favorite topics were confidence and real estate. Right now, the real estate market is doing great. A house offers so many benefits, including tax advantages and an asset that can be sold for a monetary gain.

One of my favorite sayings by a few of the speakers, was that a person needs to know when to let others go. Friends, family members, and acquaintances might not have the same vision you do. If they are constantly telling you “no,” then you will start to believe in the “no.” Therefore, it is best to leave them behind and follow your vision by setting goals. Goals are how you get to your long-term vision. Without goals, a vision seems impossible. But…we all know what impossible really stands for, “I’m Possible!” Just Do It -Nike

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Intel’s New Acquisition

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Intel recently acquired Yogitech, a company that helps reduce accidents and collisions in self-driving cars or IoT devices. This is a huge step for Intel in their quest to become the biggest and baddest company in the IoT space. Expect many more acquisitions to come within the next 5 to 10 years, specifically IoT companies.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3052252/internet-of-things/intel-eyes-safety-of-self-driving-cars-robots-with-iot-acquisition.html

 

Class-Bonding Hockey Game

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It is nice to have an MBA program that cares about their students. This past weekend, we were given to the opportunity to attend a local hockey game at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. Most of the first and second year students were in attendance. To be casual for one night is a change. Getting the chance to see everyone in their “normal” clothes is a change. Hearing one of your classmates yell, “Yea, hit him in the face!”, is a change. But guess what, change is good. Without change, companies will not survive in this corporate nation. I have learned to accept and adopt change. This will help me excel rapidly in my career path.

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Simple Things in Life

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The simple things. Going to the zoo on one of your days off. It was even better because it was a rainy day and most people were indoors, scared to wander the cement. But not my friend and I. We brought an umbrella.

Learning something new every day is something I strive for. Simply reading the plaques that cover ever animal area, knowledge is gained. Even though work is not involved, learning never stops. Try and better yourself as a person. Oh, and do not let the rain hold you back!

VillageCapital- Rebuilding the American Dream: The Future of Entrepreneurship

I had the tremendous opportunity to attend an entrepreneurship get-together at the Impact Hub in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The VillageCapital Event featured a keynote speaker who is world renowned. Steve Case was the co-founder of America Online (AOL). He is now an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and technology. He recently wrote a book titled The Third Wave, which is set to release April 5, 2016. It can be found on Amazon.com here.

Other speakers included Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact Center, Wendy Guillies, President and CEO of The Kauffman Foundation, and Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital.

The last half of the event was devoted to leaders from across the United States, telling their story about how they are going to change the way entrepreneurship is thought of, used, and recreating in the capitalist society we live in. It will be interesting to see these cities evolve and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

 

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Future Supply Chain Leaders

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What an honor it is to be a part of the inaugural Future Supply Chain Leaders program this year at Oracle. Throughout the Modern Supply Chain Experience conference, I met so many amazing and brilliant individuals. The students I met where thrilled to be attending a supply chain conference, and their passion showed. There were 15 schools represented, with over 90 students in attendance. I cannot wait to see where these two numbers progress to in years to come.

Oh, and by the way, Go Utes!

Supply Chain Consulting Firms

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The Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience is taking place this next week in San Jose, California. There will be many guest speakers from many supply chain executives. Some of the events that I will be attending throughout the conference are with large consulting firms. This will be a great opportunity to find out what roles they play in the business process, and how I can contribute to their success. Kalypso, Tata Consulting Services, Inspirage, Avata, and Computer Sciences Corporation will all be in attendance. #OracleMSCE #Contest

 

Utah Performs Well in Economic Report to the Governor

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Every year, a new economic report is presented to the Governor of Utah. This past year, there were many amazing feats.

Utah led the nation in job growth for 7 months and ranked 2nd the remaining 5 months. Here are other top-level statistics from the report:

  • Technology – Utah lived up to the nickname “Silicon Slopes” with impressive 7.7% growth in the information sector.
  • Construction – Permit-authorized construction reached its highest level in 8 years with major projects downtown and at the nexus of Utah’s 2 largest counties.
  • Leisure and hospitality – Utah’s leisure and hospitality industry added 7,900 jobs. Park City’s expansion created the largest ski resort in the country. This, combined with Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks, prompted Fodor’s Travel to name Utah the top travel destination of the year.
  • Exports – Utah’s merchandise exports continued to diversify with 4% year-over growth in non-gold exports. Utah exports support more than 50,000 jobs.
  • Financial activities – Major employers like Goldman Sachs added a total of 2,600 jobs in the financial activities sector helping Utah earn a reputation as “Wall Street of the West.”
  • Income – Median household income is growing at 2.6% in Utah, compared to 1.0% nationally.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/utah-performs-well-economic-report-governor-alexander-ricketts

http://www.business.utah.edu/news/utah-economy-expected-to-continue-to-prosper-in-2016/

http://gardner.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015_erg.pdf

Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE)

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Oracle has given me the incredible opportunity to attend this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE) in San Jose, California. It takes place January 25-27 at the San Jose Conference Center.

The Future Supply Chain Leaders Program features over 80 students, from 15 leading U.S. universities: Berkeley, Purdue, Duquesne, PennState, University of Utah, BYU, USC, University of Maryland, Stanford, University of South Carolina, San Jose State, University of San Francisco, University of Washington, University of Kansas, and Arizona State University. Now, being a prior member of the Men’s Basketball Team at the University of Utah, I am not fond of UDub, USC, Berkeley, and ASU attending (only joking). However, this is an amazing feat for the Pac-12 Conference.

The following are thought-leading keynote speakers during the conference: Rick Jewell, Jennifer Felch, Nancy Aossey, Terry Bradshaw, Safra Catz, Cindy Reese, Kimberly Leeper, and Ayah Bdeir. This list of leaders is incredible. It will be great to hear about their thoughts on supply chain and leadership.

Throughout this conference, I expect to gain a lot of knowledge about supply chain and Oracle. I hope to gain a few new contacts along the way.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/oracle-modern-supply-chain-experience-alexander-ricketts

2016 CES Recap

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada, set a ton of records in 2016. It had 2.47 million square feet of show-floor exhibits. Last year, this number was only 2.2 million. The attendance hit a record 176,000 people, albeit it was capped. Automotive electronics had 200,000 square feet, up 25% from 2015. 3D printing had 24,000 square feet, up 31% from 2015.

The number of emerging innovators went from 375 to 500 in 2016. From January 5 through the 9, there were 15.2 million billion CES social-media impressions.

My brother, cofounder and current CTO of truDigital, and I were there for two days and it was an amazing experience. Check out the pictures below.

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http://lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2016/jan/11/2016-ces-wrap-real-swingers-david-bowie-million-do/

Full-Time MBA Rankings 2015

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Since it is a new year, I find it apropos to post where the University of Utah is currently sitting in the Bloomberg Business MBA Rankings. I will be graduating from this University in May 2016 and am excited to see where the program goes in years to come.

My favorite part of the program are the people I work with, day in and day out. They are professional and “get stuff done!” Working with teams gives me tremendous experience for when I start a job following my graduation. People are what make up organizations. People drive sales and lead an organization to success. People keep other people wanting to go to work everyday in this corporate society we live in.

I am proud to call myself a Ute and will be helping out in any way in the near future, after I graduate from the David Eccles School of Business!

Here is the list of the top business schools in the United States:

Rank School Employer survey rank (35%) Alumni survey rank (30%) Student survey rank (15%) Salary rank (10%) Job placement rank (10%) Ranking index score
1 Harvard 4 2 19 2 35 100
2 Chicago (Booth) 1 29 10 6 1 98.47
3 Northwestern (Kellogg) 2 11 6 5 34 98.24
4 MIT (Sloan) 5 15 18 3 16 96.05
5 Pennsylvania (Wharton) 6 14 27 4 7 95.92
6 Columbia 3 19 16 9 25 95.61
7 Stanford 14 1 14 1 21 94.66
8 Duke (Fuqua) 7 7 12 11 51 94.07
9 UC Berkeley (Haas) 11 4 4 7 49 91.83
10 Michigan (Ross) 8 28 5 10 32 91.74
11 Yale 9 9 23 14 37 88.07
12 Virginia (Darden) 10 18 9 13 13 87.8
13 UCLA (Anderson) 19 6 3 16 40 87.28
14 Dartmouth (Tuck) 21 8 17 8 11 85.96
15 Emory (Goizueta) 29 5 13 17 9 82.24
16 Cornell (Johnson) 18 10 35 15 30 82.07
17 North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) 17 22 11 23 36 81.82
18 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 13 31 25 12 42 80.48
19 Rice (Jones) 40 3 2 30 46 80.31
20 Washington (Foster) 12 34 41 19 5 79.74
21 Texas at Austin (McCombs) 22 13 37 21 24 79.68
22 Texas A&M (Mays) 24 16 33 37 4 79.56
23 Georgia Tech (Scheller) 28 30 8 25 10 76.78
24 NYU (Stern) 23 35 26 18 27 76.06
25 USC (Marshall) 16 40 22 34 48 75.38
26 Georgetown (McDonough) 25 26 32 27 41 75.27
27 Brigham Young (Marriott) 31 24 21 36 23 74.17
28 Indiana (Kelley) 34 27 15 22 44 72.06
29 North Carolina State (Jenkins) 20 25 38 59 59 71.67
30 Michigan State (Broad) 39 39 7 41 6 71.41
31 Notre Dame (Mendoza) 32 21 42 24 45 71.05
32 Southern Methodist (Cox) 35 33 28 35 20 70.67
33 Maryland (Smith) 42 47 1 40 39 69.74
34 Vanderbilt (Owen) 49 23 30 26 26 69.08
35 Washington in St. Louis (Olin) 48 17 53 32 2 67.54
36 Rochester (Simon) 38 43 43 44 8 65.16
37 William & Mary (Mason) 15 56 44 56 61 65.16
38 Texas Christian (Neeley) 56 20 34 47 22 64.81
39 Ohio State (Fisher) 37 51 46 29 17 63.65
40 George Washington 26 46 59 50 53 63.01
41 Florida (Hough) 55 45 31 45 19 62.29
42 Texas at Dallas (Jindal) 36 57 36 55 18 61.82
43 Penn State (Smeal) 30 54 66 20 52 60.4
44 Pittsburgh (Katz) 52 48 39 53 3 60.27
45 Minnesota (Carlson) 33 68 24 28 56 60.24
46 Wisconsin 57 36 40 39 43 60.08
47 Miami 27 53 47 60 62 58.87
48 Boston University (Questrom) 64 37 48 33 31 57.87
49 Arizona State (W.P. Carey) 41 62 61 31 28 56.53
50 Howard 59 38 58 43 38 55.81
51 Georgia (Terry) 58 59 20 52 63 53.68
52 Oklahoma (Price) 66 12 72 65 33 52.91
53 Purdue (Krannert) 50 52 56 38 67 52.87
54 UC Irvine (Merage) 73 50 29 48 58 52.41
55 Iowa (Tippie) 60 64 45 46 15 52.27
56 Babson 69 32 54 54 55 51.94
57 Illinois 65 49 57 42 64 50.18
58 American (Kogod) 43 41 62 63 70 50.11
59 Utah (Eccles) 70 42 60 62 29 49.54
60 Buffalo 46 58 50 69 65 49.53
61 Northeastern (D’Amore-McKim) 67 55 63 58 12 48.85
62 Hult 54 61 64 49 60 48.2
63 Cincinnati (Lindner) 68 44 65 72 14 47.65
64 Tennessee (Haslam) 45 65 71 51 57 46.62
65 UC San Diego (Rady) 72 60 49 64 50 45.88
66 Missouri (Trulaske) 51 71 55 71 69 39.97
67 Syracuse (Whitman) 47 63 68 67 71 39.22
68 Chapman (Argyros) 44 74 67 68 47 38.54
69 Mississippi 71 70 51 74 54 38.2
70 Willamette (Atkinson) 61 66 73 73 66 34.84
71 Colorado (Leeds) 74 67 69 61 72 31.95
72 Fordham (Gabelli) 53 69 70 66 73 30.84
73 Kentucky (Gatton) 63 72 74 70 68 28.66
74 Pepperdine (Graziadio) 62 73 52 57 74 27.02

UPS, FedEx And The Holiday Season Risks

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The e-commerce industry has really picked up in the past few years. With increasing internet connectivity and many new companies entering the space, online sales are at an all-time high. In 2013, almost 41% of the world’s internet users purchased products online. The size of the market is increasing every year in double digits and could continue to do so for the foreseeable future. To put this into perspective, the current size of the e-commerce industry is $1.6 trillion (which represents growth of about 20.4% year-over-year) and accounts for only 6.6% of total retail sales worldwide ($24 trillion). With the emergence of cost-effective smartphones, and cheaper, more widespread internet access, the potential for growth in the sector remains immense.

A positive effect of the e-commerce boom is that ancillary industries such as the courier services and delivery sectors, should see corresponding growth. Package volumes could increase consistently year-over-year, especially during the holiday season spanning November through December. Intuitively, higher package volumes should mean higher revenues for courier companies such as FedEx and UPS . However, this may not necessarily be true if delivery companies fail to cope with heavy increases in volumes, which could result in major setbacks. Accordingly, while the holiday season represents a big opportunity for the courier companies, it also represents a substantial risk.

In 2013, UPS and FedEx underestimated the volumes to be expected during the holiday season, and as a result both companies were somewhat underprepared. Heavy snowfall and harsh winter conditions slowed them down further. Since then, both companies have carried out a wide variety of changes across the board. The companies have invested heavily in technology to increase delivery efficiency, while upgrading their sorting facilities. Several hubs across the globe have been renovated to ensure the highest productivity. UPS and FedEx have also decided to hire a larger number of seasonal workers – drivers, sorters and other support positions – during peak periods to enable smooth functioning.

In response to these challenges, UPS has invested heavily in its technology. The company recently acquired Chicago-based Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion. Coyote Logistics will provide UPS with the technology to ensure that there are no empty spaces on the company’s delivery trucks. This will allow the space on trucks to be utilized in the most efficient manner. The company has also increased the number of trucks equipped with the ORION technology in the U.S. ORION helps drivers find the fastest and most fuel-efficient ways to deliver packages. Almost 70% of the company’s trucks in the U.S. are now equipped with the technology. Apart from this, UPS has also invested heavily in Europe, increasing the number of trucks available while upgrading its sorting and automation facilities.

Earlier in the year, both FedEx and UPS introduced dimensional weight pricing, which essentially takes into account both weight and volume (length, breadth and height) of a package. This practice ensures that customers optimize their packaging in an attempt to save costs. Recently, UPS also decided to introduce a surcharge on large packages. Both changes in pricing policies should allow trucks to be filled to their highest capacities, allowing larger volumes to be moved.

A problem that both companies are facing is the difficulty in predicting e-commerce trends during the holiday season. In Q4 2014, UPS invested more than was required for the period, which had an impact on the company’s financials. While both companies stand to benefit greatly from the increased volumes, FedEx and UPS need to find the right balance to be able to make the most of the e-commerce boom.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/11/20/ups-fedex-and-the-holiday-season-risks/?utm_source=followingweekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20151123