Autonomous Agricultural Systems using Artificial Intelligence

Currently farmers have many tools such as GPS tractors, state-of-the-art combines and self-loading, bailing and packaging systems. In the future farmer John will have autonomous agricultural equipment systems which use artificial intelligence.

Farmer John will merely say; “go check on the irrigation system and make sure the flow rates or 120 gallons per minute, if not adjust them accordingly and then check the east end of the property to make sure it is not flooded, if it is adjust the furrows.”

Sells easy enough doesn’t, sure it does? In fact large corporate farmers will need to maintain such equipment to ensure maximum efficiency. This is not all too different than the robotic factories that now build our cars. Robotic systems using artificial intelligence will be used in those businesses that are insured a strong return on investment in using such equipment.

Today with automatic lawnmowers, automatic pool sweeps and robotic in-home vacuum cleaners, it is obvious where this trend is leading. Currently DARPA has contracted with a company to build autonomous robotic striker vehicles. The commander will simply say; go find the enemy and destroy them. Such a future is in the works, and we all know that government research and military innovation finds its way into the private sector through transfer technologies within four to five years of its use in the military. So, consider this in 2006.

Utilization of Foreign Investments in Agriculture of China

As a very important role of world economy, China has made a tremendous achievement of utilizing foreign investment since the reform and opening up. China’s agriculture began to utilize foreign investment in the end of 70’s, when the reform and opening up just started. Agriculture is one of the earliest industries to utilize foreign investments. The new government has been paying unprecedented attention to agriculture due to its strategic position in the development of economy in China. Then Documents about agriculture has been issued again by the authorities in 2005. Solving the problems facing agriculture, rural areas and farmers has been the most important task for the government. Therefore, under the background that more and more attention has been paid to agriculture, it has both theoretical and practical significance to study how to expand, introduce and utilize foreign-investment effectively and efficiently to promote agricultural modernization, industrialization and internationalization.

This article is composed of four parts to discuss the central topic “Utilization of Foreign Investments in Agriculture of China”.

1. The background, purpose, significance, content and methodology of this study are introduced and an overview of the past and current studies and researches is presented. Besides, the basic theories of agriculture utilizing foreign investments are summarized.

2. The characteristics of agriculture utilizing foreign investments in China are summarized according to its development, status quo and problems existing in the developing process. Moreover, the model of FDI’s contribution to agriculture economic growth is set up to analyze relations between agricultural GDP and FDI in agriculture. Also, we sets up a multivariate regression model of FDI and its influence factors such as the level of agriculture economic development, human capital, the extent of agricultural internationalization and investment climate, etc. The quantitative analysis can provide the data support for government policy.

3. Through introducing the international experiences and lessons of agriculture utilizing investment in developed countries (America and Korea) and in developing countries (Thailand, India, Brazil and Indonesia), some inspirations have been drawn for investment utilization in our agriculture.

4. Based on the theoretical and empirical analysis of the status quo, problems and the influence factors of agriculture utilizing foreign investments, learning its international experiences and lessons, we comes up with some concluding remarks and policy suggestions as follows: agriculture in China should further strengthen the development and exploit market potential; improve agricultural investment climate and upgrade the superiority of introducing foreign capital; intensify high-quality foreign investments introduction and increase the utilizing efficiency; enhance the supervision and control of both domestic and foreign markets as well as establish and consummate rules and regulations.

Breathtaking Historical Athens

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The history of  Athens  dates back over five millennia and one can therefore imagine the rich culture, art and civilization that it must possess. Tourists like to visit  Athens  for its range of absorbing museums, to explore ruined temples and relish the exquisite Greek cuisine.

On an  Athens  tour one must explore the splendid Parthenon, considered perhaps, to be the finest of all Greek temples. The adjoining area too has a collection of temples which can be explored. Another captivating temple is the Temple of Olympian Zeus built by the Romans.

Being an ancient  city ,  Athens  naturally is home to a number of renowned museums. You would require almost a day to view the famous collection of ancient Greek artifacts on a visit to the National Archaeological Museum. The Theatre Museum and the Numismatic Museum are worth a shot for their fascinating displays.

You will be surprised by the rich cultural life that  Athens  is proud of. You must on a visit to  Athens  see productions of ancient plays in their original settings. It is an experience by itself to explore the many shops and classy restaurants of Kolonaki. A taste of Greek coffee on the streets of Plaka will impress you. One historical site which one must not miss is ‘The Acropolis Hill’ or also called the ‘Sacred Rock’. The area is home to three important temples: the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the temple of Nike in honor of the goddess Athena. These and many other  Athens  sites you can take pleasure in while enjoying the hospitality of  Athens  hotels.

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Four Reasons Why You Should Buy Lavazza Coffee

We could continue for ages and provide you with all sorts of musings on the joyfulness of making those steaming cups of gourmet coffee in the comfort of your own kitchen. We could (and occasionally do!) become poetic on the heavenly aroma that wafts through the air. We could prattle on about the glee of serving a great cup of coffee to family and friends, and taking those few spare moments daily to savor something truly yummy.

We could, but not now. Today we want to give you four solid reasons to buy Lavazza coffee, taking into consideration all the alternative options out there. Hold on tight, it’s going to get real in here. These reasons are not concerning the astonishing experience you get on the wonderful end of a hot cup of coffee. These are facts about Lavazza coffee, how it is grown, prepared and made, that sets the coffee above the ordinary bean. It’s about a tradition of protecting quality, and relentless attention to the particulars of the coffee production experience.

Why Should You Buy Lavazza Coffee?

Like any well-known brand, Lavazza has a particular reputation behind it, one of a long-standing commitment to the coffee drinking experience. This prestige comes from more than 100 years of quality in the business, with constant innovation in production methods and processing procedures.

These four detailed reasons for choosing Lavazza will aid you in understanding why this reputation is well earned.

1. Genuine Quality. Frequently referred to as “Italy’s preferred coffee,” Lavazza has become synonymous with gourmet coffee fineness. The quality has been built up for over more than a century in the business. Part of this tradition includes a stern quality development process that starts exactly at the source, on the coffee farms where the beans are tended. If you want to be confident that the coffee begins with the best beans, you go directly to the source. And this is one critical motivation to buy Lavazza coffee over alternative brands that may possibly source their beans from unknown or unmonitored locations.

2. The Production Plants. When you buy Lavazza coffee, you are buying coffee that’s been processed under carefully controlled conditions at one of the four Italian plants. Two of these plants have been awarded ISO 9001 and ISO 9003 certifications, which means that they scrupulously comply with industry quality standards and maintain excellence in all phases of production. In all cases, the plants operate by incorporating the traditional methods that result in great coffee, while constantly innovating and integrating current technology that enhances the coffee flavor in constantly improving ways.

3. The Heart. A company is only as solid as the people who work in it. When you buy Lavazza coffee, you aid in supporting a company that not only preaches, but lives, social responsibility. For example, they started the Tierra Project, designed to improve living standards in smaller coffee-growing communities in Colombia, Honduras and Peru. Sustainability in agricultural efforts is a vital mission to the company.

4. The Flavor. All right, we could not avoid being poetic on this one. There really is nothing quite like the rich, creamy, robust taste and heady aroma that you will know when you buy Lavazza coffee. Whether you select ground, whole bean or pre-measured, the Lavazza experience is really the elevated water mark of fine Italian coffee.

Athens, Greece

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 Athens  is where Democracy was born & the  city  where significant men of science and philosophy lived & gave their lights to the rest of the world. It is also one of the cities that created Greek Civilization.

Nightlife is Great here particularly in the core. You may likewise have a great time on one of the well-organized beaches, that are just four km. away from  Athens . Of course there are Greek shops & global firms to make sure you will find whatsoever you please. The visitor should go up to the rock of Acropolis to see the unparalleled architectural structures that were built up between 447 and 438 B.C. The nation’s trademark the Parthenon as well remains firm there.

You should visit likewise, the Parliament, where the kings of Greece used to reside. It now houses the Greek parliament from 1933 & it is placed at the constitution square.

The National gardens are as well very nearby. You could go up Lycabetus hill wherever there are several restaurants, cafes & shops.

The Panathenean stadium has great meaning as the 1st modern Olympic Games were carried there in 1896.

You can visit Monastiraki that is packed of little shops with Greek artifacts, Plaka with its old neoclassical houses & narrow streets full of little cafes & eating places, taverns & bars. On the other hand there is the National Archaeological museum & the National Gallery of Art. Two of the richest areas of  Athens  are Ekali & Kifissia. A walk amidst the beautiful houses and villas may be highly rewarding. Atheneans have welcomed the Metro in their lives, which one also links with older lines to cover the whole of Attica.

The heart of  Athens  is beating in Syntagma Square. In which Parliament & most of the Ministries are. But aside from the center, there are other regions with tourist development such as Monastiraki, Kolonaki, Lycabettus Hill & a few kilometers from the historic core Faliro, Glyfada, Voula & Vouliagmeni, where you could have a good time in the sea breeze. Or you may head north to Marousi, Melissia, Vrilissia and Kifisia and smell the fresh air.

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Ghana Life: Working Four Hours a Day

Ghana, like many countries in the modern world, has an unemployment problem, and the situation is particularly severe in relation to providing jobs for increasing numbers of school leavers. In modern society a job implies employment for seven or eight hours a day, five days a week, a working week being 35 to 40 hours. Many people dislike work, or at least they dislike the jobs they are compelled by economic necessity to undertake. Wouldn’t most people be happier if the hours were shorter and the available work was shared more equitably?

In his book ‘The Affluent Society’ published in 1958, the famous American economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, observed that according to anthropologists, when mankind lived by hunting and gathering, the work needed to sustain life amounted to about four hours a day. Many more hours needed to be worked after the invention of agriculture and it was no doubt during the ensuing long millennia that the idea of life dominated by work became widely accepted. However, Galbraith suggested that with modern labour-saving machines it was likely that the available work, shared out between the able-bodied willing workers, would again be reduced to about four hours a day.

In Ghana, in the last decades of the twentieth century, there was much evidence to suggest that although hours at work were long, the actual work activity filled only a fraction of the time. In Suame Magazine in Kumasi, which provides apprenticeships and employment for thousands of youth, work nominally extended throughout most of the hours of daylight, six days a week. Yet it was observed that much time was spent idly waiting for a customer to bring a job, and when a task was taken in hand there would be one man working and four men watching. Work undertaken in this pleasant and relaxed social environment comes close to Galbraith’s vision of the four hour working day, except that the worker is tied to the workplace throughout the leisure hours.

Within the span of recorded history, and almost within living memory, many Ashantis chose to earn their living as hunters. One of their main hunting grounds was in the south of what is now Brong-Ahafo Region; ahafo meaning hunters in the Twi language. If Galbraith’s anthropologists were correct, these hunters earned their livelihood working about four hours a day, even if they spent longer hours wandering in social intercourse with their companions. According to Galbraith’s theory, it might seem that their descendents working in the informal workshops of Suame Magazine had bypassed the agricultural and industrial revolutions in just a few generations, whereas the craftsmen themselves would claim to have merely preserved their traditional way of working.

Perhaps, part of the answer to providing work for all lies in preserving and extending the traditional social organisation of work. Let everyone who is willing and able, join the team and share the work as it comes to hand. The problem of an equitable sharing of the proceeds is another problem to which even Galbraith could give no final answer, although he made some useful suggestions and warned of the dire consequences if no solution was found.

Investing 101: Before You Start Investing Money

Doesn’t it make sense to learn to invest (some basics) before you start investing money for real? Maybe a course called investing 101 or personal investing would be helpful. Here this retired financial planner relates a story, and then points the new investor in the right direction so he or she does not start investing uninformed.

In the dean’s office of one of the largest universities in America, I recently asked if they offered investing 101, personal investing, or any finance course where the student could learn to invest. “After all, we all need to start investing money someday, and it is much to one’s advantage to be informed vs. uninformed, isn’t it?” That was my response when told, “no, or at least I can’t find one” by the dean. I was informed that they had well over 50,000 current students enrolled and offered THOUSANDS of courses in the various colleges throughout the university. But he could find no course under the heading of personal investing or investing 101, and he was in charge of the curriculum.

We spent about an hour together searching and were both laughing out loud at what WAS offered. How about a course in “the art of falling down”? It’s offered. Investing 101? Which college in the university would offer such a course? “The athletic department is real big here; maybe they could help”, I suggested. After all, professional football players make big money. They need to learn to invest money (in case their career is short) and should start investing early. I knew a few players when I was a financial planner, but like most folks they tend to procrastinate when the money is flowing in. They’re too busy earning it, and don’t have the time to learn to invest.

The truth of the matter is that I don’t find it funny that it’s difficult to find a down-to earth practical course that most people could truly benefit from, because as a new investor you need to learn to invest money before you start investing for retirement or any other financial goal. As a new investor you may not be able to find a financial planner you can work with or afford. Even if you found one, do you really want to start investing money with him or her without first getting your feet wet in the basics of personal investing? Let’s start at the beginning.

Before you get into financial concepts like asset allocation and strategy, you should first learn the very basics: investment characteristics. How can you compare various alternatives to determine which best suit your needs, financial goals and comfort level? In other words, you need to decide what you are really looking for. And you need a list of factors to consider before you start investing money. For example, do you have a long term goal like retirement, and are you willing to accept a moderate level of risk? If so, there are numerous investment alternatives to consider, and you can also get tax breaks.

On the other hand, if you have a shorter term financial goal and might need access to your money at a moment’s notice, that’s a totally different picture. You need to match your financial wants and needs to the various alternatives that have characteristics best suited to your personal investing goals. There is no single best choice for every financial goal. It’s a matter of give and take. I have a list of 5 factors you must consider and a few other things you should consider before making a decision. This is basic investing 101. Whether you are a new investor or you’ve been at it for a while and have never really taken the time to learn to invest – you should learn the basics.

This is the first in a series of investing 101 articles I plan to write. In my next article I plan to put my list of characteristics you need to consider before you start investing money in black and white. Don’t feel bad if you are an uniformed new investor (or a want to-be). Do something and learn to invest starting with the basics.

Once you have a handle on a few basic financial concepts you can start investing with confidence. Once you learn to invest you can reach your financial goals. If you think I’m trying to build your confidence, you are right. Stay tuned to investing 101 as we get back to basics. No offense to anyone at one of THE largest universities in the country, but there’s a void out there and I plan to fill it.

The Pros And Cons Of Three, Four And Five School Term Systems

Schools are increasingly starting to look at alternatives to the conventional three-term school year as the long summer holiday is now considered a barrier to effective learning. As such, four and five-term systems are being examined to see if they could deliver better results for teachers, students and parents.

But what are the pros and cons of the three systems, and can it be said that one is more clearly effective than the other two? Some of the positives and negatives are outlined below:

Three-Term System

Traditional system with long summer break. Half-term holidays help break up the wearying effect of long school terms.

Pros

  • A proven system – The current timetable balances concentrated teaching periods with significant time to relax and recharge. Also, teaching during summer is less effective because the heat makes pupils drowsy and distracted.
  • Long summer breaks allow plenty of time for children to pursue their own interests, social activities and self-development.

Cons

  • A ‘medieval system’ – Critics argue that long summer holidays were originally designed so kids could help out with agricultural work, and that the system is a relic of older times. Also argue that the system leaves kids ill-prepared for the year-round rigours of employment.
  • Resentment of teachers’ holidays – Some people criticise teachers for their long summer break, damaging their public image. A shorter break would help to alleviate this criticism.

Five-Term System

Typically consisting of five eight-week terms, with a two-week break between them and a four-week summer holiday.

Pros

  • Shorter summer holidays – Four-week holiday relieves pressure on parents who need to make sure their children are looked after over an extended period. Also goes some way to solving the phenomenon of ‘summer learning loss’, where a substantial part of the next school year is taken up relearning things forgotten over the long summer break.
  • More flexibility in the school curriculum – More teaching time means that more time can be given over to subjects like art, design, music or computing. These ‘fun’ subjects are a good fit for the summer months when kids are looking to relax, while still ensuring that they are learning useful skills.

Cons

  • Greater pressure on teachers – Shorter holidays and more teaching time will lead to a testing schedule for teachers. This could decrease the attractiveness of the profession and impact on recruitment.
  • Greater pressure on pupils – Long summer holidays offer an important time for kids to recharge, enjoy time with family and explore their own interests. A four-week holiday might not seem like much of a holiday at all.

Four-Term System

A compromise between the three and five-term systems, striking a balance between term and holiday length.

Pros

  • Tailored for exams – With more time for exam preparation than three-term systems and longer breaks as a ‘reward’ for completing exams than the five-term system, the system seems tailored towards greater exam performance.
  • Combats the problems of both ‘learning loss’ and short holidays which don’t allow enough time for self-development.

Cons

  • More terms mean that teaching is more frequently interrupted, whereas three-term systems allow the syllabus to be taught with more focus and in greater depth.
  • Extending teaching further into the summer could lead to distracted, irritable students who would rather be outside.

Conclusion

Clearly, each system has both benefits and drawbacks which make it difficult to pick a clear winner. However, the compromise approach of the four-term system means it may offer a solution to the problems of the other systems. The five-term system could lead to too much pressure being put on teachers and students, while the long holidays in the three-term system mean that too much revision of old topics needs to be done at the start of the next school year. While the four-term model isn’t perfect, it goes some way to alleviating these other challenges while leaving students better prepared for their examinations.

Looking On The Bright Side of Experts

Business Management Tips

For a business to succeed, there are many factors that are in play. If the great ideas you have are put into action, then a balance must be attained for your business to succeed.One of the factors that you must take care of is the human resource for your business. The qualifications of the employees therefore matter a lot and you should be very careful when you are recruiting them so that you can have the best capacity for your business. On the other hand, you cannot ignore technology that has influenced the business environment. The success of the business is dependent on the technology a lot because it is a channel that many businesses are using and the competition is stiff and therefore you need to invest in technological devices and strategies for your business to succeed.Another determining factor when it comes to businesses as the finances.

When it comes to financing your business, there are different sources of income that you can engage. For example, when you’re starting a business you can engage your savings that you will set apart as you prepared the business plan and everything. The savings sometimes can’t be enough to fund the many things when starting a business and one of the ways of getting extra cash is by involving relatives and friends. Also, you can borrow loans from financial institutions so that you can fund your business projects. Your business can still succeed if you are limited in different ways such as insufficient human capacity, the working capital, and other assets because there are other different ways of financing your business.

And joint venture is an example of a platform that businesses are using so that they can finance their businesses because they are limited. In a business setting, a joint venture can be explained as an agreement where two or more people bring their resources together to foresee the success of a specific business. You can look at different companies that are into joint ventures and businesses succeed in one of them is the Michael Ferro who became a strong businessman as he ventured into different businesses as the majority shareholder.

On the hand, businesses can be funded through equity. This is where a company sells business shares. There are many businesses that are financed through private equity, for example, Merrick ventures which were formed by Michael W. Ferro Jr.. Above all, maintain business ethics because they can land you in trouble to losing your business, for example, Michael Ferro Tronc became a victim of the law because of being unethical.

What is an Agricultural Inspector?

People who find satisfaction and pleasure in dealing with nature particularly animals, livestock and the like would definitely discover that being an agricultural inspector is a career suited for them. This is generally considered a green job because of its direct interaction and care for animals, plants and other forms of natural resources. Most important and relevant in agricultural countries or states, this job is definitely something that requires a lot of dedication, knowledge and passion for this particular craft.

The career outlook for an agricultural inspector should be plentiful. They make on average $31-$49 thousand a year.

What is an agricultural inspector?

This job is potentially endorsed and provided mainly by the Department of Agriculture as part of the agency’s advocacy for health and proper stewardship of the natural resources. In line with the nature of their work, inspectors are responsible for making sure that agri-businesses and companies strictly comply with the different regulations and laws provided by the state and federal government. These would generally be covering the safety of meat and its processes, poultry, egg, vegetable and fruits productions must likewise follow and adhere with certain standards before they would be marketed to the general public or consumers. In short agricultural inspectors are the main figures that protect the public’s welfare and health from any food-related illnesses and diseases.

Depending on the level of the inspector, there job description would differently vary from mere inspection, testing and sampling of the different agricultural products to giving of necessary supervision, training and guidance which are often delegated to senior inspectors or high level agricultural inspectors. Some of the manual works that these professionals may also do are lifting of different weights up to 100 pounds which they need to perform their tasks and obligations.

For senior agricultural inspectors, they are obliged to ensure that businesses are complying with the standards set by the department thus regular visitation and inspections must be done on these companies in an actual or ocular basis. One concrete example is when inspector would go to the actual plant where livestock products are processed and get samples for testing and quality assurance. This likewise applies to the grains and vegetable products which are also tested for quality and chemical levels.

What are the requirements for the job?

Several of the positions required for this job would look for bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges mostly leaning towards biology or agricultural science. Depending on the type of job, some are requiring four-year courses while others do not necessarily need graduates with these credentials to qualify. Furthermore, potential inspectors must undergo intensive trainings and skill development to improve their craft and knowledge about their work. This would not only include sufficient knowledge on the biological and agricultural area but also with laws and regulations regarding agriculture. Most importantly, candidates must have actual field experiences in order to support their other credentials thus working on a meat-processing plant or farm would be great additional incentives in order to get a slot in the agricultural inspection industry.

Green jobs are indeed timely and noble careers that are potentially growing in demand and are now widely recognized. Being an agricultural inspector is one remarkable career that encompasses every passion and care for nature and protection to the consuming public.