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Preflight Inspection Checklist 

February 20, 2020

Whether you are a frequent flyer or just someone who appreciates the science of aerodynamics, you probably know that flight crews must carry out several routine inspections before taking off. Among the most important of these are the checks that take place while the aircraft is waiting to taxi down the runway. They typically take place before or during boarding and are crucial for ensuring a safe trip. Understanding what these inspections look for can provide you with peace of mind the next time your journey takes you aloft. 

Outside the plane, technicians look for any visual signs of trouble. These may include missing bolts, dents, exposed cables or worn tire treads. The wings and tail section of the plane also receive a thorough examination to ensure that they are airworthy. If anything appears to be out of order, the plane must be repaired immediately. Inside the cabin, the pilot and copilot conduct their own inspections, which include the fuel tanks and all internal doors. 

Even if you’re not a nervous flyer, knowing all the diligent effort that goes into checking and double-checking every part of the aircraft can help you relax and enjoy your flight. For a more detailed rundown of the required preflight inspections, take a look at the accompanying checklist. 

Author bio: Allen Jones is Chief Operating Officer of National Aero Stands, a world leader in engine stand leasing — founded with the purpose of providing aircraft engine transportation stand support. Jones, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, currently oversees daily business and leasing operations. 

Courtesy of National Aero Stands


How print is supporting the digital industry

June 27, 2019

It seems like digital is ‘upgrading’ every sector, but there are still areas in which print is trusted as the number-one choice. For example, businesses often prefer to print confidential documents rather than sending them digitally, due to concerns over digital copies being less safe in terms of potential interception by a third party during its transmission.

In fact, even digital giants Google use print as a means to confirm addresses and identities of customers and contributors by sending out postcards with codes on for businesses signing up to their location services, as a physical security measure. This is particularly interesting, considering so many believe that digital will make print redundant — far from it, it appears that print is wholly necessary for digital to be a success. Managed print solution experts, United Carlton, investigates… 

The issue of trust

There’s no denying that the digital age has opened up a world of information at our fingertips. But not only is this information far more rapidly accessible, it is also just as quick to hit the digital platforms of the world. The speed in which information can be uploaded digitally is both a benefit and a problem — before anything can be checked, screened, or verified, it’s already out in the world and being shared across several platforms. This has given rise to what we now call ‘fake news’. 

A recent example of a fake news phenomenon came in the form of the Momo Challenge. This news story escalated quickly, being picked up by a number of tabloids including the Express and the Daily Mail, and even as far as the BBC. Touted as a haunting and harmful internet ‘challenge’ that would cut into YouTube videos and prompt children to contact a number through WhatsApp, the Momo Challenge sparked fear in parents and children across the world. Then, it turned out to be nothing but a hoax. 

The creature’s disturbing face was found to belong to a sculpture from a Japanese art show, and YouTube released a statement to say they had found no instances of such a video cutting into their broadcasts. But by the time the information could be checked and verified, it had already gone viral. 

Herein lies the issue of trust within the digital platform — information spreads so quickly that it is impossible to study and research the claims to prove them true or not before the world takes it as gospel. Hearsay and speculation become links, and these links are quickly referred to as ‘sources’ in order to lend credibility. Furthermore, as news outlets struggle to be the first with breaking news, verifying the story can fall by the wayside in favour of speed. A dangerous move, given people will likely trust a story more if they see it published by a known news outlet. 

Print media can, however, offer a balm to the downsides of digital swiftness. 

The power of apology in print

Consider this: in the wake of the scandal that gripped Facebook last year in which many users saw their details being unknowingly accessed by a political consultancy, CEO Mark Zuckerberg issues many apologies. One such apology took the form of a full-page printed advert in a number of national newspapers across the US and the UK. The apology read:

‘We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it. 

You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of million of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook. 

We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected. 

Finally, we’ll remind you which apps you’ve given access to your information — so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore. 

Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you. 

Mark Zuckerberg’ 

In terms of this printed apology being successful, it is worth noting that the phrase ‘I am sorry’ has been viewed as an honest apology by 74 per cent of Brits. Zuckerberg used the phrase once in his printed apology. But more importantly, he chose to publish it in a printed format. According to PrintPower, this form of apology shows a valuable act of taking time to consider the apology as well as being willing to put it in permanent record through print. Inevitably, the printed ad would be photographed and shared digitally by Facebook’s target audience, in a more authentic way than if Facebook had published the apology itself digitally. It stands out, and it looks genuine— as The Drum rightly notes, there’s a reason we still use the phrase ‘front page news’ when discussing important matters. It’s deemed a reliable source, where only 24 per cent of Brits reckon Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook itself is trustworthy for news

It may well be that the future is predominantly digital. But the digital world will always benefit from the human elements that are inherent to print media. 



An insight to retail’s supply chain: how technology has helped

October 12, 2018

If retail businesses want to remain ahead of the game, they must acknowledge the technological advancements around them. But how has it affected the supply chain specifically? Read on as we explore how technology has transformed and helped businesses maximise their supply chain efficiency, including making deliveries speedier and keeping up with fluctuating consumer demands.

What your customers want

Consumers now have higher expectations and want retail businesses to offer the level of service they deserve — but many brands don’t know how to react and see this as a challenge.

You must consider what is most convenient for your customer. When they’ve received one service from a business, the bar is raised, and they expect that all their other favourite brands will do the same.

If you want to stay on top of your game, you must offer a next-day delivery service as well as product tracking. This is what your customers want. To achieve this as a business, this means that an efficient supply chain with a well-managed inventory tracking system is essential. And, when it comes to getting in touch with the business, customers expect instant contact through the channels that they’re most used to — Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging platforms.

The first steps

Before anything else, the product must be created. In the Digital Age, more products are being tailored to the buyer due to their love for personalised purchases. But, as they still expect a speedy delivery, manufacturing and delivery must be efficient. How has technology created more of an efficient supply chain?

Cloud storage continues to develop, and this has allowed data to be stored automatically. This prevents delays involving computer crashes and data loss.

Has your business considered the use of 3D printing? The process of 3D printing is what people are referring to as a form of ‘additive manufacturing’.  This is where there are no wasted raw materials. Through this technique, this type of printing is able to create products with time and material efficiency.

Technology has the ability to run 24/7, which can speed up manufacturing processes. When it comes to tailored products, this means that they can be created on demand, providing an efficient creation and delivery service.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

To begin making any changes across a retail business, brands must consider looking over their current supply chain and come up with a strategy to cater to the demand of customers.

According to 2017 findings by McKinsey & Company, taking an AI approach to the supply chain could reduce forecasting errors by up to 50% and overall inventory reductions of between 20% and 50%. This sort of technology can think and learn like humans, reacting to stimuli often without human input, too. In the supply chain, AI is able to assist with packaging, research and development, and inventory management which can help make the process more efficient.   

“This is especially important in the case of industries like fast fashion, where user tastes change very quickly, and supply chains are usually slower to react. In such scenarios, having a direct link between the actual data being gathered from users about their tastes and what they’re interested in — and conveying that back up the supply chain — means that designers and developers in the business can come back with the right products, in much shorter lead times” commented Sangeet Paul Choudary, founder of Platform Thinking Labs.

Now, customers can determine what products are most popular with customers. Machines with AI abilities can also gather information on location so that warehouses in certain areas can stock more of a product that’s popular in the area. This goes on to improve delivery times and customer satisfaction.

Human error has become more common too, but AI can remove this worry that many brands have. This process removes the potential error of miscounting inventory or recording inaccurate information, which could then go onto lead to the wrong amount of stock being replenished.

One brand that has looked at is supply chain recently is QUIZ. The brand says that its 180,000 sq. ft distribution centre in Glasgow provides “a strong platform to support future growth”. The company also uses insights and live data on product performance to allow “informed key buying decisions to be made quickly”. QUIZ also implements a test and repeat approach to its supply chain so that it can “introduce new products to stores and websites within weeks of identifying trends and reorder successful products quickly.”

An employee’s point of view

We can’t ignore that technology is being heavily invested in across all sectors and many employees are worried about their careers.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that in some instances, jobs have been lost as a result of new technology. At Amazon, for example, employees who were once in charge of securing multimillion-dollar deals with brands have been replaced with software that can predict exactly what shoppers want and how much should be charged.

You must look at the full picture, though. The huge warehouses that store products require people to manage them. For example, when John Lewis opened two new distribution centres in Milton Keynes in 2016, 500 new jobs were created as a result.

Computers can’t offer compassion or understand clients’ needs in the way that humans can, for example. And people are still required for product delivery, as well as for offering after-sales services.

What does the future hold?

It’s time to review your supply chain. When it comes to AI, any platform that has access to customer insights and data has the ability to connect directly to manufacturers to integrate and better inform the process.

To keep up with consumer demand, it’s likely that brands will invest further in warehouses to store inventory. Last minute order? You could potentially have a men’s blazer for yourself or daughter’s prom dress delivered straight away. or As more people want the same amount of choice at a higher speed, this means that warehouses must stock a wide range of sizes, colours and styles at each of their locations — in close enough proximity to anyone who orders. In fact, there are already massive distribution centres, equal to the size of a town, which logistical networks that pick products from the shelves and send them on their way to customers.



Tips On Pursuing a Career in Technology

September 28, 2018

Choosing a career path can be one of the most important things that you do. It will affect things such as how much you earn, the kind of people you network with as well as how you spend your time. Although this isn’t black and white, and it isn’t always possible to predict your career path and where your interests will take you, the earlier you find out the better. You may find that you have an interest in technology and as a result want to pursue a career in this field. If this happens to be the case, continue reading as you’re going to find key tips on pursuing a career in technology below.

Pick a Niche

When pursuing a career in technology, one of the first things that you should do is pick a niche. Technology is a broad field and there are so many different career paths that you could pursue within this sector. You could, for instance, decide to become a computer programmer which means that you’d be writing code that enables software programs to run. On the other hand, you may decide to become an information security analyst and safeguard people’s computer systems and networks for a living. In order to find a niche, you may need to do research into different careers and see which jumps out at you amongst the bunch.

Get the Right Education

Once you’ve chosen a niche or at least narrowed your options down, think about what type of education you need to get there. If, for instance, you wanted to merge business and data science, you could try Merrimack online Data Science degree program which would enable you to merge the skills needed to operate as a data scientist with the skill needed to translate data into useful insights to help make decisions in a business. The idea is to think carefully about the skills and knowledge you’ll need in your profession and how education can help you attain that.

Meet Key People in the Sector

Another key tip for pursuing a career in technology is to meet key people in the sector. As you likely know already, your network is essential as it helps you hear about opportunities first hand as well as gain the industry knowledge you need to progress. When networking in your industry, think about the best events to attend, where you can meet key influencers and how to build genuine relationships. To improve your networking skills, try reaching out to those who are on a similar level to you when hunting for job prospects and pitching. Also, when you meet new people remember to talk about your job transition and career path so far as opposed to bombarding them with information about your job hunt.

Technology is a great sector to be in, especially in this day and age. So many life-changing innovations are being created and it’s being used to change the way we live life as well as how we relate with one another and function. Being a part of such a movement can be an exciting thing. On that note, hopefully, you’ve found the tips above useful and can use them when pursuing your career.


How tech-savvy is the global elderly population?

August 29, 2018

Some grandmas and grandpas are more ‘down with the kids’ than others — they have smartphones, know how to Skype and have their own Facebook profiles. But, does it depend on what country you live in as to whether the older locals have a grip on the latest technology? Together with Acorn Stairlifts, retailers of Straight Stairlifts, we take a look at the latest figures:

Internet users

When it comes to using the internet, many of us couldn’t imagine our daily lives without it. You probably use it to read the latest news, check the weather forecast or use it hourly at work. But, is the older generation as reliant on the World Wide Web?  

In the UK, research showed that 41% of adults aged 75 and over had recently used the internet when they were asked in 2017. This illustrates a 20% increase since 2011, showing how widespread the internet has become over the past seven years.

How does this compare to the older generation in the US? Well, figures show that 64% of over 65s were internet users in 2016. There was also a 46.4% growth reported in US internet users over the age of 55 from 2014 to 2017, with around half of American seniors say that they now have high-speed internet at home. This is a 4% increase on 2013.

However, the internet hasn’t quite won everyone over yet – only 44% of those aged 80 and upwards said that they used the internet and just 28% said that they had a home broadband service.

In Germany, only 29.6% of mobile internet users were aged 50 and above as of January 2017 and in France, 48% of people aged over 70 were internet users in 2016. Compare this to the 100% of internet users who were aged 12-17 and it’s clear to see the generation gap when it comes to getting online. In Belgium, 35% of the population that were aged between 65 and 74 admitted that they had never used the internet at all.

What about in the aging country of Canada, where there are now more over 65s than under 14s? In 2019, experts forecast that 53.4% of over 65s will be internet users. And, in the technological hub of Japan, 44.3% of over 80s who accessed the internet said that they did so at least once a day, along with 48% of those aged 70-79.

Smartphones and tablets

Our instantaneous access to the internet is enabled by the widespread use of smartphones and tablets. Many of us have these tiny touchscreen devices at hand which can answer to our queries, connect us with friends and provide us with useful information at the tap of our fingers. Has the older generation realised the potential of these devices?

In the UK, it was revealed that 45% of over 55s used a smartphone in 2016. This seems like quite a significant figure, however, when you compare it to the fact that 97% of under 25s used a smartphone, it’s clear to see how age affects behaviour.

In the US, 32% of those over 65 and 20% of those over 80 said that they owned a tablet computer and 19% said that they owned an e-reader.

It’s important that older people reach out for help and direction in using a new device, should they need it. Around three-quarters of Americans over 65 said that the statement, ‘When I get a new electronic device, I usually need someone else to set it up or show me how to use it,’ describes them very, or somewhat well. Also, only 26% of older internet users said that they felt very confident.

Although some may think that older people don’t understand technological advancements and are not willing to learn how to use them, findings have proven different. In fact, 58% of adults aged 65 and over said that technology has had a mostly positive impact on society. Of course, it can depend on annual income and disposable income as to whether an elderly person owns a smart device — 81% of older Americans who earned over $75,000 said that they owned a smartphone while only 27% of those who earned less than $30,000 owned one.


Much of the younger generation has welcomed technological advancements to help them with banking and quick payments in restaurants and stores. With one simple tap of the debit card, something can be paid for instantaneously.

In the UK, Barclaycard said that 20% of contactless users are 65 and over — suggesting that they are welcoming the new system. More people are jumping on board too, 55% of over 65s have used the tap to pay service, up 3% from 2016. Saga supported this research too, saying that one in five over 50s use their contactless cards up to three times per week.

Staying connected

For many of the younger generation, the internet is the main way that they stay ‘connected’ with the rest of the world. Through Twitter and Facebook, people can read instantaneous news from their local area and worldwide. And, with downloadable apps, smartphone users can receive notifications of the latest headlines. Is the older generation accessing news in the same way?

In the UK, 21% of over 50s said that they get their news daily from social networks. This could mean logging onto Facebook to see what the latest status’ are or checking what’s trending on Twitter. In the US, this number rose to 26% with 70% of older Facebook users saying that they log in to the site daily. In fact, there has been a reported change in the demographics of Facebook users — with the number of 12-17-year-olds who use the site declining by 9.9% in 2017.

How do these figures compare to elderly people across Europe? In Germany, only 9% of those over 50 said that they get their daily news from social networks and 34% said that they get their daily news from the internet. In France and Italy, 13% of the mature generation stated that they went to social media sites for their news.

In Canada, these figures were relatively high — with 25% of over 50s heading over to social networking sites to find out the latest headlines.

So, as we can see, the technological habits of the mature generation changes from country-to-country. Eventually, it’s likely that the majority of the older population will understand the benefits of technology and come to accept it as a way of life. In the meantime, younger people should be educating their elders on how to use the devices and how it could enhance their daily activities.



3 Tips on Pursuing a Career in IT

August 29, 2018

If you enjoy technology, are always fiddling with software, and find yourself fascinated by computer systems, then you may be thinking about pursuing a fruitful career in IT. There are several roles that you could decide to take up depending on the area you want to specialize in and the sector that you hope to contribute your skills to. If you’re at the incipient stages of pursuing your career, it’s possible that you’re looking for some basic tips as well as useful advice before getting started. If that’s the case, you should continue reading as you’ll find three practical tips for pursuing a career in information technology below.

Get the Right Education  

When pursuing a career in IT, one of the first things that you’ll typically need to do is get the right education. Although in this blog and YouTube age many people are teaching themselves some of the basics, you should still aspire to learn the fundamentals of IT such as problem-solving and trouble-shooting for computer-based systems, project management and foundations of database management through formal education. This is also important as some jobs will require that you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree before you stand a chance of being employed. If you’re working full-time and don’t think you have the time to attend classes physically, consider getting an information technology degree online as an alternative. This added flexibility can make improving your IT skills much more attainable.

Get Experience

In addition to the mentioned, another tip in pursuing a career in IT is getting the right experience. This is essential as theory is different from practice, especially in the world of information technology. There are many routes you can take to get experience in IT which include interning at an IT firm, shadowing a professional, or working in the IT department of an organization. You can also try practicing on your own by thinking of and completing IT related projects. For the most part, experience should help you develop key IT skills such as coding, communication, networks, analytics, big data, and cloud application.

Stay Up to Date

Aside from getting a degree as mentioned above, you still have to ensure you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in IT as they’re always rapidly changing. You should, therefore, surround yourself with vast amounts of information and resources which could mean signing up for newsletters, buying the right books, reading articles on reliable news sites and attending industry events. Some tips on keeping up to date with technology include using curated information from social media, using news aggregation sites, as well as smart personalization algorithms.

Pursuing a career in IT in this day and age can prove to be a promising move. The demand for IT professionals seems to be steadily increasing, so it’s likely that you’ll have numerous career prospects depending on the niche you choose. However, there are different routes to get to your desired destination, but some of the fundamentals have been mentioned above. Hopefully, you can apply a few of them in your journey to becoming an IT professional.


3 Ways to Eliminate the Threat of Cyber Security

July 18, 2018

The Internet is full of cybercriminals constantly hanging around in the darkest comers of the web, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce on businesses like yours. It’s true, today, your cyber security is always under threat, and so you need to put the correct measures in place when it comes to protecting your business.

You can eliminate these threats, however. In fact, you should be eliminating them right now! To see just how to do so, make sure to check out the three useful tips in this article.

Educate your employees

They may not mean to, but your employees pose the biggest, most harmful threat to your cyber security. The apps they use and the websites they visit while connected to your company Wi-Fi put your business at danger every time they are accessed, and it is for this reason why they need educating.

First of all, you should make them aware of the fact that they may allow a third-party access to your connection, and subsequently your data, without even realising. The rise of Pokémon Go in 2016, for instance, saw a distinct rise in office-based connection hacking, simply because employees were playing the game on company hours. Second, you should make sure your employees know what constitutes as a strong and reliable password. Teach them not to duplicate, have both upper and lower case and even the inclusion of numbers. For added security, have them change their passwords once every month.

Accept professional help

Unless you are an IT technician yourself or your business provides its own IT support, you’re going to need to source and then accept external assistance when it comes to boosting your cyber security. Doing so is the only way to be sure that your business’s online guards are up at all times and that the risks posed to it are as controlled as they can be.

Torix, found at, are one provider of such assistance. Offering complete support when it comes to the solutions needed to tackle hacking, phishing and other forms of cyber security, they, and services of the like, are what you need to turn to when looking for a reliable hosting company and support for anything cybercrime-related. You should also consider hiring a threat analyst, too, as this type of professional will work closely with you to source all the upcoming risks that you are liable to face.

Stay updated

Service and software providers don’t just release new products to make themselves more money, you know. They do so because the products that they offer are always bettering themselves and providing different levels of protection, and their latest product is guaranteed to offer the best cyber security that that particular company has ever produced. So, it’s key that you stay updated when it comes to network and data protection technology, no matter how much it might cost you, as your current, outdated package might not be up to the task of fighting the most modern hacking techniques.

Eliminating the threat of cybersecurity is vital — if you don’t, you put your business in just about as much danger as it can be in.


The Top 5 SEO Best Practices in 2018

July 10, 2018

Due to rapid shifts in the world, SEO techniques change often and sometimes you may not even know about it. In the world of SEO, hacks that would help you a front page result a year ago might hurt your website rankings because they are obsolete. If you’re having trouble optimizing your website or just want to make sure you’re doing it right, you should consult with professionals like who specialize in search marketing.

To help you stay on top of the SEO game, here are the top five SEO best practices in 2018.

5. Write Compelling Meta Description And Data

Over the years, a lot of marketers focused on keyword stuffing in their meta descriptions and titles in an effort to manipulate Google search results. Even though it is important to keep your focused keywords in your descriptions and titles, you should do with your focus on the users. If you have relevant meta descriptions and titles, users will be enticed to choose your site over the competitors.

4. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

In 2017, Google announced there would be a change at the end of the year. That change ended up being Google’s Mobile-First Indexing, which means the company is now prioritizing your site’s mobile version over the desktop version. With Google prioritizing mobile sites more, you can’t afford to have a site that isn’t mobile-friendly.

To capitalize on the changes, you need to do three things.

– Make sure your site is designed with mobile users in mind.

– Reduce the size of the images on your site to optimize images and load them more quickly.

– Make a very fast website that helps people with slower mobile connections.

3. Join The HTTPS Wave

When it comes to buying and selling online, customers want to feel safe, and the best way to do that is to make sure your website is secure. Having an HTTPS website means your site has an SSL certificate, which means every transaction done through your server is encrypted. Since Google Chrome now notifies users when a site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it makes sense to have an SSL certificate. The fact that it gives you a small SEO boost is a bonus.

2. Have Plenty of Content

The reason people use search engines is to find information about something they are interested in. However, some people use their website as an online business card, with barely any information other than the service they provide and their contact information. If you want to be successful, making sure your website is optimized is only half of the problem. You also need to have a lot of content on your site to endure you get first-page ranking.

1. Be Trustworthy

When you sell something or provide a service, there is always the temptation to oversell or exaggerate a few things. If you want clients to keep coming back, you have to make sure you are transparent with your clients. If what you are providing is more expensive than other sites, let the customers know why. You should also stay active on social media because it allows you to interact directly with your clients.