What you need to know about hi-tech glass

Most people are familiar with the wonders of the microchip, but not so many appreciate that high-tech gadgets would be impossible if not for advances in the technology of glass. Smartphones, laptops, flat screen TVs, 3D headsets and wearable tech all require types of glass with very specific properties, which are achieved through controlling pigments, refractive index, glass chemistry, electrical properties and lamination techniques.

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Flick of a switch

A type of high-tech glass entering the market can switch colour and opacity at the press of a button. Smartglass International is currently providing privacy smart glass for the windows of a demonstration car in San Jose, California. Other companies have developed similar glass that changes from clear to dark blue, such as Wonderlite™. This will be used to control the degree of sunlight that enters car roof windows. Similar glass will be available for domestic homes, both for privacy and climate control.

One place where needs for natural light, privacy and security issues collide is in prisons. Smartglass is discussing supplying security versions of its switchable glass for cell walls.

Smart displays embedded in or reflected on windscreens are already used in aircraft. Valtra, a division of the AGCO corporation, is bringing the technology to agricultural machines and this will arrive in lorries and cars very soon.

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Eco glass

Research has long been concentrated on glass for climate control, both to keep buildings warmer and cooler. In tall buildings, maximum sunlight is needed to illuminate the interior but must keep the sun’s heat out. Without solar control and air conditioning, many high-rise buildings would be uninhabitable. Solar control glass allows maximum sunlight to enter a window while reflecting away most heat.

Many people choose this glass for conservatory roofs; however, UK householders are mostly interested in letting light enter and preventing warmth leaving to minimise their bills. Double glazed solar glass panels provide excellent insulation at cooler times of the year. Advice on double glazing in Hereford is available from companies such as firmfix.co.uk.

Better insulation is achieved through better glass and through better design of the double and triple glazed units. You can now have glass to keep you extra warm, extra cool, for peace and quiet, and to frustrate burglars. You can even have glass that repels dirt, making your windows virtually self-cleaning.

Where to find an antique bargain

Want to fill your home with stunning antique pieces for the ultimate vintage glam? Then you’ll want to do it as cheaply as possible. Timeless antique ornaments or furniture need not cost the earth if you know where to look. Whether you’re searching for rustic cabinets, period coat stands, authentic doors or art décor lighting, these are the places you should be looking:

  1. Charity Shops

People are often amazed at what can be found in the humble charity store. You can often find lower-end antiques from house clearances. Many items might have been checked over by a local dealer before making it to the charity shop but just as likely, some items might just slip through the net. They are always worth a browse and of course, it’s all for a good cause too.

  1. General Dealers

Many towns and cities have more than one local antique dealer’s shops and these are another great place to look for the perfect piece. If the dealer has house clearances then there could be items he or she has minimal professional knowledge about. If you know your stuff in a particular field then this can play to your advantage. These shops are a great place to barter on the price too.

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  1. Reclamation Yards

The perfect examples of recycling in this age of increased focus on sustainable living. These places can be a veritable Aladdin’s cave of hidden treasure. Taking other people’s scrap and the remnants of deconstructed or demolished buildings, you can anything from antique sinks, fireplaces, vintage doors and even chandeliers. A browse round a salvage company could find that unique piece you’ve been looking for to make your interior complete. For Antique Chandeliers Dublin, visit http://www.wilsonsyard.com/products/lighting/indoor-lighting.html

  1. Car Boot Sales

Never underestimate the possibility of stumbling across a unique find at a local car boot sale. Most sellers are not traders but amid the household junk, there is sometimes a gem of an antique waiting to be snatched up. The perfect place to bargain on price so don’t forget to take some cash with you. The best time to arrive is as soon as sellers start to pull up and unpack so you can be the first to nab that antique vase or lamp.

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  1. Auctions

There will often be house clearances featured at general auctions and the beauty is that in amongst the mass-produced items there could be an intriguingly unique antique that you just have to bid on. In auction terms, items like these are called ‘sleepers’ as nobody recognises the value or worth of an item. An item doesn’t even have to be worth a great deal. If you fall in love with an old piece because it’s unusual or unique then bid on it for your vintage décor.

  1. Antique Fairs

Many such fairs are held throughout the year, up and down the country. You’ll find hundreds of dealers with stalls offering anything from large furniture items to fabrics and vintage glass. One of the biggest is held at Newark with an impressive 4,000 stalls.

A look at the key bridal fashion trends for 2018

Designers have really been bringing some fantastic new creations into bridal fashion and here we review those trending for 2018 from Paris along with some of the beautiful colours and designs seen in bridal shows. Keep reading to see what the trends in colours, details, and designs are set to be for 2018 bridal attire.

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Keep it simple

Some designs have been simple in shape and look such as Valentino. Traditional designs have such as traditional A-line that gowns have been modified to give them a modern twist. Soft silk material has helped create this soft, feminine simple look.

The suit

Trouser suits have always been presented as an alternative for bridal wear and again they make their appearance. There have been wide-legged trousers (by Antonio Grimaldi) and cigarette pant trouser suits (by Viktor and Rolf) appearing on the catwalk.

Choosing your outfit is one piece of the puzzle and it requires careful planning to make sure the venue, your accessories, the decoration, and the whole setting all complement the overall look you wish to achieve.

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Romantic styles

Designs from the likes of Chanel and Dior showcased bridal outfits with full skirts and column gowns, focussing on the bride’s physique, creating a romantic and feminine look.

Something different

Brides looking to add glamour only need look at designer Ziad Nakad to see top to bottom marabou or hemlines adorned with feather rosettes by Ralph Russo. Also, Fendi and Zuhair Murad have shown floral and botanical patterns as new emergents in bridal fashion.

Dress to match

Your venue is important when choosing your dress so that the setting lets you stand out or fit in just as much as you wish. For example, if you are looking for a wedding hotel venue in Gloucestershire and choose somewhere such as http://www.thespeechhouse.co.uk, you will want to make sure that you and your bridesmaids are complemented by your surroundings rather than clashing with it.

Bridesmaids

Nudes have made an appearance as a shade for bridesmaids, as in the mushroom tea dress by Christian Dior. Shades can be chosen to complement different skin tones. Inky blue is another trending colour and Elie Saab has a wonderful teal coloured design perfect for summer. A darker toned design like navy would work well for winter, like that by Chanel.

5 reasons to book a city break

A break in the city can do us a world of good. Even a couple of days experiencing a change of scenery can make a huge difference. Here are five top reasons to book that city break today.

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1. Because you work hard

If you work hard, but never get the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labour, what’s the point of putting in long, hard, gruelling hours at the office? A city break lets you take a pause from your busy schedule and realise what the benefits of working hard are all about.

2. Stress reduction

Getting away for a long weekend in the city is the perfect antidote to kicking stress and anxiety into touch. Stress is a continuous and rising problem in our daily lives, and long-term health problems can arise if we don’t learn to tackle it. According to Huffington Post, a shocking 44% of us suffer from long-term stress.

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3. Change of scenery

Doing the same old thing day in, day out can become monotonous, and can leave us feeling unmotivated in our personal and professional lives. Taking a city break can help to break that ‘groundhog day’ feeling, giving us a whole new lease of life and fresh perspective on things. You don’t even need to travel that far to make a break from the norm. Simply head to your nearest city and make a list of the things you would like to see and do there.

4. Step away from online communication

For a city break, staying in serviced apartments Birmingham is a great choice, with apartments such as http://birminghamservicedapartments.co.uk/ allowing you to get away from your computer and leave the online world behind for a few days. By heading to the city and taking in the cultural sights and entertainment options, you can connect with people in real life, instead of just online.

5. Encourage creativity

When you don’t get a break from the norm and every day is a long, hard slog at work, your mojo can rapidly diminish. A short trip to the city, however, can be enough to inject creativity back into your life. By allowing yourself time to unwind and relax in a new place, your brain can recharge its batteries and put your motivation and inspiration back into top gear.

How Home Automation Will Change the Way We Live

Smart technology is transforming and shaping the way we live, with smart homes being centred around comfort and convenience. The Internet of Things Report suggests this trend is on an upwards swing that shows no signs of slowing.

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How to Get Smart

Smart home gadgetry includes the likes of smart security systems, smart lighting, smart appliances from kettles to washing machines, and smart energy devices. The research arm of Business Insider, BI Intelligence, estimates an increase in the orders of such devices to 193 million by 2020, up from 83 million in 2015.

There are a few big hitters in the field of smart home technology, most notably Apple, Amazon, Nest, Philips and August. Then there are a few other contenders entering the ring, from Iris to Ecobee and SmartThings from Samsung. Even o2 are now offering monthly smart home subscriptions.

Heating and cooling systems can be remotely activated from your phone, making your home comfortable before you even reach the front door. Amazon Echo’s Alexa can be your personal assistant to check the weather and news while you do the washing up, or answer your culinary queries as you prepare dinner. Then there are the likes of the Apple HomeKit and the August Smart Lock for home security, the Learning Thermostat for adjusting your home’s temperature, the Lifx Color 1000 smart bulbs and the Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit.

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The Perks Behind the Smart Revolution

Convenience is becoming more of an expectation and goal, rather than a welcome perk. Smart technology gives us more time by taking away some of the hard work and practical hurdles. If you’re looking for home automation companies, choose one like http://digitalinteriors.co.uk/project/home-automation-systems/ which offers integrated, tailor-made and reliable solutions.

Smart technology can, in theory, save consumers money and energy in the long run, but devices often come with a hefty price tag. With the increasing demand for such products, prices are reducing and may continue to become more purse-friendly in future years.

Developments are happening thick and fast, and it’s not outlandish to think we could see smart cities next, where automation is already being gradually implemented. The kind of of multi-level integration between products and manufacturers in the realm of home automation opens up endless possibilities for future.

How to choose the right office chair for your desk

The Office of National Statistics reports that over 1.9 million employees now work from home, enjoying all the advantages that it brings. For them, the stress of the commute is gone, freeing up extra time to improve the work/life balance; they have a more flexible work style instead of the rigid eight hours sandwiched between uncomfortable journeys to and from the office.

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The https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/adhocs/006561employeehomeworkers statistics, released in 2017, includes employees who work at home, in the grounds of their home, or use home as their primary work base. But just how productive can you be when working from home?

The homeworking office

Almost every homeworker has probably experienced the frustration of technology letting them down – the work-issued laptop can’t log on to the firm’s internal network, despite the dozens of desperate calls to the IT support department, or your internet service provider suddenly has an outage the day you’re due to attend that important training webinar.

Without a doubt, access to the same services and equipment at home as you would have at the office is key to maximising your productivity. But so is organising the homeworking workspace. Lack of self-discipline is one of the main drawbacks of working from home; having a dedicated workspace area with ergonomically designed office furniture will not only improve motivation but also help avoid musculoskeletal problems caused by bad posture.

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Creating the right environment

The percentage of working hours you spend working from home and the space you have available will dictate what furniture you’ll want to invest in. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, then you can splash out on a full office complete with bespoke commercial desk, storage, shelving, etc. There are office furniture companies that can produce everything from high-end commercial office reception desks like http://simonkohnfurniture.co.uk/our-work/commercial/reception-areas-and-desks/ to fitted office furniture with your homeworking environment in mind.

But at the very least, even if you’re working at the kitchen table, you should invest in a good, ergonomic office chair. Look for a chair that has a good variety of adjustments, that it has the right type of castors for your flooring, and that it allows for natural movement. If you’re not sure what’s best, investing in an expert’s advice will prove invaluable in the long run.

Think you could run an event?

Event management is a busy but rewarding career. Helping someone to organise an event, which could be small or the size of a conference, and seeing it through to a successful conclusion is what makes event management a calling for some people. So, if you’re considering devoting your life’s work to guaranteeing the satisfaction of customer’s event needs then here is what you need:

People enter the world of event management from all backgrounds and even though you can do courses at college or university, you don’t have to. What really counts is strong experience in the areas of public relations, tourism, travel or booking entertainment for venues. Volunteering at events and exhibitions is a great way of gaining hands-on knowledge of what is involved in this industry. Travel and hospitality experience is also useful. For Conference Management Companies Dublin, visit http://davisevents.ie/

Personal qualities that are beneficial for this role include good organisational skills, an ability to multi-task, strong communication and people skills, problem-solving, working under pressure, attention to detail, marketing skills and budgetary planning.

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An event manager is responsible for overseeing an entire event from the initial planning stages to helping things go smoothly on the actual day. You’ll meet with clients to discuss their needs and find innovative and creative ways to make the event unique. Budgets will need to be agreed and a timetable for planning will also need to be discussed with the client. That is just the first stage. Next is the research and negotiating stage.

You’ll have the task of finding the right venue and getting the best deals with suppliers for the event. The venue, catering, entertainment and any additional equipment will need to be finalised and booked, remaining within the budget and agreed timetable. Public events will also need marketing and publicity. The final stage is the event day itself.

Working long hours, you’ll need to be there hours before it starts and you’ll be there after it ends too. You could be supervising the catering, checking the hired security, ensuring that health and safety requirements have been met and insurance regulations are covered. As you can see, an event management professional has a lot of balls to keep in the air so a cool head and plenty of preparedness is essential.

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During planning stages, the working hours are likely to be normal office working hours but in the lead up to events, you will be expected to work unsociable hours. Outdoor events could also mean working out in the pouring rain quite often! If your events are some distance from where you live, there could also be the possibility of travel and overnight stays in various locations. There is wide scope for progression and one day you could become a manager of an events company. Many people have set up their own private event management business or offer their services on a freelance basis meaning you have the freedom to be your own boss.

Similar professions include charity fundraisers, conference management, hotel manager, events technician, public relations and exhibition designer.

Catering centre of excellence opens in Bristol

Britain’s first catering exhibition centre offering a permanent home for more than 50 top equipment brands has opened its doors in Bristol.

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The National Catering Equipment Centre (NCEC) showcases products from many of the leading equipment brands, offering a one-stop location for anyone interested in the catering world.

Unique venue

The NCEC is being called a centre of excellence within the catering industry and aims to offer a unique venue in which everyone from chefs and consultants to dealers and operators can train, network, discover and learn more about all aspects of the catering equipment sector.

The centre has a fully-operational demonstration and training kitchen. This is the home of the onsite development chef at the NCEC, Dean Starling. He is available to offer advice on every type of equipment, from commercial warewashers to any other item sold by the likes of www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/. He is also on hand to help with onsite catering enquiries and give tips on menu development.

Some of the leading brands to commit to the NCEC project include Samsung, Olympia, Dynamic, Thor, Hoshizaki, Burco, Winterhalter, Pira, Lincat, LEC, Polar, Waring, Buffalo, Steelite and Churchill.

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Laura Clarkson, the manager of the NCEC, said that the centre was the new home of the hospitality industry in the same way that Twickenham is home to rugby and Wembley is a footballing base. She added that the NCEC look set to quickly become a must-visit location for anyone with an interest in catering equipment, including chefs, consultants, operators, distributors and dealers.

Keith Warren, the director of the Catering Equipment Suppliers’ Association, or CESA, has welcomed the new effort.

He called the project an “exciting initiative”, offering customers the chance to test equipment before buying it and offering a vital service for the supply chain and operators alike.

Official opening

CESA chairman Glenn Roberts officially cut the ribbon at the centre on September 19 before an audience of 200 invited guests.

The centre will now offer visitors an opportunity to view, touch and test out a huge array of equipment, ranging from combi ovens to tableware.

Mr Roberts said that the NCEC could become an extremely valuable educational venue, offering a location in which to gain practical experience to back up the knowledge learned in training schemes like the CFSP and Principles of Foodservice from CESA.

Are on-premise IT solutions really more secure than the cloud?

Cloud sceptics have argued for years that security in the cloud could never match the on-site equivalent; however, as more businesses make the leap, is cloud computing really a security risk in comparison with traditional in-house solutions?

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Cloud ubiquity

The question of cloud security is one that should really be considered more closely by organisations of all sizes, especially as many firms are currently incapable of adopting this type of outsourced IT platform because they do not have skilled staff to handle the migration securely.

A lack of understanding is seemingly to blame for the anxiety levels surrounding the cloud, with even businesses that have embraced it often unwilling to transfer mission-critical apps and data to services hosted by third-party vendors.

Successful breaches have further sullied the cloud’s reputation, with Apple’s iCloud suffering the most widely publicised attack back in 2014. The fact that social engineering techniques and human error were used to make this a success has largely been ignored in many circles.

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Realistic concerns

To get away from the speculation and the false assumptions, it makes sense to compare on-site IT and the cloud directly in terms of the security risks they face.

One key advantage the cloud offers over internal data storage is that because the servers housing the information are remote, they are much harder to access. If employees with malicious intentions are an issue, this is the easiest way to prevent them doing any damage.

Another way in which the cloud can outstrip in-house IT in the security stakes is in terms of regulatory compliance. Cloud vendors and endpoint security management firms such as https://www.promisec.com are held to a higher standard and have the commercial impetus and necessary resources to make sure that protection is up to scratch in the face of emerging threats.

It is in the interest of a cloud provider to make its systems as secure as possible and to dedicate itself to keeping ahead of the curve. For many businesses, it is simply not feasible to achieve similar levels of compliance and scrutiny on house on an ongoing basis.

Opinion is quickly turning in the cloud’s favour, with the myth that on-premise security is tighter being dispelled as more people experience everything that the cloud has to offer.

Food vlogging for beginners

If you’re a keen cook and you want to share your cooking with the masses, you probably want to start vlogging.

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Creating a video blog (or vlog) can help you promote your business, website, books or products. According to The Guardian, vlogging can now be a route into print publishing or television careers.

But where to start? Here is a very basic guide to food vlogging to get you started.

The right equipment

In today’s highly technological age, you no longer need an expensive video camera in order to create a vlog, although your videos will be better if you use good equipment.

A half decent phone will even do the trick – but you’ll also need to be able to edit your videos once they’re done. There are plenty of easy-to-use programmes available, so search online for the ones that suit you.

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Set your camera up in the right place, practice a few times beforehand, and make sure your camera is fully charged and your memory stick empty before you start.

Pick a style

Your vlog should be a reflection of your character and who you are, but you need to decide its style beforehand and then stick to it. It can be like a cookery demonstration, where you talk as you go along, or animated, and a voiceover added afterwards. It’s up to you.

Which recipe?

You should choose recipes you’re comfortable and familiar with. Start with simple ones with few ingredients, but try to make it unique to you.

If you’re struggling for ideas, there are plenty of online food recipe videos to look at, such as those on http://food-tales.com/online-food-videos/.

You can weigh the ingredients as you go along, or have them ready. Again, this is a style decision.

Presentation

How you present is up to you, but the best vloggers come across naturally. This is hard to achieve when alone, so try having a friend filming you. This will also allow you to add interest to your film, with different angles, and so on.

Edit, and edit again

When you’ve finished your film, you need to edit it until it’s perfect. Remove any mistakes, add effects, graphics or captions, as you desire, and a voiceover if necessary.

Then all that remains is to upload it to YouTube and promote it on social media. Congratulations, you’re a vlogger!

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