03.07
2017

White Snow, a Green Thumb, and the World’s End

As people, we ask ourselves a certain set of questions so often that their answers start popping up without much active thought.  What am I going to wear to work today, what’s the weather going to be like, have I revamped my survival plan in the case of a global cataclysmic apocalypse event lately? The usual.

It’s probably crossed your mind at one point or another; what would the world do if, or when the wheels finally fall off? Keep in mind that the level of analysis and actual planning you might do for this scenario varies greatly. That depends on the person and how much free time they have.

Surprisingly enough, many scientists have given some serious thought to scenarios like these.

To learn more we journey north. 1300 kilometers past the Arctic Circle to be precise. Here, at the world’s end, the bitter quiet guides you. Our answers lie in this barren wasteland coated in shimmering, sparkling shades of white. Here, the boundary between sky and Earth fuse with no distinction; there lies no discernable horizon, just space, time, and the hollow void of empty cold.

Ironically, one of the most unforgiving climates this planet can display holds the keys to life, as we know it, and the answers to some of our biggest concerns might be smaller than you might think.

Welcome to your doomsday… vault?

Cheery nickname aside, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the final destination in our contingency plan for a worldwide crisis. Opened in February of 2008, the vault is a secure seed bank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen (about 810 miles from the North Pole). Conservationists, in tandem with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) started the vault in order to safeguard a huge variety of plant seeds in the case of a global crisis.

The specs

  • The vault is buried 120 meters (390 ft.) within a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island.
  • The vault is 130 meters (430 ft.) above sea level to keep the site dry even if the ice caps melt.
  • The facility is managed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center, but there are no permanent staff on-site.
  • A feasibility study prior to the vault’s construction determined that the vault could preserve most major food crops’ seeds for hundreds of years.

As solid as the structure is, it’s far from indestructible. Recently, the vault’s integrity was compromised and climate change might be to blame as temperatures continue to rise. Much of the surrounding ice and permafrost (soil, rock or sediment that is frozen for more than two consecutive years) has melted and it started barreling into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is now fine and the seeds are safe, but the recent flooding brings into question issues regarding maintenance and longevity. The facility is unmanned, so it’s critical that any status change with the vault is immediately addressed.

Actsoft has the technology to help monitor and ultimately preserve the vault and its precious contents. As the ice continues to melt, a change from unmanned to manned surveillance might need to occur. Actsoft’s Advanced Wireless Forms can account for the seeds in the vault, ensuring everything is where it should be. Wireless Forms can also help researchers document and report the levels of ice and permafrost surrounding the vault’s exterior. Nordic Genetic Research Center employees could take pictures of the site and send them back to research centers to keep everyone aware of the vault’s status.

Preparation is vital as the landscape of our planet changes over time. By leveraging Actsoft’s Wireless Forms technology, we can help ensure some of the world’s most precious commodities are safe and preserved.

 

For greater insight into what Actsoft can do to help manage your company’s risk feel free to explore more of www.actsoft.com or click below to speak to us directly.

 

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

16.06
2017

A New Challenger has Arrived! Actsoft, Tons of Data, and E3.

Odds are you’ve played a video game at some point during your life. If not, that’s impressive. Put that on your resume (just kidding, don’t do that).

The major video game industry brands and their content totally span the gambit. Nintendo still has Mario scouring the depths of the universe (yes, he’s still trying to save Princess Peach), while Xbox and PlayStation make their money on the ultra-heightened realism most of their titles expose gamers to.

Solo gaming is immersive and expansive. Role Player Games are still precise and thought provoking, and multiplayer titles have fine-tuned teamwork, communication, and socialization in new and innovative ways. Mobile and PC gaming are heavy weights in the industry as well.

Every niche has its own niche and these days there’s something for gamers of every age, creed, and skill level.

 

We started here:

 


(Pong, Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

 

And now we’re here:

 


(Anthem, PS4, Xbox One, PC. Slated for 2018 release)

 

The Dollars Just Don’t make Sense!

According to the Entertainment Software Association, in 2015, total revenue for the video game industry in the United States capped $23.5 billion (yes, billion, with a “b”).

So, how do these brands come together and present their product every year? How do they market their new features and get feedback from industry professionals? Well, I’m glad you asked; enter E3.

E Cubed?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, usually identified as E3, is essentially video game Elysium (probably with less wine and fewer Greek Gods, but you never know who might show up).

Hosted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the event is a mega tradeshow for all things gaming. This year, the event ran from June 13th to June 17th.

Formerly an industry personnel only event, it’s now open to the public. The event is mutually beneficial; game producers get to see how their clientele react to their products. As for the gamers? They get first crack at highly anticipated offerings from the most heralded geniuses of the industry.

 

Once Upon a Time

Before E3, game publishers went to other trade shows to display new or upcoming products; these include the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). As the game industry exploded during the early 90s, industry professionals felt they no longer belonged in the shadows.

According to Tom Kalinske, CEO of Sega America, “The CES organizers used to put the video games industry way, way in the back. In 1991 they put us in a tent at the back of the venue. That particular year it was pouring rain, and the rain leaked right over our new Genesis system. I was just furious and I felt we were a more important industry than they were giving us credit for.” Sega did not return to the CES the following year. Several companies followed suit.

Room for Improvement

E3 is awesome. E3 is also massive, daunting, and consistently chaotic.

See?

Every brand wants their spot in the sun. Content producers are only a few short feet away from their most bitter competitors. It’s all about the wow factor. Consider the social media effect with vloggers crawling the venue and rest assured that if you flop, everyone will know. It won’t be pretty.

Organizing the Madness

Maybe there’s a way to help game producers sort through the waves of visitors and make sense of their limited time on site. Game producers and personnel could utilize Actsoft’s Wireless Forms feature to easily record how many people visit their demo areas. The information can at least show them whether people were interested enough to stop by and wait in line to try out their newest title. Waiting in line and filling out a form shows that there is a real sense of interest and commitment from the visitor, since there are so many other options at their fingertips.

At the end of the day, the video game industry is a business. Producers need to know whether they potentially have a hit or miss on their hands with the titles they’ve invested millions of dollars of capital into. Game developers and producers need tangible data that they can take home and analyze when it comes to examining how their presentations were received. Actsoft could reset the way data is collected at one of the most electrifying events of the year.
 

For greater insight into what Actsoft can do to help manage your company’s risk feel free to explore more of www.actsoft.com or click below to speak to us directly.

 

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

26.05
2017

Tackling Risk Management

Workforce management continues to grow more complex as time marches onward. As technology increases the scope of what comprises a workforce, the risks faced by companies increase as well. These risks are areas in which the companies are susceptible to experiencing losses. Three of the most exposed areas for risk are payroll, records, and safety.

 

Payroll

In the wake of expansion, companies naturally grow in personnel. An increase in personnel, however, exposes businesses to the trappings of inaccurate wage dispensation. Maintaining accurate timekeeping records across a larger business becomes increasingly difficult. Managers often rely on an “honor-system” with employees reporting when they worked, with little-to-no means of verifying the employee’s records.

Records

As a business grows, the demand for recording data grows as well. A Canvas Marketing survey found that the average annual cost of paper was $80.00 per employee. The survey also found that the standard five-drawer filing cabinet comes with the annual price tag of $2,182.62 and 70% of businesses would fail within a three-week period if all of their paper files were lost in an accident.

Safety

With more personnel added to the workforce, companies can experience an increase in hazardous incidents. Limited awareness of employee whereabouts boosts the potential for increased damage and loss of life.

 

Actsoft provides several features that directly alleviate the burden felt by growing companies and their expanding workforce:

Timekeeping enables employees to clock into work from their mobile device, negating the time spent traveling to the office to clock-in then to their job order. Coupled with a GPS location stamp whenever a time is recorded, timekeeping ensures employees are on site when they clock-in. The records are electronic, reducing the opportunity for incorrectly recorded timesheets, and eliminating the need for paper copies.

Wireless Forms converts the recording of data into an electronic interface that can be accessed from a mobile device or tablet. The costs of purchasing and storing paper are immediately negated and the wireless forms can be immediately sent and stored in a virtual database, circumventing the threat posed by losing paper files.

GPS Tracking permits a constant monitoring of worker locations, which is imperative in the event of an emergency. With near real-time information relayed, managers can coordinate their workforce through emergencies with increased efficiency. In the unfortunate event that an employee is unconscious, their device’s continuous transmitting of their location can help rescue services locate them more quickly and administer medical attention if necessary.

 

For greater insight into what Actsoft can do to help manage your company’s risk feel free to explore more of www.actsoft.com or click below to speak to us directly.

 

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar