Sansa adorns her mother’s colors and wears the crown of Winterfell as a crowd dubs her the Queen of the North. Arya sets sail to the west of Westeros in a Direwolf-branded ship. Jon is greeted by Tormund Giantsbane at the wall and, putting to rest one of the darkest storylines in TV history, is reunited with Ghost. This is not a drill: Jon is here to murder his Queen and pat his wolf — and he’s all out of Queens to murder.The only ending that matters. HBO The first scene of Game of Thrones saw brothers of the Night’s Watch venturing north of the wall, where they were murdered by White Walkers. The last ever shot of Game of Thrones was Jon, along with a squad of wildlings, riding north of Castle Black into those same woods.Were you satisfied by the conclusion? If not, don’t fret. George RR Martin should have the final books completed in the next two or three… decades. Game of Thrones season 8 finale: Our watch has ended Most heartbreaking Game of Thrones deaths 6:00 Sansa asks where Jon is. Grey Worm says Jon must pay for his crimes, and he’s pretty keen to execute Tyrion as well. What happens to Jon and Tyrion is up to the King or Queen, they decide, but there is no King or Queen. Welp, all of Westeros’ lords are here, so Tyrion asks why they don’t just talk among themselves and pick a ruler? The supremely mediocre Edmure stands and starts listing his credentials, but his niece Sansa tells him to sit down. Sansa is great, and in a just world would be the one to hop, hop, hop onto the throne. Samwell suggests the people of Westeros vote, but he’s quickly laughed out of the discussion. What unites people? Tyrion poses that question to the bunch. Yeah, armies, gold and flags are cool, but have you tried stories? As he soliloquizes about tales and common folk or whatever, the camera pans around the group. You can bet whoever it stops on will be the new Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. (I had my fingers crossed for Sansa who, as mentioned, is great.)Who has a better story, Tyrion asks, than Bran Stark?A new era. HBO Bran was pushed out of the top story of a tower and lived. He was paralyzed, but learned to fly. He went beyond the wall and became the Three Eyed Raven. Now, he knows all the stories of man. He’s perfect.Tyrion asks Bran to consider it. “Why do you think I came all this way?” Bran says with all the warmth and excitement we’ve come to love him for. The Lords and Ladies all vote for Bran Stark — except for Sansa. She loves him, but the North will remain an independent Kingdom, she proclaims. No Stark knees will be bent today. Bran agrees, making his first act as ruler one of naked nepotism. It’s agreed. Bran Stark is now Brandon the Broken, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm. I watched this episode with five people and it was around this time that I heard all of their hearts breaking in quick succession. It was a symphony of cardiovascular failure. I don’t imagine this will go over well with the “remake this season” crowd, but hey, we’ve had worse Kings. Bran can have no children, and so his Rule cannot be passed down. Tyrion tells Grey Worm that this is the wheel-breaker that their Queen would have wanted. Bran’s second order of business is to make Tyrion his Hand. Tyrion says he doesn’t deserve it, that he’s not as wise as he thought he was. (Nice to hear him admit this, because he sure has been a chump this whole season.) Bran says Tyrion doesn’t want to be Hand, but he doesn’t want to be King, so it’s a perfect combination. Grey Worm is furious and demands justice.”He just got it,” Bran decrees. “He’s made many terrible mistakes. He’s going to spend the rest of his life fixing them.” Enlarge ImageKing Stark. Helen Sloan/HBO A Dream of SpringAfter the scene in which Bran the Broken is anointed, Tyrion, now the Hand, goes to see Jon, now the prisoner. I couldn’t help but think their dialogue was directed at the audience as much as it was to progress the story. Jon learns that he’s being sent to The Wall to take the black. In the absence of Wildlings and White Walkers, the Night’s Watch is now a home for “bastards and broken men.” The Unsullied wanted him dead, while Arya and Sansa wanted him to walk free.”No one is very happy, which means it’s a good compromise I suppose,” Tyrion says. This line reminded me of Inglorious Basterds, which ends with Quentin Tarantino, through Brad Pitt’s character, telling the audience: “This might be my masterpiece.” The next exchange between Tyrion and Jon struck me as showrunners D.B Weiss and David Benioff talking directly to their audience, elements of which have become hostile to them..Jon: “Was it right? What I did?”Tyrion: “What we did.”Jon: “It didn’t feel right.”Tyrion: “Ask me in 10 years.” From here the remainder of the episode was like an extended credits scene where we got to see the characters’ happily-ever-after moments.The new Small Council. HBO Jon says his farewells to the Starks. He tells Sansa that the people of Winterfell could have no better ruler than Ned Stark’s daughter. He tells Arya to visit him at the Wall. She says she won’t — because she’s sailing “west of Westeros,” where the Known World ends. Jon apologizes to Bran for not being there for him in his time of need. “You were exactly where you were supposed to be,” Bran says. Classic Bran.We then see Ser Brienne reading The Book of Brothers, in which the deeds of the great Kingsguard knights are recorded. Jaime was thoroughly owned by Joffrey back in season 4 for his sparse entry in the book, but Ser Brienne sees to it that Jaime’s deeds were known. She records his exploits over the years, and ends it with: “Died protecting his Queen.”Next up is a small council meeting, headed by Tyrion. It starts with Grand Maester Samwell presenting Tyrion with a tome, a written history of The Great War and The Last War. The name of this tome? A Song of Fire and Ice. Bronn, who just two episodes ago had threatened Tyrion with death, is now Master of Coin. Ser Davos is Master of Ships. They, along with Ser Brienne and Ser Podrick, talk about rebuilding the city and quarrel over whether they should prioritize ships or brothels. Maybe we don’t deserve peace after all.The show closes as we follow the Stark kids to their new adventures. Originally published May 19. See all the Game of Thrones season 8 photos Now playing: Watch this: 6:42 Enlarge ImageWatch the Throne.Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale, arguably the biggest moment in episodic TV this century, is over. After eight years, eight seasons and several dozens of hours, the epic-fantasy drama is behind us.Season 8 has been controversial, and is perhaps encapsulated best by last week’s episode, The Bells. It ended many of Game of Thrones’ longest running and most important plots, including the deaths of Cersei and Jaime Lannister as well as Daenerys Targaryen’s descent into Mad Queendom. But it also sparked a backlash, which led to more than a million fans signing a petition to have the season remade. So not only does the finale have to end one of TV’s most historic shows, it also has to jiu-jitsu bitter fans into feeling satisfied. OK, let’s do this. For the final time, you are now watching the throne. (For the final time until the prequel, that is.) Here’s your official warning: The full recap below features spoilers. The Dragon and the LionThe roughly 90-minute episode was split into two parts. The climax of part one was the death of Daenerys Targaryen at the hands of Jon Snow. Episode 6, titled The Iron Throne, started with Tyrion and Jon walking through a destroyed King’s Landing, the streets of which were decorated by burned and bloodied bodies. They’re not stoked by what they see. They split up, with Tyrion venturing into the Red Keep dungeons, where he finds Cersei and Jaime. He crumbles with grief over the bodies of his siblings, who were killed by a different type of crumbling.Jaime and Cersei died with surprisingly little ceremony last week, but Tyrion’s weeping gave their endings a little extra gravitas. Jon chances upon Grey Worm and his squad of Unsullied executing Lannister soldiers. The war is won, Jon says, and there’s no reason to kill these men. Grey Worm, who now wears a permanent scowl and is extremely hateable, says he’s acting on the orders of the Queen. The two get into a testosterone-fueled confrontation before Jon decides he needs to speak to Daenerys.Before either Tyrion or Jon can make their way to Daenerys, who’s fresh off her descent into villainy, she gives a victory speech to her forces by the steps of the Keep. Jon and Tyrion stand behind her. Somebody please cue the ominous music.Enlarge ImageSweet… victory? HBO “War is not over until we liberate the world,” she announces in eastern tongue, “from Winterfell to Dorne.” That last line is Jon’s first clue that there’s something not quite right about this new Dany. She proceeds to make Grey Worm her Master of War. I cannot stress how punchable Grey Worm has become. The crowd of Unsullied and Dothraki cheer. Tyrion approaches Daenerys, and she accuses him of freeing Jaime.”I freed my brother and you slaughtered a city,” he replies. He takes off his Hand of the King badge and throws it to the ground. You may recall the first “take off my badge and throw it away” move was pulled by Ned Stark in season 1, protesting King Robert’s demand that an innocent Daenerys, then in Essos with no army nor dragons, be killed. Daenerys, who used her army and dragon to pillage the city, demands he be taken away. Circles man, it’s all about the circles. TV and Movies Jon walks over to the Red Keep to see Daenerys. Drogon is standing guard. Drogon eyes down Jon, but decides he’s cool. Daenerys, in a scene almost identical to her Qarth vision in season 2, surveys the Red Keep. She grabs hold of one of the Iron Throne’s swords. Jon approaches.Jon pleads with her to pardon Tyrion. She says she can’t. “We can’t hide behind small mercies,” she says. This is a different Dany from last episode; she’s assured of her actions, but not in a crazy way. Jon says they’re trying to build a world of mercy. Trust me, Daenerys reckons, she knows what is good. They embrace. She tells him they’ll break the wheel together.”You are my queen, now and forever,” he whispers solemnly. They kiss — and Jon stabs her. With a dagger. To her heart. Which she needed to live. This was actually a deeply affecting scene. Though she refused to free Tyrion, Daenerys showed off her warmer side as she tried to bask in victory alongside Jon. This made her petrified rictus of betrayal all the more poignant. Jon, crying, lays her down. Our last vision of Daenerys is the grieving look she gives her most trusted ally. Daenerys’ death roused more than my feeble emotions, as it also awoke Drogon. He flies into the Keep, surveys the scene and gets his dragonbreath ready. Jon prepares for his second death, but Drogon doesn’t burn him. Instead he melts the Iron Throne. Drogon picks Daenerys up with his claws and flees.Game over. Enlarge ImageDrogon breaks the wheel. HBO Brandon the BrokenThe second part of the episode was essentially epilogue, and takes place weeks after Daenerys’ death. It begins with Grey Worm leading Tyrion to King’s Landing’s Dragonpit, where Jon and Co. brought the White Walker to Cersei in season 7. There we see a gathering of Westeros’ great lords: Bran, Arya and Sansa Stark are all there. Samwell Tarly is there. Robin Arryn and Yohn Royce of the Vale are there. Ser Davos Seaworth and Ser Brienne too.We even reunite with Ser Edmure Tully, (Catelyn Stark’s brother) who was taken hostage and used as a Lannister pawn after his infamously crimson wedding ceremony back season 3. All the faces you know and love. Burning questions we still have about Game of Thrones 42 Photos Lots more on the GoT finale Where did every character end up? Twitter reacts to *that* death in episode 6 Season 8 finale left plastic water bottles in shot What did Brienne really write about Jaime? Some ideas Now playing: Watch this: Jon goes to see him. (This is an insular, linear episode, with one scene following the story of the previous one, which is strange for Game of Thrones.) Jon, who is now absolutely incapable of reading a person, is still on Team Daenerys. Her best friend and her dragon both got killed, he says. How could she not be a little fiery?”You love her,” Tyrion says. “I love her too… not as successfully as you.” I guess that explains that scene in season 7 when Tyrion looks on with tremendous thirst as Jon enters Daenerys’ cabin. (That’s not a gross euphemism, they were on a ship!) 187 Photos “Love is the death of duty,” Jon says, a callback to his great-great uncle, Maester Aemon, who said that to him in season 1 after Jon’s not father, Ned Stark, was executed. “Sometimes duty is the death of love,” Tyrion retorts. “You are the shield who guards the realms of man.”Tyrion is asking Jon to kill Daenerys, but Jon won’t have it. Tyrion asks what Daenerys will do to Jon, the rightful heir to the throne, and his sisters, who know he’s the rightful heir. Sansa will never bend the knee, he warns. “She doesn’t get to choose,” Jon says. “No, but you do,” Tyrion exclaims, “and you have to choose now.”People love talking smack about Game of Thrones, but this was an A+ scene. HBO, if you end up remaking the season, please leave this scene in. Game of Thrones 22 Share your voice Comments 57 Photos Tags Game of Thrones stars, from season 1 through today
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Iflix, which is headquartered in Malaysia and now operates in some 20 developing countries in Asia and Africa, has content development operations elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Late last year it partnered with Next 10 Ventures to launch a $5 million Creators Hub in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. The move is intended to deliver short-form content that appeals to the mobile-first nature of audiences in emerging markets. It also has a production deal with Wattpad Studios that is intended to deliver more than 20 pieces of feature-length content. Black Ops Studios Asia has struck a deal with Asian streaming service iflix to create original content from the Philippines. The companies said that BlackOps will deliver at least one feature film and one TV series before the end of the year, but they did not specify any titles, genres or talent attachments.“As the digital space allows us to exert more creative mettle in our work, the opportunity to work with iflix means that our films and shows will reach a wider more diverse market,” said Pedring Lopez, co-founder of Black Ops. The company is an independent producer with main production and post production headquarters in Manila, Philippines, and teams in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia.The deal was announced at the Hong Kong FilMart. “This is truly a positive step,” said Ria Anne S. Rubia, project development officer at the Film Development Council of the Philippines. “We encourage more of our creators and producers to explore more platforms to release their projects, especially VOD.”
Enormous breakthroughs occur ed in narrowing down the nearly 3,000 species of algae to a core 300 species for research and development during the DOE´s funding period of 1978-1995. Important field research was conducted in New Mexico, Utah, California and Hawaii which produced patented technologies. More importantly, scientists were able to move lab experiments to the field and determined that lab results were not borne out in the field. By virtue of the combined efforts of lab scientists and tests in the field new strains of algae were produced which increases the lipid content necessary for oil production and increased the all ready rapid growth of algae. Initially the focus was to use algae to produce hydrogen. In the early 1980s the focus turned to using algae as a substitute for bio-diesel. In 1995, under pressure by budget constraints, nearly all funding was lost for the algae-related ongoing projects. Instead the DOE refocused its small alternative fuel funds in bio-ethanol projects. Even during the height of the program´s boom years of 1985 and 1986 this ahead of it´s time wing of government only received $2.75-million annually. Most years the algae program received less than $2-million. Parenthetically, in the early 1990s funding shrunk to $500,000 or less. It was during this time in which the algae research began to show great dividends for meeting it´s original mission to develop a low cost, high in oil, fast growing algae ideal for alternative fuel sources. A wind-up report was published recently outlining the origin and evolution of the Department of Energy´s algae work. Click to see.Necessity Is The Mother of Invention:When the likes of Boone Pickens a lifetime oil man expresses concerns about supply and demand shortages in fossil fuels and consumers begin feeling the pain at the gas pump and record high heating oil prices, something happens. That something is dusting off the research of the past 50-years and beginning an earnest examination of alternatives to fossil fuels. In recent years, a huge algae project is underway in the State of Texas. The National Algae Foundation is located in Texas. The University of Virginia has launched three-algae to fuel research projects. In the private sector, Ceres, Solazyme, PetroSun and others are in full speed with research and development of algae-to-fuel projects. Japan, Argentina, Australia and Ireland are involved in the research and development of varying types of algae for use as bio-fuel. International oil companies and airlines have joined in the algae band wagon over the past year by allocating resources and funding. In a perfect world, the call of scientists would have avoided what has turned out to be inevitable. Courtesy UC Berkeley The technology will be utilized in the development and creation of various algae species targeted to high yield per acre and high levels of usable alternative oil for heating and fuel. All algae is not equal in terms of creating an alternative to fossil fuels or reliance on foreign oil supplies. Algae X meets the threshold criteria and goes one better. It appears to have no adverse effect on food supply economics and it does not increase green house gas emissions. According to the AXI LLC web site, Professor Cattolico´s technology is the basis for the licensing agreement with the University of Washington and she will will play a major role in AXI. In a press release, Professor Cattolico states: ” Our proprietary methodology for developing specific growth and productivity traits will help in any algai production system improve its output of inexpensive, oil-rich algae as the raw material for the generation of biofuel.” An important note is the current concern of corn-based ethanol impacting the cost of livestock, poultry feed and basic food production. Algae can be grown in the terrain unsuitable for grain, corn or soybeans. In addition, algae production will not impact the cost of feed or food production. Current estimates by experts in the Bio-fuel industry and the Department of Energy report that algae fuel can yield up to 30-times more energy per-acre than land crops such as soybeans. The estimates reported in Bio-fuel Digest show Algae can produce 1,800 to 9,000 gallons of bio-fuel per acre (GPA) compared to Tallow, Chinese at 970-GPA, Palm Oil at 508-GPA, Coconut at 230-GPA and Soybean at a maximum of 98.6-GPA. Algae has the additional benefit of absorbing SOx and NOx two compounds which cause acid rain. The adaptability of the thousands of types of algae to a range of world-wide land/water masses is another major benefit. Standing on The Shoulders of Others:The idea that algae could be used as an alternative fuel source began in the 1950s. President Carter in 1978 initiated the Solar Energy Research Center in Golden Colorado in response to the energy crises of the 1970s. He consolidated all energy related departments into what we know today as the DOE or Department of Energy. A sub-part of the Solar Energy Research Center was founded the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Studies and research into the uses of plant life as a source of biofuels began in this period. Particularly relevant to the discussion of algae as a biofuel began in the Carter Administration and reached its mecca for funding under the Reagan administration. Explore further The recent creation of AXI, LLC is an alliance between Allied Minds, Inc. a seed investment company and the University of Washington. The alliance came about because of Professor Rose Ann Cattolico PhD, an algae-to-fuel expert. Professor Cattolico has been on the faculty and conducting algae research since 1975. Her research includes, chloroplast genome architecture and gene function in non-chlorophy b containing algae and functional genetic diversity within stramenopile population. Professor Cattolico has discovered a unique patented technology, she calls Algae X. 5 moon landing innovations that changed life on Earth Citation: Understanding Algae As An Alternative Fuel Source: Will The Real Algae X Please Stand Up (2008, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-algae-alternative-fuel-source-real.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
A year passes by in a flurry, leaving memories of time and moments embedded indelibely on our minds. To celebrate the best of contemporary art in the last one year, TAD Arts presents its annual Art Show A Celebration of art through 2012 & 2013. Conceptualized and organized by Niten Mehta, Director, TAD Arts, this group show will be on display from July 26 to July 31 at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Center and will showcase some of the best contemporary art works of present times. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting”This is our annual art show where we handpick the best works/artists from our shows done in last one year and display them. This year too we have an excellent selection of masterpieces from renowned contemporary artists from all over India. These works represent the best in the contemporary art in India today,’ says Niten Mehta, from TAD Arts.In this exhibition, Suchit Sahni revisits his early learning years, where he was introduced to the view-finder. Superbly fascinated with the view-finder, he spent days and months looking through it at everything – visually replicating his visions as paintings. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen one looks at his recent artworks, one clearly marks out the frame that encompasses the painting itself. Though the frame forms a part of the painting, he has very playfully and stylishly revisited a memory close to his heart with such ease.Rajiv Puri’s love for the woods and nature herself has been beautifully captured in his oeuvres d’art that are resplendent with a visual story, where each chapter transports us to a world of mysticism that forests have, where each frame bathes in lush green landscapes and a myriad other shades of nature’s bounty. Known for his distinct portrayal of human form, artist Kamar Alam’s works revolves around spirituality and how it resides within every human being. With Silent Submission, the artist’s belief in humanity takes the foreground and has shaped in the form of his art works. Considering a triumph over biases that surrounds him, Kamar imparts the message of peace and through his works, he depicts his impartial and equal approach along with respect for all faiths.TAD Arts is a platform that showcases paintings, sculptures, arts & crafts, high-end interactive design, exhibition space design and art works of contemporary as well as ethnic nature. Some of the artists whose works will be on display in this exhibition are Kamar Alam, Suchit Sahni, Rajiv Puri, Anjana Mehra, Farhad Hussain, Hindol Brahmbhatt, Binoy Verghese, Kazi Nasir amongst others. Head over to the gallery and experience this contemporary collection adorning the walls.
Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. The digital age is upon us, and it is unsparing in its reach. Every aspect of a company needs innovating in order for the organization as a whole to stay ahead of the competition.Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Embrace the Next Phase of Digital Maturity, ‘Cognitive Transformation’In this world of demanding consumers, then, catching their attention via effective messaging is vital to begin any relationship, and only continued — and excellent — marketing will sustain a loyal customer base in a time of constant disruption.Here are five ways to build a better marketing strategy using innovative technology, and to stay ahead of the game in the digital age.1. Use blockchain as a tool to reach consumers.Today’s web ecosystem is one of interconnected subcommunities. The vast scope and nuances of these communities can make it hard to segment them into distinct, targetable groups. It also makes it harder to reach these distinct communities without an intermediary. However, technology like the blockchain is making it easier than ever to reach out directly to these types of groups.Related: When It Comes to Innovation, Go Big or Go HomeThe potential of a marketing tool to be able to reach a global community in a hyper-targeted, peer-to-peer fashion is on the horizon. If the disruption blockchain is capable of is any indication, this tech should be keeping status quo web marketers up at night.2. Target connected channels.Web channels and forums are based on interests, but are completely sustained by the free flow of information, relationships and exchange among their members. While some tend to be static or exclusive, many are constantly growing, sharing and adapting organisms. Finding and targeting these communities should be a key plank in any effective marketing strategy.For example, blockchain content platforms like DAC are global, decentralized and absolutely dependent on the constant communication and exchange of information among their members. For DAC, this means using blockchain technology to incentivize audio content creators and their fans to build and develop a robust content community..The blockchain-based audio-content website model aims to create and foster a sense of community among music fans across the world. In today’s web, messaging to one of these members is a way to message to his or her entire network — which should have any savvy CMO champing at the bit.3. Incentivize a community of supporters.The digital age has created many new channels for companies to reach their target audience, but many established digital marketing techniques have become less effective in recent years. Instead of solely advertising a message to your audience, you can achieve more impactful outcomes by incentivizing that audience with benefits that turn its members into active supporters of your company.Blockchain startup Agora, which offers end-to-end verifiable voting technology, has incentivized an audience through its token bounty program as well as the company’s core product. Agora has engaged its community by offering rewards to those who share its message on social media and other channels.Agora has also built reward mechanisms into its own voting platform. Through one such mechanism, governments can reward voters, using Agora’s tokens, for casting a ballot, which may ultimately serve to increase global political participation.4. AI has already arrived, and it’s smarter than you.Once the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence has recently exploded in scale and practicality. It is showing tremendous promise as a tool for marketing and messaging. As companies like Google develop efficient and effective marketing AI, incorporating this tech into future marketing plans will be crucial for any company that wishes to survive.Self-taught AI will be able to create more efficient algorithms than any human is capable of programming, meaning that customers will be reached more precisely and effectively than ever before.AI could even be responsible for creating marketing content, instantly adjusting its messaging according to user response. Anyone expecting to keep up with the growing number of platforms and segmentations that will define the digital age must begin to understand and embrace artificial intelligence as the uber-tool it will become.5. Big data is only getting bigger — so, use it.The current juggernaut technology in online advertising is the aptly named Big Data. Collected from the web habits of billions of users, this data is used by advertisers to classify and predict the habits of its consumers. Big Data will only get more important as the internet continues to grow and influence more aspects of our lives.Related: How Blockchain Is Creating a New Future for Digital MarketingThe internet of things (IoT) will be the interconnected network of all appliances and machines in one’s life. For example, sensors detecting the temperature will be able to communicate and adjust every appliance in the household to the ideal setting. This expanded network will create increased amounts of data, all of it useful for marketing purposes and targeting. The company that successfully models this IoT data will be able to conquer the future of marketing.How do you think technology can influence the future of marketing? March 15, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global
March 11, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Business-tech adoption continues to grow globally. Worldwide, according to a Gartner forecast, IT spending is expected to reach $3.8 trillion by 2019, driven by investments in enterprise software and IT services.Related: 3 Tech Strategies You Can Use to Earn and Save More MoneyThat’s good for the companies making the tech, but perhaps less so for the companies buying it. Reason: With software and hardware becoming increasingly affordable, it’s easy to make rash spending decisions to purchase devices or subscribe to services that promise productivity gains and benefits. Any of those purchases may fail to deliver.So, as an owner, you need to exercise caution, because building your company’s tech infrastructure in a slapdash manner can be a financial sinkhole. The last thing you need for your fledgling venture is a runaway IT budget.Want to avoid wasting money when it comes to technology? Here are three ways to do that:1. Streamline Saas subscriptions.Netskope’s data indicates that enterprise companies often run up to 1,200 cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. Out of those 1,200 cloud services, the most highly used are HR and marketing apps, which respectively average 139 tools for HR and 121 for marketing apps apiece.Given this rate of adoption, it’s common for teams to subscribe to multiple applications twith similar features and overlapping functionalities. Marketing apps, for instance, might all feature some form of analytics and tracking, automation and communication capabilities. To prevent such redundancy, it’s important that companies track their SaaS subscriptions.”Keeping SaaS cost under control is a challenging task when SaaS spend is spread among different business units,” Uri Nativ, co-founder and VP of engineering at Torii, wrote on his company’s blog. “When visibility is low, the spend control is low, which quickly leads to wasted money.”A SaaS spend dashboard has to be presented to IT and your business units in readable way,” Nativ added. “Once the various business units have good visibility on cost, they can control it, save money and reduce waste.”2. Avoid cheap devices from dubious manufacturers.Another area where you may be spending unreasonably is hardware. The electronics manufacturing boom has fed an influx of cheap computing devices into the market. Due to their low prices, you may be tempted to experiment with off-brand PCs, tablets or even internet of things (IoT) devices, like smart thermostats for your workplace.However, many of these devices are sold cheaply because manufacturers cut certain corners on durability and performance. Some cheap devices may even expose you to data breaches. Additionally, issues that arise from shoddy production can become costly to deal with, especially if they result in information loss or down time.As cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs has advised on his blog, “Bear in mind that when it comes to IoT devices, cheaper usually is not better.”There is no direct correlation,” Krebs added, “between price and security, but history has shown the devices that tend to be toward the lower end of the price ranges for their class tend to have the most vulnerabilities and backdoors, with the least amount of vendor upkeep or support.”3. Adopt only mature and proven technologies.For smaller ventures, being an early adopter can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you may be able to leverage new technologies and turn them into your competitive advantage. On the other hand, new technologies take time to mature and offer only spotty reliability and poor user experiences. Emerging technologies also commonly fizzle out.Related: How Start-ups are Using Tech to Help SMEs save MoneyTake the case of cryptocurrencies. While they may have enjoyed massive buzz a year ago, users now struggle to find practical uses for many of the tokens in circulation. In late 2017, at the height of the crypto-hype cycle, even small businesses began to invest in these currencies and support them as payment methods. While that action might ultimately be the right move, we’re not there yet: Today, the infrastructure and climate simply aren’t ready yet.As economist Nouriel Roubini has noted, even Bitcoin, the most mainstream cryptocurrency, has serious limitations. “With Bitcoin, you can do five transactions per second; with Visa, you can do 25,000 transactions per second,” Roubini said in an interview with Cointelegraph. “It’s not scalable, it’s not secure, it’s not decentralized. So, what is it worth?”While this doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies will never find their place in the business ecosystem, companies that were early adopters may now have to re-evaluate whether providing continued support for crypto payments will be worth the costs they’ve incurred.Smart spending countsConventional financial wisdom dictates that just because something is cheap or readily available doesn’t mean that you ought to buy it. The same is true for IT spending.Align your tech adoption with your business goals. That way, you’ll be able to identify which technologies fit your situation best, so that you can make smart purchasing decisions. A streamlined and secure infrastructure should help you get the most benefits with the least expense. You have to carefully evaluate your IT strategy and invest only in technologies that have the most potential to provide real value to your business in the immediate future.Related: Upgrading Your IT EquipmentGiven the competition that businesses face, making sure every penny creates value for your company could be the positive impact your bottom line needs. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »