Space Weather Balloons Bring Families Together

Looking for something fun to do with the entire family? Finding a family-friendly activity that everyone will enjoy is easier said than done. But it’s not impossible. Simply ask anyone in your household, young or old, if they would like to send a weather balloon into near deep space and you’re sure to get a resounding yes. And you don’t have to pay a fortune to do it either.

Sky Probe, a company that offers near space platforms, is making it possible for families to spend quality time together as they work on the launch of a professional weather balloon into near space. How is this possible? The company offers affordable weather balloon launch kits designed for the average consumer. The kit includes the balloon, a GPS datalogger, and two extra support arms.

The whole idea behind this project is that anyone can do it. Families can work together to build the kit, plan the launch, and track the payload during the entire adventure. The company even offers technical support along with full instructions on how to build and use the balloon, which means you can participate even if you’ve never done this before.

If you’ve always wanted to make science and engineering fun for your children, a high altitude balloon launch kit is the answer. So how much does something like this cost? The Ultimate High Altitude Launch Kit is around $800. Considering that you can use it several times and that it will bring together your entire family, it’s worth the cost.

Household Products Manufactured with Sputtering

Several household products would not exist today without the usage of sputtering. Sputtering is used heavily in the medical industry, creating products plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The process is also responsible for many kinds of household products that you probably use every day.

Sputtering Defined

Sputtering is the process of depositing thin layers of film onto an object. You can think of sputtering like tinting the windows on a car, but the process occurs at a microscopic level. In medical technology, for instance, sputtering uses vacuum deposition systems to apply a viscous coating to something that will enter the bloodstream. This keeps the device from gaining too much mass. Household products aren’t as concerned with mass, but there are a variety of reasons why a microscopic layer of film could be useful.


A microscopic layer of film applied to a pane of glass creates a mirror. The early days of mirror manufacturing involved a layer of mercury applied to a sheet of plate glass, usually to the back of the surface. The result is a kind of looking glass, where the mirror seems behind the glass pane.

Safety glass mirrors use a special film that helps the glass break a certain way to avoid injuries. Silkscreen glass windows apply their colors to a specially treated film that allows the dyes to adhere. Silvery glass mirrors are ordinary panes of glass with a thin film of silver to provide reflectivity.


Silicon can act like a conductor in certain situations, a fact that helped create the “Silicon Valley.” Engineers discovered that by purifying and melting silicon, they could reshape the substance and create circuit boards. Still, anyone with a laptop can appreciate the process of sputtering.

Once the board is made from the silicon, sputtering is used to lay down chemicals that form the basis of the circuits. The actual characteristics of the board are based on the types of chemicals used, and the formation of those chemicals. Without sputtering, laptops and desktops wouldn’t exist along with hundreds of other household appliances.


Cameras themselves don’t use sputtering outside of the formation of their circuit boards, but the lenses might. Thin film coatings help protect lenses from UV light and scratches. Special coatings can also add colored filters, which are useful in film. This process occurs in a vacuum, where the lens (called a substrate) is allowed to absorb the chemicals as they are heated and allowed to flow freely within a sealed chamber.
Denton Vacuum, LLC makes sputtering systems that can help manufacture Diamond like carbon. For more information on sputtering systems, contact Denton Vacuum, LLC.

Tips for Implementing a Biometric Time Clock

Allied Time contributed this article

Installing biometric time and attendance systems helps companies to accurately track their employee’s working time while integrating their time clock into a larger system. But it’s also a complex process, especially if you’ve never used biometric time clocks before. Because of this, planning ahead is critical to the successful implementation of a new biometric time clock system.

If you are considering purchasing a new suite of employee time clock software and scanners, you need to be prepared for the installation before you buy anything. Here are a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind:

Consider the Location of Your Scanners: You need to know where you are going to place your scanners before you purchase them. Ideally, they are in locations near where employees naturally enter and exit. You’ll need to have a solid place to put them and access to power sources and possibly an Internet connection.

Prep Your Employees Ahead of Time: When you make the switch to a biometric time card system, many of your employees will have questions. It’s possible some will have misconceptions about how machines work or privacy concerns. Address these concerns before you install any machines and do plenty of training. You might consider a pilot program with managers and other key employees to work out some kinks and to get “buy in” from people the staff trusts.

Let Your Employees Give Feedback: You want to make sure that your employees have a chance to have their voices be heard before you implement a biometric time card option. Holding a companywide meeting or smaller meetings within individual departments lets employees feel like they are part of the process. You might learn some concerns that are valid. You’ll also get the chance to show your employees how these systems can benefit them.

Be Prepared to Make Adjustments: No matter how much planning you do, chances are there will be some adjustments you need to make after you launch your new biometric time clocks. You might need to move machines or purchase additional scanners. Be sure you are flexible enough to handle changes as needed.

Beyond anything else, you want to make sure that the introduction of a biometric time clock is not a surprise to your employees. Many people have negative associations with biometrics and associate it with an invasion of their privacy. By taking steps ahead of time to address their concerns and show them the benefits of biometrics, you can have a workforce that is eager to try the new technology.


Allied Time contributed this article. Visit the Allied Time website to see great deals on the latest time punch clock technology.


The Benefits of Portable Power Supplies

Long gone are the days when you had to be glued to the wall in order to use a laptop or other electrical equipment.  Today there are many options with solar chargers and portable power supply products.  Therefore, you can easily use personal electronic devices outdoors or while on the public bus or train.

The power source creates power storage and eventually power use.  You have to have an original energy source to charge a battery pack.  Next, the portable battery pack stores energy and then you can easily use an electronic device which can also be recharged.

There are various power sources that can be used to charge up a power storage unit.  You can use AC power (a wall outlet), a 12V DC (car charger), a USB (any source: wall, car, or computer), a solar panel, kinetic motion or hydrogen fuel cell.  When far away from wall outlets or some of the other outlets like a diesel electric hybrid gpu, you have to have a pack that can be charged in a different way.

Today, solar energy packs are a great source of off-the-grid power.  Solar energy is a great choice for long trips if you need to recharge a device multiple times.  There are a few variations when it comes to solar chargers.  You can select one that only has panels (rigid or semi-flexible), panels with integrated storage batters, or panels with independent storage batteries.

When selecting a solar panel, you should pay attention to the size.  Larger solar panels can collect sunlight quicker which translates into battery power being converted quickly.  Smaller panels can take longer to charge.  Solar panels chargers can take anywhere from 4 to 16 hours to charge.  Solar panels are measured in watts.  The higher amount of watts, the more electricity is generated.

While solar energy can store battery efficiently, it’s not always best to use to charge the electronic device directly.  The reason for this is that these power sources don’t always contain the proper circuitry which helps to control the flow of electricity into the electronic device.  Sometimes these power sources can actually lead to damage of the device.  It’s a good idea to always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before using a product with a specific type of charger.

When selecting a charger, pay attention to the storage capacity, the power output and the battery technology.


Guest post is provided by Start Pac, a leading supplier of portable power supplies such as the gas turbine start up.  Check out their website for more information.

Algorithms That Predict a Film’s Box Office Success

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Hollywood film studios spend billions of dollars each year producing and promoting their films, so it’s important that they develop projects that have the greatest chance of making money. According to Intelligent Life, one way they are doing this is by relying on predictive research to compare potential scripts with past box office results to attempt to determine the likelihood of a film’s success before it’s made.

One company helping Hollywood studios do this work is Epagogix. The London company uses algorithms to analyze hundreds of elements of a script — such as having clear villains or a sidekick — against other films. By finding similarities, Epagogix’s researchers are often able to determine how much money a film will make at the box office to within $10 million.

Read the story at:

Samuel Phineas Uphamis an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Samual Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.

The Blunt Philosophy of Daniel Dennett

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Anyone looking for easy answers to life’s big mysteries might want to avoid reading Daniel Dennett’s latest work, “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.” As profiled in the New York Times, Dennett uses a science-based approach to reach deep philosophical conclusions about some vexing questions. But these conclusions aren’t always what people want to hear.

According to Dennett, consciousness is simply a construct of the workings of the mind and not tied to any other spiritual level. Dennett believes that a computer could theoretically be programmed to mimic all of the workings of the mind, including creating a sense of consciousness. This analytic and blunt approach to philosophy has earned Dennett a reputation as one of the leading philosophers of his era but has also put him at odds with many of his contemporaries who see philosophy as a pursuit less grounded in scientific facts.

Read more:

Samuel Phineas Upham About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Twitter.

The Care and Maintenance of Outboard Motors: The Perfect Parts

Motor boats are just like every high performance vehicle. In getting your car repaired, you wouldn’t want to trust your life to cheap or shoddy automotive parts. And in the essential care and maintenance of outboard motors, the proper marine parts makes the difference between having confidence in the job getting done or the headache of fixing problems which could have been avoided.

 photo motors_zpsd7697b35.jpg

From a leisurely cruise across a lake to a commercial enterprise, a well maintained motor makes all the difference. And just as our cars need regularly scheduled services, so do marine engines. And having name brand tried and true accessories, such as Mercury marine parts, can add to our well ease, especially when one is out in the middle of a lake or on sea. Just imagine the scenario.

You’ve grabbed your favorite fishing pole, plus a few friends, hopped in your boat and set course for remote destinations to enjoy the fine, summer’s day. The journey to your coveted fishing spot was uneventful. No hiccups, no problems. And after shutting off your engine, you and your buddies have settled in for a nice, relaxing afternoon with poles in the water and filled good conversations.

However, all good days must come to an end and the eventual trek home is next on the agenda. Yet in attempting to turn over your engine, it refuses to start. And no matter what you try, it simply will not work. So here you find yourself, in the middle of a remote lake with no means of making it back to shore. And it’s starting to get dark.

Obviously this is a worst case scenario. However, this is an attempt to illustrate what can possibly happen without the proper care and maintenance. As they say, an ounce of prevention can go a long way towards having a fully functioning marine engine. When heading out on the water, we want the knowledge that our motor will be completely dependable and will work as expected when we need or want it.

When it comes to boats, especially leisure vehicles that aren’t in constant use, the idea of a simple oil change or tune up may slip our minds. And yet, if we wish to use these vehicles responsibly and get the most out of our investment, the idea of scheduled maintenance must be followed. It’s your boat. Therefore, it’s up to you to take care of it.
This content had been provided by Performance Product Technologies, retailers of Mercruiser parts and services for both work and leisure.

Your Summer Fun: Sweepstakes Games

Article submitted by: Sweepstakes Machines

Want to do something fun and different this summer but don’t have the budget for an island escape or a European vacation? Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of ways to give your mind a break from the daily grind without leaving the city or emptying your bank account.

This summer, you can join thousands of other people and hit up your local internet sweepstakes café. Yup! You read that correctly. A new class of game cafés, called internet sweepstakes cafés, is popping up all over the country offering local residents a safe and air-conditioned place to play sweepstakes games.

Designed to encourage consumers to purchase products, sweepstakes games also offer consumers the chance to win money and prizes. There are even internet café games that mimic slot machines.  

Although most people have computers at home, many visit internet sweepstakes cafés to get out of the house and play games with their friends. In fact, one of the most attractive features of an internet café franchise is the social aspect. These cafés allow people to play games online without being isolated at home. So what are you waiting for? Visit an internet sweepstakes café near you!

What’s The Best Vehicle Tracking GPS Device

Finding a good vehicle tracking GPS device doesn’t seem to be too difficult now days because now that we’re in this “modern” digital age, almost everything can be tracked and has digital tracking on it. It seems like just yesterday that the idea of tracking and GPS was brand new and no one would ever think that it would go nearly as large as it did. We can track nearly everything now days in real time and almost every road in the world has been mapped out to a T.


How Accurate Is GPS Tracking?

–          GPS has even started mapping out the inside of some major buildings such as malls and shopping centers.

–          Almost every road in the world has been mapped out in a wide variety of countries.

–          While back just a decade ago, it would take several seconds to a minute to update your location but today it can be updated in real time and there’s usually no delay.

So if you’re looking for an update to and accurate GPS tracking system that has all the roads in the database and keeps and up to date software version, you can check out That’s my own personal preference anyway when it comes to a gps tracking device. There are many different ones out there but not very many keep their database up to date or have many of the advances features that we’re starting to see come out today.

2 Suggestions for Good Fleet Management

Fleet management is something that every company with vehicles should be concerned about. Here are two tips that companies can use to help their fleet running well.


Analyze the maintenance records of the fleet. Are you tracking the right information to make maintenance decisions that are informed? As an example, just recording the work on the front end which was completed on a particular vehicle isn’t going to give you enough information to detect the failure trends for the components of the front end. The records should indicate at a minimum the model and make of that vehicle, the mileage and date when the service was done, and the services which were done to the specific components.  This will let you analyze your data well.

Examine any kind of unexplained demand maintenance incidents which had been required between the preventative maintenance that was scheduled.  Look for any trends. If there had been some particular failures which happened on the certain vehicles, figure out if you can adjust your program for preventative maintenance to get rid of those failures. Some of the vehicles are going to be more prone to issues with particular systems as compared to others.  You might have to develop a variety of schedules for certain vehicle models and makes. Keep in mind, a single maintenance program might not work well for all of the fleets or all of the vehicles in one fleet.

If you want to know more about GPS vehicle tracking or GPS tracking in general, go to