Zopa is a social lending and borrowing website that allows you to exchange with other people in the community.
The site was founded through consumer research showing people were fed up with borrowing money from banks who make huge profits and that certain people found it hard to get credit.
The community aspect of Zopa is that the people lending the money are you and me, in fact anyone can sign up and start lending their own money to other members.
You get the control to set your own interest rates and to set the market you lend to. When signing up to borrow money you have to be credit checked, the outcome of this then puts you into one of four markets - A*, A, B or C. The better the market you are in, the lower the interest rate you will be able to borrow money at.
Zopa stands for 'Zone of Possible Agreement' and states that the average interest rate is about 6.75% however usually for an A* market this is lower at about 5.5%.
This is great for borrowers in this market as the interest is much better than what you would find on the high street. This isn't so good for lenders as after Zopa fees and tax you would be better off putting your money in a savings account.
The B and C markets are where lenders are more likely to make a better return, however the risk of lending money is significantly increased.
**the rest of this blog has become corrupted**
The future of manufacturing will definitely include robots—and the future is now. There are already many automated processes, with more to come. But how many more robots and automated machines will there be? Will all human factory workers eventually be replaced, or is this just science fiction?
Automation enabled manufacturing’s latest trend known as lights-out production, a term for facilities able to operate without lights and without any human oversight. At the lights out FANUC (factor automated numerical control) facility in Japan, robots are creating other robots.
Not only the lights are off, so are the A/C and heating. The automated workforce operates continuously, without any breaks. Through this automated, lights out process, FANUC creates 22,000 to 23,000 CNC machines monthly.
FANUC, with its 24/7/365 production schedule, is an uncommon production facility. What’s more common is having automated processes occurring during the third shift for a few hours a day—at least as a starting point.
However, before a company even considers lights-out production, automation systems must already be in place. Companies with interest in seeing if lights-out production is a cost-effective option, turn to specialists like Midwest Engineering Systems (MWES) for customized automation solutions and machine designs.
Although lights-out production isn’t for every company, there are some major benefits including the following:
- Increased product quality
- Improved throughput
- Decrease in workplace injuries—especially in hazardous work environments
- Fills in a skilled worker shortage
- A decrease in labor costs
Douglas Peterson, general manager for collaborative robots maker Universal Robots, told Automation World the criteria to determine what would work is best for a robot vs. what work would be best for human workers.
“Robots are uniquely suited to any manufacturing task that is dirty, dangerous or dull. If the process doesn’t require human dexterity, mental agility or problem-solving skills, then it can be done by a robot.”
Implementing lights-out production is a complex and difficult process. CNC Cookbook outlines and details the many challenges that can come with starting a lights-out production process, with the largest challenge being perfecting processes.
For example, even with the most cutting-edge technology, if a single process is faulty, the whole system is at risk of failure in an automated environment. Testing new equipment and ensuring a seamless production process is critical. Having human supervisors and maintenance techs on-site is often recommended.
On the finance side, the upfront costs of lights-out production can be cost-prohibitive for many. Experts say facilities debating a move to a lights-out system should expect a return on their upfront investment within two years. If the gains in efficiency and productivity will pay of the cost of the automated machines and components themselves within 2 years, the investment likely makes sense.
Automation’s popularity grows as lights-out production is becoming more commonplace and less of a novelty. Machines will likely replace many workers who perform more dangerous or repetitive tasks while helping to boost productivity gains and profitability for many manufacturers.
(Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr)
Responsive design is the idea that web site layouts should change based on the users choice of device. Depending on the users environment the design may adapt to the screen size, platform or orientation.
I've put together an example that you can use in your own web sites. Look what happens when you resize the page horozontally in your web browser or on your mobile.
View now - Responsive Design
Feel free to inspect with Firebug and copy into your own project where suitable.
It uses a condition to tell the web browser which stylesheet to include:
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen and (max-width: 660px)" href="1col.css" />
In the above example we are saying to include 1col.css when the media is a screen and the maximum width is 660px.
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen and (min-width: 1000px) and (max-width: 1200px)" href="2col.css" />
Here we are saying to display 2col.css when the media is a screen, the minimum width is 1000 pixels and the max-width is 1200 pixels.
Any questions I will try to answer in the comments.
Update: When setting the viewport you might want to detect the device with PHP first otherwise the viewport will be set too small on the iPad.
When we went to London my Girlfriend had to take her nurserys bear to get some photos of it in some famous locations.
ImAFish however found out the truth about the bear with these horific photos!
It's with my pleasure that I bring you A Bear's Tale.
A Bears Tale
By Pete, Ben and Chris
One-day bear felt a bit depressed and needed some loving, unfortunately Jack was not around however bear found some other friends.
Bear felt right at home with her new friends.
Bear quickly became intoxicated and decided to re-enact something she saw on Big Brother this year.
Bear also decided to sleep with her new friends.
They had a Gang Bang.
I was hoping the children would learn about the dangers of alcohol abuse, my Girlfriend didn't see it this way, I'm off for a pint.
*I'm informed bear is now in rehab.