The Federal Communications Commission do a lot of things, including monitoring and investigating companies which have less than kind business practices. In their latest attempt to help people they’ve taken their inspiration from something we see (and ignore for the most part) everyday, nutrition labels.
In their latest attempt to give consumers a fair few the new nutrition labels will be used to help customers understand both home internet service providers (ISP’s) and mobile carriers. While not mandatory carriers are being “urged” to use the labels which will give you an idea about the following properties:
This includes all those hidden fees they often hide, such as line rental or limited discounts
Ever felt like you may be getting a slower service? You should be able to see if you’ve hit your data usage cap, if one even exists
This will be included alongside things like latent and packet loss, giving you an idea not just how fast your service would be but also how reliable it is to
ISP’s are free to come up with their own labels, but they must be made in an “accurate, understandable and easy-to-find manner”.
Examples of the Broadband and Mobile labels can be found below.
Hoping to avoid the surprise fee’s that account for more than 2,000 complaints received by the FCC, the new labels could help people decide on the company that’s right for them, rather than the advertisement that fools the most.
Inventory isn’t something that most store owners get excited over, but it is something that has to be done. Naturally you should use a point of sale system that has inventory tracking built-in, but even with the best point of sale system, you still have work to do on your end to keep your inventory in check.
The Elements of a Good Inventory Procedure
Organized location names
Labels that are easy to read
Unique, short item identification numbers
Units of measure
A starting count
Good inventory keeping policies
Software that tracks your inventory
People who know how to use your inventory system
Reasons for Tracking Your Inventory
There are many different reasons why a business owner needs to track their inventory. But, it is important to know the common reasons and benefits to using an accurate inventory.
Most businesses have their assets as their main source of capital. Therefore, each year you need to track those assets, evaluate them and make sure your business is still running properly. Having a proper inventory can help with the asset tracking and valuation process – and your insurance company or financial institution might even require it.
Ensuring Stock Levels Remain Consistent
Your customers demand that they receive their products on time, but how can you assure them they will if you don’t know what you have in stock? Tracking inventory ensures that you will always have consistent stock levels.
Preparing for Seasonal or Sale-Related Demand
As a retailer, you are likely to have high demand seasons. By knowing your inventory and keeping track, you can anticipate those demands and make sure you have enough inventory in stock to accommodate them.
Preventing Theft, Loss or Inventory Shrinkage
When your employees know you don’t keep track, what is there to stop them from removing inventory from your store? It is imperative that you not only keep track of inventory for your customers, but also to prevent losses.
You are likely to have an insurance policy on your business. If there is a natural disaster or damage to your inventory, your insurance will pick up the loss. But, if you don’t have an accurate inventory of what was lost or damaged, it will be difficult to file a claim.
Accountants May Require Inventory
Your accountant may require an end-of-year or end-of-quarter inventory summary from you. If you already have a solid inventory record, handing that over to your accountant will be nothing more than transferring a file or printing out a report.
Tips for Keeping Track of Your Inventory
There are numerous ways you can track your inventory, but the first and most important tool is a point of sale system. This system works on your computer, tablet and maybe even your phone. It helps you keep company records, check customers out, and integrate your inventory records. But, not just any point of sale will do. You need a comprehensive one that allows you to keep track of cash and sales, but also keep track of inventory.
A good system will have a barcode printer and scanner. A barcode printer allows you to input items into your inventory in the point of sale system, then it will print out barcode labels so that you can attach them to your products. With a compatible barcode scanner you can do inventory checks, scan products for a faster checkout, etc.
Look for a barcode printer that is compatible with your current point of sale system. Shopify, for example, has compatible point of sale systems and barcode printers. You will also want one that can print several labels per minute and preferably uses thermal printing technology. Thermal printing technology is faster, more accurate and more cost-efficient than traditional printing. You won’t have to deal with the ink and paper like you do on a traditional printer, but also if you receive a large shipment that needs to be added to your inventory, you won’t spend hours just printing out the labels. Also, look for a barcode printer that is also capable of printing shipping labels. That way if you sell products online, you can still ship your products and print shipping labels using the same printer.
Keeping track of inventory is important — regardless of the type of business you run. By keeping accurate count of your products on hand, you can deliver to customers on time, manage your assets better and prevent losses in the future.
Piracy has always been a serious issues for law enforcement agencies, governments and multimedia corporations. There have been numerous attempts aimed at stopping piracy throughout the years, but all failed. Looking at The Pirate Bay for example, it even had an increase in traffic recently, despite all the crack-down attempts so far. The latest news however further tells us that the popular torrent website isn’t going to fade away anytime soon too.
The team over at The Pirate Bay is said to have made a mobile version of its website, extending the reach of its piracy content to the mobile sphere. The previous website which users were taken to when accessed on a mobile device is said to have been basically a shrunken version of the desktop version. It was not very responsive and usable from a mobile device, as Ubergizmo states, but that is bound to change.
“The normal version of the site renders like crap on mobile devices. We will add more features later on, such as personal RSS feeds so users can browse torrents at work or school, and start the downloads at home.” The Pirate Bay team states.
The new version is said to be more mobile-friendly, as per the picture above detailing the mobile version in comparison to the old shrunken-down version, and aims to deliver its website’s content on-the-go to users who do not have a desktop or laptop in front of them. This however will not be good news for record labels, publishers and movie studios, who might think that the new ‘optimization’ would further increase piracy activities.
Seiko Epson has announced their latest label printer for Android devices, the LW-600P. Coming in at only 24mm this is the smallest and lightest label printer that is on the market. Using Bluetooth the LW-600P can easily connect to your Android smartphone or tablet, and the printer runs either via battery power or an AC plug if you can access one. Through the Epson iLabel application you will be able to take full advantage of the printer from your Android device in ways that we not possible before.
Epson offers the options to print labels on a large variety of different tape options. Whether you are looking to print personalized ribbons, create iron-on tags, print glow in the dark or reflective labels you can do it all from the portable LW-600P. Epson has created an open-source development kit for the printer so you can easily create custom applications for your own business uses to make the printer work best for you.
Epson’s printer is available for a price tag of $99 / €72 / £60 with one roll of ribbon, and a price of $123 / €90 / £75 for two rolls. For those interested in Seiko Epson’s printer, they will be showing it off this amazing printer at CES 2014.
“True-view” label preview capability using the camera function to ensure labels perfectly match what’s on the screen
Handwriting mode for custom drawing or annotation of labels using the touch screen interface
Speech-to-text voice transcription and printing
In-app storage of created label for future use
Import of custom graphics such as symbols, logos and photographs to copy & paste onto labels for a more professional look or to add a personalized touch
Creation of QR code labels for content sharing or barcode labels for inventory management which can be scanned by third-party QR/barcode apps