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https://killexams.com/exam_list/EnterasysKillexams : Tulane University launches $1.7 million LAN
By James Cope
(IDG) -- When students at Tulane University in New Orleans return to classes, IT managers at the university hope they will have at least part of a new wireless LAN up and running. The LAN will ultimately employ up to 1,000 wireless access points from Rochester, N.H.-based Enterasys Networks Inc.
Tulane announced it had allocated $1.7 million for the wireless LAN project and said that 800 Enterasys RoamAbout R2 units were on the way.
The university's vice president of technology, Jed Diem, said he and the director of network services, Tim Deeves, selected the Enterasys RoamAbout R2 access point equipment over two other companies because of the ease of migration.
The university will switch from the current 802.11b industry standard, which runs at 11M bit/sec., to the faster 802.11a standard, which will send data through the air at up to 54M bit/sec. Diem said the Enterasys wireless access point chassis has a dual-slot design. One slot accommodates today's 11b radio card, while the other awaits an 11a card that Enterasys said it will ship by year's end.
The Layer 3 capabilities of the Enterasys product also played a part in the vendor selection, Diem said. The additional functionality, he noted, will allow Tulane to create wireless subnets dedicated to specific categories of traffic that only a given department or set of individuals will be allowed to access.
"If all access points were operating at Layer 2, there could be broadcast traffic that might be seen by others [who should not see it]," Deeves said.
While Enterasys is convinced that dual slots provide a logical migration path from 802.11b to 802.11a, other vendors aren't.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Proxim Inc., for example, has elected to place routing and management control for its Harmony wireless LAN series into a separate unit called the Harmony Access Point Controller and has also developed separate 802.11b and 802.11a radio housings instead of putting both in the same chassis.
Galen Schreck, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., said it's too early to say whether one migration approach will be superior to another. A more important issue for IT managers, Schreck noted, is whether a wireless network is warranted at all.
"A university campus makes sense for wireless LANs," said Schreck, "because people are roaming all over the place." But in a company where you have network jacks in conference rooms and other common areas, wireless may be unnecessary, he noted.
According to Diem, the 802.11b radio cards running at 11M bit/sec. will be adequate for student and classroom access to the campus network. But he added that there are applications, such as a foreign-language multimedia application, that are begging for the faster speeds of 802.11a.
Tue, 14 Aug 2001 00:00:00 -0500text/htmlhttps://edition.cnn.com/2001/TECH/internet/08/14/wireless.tulane.idg/index.htmlKillexams : The best wireless mechanical keyboards
It's no secret that mechanical keyboards provide some of the best tactile typing experiences available. It's also not a secret that wireless keyboards can be a productivity boon, reducing workspace clutter and easily connecting with numerous device types. Thankfully, wireless mechanical keyboard selection has grown so much in accurate years that you can find options with feature sets on par with the priciest wired keyboards.
When exploring today's selection of cable-free mechanical keyboards, there's plenty to consider beyond switch type. For example, how many devices do you want the keyboard to be able to toggle across? Should any of those wireless connections use a USB receiver? Battery life is also paramount (all the options here are rechargeable) and, just as with any other premium keyboard, features like programmability, onboard memory, and quality keycaps are important.
With those qualifications in mind, we sought out the best wireless mechanical keyboards for power users.
Razer's BlackWidow V3 Pro is the rare wireless option to carry nearly every feature you'd expect to find in a decked-out wired mechanical keyboard. From its full-height switches and a full-size programmable layout with media keys to its onboard memory, multiple Bluetooth profiles, and braided cable, there's little missing here.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro has been my go-to for productivity uses for a couple of years. Every key—including the four media keys—is easily programmable in Razer's Synapse software. That's plenty, but you can also program each key with a secondary input, which is activated when you simultaneously press the key you designate as the "Hypershift" key.
Key bindings can launch macros, open software and websites, make mouse movements, and do just about anything else. The keyboard easily adapts to whichever app you're using, and you can make app-specific profiles that launch automatically when you open the specified program.
Frustratingly, some of the most advanced functionality, like launching macros or apps, doesn't work unless Synapse is open. This makes the keyboard's four onboard memory profiles harder to leverage. In fact, storing onboard memory profiles requires you to open Synapse and use a dongle or cable rather than Bluetooth.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is available only with Razer Green clicky switches, which have 4 mm of total travel and actuate at 1.9 mm with 50 g of force, or Razer Yellow linear switches (3.5 mm / 1.2 mm / 45 g). The Green switches I've used combine bold clicks with the booming thuds of larger keys bottoming out and the rattling of plastic stabilizers, creating a striking ruckus. Without any sound-dampening components, like those seen in the Epomaker TH96 below, I can frequently hear metallic pinging when bottoming out.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is rather hefty and solid at 3.1 pounds, but its plastic bottom case and easily smudged aluminum top plate aren't unique. It's also a bit disappointing to see ABS plastic at this price point, but these keycaps could pass for PBT with how decently they've resisted fingerprints. (I replaced the keycaps on mine with non-Razer PBT for better grip and durability.) Plus, the legends are doubleshot, so they shouldn't fade.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is also the only keyboard on our list that comes with a wrist rest. The accessory's plushness means you may actually use it for a while.
Razer says the keyboard lasts for up to 192 hours before needing a charge. With the per-key RGB backlight set to all-white, expectations drop to five hours at 100 percent brightness and 14 hours at 50 percent. This is shorter than the battery life claim for a rainbow RGB backlight (13 hours and 25 hours, respectively). Thankfully, Synapse has a battery meter that provides a precise percentage.
Full-size, full-height keyboard with all the trimmings
Every key, including the media keys, is programmable with up to two inputs
Plenty of onboard storage
Some advanced features are app-dependent
Aggressive typists should beware of rattling stabilizers, occasional pinging
Some of the keyboards on our list claim to provide compatibility with Macs and iPhones, but the Keychron K10 has gone all-in on Apple niceties. Its included keycaps come with Mac and Windows legends, and its product page advertises a dedicated set for Linux users as well. Although the K10 has a modest feature set compared to the other keyboards here, it's also the least expensive.
As with the smaller Keychron K14, there are several versions of the K10, depending on if you want a white or RGB backlight, a plastic or aluminum chassis, and hot-swappability. I tested the K10 with a white backlight, plastic frame, and hot-swappable switches. The aluminum frame may be worth the investment. My review unit's ABS plastic frame feels mundane and might not hold up to abuse (one Ars staffer has seen a few Keychrons break after heavy use). The K10 also has a shorter warranty than we see with some of the other keyboards here.
Hot-swappability, however, means you won't have to toss the keyboard just because a switch breaks or you become tired of the switches it came with. As an added bonus, the keyboard supports both 3- and 5-pin mechanical switches.
The G Pro Blues I tested have 4 mm of travel and a 2.3 mm actuation point, and they actuate with 45 g of force. These are the only switches the K10 comes with that aren't pre-lubricated. Generally, they feel slightly scratchier and less stiff than Cherry MX Blues. Pinging noises are common, and the plastic rattling of stabilizers on bigger keys, like Backspace, was noticeable but not a deal-breaker. Meanwhile, the ABS keycaps feel about as slick and slippery as any old, cheap mechanical keyboard keycaps, providing almost no grip.
The top row is somewhat non-traditional, as there's no scroll lock or pause. An easily forgettable key combination that varies depending on OS toggles the keys from working as F1–F12, or media keys and other functions, including backlight and screen brightness control. But pressing F11 or F12 repeatedly wasn't as efficient as turning a volume knob would be.
This isn't the keyboard for bringing settings over to different connected devices easily. The K10 doesn't have dedicated software for programming, nor does it have onboard memory. Keychron recommends using SharpKeys or Karabiner to program the K10.
There's no per-key backlight customization, though there are 18 premade effects. There's also no dongle, so competitive-minded gamers and other enthusiasts concerned about lag may be disappointed in the 90 Hz polling rate over Bluetooth.
Keychron says the keyboard's 4,000 mAh li-po battery can last for an impressive 240 hours without a backlight, 68 hours with white backlighting, and 72 hours with RGB. There's no battery meter, but a light near the power button flashes red when the battery is at 15 percent.
Competitive price, even with hot-swappability
Thoughtfully includes keycaps for both Windows and Mac layouts
Decent switch variety, including some pre-lubricated ones
Shorter warranty, cheaper build than other keyboards on this list
Slick, budget keycaps
No onboard memory or homegrown software for easy programming or storing profiles
Ever wish your keyboard had even more keys? Logitech's G915 has five bonus programmable "G-keys" complementing a full layout and dedicated media keys. Typing on it feels a bit unorthodox since it only comes with low-profile switches. If you can get used to them, though, Logitech's GL switches are responsive and snappy and have plenty of tactility.
When it comes to low-profile wireless luxury, there's a lot of tough competition, including Razer's DeathStalker V2 Pro, but the G915 stands strong with a decked-out setup. The G-keys support a variety of functions, including macros, app launching, and mouse movements. The rest of the keys aren't programmable with the keyboard's native software, though, leaving the BlackWidow V3 Pro the most programmable keyboard on this list.
Logitech's G Hub software is less intuitive to navigate than Razer's Synapse system, but once I mastered it, my onboard profiles carried over better than the BlackWidow V3 Pro's. Most advanced programmings, including macros and per-key RGB settings, work on other computers without G Hub, unlike Razer's keyboard. That said, launching apps doesn't work without Logitech's software.
The G915 has only one Bluetooth profile. There's a dongle that produces 1 ms of lag and an optional extender, but there's no built-in storage compartment for it. The smaller version of this keyboard, the G915 TKL, has dongle storage.
Low-profile switches aren't for everyone, but these switches provided me with rapid tactile typing. They each have 2.7 mm of total travel and a 1.5 mm actuation point, and the GL Clicky switches I tested require 55 g of force to actuate. The clicks are prominent; rather than pinging, I noticed a plastic-y, snappy noise as I typed aggressively.
I've also frequently used Logitech's GL Tactile switches (the same specs but 60 g of force to actuate) in the G915 TKL. The bump isn't as prominent as other low-profile tactile switches, like those in the Logitech MX Mechanical (3.2 mm of total travel). But the bump still ensures precise-feeling keypresses with strong feedback.
The G915's boring plastic bottom case is elevated by the 5052 aluminum-alloy top plate carrying a modern and luxurious brushed finish. The smooth-scrolling, aluminum volume wheel, and light-up rubbery keys heighten the luxe impressions.
Unfortunately, despite their oleophobic coating, the black ABS keycaps can't resist fingerprint smudges. The legends use a cheaper process—laser etching—than the doubleshot alternatives on our list. A Logitech spokesperson told Ars Technica that a UV clear coating helps durability, but ultimately, the keycaps don't feel like they belong on an over-$200 keyboard.
Logitech says the keyboard can last for up to 30 hours with its backlight at max brightness and 1,242 hours without a backlight. The G915 charges over Micro USB instead of USB-C.
Five bonus keys waiting to be programmed
Extremely tactile premium switches... if you don't mind the low profile
Media keys, brushed finish, and a slim design make for a gorgeous peripheral
Only the five macro keys are programmable via Logitech's software
If you're after a mechanical keyboard for those sweet, deep "thock" sounds, the Epomaker TH96 is one of the best choices available. Where other keyboards here prioritize features, the TH96 emphasizes a build structure that successfully eliminates unwanted noises, even during the most aggressive typing sessions.
No matter how heavily or rapidly I typed or how frequently I bottomed out or smashed large buttons, the TH96 remained free of plastic rattling and metallic, echoing dings. Keypresses create a gentle tap noise, while more fierce typing yields harmonious thocking noises that are crisp and slightly hollow. There are some standouts, like the slightly louder spacebar and extra hollow-sounding Ctrl, and the keyboard's overall sound profile was a pleasant addition to my workflow.
The TH96 gets its euphonious nature from a generous amount of sound-dampening materials, as depicted in this diagram. It's the only gasket-mounted keyboard on this list, and it uses poron foam gaskets between its top case and the stainless-steel plate beneath that. Underneath the steel plate is a thin, sound-absorbing silicon pad running the length of the keyboard and separating the plate from the keyboard's PCBA. Finally, there's a thicker, sound-dampening silicon layer between the TH96's PCBA and bottom case.
I tested the TH96 with Epomaker's linear Flamingo switches. They have about 3.8 mm of travel, actuate at 1.5mm, and require 47 g of force. They're also smooth, producing no scratchy feeling on press or return, likely because they're pre-lubed and lubricate themselves further when pressed, Epomaker says.
Typing feels airy and light. That takes some getting used to, but I eventually appreciated how quickly depressed keys seemed to rise back up when I started releasing pressure. The keys are very stable, producing minimal wobbling. Epomaker's keyboard also comes with its tactile Budgerigar switches, but you don't have to commit either way. The TH96 is hot-swappable, supporting 3- and 5-pin switches.
Also aiding the typing experience, as well as the TH96's appearance, are tall, curvy keycaps. Shape-wise, they use the MDA profile, which is like a shorter SA profile with more sculpting. These caps are weightier during typing, which works well with the light, linear Flamingo switches. The PBT plastic isn't slick, but it's still more slippery than I would prefer. Like doubleshot legends, these dye-sublimated ones shouldn't fade. Large lettering makes them easily legible.
The keyboard's 96 percent layout saves desk space without getting rid of that precious numpad, though there are no macro keys for extra programmability. And while there's a decent preprogrammed function layer with options like media and screen brightness controls, it's hard to remember without sub-legends. Like Keychron's K10, the TH96 is Mac-friendly, thanks to extra keycaps and Fn shortcuts for macOS, but there's no convenient switch for toggling OSes (just another key combo to memorize).
The TH96 has three Bluetooth profiles and a USB-A dongle, but having to use key combinations to switch from Bluetooth to dongle or wired mode is a nuisance. The other keyboards here simplify this with physical switches.
Then there's Epomaker's Driver app, which doesn't work when using the keyboard with Bluetooth. The app doesn't show you key bindings, unless you click on an individual key and view the window that pops up within the app. Making any changes also results in a seconds-long delay. With enough patience, you can reprogram every key except Fn with key combinations, macros, and mouse movements, plus most of the keyboard's function layer. Still, I prefer other keyboards for advanced features like launching apps or websites or storing profiles.
Unfortunately, Epomaker doesn't provide a battery life estimate for the TH96's 6,000 mAh battery. Hitting Fn and B make the letters Q through P light up, depending on how much battery life remains, but there's no battery meter in the keyboard's app for more precision.
Superior typing feel and sound
Hot swappability means no commitments necessary
On the Mac-friendly side
No macro keys or memory profiles and only one media key
Software doesn't show key programmings and is laggy, with limited functionality
Some will prefer a full, or even larger, layout
Asus ROG Claymore II ($220 MSRP): For people who don't want to choose between a tenkeyless or full-size board, this keyboard's numpad is removable and attachable to the right or left side (yay, lefties!). That's an admirably versatile form factor. But despite its robust feature set, including four macro keys and USB passthrough, the keyboard can only wirelessly connect via dongle, so this pricey peripheral isn't great for multi-device use.
Asus ROG Falchion NX($150 MSRP): Here's an extra-portable option with a plastic cover and compact design that still squeezes in arrow keys. Asus' extremely tactile ROG NX Brown optical-mechanical switches deliver extra pop as they reset and use heavily textured doubleshot PBT keycaps. The side touch panel for volume control (or input programmed) feels imprecise, however, and the Falchion NX doesn't use Bluetooth.
Logitech MX Mechanical ($170 MSRP): This is a candidate for those new to mechanical keyboards. It has three Bluetooth profiles and a dongle, plus responsive, low-profile switches that are a good transition from laptop or membrane typing. There's also a familiar layout and a classic colorway, but a discount would help it compete better. You could opt for the cheaper 75 percent version, however, and there's also the Logitech MX Mechanical Mini for Mac.
Razer Pro Type Ultra ($160 MSRP): If you like linear switches and the bright look of this keyboard, it could make for a strong multi-device wireless companion. There are four Bluetooth profiles and a dongle, and sound-dampening foam fights pinging noises. The keyboard could use media keys and better keycaps, though.
HHKB Professional Hybrid ($281 MSRP): There's a swarm of enthusiasts who would riot over a "best mechanical keyboards" list that doesn't mention Topre switches. The electrostatic capacitive switches that are like a mix between mechanical and rubber dome switches have gained a cult following for their tactility and crisp noise. However, there are few people who can use an arrow-free keyboard, even with Mac and Windows legends and four Bluetooth profiles, without becoming less productive.
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Thu, 10 Nov 2022 02:10:00 -0600Scharon Hardingen-ustext/htmlhttps://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/11/the-best-wireless-mechanical-keyboards/Killexams : A radical new approach in synthetic chemistry
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory helped measure how unpaired electrons in atoms at one end of a molecule can drive chemical reactivity on the molecule's opposite side. As described in a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, this work, in collaboration with Princeton University, shows how molecules containing these so-called free radicals could be used in a whole new class of reactions.
"Most reactions involving free radicals take place at the site of the unpaired electron," explained Brookhaven Lab chemist Matthew Bird, one of the co-corresponding authors on the paper. The Princeton team had become experts in using free radicals for a range of synthetic applications, such as polymer upcycling. But they've wondered whether free radicals might influence reactivity on other parts of the molecule as well, by pulling electrons away from those more distant locations.
"Our measurements show that these radicals can exert powerful 'electron-withdrawing' effects that make other parts of the molecule more reactive," Bird said.
The Princeton team demonstrated how that long-distance pull can overcome energy barriers and bring together otherwise unreactive molecules, potentially leading to a new approach to organic molecule synthesis.
The research relied on the combined resources of a Princeton-led DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) focused on Bio-Inspired Light Escalated Chemistry (BioLEC). The collaboration brings together leading synthetic chemists with groups having advanced spectroscopic techniques for studying reactions. Its funding was recently renewed for another four years.
Robert Knowles, who led Princeton's role in this research, said, "This project is an example of how BioLEC's combined expertise enabled the team to quantify an important physical property of these radical species, that in turn allowed us to design the resulting synthetic methodology."
The Brookhaven team's major contribution is a technique called pulse radiolysis -- available only at Brookhaven and one other location in the U.S.
"We use the Laser Electron Accelerator Facility (LEAF) -- part of the Accelerator Center for Energy Research (ACER) in Brookhaven's Chemistry Division -- to generate intense high-energy electron pulses," Bird explained. "These pulses allow us to add or subtract electrons from molecules to make reactive species that might be difficult to make using other techniques, including short-lived reaction intermediates. With this technique, we can step into one part of a reaction and monitor what happens."
For the current study, the team used pulse radiolysis to generate molecules with oxygen-centered radicals, and then measured the "electron-withdrawing" effects on the other side of the molecule. They measured the electron pull by tracking how much the oxygen at the opposite side attracts protons, positively charged ions sloshing around in solution. The stronger the pull from the radical, the more acidic the solution has to be for protons to bind to the molecule, Bird explained.
The Brookhaven scientists found the acidity had to be high to enable proton capture, meaning the oxygen radical was a very strong electron withdrawing group. That was good news for the Princeton team. They then demonstrated that it's possible to exploit the "electron-withdrawing" effect of oxygen radicals by making parts of molecules that are generally inert more chemically reactive.
"The oxygen radical induces a transient 'polarity reversal' within the molecule -- causing electrons that normally want to remain on that distant side to move toward the radical to make the 'far' side more reactive," Bird explained.
These findings enabled a novel substitution reaction on phenol based starting materials to make more complex phenol products.
"This is a great example of how our technique of pulse radiolysis can be applied to cutting-edge science problems," said Bird. "We were delighted to host an excellent graduate student, Nick Shin, from the Knowles group for this collaboration. We look forward to more collaborative projects in this second phase of BioLEC and seeing what new problems we can explore using pulse radiolysis."
Brookhaven Lab's role in this work and the EFRC at Princeton were funded by the DOE Office of Science (BES). Princeton received additional funding for the synthesis work from the National Institutes of Health.
Tue, 22 Nov 2022 10:00:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/11/221123193708.htmKillexams : A new approach might help scientists see inside a neutron star
Substituting can be a tricky art, especially when stars are involved.
When massive stars explode, they can collapse into extremely dense — and mysterious — objects known as neutron stars. But neutron stars are too far away and much too small for even the most powerful telescopes to look inside, so scientists want to find a way to figure out what a neutron star is made of. In new research, astrophysicists tested a potential approach to determining the state of the matter inside a neutron star. (More familiar states of matter are solid, liquid and gas.)
What scientists want to know is a neutron star's equation of state, or EoS. This equation describes the properties of matter in an object or substance. But getting the precise measurements needed to solve this equation for a neutron star, especially its radius, has not been easy.
So the researchers tested whether they could simplify the effort by substituting another measurement for the neutron star's radius. They turned to what scientists call the peak spectral frequency of the gravitational waves — ripples in space-time — that are emitted when neutron stars merge into one larger neutron star.
The glob of dense star stuff that remains after such a collision will spew out massive gravitational waves as it moves back and forth while rotating at breakneck speed. The signal from these waves can be picked up by the hypersensitive instruments of a gravitational wave observatory like the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
"At least in principle, the peak spectral frequency can be calculated from the gravitational wave signal emitted by the wobbling remnant of two merged neutron stars," Elias Most, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey and co-author on the new research, said in a statement.
Until now, scientists assumed f2 could stand in for a neutron star's radius because the two values are often linked to each other. But that is not always the case, the new research determined. Instead, to make the substitution work, scientists must incorporate a second value related to the neutron star's mass and radius.
The researchers hope that this determination will help scientists shed light on a theory that the neutrons in the cores of these stars break down into even smaller subatomic particles, called quarks.
Sat, 12 Nov 2022 21:00:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.space.com/neutron-star-equation-of-stateKillexams : New approach extracts more data on steel alloys for materials databases
A new approach uses data from one type of test on small metal alloy samples to extract enough information for building databases that can be used to predict the properties and potentials of new materials. The details were published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials: Methods.
The test is called instrumented indentation. It involves driving an indenter tip into a material to probe some of its properties, such as hardness and elastic stiffness. Scientists have been using the data extracted from instrumented indentation to estimate the stress-strain curve of materials using computational simulations.
This curve, and the data it provides, is important for understanding a material's properties. That data is also used for building massive materials databases, which can be used, in conjunction with artificial intelligence, for predicting new materials.
A problem scientists face is that this approach for estimating material properties is limited when it comes to materials called "high work-hardening alloys": metal alloys, like steel, that are strengthened through physical processes like rolling and forging. Only so much information can be estimated from the curve of these materials. To get the necessary additional information needed to determine their properties, more experiments would need to be done, which costs time, effort and money.
Ta-Te Chen of the University of Tsukuba and Ikumu Watanabe of the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan have developed a new computational approach to extract that additional information from instrumented indentation tests on work-hardening alloys.
"Our approach builds on an already-existing model, making it ready for use in industry. It is also applicable to existing data, including hardness," says Watanabe.
The approach involves combining the results from two computational models, the power-law and linear hardening models, which produce their own individual stress-plastic strain curves from information gathered from indentation tests. Combining the data from both curves provides the extra data that, when added to the original stress-strain curve, shows a more holistic picture of the work-hardening alloys' properties.
The scientists validated their approach by using it on a high-work-hardening stainless steel.
"We have extended this approach to also evaluate mechanical properties at elevated temperatures, which can contribute to the development of high-temperature alloys," says Chen.
More information: Ta-Te Chen et al, Data-driven estimation of plastic properties in work-hardening model combining power-law and linear hardening using instrumented indentation test, Science and Technology of Advanced Materials: Methods (2022). DOI: 10.1080/27660400.2022.2129508
Citation: New approach extracts more data on steel alloys for materials databases (2022, November 7) retrieved 9 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-approach-steel-alloys-materials-databases.html
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Mon, 07 Nov 2022 05:38:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://phys.org/news/2022-11-approach-steel-alloys-materials-databases.htmlKillexams : Which Sustainable-Investing Approach Is Right for Your Clients?
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of my financial-planning career. As I look back at the last decade, I see that the sustainable-investing industry has grown dramatically, both in volume of assets managed as well as public awareness of sustainable investments as an alternative to dominant investment models that do not consider negative externalities causing direct and indirect harm to people and the planet. However, the efficacy and limitations of sustainable investing as a market-based solution to address these global issues is a conversation I have often with advisors and nonadvisors. There is a wide and growing menu of public and private sustainable investments—but how can advisors differentiate these products in a meaningful way?
What Is Sustainable Investing?
I’m using the term “sustainable investing” to encompass three commonly used terms: ESG (short for “environmental, social, and governance”), socially responsible investing, and impact investing. Unfortunately, these terms aren’t used in a standard way within the investment industry. “ESG” investing integrates research and data representing environmental, social, and governance indicators of company practices, as long-term material economic risks, to guide security selection and portfolio construction. “Socially responsible investing,” or “SRI,” focuses on excluding or including certain industries based on the ethical or moral values of investors. Shareholder engagement and proxy voting are other key features of SRI-based strategies. “Impact investing” traditionally refers to private sector investments outside of public markets, such as direct investments to benefit specific communities, small businesses, and burgeoning industries. Impact investing can also refer to public investments, with a focus on positive outcomes to the environment and society.
You can say that ESG data looks back, SRI focuses on present action, and impact investing aims to influence what’s possible in the future. “Sustainable investing” can mean one of those tools or any combination of the three.
What Is Greenwashing?
One consequence of a lack of standardization in terminology is different conceptions among investment professionals and the public of what sustainable investing is—which has fostered distrust of investment products and strategies that claim to be “sustainable,” “social,” or “green.” “Greenwashing” describes practices that falsely claim to be sustainable. The term is akin to “pinkwashing,” the practice of using gender-based marketing—and usually the color pink—to superficially or falsely support women. You can think of “______washing” as painting a thin, glossy finish in order to mislead. Still, the term “greenwashing” also fails to define what the standards for being “green” are. In reality, sustainable investments use a mix of strategies, each with its own set of practices and theory of change.
Differentiating Sustainable-Investment Approaches Using the Morningstar Sustainable-Investing Framework
When I speak with advisors and investors with a basic awareness of sustainable investing, many know the difference between two dominant approaches: divestment and shareholder advocacy. Divestment is the opposite of investment and in practice means excluding a company, industry, or another category of investments from one’s portfolio. Shareholder advocacy is the act of owning shares of a company with the goal of influencing its practices. However, outside and within divestment and shareholder advocacy, there are other approaches used by sustainable-investment managers and they may also employ one or more of these approaches at a time. I believe this is one of the biggest areas of confusion—and source of potential criticism of sustainable-investment products—for advisors and their clients.
One tool that I’ve found helpful in differentiating sustainable-investment approaches is the Morningstar Sustainable-Investing Framework, represented in the Framework MAP (Motivations, Approaches, and Portfolios) below:
The Morningstar Sustainable-Investing Framework identifies six distinct approaches along a continuum, from avoiding negative outcomes to advancing positive outcomes:
Applying Exclusions: Refers to excluding issuers based on certain products/services, an industry, or certain corporate behaviors, like major controversies.
Limiting ESG Risk: Refers to using ESG information, usually in the form of ESG ratings of companies, to assess material ESG risks as part of the overall assessment of risk.
Seeking ESG Opportunities: Refers to using ESG information to identify companies that are sustainability leaders, often by industry or sector, to identify improving companies or those that are using sustainability to establish or enhance a competitive advantage.
Practicing Active Ownership: Refers to seeking positive ESG outcomes via active ownership activities, primarily made possible because asset managers are shareholders in public companies. These activities may include the two approaches below.
Targeting Sustainability Themes: Refers to identifying investments that stand to benefit from the long-term trend toward greater sustainability in the way we live and work.
Assessing Impact: Refers to integrating impact assessments into security selection and portfolio construction.
“Applying Exclusions” and “Limiting ESG Risk” refer most closely to divestment yet differ on the types of data being used to make divestment decisions. These approaches can also be described as negative or exclusionary screening because data is being used to make decisions on what to exclude from the portfolio. “Seeking ESG Opportunities” also uses data but instead can be described as positive or inclusionary screening, because data is being used to make decisions on what to include in the portfolio. “Practicing Active Ownership” refers to shareholder advocacy. “Targeting Sustainability Themes” may include targeting investments in renewable energy, clean water, or gender equity. The strategy of “Assessing Impact” also uses data on company practices to guide investment decisions but focuses on the results of those practices in relation to an impact framework, typically the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, benchmarks such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, targets set by the Science Based Targets initiative, or goals such as number of affordable housing units built.
The explicit premise of the framework is that sustainable investing’s primary focus is shareholder return on investment—and it underlines the importance of aligning business practices with sustainable environmental, social, and corporate governance practices to mitigate long-term economic risks that stem from unmitigated extraction.
Differentiating Sustainable-Investment Approaches Using the Social Movement Investing Framework
Another tool that has helped me differentiate sustainable-investment approaches was created by the Center for Economic Democracy and published in its report Social Movement Investing: A Guide to Capital Strategies for Community Power. Social movement investing is a continuum of approaches ranging from divestment and shareholder advocacy (“Resist”) to targeting long-term impact aligned with social movements (“Build”), as represented in the Strategic Alignment Spectrum below:
Like the Morningstar Framework MAP, the CED Strategic Alignment Spectrum identifies six distinct approaches (that is, investment tactics or capital strategies), along a continuum from avoiding negative outcomes to advancing positive outcomes:
Exclude: Describes screened investments, divestment efforts, and short sales that make profits by betting against the future value of harmful companies. SMI counts exclusion tactics as SMI strategies if they are executed in direct coordination with movements.
Engage: Describes corporate engagement and shareholder activism seeking to influence corporate practices and policies by introducing resolutions and public action as shareholders.
Control: Describes a type of investing aimed at overtaking corporate governance that is rarely seen outside of the maneuvering of large capital-holders for financial gain but has potential application of social movement goals.
Convert: Describes the facilitation of voluntary sales or transfers of businesses or assets to workers and other stakeholders in historically oppressed communities.
Seed: Describes the provision of investment capital to restorative enterprises, including funds and infrastructure, at early stages of growth.
Sustain: Describes the provision of investment capital to restorative enterprises at later stages of growth and offering liquidity for values-aligned structured exits.
A unique aspect of SMI is its explicit inclusion and analysis of private market investments, such as Community Development Financial Institution loans and worker-owned cooperatives, within their own investment category (”Build”). The explicit premise of SMI is that purely market-based solutions are limited in their ability to foster structural change—and it underlines the importance of organizing to shape culture, laws, and institutions. This key factor is visualized in CED’s Movement Alignment Map, which situates an investment across two axes: 1) its place on the Strategic Alignment Spectrum, from “Exclude” to “Sustain,” and 2) its level of coordination with social movements, from no coordination to full accountability.
Both Morningstar and the Center for Economic Democracy’s frameworks described above differentiate the varied approaches, tactics, and strategies often used within sustainable-investment-focused funds, products, and policies. The next step is to apply them to your evaluation of sustainable investments. One way to accomplish this is to have these frameworks on hand to reference as you recognize the key terms used in the disclosure materials for investments, such as fact sheets, prospectuses, proxy statements, and shareholder reports. As you conduct your research and due diligence process on investments for your clients, note which approach(es) the investment is/are using—and how. Develop questions to ask sustainable-investment managers if their approaches are unclear. You may even start an advisor study group to evaluate sustainable-investment options using these frameworks. You can also share these frameworks with your due diligence team or the investment committee at your firm to help evaluate sustainable-investment options. These frameworks provide a strong foundation and shared language for advisors, investors, and fund managers to engage with sustainable-investment strategies, and with each other, in a meaningful way. I’m excited for even more-robust conversations to build on this work.
Having multiple frameworks for sustainable investing may seem confusing at first. But I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the ones above, and others. Comparing and contrasting multiple frameworks helps us learn—and ultimately deepens our understanding of sustainable investing as a spectrum of distinct, complementary, and evolving strategies.
Phuong Luong, CFP, is an educator and financial planner focused on economic justice and closing racial wealth divides. She is a Principal at Saltbox Financial, a virtual, fee-only RIA. She is also the online facilitator for the Boston University Financial Planning Program. Phuong is a subject matter expert in ESG and regenerative investing. Follow Phuong on Twitter: @pt_luong The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Morningstar.
Fri, 18 Nov 2022 06:20:00 -0600Phuong Luongentext/htmlhttps://www.morningstar.com/articles/1125966/which-sustainable-investing-approach-is-right-for-your-clientsKillexams : Why Taking A Personal Approach To Business Can Yield Big Results
Almost everyone has heard, “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” While this phrase sounds okay on the surface, adopting this belief is actually more damaging than you’d think for your employees and customers.
Business is inherently personal because companies are made up of people who aren’t interested in one-size-fits-all approaches. No one wants to feel like a cog in a wheel, which is why taking a personal approach in business often leads to better performance and greater satisfaction in your work.
If you want to take a personal approach in your business, this starts with how you treat your employees and customers. If these relationships aren’t as strong as you would like them to be, here are some strategies for improving them.
Taking A Personal Approach To Employees
Salary will always play a role in an employee’s job satisfaction, but now, a higher salary doesn’t have as much negotiation power as before. The “great resignation” has forced many companies to see that their old ways aren’t cutting it in the current environment. It isn’t just recommended to take a more personal approach to your business relationships—it’s a necessity to keep your team from migrating to the competition.
Employees need to feel that their work has meaning and, more importantly, see how it contributes to the greater good. Here are a few ways you can begin taking a personal approach with your employees:
Be transparent: There’s nothing more frustrating than working in a job where it feels like management is constantly withholding information. You’re not protecting your employees from anything—you’re creating unnecessary anxiety in the office. Be honest with your team and let them know what’s happening in the business—they’ll be more committed to the company because of it.
Provide opportunities to advance: It’s hard to experience job satisfaction if you don’t feel like you’re growing and getting better at what you do. Look for ways to give your employees opportunities to advance, and talk to them about new positions that will be available as the company grows.
Remember birthdays: Don’t let staff birthdays come and go without acknowledging them. Mark the dates of all your employees’ birthdays in your calendar and order them a cake, or something similar, to celebrate. It may seem like a small gesture, but it will go a long way toward showing your employees you care about them.
Taking A Personal Approach To Customers
Your customers drive your business, so you need to consider their interactions with your company from their point of view. Staying connected to your customers and showing them you care about their opinion will build long-term brand loyalty, much like it would if you were in their shoes.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply thanking your customers for their business. If you’re a small business, you may be able to call each customer personally and thank them for their support.
Another option is to send cards thanking your customers for their business. You can also send holiday cards to show your appreciation, but you don’t just want to engage your customers when things are going well—it’s just as important to reach out when there’s a problem.
Instead of seeing complaints as a hassle, use them as opportunities to strengthen the relationship with your customers. Mistakes are inevitable, and when you apologize and do what you can to fix the problem, it builds trust with your customers.
Taking A Personal Approach Can Lead To Bigger Business Results
As a business owner, you need to find ways to motivate and inspire your employees. Happy employees will be more productive, more engaged with their work, and more creative, which can also lead to lower employee turnover rates and help your bottom line.
Your goal with each customer is to increase the customer lifetime value (CLV). A high CLV means that customer brings in more revenue for your business. By building credibility and trust with your customers, you’ll lower your customer churn and, of course, make each customer more impactful for your longevity.
As technology becomes more advanced, it’s easy for businesses to lose sight of what really matters. We can automate processes and communicate with our team/customers through apps for convenience, but if we don’t focus on the human component of our relationships, simplicity becomes much less important.
When you take a personal approach in business, you treat your employees and customers as individuals and look for personalized solutions to every problem. You look beyond your CRM and Slack to find ways to build strong relationships—an old approach to a new challenge. Take the time, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and strategize to implement systems that benefit your team and customers just as much as your profit line.
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 22:30:00 -0600Joe Camberatoentext/htmlhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2022/11/14/why-taking-a-personal-approach-to-business-can-yield-big-results/Killexams : Woman’s stance on how to approach first date divides internet
A woman’s stance on how to approach a first date has divided the internet, with much-heated discussion online.
The debate started on TikTok after one woman said she decided to go on another date after not hearing from the person she was supposed to on the original date with.
The woman, who goes by @Viv.aboufaissal online, said: “We were supposed to go bowling and we made the plan three days ago but we haven’t spoken since and he hasn’t messaged me to confirm.
“We said 7pm, and it’s 2pm so in my head it’s not happening.”
She said she ended up going for a drink with another person she had met on a dating app, revealing she’d had the best time.
But she then asked what other people would have done in her position.
Another woman made her own video on the subject to back up the original video, answering Viv’s question.
The woman, known online as @bewellwithadiel, shared a similar stance and said if there is no confirmation on the morning of, the date isn’t happening.
“If someone planned a whole date, made a reservation and offered to pick me up but doesn’t text me the morning of to confirm I’m assuming the date is cancelled,” she said.
“I’m not reaching out to confirm and I’m not letting him know that I’m cancelling it.
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“Even if he confirmed a whole 24 hours ago, it’s a whole new day, and if he doesn’t reach out to confirm then he wasn’t that interested to begin with.”
Many sided with the women about their opinion on how people should confirm first dates.
One said: “I agree, if it’s not confirmed it’s canceled. And I’m not rescheduling either. I will let him know I’m not coming if he asks though.”
“A simple hello, good morning are we still on for our date tonight? Is what’s expected by the person who asked for the date,” another added.
Another added: “I do this with my friends, too. I’m not spending hours Studying just for someone to cancel.”
But not everyone agreed with the woman’s stance on dates.
“Arranged is confirmed. If you need that reassurance you make sure to ask for it,” one person said.
Another person added: “As someone with ASD/ADHD. Once plans are made to me they are confirmed. I don’t get this.”
One said: “Communication is a two-way street, nothing is wrong with a woman communicating to confirm, it sets the expectations.”
One man claimed the woman had very specific taste and he wished her luck finding a man who would meet those expectations.
Fri, 25 Nov 2022 13:00:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://nypost.com/2022/11/26/tiktok-user-stance-on-how-to-approach-first-date-divides-internet/Killexams : New approach to fabricating ion-conducting ceramic membranes for stable hydrogen production
Hydrogen has attracted much attention due to its potential as a clean energy carrier. To date, the majority of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, such as natural gas, coal and oil. Such fossil-derived hydrogen must be purified from common contaminants (e.g., CO2, CH4, CO and H2S) for further fuel cell applications.
Fossil-derived hydrogen-assisted water splitting using a dense oxygen-ion-conduction ceramic membrane is a promising H2-purification technique due to the membrane's 100% oxygen selectivity for directly obtaining pure hydrogen. However, existing oxygen-conducting membranes suffer from chemical stability issues under the above harsh operating conditions.
Recently, researchers from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have developed a new "Interface-reaction-induced reassembly" approach to fabricating multilayered ceramic membranes with ceria-based thin-film for stable hydrogen production.
The study was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition on Nov. 3.
"Multilayered ceramic membranes are typically fabricated using layer-by-layer deposition methods. However, these methods often require a serial procedure, and the thickness of the dense thin layers is commonly between 10 and 1000 μm. In addition, the deposited thin layers often delaminate from the support layers during co-sintering," said corresponding author Prof. Jiang Heqing from QIBEBT.
Inspired by the architectural structure of the rooted grasses in soil, the researchers developed an interface-reaction-induced reassembly approach to fabricating a three-layered ceramic membrane with an oxygen-conducting dense thin layer rooted in its parent layer, directly resulting from a single-step sintering of dual-phase ceramic precursors.
"In this new approach, by deliberately applying a proper etchant Al2O3, the surface Fe-containing grains in the pressed pellet were selectively etched via interface reactions at high temperatures, producing reaction enthalpy," said Associate Professor He Guanghu from QIBEBT, first author of the study.
"The heat is expected to increase the local temperature for driving the reassembly of the surface-isolated fluorite-type grains into a dense thin layer that cut off the interface reactions, avoiding the continuous growth of the thin layer."
With this interface-reaction-induced reassembly approach, the researchers found that the resulting ceria-based layers were very thin (~1 μm), highly dense and adhered strongly to the parent layers, not only significantly reducing ionic transport resistance, but also ensuring the structural integrity of the multilayered membranes for various applications.
Using the developed multilayered membrane, the researchers demonstrated hydrogen production from water splitting assisted by oxidation of simulated coke oven gas containing H2, CH4, CO2, CO and H2S. They found that the membrane with a CGO dense thin layer showed very long durability (>1000 hours), underscoring the promise of high-performance membrane reactors for hydrogen production in practical conditions.
"These results suggest that this technique paves the way for the development of high-performance multilayered ceramics with functional layers for various applications, for example solid oxide fuel cells and solid oxide electrolysis cells. This is also the focus of our future work," said Prof. Jiang Heqing from QIBEBT, who led the study.
More information: Guanghu He et al, Multilayered Ceramic Membrane with Ion Conducting Thin Layer Induced by Interface Reaction for Stable Hydrogen Production, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2022). DOI: 10.1002/anie.202210485
Citation: New approach to fabricating ion-conducting ceramic membranes for stable hydrogen production (2022, November 8) retrieved 9 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-approach-fabricating-ion-conducting-ceramic-membranes.html
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Mon, 07 Nov 2022 23:57:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://phys.org/news/2022-11-approach-fabricating-ion-conducting-ceramic-membranes.htmlKillexams : Pangea Cyber wants to simplify security for developers with an API approach
When developers are creating a new application, they may build security features over time or take advantage of commercial offerings or open source libraries to implement certain security functions such as authentication or secrets management. Pangea Cyber wants to change that with an API-driven approach to adding security to an application, making it as easy as adding a few lines of code.
The company’s approach has attracted a fair bit of investor attention with over $50 million raised since it launched last year, an amazing amount of funding in a short amount of time, especially in the current funding environment. The latest round is a $26 million Series B.
Company co-founder and CEO Oliver Friedrichs says they decided to offer a security service for developers in the same way that Stripe offers payment services or Twilio offers communications.
“We’re calling this SPaaS. So essentially Security Platform as a Service, where we’re going to be providing dozens of different security building blocks that are all API-driven that developers can easily embed in their applications,” Friedrichs told TechCrunch.
The services start with authentication and authorization as basic building blocks, but then include more sophisticated elements like logging, scanning files for malicious activity, storing secrets and so forth.
“There’s a lot of things that applications need that are securely related. And right now they’re scattered across many open source and a fragmented list of commercial offerings. We’re looking to provide them all in one place,” he said.
There are developer-oriented pieces like Auth0 (acquired by Okta in 2021) providing authorization or HashiCorp providing secrets management, but there hasn’t been this hub of security services aimed specifically at developers, Friedrichs says.
And he believes that developer focus is what separates his company from the pack. “That’s really where this developer-first delivery model is important and unique, and it doesn’t really exist. For decades now, we have built all these traditional shrink-wrapped products for end users across the entire security industry, but we haven’t built things that are API only or API first that can be plugged in by developers,” he said.
The company already has 40 employees as it attacks this problem, and with multiple startups, including Phantom Cyber, behind him, Friedrichs has deep experience in building companies. He says, even with the economic downturn, he believes his company will thrive.
“Cybersecurity is one of those sectors that’s always resilient and always needed. While there’s a correction in valuations, we rarely see people removing cybersecurity. In fact, it continues to grow and evolve,” he said.
He says as he grows the company, diversity is a big priority for him, but even with all his experience as a founder, it remains challenging. “We focus on it deliberately across the management team and across our recruiting team. We have a full-time recruiter in-house, which is unusual for this early stage, as well as outside resources, and we have conscious conversations around it,” he said.
“Now. Is it easy? It’s not easy, right? Despite how hard you try, you can’t always meet those goals. But we are trying and I think that step number one is to make sure that that’s an objective that we do want to meet, [while understanding that] we can always do better.”
Today’s $26 million Series B investment was led by GV with participation from Decibel and Okta Ventures, along with existing investors Ballistic Ventures and SYN Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $52 million. Okta’s participation is noteworthy because, as previously noted, it acquired a developer-driven authorization piece in Auth0.