Technology: Plant-Based Food Substitutes

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If your taste for animal products like meat, milk is anything subject to change, then this technology will literally confuse you. In Chile, a company, NotCo, has revolutionised the way our minds get to distinguish between plant and animal products.

According to Matias Muchnick, a commercial engineer and the cofounder of Not Company-NotCo, this technology seeks to address the problem of climate change ( land degradation in particular) caused by the actions of animals kept in excess. Many farming activities that involve use of animals leave the soil open hence much of carbon trapped in the soil escapes to the atmosphere. This is what contributes to the phenomena of deforestation and desertification-perpetual spread of deserts 

So how does it work? Although the methods of combining various crops to come up with a product almost similar to that of an animal remains classified, the science behind it entails basic molecular element blending in both crops and animals. For starters, to come up with NotMilk- milk from different combinations of crops- which is dissimilar to the normal dairy milk, the software could require solutions of mushroom, cane etc.

The combination process is determined by the accuracy of your final product. The human brain has the capacity to distinguish NotMilk from dairy milk, by taste. Period. However, this artificial intelligence software has the capability to create a product, in this case NotMilk, so close to the normal milk that differentiating the two can be tricky!

Moreover, the basis for product-creation is directly linked to availability of appropriate crops’ data which is stored in the computer’s database. This way, making virtual crop combinations to come up with vegetarian substitutes for animal products is made easier.

“We want people to eat better, but without even knowing. That’s the main objective of the Not Company,” Muchnick says

Muchnick hopes that this plant-based food technology, if well adopted all over the world, will help reduce the dependence on animals for milk, meat and even farming- three components which have adversely affected human health in terms of cancerous diseases and changes in climate or global warming.

‘If we were to start from scratch, and we want to figure out the most efficient way to deliver nutrition to the 7.1 billion people on this planet, the answer wouldn’t be animals. Science would tell you to do something different.’ Matias Muchnick co-founder NotCo.

The technology is also being stretched to small businesses and corporations with the primary aim being to strengthen the portion of crops grown all over the world and cut on unhealthy animal products.  Matias Muchnick was interviewed on Talk to Al Jazeera, part of Al jazeera’s business show.

More about this story at http://www.BusinessInsider.com

/App-format// Technology/Tech-wise

 

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Life After Campus: what the reality holds

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This article seeks to bring to light the reality that awaits every campus student once they have graduated. The moment you take of that gown and exit campus premises, then you’ve begun living a completely different life. The truth is that change is bound to occur and you’re subjected to it.

1.Finances: spending habits must change 

Well, for a typical student, you used to party, drink and tour and all these activities fetched either your parent’s cash or your little earnings. The moment you step out of campus, these activities will be put to a minimum or wholly halted because of the bills, student loans that must be paid.

You are now in your own house and the very little things which we consider basic may become so difficult to handle when cash is depleted. Starting your own business is not a very close idea in mind right now because you’re shelved from venturing into business by that little income.

So how do you conform to this new reality? For starters, you’ve got to plan-low cost housing/renting, cheap affordable meals and a low tier lifestyle. That way, you’ll save a lot of cash which could enable you venture into SMEs.

2.Networks: Friends will go silent

Ever heard of the phrase, TRUE FRIENDS? It doesn’t hold any truth in it when suddenly you try calling your friends only to hear, ‘Mteja hapatikani’ or ‘the number is no longer in service!’ This is pretty normal as many of them will be on the move discovering what life has in store for them.

True friends will disappear (and just to be clear this is no guarantee) completely from vicinity and that call won’t go through. If you’re lucky, maybe one or two could be available to talk to you but their availability could be limited.

3.The yearn to be with someone sets in  

This is common especially when everyone around you is married, many responsibilities have come by for men, or you played the ‘hard to get’ kind of girl while in campus and now you’ve no connections. Loneliness grips you hence the need to have that lucky guy to have a conversation with. This could be followed by maybe long term relationship.

4.There must a change in one’s priorities

You always thought of completing studies and maybe getting a job, starting a family, traveling to that scenic Coastal beach or moving out of the country. But all these will change due to the different dynamics of life that befall you. First priority here will be how to get money for the basics-food, housing. I doubt if clothing could be a necessity at this moment.

In some cultures, ladies who have just completed college are under pressure from their families as well as the rising age-gap (approaching 40s) to get married. True. For such women, you’ve got to know what to put ahead and what to slide back.

5.Everyone has that speck of fear for the future

College students prepare for their future but the ratio of chances of failing to succeeding are high, due to the uncertainty about what the future holds. This is true because no one knows what will happen in future.

Failure usually gets better part if you if you know that your GPA isn’t that impressive. With Kenya’s job market having an education foundation, getting into the corporate world means having some stunning grades to boast of.

6.The society isn’t as friendly as you thought 

Everything is changing ranging from technology, economy, and lifestyle; these three create a virtual bracket that encompasses your level of hard work, skills, and knowledge.

Therefore, a change in one will affect you either positively or negatively. A slam in economy-inflation for instance- will leave you struggling to get more, since average won’t be enough!

 

How to Shine in a Group Interview

 

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Group interviews have become a norm for many companies and organisations that wish not to spend too much time carrying out single face to face interviews for their candidates. It’s with this narrative that majority of them have a preference to grouping applicants and randomly hurling questions at them. So how do you emerge victorious in such a situation?

  1. Be aler

 

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The alertness here involves being aware of your immediate surrounding ie the company itself, the type of job you had applied for, requirements of the job and the necessary roles you ought to play. In this case, when they ask about what your roles are at the company, you will be quick to respond without fidgeting.

 

  1. Avoid distractions

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Getting interrupted while answering a question in a group can lead to terrible outcomes. Interviewers will get offended when you have to get into the pocket just to mute that incoming call. For this reason, switch off cellphones, tablets or any electronic device you have with you that you think will create a disruption.

 

  1. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer when answering queries

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Sounds simple when described but some people find it difficult to look directly at the one asking questions, maybe because they are shy or not sure of the answer they are giving. Locking your eyes with the interviewer’s will show you are confident hence sure about your response.

 

  1. Avoid using uncertain phrases and words

Uncertain words and/or phrases here include; ‘…I think my role is to…’ or ‘…maybe ‘ or ‘…I’m not sure but…’. Such phrases and words create an atmosphere that the applicant is not well-versed on the subject at hand.

 

  1. Give room for other applicants to respond

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When you have the right reply to a question posed, and the interviewer signals another candidate to answer, don’t jump in and give your answer because the question isn’t directed to you. Have some antiquate. Let the designated candidate respond.  

 

6. Ask relevant questions 

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   There’s a moment allowed for each candidate to ask queries in every interview and this could be an opportunity for you to get ahead of everybody in a group. Therefore, ask questions related to the job and try to be as vibrant and wide as possible in your sentence structure. Don’t ask unnecessary questions like , ‘ How far is this place from town?

 

//App-format// Career-wise

 

 

Trendsetters; Millennials’ demands at the Workplace

 

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  Quit the boss role and act as a mentor

Millennials want to work in an environment where their boss is a typical guru, a great adviser and not a strict employer. No college or campus graduate wants to be yelled at in the office. A working environment that’s adjustable to amicable relationships with your boss is what the young generation looks for. A boss who guides rather than instructs on how work is to be done will be liked most by Millennials 

  Communication is done through digital media 

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Remember when people used to write letters? Well, that stage was buried and forgotten by Generation Y and any sense of it won’t be accommodated anywhere in their lifestyle. With the emergence of the internet and social media platforms, all cross communication among Millennials is through their smartphones and laptops. And they have fully embraced it. You won’t find guys in the office writing letters, instead, that information is sent electronically through e-mail, direct messaging i.e. WhatsApp

   Forget about working for a long time at one place

 This new breed of workers has an element of not being sedentary at the workplace. Earlier, people could work for a company for more than five or ten years but this is different. Millennials have goals and expectations lingering in their minds and what they seek to find are the means to achieving them. They don’t want to be in one place for more than three years unless that job that is really hefty in its salary allocations; a consideration which I find doubtful looking at the economics of this country.

  Millennials have a preference of free working space  

An office layout with minimal disruptions, and that includes noise from other colleagues, continues irritating movements, is a perfect match for Millennials. Traditional cubicles where employees seemed ‘masked’ in their line of duties have been replaced with open working spaces, where they have their own desks.

They can work from anywhere, office not mandatory

Millennials have a diverse network of grouping where they can timely complete their assigned works, submit them and still get extra time for other essentials. Remember, unlike in the past, they are not tied down to one job. Work that involves constant presence is given thumps down by Millennials.  

Suzziah Clinches Ksh.1M On KissTV’s, The Search

 

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The Search

The Search, Kiss Tv’s new music show, which airs at 8 pm every Sunday has come to an end with the winner not being a surprise at all. The show is a music talent evaluation platform where aspiring singers showcase their prowess in singing different genres of music. Top on the list was the Ksh.1M prize which saw many of the 15 original contestants sign up for in the onset.

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The four finalists on the show were Moonboy, Elvis, Suzziah and Ythera. Each of them put their best foot forward in the final episode but the majority votes landed on one, Suzziah. Well, you may remember her from the new RnB hit, Number One, where she featured Le_Band. The songstress with a superior vocal capability whose music has topped charts in the East African zone promises to be a perfect entertainer once invited for a session

The prize

She has plans for the cash already, majorly focusing on investing much of it in her music. With her album, R.E.B.E.L in play, she hopes to make lucrative deals in the country’s flurry music industry. When asked about the recording contract with a renown stable in the country, she gave a simple expression of the best gratitude ever in her life.

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Finalist, Elvis

‘ Countless hours of practicing, little time for a break and an all time competitive nature of those around you ( of course she’s talking about the other three finalists) was what characterized the entire show. But thank God I won,’ she adds.

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Finalist, Ythera

With one million shillings and a one-year recording contract under her belt, Suzziah, now at 24,  remains futuristic that her upcoming albums will be massive with some of the challenges (lack of startup financial capital and proper management) many young artists face at the primary stage having been eliminated on her side. Thus the need to thank her fans who voted for her.

And in pictures…

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Finalist, Moonboy

 

 

Infrastructure;a Key Player In Achieving Vision 2030

 

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A section of Thika Superhighway

Infrastructural development is crucial not only for the immediacy in service delivery but also the foreseen enhancement regarding the much anticipated, Kenya’s Vision 2030. Moreover, the ease with which domestic markets are accessed is going to be intensified with a rather more accessible road network.

Kenya’s renown Thika Superhighway, a magnificent road network that seeks to increase entry to the majority of marginalised places in the country, nails it with a direct route interconnecting counties of Kiambu, Nairobi, Othaya. 

 

The Link

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It’s evident from the way these areas are linked with the highway, and are important in supply of the very needed agricultural products to the capital. Statistics from KEBS indicate that between the period of December 2016 and March 2017, more that a quarter of supplies in the city originated from the surrounding regions of Kiambu, Nyandarua, Sagana, Nyari .

 

This boost in crop production was associated with the fact that the city holds more than 3 million people, a perfect site for market leverage for many producers. A greater indicator of the efficiency in transport sources.

 

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Thika superhighway

In addition to the mega highway, a number of bypasses have been built with a sole purpose of lessening inaccessibility to the city, specifically the CBD, a move that has seen the evolution of ‘distant-access roads’. These bypasses include the Northern, Southern and Eastern bypass. They connect surrounding city regions that have a direct impact when it comes to traffic in the city.

‘They were incorporated in the achievement of Vision 2030,’ says one of the visuals at the display site. As I rummage through the manuals of the Vision’s key proposals, an idea strikes out- its a quick search through one of the newly generated government portals. Simply, delivery.com 

 

 

 

5 Most Exciting Features in Windows 10

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Software evolution seems not to be stopping for Microsoft company, which has been in the spotlight for Operating Systems like; Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and now 10. A revolutionary OS that dwells to bind the truth and fiction in a single realm of infinity- its inward complexity is absolute simplicity for an average user.

Just in a measure of optimism, what draws one most to this eye-catching software include the following new elements;

 

  1. Cortana

 

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Cortana

    This feature lets you make quick searches without necessarily clicking through the desktop icons. With a search space ready, Cortana is simply a ‘let me go’ unidirectional director. It direct access to the web with a single command voice. With it, one can easily manipulate(for positive purposes) in-built basic arts like the calendar, time, and even set reminders!

 

  1. The Start Menu interface

 

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The start menu interface

     Colors bring out beauty once you get hold of this item. Blue, in particular, creates an ambiance of comfort and readiness, a fact which is fully sedentary when you open Windows 10. Earlier versions like Windows 8 denied us the Start Menu . But it came back in Windows 10 , better and a lot better.

Once clicked, a window appears with two separate distinctions in the middle, to the left, there’s a panel (alphabetically arranged) with applications in an up-down scroll menu.

Attached to this drop down menu is a 40% widescreen with a number of applications represented in square boxes which can easily be adjusted to suit one’s best orientation.

 

  1. Microsoft Edge

 

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Microsoft Edge

    Have you ever wondered what Internet Explorer was all about with its non-changing, non-exciting interface? It’s a done deal and I don’t think we are going back again. Ms Edge, a new search engine, or browser, has replaced Explorer, the old version.

Appealing is the simplicity and so is this new version. With support of BING, Ms Edge is more secure with filters which warn you about the kind of content(graphic or explicit) you are searching.

Temporary and permanent closure options are available in case you wish to change them. This is a greatly protective security feature especially when one shares one’s computer with his/her kids.

 

4.The central notification center

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Notification Center

 Located to the extreme right corner of the screen on the task bar is this new feature. And its complete! Trust that everything I’m about to mention is there; controls for brightness, Wi-Fi, Tablet mode, settings, Current Location and note  pad. This menu can be collapsed if you don’t want to see it or expand to make changes. Think of it as your new control panel.

Apparently one can switch between the Tablet mode and the Windows mode, this action comes handy where you have a touch-sensitive monitor.

 

  1. Multiple desktop functionality

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     Previous versions of Windows gave no permission to this new feature. But now it’s here with us. Switching between/among 2 or more applications is more sufficient. I know average consumers of computers won’t find this feature related to their handheld mouse tricks, but savvies with multiple live works will find switching in between apps and desktop an essential gain. 

 

/tech-wise/App-format

    

Adverse Changes in Bank Rates a Hindrance to Economic Prospects

 

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central bank of kenya

The recent capping of the interest rates by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), pictured above, which limits commercial banks’ lending rate at 14% or 400 base points above the CBK rate of 10% sets a rather bleak future for domestic investors in the country. A turn down of loans to borrowers with the major decision settling at the government’s side, as a borrower, was the most immediate reaction banks had when the law was put in place.

With borrowers in a prompt move to secure the never to be ‘ cheap loans’, despair was experienced by majority of them as banks locked the lending ‘doors’ citing non-profitability on their side; a fact which was to be announced later by all banks.

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CBK Governor, P.Noroge

But on a rather different twist of events, some banks, including Kenya’s largest bank in terms of asset accumulation and profit margins, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) opted to proceed with the law, only to reap as low as 0.5% growth in its first quarter returns(December 2016- March 2017). The CBK Governor, Dr. Paul Njoroge, pictured above to the left, more adamant on the implementation of the new law , was met with a faint heart towards the sink in the prolonged profits made by commercial banks.

The anticipated reduction in profits by banks saw many of them opt not to lend to ‘small borrowers’ but direct their loans to large firms and the government, who have much higher returns and default-free, As earlier explained, the intention of this law was to stimulate the economy by increasing credit accessibility to customers. This was , however, thwarted by the banks when they ceased lending to individuals and chose credit-worthy corporate and government agencies in general.

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If the later is true, then the sole reason for the passing of the bill was not achieved as expected. Lawmakers will have again to make considerations on whether to wither the law away or make amendments to it. As this continues to unfold, politicians took  in the issue citing improper gauge in reference to the reaction of the commercial banks. Our eyes remain open to see whether these changes will be effected or not.

 

/Banking/App-format

Want to ask for a salary increment? Here is the polite way to do it.

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Several circumstances, at some point in your career, could compel you to ask for an increase  in your monthly payment. These factors vary and their magnitude is as often insatiable as their impact on you. However, at workplace, considerations have to be made on the approach one should take when asking for that increment.

Your relationship with your employer, assuming that the longevity of your work at the company is still minute, will seldom jump into many employees’ minds before they make this move.  During this difficult economic times, employees who wish to have their salaries raised ought to consider the following determinants before they jot down that request letter.

1.The company’s current performance : 

 

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performance

This is one crucial element to be put into consideration before asking for an increment. The prevailing performance of the company will help you know when the time is right or not. Where the company is undergoing tough economic pesters , don’t bother to ask for the rise regardless of how polite your request will be.  It’s a guarantee that you won’t be fruitful in your quest. Solution?

Wait for the appropriate time when the company is making good returns, with its profit margins depicting an excellent surge. This moment, the manager will gladly have a conversation with you.

2.Longevity of your work at the respective company

 

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time 

How long one has worked in a particular organization will be important when asking for a pay rise. Conventional track-lines of workers are seen as reserves for leverage towards making gains in a company. So, have a clear mind on this because many employers will look at this a factor on its own when gauging whether to award you that increment or not. To be more specific on this, no company will make salary increments for employees who have been in the workplace for less than three years.

3.Your relationship and track records

 

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previous work performance

Have you had a perfect relationship with fellow employers? How do you relate with your colleagues at work? And more importantly, how is your relationship with your boss? They said small things do count, and these are the tiny details that can hold you back from accessing that increment.

Your track record in terms of contribution to the performance of the company must be good and visible. You don’t want to have a lengthy conversation with the boss explaining how you have assisted the company in its growth curve for the time you’ve worked there. Having to explain to your boss how much effort you’ve put in your work means your performance is not visible and at the same time unimpressive.

 

 

The newly completed SGR is the ‘Ultimate Game Changer’

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A section of the newly completed Standard Gauge Railway project

A quick browse through the newly launched government website, http://www.delivery.go.ke, reveals a rather futuristic overview of just how the current leadership has foreseen the very nearing Vision 2030. With just about 12 years to the finish line of the so deemed and highly lauded development space of Vision 2030, a whole display of the branch projects , including the Standard Gauge Railway, is already on site.

The SGR, a multi billion shillings project, whose target is to improve and at the same time promote efficiency in transport service delivery between Kenya and the rest of East Africa, has a network of diverse projections at its peak. The project alone cost the government approximately Ksh.327B, but these are simply average figures.

Deeply engrossed in this one amazing yet controversial project is the absence of what many would call ‘affirmative action’ in regard to the contradiction that ensued between the environmentalists/conservationists and the government on whether the project should have a share of the re-known Nairobi National Park.  The standoff went on and on till a recent revelation from unconfirmed sources citing the continuity of the project as stated earlier, with its original route set to be fully adhered to.

 

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A section of SGR through Nairobi National Park

Perhaps a more thrilling spotlight on this railway is the significance it possesses not just on the community around but to the government as a poised entity. In the views of the public, the ease with which transportation of products to the closest market is to be enhanced is what captures their hearts most. We understand that majority of Kenyan residents are agriculturalists, so this must have been thought of deeply.

Another area that ought to be mentioned openly is that of the fast development that comes with a sudden change in infrastructural development. Businesses that pop up in the areas linked to the railway are massive and their profit margins, if not overlooked, could double in a matter of time, provided the operational environment is conducive.

‘ It takes more than eight hours to get to the Kenyan Coast, but now that time has been halved.’ Adds one of the proponents behind the railway logistics. For a normal train, in this case the traditional trains, it used to cost a lot in terms of time to travel to Mombasa. But with new modern trains, cargo and passengers will find themselves spending less than four hours on the tracks. 

/tech-wise/appformat