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    Insights & Forecast with Potential Impact of COVID-19 – Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market 2020-2024 |… - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio has been monitoring the aircraft engine electrical wiring harnesses and cable assembly market and it is poised to grow by $ 110.00 mn during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 3% during the forecast period. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.

    Technavio suggests three forecast scenarios (optimistic, probable, and pessimistic) considering the impact of COVID-19. Please Request Latest Free Sample Report on COVID-19 Impact

    The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. AMETEK Inc., Amphenol Corp., Carlisle Companies Inc., HarcoSemco LLC, Melrose Industries Plc, Nexans SA, Radiall SA, Raytheon Technologies Corp., Safran SA, and TE Connectivity Ltd. are some of the major market participants. To make the most of the opportunities, market vendors should focus more on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments, while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments.

    Development of technologically advanced, next-generation aircraft components has been instrumental in driving the growth of the market.

    Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market 2020-2024 : Segmentation

    Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market is segmented as below:

    To learn more about the global trends impacting the future of market research, download a free sample:

    Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market 2020-2024 : Scope

    Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources. Our aircraft engine electrical wiring harnesses and cable assembly market report covers the following areas:

    This study identifies use of smart glasses to assist engine wire harness and cable assembly process as one of the prime reasons driving the aircraft engine electrical wiring harnesses and cable assembly market growth during the next few years.

    Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market 2020-2024 : Vendor Analysis

    We provide a detailed analysis of around 25 vendors operating in the aircraft engine electrical wiring harnesses and cable assembly market, including some of the vendors such as AMETEK Inc., Amphenol Corp., Carlisle Companies Inc., HarcoSemco LLC, Melrose Industries Plc, Nexans SA, Radiall SA, Raytheon Technologies Corp., Safran SA, and TE Connectivity Ltd. Backed with competitive intelligence and benchmarking, our research reports on the aircraft engine electrical wiring harnesses and cable assembly market are designed to provide entry support, customer profile and M&As as well as go-to-market strategy support.

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    Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market 2020-2024 : Key Highlights

    Table Of Contents :

    Executive Summary

    Market Landscape

    Market Sizing

    Five Forces Analysis

    Market Segmentation by Application

    Customer Landscape

    Geographic Landscape

    Market Drivers

    Market Challenges

    Market Trends

    Vendor Landscape

    Vendor Analysis


    About Us

    Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focus on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions. With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavios report library consists of more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavios comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

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    Insights & Forecast with Potential Impact of COVID-19 - Aircraft Engine Electrical Wiring Harnesses and Cable Assembly Market 2020-2024 |...

    Habitat is helping an Ottawa veteran with his vision for a new home – - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Jeremy Close had a vision for the two-story fixer-upper he bought in Ottawa with an inheritance check.

    Despite the house being nearly completely gutted, the disabled Marine veteran saw an opportunity to move his family of four out of his parents' 1,100-square-foot house.

    He's been working on the house himself since October. Although he's spent his days and nights removing wiring and plumbing to safely restore the house, he realized he will need help both physically and financially if he hopes to move his family in before the school year begins.

    That's where Habitat for Humanity of La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties is assisting.

    Close reached out to the agency for assistance and has complied with the guidelines of the Habitat Veterans Build Program.

    The organization has offered him overstock it has while working on its new home build on Catherine Street in Ottawa, including insulation, toilets, sinks, tile, electrical equipment and paint.

    But there is so much thats needed, including volunteers to help, the organization said.

    About 15 people attended an open house Saturday at the Ottawa Avenue home to drum up support for Close's project.

    Habitat is asking for volunteers Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning Wednesday, July 8. Anyone wanting to help can contact the office at 815-434-2041.

    "Reaching out for help was a hard decision for him," said his wife, Jordan Johnson.

    Close admitted it was a wise decision.

    "For anyone else out there in the same situation, I'd encourage them to reach out for help before you get too far in," Close said. "I've received so much help just in the level of information and knowledge people are sharing. It really saves you from doing something before you might have to go back and redo it."

    Close is a lifelong resident in the Ottawa area and is a returning disabled veteran. He has completed tours of combat duty in the Haditha Triad and one involved in the retaking of Fallujah.

    The inheritance he used to buy the house was from a family member and veteran who lost his life to PTSD.

    Close plans to use the garage to set up a woodworking shop and business to provide for his family, which includes two children ages 4 and 1.

    "This is a wonderful story and the kind of project we want to be involved in," said Sally M. Van Cura, executive director at Habitat for Humanity of La Salle, Bureau, and Putnam Counties. "We want to help out our veterans as much as we can."

    When Close first floated buying the house, Johnson was apprehensive, she said. Now, she's seeing her husband's vision more and more, and she's not the only one.

    Visitors at Saturday's open house were nodding along: "I can see it."

    Continued here:
    Habitat is helping an Ottawa veteran with his vision for a new home -

    Global Silicon Metal Market 2020-2024 | Increase in the Demand for Aluminum-Silicon Alloys to Boost Market Growth | Technavio – Business Wire - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The global silicon metal market is expected to grow by USD 675.35 million during 2020-2024. The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect the impact to be significant in the first quarter but gradually lessen in subsequent quarters with a limited impact on the full-year economic growth.

    Request challenges and opportunities influenced by COVID-19 pandemic @Request a free sample report

    Aluminum-silicon alloys have witnessed a significant increase in demand from the automotive and transport industries. These alloys are popular because of their ability to exhibit a unique combination of characteristics, such as casting into complex shapes in combination with a favorable strength-to-weight ratio giving them an edge over cast irons. Moreover, they exhibit low density combined with good mechanical properties. Aluminum-silicon alloys are primarily used as castings. In addition, they are used for making sheets and wires for welding and brazing, and a few of the piston alloys are extruded for forging stock. Silicon is the key alloying element as it imparts high fluidity and low shrinkage, resulting in good casting ability and weldability properties. The low thermal expansion coefficient is used in pistons, while and the high hardness of the silicon particles is incorporated for wear resistance. Thus, the increase in demand for aluminum-silicon alloys will drive the growth of the market.

    To learn more about the global trends impacting the future of market research, download a free sample:

    As per Technavio, the increased use of polycrystalline silicon will have a positive impact on the market and contribute to its growth significantly over the forecast period. This research report also analyzes other significant trends and market drivers that will influence market growth over 2020-2024.

    Silicon Metal Market: Increased Use of Polycrystalline Silicon

    The increased use of polycrystalline silicon is expected to drive the growth of the silicon metal market during the forecast period. Polycrystalline silicon, also known as polysilicon or poly-Si, is a high-purity, polycrystalline form of silicon, produced from silicon metal by a chemical purification process, and is used as a raw material by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry. Currently, polysilicon is used in the conducting materials in semiconductor devices, such as metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFET); however, it can be used for large-scale photovoltaic devices as well. The abundance, stability, and low toxicity of silicon combined with the low cost of polysilicon compared to single crystals makes this material ideal for photovoltaic production. Polycrystalline silicon does not require to be deposited on a silicon wafer to form a solar cell, rather it can be deposited on other cheaper materials such as glass, thus reducing the cost.

    Factors such as the diverse applications of silicon, and the increase in the demand for aluminum will have a significant impact on the growth of the silicon metal market value during the forecast period, says a senior analyst at Technavio.

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    Silicon Metal Market: Segmentation Analysis

    This market research report segments the silicon metal market by application (aluminum alloys, silicones and silanes, solar panels, semiconductors, and others) and geography (APAC, North America, Europe, South America, and MEA).

    The APAC region led the silicon metal market in 2019, followed by North America, Europe, South America, and MEA respectively. During the forecast period, the APAC region is expected to register the highest incremental growth due to factors such as the high demand for aluminum alloys from the automotive industry, optimistic economic growth, easy availability of raw materials, cheap labor, and power costs.

    Technavios sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report, such as the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more. Request a free sample report

    Some of the key topics covered in the report include:

    Market Drivers

    Market Challenges

    Market Trends

    Vendor Landscape

    About Technavio

    Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focus on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions.

    With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavios report library consists of more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavios comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

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    Global Silicon Metal Market 2020-2024 | Increase in the Demand for Aluminum-Silicon Alloys to Boost Market Growth | Technavio - Business Wire

    Heat your home safely this winter – Springs Advertiser - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Never leave a fire unattended when heating up your house.

    Heating your home during winter is associated with certain risks, such as electric shocks, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.

    As the temperature drops, the need to keep your home warm increases.

    Because heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires, you need to be sensible when switching on your electric heater, starting your gas heater or lighting a fire in your wood-burning fireplace.

    In May, ER24 paramedics arrived at a scene where a couple had sustained serious burn wounds when their cooking fire flared out of control at a block of flats in Manor, Pietermaritzburg.

    The man sustained burns over most of his body while the woman had sustained burns over both her legs.

    Both were rushed to hospital for further treatment, says Russel Meiring, communications officer for ER24.

    Also read:

    Public warned not to go to sleep with imbawula in their homes

    Heres how to minimise the danger.

    To ensure you or members of your family arent injured by heating your home, remember this advice.

    Never use camping heating equipment, such as a charcoal braai, indoors because of the major risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is formed from the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing material.

    Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream.

    When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide.

    This can lead to serious tissue damage or even death.

    Because it is odourless, colourless and non-irritating, you wont even notice when you are absorbing carbon monoxide.

    Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include weakness, dizziness, confusion, nausea and shortness of breath.

    If you think you or someone youre with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into the fresh air and call ER24 on 084 124.

    Also read:

    Adhere to these fire safety tips to prevent a fire emergency during the winter months

    Keep flammable items (such as blankets and clothes) at least one metre from heat sources.

    Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children and never leave candles burning if you go to bed or leave your home.

    Check electrical wiring on heaters and dont use extension cords, multi-plugs or any device with frayed wiring.

    If you use an electric blanket, make sure it does not have any tears or exposed wires. Do not leave it on while unattended.

    Dont leave your open fireplace unattended as stray embers can cause a fire.

    Ensure you have a protective screen around open fireplaces, never use it to dry clothes or shoes and never go to bed before putting out the fire.

    Keep a window open when using your indoor fireplace or gas heater to ensure adequate ventilation.

    Keep a small household fire extinguisher in your home and ensure everyone in the family knows how to use it.

    See original here:
    Heat your home safely this winter - Springs Advertiser

    Work begins on historic 6060 locomotive to bring it back to the rails Jasper’s source for news, sports, arts, culture, and more – the fitzhugh - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Spirit of Alberta has been parked near Stettler, AB, since 2012 waiting for costly boiler repairs. Now, the repair project has begun and more donations are needed to finish the job. | File photo

    Fuchsia Dragon|

    Work has begun on the Spirit of Alberta to bring it back to the rails.

    The 75-year-old steam engine, which used to call Jasper home, has been out of service and parked near Stettler since 2012, waiting for costly boiler repairs.

    The Rocky Mountain Rail Society had initially planned to conduct the repairs after raising the entire amount of funds needed, about $650,000, but have now decided to move ahead with the initial stage of the repair.

    The initial stage will cost an estimated $50,000, money that has come from a combination of Alberta Gaming and Liquor Casino funding and private donations. It will see contractor dfBioiler Tube Industries of Edmonton remove about 100 boiler staybolts that require replacement. The staybolts provide strength in sections of the boiler while allowing water and steam free flowing room to move.

    Those bolts will be replaced in stage two of the repair plan, which the society will work towards funding after completing the first stage. Stage three is the repair of the boiler patches and holes.

    Rich Graydon, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Rail Society, said: We realize in the current economic situation it will be difficult to complete the project. We hope that our project will provide jobs for Albertans and demonstrate our commitment to doing our part.

    To date, the society has raised and spent about $182,000 on the project, $132,000 of which was spent on conducting metallurgical tests and developing a repair plan over the last eight years.

    It is incumbent on all Albertans and Canadians to do what they can in this time of economic need, said Graydon.

    We hope that this small gesture will lead to other non-profit groups to look at their plans and encourage them to continue their missions.

    The 6060 locomotive was assembled in Canadas Montreal Locomotive Works in 1944 and retired from active service in 1959.

    It was saved from the scrapper by Jaspers Harry Home and placed on static display in Jasper in 1962 before being restored by CN Railway and used to haul steam excursions out of Toronto a decade later.

    In 1980, the train was presented to the people of Alberta as a gift to commemorate the provinces 75th anniversary, and was restored by the Rocky Mountain Rail Society, participating in the Steam Expo in Vancouver in 1986.

    In 1998, the locomotive began operations in partnership with Alberta Prairie Steam Tours in Stettler, Alberta. Its last year of service was in 2011. The Rocky Mountain Rail Society is now working to restore 6060 to service.

    For more information on the Rocky Mountain Rail Society and locomotive 6060, go online to

    In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Fitzhugh is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Fitzhugh has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who cant afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time.

    Click on for more information or to make your donation.

    Thank you in advance for your support.

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    Work begins on historic 6060 locomotive to bring it back to the rails Jasper's source for news, sports, arts, culture, and more - the fitzhugh

    What If Consumers Could Just Buy Batteries and Plug Them In? – Greentech Media News - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Home battery storage has grown precipitously in recent years, but it still doesnt match the scale and accessibility of a home appliance.

    Orison has been trying to change that since 2013. Now, the Wyoming-based startup ispreparing to ship its sleek, plug-in home battery panels in July for field tests in Australia, Europe and the U.K., where it has met the safety standards for operation.

    We wanted to be more of a consumer electricity product, a simple solution for consumers, founder and CEO Eric Clifton said in an interview. The idea was an appliance that is not infrastructure, because the entire storage industry was still looking at it as infrastructure.

    The formerly crowdfunded company announced Monday that it closed an $8.5 million seed roundand is opening up a Series A. Australian electricity retailer Origin participated in the seed fundingand signed a memorandum of understanding to put up to 4,000 Orison battery devices into customer homes starting early next year.

    A full U.S. commercial launch is expected by years end, pending UL safety certification of the product model geared for the American grid.

    Home battery companies aspire to make essential connected home devices. Shell subsidiary sonnenstuck its ecoLinx batteries in every living room of an apartment complex in Utahto emphasize the personal connection. But todays battery offerings still require specialized installation, permittingand utility involvement. Theyre a long way off from the experience of buying a TV or smart speaker.

    Orison took a different approach. It will ship the components to a customer, who can then assemble them no piece weighs more than 28 pounds and plug the system into the wall. Once installed, the battery and a connected home energy monitor will coordinate charge and discharge around rooftop solar production and time-based utility rates. In an outage, the battery cant automatically island the home, but devices plugged into it will continue to operate.

    The energy monitor costs $300 and the battery system costs $2,200 for 1.8 kilowatts/2.2 kilowatt-hours. That translates to a far less favorable system price per kilowatt-hour than Teslas Powerwall, which packs 13.5 kilowatt-hours for $6,500.

    But Powerwalls require wiring auxiliary equipment and hours of installation labor, and Orison's product does not. That makes the all-in price more competitive on a dollar per kilowatt-hour basis. And Orison has the benefit of a considerably smaller entry-level price point, which could entice customers who want to try storage but dont want to drop upwardof$10,000.

    With productsmade by the competition, you're looking at permits, you're looking at utility approval, multiple estimates of construction costs, Clifton said. Ours, literally, we can ship it to you within a week and you can be up and running. [] Its instant gratification.

    Demand for this is still an unproven proposition because storage providers have not offered home batteries on a truly plug-and-play basis. But thats where Orisons crowdfunding episode comes in.The company had funded its early development with money from high-net-worth individuals and angel investors before it launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2016.

    The Kickstarter campaign we did less for the money [and]more to show investors that consumers wanted the product, Clifton said. It drew 415 backers, who together pledged 700 percent of the target amount.

    This unique approach to residential batteries comes with some tradeoffs. For one, rulesfor conventional battery equipment, such as eligibility criteria for Californias lucrative Self-Generation Incentive Program, werent written with appliance-based storage in mind. Orison is working with authorities to ensure its style of storage is treated like other types of storage, Clifton said.

    More permanently, the micro-storage appliance model constrains the kinds of things Orison batteries can do.

    In order to be an appliance, we can never export power beyond the utility meter, Clifton said.

    But the batteries can reduce household demand to zero, reducing peak-hour electricity billsand helping utilities lower peak demand on their system. Thats not so different from networks of more typical batteries, which are linked into virtual power plants to respond to grid needs; utilities sometimes forbid exporting power, even when the batteries are capable of it.

    Batteries installed for whole-home backup include an automatic transfer switch to island the house from the distribution grid. Orison, as a plug-in appliance, does not. But customers who need backup power for life-saving medical devices, for instance, can plug directly into the Orison panel, using it like a mini generator that doesnt emit fumes, Clifton said.

    Australias grid dynamics create an opportunity that is well tailored to Orisons capabilities.

    Generous early feed-in tariffs for rooftop solar led to a widespread build-out, but those payment schemes have dropped off. Adding energy storage lets customers put their solar to better economic use by shifting it into the evening hours, instead of exporting at a low rate.

    It helps that the typical rooftop system in Australia is around 2 kilowatts, Clifton said; thats much smaller than the average in the U.S.and a much better fit for Orisonsstorage capacity.

    Utility Origin generates power and serves retail customers, a business model known as gen-tailer. It competes for retail customers, trying to convince new ones to sign up and existing customers to stay. Offering a battery like Orisons to reactivate rooftop solar and reduce bills could help with that.

    At the same time, Origin must source power for all its customers. Having a network of 4,000 batteries under its control means the company couldturn down demand during peak hours, reducing exposure to buying expensive power from the market during those times.

    The companies are still figuring out what the pricing scheme looks like, Clifton said. Origin could sell the units to customers, for instance, or offer storage as a service. In the U.S., Vermont utility Green Mountain Power subsidized Powerwalls for customers if they grantedpermission to the utility to operate them for peak events. Other utilities pay customers for the use of home batteries via virtual power plants.

    What is clear is that working with Origin gives Orison, with just a handful of employees based in Cody, Wyoming, a major distribution channel to an overseas market. A 4,000-unit network would be equivalent to more than half the residential battery installations in the U.S. during its record-breaking first quarter, according to the latest Energy Storage Monitor.

    View original post here:
    What If Consumers Could Just Buy Batteries and Plug Them In? - Greentech Media News

    The best keyboards: Ergonomic and productive home office options – PC World - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Whether youre looking for a keyboard with every feature under the sun, ergonomics to cure wrist pain or something to use for work and play theres a keyboard for everyone

    The keyboard of a computing setup is one of the essential components. It is the primary input method for every word you type, but millions of us just use whichever one is lying around or the one thats built into the base of the laptop we could afford.

    More thought can and should be put into which keyboard youre using because theres a dizzying range of options. If you dont want to be bent over your laptop as you work from home, then you can elevate it to head height and attach an external keyboard.

    If you use a desktop computer already you may think that the keyboard you have is perfectly adequate. But how fast can you type on it, and do you get wrist pain after a long working day? Does it have a number pad and media controls? Do the wires annoy you?

    Well be the first to admit that there are far too many keyboards out there but there really is one for everyone and were firm believers that most people wont appreciate how much positive difference a change in keyboard can make to your comfort and productivity.

    Here are our picks of the five best keyboards you can buy to improve your work, play, and comfort.

    Buy it via Amazon or the Logitech website.

    $229.95 / NZ$249.99

    It aint cheap but its one of the best wireless keyboards available right now. The design of the keys means they have a decent amount of travel and a satisfying feedback. Each key also has a spherical indent to match your fingertips. Bear in mind its quite flat, and theres no tilt adjustment.

    The unit is incredibly solid with its metal frame and its comfortable to type at for hours despite not having an ergonomic shape. We love the proximity sensor that lights the keys up when your hands approach them, and the board can be used with Windows or Mac thanks to its flexible key layout and labelling.

    But its the software trickery thats the secret trick of the MX Keys. When paired with the MX Master 3 mouse, you can astoundingly move the cursor from a PC to a Mac. It works very well, and you can even click and drag items from one OS to another.

    Buy it via Amazon or the Microsoft Store.

    $99.95 / NZ$109.95

    This Microsoft ergonomic wired keyboard will help with wrist pain in a design that could offset injury but might disrupt your typing flow at first as you relearn the spacing. The split keyboard is at a good angle and distance, and after a bit of relearning you should be typing up to speed.

    The included palm rest is a god send combined with your newly tilted wrists you should hopefully experience less wrist fatigue after typing all day. Its tilt adjustable and despite not being a mechanical keyboard offers a great combination of key travel and comfort in a board thats not too loud.

    Its USB-A so if you have a modern laptop with fewer ports you might need to buy a USB-C adapter. There are also handy Windows shortcut keys for Office, emojis and even screen grab tools. You can customise these keys and features with Microsofts Mouse and Keyboard Center app.

    If youre strapped for cash then the incredibly good value Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600 is only thirty bucks but lacks the ergonomic design.

    Buy it via Amazon or Apple.

    $149 / NZ$149

    If youre a Mac user and still have an older keyboard or you want to connect your MacBook up to a monitor, then Apple offers its wireless Magic Keyboard if you want to keep things first-party. Its a divisive keyboard, but we like it for its sleek design, simplicity, and good typing feel.

    Its divisive because the travel of the keys a long way from the satisfying thunk of a mechanical keyboard but if you prefer low travel and dont mind a clicky sound then youll be able to get up to a decent typing speed. It has all the media and macOS control keys you get on a Mac, charges via the included Lightning cable and lasts at least a month of use on a charge when used wirelessly, if not more.

    A longer version with a numeric keypad costs an additional $30 but we prefer the smaller version for its compact design and the ability to chuck it in unnoticed in a bag if you hot desk.

    Buy it via Amazon or Mwave.

    $249 / NZ$289

    Things can get intimidating and complicated if youre after a mechanical keyboard, so put simply: the best mechanical keyboard weve used is the Corsair K70 MK2. If you dont mind the gaming aesthetic, or indeed are after a keyboard for work and play, then this is the one wed recommend. Its low 29mm profile is excellent when combined with the included detachable palm rest.

    Paired with the choice of quieter Cherry MX Silent keys (others are available so check before you buy), the K70 has a lovely feel to it with long travel but relatively muted feedback for a mechanical. If you hate hyping on clicky keys with low travel and like to feel each word as you type, then its a great fit.

    After hours its also a gaming keyboard with included different texture keys and highly customisable RGB lighting, plus two USB-A plugs for input and passthrough. Youre paying a premium for all those extras though. If you want to pay less, then you can shop around for something else that uses the Cherry MX Silent keys.

    A much cheaper alternative is Kogans Full RGB mechanical keyboard with a choice of three switch types.

    Buy it via the Razer Store or Amazon.

    $169.95 / NZ$179.95

    Another mechanical alternative is this work-focused wired keyboard from Razer so doesnt have RGB lighting. It is suitable for gaming, but in a subtler, smaller, and cheaper package than the Corsair.

    Its Razer Orange switches good if you prefer a louder, clackier sound but it comes with O-ring for you to individually dampen key sound if you want though taking each key off with a tool and adding a ring is a bit of a chore.

    We found we could get up to a decent speed on the BlackWidow and its a particularly good looking keyboard though it has quite a high profile so you may need to get a wrist rest.

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    Tags keyboardErgonomic keyboards

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    The best keyboards: Ergonomic and productive home office options - PC World

    Summer of the cannibal rats! Hungry, aggressive, highly fertile and coming to our homes – The Guardian - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Lockdown has been hard for rodents whose fortunes are tied to those of humans. When restaurants closed, and city streets and back alleys emptied of people and their waste, rats lost a plentiful supply of food. So they followed us home, foraging and breeding in our gardens, drains and household voids. They became more brazen and aggressive. And, when that wasnt enough, they began to eat each other.

    Cannibal rats are among the grimmest consequences of the upending of urban life. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned of unusual or aggressive behaviour in rats, including the eating of rat pups.

    This probably shouldnt come as a surprise, given that cannibalism is common among mammals in extremis. Mothers will eat their young in the hope of one day being able to reproduce again, says Steve Belmain, a professor of ecology at the Natural Resources Institute in Kent, and the UKs leading rat academic. If theres not enough food to take care of herself, she wont kill herself looking after them.

    Bill Lane-Petter, a pre-eminent postwar rodent expert and lab rat specialist, observed in 1968 that malnutrition in rodents can produce a perversion in the dam, or mother. This will lead her, as well as other adult or growing animals in the cage, to devour carcasses, and even to attack and kill the young in order to eat them.

    Even more horrifyingly to human ears, cannibalism, Lane-Petter went on, may develop as a vice. Whisker-eating in mice is not uncommon; it can go on to ear- or toe-chewing, and, from there to total cannibalism.

    Cannibalism aside, Britains pest control firms have reported a surge in demand. Rentokil has noted an almost 80% increase in visits to its website compared with this time last year. The company said the warm winter kept rat populations high, adding to the pressure on the animals. Meanwhile, our homes are offering richer pickings because we are eating in and gardening more.

    Weve noticed more activity around compost bins, as people in lockdown are composting far more, says Paul Bates of Cleankill, a Croydon firm whose domestic rat call-outs are up 20% compared with last year. With daily replenishment and no limit on consumption, an unsecured vegetable waste bin is a Pizza Hut salad buffet for a rat.

    Bates says rats have become bolder in attempting to enter our homes, competing with the mice that are our more common housemates. Rats crawl up drains and gnaw through plastic piping. They can swim into toilet bowls. Demand is high for rat flaps spiked one-way gates for waste pipes that stop rats coming in while letting, well, stuff flow out.

    Customers have all commented on how much braver and more brazen the rats have become, says Nick Woodroffe of Peak Pest Control in Derbyshire, where homebound rats are missing the detritus of tourism in Bakewell and Buxton.

    Mike Flynn, the boss of Alpha Pest Control in Stoke-on-Trent, remembers a recent call to a house where the father had seen a rat going from the upstairs landing into a toddlers bedroom. Hed searched the room for the animals hiding place without success. We arrived and did probably the same search, but no one had thought to look in the cot, Flynn says. I remember picking up the pillow and being just as horrified as the rat that stared back at me. A chase ensued and a decisive blow to the head.

    Belmain is receiving dozens of emails from homeowners with rat problems. Some have cats that are catching more rats as the urban food chain shifts. Flynn says cats often seen as free pest control dont always help. Rats love catflaps. And cats that enjoy catching and toying with rats can give them a lift indoors, where those with non-lethal injuries can recover to make a new home. Flynn recommends flaps unlocked by smart cat collars that are also equipped with bells to scare off would-be prey.

    The feeding of any animals in gardens, including foxes and birds, is an invitation to rodent intruders. Decking creates a lovely home for garden rats, while chicken coops are rat Disneyland. Flynn, who used to advise the government on infestations in food stockpiles, was once called out to a commercial chicken house containing 16,000 free-range birds. There were more than 3,000 rats living in it, gorging on guano.

    Cleankill was recently called out to a garage where a motor home was being stored. Rats were swarming in the engine compartment and eating the fabric that covered the seats in which they had nested. The firm was able to evict the squatters before they moved on to the house.

    Hungry rats are more likely to be aggressive. In 2016, a councillor in Cork said an elderly man had told him he had been bitten on the backside by a rat while using his loo after local flooding. I would advise homeowners to keep their toilet seats down when not in use, and to watch their posteriors, Noel Collins told the citys Evening Echo.

    Flynn was once called out to a museum on a routine visit, where he learned that the night security guard had taken to feeding rats. He got them to come closer and closer to his office using bits of his dinner, Flynn recalls. He managed to entice one inside. It promptly attacked him and bit him. He needed hospital treatment for his wound.

    Belmain fell into the rat field by accident. He was an insect guy before work in rural areas in developing countries left him fascinated by the scale of rodent infestations, rat behaviour and the relationship between humans and rats. You have to be part natural scientist and part anthropologist to understand rats, he says.

    Rats are basically just squirrels with bald tails. One gets all the nice stuff; the other is vilified

    Rat research was much bigger after the second world war, during a quest for an effective poison. Rats have evolved to be wary of unfamiliar food, and had learned to stop eating poisons that made them immediately ill before they received a lethal dose. Scientists then discovered that anticoagulants worked better because they took days to thin the blood, causing internal organs to haemorrhage. Hapless rats would come back for more.

    Warfarin-based rat poison, the development of which gave rise to treatment for blood clots and strokes in humans, remains the standard for councils and pest controllers. Part of Belmains work, mainly still in developing countries, is now to consider the less desirable effects of poisoning on the food chain, including in birds of prey.

    He also researches the bubonic plague and the age-old role of rats as disease carriers. Were taught to be fearful of them; its ingrained in our culture, he says. Its perhaps no surprise that reports of marauding, bottom-biting cannibal rats strike fear into the heart during a global health crisis. The first sign of a pandemic in Albert Camus 1947 novel La Peste (The Plague), sales of which have been healthy in lockdown, is a swarming of rats from the sewers.

    Yet other rodents can do more damage in the home. Grey squirrels, which are often found in loft space, can chomp through wires and insulation, and contaminate water tanks. And yes, theyll also eat each other if they need to. Rats are just squirrels with bald tails, says Paul Gowland of Cobra North East, a pest control company in Sunderland. One gets all the nice stuff; the other is vilified.

    Rats can breed at an astonishing rate when times become less lean. They can conceive as soon as they give birth, and then deliver the next litter while still weaning the first. Young rats start to reproduce after two or three months. The population has declined in the past few months but as soon as the restaurants reopen, I think theyll find their old habitats again, Belmain says. Theyll get back to normal, probably, before we do.

    Excerpt from:
    Summer of the cannibal rats! Hungry, aggressive, highly fertile and coming to our homes - The Guardian

    The Little Book of Bonsai: Peaceful plants that are better than succulents – - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Little Book of Bonsai: An Easy Guide to Caring for Your Bonsai Tree by Jonas Dupuich ($14.99, Ten Speed Press): The book is small in size, but it is packed with fascinating and practical information about these unique trees, which are attracting attention among beginner gardeners searching for alternatives to small-scale succulents as well as ways to bring a sense of tranquility to their homes, inside and out.

    The award-winning bonsai experts passion for the ancient but evolving living art form is clear from the first page as he tells his story of becoming hooked and wanting to help readers keep their trees healthy and beautiful.

    Dupuich describes the development and distinctions of bonsai, and how styles are based on the character of the trunk, roots and branches of a variety of different species.

    The chapter on how to nurture bonsai is very clearly written with information about critical elements of care watering, fertilizing and controlling pests.

    The largest portion of the guide covers tools and techniques. Dupuich details methods for pruning, wiring and styling, the elements to sculpt small, wild pines, junipers and other familiar trees into artistic, natural forms.

    Excellent photographs by David Fenton complement the prose throughout the 112-page, hardcover book and help the reader comprehend the complicated process of caring for intricate, miniature representations of nature.

    The last chapter provides the bonsai enthusiast with starting points that can help you deepen your understanding of bonsai, build your skills or get help with your trees, writes Dupuich, who founded the informative Bonsai Tonight website. He ends with suggestions for viewing bonsai around the world as well as further reading and other resources to fulfill your passion.

    -- Sally Peterson

    Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories

    The Little Book of Bonsai: Peaceful plants that are better than succulents -

    VIDEO: Take a virtual tour around this 665000 A-listed Aberdeen house – Press and Journal - June 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    If anyone knows about buying and selling houses, its Bob Fraser.

    As senior partner with Aberdein Considine, hes dealt with thousands of homes of all shapes and sizes over the years he puts it at a ballpark figure of 20,000.

    But theres one property on the market which hes keeping a closer-than-usual eye on Number 74 Hamilton Place in Aberdeen.

    Thats because for the last 16 years, he and his wife Annie have called this elegant A-listed, semi-detached property, home

    With their daughter Rebecca now living in Spain, and about to give birth to their first grandson, theyve decided the time is right to downsize and let another family experience life in this substantial home, built around 1885.

    When your job is dealing with dozens of properties on a daily basis, there has to be something special about a house which makes you want to buy it yourself

    So what was it about this one that made Bob and Annie put in an offer for it?

    Hamilton Place is in three different sections and Ive always liked the middle section, said Bob, 60.

    My parents used to stay about 500 yards away from here so Ive known this area since my school days.

    As a street I think it is a lovely example of, and one of the nicest granite streets in Aberdeen.

    Aberdeen is often referred to as The Granite City thanks to the sparkling granite extracted from Rubislaw Quarry and the beautiful granite buildings and private houses built by superbly skilled craftsmen.

    Number 74 was designed by architects Pirie & Clyne, who were commissioned by John Morgan who was the pre-eminent granite builder of the era to build the house, said Bob.

    It has a spectacular frontage in pink and grey granite while the double-height semi-circular bow windows make it look as elegant and stylish today as it as they would have done in the Victorian era.

    When we bought it it needed a little TLC and upgrading, but what we didnt want to do was change any of the traditional features which we really liked, just add some more modern comforts.

    Sympathetically resorted and in mint condition throughout, the house, which is on the market at offers over 665,000, is elegant and stylish, with large bright rooms tastefully decorated with quality fabrics and soft furnishings to make it a warm and welcoming space.

    Its packed with original features such as the mosaic floor tiles and stained glass door in the entrance hall.

    While the stained glass in the hall is original, we commissioned a local lady to make matching stained glass panels for the door into the kitchen and for the bathroom upstairs, said Bob.

    Theres a sweeping wooden staircase, ornate plasterwork and cornicing, gorgeous fireplaces, and spacious, bright rooms and at the heart of the house, a superb kitchen.

    We both like to cook and entertain and have had some great times here over the years, said Bob.

    The large dining kitchen has a bespoke Clive Christian-style units including a matching oak island, marble worktops and oak hanging pan/utensil rack, while Miele appliances ensure those who like to entertain have everything they need to hand.

    The six-burner free-standing Wolf range may be included by separate negotiation.

    The spacious dining room, decorated in a deep, vibrant shade of red is ideal for casual and formal dining.

    It overlooks the rear garden and has an open coal fire with traditional surround one can imagine how perfect this would be at Christmas time!

    Off the kitchen theres a comfortable family/ garden/TV room with a bespoke built in home cinema wall unit in oak with burred oak doors and wiring for surround sound.

    During lockdown the house came into its own the home cinema has been great, while the walled garden and patio areas have been perfect places to spend some time, said Bob.

    Moving upstairs, theres a mezzanine level with a guest bedroom and a family bathroom beautifully tiled with Italian ceramic tiles and a three piece suite in white with separate shower cubicle.

    Accommodation on the first floor includes an elegant master bedroom with a beautiful semi-circular bow window enjoying open views to the south and a bespoke hand painted fitted wardrobe with matching bedside cabinets.

    Adjacent to this is a luxurious master shower room with bespoke oak units and marble worktops and a four-piece white suite and a further bedroom, currently used as a study.

    On the second floor theres a south-facing double bedroom enjoying panoramic views to the south over the city; a large bathroom with three-piece white suite and a box room with attic window.

    Outside, the front garden is fully enclosed by dwarf granite walls and traditional railings and full of lovely roses bushes.

    The back garden is a peaceful haven ideal for youngters and pets.

    It has two paved terraces, ideal for al fresco dinning,while a glazed summer house ensures year round use.

    To the side theres a single garage, while attached to the gable is a storage area, wine cellar and a separate cellar housing the modern central heating boiler and water tank.

    It really has been a lovely home and I think one of the things Ill miss most abut it is the location, said Bob.

    Its a beautiful street when the cherry blossom is out in the Spring, while the location means I can walk to work in the city, but its also no distance by car to the new by-pass.

    So for them, its time to say goodbye to the house theyve loved for so many years and hello to house number 20,001, a revamped 70s-style bungalow theyve bought near Torphins.

    Contact: Aberdein Considine onhttps://www.acandco.comor 01224 589589.

    See the rest here:
    VIDEO: Take a virtual tour around this 665000 A-listed Aberdeen house - Press and Journal

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