Like most people, you've probably considered tracking down a friend who you have lost contact with, but do not know how to begin your search because you no longer have any of their contact details, or the information you own was given to you years ago and is incomplete. No need to worry, there is a relatively simple way you can try and find your long lost pals, and even make new ones, and it is through a social networking site.
Websites that have been designed for the purpose of online social networking have become extremely popular over the past few years, and there are a number of reasons for this. Many online users enjoy the fact that they can create their own profile for free, allowing them to have their own personal space on the web. People also like the fact that they can share pictures and other media with those in their network, as well as play games and get involved in other groups, or even create their own. Additionally, it is a great way for members to find old friends, new friends, connect with co-workers or past classmates.
If you would like to try and find your friend using a social network on the web, you should begin trying to locate them with two of the most popular networks – MySpace and Facebook. However, if you have no luck with these sites, try others including LinkedIn, Plaxo, Hi5, Wink and Orkut.
How should you begin your search? Essentially, all you do is follow the searching instructions that have been laid out for you by the site. You will discover that some webpages are different than others, but basically all of them function very similar to a forward search, and will allow you to lookup a friend by using their name as your main search tool. Therefore, in the provided query box, enter the full name of the person you wish to find. If too many results, or none are found, try searching for them under another last name such as a married or maiden name if you are aware of one, or try an alias or a popular nickname they went by when you were close.
If searching their name is unsuccessful, the site may also provide you with other options for your hunt, such as finding a person from their …
– High school or college name and year they graduated
– Place of work or their career title
– Common interests or hobbies
Should you be able to track down your friend on a social networking site, keep in mind that you will likely need to create a free membership in order to contact them or access their profile. Furthermore, also keep in mind that while you can use these networks as a type of forward search, they do not function as a phone number lookup , so if you are trying to find your friend through their telephone number, you will need to use a separate reverse search
If you are having problems with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems installed in your house, and especially if it is somewhat old, sometimes you need a thorough maintenance service. Improperly maintained or, worse, no maintenance HVAC systems cause high energy costs, low or failed performance, and generally great bother to the house owner. If you live in warmer states like Florida, you can always call in just the AC repair guys to correct the problematic aspects, or the HVAC experts to give the system a total overhaul and make it work like new.
Most HVAC systems consist of compressors, blowers and ducts that conduct cool or hot air in and out of the house interior. The compressors and blowers are normally run by electric motors, regulated by one or several thermostats depending on the desired temperatures set for the house or room interiors. There are afore pulleys, gears, insulators, condensers and belts to transfer power from the motor to mechanical contraptions like blowers. So a lot of things can go wrong when maintenance is lessened for HVAC systems.
For example, improper calibration of thermostats alone can make the system run erroneously, raising operating costs but rendering poor service. Similar to its function in a refrigerator, the thermostat controls how much cool air to vent into the house or hot air to the outside according to its settings. Thus incorrect thermostat setting can make the room too hot or too cold than desired.
Even improperly set or loose contacts of electrical connections can damage motors due to the connections quickly switching on and off -even sparking — when jarred or moved. The stop-and-go movement strains the rotor and internal gears leading to untimely failure or even short-circuiting of the windings. Similarly, improperly adjusted belts may result in premature motor breakdown. Too loose and the belt may slide, abrading itself against the pulley and ever breaking; too tight and it will overtrain one side of the bearing or bushing, later creating an imbalanced armature movement which will heat up the motor.
Dirty evaporator coils, meanwhile, may form leaks because of increased water pressure, or at the very least increase power consumption due to necessarily more work for the pumps. And as everyone knows, additional mechanical work speeds up metal wear and earlier machine breakdown. This likewise holds true for condenser coils in addition to higher compressor operating temperatures.
Lastly, dirty air filters lower airflow efficiency, increases compressor operation and consequentially higher power consumption and costs. Improperly lubricated bearings impair systems operations the same way: lower machine efficiency, faster wear, increased power usage, and earlier machine failure.
All of these happen gradually so that often their occurrence is not noticed, or sometimes the installation of the system is haphazard at the outside. It is important therefore to be aware of any changes in the efficiency of the system after a while, or have professionals conduct regular period maintenance for it. You will rest better in optimum comfort and attain greater peace of mind, knowing everything is okay in life.
Who are Third Culture Kids? Ruth Hill Useem (1999) first coined the term, Third Culture Kids, over 40 years ago. TCKs are children who are members of expatriate families who reside outside of their passport country for varied periods of time. Other terms that have been used are Global Nomads, hidden immigrants, army brats, military brats, internationally mobile children, cross cultural kids (CCKs) and missionary kids (MKs). They move from one country to another before coming back to their passport country for a rotation (2-4 years), to resettle, or to attend university.
One of the things that I noticed about Third Culture Kids is that we share similar lifestyle habits. I believe we all develop a set of behaviors to help us cope with the losses that comes with mobility. We may adopt these habits consistently over time (most of them did not come naturally to me at first) until they became automatic reflexes.
As I listened to my TCK friends at TCKID, I found myself reflecting upon the similarities of my experience as a TCK myself. This mobile lifestyle experience has shaped many of my peculiar habits, many have been influenced by the TCK experience.
I’ll start by saying that each TCK will have their own list of habits and rhythms that reflects their lifestyle, depending upon factors like personality type, upbringing, age, family values, etc. For this reason I’m looking forward to reading the habits that others are working on in the rest of this article.
But in the mean time here are some TCK ‘habits’ or attitudes that I’ve been working on and have seen in myself, as a TCK and in others:
1. Monthly plans for everything. Phone, Cable TV, and Internet. There’s no way I’ll buy a 3-year plan.
-“I do either that or a prepaid stuff so that I don’t have to worry about paying bills later.”
-“I’d rather pay like 10EUR more for my home-phone-flatrate and be able to get out of the contract asap when I need to than be boged down for a year or even more – it scares me big time.”
2. Laptop instead of a bulky Desktop PC. It’s useful when you visit family overseas.
“I got a notebook now…I managed to move my desktop whenever I needed to but it was impractical since I never had it NOW and HERE.”
3. I prefer to rent furnished. The thought of buying furniture makes me feel uncomfortable.
– “The idea of buying property scares the bejeezes out of me. I don’t even own a car.”
– “In the past, I’ve borrowed furniture. Other than the table and chairs, all my current furniture is borrowed, except that I bought the fridge.”
“I had a panic attack when we bought our sofa, even though we’d sort of agreed we’d be living here for a while.”
4. I don’t HEAVILY decorate my room. Why bother buying fancy curtains and repainting? I’ll probably move soon.
– “For long I never decorated my walls, and I never understood why I didnt do so. But what I decorate in the sense of utilities, I make the effort to individualize it and craft it myself (comforts my soul). My main aspect when decorating: Functionality over Design.”
– “I do decorate and paint. I figure even if I’m only here for a month, it is home. I got that from my mom – she made every place beautiful no matter how short a time we stayed.”
5. I prefer watching movies online than owning DVDs. But I’m not a pirate!
“I prefer renting movies to owning them. I like to own as little as possible.”
6. I’m very frugal. The less stuff I own, the less tied down and happier I feel.
-“I thrive on thrift stores. I’ll fix stuff up so that it suits me. When I don’t need it anymore I’ll sell it in a yard sale or give it back to the thrift store. I don’t attach to my stuff.”
-“I get rid of things when I can but it seems like my belongings only increase because I keep every single note, letter, card, gift from my friends, families and acquaintances.”
7. I love books, and have my own little library, but I try to borrow books whenever possible. Ever tried moving a library? It’s not fun… books are heavy!
“I do make a point of *only* buying books that are really good – not just kind of good.”
8. My career is mobile. I like being able to decide where I want to work.
“My career isn’t that mobile – it’s an international career but I can’t just pick up and move whenever I feel like it. I do have a lot of flexibility, though.”
“I don’t have any plans for the future, which sometimes scares me, when I see my friends planing their carreers. They decide now, what they want to do in two years. I say I’ll just try to finish my studies now and then we’ll see.”
9. I don’t have a large wardrobe at home but I dress well.
10. I don’t own any large pets, but I can accommodate a cat.
“I have no pets and have no intention of having any (reason: what if it dies? more pain and grief…I can’t deal with more of that right now…)
The following are more lifestyle habits by other TCKs:
11. Buy everything in bulk, or for clothes & shoes, buy them too big so they’ll last at least two years!
12. My family is still trying to get over the “buying in bulk” syndrome. When we first came to the States we bought everything we possibly could in bulk (we still do it a lot to save money) because “you never know if you’ll find it again”
13. “How about always having “storage?” I am an adult TCK and all my 5 bros and sisters have rental storage units. Growing up, we always had to have storage someplace, for all the family stuff. It baffles my other friends, who think its a huge indulgence.:
14. “Have a complete list in your head of basic things to pack when going on trips. (e.g wet wipes, hairbrush, etc) just use the same list every time you pack.
15. Find that you are always trying to arrange trips with friends, then get annoyed when they are so dumb about arranging travel or are scared of travelling on their own.
16. Get a rush whenever you step into an airport or onto a train platform.
The list goes on:
As I’ve pondered the above 10 habits I’ve come to the realization that it’s not a complete list (I could go on for another 10 or so habits quite easily) and that it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of list either. Some of the habits I’ve identified above will be common to many TCKs, but there are always examples that come to mind of TCKs who’ve broken one or more of the above.
Introduction The term VoIP refers to the transfer of Voice over the Internet Protocol (IP) of the TCP / IP protocol suite. Using "VoIP" technology we can make traditional telephone calls from either computer or phone to other computer or phone using both public switched telephone network (PSTN) and internet (which is packet switched network). All you need is an Internet connection for VoIP. This technology really changes everything because it allows people to receive phone calls from anywhere that an internet connection exists, just in the same way you can receive your emails anywhere that you can connect to the internet.
The term "VoIP technology" covers a range of technologies, including voice-over-IP (VoIP) and fax-over-IP services, which are transported over both the Internet and private IP-based networks. VoIP is part of packet voice, which includes voice-over-asynchronous-transmission-mode (ATM) and frame-relay networks, which run faster than IP but are less common. VoIP conneces across combinations of PCs, Web-based telephones, and phones connected via public telephone lines to remote voice gateways. Because information travels in discrete packets, it does not need to rely on a continuously available switched circuit.
Using VoIP we can enhance the traditional PBX by combining voice and data services onto a single network. The end user devices (also called client device) are normally referred to as VoIP phone are used in VoIP. Development of the 'VoIPphone' will require the development of a 'system on a chip' which combines digital signal processing (DSP) functions, micro-controller (MCU) functions, analog interface, telephone user interface and associated glue logic.
Ø Better bandwidth utilization by:
§ Using compression
§ Exploiting silence periods during conversations
§ Sharing of equipment for voice and data traffic (unified processing)
Ø Introduction of new services:
§ Conferences, distance learning, etc.
Working of VoIP The basic steps involved in originating an VoIP call are conversion of the analog voice signal to digital format and compression / translation of the signal into Internet protocol (IP) packets for transmission over the Internet; the process is then reversed at the receiving end – switching the digital format back to analog so the telephone call goes through as normal.VoIP calls originate on any broadband line: coaxial cable, DSL ( Digital Subscriber Line), wireless or even satellite. The call is routed to the VoIP Company, where a computer converts the sound into data packets – similar to the packets used to transfer internet data such as email. Sending data by packets is far more efficient as it enables the same line to handle more information simultaneously. These data packets are sent through any of the Internet's multiple networks to a recipient of the call. The caller can receive the call via a wireless provider, a broadband provider, or a local phone carrier. In order to understand VoIP it is essential to have a complete understanding of what the difference between circuit switching and packet switching. A normal telephone uses circuit switching for phone calls, which involves routing of your call through the switch at your local carrier to the person you is calling. The connection of two points in both directions is known as circuit. Packet switching on the other hand is more efficient in transmitting data since small amount of data, which is called a packet, is sent from one system to another. In a VoIP system, once the called party answers, voice must be transmitted by converting the voice into digitized form, then segmenting the voice signal into a stream of packets. The first step in this process is converting analog voice signals to digital, using an analog-digital converter. Since digitized voice requires a large number of bits, a compression algorithm can be used to reduce the volume of data to be transmitted. Next, voice samples are inserted into data packets to be carried on the Internet. The protocol for the voice packets is typically the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). RTP packs have special header fields that hold data needed to correctly re-assemble the packets into a voice signal on the other end. However, voice packets will be transported as payload by UDP (User datagram protocol) protocols that are also used for ordinary data transmission.
ü VoIP is cost effective – using VoIP products long distance phone calls and international calls can be made within the price of a local call. The caller simply connects to the Internet (with the price of a call to his local Internet provider) and uses the appropriate software, calls other computers running similar VoIP applications, or even other telephones anywhere in the world. (Performing a PC-2-Phone conversation requires a VoIP Gateway to be present at the remote location).
A growing amount of communication operators throughout the world utilize VoIP as the modern communication method for long distance calls, enabling a full Phone-2-Phone conversation, which is carried over an IP network. (Fully transparent to the caller) Using the IP networks for voice transport allows for a greater deal of phone calls to be made simultaneously, thus reducing the operators' costs. Furthermore, large companies can use their intranet as their internal enterprise phone network (iPBX). This enables lower maintenance fees, and cheap communication to remote sites and branches of the organization.
ü Convergence – By using VoIP, a company can have one comprehensive solution handling both data and telephone communication, all on the same platform and supported by a single vendor. This allows companies to use a single system for all their communication needs andvents the overhead caused when dealing with multiple software packages and platforms.
ü Maintenance (Upgrades to existing services or introducing new services) can be easily done, as most applications are actually software based and do not require any hardware replacements and configuration.
ü Smart Net – Being software based, VoIP products and services enable various smart solutions. Achieving the same management capabilities on standard PSTN requires substantial hardware changes while most of the VoIP solutions can easily be managed by a click of a mouse. An example could be the routing of a phone call to a subscriber in a predefined way: a schedule is set, and all phone calls are diverted to different locations (eg Home, Cellular, Business, and Voicemail) according to this schedule. Performing this capability in VoIP networks is trivial (Software solution), while achieving the same functionality on standard PSTN requires a great deal of effort.
ü New age multimedia – Because we treat voice as data and due to the fact that we can use voice services and telephony services from our PC, We can use voice applications as another application on our computer. In that way we can use the same hardware to browse the net, talk over the phone and work on other applications at the same time and without having to switch between devices. This idea is also part of the convergence advantage that was brought up here in this section.
ü Evolution towards better communication services – For all the reasons mentioned above, VoIP is an evolution towards better communication services. We can combine voice with streaming video for conference calls, allow better multimedia by using all types of web applications and offer customers with better communication services (such as the smart net) in order to get a communication package that will be adjustable and will be configured to supply every customer needs.
Main Issues of VoIP For VoIP to become popular, some key issues need to be resolved. Some of these issues stem from the fact that IP was designed for transportation data while some issues have arisen because the vendors are not conforming to the standards .
The key issues are discussed below.
Interoperability In a public network environment, products from different vendors need to operate with each other if Voice over IP is to become common among users. To achieve interoperability, standards are being revised and the most common standard for VoIP is the H.323 standard.
Security This problem exists because in the Internet, anyone can capture the packets attempt for someone else. Using encryption and tunneling can provide some security. The common tunneling protocol used is Layer 2 Tunneling protocol and the common encryption mechanism used is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Integration with Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) While Internet telephony is being introduced; it will need to work in conjunction with the PSTN for a few years. We need to make the PSTN and IP telephony network appear as a single network to the users of this service.
Scalability As researchers are working to provide the same quality over IP as normal telephone calls but at a much lower cost, so there is a great potential for high growth rates in VoIP systems. VoIP systems need to be flexible enough to grow to large user market and allow a mix of private and public services.
VoIP technology can yield big cost savings to both corporations and consumers. It is more efficient than the plain old telephone service (POTS) and is poised to under huge growth. Before that growth can occur, however, designers have to address the issues listed above.
Along with the issues listed above, providing better voice quality to the customer is another major challenge. VoIP introduces a number of potential impairments that can impact voice quality adversely, such as the use of lossy low-bit rate codecs, the effects of tandem encoding / transcoding, longer delays, and packet loss. Most of these impairments are either not present or are negligible in circuit switched networks. Thus new techniques for delivering and maintaining voice quality are needed for VoIP networks. The impairments that a voice call experiences can be classified as either architectural or load dependent.
Architectural components include IP phone codec's and their configuration parameter settings as well as fixed components of delay such as processing delays at each network element along the path and the end-to-end propagation delay. These architectural components define an upper bound on the best voice quality that could have been achieved in a given network. If the upper bound is unacceptable, then changes in equipment and configurations will be required. In general, if the architecture is satisfactory, then low packet loss and delay are sufficient to ensure good voice quality.
Load dependent impairments include packet loss, queuing delay, and jitter. As load increases, these parameters deteriorate and begin to degrade voice quality. The voice quality a user experiences depends on the behavior of the entire end-to-end connection. This connection may cross multiple network domains each with its own set of controls and management methods. Since impairments across the connection are cumulative, it is possible that each network domain delivers acceptable voice quality while the end-to-end connection does not.
The networks service offering to the end applications can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively by means defining network Quality of Service. Managing voice Quality of Service across multiple domains requires SLAs (Service Level Agreements) between service providers and use of signaling protocols to indicate the desired QoS.
In the next chapter we have discussed about QoS, and requirements of QoS for voice. The minimum QoS requirements needed for better voice quality in VoIP networks.