Top 5 Trucking Gadgets

Whether out of necessity or not, these five gadgets can make your daily long journey a more productive, safe, and enjoyable one:

  1. Bodyguard self-powered emergency tool. Any driver who takes his truck on the normal long haul will appreciate this gadget. This device has a compass, alarm, battery charger, hand crank for power, flashlight and radio built in, so you are ready for any situation that might arise.
  2. AiDA. AiDA is quite possibly the most technologically advanced of these 5 truck gadgets for men. AiDA is currently in development, but when finished will be able to warn a driver about heavy traffic, suggest alternate routes, suggest places to refuel when a driver is low on gas and even smile when a driver has an angry driving face. This is the gadget of the future.
  3. Gear4 dual charger. The Gear4 dual charger turns a cigarette lighter into two USB ports. This allows a multitude of devices to be charged on the go, including the all-important iPhones and iPods. It turns the rarely used cigarette lighter into one of the handiest devices a guy can have in his truck.
  4. TruScene camera. The TruScene camera is a perfect truck gadget for when a car is parked in a public area. It records what happens around the truck, so when somebody hits the car in the grocery store parking lot, evidence is obtained and insurance can be claimed.
  5. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. This alerts truckers if they are drifting out of their lane. With forward collision warning systems that help drivers keep a safe following distance with rear and front sensors. The Blind Spot Warning system alerts drivers of unsafe situations on the road based on vehicles or objects in adjacent lanes. Definitely a most have for truckers.

Talking to One of Jamaica’s Most Exciting Dancer-Choreographers – Neila Ebanks

YE: Why are you an artist/dancer and when did you first become one?

Neila: I think I was born one. My dance story starts when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My mother sent me to dance classes to rehabilitate my extreme pigeon-toes and I have danced ever since. It’s a language as natural to me as breath.

My art chose me. I was not the instigator of the relationship. But daily I make the choice to affirm my soul through my connection with Dance. It really is soul-affirmation for me.

YE: How would you describe your work?

Neila: Psychological, cathartic, layered. I rarely go for the easy or obvious. I find I use my choreography to grapple with and work through my own ideas about life and living. My favourite form to choreograph in has always been contemporary Dance because it can be almost anything you make it.

YE: What type of dance do you do?

Neila: I am a contemporary dancer who LOVES to improvise.

YE: Which company/group do you dance with, if any?

Neila: At present I dance with eNKompan.E, which is my own company… of one. I have previously performed and guested with the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, The University Dance Society, The NDTC, L’ACADCO, Dance Theatre Xaymaca and a number of companies in the UK.

YE: What artists/dancers have influenced you and how?

Neila: I have much to owe to so many. My foundation influences have been my first dance teachers, Monika Lawrence, Carol Murdock (now deceased) and Patsy Ricketts, all of whom nurtured my zest and passion for dance at a very young age without being patronizing.

I was treated as a young artist in the making and learnt so much professionalism and regard for my art from these teachers. Patsy, in particular, gave me such excellent examples of how to embody a performance. I carry that with me to this day. I also have been influenced by Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson, now Director of the School of Dance. Through her example I have come to understand the fundamental importance of the educative potential of the art of Dance.

My years at UWI saw me working with Joseph Robinson, L’Antoinette Stines and Howard Daly, each of whom widened the scope of dance for me, showing me another angle, another side of the prism, another possibility – L’Antoinette with her deep connection through dance to the spiritual and ancestral; Joe, with his consistently energetic proposals of the impossible; Howard, with his willingness to take risks with content and presentation.

It goes without saying (though I will say it), that I have also been influenced by Professor Rex Nettleford and the NDTC. Every summer of my formative dance years was spent @ the NDTC’s season of Dance, soaking up the visual lessons in choreography, stagecraft and performance. Further, Professor Nettleford’s bi-lingual intellect (artistic and verbal) helped me to own both aspects of myself and see the wonderful fit of the critical mind and the moving body.

The tutelage of Arsenio Andrade, principal dancer of the NDTC and lecturer in the Cuban-Modern technique has also played and important part in the way I now understand he body’s connection to rhythm and space. I have been blessed also to have contemporaries such as Chris Walker, Shelley-Ann Maxwell, Marlon Simms, Michael Holgate and Oniel Pryce, who, through their willingness to find voice through choreography and performance strengthen my own resolve, daily.

Internationally I have been influenced by the work of a number of contemporary choreographers including Jiri Kylian, Lloyd Newson (DV8 Physical Theatre), Ulysses Dove, Bill T. Jones, Twyla Tharp and Mia Michaels.

YE: What other interests do you have outside of dance?

Neila: I enjoy reading almost anything. I am also crazy about yoga. I’m planning to take up horseback riding and karate.

YE: What inspires you to keep motivated when things get tough?

Neila: The dream that was put into my soul. When things get tough, I have to turn within and call to mind that dream and the feeling of rightness that the dream brings forth.

YE: Who are some dance companies that you admire?

Neila: I have always enjoyed specific pieces from each of our major Jamaican dance companies – newer and older works. As regards Jamaican dancers, a few of those who have really moved my heart include Patsy Ricketts, Arlene Richards, Natalie Chung, Arsenio Andrade, N’Jelle Gage, Simone Harris, Marlon Simms, Chris Walker, Shelley-Ann Maxwell, Anika Jobson, Sade Bully, Guy Thorne. Their commitment to the stage and to their own honesty when on that stage is truly admirable.

Internationally I enjoy the work of DV8 Physical Theatre, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Kettly Noel and Urban Bush Women among others.

YE: What’s the best and worst parts of being an dancer?

Neila: Dance can fill you with such exhilaration. When you have put in the time and effort in rehearsals and classes, more often than not your emotional reward is so fulfilling. To know that you can effectively communicate ideas large and small without words and further, touch another’s heart through your art is what keeps me coming back to Dance. Additionally, it is wonderful to have such a thorough and connected understanding of your body and its potential.

The same body focus can be the worst part, if one does not handle transition and rest well. Dance is first and foremost a physical art, and so the body will wear down, become injured, need to heal. For some, it will never be as it was before injury and so the dancer has to be able to wrap her mind around this reality and continue to live. Sounds easy, but it’s very difficult.

YE: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Neila: In 10 years I would have just entered my 40s. I will be in my prime and still be on stages internationally, performing and leading workshops… enriching lives through Dance. My company will be in full-fledged swing and will be creating opportunities for others who wish to dance their lives.

YE: How would you describe the state of the dance world in Jamaica?

Neila: Rich and fertile in ideas, but too fragmented to grow in a sound way. We have a plethora of choreographers who enjoy the challenges of expressing their views through bodies, but I find that most are trying to express in the same way. I don’t see real chances being taken often enough (I am guilty of this too). I feel we are holding back and trying to maintain a status quo of sorts. There is, as yet, no forum for dialogue and cooperation on its deepest level.

YE: If you could be doing anything you wanted, what would that be?

Neila: I’m doing it now. The only thing I would increase is the international travel and the earnings.

YE: How have you developed your skill?

Neila: I have formally studied dance and performance-making in Jamaica and in the UK, at the Edna Manley College and at the University of Surrey (MA Physical Theatre). Every day, though, I develop my skill, as every day I am actively learning more about my craft.

YE: Do you dance professionally? i.e. Get paid to dance? Do you want to?

Neila: I dance professionally, I choreograph professionally, I lecture professionally.

YE: What’s going on in your head when you’re performing?

Neila: Difficult question. Sometimes there is an inner narrative, images which I call to mind which help me to perform the movements with interpretive sensitivity. Sometimes there are counts. Sometimes I am listening for music cues, watching for movement cues. Sometimes I am actively connecting with an audience member or someone else on stage. Sometimes there is a costume malfunction or some other error and I am many steps ahead in my mind, fixing it. Sometimes there is the bliss of my body being on autopilot. And all this can happen in 30 seconds or less of dance.

YE: What makes you want to get up out of bed in the morning?

Neila: God’s gift of life. Recognising that the first breath in the morning means I’ve got something to do. I’m not done yet.

YE: Final thoughts?

Neila: If there is a song in your heart, please sing it…. A dance, please do it all the way down the street… not matter how many people think you strange. We all come here with our talents and society tells us we are to hide them because they make us too hard to fit with everyone else. I say do what your heart asks you to and then everyone else will want to fit in with you. That’s why you were made in the first place.

Development of Business Intelligence (BI) Market of China in 2008

BI has become one of the most promising sectors in the global information technology market, and it is also an important part in the enterprise informationization evolution in China. Statistics showed that in 2007, the BI market in mainland China had reached 2 billion yuan (US$ 260 million), up 35% from 2006, consisting of BI product licensing of 900 million yuan and BI system integration of 1.1 billion yuan. There are currently more than 500 BI companies (product developers, integrators, distributors and service providers) employing about 80,000 employees in China.

BI is usually referred to as software solutions that can compile existing enterprise data into proper knowledge, in order to assist a company’s decision making process. BI usually involves the following technologies: data mart, data warehouse, user query & report, online analytical processing (OLAP), data mining, key performance indicators and analytic application.

Leading BI technology companies in China

Guangzhou Sunnet – Sunnet has been operating for nine years, starting from the basic multi-dimensional analytical product BlueQuery2.6 in 2001 to the latest BlueQueryEnterpriseV product for enterprise multi-dimensional analytical services.

Shanghai Tenly Software – Tenly’s Markway-branded products include analytical systems, network mining system, intelligent reporting and informationization testing software. Its Markway analytical system was the first Chinese language-based, large-scale statistics analysis and data mining software with proprietary intellectual property in China.

ADM Software – ADM has successfully completed more than 200 large and medium scale projects, with relatively sophisticated BI solutions for the financial, aerospace, retail and government sectors. ADM has become a leader in the enterprise decision-making supporting system field in China.

Beijing Ourway Power Co – This is a fast-growing company for enterprise informationization of small and medium enterprises. Its Power-BI enterprise decision analytical system is the first fast-installation BI software in China.

Competition landscape

Due to the surging global mergers and acquisitions activities in 2007, the BI software market from now on will be dominated by IBM, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft, and specialist BI companies such as SAS, Informatica and Microstrategy are expected to lead the product developments in the industry. Currently local Chinese BI companies have a market share of 36% in China, and Chinese BI licenses only make up of 6% of total BI licensing revenue in China.

Multinational BI advantages

Revenue sources of multinational BI companies in China mainly come from product sales, technical services and large-scale project integration. Multinationals currently have competitive advantages in data warehouses, data mining, ETL (Extract, Transform and Load), reporting and OLAP, with strong market shares in large projects of financial, telecommunication, insurance and energy sectors.

Domestic BI advantages

Local Chinese BI companies are making most money from system integration and product sales, and local system integration companies have captured half of the system integration market of financial and telecommunication sectors. Local BI product developers have achieved significant progress in 2007, especially BI reporting products from Sunnet and Runqian. Although product developers have successfully upgraded their core technologies, the key for their sales achievements last year still lies in the cooperative partnerships with downstream integrators and distributors.

Industry growth

The BI markets of financial, telecommunication and insurance industries had all experienced 20% or so growth rates in 2007, while 30%-plus growth rates were seen in energy, manufacturing and government sectors. The environment for implementing corporate-scale BI systems is becoming sophisticated in large companies, so it remains an important part of the whole BI market of China for the next three years. Medium size companies will be the major growth spot in the Chinese BI market, as this segment will be in a development phase in the next three years. BI systems for small companies are still at an early stage, and it is expected to be maturing in five years’ time. Overall, demand for BI products in China will enter a fast growing phase in the next five years, with an estimated 5 billion yuan value, and followed by another three years of post-maturity extension period.

BI softwares can be more independently implemented in large Chinese companies, while BI capabilities in small and medium enterprises may still have to rely on management softwares such as ERP and CRM. Therefore, it is expected that there will be an increasing number of BI products being embedded into ERP and CRM management softwares as complementary capabilities. But for the long term, BI developers in China should pay more attention to operative BI products.

The biggest constraints for popularizing BI products are their high prices and lack of supporting talents. While industries such as finance, telecommunication, insurance, energy and electricity may have higher reliance on BI capabilities, companies from other industries may require relatively smaller BI investments. The whole BI industry in China is expected to become more competitive, reducing the overall pricing level. Therefore, there would be a higher volume of BI license sales, but total sales value growth may remain relatively stable.

Segment market demand analysis

Demand for BI products of different segments may change over time, and the performance results in 2007 were as follows:

Reporting and OLAP products – Reporting is a basic aspect of BI capabilities, and OLAP multi-dimensional analysis is an outstanding feature of BI. Although reporting and OLAP products accounted for 45% of the BI market, this segment was highly competitive, with multinational players capturing more than 80% of shares.

Data Warehouse Products – Data warehouse and data mart products were another foundation for BI projects, accounting for 40% of China’s BI market, with foreign providers occupying prominent market positions.

ETL and data integration tools – Although ETL and data integration accounted for 40% of a typical BI project, ETL tools only had a 9% market share in China. Many applications are still based on manual coding methods in China, which means it will take some time for ETL tools to get popularised.

Data mining – Data mining technologies, with 3% market shares in 2007, have now relatively matured, but the lack of technical support experts is hindering their acceptance.

Other products such as performance management, KPI and meta data collectively had 3% market shares in China last year.