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Live playoff updates: Sharks vs. Golden Knights, Game 4 Tuesday

first_imgGet live NHL Stanley Cup playoff updates, news and analysis during Game 4 of the Sharks’ first-round series against the Golden Knights on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Las Vegas.For starters, San Jose needs to do much better at the start of each period against the suddenly hot Golden Knights, who became just the second team in NHL postseason history to score a goal within the first minute of each period in Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the Sharks.Vegas’ Mark Stone scored 16 seconds into Game …last_img read more

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Technical issues push out Medupi date

first_img12 January 2015The first unit of the Medupi power station, unit six, is close to first synchronisation, according to power supplier Eskom.The only step necessary before finally admitting steam to the turbine is to clean the boiler and associated pipework from all scale, welding residue and contaminants, which arise from construction.It adds that “while the commissioning process towards the synchronisation is at an advanced stage, each of the remaining steps requires critical assessment of the inherent risks to both safety of people and the equipment integrity before proceeding to stage”.Eskom has not given an official revised date for the first synchronisation of the unit; it missed the previous deadline of 24 December. “Before the end of February” has been targeted by spokesperson Andrew Etzinger. He said the 794 MW unit should be fully operational “by winter”.It is the latest delay to the critical project, following various technical problems and labour disruptions. The original date for synchronising unit six was in 2011; this was moved to the end of 2013, then the end of 2014, and now to the beginning of 2015.Technical issues, related to steam blow-through, have again been cited for the latest delay.Initial cleaning is done by chemical flushing, which removes all major contaminants as well as any foreign objects. This is followed by steam blow-through: specific steam flow conditions are prescribed to achieve a minimum velocity and disturbance factors inside the various elements of the boiler. A number of steam blows have already been performed.“While specified cleanliness levels have not been completely reached, a full technical risk analysis has been performed, which shows clearly that the consequences of admitting steam which is not quite clean enough are only slightly accelerated erosion of the high pressure or intermediate pressure turbine blades and possibly valve seats, during the first few days of operation. Thereafter, stable, reliable and predictable operating conditions will be achieved,” Eskom explains.It will take several months for the unit to ramp up to full and stable power following its first power.The budget for the power station has already been increased from R91.2-billion to R105-billion but a revised budget is expected in light of the improved construction processes.Highlighting the importance of the coal-powered station coming on line as soon as possible, on 9 January Eskom again started stage one load shedding in some areas as a result of high demand and urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations.“We would like to appeal to customers to reduce their electricity usage as much as they can, as it will ease the pressure on the system,” the power utility said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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5 ways Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing eCommerce Marketing

first_imgMarketing strategies are continuously changing due to increasing technological advancement. Technology is responsible for raising the exceptions of people all around the globe. With an increase in innovations, it’s pretty obvious that customers are expecting more and companies are doing everything to can to remain in their good list.Consequently, competition between companies seems to be rising at an unstoppable rate.How can marketers keep up with all of this change?The solution that I am about to offer might seem daunting at first, but trust me, it has its share of benefits; Artificial Intelligence.Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a big thing. Businesses using AI software to their benefit will find a rise in their entire company’s productivity and growth.What exactly is Artificial Intelligence?Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence onto machines. In simple words, a computer system is fabricated to closely resemble human information, behavior, understanding, speech, and even emotions. These machines are capable of decision making and solving problems to meet specific goals, just like humans.Have you ever talked to an AI chatbot? If your answer is no, the following example should jog your memory. Remember the time you surfed the web for a product that you had meant to purchase, you probably found an excellent eCommerce website and decided to get in touch with customer service. When you started chatting it felt as if you were getting automated responses and some responses were entirely out of context. That my friend was an AI chatbot that you were talking to.So exactly what did I mean when I said that we could use Artificial Intelligence in eCommerce marketing? Here are the benefits that Artificial Intelligence has to offer for marketing:1) Personalization & Buyer Persona.The goal is to attract customers and persuade them to buy your products and services. However, understanding a consumer’s needs is a challenging task. If you’re able to understand the requirements, preferences, likes, and dislikes of your customer, you can provide them with the products that they are more interested in.At the moment personalization is only maintained by using information such as ‘search history,’ ‘purchased goods’ or ‘site navigation.’ Such a simple analysis can never really tell what a customer might be thinking or consider buying shortly. Not having a proper insight about your visitor’s behavior is one of the common mistakes made by startups in websites.On the other hand, customer engagement can render some powerful results. By engaging your customers in real-time, you get to know them better; you get to know what they are thinking, what their values are, what motivates them or what they strive for.This technology holds the ability to provide a deep understanding of customers at an individual level. Enabling you to connect with the right customers at the right time, gives you a 360-degree view of your customer and improves your ‘predictive eCommerce marketing’ strategy.How it’s done:Artificial Intelligence uses algorithms based on logical reasoning. Data is analyzed for patterns and learning from these patterns; AI can respond to specific tasks effectively. For example, when visitors are navigating the websites, AI will keep track of their actions and browsing data.With the help of this data, marketers can group customers according to their interests and activities.After the grouping process, marketers can offer recommendations, deliver messages & notifications, and even offer products that are relevant to the customer’s taste. This results in an exceptionally personalized experience.2) AI Assistant.What exactly is a Virtual Assistant?AI assistant or in other words an AI ‘Virtual Assistant’ is a program designed to understand and respond to natural language, respond to commands, and perform tasks. If you don’t already know, a virtual assistant can answer routine queries that visitors put forward. Not only does it save your time, but it also holds the ability to deliver factual information to the buyers within seconds.If buyers get timely answers to queries, then they will ultimately feel that you value their time and are working hard for their satisfaction. Virtual assistants are already in use, such as Siri, Cortana or Alexa. At the moment they are unable to perform complex tasks, but if incorporated they hold the ability to perform exceptionally well.Here are the tasks that an AI Virtual Assistant can perform for you:Arrange appointmentsAnswer EmailsCheck the weather forecastTell you news & reportsMake a to-do-listCreate text messages & remindersManage the calendarCreate a shopping listLook for directions and nearby locations (hotels, restaurants, etc.)Answer all types of queries (general conversation, arithmetic, etc.)Play games (tic-tac-toe, wordplay, hangman, etc.)Request songsCheck for traffic and flight statusControl smart home devicesYou see, the benefits of an AI virtual assistant are numerous:Saves Time:You don’t have to go through the lengthy process of hiring an assistant, with the simple incorporation of a virtual assistant, you not only save your time you also get better results.Cost Effective:Without the need of hiring an employee, you can save your money and increase your profit.Reduces Employee Drama:Of course, workplace drama is widespread. Sometimes employees don’t get along well, which leads your company to suffer the consequences. A virtual assistant will remove all such problems.3) Faster Customer Service With Artificial Intelligence.ECommerce Marketing is all about satisfying your clients so that they become potential buyers.Consumers want to feel valued at individual levels; however, giving value to your customers is only possible with real-time interaction.There is a very low possibility of interacting with thousands of customers at individual levels. To help improve the user experience, businesses have even hired mobile application development companies to create mobile apps and Progressive Web Apps for leveraging user interaction and increasing customer retention.Thankfully, Artificial Intelligence provides a solution for this challenge as well; ‘AI chatbots’ offer better and faster customer service. AI chatbots can interact with humans in a manner that keeps them engaged and also provides them with valuable information.Here are the benefits of customer service chatbots:Rapidly answer queries:Keeping customers waiting is the easiest way to lose sales. With real-time chatbots, you can respond to customer queries within seconds and save your customers from the otherwise agonizing 20 minutes.Chatbots don’t need to rest or sleep; this allows you to provide your consumers with 24/7 customer service wherever and whenever.Increased customer engagement:Chatbots are designed to resemble human nature, so whenever a customer tries to initiate a conversation, it will be able to respond and continue the conversation.Reduce workload:Not only do Chatbots hold the ability to answer questions within the minimum amount of time, but they can also answer several customers at the same time. Chatbots keep a record of frequently asked questions as well as similar requests so that they can provide rapid solutions to all customers.Reduction in errors:We all make mistakes, of course, we’re only human. Unlike humans, if a chatbot is given proper instructions, it can provide error-free answers to all queries and reduce the chance of errors.4) Cost-Effective & Profit Friendly.Artificial intelligence can reduce the cost of customer service by a striking 30 percent. Juniper estimates that by 2022, companies will save up to $8 billion per annum on customer support costs.  If you’re using an AI chatbot for customer service, it will answer 80 percent of your customer queries within a minimum amount of time and also reduce the chance of errors. By using a chatbot, you get access to several perks, one of them is increased revenue and cost reduction.So how do chatbots reduce costs?Reduction in labor cost:To provide customer service, you will have to go through the lengthy process of hiring staff member and once hired; you will have to offer them allowances. Suppose a bot handles about 5,000 queries per month, in that case, the annual cost savings would amount to about $207,000 in contrast with human agents. An AI virtual assistant will not only save your time; it will save you money as well.Reduce operational cost:Chatbots can quickly answer customer queries and provide authentic answers within seconds; this reduces the number of incoming calls, emails, messages, and social media inquiries and lowers the operational cost.5) Smarter Ads, Messages & Notifications.Artificial intelligence is a self-learning program, making continuous interactions with an environment allows it to develop familiarity. Similarly, when a chatbot interacts with various human inquiries, service requests and different types of conversations, it learns from each iteration and self-tunes itself to provide relevant solutions.Now suppose a customer makes a query that the AI is unable to respond to, in that case, the question will be passed on to a human agent. What will happen is that the AI will learn from that iteration and the next time that query is asked, it will quickly deliver a solution to the customer.An AI’s ability to self-learn enables it to develop familiarity with customer requests, conversations, purchases and navigation; by using this data, it can direct the right advertisements, offers, messages and notifications to the right customers at the right time.Conclusion:Artificial intelligence provides numerous benefits in various fields, such as health care, education, finance, space science, entertainment, and even marketing. Above I’ve mentioned the top 5 benefits that AI can effectively deliver if used in eCommerce. It all depends on how you devise it to meet your needs. So, what do you think about AI? What are your ideas? Do tell me in your comments. Rameeza Yasin is a Digital Marketing Executive for Appverticals an expert mobile application development company. Her expert writing skills, enable her to convert complex information, into content that anyone can read. Her technical educational background, combined with a know-how of content marketing, gives her an edge over others in a variety of blog posts. AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts Tags:#AI Adoption#Artifical intelligence#eCommerce businesses#eCommerce marketing Rameeza YasinDigital Marketing Executive How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

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