Weather And Business: Insights And Ideas For Weathering The Storms

“How about this weather we’re having?” “Can you believe how cold it is?” “The weather made my commute just brutal today!” Weather dominates small talk in the United States, and there has been a lot of research done on how weather influences behavior and emotions. But, weather also has strong financial impact; it is estimated that nearly 20% of the U.S. economy is directly affected by the weather, and it impacts the profitability and revenues of many industries, including agriculture, energy, events, construction, travel and others. In a 1998 testimony to Congress, former commerce secretary William Daley stated, “Weather is not just an environmental issue, it is a major economic factor. At least $1 trillion of our economy is weather-sensitive.”

This regular column will focus on business and its relationship with weather. Our economy is dependent on weather, and increased weather volatility has forced businesses to be more proactive in including weather insights into operational planning.  As weather-forecasting technology continues to improve, businesses are finding it easier to be more proactive in making decisions related to weather.

Of the more than 10,000 practicing meteorologists in the U.S., there is strong representation in the private sector. A meteorologist may be found in a variety of positions, ranging from weather forecasting duties, to non-forecasting roles like sales, marketing and business analytics. The job outlook for meteorologists is estimated to grow by 12%, which is almost 40 percent faster than the national average.

Public safety is a very visible example of weather forecasting for business. But there are many other ways weather plays a role in business. For some companies, it’s about risk management. For retailers, meteorologists help develop strategies that address how weather impacts purchasing trends. Meteorologists can help with business planning and developing strategies for expansion geographies. The impact of weather on business is real, and as forecasting and other technology continues to evolve, the weather-based decision making within business will also evolve.

Top of mind for so many folks right now is winter and safety, particularly as yet another storm rolls into the northeast. Severe weather will impact flights, road traffic, agriculture, the delivery of energy and the general safety of the public. When thinking about the current winter conditions and the impact on traffic and road conditions, it’s expected the plows will keep the roads clear, but there’s a lot of planning needed, not only to effectively keep the roads clear, but to also effectively manage budgets. In Minnesota for example, Anoka County is responsible for keeping 1,100 lane miles of roads clear with the work of 40 full-time, and 20 on-call, maintenance workers. These crews rely on the accuracy of each weather forecast and a big benefit of leveraging those forecasts is the effective use of budgets. Anoka County weather forecasts have specific pavement forecasts, which help the team schedule crews appropriately. The county is required to give night crews a 24-hour notice, and those crews are paid a premium rate for working after hours. Having an accurate forecast helps the department avoid scheduling workers for night shifts unless it’s necessary, ultimately protecting the bottom line.

Pavement forecasts also help the department use other resources efficiently. When freezing rain is predicted, it uses this information to help determine the optimal time to salt the roads, in turn, avoiding unnecessary applications. The department also knows the best time to pretreat roads, allowing it to avoid sending out a second shift which increases safety for everyone on the road. As this story from Anoka County, Minnesota, shows, there are real economic implications to everyday weather events.

[“source=forbes”]

Here’s Why ‘Destiny 2’ Can’t Bring Back Year 1 Armor (Yet), And How To Fix That

Destiny 2Bungie

One common refrain among Destiny players is that it makes little sense to keep making old gear irrelevant at this rapid of a pace. When armor received random rolls in year 2, for instance, the solution was not to just give all current sets random rolls and actual perks, but instead to just leave them with…literally nothing, allowing only year 2 armor and beyond to roll with actual perks.

What this means is that everything players worked to earn in year 1 is functionally useless, because having armor with no perks is a recipe to be at a huge disadvantage in every activity. But that means leaving tons and tons of sets behind. Ones from every destination, old Eververse sets, sets from Zavala and Shaxx, from the raid and Trials and Iron Banner. Those damn Solstice sets that we grinded for ages for. None of that is useful, and even if you can require it from collections, there’s no actual point in doing so without perks.

The problem is that you can’t just flip a switch and grant everything rolls all of a sudden because of the way the current economy and acquisition system is set up.

Right now for say, planetary vendors, you can simply buy individual pieces of armor directly from them. Even if you disallowed random rolls on those pieces, you can also turn in materials for engrams, materials that Spider now sells for legendary shards. What that would mean is that it would only cost you a handful of shards to keep rolling and rolling and rolling for god tier loot with the exact perks you wanted, but changing the Spider economy would mess things up for say, infusion.

Raids, Trials, Eververse and Iron Banner stuff are each their own issues, but Bungie isn’t even attempting to try and find a fix for any of it. So I will, because this is just way, way too much stuff to leave behind, and the more stuff there is try and acquire, the more engaged players will be. More so than getting their 98th Tangled Web set, that’s for sure.

Destiny 2Bungie

Planetary Vendors – No longer sell individual pieces of gear, and no longer accept materials for random engrams. Give each a “heroic” bounty that gives out one piece of planetary gear a day (not powerful, just themed). Give planetary set rewards at the end of adventures that take place there. Have an increased chance to drop planetary sets when on patrol or running strikes in those areas. You could even add planetary gear to the Prime Engram loot pool so give Rahool more of a selection.

Raids – Just let people run the old raids and raid lairs and have gear drop like normal. You don’t get raid gear fast enough to make this a farming problem, so if people really want to hunt for good rolls on old gear this way, let them. Who cares.

Year 1 Crucible, Iron Banner and Vanguard sets – Allow players to pick between turning in tokens for old sets or new ones. If you want to encourage people to give the new set a shot, make getting the old set like, twice as expensive or something in terms of how many tokens gets you a piece. But it would still be a way to acquire stuff. Also periodically drop old gear as rewards in those activities.

Destiny 2Bungie

Trials – I do not have a great answer for this one. Given that Trials no longer exists, these sets may have to stay dead. You could do something crazy like offer Xur 150 shards for one random piece of Trials gear you’ve already acquired, now with rolls, but this is a tough one given that the activity is just not in the game at all.

Escalation Protocol – Literally nothing needs to change. Just let people keep grinding it for random EP gear, it’s probably the best damn armor in the game. I never completed it enough to get full sets back when it was relevant, but at 650 power I sure have now even with just a couple randoms, and it’s a bummer that gear is just pointless now (outside of the weapons).

Solstice Gear – Another tough one because this was a one-time-only event. At the very least, just give everyone random rolls on the pieces they still have. They might suck, but at least they’d have the potential to use them. I’m not sure how more rolls would work for these unless there was some sort of grand re-roll mechanic for everything, but that’s an issue for another day.

Destiny 2Bungie

Eververse/Holiday sets – You may have heard my philosophy that putting armor in Eververse at all is BS and all of this stuff should just be in the general loot pool. Put all old sets in there now with random rolls, and stop doing limited time only sets that are literally impossible to effectively farm for rolls.

The other, easier solution to all of the above is just to allow armor transmogrification, meaning you can pay some currency to make any rolled armor you want look like any piece of gear you’ve acquired. This may be the easiest fix if you don’t want to jump through all the above hoops, and I’ve already written about that extensively.

I don’t know if I’ve covered every old armor set in the game here, but that’s a good chunk of them. There is a way to make this work, and it really makes no sense that A) Bungie would take so time designing this stuff and B) players would take so much time earning it only to have be made irrelevant in a year’s time. That isn’t how loot-based games like this are supposed to work, and there are fixes here if Bungie wants to pursue them.

[“source-forbes”]

Boys, 11 And 12, Named For UP Cow Slaughter; Spent 4 Hours With Police

Two children, 11 and 12, have been named as accused in a case filed over cow slaughter allegations that led to a frenzied mob murdering a police officer in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandhshar.

The boys, who are cousins, are among seven named in a complaint of cow slaughter filed after carcasses were found strewn around in a forest near village Nayabans in Bulandshahr.

The complainant, Yogesh Raj, is a Bajrang Dal activist who is the main accused in mob killing of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh. He is missing since the incident.

Yogesh Raj is seen in a video arguing with the police and demanding action against cow slaughter on Monday, shortly before the situation went out of hand and a mob attacked policemen, burnt the police outpost and set vehicles on fire.

Yogesh Raj’s complaint includes two children, one man who does not live in the village anymore, and three names the villagers have never heard.

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Inspector Subodh Kumar was killed in mob frenzy over cow carcasses found near a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr

The village is stunned that children have been named for cow slaughter. The father of one of the boys says they were not even in the village the day of the incident.

“The police came to our house, called us to the police station and kept us there for four hours. They took the names of the boys and took my phone number. I was told we should be called again if required,” the father said.

So six of the seven names in the cow slaughter case are doubtful, NDTV learnt from inquiries in the village. One of the “accused” lives in Faridabad in Haryana and has not stayed in the village in 10 years.

[“source=ndtv”]

Three Ways To Understand And Apply Social Media Insights To Your Business

Pexels

The internet has impacted the way most, if not all, industries have evolved. Keeping up with industry trends and available platforms is a job in and of itself. In particular, social media is shaping the way many companies engage with customers and drive sales.

In the education industry, the internet has revolutionized the way people learn and how they interact with their peers. Based on my experience working with social media influencers to engage students, I’d like to share three tips for entrepreneurs in any industry.

Learn how your target audience is using social media.

You can never stay hot for too long in the world of social media. One minute Snapchat is the app of the hour, the next it’s Instagram, and the cycle continues. Social media has secured credibility in recent years as a trusted source of information not only for news but also as a platform for consumers to engage with companies and exchange information.

My company’s target audience is students, and we have found that students today use social media in ways that are foreign to generations that did not grow up in the digital age. For example, “study with me” videos have become a popular internet sensation among youth. My company decided to capitalize on this opportunity by partnering with YouTube influencers to learn how students are using YouTube to study; we then applied that information to our platform to better help our users succeed academically.

Understanding how your target audience is using and benefiting from social media is critical to success. This applies to any business. Many companies are under the impression that all there is to social media is a simple press of a button to post content, but that’s not where the value lies. Building your presence is important, but understanding why you have that presence will help you properly utilize your channels and benefit in multiple ways.

To do so, connect with your target audience and customers. Create surveys, send personal emails or even make phone calls to understand how your customers are using social media and in what ways your business can have a valuable impact. Get a deeper understanding of your audience behavior and which channels you should focus on.

[“source=forbes]