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Here’s What Major Environmental Rollbacks Happened On Day 1 of the Biden Administration


The Biden administration promised environmental rollbacks on day one, and the administration did not disappoint. On his first day in office, President Biden signed 17 executive orders on a broad range of issues including climate change.

Here are the 3 major environmental rollbacks that occurred on President Biden’s First day in office.

Note: There were various other rollbacks like automobile fuel standards, so be sure to check out a full breakdown of the executive orders.

1. Rejoining the Paris Accord

The most well-known and impactful change was the United States asking to rejoin the Paris Accord. This will begin a short process that will allow the nation to rejoin the agreement with nearly 200 other nations.

This will put the United States in a position to help lead other nations to go green as it begins the process itself.

2. Revoke the Keystone XL Pipeline Permit

The Keystone XL pipeline was held up in court for years, but the previous administration granted the permit. The administration was quick to overturn this and construction on the pipeline will halt.

This is a serious blow to the oil industry because transporting the oil around the country is integral to the industry.

3. Temporarily Halting Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most controversial decisions has been allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. While that has ended in failure because no oil company showed up for the auctions, the possibility remained.

However, a temporary halt is in effect. This will prevent any drilling in the refuge for some time.

Green Energy Is the Future Of America

Green Energy

One thing that these executive orders have made abundantly clear, is that there is no room for oil in America’s future. The new administration is committed to pursuing green energy sources and transitioning our electric grid to zero carbon emissions.

However, that plan will take some time.

The current plan is to prepare the nation for the change and set it up to reach that goal by 2035.





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7 Best Online Survey Tools for 2021


Collecting feedback is one of the most important things a business should do. And online survey tools are the best way to do it. Luckily, there is no shortage of tools to choose from, which provides businesses with a lot of options. Thus, I have assembled a list of the best online survey tools for 2021.

What Is An Online Survey Tool?

An online survey tool allows businesses to build surveys in a variety of forms and present the information in an easy-to-read format. These tools aid businesses in collecting information from their userbase and help them improve the customer experience for existing products and services.

They also help businesses find new opportunities and create content their customer base is interested in.

Surveys come in a variety of forms that include customer satisfaction, event/conference, product, human resource, net promoter score, and much more. As you can tell from this list, surveys are not only for customers but for employees as well.

The most important aspect of these tools is how they collect information. Being able to perform market research after the results have been collected is the entire point of an online survey tool. As such, you can expect a plethora of data collection and parsing features.

The Best Online Survey Tools For Your Business

1.  SoGoSurvey

SoGoSurvey

SoGoSurvey is one of the best online survey tools for small businesses that are looking to create surveys for the first time. The toolset it offers is easy to use and offers great analytical tools that help you track and analyze the results.

After all, the data you collect is useless if you can’t use it.

One of the best parts of this tool is its incredible UI, which is there to help you every step of the way. It lists the steps you will need to design and distribute your survey to the world. Everything from the creation process to the analytics side is easy to use and straightforward.

One thing that may seem simple, but is often overlooked, is this tool’s ability to allow you to switch between reports. This makes it simple to compare the results from multiple surveys all at once, which can be extremely important if you run a variety of similar surveys.

Benefits of SoGoSurvey

  • Perfect for beginners and small businesses
  • View multiple reports at once
  • Export results to Microsoft Excel

Price of SoGoSurvey

  • Plus plans start at $25 per month
  • Pro plans start at $66 per month
  • Premium plans start at $99 per month
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

2. Google Forms

Google Forms

When it comes to online survey tools, many businesses expect them to break the bank, but that isn’t true. There are many free survey tools to choose from, and Google Forms is one of the best ones. In fact, its features can compete with premium tools.

And as you might expect, it works with other Google features.

Google Forms provides everything you need to build terrific forms for your business including a variety of theme options, the ability to add custom logos, insert images and videos within a survey or poll, and directly embed the survey on your website or in an email.

As a result, putting forms together has never been easier. And unlike many free options, there are no restrictions on the number of surveys you can build or the number of responses it will receive.

Thus, it’s just as powerful as any premium option.

Benefits of Google Forms

  • All responses are neatly organized
  • Create forms with other collaborators
  • Forms work on any device

Price of Google Forms

3. Qualtrics

Qualtrics

Qualtrics was built for research use in the academic field, but can easily meet the needs of larger businesses. As a result of the intended audience, the pricing is not standard and is far pricier than other options on this list.

However, the services it offers are top-notch.

One of the best ways to explain the versatility of this tool is to highlight the fact that you can create 8 different question types. These include a standard text question, displaying a graphic, multiple-choice question, matrix table, text entry, using a slider (perfect for on a scale of 1 to 10 questions), rank order, and side-by-side questions.

As a result of these options, you can ask your question in any form. All of the data can then be analyzed through the powerful analytical tools this service offers. You can view all of the information in a variety of charts, which makes sorting through surveys a breeze.

Benefits of Qualtrics

  • Extremely powerful and perfect for large market research
  • Over 50 pre-built survey templates
  • Filter through reports to compare with others

Price of Qualtrics

  • Pricing is not made available on their website

4. Formidable Form Builder

Formidable-Form-Builder

If you utilize WordPress for your website, then you should take a look at the plethora of free survey plugins available. And among all of these, the Formidable Form Builder plugin is a terrific choice to build a wide array of surveys.

And let’s not forget its main focus, building contact forms.

Unlike all of the other tools on this list, Formidable Form Builder allows you to view the results of your surveys directly from your website. For most business owners, this can save a huge amount of time from not have to visit another website to check on the results.

All of the data is neatly organized and can be viewed in a variety of ways including graphs. You can even export this data to Microsoft Excel to further analyze it. There is also a pro version of the plugin that grants more features.

Benefits of Formidable Form Builder

  • It builds a variety of other forms, not just surveys
  • Fully complies with GDPR regulations
  • Drag and drop interface makes survey creation a breeze

Price of Formidable Form Builder

  • A free WordPress plugin is available
  • Basic starts at $74 per year
  • Pro starts at $149 per year
  • Business starts at $299 per year
  • Elite starts at $599 per year

5. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is one of, if not the biggest name in the online survey tools industry. It offers a strong product that is easy to use, and you can even try it with the free version.  Just keep in mind it is limited in scope compared to the paid version.

However, for what SurveyMonkey is offering, it’s worth the price of admission.

This tool streamlines the survey creation process by providing a clear and concise order. The tool is there every step of the way to make sure you never get lost. It has plenty of pre-built templates and most notably, a huge question bank to speed up creation.

You might even find some questions that are presented better than your own. All of the data can be analyzed through various lens and filters including pie charts, line charts, and other report filtering options. It’s an all-in-one tool that excels at surveying.

Benefits of SurveyMonkey

  • Supports exporting data to Microsoft Excel
  • The UI is customizable to make it more user-friendly
  • Used by 98% of Fortune 500 companies

Price of SurveyMonkey

  • A free version is available
  • The Team Advantage plan starts at $25 per user per month
  • The Team Premier plan starts at $75 per user per month
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

6. Quiz and Survey Master

Quiz and Survey Master

Another great WordPress plugin to consider using is the Quiz and Survey Master plugin. It is a free survey creator and is solely focused on creating surveys and quizzes to help website owners and businesses understand their userbase.

And it’s completely free to start, with paid add-ons available.

This plugin supports a variety of question types that include multiple-choice, radio buttons, true or false, drop-down boxes, checkboxes, fill in the blank, and many more. As a result, you can collect data about the same topic in a variety of ways.

A nice feature the plugin offers is sending a follow-up email to visitors that take part in a survey or quiz. You can use this to display a result for a quiz or to say “thank you” for participating. It’s also a good place to add any rewards for participating, like a discount code.

Benefits of Quiz and Survey Master

  • Integrates with other services like MailChimp
  • Has a variety of features to make quizzes more exciting, including leaderboards
  • View survey results in WordPress

Price of Quiz and Survey Master

  • A free WordPress plugin is available for use
  • There are a variety of premium add-ons to consider

7. Zoho Survey

Zoho-Survey

Closing out this list is Zoho Survey, but don’t let its placement fool you. It’s one of the best on the market. Zoho offers a wide variety of different options to collect information and, most importantly, it’s easy to use.

It also offers a robust collection of analytical tools to examine data.

The creation process is very simple thanks to the UI. As a result, even if this is your first time, you should have no trouble creating an awesome survey. It utilizes a drag-and-drop format, and the tool supports up to 25 different question types.

This survey tool also supports team collaborations. You can build surveys in a group and have members give their input and check them for typos. After all, if customers catch a typo in a survey, they may question if they should answer.

Benefits of Zoho Survey

  • Supports multilingual surveys
  • See responses in real-time
  • Supports pop-up surveys

Price of Zoho Survey

  • A free survey maker is available
  • Plus plans start at $20 per month
  • Pro plans start at $25 per month
  • enterprise plans start at $60 per month

Understand Basic Statistics and Graphs

For the most part, these tools do a fantastic job of displaying the information you gather from the surveys.

However, even in its most basic form, this information may not help everyone. Analytical experts analyze this data in a variety of ways, which is how they are able to make great choices. Even doing just a little research can go a long way.

A great resource I recommend checking out is the Qualtrics analysis of statistical analysis methods. It goes over just about everything you need, and it’s easy to understand.

If you don’t understand what the information is telling you, you could end up coming to the wrong conclusion.

Don’t Be Annoying

I have no doubt that at some point, you were asked to take a survey. For many people, it’s annoying.

Of course, for a survey to be successful, people do need to take it. But you can easily drive away customers by constantly asking. For example, one of the most annoying things a company can do is constantly send emails that specifically ask you to take a survey or provide feedback.

Instead of being annoying, you need to get creative.

Make sure to include links to feedback surveys with every receipt or invoice you send. It provides the information they want to see and it makes sense to include the link. It is also common to offer a reward by taking a survey, such as a small discount code.

Keep in mind that you should also have a feedback page on your website, which can be a useful link to share on social media.

Understand Your Customers

Survey tools exist to help businesses, big and small, learn about their customer base. If you understand what they are looking for and how to provide a better experience, it can help ensure customers keep coming back.

It can also open up new business opportunities that you can examine.

What online survey tools do you use?





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Biden Looks to Overturn 100 Environmental Policies From the Last 4 Years


During the last 4 years, the Trump administration has rolled back countless environmental policies and regulations. Now, Biden is looking to overturn 100 of these rollbacks as he seeks to put the United States on track to fight climate change.

These rollbacks will come in the form of an executive order that intends to address public health and climate change. The list of rollbacks range from lightbulb efficiency all the way to fuel standards for new cars.

Making these changes will help lower emissions and protect our environment from pollution.

List of Major Environmental Policies Rollbacks

In total, the Trump administration rolled back 104 regulations, with 20 currently still in the process of reform.

Here are just a few of the major ones that are likely to change:

Obama-era Automobile Fuel Standards

Fuel Gauge

For years, automobiles have strived to use less gas. Not only does this provide an environmental benefit, but it also helps the auto owners. The specific rollback allows for cars to emit an extra billion tons by lowering enforceable fuel standards on new cars.

Oil Companies No Longer Need to Report Methane Emissions

One of the more controversial changes was no longer requiring oil companies to report methane emissions. Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas, which is much more potent than CO2.

This disincentivizes companies to repair small leaks and has led to an increase in emissions.

Open Up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge For Oil Drilling

For over six decades, the drilling rights for this wildlife refuge have been in court. However, the legal battle came to an end when it was part of a major tax reform bill in 2017. Recently, the land was auctioned, and in quite an ironic turn of events, no major oil company showed up.

However, the possibility for drilling remains.

Weakened the Endangered Species Act

The act intended to protect wildlife species facing extinction was altered as well. The change made it harder for animals that were going extinct as a result of climate change to be added to the endangered species list.

This made it harder for the species to receive the protections they need to survive.

Revoked A Rule Preventing Coal Companies From Dumping in Local Streams

That’s right, it’s now not against the law for coal companies to dump mining debris into nearby local streams. Overturning this, and many other coal regulations, were in an effort to keep the coal industry alive. However, that ultimately failed.

The rise of natural gas and renewable energy has permanently made coal undesirable as an energy source.

Change is on the Way

Overturning these problematic environmental policies will help the United States improve environmental protection and meet climate goals.

Most importantly, the nation will begin rejoining the Paris Accord on day one. Currently, it is one of the very few nations not currently part of the agreement and the only major economy that is not a member. And, when combined with the environmental rollbacks, a greener future is ahead.





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8 Best Employee Scheduling and Shift Planning Software in 2021


Dealing with employee shifts and scheduling can be a tedious process. That is why it is a good idea to have the best employee shift planning software available. Not only will you have access to great features and support, but you will also give yourself a way to manage your team’s productivity.

This is an ideal situation for employers. Especially ones that have a larger number of employees to deal with. While there are certain apps for work schedules out there, you want to make sure you are finding the best employee scheduling shift planning software available. 

In this article, I am going to list some of the best staff employee shift planning software on the Internet today. You will able to go through these and see exactly what you may or may not want to use.

What is Employee Scheduling Software??

Shift planning software is something that can make an employer’s life a lot easier. Not only do the best staff scheduling apps make shift planning and employee scheduling much easier, but they can also hold a lot of other details from an employee that an employer may need access to at any given time.

One of the main highlights and features that the best employee scheduling shift planning software has is the employee database. This is a database that holds all sorts of useful information for an employee.

Some of the main things these databases take care of and hold are a worker’s contact information, job title or type, training, or other qualifications. This, along with and their availability (including shift preferences and time-off requests) all work together to make scheduling much easier.

So, how much is solid employee shift planning software worth to you? While you always want to find a reasonable deal as far as pricing goes, make note of this. According to Connecteam, over 140 hours are wasted annually if you have to create a work schedule manually. 

From tracking time-off requests to working around everyone’s scheduling conflicts, scheduling employees manually can be very time-consuming. It can also prevent you from optimizing your labor and payroll costs.

The question really becomes, how much is that extra time worth to you?

A lot of the software below will have functionality like a team scheduler app. This, along with other features, can make the entire process much easier and more forgiving.

Let’s take a look at some of the best employee shift planning software available today.

Best Employee Shift Planning and Scheduling Software

1. Homebase

Homebase employee shift planning

If you are looking for a comprehensive solution for scheduling for a small business, then you will be hard-pressed to find anything as good as Homebase. They provide a very simple drag and drop interface that comes with a lot of great features.

They also have a free plan that is suitable for many small businesses out there, so feel free to take a look at that as well. The basic plan will give you time clocks, time and attendance tracking, employee mobile apps, and the ability to schedule beyond 10 days.

All-in-all, Homebase may be the first and last solution you look at because of all it can offer.

Features

  • Free iOS and Android apps
  • Unlimited employees
  • GPS employee tracking
  • Online scheduling
  • Employee performance tracking

2. SageHR

SageHR

Formerly known as CakeHR, SageHR offers a very wide range of services that come bundled in their employee scheduling tool. Onboarding new employees could not be easier, and automating the HR process is also very simple with this software.

The employee scheduling tool itself is top of the line. It gives you everything you need to quickly and easily adjust hours, approve timesheets, and monitor workload. In addition to employee scheduling, CakeHR offers solutions for timesheets, performance, leave management, expenses, and recruitment.

Features

  • Interactive shift planning
  • Single site support
  • Multi-location support
  • Dedicated shift managers
  • Mobile app access

3. Connecteam

Connecteam employee shift planning

Connecteam makes this list because of the way it is able to handle scheduling details for people on the go. It provides very reliable software with increased functionality that caters to virtual and on-the-go workforces.

The entire scheduling system was built for mobile use. If you are in a situation where scheduling happens fast, on-the-move, and in multiple areas, then Connecteam is definitely one you want to look at.

Features

  • Mobile access anywhere
  • Easy to use
  • Employee engagement features
  • Mobile dashboard is very robust
  • Real-time clock in and out

4. Humanity

Humanity

One of the most popular and recognizable pieces of employee shift planning software available today is Humanity. This platform is used by a lot of the really big companies including Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente, Nike, Yelp, Safeway, and Squarespace.

Where Humanity really excels is the area of cost and margins. The platform allows you to optimize schedules in the most cost-effective way possible. They also take some things further than other platforms.

With Humanity, you will be able to ensure local, state, and Federal compliance in terms of labor laws for things like break frequency, hours worked, and time between shifts. These are important aspects of employee scheduling that should not be overlooked.

Another one of the standout features of Humanity is the ability for employees to easily trade shifts. It does this by using a set of pre-defined values. This allows shift trade approvals to go through with approval with very little (if any) supervisor involvement.

Features

  • Auto scheduling
  • Real-time labor and budgeting
  • Compliance
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Geolocation clock-ins and clock-outs
  • Secure messaging

5. TSheets

TSheets employee shift planning

Another one of the best employee scheduling shift planning software out there today is TSheets, which is run by the familiar name, Quickbooks. I would recommend TSheets as one of the best services on this list for small business employee scheduling needs.

TSheets is basically a mobile timesheet where employers can clock-in and clock-out from anywhere. The app uses real-time GPS capabilities. This, in turn, allows you to hold all your staff accountable for the hours they have been working. 

This is definitely where TSheets excels, but it also comes with a number of other tools and features. They make it very easy to create and assign shifts from a computer or smartphone while employing a drag and drop scheduling interface.

  • Free mobile app with GPS
  • Real-time reports
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Time-clock facial recognition
  • Geofencing

6. 7Shifts

7Shifts

7Shifts is on this list because even though it is industry-specific, this employee scheduling software is excellent at its niche. More than 250,000 restaurants around the world use this software. So if you are in the business of serving food, then you definitely want to take a look at 7Shifts.

Not only are there incredible built-in employee communication tools like group chat, direct messaging, and announcements, but the software also allows owners to save time and reduce overall costs.

7Shifts also gives total access to a weekly labor and budget tool. This, along with the detailed reports, intuitive dashboard, and POS (Point of Sale) integration, allows you to easily manage your scheduling and payroll system.

Features

  • Unlimited scheduling
  • Time locking
  • Notifications
  • Free mobile app
  • Labor budget tool
  • Manager logbook
  • Integrated task management

7. Paycor

Paycor employee shift planning

If you are looking to optimize the efficiency of your scheduling, then Paycor is a platform that you need to take a look at. This software gives managers the ability to quickly and easily go through a scheduling process, while at the same time, making the best decisions for the business.

Create clear and visible schedules in advance. This keeps everyone informed and on the same page. You will also have the ability to create templates for faster scheduling. All you have to do is drag and drop employees to assign new shifts in just a few clicks.

Paycor also gives employees some control as well. It allows them to set day and time availability in advance. This means that managers can more easily schedule around certain needs and preferences.

Features

  • Schedule optimization
  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding
  • HR and benefits
  • Time and Attendance

8. When I Work

When I Work

Rounding out our list of the best employee shift planning tool is When I Work. This platform offers a ton of features and functionality. However, the software excels because it offers a fantastic free version that most businesses can use.

Aside from the free version, when I Work is used by over 100,000 businesses, including some really big names like Dunkin Donuts, Ben & Jerry’s, Cold Stone Creamery, and Jamba Juice.

Needless to say, the platform has everything you need to properly schedule employees.

Features

  • One-click scheduling
  • Shift coverage confirmation
  • Labor forecasting
  • Overtime control
  • Payroll integration

What Types of Employee Schedules Are There?

The answer to this question is based on the type of business you are running. Some businesses will have a fixed schedule, while others may employ variable or rotating shift schedules. A good example of this is the healthcare industry.

Someone may work three days on and three days off, or some other variable or rotating schedule.

The type of employee scheduling software you choose from the list above will be based on what is the right choice for your situation and business. Remember, one-size doesn’t always fit all. It is important to review all the ones that seem like they may be the best fit.

From there, you can pick the one that supports your business needs the best.

How Much Does Employee Shift Planning Software Cost

There are actually some good free options if you have a very small business. However, for most businesses out there considering this type of software, certain features and functions need to be built-in.

Naturally, you will need to pay for this type of functionality. 

Most of the services above come in different pricing structures. An employee based service will charge you a set amount per employee. A subscription-based service will charge a flat subscription rate based on the number of locations.

Others may vary in price ranges and setup, but the two above are the most popular types of pricing structures.

How to Make the Right Choice

There is a solid list above for you to choose from. That being said, there are still multiple software plans that you have to narrow down. There are, however, some specific things you want to look at when you are in the process of choosing the best staff scheduling apps.

Consider some of the following:

  • Business Size: The number of employees or the number of locations you may have is going to impact your final decision. A company with 10 employees is going to be looking for something much different than a company with 100 employees.
  • Industry: The industry you work in is also something you need to consider. Someone scheduling hours for a small restaurant is much different than someone scheduling shifts and hours for a hospital.
  • Mobile Access: An important aspect for any business today is mobile access. When choosing the right employee shift planning software, remember how important mobile access is going to be for you. Some companies offer better mobile access and functionality than others.
  • Time Tracking: You may think, yeah, isn’t time tracking part of the deal? Actually, not all of these scheduling apps offer time tracking in a way you may need it. Make sure this is part of the deal.
  • Price: We touched on this a little above, but it is definitely going to be a driving point for most. You need to figure out which platform gives you everything you need, while at the same time offering you the best pricing.

Conclusion

Figuring out the best employee scheduling shift planning software does not have to be difficult. Once you have a place to start, then you can scroll through the list and shop around for what you are looking for.

You can’t go wrong with any of the employee shift planning software listed above. Go through them, shop around some, compare all the features, functionality, and pricing.

Match that up with what you need and you will have a new and improved way to schedule employees in no time at all. Good luck!



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Biden to Rejoin the Paris Accord on the First Day


Among a slew of other plans for his first days in office, President-elect Biden will be signing an executive order to rejoin the Paris accord. This will begin the process for the United States to rejoin the agreement, which 197 nations are a part of.

While the process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is long, returning is quite easy. All it requires is for the nation that wishes to join to send a letter to the United Nations and after 30 days, the United States can rejoin.

This action does not require any action from the House or Senate, but this is the easy part.

Making America Green Won’t Be Easy

The United States has a huge emissions problem, and many of the regulations that have been put in place over the last 4 years have made going green much harder.

A starting point will be reversing many of these regulatory changes, which could take quite some time. For example, lightbulb efficiency regulations were cut for no good reason. These regulations ensure lightbulbs use less energy to save money on your power bill.

In the case of businesses, it can save thousands each year.

America has also invested heavily in natural gas. And in hindsight, it was a huge mistake when looking at the current price of oil. This industry has been decimated with most oil companies looking at multi-billion dollar losses.

With many of these facilities being recently built, it will be hard to replace them so quickly with renewable energy sources.

However, for the United States to meet climate goals, something must change.

Covid-19 Recovery Plan Is Key

2021 Recovery

As the United States plans to rejoin the Paris accord, it must also focus on recovering from Covid-19.

Creating an economic recovery plan will be critical and not just for America. Every country around the world is in a similar situation, and many are integrating going green with recovery plans.

As a result, this can open up a lot of opportunities for the world to be more environmentally friendly.



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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Auction is A Colossal Failure


The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) was approved for oil drilling in 2017’s tax reform bill. And it was decided that a small portion of the land would be auctioned off. However, the ANWR auction ended up being a colossal failure as no major oil company showed up.

There were a total of 22 tracks of land to bid on, and only 11 of them received bids. The kicker was that the majority of the bids were all from the state of Alaska in the form of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA).

These bids were to ensure that the state itself can lease the land for drilling in case any plots were not sold.

Where Were the Oil Companies?

For decades, oil companies and the state of Alaska have been fighting to allow drilling. Thus, it may have come as a shock to Alaskan officials when none were present.

However, it makes perfect sense as this might be the worst possible time for an oil auction.

Oil prices have been down all year as a result of lower demand due to the pandemic. As a result, these companies are down billions of dollars and are even beginning to divest from oil itself in favor of renewable energy.

There is also their reputation on the line. Many of these big oil companies are working on changing their image due to younger investors. Drilling in a wildlife refuge is not going to win them any favors in this department.

And finally, this rushed auction was a result of the administration change in the White House. President-elect Biden has openly said he is opposed to the drilling, which could mean regulatory barriers for drillers.

It’s a big risk and with oil prices so low, the payoff just isn’t there.

Major Banks Are Also Opposed

Banking

To date, every major American bank has stated that it will not support drilling. This cut off an important source of money for any companies interested and could ruin relationships between a company and bank.

As you can imagine, that is a very bad thing.

Thus, there was very little incentive for any major oil players to attend the ANWR auction.



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Una introducción al desarrollo de temas y plugins en WordPress


El pasado Noviembre 2020 se llevó a cabo el WordCamp Mexico 2020 en formato online y Marco Berrocal tuvo la oportunidad de dar una charla para la comunidad.

¿Qué aprenderás en esta charla?

Eco-sistema de WordPress

Hoy aprenderá acerca del eco-sistema de WordPress, conocerás acerca de su enorme repositorio, el cual te abre muchas posibilidades de desarrollo.

Tipos de Desarrolladores

Marco nos comenta que dentro del proyecto WordPress existen diferentes tipos de desarrolladores dentro de la comunidad de WordPress, los cuales son para plugins, temas y core.

HTML5, CSS, PHP, Javascript y MySQL

HTML5 y CSS son tecnologías que van de la mano y que forman parte de WordPress, CSS son los estilos que se utilizan para visualizar lo que usted verá en su sitio web.

Aprenderá que PHP es el lenguaje computacional que WordPress utiliza y por lo tanto es útil conocer cómo funciona. Otro de los lenguajes utilizados que es importante conocer es Javascript, Marco comentara un poco acerca de estos lenguajes.

Así mismo, Marco explicará acerca de MySQL para entender el funcionamiento en cuanto a bases de datos se refiere.

¿Qué necesita saber de WordPress?

Marco mostrará algunas de las cosas que necesitas saber de WordPress, por ejemplo, que WordPress es una aplicación de software y sugiera desligarse lo más que se pueda del uso de plugins.

Aprenderás acerca de la jerarquía de plantillas y donde encontrar más información al respecto. Además, conocerás el funcionamiento de la clase WP Query.

Otros de los conceptos que aprenderá con Marco, es acerca de los contenidos y taxonomías personalizadas y así aprender a organizar nuestro contenido en WordPress.

Conocerá acerca del settings API y dónde se encuentra en nuestra instalación de WordPress.

Por último, Marco dará algunos consejos más, como hacer uso de WP CLI, conocer de base de datos, responsabilidad cuando eres desarrollador y como apoyarse con la gran comunidad de WordPress.



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Creación de una tienda en línea con WordPress y WooCommerce


En este webinar, Ernesto Morales le mostrará qué necesita para crear su tienda en línea.

¿Qué aprenderá?

Hoy aprenderá acerca de la selección y compra de un dominio web através de un plan de alojamient web. Ernesto, mostrará algunas de las herramientas de análisis de dominios para así llevar a cabo la escogencia de su dominio web, así como algunos consejos para seleccionar un nombre de dominio adecuado.

Una de las herramientas que Ernesto sugiera para hacer una búsquedade nombres de dominio y nombres de usuarios en redes sociales es namecheckr.com, la cual permite verificar si el nombre que queremos usar está disponible.

Instalando WordPress

Ernesto le mostrará algunas de las opciones que existen para la instalación de WordPress, una de ellas, es instalar WordPress en un entorno local y así trabajar nuestro sitio web en nuestra computadora antes de hacer uso de un alojamiento web.

WooCommerce

Aprenderá acerca de WooCommerce, la cual es la plataforma para integrar la funcionalidad de comercio electrónico dentro de su sitio web WordPress y así construir su tienda en línea.

Con WooCommerce usted podrá configurar, páginas de producto, carrito de compras, pagos seguros por medio de tarjeta de crédito y otras alternativas, cálculos automáticos de impuestos, integraciones con otras herramientas como MailChimp y Google Analytics, entre multiples funciones más.

Ernesto le mostrará con varios ejemplos de tiendas en línea como es elfuncionamiento de los productos, atributos, categorías y visualización de los productos dentro de una tienda en línea.

También aprenderá cómo instalar WooCommerce desde el repositorio de WordPress y cómo configurarlo. Así como conocer de sitios web donde usted puede adquirir temas o plantillas para la creación de su sitio web.

Por último, una de las plantillas que Ernesto explicará con más detalle será el tema multipropósito para WooCommerce, Flatsome.

¡Espero verte de nuevo en nuestros próximoswebinars!

Nos gustaría agradecer a todos los que sintonizaron nuestro webinar. Esperamos poder ayudarlo a mejorar su aprendizaje sobre WooCommerce y WordPress en general.

Permanece atento a nuestras redes sociales para conocer cuándo estarán disponibles nuestros próximos webinars.

¡Muchas gracias y feliz aprendizaje!



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6 Best Virtualization Software for 2021


With working from home becoming more prevalent, problems have arisen for some employees as a result of their operating system. Not all applications work on both Windows and Mac. As a result, employees must use virtualization software to get certain applications working. Currently, Windows dominates the operating system scene with a 77.74% market share compared to macOS at only 17.07%. This means many programs are written exclusively to work in Windows.

This is normally not an issue since most offices use Windows. But if employees are working from home on a Mac, problems arise.

Of course, there are cases where the software will only work on the macOS, so the opposite is true. Thus, it is imperative to have the best virtualization software as an employee working from home.

What is Virtualization Software?

Virtualization software allows your computer to emulate a computer running on a different operating system. As a result, you can run all of the software and apps that exclusively work on that operating system.

In the majority of cases, this is used by macOS users to gain access to their favorite program or a more current version of that software. After all, sometimes updates can lag behind by months in some cases.

Of course, it would be wrong to assume that the opposite isn’t true as well.

There are many examples of software that only work on macOS, so Windows users may need to utilize it as well. As such, it is important to find the best virtualization software to match your needs. It is also important that the performance employees are getting makes them usable.

After all, if you’re using a program that is running slower than normal, it can cost you more time.

The 6 Best Virtualization Software

1. Oracle VM VirtualBox

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Oracle VM VirtualBox might be the most well-known virtualization software in the world for one simple reason. It’s completely free to use regardless of how many installs you need and it supports a variety of operating systems.

As a result, it can power an entire business for no extra cost.

You may be expecting it to have fewer features due to its price, but that simply isn’t the case. The VirtualBox allows you to emulate Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris x86 platforms and they are all equally easy to install.

One thing that is worth mentioning is that it does not get as much support as other premium virtualization software. Thus, it is very possible for an OS update to cause fatal mistakes with a fix taking some time.

But, it is free, after all.

Benefits of Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • It offers unlimited free installs
  • Supports Windows, macOS, Solaris, and Linux
  • Install is simple and it’s easy to switch OS

Price of Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • It’s free even for enterprise

2. Azure Virtual Machines

Virtual Machines

Without a doubt, virtualizing Windows is the most popular use of these types of software. And there is no better way to do this than from Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. Azure is the best server for virtualization and it’s from Microsoft, the makers of Windows.

It is the best option for businesses looking for server virtualization software.

This is a cloud-based computing option that will save your company money from buying multiple computers with specific specs. All of the heavy lifting is done by the Azure servers, which are some of, if not the, best in the world.

Their reliability is unmatched.

Unlike other services on this list, Azure Virtual Machines offers a pay as you go pricing model. This is ideal for businesses that may only need to do this a handful of times in a year. It also offers more traditional packages, but prices can get high.

Benefits of Azure Virtual Machines

  • Pay As you go pricing model
  • The Azure servers are the best in the world
  • A full cloud-based solution

Price of Azure Virtual Machines

  • Burstable VMs—B1S starts at $0.008 per hour and is free for up to 12 months
  • Compute optimized—Fsv2 starts at $0.085 per hour
  • General purpose—Dv3 starts at $0.096 per hour
  • Memory optimized—Ev3 starts at $0.126 per hour

3. VMware Workstation Player

Workstation Player

VMware Workstation Player is an excellent choice when looking for virtualization software. It is one of the best ways to run Windows on Mac because of its streamlined design that makes using it simple and effective for teams.

And trust me, it wasn’t an easy pick because VMware has a lot of awesome tools.

What separates VMware Workstation Player from other VMware virtualization software is the focus on business. It is their best product for setting up multiple employee workstations. You can even connect the stations to one another to further improve collaboration projects.

It is also one of the best ways to get very resource-intensive software to run on macOS like CAD.  This is because it supports Directx 10 and OpenGL 3.3, which allow for GPU heavy applications to work in a virtualized environment.

Benefits of VMware Workstation Player

  • Supports Directx 10 and OpenGL 3.3
  • Handles applications that require high GPU usage
  • Allows for workstations to be connected

Price of VMware Workstation Player

  • Workstation Player is $149 per license

4. Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop boasts to be the fastest, easiest, and most powerful software for running Windows on Mac and they seem to be right. And it doesn’t just handle simple applications. Resource intensive programs like Adobe Photoshop and others work and run extremely fast.

And it’s also one of the cheapest options you can get.

Without a doubt, the biggest advantage of Parallels Desktop is its insane speed. One of the biggest disadvantages of virtualization software is the slight delay in most software, but it’s not a problem here.

Everything almost feels like your on a real Windows machine.

Another key feature is the one-click tuning option. Not everyone wants to use virtualization software for the same reasons. You can customize the virtual environment to better suit your needs. It supports options for productivity, games, design, software testing, and development.

Benefits of Parallels Desktop

  • One-click tuning option available
  • Everything runs lightning-fast
  • Handles resource-intensive programs with ease, including games

Price of Parallels Desktop

  • Home and student use begins at $79.99 a year
  • The Pro edition starts at $99.99 a year
  • The Business edition starts at $99.99 a year

5. Xen Project

Xen Project

Xen Project is another great choice to consider if you are looking for free virtualization software. It was originally developed at Cambridge University but was quickly turned into its own company, which was bought by Citrix, providing a free Xenserver.

It was built with the advancement of virtualization in mind, and it is excelling in this area.

This open-source software works both on creating personal virtual machines and cloud-based solutions for businesses. And it is still innovating as it moves towards concurrently running multiple operating systems on a single device.

One of the biggest advantages of the Xen Project is its security. This is because the architecture is completely unique to Xen, which is why it is so much more secure than the completion. They go into much greater detail on their blog for the more tech-savvy readers. 

Benefits of Xen Project

  • The best virtualization security on the market
  • Allows for patches to be made before exploits become public
  • It’s free to use!

Price of Xen Project

6. QEMU

QEMU

QEMU states that they have a generic open-source virtual machine software. And while the term “generic” may raise some eyebrows, it shouldn’t. While this software doesn’t offer a stunning UI and isn’t feature-rich, it gets the job done.

And that’s all one can really ask for from a free product.

One of its best features is just how smooth everything runs. You could easily mistake apps running the virtual space to be on their intended machines. Everything is stable and surprisingly very fast compared to paid alternatives.

Another convenience factor is that you can get away without administrator privileges on the computer. This can often cause hiccups with other software, but it’s not something you need to worry about with QEMU.

Benefits of QEMU

  • Very stable and fast
  • It’s not pretty, but it is free
  • Can bypass administrator privileges on hardware

Price of QEMU

Save Money with Virtualization

Virtualization can save large companies vast sums of money on both hardware expenses and their energy bill. And in recent times, small and mid-size businesses are starting to look at virtualization as a great opportunity to cut costs.

Some industries require more powerful hardware, and you can cut costs by not purchasing that and instead, spending a fraction on virtual environments.

However, the advantages seen by huge corporations are because they have thousands of employees. In truth, purchasing a paid subscription could end up being more expensive in the long run for companies with only a handful of employees.

As the prices of virtualization continue to fall, it becomes more attractive for smaller businesses, and more businesses are making the switch.

Virtualization Software Has Limitations

It is very important to mention that not every software will work in a virtualized setting. This is because virtualized computers have limitations. One of the biggest factors is the computer you are using.

After all, you can’t make powerful software run on a weak computer with emulation.

For starters, actually emulating another computer takes up some resources. This will heavily impact budget computers from running software because not only does your virtual environment need to have the proper resources, setting it up costs resource use in itself.

Another major concern for virtualization is security. Operating systems are not intended to be emulated. This creates vulnerabilities that could lead to a data breach. In fact, you have a 1 in 4 chance of having your data stolen while using virtualization.

Thus, for some companies and employees, virtualization may not be the best option.

Use Your Favorite Operating System

Thanks to virtualization software, operating system emulation has allowed for more choice in the OS you choose. After all, you can always create a virtual machine for a specific task. Thus, everyone is free to use their favorite operating system.

However, the process may be troublesome for some, and it can eat up time setting up the virtualization on a day-by-day basis. Thus, if you do need to do it on a daily basis, you might want to consider buying a device using that specific OS.

And considering that not all virtualization software is free, you might end up saving money in the long term in some circumstances.

What virtualization software does your business use?



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Carbon Emissions Fell by 10% in 2020 for the United States


Yes, 2020 has been quite a strange year. But one result of the country-wide lockdowns has been a sharp fall in carbon emissions. According to the Rhodium Group, carbon emissions have fallen by 10.3% in the United States.

Thus, making it the biggest drop in emissions in the post-World War II era for the country

For reference, the previous largest drop in US history occurred during the recession of 2009. At that time, the nation saw a 6.3% decrease. As a result of this huge decrease in carbon emissions, the United States is currently down 21% below 2005 emission levels.

Oddly enough, this sudden decrease means that the United States will meet its Copenhagen Accord target of a 17% reduction below 2005 emission levels.

The Decrease Isn’t Permanent

One thing the report made very clear, is that this sudden and unexpected decrease will not last. The moment that Covid-19 is behind this, emissions are expected to return close to the 2019 levels.

After all, nothing actually changed on a legislative or technological level.

Most importantly, this sudden decrease is very unlikely to allow the United States to meet its Paris Agreement (before it left) promise of a 26%-28% decrease by 2025.

Again, nothing changed that would allow the country to make such a decrease.

The Transportation Sector

Transportation Sector

The biggest driver of this decrease was the transportation sector.

As a result of the stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, the country saw the biggest decrease in history for the sector. It saw a jaw-dropping decrease of 273 million metric tons below 2019 levels.

For reference, the previous record was an 8-million metric ton decrease.

The biggest occurred in April when the country saw a whopping 40% decrease in monthly passenger vehicle travel. This is when a full lock-down was in effect for most areas of the country.

This sudden decrease highlights just how impactful the transportation sector is in America.



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