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How To: Evaluate Technical Documentation Assets

When does management provide funding for documentation? Usually when it’s too late…

In today’s world, where converging intellect, knowledge and know-how let training and documentation coexist higher up in the Agile chain where largely big companies could only afford to before, the move to Static Generators from Dedicated tools is one factor, but the other factor which requires ongoing motivated tasking, is Financial.

Companies finally understand that their sales funnel will reach a rough end if they do not produce R&D documentation for the long-haul.

Historically, companies would ‘clean-up’ too late.

Failure to consider their entire Eco stem would let the product live for a short period before upgrading – whereas the customer would propose to have it available all the time – not a trifle when OEMs are concerned, for some.

The real challenge and impact of having useless documentation was providing a cover story for bad management choices.

Picking and choosing your battles is one way to evaluate what documents your company needs right now. But for a holistic view, the evaluation should be ongoing, comprehensive and deep.

See also: Technnical Writing Collateral Evaluations

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Providing Non-Stop Service

24/7 Maintenance Agreement?

Does your Company provide services around the clock? Do you generate any number of document to support maintenance personnel?

Sometimes companies provide Installation manuals for large machines but leave the Maintenance to chance, because they bring the machine back to the factory for maintenance.

Don’t leave your maintenance to chance. The more authoritative the document, the more Information, Cautions, Warnings and Notes there are the more safety requirements you have, the more the regulatory department will be involved, the less overhead there will be in the long run.

Companies that provide semi-conductor, printing, 3D, and other at the macro level depend on Maintenance Warranties and Legal Print and the need to provide the documentation together with a Maintenance Manual.

Such are the workings of Railway, Aerospace and other large manufacturers in the various fields, including Automotive. When it comes to structuring, methodology, intermittent maintenance, change orders and frequent repairs stipulations for safety regulations, the documentation should be fault worthy.

No amount of work-arounds need to be applied. Although somewhat long-winded, the non-arbitrary nature of some of the warnings and preamble to the main data may actually save work; but most importantly can save lives – Especially, when alluding to working with laser and other beam type products that might also be military grade.

To stop speculation, the myriad explanations might be reused in various texts and this promotes knowledge for teams that work under pressure in a simple graphic and textual nature.

Whether piloting a light airplane or using a tool kit to troubleshoot on-the-go the Maintenance Structure of your document is essential. It should include:

  1. Warnings
  2. Pre-deployment
  3. Installation
  4. Deployment
  5. Maintenance
  6. Troubleshooting

To maintain a well formed maintenance document is much easier after doing it right the first time. A properly formulated document which could take a couple of months to write, is of far more value in the long-run especially where Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Processes are in place. How the part was changed last time, might become critical when factory personnel are off duty, under lock-down or the maintenance procedure is required once every number of years (only), in which case the procedure may have been forgotten.

For more information, contact TechDocs.co.il

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Happy Rosh Hashana 2020 – Time to Squeeze the Honey

Happy New Year, Rosh Hashana 2020 is here.

Time to Squeeze the Honey 
Making things work as best as they can, providing answers and pushing forward; That is the name of the game this Rosh Hashana 2020. TechDocs would like to offer any assistance to fellow Humans, and Technical Writers as one. We are continuing to offer services to Startups in the Medical, UAV, FinTech, Cloud and Aerospace realms, as well as others.
Keeping in touch, helping others keep a chin up is the name of the game NOW.

We’re blazing the tail-end of Corona, hopefully this time!

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5 Pieces of Documentation Your Company Cannot Live Without

Like baking a cake there’s a recipe that companies need to follow to get the work done.

It’s way too often that a company who is heavily funded, does not have the basic paper-trail necessary, even when their original business-model stayed the same they may still not have a Company Profile. It is even more relevant to have ‘the basics’ when you’re pivoting, as this is the basis of getting serious work to happen.

If you are a frivolous Investor you should consider these documents the cornerstone of ‘Must Haves’ for the company you’re investing in.

Why is that so? Each document answers a question. A company that does not answer the 5 questions (how, what, when, why, where) is likely not to follow through on their promise – 

NO MATTER HOW MUCH TIME OR MONEY YOU’VE INVESTED IN THEM

These are the documents and the answers your company should provide:

Introduction

This is the ‘What’. It’s the most important part of the Content. If poorly written the readers will not ‘get it’ in the first line or two. It should give an orientation to the topic, purpose, situation, audience of the Product.

Overview

This is the ‘Where’. This is the main contents of the product and can include examples and illustrations to give context, in relation to factors About the Product. 

Company Profile

This is the ‘How’. This is the document in which the Company tells it’s investors how it plans to ‘keep it up’ and uphold the values and ethics of the Mission Statement. How does the Company ‘do its work in the world’.

Product Overview

This is the ‘Why’. The Product Overview is not really about doubling your conversion rate, it’s about giving a Technical Overview of your features & instead of a list, you get to write all the features in this ongoing document. It’s a very important document and possibly the most important one for both Marketing & Product departments. A must have.

Getting Started

This is the ‘When’. The Getting Started, is sometimes mistakenly called a ‘Quick Start’, but it isn’t. Those are two completely separate documents. The Getting Started is the document or part-of a manual that describes all the button options, drop-downs, radial buttons, filters and UI/UX standard usage of the Product

Tip: It is a full-length chapter that enables the User of the system to know in advance where to find things, while at the same time, it magically shortens the User Guide by 25% making it the single most important part of a User Manual.

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What’s Trending in Technology NOW! By TechDocs (April 2020 Newsletter)

The Power of Drill-Down

This Newsletter is about drilling-down through layers of data put together by a myriad of technologies to help find solutions to defeat the COVID-19 virus and LET MY PEOPLE GO this PASSOVER 2020 ~

Introduction

In Passover 2020, people have the technology at home and in the office, to Zoom each other. Someone may always be watching over you though, like big-brother, with the power to use all your ever logged social-media, texts and more, creating A Covid-19 Alert blanket for Government Agencies throughout the World.

NSO

The Technology around which NSO delivers its product package has been around for a number of years already. The Analysis of your data, be it Social Media, WhatsApp, and GPS location services and applications enables NSO and companies like it to Find – Drill-down – Map & Repeat to gain perspective of YOUR whereabouts and to lockdown the Covid-19 carriers in your communities.

Your cellular phone could be working to your detriment. Your cellular phone can triangulate your data via GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi, in any locale, and can identify your exact whereabouts, ie even on which floor you are, so that if you are in the same building as a Corona patient, but not on the same floor, you may not have to go into quarantine.

By drilling-down to your details, bank account, GPS and inventory lists, businesses or neighborhoods could be watched using analytics, and BI, to eventually formulate a mathematical blueprint which would impede your community’s movements: We’re no longer in the wild.

Competition

NSO has competitors in the Open Source technology world. On the 27 March, 2020, an article about How open source software is fighting COVID-19 was published in which thousands of open source repositories that mention datasets written in JavaScript and Python, while at the same time discussing several open hardware makers helping to stop the suffering caused by coronavirus, which is a totally different angle than the NSO Group offering.

Another mention goes to Intellexa, who provide Pandemic Solutions for law enforcement and intelligence agencies with a comprehensive portfolio of premium best of breed intelligence solutions.

Amidst the various technological proposals to fight Corona Virus for Government Agencies and Law Enforcement, is the good old classical Phone Monitoring technology solution. The Surveillance Industry Index toolkit provides thousands of company details – some Governmental, for Phone Monitoring solutions.

As early as 26 June, 2019, Fast Company wrote an article about the Dozens of spyware firms that offer a range of surveillance options, called: “Inside the shadowy world of spyware makers that target activists and dissidents”.

There is no way around it: ““Of course, your iPhone can be strong as you want security-wise, but if the mobile network leaks information, that’s outside the control of the phone and Apple. Companies like Circles are very actively promoting that they can track the location of a phone through SS7.”

This once ‘growing and controversial industry’, with the significant twist of COVID-19, has taken on an institutionalized flavor, the legality of which has not yet been fully explored.

CORONA TECHNOLOGY – Improving Business through Tech

Yesterday, 9 April, 2020, IsraelDefense published the release of the newly developed Wix site, CoronaTech Israel, which is destined to publish and connect Startups in the studies and findings of the COVID-19 virus, while acting as a one-stop-shop for all the Israeli and International knowledge in one place (hopefully).

Yours Always, The TechDocs Team

About the Author:

TechDocs: Technical, UX/UI & Product Marketing Documentation Services is the No. 1 Technical Writing brand in Israel. We are indispensable to our customers, writing User-manuals, API’s and other Customer Facing documentation all over the World today. Our mission is to be indispensable in the fields of UX Writing which is the trending field today.

Newsletter April 2020

Featured

How to run an open source doc sprint

This is a real-life write-up about “How to run an open source doc sprint” by Sarah Maddox. Kudus!

Featured

HLS & Cyber 2018 – Day 1

13/11/2018

Today, I was honored to be part of an exceptional Convention, the HLS & Cyber 2018 convention, organized by the Israel Export Institute. There is so much to say about what they are doing, alone, however, I must give a good word firstly to the coffee. A little bird told me that the best coffee in the place was the coffee made at Q Cyber Technologies, where the Ripples coffee maker made digital drawings on the cappuccino. Great coffee, makes a good conference!

Making the rounds I met many very interesting technologies, including a couple of face recognition platforms, that don’t leave many people ‘incognito’. All the companies at the conference had well attended booths, including, BriefCam, AnyVision, Aeronautics Group, Checkpoint, and G1.

The sponsors included some traditionally military backed technologies such as IAI, MER Group, Elbit Systems and Rafael, which had a predominantly large numbers of male attendees at their booths.

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Lt. Gen. (res.) Shaul Mofaz

I was happy to attend the opening video presentation of a seriously feature-rich Home Land Security contingency plan for an HLS & Cyber attack that included impressive strategic and defensive maneuvering of resources in real-time.

After the opening remarks given by Sharon Kidon, Lt. Gen. (res.) Shaul Mofaz, Former Minister of Defense, Former Chief of Staff, Israel Defense Forces, took the stage and gave the technological perspective of Israel Cyber Defense reality in today’s day. It was an endearing beginning, however there were still so many companies to meet and people to speak to, after MK. Eli Cohen, Minister of Economy and Industry of Israel began speaking, I went out to the convention hall again to meet new Startups.

After the 10:00 o’clock break, I spoke to the Israel Export Institute representative of the new initiative called “Identify Top Targets With DiscoverOrg” introducing overseas interest with Israel’s Cyber Technology offerings. The new ‘Scoop’ option enabling specific line by line information, or the full database of 500 lines search-option for $12,000. Of course, you can come in to the Israel Export Institute and view the details for FREE; downloading reduces the number of credits bought. The ‘Report Link’ feature enables you to buy data from reliable sources as PDF files, while ‘Statista’ enables you to subscribe to an Infograph which can be downloaded and put into use on PPT presentations, and the likes.

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Identify Top Targets with DiscoverOrg

I must say, that above and beyond the stunning conference they produced, The Israel Export Institute also starred in the PRESS room, where the international press were waiting for Mr Adiv Baruch, the CEO of the Israel Export Institute to give them a speech. The countries attending were Greece, Costa Rica, South Korea, Israel, Latin America, Panama, and Italy.

After an initial welcome to the HLS & Cyber conference, Mr Baruch, explained that when you come to this conference it is in the context of understanding the past and seeing the future. The Biblical Jewish roots of 4000 years play a part in the Technology which is in every aspect of our lives.

Why Hi-Tech and Low-Tech is the future of creativity is a mindset due to Israel not having any natural resources except the intellectual brain. As a small country with the highest percent of Nobel prize winners – we are so open, and welcome every country around the world with “the most beautiful house in the worst neighborhood”.

The inception of technology in Israel, was as a military solution for civilians; creating advantage, if not in size, in the numbers of tech and cyber companies, who identify threats, and intercept attackers.

We all want to be connected, and billions of sensors are accessing data at massive cost – medical devices, remote surgery, medical records, bank accounts, all are under threat – it’s only a matter of resources as to how long it will take for them to be exposed.

Some numbers given by Mr Baruch:

  • $100 billion dollars export in Israel
  • 10% is export due to HLS and Cyber
  • Over 1000 companies developing HLS & Cyber solutions
  • $10 billion  dollars exported and growing exponentially
  • $380 billion dollars expenditure
  • 2.43 trillion dollars damage due to Cyber attacks

Mr Baruch concluded with the following statement: “We are expecting to see tremendous growth of expenditure in the Cyber space.”

About Germany:

HLS is US terminology. In Europe, the Europeans only lately realized that terror is not only an Israeli problem. Joint research programs on biological, medical, telecommunication, and cyber threats have developed. There are much more opportunities than before to share our unfortunate experience, here in Israel.

About Italy:

Many more delegations are exposed to the solutions in Italy and have gained acceptance and respect regarding the adoption of financial and healthcare, Big Data, personalized information and security.

About Greece:

The numbers are still at a minimum, but relatively growing. Greece is just overcoming the economic crisis, they’re getting there…

A diplomatic honeymoon is taking place, Greece has tripled all commerce with Israel, the banking system in Israel was originated in Greece. It is easy to understand each other due to us being similar cultures. The Oil Embargo is no longer relevant, and the relationship is as neighbors.

About Tokyo:

Olympic Games – Tokyo – 2020

How should we prepare for Cyber attacks? What kind of cooperation is Israel ready to provide?

The design and development of the Olympic Games in Tokyo has already been implemented – in the Beijing Olympics Israel implemented all the Technology threat and dynamic.

Every month 11,000,000 new malware threats are created. Whenever there is a concentration of people – a large mass – the cyber threat (as warfare) exists with so many visitors. That is a huge target to attack / overcome with transactions on ATM’s and electronic data. Besides this, an intense amount of air-traffic, and airplanes presides in one location at one time. How do you react when crisis occurs?

We’ll leave that up to the big boys to discuss during Day 2.

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Satellite Events at HLS & Cyber 2018

Hope to take part in this event again next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other companies I saw also appeared in the conference prospectus, such as:

Cognigo, Promisec, empow, Controp, CymbioT, RoadMetric, Qognify, MS Tech Ltd., and Xsight Systems, Septier Communications, Cortico, Axon, Vision, NowForce and Airobotics.

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3 Co-Working Spaces in 3 Days (Israel) – AYEKA, WeWork, Regus Atrium

I started out my 3 day expedition after numerous cancellations on my part to see additional working spaces. I had a clear schedule but it quickly filled up and I had to reorganize. In so doing, I realized I need a space close to home, in walking distance from my house. I’m familiar with Regus and had visited their Aba Hillel Silver office a number of years ago.

I dreamed one night of The Atrium, on Jabotinsky, and what popped up for me when I Googled it was Regus Atrium. What an idea! To me that was killing two birds with one stone. I got a phone-call from Barcelona following my online form registration.

Regus that International flavor of elegance & old-money, a little unspontaneous but the luxury makes up for it. At any rate, with the International crowd, Regus is the original and takes precedence to the WeWork attitude of ‘live for the moment’.

Regus says ‘live a little’ – I argue that for the pittance of a Google AdWords first line rental you can get the full Monty. Let’s call it the 5K package. It includes the fantastic office space for a single or for a company, and includes the virtual office package to the few times a month people too.

The place is imbued with decorum, and a work-ethic second to none. Take note that your company name is displayed on the board together with full-timers once you are on-board. This is a real-time perk which none of the competitors offer.

In this day and age, it’s very difficult to get a cup of coffee as exquisite as I was served at Regus, on my visit. But, this was second to the one-on-one detailed listener I met in Hadar, the Regus Area Manager, and spokesperson. I was very impressed with her and felt I’d finally met someone who agrees with me, even though I usually have all kinds of ‘new’ ideas.

All the way down the corridor, at the opposite entrance is a very well-known company, called Polycom, now sitting there after many reincarnations.

The following day, I had a Founders Factory event. The fact that it was at WeWork, Ibn Gvirol, was once again killing two birds with one stone.

Parking was not a problem. I found my way into Dobnov 7 WeWork space by following two men who’d opened the door. The fact is that it was the wrong one, but I still had a squiz around and noticed that there was a hostess at the door explaining about the place. It was well decorated, had various levels and on the roof there was very loud speaker volume happening for a conference in a caregiving field, which I heard once outside the building.

I made my way a few steps around the corner to the Ibn Gvirol WeWork space. At the front-desk was a security woman who had not a clue about WeWork, and I was ushered in on a list of attendees to the upstairs bar area by a hostess where I got a feel for the place and the networking potential (albeit not for the work potential).

I distinctly remember arriving later than I had planned and there was nothing extraordinary about the meetup except the space, as I’d never been there. Still, would rather not have had to pay for parking.

In both Regus and WeWork really the pictures taken are seriously undermining the beauty of the place. I think someone that wants to actually work though needs to think more about the position of their office, how quiet it is, and more, than if there’s a networking event. Yes, networking events are fun. I’m still considering which office is suited to a time sensitive writing job.

It’s true I’ve been noting things quite generally and would consider that following factors when renting a virtual office:

  • Virtual assistance requirement
  • Position of office
  • Working hours
  • Event schedule
  • Lifestyle options
  • Parking

AYEKA, isn’t that ‘right here right now’? Then why do they still have ‘Coming soon…’ on the building. I’ve been informed that AYEKA, is ‘where are you’?

At any rate, after trying to figure out the name of the working-space, I was invited for an event & after registration got authorization to come even though I didn’t do my homework. When I arrived I was ‘picked out’ at the door – dammit (#fail). Luckily eventually I realized I know people there, but otherwise completely Jaffa, I’d have to say Jaffa really has it all.

I liked AYEKA’s large, industrial, bright office space. Very cushy without going overboard. I did not see the gym though and wondered if that’s just a selling point, bringing me to the next question; what is AYEKA’s outlook from the point of view that of the three Co-Working spaces it is the only one without additional branches….mmm can this work? Also, Jaffa is lovely but I hear of more and more people running into work nowadays from the outskirts of the Tel-Aviv sprawl – Which working space is the fairest of them all?

AYEKA, it has a flavor. GeekTime sit there. Is that by the way or innovation? Does GeekTime have the clout to buy AYEKA? I can’t help ask these questions…it’s in my nature.

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5 W’s versus Documentation ‘go-to’ person

Let the feeling sink in. Your boss has just stopped you in the corridor and told you “I want you to follow-through on all documentation processes in the company”. Your heart sinks.

It’s been a number of hours since this incident and you are still trying to figure out how to fill in the documentation gap which needs bridging since you became PMO over 4 months ago. If it had gone to Product, this task would have come out of their budget or Marketing, but shouldn’t this be in R&D?

The project Gantt is empty, needless to say it’s going to take more than one person to fill.

Where do you start? If realizing your dream is what is at stake, it’s more than a project management goal; meaning, if you want to settle for less you’ll continue to drag your heels instead of going to the ‘go-to’ documentation people.

With over 20 years experience, TechDocs has become the ‘go-to’ company for turn-key documentation projects. TechDocs will help you figure out the 5 W’s:

  • What needs to be done?
  • Who needs to do it?
  • Where will the budget come from?
  • When should it have already have been ready?
  • Why did the gap happen?
  • How can it be managed?

https://techdocs.co.il/about/contact-us/

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Technical Documentation Check-List

Your manual will be perky if you can answer YES to the following:

  • Does the manual describe the procedures after the version update?
  • Do the procedures work?
  • Have the screen-captures been updated to show the current running version?
  • Have the screen-captures been updated to show available new options, pop-ups and floating windows?
  • In cases where windows can be accessed in one or more ways, are they fully described in the Getting Started, Quick-start or the Procedure itself?
  • Does every heading 1, 2, & 3 have a lead in sentence introducing the subject?
  • Do you have updated fields, styles or buttons which you need to carry over from other files to update the template?
  • Have you checked your Grammar & Spelling?
  • Also, Technical Manuals should be tested in the same way the product is tested: Documentation bugs should be added into the QA bug report system under Docs.
  • The documentation and products teams should review the data, while the QA should test the data.

Contact us for an online consult:

https://techdocs.co.il/about/contact-us/

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How to write a QUICKSTART: “Colorful is nice but aim for Gold”

  1. Don’t tell ‘the story’: Implement a step structure using a Font Set or other Formatting.
  2. Use Callouts and Arrows: Show What & Where to systematically cut reading time.
  3. This is not the place for Concepts: Rather give an Example and “shoot for gold”.
  4. Addressing Issues:  Do this in your Blog Space or References to other subject matter written elsewhere.
  5. Everything should be Aggregated in not more than 8 steps.

ampm

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To Publish or Not To Publish – That is the Question

Happy Passover 2016,

Your User Guides took long to write, due to development issues and the fact that your service people are on-site at the Customer.

Finally you have reached the promised land and the Guide is ready. So how are you publishing your Manuals?

All too often, the User Guide is sent directly to a customer who uses it as a prop for their keyboard, or worse.

The best case scenario is they come back a year later with requests. The worse case scenario is they call the service center and nobody knows why. Is the manual outdated or has the wrong information in it?

Publishing user documentation to the public is often undesirable to companies.

What can you do with your much needed documents?

  1. Use a Knowledge-base with Username & Password (eg Atlassian).
  2. Publish to the cloud with Username & Password (eg. Dropbox).
  3. Publish to your website with Username & Password.
  4. Publish to all of the above without Username & Password.

Make sure everyone knows where your Data is published using PR to your verticals & provide updates from time-to-time.

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Data Management – Going the Extra Mile with Documentation

Recently a South African friend of mine’s house burned down in Cape Town and I was suddenly struck with a childhood fear of when Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz’s house got blown away and destruction set it. Data managed poorly is like a house-of-cards. No sooner you turn your back for one moment calamity sets in in the form of data loss, data theft, cyber theft, which can boil down to millions of dollars in losses.

Data and Resources

SharePoint, Documentation, OCR, Storage and Rogue User what do all of these have in common? At the 6th Data Management and Documentation Congress of 2013, innovative trends in data accessibility, transparency and customer service and going THE EXTRA MILE were the topics of the day. Going beyond sales pitches and getting the message across, supplementary but valuable information about new developments and features or systems were shared and expressed including innovations in software packages and updates of tools in use. Data Management Portals, tools for managing portals with built-in templates and Customer Service Platform Portals and Workflow Management Tools were all part of the innovations shared at the conference, while leading trends were discussed in depth from many points of view.

Microsoft Sharepoint

How effective is it to develop SharePoint platforms today? 12 years ago, back when I started using Microsoft SharePoint it was open-source. The supposition that it has a back-bone because it is Microsoft and people already use it doesn’t effectively get it more users who already have it installed. This point has clearly been lost on the companies who continue to develop it beyond the fact that all the features already exist.

The best implementation of SharePoint that I have used is actually the in-house development done by an aerospace company because of lack of funds; in which case if you are think of buying something please note that Sharepoint today has already got alerts if you buy it off-the-shelf.

Companies developing Sharepoint some of which are mentioned below:

Bynet, Elad – But are their solutions the same?

Related articles

The Documentation Path

  1. The CEO of Harmon.ie, Yaakov Cohen raises the awareness of cross-platform mobility (BYOD) with his company’s product which allows for secure documentation across mobile platforms and users.
  2. Solutions Architect, Itamar Abrahamovitz at Bynet presented the Management and Signatures Procedures of Digital Documents using Workflow Nintex and ARX.
  3. A new player in the field, ShareDocs5 – Just Share IT – was launched by Mr. Neil Cohen Ringel, Presale and Sales Manager at the Elad software group.
  4. In the OCR field, ABBYY Fine Reader for OCR Hebrew compatability software, Converts, Generates and Reads accomplishing more than previous softwares have managed to do, according to Haim Ron, CEO of Maagarey Tochna.
  5. Additional projects such as Etan Community Project of the Israel Electric Cooperative were presented, by Ms. Sarit Margel, Strategic Project Manager at Etan.

About Digital and Creative – Going The Extra Mile

Frederik Belsen engaged the audience with some memorable moments in digital strategy where companies, such as Starbucks and KLM decided to break ‘the usual tone’ of extravegance and give something really meaningful to their customer base. One such experience of going the extra mile is described when a boutique hotel in Australia deliberately sets out to implement a ‘game changer’ – the extra night – post checkout – which is free, and every night after that, for as long as nobody else has booked the room…..

Summary of Going the Extra Mile according to Frederik:

1) Identify the little moments (what experience made it unforgettable).

2) Be useful (give real service people love).

3) Connect (communicate in a non-technical way).

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To Program Summary (In Hebrew)

To links to presentations of the 2012 conference

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About the Author:

Mor Getz is CEO & Chief Writer at TechDocs. TechDocs is a leading Technical Writing and Marketing Writing services company specializing in the Hi-Tech Industry. We write Websites, RFP’s, Manuals, Online Helps, Datasheets, Brochures, Case-Studies, PR’s, Newsletters and more.
TechDocs implements the full set of core values your company represents while delivering User Manuals and Other Product Documentation with User-Friendly ease.
TechDocs defines your project constituents with formidable accuracy enabling you to save time and money on Management issues. Our imperative is to provide you with mission critical documents On Time, while using the vision and creativity at our disposal to raise your Critical Intellectual Property to the Highest Level while making it available and easy to use.
Our Company, will meet or exceed our commitments and provide you with long-term strategies in Cost-Saving Time.
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Experience Matters with James A. Whittaker

I paid particular attention to the intention at this event. I can’t say Microsoft doesn’t know how to make events that count.

I want to believe that Microsoft is trying to authentically re-energize itself into something new. Too many services for developers don’t engage the common man.

The impunity Microsoft gets from the masses, similar to Google, in fact, is due to them always promising a better world – an almost idealistic notion in today’s world of chemical weapons, arab springs and the likes. It is therefore with intention that I say a big thanks to James A. Whittaker for taking the time to come to Israel to speak with us about The Future.

An idealist once promoting the 60’s, like Lenon, has never been stoned.

How would a Distinguished Technical Evangalist make his way in the Tech World if not by being exceedingly good at telling the masses, hey, we don’t DO advertising, someone else does, we just provide you with KNOWLEDGE and serve it to you in MICROSOFT Desktop Applications, such as OUTLOOK.

Listen this guy does a good job, and I liked his future. But then again, I prefer not having my scheduler train me to take Commercial Holidays, I prefer Great Yoga Gettaways (in Hardcopy). I told you I wasn’t going to be easy.

Some concerns about the idea that the government, the municipality or some other non-social activity would take place to bring the data down to the common man were raised…by this stage Microsoft, I was getting tired.

image001

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Added-Value Services

TechDocs offers additional Added-Value Services, including:

  • Transcriptionswake-up-call
  • MOM – Minutes of Meetings 
  • Translations

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Bootcamp, Bootstrap, and giving the Boot

It’s been awhile since I wrote my own blog-post and what inspired me to do it was that I’ve been watching the business culture of companies over a period of time, and so I decided to write about it.

Problem solving is often a task which goes into decline when we or our business are not fit.

The hard-earned truth is we need a good training program, some hard-earned business blood, sweat and tears to succeed sometimes, no? So what’s the secret?

What I’ve learned from life, and from business is as follows:

  1. Democracy is not democracy if you don’t have someone in charge. If you aren’t the one pulling the stops then you’ll be creating a business culture which does not enable you to earn a living…..How long should you be spending on tasks anyway?
  2. Digging up the dirt sometimes entails lying in it for a bit. If it were made of Lemon Meringue though, would you bother to get up?
  3. If you are out there Bootstrapping or Bootcamping, whichever, both scenarios require you to provide all the necessary services you promised your clients in ship shape time…
  4. Relationship-building trends aside, you might become embroiled in the relationship instead of using it to motivate your team to succeed. Once you have a client onboard, or an investor, get your next in line to promote, cooperate, coordinate or achieve what you got them onboard for. Don’t try to do it all on your own.
  5. When trying to cheer your team on, remember you are the mind-set of your business and your attitude effects all and everyone around. Don’t mope or slouch because that can be felt in your attitude when things haven’t gone your way.
  6. If you are looking for partners, remember that your competition is competition until they are your partners and you should be well aware that their attitude will be competitive until otherwise necessary.
  7. To give heart to your business, you need to include all things human to every aspect of your job, or else your business loses soul and the outcome will be detrimental to your ROI.
  8. When Serendipity wins the day and everyone is cheerful, don’t forget to reinvest time in your Mission Statement, just in case everyone forgot that this is a work-place and the outcome depends on their work ethics as well as your ability to lead.
  9. When the pressures of life are getting you down, resist over-working and instead, revise your weekly schedule to include an end of week toast for successes gained, new customers or more.
  10. Always give new employees a chance to put their Art into Creative drives of the company. The return on your investment will never be higher.

And finally, if you are giving your employees the boot on a regular basis, go over all of these points and figure out, what AM I DOING WRONG IF I’M BLAMING MY TRUSTED EMPLOYEES?

dog_trying

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Working with Start-ups? TechDocs Tips for Consultants #Israel

These are TechDocs (Israel)’s hard & fast tips for Consultants; if you use these, you’ll never go wrong!

TechDocs

Many Startups come to me and most of them want the service for FREE.

Here are a few things that can protect you from unethical use and insult without pay.

  1. When being approached by a Startup ask for a Business Plan: Any Company that is not willing to have you view their Business Plan is not really looking for business, i.e. they could be snooping for information and taking up your time.
  2. Before starting the job, get a Purchase Order: You may not have them contractually signed up yet, but a Purchase Order secures the payment.
  3. Ask for a Startup Fee: You’d better take something prior to commencement of the project: Some companies don’t really understand the concept of Payment Terms.
  4. To succeed, give your price up front and say ‘this is prior to reduction’: Some companies and especially in Israel do not close a deal…

View original post 51 more words

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Bioassociate – Research-Based Strategic Consulting for Life Sciences Companies


About Bioassociate

Research-based Strategic consulting for Life Sciences companies, Due Diligence, Business Analysis & Research for Investors, Biotech Consulting, Pharmaceutical Consulting, Industry & Technical Research Services, Israel Brain Technologies

I met Dr. Ofir Levi CEO of Bioassociate at the Israeli Presidential Conference 2012 where in the field of medicine this year President Shimon Peres put emphasis on Brain research.

Dr. Levi holds a PhD degree in Neurobiochemistry from Tel-Aviv University, and is the author of several published articles in leading scientific journals.

Bioassociate is a bio-consulting and research company providing services to life sciences companies and to investors thinking of investing in Techno-Bio Products, Compounds, Delivery Systems and more.

Bioassociate also have links with companies in the US, but are located in Israel.

The issues involved in Private/Public funding are key to understanding the core business values of the bio-world today.

Investment Management (Why Israel?)

There is a real need for analyst coverage of public life science companies in Israel, as there is a biased relationship of biotech and medical device R&D companies building dreams for investors in order to procure huge profits. There is a real need for information in order for people to understand and get excited about the technology, and not to be scared off due to previous bad experiences, or lack of knowledge. However, since many people don’t understand the risk involved, they stand to lose all their money.

Drug development proposes the opportunity to invest in progress, and investors with no knowledge about this field might be disappointed to actually hear that the field is well documented and you just need to know where the knowledge is, you need someone to guide you through.

I asked Dr Levi, if a company which is institutionally backed like Hadasit-Bio can crash:  “Any holding company has the choice of which technology to invest in. If you choosea risky technology you can find yourself in a difficult situation.A company in the development stage needs to raise money every 18-24 months; if they don’t reach a significant milestone they will see a breach in response. For example, ApoSense: the company had an IPO lead by main shareholder Eli Horowitz at a valuation of 900 m nis, which was a huge valuation. The IPO was a success, however within 2 years the valuation of the IPO dropped to ~200m nis. Another example is D-Pharm that failed in phase 3 of the clinical trials: it failed to reach a milestone (clinical trial success), and its investors lost their money.

During Initial Public Offerings, the ‘responsible adult’, the underwriter, is in charge of valuating the company and pricing its shares. Oftentimes in the past, TASE life science IPOs have been fiascos due to lack of appropriate industry understanding on the part of the underwriters. Some bio-IPOs have witnessed the company value dropping by up to 80% post-IPO, even though everything was fine with the company. Huge expectations of IPO’s leads to the question, ‘then what’s the hype about if nothing is happening – i.e. no FDA approvals, no deals or sales. The way to increase understanding and minimize risk  is through doing due diligence with industry experts.”

Reaching for Success

If you are choosing a new pipeline technology, if you are looking to learn the industry trends or take advantage of a technology you are interested in, Bioassociate is an industry expert, with the necessary expertise to comprehensively fill all strategic gaps in the life science business model.

Bioassociate can assist you if you are building a business model for a compound or a technology, and if you require services to assist with the process of setting up a new bio-business, or simply revolutionizing a temporarily grounded one. This might amount to core business change the company may require, in order to go from mediocre to successful.

The Human Factor

In the face of rising drug prices, the highest drug prices are reaching almost $0.5 million a year per patient. In some instances this is due to orphan indications, which are cases where less than 200,000 people suffer from a disease. This means that companies have to maintain their revenues by charging smaller markets more money. An example of this model is Hunter’s Disease where no more than 10,000 American’s suffer from it a year and the medical bill of one patient is $460,000 a year….and $1m in a few more years.

So, the question of how much is human life worth, or is human life worth anything or is it priceless comes to mind…

As an example, ALS is a disease which is becoming better known of late. Diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are being researched by companies looking to find a cure using Stem Cell technologies, and the like.

PUBLIC COMPANIES AND IPOS

Today, Israel has more companies trading on the NASDAQ than any country other than the United States, Canada and China. On the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), life sciences represent the largest sector, with 57 companies—more than on the majority of similarly-sized markets around the globe. Several of the TASE life science companies are dually listed on foreign markets. In 2006 TASE established looser guidelines for research-based companies, resulting in an ever-increasing number of life science IPOs, with 5 companies going public in Israel last year alone.

The sheer momentum carrying the Israeli life science industry forward outpaces all other industries in the country, steadily propelling Israel towards the rank of one of the world’s top innovators. As demonstrated by the successes of the Israeli high-tech industry, the combination of entrepreneurial creativity and technical know-how is a potent mix. Under the right circumstances, with a certain availability of venture capital, life sciences in Israel have the potential to expand in size and market value to match the previous successes of the high-tech industry.

Israel Brain Technologies

“Just over a year ago I had the opportunity to join Israel Brain Technologies-a non-profit initiative led by Israel’s very own president Shimon Peres. IBT’s mission is to promote the country’s excellence in brain technologies, but perhaps what it symbolizes is even more enthralling: the omnipresent influence of life sciences in all aspects of Israeli life.

We at Bioassociate have been faithfully following the bustling scene that is the Israeli bio-arena for some time. The accomplishments of this young country already bear testimony to its potential: 40 to 60 new life science companies are established each year; 46% of the Israeli life science companies are less than 5 years old, with a further 34% of these young companies already generating revenue.

For a small country which boasts a biotechnologist for its first president, Israel has undoubtedly lived up to its high-tech reputation. With a highly skilled population, world-class institutions and renowned technology transfer centres, the state of the Israeli life science industry presents a vast opportunity. Its appeal lies in the unique combination of entrepreneurial human capital and dedicated government support.”

~fin~

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Debunking the Fallacy that User Manuals Cannot be Good

Many have been the writer who on a regular basis hears the following uncanny expression being repeated over and over: “Nobody reads the manual anyhow”.

In this article I will be bunking this fallacy. How? I’m a story-teller…

Yesterday, on my way to Yoga in the morning, I bumped into a fellow South African, Technical Writer from Audiocodes. He was specifically impressed by my ongoing concurrent projects specs and I told him I was on paid leave following the completion of a project.

Despite the fact that he hadn’t realized that it was possible to close a contract which includes paid holidays, I told him, I don’t work any other way.

A company who takes on any Technical Writer should know – whether you have a product or not, that book is going to get written, and will cost you 1/3 what a system engineer would charge per hour.

Both myself and my Technical Writer friend agreed, in cases where there isn’t a product, but the book gets written as the prototype of the product, updating the book after Beta testing is a MUST!

======================================================

  • Your manual will be perky if you can answer YES to the following:
    • Does the manual describe the procedures after the version update?
    • Do the procedures work?
    • Have the screen-captures been updated to show the current running version?
    • Have the screen-captures been updated to show available new options, pop-ups and floating windows?
    • In cases where windows can be accessed in one or more ways, are they fully described in the Getting Started, Quick-start or the Procedure itself?
    • Does every heading 1, 2, & 3 have a lead in sentence introducing the subject?
    • Do you have updated fields, styles or buttons which you need to carry over from other files to update the template?
    • Have you checked your Grammar & Spelling?
  • Also, Technical Manuals should be tested in the same way the product is tested:
    • Documentation bugs should be added into the QA bug report system under Docs.
    • The documentation and products teams should review the data, while the QA should test the data.

See information about how to make your manuals better:

The Technical Writer’s Checklist http://www.occc.edu/gholland/EP1/TWC.doc

Technical Writer’s Checklist http://hmc.tamu.edu/Files/070822TSC%20Writers%20CheckList%20A.pdf

Technical Writing Guidelines http://www.techprose.com/webforms/techwriting_guidelines.pdf

The steps you must take to become a great technical writer http://itrain.org/ttwc/

About Mor Getz:

Mor Getz has been a Technical and Marketing Writer for more than 10 years. She believes in synthesizing traditional and new media skills to generate creative signature copy for companies worldwide, assisting companies to establish their Social Media Presence. Counselor and Mentor of Women in Business via PROWomen Meet.  http://about.me/morgetz

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Writer? Freelance, Consultant, Sub-Contractor, In-House: All-of-the-Above

Repeatedly I see the confusion regarding Taxation, Social Security, Insurance and How to get Paid as a Writer in Israel.

Tax

Writers, there are stages you have to go to before you charge over 100,000 nis and need the Accountant every month. Did you know that? I was sharing with a friend who worked In-House and is now moving towards freelancing, and these are the tips that I gave her:

Level 1: Schar Sofrim –  If you are a writer, and you know you are going to need to charge your client a certain amount, take your client’s Company Number (Chet Pey) and get the tax reduction from the Tax Authority using Schar Sofrim. The page they give you is given to the Client and they will remove the tax ‘Bamakor’ (at the source). You do not need to open a File with Tax Authorities to do this. All you need is to have accessibility to the site or go there yourself and get it directly.

Level 2: Getting a Tlush – You’ve decided to start a business but you don’t want to open a File with the Tax Authorities until you know for sure you won’t have to close it. FYI, closing can be by far, more complicated than opening a ‘Tik’ because the Tax Authorities may need to audit your accounts to varify no illicit activities have taken place before the Company is closed. This has also been known to take a long time… This is why some people have preferred to go via an agency that gives you a Tlush, otherwise known as a Salary Slip. Unfortunately, this is no longer legal, therefore it’s out of the question…

Level 3: Osek Patur – Charging up to 100,000 nis a year you need an accountant once a year for this and there are tax breaks on bills based on having your office at home, etc…Speak to a registered accountant.

Level 4: Osek Murshe – Charging over a certain amount you will have to visit your accountant more frequently and take charge of all your expenses if you want any tax breaks. Speak to a registered accountant.

Insurance

Your Social Security can be paid via an agency when you are using Level 2. Social Security is NOT Insurance. If you have Social Security rights it’s because you paid Social Security, however you still need Health, Nursing, Life, Management and other insurances. For this, you need an Insurance agent.

How to get Paid as a Writer

If you are a writer, you may want to look at my article about Tips for Consultants in order to understand that getting paid in Israel is Business, not personal and you have to understand the culture in order to succeed.

I wish you the best of success in your ventures and I’m available for interactions on this page.

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In-house or Independent? Analyzed through the eyes of ‘Survivor’ (IL)

This week, two episodes of Survivor reminded me of a mix between ‘A Woman Scorned’ and ‘Life as an Independent Contractor’.

The story-line related the drama behind the Alpha male’s tactic to take the pretty lady (temporary) to the Island while leaving his woman (permanent)  in servitude, behind for the night. The consequences were seen immediately on his return: he was to rid himself of the pretty one or stand to lose the pact with his team members. What could he do?

The significance of the Alpha male in opposing roles, is not outweighed by the Professional’s need to reach the million. In both roles, men will be men and will continue to reap the benefits of both worlds: The temporary (temporal) world of ‘moonlighting’ with a number of clients, and the permanent (spiritual) affiliation with a Boss or other figure-head who gives orders in exchange for pay.

In an impossible drama of wills, the Alpha male eventually leads his team members to oust the ‘Old Man’ and in return wins another opportunity with both women, who are cheering on the side-lines for his attentions.

Amen! God Bless Him!!

IEEE 2675-2021 – IEEE Approved Draft Standard for DevOps: Building Reliable and Secure Systems Including Application Build, Package and Deployment

https://standards.ieee.org/standard/2675-2021.html

DroneDJ: Is senseFly teasing a new drone release?

Scott Simmie   –   Jan. 25th 2021 3:47 pm

senseFly has hinted that it will be releasing a new product, presumably a drone, on February 1. A new video teases just enough to grab our attention. Let’s take a look.

senseFly, if you weren’t aware, is the commercial wing of Parrot. The subsidiary was founded in 2009, and has had tremendous success with its eBee drone. The delta-wing aircraft is a favorite of many for surveying and photogrammetry, and has built a reputation as a reliable workhorse. The company also makes an RTK version for super-high spatial accuracy. It produces drones for surveying, precision agriculture, thermal scanning, and more.

And now? It looks like something else is in the pipeline.

What will senseFly release?

Well, based on the 22-second teaser, we’re guessing a new drone. The familiar eBee lines are in this video:https://www.youtube.com/embed/n452wfBgbTw?enablejsapi=1&amp=1&autohide=2&fs=1&hl=en-US&iv_load_policy=1&rel=1&showinfo=1&showsearch=0&wmode=transparent&playsinline=1“A new solution for drone mapping…”

The new release is on February 1

There’s not really any other info to go on, except for that little tease. But it is worth pointing out that senseFly has really been a serious player in the drone game for quite some time. While writing this up, I remembered a video that was pretty amazing when it first came out: senseFly used its drone(s) to map the Matterhorn, the mighty mountain that straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy.

Memory’s a funny thing: I guessed this was from about four years ago. But senseFly carried out this accomplishment seven years ago. Clearly, they were ahead of the game at that time. If you’re pressed for time, you could start at about the 2:34 mark:https://www.youtube.com/embed/NuZUSe87miY?enablejsapi=1&amp=1&autohide=2&fs=1&hl=en-US&iv_load_policy=1&rel=1&showinfo=1&showsearch=0&wmode=transparent&playsinline=1That was quite an accomplishment…seven years ago!

DroneDJ will be watching…

We love product releases. And we know senseFly has a lot of devotees.

We’ll be sure to let you know what the company releases next Monday!


Guides

sensefly

About the Author

Scott Simmie

Scott Simmie is a career multi-platform journalist now specializing in drones and other technology content creation

DroneDJ: Is senseFly teasing a new drone release?. https://dronedj.com/2021/01/25/sensefly-new-drone-release/

Wingcopter raises $22 million to expand to the U.S. and launch a next-generation drone – TechCrunch

Featured Article

Wingcopter raises $22 million to expand to the U.S. and launch a next-generation drone

After bootstrapping for four years, this drone startup is ready to scale fast

Darrell Etherington@etherington / 12:02 AM GMT+2•January 25, 2021

Germany, Bavaria, Upper Bavaria, Isarwinkel, Jachenau, rural landscape in fog at sunrise

Image Credits: Wingcopter

German drone technology startup Wingcopter has raised a $22 million Series A – its first significant venture capital raise after mostly bootstrapping. The company, which focuses on drone delivery, has come a long way since its founding in 2017, having developed, built and flown its Wingcopter 178 heavy-lift cargo delivery drone using its proprietary and patented tilt-rotor propellant mechanism, which combines all the benefits of vertical take-off and landing with the advantages of fixed-wing aircraft for longer distance horizontal flight.

This new Series A round was led by Silicon Valley VC Xplorer Capital, as well as German growth fund Futury Regio Growth. Wingcopter CEO and founder Tom Plümmer explained to the in an interview that the addition of an SV-based investor is particularly important to the startup, since it’s in the process of preparing its entry into the U.S., with plans for an American facility, both for flight testing to satisfy FAA requirements for operational certification, as well as eventually for U.S.-based drone production.

Wingcopter has already been operating commercially in a few different markets globally, including in Vanuatu in partnership with Unicef for vaccine delivery to remote areas, in Tanzania for two-way medical supply delivery working with Tanzania, and in Ireland where it completed the world’s first delivery of insulin by drone beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS, the industry’s technical term for when a drone flies beyond the visual range of a human operator who has the ability to take control in case of emergencies).

Wingcopter CEO and co-founder Tom Plümmer. Credit: Jonas Wresch

While Wingcopter has so far pursued a business as an OEM manufacturer of drones, and has had paying customers eager to purchase its hardware effectively since day one (Plümmer told me that they had at least one customer wiring them money before they even had a bank account set up for the business), but it’s also now getting into the business of offering drone delivery-as-a-service. After doing the hard work of building its technology from the ground up, and seeking out the necessary regulatory approvals to operate in multiple markets around the world, Plümmer says that he and his co-founders realized that operating a service business not only meant a new source of revenue, but also better-served the needs of many of its potential customers.

“We learned during this process, through applying for permission, receiving these permissions and working now in five continents in multiple countries, flying BVLOS, that actually operating drones is something we are now very good at,” he said. This was actually becoming a really good source of income, and ended up actually making up more than half of our revenue at some point. Also looking at scalability of the business model of being an OEM, it’s kind of […] linear.”

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/24/ups-partners-with-wingcopter-to-develop-new-multipurpose-drone-delivery-fleet/embed/#?secret=QGP7RjiYy4

Linear growth with solid revenue and steady demand was fine for Wingcopter as a bootstrapped startup founded by university students supported by a small initial investment from family and friends. But Plümmer says the company say so much potential in the technology it had developed, and the emerging drone delivery market, that the exponential growth curve of its drone delivery-as-a-service model helped make traditional VC backing make sense. In the early days, Plümmer says Wingcopter had been approached by VCs, but at the time it didn’t make sense for what they were trying to do; that’s changed.

“We were really lucky to bootstrap over the last four years,” Plümmer said. “Basically, just by selling drones and creating revenue, we could employ our first 30 employees. But at some point, you realize you want to really plan with that revenue, so you want to have monthly revenues, which generally repeat like a software business – like software as a service.”

Wingcopter 178 cargo drone performing a delivery for Merck.

Wingcopter has also established a useful hedge regarding its service business, not only by being its own hardware supplier, but also by having worked closely with many global flight regulators on their regulatory process through the early days of commercial drone flights. They’re working with the FAA on its certification process now, for instance, with Plümmer saying that they participate in weekly calls with the regulator on its upcoming certification process for BVLOS drone operators. Understanding the regulatory environment, and even helping architect it, is a major selling point for partners who don’t want to have to build out that kind of expertise and regulatory team in-house.

Meanwhile, the company will continue to act as an OEM as well, selling not only its Wingcopter 178 heavy-lift model, which can fly up to 75 miles, at speeds of up to 100 mph, and that can carry payloads up to around 13 lbs. Because of its unique tilt-rotor mechanism, it’s not only more efficient in flight, but it can also fly in much windier conditions – and take-off and land in harsher conditions than most drones, too.

Plümmer tells me that Wingcopter doesn’t intend to rest on its laurels in the hardware department, either; it’s going to be introducing a new model of drone soon, with different capabilities that expand the company’s addressable market, both as an OEM and in its drones-as-a-service business.

With its U.S. expansion, Wingcopter will still look to focus specifically on the delivery market, but Plümmer points out that there’s no reason its unique technology couldn’t also work well to serve markets including observation and inspection, or to address needs in the communication space as well. The one market that Wingcopter doesn’t intend to pursue, however, is military and defense. While these are popular customers in the aerospace and drone industries, Plümmer says that Wingcopter has a mission “to create sustainable and efficient drone solutions for improving and saving lives,” and says the startup looks at every potential customer and ensures that it aligns with its vision – which defense customers do not.

While the company has just announced the close of its Series A round, Plümmer says they’re already in talks with some potential investors to join a Series B. It’s also going to be looking for U.S. based talent in embedded systems software and flight operations testing, to help with the testing process required its certification by the FAA.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/05/german-drone-delivery-trial-paves-the-way-to-replacing-trucks-for-inter-office-deliveries/embed/#?secret=NQ8wUyomL1

Plümmer sees a long tail of value to be built from Wingcopter’s patented tilt-rotor design, with potential applications in a range of industries, and he says that Wingcopter won’t be looking around for any potential via M&A until it has fully realized that value. Meanwhile, the company is also starting to sow the seeds of its own potential future customers, with training programs in drone flights and operations it’s putting on in partnership with UNICEF’s African Drone and Data Academy. Wingcopter clearly envisions a bright future for drone delivery, and its work in focusing its efforts on building differentiating hardware, plus the role it’s playing in setting the regulatory agenda globally, could help position it at the center of that future.

https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/24/wingcopter-raises-22-million-to-expand-to-the-u-s-and-launch-a-next-generation-drone/

South African startup Aerobotics raises $17M to scale its AI-for-agriculture platform | TechCrunch

Clémentine Lalande, Once CEO

South African startup Aerobotics raises $17M to scale its AI-for-agriculture platform

Tage Kene-Okafor@ulonnaya / 5:43 PM GMT+2•January 21, 2021

aerobotics

Image Credits: Aerobotics

As the global agricultural industry stretches to meet expected population growth and food demand, and food security becomes more of a pressing issue with global warming, a startup out of South Africa is using artificial intelligence to help farmers manage their farms, trees and fruits.

Aerobotics, a South African startup that provides intelligent tools to the world’s agriculture industry, has raised $17 million in an oversubscribed Series B round.

Founded in 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer, Aerobotics is currently focused on building tools for fruit and tree farmers. Using artificial intelligence, drones and other robotics, its technology helps track and assess the health of these crops, including identifying when trees are sick, tracking pests and diseases, and analytics for better yield management. 

The company has progressed its technology and provides to farmers independent and reliable yield estimations and harvest schedules by collecting and processing both tree and fruit imagery from citrus growers early in the season. In turn, farmers can prepare their stock, predict demand and ensure their customers have the best quality of produce.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/19/kenyas-apollo-agriculture-raises-6m-series-a-led-by-anthemis/embed/#?secret=7OXsqt5laA

Aerobotics has experienced record growth in the last few years. For one, it claims to have the largest proprietary data set of trees and citrus fruit in the world, having processed 81 million trees and more than a million citrus fruit.

The seven-year-old startup is based in Cape Town, South Africa. At a time when many of the startups out of the African continent have focused their attention primarily on identifying and fixing challenges at home, Aerobotics has found a lot of traction for its services abroad, too. It has offices in the U.S., Australia and Portugal — like Africa, home to other major, global agricultural economies — and operates in 18 countries across Africa, the Americas, Europe and Australia. 

Image Credits: Aerobotics

Within that, the U.S. is the company’s primary market, and Aerobotics says it has two provisional patents pending in the country, one for systems and methods for estimating tree age and another for systems and methods for predicting yield.  

The company said it plans to use this Series B investment to continue developing more technology and product delivery, both for the U.S. and other markets. 

“We’re committed to providing intelligent tools to optimize automation, minimize inputs and maximize production. We look forward to further co-developing our products with the agricultural industry leaders,” said Paterson, the CEO in a statement.

Once heralded as a frontier for technology centuries ago, the agriculture industry has stalled in that aspect for a long while. However, agritech companies like Aerobotics that support climate-smart agriculture and help farmers have sprung forth trying to take the industry back to its past glory. Investors have taken notice and over the past five years, investments have flowed with breathtaking pace. 

For Aerobotics, it raised $600,000 from 4Di Capital and Savannah Fund as part of its seed round in September 2017. The company then raised a further $4 million in Series A funding in February 2019, led by Nedbank Capital and Paper Plane Ventures.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/04/sunculture-wants-to-turn-africa-into-the-worlds-next-bread-basket-one-solar-water-pump-at-a-time/embed/#?secret=u5zuXIZ5Tw

Naspers Foundry, the lead investor in this Series B round, was launched by Naspers in 2019 as a 1.4 billion rand (~$100 million) fund for tech startups in South Africa. 

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers South Africa, said of the investment, “Food security is of paramount importance in South Africa and the Aerobotics platform provides a positive contribution towards helping to sustain it. This type of tech innovation addresses societal challenges and is exactly the type of early-stage company that Naspers Foundry looks to back.”

Besides Aerobotics, Naspers Foundry has invested in online cleaning service SweepSouth, and food service platform Food Supply Network.

https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/21/south-africa-startup-aerobotics-raises-17m-led-by-naspers-foundry/?utm_source=angellist

Remote ID for Drones Final Rule Released – DRONELIFE

https://dronelife.com/2020/12/28/breaking-faa-publishes-remote-id-for-drones-final-version-ops-over-people/

TechCrunch: Salesforce buys Slack in a $27.7B megadeal

TechCrunch: Salesforce buys Slack in a $27.7B megadeal. https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/01/salesforce-buys-slack/

LinkedIn sued after being caught reading users’ clipboards on iOS 14

LinkedIn was recently caught reading users’ clipboards on iPhone and iPad thanks to the new privacy features of iOS 14, as we reported last week. Even though the company claimed it was due a software bug, there’s now an iPhone user who’s suing LinkedIn for supposedly reading sensitive content from the clipboard without permission. more……

LinkedIn sued after being caught reading users’ clipboards on iOS 14
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