This is how the Nazi Enigma machine works Now playing: Watch this: Queen Elizabeth II took an early tour of Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security, a new exhibit at The Science Museum coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Government Communication Headquarters. Along with the letter from Babbage, the exhibit includes Alan Turing’s Enigma M1070. The Royal Family’s Instagram has more than 2,000 posts, but this was reportedly the first one the queen wrote personally. Her first post has gotten more than 42,000 likes and 836 comments so far.”Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors,” the queen wrote. Mobile Culture 4:44 Share your voice 0 Tags Queen Elizabeth visits The Science Museum in London. The Science Museum Computers are a part of our everyday lives, and we may not give much thought to their origins. In true royal fashion, Queen Elizabeth II has reminded us on Instagram.The queen posted on Thursday that she visited The Science Museum in London and viewed a letter in the Royal Archives written in 1843 by Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the “Difference Engine” and has been credited as the world’s first computer pioneer. The queen wrote that Prince Albert saw a prototype in 1843. Post a comment Instagram
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How Success Happens Even in tough economic times, small businesses need to find new ideas, develop original products, and engineer fresh market approaches. These are the pillars of good business, and each is made from a mixture of creativity and expertise. While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s entirely possible to implement strategies that drive not only employee engagement, but also innovation and, ultimately, sales–all without enormous investment in systems or people.What can your company do to remain fresh, vibrant and alive–all without breaking the bank? Here are five ways:1. De-emphasize office spaceThe traditional office space, where cubicles, the hum of overhead lights, and group politics preside, is not usually the most conducive environment for harnessing the most creative ideas. Giving employees the opportunity to perform some or all of their work outside the office can break this routine and cultivate an innovative workforce.Often simply changing the physical working location to the café or tea house on the corner can produce a stream of new and valuable ideas. And many of these “third places” provide complimentary wireless internet access, have space for convening, and sell enough coffee to keep everyone alert. Writers and musicians know about the creative effects of a cafe’s stimulating and relaxing atmosphere–why not CEOs?2. Virtualize your workforceIn addition to being ineffective at times, the office space may be an unnecessary expense. The cost of maintaining an office space is usually the single largest line item when it comes to business overhead. Many small businesses have eliminated the expense by ceasing to rent office space and setting up virtually. Transforming your business into a virtual operation creates the new opportunity to hire and retain talented people from outside of your geographic area and frees up funds to be invested elsewhere.Keep in mind, though, that while there are many benefits to virtualizing a company, the reduction in face time also necessitates a change in management style. Much greater focus is needed on project expectations and deadlines, as well as clear and consistent communication.3. Leverage collaboration applicationsAt the beginning and end of the day, your business is about people–the clients you serve and the staff that you employ. Connecting these people in the right way is essential to creating and running a great company, and collaboration applications are excellent tools with which to accomplish this goal.Collaboration applications create new avenues of communication that effectively improve team cohesion and break down the invisible barriers within a company. Intelligent implementation can turn a stagnant, sluggish company into one composed of engaged employees, who contribute more of their “discretionary time” toward the success of the company.One excellent collaboration application is GoogleDocs, which creates an online conference table where ideas can be put forward, discussed and implemented. Every document created within the application is saved, so it can be opened and edited wherever there is an internet connection. Novice computer users will find GoogleDocs easy to learn and intuitive to operate. Likewise, instant messaging programs such as Skype or MSN Messenger enable fast communication through chat groups formed around departments or projects.CPS Creative, a website design company, is a great model for its implementation of collaboration software. The company, which is almost entirely virtual, requires all employees to use the same instant messaging program and be online at designated times. All of the employees assigned to a specific project join the same chat group. Also, at the beginning and end of each work day, all employees check in with their colleagues in order to let them know they have arrived and left.4. Invest in the skills of current employeesOn a regular basis, companies face a host of small but necessary tasks that must be accomplished, like creating a Flash graphic for the website, writing a marketing brochure, or drafting a press release. Yet smaller companies cannot afford a dedicated IT department, marketing staff or public affairs coordinator, despite the fact that many of these tasks, like maintaining a functioning and well-designed website, are essential to attracting new business and transitioning from a struggling start-up to a vibrant and growing company.Hiring new employees with the necessary skills is not the only solution; invest in the skill development of your current workforce. Your staff most likely either has the requisite capabilities to accomplish these projects or can quickly acquire them. The additional skills will undoubtedly be very marketable, which satisfies your employees while providing for the needs of the company.One resource to help accomplish this is the website Lynda.com, which provides online training in professional-grade applications like Adobe Dreamweaver and Illustrator–the required tools to build quality websites and produce stunning marketing materials.5. Build cross-functional teamsFinally, one of the greatest methods for producing innovation in a company is to solicit contributions from the entire workforce. Taking your employees, who are the most knowledgeable experts on the company, and gathering them around a conference table will help your company develop innovative solutions with little investment.CPS Creative once encouraged a non-technical member of their staff to try his hand at Flash design, something that he had never done before. After seeing his immediate aptitude for it, the company merged the product developed by the original Flash expert with the staff member’s design, creating a better product in the end.Regardless of the condition of the economy, companies should always looking toward expansion. Growing while revenue is stagnant is a difficult, but not impossible, task. Consider these five ideas: shifting the workplace away from the office, virtualizing the workforce, using collaboration applications, investing in new skills acquisition, and tapping into the talents of existing employees. All of these strategies are inexpensive and cultivate the essential ingredients of successful small (and someday large) businesses everywhere–workforce engagement, innovation and, ultimately, sales.Jennifer Brown is a well-regarded speaker and consultant on the future of the workplace, workforce diversity, and the development of new leadership competencies for a new global environment. Brown and her team have coached hundreds of executives and managers worldwide on critical issues of flexible team strategies, harnessing the energy of the workforce, and creative ways to empower current and future leaders. Listen Now 6 min read Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. December 23, 2009
5 min read Entrepreneur is on the ground at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Check back for highlights from the event as well as insights from thought leaders and innovators. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become one of the most anticipated events of the year, drawing technology enthusiasts from around the globe. It’s also become one of the most derided. As the conference has grown, it has become unwieldy, to put it mildly. All of the sessions and crowds overwhelm professionals, leaving them unsure how to best use it as a networking opportunity or as an avenue to learn more about whatever field they’re in. Some executives have even opted to skip the event altogether in favor of smaller, less formal events where they can enjoy more one-on-one interaction.Instead of staying at home, though, savvy professionals redirect their approach to CES. With a little planning and effort, you can make lasting connections at this year’s event, just like you can at other, more manageably-sized events. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of CES as it takes over Sin City.Set appointmentsWell in advance of the conference, spend time researching who else is going to be there. This includes reviewing the full schedule and paying close attention to the scheduled presenters. Watch your social media feeds for existing connections discussing the event. Experts recommend using CES as an opportunity to impress contacts you’ve been trying to keep happy or to win over for a while. People sometimes forget, but Las Vegas actually offers some of the best restaurants in the world, so wine and dine your contacts. It’s important to set these appointments and make reservations before you arrive, since many top establishments are fully booked during the days of the conference.Related: 5 Steps to Secure New Business at CES and Other Big EventsPlan your sessionsWith so many sessions and exhibits, it can be tempting to spend the entire conference taking in information. To ensure you get to see all of these things without sacrificing the goal of making or nurturing connections, plan the sessions and exhibits you want to see in advance and carve out a schedule that optimizes your networking time. This site lists most of the parties that will be happening in conjunction with CES. Be sure to mix these events into your time at CES and even when you’re attending sessions, focus on the connections you can make in addition to the information you can learn.Related: CES Has Become an Innovator’s Pre-Crowdfunding Launch PadBe boldCES isn’t the time to be shy. Force yourself to interact with others, introducing yourself at every opportunity. Even the person seated next to you on the plane on the way to the event could be a valuable potential contact. Practice your introduction ahead of time and make sure it properly conveys your message. You likely want to sell your business rather than yourself, so you should have your elevator pitch perfected before you leave.Related: A Tech Entrepreneur’s Insider Tips for Exhibiting at CESListenOne of the biggest mistakes you can make at any networking event is spending all of your time talking and no time at all listening. If nobody’s listening, everyone’s networking efforts are wasted. When you let people talk, you learn more about potential business partners who can help you. Also, consider that people are naturally drawn to those who show genuine interest in who they are and what they do. Instead of focusing on your sales pitch, come up with some questions to ask that will get the other person talking. The pressure will then be taken off of you to talk. Once you get to know the person a little and you both feel more comfortable, you can bring up your business. They may even bring it up for you!Related: Why Many Tech Execs Are Skipping the Consumer Electronics ShowFollow UpAll of those connections you make will be useless if you don’t translate them into a post-CES relationship. In the days after you return home, send a quick email to follow up on your introduction. If you recall specifics of your conversation with a particular contact, mention those in the email, as well. Follow each contact on social media and make a note to follow up again in a few weeks if you don’t get a response. You may not form lasting connections with everyone you meet, but by following up, you’ll likely at least add a few new people to your professional network.Oh CES. Just the thought of you brings up images of long taxi lines, incredibly crowded showroom floors, and nights with too many parties for any one person to actually attend. It may have gotten too big for its own good, but it does indeed bring prime opportunities for networking with professionals across many industries. Before arriving in Vegas though, it’s important to plan what you’ll do to ensure you get the most out of your attendance. Otherwise, you may find you’ve spent several days learning about tech products with not much benefit to your own business’s growth. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. January 3, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA mountain rescue team were deployed after a couple and their dogs became stranded on sheet ice near the Staffordshire Moorlands/Derbyshire border as Storm Deirdre hit the UK. Buxton Mountain Rescue Team (BMRT) were called for after the pair, who live locally, left the A53 at Axe Edge and tried to return to their home in the Brandside area at around 3.30pm yesterday (Saturday December 15). The couple, and their dogs, were helped by rescuers wearing microspikes who took them to stay with relatives in Whaley as bad weather hit the region. A spokesman for BMRT, an independent charity which relies on fundraising, said: “Due to being unable to reach home, the lady was left without her prescribed medication. Read MoreHow YOU can help Chester Zoo after major fire breaks out “The team called into Clowes Chemist on Cavendish Parade in Buxton, who was more than happy to help and issued an emergency prescription.” A Met Office Amber Weather Warning for Ice was in force across a large swathe of the area but expired at 6am this morning (Sunday December 16) – with a yellow weather warning for snow and ice also no longer in force. A number of vehicles were involved in accidents or became stranded on ice in the Staffordshire Moorlands on Saturday, with police in the area warning of extreme weather in areas including Morridge Top. Brown Lane in Flash was also closed briefly but has now reopened. Read MorePlans for £42m road development in town revealed Inrix, the traffic data company, reports the A54 remains closed between Buxton and Bosley due to ice – with a number of accidents reported on the route on Saturday and fallen trees reported elsewhere in Cheshire East. At around 9.30pm on Saturday night Cheshire Police confirmed the nearby A537, known as the Cat and Fiddle Road, remained open. A police spokesman said: “On the high ground of the A537, there is still a lot of ice. The road is clear at the time of writing, but travel with care. The A54 will remain closed overnight as sections of the road are covered in ice. The A54 remains closed due to ice (Image: Cheshire Police) Staffordshire County Council and Cheshire East Council both said yesterday that their gritters would be out overnight. Outdoor markets in Leek were cancelled yesterday – although today’s Sunday Supplement event in the town is set to go ahead as planned. The annual Star Bikers Charity Toy Run in Stoke-on-Trent is also set to take place as scheduled. Read MoreStolen Range Rover hit motorbike, car, two police vehicles and telegraph pole… and now three people have been arrested The latest Met Office Weather forecast for North Staffordshire states: “Early fog patches will possibly be slow to clear this morning. “Then mostly dry with sunny spells before a band of showery rain arrives from the southwest later in the afternoon.” Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive .