Discover Canada

After Russia, Canada is the second largest country in the world, but the Canadian population is 33.8 million and this is around one-fifth of the Russian population. The most populated area of Canada is within 200 km of the border with the United States. Around 90 percent of the total Canadian population lives in this area. Canada relies heavily on the trading relationship with the United States and this trading relationship is the largest in the world between two countries. The Canadian capital is Ottawa, but the largest city is Toronto. Canada covers around 9.9 million square kilometers. The two official main languages are English and French. The average life expectation is 79 years for men and 84 years for women. The Canadian dollar is the legal currency.

The main products that Canada exports are automotive products, machinery and equipment, metals, plastics, forestry products, agricultural products, fishing products and energy products.

Interesting fact is that immigration made Canada one of the richest nations in the world but discrimination and racism are a large side effect and most immigrants are coming from the Asian region.

Canadian Media

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is the major broadcasting company and was founded in the 1930’s. The CBC broadcasts in French and English. In general the Canadian media are free to express a wide range of opinions and views, but around 35% of the broadcasted programs must be Canadian. Overall there are 2,000 radio stations across Canada and most of them are commercial. The national news agency is the Canadian Press.

The biggest newspapers are;

• The Globe and Mail
• La Presse
• The Toronto Sun
• National Post
• Le Journal de Montreal
• Vancouver Sun
• The Gazette
• The Toronto Star

Canadian Politics

Canada is part of the Commonwealth and the head of state is the British queen Elizabeth II. The queen is represented by a Governor-General. The main politic streams are Conservatives and Liberals.

Canadian Points of Interest

Tourist will find a wide range of attractions and they are divided in lakes, mountains, parks, resorts, historical sites and much more. A few interesting landmarks are;

• The 533 meter high CN Tower in Toronto is the tallest building in the world
• The Casa Loma in Toronto is a majestic castle in Toronto
• Ontario Palace in Toronto is a large cultural and leisure park
• African Lion Safari in Toronto is an exiting place where you can drive with caged cars through a 50 acres wildlife landscape
• Paramount Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto is the most important amusement park of the country with a lot of attractions and over 60 rides.
• Beaver Trails Canada
• Beechwood Cementary
• Billings Estate Museum
• Bytown Museum
• Canada Agricultural Museum
• Canada Aviation Museum
• Canada Science and Technology Museum
• Canada Country and Golf Club
• Canadian War Museum
• Canadian Tulip Festival
• Niagara Falls

The Canadian Climate

During the summer in most southern regions of Canada high levels of humidity and temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius and in the western regions there is much rainfall, but on the prairies there is only 250 to 500 mm of rain per year. In the winter season it is cold in most regions with the coldest regions near the Arctic Circle.

Laser Sintering: The Science Behind 3D Printing’s Rapid Emergence in the Marketplace

3D laser printing has entered the mainstream with everyone from students, to artists, to small businesses jumping on the 3D laser printing bandwagon. Though for many of us the technology is relatively new, 3D laser printing or “additive manufacturing”, as it is also known, began in the 70s and 80s, with the efforts of scientists and grad students to find a way to more efficiently and economically manufacture goods on a small scale.

The core manufacturing processes – casting/molding, forming, joining and machining – have not been replaced by 3D printing, as one might speculate, but have simply been scaled down through the adaption of new techniques in manufacturing. New techniques for solid modeling have allowed researchers to translate 3-D geometries into mathematical terms, which in turn enabled them to become the instructions for equipment control systems.

As additive manufacturing has evolved, taking on new processes and advances in solid manufacturing, the technology has expanded to supporting rapid fabrication from digital models or templates and a range of geometries that surpasses the capabilities of other methods.

The lion’s share of the additive manufacturing techniques that make up the foundations of the technology were invented and patented in the 80s. To better understand 3D laser printing today, let’s review some of the components that led to creating it. To begin with, “additive manufacturing”, simply put, is a process of making something three dimensional by literally layering materials upon each other following a digital design or template. What follows is a brief overview of some of the original 3D printing or additive manufacturing techniques and processes:

Stereolithography, sometimes called vat photopolymerization, is an additive manufacturing process that uses resins and lasers to build 3D objects. Selective laser sintering (SLS), also known as powder bed fusion, uses a computer-controlled laser (e.g., a sealed off CO2 laser) to selectively “sinter,” or fuse, cross-sections of powder into a solid. Sheet lamination, also known as laminated object manufacturing, is the process of cutting a thin sheet of paper, plastic or metal into a desired shape with a laser, repeating this and bonding each layer upon the previous one. Material extrusion works by pushing liquid plastic or metal out through a nozzle, following a path on a digital map. 3-D printing, also known as binder jetting, involves repeatedly laying down layers of powder and then squirting liquid binder on the areas to be solidified to construct 3-D objects.

There a number of companies providing SLM technology, such as Coherent, because of SLM’s ability to enable highly accurate, smooth, and consistent components with a wide range of materials., which has led to their utilization by a variety of industries, such as, automotive design, heavy equipment, aerospace, defense, medical, electronics and consumer products and government research.

In a recent article of Phys.org, Steve McKnight, director of the NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, was quoted as saying, “To realize the full promise of additive manufacturing, researchers will need to discover new ways to increase speed, lower costs, improve consistency and develop and qualify novel materials for all kinds of applications. It will take the ingenuity of engineers, students and makers.”

For more information on SLS technology and products, visit: http://www.coherent.com/applications/index.cfm?fuseaction=Forms.page&PageID=314.

Apple Is No Longer a ‘Sure Thing’ Investment

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) stepped into the earnings confessional recently, and everyone on Wall Street is praising the company’s quarterly results. Revenue and earnings exceeded expectations, and even fourth-quarter guidance came in better than expected. However, everyone is overlooking some rather key risks that could negatively affect AAPL stock.

Let’s take a moment to recap what’s driving AAPL stock’s post-earnings bounce:

  • Second-quarter earnings rose 17.6% year-over-year to $1.67 per share versus expectations for $1.57 per share.
  • Revenue gained 7.2% to $45.41 billion, topping the consensus for $44.89 billion.
  • Apple guided fourth-quarter sales in a range of $49 billion to $52 billion, above estimates for $49.18 billion.

On the surface, Apple’s third-quarter report looks impressive. What’s more, analysts concerned about a delayed delivery for the iPhone 8 interpreted the better-than-expected fourth-quarter guidance as meaning that reports of a potential iPhone delay were overblown – prompting a slew of upgrades and price-target increases that exacerbated AAPL stock’s rally.

But there are several key points that very few Apple watchers are talking about. And once Wall Street takes note, it could spell trouble for AAPL stock.

Apple Cored

If you dig deeper into Apple’s earnings report, you’ll notice that this quarter’s results were not driven by the iPhone, but rather by services and iPad sales. Services revenue grew an impressive 22% year-over-year, while enterprise partnerships helped boost iPad sales. Analysts have called this an important development for Apple, leading to the most attention non-iPhone products have seen in quite some time. It’s a telling development.

For instance, iPhone sales of 41.3 million were essentially flat with the same quarter last year, and actually fell from 50.8 million in the second quarter. What’s more, Apple continues to struggle with iPhone sales in the Chinese market, with recent data suggesting the company is poised to drop out of the top 5 vendors list in China.

And the iPhone isn’t the only concern. Apple’s iPod is essentially dead. The device that brought AAPL stock back from the brink of obsolescence is on its way out after Apple discontinued all but one version of the iconic handheld music player last week.

What’s Left for Apple?

Apple has ridden the coattails of its iPods and iPhones for so long, there isn’t much left outside of those key products. As an investment guru put it: “Apple has fallen behind on the very thing that people want from it – innovation.” Gone are the days of Steve Jobs’ dramatic pauses and “Oh… one more thing… ” at Apple product announcements and investor weeks.

The company is now content with incremental improvements to existing devices and services. Even the highly anticipated iPhone 8 will arrive with few innovative features, and most of those are present in competing smartphones already on the market.

All is not lost for buy-and-hold Apple investors, though. Despite declining iPhone sales, Apple products are more about value than volume. Despite falling way behind key competitors in the PC, mobile phone and tablet markets, Apple still holds the lion’s share of revenue. For instance, despite controlling just 11% of the smartphone market in 2016, Apple captured 36% of global end-user spending.

What’s more, the company is working on cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) software for the automotive market. Apple CEO Tim Cook calls autonomous driving “the mother of all AI projects.” And if Apple plays its cards right, AI and self-driving cars could be the company’s next “one more thing.”

Investing in Apple Stock

If you’re a buy-and-hold trader, I’m not convinced that now is the time to sell AAPL stock. But it is most certainly not the time to buy. AAPL stock’s post-earnings rally was stopped cold just short of round-number resistance at $160. Furthermore, the shares are on the verge of overbought territory, with their 14-day Relative Strength Index rising sharply in the past week.

This combination of technical indicators doesn’t bode well for AAPL stock’s short-term outlook, and the shares are already exhibiting signs of weakness due to a lack of follow-through buying after earnings.

The key test for AAPL stock will be the $155 area. This region was home to heavy resistance in May and June, and could act as a short-term backstop for Apple over the next few weeks. If this region fails to hold support, AAPL could find itself retesting the $150 area and its 50-day moving average in short order. A pullback to $150 would make a good buying opportunity for long-term buy-and-hold AAPL stock traders.

As you can see, AAPL stock is no longer the “sure thing” investment it once was – either over the short term or the long term given the company’s lack of innovation. In fact, Apple is often subject to an increasingly fickle cult following on Wall Street and a wealth of emotional trading pitfalls.