A silver car
Interior Styles,

Mercedes Benz B Class Unveils Its Interior

The first images of the interior of the upcoming Mercedes Benz B Class broke loose on the Internet almost two months before the car’s official debut, scheduled for the Frankfurt Motor Show. The model will go on sale on the European market by the end of next year.

First of all, the general impression this interior leaves is that it looks very attractive, successfully combining modern and retro elements. The first thing we notice is the disappearance of the gearbox knob, which has been moved from the traditional position on the central dashboard to a brand new location on the steering wheel column. However, this only applies to the models equipped with an automatic transmission; manual gearbox versions will get the regular knob between the front seats, like most cars out there.

The dashboard features a touchscreen display on the upper part of the central console, while the sporty three-spoke steering wheel reminds us of the one from the CLS flagship. The air vents also feature sporty accents and are pretty similar to the ones from the German carmaker’s sports car range, like the SLS AMG or the new SLK.

The new Mercedes Benz B Class promises to make a revolutionary leap in the compact class and has a total length of 4,359 mm (14.3 feet), a total width of 1,785 mm (5.8 feet) and is 1,557 mm (5.1 feet) tall. Thanks to several special optimizations, the car’s drag coefficient is only 0.26 and was the result of more than 1,100 hours spent by the German engineers testing the car in the wind tunnel.

Besides these, customers will also be able to choose an optional package, called ECO Technology, which further improves the car’s drag, lowering it to 0.24. The package features a lowered ride height, several new parts mounted under the car to improve air flow and better frames for the lateral windows.

Regarding the engine range, the new B Class will be offered with several four-cylinder engines. The entry level unit has a 1.6-liter displacement and delivers 122 hp and 200 Nm of peak torque, while the top of the range powerplant is a turbocharged version of the same engine and produces 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque.

As for the diesel engines, Mercedes Benz will offer a 1.8-liter delivering 109 hp and 250 Nm and an optional version of the same engine that produces 136 hp and 300 Nm. These will be the engines the new B Class will debut with, but Mercedes also considers a top of the line 2.0-liter engine, which will be the most powerful unit in the range. All powertrains will come with Start/Stop technology as standard and customers will be able to choose between a six-speed manual or a seven-speed 7G Tronic automatic transmission. Mercedes also plans hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered versions, but we’ll probably only going to see these in a few years.

man doing calculation
PROPERTY,

Create and Control a Budget on Your Property Development Project

One of the most common and most serious mistakes made by first-time developers is to underestimate the budget.

Make up your mind what you are doing. If this is not a hobby and you really are property developing then that is a business and you must treat it like one. You must include all your outgoings and costs and allow for contingencies in order to get the best profit possible.

Know in advance exactly where you can make cutbacks if the budget looks like it is getting out of hand. Burying your head in the sand and not looking at the sums because you don’t like what you see is not fooling anyone but yourself.

An overspend will not go away and managing the money does require organisation and discipline. Don’t forget if there is no real profit at the end of the year your business will not be able to trade.

It is absolutely vital to work out a realistic budget, and to make sure the amount you buy your property for makes it a sound investment.

Cash Flow

Remember, cash flow is the key to success or failure. Plan your budget meticulously and itemise in detail the things you will have to pay for.

Avoid getting carried away at the beginning of a project just because your bank balance is looking healthier than it has done in years, you may find that there is nothing left for crucial works later on, leaving you with no alternative but to cut corners to get the work finished.

Working out a realistic budget in the first place is the answer to this. It is absolutely vital to make sure the amount you buy your property for makes it a sound investment before you commit yourself; rather than buying something that happens to be unmodernised and then discovering that the cost of the development and the purchase price actually adds up to more than you can sell it for.

How Much Will It Cost

While it may not be possible to know every outgoing that you are going to make throughout the project, if you itemise realistically you can work out a reasonably sound estimate of costs.

The maths may seem a bit overwhelming and the probable costs may seem terrifying but if you are not realistic at this stage you will be in for big trouble later on.

The most common expense to overlook is the actual cost of buying, owning and selling the property. You also need to include everything from major repairs and structural alterations to light fittings and bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Most importantly, don’t forget to factor in the cost of labour.

Schedule Of The Works

Experience will help you know how much something is likely to cost, but before you have built up the experience it is useful to make a detailed schedule of the works that need to be carried out on the property, with drawings if necessary. Then approach builders and collect together your quotes.

Go over this budget over and over again and adjust if necessary. If you have no experience of what these costs are and are not used to working out a budget, it is easy to miss vital items, forgetting to include, say, stamp duty or perhaps even the wiring, and especially forgetting that there will certainly be unexpected expenses on the way.

Mortgage Protection

Always prepare for the unexpected. Remember that if you decide to give up your job or are made redundant during your development project or if you become ill or injured, you may have difficulty keeping up your mortgage payments. You cannot rely on the state to help to cover the payments. It may be worth buying extra cover to protect your mortgage payments in case this situation arises. Policies differ, so always check them very carefully.

Here are some essential key points For A Successful Project:

  • Don’t overspend: Don’t be tempted to spend money on things just because you like them. Make your money matter; spend where required but not where desired.
  • Get A Survey Done before you purchase any property, make sure you understand its problems, know what work is needed and whether this is the project for you.
  • Get A Second Opinion and check what has been sold for what price recently, and ask the estate agent you are planning to sell the property through what they think will add value to the property.
  • Be Aware of current building regulation requirements and adhere to them. Seek advice from the building regulations officer at your local planning department. Most planning departments are very helpful, so ask their advice.
  • Have Integrity in your product, do a job properly or not at all. Purchasers and certainly their surveyors are not foolish and so don’t labour under the illusion that you won’t get found out.
  • Design For Your Market and not for yourself. While keeping the dĂ©cor as neutral as possible, don’t feel that you have to make the property bland. Create the best possible layout but leave scope for potential buyers not to feel smothered by your design.
  • Don’t forget that to succeed and to make a profit you must be businesslike from start to finish.
  • Adopt An Organised Approach to the venture, getting advice where it is needed, keeping efficient records and doing things methodically. Then if things go wrong, you have your files and records to refer to.
  • Make Lists and don’t rely on your memory.
  • Deal With all potential difficulties before they reach a head.

Follow these simple but essential key points and you project will stand a greater chance of success and making big profits from your property development project.

A person sitting at a table
PROPERTY,

Property Development – Buying to Sell

If you want to stand a better chance of reaching the maximum profit from your property development project you must remember that this simple rule: The most important thing when buying to sell is to keep the image of your target market in your mind at all times.

Be sure to work out your figures after viewing any property you are serious about.

It is not as complicated as you may think. The most simple and comprehensive way to work out the maths is to subtract the associated fees and costs, renovation and purchase costs from the potential selling price of your property.

It’s easy. I’ll show you how. To get to this stage calculate the following:

The realistic resale value of the property.

The cost of renovation works to the property.

The sum total of all associated fees and costs you will incur during the project.

The Realistic Resale Value

You don’t want any nasty shocks so you must be realistic. Ask yourself what your property will be worth in peak condition. Finding out the realistic resale value or ‘ceiling price’ of a property can tell you instantly whether you have a deal. It will guide you towards buying for the right price, reveal how much the property will be worth once it looks its best and help you work out your potential profit margin.

So, before investing in a property, ensure that calculating its realistic value is your prime concern.

Build a profile of the property. Be realistic and base your profile on the location, building type, number of rooms, features and layout.

Next, contact three local estate agents. Ask how much newly modernised properties of this profile have recently sold for in your area. See how the details of these properties match your profile.

Calculate a resale value from the comparables that match your profile. If the sale of a comparable property took place more than two months ago, get an up-to-date opinion of the resale value of a similar newly renovated property. Then get two more estimates to substantiate the first.

Administrative Costs

Once you have worked out your realistic resale value, look at the administrative costs and budget. Buying a property always costs more than the purchase price. You will need to take into consideration all of the legal costs involved.

There are also extra fees such as the cost of the survey; Land Registry costs; site services- gas, water, electricity and taxes. Don’t forget to include other administrative costs specific to your project, for example, the costs of selling the property once developed, planning and building control fees.

Living In Your Development

If you are short of cash you could certainly consider living in your development. This may sound like a simple option but it does have its pitfalls. For example, are you really going to be able to continue to live in the property while the work is being carried out?

This can be noisy, dusty, and intrusive and you may find yourself without facilities such as hot (or cold) water, use of a loo or a basic kitchen while the work is in progress, and this situation could last for weeks, even months.

As with all developments you want to be very sure that the work you do is actually going to raise the value of the property.

It is vital to do your research first. Don’t assume that if you do what you want this will automatically increase the value of the property. Even if you were to convert the loft or add an extension, you might find that the costs involved would exceed the amount that it adds in value to the property.

Your thorough research before embarking on the property development project will stand you in good stead of reaching the maximum profit margin possible on the property that you will be selling on.

A person wearing a hat
Engineering,

What a Civil Engineer Does

Civil engineering is the science of building or constructing the fundamentals for society. Some of the jobs that civil engineers work on are schools, power plants, and communication systems for a country or city. These types of engineers work closely with the community representatives to make sure that everything the community needs is properly built and runs to expectations or constraints. Engineers are needed today and far into the future because the amount of growth in population which leads to more buildings in the United States and in other countries such as Germany and Japan.

A form of civil engineering is building engineering. Building engineers overlook every aspect of the building process. First, they look at the environment that the building will be assembled on and take notes on how to form the base of the structure will be. Next, they make designs of the building to the descriptions of the consumers needs. Then, the constructing of the building begins while the engineers supervise the development. After the construction of the building concludes they identify any problems that need to be dealt. And with a team of technicians they solve the problems. Over the years of the buildings life, the engineer will make check up rounds to make sure that every thing is in place and secure.

Another form of civil engineering is construction engineers. In construction engineering the main goal is to schedule the construction of the building, make certain that materials and supplies are at the location, and run through the building to ensure that it is up to the standards and regulations. Construction engineers can not only manage buildings but also dams and roads.

Requirements for most of the engineering fields for going into a college are a 3.2 GPA, a high school diploma, and some form of engineering background. Some requirements for engineers coming out of the college are a four year degree in any engineering field and an internship with a company would help your chances for receiving a job as well. Some of the colleges that offer great engineering degrees in civil engineering are N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and University of Wisconsin at Madison.

A person sitting at a table using a laptop
PROPERTY,

Finding the Money to Fund Your Property Development Project

After you have done all of your research and you have an idea of the sort of property you feel able to take on, you must then make sure you can finance the project. A simple and fun way to get the money you need is by playing some fun and interactive casino games via oncapan.com.

The general rule is that you can relatively easily secure a mortgage of at least up to three-and-a-half times your annual income and up to 70% of the value of the property.

First Time Buyers

There are three ways for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder without too much difficulty.

These are:

  • To find the right mortgage for the particular property you have in mind or choose a smaller property
  • To split the cost of the mortgage with another party, say a friend or partner or a member of your family
  • Or to apply for a government or council scheme.

Prepare to do your homework as there are a confusing number of mortgage options available. Watch out as mortgage companies can make their offers sound much more generous than they actually are and may well imply your income can cope with higher payments than it actually can in a bid to lure you to their deal.

Mortgage Advice

Take time to study the whole business of mortgages and borrowing money.

Make sure you understand the technical terms and are aware of the implications that each deal could have for you if interest rates rise, for example.

Approach several different mortgage lenders, or an independent mortgage broker, to see what loans and what types of mortgage are available.

Don’t jump at the first deal you are offered and don’t be tempted to stretch yourself too far.

Once you have decided on your lender, ask for a written ‘offer in principle’ to confirm the terms and conditions.

  1. f) Wise developers will buy at a price that assures them a 20% gross return of their total investment. Though you may develop with a slightly lower percentage profit rate, err on the side of caution.

Finding The Right Mortgage

In recent years interest rates have been at their lowest for 30 years and although they have risen slightly are still a competitive business for lenders. In general there are two types of mortgages: interest only and repayment mortgages, with variants of both on the market.

Interest Only Mortgages

With an interest only mortgage your monthly payments will only cover the interest on the loan taken out. The full amount borrowed needs to be repaid by the end of the loan term. Most people with an interest only mortgage invest additional money each month into a savings fund with the expectation that it will grow at least enough to enable them to repay the loan at the end of the term. An endowment is one of these means of saving. Your lender may also insist on life insurance to cover the repayment of the loan in the unlikely event of you dying before the mortgage is paid off.

Repayment Mortgages

With a repayment mortgage your monthly payments repay some of the capital along with the interest on the loan. No other way of repaying the mortgage is needed although, as with interest only mortgages, your lender may also insist on life insurance in case you die.

Buying Jointly

If you prefer not to work alone or cannot afford to invest in a property on your own, you might consider buying jointly. Getting a joint mortgage will increase your borrowing power.

Theoretically you can apply for a joint mortgage for up to four people although most lenders base their calculations for a loan on the incomes of two people.

As with a single borrower, the amount is generally based on three-and-a-half times the main income, but with a second borrower add one of the secondary incomes to the equation. Just remember, though, that whilst more people in your new enterprise can provide the comfort of more brains to tackle problems, not to mention more money, the more people in the equation the more difficult it can be to reach decisions.

Other Ways Of Splitting The Cost

A parent or family member may be willing to act as guarantor on your loan. If so, it is important that all parties fully appreciate the implications of this arrangement, that the guarantor becomes liable for the loan in its entirety should your payments fall behind.

Contractual Agreement

If you do buy with a partner (or partners) you must have an agreement drawn up by a lawyer. This should state how much each party is contributing in terms of the down-payment and who is going to be responsible for the mortgage repayments (though legally you are jointly and severally liable).

It will also state what percentage of the profit is to belong to each of the parties, and the course of action to be taken if one owner wishes to sell the property early. Such an agreement will make things clear from the beginning and hopefully avoid a disagreement from occurring.

Key Points For Joint Purchase

If you are buying jointly do the following:

Spend time discussing how the partnership will work.

Make sure your solicitor draws up a contract between you, even if you are sure you will never fall out.

Decide between yourselves who will be responsible for what aspects of the project and exactly what your plans are for your development.

Don’t leave anything to chance, its easy to assume you are both thinking along the same lines and then find out later that each have something quite different in mind for your development.

Make sure you set aside an official time weekly to discuss any issues either of you are concerned about.

Diagram
Engineering,

Interview for the Post of Senior Engineer – Product Development Engineering

These are some of my experiences which i experienced in one of my interview in an known MNC in automotive parts manufacturer. I was earlier placed in Bangalore and thought of career change. I was an NPD executive in Bangalore and henceforth decided to continue in the same stream.
The basic option was to stay in Product Development Domain and in this i am sharing some of my experiences i faced in an interview with you readers.

1) Firstly i am not so physically well built and i made a mistake of wearing a dark coloured dress which created a bad impression in mind of the HR personnel who was about to introduce me for the interview committee (They had a committee of senior staffs to take up interviews in each levels)

2) Secondly i was not so comfortable to the climate as i was not much exposed to other climates other than Mysore and Bangalore and was feeling something uncomfortable.

3) It was time to face my first SME (Subject Matter Expert) in PDe domain. He greeted me well and made me feel comfortable. He was more conscious towards my work exposure in handling plastic moulding designs. As it was new to me and i was the one dealing with pressed parts design i was bit hesitating and was not feeling so comfortable in that concern. But the basic concerns and concepts in design remains same and the flow of handling projects were questioned which were well answerable through my past experiences.

4) The oral session of interview was good and then came the part of practical demonstration of part design. They gave me a part drawing hard copy and asked me to derive its processing sequence and once they were convinced with my answers they asked me to develop the part models for each stage which i was capable of. Then at the given timeframe i completed my task and presented in front of them which made them feel happy about my performance.

5) Then at last i had cleared 3 levels of my interview and now it was time to face VP of PDe section. He can be called as ocean of PDE knowledge which really made me think twice of meeting his expectations. It was a detailed session and at last he made it clear that i am capable of being a part of PDE family.

6) Last but not the least i had to face a tough guy that’s HR Vp. He was so dynamic that he made me stand till i made him the point clear that i made a wrong choice in selection the clothings for this interview. His next questions were about my physique which i knew i was poor. Then he graded me in terms of personality, punctuality, and disciplines and arrived at an SWOT analysis and gave a brief description about my overall personality. At last all the things were cleared and i walked out of interview room with an offer letter in my hand.

Telling you readers this was one of my toughest interview i have faced in a few and i was really happy to emerge out as part of the organisations. It was 8:30Am in the morning i walked in and came out at 4:30PM. Then i was surprised to check out that i was burning out of fever and took a taxi to reach my home. At last i made it out and the experience is unforgettable and i have narrated my experience to all my close friends.

A person playing a online game in phone
Gaming,

Gain Awesome Mobile Gaming Experience with These Tricks!

As the usage of mobile phones is increasing a lot, people hardly use the PC and gaming console to play the games. Actually, many modern console games and PC are now rendering the customized version for the mobile phone. The mobile phone becomes a major gaming device due to its convenience and comfort of playing. Are you taking mobile Gaming seriously? Are you spending more of your time playing your favoruite games? Well, it is necessary to follow these tips and tricks. It helps you to enjoy the awesome mobile betting experience.

  • Play games with 100% battery

Whether you use smartphones or iPhone, everything is now getting smarter than ever before. For instance, whenever your battery drops below a specific percentage, the mobile automatically switches to the power saving mode to conserve battery. When you play the game on a low battery, you will see a significant drop in the game performance because it is a resource-intensive activity. This is the major reason for recommending to start playing with the full battery. It helps you to enjoy the peak performance and win the gameplay.

  • Keep the device cool

When you play continuously, your device starts to generate more heat. As soon as your mobile gets too hot, it will begin throttling the CPU automatically to cool down. It protects the internal component from any damage. On the other hand, it is extremely hard to hold the hot device. One of the best ways to counteract this action is playing the game in a cool environment. It is better to play in a room that is equipped with an air conditioner. Never use the phone case when you are playing because it helps the phone cool down much faster.

  • Access the developer options

In your mobile settings, you often find the developer options, which provide several settings to play around with. Accessing the specific settings helps you obtain the best gaming experience. You will find the options to enhance the visual quality, sound, and performance of the game. If you really wish to take your Gaming experience to the newest height, then you need to pay something. It is nothing but charging the mobile several times because the higher performance game maximizes the battery drain. Before you consider the developer option, you need to consider these things.

  • Wi-Fi is not a big deal all the time

Even though Wi-Fi is the best way to play the multiplayer games, it is not a perfect option all the time. When you have a bad internet service provider, you tend to notice frequent drops and lags in the connection. It eventually affects your gameplay and its performance. If anyone uses the same network, then your connection will suffer a lot. Using the mobile interest gives you enough stability and renders the fast internet speed. It means you will play without experiencing any lag.
Whenever you think about mobile Gaming especially high-intensity games, you need to keep these tricks in mind.

A person standing in a room
Business,

A one-stop shop for LafargeHolcim products in Latin America

Just over a decade since its launch in Ecuador, our retail construction franchise network, Disensa, has built a network of 1,000 stores that spans the Latin America region. Disensa offers easy access to LafargeHolcim products and solutions to self-builders and small-scale contractors.

Disensa, our one-stop-shop

In 2005 we established a retail construction franchise network, called Disensa, in Ecuador. The network laid the foundation for a worldwide expansion that now accounts for 1,000 Disensa stores across Latin America (including Mexico) and more than 600 similar stores in the Middle East and Africa, where they are called Binastore.

Our vision for retail is to offer self-builders and smaller contractors a one-stop shop. Within our stores these customers enjoy easy access to LafargeHolcim’s own building solutions as well as a wide range of other construction materials and services.

The stores support customers with microcredit and technical help as well as complete kits for different phases of home building. They also offer solutions to facilitate construction including financing plans, access to architects and standard building designs.

Laying the foundations of success

To strengthen the foundation we give our franchisees the tools to succeed, for example with training on products, store management, marketing and finance.

With individual customers accounting for around 60% of Group net sales, having direct access to the retail market is a strategic priority. In 2018 we aim to continue broadening our reach, focusing particularly on India and Southeast Asia. This global initiative demonstrates how we are bringing our commitment to commercial excellence to life for our retail customers while developing a strong network of trained franchisees.