T ech Bytes Jo Pippos Communications Manager Information Technology The new frontier....
on the headlines you are interested in and read the full article. Most weather sites including the Bureau of Meteorology, DPI Vic, The Almond Doctor and news sites contain an RSS feed. Skype Internet phone service used for video or voice calls, this service allows users to communicate with people by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Instant messaging, voice and video calls can be made to other Skype users for free. Voice calls can be made to non-skype users (home and mobile phones) anywhere in the world for a fraction of the cost of a normal international call. Facebook Facebook has over 1.1 billion active users, more than half of them using mobile devices. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages and photos on their profile. Check out the Almond Board of Australia’s page at www.facebook.com/ AustralianAlmonds Twitter Twitter is an online social networking “microblogging” service that enables users to send and read text posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. It has been described as “the SMS of the Internet.” Follow the ABA at www.twitter.com/ Used specifically in Twitter, the # symbol, called a hashtag was created by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages. You may notice television programs with hashtag topics at the bottom of the screen during particular moments. These hashtags are called ‘trending topics’ designed for people watching the program to comment to each other during airing about that particular program or topic. Check out the #agchatoz and join in the conversation. NEW GROWER SITE Stay tuned to the Almond Board website during the remainder of this year as it gets a makeover and we start to post more of our information online. Field Day and meeting reminders, general information, fact sheets and articles will be posted on a blog with photos/videos of trial work and will enable to you to ask our R&D team questions on the topic as it appears. We are also looking for people to help us to test and comment on the site during the next couple of months before it goes live - so if you are interested please contact Jo Pippos at the ABA Office to become involved. AusAlmonds Hashtag (#)
Never before has it been so easy to gain access to information on any topic. First there was the birth of the internet and the introduction of search engines - Google, Bing, Yahoo! and a myriad of others. Now smartphones and tablets and their increasing popularity give us access to information more readily than ever before. There are a plethora of ways in which IT can be directly or indirectly useful to almond growers. Previously in this newsletter the ABA has provided links to weather sites to help with risk management at harvest, and as an extra tool for deciding optimum times for fungicide and herbicide applications. Most of these sites also have a smartphone version or application (app) available that is more suited to a smaller screen size. Spraywise Decisions ( www. spraywisedecisions.com.au ) is a support tool for choosing when and where to spray to achieve optimum results safely. With this tool on your mobile you can check tomorrow’s Delta T conditions for spraying Glyphosate whilst enjoying a beer at your neighbour’s house the night before! YouTube YouTube was always known for it’s cute pet videos and stupid stunts, but there is so much more to YouTube than light hearted entertainment. A lot of useful and instructional videos can be accessed that will help day to day operations - such as how to calibrate a pH meter, calibrate an airmist sprayer or even adjust the angle of your sprinklers in the garden. In a five minute search I found videos from most almond machinery manufacturers detailing how their products work; very handy if you wish to see machinery in operation before you consider purchasing. Blogs Blogs provide commentary on a subject; some function as personal online diaries; yet others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, webpages, and other information related
to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Blogs are have become a fast way of getting information out to growers. The Almond Doctor blog ( www. thealmonddoctor.com ) is an excellent example of how blogs keep growers informed. The blog, maintained by the UC Davis Co-operative Extension officers, in particular David Doll includes topics such as: Regional Considerations of Nitrogen Timing, First Reports of Almond Rust – In Early May! and Considering An Almond Rust Spray?. Some of this information will naturally need to be converted to metric from imperial and some practices may not apply in our growing regions, but still a very worthwhile read. Applications (Apps) Software on your smartphone or tablet with or without the need for an internet connection are available through the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry App World. Some apps are free, and others have a price. The range of Apps for mobiles and tablets is huge and growing all the time. Whilst the number of apps available specifically for almonds and/or horticulture is relatively small, there are some that can still be useful. GRDC has released a WEED ID app allowing users to identify common weeds in the field. Developed specifically for the grains industry, it still has potential for use in almonds. There are also a multitude of weather apps and even mini spray diaries and tank mixture apps. To view the GRDC WEED ID app, go to www.grdc.com.au RSS feeds Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are a way of being updated on website content - without having to visit the site. By subscribing to an RSS Feed you will receive headline updates in your email program RSS folder, desktop notifications or other feed reader. You can then ‘click through’
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