Icelandic researchers look into wind pumping

keilir_vinddaelusamningur_lon422_150_93Keilir Atlantic Center of Excellence in Iceland has signed a research and development contract for wind pumps which could help increase the efficiency of hydroelectric power stations.

Keilir Atlantic Center of Excellence, located in the new Asbru business and education community at a former NATO base in southwest Iceland, has signed a research and development agreement with the Icelandic Energy Company (Íslenska Orkufélagið in Icelandic) for a wind-pumping mechanism. Continue reading

Nciku's Popular Video Notes Now Available on YouTube

nciku_tinylogoChinese-English learning resource Nciku has expanded their hugely popular Video Notes feature to the ubiquitous YouTube.

Launched just last December, Video Notes has already gained huge popularity on With Nciku’s Video Notes feature, users are shown a short animation in English that puts context surrounding a Chinese word in order to better understand how to use the word. The motivation was to try and reveal the exact meaning or situation of a word in order to avoid potentially awkward situations.

Taking advantage of the popularity of the feature and to increase its reach, Nciku has begun adding the animations to YouTube. Users can now find Video Notes on YouTube by simply typing in keywords such as “nciku” or “video notes,” or by visiting the following links:

Nciku plans on gradually adding more Video Notes to YouTube in tune with the ones currently on their website. By using progressive websites such as Youtube, Nciku is staying in line with its forward thinking vision to provide modern resources for today’s learners.

Currently, Nciku is known for being more than a dictionary with other features such as iPhone flashcards, Sentence Mode, Handwriting Recognition Tool, and Nciku Mini for mobile devices. Nciku was founded in April, 2007. Currently, Nciku is available in English, Mandarin and Taiwanese, but development is in process to add more languages in the future. The official website is For inquiries, please contact

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Nciku is a free online dictionary platform with many unique search options and various features, available in several different languages such as Mandarin. Nciku was founded in April, 2007. The official website is For inquiries, please contact

Hunterlodge receives prestigious recognition

cpd-gold-logo-largeHunterlodge, the innovative UK advertising and publicity bureau, is delighted to announce that it has achieved IPA Continuous Professional Development in Advertising accreditation. More than this, in displaying a vibrant learning culture and demonstrating the value of knowledge as a powerful business tool, Hunterlodge was awarded the higher level Gold CPD Accreditation Standard 2008. This is only awarded to companies who demonstrate a commitment to professional development that far exceeds the minimum Accreditation Standard.

This is an outstanding achievement for Hunterlodge – there are 14,900 practitioners participating in the CPD programme and more agencies than ever becoming accredited. Yet, Hunterlodge is one of only eleven agencies to have been awarded this higher level and the fact it’s been achieved in the first year of participation is amazing!

Hunterlodge demonstrated its commitment to excellence in all aspects of its people management by fully incorporating CPD practice into its way of working. With the Founder and Managing Director managing the CPD programme, the staff benefit from a huge amount of managerial input, an excellent appraisal process and extensive use of in-house mentoring. This was a focussed training plan compiled with genuine strategic skill.

So why is this of great benefit to clients?

“Anything that improves the professionalisation of agencies is good for their clients, both marketing and procurement, and I see the IPA’s Continuous Professional Development Programme as an excellent initiative of its type,” said Peter Buchanan, Deputy Chief Executive at the Central Office of Information for the IPA.

Hunterlodge is the 12th biggest business-to-business agency in the UK, and the 42nd largest agency overall in the country. As a full-service agency, Hunterlodge delivers integrated advertising and marketing solutions to a diverse range of sectors.

More information can be found on the Hunterlodge website:

Pioneering Chinese-English Online Learning Website Nciku Launches More Innovative Features

logo_taglineThe momentum for revolutionary online education is still in full force as Chinese-English learning resource adds yet another innovative tool to their host of other revolutionary features.

Called “Sentence Mode,” this freshly launched feature intuitively provides a series of useful results when a user searches for a Chinese word or sentence that doesn’t exist. Because Chinese characters are so complex, formulating words and sentences can be easily mis-matched and taken out of context for many learners. With Sentence Mode, the entered search term is automatically split up into its component words, with its corresponding pinyin displayed below each character. It essentially works as a smart spell-check and suggestion system for Chinese characters.

Furthermore, clicking on a character within the word will take you to an nciku search for that character, and hovering your mouse over the word will also give you a brief definition. And to take the feature one step further, if a definition for that character doesn’t exist, clicking on it will segment that character into its component characters. And as is the typical nciku format, there is also an audio icon provided at the end of the sentence or word that will play the entire phrase using the text-to-speech function.

Sentence Mode is just the latest in innovative features by nciku. Previously creating buzz was the handwriting recognition tool, which allows users to write strokes with a mouse and instantly bring up similar or related characters, along with the pinyin and definition of each character or word. Not just for those who are at the advanced level, the handwriting tool is ideal for even the most beginner level users struggling to learn characters.

Technologically, nciku has proven to be very savvy, as their website’s interface and functionality clearly show. Their nciku mini for mobile devices has also won over those who want to study Chinese on the go, and their flashcards for iPhones already have a steady user base. Even with all of these advanced features, nciku still remains completely free and open to all users with an internet connection.

Perhaps this is why nciku is fast becoming the place to go to for learning Chinese for a growing audience from all over the world.

Nciku was founded in April, 2007. Currently, Nciku is available in English, Mandarin and Taiwanese, but development is in process to add more languages in the future. The official website is For inquiries, please contact

WAES Recognises Student Achievements

waes_logo-smallWestminster Adult Education Service (WAES) has praised students for their remarkable achievements in learning at an awards ceremony at the University of Westminster on Monday, 11 May 2009.

The awards were presented to the students as part of the annual Adult Learners’ Week celebration and recognise those students who have realised life-long dreams and transformed their lives through learning.

All sixteen students of the OCR Certificate in Fitness Instructing were some of the winners on Monday night. The OCR Fitness Instructor course links directly into employment opportunities in the industry and many of the students have already been offered work after their very successful year.

Course Team Leader Shiralee Wakeham said that this is the first time in her sixteen year teaching history that there has been a 100% pass rate in the theory exam as well as a 100% pass rate in the practical exam.

“It’s an amazingly diverse group of students – from young single mothers to grandparents – and they have had to overcome physical, medical, emotional, mental, financial and cultural issues in order to succeed on their course.

The one thing they all have in common though is their desire and steely determination to fulfil their dreams, to make something new of their lives by starting a career in the fitness industry,” Wakeham said.

Donald Lush, Director of Student Support for WAES said: “Every person who received an award has a great story to tell. We want everyone, whatever their age or background, to have the opportunity to succeed.” Continue reading

Affiliate Marketing: Merchant best practices unveiled!

Knexus Digital, the essential digital marketing resource, has teamed up with Neil Robbins at Silverbean to provide insights on best practice performance-based management of the affiliate channel!

“Understanding the way affiliates function can transform the way marketers perceive this all-important marketing channel! We’re excited to work with Knexus Digital to provide strategic intelligence to digital marketers”, said Neil.

Ashmi Ahluwalia, Knexus Digital Product Manager said, “B2C marketers are very focused today on increasing online sales and building an online brand online. Affiliate programs are often integral to this effort but are becoming more complex and challenging. So we’re very pleased to be delivering quality, actionable ideas and insights that will help Knexus Digital customers improve their Affiliate performance.”

Knexus Digital users can preview the insights live on 27th May 2009 (15.00 GMT ). Neil Robbins will discuss:

• What turns affiliates off
• How to disenfranchise affiliates
• How to manage problems after they have been created
• What are the main mistakes made by merchants

First time users of Knexus Digital can sign up for this complimentary live webcast at


About Knexus Digital
Knexus Digital, the essential digital marketing resource, delivers latest insights and market intelligence to leading global brands. We combine exclusive digital marketing content from leading experts with innovative productivity tools to drive success.

In essence, Knexus Digital helps marketing teams acquire new skills and insights to adapt to a fast-changing marketplace. In the face of global competition and shrinking marketing budgets, we provide digital marketing solutions in quick, easy and cost-effective ways.

About Silverbean
Formed in 2002 Silverbean is a digital marketing agency working with clients all over the UK who want to increase the number of sales their websites generate. Though we have a portfolio of specialist services affiliate marketing remains central to our offering with our highly experienced team managing affiliate programs for nearly seven years.

Knexus Media Inquiries
Sherlyn Lee
Marketing Manager, Knexus Ltd
t. +44 (0) 845 838 5316

Silverbean Enquiries
If you have an interest in developing an affiliate marketing program for your business or you believe you could benefit from a strategic review of your current affiliate marketing activities please contact Neil Robbins on 0191 406 1200.

Thames Valley University (TVU) in Slough

Press statement 13 May 2009 – Thames Valley University

TVU Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ian Tunbridge said:
“Currently local businesses in Slough are recruiting people from outside the town because that’s where they find the skills they’re looking for. We think employers should be able to fill these jobs with homegrown talent. Working in close partnership with Slough Borough Council, East Berkshire College and the SEGRO trading estate, we are setting out to address this. We are developing a range of new courses for the Slough community that will be closely aligned to the skills needs of Slough employers.

No final decisions have been made about our campus in Slough. Whatever the final decisions, current students should not be concerned and there are no plans for course closures or for a loss of teaching jobs. We remain committed to providing education and training to Slough that meets local needs.”

For more information about Thames Valley University, please contact Katherine Vale, phone 020 8231 2919 or email katherine.vale [at]

Thames Valley University London among the top three most improved universities in England

National university guideThames Valley University (TVU) has scaled new heights in a new national university guide published today.

The Guardian’s university guide 2010, which compares 117 universities across the country, has placed TVU in joint 69th position, making it now the highest ranked modern university in London.

Last year, TVU was ranked 85 in The Guardian’s guide. Its significant jump of 16 places in the league table this year makes TVU not only the most improved university in London but also one of the top three fastest climbers in England.

The guide also compares universities by subject, rating TVU number two for nursing and paramedical studies, nationally – an impressive accolade for the University’s Faculty of Health and Human Sciences.

The publication of this latest university guide comes less than a month after the Complete University Guide saw TVU secure a new higher ranking and again climb more places than any other London university. It also builds on last year’s achievements which saw TVU top a Higher Education Statistics Agency league table of universities with the best record in getting graduates into employment.

The Guardian’s university guide rates universities against a number of criteria including, student satisfaction with teaching quality and feedback, spending per student, and graduate job prospects.

Commenting on TVU’s position in the guide, Dr Ian Tunbridge, Deputy Vice Chancellor, said, “TVU’s position in this league table should establish our reputation as a rising star among modern universities, and a university for our students and staff to be proud of. Over the past two years we have set out to transform the University and to ensure that our students have the quality education experience they deserve. Our efforts are now being reflected in the various university guides and we can now claim to be one of the best modern universities in London.”

– Ends –

For more information, please contact Katherine Vale, phone 020 8231 2919 or email katherine.vale [at]

Notes to editors:

1. The Guardian university guide is available online at:

2. About Thames Valley University
Based across three campuses in West London (Ealing and Brentford) and Reading and Slough in Berkshire, Thames Valley University offers a range of vocational and academic courses from further, higher and postgraduate education programmes to professional and short courses, for students aged 14 to 84-years-old. The university is the UK’s largest provider of education in hospitality, healthcare, music and related disciplines.

1. Named No. 1 for graduate employment (Times Higher Education, July 2008).

2. Home to London’s top hospitality school, providing integrated training from culinary arts to hospitality management.

3. Home to London College of Music, the leading specialist institution for pop music and music technology.

4. Ranked No. 2 for nursing studies (Guardian university guide 2010).