29 October, 2014

12 Critical Questions To Ask Before Pursuing A Business Idea

1. Will this business support the lifestyle I want?
I work to live, not live to work. I also love to travel and have flexibility in terms of when I get my work done. That immediately disqualifies many businesses.

2. Is there proven demand for the product I am going to sell?
Creating demand is hard, slow, and expensive. I'd rather capture my share of an already existing demand.

3. Is there a clear value proposition that will make my product unique in the marketplace?
Business is no fun if I don't have some sort of competitive edge.

4. Is there a clear way to market and sell my product or service through existing channels?
Leveraging existing sales channels is the fastest and easiest way I've found to get a business off the ground profitably.

5. Can I leverage online marketing and social media to grow this business?
These are two of the most powerful business-building forces of our time — I want to be sure to take advantage of them.

6. Will this business have gross margins of at least 50% and/or net margins of at least 20%?
At the end of the day, a business has to make money.

7. Can this business become a sellable asset?
The big win often comes from being able to sell and exit your business when you are ready, but not all businesses are easy to sell.

8. Can I automate the majority of the operations of the business?
I try to take advantage of as much automation as possible to reduce the overhead of operating a business.

9. Can I easily find someone to successfully run the business for me?
Eventually, I'll likely want someone to run the business for me. Is this a business that can easily be handed over to someone else, or does it require my specific knowledge and talents?

10. Is this a business that I'll find fun and interesting to run today?
Yes, life insurance is very profitable, but it's not fun. Profit is not enough. I want to be in businesses that I actually enjoy.

11. Is this a business that other people will find fun and interesting?
I've found that it's much more enjoyable to be in a business that other people think is fun and interesting.

12. Is this something I'll still be willing to run seven years from now?
The reality is that most businesses don't grow as quickly or as profitably as I'd like. If I am still running this seven years from now, will I still find it enjoyable?

27 October, 2014

Here's Why There's No Dislike Button on Facebook

Like it or not, social media is an integral part of our lives. But sometimes, the etiquette can be a little fuzzy, especially when your only option is to hit that "like" button.

How do you properly acknowledge an event like a death in the family? Or share your opinion about a headline without participating in a quickly devolving comment thread? If you choose to "like" that post about your co-worker's surgery or your friend's kid's missing pet, will it come off as supportive or flippant?

Despite these possible social minefields, former Facebook CTO and current Quip CEO Bret Taylor, the man who created the confusion-inducing thumbs up symbol five years ago, says you shouldn't expect to see a "dislike" button anytime soon.

Taylor told TechRadar that while the "dislike" button idea was explored, it was ultimately taken off the table because of its "complexity" and it's potential to be used for cyber bulling.

"The main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences," said Taylor "If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there's probably a word for what you want to say."

However, TechRadar also pointed out that "likes" are also a way for advertisers to target their audience, along with distinctions like relationship status, gender, location and education. Taylor says the idea initially grew out of streamlining comments thread when people would just post things like "wow" and "cool." "It wasn't really just a sentiment of 'like'."

That question of nuance also comes into play when you consider how people use the "favorite" button on Twitter. This summer, a trio of researchers from Germany and England conducted a study that found people "favorite" tweets for as many as 25 different reasons, ranging from emotional resonance to an accidental slip.

26 October, 2014

10 Things Creative People Do That Lead To Success

The good news is, believe it or not, anyone can be creative. For some, it may take a little more practice than for others, but it is still achievable. Start with these inspiring things very creative people do everyday and give yourself a chance to find your own creative, innovative self.

1. Observe

Creative people are great observers — catching details using all of their senses. What others see as circumstances or things, creative people see as endless possibilities. They love to people watch and are curious about other people's lives. They come up with some of their most creative ideas by observing others.

2. Make opportunities

Creative people change their failures into opportunities by assessing what went wrong and coming up with creative ways to prevent the same or similar mistake from happening again.

3. Learn

They have a passion for learning new information outside their existing knowledge through reading and new experiences. Their curiosity drives them to ask tough questions — why, how, what if — and seek out multiple perspectives.

4. Play

They revisit their inner child daily by remembering the joys from their childhood. They understand that to play like a child is to remain creative like a child. Even as they age, they continue to find creative ways to be playful at work and home.

5. Foster flexibility

Truly creative people are in tune with their own internal creativity clock — typically not your usual workday hours. They know when their creativity is set to high. Whether it is first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night when most of us are still sleeping. Through trial and error, you too can find your own internal creativity clock. This is something for companies seeking the creative type to consider as well — flexibility is key.

6. Remain open-minded

They are not quick to make judgments and instead sit back and evaluate and question their initial observations before proceeding.

7. Daydream

Creative types spend time alone daily to allow their minds to wander. Research has proven that daydreaming can bring out your best creative self because it can stimulate connections within your brain and provide insights you may not have considered.

8. Take risks

They are risk takers. To imagine a product, create it, and then put the product out there for all to see is risky, but creative people thrive on this kind of risk taking. Their risk taking provides them with a sense of power and is intrinsically motivating and rewarding.

9. Nurture

Creative people know when it's time for a break. This provides them with their much-needed time to daydream, play, and observe. Research shows that a change in scenery can recharge your creativity. If you've hit a creative wall — for example, when you find yourself staring at your computer screen and getting nothing done — go for a walk.

10. Imagine

They don't just think about success or a new product, they feel this success or new product with every fiber of their being using all of their senses — also known as imagery. Talk about inspirational. The good news is that almost anyone can use imagery to see and feel the possibilities and it can improve with practice even if you initially don't believe in it. And research has proven that use of imagery can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lessen pain with as little as 10 minutes of imagery a day. So start imagining today what your success would truly feel like.

25 October, 2014

Why Do Fake Phone Numbers Start With 555?

As soon as an actor in a movie or TV show starts rattling off a phone number, every viewer knows what the first three digits will be: 5-5-5. How did "555" become the convention for fake phone numbers, and are there any real 555 numbers? Let's dial up some answers. Why do TV and movies need the fake 555 numbers? Just ask anyone who had the misfortune of having the number 867-5309 how their life changed after Tommy Tutone's 15 minutes of fame. Apparently some tiny fraction of the population (we're guessing a fraction that largely consists of adolescent boys) thinks it's hilarious to call any number they see on the screen. To curb these nuisance calls, movies and shows have been using the fake 555 numbers since as far back as the 1950s. (In keeping with the old exchange-naming convention, back then it was "KLondike 5" or "KLamath 5.")

It's hard to pin down exactly how 555 became the go-to fake prefix for phone numbers. In the book Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day, author Jamie Buchan speculates that the repeated digit may have made the combination memorable, which helped it gain traction. Buchan adds that since no major place names in the United States began with a combination of the letters J, K, and L (the letters assigned to the 5 key on a phone), the KLondike/KLamath prefix wasn't exactly a coveted commodity. Since the early 1970s there's been at least one 555 number callers can dial and get an answer: 555-1212 is a standard number that rings directory assistance. The rest of the 555 numbers have largely gained fame as fake numbers in movies and on TV. (The number 555-2368 has risen to particularly rarefied air, possibly because of the "2368" combo's use in old phone ads. Dialing 555-2368 will get you the Ghostbusters, the hotel room from Memento, Jim Rockford of The Rockford Files, and Jaime Sommers from The Bionic Woman, among others.)

What you may not know, though, is that there are many more "real" 555 phone numbers. Since 1994, 555 numbers have actually been available for personal or business use. That's when the North American Numbering Plan Administration started taking applications from people and businesses who wanted their own 555 numbers. Theoretically, these numbers would have worked from anywhere in the continent; dialers would be able to dial 555-XXXX and always end up with the same number regardless of area code. The hope was that if you needed, say, a taxi anywhere in the country, you could just remember one number that would always work.

Things didn't work out quite so smoothly. People and businesses snapped up the 555 numbers (except for 555-0100 through 555-0199, which were held back for fictional use) but they soon learned that owning a phone number isn't all that useful if you don't also own a phone company that can connect the number. Phone companies protested that setting up these services would be wildly expensive; in 2003 Verizon told The New York Times that adding the nationwide 555 service to its systems would cost the company $108 million. (Verizon did offer to hook up the 555 numbers for owners, but the same Times story noted that the service usually required a $2,500 set-up fee per area code.) Skeptics claimed that the phone companies were just dragging their feet so the 555 numbers didn't sap cash away from 800 numbers. There may be some truth to that theory, but the 555 system still isn't up and running in any meaningful way. The list of people and entities that own the numbers is a pretty amusing read, though. It's mostly newspapers, hospitals, random people, and the state of Nevada.

24 October, 2014

Facebook Serves Up User Data to Measure Ads on Others' Sites, Apps

Google was supposed to uproot digital advertising's foundation. But Facebook may beat the search giant to the punch.
 

Confirming what has become advertising's latest worst-kept secret, Facebook said it will begin applying its user data to ads shown outside the social network through a retooled version of Atlas, the ad server it acquired from Microsoft in 2013 that sends the actual ads to a publisher's site or app and measures their performance.

This isn't Facebook's long-rumored ad network, though it could lead to one. Facebook has built an automated ad-buying tool -- commonly called a demand-side platform, or DSP -- that advertisers could use to buy ads outside of Facebook through real-time auctions, as The Information previously reported. But the product is in its "very early" stages, according to Facebook ad tech head David Jakubowski, declining to say when or if the company plans to officially roll out the ad-buying tool.

What Facebook is now introducing with Atlas, however, may have bigger and more immediate implications for digital advertising: It is converting its user data into a sort of Rosetta Stone that can bridge the divide between desktop and mobile as well as assure advertisers that their ads were shown to the intended audience, according to the company.

Facebook has rebuilt Atlas so that it can customize an ad's creative including so-called "native" ad placements based on Facebook user data like age and gender, as well as advertisers' customer data that can be matched with Facebook users through Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences is a Facebook tool that uses a process called hashing to match an advertiser's list of customers' email addresses or phone numbers with Facebook user accounts containing the same information.

Advertisers are charged a fee for each ad impression served using Atlas, in addition to the cost of the media they buy.

"The reason for this being so interesting is Facebook is really going to deliver real first-party data about actual people on an unprecedented scale from what we've seen before," said Omnicom Digital CEO Jonathan Nelson. "That in turn should allow us to connect those actual people across devices. The mobile stuff here is huge. And it will allow us to do better attribution across all different types of media and make our messaging that much more effective."

Omnicom Media Group has signed on the first agency holding company to use Atlas for ad serving and measurement, as Ad Age previously reported. Omnicom clients Pepsi and Intel have been testing Atlas and will be the first brands to transition to the retooled ad server.

For those unsure how an ad server like Atlas works, Facebook's Mr. Jakubowski offered a layman's explanation using The New York Times as a hypothetical example:

"The New York Times has an ad," he said. "It decides the ad is going to go to Pepsi because Omnicom has negotiated that buy with The New York Times for Pepsi for all the strategic reasons that Pepsi cares about. [Omnicom] calls Atlas to send over that creative. Atlas looks at that user and says, 'Hey, do I know anything about this? Is it a person?' And it uses that Facebook map because Facebook knows who you are and says 'Yes, it is' or 'No, it isn't' or 'Don't know.' Those are the three options. In the event it says yes, it says 'Is there any optimization to be done with this Pepsi ad? Is there a blue Pepsi ad for boys and a pink Pepsi ad for girls? Are there any differences between the age buckets?' That's how it uses the actual people identity."

After an ad is served, Atlas can tell the advertiser how many of its ads were served and what percentage of those impressions were served to which demographic groups. Since Atlas is able to tie those impressions back to Facebook's user base, the audience-based reporting is based on actual people.

That "people-based measurement," as Mr. Jakubowski termed it, is a step beyond the educated guesswork that currently dominates digital advertising. Digital advertising has relied on tracking mechanisms called "cookies" that infer things about a person based on their web browsing behavior. In a cookie-based world, a web browser that visits a lot of sports and men's clothing sites is assumed to be male, and a web browser that primarily checks out sites appealing to teens is assumed to be a teen.

But cookie-based assumptions can be wrong, and they can't follow a consumer from laptop to mobile browsers. Cookies don't even work in mobile apps.

Google had explored developing a cookie replacement last year but has since quieted those plans in favor of connecting mobile web cookies and mobile app identifiers for ad targeting and measurement. Facebook has gone a step further by bringing desktop web into the fold. By cross-referencing the ads it serves and measures with Facebook's user base, the retooled Atlas can check that it has reached the right target in three different venues: desktop browsers, mobile browsers and apps.

"The fact that there is no persistence on mobile because cookies time out, it makes it really hard to give you anything really relevant to you other than the information we glean in real time," Mr. Nelson said. "The fact that Facebook is stepping forward with a solution here is very exciting to us."

Atlas's ad serving and measurement will work for its clients across Facebook as well as ads served on its photo-sharing app Instagram. Additionally Facebook has signed deals with "major [mobile] apps representing 50% of all time spent outside of Facebook," Mr. Jakubowski said. He declined to say which apps specifically.

Facebook has also signed deals with "major [ad] exchanges and major ad networks," according to Mr. Jakubowski, declining to elaborate. He wouldn't say, for example, whether Facebook has a deal to serve and measure ads sold through Google's ad exchange or mobile ad network. Atlas is considered the cornerstone of Facebook's strategy to compete with Google's DoubleClick ad-tech suite, which is the dominant digital advertising toolset.

When Facebook announced it was acquiring Atlas, former agency exec Darren Herman raised the question others had voiced privately of whether the deal would be good for advertisers. "Wouldn't you want an impartial 3rd party to be your ad serving tool?" he asked in an op-ed published by Ad Age. "Why would you rely on a media property that is going to make more money off media than ad serving to deliver you your attribution models?"

Mr. Jakubowski said Facebook has come up with an answer. Under Atlas's terms and conditions, "Facebook doesn't have the right to use advertisers' data," he said.

23 October, 2014

Android Lollipop vs Android KitKat: What's the difference?

There was plenty of debate over what the new version of Android would be called, with "Lemon Meringue" and even the controversial "Licorice" said to have been in the running at various points.Thankfully the lovable "Lollipop" won out, as Google revealed when it unveiled the new Android update, but the name is hardly all that's been improved since the last version.

Here's exactly how Android 5.0 stacks up to Android KitKat.
1. Material world
Android Lollipop is the biggest change to Android in some time, finally bumping Google's OS up a full integer to version 5.0. It's packed with changes, but the most obvious improvements are visual.

Google's been working on getting its new "Material Design" aesthetic out in the world for months, and Lollipop is its culmination. One of Android's biggest failings up to date — including with KitKat — has been that its design language never felt unified, and with Material Design Google hopes to fix that.

Material Design reflects this with clean, bold lines and colors that transform and alter with fun animations. At its best it lets you sense the depth behind the interface, even when it's at rest and appears flat.

This extends from app icons, fonts and interfaces to simple elements like the new navigation buttons and notification bar icons, and once you get past the changes you'll likely agree that most things look better now.

The changes to Android's interface with Lollipop aren't all visual, either — voice commands with "OK Google" are more prominent now as well, and can even be used when the screen is locked and off on some devices, and there are massive improvements to notifications.

2. Notifications
Notifications have been significantly overhauled in Android Lollipop.

The OS's lockscreen is no longer a static barrier you have to get through before you can reach the meat of your phone's functionality, but instead now has many elements of KitKat's notification panel, plus more interactivity.

In Lollipop you can see what notifications you've received and what's going on with your apps and contacts as soon as you pick it up, before you even unlock your device — and you can even respond to messages from the lockscreen.

The way you see notifications is changing as well — now rich, descriptive, and interactive notifiers will pop up on top of what you're doing without interrupting, so you can reject a call or read a message without quitting that game or whatever. Some of this functionality was present in KitKat, but it was half-baked and inconsistent.

Android Lollipop is also getting a "do not disturb" mode a la iOS, which Android KitKat and previous versions sorely lacked. You can use it to silence your ever-buzzing phone during specific hours or, more importantly, to only let notifications from specific sources come through.

Lollipop's quick settings bar also has new options that KitKat desperately needed, like easy buttons for flashlight, hotspots, and screencasting. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and location options have been expanded here as well.

3. Connectivity and APIs
With Android Lollipop Google is making connectivity a big focus — not just between different handsets, but among different classes of device as well. For example Android TV is now built right into Android Lollipop, helping you easily navigate big screens with smartwatch voice commands, phone gestures, and more.

That's just scratching the surface, but it means your Android experience will be consistent across smartphones, tablets, TVs, smartwatches, and more.

Google also wants Lollipop's apps to communicate with one another more than KitKat's do. Examples are simple, like tapping links in Chrome and having them open in specific apps instead of taking you to mobile websites. The OS already does it sometimes, but Google wants it to be more consistent.

This depends quite a bit on app developers taking advantage of Lollipop's 5,000 new APIs. These will make the new Android OS more versatile over time, though their presence might not be noticeable for end users at first.

Google says Lollipop is also better at connecting with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. For example Lollipop devices won't connect to a Wi-Fi network unless they can verify there's an actual connection there — so unlike with KitKat, you won't be stumped wondering why you suddenly have no data because your gadget decided to connect to a turd of a network.

4. Safe and sound
Android Lollipop has some new security features as well, like the ability to set geographical "safe zones" where your device won't require a PIN to unlock.

You can do the same with specific Bluetooth devices, like Android Wear smartwatches, which your phone or tablet will sense automatically and turn off its security barriers.

And despite all the changes to notifications that let you see and interact with them without unlocking your phone, Android 5.0 also has new settings that let you hide sensitive information anywhere it might appear.

Lollipop also has better protection against vulnerabilities and malware thanks to SELinux enforcing for all applications, and encryption is turned on by default on all Lollipop devices.

And multiple user profiles on a single device, including temporary guest profiles, makes it easier to share your phone with others while still maintaining control over your own stuff.

5. Performance

Google has reportedly also put a lot of work into making Android Lollipop run better under the hood.

KitKat's optional runtime ART is now the standard for Android Lollipop, and Google says it will help make Lollipop run faster, more efficiently and with less hiccups.

That won't harm existing Android apps' compatibility, but it has let Google future-proof Android further against the inevitable onslaught of 64-bit smartphones coming in the near future.

These phones will have more RAM than existing phones with KitKat and other operating systems are capable of packing, which is a huge benefit that only future generations of Lollipop handsets will be able to take advantage of.

For now, though, Google says Android 5.0 is way more power-efficient over its predecessors, with the same phones getting significantly more battery juice out of Lollipop than they did with KitKat.

Multitasking has also been updated with the ability to have multiple cards for the same apps open at a time, letting you have more than one document or website next to one another, for example. It's also easier to switch keyboards now too, and Android Lollipop even supports RAW images.

Global migration patterns, by the numbers - Who's moving where?

Global migration statistics, which keep tabs on who’s moving where, reveal interesting shifts in global migration patterns. According to the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, the largest regional migration from 2005 to 2010 was from Southeast Asia to the Middle East while nine of the 10 largest country-to-country waves were in Asia. The face of migration has changed and emerging markets are its rising stars.

22 October, 2014

Left vs Right Brain Infographic

Right brain versus left brain learning has been a longstanding debate among science theories around learning styles. Yet, the bottom line is that different parts of our brains take on different functions and tasks to help us learn. Developing exercises that target these areas can improve comprehension, retention and efficiency in learning new subjects. The Left vs Right Brain Infographic is a visualization of brain preferences and learning styles with hints on developing both sides of the brain.

Google's redesigned Gmail app supports Yahoo and Outlook accounts

Google has been updating a number of its Android apps with its new material design recently, and it looks like Gmail will be the latest to get a visual overhaul shortly. Android Police has obtained early access to Gmail 5.0 for Android, and there’s a surprise addition of Yahoo and Outlook.com support inside the app. Gmail for Android has traditionally supported just Google’s own mail service, but it looks like the search giant wants to help Android users manage all of their mail from within its Gmail app.

A leaked video demonstrates the new Gmail app, and Google notes within it that more than just Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.com accounts are supported. It appears that Exchange ActiveSync is supported, as in the Android mail client, which could spell the end of switching between mail clients on Android for most users. Yahoo and Outlook.com are a welcome addition for Android users, and it’s a move from Google that may also help keep phone makers bundling apps like Gmail with devices.

Google’s Gmail 5.0 for Android isn’t available just yet, but expect to see it arrive in the coming weeks alongside Android Lollipop. Most of the visual changes include updated iconography, tweaked buttons, rounded avatars, and an improved compose mail screen. There's no word on any potential updates to Google's Gmail app for iOS, but it's reasonable to assume similar changes will make their way over to the iPhone and iPad versions soon.

21 October, 2014

Google launches support for Security Key, a simpler kind of two-factor authentication

It just got a little easier to log into Gmail. Today, Google launched support for Security Key, an open standard that lets you log in to an account with a physical device, usually in the form of a USB. The device takes the place of the six-digit confirmation codes currently used by Google's two-factor authentication. Instead of typing in the code, you'll simply insert your USB key before logging in. A password is still required, so a thief wouldn't be able to log into your account just by stealing your security key. On the other hand, if your account password ended up leaking onto the web, it would be useless without the corresponding security key.

Many businesses already use similar devices for security, most notably the RSA SecureID, but this is the first time you'll be able to use them to log in to a consumer service as popular as Gmail. Various manufacturers are already producing compatible keys, ranging from $6 to $50. Because the keys are built on top of the open FIDO standard, any manufacturer can try its hand at making a compatible key, and any service can use them as authenticators. PayPal, Samsung and Alibaba already have similar programs in the works.

Because the Security Key is built on an open standard, there's also no reason to think it will be limited to USB — which is particularly important given the recent bugs discovered in USB hardware. (Specific tokens can also be protected against the bug in the manufacturing process.) The same architecture could be used over Bluetooth or NFC tokens, or triggered by biometric scans of a users fingerprint or iris. It could also be used to move beyond simple two-factor security, requiring three or four different authentications before particularly sensitive information could be accessed, although those features aren't present in Google's current implementation.

However the standard develops, it's clear that Google and others are already moving away from a single password as the standard for consumer security. "There is no doubt that a new era has arrived," said FIDO Alliance President Michael Barrett in an official statement. "We are starting to move users and providers alike beyond single-factor passwords."

18 October, 2014

Why Google Encourages Having A Messy Desk

Today, it's a Silicon Valley stereotype that innovative tech companies have offices filled with weird junk overflowing from employees' desks.

But on former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's first day at the office in 2001, he just saw a mess. He asked head of facilities George Salah to "clean up the place," he writes in his new book "How Google Works," cowritten with former SVP of products Jonathan Rosenberg.

The next day, Salah got an email from cofounder and current CEO Larry Page: "Where did all my junk go? I want you to bring it back NOW." It hadn't made it to the dump yet, and soon everything was back to normal.

Page's reaction made Schmidt realize that he had mistakenly toyed with the fabric of Google's culture. He is now a convert to the Google lifestyle, and says that you should let your employees make a mess of their desks if it's a natural expression of their creativity and doesn't hamper their productivity.

When she worked at Google, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave each member of her sales and support team $50 to spend on desk decorations, Schmidt and Rosenberg write in the book.

Google places such importance on office perks because its main objective is making employees comfortable at work, which can lead to great collaboration. The authors write:

We invest in our offices because we expect people to work there, not from home. Working from home during normal working hours, which to many represents the height of enlightened culture, is a problem that - as Jonathan frequently says - can spread throughout a company and suck the life out of its workplace...

Google's AdSense product, which developed into a multibillion-dollar business, was invented one day by a group of engineers from different teams who were playing pool in the office. Your partner or roommate is probably great, but the odds of the two of you coming up with a billion-dollar business during a coffee break at home are pretty small, even if you do have a pool table. Make your offices crowded and load them with amenities, then expect people to use them.

You don't necessarily need to let your employees go full-Google and start decorating the walls with shots from paintball guns (like workers did at Google's Chicago office), but it's important to help them feel at home.

"It's OK to let your office be one hot mess," Schmidt and Rosenberg write.

17 October, 2014

The highlights of Apple’s announcement



Cupertino, California based Apple Inc. had a product announcements today. Here are the highlights…

Mac OS X

OS X 10.10 Yosemite, is available for download today for free for anyone with Mac machine. The Yosemite update includes Spotlight that could search the web, Spotlight suggestions, native social sharing from the Safari browser. Access to the tabs that you’ve opened across all your devices. Mail Drop, Continuity where your devises are aware of each other.  “The best remote you have is the one on your wrist.” You can use your Apple Watch to control your slides on the screen.

iPad

Apple unveiled its thinnest ever tablet, the iPad Air 2 ( 6.1mm (0.24in) thick). Tim said about what they tried to do with the new iPad “Packing up more and more power and performance. It is transforming the way we work, play and learn and communicate.” He also remarked the company has sold more iPads(quarter a billion) in the first four year more than any other product s in the history of Apple.  iPads have dedicated 675,000 apps on the AppStore. The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini has come with Touch ID, finger print sensors. Apple has not put NFC in the new iPad Air or the iPad Mini. Whereas iPad Air 2 is armed with A8X chip which is 40% faster than its predecessor, and graphics are 2.5xfaster. Retina iMac Apple has also showed off the new Retina iMac. It comes with 27in (68.6cm) screen with a resolution of 5K, the highest in the industry. The retina iMac’s 5210 by 2880 pixels offers 5x detail of a “full HD” 1080p television.

The Apple SIM card

Apple has created a SIM card that lets users switch between multiple cellular networks – AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. This will be a God send feature for frequent travelers.

If Apple ties up with more carries and rolls out this in more countries, it could make SIM swapping obsolete for international travelers.

Two needles in the hay stack of today’s announcements: Spotlight web search and Continuity.

These two are very interesting features. Search is Google’s territory; first siri has tried to encroach in the zone. Now Apple has another trick under its sleeves – direct web search from spotlight. Would be very interesting to see the impact of this on Apple vs Google war in the future. The other one is continuity: All your devices talks to each other and know what you are doing. The task you’ve started on phone/iPad follows you on iMac later and continues exactly from where you left off. This further expands the deep integration between iOS and OS X.

Twitter Introduces SoundCloud Streaming Integration for Mobile Apps

Twitter announced today on their blog that users will be able to stream audio directly from tweets within their mobile apps on iOS and Android via SoundCloud.

The new feature is called Twitter Audio Cards and they allow you to stream a song or podcast in the mobile app while browsing as you please. If you follow any creators that use SoundCloud, you can find a tweet of theirs with the embedded SoundCloud player and just give it a tap. The audio will start to stream right then and there. Tap the button in the upper right-hand corner and it will minimize the player with no audio interruption. This makes sharing newly released tunes or great podcasts easier for everybody.

16 October, 2014

18 Phrases Professionals Use To Get People To Trust Them

"When people trust you, they're much more likely to believe in you, bond with you, and buy from you."

Here are 18 phrases professionals use to get others to trust them:

"Thank you."

"Simple words that show you value the person generate positive emotions and set the stage for trust," says Price. Take the time to sincerely say to another, "Thank you, I really appreciate your efforts," or to a group, "Thank you for attending today's presentation. I appreciate your time and attention."

"Allow me to introduce myself to you. By way of background..."

Establishing credibility from the start is a key to earning trust with an audience.

"If you're addressing a group of people, and they do not personally know you, be sure to introduce yourself and briefly mention your credentials, or have another person properly introduce you," Price suggests.

Audience members - especially skeptical ones - need to hear why you're an authority on your topic including your name and title, relevant training or certifications, years of experience, and any publications, she says.

"What this means to you is..." or, "The bottom line for you is..." or, "The advantages to you are..."

To earn trust in the hearts of others, they need to know you have their best interests in mind. "From selling a solution or requesting funding to leading a project or giving a status update, be sure to communicate to listeners how they benefit from your actions."

Does your message save them time, reduce costs, improve productivity, boost profits, increase market share, or save lives? Be sure to tell them why they should care and how they will benefit.

"Like you, I care about this topic because..."

Transparency and camaraderie build trust.

"Make sure your listeners know you, too, are invested in the topic and have a personal connection to it. You're not just 'doing your job' or serving as a 'mouthpiece' for the message, you really care," Price explains. "What's at stake for you? How has the subject affected your life? If appropriate, share a brief personal story that illustrates your relationship to the topic."

"Yes," or, "I will," or, "Absolutely."

When it's appropriate to do so, give an affirmative response when others genuinely need and ask for your assistance.

"Imagine your boss asks, 'Can you send me your proposal by 3 p.m.? I need it for the customer meeting.' Or a customer asks, 'Can you help me solve this issue?' Helping others shows you care about them and that you're invested in the relationship." It's a sure way to earn their trust and foster good will, says Price.

Avoid tentative or begrudging replies such as, "I'm really busy, but I'll try." Or, "Maybe, I'll see what I can do." Words like "try" and "maybe" imply the possibility of failure and diminish another's ability to rely on you. "Even worse are phrases that jeopardize trust such as, 'That's not my problem,' or, 'That's not my job,'" she says.

"Scientific research indicates..." or, "The data shows..."

When possible, be sure to include concrete, quantitative studies, surveys, or data to support your message. "When your own opinion or experience are not enough to instill confidence and trust in your listeners, be sure to present facts, figures, and numbers to build your case," she suggests.

"The results speak for themselves," or, "The track record shows..."

Don't expect your audience to always take your word for it. Give them proof. Show them how, where, and for whom your proposal or recommendation has worked in the past.

"This may be a customer testimonial, your sales performance from last year, or a letter of recommendation," Price says. "You're essentially implying to the person, 'been there, done that - and I can get the same results for you.'"

Especially when you're speaking to critically minded decision makers, be sure to prove you've already achieved measureable outcomes for others, which instills confidence in your abilities quicker than anything.

"You and I share a common goal," or, "We share a common challenge."

By definition, a team is a group of people who come together to achieve a common goal. "When you communicate that you're on the same side as your listener, it lessens hostility and competition and fosters teamwork and trust," says Price.

"What do you think?" or, "You decide - I trust your judgment," or, "Great idea - let's do it."

When you show someone you trust them, they're more likely to trust you.

"Outstanding achievements are rarely a solo act. The best results depend on people helping each other. Therefore, trust is a two-way street," she explains. "Avoid the 'Do It Yourself' attitude; find ways to rely on others in the workplace. Show that you value and celebrate their input and give them opportunities to earn your trust."

"I understand."

"Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It conveys a sense of acceptance, compassion, and care," says Price. Some psychologists assert that a human being's deepest emotional need is to be heard and understood. If that's true, perhaps active listening and genuine empathy - above all - are the keys to establishing trust in a relationship.

The Economist Who Won The Nobel Prize Explained Why CEOs Get Such Gigantic Bonuses

Why are CEOs paid so well?
In part, because they constantly have theopportunity to renegotiate their contracts, which are often heavy on the stock-based bonuses.

The work of Jean Tirole, the newest Nobel Prize winner in economics, helps explain why this is the case.

Contracts Are Not Immutable
A lot of theories of negotiation before Tirole assumed that a contract was immutable once it was signed. But in reality, a contract often can be renegotiated. When both parties know that, it changes the way they approach the original contract.

Take, for example, an executive compensation agreement. Tirole's research with Drew Fudenberg explains that moral hazard is affected in a long-term contractual agreement when there's an option for renegotiation. Specifically, it helps explain why so much of what a CEO gets paid is tied to performance and tied up in things like stock options. The CEO gets what seems like a lot, but knowing that he can ask for more next year makes it important that that compensation is tied to how well the company is doing.

The paper notes that the Tirole-Fundenberg model has two implications for executive compensation. First, "an executive who has made important long-run decisions (project or product choices, investments), will be offered the discretion to choose from a menu of compensation schemes, some offering a fairly certain payment and some offering riskier, performance-related payment." In reality, there's a broad range in what and how executives get paid, but a lot of them choose the high risk, high reward plan.

The second implication is that executive compensation usually doesn't have a lot to do with how the company does when she's gone from the company, although some CEOs do continue to get bonuses after they retire.

For example, giving an executive $10 million per year in stock options that don't vest until next year may seem ludicrous on its face, but it's better than promising him $5 million in cash and watching him walk away after the company crumbles six months in.

Government Defense Contracts
Tyler Cowen writes about the implications Tirole's work has for government deals with monopolistic industries (like defense contractors). Say the government signs a five year contract with a defense contractor. Previous research focused on how the two parties should negotiate the contract assuming that what they agreed to would never been renegotiated.

In reality, three years into the project, the company can (and probably would) come back to the government and say, "The project is harder than expected. We won't be able to finish unless you give us X more money." Given the costs of losing the contract, it might actually be better for the government to just give in to these demands.

Tirole's paper finds that when you factor in this potential issue, it might be better for the government to give in to certain demands in the original contract that it otherwise wouldn't if the contract could never been renegotiated - which helps explain why a lot of government contractors seem to get really sweet deals.

Tirole is an economist at the Toulouse School of Economics. He won the prize, according to the Nobel committee's reasoning, for his work on the overall theory of industrial organization (IO) and regulation.

For a more comprehensive overview of Tirole's work, see Tyler Cowen's excellent roundup and the Nobel committee's summary.

This Is Google's New Smartphone - The Nexus 6

Google has officially unveiled its new smartphone, the Nexus 6. Just as rumors had indicated, it comes with a giant 6-inch screen and is made by Motorola.
The Nexus 6 will be available for preorder on Oct. 29 and will be available in November.

The Nexus 6 is going to look gigantic compared to your average smartphone. With it's 5.9-inch screen, it's even larger than the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4. It's one inch shy of being the same size as Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

Developing...

Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal ask Sarvjit S Dhillon to turn around Africa operations

Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal has mandated Sarvjit S Dhillon, till recently the Group's finance head and currently director of special projects, to help in efforts to turn around its Africa operations, indicating that continued losses in the continent is assuming worrying proportions.

Dhillon will work in tandem with Christian de Faria, who was appointed Africa CEO earlier this year, and both would report to Mittal, people familiar with the matter told ET.

The company didn't comment on Dhillon's new assignment. "With India back on the growth trajectory, Sunil Mittal has now shifted his focus towards Africa and the management wants to throw its entire weight behind African operations," one of the people said.

Bharti's sprawling African operations across 17 countries have been a drag on its performance since it acquired the business from Kuwait's Zain group in 2010. Losses in Africa widened during the quarter ended June 30 to Rs 820 crore from Rs 298 crore a year earlier on account of higher operational expenses and forex losses. Revenue rose toRs 6,698.5 crore for the first three month period this financial year, compared to Rs 5,930.9 crore in the same quarter last year. Bharti Airtel's consolidated net profit jumped 61% to Rs 1,108 crore, largely on account of surging data revenue and improving voice business in India.

"There's no parallel structure at play here (referring to Dhillon's switch to Africa). And it's not a comment on the performance of Christian who is doing a good job.

But the top management felt that they needed to get a heavyweight in there to add muscle to Africa," a second person said. Christian de Faria, who joined from South African telecom company MTN earlier this year, was picked due to his knowledge of local conditions.

"Faria has empowered the country heads to make most of the decisions and kept only strategy and governance to himself. He has been focusing at driving data growth in the African markets," the person said, adding that nine months was too short a time to assess Faria's performance.

In a recent note, Credit Suisse said that Bharti Airtel, which is the parent company of the Africa business, had been suffering due to the continuing weakness in the continent's operations, but the quarter ended September 30 could be slightly better.

"Africa operations have been impacted by two consecutive weak quarters. We expect Africa operations to stabilise this quarter, but margins could remain flattish sequentially as Bharti is now spending on building its franchise," the brokerage said.

"Reported revenues in INR could be slightly impacted by the 0.5% strengthening in INR vs African currencies." An analyst at a foreign brokerage said that Bharti may even be ruing its entry into Africa. "It must be thinking if it made a mistake to get into Africa which is quite different from India. Its India models of towers and outsourcing haven't really worked. But now it has to do everything to put its house in order".

14 October, 2014

How A 13-Year-Old CEO Made A Deal With 'Shark Tank' Investor Kevin O'Leary - Without Dad's Help

When there's a successful company that claims to be led by a kid, it often seems disingenuous. An 8-year-old may have come up with an idea for a business, but it's most likely mom or dad doing most of the work.

But 14-year-old Noah Cahoon, CEO of the toy company Paper Box Pilots, is not merely a PR prop for his dad Brian's business. They're a father-son duo from Salt Lake City learning how to operate a small business together, with Brian letting Noah have the final say in the direction of the company.

The Cahoons appear on the latest sixth-season episode of ABC's hit pitch show "Shark Tank," when Noah, who was age 13 at the time of filming, makes a deal with investor Kevin O'Leary, a.k.a. "Mr. Wonderful," without the advice of his dad.

Brian is a senior sales consultant at Oracle who had previously set aside his dream of starting a business when he started a family.

"When Noah was born, I was getting my MBA. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when I brought home that little guy - it's a feeling of responsibility that you have to be careful. And I never got the chance to take that risk," he tells the investors.

Milo Cahoon serves as the company's "Chief Fun Officer."

Brian and Noah used to make designs for airplanes they made out of empty cardboard boxes when Noah was little. Last year Noah, an Eagle Scout, decided that they could not only start printing out designs for his 6-year-old brother Milo, but they could start selling those designs to retailers.
Brian had an opportunity to become the entrepreneur he always wanted to be while giving his ambitious son a business education before he even entered high school.

He tells the Sharks that he wants to teach Noah that there's not a single path in life and that he doesn't need to pursue a career where his main goal is to rise up a corporate ladder.

Brian tells the investors he treats Noah as a real CEO. In the first eight months of Paper Box Pilots they've made just $7,500 in sales from their online shop and small independent retailers, but the Cahoons say that Noah has been involved in every sale and every design and production decision.

"What a great education," investor Lori Greiner says.

The Cahoons come to the Sharks looking for $35,000 in return for 25% equity and a partnership with a Shark who can mentor them to accelerated growth.

Investors Mark Cuban and Greiner both express admiration for the father-son team, but Cuban thinks the toy industry is not his forte and Greiner thinks the business isn't scalable.

O'Leary, however, does know the toy industry. He struck gold when he sold children's software maker The Learning Company to Mattel in 1999 for nearly $4 billion.

Kevin O'Leary offers capital and his toy industry expertise to the Cahoons - in exchange for half the company.

He thinks that he can use his industry connections to make Paper Box Pilots ride an anti-technology trend in toys and take off. He offers $35,000 for a full half of the company, as long as the Cahoons start offering pre-made toy boxes in addition to the decal kits they built the business on.
Investor Robert Herjavec makes the same offer as O'Leary, with the suggestion that he has a perfect way to package the toys to make a ton of money. Investor Barbara Corcoran then says that as long as the Cahoons start making more girl-friendly toys, she's offering $35,000 for a 35% stake because "it sounds cool!" Herjavec ups his deal to $50,000 for 50% equity with the extra selling point that he's "the fun Shark!"

The Sharks look to the Cahoons to make a decision. Brian asks for a little more direction from the investors, but Corcoran stops him, warning that it's dangerous to push when you've been given a rock-solid offer - or in this case three of them.

"All I can say," Brian tells Noah, "is you're the CEO, and it's ultimately your decision." Noah gets nervous and asks his dad under his breath which investor he should pick, but all Brian offers is: "Who do you think would be the best mentor?"

Noah decides to hand over 50% of his company to O'Leary so that he can take his entrepreneurial education to the next level with O'Leary as his guide and his father by his side.

A quick look at the website shows that they're taking Corcoran's advice and have started marketing more to girls, though they still have yet to release pre-made toys. O'Leary will likely take care of that.

This Map Shows The Largest Company By Revenue In Every State

A state economy is nothing without the businesses that call it home. But those businesses are not created equally—bigger businesses naturally have outsized influence, generating more revenue, paying more taxes and employing more people.

The map above (larger version) identifies the largest company by revenue in every state, according to a review of data maintained by business research firm Hoover’s conducted by information technology company Broadview Networks, which provides cloud services. The businesses span quite the range: They rake in anywhere from $1 billion to $476 billion and represent various sectors, including energy, banking and retail. Broadview ignored branches or foreign offices in the review and, for consistency, excluded subsidiaries or government entities.

Databases differ on which business is the largest in each state, however. We reviewed the Fortune 1000, as well as a mixture of sources listed on research source Lexis Nexis, and confirmed many, but not all, of the companies on Broadview’s list. This may be explained by differing methodology used by the various sources in identifying a company’s headquarters or revenue. As such, we’re duplicating Broadview’s list below largely as is for consistency. Despite disagreements over methodology, the data offer insight into powerhouse businesses in each state.

13 October, 2014

Google's New Smartphone Is Coming This Month, And It's Going To Be Huge

Google's gigantic smartphone is set to be unveiled this month, three people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ is also reporting that the phone will come with a 5.9-inch display and will be manufactured by Motorola, which aligns with rumors and reports we've been seeing for the past several months. The phone launch will coincide with the release of Google's new Android software, which is currently being called Android L.

Google's new phone, presumably the Nexus 6, will be significantly larger than Apple's iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung's Galaxy Note 4. At about six inches in diagonal length, the phone is just about one inch short of being the same size as a tablet.

Samsung's Galaxy Mega, which comes in either a 5.8-inch or 6.3-inch size, is one of the few smartphones that will be as large as the Nexus 6.

The WSJ's report isn't necessarily new for those who have been following coverage surrounding the Nexus 6. But the fact that the WSJ's sources are reporting the same details we've been seeing for months makes it seem more likely that Google's new phone is in fact coming this month.

Last year Google unveiled the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat on Oct. 31, so it wouldn't be surprising to see its new products launch around the same time this year.

Last month, tech blog Android Police reported a handful of new features and specifications it claims will be in the Nexus 6. Google's giant smartphone will reportedly come with a high-resolution 2566 x 1440 resolution screen, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 2-megapixel front camera.

Snapchat Photos And Videos Intercepted By Hackers

A giant database of intercepted Snapchat photos and videos has been released by hackers who have been collecting the files for years. Shocked users of notorious chat forum 4chan are referring to the hack as "The Snappening," noting that this is far bigger in scale than the iCloud hacks that recently targeted celebrities.

Underground photo trading chatrooms have been filled in recent weeks with hints that something big was coming. Last night it finally arrived: A third-party Snapchat client app has been collecting every single photo and video file sent through it for years, giving hackers access to a 13GB library of Snapchats that users thought had been deleted.
Users of 4chan have downloaded the files, and are currently in the process of creating a searchable database allowing people to search the stolen images by Snapchat username.
4chan

The database of Snapchat files posted online was hosted on viralpop.com, a fake competition website that installed malicious software on the computers of users trying to take part. That site has now been suspended and taken offline, although thousands of people have already downloaded the collection of Snapchats.

4chan users claim that SnapSaved was indeed the source of the intercepted files:

4chan

We don't know whether the third-party Snapchat client, whether Snapsave or SnapSaved, was created with the purpose of intercepting images. It may have been the case that hackers accessed the servers of one of the sites, which had inadvertently stored the files, and rehosted the directory online.

4chan users claim that the collection of photos has a large amount of child pornography, including many videos sent between teenagers who believed the files would be immediately deleted after viewing. 50% of Snapchat's users are teenagers aged between 13 and 17.

Snapchat has a poor history when it comes to the security of users' data. In 2013 security researchers revealed that it was possible to find the phone number of any Snapchat user through the app. 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers leaked online on New Year's Day, and the company was forced to apologize. In Feb. 2014, hackers used Snapchat to send photos of fruit smoothies to thousands of people.

11 October, 2014

Amazon Is Opening an Actual Store

File this one under #innovation. Online retailing giant Amazon is planning its first brick-and-mortar store, the Wall Street Journal reports, and it's going to be a big deal. According to the Journal, the real life Everything Store at 7 West 34th Street in Manhattan will push the boundaries of commerce with revolutionary in-store services that include:

  • Receiving same-day delivery items
  • Facilitating product returns and exchanges
  • Allowing customers to pick up online orders
  • Highlighting Amazon inventory

The ambitious project is also risky. The Journal notes that operating a physical store could force Amazon to take on retailing costs it thus far "has largely avoided." These include leasing a space for the store and paying employees to work there. The added expenses could prove dangerous to the thin profit margins that Amazon's Jeff Bezos is famous for maintaining.
Amazon has toyed with the idea of a physical store before. Last November, the company opened pop-up shops in U.S. malls to sell its Kindle tablets and e-readers. As it turns out, physical stores for online retailers is something of a trend—some call it trading "clicks for bricks." In 2013, Etsy opened a pop-up store in New York City and eBay teamed up with Kate Spade to create temporary storefronts. Online eyeglasses seller Warby Parker has also experimented with physical locations.

Other online retailers have tried to strike a balance between the physical and digital worlds. Companies like Trunk Club and Stitch Fix, which regularly send their subscribers a sampler of items, are built around the notion of trying to bring an in-store shopping experience to your living room. Either way, nothing says disruption quite like turning our online experiences into IRL ones.

09 October, 2014

Cognizant Acquires Digital Marketing Agency Cadient Group

Cognizant has acquired Cadient Group, a full-service digital marketing agency that serves a broad spectrum of life sciences companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer health, and medical device industries.

This acquisition further strengthens and expands Cognizant's digital marketing capabilities, enabling brand marketing leaders to transform the way they position their offerings in the digital landscape as they design, develop and introduce multi-channel marketing initiatives, launch brands, build communities, drive insights and analytics, and create a compelling customer experience. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Life sciences companies around the world have significantly increased their emphasis on web, mobile, and social engagement with all of their stakeholders, while increasingly leveraging enterprise-level analytics to drive a customer-centric approach to marketing and sales. Pennsylvania-based Cadient Group has more than a decade of experience in providing digital strategy, marketing, and technology and analytics solutions to industry leaders and emerging companies in the life sciences industry.

As part of this acquisition, more than 100 digital specialists—with expertise across brand strategy and planning, content development, user-centered design, multi-channel analytics, and digital, social and mobile marketing—will join Cognizant. This acquisition also brings to Cognizant digital assets and intellectual property including Reveal, an insights and analytics platform; Immerse, an experiential marketing platform; and OneVoice, an advocacy campaign management platform.

"The life sciences industry is undergoing structural disruption as marketing services enable new digital ways for companies to engage with patients and providers and create compelling user experiences," said Shankar Narayanan, Vice President and Global Markets Leader of the Life Sciences practice at Cognizant. "In an increasingly competitive industry with many digitally active stakeholders, the acquisition of Cadient Group will complement Cognizant's digital and interactive solutions capability. It will help brand marketing leaders to innovatively transform their brands, manage customer experience across multiple channels, maintain quality standards and comply with regulations, and achieve greater return on marketing investments. We welcome Cadient's digital specialists to the Cognizant family and are confident that our combined capabilities and digital assets will help both life sciences and broader healthcare companies gain a competitive advantage by managing the information that surrounds organizations, processes, products and people—what we call Code Halos."

"Becoming a part of Cognizant uniquely positions us to deliver integrated solutions to life sciences marketing and sales teams around the world," said Stephen Wray, President and CEO, Cadient Group. "Clients will now have enhanced access to the best creativity and craftsmanship of a design firm combined with the best-in-class management and execution capabilities of a large consulting and technology firm to produce superior customer engagements at the brand and enterprise level. Together, we are ideally positioned to deliver on this promise.

08 October, 2014

One in three use social media to seek more info about employers

Nearly a third of all candidates use social networking websites like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to gather information about open positions as well as the organisation they wish to work for.

According to a report by ManpowerGroup Solutions, in order to engage prospective talent, employers should focus on the content and functionality of their websites besides maximising their presence on social media.

"Since 9 in 10 candidates (86 per cent) use them as primary sources of information about employers, making them relevant, compelling and user-friendly should be a priority of employers," ManpowerGroup Solutions Vice President Jim McCoy said.

"By maximising their presence on, and engagement with carefully selected social media, employers can attract and engage the right candidates faster and more efficiently," McCoy said.

According to the report, more than 70 per cent of social media users have Facebook accounts and they use them to learn about organisations and available jobs.

Around 43 per cent of social media users have acquired information about jobs and employers through their Google+ and LinkedIn accounts.

Besides, the other top social media platforms used to gather information about employers and open positions include -- Pinterest (22 per cent), Instagram (15 per cent), Twitter (13 per cent) and others (10 per cent).

Though technology and social media can reinforce their brand and enhance their reach, technology cannot replace the impact of human interactions, the report said.

"Even as technology -- and the awareness of new tools -- continues to rapidly advance, the tried, but true methods of in-person and phone interviews and more frequent, personalised interactions with hiring managers or recruiters remain the clear preference of job seekers across generations," McCoy added.

The study results show that the nature and frequency of employer-candidate interactions should be driven by the type of talent employers wish to attract.

The survey added that 52 per cent use search engine results, and 45 per cent use peer recommendations to gather information about prospective employers and positions.

Around 72 per cent prefer traditional, in-person interviews, while 15 per cent choose telephone interviews.

The "one-size-fits-all" approach to engaging prospective employees is not going to work and employers must evaluate their talent acquisition strategy and customise job seekers' experiences based on the talent they want to hire, it added.

Central Government Employees! They’d Now Be Reporting On Time, Everyday

In a bid to ensure improved work culture in central government offices, the NDA government has taken a revolutionary step. It has introduced Aadhaar-based biometric attendance systems to monitor and track the work of Central Government employees. The attendance system is now up and running; and you know the best part is that it is accessible even to general public on attendance.gov.in.

By introducing biometric attendance compulsory in offices, we hope that government offices would be transformed for the better. The office-office scenario would change: officers would report on time, will delegate work on time and thus, save common man from the inconveniences he faces while he visits there (government offices) to get his work done.

Believed to be modelled on the lines of Jharkhand government and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology website, attendance.gov.in currently monitors 148 government organisations and serves as a centralised database for all central government employees.

The website homepage depicts the number of organisations covered under Biometric Attendance System, number of registered employees, number of workers present in each organisation, total number of employees present on the given day, along with the number of active devices.

Additionally, the dashboard consists of graphical representations of "real-time attendance" and statistics on the percentage of people logging into office during different time slots, giving an idea of how many officials come to office during the designated timings.

This level of open tracking takes transparency to another level, a key focus of the government at the Centre. Many twitter users have welcomed the step taken by the Narendra Modi government. They believe this will eventually bring a change in the years-old image of 'Babus' of the Indian government, now making them more punctual in their official work.

07 October, 2014

A lot can happen in just 60 seconds on the Internet


06 October, 2014

Skype to stop users in India from calling domestic mobiles and landlines from November 10

Skype users in India will soon  be unable to call landlines and mobiles based inside the country.

The feature will will be unavailable from November 10, reducing the usefulness of the cross-platform call and messaging service. Skype didn’t give a reason as to why it was abandoning domestic voice calls.

Skype users in India will still be able to call landlines and mobile phones based outside of the country, however. Conversely, Skype customers in other countries can continue to call numbers based inside India.

In a support page , Skype said:

“If you’ve bought a subscription to India specifically to call within the country, you can cancel your subscription to avoid being billed in the future.

Keep in mind that before 10 November 2014, you can still use your subscription and Skype Credit to call within India, so be sure to use up any remaining minutes or credit you have before then.”

Google working on standalone messaging app

#GoogleTalk - We’ve seen Google make small steps towards detaching Hangouts from Google+, a
move welcomed by just about everyone. But it seems that ain’t nothing compared to what they could be planning for emerging markets: a messaging client that doesn’t even require a Google account. This is exactly what the Economic Times is reporting, with sources claiming Google has already begun testing in parts of India and could launch as early as 2015. This Google messenger — still in its early stages of development — is Google’s way of recouping users lost to rival services such as Whatsapp, Viber, and Line. India is poised to becoming the world’s 2nd largest smartphone market just under China with Android One, already looking to take the sub-continent by storm. A messaging service everyone can and will actually want to use by forgoing a Google login could be their next big strategy. You may remember reports of Google looking to acquire Whatsapp (whom later accepted Facebook’s offer of $19 billion). It’s clear Google takes messaging very seriously, but without a Google account to siphon data from its users, it’s not entirely clear why.

Men vs. Women: Who Is More Active On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

Did you know that, 3 in 4 internet users use social media, and that a higher percentage of women (76%) use social networking sites than men (72%).

Women have 55 percent more posts on their Facebook walls than men, and they have 8 percent more friends than men. Which proves that behind a successful social networking site stands millions of great women.

Take a look at this infographic from Quicksprout, for more detail on who is more active on major social media sites (including: Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest).

Socialmedia summarised in a single sheet