Thursday, 30 June 2016

Android "N" Name Revealed: The Name Is Nougat

After some months of calling the next release simply “Android N,” Google has finally settled on a name. The company revealed Nougat on its Snapchat channel and Twitter, which included uncovering the latest statue to grace the Google campus. Google names its Android versions after what it calls “sweet treats.” Though the first two releases had no corresponding name, the early 1.5 release was named “Cupcake.” From there, each new version of Android takes on the name of some sort of sweet food, each name starting with the next letter of the alphabet. After Cupcake came Donut, then Eclair, all the way through corporate-sponsored “KitKat” (version 4.4), and last year’s “Marshmallow” (6.0). What is Nougat, anyway? So far Google hasn’t detailed the official version number yet, but most of its Android N images and mockups display a time of 7:00 on the clock, which is a clear indication that it will be 7.0. Google did the same thing with the clock on its mockups of previous Android releases. Nougat is currently in beta and expected for release this fall. What is nougat, exactly? Okay that's good. It’s part of a family of confections that are made with roasted nuts, sugar, honey, whipped egg whites, and usually chopped, candied fruit. It’s particularly popular in India, the birthplace of Google CEO Sundar Pichai. But in the U.S., it’s typically one of the ingredients in a larger candy bar (like Snickers or 3 Musketeers). Now, if you want to try it out yourself on your Nexus phone or tablet? It's still in beta, and there may be some problems, but you can easily install the public beta.

Multi-waypoint Directions Feature Is Lastly Coming to Google Maps

Whether it’s off running errands around town or exploring a new city, your route probably takes you more than one place. But planning that in Google Maps is a kind of pain, since there isn’t the capability to add in a multi-stop trip. This is finally getting fixed, however, according to some screenshots that popped up on Android Police. Now, the idea is that you can plan out different “stops” along your route, which will definitely come in handy if you’re in unfamiliar terrain. But unfortunately it looks like a server-side switch, as I grabbed the APK for version 9.31.2 and tried it on multiple devices but had no luck in triggering the feature. So in that regard, it looks like you’ll just have to wait, but it’s worth ensuring you have the latest version from the Google Play Store. Major note: Google Maps gives you a lot of tools to help in your local and out-of-town adventures, but this is surely one that will be a real breakthrough for power users. Since the actual rollout is stuck in server purgatory, you’ll just need to keep trying and see when it actually materializes. Thanks...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

One Guide to PEOs and Employee Leasing

If you are looking for a professional employer organization (PEO), worry less. Here's everything you need to know about what a PEO is, what it offers and how to choose one. Before we say anything further, here are some things professionals have to tell you. Sarah Grimstead - Regional Sales Manager Insperity - Grimstead says: "Providing HR services through a PEO often provides companies with access to better health, retirement and workers’ compensation benefits for their employees." Jacqueline Breslin - Director of Human Capital Services TriNet - Breslin says: "Working with a PEO enables employers to regain more control of their businesses. Business owners are able to focus on running their business instead of worrying about HR tasks." Lonny Ostrander - Vice President of Human Resource Services Sales Paychex - Ostrander says: "In order for a co-employment arrangement to fully work, it must be a true partnership between business and provider." What is a PEO? Now, before you can start choosing a PEO, you should know exactly what one is and how it works. A PEO provides small and midsize businesses with a wide range of human-resources-related services, including the following: 1. HR management 2. Benefits administration 3. Insurance plans 4. Section 125 plans 5. Payroll administration and processing 6. State unemployment insurance (SUI) administration 7. 401(k) retirement plans 8. COBRA 9. Workers' compensation 10. Safety programs (OSHA) 11. Training and development 12. Recruiting and outplacement support 13. Government compliance Now, instead of simply outsourcing the HR-related services, a PEO operates with a co-employment arrangement. Under this format, businesses maintain control over their employees, but the PEO shares in the risk and liability issues. The PEO's job is to pay employees and handle all of the administration of payroll and benefits. The cost of a PEO varies greatly depending on the services you want provided, the number of employees you have and the type of business you operate. The cost structure also varies by PEO provider. Some PEO services charge on a per-employee basis. Under this structure, employers pay a set amount for each employee. Other providers base pricing on a percentage of gross payroll. What the experts say: "A PEO is a partnership that creates a co-employment relationship between a small to midsize business and a provider," Lonny Ostrander, vice president of human resources services for Paychex, said. "This relationship results in the business’s ability to gain access to benefits normally available only to Fortune 500 companies." Pros and cons of a PEO The Pros 1. Fewer administrative tasks: In this area, companies don't have to spend time working on tasks such as payroll and benefits administration because the PEO handles them. "A PEO can take some of the critical work of managing a company off of a businesses owner's plate so that they can focus on building and maintaining their core business," said Sarah Grimstead, a regional sales manager for PEO provider Insperity. 2. Better benefits: PEOs enables small businesses to offer a robust benefits package. "Providing HR services through a PEO often gives companies access to better health, retirement and workers' compensation benefits for their employees," Grimstead said. 3. Cost savings: PEOs can negotiate lower insurance costs because they negotiate rates on behalf of all of the businesses they work with. "Companies that partner with a PEO usually experience lower group insurance costs, workers' compensation discounts and, in most cases, a lower state unemployment insurance (SUI) rate because their employees are listed under the PEO's federal ID number for payroll purposes," Ostrander said. However, keep in mind that you are paying the PEO a fee for this benefit. To make sure you're coming out ahead, it's important for you to weigh the service fees against the added benefit costs savings. 4. Legal compliance: PEOs remove the burden of having to keep up with the constantly changing human resources regulatory laws. "It can be difficult for a business owner or an HR practitioner to keep up with the changes, develop policies in light of those changes, and train managers and employees on those changes," said Jaqueline Breslin, director of human capital services for PEO provider TriNet. "A PEO helps their clients remain HR compliant. From producing employee handbooks to helping a business understand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a PEO is a strong partner to help with these complexities." 5. Talent acquisition: Being able to offer better benefits helps small businesses not only hold on to their more valuable employees, but also bring in other top workers. "Because they're able to offer competitive benefits through the PEO, companies are able to reduce turnover while attracting and retaining a higher-caliber workforce," Ostrander said. 6. Legal protections. Most PEOs provide civil defense and employment liability insurance in case a former employee sues the company for discrimination or wrongful termination. The Cons 1. Surrendering responsibilities. For small business owners who are used to having their hands in every aspect of the business, relinquishing control of human resources can be a tough adjustment. "Some businesses might view a loss of control — whether it's significant or not — as being a drawback of joining a PEO," Ostrander said. "The truth, though, is if you find the right PEO partner, it becomes an extension of your business." 2. Health insurance changes. PEOs are always looking for the best deal on health care, so they may change insurance providers on a regular basis. "While a PEO offers the ability to provide the most cost-effective and competitive health benefits, it also means the provider reserves the right to switch health providers," Ostrander said. "That can be frustrating for the business and its employees if an impending change is not fully communicated." 3. Impersonal. Companies that use a PEO can't always be able to provide the same level of personalized HR service to their employees as businesses whose HR department is located down the hall can. The hope is that the PEO treats your employees like its own when they need information or need to file a claim, but that is not always the case. It's important to find a PEO that will provide the type of hands-on support that both you and your employees need. What you should look for in a PEO: With regard to the abundance of PEO providers, it can be hard for small business owners to know what they should be looking for when searching for one. Some experts have weighed the most important factors small business owners should consider when hiring a PEO. As your business grows, will the PEO be able to grow with you? For example, will the offerings be a one-size-fits-all package, or will the provider tailor a program to your needs? Does the PEO provide all of the services you currently want and may want in the future? Will the PEO team administering services for you be trained to know federal, state and local labor laws that could impact you and your business? Given today's ever-changing regulatory environment, it's more essential than ever that businesses ensure compliance. What kind of user access does the PEO offer? Will your employees have online access to payroll and benefits administration? Do they have mobile apps to make it easier to see payroll stubs and other HR information? What does the cost structure look like? Each PEO has its own method of billing and pricing. So you should be sure you have a good handle on exactly what that entails so you can budget accordingly. Is the PEO financially stable and secure? Now, you don't want to partner with a PEO that is in danger of going out of business. What kind of commitment does the PEO make to customer service? Will you have your own dedicated team of support members, or will you have to call a 1-800 number every time you need help? The PEO should be accredited so you can be assured that you are working with a secure provider. Is the PEO properly licensed? Some states require PEOs to be licensed, others require registration and others have no requirements. Find out what the rules are in your state, and if applicable, verify that the PEO is compliant. Does the PEO have positive referrals? Here, referrals help you look past a PEO's marketing and sales lingo to get the real story. Ask fellow business owners who have used PEOs whether they would recommend the service and why. If you still have more questions about PEOs? No problem. Here are a number of questions and answers that may help you come to a decision. PEO question and answers: Q. Are PEOs typically used by small businesses? A. Yes, PEO services are geared toward smaller organizations that don't have a dedicated human resources staff. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), the average NAPEO member company has 19 employees. There are also a wide variety of business types using PEO services. The NAPEO reports that businesses starting from accounting firms to high-tech companies and small manufacturers use PEO services. In addition, an extensive number of professions — including doctors, retailers, mechanics, engineers and plumbers — use PEO services. Q. How does the co-employment arrangement work? A. Co-employment, also referred to as employee leasing, allows small businesses to maintain the day-to-day control of employees. However, the PEO becomes the employer of record for tax purposes and is responsible for all of the HR-related tasks, such as paying the employees and providing the benefits. "The biggest aspect of the arrangement is that the business maintains ownership of the employees when it comes to functions like wages and hours, but from a benefits sense, the PEO provider assumes all responsibility," Ostrander said. Q. What is the difference laying between using a PEO service and simply outsourcing your HR services? A. The biggest difference is the co-employment model. When you outsource human resources services, there is no co-employment arrangement. So, although you are hiring a service to handle some or all of your HR needs, you are still responsible and liable for all of the outsourcing company's work. "A key difference between using PEO services and simply outsourcing HR services is that the PEO model allows the PEO to be joint stewards with companies, helping them navigate all of their HR needs, versus outsourcing models that leave it entirely to the employer to manage the risk," Breslin said. Q. What type of liability does the PEO provider incur on behalf of its small business customers? A. PEO services take on all of the liability as it relates to payroll and taxes. "Submitting payroll taxes timely and distributing W-2s by the required due date are the PEO's responsibility," Breslin said. "These activities are taken away from the client, and the PEO is responsible and bears the burden of making sure they are compliant with important payroll-associated activities." In addition, PEOs share in a businesses' employment-related risk. For example, coverage under an employer practices liability insurance (EPLI) is frequently a part of the PEO services, Breslin said. Q. Do you lose control of your business by using PEO services? A. No. Even though you will be operating as a partner with your PEO provider, you are still in charge of your business and how it is run. "The business still has the option to make the ultimate decisions regarding hiring, performance management, discipline and terminations," Breslin said. "The PEO is there to point out the risks the client may be taking by the employment decisions they are making, but the business can choose to follow or disregard that advice." Q. What does it mean if a PEO is accredited? A. The Employer Services Assurance Corp. (ESAC) is an independent nonprofit organization that is the official accrediting agency of the PEO industry. A board of directors that includes PEO industry attorneys, CPAs and independent directors representing more than 100 years of combined PEO industry regulatory experience manages the ESAC. The accreditation process verifies a PEO's ongoing financial solvency and compliance with government regulations and industry standards. Earning accreditation demonstrates a PEO's financial stability, ethical business conduct and adherence to operational standards and regulatory requirements. You can see which PEOs have earned accreditation by visiting the ESAC website. Q. Do I have any options for the health insurance plans I offer to employees? Or does a PEO offer only one plan? A. The majority of PEOs offer customers a variety of plans that they can then, in turn, offer their employees, including PPO and high-deductible options. While you do have your choice of plans, is you likely you won't have a choice for the provider. Most PEOs typically use one health insurance provider and require all customers using its health care to use that specific carrier.

Hands-on: NFC-enabled ATMs Makes It Easy For You to Withdraw Cash With a Smartphone

As things are right now, Android Pay and Apple Pay may be picking up momentum, but cash is still relevant. So what do you do if you’re living a wallet-free life, but need to grab some paper money from the ATM? This is where NFC comes in handy. The same mobile-payments chip that you use with your smartphone at the checkout stand can be used at the ATM, also. Now, Bank of America is one of the first major banks to deploy NFC-enabled ATMs. The company currently offers some 2,800 terminals around the U.S., with 5,200 more coming by year’s end. The one good thing about NFC is that no arduous setup is required. All you need is an Android Pay or Apple Pay profile with your debit card already activated. Now you can snag some cash while leaving your wallet—and plastic—at home. Easy and straightforward: Now if talking on this, cash may not be the preferred method of payment like it used to be, but there are still instances where you will wish you had a couple of bucks to quickly buy your morning coffee, or pay for parking. Cash is also great for maintaining a budget on a shopping excursion, which is why some people will specifically appreciate the ability to grab cash from their account with just their smartphone. Using an ATM with Android Pay is almost identical to using the machine with your bank card. But rather than digging through an overstuffed wallet for a piece of plastic, you simply just connect your phone to the machine over NFC. After that, it’s the same familiar process: Enter your PIN, grab your cash, and go. NFC payments also add an extra measure of security. First off, the process is quicker—you won’t have to dawdle as you wait for the machine to spit out you card. Second, the card is protected by Android Pay and Apple Pay’s existing security measures, meaning you’ll have to scan your fingerprint or use a pin number or pattern unlock before you can use it. This, in conjunction with your PIN number, makes taking out cash a two-factor authentication process that’s more secure than using plastic. NFC-enabled ATMs were all but pre-ordained when the first mobile-payment systems were announced. Still, it’s very good to see that Bank of America is rolling out these ATMs en masse. The technology really does make it easier and safer to grab money out of the machine, and the good news is that big banks like Wells Fargo and Chase have also committed to bringing NFC on board by the end of the year. Thanks.......

Five Tips That Can help You to Achieve The Most Out Of Google Play Music

While no one was aware, Google built the best music app out there. One problem that Google is having all the time is been unable to get people to take notice. The company doesn’t have the marketing acumen and deep ties to the music industry like Apple nor the popular success of Spotify. It’s a shame, because Play Music does a lot of things better than other services. Now, if you’re a subscriber you get YouTube Red, which means you don’t have to sit through annoying advertisements when you want to see the latest, trending videos. Furthermore, there are trial offers all the time, so if you’re looking for an easy way to manage your music and check out another streaming service, then these are the top features and tricks I believe you will want to try out to see if Google Play Music is right for you. 1.Keep all your music in one place: To most people, one of their favorite features is that you can use Google Play Music as your personal locker, even if you don’t subscribe to the streaming service. But first you have to get all your music there. If you’re using the dreaded iTunes, Windows Media Player, or another program, your best bet is to download the music manager. This program will upload all of your music from a directory you indicate on your PC. So, while that’s the best bet for a larger collection, Play Music also has a built-in drag-and-drop tool for easy uploads. From the slide-out menu on the left, select Upload music. Then you can select a folder, or just drop in individual tracks that you want to upload. They’ll then be available in the web version of Play Music and anywhere you’ve installed the mobile app. The same thing goes if you buy music from the Google Play Store. With one click, whatever you buy is right there in your library. By default it’s streamed when you go to play it, but you can always touch the overflow button (three vertical dots) and save it offline. Google also puts its algorithms to work in order to break out your music by genres so you can casually browse through them. If you subscribe to Play Music, you can create a music station from a song or album. As for me, I find it to be an excellent way to get more than just regular replays out of your favorite tracks. 2.Make a few tweaks: This one gives you more customization than meets the eye. It’s rare, but there may be a moment when the track you’ve uploaded from your library doesn’t match up with what Google says it is. Fortunately, you can fix that by clicking Edit info from the overflow me Another tiny hack I use is to consistently give a “thumbs up” on a song I like. It’s the fastest way to build a custom playlist that will be filled with songs you enjoy. This is an easy way to have an at-the-ready batch of music to stream for a party or just to get you through a long drive. I’ve also found the more I’ve used this, the better the recommendations are. So next time a new song you hear is a good one, hit that thumb button. 3.Be ready to go offline Once you go outside the Internet fantasy world that tech execs live in, you realize that ubiquitous LTE hasn’t exactly arrived yet. Fortunately you can download anything in your library, whether it's added from the streaming service or something you’ve purchased. Most especially, this is critical if you’re about to go on a trip and there’s a particular station, playlist, or artist that you want available. Nothing kills off that road trip faster than when the tunes die out. And what are you going to listen to on a plane? Remember this isn’t the same as Add to library; that just gives you quicker access to finding that selection again. Also, don’t neglect that tiny computer on your wrist if you’re wearing an Android Wear watch. You can activate this under the Settings > Android Wear > Download to Android Wear. Turn on the feature and select Manage Wear downloads to see what’s been cached on your watch. Suit it to your tastes With the regard that it’s Google, the product is designed to work is based on what it learns about you. Your listening history plays a big part in suggestions, but there are also some ways you can actively customize what Google Play Music shows you. You’ll need to be a tad bit forceful and say Not interested in those suggestions. Also there's a nuclear option if you’re unhappy with suggestions that come from the streaming service (like competitors, it’s $10 a month for an individual or $15 for up to six on a family plan). If you go to Settings > Delete recommendation history you can get a fresh start. Or you can wipe out everything you’ve uploaded with Delete my library. Now, I want you to keep it in mind that the deletion choices are only available from the desktop version. It’s also irreversible, so think twice before you opt for the clean slate. 4.Search for the perfect station: There’s an unassuming feature in the slide-out menu that lets you Browse Stations. When you touch here, you’ll find a long list of different genres of stations, letting you pick amongst a different decade or musical style. You can get lost in sorting through the choices, and there’s a good chance you’ll find something that you like. Recently, one of the best additions to come is the Podcasts. It’s rather basic now, but you’ll see more suggestions for shows to listen to from Google’s curated lists. You’re able to subscribe and choose from different download options. It’s best to just search for the show you’re after at this time to see if it’s part of the collection. But one thing is this, if you’re a regular podcast listener, you’ll be happier with one of the many third-party apps out there as they’re far more comprehensive. 5.Looking ahead; Now, while going forward, there are still plenty of areas in which Google Play Music can get better. For one, there is definitely room for improvement in putting the newest and most popular music front and center. The curated playlists are nice, but just as Google tweaked this by putting podcasts in there, I’d love to see a persistent card dedicated to what’s trending. Spotify does so well in this area, and really helps you feel like you’re part of a community that’s connected to the newest and most popular music. Lastly, Google recently showed off an impressive display of its machine-intelligence capabilities in linking up artists on a giant touch wall at Google I/O. While all this work is no doubt going on behind the scenes, it’d be nice for some of this to be more in front, like by pinging you with different artists and letting you explore their connections. Furthermore, it would help make what’s a strong service an even more compelling option, especially with such compelling entries from other competitors. Thanks.......

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Hold Your Fire: The Best Time You Should Respond to Online Reviews

Somehow, when a negative review about your business pops up online, you might be quick to fire off a response to either apologize or defend yourself. Howeve, new research from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business shows that businesses are better off being strategic about when to respond. So in the process the research revealed that responding to online reviews can affect an organization's financial performance, depending on the number of reviews and how positive or negative they are. "We advocate that managerial intervention should be strategic — whether and how to respond depends on the different levels of online review metrics," the study's authors wrote. For the study, researchers examined data regarding hotels in a regional market in the southern portion of the United States. Specifically, the study's authors looked at more than 28,000 reviews on the online site TripAdvisor and the 3,763 responses from the hotels. The researchers then matched that information with quarterly financial performance records, including revenue, revenue per available room, room rate and occupancy. Local revenue comptroller offices provided the data. So in the process, the research revealed that if a hotel had a very few negative reviews, the company's financial performance dropped when company leaders responded to those posts. "This may signal managers' reluctance or incapability to address the real areas of concerns and may also indicate that they are unable to fix substantial problems to avert the submission of negative reviews," the study's authors wrote. The research also found that responding to online comments hurt financial performance when there were a lot of positive reviews. The study's authors said that responding to reviews in this situation can create unnecessary information overload. "So now, if subsequent consumers have already seen a very strong and clear signal about the quality of products and services from a large group … external disturbance from the completely different source (managers from the firm) would make consumers react to it negatively," the study's authors wrote. Now let say for example, consumers may raise questions in their minds about the soundness of the business, which may lead them to become suspicious about the underlying motives of the response. Conversely, the research found that if there are only a few positive reviews, responding helps increase revenue. "In that regard, such actions can augment signaling of very positive ratings to potential consumers to accelerate the formation of brand relationship and then deepen customers' trust," the researchers wrote. Furthermore, responding to comments when there is an abundance of negative reviews can also improve financial performance, the study found. "In the backdrop of firms shifting their social media emphasis from passive listening to active intervening, our findings provide important implications for practicing managers," the study's authors wrote. "Now, using our findings, managers can effectively utilize the efforts and resources required to manage online [reviews] and truly benefit from the wisdom of online crowds." While the study looked at hotels specifically, the researchers said they believe the results will also hold true for a variety of other business types, especially other service businesses. "So by having that in place, our hypotheses are grounded on service recovery/customer-engagement theories in marketing, in which businesses make their efforts to interact with customer feedback in order to recover their damaged reputations (service failures) or boost customer loyalty of excellent service," Young Jin Lee, one of the study's authors and an assistant professor at the University of Denver, said. This study, which was recently presented at the 2016 Americas Conference on Information Systems, was co-authored by University of Denver assistant professors Karen Xie and Ali Besharat. Thanks.....

Google Is Going to build Its Own Smartphone, Report Says

Very soon we may see a true Google phone. For sure, there’s the Nexus line, which are phones that Google sells in close partnership with a rotating cast of hardware makers. But according to aTelegraph report, Google is going to build its own smartphone from scratch, just as it’s done with the Pixel Chromebooks and tablet. The plan is that this would give Google the ability to more directly compete with Apple for the high end of the smartphone market, which is still dominated by the iPhone in many Western markets. The Telegraph claims that “a senior source” tells it to expect the phone by the end of the year. But however, there’s some evidence that shows that Google is moving in this direction. The company was recently rumored to be seeking partners to build its own chips, which would greatly ease the process of piecing together the other necessary components for a new phone. Also, Google hired former Motorola President Rick Osterloh to lead a new hardware division, and through that giving the company someone with plenty of experience overseeing the process. So the pieces are there, but it’s a matter of when. It’s highly likely that HTC is building two Nexus phones this year, so announcing another phone so soon would surely generate some phone fatigue. Instead, this behind-the-scenes work could be part of a longer effort that might materialize next year, possibly alongside the Project Ara modular smartphone. It’s a rumor worth monitoring, even though we won’t likely see any new hardware in the short term. Of course, we've heard this before and it's never come to pass. It could be that these sources are confusing Google's more involved Nexus efforts with building and marketing its own phone from scratch. Major note: As Android dominates the worldwide smartphone market, the platform’s fragmentation and revenue gap with the App Store have always been challenges for Google. And so, one way to fix that is to go into the hardware business so Google controls everything: hardware, software, and updates. Such a move likely wouldn’t sit well with hardware partners, though Dell, Lenovo, and others in the PC space have found a way to get by even with direct competition from Microsoft’s Surface line. Thanks

Monday, 27 June 2016

If There's No Trust Among Your Team Here Is How to Fix It

As it's been said that strong relationships are built on trust, but new research finds that workers have very little faith in their employer, boss or co-workers. Employers garner the least amount of trust from U.S. employees, according to the study from EY, a provider of assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Specifically, just 38 percent of American workers trust the company they work for. That's even less than many of their peers worldwide. Of the eight countries studied, only employees in the United Kingdom and Japan were less trusting of their employer. Now in the U.S., younger workers are the most trusting. The study shows that 42 percent of millennials trust their company, compared with 40 percent of baby boomers and just 32 percent of Gen X workers. In addition, there are a variety of reasons why employees worldwide have little faith in their organization. Among the factors driving employees' lack of trust in their employer are: 1.Employee compensation is not fair. 2.Equal opportunity for pay and promotion is not available. 3.Strong leadership is lacking. 4.Employee turnover is high. 5.A collaborative work environment is not valued. "The research findings underscore the importance of cultivating a workplace culture that values open communication, inclusive leadership and collaboration – the true building blocks of trust," Nancy Altobello, EY’s global vice chairwoman of talent, said in one statement. The study further discovered a variety of benefits for employers when their employees trust them. Employees who have a high level of trust in an organization are more likely to be happier, produce higher quality work, be more engaged, stay with the company longer and recommend the company to others. "Senior executives who understand the factors that impact trust within their organizations will be able to drive employee engagement and retention," Altobello said. In addition to their lack of trust in the company they work for, a large percentage of employees also have little faith in those they work with. The study found that just 46 percent of U.S. workers have a great deal of trust in their colleagues and only 50 percent feel similarly about their boss. Factors that influence whether employees trust their boss include whether their manager treats them with respect, follows through on what he or she says, communicates openly and transparently, and behaves ethically. In addition, workers are more likely to trust a manager when they feel their point of view is valued and are recognized for a job well done. In order to trust their co-workers, employees expect them to treat others with respect, do quality work, be collaborative and cooperative, communicate openly and behave ethically. Researchers also looked at what factors is able to drive trust in the next generation of employees. Those in Generation Z said pay, promotion equity and opportunities to learn and advance are what will influence their trust in an employer. "We found that parents of Gen Z often both positively and negatively impact the level of trust this next wave of talent is looking for in their future employers," said Karyn Twaronite, EY global diversity and inclusiveness officer. "The impact of this could be far-reaching, so by understanding these factors, and proactively taking action on them, employers, bosses and teams can help to build trust for the workforce of today as well as tomorrow." The study was based on surveys of 9,859 adults in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S., between ages 19 and 68 who are employed full time. Of those, 1,233 were from the U.S. Thanks for reading....

Sunday, 26 June 2016

YouTube Will Soon Bring Live Broadcasting For All to Its Mobile Apps

Soon, YouTube is going to throw open the gates to live broadcasting inside its mobile apps. The mobile live streaming feature will be baked into the iPhone and Android apps, putting it in direct competition with Twitter-owned Periscope and Facebook Live. The announcement on the YouTube Creator Blog didn't mention a specific launch date. However, the details show a service that is similar to other live platforms, with the ability to allow live chat, make the stream public, and notify subscribers. Google also proclaimed it would have an inherent superiority with its take on livestreaming thanks to its longstanding ability to host most of the world’s online videos. The live broadcast feature is coming first to YouTube’s more popular creators before it’s made available to all, presumably to work out any issues before the masses can partake. Major note: Live video has become very popular, most dramatically this week when U.S. House Democrats used Periscope to live broadcast their sit-in to call for a vote on gun safety legislation. With this capability entering the mainstream, YouTube certainly doesn’t want to be left out while rivals Facebook and Periscope take up all the attention.

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Nine Things We Were Using to Distract Ourselves Before We Had Phones

Most scientists says smartphones are incredibly distracting, even when we’re not using them, and that they’re killing our ability to have high-quality conversations with each other. In other words, smartphones are basically the devil, and before we were glued to our pocket-sized Internet devices, we were all smooth-talking, socially-adept conversation gurus. Or maybe not. But now one thing is sure - the truth is, people have been avoiding long, heart-to-heart conversations with friends, family members, and strangers for a long time now. I’m not saying we’re not distracted by our smartphones (we definitely are), just that smartphones aren’t the first time-wasting distractions to have made their way into our lives. So with that, here you have a few of the things we used to distract ourselves in the pre-smartphone era. 1.Books Before there was Reddit, Buzzfeed, and, of course, any web site at all, people spent their days reading non-Internet material in the form of ink-and-paper books. And sure, you can arguably read more material with a smartphone and a mobile data connection, but phones are bad while books are good. 2.Newspapers One thing you should note is this... Nobody has ever wanted to interact with strangers on public transportation, now while that is in place, the possible way to make it true is just by reading newspapers 3.Music Long before we had smartphones we had portable music players. So in addition to this, nothing says “don’t talk to me” like a pair of headphones. 4.The radio Some how, it’s not like families sat around and talked to each other before smartphones wormed their way into our lives. 5.Television In our own way, we like to think that smartphones are the most distracting invention of the 21st century, but that honor almost certainly goes to television. We literally planned our lives around TV, inventing things like the TV dinner and TV trays. 6.Sports The radio, television, and the Internet all play into one of the biggest (and oldest) distractions of all time: Sports. So with that, it doesn’t matter how you’re watching a sports match, or listening to one, or following one Twitter. You’re almost certainly not paying much attention to the people you’re with or having meaningful conversations with your loved ones. 7.Smoking Before smartphones and the Internet, most people wasted time at work by taking smoking breaks - Frequent smoking breaks. But as it is smoking has been on the decline since the late 90s... right around the same time technology started changing. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe not. 8.Writing letters One thing you should put in mind is this - there have always been ways to communicate with people without actually talking to them. One of such example is, writing letters and notes. A handwritten letter may be more personal than a group text message, but it’s still less personal than an in-person conversation. 9.Solitaire Before there came to be Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Words With Friends… there was good old fashioned Windows Solitaire. Thanks......

The Social Media While Working: The New Normal

Now, an increasing percentage of employees are logging in to Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks during the workday, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. But it's not all for personal reasons; many workers are using social media on the job for work-related purposes, the study found also. "Today's workers incorporate social media into a wide range of activities while on the job," the study's authors wrote. "Some of these activities are explicitly professional or job-related, while others are more personal in nature." So far, the two most popular reasons employees use social media at work are not related to their jobs. Of the employees who use social media in the office, 34 percent do so to take a mental break from their job, and 27 percent use it to connect with family and friends, the study found. Other reasons workers are signing in to social networks are much more related to their job. The study found that 24 percent of the employees who have used social media at work have done so to make or support professional connections, and 20 percent use it to get information that solves problems at work. And in overall, 34 percent of the employees surveyed use social media for work-related purposes. Some of the other popular reasons employees use social media at work include the following: to learn more about co-workers, to build personal relationships with colleagues and to ask people outside their organizations work-related questions. Okay... using social networks to learn more about co-workers does come with a downside, however. The research showed that 16 percent of workers have found information on social media that has lowered their professional opinion of a colleague. On the flip side, 14 percent have discovered information that has improved their perception of a colleague. "The transparency that social media facilitates comes with costs as well as benefits," the study's authors wrote. Presently, Facebook is the most popular social network for employees. The study found that 19 percent of workers have used Facebook for a work-related purpose, whereas 14 percent have turned to LinkedIn for a work-related purpose and just 3 percent have used Twitter for work. The research also found that 9 percent of employees use a social media tool that's provided by their employer. Some workers said that there are many positives to using social media in the office. For example, nearly 80 percent of employees who log on to a social network for work-related purposes believe it is a useful tool for networking or finding new job opportunities, while 71 percent think it is useful for staying in touch with others in their industry. Furthermore, 51 percent think social media helps them get to know their co-workers on a personal basis, while 46 percent said it is useful for finding information they need to do their job. However, employees did say there were some negatives to using social media on the job. "On the other hand, these workers are divided on the utility of social media in other respects, especially when it comes to the impact of social media use on their own job performance," the study's authors wrote. Fifty-six percent of the employees surveyed who use social media for work-related purposes think doing so distracts them from the assignment and projects they need to do. In the end, however, some workers think the positives outweigh the negatives. More than half of those surveyed think using social media ultimately helps their job performance, and only 22 percent believe it mostly hurts their job performance. Organizations are recognizing how popular social media is becoming in the workplace, and thus are developing policies surrounding its use. More than fifty percent of the employees surveyed said their employer has a policy about social media use at work. "There is some evidence that workplace policies concerning social media use while on the job may have an effect," the study's authors wrote. The study, which also looked at social media use among all Americans, was based on surveys of 2,003 U.S. residents, 795 of whom were employed on a full- or part-time basis. Thanks for reading...

Young Professionals Need Passion Above Anyone Else to Succeed

Of all the stereotypes about millennial and Generation Z, there's one that does ring true: These younger workers have different professional needs than their older peers. This is trying to say that they must be led and pushed in new ways, said Cherrie Clark, a professor of the practice of management at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management in Tennessee. So if employers don't change the way they manage their younger workers, these employees likely won't feel passionate about their work, which is critical to their success, Clark said. There are no better employees than younger workers when they are passionate about what they're doing, she said in addition. "They work hard," Clark said in a statement. "They work all hours of the day. But if they are not passionate, good luck with that." So now, the key to managing millennials and Generation Z workers is to provide them with lots of feedback, challenges, recognition and mentoring. Clark said younger workers crave feedback because that's what they are used to in the rest of their lives. When they make a post on Facebook, they receive instant feedback; when they write a blog, they can quickly hear what readers thought. They want that same type of response from their bosses, Clark said. "The old model of [the] once-a-year performance review is going away," she said. Giving younger workers special projects will also help keep them engaged, Clark said. "They are looking for challenges and recognition that they are doing a good job," she said. " And with that, if they are passionate about it, they will work around the clock to make it happen." The recognition they receive helps show millennials that they are doing a good job and that their employers have a pathway for them, Clark said. In addition, younger workers want more flexibility on when they work. Today's technology is allowing employees to work outside of the office during times that previously were spent only on personal time. "The lines are blurred," Clark said. "It isn't work-life balance so much for them as it is work-life integration." Clark came to her conclusions about the need to lead younger workers in different ways after studying millennial and Generation Z workers. During her research, she found that younger professionals, because of the way they grew up, bring a different attitude into the workplace than previous generations have. More so than their older counterparts, younger workers enter their careers expecting to quickly move up the ranks, and they are eager to jump ship if they get a better offer. Also, they leave the impression that they have a general lack of respect for experience, Clark said. "It rubs people the wrong way and makes people feel [like] they are entitled," Clark said. Furthermore, during her research, Clark uncovered several reasons why young employees' attitudes about work are different from those of previous generations. One is that they are digital natives who grew up learning to use computers before ever learning to write. This digital expertise has many younger workers feeling like they know more than many of their bosses who aren't as technologically savvy, Clark said. "So in that reasoning, they bring in a power and that diminishes the authority in some ways of the traditional boss," she said. "That creates a different dynamic than has been the case in the past." Another reason for their different approach to their work is that they grew up in very turbulent economic times, Clark said. Seeing the massive number of layoffs that came during the economic downturn had a massive impact on how millennials and Generation Z workers view employers, she said. "Now, the Great Recession devastated this notion of loyalty from employers," Clark said. So with that, the key for younger workers is to find a balance between working on their own personal goals and making their bosses' and co-workers' jobs easier, Clark said. "There is a way to do that where it is clear that you are adding value and not just claiming value," she said finally.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Android TV's Universal Search Feature At Last Works With Netflix

Android TV’s helpful search feature at present digs into the Netflix vault to find what you’re looking for. Search is always at the heart of Google-built products, so the inability to apply that to Netflix stood out, especially since similar search capabilities worked with Netflix on Apple TV and Roku devices. Now, if you are looking for your next @Netflix binge? It just got easier on #AndroidTV, with universal search. pic.twitter.com/oh3HzIOoTs — Android (@Android) June 23, 2016 Google’s screenshots shows some lights that you’ll see a card with details about the show and the ability to launch it inside of the Netflix app. It appears this could be a server-side switch, since there’s no update at this time for the Netflix Android TV app. The major note: So far, Android TV is Google’s lesser-known effort to win over your television. Google’s hardware went in two different directions: the Chromecast has been a successful seller and spurred a second iteration, while the company recently killed off its Nexus Player. Now the plan on the motion is to focus on third-party hardware like the Nvidia Shield and companies like Sony that are building Android TV into their televisions.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

How Much Do You Spend to Go to Work?

Going to work every day is not a cheap endeavor. Now, new research from CareerBuilder discovered that, on average, employees spend more than $3,300 a year on everything that goes into getting ready for, going to and being at work every day. Further on this, the study examined the costs of driving, taking public transportation, eating lunch, drinking coffee and buying work clothes, as well as expenses related to child and pet care as a way for employees to get a better handle on how to budget their paychecks. "The cost of work is often what the rest of your budget is centered around," Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement. Among the expenses employees have on a weekly or monthly basis are: 1.Driving: The research found that about 47 percent of those who drive to work spend between $10 and $25 on gas each week, with 30 percent spending between $25 and $50. 2.Public transportation: Nearly half of those who take a bus or train to work spend more than $25 each week to do so. 3.Lunch: While more than 70 percent of workers pack a lunch each day, half of those who don't spend an average of $25 a week to eat out. 4.Coffee: Upto 50 percent of the employees surveyed buy coffee during the workweek. Of those, 71 percent spend less than $10 a week, with 25 percent spending between $10 and $25. 5.Day care: Closely to 30 percent of working parents with kids under age 18 living at home spend money on child care. Of those, more than one-third spend $500 or more on day care each month. 6.Pet care: In this area, nearly 60 percent of the workers surveyed have pets. More than half of those spend less than $10 per week on pet care, with 33 percent spending between $10 and $25. 7.Apparel: So far upto half of employees surveyed spend less than $250 a year on clothing, shoes and accessories for work, with 35 percent spending between $250 and $749. Just 5 percent spend between $1,000 and $2,000, and only 2 percent spend more than $2,000 annually on work attire. Now, by having a better understanding of how much they are spending on going to work, it stands as a tool that can help employees trim costs and make different lifestyle choices if needed, Haefner said. "You can vow to carry lunch to work every day, stop buying coffee out, look for cheaper business clothes," she said. "Regarding that managing those costs can help account for others, like commuting and child care, which won’t subside." Furthermore, to those who already have a job, those looking for work also have mounting costs. More than one-quarter of employees said the last time they looked for a job they spent at least $200 on a variety of items, including clothing, transportation, printing, travel, networking events, computer hardware and software and recruiters. This study was based on surveys of 3,031 full-time employees over age 18. Thanks for reading......

The Next-Generation CEOs: Preparing Young Workers to Lead

A large number of employers believe their companies will be in good hands when it's time for the next generation of leaders to take over, new research finds. A study from the staffing firm Robert Half has revealed that 85 percent of executives are confident that younger professionals have the ability to become good future leaders of their organizations. Just 13 percent of those surveyed said that workers born between 1978 and 1999 don't possess any management potential. Now, while having all these in place, in order to ensure that they are properly preparing younger workers to take the reins one day, many organizations are offering a wealth of professional development resources. Specifically, 60 percent of employers offer onsite training; 57 percent provide opportunities to attend conferences, seminars and webinars; and 55 percent facilitate mentoring programs. Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, said young employees are a highly educated, ambitious group of workers who gravitate toward jobs that provide meaningful personal and professional growth. "And now, to retain these employees and develop them into next-generation leaders, companies must provide plenty of training and stretch assignments as well as clear paths for career advancement," McDonald said in a statement. So to help employers, Robert Half offers several tips to make sure their organizations are providing the proper level of development opportunities that younger workers desire: (1)Understand what drives them. Young professionals are desiring to work in inclusive and transparent workplaces, with many expecting to climb the ranks quickly. It is important to take advantage of their problem-solving skills, curiosity and confidence. (2).Encourage their growth. Use your time to learn about how younger workers picture their careers in the future. Then, give them tasks to help them move in that direction. (3).Allow them to lead. In this area, you should try to give the younger employees the opportunities to show their ability to lead by putting them in charge of small initiatives. When doing so, you can give them guidance, but be sure you let them set their own strategies. (4).Give them mentors. Besides giving them people they can learn from and confide in, mentors can help young professionals perfect their soft skills such as communication and collaboration. (5).Communicate often. In this present age, younger workers prefer face-to-face interactions with their bosses. So with this regard, to help guide these employees toward becoming future leaders, spend time communicating with them in person. In addition to in-person interaction, young employees also want frequent feedback from their managers, McDonald said. "Even the best performers benefit from consistent coaching," he said. This study was based on surveys of more than 2,200 chief financial officers from companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Thanks

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Five iPhone Apps You Should Use to Manage Your Business Contacts

As it is these days, the days of the Rolodex are over. Your smartphone is now the best tool you have to manage your existing business contacts — and make new ones. But the iPhone has more to offer than a digital address book. It can also save and sort business cards, synchronize your contact lists among all your devices and help you network like a champ. Now, just read on for five iPhone apps that can help you organize your contacts, make new connections and grow your professional network. 1.CamCard (Free) Swapping business cards is a time-tested way to introduce yourself to a new business contact — but now in the age of the smartphone, it's a little old fashioned. Paper cards are easy to lose, and inputting all that contact information into your phone's address book by hand is tedious. So now, with apps like CamCard for iOS, turning a paper card into a digital contact is easy. Just point your iPhone camera at a business card, and snap a photo. The app's text-recognition software will even pull out the key details – including their name, phone number, email, business name and more – and update your address book automatically. 2.Connect Contact Manager (Free) If it occurs that you’ve ever had trouble remembering who’s who in your address book, Connect Contact Manager is a pretty good solution. The core functionality of this iPhone apps is the ability to sort your contacts into customizable categories. For example, you might separate clients from vendors, making your contacts list much easier to browse at a glance. Adding or removing a contact can be done with a couple of quick taps, and you can move contacts from one list to another with a swipe. 3.Power Contacts (Free) Never you settle for your iPhone's stock address book. Other apps offer deeper functionality to help you manage and organize your business contacts. Power Contacts enables you to export contacts to and from desktop contact management applications, including Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Mac Address Book. This app even lets you add a contact based on information included in an email signature with just a few taps. And once you've added a contact, you can send a LinkedIn invite from within the app. Users can also send out mass emails to multiple contacts, add calendar reminders to follow-up with a contact, and view previous communication histories. 4.Intro (Free) Intro for iPhone gives you the ability to connect and network with other business users before you ever meet. All you need to do is to just install the app and register using your LinkedIn or Facebook account. Intro introduces you to new people in your social media networks, and lets you see which of your mutual contacts have connected. You can then review potential contacts and send a connection request with just a few taps. Also, intro can notify you about professional events and social Meetups with people in your network, which can help you make some new connections in your industry. 5.LinkedIn (Free) The granddaddy of networking apps, LinkedIn is essentially Facebook for business. Just the same as Facebook, it has a fully featured iPhone app so you can network on the go. The app provides you with one of the best ways to manage all your business contacts, recruit new talent for your business and stay up to date with influencers in your industry. The mobile app is more than a social networking tool; it's also a way to read up on the latest industry news, join professional groups and scope out competing companies. Finally, with the mobile app, you can do all that plus review new connection invitations and update your own profile. Thanks......

How You Can Find Out If You Have The Latest Android Security Patch

So far, Google has done some serious work of late to be more transparent about its ongoing effort to secure Android. And one practical, visible measure that you can check yourself is the Android security level on any device running Android 6.0 or later. Presently, every month, Google releases a patch that fixes the latest security vulnerabilities. Nexus devices get this immediately, and then it’s up to the other manufacturers to get with the program, approving and releasing the patch for their devices. Now, to find out the situation on your own smartphone or tablet, you should go to Settings > System > About device (this may differ slightly based on your particular phone maker and interface). You’ll see a line that says “Android security patch level.” This will show the specific month and date that Google released the patch, even though you may have received it at a later time. In addition, if you see an earlier month you can always check for updates, but in general you’ll just have to wait. Thanks.

How You Can Get Started With Google Text-to-Speech

Google’s text-to-speech tool is one of those under-the-hood capabilities that makes Android so powerful. It's able to enable apps to speak to you or read content aloud, which opens up lots of different possibilities. Now, lets take for example, it powers Google Play Books’ ability to read and the accessibility features of Google TalkBack. As Google builds in more features and other developers tap into text-to-speech, you’ll definitely want to know what dials to turn. In regard to this, for you to enable Google’s text to speech, go to settings > accessibility > text-to-speech output. Your manufacturer may have its own text-to-speech option, so you can switch over to Google’s here if you will rather use that one. You can also select a different default language and download any of the growing number of languages (29 at last count). Also, you’ll see a speech rate, which controls just how fast or slow your device will speak to you. When you slide the bar to the right, the speech rate will get noticably faster. If your volume is turned up, you’ll get audio feedback and be able to get a better idea at just how fast or slow you want it. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure you get updates. So in order to do this, touch the settings dial and on the next screen check that auto-updates are turned on. You can also force updates over Wi-Fi and send anonymous usage reports so Google can improve the service.

The Major Essential Steps for Improving Your Small Business Cybersecurity

As the world of today is now, hackers have set their sights on small businesses because they often have weaker cybersecurity and can unknowingly serve as entry points to much larger corporations that they may have them as customers. In fact, a staggering 71 percent of cyberattacks occur at organizations with fewer than 100 employees, according to the Small Business Committee. Also, it's challenging for a small business to keep up with the wide range of potential cyberattacks. Small businesses in this regard, often don't know they have become vulnerable to attackers until it's too late. So now. in order to help you navigate this cyberterrain, we have compiled the top tips and best practices from the pros on how to keep your business from falling prey to cybercrime. Control admin access: Research has revealed that unmanaged administrator privileges are some of the biggest IT security threats to an organization. But still, many small businesses still don't take the time to set up the proper access limitations for nonadmin employees, especially when those workers are using their own devices. "Security policies and mechanisms must be put in place for company data access from personal devices," said P.J. Gupta, a mobile security expert and the founder and CEO of iPlum. "Tight control on who has the privileges to run which enterprise apps from which devices helps minimize the risk of data loss or corruption." So finally, Gupta recommended enforcing time-window and location-based fencing for controlling access to sensitive information. Layer your security: So far in this regard, security needs to be an ongoing process and not just a single event, said Marc Malizia, chief technology officer for the managed cloud solutions provider RKON Technologies. The best security consists of a layered approach, he said. So furthermore, in order to secure your operating systems, you should perform ongoing tests for vulnerabilities and penetration by hackers, Malizia advised. He also recommended installing specialized security software to look out for abnormal web traffic, block attempted logins from out-of-the-ordinary locations or unknown devices, and authenticate your online activities in real time by correlating behavioral analysis, device profiling and data feeds from fraud networks. Finally, businesses should layer in application firewalls in front of external-facing web servers to further block malicious traffic, Malizia said. Ask about cyberinsurance: Before now, in the past several years, cyberinsurance policies have become an increasingly popular option for small businesses looking to protect credit card information, customer names and addresses, and other sensitive data stored in online systems. Cyberrisks aren't typically covered under general liability insurance, so it's important to find out which types of coverage are available. "So still in that move, cyberinsurance is not a one-size-fits-all product," said Tim Francis, enterprise cyber lead at Travelers, a provider of cyberinsurance. "It's hard to identify what a 'small' business is when it comes to the world of cyber. Traditional measures, like revenue and number of employees, aren't good indicators of how much [risk] a company has in terms of data breaches. A small company can have very big exposure." Cyberinsurance isn't a necessity for every company, but business owners should speak with their insurance agent about their options. Secure personal devices, but don't overmonitor: When talking on this, allowing employees to use personal devices for work means companies need some kind of monitoring system in place to protect any company data they're accessing. But policies that are too strict or overbearing won't sit well with employees, who may feel that their privacy is being invaded. "Earn the trust of your employees by implementing a privacy policy that only allows monitoring of [work-related functions] on their devices," Gupta said. "Personal communications, contacts, apps and data should be out of bounds for any monitoring application. So you need to avoid rigid policies in blacklisting and blocking apps on the device, and ensure that personal content is not wiped without employee permission." According to security provider Norton by Symantec, employers can take simple noninvasive steps to safeguard their security, such as setting up automatic security updates and requiring employees to regularly change their passwords. However, if a data breach does occur and a personal device needs to be investigated, Francis recommended handling the situation very delicately and getting HR and legal teams involved to ensure that the employee's private data isn't compromised in the process. Have a process in place: Even if occurs that you take precautions, security issues may still arise at your company. So while this is in place, it's important to have a process that all of your employees are familiar with, so that everyone can handle any incidents properly. Andrew Brooks, director of infrastructure reliability at SingleHop, an IT hosting company and service provider, advised considering the following as you think about your company's security process: Minimize the attack surface: It is a good thing that business owners should look at the technologies that power their operation and make every effort to minimize exposure to hackers. They need to always ask the following: Does this need to be online? What happens if it gets hacked, and how can it avoid getting hacked? Install security patches: For the reason that small businesses have a more manageable and contained infrastructure, security patches can be applied quite rapidly. Once security advisories and updates are available for the systems you use, evaluate their relevance to their system, and patch them immediately. Have a backup: Small businesses should have secure off-site backups. Take the time to verify the integrity of the data routinely, so that if and when it's time to restore from the backups, the data is actually usable. Finally, Brooks recommended that small businesses should have a professional security assessment performed at least once a year, if not quarterly. "It's helpful to have an unbiased and different set of eyes to look at the security posture of an organization and its applications," he said. "This is a fairly inexpensive way to get some valuable peace of mind."

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Do's and Don'ts of Writing a Great Business Plan That You Should Know

Now, if it happens to be that you're planning for a road trip across the country, then it's likely that you've researched the routes that best suit your desires for the trip. Perhaps you chose scenic roads with lots of stops along the way, or maybe you decided to take the quickest track. To make it to your destination, you need to know where you're going and how you're getting there. And in that same way, preparing a business plan is just the same. Without a clear, objective proposal, you cannot expect your company to evolve successfully. The plan should serve to guide you throughout the startup process. Brian S. Cohen, an operating partner at Altamont Capital Partners and member of Young Presidents' Organization, a global network of young chief executives, likened the business plan to a road map for the company. "You don't want to go into any situation blind," said Cohen. "You need a map for how you are going to achieve your objectives. The business plan serves that function." Based on advice from our expert sources, here are a few specific do's and don'ts to consider while formulating your plan. Do share your plan — don't keep it to yourself. Now, when talking on this, we will say this.. "If you want your company to succeed, then all employees should understand the business plan's dynamics". It is not a document that you should lock away. "The business plan keeps an organization focused, [and] it needs to be shared," Cohen said. "Too many companies treat it as a confidential document to be kept away from the 'prying eyes' of the rank-and-file employees. I believe the business plan should be shared, discussed and amended where appropriate, through an open loop of feedback and insights." So, the more people who are involved, the more ideas you can circulate around the company, Cohen said. So while that is in place, it is important to consider every worker's input to ensure that the outcome is something that's pleasant to all. Do follow an outline; don't go overboard. In this area, you don't need to have an over-the-top, elaborate document, fancy formatting or flashy decor. However, much like a road map, it must make sense to you as well as to your company's employees. Start your plan, said Cohen, by using a specific outline called SWOT, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. First, create an executive summary, in which you describe in what field you wish to succeed, and how and why you intend on doing so. And then, list your company's strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities for growth, and detail the threats to it that might hinder the achievement of those goals. Do conduct research and don't "wing it." Just the same as with any business project, research is absolutely critical to a solid business plan. "Research is one of the big value-adds of writing a business plan," said Joseph Ferriolo, director of Wise Business Plans. "Research forces companies to learn what they can expect to make and what the industry trends are." So with that, if the research indicates that your idea is viable, then you can proceed by writing down the goods or services you offer, your marketing plan, how much funding you need and your goals. Do put it to use — don't file it away. One thing for sure is that your plan is there for a reason. So you don't need to be afraid to refer to it as much as possible — think of it as checking the map when you've made a wrong turn. There is nothing wrong with using your plan to get back on track or to remain there. "The biggest mistake people make is this: They prepare the document and then put it in a drawer and never look at it again. That's self-defeating," Cohen said. And lastly,you should remember that you should revisit your business plan as your company grows. "Don't just make the business plan and use it for funding - really benchmark your company against it," Ferriolo said. "Reference the plan monthly and quarterly, and revise your research and estimates as you proceed. Being accountable to the vision you set forth will help keep you in line and successful." Editing and updating is always a good idea, too; you can never make too many revisions. Cohen said that a business plan is "a document that is never complete." Templates and resources Here, you have additional templates and resources which are available at the following sites: Bplans.com Entrepreneur.com SCORE.org Thanks......

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Report: LG Is Currently Working On a Phone That Uses Magnetic Resonance Wireless Charging

As it is now, LG may be set to push the envelope again, this time in the world of wireless charging. According to Business Korea, “industry sources” LG has just completed a development of a phone that could be wirelessly charged at a distance of about 7cm from the actual charging pad. It uses a technology that is known as magnetic resonance-based wireless charging. That's not enough distance to use the phone while it charges wirelessly, but it does allow for a lot of different form factors for wirelesss charging stations. Now, by comparison, magnetic induction wireless charging, supports the popularQi standard as well as PMA, requires contact. There aren’t any details as to when such a phone would be launched or if it would come to the U.S. Finally, LG isn’t the only company interested in this technology, as Huawei, Oppo, Meizu, and others are working on other ways to expand their wireless charging capabilities. The feature has proven popular with phones like the Galaxy S7 Edge. Most Android Wear watches are also charged by being placed on a wireless charging cradle. Major note: So far, LG isn’t afraid to try new things, especially considering it put out the first smartphone with swappable modules in the G5. Though it wasn’t the most elegant implementation, and LG would need to really wow buyers with a slick setup in order to convince them it’s time for anotherphone. Thanks........

Facebook Adds SMS to Messenger; And Here's How to Enable It

This time, Facebook wants its Messenger app to be the main hub for all your conversations. The social network announced it on Tuesday that Messenger can now send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android, elevating the feature out of beta. But if you don’t see it yet, it’s rolling out now in the latest update from the Google Play Store. For you to enable this feature, go to Settings, select SMS, and then toggle Default SMS app. Your SMS conversations will be purple to differentiate them from the Facebook conversations. In addition, you can toggle off this setting to switch back over to another SMS app. Facebook also made it konwn that the company doesn’t store or save any of your SMS conversations on its servers. So in regard to this, you do, however, get to use all those stickers, emojis, and location-sharing features that are native to Messenger with your SMS chats ok?. Important note: One major annoyance of over-the-top messaging clients is they often don’t include an option to send an SMS message, which is still a popular way to contact people as it doesn't require your contacts to use the same app or service as you. Now, Messenger solves this pretty well, and could be a worthwhile option if a lot of your contacts use Messenger to stay in contact.

Do You Need a Resume Boost? Then Add Volunteer Experience

Now, if in your own case you are having troubles landing a job, then you need to try talking about your volunteer work on your resume. According to a new study from Deloitte, more than 85 percent of those involved in hiring decisions, either directly or indirectly, believe resumes that include volunteer activities look more impressive. In addition, nearly the same percentage of hiring decision makers said they are willing to overlook negatives when applicant's resume also includes volunteer work. In this regard you need to look for charitable organizations in your community that you want to help. Then, contact them to see if they need your assistance. During your call, explain your specific skills and interests to ensure you will be a good fit for the organization's needs. Furthermore, here are some other things to guide you through. See what your employer suggests. In the world of today, many businesses have established connections with nonprofit organizations that may be a good fit for you. Other companies offer volunteer matching or grant programs for employees who volunteer. See if a co-worker wants to join in. While volunteering on your own is a great step, there may still be an opportunity to make an even bigger impact by getting co-workers involved. Don't think just about the holidays. Regardless of the fact that the holiday season is considered a time for giving, don't limit your volunteering efforts to a couple of months out of the year. There are valuable community service organizations that need help year-round. Given the benefits that employees gain from volunteering, employers should be doing more to connect their current staff members with volunteering opportunities, the Deloitte researchers said. Less than half of those surveyed by Deloitte said their employer offers a volunteer program. Of those who work for an organization that doesn't offer volunteering opportunities, two-thirds said they would take advantage of these opportunities if they existed. "[The] results indicated that corporate volunteer programs may be able to help employees develop stronger professional and leadership skill sets and better prepare employees for leadership roles," Deloitte's researchers wrote. The Deloitte study was based on surveys of 2,506 individuals who are currently employed and either directly or indirectly influence hiring. Thanks....

How to Prevent The 5 Common Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries are things that can happen in any industry, and they can be costly, inconvenient and debilitating to both employees and the company as a whole. Travelers, which provides workers' compensation insurance, analyzed its claims data to find the most common on-the-job accidents and injuries. So in order to provide you with the details, here are the most frequent workplace injuries, according to the company's recent Injury Impact Report: 1.Strains and sprains 2.Cuts or punctures 3.Contusions (bumps and bruises) 4.Inflammation (e.g., tendinitis) 5.Fractures The leading causes of these injuries include material handling (32 percent); slips, trips and falls (16 percent); being struck by or colliding with an object (10 percent); accidents involving tools (7 percent); and traumas occurring over time (4 percent). Now, according to Travelers, it's very important for someone to focus on protection and recovery techniques in the workplace to prevent injuries and minimize their effects if they do occur. "So the most common injuries we see can often be prevented if the proper safety measures are in place, if safety issues are promptly addressed and if leaders continuously emphasize a culture of safety with employees," Woody Dwyer, second vice president of workers' compensation and risk control at Travelers, said in a statement. Furthermore, to help prevent workplace injuries, Travelers recommends that employers hire only the candidates who are truly qualified for the job and who also understands the safety hazards involved. From there, workers should participate in safety programs and training sessions. Leaders should also provide support to employees, ensuring appropriate communication regarding safety measures, Travelers representatives said in addition. If it occurs that an accident or injury does happen, it's important to put your employees on the path to recovery as quickly as possible, Dwyer noted. "And semilarly minor injuries, such as strains or sprains, can substantially impact an employee and as a result slow down a business's operations and productivity," Dwyer said. So in that regard, by supplying the proper equipment and support to your employees, you can help them to recover more quickly. This report was based on the analysis of more than 1.5 million workers' compensation claims filed between 2010 and 2014 by various businesses and industries. Thanks....

Monday, 13 June 2016

How Google Nearby Works, and How to Take Advantage Of It

In so many cases, in order to get two Android devices talking to each other you have to monkey around with Bluetooth, log into some app or another, or tap them together and hope that NFC magically does the rest. It's a hassle. And so, at that point; Google Nearby comes into the picture. This criminally underutilized feature of Android can allow two devices that are in close proximity to "see" each other and exchange data. Neat! But how does it work, and how can you take advantage of it? All that is provided for you below keep on reading.
How Google Nearby Works: Actually, Nearby is a set of APIs that are available to developers to implement in apps. On the user side, there's nothing you need to do other than to install and use apps that happen to implement Nearby. There are virtually no settings to tinker with, either. Nearby is present on all modern Android devices via Google Play Services, which is updated quietly in the background on a regular basis. Nearby uses three different signals to determine when two devices are close enough to connect—Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and audio. The Wi-Fi component doesn't actually connect two devices directly over Wi-Fi, but it does compare the list of Wi-Fi access points each device can see. If the list is close or both devices are on the same access point, that's a good sign they're very close to each other in the real world. Bluetooth contributes by transmitting a special token which can be seen by other devices using Nearby. Finally, and most interestingly, there's the audio component. Nearby allows phones to emit ultrasonic sound which is imperceptible to humans, but is detected by the microphone on other phones and tablets. And in that regard, if two devices can "hear" each other, they're in close proximity. Still in the same move, now you've established that two phones are close to each other. What does that get you? There are two main APIs supported in Nearby, one for general connections and another for messaging. With the connections API, developers can create collaborative lists, enable local multiplayer games, or even pair two devices for a multi-screen gaming experience. The messaging API does what you'd expect, allowing instant real time messaging between two devices. But, Nearby messaging is not encrypted, so you should not use it for sensitive communication. You don't have to do anything during the pairing process, but you'll have to give the OK the first time you access Nearby functionality in an app. When Nearby is active, a notification provides quick access to the Google account options on your phone that let you enable or disable Nearby for each installed app that supports it. And more, Google recently extended Nearby to allow Bluetooth beacons to pop up notifications to apps or web pages. So you might enter a museum, and get a notification linking you to an audio tour. United airlines might link you to free entertainment options while waiting at the gate, and your Chromecast will smooth out the setup process by popping up a notification to tap on instead of requiring you to type in a setup web address. In this case, you don't have to actually do anything besides making sure that your device Bluetooth is enabled. Making Use of Nearby: In order to take Nearby for a spin on your phone, you'll want to grab a few apps that show off the technology. Here are some of the coolest. Trello - This is a project manager and to-do tracker that's organized into "boards." You can create a board for anything you want, and in the overflow menu is an option to share a board via Nearby. You can also scan for other boards that are being shared over Nearby from the main screen in Trello. Pocket Casts - this is one of the most popular podcast players on the Play Store, and it's always been fast to adopt new technology. In the Explore section of Pocket Casts, there's a tab for Nearby. This will allow you to share your podcast subscription list with people around you while they share with you. It's a cool way to swap subscriptions with friends who also use Pocket Casts. Thought - this uses the Nearby messaging API to create conversations in your local area. You can create a profile or just chat anonymously with anyone else running Thought in your immediate vicinity. Radon - This is a super-simple sharing app based on Nearby. Simply find a link you want to share and select Radon from the system sharing menu. The person you're sharing the link with will need to have Radon running, but the app quickly spots the device using Nearby. The link is pushed over and you're done. No logins or typing necessary. Finally, this is just a scratching on the surface of what's possible with Nearby. It's very cool, but you don't see enough apps that support it. Hopefully devs pick up the pace and start building more proximity-based features with Nearby soon. Thanks....

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Looking for Job? - Here Are The 20 Fastest Growing Industries

According to the new data from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., CareerBuilder's labor market analysis arm. with job growth on the rise, those looking for work should have a lot of opportunities to choose from in the coming years. The electronic shopping and translation and interpretation services industries are expected to lead the way in adding jobs over the next five years. Electronic shopping jobs are expected to increase by 32 percent, with the number of translation jobs predicted to grow by 28 percent. Overall, the United States is projected to create about 7.2 million jobs between 2016 and 2021, a 4.6 percent increase. Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said that based on historical trends and the current hiring situation, nearly 1 in 3 industries are projected to add jobs at a rate that exceeds the national average. "The growth will be broad-based, covering everything from IT services and developmental therapies to conservation, investment management, online shopping and sports instruction," Ferguson said in one statement. "Now, when growth extends across a wide variety of industries, it's a good indicator of stability and strength in the labor market." The industries that are projected to add at least 10,000 jobs and experience at least 15 percent growth in employment over the next five years are as follows:
 1.Electronic shopping – 79,919 jobs added; 32 percent increase.

 2.Translation and interpretation services – 10,547 jobs added; 28 percent increase.

 3.Offices of physical, occupation and speech therapists, and audiologists – 92,217 jobs added; 25 percent increase. 

4.Home health care services – 348,424 jobs added; 24 percent increase. 

5.Continuing-care retirement communities – 112,901 jobs added; 24 percent increase. 

6.Telemarketing bureaus – 97,212 jobs added; 20 percent increase. 

7.Marketing consulting services – 57,491 jobs added; 20 percent increase.

 8.Environment, conservation and wildlife organizations – 11,833 jobs added; 19 percent increase.

 9.Computer system design services – 183,682 jobs added; 19 percent increase. 

10.Nail salons – 26,987 jobs added; 19 percent increase. 

11.Portfolio management – 40,740 jobs added; 18 percent increase. 

12.Psychiatric and substance abuse facilities – 21,045 jobs added; 18 percent increase.

 13.Pet care (except veterinary) services – 17,907 jobs added; 18 percent increase.

 14.Employment placement agencies – 49,283 jobs added; 18 percent increase.

 15.Administrative management and general management consulting services – 113,746 jobs added; 18 percent increase. 

16.Grant-making foundations – 10,991 jobs added; 17 percent increase.

 17.Ambulance services – 32,042 jobs added;17 percent increase.

18.Warehouse clubs and supercenters – 250,175 jobs added; 17 percent increase.

 19.Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals – 31,669 jobs added; 16 percent increase.

20.Sports and recreation instruction – 26,238 jobs added; 15 percent increase. The study was based on data from more than 90 national and state employment resources.