Friday, 30 December 2016

The Four Essential Tech Tools for Your HR Department

Technology is essential to running most businesses nowadays, and in the move, few departments can benefit from a tech boost more than human resources. But with the right tools, you can manage, track and engage your employees, all from your mobile device or computer. While that is noted, here are the four types of HR tech tools that businesses of any size can implement for a happier, better organized workforce.
Recruiting software: Just as the name implies, recruiting software helps you streamline the hiring process. You can post job ads, sort and accept applications, manage candidates and more, saving you the hassle of manually tracking everything yourself. For small businesses in particular, you'll want to check out the pricing and features on each solution you consider: Many recruiting programs are geared toward bigger companies with large volumes of applicants, so you may be better served by a less expensive product with fewer capabilities, depending on your hiring needs.
Payroll service: Here, any business with employees knows that payroll processing is an arduous tasks. So to that regard, you should make it easy on yourself (or your bookkeeper) by investing in an online payroll service. This type of solution can help you automatically calculate and keep track of paychecks, deductions, paid time off and other payroll functions. Some even allow you to file and pay payroll taxes and report new hires to the IRS.
Benefits management platform Regading that some payroll services allow you to administer certain benefits like vacation time, a more robust solution can help you manage all employee benefits including PTO, retirement plans, health insurance, workers' compensation and other perks. Chen Amit, CEO of payment solutions company Tipalti, says that one of the best decisions the company made is outsourcing their benefits management. "It gives our business a baseline for standard HR processes, something that at least puts you on par with larger organizations," Amit said. "Then we could focus on where to go from there: adding benefits and perks that go beyond standard dental, health, vision. It also reduces our operational footprint." So while that is taken, you should keep in mind that a benefits management service is not necessarily the same as a professional employer organization (PEO), which operates under a co-employment arrangement. The PEO acts as a legal employer of your workforce, issuing their paychecks and managing benefits and compliance for you. "PEOs can give you access to additional perks, healthcare options and expertise that you wouldn't have managing things on your own," said Jacqueline Breslin, director of human capital services at TriNet. "These benefits also help with hiring as they make working for you more attractive."
Employee engagement tools: Beyond doubt, employee engagement is a high priority for many modern companies. Today's tech tools let you keep your finger on the pulse of your organization's culture, and allow you to gain better insights into what your employees want. "I've seen apps that encourage positive feedback inside the organization, while helping [build] the company culture," said Pablo Brenner, CEO of Collokia, an enterprise collaboration tool. For example now, programs like YouEarnedIt allow people to recognize and reward co-workers when they do a good job or exemplify company values. Other tools, like TINYpulse, allow you to collect anonymous feedback from your team that you can use to improve your culture and operations. Other options for engagement technology includes company intranet platforms like Igloo, Podio and OneWindow Workplace; corporate social networking apps like Yammer, WeVue and Workplace by Facebook; and any of the numerous enterprise collaboration and video conferencing tools are currently available. Ron Yekutiel, CEO and chairman of video platform Kaltura, noted that video tools may be of particular interest to HR departments looking to improve their hiring and training processes. "Whether it's conducting more effective interviews through video, video conferencing in order to bring dispersed teams closer together, [or] onboarding and training ... new and existing employees ... today's on-the-go workforce increasingly prefers video as a means for communication and collaboration," he said.
Choosing a solution: Somehow it may be tempting to choose the highest rated or least expensive software solution, but it's important to do your research and find the tool that's right for your business's needs. You also shouldn't invest in certain solutions just for their own sake: Not every solution is equal, and some simply aren't worth a company's time, said Breslin. "It's important to find solutions to automate tasks that would otherwise eat up valuable time in your day," she said. "However, some tasks should never be automated, such as the handling of complaints or employee conflicts." Along the line, Brenner noted that the tools you choose should be user-friendly and not create any hassle or frustration for your employees. "You wouldn't expect from a millennial to read a manual on how to use a new app, so why should you expect him to read the ... operating manual [for an internal software]?" he said. "All tools should be self-explanatory, or worst case, [make it] extremely easy to access an explanatory video." Regardless of which categories of tools you're looking at, it's critical to seek out solutions that will help you carry your organization into the future. "HR teams that are looking to stay ahead of the curve so you need to should get yourself used to new technologies, such as ... business collaboration systems, while keeping an eye on technologies like AR and VR as they evolve," Yekutiel said. "This will go a long way in attracting today and tomorrow's workforce, and enabling teams across the organization to work effectively and increase productivity." Thanks for reading............

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Five Great 'Starter' Cybersecurity Certifications

If you are looking for a career change in the new year, there's no better time to consider a career in cybersecurity: U.S. businesses and government agencies are spending billions of dollars each year to protect their data and assets from malicious attacks, with Forbes reporting that $170 billion will be spent worldwide by 2020. While the demand for qualified security professionals is increasing, certification is a logical way for you to verify your skills and knowledge, and now, in order to get your resume noticed. Here are five certifications that can help launch your cybersecurity career.
1. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Security Fundamentals: Of the certifications featured in this article, the MTA Security Fundamentals has the highest "entry-level" one of the bunch. Aimed at high school and early college students, as well as those in the workforce who are looking to change careers, the MTA Security Fundamentals recognizes knowledge of core security principles as well as the basics of operating system, network and software security. To achieve certification, you must pass a single exam, which costs $127. To improve your chances of achieving the MTA Security Fundamentals certification, Microsoft recommends that you have some hands-on experience with Windows Server, Windows-based networking, firewalls and other common security products.
2. ISACA CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate: Folks in the security industry know ISACA for such long-running certificates as its Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and similar certifications, all of which grant intermediate to advanced credentials. The CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate is relatively new to the ISACA certification program and was designed to fill the entry-level niche. Geared toward recent post-secondary graduates and those seeking career changes, this certificate covers five cybersecurity-related domains: concepts; architecture principles; network, system, application and data security; incident response; and security of evolving technology. The single exam costs $150, and the certificate doesn't expire or require periodic recertification.
3. CompTIA Security+: Assuming the most well-known entry-level security certification is the Security+, which covers a wide array of security and information assurance topics, including network security, threats and vulnerabilities, access controls, cryptography, risk management principles, and application, host and data security. The certification meets U.S. Department of Defense Directive 8570.01-M requirements — an important item for anyone looking to work in IT security for the federal government — and complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). CompTIA recommends that candidates have two years of relevant experience and achieve the Network+ credential before taking the Security+ exam. At $311, this exam lands roughly midway between least and most expensive, compared to other entry-level certifications. The Security+ leads to such jobs as security administrator, security specialist and network administrator, among others.
4. GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF): GIAC gears the GISF toward system administrators, managers and information security officers who need a solid overview of information assurance principles, defense-in-depth techniques, risk management, security policies, and business continuity and disaster recovery plans. The topics covered on the single GISF exam are similar to those for the CompTIA Security+, but GISF in in it own regard, is considered to be more challenging. GIAC exams in general require test takers to apply knowledge and problem-solving skills, so hands-on experience that has been gained through training or on-the-job experience is recommended. If you take a SANS training course and then sit for the GISF exam, the exam cost alone is $689. Taking the exam without completing training, referred to as a "certification attempt" by GIAC, bumps the exam cost to a whopping $1,249. GIAC includes two practice exams in the certification-attempt package. After achieving the GISF, consider pursuing the GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC), an intermediate-level certification that takes a big step beyond foundational information security concepts.
5. (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP): The (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is one sense the most recognizable and popular security certification today. But (ISC)2 offers several security-related certifications, with the ANSI-accredited SSCP filling the entry-level slot. The SSCP prepares you for such jobs as systems security analyst, network security engineer and security administrator, which typically start at the junior level if you don't already have technical or engineering-related information technology experience. To achieve the SSCP, you must pass a single exam that includes questions that span seven common body of knowledge (CBK) domains: (1) Access Controls, (2) Security Operations and Administration, (3) Risk Identification, Monitoring, and Analysis, (4) Incident Response and Recovery, (5) Cryptography, (6) Network and Communications Security, and (7) Systems and Application Security. To ensure that you have sufficient hands-on security knowledge before taking the exam, (ISC)2 recommends that you attend training courses or conference workshops, participate in webinars, and read white papers and books. The exam costs $250, and (ISC)2 offers a variety of study resources for purchase on its website.
Getting ready for your exams: Regardless of which certification seems like a best fit for you, you should be prepared to devote ample self-study time to the effort. Many test takers prefer to use a top-rated study guide along with some practice tests and flash cards when preparing for a certification exam. If your learning style is more conducive to formal instructor-led training, factor the costs and required time into your plans. Regardless that training costs vary by certification, they typically run from $400 to over $5,000, depending on whether you choose online, virtual classroom or in-classroom delivery.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The first things you are to do with your new Android phone

First of all, there’s a special type of geekish delight that comes with a new Android phone. While it may sound fresh to you, your options for phones are truly better than ever, and so thanks to a new phone from Google and solid updates to other models. It’s also less hassle than ever to switch from the iPhone or an older Android phone. Yet we still have some insider tips to pass along, as you can’t have enough knowledge when it comes to setting up the optimal smartphone experience.
Switch smarter: One shining example here is the Pixel, which comes with a Quick Switch Adapter to help you move everything over. It does an admirable job no matter which platform you’re currently on. So in this regard, I recommend using it if you want to keep your text messages and automatically download your existing apps. As for me, I’ve tried several backup systems, and none of them has performed as well as what Google built here. If your phone is made by another manufacturer, there’s likely to be some additional services or cloud solutions offered as part of your setup. Samsung offers its own cloud and data transfer tools, and there’s always the useless Verizon Cloud. Don’t get sucked into these, as Google’s integration is the way to go. If you start fresh, make sure you sign in with a Google account (or create a new one if you’re starting really fresh) because you’ll need this and a credit card for Play Store purchases. And now, as a part of startup you should also activate fingerprint sign-on (if your phone has one) or at the very least a PIN. Your phone has an incredible amount of personal data that you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Speaking of fingerprints, if you have a Pixel go to Settings > Moves and check out what you can do. You have the ability to swipe on your sensor for notifications as well as other hardware tricks like double-pressing the power button to launch the camera. These tools are essential and are among the first things I think you’ll want to get to know.
Get your Google On: This is Android, so to this regard I believe you’ll want to take advantage of all that built-in Google integration. So on this note, the first stop here is to make sure that Google is listening to you. And to get that done, open the Google app, then go to Settings, then Voice. Then choose OK Google detection so you can say, “OK Google” to perform a voice inquiry. If you have a Pixel, there’s an extra treat waiting for you with the Google Assistant. That’s because Google’s artificial intelligence powers are ready to answer numerous natural language questions and control smart home products. If you have another phone, you can still get some of the Assistant’s smarts inside of the Allo messaging app. But in any case, the real power won’t be realized until it becomes widely available on other phones outside of the Pixel. Also, you’ll want to explore the service formerly known as Google Now on Tap. When you hold the home button, Google will scan what is showing on our phone's display and offer you contextual searches. It’s slowly improved over time to where it's a pretty handy aide. Finally on this note, I use it primarily when I’m reading an article and would like to know more about the topic or want to quickly get a read on a restaurant or another venue a friend is talking about in a text message.
Pick the right app: Here, two of the most important things you should do with your smartphone is to use it for photography and communication. So you should select the default apps and set up any cloud backup so you don’t skip a beat when using these tools. Google’s Messenger app is a great option for basis SMS testing, and it’s likely to be even more important as carriers adopt RCS Messaging. But when it comes to photo backup, you can’t beat Google Photos. Finally, if you have a Pixel you need to be sure that you use it since you get it free, unlimited backup at full resolution of all pictures you take. But regardless of this, there are still plenty of other choices. So if you backup your images to Dropbox or prefer something like Textra for SMS, then be sure to download those or fire them up if you did an app transfer. Getting those core apps you use numerous times a day is one critical step to take.
Put a case on it: Beyond doubt, it's appealing to going native with your phone. You get to see and feel it as the design team intended, without the extra bulk. However, most people I encounter who subscribe to this philosophy have one thing in common: "a cracked screen" So to this regard, You really need to put a case on it.
Updates galore: At this point, the last thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the world of Android updates, particularly if you’ve switched over from iPhone. If you have a Pixel or perhaps a gently-used Nexus device, you’re in the best possible situation since updates will come directly from Google. And once you unwrap your phone, you’ll have an update waiting thanks to development work that’s gone on since the hardware went on sale. Thanks for reading...........

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

With Cyanogen dead, Google's control over Android is higher than ever

To start with, it wasn’t too long ago when Cyanogen announced its plan to destroy Android. Going back to 2015, Kirt McMaster, then the CEO of the company behind the fledgling fork CyanogenMod, declared in no uncertain terms that Google was the enemy. McMaster told Forbes that Cyanogen’s intention was to fire “a bullet through Google’s head.” But as McMaster would soon find out, it’s not so easy to kill a megacorp. After some missteps and layoffs, Cyanogen announced last week that it was closing up shop, in that sense, bringing an abrupt end to a battle that was never really in doubt. While you digest that, in a late-afternoon blog post on the Friday before Christmas—a news dump clearly designed to make as little noise as possible—Cyanogen announced it was shutting down “all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds ... no later than 12/31/16.” In the two-sentence statement, the company also placated tinkerers by assuring the project and its source code “will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally.” And one more thing is this, "Cyanogen might never have seriously threatened to take control of Android, but the upstart’s shutdown still represents a major victory for Google". As Google showed with the launch of the Pixel, the company is taking steps to ensure no one ever gets close to stealing Android’s soul ever again.
Forks and knives: Cyanogen’s closure in the other sense should not be a surprise to anyone who’s followed the company’s recent news, which reportedly included workforce reductions and a move toward apps. But while Cyanogen the company might have lost a lot of momentum, CyanogenMod the OS still represented Android in its finest form—a true crowd-sourced collaboration that refused to fly under Alphabet’s flag. And for fans who dutifully downloaded the builds of the rogue OS, Friday’s news was an ignominious end. At one time, McMaster’s bold proclamation that Cyanogen was “attempting to take Android away from Google,” didn’t seem too far-fetched. So along the line, Android was gaining market share on the backs of lesser-known phones with slapdash OSes, and the notion that an alternate version of Android could wrest control of Google’s vision was tangibly possible. Cyanogen had just partnered with scrappy hardware startup OnePlus, and even Microsoft, via a Cyanogen partnership, was willing to bet that the modified OS was about to break out of its niche status and become a major player in the smartphone space. In some ways, Cyanogen encapsulated more of the spirit of Google’s mobile OS project than Android itself ever did. As an early offshoot of the mainstream project designed and supported by habitual modders, Cyanogen was in many ways more aligned with the iOS jailbreaking community than Android proper, bringing customization and features far beyond those available in the stock OS. But now, almost as quickly as Android took off, Google began reining it in. By implementing stricter rules for manufacturers to prevent further fragmentation—including licensing of its apps and mandatory inclusion of its search bar widget—Google actively worked to keep deviant versions of Android on the fringes. Nonetheless, CyanogenMod persisted, surviving cease-and-desist orders, takeover rumors and general Google-led consternation. And as the case may be now, it’s all over. Google won, not by waging war with Cyanogen but by doubling down on its own vision, forging partnerships with manufacturers, and working to ensure that Google’s Android remained the world’s Android. And now, with the Pixel's custom launcher and built-in Assistant, Google has made the phone it always envisioned for Android. It feels like the start of a new direction, and with Cyanogen shutting its digital doors, future mods from Google’s closest partners might not stray so far from home.
Future proof: In this area, fans of endless customization can still have fun with Android. In a response to Cyanogen’s sudden announcement, the CyanogenMod team vowed to press on, promising to continue development of the project under the new Lineage OS. It’s a fitting name for what will likely be a distant resemblance of what Cyanogen could have been and very nearly was. But in its failed quest to divorce Android from Google, Cyanogen also illuminated the pitfalls built into the system. Okay, while anyone is free to build a modified version of the OS with their own apps, widgets and launchers, the road to any real mainstream success is fraught with uncertainty. And one word, "that’s how Google wants it". The future of Android is very much back in its hands, and for the first time, it is actively pushing its vision of the OS to the masses. More that clear, the system that runs on top of the Pixel isn’t pure Android either. It’s a custom fork, and no one else can have it. And now that Cyanogen is dead, Google can work to ensure Android stays forever entwined with its DNA, and that a threat to its dominance will never rise up again. Thanks........

Monday, 26 December 2016

Top New Year's Resolutions for Employees

Career-related changes are on most employees' agendas for 2017, new research finds. A study from Spherion Staffing has revealed that more than 60 percent of American workers plan to take big professional big steps, such as finding a new job or launching their own business, or achieve smaller aspirations, like learning a new skill or trying to negotiate a higher salary. "With the new year approaching, it's the perfect time for employees to take a step back and determine if they are truly happy with the trajectory of their careers, and whether they would like to make any changes to improve their present professional situations," Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president, said in a statement. "It's also very important, however, for employers to take notice of employees' priorities for the new year, in order to better meet their expectations and maximize the potential for retention and job happiness." So while all that is noted, money is the major driving factor for those who plan to look for a new employer in 2017. The study found that 56 percent of the employees who covet a new job said a higher salary is their main motivation. So along the line, wanting to try something new and finding a better work-life balance were the other primary reasons employees will be looking for in a new job in 2017. Perhaps not surprisingly, the research also showed that people who plan to stay in their current roles are pretty content with their jobs. More than 70 percent of the employees surveyed who won't be looking for a new job in 2017 said they are happy with their current work arrangement. A location change also could be in the cards for many employees. The study discovered that 40 percent of all workers, and 62 percent of millennials, are interested in moving to a new city for professional reasons next year. And more, the top four cities for workers interested in relocating are on the West Coast: Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Portland, Oregon. For millennials, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are the most popular destinations. While New Year's resolutions often fall by the wayside, many workers believe they will actually follow through on their plans to make changes in 2017. The research revealed that 42 percent of the employees surveyed gave themselves an "A" or "B" grade for their ability to keep New Year's resolutions. In a whole number, young professionals lead the way on following through on their goals for the new year. The study found that 46 percent of millennials have made job- or career-related resolutions more than once over the past five years, with 81 percent of those saying they actually followed through on those plans. Thanks........

Friday, 23 December 2016

How you can track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve from any device

While, the presents are wrapped, the tree is up, and the stockings will soon be hung by the chimney with care. There’s only one thing left to do and that is..... "track Santa’s annual voyage around the world from your PC, smartphone, or tablet". Santa officially begins his annual trek around 10 p.m. UTC on December 24, which is 5 a.m. Eastern/2 a.m. Pacific. And still in the same sense, here’s how to keep tabs on Santa’s 2016 journey.
Norad: It's upto 61 years since a misprinted telephone number in a newspaper ad led children in the Colorado Springs area to call NORAD predecessor CONAD, looking for Santa. As usual, the fun begins at NoradSanta.org, where you can find games, videos, music, and stories to pass the time. Once Santa’s sleigh lifts off from the North Pole, the website will track Santa on a map and link to video updates on YouTube. Windows users have the option of visiting NoradSanta.org directly in their browser or downloading the app from the Windows Store. In addition to this, you’ll also find apps for iOS and Android. If you want to get updates about Santa on social networks, you can follow NORAD’s Santa tracker on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The Googley Old Elf: Now in its fifth year going solo, and Google’s tracking site has been offering peeks at Santa all month with its own version of an Advent Calendar. Leading up to the official Santa tracking on Saturday, Google’s Santa tracking site includes a mix of games, videos, and educational activities using Google services. Here, the site includes a few new items as well as many old classics, like the Elf Jetpack game and coding challenges. But one thing I must admit is that I’m devastated this year as it appears the Santa phone call novelty has disappeared from the lineup. I wrote this on December 22, and it didn't looked good. This was my personal favorite holiday distraction, because it allowed you to send hilarious, Mad Libs-style phone calls from Santa to friends in the U.S. and Canada. I found Santa calls—while deliberately designed to be ridiculous—always brought a special smile to the recipients regardless of age. So on this line, if you don’t want to use Google’s website on your mobile device, the company is offering its annual Android app, which packs Chromecast and Android TV support so you can watch Santa on the big screen. And more, there are also some Android app-exclusive games that you won’t find on the main website, as well as Android Wear and Cardboard support. So in that regard, Chrome users can install Google’s extension to get timely updates without having to navigate to Google’s webpage. Santa tracking’s built right into Google’s search engine, too. Just type in something like “where is Santa” and you’ll see an update at the top of the results page. In addition this, Google is also adding some Santa magic to Google Assistant, the responsive assistant built into the Google Pixel phone, Google’s Allo messenger app, and Google Home. You can ask Google Assistant “Where’s Santa?” or “Track Santa.”. That last command works with Google Now as well. Google Assistant also has some Santa-flavored jokes when you ask the assistant something like “Tell me a Santa joke.” You can keep tabs on Santa using Google Earth (www.gearthblog.com) for a 3D cartographic experience as well. Check out the Google Earth Blog for more details.
Chanukah: Lastly, as to the regard of those who are more interested in Chanukah—this year, St. Nick’s journey is happening on the holiday’s first of eight nights—you can ask Google to spin the Dreidel via search, Google Now, or Google Assistant.
This story, was originally published by PCWorld.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Nine Career-Boosting Habits You Should Adopt in 2017

Everyone as the case may be has little habits at home and at work. Whether it's the time of day when you check your email or how you work with groups, these habits can affect how you work with others and your career. Making minor changes can improve your productivity, your job satisfaction and your overall standing with your colleagues. So while that is in place, here are nine habits you can start forming today to help your career.
1. Learn how to listen:There's a huge difference between truly listening to someone and simply waiting to talk, said Dana Brownlee, founder of Professionalism Matters. Most people tend to do the latter when they're pretending to do the former, but if you make the effort to hear, process and respond thoughtfully, your colleagues will take notice.
Brownlee's advice: "Listen to others as if you'd be quizzed on what they were saying. Listening keenly not only allows you to extract better information, it makes the other person feel heard, which is big in terms of building relationships. That type of skill, if nurtured and developed early, can be invaluable.
2. Solve problems:Regardless of any field field you're in, knowing how to solve problems is useful. It shows your capabilities and willingness to play on a team. Showing those traits early can be beneficial. When it comes to hiring, Jeff Wiss, vice president of corporate marketing at Duo Security, noted one of the most important traits his company looks for in candidates is their ability to solve problems.
Wiss' advice: "In order to be successful in any type of career, it is crucial that you learn to demonstrate the ability to think divergently and bring unique solutions to challenges, even as early as the interview process."
3. Double-check and confirm: One of the biggest causes of workplace conflict is unclear expectations, both on the part of managers and employees. Now in that sense, if one person gives directions in a vague or confusing way, or the other person assumes his or her own interpretation is correct, neither party gets the results and validation it wants. Adam Robinson, co-founder and CEO of hiring tech company Hireology, said that the best way to combat this is to consistently check in about projects to clarify what the other person expects from you (or what you need that person to do).
Robinson's advice: "Accountability and communication are key when it comes to improving your career. In any role, you should confirm the goal and requirements, manage expectations and keep people informed. This will help you get the result you're looking to achieve. By proactively keeping people up to speed, they'll all be aware of what you're working on and see that you are invested in achieving the goal."
4. Say "thank you": One thing here, is that gratitude is a very simple but often overlooked tool for building strong relationships, especially in the workplace. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and making a regular habit of thanking others for their efforts can go a long way, said Deidre Paknad, CEO of collaboration software Workboard.
Paknad's advice: "Work is a team sport and there are no solo victories. While most of us expect recognition and gratitude from our boss, give as much recognition to others as you'd like to receive. And finally be the person who recognizes the wins and actions of others."
5. Seek out quiet: Even when they're not physically in the office, one thing to know is that today's workers are answering emails, taking work calls and completing tasks at all hours of the day and night. The constant influx of notifications and communication can make your mental space awfully noisy, which can hurt your focus at work. That's why Melanie Wells, founder and clinical director of national psychotherapy franchise The Lifeologie Institute, recommends taking a few minutes every day to remove these distractions and reset your mind.
Wells' advice: "Implement a daily period of quiet, of meditation or reflection [to manage] anxiety and stress. Carve out a brief period when you can get rid of the static and clear out the mental clutter so that you can focus and get back in the game. [Spend] 10 minutes in a quiet place with no distractions. You'll feel refreshed and ready to put forth your best work and effort."
6. Manage your time well: In this regard, failing to set and meet deadlines at work not only reflects poorly on you as an employee, but makes everyone on your team look bad as well, said Allen Shayanfekr, CEO and co-founder of real estate crowdfunding platform Sharestates. And so now, the inability to complete a project in time because a meeting ran over, or because you were side-tracked with a task that could have been delegated out, will have a negative impact on your professional growth within a company.
Shayanfekr's advice: "Don't touch anything twice. If a project catches your attention, handle it; don't save it for later. [Also] at the end of the day, plan for tomorrow. Planning … will prevent you from coming in the next day scrambling to figure out priorities, which is a waste of time."
7. Embrace positivity:To start with now, who would you rather have on your team when a project is going poorly: Someone who tries to stay positive and get back on track, or a "Debbie Downer," who constantly laments the situation and blames others? Hireology's Robinson said that negativity is one of the worst habits that hold people back, in life and in their careers. Actively working against your inclination to complain when things get tough can really improve your team morale — and your standing within the organization.
Robinson's advice: "On this line, nobody cares how busy you are, because everyone is busy. This shows a lack of awareness of other people, and ultimately doesn't look good [on you.] Having a positive attitude and not complaining shows that you're level-headed and do well under pressure."
8. Set goals and monitor your progress: Here, goals are a prerequisite to success, Workboard's Paknad said. They're how you define what you're striving for, what success looks like and how your impact is measured. Before you begin your workday, take a moment to write down and review your short- and long-term goals, and any progress you've made on them.
Paknad's advice: "You should make it a habit to set and check your goals every day. When you can describe what you achieved, why it mattered and how much it's worth in real time, your career and résumé will grow by leaps and bounds."
9. Be honest with yourself: At this point, having self-awareness about your strengths and weaknesses can help you to do your very best in your current and future roles. This is especially true of your weaknesses. Wells, of The Lifeologie Institute, noted that taking full inventory of what she's not good at has been much more important than listing what she is good at, standing on the reason that understanding your own skill gaps means you can seek out the right people to complement them.
Wells' advice: "The best thing you can do for your career is to understand your strengths and weaknesses and admit they're real. Let say for example, if you're creative, but disorganized, you will need to find a way to compensate for the fact that organization does not come naturally to you. That may involve a number of different solutions, but the key is that you should never try to be something you're not. No one can fake it forever." Thanks....

There is likely to be more Samsung Galaxy Note7s still in use than LG V20s

While Samsung makes a good number of series of software updates that will effectively brick any remaining Galaxy Note7s in circulation, some new numbers suggest there may be a lot more of them out there than we think. Or perhaps there just aren’t that many LG V20s. Now, Apteligent has released its tally for new Android flagship device launches in the second half of 2016, and the visuals are quite stunning. The most obvious takeaway is that in a normal year a new Samsung Note absolutely blows away its competitors, with a massive spike in sales at launch and a sustained sell-through. This year that initial burst is followed by an equally steep decline as people rushed to return their handsets following a global recall. But in anycase, even though Samsung claims that just 7 percent of Note7s remain in the wild, that number is still higher than the LG V20, which launched in October. In addition to this, we came away mostly impressed with the phone when we tested it last month, but it seems that customers aren’t very interested. Also failing to register with consumers were the OnePlus 3T and the Sprint-exclusive HTC Bolt. Furthermore on this regard, information gleaned from the chart is the impressive sales numbers of the 5.2-inch Sony Xperia XZ, suggesting there is still a sizable market for smaller handsets. And Google’s Pixel phones, while not seeing anywhere near a Note7-style spike, have been steadily increasing sales numbers since their launch. Thanks.........

The 5 Job Skills You'll Need in the Future

First....any career expert will tell you that keeping your professional skills sharp is the key to landing a job. So in that sense, what's in demand today may be old news in a year or two, so it's important to stay on top of your industry's changing needs. Now, whether you're actively searching for a new job or want to "future-proof" your resume for the coming years, here are five skills hiring managers will be looking for in tomorrow's workforce.
1. SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, cloud): At this point, the "digital revolution" of recent years has brought with it a slew of new technology jobs that were unheard of just a decade ago. In the IT and gaming industries in particular, candidates skilled in social, mobile, analytics and cloud — collectively known as SMAC — have been hard to come by, said Santiago Pinedo, chief human resources officer of Etermax, the mobile games company behind Trivia Crack. "New technologies are evolving so fast that it’s becoming almost impossible to keep pace from a talent supply standpoint," Pinedo said. "There will be a shortage of talent in positions such as data science, game analysis, full stack developers or SEM analysts, among others." Aside from training themselves in these highly demanded skills, Pinedo advises candidates to update their resumes to make them as simple, direct and visually attractive as possible. "The ability to be clear and assertive is currently becoming more important than it ever was," he added.
2. Health care IT: Between the Affordable Care Act and new health management technologies, the health care industry is changing faster than ever. And the problem, says Bryan Haardt, CEO of Decisio Health, is that companies in this field tend to focus more on research and development, rather than on improving their basic IT and process improvement. "It's a difficult investment to make because very few people have the clinical experience, systems knowledge, and analytical prowess to make the necessary improvements and changes," Haardt said in a statement. "If you can combine clinical understanding with the skills of a process improvement analyst or data scientist, you'll have a job for a lifetime."
3. Content creation and promotion:Looking at today's social media-centric "selfie culture," everyone is a content creator. Eric Shashoua, CEO of Kiwi for Gmail, said knowing how to market yourself across multiple social networks and digital platforms is becoming an essential job skill, regardless of your industry. This is more true of image-based promotion, as Shashoua says more and more people are now able to take and edit excellent photos very quickly and efficiently. "Now, you really need to be good at taking photos of things and being able to edit them on your own," he said. Right now, Shashoua advised professionals to focus on learning social media managing and marketing, and staying abreast of the new emerging platforms. "Trying to learn how to market yourself on a social, digital medium … is what an online marketer has to be able to do," he added. "And on that note, once they master this, they have a major leg up on everything."
4. Customer support: On this line, Shashoua said that social media isn't just about content promotion: Many companies are now using social platforms for customer service, and support reps who can successfully navigate these digital channels will be in high demand. "Companies can live or die based on their presence on social media," Shashoua said. "You have to be really savvy on social media [with] customer support, because reviews and ratings and positive thoughts [builds on] how you treat your customers."
5. Communication and collaboration: While these skills will always be valuable in any industry, entry-level job seekers pursuing fields like sales and product management should highlight their willingness to communicate and collaborate with others to learn the tricks of the trade, said David Pachter, co-founder of JumpCrew. "So here now, marketing automation and … CRM [customer relationship management] software have leveled the playing field in our industry across people with a variety of experiences," said Pachter, whose company provides sales and marketing solution. "If companies believe your core collaboration, communication and leadership skills will be an asset ... you can qualify for roles that you may not have experience in." Pachter predicts that roles like sales and marketing associates, support operations and product/project management will all continue to see demand rise. "The 100,000 developers and admins who attend DreamForce are creating systems and customizing software for millions of new roles in an interconnected and collaborative workforce," he said.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Viber plays meets up with GIFs and video messages

Lets assume that you needed two free messaging apps on your phone: WhatsApp for free text messages worldwide, and Viber for free voice calls. But over the years those two apps (and many others) have become more and more similar—though with unique features available on each. Okay now, on this line, Viber is upping its chat game with a few new additions that feel more like the messaging app is playing catch-up with the competition rather than breaking new ground.
Video messages The first new feature: recorded video messages. Viber’s new video messages appear inside the text chat window as a small circular video and are limited to 30 seconds each. Similar to WhatsApp’s recorded audio feature, you press and hold Viber’s video chat button while inside a chat screen. Once you let go of the video button your message is automatically sent, or you can slide left to cancel. In addition to this, you should note that Viber’s quick video messages lack audio, however. This means they’re more like extended animated GIFs than anything else.
GIFs and more in chat Now, if we are talking about GIFs, Viber is adding what it calls chat extensions to its messaging feature. This is similar to Facebook Messenger’s ability to add information from third-party services. Viber’s chat extensions let you quickly add animated GIFs from Giphy and information from sites like TheMovieDB and Wikipedia, as well as stickers. To access the new chat extensions feature, tap on the “@” symbol in the text entry area and scroll through the various options. Viber says it will continue to add more third-party services to the extensions feature in the future. Those are the two big new additions to the new Viber. Furthermore, the app is also getting redesigned emoticons that the company says have a “flat, colorful aesthetic.” The Viber update is rolling out now to users on Android and iOS.
This story, "Viber plays catch-up with GIFs and video messages" was originally published by PCWorld.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Google Assistant takes hold of a jolly upgrade for the holidays

Christmas is coming, and at the same time Google Assistant is getting into the holiday spirit. Just in time Santa’s arrival, the fun-loving virtual helper has been given an injection of good tidings in the form of a few seasonal responses. This new upgrade is available across all instances of Google Assistant—Allo, Google Home, and the Pixel phones—the new commands will help you find Santa, have a good laugh or just get a dose of cheer. So in this line, if you ask where Santa is, for example, it will tell you that he’s still chilling at the North Pole. Presumably it will provide a more specific location on the night before Christmas to match the Google Santa Tracker that also springs to life that night. For the meantime, you can ask it to tell you a holiday joke, delivering one of a variety of one-liners when prompted with either “Christmas joke” or “Santa joke.” Many of the puns are St. Nick related, though the occasional quip is more general, such as, “What did the smart phone say on January 1? Appy New Years!” (Insert emoji groan.) For Jewish revelers, Google Assistant will also spin the dreidel on command, returning one of the four results when asked. And if you say “Happy Kwanza,” it will return the greeting and provide a fact about the holiday or wish you a happy lighting of the Kinara.
Major note: In this sense, Google always has lots of fun at the holidays, so it’s no surprise that Google Assistant has gotten into the spirit. But it’s nice to see Google extend it to all Android phones through the Allo app, and not just its newer Pixel and Home devices. Thanks.......

Friday, 16 December 2016

Three Steps Women Can Take to Blaze a Leadership Trail

Right from time till now, gender diversity remains a contentious topic even in the modern workforce, especially in leadership roles. Although women have put in a lot of work to get where they are, many still struggle to be recognized as the smart and equally capable leaders they are. "The gender pay gap, occupational segregation, unequal distribution of household labor and an increasingly apparent lack of political representation are all very real issues," said Katie Ann Rosen Kitchens, co-founder and editor-in-chief at FabFitFun. Now, according to a 2015 Women in the Workplace study, for every 100 women promoted to manager, 130 men are promoted. As a result, fewer women end up on the path of leadership, the report said. "It is my experience that women are held to higher standards than men and need to do more to prove themselves," said Soulaima Gourani, an author and lecturer. "Prejudice can be a contributory factor when fewer women than men take control of their career. Some food for thought is that in 2016, women only make a small percent of the board members in listed companies." "There is a persistent stereotype about a woman's role, and I think that plays into something as high level as the presidency all the way to any woman trying to reach her highest level of career," Rosen Kitchens added. It's important for women to recognize their leadership potential and embrace their unique perspectives and leadership styles. Based on advice from leadership experts, here are three steps that current and aspiring female leaders can take to blaze a trail for career success.
Acknowledge adversity: Here... one true thing is that, overcoming a challenge is satisfying, undeniable proof that you can weather a storm. In this regard, it's important to acknowledge that your career will not always be smooth sailing, said Frances Albán, CEO of Albán Communications. "Adversity really does make you stronger," Albán said. "It builds character and resilience. "The baseline key is to not let your ego interfere with your ability to stay afloat during hard times." The challenges may come in many forms — you may have to take a client or project you feel you have outgrown, learn a new skill or ask someone above you for help. In addition, you should try as much as possible to stay humble and agile, and soon enough, you'll rise above them, Albán said.
Seek mentorship: In this aspect, it's never too late for women to seek mentorship to help boost their career. A study from Development Dimensions International discovered that mentoring helps retain the practical experience and wisdom gained from longer-term employees. So in this line, the exchange of knowledge and experience that informs protégés also helps put mentors in touch with other parts of the organization. Businesses also benefit from their employees' professional development. "I think mentorship is incredibly important," Rosen Kitchens said. "I have made a real effort to learn from leaders in my industry, and it has really helped me grow. I have learned from both their successes and failures. So on this note, this kind of knowledge is real power." Even if you don't have a formal mentor, just having coffee or lunches with people who inspire you can be incredibly helpful, Rosen Kitchens said. "It's so amazing to be able to pick the brains of successful people in your field," she said. "You want to align yourself with people you respect. It will only help you in the long run."
Give it your all: Above every other thing, working hard and recognizing your own talents will yield success. "[Building] a successful career ... is like being an athlete," Gourani said. "Find your talent and see your own potential. Take yourself seriously. Make sure your job is at the right company, at the right level and path." Rosen Kitchens noted that a former boss told her she would never be successful if she tried to make everyone happy. In here own case, it was jarring to hear, so early on in her career, she eventually realized that her boss was encouraging her to take chances. "Don't be afraid to stand out, be fearless and don't just lean forward, but plunge ahead," said Rosen Kitchens. "Playing it safe doesn't lead to real success." Thanks.......

Samsung is to adjust the remaining Galaxy Note7s through software update

Update 12/15/16: Verizon has set aside and for sure have announced that it will be delivering the update in January. This article has been updated to reflect this news. The days are numbered for the last remaining Galaxy Note7 holdouts. In an effort to safeguard any devices that are still in circulation, Samsung announced that it will be pushing out a software update that will prevent charging, effectively bricking the beleaguered handset. In a press release, Samsung said that while it has had “overwhelming participation” in the Note7 U.S. recall program, some 7 percent of devices remain in customers’ hands. Starting Dec. 19 and continuing over the following 30 days, the company will be working with carriers to ensure any outstanding devices are rendered inoperable and returned, though it remains to be seen how smoothly the rollout will go. In one statement released shortly after Samsung’s announcement, Verizon initially said it would not be taking part in the update “because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to..” However, the company has since changed its tune, announcing that the update will indeed be delivered to customers on Jan. 5. Furthermore, CNet reports that all other major carriers are participating in the update, with T-Mobile’s update landing Dec. 27, AT&T’s coming on Jan. 5, and Sprint delivering its update on Jan. 8. The update coincides with a move by Samsung to place “functional limitations” on battery charging, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth in Canada, as well as restrict access to any Canadian cellular network. After Samsung’s own voluntary recall of the device failed to stop the phones from catching fire and exploding, the U.S. government issued an official recall of the Note7 in September to prevent further incidents. And so.... along the line, Samsung has been mum on what caused the issue, but signs point to a case that was too thin for the battery. In addition to all these, Samsung also plans to disseminate updates to the remaining Note7 users in the UK and Australia as it continues to tie up any loose ends. Beginning on Dec, 15, the company says that all UK devices “will receive a new battery software update that will limit the maximum charging capacity to 30 percent,” while Samsung Australia is “working with local telecommunications operators to discontinue Australian network services for Galaxy Note7 devices that are still being used.” The impact on your home: Now, if you are one of the people still clinging to your Galaxy Note7, give it up. This is an issue of safety, and Samsung is doing the right thing to make sure all Note7s are safely returned.

The Five Ways the Job Market May Change in 2017

This year, ( 2016) Hiring dominated, but as things are working out to be now, it's very sure that in 2017, analytics will become a larger part of the human resources department, the gig economy will reach a tipping point and employers will return to more traditional benefits packages, one researcher predicts. After studying the job market over the past year, Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, saw big labor-market trends unfold in 2016, and he expects some of those trends to carry over into the new year. According to Chamberlain, five job trends defined 2016:
1. Increased hiring. The job market turned a corner in 2016, adding nearly 2 million new jobs in the first 11 months of the year. So while this doesn't mean all workers are seeing these gains in the labor market, it is a good sign from a broader perspective. "If one were visiting America from another planet today, they would almost certainly conclude that these are historically good times," Chamberlain wrote in the study. "And when the next inevitable U.S. recession hits, we will surely look back fondly on today's strong and steady labor market."
2. Hiring difficulties. Here in this regard, the thriving job market is good for those looking for work, but it is making it harder for employers to find the right candidates. In April, the U.S. hit an all-time record of 5.8 million unfilled jobs, according to Chamberlain. "Today so far, the ratio of unemployed Americans to open jobs stands at 1.4 to 1, down sharply from 6.6 to 1 during the last recession in July 2009," Chamberlain wrote. "That shrinking pool of job seekers translates into fewer available candidates — leading to today's growing reliance on recruiting from passive, already employed candidates."
3. More tech roles. Without minding the the industry, employers are looking for tech-savvy employees. Over the past year, employers in "old economy" industries — such as health care, finance and retail — started hiring more data scientists, mobile developers and database engineers. "Every company with data is trying to transform itself in some measure into a 'tech' company," Chamberlain wrote.
4. Pay transparency. In 2016, there was a big push from policymakers for more pay transparency. The White House proposed new rules requiring employers to report pay by gender, race and ethnicity, and the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will start requiring publicly traded companies to report the ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay. "Regardless that transparency has been growing online for years, this year we finally saw federal policy starting to catch up with the times," Chamberlain wrote.
5. More money. After seven years of nearly nonexistent pay growth, 2016 started to show some gains in this area. Glassdoor data discovered that the median base pay for U.S. workers was up 3.1 percent in November from a year ago. "That may seem small, but it's enough to double real American living standards about every 50 years," Chamberlain wrote. In overall, the U.S. labor market is at one of its strongest points in decades, according to Chamberlain. "However, technology and automation are changing the way we work forever, creating both opportunities and challenges for 2017 and beyond," he said in a statement. "Okay while that is taking, in this environment, the future of jobs, employer branding and recruiting is top of mind for job seekers, employees and employers." Based on what he saw in the job market over the past year, Chamberlain said there are several trends he expects to be "game changers" in 2017:
1. HR will embrace data science. While data science has become a dominant aspect of most industries, this time around, it will now start to transform how human resources and recruiting operate. So in this regard, Chamberlain predicts that low-cost workforce analytics that provide data on the employee life cycle will allow the HR industry to catch up to other industries already reaping the benefits of data science. "Using data science in HR to make even small improvements in recruiting, hiring and engagement has the potential for huge benefits to organizations," Chamberlain wrote.
2. The gig economy will plateau. While many people expect the gig economy to continue picking up steam in the year ahead, Chamberlain believes that the majority of the workforce is moving to higher-skilled roles that aren't a fit for gig workers. "The fastest-growing jobs today are ones that require human creativity, flexibility, judgment and 'soft skills' like personal relationships — such as health care professionals, data scientists, sales leaders, strategy consultants and product managers," Chamberlain wrote. "Those are exactly the kind of jobs least likely to function well in a 'gig' economy platform."
3. Automation will change jobs. Here, jobs in all industries will start to feel the impact of automation in 2017. While Chamberlain isn't predicting that automation will take jobs away, he does think it will change all jobs in some way. He said the growing reach of mobile devices, cheap data storage and innovations in machine learning will have a big impact on how people work. "Majorly, 2017 looks to be the year when these big advances in automation will start changing the daily work of more Americans," Chamberlain wrote. "The jobs that will be most affected by automation are routine jobs that need to be done the same way and that don't require much flexibility or much creative judgment."
4. Employers will take gender-pay-gap action. In this regard, HR data will enable more employers to start taking action against gender pay gaps, rather than simply talking about it. "Companies are beginning to realize that having a gender pay gap isn't just about avoiding legal liability or negative publicity," Chamberlain wrote. "It's about having a positive employer brand, and attracting values-driven millennial workers for whom gender pay fairness is a core workplace issue."
5. Traditional benefits packages will return. In this regard, employers will move from exotic perks — like free meals, dog-friendly offices, video games and on-site yoga classes — to more traditional benefits, such as great health insurance, 401(k) matches and generous paid time off. Tech companies pioneered the flashy perks, but Chamberlain predicts that, as the industry begins to mature, those organizations will begin reassessing their benefits packages. "We're likely to see large tech employers re-evaluating their benefits packages, more carefully focusing them on core benefits that offer the biggest
bang for the buck in terms of engagement and productivity — rather than splashy headlines about unusual workplace perks," he wrote. Chamberlain predicts that in 2017, it will be critical for employees to find ways to keep up with the technology that is changing today's workplace. Thanks.........

Thursday, 15 December 2016

You can live stream on Twitter without the Periscope app starting from now

Days before now, Twitter has been struggling to regain its identity in the face of acquisition rumors and staff layoffs, but there’s one thing it’s always been great at: instant engagement. Now it's bringing the same in-app connectivity you get with your tweets and timeline to live video. Broadcasts aren’t as a whole new to Twitter. Last year it spent a sizable sum to bring live-video pioneer Periscope into its fold, but the two apps have never been fully integrated. Twitter had previously built a live video button into the compose screen that enables users to begin Periscope broadcasts within the Twitter app, but with the new update rolling out to the Play Store and live in the App Store, users will no longer be required to have both apps installed. In addition to this, as Twitter explains, the experience is now more of a cross-platform one, and for die-hard Periscopers, the level of engagement shouldn’t change. “Once you’re live, anyone on Twitter and Periscope can join your live video and participate in your experience. When you’re watching a live video, comment and send hearts by tapping the screen.” But so far, it’s unclear to us, to say what it means for the standalone Periscope app, especially in light of Twitter’s announcement earlier this year that it was shutting down bite-sized video creation service Vine.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

What Women (in Tech) Want: Some Tips for Employers

One thing to note here is that, women in technology are powerful figures. However, they are in the minority, which makes it difficult for them to develop their talent and collaborate with others. Now, in order to address the concerns of these particular workers, managers must acknowledge the substantial gaps between women in tech and other employees. According to a report by Catalyst, a nonprofit organizationsupporting women's career development, there are two major dissatisfactions women in tech have.
1.Supervisory relationships: Having productive and supportive supervisors is sometimes critical, especially when wanting to retain qualified, hard-working women. But in case, women in tech were less satisfied with their supervisors than any other subgroup of employees when it came to feedback, communication and availability when needed. Also in addition to this, they were also less likely say that their managers were receptive to suggestions and responsive enough to take action.
2.Fairness and voice: Mistrust and unfairness are major concerns, especially on a professional level. So on this note, having the opportunity to have a voice and be heard is crucial to a company's success as a whole. Still, only 49 percent of women in technical roles found management decisions to be "fair"; and only 54 percent of technical women found that management trusted their employees' judgment ― less than that of any other role. Furthermore in this regard, just 59 percent of technical women said their job was evaluated fairly, and 58 percent felt it was safe to speak up in their companies.
So what can managers do to meet the needs of their female workers?
The Catalyst report says that one way companies can address the gender gap is by enhancing supervisory training. In that way, employers will have more knowledge about how to communicate and strengthen relationships between them and their employees, regardless of gender. Training for employees is beneficial to their success, too. "Making a commitment to help new employees with support, mentorship and training during their first six to 12 months on the job will pay off with a more productive and loyal employee," said Steven Ostrowski, director of corporate communications at CompTIA, a nonprofit IT trade association. In addition to this, Ostrowski also said that a diverse company can use existing employees as role models. By encouraging and supporting females in tech, companies can become more successful as a whole. "If everyone within an organization has a similar background – racial, gender, education, etc. – how can they identify with and serve others who don't fit into those categories?" he said. "And finally, beyond simply filling job openings, having a more diverse workforce creates a more diverse culture within the company. That's good for business." Thanks........

Facebook launches standalone Events app for Android users

For the past two months, Facebook Events has been available on the iPhone, but now Android users can get in on the fun. On this line, the social media giant is making good on its promise to bring its planning app to the Play Store, and it looks to be a near-carbon copy of the iOS version. Developed as a way to keep all of your meet-ups in one place, the Events app is sort of a Facebook calendar that lets you see what you’re doing and find things that might be fun. Okay....still on this note, inside the app, you can check out nearby happenings, make plans with your Facebook friends, and import your personal calendar as well, to avoid any scheduling snafus.
Why this is important: One of Facebook’s biggest strength is its promotion of events, and now, this new app is a clear indication that it only intends to strengthen that advantage. As for the calendar aspect, it offers a cool, unique element that ties together only the things that are happening in your feed, so in this regard, you can strip away the fake news and focus on the things you want to do. Thanks.....

The 15 Best Companies for Internships

So far, all college students have heard the spiel: You won't even be considered for a job when you graduate unless you have experience — or, more specifically, an internship — in your field. Of course, the pressure to score with a company only increases with time. "As everyone knows, an internship is essential to college students looking to advance their careers in a chosen industry," Tara McCaffrey, vice president of marketing at Vault, an employer, university and internship ranking site, said in a statement. "In addition to this, companies are looking to recruit top talent before they graduate from the college and are using internships as the best way to assess potential employees. At the same time, college students view internships as the best way to test drive their chosen career path." Once you reach the point where you're ready to apply for a position, you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of research you need to conduct. To ease the process, Vault has released a list of the top internships for 2017:
1.Google
2.Apple
3.Facebook
4.Goldman Sachs
5.Microsoft
6.Tesla Motors
7.J.P. Morgan
8.Nike
9.The Walt Disney Company
10.Morgan Stanley
11.Amazon.com
12.PwC
13.Twitter
14.IBM
15.ESP "When we rank internships, we also rank based on perks and culture," said Jon Minners, marketing manager at Vault. "And along the line, we are seeing more and more that quality of life that matters — just as much as prestige — to many students looking for an internship." Other important factors that respondents considered were pay, location and career advancement, he added.
Internship trends and tips
A lot of notable trends can be found among the internship programs of these prestigious companies. For instance, more than half of the internships turned into full-time jobs. Also, a whopping 98 percent of respondents had paid internships, and two-thirds of the interns were either juniors or seniors in college at the time. There are many ways to search for internships, such as on a laptop or even smartphone, or through campus recruiting. So here, Minners advised students to use college career services, websites like LinkedIn and Vault, company sites, social media and parental guidance when they're seeking these opportunities. Once you have interviews lined up or a first day ahead of you, it's time to impress. Minners said to be prepared, dress properly, stay off the phone, ask questions, be respectful and do as asked. Additionally, it's wise not to be too eager — don't act like you can change the world in one day, or that you're the best person for the job. Finally, just do what you do best and work hard, while enjoying yourself and learning, he said.
Vault's survey consisted of responses from more than 11,000 current and former interns from more than 100 employers.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Google Home improves Chromecast bonds with Netflix and Photos integration

Google Home so far may have only been living with us for a while, but it’s quickly becoming our favorite thing in the house. And now it’s starting to play a little nicer with the other things we love, with Netflix and Google Photos support beginning to roll out to users. First spotted by Android Police, the update brings a new Videos and Photos tab to the Google Home app’s Assistant settings, inside which you will see options for linking your Netflix account and enabling Google Photos. As described in the app, the new features, which require a separate Chromecast and Netflix subscription, will enable users to stream photos to their TV and “play shows and movies by asking your Assistant.” Okay.... as at last week, Google announced that it was opening its Actions on Google platform, allowing developers to tap directly into the digital assistant to bring voice commands for things like food ordering, news, and shopping, as well as enabling two-way conversations with the device. So finally here, we should expect a lot more of these types of useful interactions making their way to Google Home in the coming months.

What Company Financial Data Should You Share With Your Employees?

An increasingly number of employers are no more leaving their staff in the dark on the company's financial performance, new research finds. A study from Robert Half Management Resources showcased that 56 percent of private organizations provide at least some employees with regular updates on the company's financial performance, up from 32 percent in 2012. The research shows that one-quarter of employers share fiscal information with all their workers. "Regardless that it is not a requirement for private companies, providing insights on financial performance instills in employees a sense of ownership, which often leads to improved employee engagement and productivity," Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, said in a statement. And along the line, most of the employers surveyed believe employees want to learn more about how their company is faring financially. The study shows that nearly 60 percent of chief financial officers believe their workers are at least somewhat interested in hearing about their company's financial performance. "Professionals are interested in working for organizations that are open with staff about the health of the business," Hird said. "Discuss opportunities and challenges facing the organization as it grows, and invite ideas to help the firm meet its goals." So now..... while all that is noted, in order to help employers who want to be more upfront about their financial status, Robert Half Management Resources offered these four tips.
1.Decide what to share. Here, you not only have to determine what details you are comfortable sharing, but you also want to know what employees want to hear about. So now, of you are unsure on what and how much info to provide, consider reaching out to peers and consultants to learn what type of insight other companies are giving.
2.Create a schedule. If it happens that you are going to give financial updates, you should do so on a regular basis. Let employees know how often they should expect financial updates. It is important to stick to your schedule, even when you have to share bad news. If you don't hold discussions when the financial performance is down, you risk having employees draw their own conclusions on what is happening with the business.
3.Show them their impact. When you are discussing financial performance, you should make sure that you connect to the dots for employees by showing them how their work is contributing to the company's bottom line. By doing so, you will give them more incentive to better align their work and ideas to the organization's goals.
4.Explain the numbers. It's one good thing to dump a bunch of financial details on your workers, but it's another good thing to actually explain what they all mean. In addition to a formal presentation on the fiscal data, bosses should get prepared to answer any follow-up questions their staff may have. The study was based on surveys of 2,100 CFOs from companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Friday, 9 December 2016

A Serious AirDroid vulnerability exposes users, patch incoming

The popular remote management utility AirDroid has attracted tens of millions of users with the lure of sharing the messages and files on their phones with their PCs, but along line, a severe vulnerability had users scared to use the latest version. So in this regard the company says a fix is on the way. Earlier this month, mobile security firm Zimperium published a report detailing several major vulnerabilities that threaten to hijack your device. The security issue—which existed in previous and current versions of the app, according to Zimperium—is related to “insecure communication channels” that “send the same data used to authenticate the device to their statistics server.” That means someone on the same network could use a simple man-in-the-middle attack to intercept the user’s email address and password associated with AirDroid. In addition to this, the hacker could then download malicious updates to the app that in turn give them full control over the device. While on this note, Zimperium noted at the time that they contacted Sand Studio about the vulnerability back in May and had been in communication with the company through last month’s release of version 4.0. However, the firm advised users to uninstall AirDroid until a fix, now rolling out to the Play Store, was made available. Betty Chen, chief marketing officer at Sand Studio, originally said that the company is “indeed working on the solution and it should be expected to start to roll out within next two weeks.” She attributed the lack of prior action to “miscommunication” between Sand Studio and Zimperium. Chen followed up yesterday by saying AirDroid has “improved our encryption mechanism as planned and fixed the issue regarding the recent concern over AirDroid’s security.”
What it means to your home: In this regard, Android users understands that security vulnerabilities are a fact of life, but generally they originate outside of the Play Store. And one thing, is that AirDroid is a popular utility used by as many as 50 million Android users, and the developers have an obligation to their users to keep the app as safe and secure as possible. Earlier this year, the company quickly patched a similar bug exposed by Check Point, and it’s good to see Sand Studio has moved quickly to fix this new one. Thanks....

Family and Friends Offers a Key Lifeline for Entrepreneurs

In our world of today, small business owners need a lot of support to succeed, whether it's financial, operational or emotional. So in this move, one of the most important sources of that support for many entrepreneurs is their network of friends and family members. Okay.... while that is noted, the bank of America's Small Business Owner Report, based on a semiannual survey of 1,000 small business owners across the country, found that more than half (53 percent) of the respondents rely on family to serve important business roles, like advisers, employees, investors and partners. Furthermore on this line, 38 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed have received a financial gift or loan from family and/or friends at some point to fund their business, and 35 percent said that friends and family help them the most with running their business. "We know small business owners are inherent self-starters making significant personal sacrifices on behalf of their businesses, but what's fascinating is this dimension of family, friends and community that they see as core to their success," Sharon Miller, head of small business at Bank of America, said in one statement. And now, according to the report, here's how small business owners view the support they receive from their personal connections.
Most small business owners who borrow from family or friends feel grateful.
Sixty-six percent of entrepreneurs who used funding from family and/or friends to help with their business said that they feel grateful for that support or appreciate it. Here, respondents reported other emotions related to borrowing from friends and family, including anxiety or pressure to pay it back (30 percent), happy or optimistic (27 percent), and awkward or embarrassed (23 percent). "We didn't see signs of reluctance or payback guilt among the 38 percent of small business owners who said they've received financial support from family or friends for their business. In fact, very few actually said they felt awkward or embarrassed about it," Miller said. Among those surveyed, a vast majority had no regret about asking their loved ones to invest in their business. Miller added, "Perhaps that's because nearly three-quarters intend to pay it back." Owners of newer small businesses – those whose businesses are less than five years old – are not only more optimistic than their more established peers, but they are also more likely to receive financial support from family and friends (34 percent, compared to only 18 percent of both growing and well-established businesses).
Small business owners rely on family for support beyond financing.
Here the first to know is that emotional support can be just as important to a small business owner as financial support. The stresses that come along with building and growing a business can't always be solved with money. Okay while you mark that, fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they rely on family and friends for emotional support. Volunteering and providing business referrals are other nonfinancial ways that friends and family can support a small business owner. "Beyond investments in the business, 13 percent of small business owners say their family or spouse financially supports them with personal expenses such as buying groceries or clothing," Miller said.
Small business owners and local communities rely on each other.
Here according to the survey, nearly two-thirds of small business owners report that residents in their community actively support small business, with nearly 50 percent saying their local community plays an important role in the success of their individual enterprise. So now, in order to show their appreciation, 67 percent of small business owners surveyed reported that they support charitable or nonprofit organizations in their community. "A strong tie to the community and the support of local business is important to many small business owners," Miller said. Thanks........

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Google Drive update makes backups a little easier to manage

Before now, it wasn’t a feature Google advertised all that well, but your Drive has been dutifully keeping backups of the data on your devices since Marshmallow introduced Auto Backup for Apps. Now it is making it easier to find them. A new update to the Google Drive app adds a handy Backups section to the sidebar. So... open it and you can see which of your devices have backups and which apps are being stored within them. From there you’ll be able to delete any unwanted or outdated backups, and keep an eye on how much data is being kept. In addition, the update also delivers easier previews of Excel and other spreadsheet files. And along the line, if you’re not seeing anything in the folder, you’ll need to turn on backups. Head over to your phone's Settings, tap Backup and reset, then Backup, and toggle the Back up to Google Drive switch (your interface might be a bit different depending on your phone model). The update is currently rolling out to devices, so go check the Play Store for the latest version. And as usual, if you’re not seeing the update on your device, you can sideload the Google-signed APK using APKMirror. Thanks.....

Support Your Employees by Building a Family-Friendly Workplace

First, just think about it that if it occurs that as you are prepping for a big presentation at work, you get a call from your child's school saying that he or she is sick and needs to be picked up immediately. Or think about scrambling to find affordable, quality child care for your newborn before your parental leave runs out. Or consider the struggle of holding down a job while you're caring for a parent who is recovering from heart surgery as well as a toddler who needs constant attention. These sorts of conflicts are all too commonplace for people in today's workforce. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the nearly 90 percent of American families with children in 2015, at least one parent was employed. For the working parents in these families, trying to find a balance between work obligations and family demands can be all-consuming and exhausting. So in that regard, more and more workers now look for employers who understand that an individual's personal and the professional life cannot always be distinctly compartmentalized. In fact, according to a 2014 report by The Council of Economic Advisers (a White House agency), a third of employees – including nearly 50 percent of working parents – have turned down a job because it conflicted with their family responsibilities. As more owners in businesses of all sizes have become aware of this development, they have begun to implement a host of family-friendly policies that will help them recruit and retain the best possible employees, according to Sodexo's 2015 Workplace Trends Report. These family-friendly policies are helping to increase employee morale, job satisfaction and productivity while reducing absenteeism and disengagement. "Unsurprisingly, it is extremely difficult to balance work and family life," said Ola Danilina, CEO and founder of the tech PR firm PMBC Group. "If your employees perceive you as understanding, they will be more likely to be more loyal workers, making up for any time they miss for family matters." While family-friendly workplace policies can take many forms, companies need to consider looking beyond the basics if they really want to impress their workers. "In the highly competitive professional job market, you need to pay to play," said Valerie Frederickson, founder and CEO of HR consulting and executive search firm FPL Partners. "Standard, run-of-the-mill benefits such as health, life, dental, vision [and] disability insurance, 401(k) matches and dependent flex-spend accounts are givens, and don't even level the playing field." Employers that are looking to stand out from the crowd may want to examine how to offer some variation of the following innovative, family-friendly options:
Flextime: May be the most coveted benefit for working parents is flextime. This may include job sharing, a compressed work week, shift work, teleworking, remote work or just the freedom to alter work hours when needed. All of these flexible work options empower employees by letting them arrange their work schedules in a way that accommodates their family life and personal needs. At BambooHR, an HR software provider for small- and medium-size businesses, this flexibility is referred to as an "anti-workaholic" policy, according to COO and co-founder Ryan Sanders. "As part of that policy, we offer flexible schedules so our team members can get kids off to school in the morning, make time for a dance recital or school performance or leave a little early to go camping for the weekend. These events in life don't happen often, but they are precious moments that shouldn't be overlooked in the name of work," said Sanders. This desire for flexibility is what led Susan Strayer LaMotte to leave her corporate career to start her own company, exaqueo, a workforce consulting firm and employer brand agency. In describing her current work arrangement, LaMotte said, "We work from a virtual office space, but don't have expectations of set hours. As long as you're available for clients and do your work, you don't have to be in the office set hours. I have one toddler and a baby on the way, and finally am able to have some breathing room and flexibility in my life." Suz O'Donnell, president of the management consulting firm Thrivatize, recommends that business owners periodically review their staff's job descriptions to determine if they can provide greater flexibility than when the positions were originally created. For example, could the amount of travel that's traditionally required for some roles in your organization be reduced through videoconferencing? she said. By reassessing how tasks have been traditionally performed, employers may identify new and creative ways of offering flexibility to workers, O'Donnell said.
Paid family leave: So far, the United States is the only developed country that does not offer paid parental leave, according to The Council of Economic Advisers 2014 report. Currently, only 11 percent of private-sector employers choose to offer any sort of formal paid leave that is geared specifically to meet family needs. Companies that are willing to fill this void can distinguish themselves from the pack. Employers can explore providing a variety of paid, family-related leave options, ranging from adoption and maternity/paternity leave, to medical leave and family leave to care for an elderly parent or a disabled or ill family member. Some companies are even taking parental leave a step further by providing reintegration programs to help ease the transition of new parents as they return to work. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you are doing it fairly, said Danilina: "Be sure to treat your employees ... with the same amount of respect and understanding. Every family functions differently and employees may need to tend to their families to varying degrees." Offering paid paternity leave in addition to the more traditional maternity leave is one way to honor all employees equally, Danilina added.
Child care assistance: Child care assistance at work may come in many forms. It can include providing child care onsite at your business or offering backup child care for days when an employee's regular child care provider is unavailable or school is closed. Employers who can't provide this benefit may be able to help defer the expense of child care by paying a portion of employees' day care fees at an off-site facility. Some employers develop formal partnerships with day care centers in their area, which in turn give top priority to employees' children. This helps employers control costs, while parents are saved from the anxiety of having to deal with waiting lists. At a minimum, employers can provide employees with updated information about local child care facilities and their fees, as well as resources about what to look for and questions to ask when parents are selecting a day care facility. This simple resource provides some guidance to new parents who may not even know how to start this process. Some more progressive employers are introducing infants-at-work policies. Popularized by author and founder of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute Carla Moquin and implemented by some 200 organizations to date, this program enables parents to bring newborns to work until a mutually agreed-upon time — usually the first six months of life or until the baby can crawl, whichever comes first.
Lactation support: Federal and some state laws require that employers provide lactating workers with break times and a private place to pump breast milk during the day (check the United States Breastfeeding Committee for specifics). But regardless of anything else, employers who want to distinguish themselves can set up a designated lactation room with breast pumps, provide breastfeeding education classes during a woman's pregnancy and arrange for the woman to have access to a lactation consultant and other support services after the baby is born. Some employers will even ship a mother's breast milk home when she is traveling for work. Employers who implement these initiatives may find that some new moms return to work sooner, have an easier time transitioning back to the workplace, miss work less often, have higher morale and display greater job productivity. "I have been wowed by the support and encouragement from employees and upper management at our business as I have been breastfeeding for the past year," said Rachel Stephens, SEO and customer behavior analyst at totallypromotional.com. "I take two twenty-minute breaks twice a day to pump at work. The company owner has set aside a comfortable pumping room in our newly renovated office for use by breastfeeding mothers."
Concierge services: Though only offered by 3 percent of employers, according to the 2014 Benefits Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, concierge services are gaining traction, especially among millennials. Concierge benefits can include grocery shopping, running errands, event or vacation planning, meal catering and dry cleaning. These services are especially appealing to parents, because it allows them to hand off tasks that cut into the amount of time they spend with their families at the end of the workday. Employers who can't offer a package of full concierge services can still help employees simplify their lives by creating opportunities during the workday for wellness and personal growth. For example, Kris Best, CFO and HR manager of the advertising agency BVK, explained how his employees don't have time to seek out health care and financial planning services, but want to be educated on these topics. "We bring these programs in-house and allow employees to participate during the workday through fitness sessions, wellness coaching and lunchtime financial education sessions," said Best. "This ensures our employees can make these things a priority in their busy lives. Offering a variety of well-being initiatives and at different times – before work, during the lunch hour and after work – is key."
Family bonding activities: One thing here is that, a genuinely family-friendly workplaces build a sense of community among co-workers by creating opportunities for employees' families to come together in and outside of the office. These fun family events vary, based on the size of the business and the interests of the employees, but they all have the end goal of helping employees feel that they, along with their families, are seen, heard and appreciated by their employers. Stuart Crawford, branch manager of V.I.P. Mortgage, said that events like spirit days, holiday celebrations, sporting events and family outings help employees decompress in his stressful industry. According to Crawford, the company even offers paid volunteer time so employees can support issues that are important to their family. Since all families – and all businesses – are different, no single approach to creating a more family-friendly work environment will fit all. But employers must be willing to listen to workers' individual needs and family situations and work with them to customize a plan that will — within the framework of company policies and procedures — offer as much work/life balance as possible. "Establish an open, honest culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their needs with you," said O'Donnell. "And while that is not done, you will be surprised to see how many employees will look for another job when they need a flexible work arrangement, instead of just asking you. If you have an open culture, they'll be more likely to ask for what they need, and you'll have a greater chance of retaining an experienced employee."