Tuesday, 28 February 2017

If You Are Hiring for Cultural Fit, Here's What You Should Look For

Cultural fit is a fact that can in some extent be hard to define, but everyone knows when it is missing. Imagine a company founder who believes that an open office plan and team projects promote creativity and progress, but whose employees are overwhelming introverts. Or think about the ambitious employee stuck in an organization that offers no training, tuition reimbursement or room for advancement. At its core, cultural fit means that employees' beliefs and behaviors are in alignment with their employer's core values and company culture. "If we learned anything from the so-called 'best practices' of the Industrial Age, we learned that we need to hire people who genuinely care about the people they work with and for and not hire those who show up to work every day just to collect a paycheck," said Mark Babbitt, founder and CEO of YouTern, a company that helps interns with their futures. "Employers simply can’t take a chance on someone who won’t mesh well with the existing team, doesn’t share common goals with their colleagues, and are not aligned with the mission of the company." Many employers understand the importance of hiring for cultural fit, and along the line research shows that people who fit well into their companies express greater job satisfaction, perform better and are more likely to remain with the same organization for a longer period of time. "We can teach someone to do a job, but we can't teach someone to love the way we operate," said Lauren Kolbe, founder of Kolbeco, a brand media agency. "An employee who is not aligned with the culture and is not committed to living it can wreak havoc pretty quickly, even if they bring a great deal of skill and experience to their craft.
Hiring the right candidates: Here, before anything is said..... the first step in hiring for cultural fit is to be able to articulate what values, norms and practices that define your business. As a hiring consultant for small businesses, Rebecca Barnes-Hogg of YOLO Insights asks her clients to list the top three or four behaviors critical for success in their organizations. "These behaviors are their company culture translated to daily operations," Barnes-Hogg said. Once your company culture is defined, it should be clearly expressed in all of your communication materials, including your website and recruiting tools, especially job postings. Your job ads along the line, must reflect your business culture and connect back to your core values, said Ian Cluroe, director of global brand and marketing at Alexander Mann Solutions, which helps organizations around the world attract, engage and retain talent. "You can do this by emphasizing some of the qualitative things you want in a candidate," Cluroe said. "So, in addition to looking for X years of experience, say that you're looking for someone who's innovative, entrepreneurial or customer-centric — whatever characteristics reflect your culture." Any members of your organization involved in interviewing potential employees also must have a good grasp of your business culture and refer back to it throughout the hiring process, Cluroe said in addition. It is not sufficient to ask candidates if they will fit into the corporate culture, because "a smart candidate will know what you want to hear and give you the right answer," he said. "Many companies talk about their culture in glowing terms during the interview," Babbitt said. "In fact, the culture segment of the interview has become a huge portion of the 'sales' process when speaking with top candidates." The best candidates know this and in that are prepared with answers to the most common interview questions that take on the culture topic, Babbitt noted. "Unfortunately, that means both the interview questions and answers are both canned — perhaps even disingenuous," he said. Instead of going down that path, Babbitt suggests taking the time to provide a look at your culture in real time. Walk the candidate around the office. Let them meet key team members. Show them where the real work happens. Then, when you’ve arrived back in the interview room, ask one question: “What were you thinking as we walked through the office today?” "If you get a more specific response rather than a canned answer, then there’s a good chance you’ve found a culture fit," Babbitt said. Furthermore, employers can assess candidates for cultural fit by asking them to take personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and arranging for them to meet with team members from a range of levels across the organization. However, employers should avoid confusing personal similarities with cultural fit, said Pavneet Uppal, a managing partner with the Phoenix office of Fisher & Phillips, a law firm that represents employers in labor and employment matters. "When cultural fit is used to hire a homogenous workforce, the resulting lack of diversity will always manifest in poor creativity and undermine a company's competitiveness," Uppal said. "Focusing on hiring based on shared background or experiences may also lead to discriminatory practices." Refusing to hire someone because of an alleged lack of cultural fit will not save an employer from legal liability. Asking candidates about personal issues — such as age, citizenship status, health, family history or ethnic background — is never justifiable on the basis of cultural fit, Uppal stressed. Looking at the fact the end goal is to identify and hire the very best candidates whose skills and attributes match the organization's core values. Cluroe said this objective is achievable when organizations have a "culture that's based on positive values that are open enough to enable a diverse selection of people to embody them in their own way." "Don’t hire someone who claims to care about their work, career and industry. Hire that too-rare person whose passion has already been proven by their actions," Babbitt said. Thanks.....

Google reveals some things about Play Store discovery, introduces strikethrough discounting

There is a reason why it's called the Play Store. Google’s app store is filled with a veritable cornucopia of games—so many, in fact, it can be hard to find good ones that aren’t from big-name developers like Nintendo or Electronic Arts. But through a series of initiatives announced at the Game Developer Conference, Google is looking to change that. Now, in that sense as the Play store expands and gaming becomes more sophisticated, Google has turned its attention to the little guy. While the biggest games will still get the most visibility, Google has announced that it will begin promoting apps with high-quality gaming experiences and this is going to be based on engagement, not just installs. The search giant has already begun to fine-tune its Play Store algorithms to optimize searches for the amount of time users spend with a game, not just how often it’s downloaded. Google says that while it won’t be discarding volume and rating, it wants to reward game quality, and its moves should help smaller developers reach a larger audience. In addition, Google is going to also let developers offer sales with strikethrough pricing so users can see the extent of the discount. Available immediately in the Google Play Developer Console, the new feature will allow developers to run visible promotions on both paid apps and games. Google had already begun a pilot program utilizing strikethrough pricing, and it says developers saw up to 20 times more installs during their promotions. And lastly on this note, Google will also be introducing a greater level of editorial curation of high quality games. It doesn’t take an expert to realize that a prime position on the main Play Store page will result in more sales, and Google wants to expand that visibility beyond its current method. It will begin rolling out curated pages of hand-selected games in various genres, helping users to discover games they might not otherwise find. In addition to the new Play Store initiatives, Google said that nearly 300 million new users adopted Android devices from emerging markets such as India, Brazil, and Indonesia.
Game continues: You don’t have to be a gamer to know how hard it can be to find new apps in the Play Store. While the announcements here are specifically targeted at gaming developers, the initiatives are useful all across the store, especially the strikethrough pricing. Seeing which apps are on sale and the extent of the discount will surely increase sales, while also making it easier for users to find high-quality apps that will bolster their Android experience. Thanks....

Monday, 27 February 2017

Rudeness at Work Brings About Physical, Mental and Emotional Toll

Being treated poorly in the workplace doesn't just only take a psychological toll; it also can have a physical impact as well, new research finds. So in that line, a study recently published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior discovered that being the constant target of rude behavior at work has far-reaching effects. Specifically, victims of incivility, which, in addition to rude behavior, can include being ignored or being put down, often feel embarrassed and that they don't fit in in their organization. Furthermore on this note, they also suffer from stomach problems, sleeplessness and headaches. Sandy Hershcovis, the study's lead researcher and an associate professor at the University of Calgary, said the negative symptoms of being treated poorly at work can last for as many as three days after the rude behavior occurred. “The most significant finding is that even low-level forms of mistreatment, such as incivility, can embarrass targets, and can also threaten their feelings of belongingness, which in one sense affects both their feeling of job security and their physical well-being," Hershcovis said in a statement. "Moreover, these negative consequences can persist for an average of three days after they occurred." The problems can be even worse when the rude behavior comes from someone in charge. "It's also important to note that incivility is more embarrassing when it comes from someone who is powerful, and that the powerful exacerbate the already negative effects of incivility," Hershcovis said. The research was based on two studies of full-time employees in North America who had experienced this type of rude behavior while at work. The study's authors said their research is further confirmation that employers need to take steps to curb incivility in the workplace. “One of the findings of our study is that incivility may make people question their value to the organization," Hershcovis said. "It's important for management to regularly reinforce people's value to the organization so that when employees inevitably experience incivility, they won’t be as threatened by it." Hershcovis believes those around the office who see rude behavior taking place can play a big role in helping the victims cope with the situation. “Our findings in addition also show that employees are embarrassed when they are treated uncivilly, which implies that they care what witnesses think," she said. "This one sense suggests an important role for witnesses, who can help targets by providing social support that help employees feel less isolated." The study was coauthored by Babatunde Ogunfowora, associate professor at the University of Calgary; Amy Christie, an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada; and Tara Reich, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The study was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Insecure Android apps makes connected cars to be at risk

As the case is now, Android applications that allow millions of car owners to remotely locate and unlock their vehicles are missing security features that could block tampering by hackers. So in this move, researchers from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab took seven of the most popular Android apps that accompany connected cars from various manufacturers and analyzed them from the perspective of a compromised Android device. The apps and manufacturers have not been named. The researchers looked at whether such apps use any of the available countermeasures that would make it hard for attackers to hijack them when the devices they are installed on are infected with malware. Other types of applications, such as banking apps, have such protections. The analysis showcased that none of the tested applications used code obfuscation to make it harder for attackers to reverse engineer them and none of them used code integrity checks to prevent malicious manipulation. Two applications didn’t encrypt the login credentials stored locally and four encrypted only the password. None of the apps checked if the devices they’re running on are rooted, which could indicate that they’re insecure and possibly compromised. Lastly on this note, none of the tested applications used overlay protections to prevent other apps from drawing over their screens. There are malware apps that display fake log-in screens on top of other apps in order to trick users to expose their log-in credentials. While compromising connected car apps might not directly enable theft, it could make it easier for would-be thieves. Most such apps, or the credentials they store, can be used to remotely unlock the vehicle and disable its alarm system. “Also, the risks should not be limited to mere car theft,” the Kaspersky researchers said in a blog post. “Accessing the car and deliberate tampering with its elements may lead to road accidents, injuries, or death.” And now, while manufacturers are rushing to add smart features to cars that are meant to improve the experience for car owners, they tend to focus more on securing the back-end infrastructure and the communications channels. However, the Kaspersky researchers warn that client-side code, such as the accompanying mobile apps, should not be ignored as it’s the easiest target for attackers and most likely the most vulnerable spot. “Being an expensive thing, a car requires an approach to security that is no less meticulous than that of a bank account,” the researchers said. Thanks....

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Get Moving! The Three Ways to Stay Active in the Office

I thinks you know how it goes: According to your Sunday night plan for tackling the week ahead, you'll get up extra early to work out, cook breakfast, pack a healthy lunch and head to work. For sure, come Monday morning, you're hitting the snooze button on the alarm and rushing out the door. Further, you may feel too sluggish to work out, or you might be dealing with ongoing pain. In some cases, it doesn't help that most professionals work desk jobs. According to a 2013 study by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), two-thirds of U.S. office workers experience physical pain on the job with some frequency, and staying seated for long hours is one reason for that. (You can calculate the amount of time you spend sitting each day at JustStand.org.) "Sitting at a desk all day can take a serious toll on your body, and with busy work schedules and full family lives, many office workers don't seek help to prevent or treat their pain until it reaches the point where it interferes with their ability to do their job without the added distraction of constant pain," said Dr. Rob Danoff, an AOA board-certified family physician with Aria Jefferson Health. Now, in one sense.... exercising seems nearly impossible to fit into a hectic schedule, especially one that requires you to sit for most of the day; however, it doesn't have to be complicated. So without going too further here are a few ways you can incorporate movement into your daily routine, even with a desk job.
Take the stairs: A simple switch is to use the stairs as opposed to the elevator. When you are doing so each day, it makes a difference and "will help burn a few extra calories as well get your heart pumping and your blood flowing," according to Brendan Weafer, Workweek Wellness CEO and founder. This is especially true if your work is located on a higher floor in a tall building. However, if it's too much for you to walk the entire way, Weafer advised taking the elevator for part of the way, and then walking whatever distance is comfortable.
Stand up and stretch:In this regard, you should take breaks whenever possible, whether it's to grab a cup of coffee, use the restroom or buy lunch. Instead of emailing or calling a colleague, walk over and speak with him or her in person. For longer conversations, the AOA advises holding a walking meeting. "We often get preoccupied and sucked into our workday trying to get everything done but get reinvigorated by getting up once an hour and moving a little bit," said Weafer. "Even walking to the kitchen and getting a glass of water can be enough to wake you up. It's a two to three-minute break that helps increase your energy levels and even increases your productivity." Finally on this note, according to the AOA, employees should set an alarm on their calendar or phone for every 30 minutes as a reminder to take a break to stretch. Any amount of activity is better than none. If you really want to challenge yourself, Weafer suggests walking one mile during your lunch break. Doing so will keep you energized and upbeat, especially if you can get in some extra sunshine.
Take advantage of your office: Now to start here, for those days you can't catch a break, try simple workouts at your desk. According to Weafer, a desk is a great platform you can use to stretch your shoulders. You can use your desk to do a downward dog stretch and dip stretches. It also provides stability for exercises like calf raises and chair squats. Weafer suggests this particular workout:
Set a timer for 30 seconds.
Go back and forth between performing a chair squat (which entails pretending that you're sitting in your chair and then standing up) and doing a desk dip stretch (Stretching the front side of your shoulder on your desk) for 30 seconds.
Repeat this for 3 to 5 minutes.
"It's an easy workout that can be done at your desk, leaving you feeling looser and energized," Weafer said. Furthermore, if you're serious about squeezing exercise into your workday, be consistent and create a community with a similar, supportive mindset. So on this note, Weafer advised finding someone in your office who understands the importance of taking time out during the day to move, and holding each other accountable for staying active. There are endless ways to burn some calories and get work done while doing so, he said, and it's always more fun with a partner. Thanks a lot......

Instant Tethering allows you to easily share your connection with nearby Android devices

The Wi-Fi tethering feature built into your Android phone is one great feature that shares your connection with devices that might not have cellular capabilities. Now Google is making it a bit easier to get it up and running. So in order to detail you more on this, a new feature called Instant Tethering is currently rolling out as part of the 10.2.91 update to Google Play Services. First reported last month by Android Police, the feature should be live on a select of few phones, namely Nexus and Pixel handsets running Nougat 7.1.1. Phones that can share their data connection include the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P. On the receiving end, the only currently supported tablets are the Nexus 9 and Pixel C tablets running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later. That means that the service could eventually make its way to more devices, possibly as part of Android O.
How Instant Tethering works: Omri Amarilio, an associate product manager at Google, explained Instant Tethering in a post on the Pixel User Community forum: “When you unlock a tablet such as the Pixel C, it will notice if there is no internet connection available, and will ask your Pixel phone if it has internet and battery life. If it does, we will give you an option to enable a secure hotspot and pair automagically, without even taking your phone out of your pocket. When you are done, if you don’t disconnect, we will notice that you stopped using your tablet and we will disconnect the hotspot for you to save your precious battery throughout the day.” Where previous connection required pairing codes, passwords, and several steps to get set up, the new method works similarly to the way automatic Wi-Fi connections work today. The two devices need to be within Bluetooth range and linked to the same Google account to start the connection, but other than that, there aren’t any toggles to flip or passwords to enter. Basically, your tablet will instantly connect to your phone’s hotspot (hence the name) whenever it needs a connection. For you to find the feature, you should head to the Settings app—just don’t look for the option under the Tethering & portable hotspot tab. Instead, scroll down to the Google tab under the Personal heading and tap Instant Tethering. You’ll see two toggles, one for Provide data connection and another for Get data connection (they’ll both be on by default). Below the switches, there will be a list of any available devices that need to use your connection. If your Pixel to Nexus phone or tablet needs a connection, they will appear there, and a pop-up window will ask if you want to connect. Tap Connect and you’ll be on your way. As for my testing, the feature worked flawlessly, and my Internet-challenged phone connected quickly without any fuss. But be warned, as with any portable hot spot, Instant Tethering can use excessive amounts of data and battery life.
What it means to your home: While the requirements are pretty specific at the moment, Instant Tethering could in one sense be a killer feature down the road. It also could mean that Google is finally serious about Android tablets. Apple introduced a similar feature in iOS 8 called Instant Hotspot designed to tighten the integration between its phones, tablets, and laptops, and here’s hoping Instant Tethering is a step toward creating something similar with Android. Thanks.......

Monday, 13 February 2017

Business and Pleasure: Office Romance Is Becoming More Common

Presently in the world of today, a growing number of employees are no longer keeping their relationships with co-workers strictly business, new research finds. In this regard, a study from CareerBuilder revealed that 41 percent of professionals have dated a co-worker, up from 37 percent last year and the highest percentage in the past 10 years. Although most of these relationships eventually fizzle out, 30 percent of office romances lead to marriage. On the down side, however, five percent of employees said they left a job because of an office relationship gone bad. Now, along the line, an increasing number of workplace romances are between more than just peers. The study found that 29 percent of employees have dated someone in a higher position than them, up from 23 percent a year ago. It's not just higher ups throughout an organization employees have dated, 15 percent of those surveyed have dated their direct boss. Okay.....while that is notes, dating someone higher on the corporate ladder isn't the only romantic risk some employees take. The research along the line, revealed that 19 percent of office relationships involved at least one person who was married at the time. The number of employees having an office tryst could continue increasing. The study shows that seven percent of employees who haven't yet dated a co-worker currently work with someone they would like to date this year. So far, while the majority of employees feel comfortable making their office romances public, 38 percent of those surveyed had to keep the relationship a secret at work. Keeping those secrets is easier said than done, however. A previous study from CareerBuilder found that 30 percent of those who were in an office romance have run into other colleagues while out with their sweethearts. When caught red-handed, 37 percent pretended they weren't dating, while 63 percent admitted to the relationship. And in addition, past research discovered many office affairs blossom when employees are off the clock. Of those who have dated a co-worker, 12 percent said their workplace romances began after a late night on the job and 10 percent said they started after a happy hour. Furthermore on this, 10 percent said it started after a chance meeting outside of work and nine percent after a lunch outing. Not all workplace relationships involve romantic sparks, however. The research discovered that eight percent of employees play it safe by having a platonic office "husband" or "wife."
The current study was based on surveys of 3,411 full-time employees over the age of 18.

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Four Strategies to Build and Track Audience Engagement

Regardless of what kind of industry your business falls under, engaging a targeted audience is critical. Whether it's prospecting for new leads or communicating with previous clients, audience participation keeps your brand fresh in customers' minds. So while that is noted, engagement can mean a lot of different numbers, such as page views, email opens or Twitter interactions. While you don't need to analyze every single metric, you should focus on specific measurements that work toward achieving an established goal. So in that sense, here are the four key things some communication experts have to tell you about digital strategies to help small businesses get started.
1.Know your audience: Audience engagement is a key part of marketing, and with any advertising campaign, you for sure need to understand your target audience. Who follows your brand? Who would you like to follow your brand? "Sometimes your current audience is different from the group you originally wanted to communicate with," explains Chevon Drew, senior communications manager at Race Forward and Color Lines. "A business can manufacture and market baby wipes to parents for five years, experience an increase in sales and attribute it to parents wanting more wipes when it truly could have meant their audience changed from solely parents to parents and the limitless numbers of people now using wipes to remove makeup in the era of Instagram," she said in addition. "That's an example I fabricated, but it illustrates the thinking behind doing less assuming and more surveying."
2.Use engagement to achieve company goals: Based on how big a business is, the marketing and communication departments can be completely separate. But in any case, they should always meet when discussing revenue generation. "It's important to make sure that your audience engagement initiatives align with your company's overall goals," explained Elizabeth Riley Boyer, director of marketing and communications at ThinkCERCA. Along the line she recommends following the OKR framework, which is an acronym used by Google, Intel and other major corporations. OKR stands for company "Objectives" and measurable "Key Results." Each objective should align with a company's mission and values, and each key result identifies a way employees can work together to reach an objective. "For nearly all businesses, you probably have some sort of revenue metric that you're tracking," Riley Boyer added. "At ThinkCERCA, we have some great data on platform usage leading to great student achievement results, which, in turn, leads to increased customer renewals and expansions. So as the case may be my team is currently looking at launching and growing engagement initiatives that support increased platform usage among teachers and students."
Hire an expert: One fact before any other thing here is that, an average day for Drew involves tracking which links receive the most retweets from Twitter and shares on Facebook and analyzing open rates for their organization's email marketing lists. That's why Christina Ochoa, social media strategist and founder of The Social Butterfly Gal, recommends hiring a tailored professional, well versed in the online realm. To best serve her clients, she uses analytics and powerful visuals to market on Instagram. "Digital strategy can be time consuming and overwhelming," she said. "Small business owners should hire someone who knows the digital world, can respond in a timely matter and [be] one [who] isn't afraid to try new things when it comes to strategy or content." However, since social media is accessible to the public, an experienced professional doesn't have to already work in the industry. Their own following and content can show how well (or not) they grab an audience.
Never you be afraid to experiment: As the world is moving fast, digital media is constantly changing. It was only last year that Instagram offered the analytics feature to any business account. Fortunately, it's easy to carry out experiments, because posting a tweet takes a matter of seconds. "Our audience engagement editor is constantly testing subject lines and [the] best times of day to send a tweet," Riley Boyer said. Plus, it's easy to get wrapped up in what a brand should sound like and lose your unique voice. Sounding overly promotional makes content feel less relatable. Especially when a company first starts out, in one sense, you'll need to develop your voice over time. "A large number of people feels social media needs to be so straightforward," Ochoa added. "So now, don't be afraid to be real. That's how people will feel connected to you and want to follow you!"

Google may be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month

First before anything else, take a look at the digital shelves of the Google Play Store and you’re likely to come across a bevy of so-called zombie apps. These apps typically take the form of a knock-off of a popular game or a sloppy utility that doesn’t quite match its description, and they strategically turn up alongside legitimate apps, which makes them hard to spot if you’re not doing a forensic analysis of reviews while you shop. And in that regard it now looks like something is finally being done about them. In a letter uncovered by The Next Web, Google has begun warning some developers that one or more of their apps has been flagged for a lack of an adequate privacy policy, a common problem among these sort of hastily published and subsequently ignored apps. In the message, Google reiterates its policy, which “requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user information.” Such permissions include camera, microphone, account, contacts, or phone access, which requires a transparent disclosure of how user data is handled, according to Google’s requirements. It's unclear of how many letters were sent out, but The Next Web estimates it could affect millions of apps. So far, this is hardly a new policy for Google, but this push could be the start of a tougher new application of it. Now......as Google spells out in its developer guidelines: “If your app collects and transmits personal or sensitive user data unrelated to functionality described prominently in the app’s listing on Google Play or in the app interface, then prior to the collection and transmission, it must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use.” Furthermore, while the lack of a proper privacy policy is most certainly an honest mistake for some developers, it’s just as likely that many will ignore this message and face whatever consequences Google has in store for them. Finally on this note, the email urges developers to update their Play Store listings with a valid privacy policy or remove the offending permissions request from the app. It gives a deadline of March 15 to comply with the request or “administrative action will be taken to limit the visibility of your app, up to and including removal from the Play Store.” Thanks.............

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Find Your Dream Business: Some Ideas to Inspire You

For anyone to start a business it takes, before anything else, a great idea. So on that note, inspiration is everywhere, all around us just waiting to be articulated. Sometimes, that inspiration comes from looking at existing businesses and thinking about how they succeeded where others might have failed. Now....new and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn a lot from other companies, especially those who saw a unique need and filled it with an innovative product or clever service. While you digest that, if you need some serious inspiration for your business ideas, then check out these stories.
Businesses for kids: These companies don't just give children and young adults something fun to do after school or when school's out for the summer. They also help them learn valuable skills, develop their creativity, improve their health and further their education in other ways — keeping parents everywhere happy, too.
Cannabis businesses: The legal cannabis industry is growing so fast as more states adopt both medicinal and recreational cannabis laws. An industry research group projects that cannabis will be worth more than $20 billion in less than 5 years, meaning that now is the time to get in on the ground floor of this fledgling business.
Back-to-school businesses: Back-to-school season isn't all the time easy, but there are plenty of businesses out there that can help make starting a new school year a lot less stressful for students, parents and teachers.
Art businesses: Starting from facilitating new ways to display art in your home or office, to giving artists new mediums to showcase and sell their work, these businesses put the "art" in "startup."
All-natural businesses: Whether you're looking for products or want to start a business that brings it back to basics, you need to check out these inspiring all-natural businesses.
Music businesses: Beyond record labels, major streaming services, equipment retailers and concert venues, there are a lot of ways business and music intersect, and these music businesses are really changing the game.
Sports businesses: Starting from virtual-reality sports platforms and game-footage analysis to family-friendly youth sports programs, these six businesses put a whole new spin on sports, helping coaches, athletes and families do what they love.
Vegan businesses: Fortunately enough for all you vegans out there, more and more stores and brands are dedicated to this animal- and eco-friendly lifestyle, covering everything from food and cosmetics to clothes and accessories.
Green businesses: While a large number of organizations do their part by increasing recycling efforts, sourcing local materials and using energy-efficient equipment, some have taken their eco-friendly efforts to the next level by basing their entire business models on these principles.
Death-related businesses: Starting from afterlife preparations to unique burial methods and memorials, there are more businesses related to death than you might expect, including these seven totally killer businesses that will probably give you the heebie-jeebies.
"Disgusting" businesses: One thing to note here is that successful businesses have one thing in common: They solve a problem for their customers. But some problems are less pleasant than others, and some are downright disgusting.
Breakup businesses: The breakup-inspired businesses know what it's like to get dumped and are taking advantage of it. But you should not worry, unlike your ex, they're not really taking advantage of you.
Wedding businesses: Your wedding day should be flawless, and these services are here to help. To make sure your big day goes off without a hitch, take a look at these businesses that are dedicated to helping couples like you plan the best day ever.
Yoga businesses: One reality, is that staying fit and relaxing are rarely the same thing. One invokes images of pumping iron, the other of lying on the couch. But Yoga harnesses the best of fitness and relaxation to bring you a mind, body, and spirit experience that rejuvenates and strengthens. These businesses help support those goals.
3D printing businesses: What was once looked like a high-tech, futuristic device is now reality; 3D printers are taking the world by storm and allowing users to create real, physical objects from nothing more than a computer representation. These companies have harnessed the power of the 3D printer to create truly amazing businesses.
"Sexy" businesses: What makes for a better business model than catering to one of the world's oldest pastimes? Sex is more than just instinct and reproduction for these companies; it's their business, and the business is booming.
Gaming businesses: If you love gaming, These startups have their sights aimed at the top of the heap when it comes to video games.
Socially repsonsible businesses: If you passionate about social justice AND looking to start your own business, There are some examples of socially responsible businesses that don't just turn a profit, but also give back to the communities around them.
Nonprofit organizations: So many companies are for-profit endeavors, but there are a ton of much-needed services offered by non-profit organizations as well. Often, these seek to support a community or further social projects, but each is unique in its own way.
Delivery businesses: If you are proud of couch potato If you don't want to do any heavy lifting, you need to have some unique delivery services in your life. Don't fret, you'll only have to get up to answer the door!
Beauty businesses: If beauty and cosmetics are the things you are really passionate about, then look no further! There are some companies that can find creative ways to make beauty into booming business; you can too, with the right mix of inspiration, creativity and style.
Fitness businesses: If it happens that you're a health and fitness nut, then get it right that there are some businesses that are just for you. These companies found innovative ways to approach fitness, spreading health and general well-being amongst their customers.
Fashion businesses: Now......if you've got fashion sense and a mind for innovation, you'll fit right in with these entrepreneurs. Thanks........

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

How you can protect your privacy with a VPN on Android

Using a VPN on Android allows you to access content that’s blocked in your region and help maintain your anonymity around the web. There are so many apps that offer VPN services for free and as a paid service, but which of them are worth your time? So far we have tested six of the most popular VPN all-in-one apps (with Speedtest and the speedof.me HTML5 test) on Android to see how they stack up. You can also go your own way and use Android’s built-in VPN tool. With a few tweaks, you can make it a little easier to use, too.
Table of Contents
Why use a VPN?
TunnelBear
Opera VPN
Betternet
Turbo VPN
Hotspot Shield
SuperVPN
Manual VPNs
Why should you use a VPN? A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one major way to funnel all your web traffic through a remote server. This makes it look like you’re in a different location and obscures your real IP address. VPNs encrypt the traffic passing through them, making it harder for anyone else to listen in on your connection, even if you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Since your connection appears to be coming from a different area, you can access geo-restricted services like the BBC. Some of the more popular ones like Netflix and Hulu have gotten serious about blocking VPNs, though. It’s also important to note possible security issues with the VPN providers. They are getting access to all your traffic, after all. Some providers like Hola VPN have had security issues, so you should steer clear. VPNs do add another “hop” to your connection, so increased latency is usually part of the deal. A fast VPN shouldn’t add a perceptible amount of delay, but some free mobile VPNs will make it tough to do things like video calls. Speeds also vary dramatically from one service to the next, but that’s one of the things we’re here to test.
1.TunnelBear: TunnelBear has a cute app and a bear for a mascot. The VPN performance is solid, and there are no ads. It’s a much so pleasant app to use than some other freemium VPNs out there. It has a good selection of servers across the world too. The main drawback is limited data on the free tier. You get 500MB per month, and can earn more by tweeting about the service. If you want unlimited access, TunnelBear costs $4 per month. Be aware, you also need to set up an account to use TunnelBear.
2.Opera VPN: Opera VPN is well designed with a slick material interface and a cool viking mascot. So in this regard, I guess VPN mascots are a thing? Anyway, Opera VPN was one of the faster connections I tested, but there were a few connectivity hiccups. The ads are not particularly intrusive, which is good seeing as there’s no paid tier. There are no limits on Opera VPN aside from a block on Torrents. However, there are only five server locations available right now. Still, it’s free and pretty fast.
3.Betternet: The Betternet app is good enough, but one thing is that, it has some odd design quirks like the full-screen navigation drawer. The ads aren’t too intrusive while the VPN is on, but there are full-screen popups when you open it. The big issue here is poor speeds in my testing. Both tests reported well under a megabit. You also cannot manually select any server locations in the free version. So, if you get a bad server (like I apparently did) you’re out of luck. The paid version of Betternet is $12 per month (which is a lot) for faster speeds, no ads, and more servers. I’d probably pass on this deal.
4.Turbo VPN: The speed of Turbo VPN isn’t exactly “turbo,” but it’s in-line with most other VPN apps on Android. The app is clean and has a rabbit mascot. I like the rabbit, but it also has plenty of full-screen ads. I don’t like those very much. There are only five server locations, which isn’t bad for a free VPN app. The annoying ads make this a less viable option than Opera VPN, though.
5.Hotspot Shield: Hotspot Shield is the fastest VPN we tested so far. In both tests—it wasn’t even close. It has some ads that can get annoying, but not nearly as bad as Turbo VPN. The app itself is easy to use and not too cluttered. Unfortunately, you have very few server locations in the free version. A premium Hotspot Shield account cost $12 per month. Again, that’s rather steep for a VPN on Android. This is actually a license that extends to other platforms like Windows and Mac, though. If you don’t need that, it’s not really worth the cost.
6.SuperVPN: In our testing, SuperVPN wasn’t particularly fast, and the app is in need of some major updates. There are also a ton of ads—more than in any other app we tested. There are only four server locations available in the free version. The paid version costs $5 per month with no ads and faster speeds. However, it requires a separate payment app, which is weird. There are better options.
Manual VPNs: The world of VPNs so far, is larger than what you can get in the Play Store. There are VPN providers that offer services on multiple platforms, and you can use your account information to set up a native VPN connection on Android. It takes a little more legwork, but it can be cheaper and more powerful. In addition, you will always get multiple simultaneous connections, so all your devices can access the VPN at once. Some of the popular general VPN options are Private Internet Access, NordVPN, and KeepSolid. All will provide you with server and account details, which you can add to the Android VPN menu. That’s usually found under “More” in the Connections area of your system settings. Add the details provided by your VPN provider as a new VPN connection; you shouldn’t need to change the default connection type or mess around with the advanced settings. Furthermore, one annoyance here is that you need to create a new VPN connection for each server location. That also means digging into the menu each time you want to toggle it on or off. You can alleviate some of that annoyance by creating a custom quick settings shortcut to your VPNs with Custom Quick Settings or a similar app. In any regard to this, you can decide to do it, using a VPN is good common sense when you’re connecting to networks you can’t completely trust. The privacy boost is desirable in this day and age. As for accessing content, that’ll work sometimes. Thanks.......

Monday, 6 February 2017

Choosing Between Job Offers? The Three Tips for Making a Decision

Whether you're job looking for a job for the first time, between jobs or still employed, one reality is that, choosing the best offer can be a challenge. It's hard to decide which company is the right fit, especially with all the different factors that go into each job offer. Starting from salary and benefits to company culture and career advancement possibilities, there's a lot to consider. Having multiple offers is an enviable position to be in, but it's not so uncommon, either, said Margaret Freel, corporate recruiter at TechSmith, a business and academic software company. "Top talent is a much bigger priority in today's marketplace so it's not at all unusual for high-quality candidates to multiple offers," she said in addition. So now, if you're debating between two or more offers, here are the three tips to help you make your decision.
1. Determine your priorities: What is that thing that matters most to you — location? Job duties? Lifestyle? It's important to consider your priorities and how well each job would accommodate for them. "The most important things to look for in a job offer will depend on where you're at in your life and career," said Kelly Donovan, job search consultant and principal at Kelly Donovan & Associates. "Your top priority could be compensation, or it could be acquiring new skills and experience. You should make sure you understand your current priorities as you evaluate job offers." "It's best to start your job search with a list of what you want in the new job," added Jason Dukes, business coach and founder of Captain's Chair Coaching. "Once you begin to receive offers, you can compare the jobs to your list to see which one best fits your criteria, and then choose." When the offer comes in, you should take time to determine whether it's about money or more than that. You shouldn't solely judge the job on the salary, says Thomas J. Ward, executive director of the Center for Career Development at Adelphi University. This, he said, is a common mistake among job seekers. "You need to be able to pay your bills and sustain your lifestyle, but taking a job purely based on a larger paycheck can set you up for failure and disappointment," Ward said further.
2. Consider the potential workplace: On this note, the company culture and type the of people you work with will affect your day-to-day and long-term job satisfaction. How happy you'll be overall is the single most important factor to consider, said Joanie Spain, career advisor at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music. In addition to this, James Westhoff, director of career services, Husson University, agreed: "Consider the environment and culture of the organization. Is it a place where you can advance, and do you feel like you fit in well? If you are not happy at the organization, salary is not going to matter, and you most likely will not perform to the best of your ability." Moreover, do you have a future at this company? Mish Southgate, career coach and founder, Visibility Careers advised focusing on your future by reflecting on the following areas for each potential employer:
What type of career path can you expect from taking a position there?
Does the company consider the development of their people a priority?
Will you be given opportunities to build on your skills and take on stretch assignments?
"You can determine so many things about how a company both operates and treats their employees, from the interview and offer process. Use your own intuition with things that give you pause for concern; that's an excellent internal barometer to consider in these situations," Freel said. "It's important to not jump to conclusions, though, as well. If there's something you're unsure about, ask questions and see how they answer."
3. Be your own advocate: Here, if the company is putting pressure on you to accept an offer, you should explain to them that you would like more time and the reason why, said Freel. If the company truly values the candidate for that position — as opposed to just wanting to fill the position with whomever they can find — they will allow a reasonable amount of time to make a decision. "If [they don't], then you may have your answer about how they treat quality candidates," she said in addition. Thanks...

Friday, 3 February 2017

Google Photos update tweaks interface to put focus on album and device folders

If it happens that you’re a regular user of Google Photos (and if you’re not, you should be), don’t freak out if things are arranged a little differently when you fire up the app today. A new update that is rolling out to users bringing some interface and layout tweaks, but the most interesting stuff is hidden deep in the code. The visual changes are pretty easy to spot. When you head into the Albums tab, you’ll see more of your photos at a glance. Instead of giant images for the albums you’ve created, there’s a new Photos on device section at the top, which collects the pictures or screenshots you’ve taken with your phone. Under that you’ll find any albums you’ve created, also organized in a row of small boxes. The Photo on device page has also been tweaked to show more on a single screen. But thanks to Android Police’s customary teardown, we have some details on what Google is planning for future updates to Google Photos. The first is a feature known to be auto-stories, which will be added under the Create new menu. Android Police’s educated guess is that the feature will enable you to add custom parameters to Google’s automatic album creation, letting you determine which sets of photos get chosen, based on “location maps, dates, groups of related photos, hashtags, and whatever other clever bits may be appropriate.” Furthermore on this note, it appears as though Google is looking to implement its Nearby feature into Photos. The current incarnation allows developers to create features based on proximity to a specific place, and we can see it in things like the directories that pop up on our phones when we enter a store. Most likely, it would be an easy way to share pictures with the people around us, but the feature could also alert us to picturesque spots or nearby memories that we might have forgotten. Finally, the update should be rolling out to most phones today, but if you’re not seeing it you can sideload the Google-signed APK from APKMirror. Thanks.......

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Smart Ways to Improve Communication for Better Work Relationships

Work relationships are the most important aspect of your career, and one of the most critical is the relationship between a boss and an employee. Tension between you and your direct supervisor can have a devastating impact on your job satisfaction and career trajectory. Sandy Mazur, division president of staffing services provider Spherion, said certain workplace policies — and differing expectations around them — can lead to a disconnected, fractured relationship between employees and their managers. "This year's (Spherion) Emerging Workforce Study found that despite workers' demands for greater flexibility and work-life balance, employers are cutting formal work-life balance programs. Now, when it comes to retention, bosses believe the management climate ... and the company's culture are most important, (but) workers believe financial compensation, benefits and earnings growth are most important for retention." But as the case may be, it's not just policies that can cause a rift between employers and employees. Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, etiquette expert and author of "Don't Burp in the Boardroom: Your Guide to Handling Uncommonly Common Workplace Dilemmas" (Familius, 2014), said that personality clashes, poor management style, and a general lack of respect or understanding can also hurt the relationship between workers and their supervisors. "When employees feel underappreciated, undervalued or dismissed, or oppose the way the boss ... runs the department, it can lead to disconnection and apathy," Oropeza Randall said in one statement. "And in that sense, it's a poison to the workplace.
Improving communication in the workplace: First here, for both employees and leaders, improving relationships begins with addressing the way you communicate with each other. Bill Peppler, managing partner of staffing firm Kavaliro, encouraged employees to address issues with their bosses and co-workers in a professional and respectful manner. "Have a solution to the perceived problem, which can be much more proactive than something that may be set up as a complaining session," Peppler said. Now, for when you do speak with your boss, Oropeza Randall reminded employees to use "I"-focused phrases, instead of "you" or "they," to avoid pointing fingers. For example, "I am concerned that ..." or "I feel this way when ..." can be much more effective and professional-sounding than "They made me feel ...," which tends to sound like you're trying to shift the blame, Oropeza Randall said. "Finally here, be prepared to back up your concerns. Show that you have done what you could to rectify the problem yourself," she added.
Tips for leaders: Solving problems from the top down: To begin here, if an employee has a problem with you or your management style, he or she may not feel comfortable enough to bring it up with you directly — at least not right away. When they do finally approach you about an issue, it's your responsibility to do something about it. "Oftentimes, (bosses) don't know or aren't in touch with issues that employees may experience," Mazur said. "So, once an employee approaches his or her boss to address a concern or an issue, the onus is on the boss to resolve the issue as best as they can." Mazur suggests providing an honest answer, finding a suitable compromise or implementing a change for that employee. It's important to truly listen and be patient and not dismiss it as complaining. The issues they're bringing up to you are usually valid, Oropeza Randall said. She also noted that bosses should make a point to ask their staff for regular feedback. "Don't forget to ask for their opinion once in a while — they are your eyes and ears on the ground, and you can bet that they have a pretty good idea of what's going on. They can help you."
Some tips for employees: What not to say to your colleagues It's not solely the boss's responsibility to fix workplace relationship problems. In addition, according to a DesignTAXI infographic, employees can improve communications by avoiding the following 12 phrases when speaking to bosses and co-workers:
1. That's not my problem: It's so easy to dismiss responsibilities that aren't initially yours or things that aren't "your problem." Be a team player by suggesting your boss speaks to someone else who can better handle the situation.
2. We've always done it that way: History and tradition have their own place, and there is value in experience. However, though you may have good intentions when saying this to a boss or supervisor, you come off as inflexible and stuck in your ways. If you're hard-pressed to understand why you need to change, ask your boss or colleague to explain the benefits of doing it their way.
3. There's nothing I can do: One reality is that, it's frustrating when you've exhausted all possibilities for a problem. Adopting a can-do attitude will help you and your team go a lot further. Instead of saying this, ask your boss for help with other opportunities.
4. This will only take a minute: Tasks rarely take a minute to complete. When you have a demanding colleague, you want to reassure them, but this in one sense can mean rushed or incomplete work. Get back to your co-worker or boss with a more realistic time frame.
5. That makes no sense: One you are to note is that, problem-solving comes with its challenges and can be difficult to decipher at first. Instead of appearing negative, take time to recognize what the person is saying and create a discussion.
6. You're wrong: Now.....if you're passionate about the subject, the phrase can slip out. Your delivery can come off as rude and rattle some cages. Approach the topic more diplomatically by laying out why you disagree and asking for feedback.
7. I'm sorry, but … I want you to note that any apology followed by a "but" immediately negates the apology itself. Next time, take responsibility for the mistake and note you will correct it in the future.
8. I just assumed that … One sense, mistakes are easy to make and stem from miscommunication. Regardless, it's best you don't express assumption. Instead, ask for clarification on what needs to be done.
9. I did my best: In this situation, you're always expected to do your best; however, sometimes it doesn’t meet expectations. Speak with your boss and ask what could be done differently next time.
10. You should have … Pointing out mistakes when you're frustrated is the easy route, but passing the blame to someone else and finding fault within their work is never the best approach. Try to be constructive and instead say, "It didn't work; here's what I recommend next time."
11. I may be wrong, but … One thing here is that, you may have an idea but lack confidence and be worried others will dismiss what you say. Avoid discounting yourself and tell people that you have an idea instead.
12. I haven't had time: There are never enough hours in a day, and conflicting priorities are a concern for most people. You should be proactive and realistic with your timeline: "I can get this done by …" If the issues in your workplace go beyond simply how you speak to one another, the best course of action is to face the problem head-on. Mazur said employees and bosses should aim to develop a strong relationship rooted in mutual trust and respect. "If there's a concerted effort from both parties to invest in and nurture the relationship, then both employees and bosses are more likely to be engaged and in sync with each other's goals, objectives and expectations," she said. "Finally, a solid relationship between boss and employee also pays long-term dividends for the employer. Happy employees tend to be more engaged, motivated and productive." Thanks....

The Four Free Encryption Services to Secure Your Business Communications

Keeping up with cybersecurity is one of the most essential best practice to ensure your business's viability. While modern operating systems generally come with their own hard-drive encryption technology built in, encrypting the data you transmit online can be a bit more difficult. Many entrepreneurs find themselves lacking the technical knowledge, time or money to implement truly effective solutions. But luckily, there are a number of powerful encryption services available that can secure everything from files to phone calls. So without going too far, here are a few of the best free encryption services that can help you easily secure your business operations and data.
1.Signal (mobile messenger): First..."Signal", an open-source private messenger app developed by Open Whisper Systems, enables Android and iPhone users to easily employ end-to-end encryption for free. In addition to this, there is also a Signal add-on for Google Chrome that syncs your secure communications from your mobile device onto your desktop. Signal supports both private messaging and calling with nothing more than an internet connection, meaning it can effectively replace your default communications apps. In any case, users on both ends need to be using Signal and be connected to the internet to take advantage of the app's client-side encryption: 256-bit AES encryption for the content of texts and 128-bit AES-CBC encryption for the content of calls. That means convincing friends and colleagues to install and run the free application as well. A particularly appealing aspect of Signal is that it employs what is known as perfect forward secrecy, a system that generates fresh encryption keys during each individual session. This means Signal is insulated from attacks, compartmentalizing the content of your communications so that it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to intercept in its entirety. Signal also protects against man-in-the-middle attacks: Its SHA-256 hash authentication prevents a would-be thief from establishing a false, disguised server to intercept your communications.
2.ProtonMail (email): ProtonMail is a highly secure, open-source email application designed by MIT and Harvard research students, led by CERN researcher Andy Yen. It features both desktop and mobile applications, and the free model supports 2048-bit and 4096-bit encryption. ProtonMail also supports self-destructing emails, which is able to help you even better cover your digital tracks. In addition, ProtonMail boasts the ability to send encrypted communications to non-ProtonMail users. While ProtonMail is free, it also offers a paid premium service that expands on the basic edition's features. "Email that isn't protected is no more secure than a postcard going through the mail, accessible by anyone while in transit. This is something businesses need to take into account when evaluating their security needs," Dave Wagner, CEO of encryption service provider ZixCorp, told Business News Daily. "End-to-end encryption … protects email in transit but extends security behind the network, preventing any hackers from accessing email if they break through a company’s perimeter." Now, while all that is noted, one major downside of ProtonMail is that there are limits to how much you can do with a free account. Free users only have access to a measly 500MB of storage and can only send up to 150 emails a day. However, if you save ProtonMail for your truly important messages and regularly clean up your inbox, this should be plenty suitable to secure your sensitive communications. Otherwise, upgrading to a premium account might be worth the modest cost of 5 euros per month (ProtonMail is based in Switzerland), or 30 euros per month for the Visionary package. You can also purchase specific add-ons to the free edition, such as additional storage space, for less than the cost of fully upgrading.
3.Hotspot Shield (VPN): Hotspot Shield from AnchorFree is a virtual private network that is more especially useful for employees who are traveling or likely to connect to public Wi-Fi. VPNs work by creating an encrypted "tunnel" between your computer and one of the servers managed by the company. Hotspot Shield covers your major bases with 256-bit AES encryption, securing your personal information on any Wi-Fi connection, changing your IP address to protect against potential snoopers and hackers, and offering an additional layer of malware protection. In addition to these, it also includes a feature that turns the VPN on automatically when you connect to an unsecured wireless network, protecting you while you're out and about. "If you have people out of the office and logging in to (unsecured Wi-Fi), you probably want them using a VPN when connecting back so that traffic cannot be picked up," said Ermis Sfakiyanudis, founder and CEO of B2B technology company Trivalent. Finally on this note, in terms of ease of use, Hotspot Shield is relatively user-friendly, but the interface can take a little while to figure out. Hotspot Shield's major shortcoming is that you need a paid plan to take your pick of the 20 available countries. Otherwise, you'll have to accept being routed through the server of Hotspot Shield's choice. This may not be a big deal, as your activity is still secure, but it is a limitation that users of the free version should put into consideration.
Sync (cloud storage): Protecting your communications and web activity is very important, but if you store your files in the cloud, they'll need to be secured as well. Sync works much like other cloud storage applications you might have used, but it secures your files with end-to-end encryption. Both Windows and Mac users can access Sync, and it is supported on both Apple and Android mobile devices. Best of all, Sync.com is free for up to 5GB of storage. While you might use up that space relatively quickly, a paid business package starts at $5 per user per month for 1TB of secure storage; it also enables you to have a collaborative work with multiple user accounts, all easily managed from an administrative dashboard. Lastly on this note, the downside to Sync is simply that it uses Type 1 encryption, which means the original documents will remain unencrypted on your device unless you take additional steps to secure them. If you don't anticipate an attack on your device or you've secured it, this really shouldn't be a major pitfall, but it is something to take note of. Thanks........