Friday, 21 September 2018

Android Confidential: Why these three upcoming Android phones could put the iPhone XS to shame

As the case is now, everyone’s talking about how great the new iPhone XS and XS Max are but I’m not so sure they’re going to feel the same way after a few weeks have gone by. Regarding to this, the fall season is jam-packed with flagship Android releases, and several of them have the potential to beat Apple at its own game. I talked about three of the best Android phones coming later this year as part of my new show, Android Confidential:
Huawei Mate 20: The Huawei Mate 20 and newer P20 are already two of the best phones you can buy, but the Mate 20 could beat them both (along with the iPhone XS). Rumor has it that Huawei will be using a triple-Leica setup on the Mate 20, an impressive array that has already shown tremendous results on the P20, the current Last Cam Standing reigning champ. In addition to the Kirin 980 chip and a 6.9-inch screen,you’ve got a maxed-out Android phone that can beat the iPhone XS Max.

Google Pixel 3: Google’s Pixel 2 XL already has a camera that’s on par with the best phones you can buy now, and it’s a year old. While the Pixel 3 XL might not be the best iPhone X in the looks department, it could beat it where it counts: the camera. Google does amazing things with just a single camera thanks to its top-notch image signal processor, and it’s rumored that it will be adding a second lens to the front of the phone. That means selfies would be wider and crisper, and portrait selfies would be next-level. For Instagrammers and Snapchatters, that could be worth more than a shiny new gold color.

OnePlus 6T: OnePlus is never exactly a household name in the U.S., but that could be changing with the 6T. For one, it’s rumored to be sold at T-Mobile this year, which would be the first time a OnePlus phone is available through a major carrier. For another, it’s going to have a killer new feature: an in-display fingerprint sensor. That’s not a rumor, it’s been confirmed by CEO Carl Pei. So the OnePlus 6T won’t just have premium specs and a low price tag, it’ll have a feature you won’t find on the Note 9, LG G7, Pixel... or the thousand-dollar iPhone XS.
This story, "Android Confidential: Why these three upcoming Android phones could put the iPhone XS to shame" was originally published by PCWorld.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

TheThree Leadership Tips for Introverts

The introverts are unique breeds who often require downtime after too much socializing. Their acceptable levels of interaction differ drastically from those of an extrovert; but this doesn't make them any less capable of being great leaders.

"Some of the most impactful and trusted leaders and managers are introverts," said Demetra Anagnostopoulos, executive vice president of strategic partnerships at SurePeople. "Why? Because they prefer to think things through, formulate and process their ideas, and present complete information in thoughtful ways."

While many may believe extroverts are better suited for leadership, that's simply not the truth. Leaders come in all types and forms. Introverted individuals can leverage their natural personality traits to get the job done well. Without going too far, here are three tips for introverts who want to become better leaders.

1. Play to your strengths: You shouldn't mask or change who you are at any phase of your career. Instead of trying to adopt an extrovert's behavior, you should channel your strengths as an introvert to advance both your goals and your company's.

"One of the core strengths of an introverted leader is that [they] will rarely be perceived as impulsive or flighty," said Anagnostopoulos. "As a result, introverted leaders create trust, stability and clarity when they reach the point of presenting their ideas and advocacies."

Instead of apologizing for being this way, you should embrace your way of leading, she added.

Introverts are hyper-aware of the realities of the situations they are in and able to act in focused, deliberate ways to achieve results, said J. Kelly Hoey, author of "Build Your Dream Network" (TarcherPerigee, 2017). "They are great observers of human interactions. They listen [and] scan the situation or challenge before them, then think critically through each action item before charging into action."

"Introverts are often great listeners, a strength that allows them to capture and cull detail potentially overlooked by the boisterous," added Andrew Alfano, president and COO at The Learning Experience. "Using silence to do their heavy lifting for them may allow internal thought and problem-solving not obvious at the surface. The key for a leader is to create the space, opportunities and proper channels for the introvert to maintain self-expression."

2. Be transparent: Just the same as you'd want your team to voice their concerns to you, you should be open about how you prefer to work and what this means for everyone. Work out a method that meets everyone's needs equally.

"Openly share your processing style with those you lead, and be clear about what 'good' looks like for you when they are presenting information to you," said Anagnostopoulos. "This will help you to increase collaboration and decrease conflict, especially if you have direct reports or team members who are external processors."

If you run into any issues or concerns, and you need time to think them through before addressing, you should make that clear to your team to prevent misunderstandings.

"You can be perceived as withholding information from people while you are reflecting," said Anagnostopoulos. "At the outset of a project or process, let them know that you are entering your thought zone, and give yourself a time limit to share with the team."

3. Put yourself out there: Use your powerful skills of observation to gain critical insights on when, why and how you'll actively engage to move your career ahead.
In addition to this, Hoey noted that one of the biggest mistakes introvert leaders can make is blindly following the advice of the person who "knows" – perhaps a boss, manager or mentor – without a second thought. Because of this, introverts often think they are communicating more than they are perceived to be. It's not uncommon for introverted leaders to feel that they've overcommunicated while their direct reports feel in the dark, said Hoey.

"Others may assume that you don't know, don't care or don't care to know, because introverts seek first to listen and understand, then share their perspective after gathering the facts," added Alfano.

It's crucial for introverts to connect and network with others, including extroverts, Alfano said. That way, you can leverage these relationships to find balance and establish better communication.

How You Can Get an SBA Loan for Your Small Business

The Small Business Administration (SBA) program offers government-backed loans to small businesses. This incentivizes banks to provide loans to small businesses it otherwise would have rejected for credit issues or lack of collateral. SBA loans usually come with a lot more paperwork and reporting requirements, but they also generally have favorable interest rates and terms.

Now while they can be a great opportunity for businesses that otherwise wouldn't qualify for a conventional loan, not every business is guaranteed a loan through the SBA. There are some important requirements. For instance, to be eligible for an SBA loan, you must be a for-profit business, be established in the U.S., have invested equity and have exhausted all financing options. If you meet these criteria, there are several ways you can apply for a loan through the SBA.
1. Apply for a loan through a local lender: The SBA partners with lenders to provide financing to small businesses. Most local banks have an SBA loan program with SBA-certified underwriters. This process mostly will take longer than getting a conventional loan, but it can be a great way to get set up with a loan. The overall steps for getting an SBA loan are the same as getting a conventional bank loan – head to a local bank with an SBA program and talk with the bank about financing.
In addition to this, there are two main types of SBA loans: 7(a) and 504 loans. The 7(a) loans encompass standard business financing, while the 504 loans are geared more toward long-term real estate purchases. Within both these loan types are a few different loan products. You can talk with your lender about which loan is right for you. These loans include standard-term loans of varying sizes and more unique loan products like the Builders CAPLine.

2. Visit a Small Business Development Center: The small Business Development Centers give guidance to new and existing businesses. The SBA funds them in conjunction with state economic offices and other organizations. These centers are a great way to take advantage of SBA services and take your first steps toward acquiring a loan through the SBA. These are some of the services these development centers provide:

Business plan development
Manufacturing assistance
Financial packaging and lending assistance
Exporting and importing support
Disaster recovery assistance
Procurement and contracting aid
Market research help
Healthcare guidance
Every state has multiple development centers. You can find one and take advantage of its services on this web address

3. Use Lender Match: Here if it happens that you don't want to head over to your local bank or a development center, the SBA provides a free online tool to match you with a lender. Lender Match can connect you with an SBA partner in two days. You fill out your information on the site, SBA officials review it, and then you're paired with a lender to start the lending process. This is a simple online way to look into funding.

While the program is quick and easy, it doesn't guarantee you'll be matched with a lender. To speed up the process and boost your chances of being paired, the SBA provides a checklist of information your business should have developed and ready. To work with a lender through the SBA, you'll need to provide the following information:

Business plan
Amount of money needed and the use of the funds
Credit history
Financial projections
Some form of collateral
Industry experience within your field
This may be a longer list than some alternative financers on the market require, but the overall terms of your SBA loan will likely be more favorable than pairing with an alternative financer. Thanks for reading

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Google Privacy Checkup FAQ: How you can limit tracking and still use the apps you love

So far, it's been a rough month for Google. A new report by Digital Content Next reveals some troubling news: Android phones, even when idle, send data to Google at an alarming pace. In fact the study found that an Android phone "communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period" with the Chrome browser merely active in the background. That's 10 times more data than iPhones give up.

If that's not enough to scare you, this report comes on the heels of a class-action lawsuit filed after Google was accused of being less than clear about how, when, and where it tracks your location. In response to an AP report that showed Android phones still tracked location even with Location History turned off, Google changed some of the verbiage on its privacy page to be clearer, but it doesn't look like it's going to change its tactics.

So if Google’s tracking treachery rankles you, you can do something about it—and you don’t have to delete Google from your life entirely to do so (tempting as that sounds). You might not know it, but you have a surprising amount of control over your Google account, as long as you know where to find all the switches. So in that case,here’s everything you need to know about Google’s privacy settings: where to find them, what you can turn off, and how it all affects your phone.

Google Privacy Checkup: Regardless of which Android phone you’re using or the version of Android that it’s running, you can adjust the privacy settings across all of your devices just by visiting the Settings app. Head over to the Settings app and you’ll either find a Google tab or an Accounts tab with a Google option inside. Once you find it, click on Google Account or your email address, and you’ll be taken to your full account page. This page is accessible on any device or the web, and it’s cool easy to navigate. Near the top you’ll see a box called Review your privacy settings, which leads to the Privacy Checkup guide. Tap Get started to get an overview of your current settings. By default, everything will be turned on, but there are several layers that can be switched off (or paused, as Google labels it).

Web & App Activity What is it? This one in particular, is the setting that’s been causing Google so much trouble. Independent from Location History Web & App Activity saves your searches, places, and other Google activity to your Google account. That includes browser and Google app searches as well as location data in Maps and Assistant queries. Google says it uses this data to “give you more personalized experiences across Google services, like faster searches, better recommendations, and useful ads, both on and off Google.”

How do I turn it off?
Tap the Turned on button and flip the toggle from blue to gray on the next page. Then tap Pause when prompted.

You can delete individual items saved inside the Web & App Activity window or completely turn it off.

How does it affect my phone?
The general Google experience on your phone won’t be all that different, but the things you’re searching for might take longer to find. Google uses the web activity data to learn what and where you search in order to autocomplete searches, personalize what you see, and just generally deliver smarter results. So you’ll be searching without a net rather than getting results tailored specifically for your tastes. But all of your queries will work good much the same way.
Maps is another story. You are not going to be able to set Home and Work addresses, and if you've previously set them they will be wiped out. However, if you have Location History turned on, Maps will still remember your Home and Work destinations under the Driving tab. Another side effect pertains to the Google Home. When you ask to control a smart device such as a light bulb, Assistant will tell you that it doesn't know how to do that yet.

I don’t want to turn it off. Can I limit it?
Underneath the toggle, you will see a checkbox that asks if you want to “include Chrome history and activity from site, apps, and device that use Google services.” If you turn this off, you’ll at least limit tracking to just apps and sites owned by Google.

How do I get rid of old data? I this case, there’s a button labeled Manage Activity that will show you a running list of your app usage and searches while logged into you Google account. It’s breathtakingly comprehensive, but easy to navigate, with a simple breakdown by app, time, date, and topics. If you want to get rid of any of it, you can delete a specific item or a full day’s worth of searches by tapping the three-dot menu button to the right of each tab and selecting Delete. Once it’s gone, however, there’s no getting it back.

Location History. What is it?
As its name suggests, Location History is a timeline of the places you’ve been. It’s different than the location services on your phone—which is a separate toggle in a separate tab—but they do work together. Google’s Location History uses your phone’s GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile networks to create a map of where you go with your phone. It’s the thing that’s used by the Google app, Google Maps, and other apps to offer improved searches and routes, and help deliver better search results and recommendations.

How do I turn it off?
To do this, tap the Turned on button to the right of “Location History” and then Manage setting on the next screen. There you’ll see a list of every device you own that’s sharing its location. You can choose to turn it off for specific devices or nuke the whole thing using the toggle at the top.
I don’t want to turn it off. Can I still limit it?
No. It’s an on-or-off thing.

How does it affect my phone?
In the case, even if Google isn’t saving your location history, you'll still be able to get directions and recommendations. Turning off Location History just means the results will be more generic, and your location won’t be saved in Maps. You also won’t get recommendations in Maps or general notifications based on places you’ve been. However, if you haven’t turned off Web & App Activity above, the places you go might still be saved, just not as regularly as with Location History turned on.

How do I get rid of old data? Right inside the Location History page, tap the Manage Activity button. That will take you to your Timeline in Google Maps. If you’ve turned off Location History, all of your recently visited places will already be wiped out. If it’s turned on and you see data here, you can delete a full day’s worth of activity by tapping the three-dot menu in the top right corner and selecting Delete day.

Device Information. What is it? The Device Information setting in your Privacy dashboard is specifically related to the phone or PC you’re using. In addition to your searches, Google can also have access and save your contacts, calendars, media, and app information to your Google account. Google uses this data to recognize specific things on your device, such as contacts and appointments, to help you make calls and send messages more quickly.

How do I turn it off?
To get this done, tap the Turned on button and flip the toggle on the next page. Then tap Pause when prompted.

I don’t want to turn it off. Can I limit it?
Just the same way like Location History, this option is either on or off.

How does it affect my phone?
The Device information is designed for speed and convenience when searching for people using the Google widget, app, or querying Google Assistant. That means if you turn it off, when you say, “Hey Google, call Lynn mobile,” Assistant won’t be able to help anymore.

How do I get rid of old data?
To get that done, just tap on the Manage activity button inside the Device Information settings, and you’ll be able to see a running list of updates you’ve made app or contact information that you have made and where it was applied. There isn’t any personal data here, just a list of when something was changed, but you can still get rid of it. You can’t delete individual entries, but you can get wipe out of all of the saved data by tapping the menu button to the right and tapping Delete All.

Voice & Audio Activity. What is it? This setting is majorly fr Google Assistant. It enbles Google to record your voice when you tap the microphone button or summon Google Assistant to “help you get better results using your voice,” recognize the “Hey Google” wake word, and train Voice Match.

How do I turn it off?
To do this, just tap the Manage Voice & Audio Activity button and then Change Setting. Then flip the toggle to off.

I don’t want to turn it off. Can I limit it?
The answer can only turn Voice & Audio Activity on or off, but you can limit what Google can hear by turning off Google Assistant on any device. To do that, tap the compass icon in the right corner of the Assistant window, the select Settings inside the three-dot menu, and finally Phone under Devices. That will eliminate any accidental “Hey Google” triggers and limit Google’s recording to instances where you tap the microphone button.

How does it affect my phone?
First, you won’t be able to summon Google Assistant using “Hey Google,” and Google won’t be able to make adjustments to how its voice recognition understands your speech pattern and cadence. You’ll still be able to use the microphone button to dictate text, however.

How do I get rid of old data?
If you tap the Manage activity button you will be able to see a list of everything Google’s recorded. You can even hear little audio files of what you said and how long it was recorded. Like your web and app activity, you can delete any of it by tapping the three-dot menus next to the day or specific activity and selecting Delete.

What else can I do? Here..... inside the Privacy Checkup, you’ll see toggles for YouTube search and watch history, which you can also turn off. If you’re a heavy YouTube user, these switches will make it harder for you to find recently watched videos and get personalized recommendations.
You can also limit Google’s ability to track your Chrome history by turning on incognito mode. Instead of tapping New tab, select New incognito tab. Your Chrome bar will turn black to let you know incognito mode has been activated. Anything you search for or view won’t appear in your browser or search history.
This story, was originally published by PCWorld.
Thanks for reading....

Saturday, 1 September 2018

The Eight Clever Ways to Use Social Media to Find New Business Ideas

At this present time social media is no longer just a way to kill time. These platforms can help you find a job, market your products and connect with valuable contacts. They can even spark business ideas.
Instead of aimlessly scrolling through your Facebook timeline and Twitter feed, take hold of the eight clever ways to use social media to find new business ideas right here.

1. Search questions in subreddits: If you're on the prowl for a new tech product or service idea, move over to news and entertainment social media site Reddit and start surfing the subreddits (subject areas). In particular, people looking for new business ideas should review subreddits and use the Ask Me Anything feature, where users can ask experts and celebrities questions that may uncover potential ideas for small or midsize businesses.

2. Look at the comments on Pinterest: If your talents are based on identifying or creating the next great must-have product, get a Pinterest account. The image-based social media site provides a constant stream of new images to get you thinking creatively about new business ideas.

"Of all the social media sites, Pinterest is one of the best to see the next hot product trend," said Gail Oliver, a small business consultant and blogger at Attention Getting Marketing. Oliver said she's seen many wedding, home decor and fashion trends take off because of Pinterest.

Pinterest users can monitor comments without alerting other users and get a sitewide look at what people think of each pin. Oliver said the often-overlooked comments section provides more inspiration for new ideas than some other social media sites.

"Comments are also visible to everyone, so you can see what people are saying," Oliver said.

Pinterest recently started to support hashtags on pins, which is a win for both business owners and individuals looking to start a business. You can now plug in a relevant hashtag in the search bar to quickly find relevant pins. You might be able to find popular niche pins that could spark an idea.

3. Uncover under-the-radar social media networks and apps: For another largely untapped social media source of idea-rich content, use your smartphone to cruise through one of the lesser-known mobile social networks or visit a social shopping network. If apps aren't your thing, try a visit to a couple of niche social sites for inspiration.

"I think social sharing sites such as Wanelo [an online world shopping community] and Loverly [dedicated to shopping for weddings] are better for identifying business opportunities," Oliver said, because they gauge people's interest and approval with the whole "like" system, instead of just measuring the reaction of your followers.

4. Check out your competitors: A stealthy way to find new business ideas is to quietly monitor the social media activity of the big players or competitors in your potential industry.

"The trick to using social media to find new ideas and stay on top of the current trends is to monitor your competitors," said Matthew Reischer, CEO of

When you see the totality of engagement from your market competitors, you get a better sense of an overall pattern that enables you to connect the dots to discover new ideas, he said.

"Read your competitors' content about the industry and their tweets about new initiatives in their company," Reischer added. "Pay attention to the social banter among all participants, and you can begin to assemble a better-informed understanding of the market ecosystem in which you operate."

5. Pay attention to complaints: Social media is the go-to place to complain about everything, including products and services. While reading complaints might not make for a fun afternoon, if you see multiple people complaining about the same thing, you can identify gaps in a market.

"People some times don't always know what they want, but they know what frustrations they have," said Dayne Shuda, founder of Ghost Blog Writers. "A good indication that you're on to something as an entrepreneur is when you see a very common frustration. Social media provides the ability to observe this like nothing before in history."

Nicky Barua, co-founder of Nidel Dresses, also recommends looking at complaints and how people receive different products you're interested in.

"You can take it a step further and search in forums whether there is a big market facing the same problems," said Barua. "That's the perfect time to generate your business idea and swoop in with a solution."

6. Look for trends: As you are scrolling through your social media feeds, be cognitive of what you're seeing and start looking for trends. When Lilia Karimi, co-founder of Wedwell, was searching the internet for wedding ideas, she noticed most of the wedding industry is focused on planning and weight loss, instead of wellness and emotional health. So, she decided to fill the gap in the market and create a company that brings wellness to the wedding industry.

"I recommend people take a closer look at their news feeds and see if it's motivating and inspiring them, and if not, [decide] what they would like to see more of," said Karimi.

7. Search for hashtags and keywords: Barua suggests starting by searching for hashtags and keywords that resonate with an idea you're passionate about. This feedback could spark a new idea.

"Consider following key hashtags on Instagram that are relevant for your particular industry," added Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation. "Doing this allows you to discover what your target audience is talking about [and] uncover new trending topics too."

8. Join Facebook groups: Facebook groups are growing so popular, and a gold mine for business ideas. Find and join some groups that are relevant to the industry you're thinking about joining, then monitor what people are saying in the groups.
Hopefully, people are active in the groups and will provide you with a lot of ideas. When people complain, take notice of their pain points and think of ways you could help. When they praise something, take note and think about how you can add to that.

Large Facebook groups typically include both potential consumers and competitors, and it's important to know what they are all saying. Thanks for reading.