What the Internet Association is Really About

first_imgbrian proffitt Tags:#copyright#Government#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… It took 115,000 websites and more than 13 million Internet users to get Congress’ attention on January 18 and bring down the SOPA and PIPA Internet copyright bills. But now a new group is setting up shop in Washington to avoid such high-drama confrontations and shape politics with a more traditional method:Lobbyist money.The still somewhat secretInternet Association presents itself as “the unified voice of the Internet economy, representing the interests of America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users,” but such flowery words are actually a common way to describe lobbying organizations. And that may be the problem.The AFL-CIO, for instance, “is an expression of the hopes and aspirations of the working people of America.” The National Rifle Association’s mission is “to protect the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and to promote safe, responsible, and competent use of firearms.” And the Motion Picture Association of America’s stated goal is “to advance the business and the art of filmmaking and its enjoyment around the world.”Looking Under the HoodThese all sound like worthy, un-controversial goals, but depending on your political leanings, you may take issue with the actions these organizations take to safeguard what’s important to their members and their corporate donors. Very often these actions include trying to influence members of Congress and White House staffers about legislation – and funneling much-needed campaign donations their way.Such ear-bending and glad-handing are no doubt big reasons why SOPA (HR. 3261), along with its counterpart bill in the Senate, PIPA (S. 968), were being fast-tracked in late 2011 in the first place. Both bills were intended to give private copyright holders more tools to pull down pirated copy from the Internet. That sounded good to many people, but the fine print revealed serious potential for over-reaching and lack of review. That’s why the Internet community fought back so hard.Despite the failure of SOPA and PIPA, the original sponsors of the bill are still trying to tame copyright violations. In early July, a draft bill for an Intellectual Property Attaché Act (IPAA) was discussed within the Senate Judiciary Committee. That bill, which seems to be in a Congressional limbo since it hasn’t been formally introduced, would give members of the diplomatic corps more powers to enforce intellectual property violations on behalf of copyright holders around the world. These powers were also within SOPA and PIPA, but did not receive much attention at the time. The Internet Lobbies BackTo fight these on-going efforts, companies like Google, Facebook, and eBay – all rumored to be founding members of the new Internet Association – can lobby individually. But even these large, powerful companies may find their influence relatively weak when acting individually.Facebook, for example, had its lobbying team talk to House representatives about IPAA, as this quarterly disclosure report shows. But Facebook also discussed a lot of other issues with Congress, and despite its high public profile, remains just one company among many vying for the attention of Washington officials.This is the logic behind an organization like the Internet Association: create one large lobbying group with a single, unified message – and a lot of money behind it.Be Careful What You Wish ForOpponents of SOPA, IPAA, and similar legislation are probably welcoming the Internet Association. But they should be careful what they wish for…Despite the Internet Association’s lofty mission statement, only one part is really relevant: “representing the interests of America’s leading Internet companies.”At best, all that other stuff about their global community of users is just what companies like Facebook, Google and the rest believe is best for their users. At worst, it’s a rhetorical smokescreen intended to add popular legitimacy to the companies’ business goals.Recalling problems Google has had with privacy alone should warn Web users against getting too excited about big Internet companies making more concerted political efforts in Washington.Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Jezebel Violates Standard Codes Of Journalism Ethics By Harassing Minors

first_imgLast week Jezebel set out to shame some high school students for the stupid, offensive things they wrote as minors on their Twitter accounts while the president was being re-elected. But in doing so, the site itself crossed the line of appropriate behavior. At this point no one is surprised when Gawker Media violates standard journalism practices. But Jezebel’s piece about racist high schoolers, with its journalist-sanctioned public shaming of kids, is so out of line it’d be comical if it wasn’t so downright depressing.Titled “Racist Teens Forced to Answer for Tweets about the ‘Nigger’ President,” the piece even lists the high schools of the offending teens and their extracurricular activities. As a rule, journalists writing for traditional newspapers never print the name of a minor when that minor is accused of a crime. On the Internet, however, stupid things minors say is fair game, apparently.Playing By Different Rules?GigaOm writer Mathew Ingram, in his piece about the resulting controversy, reached out to the Jezebel writer, who happens to be the co-founder of the site. She argued that because the minor’s names were already out there, it is okay to use them. (Jezebel did not blur the names, or block them out. Jezebel ran the entire name and the schools the minors attend.)“We actually did not ‘out’ the identities of these tweeters — they did, through their public Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles,” wrote Tracie Egan Morrissey to Ingram, in defense of the post. “They used their real names, listed their schools and their locations, and thus broadcasted these details to the entire world by virtue of putting them on the Internet.”This is troublesome on a variety of levels, but the majority of people in the digital press world feel Morrisey’s way of thinking is legitimate. I spent Friday debating with two writers from Buzzfeed about this. They all echoed Morrisey’s statement. (Which is typical for writers at digital outlets, so why I was surprised, I don’t know …) No, Sorry, It’s Still Wrong To Name MinorsBut here is why Morrisey and her ilk are simply, unquestionably wrong.When a minor commits a crime in the real world, the cops know who the kid is, as do the neighbors and everyone in the community. The journalist covering the crime knows the kid’s name, and if anyone wanted to, they could find out the minor’s name just by pulling up the public police report.But why doesn’t the journalist use the minor’s name in the press, if it is such common knowledge, and publicly accessible to whoever wants it?I reached out to Lou Carlozo, a  father of two and longtime newspaper reporter who works at Reuters now but previously spent 15 years at the Chicago Tribune and before that was a police reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.His answer was simple. Minors are not named because journalists have a duty to protect them from harm of coverage. “There is a big difference between the dumb things that kids do in the course of growing up and the harmful, damaging crimes a minor might commit that are a matter of public record,” Carlozo said in a brief phone interview. “As a police reporter and later an editor, I always decided to name juveniles in a story on a case-by-case basis.”Carlozo would only publish the name of the minor if the juvenile had been convicted, but not every time because “you have to ask yourself about relevant details, such as the minor’s mental state at the time,” he said.Carlozo concedes that “these rules were written before the Internet,” but says that in the case of Jezebel outing the minors: “Just because the kids’ names are out there, journalists shouldn’t necessarily fall in line and release their names too.”  Remember, juveniles who have committed a crime are in the public record as well, but journalists choose to not print that information. Carlozo summed it up by saying, “The system has the obligation to protect these kids.”As Kashmir Hill pointed out in her Forbes blog post about the controversy, Morrissey had no intention of protecting the children. In fact, Morrissey was actively, “gleefully,” trying to harm her subjects. “[T]he tone of the piece is such that it’s apparent the writer wanted to shame and punish them for broadcasting their ugly, offensive messages,” Hill writes.  Morrissey, as a journalist far removed from these juveniles lives, wanted to teach them a lesson. Not keen to leave that job to the parents, teachers and coaches, Morrissey has now forever linked those names with racist epithets for the rest of their lives — old school journalism ethics be damned. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos fruzsina eordoghlast_img read more

5 Can’t Miss Gaming Predictions For 2013

first_img2012 was a weirdly quiet year for gaming. With aging consoles, there was a predictable trend toward buying blockbuster titles and some expansion in digital sales.Tablet gaming is still mostly Angry Birds, the big titles are incremental improvements – nothing earth-shattering. And E3 was pretty dull, too.2013 promises to be more interesting. It will still be a transitional year for the industry, but those transitions will come faster and be a lot more obvious. Here’s what to look for: 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#gaming#predictions Related Posts cormac foster 1. Sony Will Continue To FlounderNintendo’s 3DS outsold the Playstation Vita 46-to-1 from November 5 to November 11. One more time: 46-to-1.There are plenty of reasons for that (the game catalog being the biggest), but the upshot is that Nintendo is crushing Sony in an already-brutal handheld market. Sony’s PS3 lineup isn’t doing much better, failing to generate any mojo in its later years.The PS4 is still far, far away, and despite a predicted return to profitability, Sony as a whole is still in pretty rough shape. Beyond the usual franchise previews at E3 and some teasers about the PS4, don’t expect to hear a lot from Sony next year. 2013 is about regrouping for one last big shot.2. Free-to-Play (F2P) – And Some High-Profile FailuresThe trend of Free-to-Play games is inevitable, but it’s going to force developers to think – and build – differently. The frontloaded revenue of unit sales allows developers to go nuts in ways that Free-to-Play doesn’t. That’s fine for an indie shop building a small game and trying to make money on in-game sales, but the AAA publishers used to gorgeous cutscenes, pristine graphics and endless hours of linear content available at launch could find themselves in a bind. Creating Call of Duty isn’t cheap.It’s guaranteed that someone will fail to learn from the Star Wars: The Old Republic flop (and that was with retail sales) and will overbuild a F2P ghost town.The good side is that, by the end of the year, we’ll see a renewed focus on storytelling, with nonlinear narratives that encourage multiplayer cooperation and replay – the kinds of behavior that forgive corner-cutting elsewhere and ultimately lead to the in-game purchases the F2P model requires. 3. The Ouya Changes Everything, Even If It FizzlesThe Ouya, Kickstarter’s darling, will launch on schedule, with a host of titles, a great price point and a ton of fan support. While the GameStop, in the short term.4. The Resale Market Lives Another YearDigital downloads are already having an effect on the market for used games, but with no new XBox or Playstation on the horizon, there will still be plenty of low-cost playthrough on existing systems. That means a lot of swapping through back catalogs and playing the games you missed the first time around. That’s good news for a banged-up GameStop, in the short term at least.5. Augmented Reality Takes OffBack in 2009, ReadWrite readers already knew Augmented Reality would be a big deal. Sony’s Wonderbook was an interesting (if limited) foray into AR gaming in 2012, but the real push will be on the mobile side. 2012’s AR Defender 2 (trailer video below) was a cool new take on tower defense, but 2013 will be focused on getting us outdoors.Plan to see a slew of location-based mobile games like Ingress that also add full AR via smartphone cameras. Primitive-but-cool combat and cooperative mechanics will show up, as well. Just don’t step into traffic while you’re playing, and look out for the cops.  4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

The CEO’s Social Media Strategy: Ignore It [Infographic]

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#social media#social networking The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts cormac fostercenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Zeno Group‘s 2012 Digital Readiness Survey revealed a striking truth: businesses are burned out on social media, too.For all the lip service paid to social media marketing and all the “New Media Marketing” hires on LinkedIn, it seems that a lot of businesses are coming around to the idea that social media actually might not be very important. Generally, the survey found that smaller businesses (those with fewer than 10,000 employees) and business-to-business (B2B) companies were less likely to engage with their customers via social media. In fact, 43% of B2B companies admitted that their CEO ignores online reputations altogether.On its face, the survey makes a certain amount of sense. If you sell to other businesses, you probably have fewer customers and a direct sales force, so you can just pick up the phone to reach them. Likewise, smaller companies probably have fewer resources to dedicate to a social campaign – and less ability to make a splash.But the one-to-many push of social marketing is comparatively cheap, and there’s no reason to make your sales force perform damage control when they should be selling. Sure Facebook fatigue seems to be catching these days, but it seems like many businesses are missing an opportunity.For all the details, check out Zeno Group’s infographic below:last_img read more

5 New Rules: Don’t Get Fooled Again When Buying Enterprise Technology

first_imgTags:#Amazon#cloud computing#enterprise IT#small business alan s cohen 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts center_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… “Change it had to come We knew it all along We were liberated from the fall that’s all”– The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”With Washington festooned over the weekend with banners and parties alongside the serious national dialogue about the issues of the day, we all understand that the world has changed significantly in the last four years. It has become a more distributed, inter-connected place in every aspect of our society.The chiaroscuro of the Cold War has completely disappeared – and we’re now seeing a complex and nuanced combination of emerging economic and military powers.And there are key parallels in information technology with significant implications for IT buyers.The Cloud Has Already WonFour years ago, people were still debating the NIST definition of Cloud Computing. Indeed, in 2009, Gartner declared Cloud the most hyped technology in the world.Today, you’d have to be hiding under a big rock – trying to avoid the HarBowl, perhaps – if you do not realize the IT Stack has irrevocably flipped from client-server/Web to Cloud. Talk to any entrepreneur, and the big argument is not whether to rent the IT infrastructure from an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider (e.g., Amazon or Rackspace), but what possible reason could someone have to burn precsious capital on buying their own servers and routers.IT is a huge industry. At a projected $3.7 trillion in 2013 (according to Gartner), IT would be one of the five largest economies in the world, behind Japan but ahead of India. As Dan Lyons wrote last year, industry combatants focus on the potential of a $1 trillion transfer of wealth from the large legacy tech vendors to the new upstarts. So the money is there.The unanswered question, though, is what happens to the hows, whys and whats of IT acquisition? How do you buy enterprise technology in the era of the new stack?Let me break it down into 5 key elements:1. The New BossTraditionally IT decision making is made in small, vertical slices of the stack. Network buyers procure networking components, storage buyers acquire disks and flash, and functional leadership drives application acquisition with their IT partners, etc.That is changing rapidly as business decision makers (e.g., line management) set the rate and pace of operations and require IT to respond accordingly. As we learned at Nicira, in the Cloud era, this has led to the emergence of a new category of IT elite called Cloud Architects, who are responsible for making all the components come together.It has led to an increased focus on both proprietary and open source cloud architectures that enable applications quickly and reduce the intense, overwhelming micro-focus on the cloud’s subcomponents. Rapidly enabling applications that support business processes will eventually drive all IT decision making. My advice: Look out for the cloud guy. He is the new power broker.2. Bandwidth And Processing For Nothing, And The I/O For FreeIn the client-server era systems model, hardware and software were custom-built to work together to enable a specific performance envelope. While specific, targeted use cases will always remain, increasingly Moore’s Law holds sway.The x86 platform in servers, flash in storage and merchant silicon in networking increasingly dominates the bottom, infrastructure layers of the stack. IT buyers are getting the horsepower at scale by riding this curve and looking to vendors who pull their value through software.It’s the death of proprietary hardware and the emergence of smart software in IT. Remember this when your tech sales guy comes calling and brags about his chips.3. Why Buy When You Can Lease?There has been a ton written about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) replacing packaged software, so I wont’ bother repeating it. But what happens when Web-scale infrastructure is rentable by the hour (and as Amazon has shown, prices drop along the way)? Without having to deal with real estate, power and cooling, enormous computing power is available by the hour. Determining the differences among the providers – i.e., how well suited are they for your applications – will be your next research activity. Build your IT plan/budget around renting, not buying.4. There And Back Again, A Content TaleCloud-based collaboration environments like Box, DropBox and Google Drive are dramatically revamping how companies store and manage data – as well as how they collaborate both within and across corporate boundaries. The ease-of-use of these platforms compared to traditional software packages like Microsoft SharePoint make them a reality in your business whether you like it or not. Your employees already use them – even if they never bothered to tell you. Developing a content management strategy that accounts for these applications and what should be in the cloud and what should be on premise is critical, right now.5. Any Way You Want It/That’s The Way You Need ItFinally, all of your applications have to work on any screen, anytime. Remember, it was just four years ago that folks said the iPhone was not ready for business. At the time, people were thinking about smartphones the way radio executives thought about television. In 2013, IT buyers should consider only those applications that work across platform and screen categories.Today’s businesses need to move faster than they did four years ago: competition and globalization leave them no choice.This creates friction with existing vendors, who have to deal with the reality of slower development cycles, predictable revenues and profits for shareholders, etc.As buying behavior changes, though, the fast will eat the slow, including the IT buyers, who will see their influence wane if they cannot keep up with the competition cycle or lose influence as user-driven shadow IT takes over. The smart guys will be listening to The Who:“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution Take a bow for the new revolution Smile and grin at the change all around me Pick up my guitar and play Just like yesterdayThen I’ll get on my knees and pray We don’t get fooled again”Roger Daltrey image courtesy of s_bukley / Shutterstock.com. Pete Townsend image courtesy of Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com. IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

Why Obama Should Open Source His Campaign Code Now, Not Later

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#campaign#Narwhal#Obama#Open Source Matt Asay Related Posts President Obama’s technical team wants to open source the technology that is credited with helping him win the 2012 election. The Democratic Party, however, has other plans, apparently intending to keep Project Narwhal and the rest of the software secret so as to give it an advantage over cash-rich but tech-poor Republicans. In so doing, the Democratic Party demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of open source and, indeed, how organizations benefit from technology.Open sourcing Obama’s campaign systems is actually in the Democratic Party’s self-interest.Open Is Good For EverybodySome Democratic politicians like to think technology won them the election. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Obama won because he ran a better campaign against a Republican candidate who looked OK on paper but was somewhat wooden in person.Yes, part of Obama’s “better campaign” was a crack team of data scientists who built what appears to be excellent system – dubbed “Narwhal” – “that acted as an interface to a single shared data store for all of the campaign’s applications, making it possible to quickly develop new applications and to integrate existing ones into the campaign’s system.” This enabled the Obama team to divine and respond to voter preferences, among other things.According to two of the Democratic National Committee’s technical team, who want to see the software open sourced, the current plan is to “mothball” the software to conserve resources and protect the Democrats Big Data advantage. This, they argue, would be a mistake:Right now, only presidential campaigns have the resources to build systems of this sophistication. The data and technology infrastructure from the Obama campaign cost millions of dollars to build, and even the most well-funded senate campaigns couldn’t afford anything close to that.But with some additional work, the data and tech infrastructure from the Obama campaign could be adapted to offer the same functionality to other progressive candidates and groups, giving them the opportunity to use these systems with their own supporters and volunteers. For smaller campaigns that would have no chance of creating these systems on their own, this could be a game-changing step forward.The problem for the Democratic Party, however, is that even (gasp!) non-progressives could benefit from the technology if it were open sourced, which could lead to (double gasp!) Republicans winning. As The Verge reports, the Democratic Party has blocked efforts to open source the code, believing the software gives it and its candidates an advantage, and the Obama campaign is therefore keeping tight control of all campaign assets, including the software.History Repeats ItselfFor those of you who were around to witness Microsoft and other technology incumbents respond to open source’s rise, this will all seem very familiar.Like these Democratic politicians and bureaucrats, the tech giants resisted open source, arguing that proprietary software was the only way to innovate, and gave them an advantage against competitors. They, too, thought that software was more valuable as individuallyowned property, rather than as a collective effort that brought multiple values and talents to its development. They, too, completely missed the genesis of the very Big Data movement, firmly grounded in open-source technology that was developed through the collective efforts of Yahoo!, Google, Facebook and other new-school tech giants. Such companies understand that real competitive advantage derives from savvy business execution on services built from open-source software.It’s not a matter of hoarding ones and zeroes.If the Democratic Party holds Narwhal and its other software in cold storage, as TechDirt’s Mike Masnick argues, it’s effectively rendering it useless, as the software will no longer be state of the art when the next election rolls around in four years time. In addition, it’s foolish to think that the Obama campaign, however smart, employed the only intelligent engineers on the planet, and is the sole repository of wisdom about how to make the code better. It could benefit from collective efforts to improve it which, in turn, also help it recruit the best and brightest. The best developers want to work with open-source code, in an open source manner.The days of winning by blocking access to one’s software are over. This is true in technology, and it’s true in political campaigns. For their own good the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee should open source Narwhal and other related technology. They truly have nothing to lose.spirit of america / Shutterstock.comcenter_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloudlast_img read more

Don’t Look Now, But We Might Be In A Developer Drought

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair Hey, developers! Do you feel like you’re in demand? Apparently you should.HubSpot, a Cambridge-based marketing software-as-a-service venture, has started a new initiative to handsomely compensate anyone who can refer a developer friend. “If you do, and we end up hiring them, we’ll thank you with a big, fat check for $30,000,” its Refer A Dev program promises. HubSpot’s solution may seem like an extreme one, but not if you’ve been looking at the numbers. In 2010, there were 913,000 U.S. jobs for software developers, and that number is expected to grow by 30% from 2012 to 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expected job growth across all U.S. occupations over that time? Just 14%.Heck, see for yourself: Tags:#developers#Jobs#Statistics Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… lauren orsini Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Even just compared to the rest of the growing tech industry, developers are among the most wanted. According to Wanted Analytics, a data firm that analyzes help-wanted ads:[a]pplication [d]evelopers were the most in-demand technology occupation in April, reaching a new high in the number of job ads. Demand for this talent has grown 16% from April of 2012 and more than 190% from 4 years ago.Irvine, Calif.-based IT recruiting firm CyberCoders conducted a study of 10,000 tech companies and their hiring requirements. Their findings revealed that out of all their recruits, those who had development skills — especially mobile, front-end, and open source development skills — were most in demand in today’s job market. “Everyday we see the engineers with these skills getting an average of four to five job offers,” the CEO and founder of CyberCoders, Heidi Golledge, wrote in the company blog post.If the ratio of offer to engineer is indeed five to one, that means a lot of engineers are being paid well, and a lot of companies are going home empty handed. With a growing glut of learn-to-code companies eager to teach customers the requisite skills, it’s hard to say how long developers will remain the golden geese of the job market. But if you’re a mobile, front-end, or open-source developer working today, maybe it’s time to reconsider your options.Just tell me first, so I can make $30,000 when you get hired at HubSpot. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

New Slides Show PRISM Reach Directly Inside Internet Companies

first_imgbrian proffitt Related Posts Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Tags:#AOL#Apple#Facebook#Google#Microsoft#nsa#Prism#Skype#Yahoo#YouTube The Washington Post has published four additional slides from the NSA PowerPoint demonstration leaked by IT contractor Edward Snowden, which outline more information about the PRISM program. The slides, which are annotated by the Post, seem to directly contradict claims from a number of Internet tech companies that they did not have government hardware installed on-premises and used to gather data on suspects.According to the just-released slides, the FBI, which apparently handles much of the actual data-gathering before handing the data over to the NSA, will used pre-approved search term, known as “selectors,” to search companies’ data stores.THe FBI uses government equipment on private company property to retrieve matching information from a participating company, such as Microsoft or Yahoo and pass it without further review to the NSA.If true, this would fly in the face of denials from all of named PRISM participants, which include—beyond Microsoft and Yahoo—Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple. Since the initial leaking of the PRISM documents by former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor Snowden in early June to the Post and the UK Guardian news organizations, these companies have categorically denied that any such installed equipment is in place.It is not clear where the Post came up with the conclusion of this annotation, since on-premise assets are not explicitly noted in the original content of the slides. Instead, the implicated companies have all described a scenario that are variations of the same theme: when a proper Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court request for information is received, the requested data is handed off to government officials either via portable media or a special FTP server that intelligence services can log into and download the data.The new slides published this weekend would seem to challenge that notion. Not only is equipment being installed on-site at these companies, the slides also assert that there are no individual search warrants or requests going out to the companies … PRISM participants are working under a blanket FISA order that allows the gathering of information.Since spying on U.S. citizens deliberately is illegal, the PRISM slides also outline ways in which U.S. intelligence services try to prevent the inclusion of Americans’ data in the net of surveillance and monitoring operations. From the beginning of the selection process to several stages were U.S. citizen data is supposed to shake out, the NSA and FBI put some effort into targeting only foreign nationals in the PRISM program.How much good that effort does remains to be seen. At the beginning of the process, a supervisor in the NSA must review the selectors for a new target. “The supervisor must endorse the analyst’s ‘reasonable belief,’ defined as 51 percent confidence, that the specified target is a foreign national who is overseas at the time of collection,” the Post reported.51 percent is just a hair better than flipping a coin.Even if the intelligence services are successful in filtering out information on American citizen’s, that will be cold comfort to non-U.S. citizens using any of these online services. particularly in light of the reporting of government assets installed on-site within these companies’ firewalls.If true, this information could prove devastating to cloud-based services offered by Google, Microsoft or Apple. Non-U.S. users could conceivably start abandoning such services in droves.Given the level of anger currently rising in the halls of power in the EU, European users may not have a choice in leaving U.S.-based cloud services. According to the Guardian today, “German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, François Hollande, described the disclosures of massive US spying and snooping in Europe as unacceptable, with the Germans suggesting there had to be mutual trust if the trade talks were to go ahead in Washington on Monday.”While some of this shock and dismay may be a public show for gain some leverage in the aforementioned trade talks, there could be some real and lasting damage to cloud-based services based here in the U.S.Germany, for instance, already has strict data privacy laws for corporations that prevent the storage of corporate data of any kind out in the public cloud. How long would it be for other EU nations to adopt similar policies? Or extend those prohibitions to consumer users?There are lots of details to sort out, not the least of which are the veracity of claims from the government and the named PRISM technology companies. As PRISM continues to unfold in the light of day, a lot of cloud customers are going to be asking some hard questions … and maybe not liking the answers they hear.Image courtesy of Wikipedia.last_img read more

Stop Comparing Pinterest To Fancy Already

first_imglauren orsini Tags:#Fancy#online shopping#Pinterest The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Eight million daily uniques. Thirty-five languages. $100,000 a day in revenue. Is it time to stop comparing Fancy to Pinterest yet?When Fancy first came on the scene in early 2012, the image-sharing community looked a lot like a certain social-media site we’d seen before. Users could pin—er, “Fancy”—items to digital image boards and then click to purchase. It was called “Pinterest for shopping.” Awed by items’ exorbitant prices, I called it “Pinterest for the 1%.”Fancy differs from competitors on one singular concept—why should shoppers have to go somewhere else to buy the things they covet? If you can Fancy an item, you can buy it immediately, no matter where it originates. It’s a one-click shopping experience that is seamless on mobile and the Web, in the US and internationally. Or in other words, while Pinterest users might pin this cotton candy cupcake photo with an intent to bake it at home, Fancy users might Fancy this cotton candy machine with the intent to buy it, right away if desired. “We operate the most chaotic shop that’s ever existed,” said Joseph Einhorn, CEO of Fancy. “This morning, I have no idea what’s going to be for sale tonight. But eight million people will Fancy a bunch of stuff and figure out what’s going to be for sale. By tonight we’ll be selling in 35 languages, shipping it all around the world.”After a year of quietly building up his business, Einhorn is opening up to the media again. But he’s no longer interested in talking about Fancy in contrast to its spotlit competitor, Pinterest.“The use case of a social network is absolutely critical. On Pinterest, people are cataloguing interests into inspiration boards. I totally get it, that is a killer use case. Meanwhile, our use case is a stream of really cool things, laser focused into a shopping utility. I don’t know what other companies plans to do in the future, but nobody yet has done a really great job of switching their use case in midair.”It makes sense that Einhorn would want to speculate on Pinterest’s future. Pinterest was most recently valued at $2.5 billion, but doesn’t earn revenue yet. If people are going to compare Pinterest to Fancy, it’s Pinterest that would have to change. Fancy has touched on a lucrative model and already other companies are starting to follow suit. Fab.com, for one, recently dumped its flash sales model for a follower model that looks suspiciously like the one Fancy uses. Ever since Pinterest pinned down Asian e-commerce giant Rakuten as a major investor, the whole world has been watching to see if Pinterest will alter its use case to something more commercial. Pinning Down Pinterest’s PlansPinterest lead developer Jon Jenkins has clear ideas about his network’s plans for monetization: Right now, there aren’t any. “We’re extremely fortunate to be well funded right now,” Jenkins said. “It gives us to time to do this correctly. We don’t feel the pressure to monetize unnaturally.”It’s no coincidence that Fancy’s image-sharing model looks like Pinterest’s. But that, both companies appear to confirm, is where the similarities end. In other words, Fancy appears to have completely diverged from its better known competitor. “Driving traffic off-site is a cool viral trick to incentivize third-party Web sites to promote you,” said Einhorn. “But Fancy doesn’t want to drive traffic to other sites. We want you to be able to have an all-in-one holistic shopping experience right here.” That means avoiding the Groupon model and making it enjoyable for businesses and brands to work with Fancy. “We’re not brand-diluting,” Einhorn says of Fancy’s interest in collaborating with brands, working with them to create a line of mystery “Fancy boxes” that differ depending on the brand that curates each box. The news, according to Einhorn, is not what Fancy is earning, but the way Fancy is growing. In the near future Fancy’s priority is bringing its seamless shopping experience to as many people outside of the United State as possible. “People outside the U.S. are so underserved,” he said. “Anywhere there are young people with mobile phones, there’s a demand for one-step shopping. Nobody seems to be able to do that for them, so we’re doing it.”Image courtesy of Fancy.center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Have Chromecast, Will Travel … Er, Maybe Not

first_imgadriana lee Using a hotel Internet access point can sometimes be like stepping up to a bouncer at a fight club: You must give a password to gain access, agree to certain terms or even both. If there are entrance requirements you fail to meet, you’ll get bounced out before you can really get your hands dirty. This authentication goes beyond the initial WEP or WPA login, which is sometimes required when you first hop on a hotel Wi-Fi network. It may appear in a new browser window or standalone pop-up, asking for a passcode, payment or to click a button to accept the terms of service. On a mobile device or laptop, it’s easy to take care of that. But Chromecast doesn’t offer a Web browser of its own, and there’s no direct way to type in a code or click a button. So it connects to open networks just fine, but it’s just not designed for this kind of authentication. Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Tags:#chromecast#connected TV#media#streaming#travel Even if that weren’t true, there’s still another issue. On the Google support page, the company clearly states that “Chromecast only works with networks which allow device to device communication.” This is crucial. The device uses your phone, tablet or laptop as the direct input mechanism that tells it what network to join and the password for that network. In other words, Chromecast fundamentally depends on the devices’ ability to connect directly to each other. See also: 10 Things You Need To Know About ChromecastHowever, most hotels and other public Wi-Fi networks—like those at schools, cafes and other hotspots—go out of their way to block that using “AP/Client isolation.” This essentially stops devices on a single network from communicating with each other to thwart hacking attempts or undue network congestion, but it also has the unintended effect of slamming the door closed on Chromecast sessions. Not that hotels would mind this. The hospitality industry has seen revenue decline from its pay-per-view channels for years, so it’s not likely shedding any tears over guests’ inability to stream content using their wireless network. Getting Hotel Wi-Fi To Fly On ChromecastSee also: What You Can Watch On Chromecast, And HowNot that it’s impossible to get streaming to your hotel TV using the Chromecast. But it does require some planning, possibly some extra expense and/or a little luck: •  Hardwired hotel Internet connections via ethernet are dying out, but some holdovers still offer them. If you’re fortunate enough to encounter one, you might be able to use your laptop and share that Internet connection, effectively turning it into a hotspot that your Chromecast can join. See also: How Google’s Chromecast Lets Down iPhone Users•  If you have a hard ethernet connection that doesn’t force a login, you might consider traveling with an AirPort Express Base Station or another travel router. In some cases, this may be able to broadcast a wireless signal that any of your mobile devices can share, including the Chromecast. •  Laptops with later versions of Windows (7+) can use Connectify, a program that allows computers to act as wireless routers—whether the initial connection comes via wireless or ethernet. (Paid users can also share 3G/4G.) In this scenario, the laptop joins the hotel’s Internet—somehow—and then creates its own wireless network that the Chromecast joins. The software doesn’t support Macs, however, which have their own built-in Internet Sharing feature. Unfortunately, it’s limited. They can share an ethernet connection over wireless, or Wi-Fi signal over Bluetooth, but they can’t share Wi-Fi back out over Wi-Fi to other devices. (Then again, you never know—perhaps Google will actually do something with that mysterious Bluetooth hardware in the Chromecast.)•  If you have a MiFi or mobile hotspot feature on your smartphone/tablet, you could forget the hotel’s network completely and use cellular instead. However, bear in mind that coverage can vary, and if you don’t get strong reception, the video quality can suffer. A lot. (Oh, and be sure to mind those data caps.) Of course, if none of these options work for you, there’s one more possibility: foregoing the Chromecast altogether. If you’re alone in the hotel room, streaming right onto the smaller screen of your phone, tablet or laptop would be the simplest solution. And if you’re not, actual physical cables could make easy work of playing content from your phone or tablet to the TV. I paired this one from Scosche and my previous 30-pin iPad for months, and it always worked flawlessly. See also: 5 Cool Chromecast Hacks And WorkaroundsThe upside is that you don’t have to be relegated to a pokey-slow hotel network and the insufferable buffering such connections cause. And although it’s not a sexy solution, it’s far more elegant than banging your head against that flimsy hotel drywall, trying to get the portable streaming dongle to actually do what it was born to do—function away from home. If there’s one piece of good news, it’s that the Chromecast is updateable over the air, so Google could address this issue in a future software patch. After all, it highly emphasized the go-anywhere nature of these streaming sticks, so hopefully it won’t be long before we get to take our shows on the road. Fingers crossed. Feature image of Excalibur Hotel courtesy of TravelVegas. Others courtesy of the NetVessel Inc., Aruba Networks, Amazon (Mediabridge Micro-HDMI to HDMI Cable).  How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts If the wee Chromecast seems tailor-made for stashing in a pocket or go-bag, that’s because it is. According to Google, the streaming device—which bears a striking resemblance to a travel-friendly thumbdrive—was “built with portability in mind.” And yet, the small device foists some big problems on the business or leisure traveler. It simply doesn’t work with the type of logins and settings that hotel networks tend to use. And that means, if you ordered one to use on your next family vacation, you could be in for a rude awakening. Public Hotspots: Big Trouble For A Little Donglelast_img read more

Apple Watch to be sold alongside Aetna health insurance plans

first_imgRelated Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…center_img The Apple Watch could soon be sold discounted or free to Aetna’s 23 million members, as a way to improve health outcomes and lower insurance costs, according to a CNBC report.Apple held a series of meetings with Aetna executives and hospital chief medical information officers, discussing the possibility of a plan that included the Watch. It is not the first time the two companies have met to discuss plans, Bloomberg reported a similar story in September last year.Aetna already offers the Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees as part of its corporate wellness program, so it has experience using the smartwatch.A number of changes plannedApple has made a number of changes to the Watch since the last reported meeting, including a switch to focus on health and fitness. Rumors suggest Apple will take this further with the next version of the Watch, adding health features that may need FDA approval.The Watch is also expected to have cellular connectivity, more battery life, and a new design.Apple has made significant progress in smartwatch sales over the past year, surpassing Fitbit as the largest wearable seller in the U.S., second in the world to Xiaomi. Sales reached 22 million in the first three months of 2017, according to Strategy Analytics.That said, the company has not yet pushed hard for the health industry. It switched its marketing to focus on fitness and health, but the Aetna discussions are the first move for insurance providers. David Curry Tags:#Aetna#Apple#Apple Watch#fitness#health#insurance#smartwatch#wearable last_img read more

Is Your Parental Leave Policy Stuck in the ‘90s?

first_imgLena Requist Tags:#employee benefits#maternity leave#parental leave#women at work#women in tech Lena Requist builds startups into multimillion-dollar organizations. Her drive and unique leadership style helped grow her current venture, Ontraport, by 5,000 percent. She is passionate about developing teams, growing businesses, inspiring businesswomen, and creating empowered company cultures. Connect with her on Twitter @LenaRequist. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now In recent years, paid parental leave has become a hot-button issue. It’s no wonder that news on this topic is making headlines: The United States is ranked last in the world, one of only three countries that doesn’t guarantee paid parental leave. The nation’s policy is 25 years old, which is why California Governor Gavin Newsom is taking matters into his own hands with his proposed six-month paid leave program. The plan, which Gov. Newsom described as a “no-damn-brainer” and a “developmental necessity,” would compensate parents up to 70 percent of their wages while they cared for their newborn or newly adopted baby.Only 74 percent of employable women in the U.S. aged 25 to 54 are working or actively looking for work, compared to 83 percent in countries like Germany and France — and nearly 89 percent in Sweden. That gap doesn’t exist because a quarter of American women are unemployable or don’t want to work. Rather, women are exiting the workforce in light of U.S. policies (or lack thereof) surrounding paid maternal leave.As business owners and leaders, we have the power to change this statistic. By implementing parental assistance policies and programs within our companies, we’ll not only help parents stay in the workforce, but also open the hiring pool, attract high-quality talent, and become more competitive with companies that already offer these benefits.American women are exiting the workforce and not returningData from The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development suggests that more generous leave benefits lead to more women actively looking for work. Let’s look at a few examples:Canada currently offers 17 weeks of paid leave at 48 percent of previous earnings; the unemployment rate for Canadian women is 4.6 percent.Finland offers 17.5 weeks of paid leave at 74 percent of previous earnings, with the unemployment rate for women at 5.7 percent.Australia offers 18 weeks of paid leave at 42 percent of previous earnings; the unemployment rate for women is 5 percent.Meanwhile, the U.S. doesn’t offer any paid leave, and the unemployment rate for women in the same age bracket is at the lowest of all Western developed countries at 3.1 percent.What does this mean for American women? This lower unemployment rate is an indicator that a larger portion of them aren’t seeking work. The fact is that women ages 25 to 54, who are in the prime years for establishing a successful career, as well as in their prime reproductive years, are not given the proper support from their employers to take time off to be with their families after childbirth or adoption. Nearly all highly qualified women who are currently “off-ramped” in their careers want to rejoin the workforce, but only 40 percent return to full-time professional jobs.Women are simultaneously being pushed and pulled out of the labor force. They are pulled by their familial responsibilities and their need to bond with their children after childbirth and are pushed out of the workforce when they’re not provided the time or financial security to do so. Given these circumstances, women often exit the workforce and don’t return, as it’s hard to re-enter after leaving.Paid parental leave programs boost the economy and your bottom lineThe individualistic mindset of the average American propagates the idea that providing paid parental time off is bad for businesses and the economy. However, we must be willing to dig past first impressions to the actual research, which shows that offering such benefits to employees has led to a better economy in other Western countries. When women are able to re-enter the workforce after taking time off, their households become dual-income. More income means more tax contributions, more spending in the community, and more money available to put back into childcare businesses. Additionally, research shows that paid parental leave programs may increase fertility rates and reduce spending on public assistance: Mothers who are able to take advantage of paid leave are 40 percent less likely to have to rely on programs like food stamps.Parental leave programs aren’t just good for the economy. They’re beneficial at the individual business level. As these benefits become more widespread, they’ll become a must-have to attract new talent. Offering such resources to families will also positively impact your retention rates and costs associated with employee turnover. The cost of replacing an employee and training someone new is likely greater than the cost of providing an essential benefit that will boost morale and productivity. When California instituted a paid family leave insurance program, the vast majority of employers saw positive results across three different metrics: productivity (89 percent experienced boosts), profitability/performance (91 percent), and employee morale (99 percent). It’s a win-win.Business leaders must spur the changeWhat does all of this mean for employers? It means that we, as leaders, need to step up and provide these benefits for our employees. Tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft are leading the way by offering significant paid leave to new parents. Spotify — founded in Sweden, which has one of the best leave policies in the world — offers new parents a full six months’ paid leave, with an extra month to transition back to work by working part-time or remotely.At Ontraport, we have taken the U.S.’s leave policy in stride and developed resources that provide significant relief to our hard-working parents. Not only do we provide an extra month of paid leave, but we also save parents thousands of dollars each year with free childcare for every employee. Our on-campus childcare center is open to children 18 months through 5 years of age, and it offers an exhaustive education program that includes everything children need to grow and learn, as well as encourage family engagement.Start a childcare center. Offer comprehensive time off to both parents so they can return to work refreshed and ready to advance their careers. Rethinking the way you view parental benefits will expand your talent pool, improve retention, and keep your employees happy and healthy. It’s a long-term solution that will help your business thrive in 2019 — and for years to come. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

2014 Oscar Nominees VFX Breakdowns

first_imgWhat film deserves to get the oscar for Best Visual Effects? Is there one missing from this list? Share in the comments below. Go behind the scenes in these VFX breakdowns from all 5 Oscar nominated films.The 2014 Oscar nominees have been announced and this year proved to be one of the most competitive years in recent memory. As always, great acting and cinematography takes center stage, but 2014 was also a great year for amazing visual effects. Innovations in software and audience demands for more realistic effects pushed Hollywood to create arguably the best visuals in history. So who really deserves to get the award for best VFX? In the following article we’ve compiled breakdowns from every VFX Oscar nominated film.GravityGravity’s visual effects were primarily created by the effects house, Framestore under the supervision of Tim Weber. The film uses 3D compositing in almost every shot. Framestore stated that to render Gravity on one computer you would have to start rendering from before the dawn of Egyptian civilization – whoa . Over 400 people helped create the VFX for Gravity.The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugThe Desolation of Smaug has a very similar look and feel to The Unexpected Journey but as VFX Supervisor Eric Saindon states, “[the Desolation of Smaug] brought new and unexpected challenges”. The VFX team played an active role on set and tried to create a visual representation of what the finished product would look like by the next production day.Iron Man 3Scanline VFX played a primary role in creating the visual effects for Iron Man 3. Scanline also received some acclaim in 2013 for their work VFX on The Wolf of Wall Street.The Lone RangerLed by VFX supervisor Gary Brozenich, the Lone Ranger featured more than 550 shots with visual effects. The team used photographs from Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico to add texture to their environments.Star Trek Into DarknessStar Trek’s VFX’s were created by ILM who had the task of adding in effects to over 1600 shots. The particle simulation was extensive and proved to be a challenge.last_img read more

The Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Low- or No-Budget Location Scouting

first_imgSo you’re making a film, and there’s no budget for location scouting and management. No problem — here’s how you handle it yourself.You’ve got your script, your cast and crew is lined up, and all your gear is in order. But where are you going to shoot your film? Location scouting and management can be a daunting task, and it’s usually something that independent filmmakers don’t have budgets for.For low- to no-budget filming, the director or producer will have to take on this responsibility themselves. So here’s what you need to know.Keep It CloseYou’re producing a low-budget feature. The script breakdown calls for twenty locations. Where do you start? According to location manager Aaron Holloway, LMGI, “When you look at a script, focus solely on the main locations; don’t get caught up on all the secondary locations. Find the most important location, then find all the other smaller bits within 10 to 15 miles of it.”To save time and money during production, you want as many — if not all — of your locations to be within 10 to 15 miles. “If you have stuff all over the map, you’re not gonna make your days!” advises Holloway. Time management is critical on set, and if you have to take half the day for a company move to drive across the city when you could have just driven down the street you’ll set yourself up for failure. The closer together your locations are, the better.Know Where NOT to LookIf you have a large crew and lots of actors, it honestly may be more difficult to secure certain locations, especially if you don’t have a budget to pay for permits and lockdowns. While location scouting, you may come across certain locations that would be perfect for the scene: the set dressing is spot on, and it matches the period of the film — it’s an ideal location! However, if you know that you can’t fit your crew inside the building, or if all the gear vans and crew parking would cause road blockage or dangerous fire hazards, you may have to move on and compromise with a different location.Filmmaker Zach Ramelan talks about his experience with guerrilla location scouting in this video tutorial. Take a Lot of PhotosWhen you do come across a location that just might work for your crew size, budget, etc., be sure to take a lot of photos! Take the highest resolution you can, get every angle. Capture the small details and don’t just shoot one way! Even if the camera is only going to face one direction take pictures of the reverse. Go outside and take pictures. Walk around the neighborhood, and snap some photos. Cover everything in, around, and nearby.This gives your director and production designer (or yourself) ample coverage of the location to plan direction and set dressing — or where to stage equipment or set up hair, makeup, crafty, etc. Plus, areas outside the intended location may be suitable for another setting in the film, which could save the production time and knock out multiple scenes at once.For more on location scouting, check out our interview with supervising location manager Robert Foulkes.Image via Summit Entertainment.Power Sources and AudioLook around for electrical outlets. How many are there, and how far apart are they? It may help to sketch out a map of the location and note the outlets. Be sure to test them, too. It’d be a shame to show up on set and find out that none of the outlets actually work.Also test for sound. If you can, bring a microphone and do some sample recordings, testing for echoes and how sound reverberates in the space, or how intrusive the nearby roads really are.Securing the LocationOnce you and your director decide on your locations, you’ll have to go back out and secure them. Be kind, be humble, but don’t take “no” for an answer! Here’s Holloway’s advice:If a gas station says ‘no,’ return six hours later. Keep running up the channels, talk to all the managers if you have to. Show them how passionate you are about it and how perfect it is for the project.Remember, you need to keep a cool head and be likable, not taking “no” for an answer doesn’t mean being a jerk and throwing your weight around.It’s kinda like a game of poker. When you find the perfect location, you don’t want to play your hands wrong. You have to find a way to break through to them as people, and show that you’re a person too. You’re not trying to exploit them. You have to find a way to show that you really love and care for their location and you’re just trying to make art.Take a few classes on sales, body language, and rapport, if you have to, but work your way up the channels and get that location locked. Consult with your local film commission about acquiring the proper location release forms to get it in writing and to make sure you don’t get caught up in any legal problems, should confusion or trouble arise with the owner of the property.Don’t Burn Your LocationsWhen you’re finished shooting, the location should look as though you’ve never been there. Document how the location looks before your crew sets up, and be sure it looks the same when you leave. Take extra precautions not to damage or stain the floors, and avoid putting holes in walls or breaking the decor or furniture. Obviously this will help prevent you from paying for repairs, but ultimately you want to make sure you stay in the good graces of the property owner. (If you ruin their property, you’ll never be able to shoot there again.) As you make more and more projects, you’ll want to develop a catalog of locations that you can rely on.Lights, Camera, Action!Image via Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Paramount).There’s so much more to location scouting and managing (as with any department in film), but this will get you started finding and securing locations for your next project. And as with every aspect of filmmaking, get creative! Depending on how you shoot and dress the set, you could change a location’s look entirely. Be creative, and use some movie magic to pull off your best work.Cover image via zlikovec.Looking for more film and video production tips? Check these out.How to Cut an Effective Trailer for Your Next Film or VideoHow to Overcome the 5 Biggest Obstacles in Writing Your ScreenplayEvery Stressed Out Cinematographers Best Friend: The Pre-LightWhat We Can Learn from Editing with the Coen BrothersHow to Create a Harry Potter-Inspired Flashback in After Effectslast_img read more

The Coming Flight to Relationships

first_imgYou’ve heard that relationship selling is dead. It isn’t. And because we are human beings, relationships aren’t going anywhere, even if that doesn’t mean that our business relationships aren’t going to include some economic value creating component.By my count, we’ve spent the past couple decades trying to turn our relationships as buyers and sellers into something transactional—all the while bemoaning the repercussions of that choice, like commoditization, disintermediation, low margins, and high customer churn rates. Clients have relentlessly complained about poor service, poor results, and a lack of caring.We’ve chased the bottom for too long. And this is where it’s gotten us.We are on the front end of a flight to value. And we are on the front end of a flight to relationships. We want relationships back—with all of the benefits that come with them.We Want to Be More Than a TransactionWe want the people and companies we buy from to know us. We want them to know our names.We want to know people. We want them to know what we like and what we don’t like. We want them to look out for us, to make sure that what we buy is really going to serve our needs.We want the people and companies we buy from to go the extra mile because we have a relationship. We want them to anticipate our needs, to give us a heads-up when something that they know we would love comes available.We want to trust them. We want to know that they will always do right by us, even when doing right might cost them a few bucks.We want the people and companies we buy from to be worth paying more to obtain. We want them to deliver additional value, and we want them to capture some of that value.We Want Our Clients to Be Loyal, Raving FansWe want our clients and customers to love us. We want them to be loyal customers. We don’t want them to buy from anyone else, especially not to save a few pennies. We want them to rave to the people they know to buy from us, too.We want our clients to know us. We want them to trust us. We want them to look at us as part of their team, their trusted advisors. We want them to treat us like consultative salespeople, not transactional salespeople.We want deep relationships with our clients. We want the kind of relationships where we aren’t treated like a transaction and where we aren’t expected to behave like a transaction.We want them to give us a 100% of their wallet share. We want them to pay us more than they’d pay the other guys, and we want them to let us capture some of the value we create. And we want them to let us help them invest enough to get the results that they really need.We want the chance to do the work that makes all of this possible, especially creating the deep, trusted relationships that make our business more human, more value creating, and less transactional.The flight to relationships is coming. For some of us, it’s already here.QuestionsHow important are relationships to how you sell?How important to you are relationships when you are making a major, strategic purchase?How do your relationships add value to a deal?Why are people more and more willing to pay more for the results they need?Why are people more willing to invest in relationships, even if costs a bit more? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

Tarun Tejpal trial: Goa court restricts media coverage

first_imgA Goa court on Friday asked journalists to leaveas the hearing of arguments before framing of charges in the rape case against founder editor of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal, began at Mapusa in north Goa. This move came after, Mr. Tejpal’s lawyer Pramod Kumar Dubey requested the Additional District Sessions Judge Vijaya Pol to restrict the media from reporting the court proceedings under Section 327(3) of CrPC. The court sought the opinion of Special Public Prosecutor Francisco Tavora who did not object.The judge then asked the media and all persons not connected with the case to leave the court. The arguments will continue on Saturday.The Crime Branch of Goa police had filed a charge sheet against Mr. Tejpal on February 17, 2014 seeking to prosecute him under IPC Sections 354 (assaulting or using criminal force on a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (outraging modesty), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrong confinement), 376 (rape), 376(2) (f) (person in position of trust or authority over women, committing rape of such women), and 376(2) (k) (rape of a woman by a person being in position of control or dominance over the woman).In November 2013, Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting and raping a female colleague in the elevator of a five-star hotel, at an annual event of the publication in north Goa. Mr. Tejpal is currently out on bail.last_img read more

Violence shifts to Mirik in Darjeeling, TMC leader’s house attacked

first_imgViolence in the Darjeeling hills, which has been on the boil over the statehood stir, shifted to the Mirik municipality when a petrol bomb was hurled at the residence of a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader in the early hours of Friday.The house of M.K. Zimba, vice-chairman of the TMC Board at Mirik Municipality was attacked. Mr. Zimba sustained head injuries in the attack, following which he had to be medically treated.Miscreants also set on fire a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration office and an Agriculture Department office building in Mirik. In the recently concluded municipal polls, the TMC won the Mirik municipality while the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) won three other municipalities of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong. A fresh spate of violence erupted in the hills on Thursday night after miscreants attacked a patrol party comprising the CRPF and police personnel. Five police personnel were injured in the violence. The miscreants snatched a Self- Loading Rifle and a 9-mm pistol from the police-CRPF patrol party in the Rangli police outpost area in the Darjeeling district. Later in the day, the arms were recovered by the police from the same area. The GJM has denied any role in the incidents.Meanwhile, at the third all-party meeting convened at Kalimpong, it was decided that the shutdown in force since June 15 will continue.last_img read more

‘Mukul Roy in touch with BJP’

first_imgAt a time when the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership is making its displeasure clear over former party general secretary Mukul Roy’s interactions with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, BJP State president Dilip Ghosh has admitted that the sidelined TMC leader is in touch with the central leaders of the party. Mr. Ghosh also did not rule out the possibility of Mr. Roy joining the BJP. Mr. Roy could not be reached for comments.“I came to know that Mr. Roy is in touch with our central leaders. We will consider it if he wishes to join BJP,” said Mr. Ghosh. Describing Mr. Roy as a “noted leader”, he said there was a “procedure to join BJP.”last_img read more

Rajasthan’s Nindar, where farmers launched a desperate protest against land acquisition

first_img What is the land policy?Land acquisition in the State is governed by a policy framed in April 2016 under the Central law, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The policy’s emphasis is on conducting negotiations with landowners and reaching consensus on compensation and rehabilitation by the Collector, while taking into consideration the land’s existing market value. Separately, the State government has enacted a Land Pooling Schemes Act to consolidate small landholdings for the areas declared special investment regions. The land acquisition at Nindar was the first instance of forcible takeover of farmland with the payment of inadequate compensation, primarily because the land was acquired in several stages, while compensation was offered at the rates prevailing in 2010. Instances of land acquisition for alleged mining by private companies have been reported in the past and some villagers in Bhilwara district took the matter to the High Court in 2013, contending that the State Land Revenue Act entitled farmers to negotiations and the best price in lieu of the rights of agricultural land allotted for mining purposes.Why did farmers bury themselves?Protesters decided to intensify their agitation when they did not get a response from the government and came up with the novel idea of Zameen Samadhi Satyagraha. On October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the farmers dug pits and buried themselves waist-deep in a “non-violent method” of showing their anger at the government. Forty-year-old Nagendra Singh Shekhawat led the agitation as convener of the Nindar Bachao Yuva Kisan Sangharsh Samiti.What lies ahead?The State government and JDA officers did not respond initially. When the protesters did not budge and even celebrated festivals such as Karva Chauth and Deepavali at the site despite dehydration and skin infection, sympathy among the residents of the nearby Vidyadhar Nagar increased and Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and C.P. Joshi visited them to express solidarity. As public pressure mounted, the BJP government invited the farmers for talks. After prolonged negotiations, the JDA agreed to a fresh survey, in which all structures, tubewells and fruit-bearing trees would be included. The Sangharsh Samiti called off the agitation on October 31.The farmers are hopeful that the new survey will reflect the ground situation and ensure better compensation, against the previous assessment which marked several agricultural fields as barren and showed hamlets as vacant land. Dr. Shekhawat says the farmers are keeping their options open while looking forward to the findings of the survey, for which new teams have been appointed by the JDA. An unusual demonstration by farmers, who dug pits and trenches and buried themselves waist-deep in the earth, to protest against land acquisition by the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) for a housing project at Nindar, 20 km from the capital, drew the media’s attention in October and made political leaders sit up and take notice of the peasants’ plight. The unique protest generated immense public sympathy and forced the government to hold talks with the farmers.What did landowners object?The Rajasthan government had acquired 1,350 bighas of land at Nindar in several stages since 2010 for a plush housing project, despite the land owners refusing to accept compensation. The farmers wanted to save their land from forcible acquisition, saying the JDA’s survey was faulty and the compensation was much below market prices. After some farmers lost court battle, they surrendered 283 bighas. Nearly 5,000 families would have been affected. However, the JDA insisted on getting possession of the entire 1,350 bighas, including 150 bighas of the mandir maafi (exempted for temples) land for which it deposited ₹60 crore in the court as compensation. There are houses built on the mandir maafi land and villagers live there. The JDA’s project was touted as its biggest scheme with 6,000 houses and residential plots.last_img read more

Undertrials, guard fall ill after consuming bhang in Goa prison

first_imgTwo undertrials and a jail guard at Modern Central Jail at Colvale in North Goa were admitted to Hospicio Hospital on Wednesday after they fell ill on consuming bhang (cannabis) mixed with milk on Tuesday night.Trio hospitalisedInspector General of Prisons Rajendra Mirajkar said Anil Bhue, an undertrial, allegedly served milk laced with bhang to two other undertrials — Babu Arolkar and Vinay Gadekar — and jail guard Kiran Naik during Mahashivratri celebrations on Tuesday night.The trio was hospitalised on Wednesday after they complained of nausea and severe stomach pain. Mr. Mirajkar said one of three was discharged from hospital on Wednesday evening.Narayan Prabhudessai, Superintendent of Modern Central Jail, filed an FIR against Bhue at Mapusa police station in North Goa under Section 328 (causing hurt by poisoning) of the Indian Penal Code. The police have seized a bucket that was allegedly used to concoct the mixture. Mr. Prabhudessai in a report submitted to Mirajkar said undertrials from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar used to prepare the concoction and distribute it to other undertrials during Mahashivratri celebrations.last_img read more