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Steven Ryan

Steven Ryan

The 21st century is termed the information age which is heavily powered by the internet. Turn on your phone, top up your phone with internet bundles for as low as Sh20 s and Voila! PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

If you went through the 8-4-4 system, it was always about passing an exam which most of the time entailed cramming all the information you could muster to regurgitate it on an exam paper. But the truth about life is that you never stop learning. Meeting a new person, working in a new environment, reading a book or even encountering an unexpected situation; you learn how to change, adapt or manage these new learning experiences.

The 21st century is termed the information age which is heavily powered by the internet. Turn on your phone, top up your phone with internet bundles for as low as Sh20 s and Voila! You can access all the information through any search engine available to you. Some simply term it Google University.

There are numerous sites you can visit that offer talks from various global icons and celebrities, to free lectures at world renowned universities that you may not afford to attend. We took time to find some websites that offer a vast array of information to grow your skill set in your career of choice, as well as simple life skills that you wouldn’t learn in a conventional learning environment.

COURSERA

This site offers paid courses from  leading universities and institutes across US, UK, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada and South Africa; such as Princeton University, University of Cape Town, University of Geneva, University of Manchester, John Hopkins University, University of Hong Kong among others.

Coursera offers over 200 courses ranging from certificates, specialized learning to Master Degree programs. The courses include recorded videos of lecturers, peer reviewed assignments, and an interactive open discussion forum with other students from across the globe taking the course.

FUTURE LEARN

Future Learn is similar to Coursera offering a plethora of courses across various fields, from a vast array of global universities and institutions. The courses range from Creative Arts and Media, Literature, Health and Psychology, Law, Science, engineering and Math among others. These short courses are free and run from 2 to up to 8 weeks. If you would like a certificate for a course that you have completed, you will need to pay a fee to receive it. And even once you have completed the course, you will still have access to the content.

CODE ACADEMY

As the name suggest, Code Academy offers you a variety of specialised courses on coding or what is best known as software engineering. These courses are user friendly, once you login to your account you can pick from a wide category of coding courses with a text editor. These courses are developed in partnership with various leading technology firms such as IBM, and Periscope Data.

ACADEMIC EARTH

www.academicearth.org

Academic Earth offers the experience of schooling in a European or American Ivy league University. On this site you can enjoy curated video lessons from top lecturers on various course matters, free of charge. They range from philosophy, finance to mathematics and so on.  The site also offers you a variety of courses to choose from with supporting links to the various university sites where you can sign up for a specific certificate, degree or masters, of your interest to register and pay for. Depending on the course and institution you may be required to sit for a standardized test before admission. The institutions’ respective websites will provide the necessary particulars.

UDEMY

Udemy is an online treasure trove of learning. The site offers 45,000 different courses offered by expert instructors across spheres. You can enjoy tennis lessons from former World No. 1 tennis player, Andre Agassi, to learning how to emerge as a local celebrity. The courses come at a fee with on-demand pre-recorded videos.

CRASH COURSE

If learning in school was anything like Crash Course everyone would have been number one in school. This site offers free courses ranging from world history, economics, philosophy, physics to chemistry among many others. These YouTube videos, breakdown the subjects into comical and factual bite sizes; it’s a fun way to learn across all age groups. 

EDX

Like Coursera and Future Learn, Edx offers numerous courses and 15 professional certification courses from various top tier global universities. The platform was started by US based Harvard and MIT universities in 2012, to expand open learning across the globe. Most of the courses are generally self paced; meaning you determine how fast you want to study the course. The courses are free, the only payment you will make, if you want, is to purchase your certification for the completed course. The Professional certification, on the other hand, is priced.

SCHOOL OF LIFE

Life is a school on its own. But there are a lot of soft skills that a lot of us miss from divergent parenting at home to varied school systems and societal norms. School of life offers an amusing and creative solution to answering some of life’s questions through their YouTube videos. It explores everything from existentialism, to how to be a man, political theory to why comedy matters. It is a great way to learn something new.  

Source: This article was published on nation.co.ke By ROSE ODENGO 

Super Earth orbiting dwarf star

The newly discovered planetary body is the lightest exoplanet found orbiting an M-dwarf star.

Astronomers have found a new "super-Earth" circling an M-dwarf star, and it could be habitable. The dwarf star, designated as GJ 625, is around 21 light years away from our solar system and is around 1/3rd the size and mass of the Sun.

Super-Earths are a kind of exoplanet with a greater mass than the Earth, but not exceeding the mass of ice giants such as Neptune or Uranus. Although the term "super-Earth" is generally used to refer to the mass of the planetary body, scientists also use the term to describe planets that are visually larger than Earth.

The discovery was made by a team of astronomers led by Alejandro Suarez Mascareño of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics. The scientists studied the dwarf star for over 3 years.

The astronomers said that the super-Earth was found orbiting "at the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star."

"As GJ 625 is a relatively cool star the planet is situated at the edge of its habitability zone, in which liquid water can exist on its surface," Mascareño said in a statement. "In fact, depending on the cloud cover of its atmosphere and on its rotation, it could potentially be habitable."

Stars like the one the newly discovered super-Earth was found circling, are often prime areas for researchers searching for alien Earth-like planets. This is because low mass rocky planets are more likely to be found around dwarf stars. However, discovering such planetary bodies can be challenging as the signals emitted by such stars can often mimic those of a planetary body.

The super-Earth was designated as GJ 625 b. The exoplanet has a minimum mass of 2.8 Earth masses and is the lightest ever exoplanet found orbiting an M-dwarf star, which is the star's spectral designation. The exoplanet orbits the star every 14.6 days at a relatively close distance.

Source: This article was published on ibtimes.co.uk


 

Saturday, 27 May 2017 22:08

How to Avoid Mobile Game Scams

Find out how to stay away from rip-offs and fake games on iOS and Android.

 

With the rise of the "fake news" scare in 2016, it's worth noting that consumers of all kinds should be wary of the content that they consume. In particular with mobile gaming, it is quite possible for apps and games to be fake scams. In particular, fake games are a real concern for mobile gamers. Games like Totally Accurate Battle SimulatorGang Beasts, and Superhot, which didn't have official mobile releases, are regularly cloned and sold on mobile app stores.

That they don't have official mobile releases is a big reason for this – curious players will see these apps pop up and buy or download them because they want them for themselves. Here are tips and information to protect yourself from scam apps on the App Store.

Why do so many scams pop up?

Mobile app stores make it very easy for developers to release apps on to their marketplaces. This means that many developers have had access to releasing games that they otherwise wouldn't. But it also means that scammers have had an easy way to release low-effort rip-offs and outright scams. Google in particular has an easy upload process for apps. Apple theoretically has a more stringent approval process that makes it tougher for scammers to get their apps past their teams, but in practice, they have allowed apps that have scammy keywords to appear alongside legitimate apps. For example, games that include unrelated full names or trademarks in their title will appear.

Also, clones of games with the original trademark have appeared on the App Store over the years, with Gang Beasts and Totally Accurate Battle Simulator being the latest games to suffer such a fate. But Apple has run into issues before: The Blocks Cometh got a clone well before Halfbot was able to release it for mobile.

If you're surprised to see a game is out on mobile, then remember "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is." If a game is notable, it is likely to be featured by the app store, so if it's a recent release, you can often find it on the front page. Don't just go by the app name, that can be faked. Check the seller name, and the information that the app store provides. Cross-check that with the developer of the game on other platforms. Sometimes this might not match, because of publisher agreements, but if it's a random individual name, be careful. The official website and social media for a game and its developers will link to the mobile versions. These are the best ways to ensure that the game or app you're buying is legitimate. 

Should Android users be more vigilant than iOS users?

Yes, but iOS users need to be careful, too. Malware is a threat on Android, and the approvals for Google Play are far more lax than the Apple App Store. Yet, Apple has allowed a large number of games that are illegitimate to pop up on the App Store, despite having a dedicated App Store approval team. There's been games that just use keyword scamming to appear when searching for a real game.

But also, several games that rip off titles that aren't otherwise available on the App Store. While some cursory investigation would reveal that these games are likely fake, Apple's approvals team lets many obvious fakes slip by. Developers also have been unable to get a game approved and make it into a fake app after its improved by changing details for a few years now, at least without getting an app update approved. This is what happened with a fake Halo app (granted it was many years ago).

What kind of games get fake and/or scam versions?

Pretty much anything popular is prone to get fake scams.

Fake Pokemon games have appeared over the years. If it's a popular search, or a popular game from a major company, someone has probably tried to put a fake version out there. But even indie games get cloned with scam versions. Games that have wacky physics, like Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, Goat Simulator, and Gang Beasts, often are cloned because they're easy enough to duplicate. The quality behind the games is often from hard work that has subtle but important effects on the game itself, but the core concept is something that can be easily duplicated. Unity and other game engines make it possible for any developer with enough knowledge to quickly duplicate games like this. 

What are the risks of these fake apps?

Well, many are just harmless, clones unleashed to make a quick buck or two before stores pull them down. Money that should go to the original, hard-working content creators is instead going to unscrupulous actors, and that's bad in and of itself. Cloned apps can be very demoralizing to developers, in particular because they can hurt business for the official versions of their games if and when they release on mobile.

But on a more material level to the end user (that is, the people who downloaded/bought the game), scammers are also more likely to add elements that could include malicious permissions to mine data from you that they can sell. Or they could feature especially intrusive advertising, and on Android, install things like new lock screens. Be careful of permissions you agree to for apps that you may be unsure about.

Get refunds if you've been scammed

If you think you've been scammed, get your money back. Google Play offers refundswithin a couple of hours of buying an app, no questions asked. Just visit the app's page and use the refund button. You can also request refunds from your purchased history after the refund period is over. In particular, if an app is a scam product, you are more likely to get a refund than if you just don't care for an app.

On iOS, you need to contact Apple about any refunds, but it's not a guarantee. Apple is a lot more permissive of refunds after EU policies made stores like them and Steam implement refund policies. As such, there's more of a chance now than in the past to get a refund for an app if there's a major issue. And an app being a fake scam is a good reason to get a refund.

Report the scam app

Google offers a takedown request form for apps that are scams. This allows you to easily, and directly report an app that might be a rip-off. Apple does not have a direct request form, but following these steps will help.

Source: This article was published on lifewire.com by Carter Dotson

Apple’s iOS platform has a wonderfully simple and intuitive UX, but the platform continues to grow more and more complex with each passing year. The iPhone is the kind of device that just about anyone can pick up and figure out how to use quickly, and yet it also hides all sorts of nifty features and functions that even the most savvy users probably don’t know about.

Learning about cool secret features that are hiding in your iPhone is always fun because it makes your phone feel fresh and new, if even for a moment. We’re going to run through 10 little-known iPhone tricks in this post. Even if you already know about some of them, we guarantee you’ll learn something new.

Delete text faster: When you tap and hold the backspace key on the iPhone’s keyboard, the delete rate speeds up after a while. But here’s a trick we bet you didn’t know — if you press harder on the backspace key on any iPhone with 3D Touch, it’ll speed up instantly. Deleting will also slow back down if you release some of the pressure.

Quickly and easily turn off the flashlight: Being able to turn on the iPhone’s flashlight from Control Center while the phone is locked is super convenient. But having to swipe back in and tap the button again to turn it off can be annoying, especially when your hands are full. Instead, simply start to swipe our lock screen to the left like you’re opening the camera, but only swipe a tiny bit and then let go. Your phone will think you’re opening the camera app and the flash will turn off.

As someone who walks a dog late at night every day, I can confirm that this trick definitely comes in handy when you’ve got an iPhone 7 Plus in one hand and a bag full of in the other.

See all open Safari tabs: Isn’t that cascading list of Safari tabs annoying? Instead of scrolling around looking for something, turn your phone to landscape while on any tab. Then pinch the screen like you’re zooming out on a photo, and you’ll see all of your open tabs like this:

Open Spotlight in any app: Sometimes you want to search your phone without opening the Notification Center. You can — with any app open, just pull down from the top of the screen like you’re opening Notification Center, but stop when just the search field is visible and you feel a little haptic vibration.

Easy package tracking: Did someone send you a package and then text you the tracking number? Tap and hold on the tracking number in the Messages app and an option will pop up right there to track it.

Prioritize app downloads: Via Reddit, did you know you could prioritize your app downloads? If you’re in the middle of downloading and/or updating a whole bunch of apps but there’s one in particular you need, just 3D Touch the icon and you’ll get this menu:

Infinite zoom on any photo: It’s kind of annoying that you can only zoom in to a certain point on photos you capture on your iPhone. Check this out — tap the edit button, crop the photo just a tiny little bit, and save it. Now you can zoom in infinitely! Things start to get a little weird after you zoom in too far, so try not to get lost.

Search for words on a webpage: Okay, this one is HUGE. Most people have no idea that you can actually search for words on a webpage in mobile Safari just like you can in a desktop browser. One any webpage, type the word you’re looking for in the URL bar but don’t tap “Go.” Instead, scroll down and you’ll see an option to search for the word, and you can then tap through each instance. Here, you can see that I searched for the word “echo”:

Close all Safari tabs at once: This is a big one for people who leave tons of tabs open and decide they need to start fresh. Just tap and hold on the tab switcher button in the bottom-right corner in Safari, no 3D Touch needed. A little menu will then pop up and give you the option to close all tabs.

Drag share sheet options to rearrange them: Here’s another trick that comes courtesy of Reddit. If you want to quickly reorder your options on the iOS share sheet, simply tap on one and drag it around. Here’s a screenshot that shows how it works:

 

Source: This article was published on bgr.com by Zach Epstein


 

Find out how to stay away from rip-offs and fake games on iOS and Android.

With the rise of the "fake news" scare in 2016, it's worth noting that consumers of all kinds should be wary of the content that they consume. In particular with mobile gaming, it is quite possible for apps and games to be fake scams. In particular, fake games are a real concern for mobile gamers. Games like Totally Accurate Battle SimulatorGang Beasts, and Superhot, which didn't have official mobile releases, are regularly cloned and sold on mobile app stores.

That they don't have official mobile releases is a big reason for this – curious players will see these apps pop up and buy or download them because they want them for themselves. Here are tips and information to protect yourself from scam apps on the App Store.

Why do so many scams pop up?

Mobile app stores make it very easy for developers to release apps on to their marketplaces. This means that many developers have had access to releasing games that they otherwise wouldn't. But it also means that scammers have had an easy way to release low-effort rip-offs and outright scams. Google in particular has an easy upload process for apps. Apple theoretically has a more stringent approval process that makes it tougher for scammers to get their apps past their teams, but in practice, they have allowed apps that have scammy keywords to appear alongside legitimate apps. For example, games that include unrelated full names or trademarks in their title will appear.

Also, clones of games with the original trademark have appeared on the App Store over the years, with Gang Beasts and Totally Accurate Battle Simulator being the latest games to suffer such a fate. But Apple has run into issues before: The Blocks Cometh got a clone well before Halfbot was able to release it for mobile.

If you're surprised to see a game is out on mobile, then remember "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is." If a game is notable, it is likely to be featured by the app store, so if it's a recent release, you can often find it on the front page. Don't just go by the app name, that can be faked. Check the seller name, and the information that the app store provides. Cross-check that with the developer of the game on other platforms. Sometimes this might not match, because of publisher agreements, but if it's a random individual name, be careful. The official website and social media for a game and its developers will link to the mobile versions. These are the best ways to ensure that the game or app you're buying is legitimate. 

Should Android users be more vigilant than iOS users?

Yes, but iOS users need to be careful, too. Malware is a threat on Android, and the approvals for Google Play are far more lax than the Apple App Store. Yet, Apple has allowed a large number of games that are illegitimate to pop up on the App Store, despite having a dedicated App Store approval team. There's been games that just use keyword scamming to appear when searching for a real game.

But also, several games that rip off titles that aren't otherwise available on the App Store. While some cursory investigation would reveal that these games are likely fake, Apple's approvals team lets many obvious fakes slip by. Developers also have been unable to get a game approved and make it into a fake app after its improved by changing details for a few years now, at least without getting an app update approved. This is what happened with a fake Halo app (granted it was many years ago).

What kind of games get fake and/or scam versions?

Pretty much anything popular is prone to get fake scams.

Fake Pokemon games have appeared over the years. If it's a popular search, or a popular game from a major company, someone has probably tried to put a fake version out there. But even indie games get cloned with scam versions. Games that have wacky physics, like Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, Goat Simulator, and Gang Beasts, often are cloned because they're easy enough to duplicate. The quality behind the games is often from hard work that has subtle but important effects on the game itself, but the core concept is something that can be easily duplicated. Unity and other game engines make it possible for any developer with enough knowledge to quickly duplicate games like this. 

What are the risks of these fake apps?

Well, many are just harmless, clones unleashed to make a quick buck or two before stores pull them down. Money that should go to the original, hard-working content creators is instead going to unscrupulous actors, and that's bad in and of itself. Cloned apps can be very demoralizing to developers, in particular because they can hurt business for the official versions of their games if and when they release on mobile.

But on a more material level to the end user (that is, the people who downloaded/bought the game), scammers are also more likely to add elements that could include malicious permissions to mine data from you that they can sell. Or they could feature especially intrusive advertising, and on Android, install things like new lock screens. Be careful of permissions you agree to for apps that you may be unsure about.

Get refunds if you've been scammed

If you think you've been scammed, get your money back. Google Play offers refundswithin a couple of hours of buying an app, no questions asked. Just visit the app's page and use the refund button. You can also request refunds from your purchased history after the refund period is over. In particular, if an app is a scam product, you are more likely to get a refund than if you just don't care for an app.

On iOS, you need to contact Apple about any refunds, but it's not a guarantee. Apple is a lot more permissive of refunds after EU policies made stores like them and Steam implement refund policies. As such, there's more of a chance now than in the past to get a refund for an app if there's a major issue. And an app being a fake scam is a good reason to get a refund.

Report the scam app

Google offers a takedown request form for apps that are scams. This allows you to easily, and directly report an app that might be a rip-off. Apple does not have a direct request form, but following these steps will help.

Source: This article was published on lifewire.com by Carter Dotson

There are many out there that wonder what they’re default search engine should be. Some like using Microsoft’s Bing, others prefer Yahoo, and the majority goes to Google for all of their searching needs. But, what about all of the other options out there, such as DuckDuckGo? Can DuckDuckGo do what Google does? Is it better than Google? Are there any differences?

Well, stick around, and we’ll show you!

SEARCH PROWESS

As far as actual search functionality goes, Google and DuckDuckGo are, pretty much, the same thing. There really aren’t a whole lot of differences here. Whatever you search for in either search engine, you’re going to find the same information. The only difference is that you’re trading Google’s personalized search results for DuckDuckGo’s more private browsing. And in all honesty, Google’s personalized search results and DuckDuckGo’s added privacy are simply “take it or leave it” features, as they really don’t provide much value.

DuckDuckGo has a couple of nice features that work a lot better than the implementation of them in other browsers out there. One of those first features is called Bangs. With bangs, you can search content of a specific website extremely fast. For instance, if you wanted to find the new Deadpool movie on Amazon quickly, all you would have to do is type !a Deadpool in the search bar, and that would be the first result that comes up. This functionality is available for many other websites out there, and makes searching oh so much quicker.

Other browsers offer a similar function, with the “site:” tag. Unfortunately, that’s not even a replacement for Bangs, as the “site:” tag concentrates all of the information in the search engine, whereas Bangs takes you directly to the website with the content you want to see.

The other neat feature is Hidden History. DuckDuckGo does not track your search history, and that’s a good thing as it’s not taking that history and monetizing it to you on every search you do. DuckDuckGo does have ads, but it’s not nearly as invasive as Google.

While there are a lot of benefits to DuckDuckGo, not all of it is good. One of the drawbacks of DuckDuckGo is that its not good with news. You can search Google for a topic, and you’ll instantaneously get results related to what you want to see. That isn’t the case with DuckDuckGo; however, it’s not too much of a downside, as you can get around this with Bangs. If you want to see news from Google’s search engine, just begin your search query with !g.

DUCKDUCKGO DOESN’T HAVE THE PRIVACY YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

Many think DuckDuckGo is superior because of its privacy. It has a lot of good features that makes it worth ditching Google, but the focus on privacy is more of an illusion. DuckDuckGo doesn’t have true privacy. Most search engines don’t. In fact, it’s almost impossible to browse the web privately. Hidden search history and things like Incognito Mode only makes things private on your computer’s end, not your ISPs.

If you’re looking for true privacy, DuckDuckGo definitely isn’t the option. But, if you want to find out how to browse the web as privately as possible, PCMech’s very own Christian De Looper put together a handy guide using the Tor browser.

Keep in mind that DuckDuckGo really doesn’t track its users. But, once you leave the search engine and hop onto another website, you’ll be tracked by that website or another. That’s why if you’re wanting true privacy, it’s best to take Tor for a spin.

CLOSING

And that wraps up our overview on DuckDuckGo vs. Google. As you can see, both of the search engines are relatively the same, as they both do the same thing: search. However, one reason why you might want to ditch Google and make DuckDuckGo your default search engine is because the latter option values a privacy a whole lot more than Google does or ever will.

There really isn’t much harm in ditching Google. Both search engines will serve you up pretty much the same information, only DuckDuckGo will do it with your privacy in mind. You truly aren’t losing much of anything here, aside from leaving some of Google’s ecosystem.

Of course, don’t make the jump based off of just my opinion. Be sure to see DuckDuckGo for yourself, try it out, and see it how it fits within your needs. One thing I can promise you: you’ll be impressed.

DuckDuckGo Search Engine Link

What’s your favorite search engine and why? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below or join the discussion over on the AIRS Forum!

Source: This article was published on pcmech.com by 

Move over Tatooine — having two suns is old news. New research shows that the closest exoplanet to Earth — Proxima b — may have just one-upped the fictional Star Wars desert world by possessing not two, but three stars as a part of its orbit.

You’re forgiven if the name KIC 8462852 doesn’t ring a bell. It’s a far-off object, thought to be a star, which was only just discovered in late 2015, but it’s already managed to totally confuse researchers in its extremely brief stint on the scientific stage. The star has continually exhibited extremely odd behavior, and has been repeatedly observed experiencing huge dips in brightness that don’t seem to have any readily available explanation. Now, the star has been spotted performing the same dimming trick as it has in the past, and scientists are throwing out some extremely wild theories. 

KIC 8462852, otherwise known as “Tabby’s Star” or “Boyajian’s Star” depending on where you look, was caught in the act this past weekend, dimming in brightness by about three percent, which is a large enough change to be easily detected. Normally, the dimming of a star at regular intervals would indicate the presence of a planet in orbit, but there doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the of dimming exhibited by KIC 8462852.

Researchers have thrown forth many possible explanations, including other, non-planetary celestial bodies passing in front of the star which are obscuring our line of sight, such as comets, and even the possibility that whatever is floating around the star isn’t a naturally-occurring object at all, but instead a massive alien structure. As the research and observations continue, scientists around the globe are hoping that spectral readings will give them a clue as to what, if anything, passed in front of the star. Whatever the object happens to be, it’s an exciting time for sky-gazers.

Source: This article was published on bgr.com

CREDIT: Getty Images

Research shows that people focus on 8 specific behaviors in evaluating your personality. Be ready for them so that you can make a strong impression.

The human brain is hardwired to judge. This survival mechanism makes it very hard to meet someone without evaluating and interpreting their behavior.

While we tend to think that our judgments are based on the content of conversations and other obvious behaviors, the research says otherwise. In fact, the majority of our judgments are focused on smaller, subtler things, such as handshakes and body language. We often form complete opinions about people based solely on these behaviors.

We are so good at judging other people's personalities based on small things that, in a University of Kansas study, subjects accurately predicted people's personality traits, such as extroversion/introversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness, simply by looking at pictures of the shoes they wore.

Our unconscious behaviors have a language of their own, and their words aren't always kind. These behaviors have likely become an integral part of who you are, and if you don't spend much time thinking about them, now is a good time to start, because they could be sabotaging your career.

1. How you treat waiters and receptionists.

How you treat support staff is so indicative of your makeup that it has become a common interview tactic. By gauging how you interact with support staff on your way in and out of the building, interviewers get a sense for how you treat people in general. Most people act the part when they're speaking to the hiring manager or other "important" people, but some will pull a Jekyll and Hyde act the moment they walk out the door, treating others with disdain or indifference. Business lunches are another place this comes to light. No matter how nice you are to the people you have lunch with, it's all for naught if those people witness you behaving badly toward others.

2. How often you check your phone.

There's nothing more frustrating than someone pulling out their phone mid-conversation. Doing so conveys a lack of respect, attention, listening skills, and willpower. Unless it's an emergency, it's wise to keep your phone holstered. A study from Elon University confirms that pulling out your phone during a conversation lowers both the quality and quantity of face-to-face interactions.

3. Repetitive, nervous habits.

Touching your nails or face or picking at your skin typically indicates that you're nervous, overwhelmed, and not in control. Research from the University of Michigan suggests that these nervous habits are indicative of a perfectionistic personality, and that perfectionists are more likely to engage in these habits when they're frustrated or bored.

4. How long you take to ask questions.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone when they talked about themselves the entire time? The amount of time someone allows to pass before they take an interest in you is a strong personality indicator. People who talk only about themselves tend to be loud, self-absorbed "takers." People who only ask questions and share little about themselves are usually quiet, humble "givers." Those who strike a nice balance of give-and-take are reciprocators and good conversationalists.

5. Your handshake.

It's common for people to associate a weak handshake with a lack of confidence and an overall lackadaisical attitude. A study at the University of Alabama showed that, although it isn't safe to draw assumptions about someone's competence based on their handshake, you can accurately identify personality traits. Specifically, the study found that a firm handshake equates with being less shy, less neurotic, and more extroverted.

6. Tardiness.

Showing up late leads people to think that you lack respect and tend to procrastinate, as well as being lazy or disinterested. Contrary to these perceptions, a San Diego State University study by Jeff Conte revealed that tardiness is typically seen in people who multitask, or are high in relaxed, Type B personality traits. Conte's study found that Type B individuals are often late because they experience time more slowly than the rest of us. Bottom line: Don't read too much into people showing up late. It's better to ask what's behind it than to make assumptions.

7. Handwriting.

There are all manner of false stereotypes attempting to relate your handwriting to your personality. For example, people believe that how hard you press down on the paper relates to how uptight you are, the slant of your writing indicates introversion or extroversion, and the neatness/sloppiness of your writing reveals organizational tendencies. The research is inconclusive at best when it comes to handwriting and personality. If you have an important letter to write, I'd suggest sticking to the keyboard to keep things neutral.

8. Eye contact.

The key to eye contact is balance. While it's important to maintain eye contact, doing so 100 percent of the time is perceived as aggressive and creepy. At the same time, if you maintain eye contact for only a small portion of the conversation, you'll come across as disinterested, shy, or embarrassed. Studies show that maintaining eye contact for roughly 60 percent of a conversation strikes the right balance and makes you come across as interested, friendly, and trustworthy.

Bringing it all together.

Sometimes the little things in life make a big difference. It's good to be ready for them, so that you can make a strong impression.

What other behaviors yield insight into people's personalities? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me. 

Source: This article was published on inc.com By Travis Bradberry

Public, private and hybrid cloud implementations will accelerate in 2017 as CIOs seek to take advantage of the cloud’s economies of scale to build core applications.

Cloud computing has helped many enterprises transform themselves over the last five years, but experts agree that the market is entering something of a second wave, both for public cloud and private cloud services built and hosted in corporate data centers. The cloud market will accelerate faster in 2017 as enterprises seek to gain efficiencies as they scale their compute resources to better serve customers, says Forrester Research in a new report.

“The No. 1 trend is here come the enterprises,” says Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti, primary author of the research. “Enterprises with big budgets, data centers and complex applications are now looking at cloud as a viable place to run core business applications.” Forrester says the first wave of cloud computing was created by Amazon Web Services, which launched with a few simple compute and storage services in 2006. A decade later, AWS is operating at an $11 billion run rate.

Forrester found that 38 percent of 1,000-plus North American and European enterprise infrastructure technology decision-makers said that they are building private clouds, with 32 percent procuring public cloud services and the remainder planning to implement some form of cloud technology in the next 12 months. Also, 59 percent of respondents said they were adopting a hybrid cloud model.

Forrester offered the following cloud predictions for 2017:

Regional players complement ’mega cloud providers’

CIOs who initially elected to build private clouds may find themselves switching to public clouds as they realize just how time-consuming and costly the work will prove. Capital One shuttered private cloud efforts in favor of Amazon Web Services a few years ago, says its CIO Rob Alexander. “We recognized that we were spending a lot of time, energy, effort and management bandwidth to create infrastructure that already exists out there in a much better state and is evolving at a furious pace,” Alexander says.

The global public cloud market will top $146 billion in 2017, up from just $87 billion in 2015 and is growing at a 22 percent compound annual growth rate. The lion’s share of this growth will come from Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google and IBM, which have emerged as "mega-cloud providers,” Bartoletti says. They are opening new data centers and making concessions, such as Microsoft’s agreement to have T-Systems manage its cloud in Germany to meet data localization requirements. But the big players won’t be able to service every unique request, which means smaller regional players will see an uptick in adoption in 2017. Bartoletti recommends: "Keep you options open and don't be afraid to use multiple providers."

Cloud cost containment

 One popular theory is that CIOs will save money by investing in public cloud software, but that’s not always the case. The fact that most CIOs leverage multiple cloud providers means enterprises are already waist-deep in complex cloud vendor management. Also, if companies leave public cloud instances running through the weekend when they don’t need them, CIOs can actually spend more money than they did with on-premises solutions.

IT executives will get better at containing cloud costs in 2017 as their best practices mature. And it’s already happening. Bartoletti says that a cloud architect for a large software company shaved $300,000 off of a $2.5 million cloud bill by monitoring his consumption. And cost management tools from the likes of AWS, Cloudability and Cloudyn are available. “There’s no reason in 2017 for your cloud costs to grow out of control,” Bartoletti says.

Lift and shift those cloud apps

Forrester also recommends that companies refactor apps to run on public cloud systems, leveraging migration services, rather than simply dumping existing apps into a public cloud. The optimum option to move an application is to rewrite it to take advantage of cloud’s elasticity, although this lift-and-shift migration can be costly. “In 2017, lift-and-shift migration tools will accelerate the rate of cloud migration, given their low cost for bulk application migrations,” Bartoletti says.

Hyperconverge your private cloud

Bartoletti says that while more Forrester clients are citing security as a reason to shift to public cloud services not every CIO wants to accept risks associated with entrusting their customer and other sensitive data to a third-party vendor. Like their public cloud counterparts, private cloud services require advanced virtualization, standardization, automation, self-service access and resource monitoring. Stitching these capabilities together into a cohesive system is daunting and expensive.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions promise to help, offering preintegrated compute and storage resources that help organizations get their cloud implementations running faster. Forrester recommends that organizations consider HCI as the foundation for their private cloud development, particularly for new workloads that demand rapid, automated scale-out. “HCI is quickly becoming the default infrastructure platform upon which to build the private portion of a hybrid cloud,” Bartoletti says.

There’s a container for that

Containers enable developers to manage software code, particularly software developed for cloud apps. Forrester says that Linux containers will be available in every major public and private cloud platform by early 2017. Developers will consume them directly and often build their own stacks to power microservices development. But the new paradigm means new challenges; companies will need to grapple with new security, monitoring, storage and networking issues that arise as containers are deployed broadly in production. “Your first step should be to evaluate the pros and cons of on-premises private PaaS versus a managed public cloud development platform; you might need both,” Bartoletti says.

Enterprise apps come to public cloud

Several companies are hosting enterprise applications in AWS, suggesting that CIOs have become more comfortable hosting critical software in the public cloud. Dollar Shave Club runs Spark analytics software in AWS. Cardinal Health runs Splunk in AWS. Several others are running business apps, such as SAP, in AWS. Bartoletti says you can expect this trend to continue as CIOs rely more heavily on public cloud providers. “Enterprise are turning great ideas into software and insights faster and the cloud is the best place to get quick insights out of enterprise data,” Bartoletti says.

Source: This article was published on cio.com By 

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