The Internet has created a culture where anybody – anybody – can go from obscurity to fame overnight. This notoriety doesn’t require consent. Often it’s uncontrollable, ruinous and impossible to stop.

Take Pizzagate. What began as a fake news story about a child sex ring at Comet Ping Pong ended with an armed man firing an assault rifle inside the pizza parlor. Even before the attack, lives had been turned upside down. For weeks, the restaurant had been receiving harassing phone calls and emails. It had been slandered online. Law enforcement said there was nothing that could be done.

That’s where I come in. My law firm represents victims of online harassment and sexual assault. We stand for the belief – and witness it anew multiple times a day – that everybody is a moment away from having their life destroyed by a jealous ex, an enemy or even a demented stranger. All the angry person must do is post a picture or rumor. The Internet’s relentlessly archiving memory and creeping search engine algorithms provide eternal life in cyberspace to the most humiliating information, true or not.

[How Anthony Weiner’s risque messages shaped our revenge-porn laws]

Here’s a fact pattern we see frequently: A client’s nude pictures, originally shared in a trusting relationship, get posted by her jilted ex to a website dedicated to hosting “revenge porn.” Thousands of men frequent these sites each day. They email our clients. Soon he or she is assaulted by hundreds of unwanted, threatening emails, texts and social-media requests from strangers who blindly accept that she is the “diseased whore” her ex describes her as. These strangers compete with one another in the site’s comment threads to unearth as much personal information about her as possible – her social-media accounts, phone numbers of her parent’s employers, email accounts of her underage sisters. They use that information to stalk and harass. With a click of a button, the angry ex has presented the victim on a platter for the Internet to devour. This is harassment by proxy; revenge has never been more efficient.

Just because you’ve never taken naked pictures or don’t have enemies doesn’t mean you’re safe. We have clients whose bikinis are photoshopped off and posted onto revenge porn sites, who are filmed getting dressed or engaging in a sexual act without their knowledge, whose faces are masterfully superimposed onto a porn star’s bodies, whose rape videos have gone viral. Other clients are advertised as prostitutes for sex on websites such as Craigslist and Backpage. In one case, more than 40 strangers showed up at our client’s home and workplace to intimidate her.

We’ve had cases where the offender is somebody with whom our client went on one online date. In one case, she was somebody with whom our client, a male, decided not to go on a date with after determining she seemed too emotionally unstable. Thereafter, his name and social media profile picture wound up on an online STD registry. In all cases, the mob is at the ready to ignore the truth and scare the bejesus out of the target.

[If we took ‘Gamergate’ harassment seriously, ‘Pizzagate’ might never have happened]

Victims often seek assistance from law enforcement, but return from precincts demoralized. Their plight is often not understood by the individuals taking their report, who have a limited grasp of social media. (That was the case for journalist Amanda Hess, who in 2014 was asked “what is Twitter?” by the police officers taking her report of death-threat tweets.)

The law must keep up with these kinds of crimes. While 34 states have revenge porn laws, they don’t cover the resulting online harassment from mob viewers. Harassment laws typically require direct contact with the victim and a course of conduct. So if the original offender simply uploads content onto a site and sits back while the mob attacks, neither of those requirements are met. Similarly, a thousand people may each anonymously send the victim one terrorizing communication – again, not a course of conduct by any single person. Plus, law enforcers are highly unmotivated to open a case in which the cyber forensics may eventually show that the offender lives in a country on the other side of the equator – or at least is logging in through an IP address suggesting that. Law enforcement officers shy away from investigating tech cases, especially when they are lowly misdemeanors with an anonymous offender, let alone a thousand anonymous offenders.

There is good news: A combination of legislation, technology, law and advocacy can improve online life. We need laws that acknowledge harassment by proxy and that attribute actions of the incited mob to the original upstream offender. Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) is in the vanguard, introducing legislation stopping some of the most formidable online acts. One bill criminalizes the malicious publication of private information, another prevents blackmailed demands for sexual acts, and a third punishes people who falsely report emergencies causing SWAT teams to be dispatched.

Other important proposed legislation penned by Clark is focused on the infrastructure of law enforcement – one requiring the Justice Department to publish statistics related to cybercrimes and funding, another providing funding to hire and train law enforcement officers to investigate cybercrimes and to procure advanced computer forensic tools.  Meanwhile, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced the Intimate Privacy Protect Act this year, to criminalize non-consensual pornography, with co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

Although it’s a no-brainer that tech companies must stop the abuses on their platforms, angel investors and venture capitalists must refuse to fund new companies that don’t build community safety standards into their earliest designs. We must also support the efforts of the grass-roots change-makers such as the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and Without My Consent.

Never before has there been such a license for maliciousness. Tweets from our highest elected official have led to online harassment. To prevent a trickle-down effect of cruelty, we must take action. Nobody is trying to sanitize the Internet into a place exclusively for compliments and happy unicorns birthing sparkly glitter hearts. But if we do nothing, the Internet’s ruling class will be comprised of those with the most demented psyches and not enough to do.

Author : Carrie Goldberg

Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/12/21/my-clients-get-stalked-doxxed-and-humiliated-online-all-for-turning-down-a-date/?utm_term=.0053c58ac224

Categorized in Science & Tech

IBM today announced Watson Analytics Mobile for iPad -- an app that can be used along with a free personal or paid enterprise Watson account.

The app can import data from a cloud-based Watson account into a spreadsheet or CSV format, as well as use apps such as OneDrive and Dropbox to import files. In addition, Twitter hashtags can be entered directly into the app for analysis.

Most features are available to free-account users -- except for analyzing Twitter hashtags, although if you're new to Watson, you'll get a 30-day trial of that.

The app "is not a replacement for the Watson Analytics web application," according to an e-mail from Marc Altshuller, general manager of business analytics at IBM Analytics. "As such, the mobile app focuses primarily on the discovery capabilities." Those include answering ad-hoc questions, using natural language queries to discover patterns in data, and asking questions with voice commands.

In a quick test of the new app, it was clear that Web Watson has considerably more power. Like many mobile apps extracting useful information from data, Watson Analytics Mobile for iPad performed well with sample sales data that had well-understood values such as revenues, expenses, and countries. Some data prep might be useful for other types of data before expecting easy natural-language answers to queries, though.

For example, I loaded in a spreadsheet of Massachusetts early-voting data from the Secretary of State's office, hoping to get some sort of histogram or bar chart showing distribution of early voters, but the bar chart needed some manual fiddling in order to get something close to what I wanted.

And when I asked for the relationship between number of registered voters and percent of early voters, only 100 points were shown on the bubble chart. There are more than 300 cities and towns in the state, and it wasn't clear whether those 100 were a representative sample. In the Web version, all points displayed and there were more choices to create a customized data visualization.

IBM Watson Analytics Mobile-2

One task the app is clearly designed for is monitoring Twitter hashtag sentiments on the go. For fun, I imported a few hash tags about my favorite NFL team, the New York Giants, to check sentiment about the team. There were few "ambivalent" tweets and a lot of positive ones. Not surprisingly, tweets spiked late Sunday, December 11 into the early morning of December 12, when the Giants played a nationally televised evening game and beat the Cowboys 11-1. (The game was the highest rated primetime  regular seasongame in almost three years, excluding kickoff weekend, so Twitter activity was probably unusually high.)

Author:  Sharon Machlis

Source:  http://www.cio.com/article/3151116/analytics/first-look-ibms-watson-analytics-comes-to-the-ipad.html

Categorized in Science & Tech

Single software solution developed to accelerate additive manufacturing workflows for 3D Systems’ plastic 3D printers

ROCK HILL, S.C., Dec. 19, 2016 -- 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today the release of 3D Sprint 2.0, a productivity-enhancing print management and print optimization software developed for 3D Systems’ plastic 3D printers.

In line with the company’s commitment to providing end-to-end digital manufacturing solutions, 3D Sprint 2.0 streamlines 3D printing workflows by reducing the need for users to divide projects among multiple software programs. This results in a simplified and more productive printing process, saving users of 3D Systems’ plastic printers time and money.

3D Sprint 2.0

3D Sprint 2.0 delivers a wide range of design tools specific to additive manufacturing with 3D Systems’ plastic 3D printers.

3D Sprint Build

Advanced toolsets in 3D Sprint 2.0 help users print productively and manage printer fleets and materials. 

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/29ce5e0c-b116-426e-8e36-bb3730105daf

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/249d5a95-4f5b-47d2-845b-b7b76d4ddc67

3D Sprint 2.0 delivers a wide range of design tools specific to additive manufacturing that enable users to manipulate, edit and prepare 3D models for printing directly from the software interface. New features within the software allow users to perform advanced operations, including part splitting, cutting and keying; offsetting, shelling and thickening; part grouping, triangle reduction and part quality checks. 3D Systems printer management tools within the platform facilitate firmware updates, system checks and log retrieval to help users efficiently streamline processes while monitoring and managing print queues and materials. 3D Sprint 2.0 accommodates .stl, .obj and .ply file inputs as well as a variety of polygon and neutral CAD formats.

“3D Sprint 2.0 is the fastest and most reliable user interface we’ve ever used,” says Ian Sayers, 3D Printer and Scanner Sales, Hawk Ridge Systems, a 3D Systems partner. “Having a single piece of intelligent software that can create estimates on numerous virtual machines makes our operations more nimble, and the level of interoperability sets a new standard for what people will expect from 3D printing interfaces in the future.”

“Our goal with 3D Sprint 2.0 is to make 3D printing in plastic easier and faster than ever before,” says Ilan Erez, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Software, 3D Systems. “Having a single software platform for 3D Systems' plastic printers helps our customers achieve greater productivity and improved results.”

3D Sprint 2.0 supports and will immediately ship with all ProJet® 1200 and ProJet MJP 2500 Series printers. Support for other 3D Systems plastics printers as well as premium software levels with advanced editing and additional CAD format support will be announced at a later date.

Author:  ROCK HILL

Source:  http://www.econotimes.com/3D-Systems-Advances-3D-Printing-Productivity-with-Official-Launch-of-3D-Sprint-20-Software-457616

Categorized in Science & Tech

3D Systems Corp. (DDD), the additive manufacturing pioneer, believes the industry is on the verge of an inflection point in which it will generate volume and profits by “connecting prototyping to manufacturing.” Brean Capital’s Ananda Baruah, who has a hold rating on the tech company’s stock, highlights 3D Systems’ healthcare business as a market differentiator and driver of growth moving forward, reports Benziga.

Healthcare as a Successful Vertical

After a healthcare event hosted by the Rock Hill, S.C.-based company, the Brean analyst noted that 3D Systems’ healthcare business accounts for 27% of the firm’s overall sales, with an organic growth rate of 10% to 20% throughout 2015.Wrote Baruah in an analyst note: “We came away understanding 1) that the HC business itself could be in the process of growing into a legitimately material business on its own, and 2) more fully grasping DDD's strategy of leveraging the holistic platform capabilities of the HC vertical by applying it to the other target verticals of aerospace, automotive, and general industrial.”

Analyst: 3D 'Better Positioned Than Market Estimates'

After the 3D-printing industry boomed a few years back, 3D Systems and long-time rival Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) experienced a significant slump and lack demand in the consumer segment. The current 3D-printing industry revival has been supercharged by the entrance of larger firms HP Inc. (HPQ) and General Electric Co. (GE) as the industry moves towards 3D printing for industrial manufacturing.

Baruah believes that 3D Systems is better positioned to gain amid this large-scale industry transition than the market estimates, as the firm works on developing “end-to-end solutions and ecosystems across verticals.” The analyst indicates that 3D Systems’ healthcare vertical is a prime example of how the firm can cultivate a vertical businesses and apply the platform to other key verticals moving forward, such as aerospace, automotive, defense and general industrial.

 

Author:  Shoshanna Delventhal

Source:  http://www.investopedia.com/news/brean-capital-sees-bright-future-3d-systems-healthcare

Categorized in Science & Tech

Although the medical field has made many strides, at the end of the day, doctors are also prone to human mistakes. As a way to prevent human error, IBM Watson‘s cognitive technology is being developed to read and scan a patient’s medical images. This way, Watson has the ability to direct the attention of a doctor.

Watson will also have the ability to pull up a patient’s past medical history to diagnose a condition and come up with a faster treatment plan. For example, if a patient has a tumor, Watson will be able to identify it then utilize a patient’s past medical history to come up with a plan.

IBM is just one of the many companies trying to merge data and technology to assist the field of healthcare. Doctors may be able to do more with another set of eyes.

Author:  JIWON KIM

Source:  https://www.psfk.com/2016/12/ibm-watson-wants-to-be-your-doctor-human-error.html

Categorized in Science & Tech

In many cases, technology projects can be at odds with environmental interests. Technology can create a lot of waste, in device manufacture and energy use, and the increasing pace of innovation may only worsen these environmental issues. But there are a number of areas where this problem is seen as an opportunity, and technology is being used in the battle to protect our environment. Here are 5 examples of technology being used to powerful effect.

Connected Lighting and Heating

Technology is moving towards a state in which all of our devices are connected, creating an "Internet of Things." We are currently in the first wave of these devices reaching the mainstream, and this trend seems poised to continue. Within this first wave are a number of devices that allow for greater control over the physical environment. For example, the Nest thermostat has redefined the task of home heating and cooling, allowing for control over the web, and automated optimization to reduce energy usage.A number of startups have launched connected lighting products, using LED technology in an incandescent form factor with wireless connectivity. These lights can be controlled from a mobile application, allowing users to reduce energy consumption by ensuring the lights are off even after they leave the home.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have become a mainstream notion in recent years, driven by the popularity of Toyota's hybrid, the Prius.

Public demand for more electric car options has motivated a number of small, innovative startups to enter the automotive fray, despite huge capital and regulatory barriers to entry. The most attention grabbing of these companies is Tesla, founded by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk. But Tesla isn't the only startup in the mix, as Southern California based Fisker has met with early success with their launch of their plug-in hybrid sedan, the Karma.

Server Technology

For many of the technology giants, one of the biggest costs they face is in maintaining data centers. For a company like Google, organizing the world's information comes at the high cost of running some of the largest, most sophisticated data centers in the world. Energy use is one of their biggest operational expenses for many of these companies. This creates an alignment of environmental and business interests for companies like Google, who are finding innovative ways to reduce their energy consumption.Google is incredibly active in creating efficient data centers, maintaining tight control of all their operation. In fact, this is arguably one of Google's core business areas. They design and build their own facilities and recycle all of the equipment that leaves their data centers. The battle between the tech giants, Google, Apple and Amazon, is on some level a battle over data centers. All of these companies are striving to create efficient data centers that will house the world's information while minimizing financial, and environmental impact.

Alternative Energy

In addition to innovations in the design and construction of data centers, many larger tech companies are driving the applications of alternative energy sources, as yet another way to maximize the efficiency of their large energy usage.

Both Google and Apple have opened data centers that are either wholly or in part fueled by alternative energy. Google has created an entirely wind powered data center, and Apple has recently filed for patents for proprietary wind turbine technology. This shows how central energy efficiency is to the goals of these tech firms.

Device Recycling

Mobile devices and electronics are rarely made in the most environmentally friendly way; their manufacturing processes often involve harmful chemicals and rare metals. With the pace of release schedules for mobile phones increasing, this only spells more trouble for the environment. Fortunately, this increased pace has made device recycling a more profitable enterprise, and we're now seeing significant venture backing for startups that aim to buy back or recycle old devices, thus closing the loop for many environmental waste products.

Author:  Robin Sandhu

Source:  https://www.lifewire.com/applications-of-green-technology-2495438

Categorized in Science & Tech

Whether you’re a business owner trying to make your enterprise more profitable, a marketer trying to make your life easier, or just a consumer eager for the latest and greatest technology, it’s hard not to be excited about the new tech trends that are shaping our world.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve made a number of predictions about how technology would develop throughout 2016, and while many of my forecasts came true (more or less), there have also been some surprising developments in new areas that are worth our attention.

These are some of the most important and defining tech trends of 2016:

1. Streaming video.

Chances are, you’ve seen at least one of your friends or a major brand you follow stream a live video for their audience over the past year. That’s because streaming video is becoming more practical, more popular, and in heavier demand. Streaming video is interesting to users because it gives them an “in the moment experience,” being able to see through someone else’s eyes rather than just seeing a retrospective update. Because it’s been nearly perfected by brands like Facebook, it’s easier than ever for anyone to live-stream a broadcast at any time. Expect this trend to develop further with products like iGlass and Snap’s Spectacles.

2. Augmented and virtual reality.

AR and VR are already seemingly starting to become overused terms, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them on this list. Oculus Rift exploded onto the scene this year, along with dozens of competing devices and systems. Sales figures suggest that this is more than just a passing trend, and the hype wasn’t overblown (exactly). Plus, augmented reality app Pokémon Go crushed expectations with over 100 million downloads, ushering in what could be a new era for augmented reality gaming—and some marketing and advertising opportunities that go along with it.

3. Artificial intelligence (AI).

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have begun to creep into our lives in more diverse and unexpected ways. Just at a glance, AI algorithms are starting to self-improve search rankings and search results, automated investing, and personal digital assistants. So far, there have yet to be any major roadblocks—instead, we’re seeing major breakthroughs, such as AlphaGo beating a human Go master for the first time in history. We’re getting better at making our machines better, and in the next few years, we may start inching closer to approaching human-level intelligence with these systems.

4. Data visualization.

For a few years, every kind of “tech trends” post you could imagine mentioned “big data,” at least in passing. Today, big data is still around and still influential, but people aren’t referring to it in such generic terms anymore; instead, they’re focusing on its applications. One of the most important pieces to the big data puzzle is being able to interpret and manage the data accurately, and draw meaningful conclusions from what you’ve gathered; and that’s where data visualization comes in. Thousands of companies have sprung up to aggregate, project, visualize, and interpret data on behalf of non-professional data analysts, and to make “big data” more practical for the business world.

5. The open enterprise.

The “open enterprise” is a loose term that defines the tendency for different companies and applications to offer themselves through other apps, websites, and device functions. For example, you can order an Uber directly through Google, and Starbucks having plans to expand its mobile ordering app so consumers can order coffee while doing other things on their devices. This is becoming important because the “mobile experience” is becoming fluid, comprising elements of web surfing, information retrieval, and the use of functionality all at once. Being available to your customers no matter what app they’re using is a critical way to build awareness and encourage more engagements.

6. Blockchain and crypto-tech.

If you know the term “Blockchain,” it’s probably because of its association with BitCoin—or because it’s become a hot new tech fad that only keeps growing. Blockchain is a specialized way of sending, receiving, and processing information, which made it the ideal way to track the “ crypto currency ” of BitCoin. Now, Blockchain tech is being used in the healthcare and insurance industriesand is currently being explored by other developers. There’s a ton of potential for higher security and smoother consumer transactions here, and we’ll see those paths unfold into 2017 and beyond.

7. IoT streamlining.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home technology have failed to “take off” for several years; despite lots of smart devices on the market, the diversity of different companies offering solutions and the lack of a singular, unified “language” has made it difficult to create full internal networks. Now, companies like Google (with Home) and Amazon (with Echo) are trying to streamline IoT, making devices revolve around centralized hubs. The problem of unification in IoT may soon come to a close.

 

The success and impact of these tech trends in 2016 means that more companies, entrepreneurs, and developers will be focusing their efforts in these areas in 2017 and beyond. The potential is overwhelming, and I, for one, and thrilled to see how these and yet-unpredictable technologies develop in the next few years, and how they affect entrepreneurs and startups. I’ll be writing about them as they develop, so keep your eyes peeled for new updates.

Author:  Jayson DeMers

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/12/15/the-top-7-technology-trends-that-dominated-2016/#72e2b0f71ef0

Categorized in Science & Tech

With trends like ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, and the connected car, the auto industry is increasingly in the spotlight. As drivers contemplate letting computers take over control of the wheel for them, it brings up some important questions. What will cars of the future look like? What things will drivers be able to accomplish on their rides to work? And most importantly, what cool features will they be able to enjoy now that their attention doesn’t have to be on the road?

1. No parking skills? No need to fret

Parking sucks, especially the dreaded parallel. It’s often tricky in congested areas, it sometimes leads to smashed alloy wheels and it’s deeply embarrassing when not done correctly, which is why most are happy to hand over valet duties to a robot. Ford, Renault and many premium brands already own a system that will hunt down parallel and reverse parking spots and then use sensors and cameras to correctly steer the vehicle into the space, only calling upon a human for throttle inputs.

But things are about to get a whole lot easier, as BMW and Mercedes-Benz now boast tech that simply requires a prod of a smartphone for perfect parking results. BMW’s Remote Control Parking is already on the 7 Series  —  and due to be rolled out on more models next year — and sees the car autonomously reverse into and pull out of spaces, while Mercedes’ Remote Parking Pilot does a similar thing but also caters for perpendicular parking. The latter will appear on the new E-Class, which is due out late this year or early 2017.

2. Connected from the road to the kitchen

When your car knows to open the garage door and turn the AC on as you head down the road, you know you’ve hit peak connectivity. The ease of access for drivers as cars become a tool to become your personal assistant is rapidly advancing. The latest multimedia systems allow for emails to be read and sent, hands-free calls to be made and Twitter to be updated on the move by some of the largest car manufacturers like Nissan. Some even know to power themselves!

The cars of the future will be an extension of your home. As the auto industry combines to meld with the IoT revolution, we’ll see connectivity that we’ve never had before. Wouldn’t it be great to record your favorite television show when you’re running late by communicating with your vehicle? The cars of the future and you will end up being quite the team. Can’t wait or don’t want to buy a new car? Adapters from companies like Autobrain, Automatic and Vinli will turn your car (as long as it’s built after 1996) into the 4G connected, Wi-Fi enabled, connected car of the future.

3. A mobile living room

When car owners are no longer required to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel because computers are in the driver’s seat, the journey will be just as important as the destination. To the discerning 21 century mediaphile, this means HD screens, on-demand content streaming and one-kick ass, next-generation audio system to experience it with, just like one might in their living room but with the bonus of a smaller space and killer surround sound. Companies such as Auro-3D have partnered with companies like Porsche to introduce three-dimensional spatial sound patterns that replicate real-life sound experiences that are reminiscent of the best concert halls, but all in the comfort of your own car. This set up delivers the best-possible music playback to make every trip a new driving experience, not just a ride.

4. Goodbye dials, hello gestures

Why touch, when you can wave? Rear-view mirrors, radios, and more are moving away from the antiquated dial system to understand hand gestures through infrared cameras. Touch screens are increasingly becoming the easiest way to communicate with your vehicle over fumbling with dial switches. But the cars of the futures don’t want to have you even deal with potential smudges to that chrome finish. Thanks to leadership from Audi and Volvo, in efforts to de-clutter the dashboard to make you safer and more efficient, we’re going to see even touch screens get the boot as swipes and gestures will be the simplest and safest way to control functionality. Wave goodbye to those dials.

5. Never lose your keys again

We’ve seen in recent years the shift from key to keyless entry but next-generation cars take this one step further by completely removing them altogether. In the future, drivers will be able to unlock and start their cars using a fingerprint, retina scan or voice activation—similarly to how we access our smartphones today. And with how much time drivers save by not tearing the house apart looking for lost keys, they might be able to finish that book or learn a new language—or not. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about your teenager taking your car out without permission ever again. “Open the driver door, Tesla!” “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that.”

With all the cool new car technology on the horizon, it’s enough to make anyone want to give up public transit to commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic to catch up on shows, listen to the hottest new album release or just hang out with friends.

Author:  SPENCER MACDONALD

Source:  http://readwrite.com/2016/12/13/5-futuristic-car-technologies-that-are-available-now-or-heading-your-way-tl1

Categorized in Science & Tech

Facebook has risen to the top spot among tech companies on the annual Glassdoor Best Places to Work U.S. rankings.

That seems fitting for the company in a year when it is taking on Slack, Microsoft-owned Yammer, and other workplace collaboration platforms with its own Facebook Workplace.

Facebook’s Head of People, Lori Matloff Goler, told TechCrunch that the social media giant focuses on being a “strengths-based organization” and wants to be known as an employer that “takes good care of its people overall.”

She said, “Most employees speak favorably about their ability to have a real impact here. Many talk about the flexibility in the way we work.

Your manager is there to care for you, set context and help you play to your strengths, give you feedback and goals, but let you do whatever you need to get there. It’s not about how much time you spend in the office.

This is great for families but was inspired by engineers who, as you know, like to or need to work at different hours and are not seated at their desks all the time.”

Facebook also offers a very attractive parental leave package, she noted.

Glassdoor compiles compensation data, reviews and ratings by employees about the companies where they work. It makes money through paid job listings, recruiting and employer branding services. Its data sample comes from employees who self-select to offer information there.

Last year’s top-ranked tech venture, Airbnb, plummeted 34 spots in Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2017.

According to Glassdoor Community Expert, Scott Dobroski, that was largely due to written reviews from employees who said there has been an increasing amount of bureaucracy and decreasing amount of transparency from senior leaders in the company as it has grown.

The sharing economy’s top lodgings business still attained an overall 4.2 rating, out of 5 possible, from employees and did make the list of Best Places to Work U.S.

He also said Facebook made the list for the seventh time and topped the tech category because employees raved about their employer, overall, especially around compensation and benefits and perks that make day to day life easier like free meals or transportation.

When it comes to Facebook’s areas for improvement, Glassdoor data suggests the company could afford its people greater work-life balance. On a scale from one to five, Facebook employees rated work-life balance at their company around 3.8 compared to Google’s 4.1 rating in the category.

Google got slightly lower marks than Facebook on compensation and benefits with a rating of 4.4.

Other areas where employees were asked to score their companies included: career opportunities, culture and values, senior leadership, how strongly they’d recommend their employer to a friend, and the business outlook for their employer.

Whether Facebook can stay atop the list, or perhaps even top it overall and not just among tech employers remains to be seen.

The future of human resources at Facebook will be about “personalization,” Goler said.

“Students in middle and high school right now have grown up on shared platforms where they can customize their feeds, whether that’s on Instagram, or Facebook…They’ll enter the work world thinking it should feel similar to those consumer products.”

In total, 20 tech companies made the Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2017 list for the U.S.

Here they are, with their rankings and overall company score, as provided by Dobroski:

Facebook (#2, 4.5)
Google (#4, 4.4)
World Wide Technology (#5, 4.4)
Fast Enterprises (#6, 4.4)
LinkedIn (#8, 4.4)
Adobe (#9, 4.3)
Paylocity (#14, 4.3)
SAP (#15, 4.3)
MathWorks (#16, 4.3)
Salesforce (#17, 4.3)
Intuit (#20, 4.3)
Docusign (#23, 4.3)
Concur (#24, 4.3)
Akamai (#25, 4.3)
Zillow (#29, 4.2)
NVIDIA (#30, 4.2)
Airbnb (#35, 4.2)
Apple (#36, 4.2)
Microsoft (#37, 4.2)
Texas Instruments (#42, 4.2)

Author:  Lora Kolodny

Source:  https://techcrunch.com

Categorized in Science & Tech

The tech revolution, as commonplace as it may seem nowadays, continues to barrel forward, and 2017 will see some of the most innovative and evolutionary disruptions we have seen thus far. There will be more connection, more automation, and more significant impact in business and investment than ever before, and the revolution has just begun.

The innovations coming to fruit in 2017 are poised to redefine business and connection as we know it. From banking to devices, 2017 holds many a change in store — the technology of this next phase is dynamic, gigantic, and will feel like a futuristic sci-fi fantasy novel.

1 Finance will be automated.

Many financial experts are predicting that automated banks are the next big disruptor for the banking sector. According to a recent study by Citigroup, automated banking could replace 30% of bank jobs over the next decade. Financial advisors and analysts are due to be quickly replaced by robo-advisors that render them moot — with big data in the wings, robo-advisors have the data needed to make split-second, uber-informed decisions. The payments and mobile banking industries are riding high, as well: fintech startups raised over $22.3 billion in funding in 2015, up 75% from 2014. This trend will speed up in 2017.

2 Big data will get even bigger.

Big data will be a necessary asset for companies in all sectors, From trucking to data entry, big data algorithms will change the landscape in a big way, metaphorically and literally — geographical information systems will get a major upgrade in speed and efficiency. For example, MIT and Ford Motors recently partnered to read the cellphone location data of Bostonians, producing instantaneous traffic and transportation patterns that typically take years to build. Innovation will continue with developments in big data storage, providing much needed revolutionary agility in IT. Steve Wozniak has joined big data storage company Primary Data as their Chief Scientist, so we can be sure to see some huge changes there.

3 The Internet of Everything truly begins.

The Internet of Everything in both the consumer and B2B market will continue to rise, especially in North America, connecting data, things, processes and people. Intelligent systems will grow rapidly in 2017, especially after the release of the Home app from Apple this fall. Over 100 products are already on the market that will work seamlessly with apples HomeKit, so a smart-linked home will be an affordable possibility for anyone. Security, lights, electronics, and climate can all be controlled for the first time in one app. Wearable devices will continue to climb and mesh with healthcare and big data.

4 Mobility will continue to dominate.

Customers are almost completely mobile — as of now, four out of five people use their phones to shop. The global workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, working from home, and tech software and communications will begin to reflect that predominantly. From mobile storage for work-from-home employees to advanced security, mobility has only begun to gain traction. Verizon is one company to watch, as they are in the process of acquiring Irish fleet and mobile workforce management company Fleetmatics, positioning the mobile company to be the largest mobile workforce management company in the world.

5 Space exploration will become increasingly affordable.

Expect in 2017 to see huge changes in the space exploration sector. Costs will go down drastically, with what would previously cost billions of dollars costing only millions. The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority recently approved private company Moon Express to launch an unmanned exploratory moon mission in 2017, and the company plans to forge ahead with commercial missions to the moon to exploit its mineral resources.

We will also see huge strides in satellite use – Planet Labs Inc. has launched a fleet of tiny shoebox-sized satellites that can transfer daily high-res earth images, providing affordable and useful information to companies interested in economically sensitive areas like farmland, oil storage tanks and parking lot usage.

6 Marijuana tech will thrive.

Revenues from Colorado are booming, and investors are seeing huge returns on legal medical marijuana investments from other states, so 2017 will definitely see more of that. Marijuana in 2017 will be technologically pumped up, with fully automated grow operations that are both energy efficient and green (so to speak). Perfectly calibrated lighting and high tech grow software and control systems will make growing an even more lucrative business than it already is. Though legalization has been slow to come to all of the U.S., when it does the cleanliness and energy efficiency of high tech grows will make meeting regulations for high quality, safe, clean medicinal marijuana very easy.

This is certainly not a comprehensive list of all the innovations due to arrive in 2017, but a sneak peek into what may be most prominent on the radar next year. Ubiquitous mobile advancements, quantum computing, VR, AR, and virtual intelligence have been changing the landscape and will continue to do so next year as we move into what seems like a science fiction novel at times: a mysterious, exciting adventure.

Author:  Murray Newlands

Source:   http://www.forbes.com/

Categorized in Science & Tech

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