Mobile Apps For Toddlers?

Original Post By Anne Flaherty

WASHINGTON — Smartphones don’t make smart babies, an advocacy group declared Wednesday in a complaint to the government about mobile apps that claim to help babies learn.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, whose allegations against “Baby Einstein” videos eventually led to nationwide consumer refunds, is urging federal regulators to examine the marketing practices of Fisher-Price’s “Laugh & Learn” mobile apps and Open Solutions’ games, such as “Baby Hear and Read” and “Baby First Puzzle.”

The Boston-based group says developers are trying to dupe parents into thinking apps are more educational than entertaining. It’s the campaign’s first complaint to the Federal Trade Commission against the mobile app industry as part of its broader push to hold businesses accountable for marketing claims about their technology to very young children and their parents.

“Everything we know about brain research and child development points away from using screens to educate babies,” said Susan Linn, the group’s director. “The research shows that machines and screen media are a really ineffective way of teaching a baby language. What babies need for healthy brain development is active play, hands-on creative play and face-to-face” interaction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any electronic “screen time” for infants and toddlers under 2, while older children should be limited to one to two hours a day. It cites one study that found infant videos can delay language development, and warns that no studies have documented a benefit of early viewing.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Open Solutions said it agrees that electronics are not a substitute for human interaction. But it noted the many positive reviews its apps have received by customers.

“We also don’t say ‘get this game and let it teach your child everything,'” wrote the company, based in Bratislava, Slovakia. “We assume (the) child is playing the game with parent/sister/baby sitter. We think we have apps that can help parents with babies, either by entertaining babies or help them see new things, animals, hear their sounds, etc.”

Kathleen Alfano, senior director of child research for Fisher-Price, said in a statement that toy development at the East Aurora, N.Y.-based company begins with extensive research by experts in early childhood development “to create appropriate toys for the ways children play, discover and grow.”

“Grounded in 80 years of research and childhood development observations, we have appropriately extended these well-researched play patterns into the digital space,” Alfano said.

Linn’s group alleges that the companies violate truth-in-advertising laws when they claim to “teach” babies skills. For example, Fisher-Price claims that its Laugh & Learn “Where’s Puppy’s Nose?” app can teach a baby about body parts and language, while its “Learning Letters Puppy” app educates babies on the alphabet and counting to 10. Open Solutions says its mobile apps offer a “new and innovative form of education” by allowing babies to “practice logic and motor skills.”

“Given that there’s no evidence that (mobile apps are) beneficial, and some evidence that it may actually be harmful, that’s concerning,” Linn said.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than half of American adults own a smartphone while about one-third of adults own a tablet. With the number of mobile devices on the rise, mobile software applications have become lucrative money makers. Even apps that are downloaded for free will often collect personal information from a consumer that can then be sold to marketers.

Most of the Fisher-Price apps, for example, are free but warn in their privacy policies that “third parties” can collect information about a person’s device for possible marketing purposes.

Federal law says advertising can’t mislead consumers and, in some cases, must be backed by scientific evidence. In 2012, the FTC — which enforces truth-in-advertising laws — agreed with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood that the developer of “Your Baby Can Read” lied when it promised consumers it could teach babies as young as 9 months to read. That business shuttered after the FTC imposed a $185 million settlement.

In 2006, the group asked the FTC to prohibit the makers of Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby videos from making claims about educational benefits. The FTC eventually declined to act after the companies, owned by the Walt Disney Co., agreed to remove some marketing promises from its packages and took down testimonials that claimed educational benefits. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood still pressed a group of lawyers to threaten a class-action lawsuit, and Disney began offering cash refunds for videos purchased.

Linn said her organization targeted Fisher-Price and Open Solutions because their baby apps were among the most popular and because they represented an overall trend of deceptive marketing practices by app developers, both big and small.

Leticia Barr, a former schoolteacher who runs the website Tech Savvy Mama, said apps might be educational but not until a child is much older.

“I think at a certain age, apps can certainly reinforce educational learning in kids,” such as working on the alphabet or numbers. “But it’s not a substitute for the parent. It’s not a substitute for reading. It’s not a substitute for the things you do in everyday life.”

Follow Anne Flaherty on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneKFlaherty.

Submitted by Zack Cyrus
zack7.13

Resume Tips: What Recruiters Love (and Hate)

Original Post by Angela Smith: http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/resume-tips-what-recruiters-love-and-hate/

 

You know all about getting your resume noticed. (Clean layout! Accomplishments, not duties!) But do you know what’s on the flipside? What you might be doing that could cause recruiters to overlook your resume—or worse, toss it in the trash?

Gasp! The trash? I know what you’re thinking, but the truth is, recruiters have dozens, even hundreds, of resumes to comb through every day. So, in an effort to cull them down to a reasonable amount, they’ll simply toss any that don’t meet what they’re looking for.

To learn more, I sat down with a few recruiters and asked them about the resumes that make the cut and those that get tossed. Here are three of their deal-breakers.

 

1. You Don’t Meet the Basic Requirements

First and foremost, review the requirements listed in the job description and confirm that you have the skills and experience the recruiter is looking for. This is the “first knockout factor” for many, says Christina Lord, a technical recruiter at Dealer.com. “Make sure you look at the requirements before applying to the job, and identify if your skills are a match,” she says.

Sounds basic, but job seekers make this mistake more often than you might think, thanks to career counselors and advice websites that say to go ahead and apply for a job even without all of the qualifications. And while you shouldn’t be afraid to aim high, no amount of resume tailoring will cover for the fact that you only have three years of management experience, not 10, or don’t have the technical skills required to do the job. “Resumes just won’t be considered if the basic skills aren’t there,” agrees Joanna Thomas, a human resources professional at an agency in Burlington, VT.

A similar mistake: You have the basic requirements, but they’re obscured by extra or unnecessary information. “Lay it out simply for me—that means less investigation I’ll have to do,” says Thomas. For example, if you’re applying for a position in marketing, but your experience is a combination of marketing and sales, tailor your resume to focus on your marketing experience and skills, and minimize—or even remove—the sales information.

 

2. You’re Not a Culture Fit

It’s of utmost importance to recruiters to find a candidate who’s a “cultural fit as well as a skill set fit,” according to Thomas. They love when a candidate “gets it”—and they’ll toss your resume if you look like “just someone looking for a job.” (Think summary statements that cover a wide range of skills and industries, or cover letters that don’t mention the company by name—or at all.)

To avoid the circular file, you’ll want to tweak your resume based on the position and company, making deliberate connections of how your experience, skills, and personality are a perfect fit for the job. Use industry terms, spell out accomplishments that you know will make an impact, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Thomas remembers an applicant who listed, “I’ll drink an iced Americano any time, day or night” under the interests section, which not only revealed the applicant’s “personality and sense of humor,” it was a great fit for Thomas’ agency, a highly creative design firm with its own specialty coffee shop in the basement.

 

3. You Don’t Pay Attention to Detail

When it comes to your resume, the devil is quite often in the details. Recruiters get annoyed by small things that you may not think of—like whether or not the text on your cover letter and resume is the same font and size (it should be), if your margins are off (makes it tricky for us to print), or to whom you’ve addressed the cover letter (it should be the recruiter’s name, not “sir,” “madam,” or “to whom it may concern”).

They’ll also take note if you don’t include everything the job posting asks you to send. A cover letter and resume? What about work or writing samples? Be sure to include everything that’s asked of you. Also, does the job posting refer to the position as Project Manager II? If so, state that in your cover letter, exactly—don’t write Proj. Mgr. or Project Manager. Companies put a lot of time into determining job titles, and when a recruiter is looking to fill both the Project Manager and the Project Manager II positions, any ambiguousness from you will make it harder for them.

And, it should go without saying, but “one spelling error and I’m out,” says Thomas. Proofreading your own resume is a must, but don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone—ask family or friends to take a look at it for you. Lord recommends that you “always, always have several eyes look at your resume.”

 

Applying for a job can often feel like a huge challenge, and knowing that there are so many applicants out there can be daunting. But if you follow these simple rules, you’ll make sure your resume gets past the first hurdle: the trash can. Better yet, if you tailor your resume and make sure it’s a fit to the company and job, you’ll definitely increase your chances of getting to the top of the pile.

 

Submitted by Mike Zeck

MZ.7.13

20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get

Original Post by Jason Nazar: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/07/23/20-things-20-year-olds-dont-get/

 I started Docstoc in my 20’s, made the cover of one of those cliché “20 Under 20” lists, and today I employ an amazing group of 20-somethings.  Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I see this generation making their own.  In response, here are my 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level.  In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want.  Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated – Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  As my father says, “I’ll Give You a Sh-t Medal.”  Unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results.  Even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success.  (Tip: read “Talent is Overrated”)

We’re More Productive in the Morning – During my first 2 years at Docstoc (while I was still in my 20’s) I prided myself on staying at the office until 3am on a regular basis.  I thought I got so much work done in those hours long after everyone else was gone.  But in retrospect I got more menial, task-based items done, not the more complicated strategic planning, phone calls or meetings that needed to happen during business hours.  Now I stress an office-wide early start time because I know, for the most part, we’re more productive as a team in those early hours of the day.

Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both.  Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue.  It’s not an end in itself.  I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.

Pick Up the Phone – Stop hiding behind your computer. Business gets done on the phone and in person.  It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities.  And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home.  Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– I give this advice to everyone starting a new job or still in the formative stages of their professional career.  You have more ground to make up than everyone else around you, and you do have something to prove.  There’s only one sure-fire way to get ahead, and that’s to work harder than all of your peers.

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility.  You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure.  Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.  (Watch: Millennials in the Workplace Training Video)

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career.  But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution.  Stop trying to justify your F-ups.  You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.

You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked – Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” would be the most valuable boss you could possibly have.  This is the most impressionable, malleable and formative stage of your professional career.  Working for someone that demands excellence and pushes your limits every day will build the most solid foundation for your ongoing professional success.

A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– 1-year stints don’t tell me that you’re so talented that you keep outgrowing your company.  It tells me that you don’t have the discipline to see your own learning curve through to completion.  It takes about 2-3 years to master any new critical skill, give yourself at least that much time before you jump ship.  Otherwise your resume reads as a series of red flags on why not to be hired.

People Matter More Than Perks – It’s so trendy to pick the company that offers the most flex time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings.  Those should all matter, but not as much as the character of your founders and managers. Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left.  Make a conscious bet on the folks you’re going to work for and your commitment to them will pay off much more than those fluffy perks.

Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do.  Keep your eye on the prize.   Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow.  That should be all the incentive you need.  If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity.

Speak Up, Not Out – We’re raising a generation of sh-t talkers.  In your workplace this is a cancer.  If you have issues with management, culture or your role & responsibilities, SPEAK UP.  Don’t take those complaints and trash-talk the company or co-workers on lunch breaks and anonymous chat boards.  If you can effectively communicate what needs to be improved, you have the ability to shape your surroundings and professional destiny.

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore.  I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position.  If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business.  Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it.  Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is my Networking Advice)

You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek.  You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be.  Their free guidance and counsel will be the most priceless gift you can receive.  (TIP:  “The Secret to Finding and Keeping Mentors”)

Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – You may not know what to do, but your professional idol does.  I often coach my employees to pick the businessperson they most admire, and act “as if.”  If you were (fill in the blank) how would he or she carry themselves, make decisions, organize his/her day, accomplish goals?  You’ve got to fake it until you make it, so it’s better to fake it as the most accomplished person you could imagine.   (Shout out to Tony Robbins for the tip)

Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts – Your generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters:  all breadth and no depth.  Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover.  All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others.  Make sure to read a book a month  (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.

Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big.  Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment).  Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential.  You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income.  No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life.  It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.

Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business.  It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity.  Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure.  It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.

Submitted by Tanya Khatatba

TK6.13

5 Phrases To Close Your Cover Letter & Land The Interview

Original posted on GlassDoor.com by Heather Huhman

 

Writing a cover letter isn’t an easy task for many job seekers. There’s a lot of pressure because, sometimes, the cover letter is the only piece the recruiter will read. Therefore, your cover letter must be a piece of writing that describes your achievements and how you will help the company succeed.

Additionally, you want your cover letter to illustrate how you are the best fit for the company and for the reader to believe you have the qualifications they seek. If you want to land an interview with your cover letter, you don’t want to sound vague or wishy-washy. Your cover letter should illustrate why you are the best fit and how you will help the company or organization reach success.

However, when writing the closing paragraph of your cover letter, it’s easy to have a passive voice because you don’t want to appear overconfident. For example, if you say, “I look forward to hearing from you,” that’s great — but that alone doesn’t seal the deal. The closing paragraph of your cover letter must be one of the strongest elements because it is the last impression you leave in the reader’s mind.

Here are five phrases to include in the final paragraph of your cover letter that will help you seal the deal for your next interview:

 

1. “I am very excited to learn more about this opportunity and share how I will be a great fit for XYZ Corporation.” Strong cover letter closings are enthusiastic and confident. You want the reader to have the impression you are truly passionate about the position and working for their company. This statement will also illustrate your ability to fit into the company culture and how your personality and work ethic is exactly what they’re looking for.

2. “I believe this is a position where my passion for this industry will grow because of the XYZ opportunities you provide for your employees.” It’s always a good idea to explain what you find attractive about working for the company and how you want to bring your passions to the table. By doing this, you can illustrate how much thought you dedicated to applying for the position and how much you care about becoming a part of the company.

3. “If I am offered this position, I will be ready to hit the ground running and help XYZ Company exceed its own expectations for success.” By adding this piece to your conclusion, you will be able to add some flare and excitement to your cover letter. The reader will become intrigued by your enthusiasm to “hit the ground running.” Employers look for candidates who are prepared for the position and are easy to train. Therefore, this phrase will definitely raise some curiosity and the reader will want to discover what you have to offer for their company.

4. “I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my qualifications will be beneficial to your organization’s success.” Remember, you want to make it clear in your cover letter how the employer will benefit from your experience and qualifications. You want to also express how your goal is to help the organization succeed, not how the position will contribute to your personal success.

5. “I will call you next Tuesday to follow up on my application and arrange for an interview.” The most essential part of your closing is your “call to action” statement. Remember, the purpose of your cover letter is to land an interview. Don’t end your cover letter saying you’ll hope to get in touch. Explain to the reader the exact day and how you will be contacting them. When you state you will be following up with the employer, make sure you do it!

Remember, the closing of your cover letter is the most important element that will help you land your next interview. By crafting a strong, confident, and enthusiastic closing paragraph, you will leave the reader feeling like you could be the best candidate for the position.

 

Posted by Jessica Flemming

Clever Hacks Give Google Glass Many Unintended Powers

Original Article By Steven Henn from NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/07/17/202725167/clever-hacks-give-google-glass-many-unintended-powers

 

At Philz Coffee in Palo Alto, Calif., a kid who looks like he should still be in high school is sitting across from me. He’s wearing Google Glass. As I stare into the device’s cyborg eye, I’m waiting for its tiny screen to light up.

Then, I wait for a signal that Google Glass has recognized my face.

It isn’t supposed to do that, but has hacked it.

“Essentially what I am building is an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google,” he said.

Balaban wants to make it possible to do all sorts of things with Glass that Google’s designers didn’t have in mind.

One of the biggest fears about Google Glass is that the proliferation of these head-mounted computers equipped with intelligent cameras will fundamentally .

Google has tried to respond to these fears by designing Glass so it is obvious to the people around these devices when and how they are being used. For example, to take a picture with Google Glass, you need to issue a voice command or tap your temple before the screen lights up.

But hackers are proving it’s possible to re-engineer Google Glass in any number of creative ways. And in the process, they’ve put Google in an awkward position. The company needs to embrace their creative talents if it hopes to build a software ecosystem around its new device that might one day attract millions of consumers. But at the same time, Google wants to try to rein in uses for Glass or spook politicians pointed questions about privacy.

So when Balaban first announced he had built an app that let folks use Glass for facial recognition, Google reacted harshly.

“I’d be lying if I said I was surprised,” he said.

The company said it wouldn’t support programs on Glass that made facial recognition possible — and changed its terms of service to ban them. But that hasn’t stopped techies like Balaban from building these services anyway.

And now, there are all sorts of things developers are doing with Glass that were not built into the original design.

Michael DiGiovanni created Winky — a program that lets someone wearing Google Glass .

Marc Rogers, a principal security researcher at Lookout, realized he could hijack Glass if you could trick someone into taking a picture of a malicious QR code — a kind of square-shaped bar code that can send a computer directly to a website.

But today, Rogers has nothing but praise for how Google responded to his hack. He says less than two weeks after he disclosed the problem to Google, the company had fixed it.

“The other thing that is really good is the way they pushed Google Glass out to a community of people who are particularly good at finding vulnerabilities and improving software and fixing software — way before it is a consumer product,” Rogers said. “This means that all of these vulnerabilities — or at least most of them — are going to be found long before Google Glass ever hits the market.”

Google’s decision to give the first few thousand pairs of Google Glass to tinkerers and hackers and geeks was intentional.

“In a case where you have [a product] that is so different from what is on the market currently, you really have to do these living laboratories where you figure out what the social and technical issues are before you release it more widely,” said Thad Starner, a professor of computer science at Georgia Tech and a manager at Google Glass.

When Google , it didn’t sell it to just anyone. The first few thousand people who got a pair were developers, a technically sophisticated group whose first impulse was to take it apart, peer inside its code and understand how it works. These people are hackers at heart, and when they got their hands on Google Glass, they broke it on purpose, cracking it open and exploring all the ways it could be used or possibly abused.

“That’s the great service our [Google Glass] explorers are doing for us,” Starner said. “They are actually teaching us what these issues are and how we can address them.”

But some of the issues raised by Google Glass might not be possible to address with a simple technical fix.

Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who specializes in new technologies and privacy, has suggested that gadgets like Google Glass or civilian drones could act as “” and spur conversations and legal debates about privacy in the digital age. Calo believes the conversations are long overdue.

 

Submitted by Zack Cyrus

zack7.13

4 Non-Annoying Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

Original article written by Jenny Foss: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/05/30/4-non-annoying-ways-to-follow-up-after-an-interview/

 

You landed the interview, and as far as you’re concerned? You nailed that sucker.

Or, you met with a recruiter who seemed super interested and incredibly connected with the exact kinds of companies for whom you want to work.

She said, “Keep in touch!”

Awesome. But a couple of weeks have gone by and nothing’s happened. So what do you do now? Can you follow up with her without reeking of desperation or looking like a pest?

This topic freaks a lot of job seekers out. Many people, even when they know they truly lit the interview on fire, would rather do absolutely nothing than risk looking stupid or making the wrong follow-up move.

But that’s what’s stupid. Because staying top of mind is incredibly important—and not just for the job at hand. Even if you’re not the right candidate for a particular position (or the position is filled before you can really show the company your amazingness), wowing the right decision maker—a recruiter, an HR person, or a hiring manager—can be incredibly valuable down the line.

With that in mind, here are a few ways you can ease the “staying in touch” part of the job search equation:

1. Ask About Next Steps (Before You Leave the Interview)

As a recruiter, it stuns me that so few people end the conversation with this question. But if you ask the interviewer what happens next, you know exactly when it’s acceptable to follow up. If the she says she’ll be contacting candidates within a week, and it’s day 9? It’s completely OK to touch base and remind her of the timetable she gave you. Don’t be pushy, but a quick note is perfect:

“Hi Sue—I hope you’re having a great week. You mentioned that your team would be finalizing a hiring decision on the Marketing Manager position this week. I’m eager to hear when you have an update. And certainly, if I may provide any additional information to support your decision-making process, please let me know!”

2. Get That Thank-You Note Out (With Lightning Speed)

Thank-you notes matter: They give you a terrific opportunity to follow up with the decision-maker right away. I encourage job seekers to get thank-you notes out (to each individual they’ve met in the interview process) immediately after the interview. Same day. From your laptop in the parking lot, if you really want to wow them.

Use this moment to affirm to the hiring manager that you’re on top of things and would bring a ton of value into the position for which you’re interviewing. Make it easy for them to decide on you.

3. Ask if You Can Connect via LinkedIn (Then Do)

Hey, this is a potential long-term professional relationship in the making. So it’s perfectly appropriate to connect on LinkedIn after the interview. That said—you don’t want to ambush anyone with your request, or leave the decision-maker wondering what your motives are (and please—no generic connection requests!). Instead, you should create a logical reason for connecting, then ask if she’s OK with it while you’re at the interview.

“You want to start dragon boat racing? I’d love to introduce you to my former colleague. He leads a dragon boat team right here in Portland.”

Or maybe, “I read a New York Times article about how Coca-Cola is employing brand strategy in this same way. Did you see it? I’ll be happy to forward it to you.”

There’s your in. And once you’re in? You can build a long-term professional relationship with that person, whether you end up landing the job or not.

4. If Things Drag Out, Check in (Periodically)

This is the job search technique people tend to stink at the most—the periodic check-in. But it’s so important, and it should be used throughout your career to keep your network fresh and engaged.

Now, this is not about harassment: “Did I get the job?” “Do you have a job for me?” “Did you make a decision?” Not at all. It’s about offering something of value to your contact. And in doing so, you will also (by default) remind her that you’re still out there.

This could mean forwarding an article that you think she’ll find interesting, or congratulating her if you notice she’s been promoted or earned some sort of recognition. Maybe thanking her for a bit of advice that you employed. Keep it simple and brief, and don’t ask for anything back. If that person hears from you and has an update? She’ll absolutely be in touch. Try:

“Hi Sue, We spoke last month about the product manager position at XYZ Industries. In our conversation, you highlighted some emerging trends in food packaging. I noticed this attached article about the same topic and thought of you. No response necessary. I hope you find the information useful!”

Nothing elaborate, and once a month is probably about right if you don’t get much response. But you can be assured that Sue will remember you, and in a good way if you’re helpful and non-pesky in the follow-up.

The bottom line is: Stay top of mind. It’s half the battle.

 

 

Submitted by Jennifer Wheeler

664681_10151117815031453_1342893035_o

Latest Web Designing Trends of 2013

Original Post from Graphic Design Junction: http://graphicdesignjunction.com/2013/07/web-designing-trends-2013/

 

Latest Web Designing Trends of 2013

 

Web designing has always kept on changing.  With the advancement of technologies, website has witnessed a complete transformation. Where online marketing is hugely increasing and thousands of new companies are on the go to compete in this global market, it’s has become quite challenging to grow more visibility to attract potential customers. However website is the most vital tool that helps any business or organisation to keep pace with prevailing standards. That’s why it’s necessary to have a well-organised website for any business. And with changing times, website too need changes in order to meet the latest trends and needs of the varied customers.

Thus, websites have always been updated and helped businesses to sustain in such a huge market. Now let’s see what kind of latest web designing trends prevailing in the market these days.

You may be interested in the following modern trends related articles as well.

Branding Matters

Branding Matters

It’s de facto that every business wants to make its brand more noticeable and unique to attracting more customers. And these days, websites going to pay more attention to brand designing rather than simple formation of detailed information and graphics.  Designers are more inclined to creating brand conscious strategies and of course tend to make attractive logo for the company. Thus, every businessperson wants to get a website that represents the brand and image uniquely.

 More Responsive web design

Responsive web design

Where technology is hugely growing, new handheld devices, mobile and desktop devices are being introduced at a good clip.  Since all of these devices differ in specifications and screen sizes, responsive web designing is something which is to be adopted to meet the latest trend.  Its responsive designing manages screen size issues that are largely based on its adaptability. With the help of responsive web designing, web designers needn’t have to make various layouts for mobile and desktop designs. This trend, therefore will offer convenience to website owners, designers and users.

Vertical scrolling

vertical scrolling

Website optimization has become very essential these days. There are many websites that offer both vertical and horizontal scrolling possible even for mobile devices. It’s because of vertical scrolling that offers much convenience and handiness to mobile users. This also provides efficiency and easy navigation. Then there is another probable trend in vertical scrolling of menus. Altogether, all these scrolling systems give user very convenient and effective experience.

Parallax scrolling

Parallax scrolling

It’s a great system which will allow the web designer to manage an array of design objects thoroughly. This is certainly going to be much more effective tool for the latest web designing arena.

Big buttons

big buttons

So far have touch and taps have been very popular, probably big buttons can be the latest logical trend. These buttons will make tapping very easy. But the only concern is that it requires more graphic elements that may slow down or hinder website. However, this is a great breakthrough for the latest trend.

Designed typography

Designed Typogrpahy

Typography is one of the most leading trends in web designing. It’s because of typography that adds value to any website. There is a wide range of fonts any web designer can choose from.  However selecting best typography is a vital decision as it’s going give a major effect to the overall layout of any site. With typography becoming an essential part of web designing, designer will make the most of it to create website with more impact and uniqueness.

 

Submitted by Spencer Hill

Spence6.13

Lenovo ranks first in worldwide PC market

By David Ranii — dranii@newsobserver.com

Lenovo, the Chinese company that vaulted onto the world stage when it acquired IBM’s PC business eight years ago, has achieved its longtime goal of becoming the undisputed leader in the global computer market.

Research firms IDC and Gartner issued reports on worldwide PC shipments Wednesday that each ranked Lenovo No. 1 in the second quarter. Although based in China, Lenovo has an executive headquarters in Morrisville where it employs more than 2,000 workers. More than half the company’s revenue comes from outside China.

Just four years ago, Lenovo was ranked No. 7 in the PC market. But solid products, aggressive pricing and expanded distribution in the U.S. market have enabled it to outpace the market and its top competitors for 16 consecutive quarters.

“Even in the toughest PC market ever, Lenovo has not only gained share, but we have steadily improved profitability and introduced even more innovative products for every market segment,” CEO Yang Yuanqing said in a statement. “The battle for PC leadership could certainly still go back and forth. But I am fully confident that there remains substantial room for profitable growth and groundbreaking innovation in the PC marketplace.”

Market drives shipments down

Lenovo’s long-awaited victory had a bittersweet quality given that its shipments dipped in the second quarter versus a year ago because of a down market.

Gartner reported that Lenovo’s shipments fell six-tenths of a percent, while IDC put the decline at 1.4 percent. That was much better, however, than the overall market – which dropped 10.9 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

Gartner said the fifth consecutive quarter of falling shipments marks the longest decline in the history of the PC market. In the face of the slumping market, Lenovo has been branching out into other products, such as smartphones and “smart TVs,” but it isn’t selling those products yet in the U.S. market.

“PC leadership is just one milestone in a longer journey to become a true leader in the ‘PC Plus’ market, which includes tablets, smart phones, smart TVs and other ‘smart connected’ devices,” Yang said. Lenovo is the No. 2 smartphone company in China and the No. 3 maker of “smart” devices worldwide.

Gartner also ranked Lenovo No. 1 in worldwide PC sales in the third and fourth quarters of last year, but IDC had HP in the top spot in both those quarters. In the first quarter of this year, both research firms ranked Lenovo second.

Gartner and IDC each reported that Lenovo’s share of the worldwide PC market in the second quarter was 16.7 percent.

In the U.S. market, both firms ranked Lenovo No. 4 in the second quarter – behind HP, Dell and Apple.

Still, Lenovo posted strong gains in the U.S. market. Gartner reported that Lenovo’s PC shipments rose 19.7 percent, despite a 1.4 percent decline in the overall U.S. market.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/07/10/3022367/lenovo-vaults-to-top-of-pc-market.html#storylink=cpy

 

Submitted by Zack Cyrus

zack7.13