• October 29, 2013

    Mitigating Cloud Telephony Risks

  • September 2, 2013

    Reasons to Invest in Personnel Software

    Every business wants to get the best out of their workforce and will provide the training to their employees in order to empower them to do their job well. But in a large company it can be difficult to monitor, train, reprimand and assess the employees’  performances continuously and consistently without implementing a system that allows you to do this. To get the very best out of your workforce you will need strong Human Resource Management. Companies often want to minimise the number of Human Resources Managers on their team whilst still maximizing the results this team gets. In order to achieve this you will need to have a system in place that clearly displays what the current capabilities of the staff are, any training needs anyone may have, and issues with conduct or performance that has come to the fore with any individual employee. This could be done using standard spreadsheets or filing systems but neither of these methods are very time or cost efficient for the company. This is why, investment in a good software package can be a great idea. These kinds of practices are becoming more and more prevalent in firms the world over. There are many benefits that can be realized, using these kinds of programs. One of the main benefits is, simply the amount of time you will stand to save after implementation. Routine tasks such as attendance recording and annual leave recording are greatly simplified. Another great reason to invest in Personnel Software is the cost savings that can potentially be achieved. Sure, there is an initial cost in actually acquiring the software in the first place. However, this will be quickly recouped in a short period of time. Personnel software will also allow for easier delegation, and in some case, automation of...
  • Pandora executives said that they would lift for the 40-hour monthly cap on free mobile listening that was announced back in February. This is actually the second time Pandora has instituted a free cap and then lifted it again it last lifted the cap in September 2011. The decision to do so was announced by the company CFO Mike Herring, who explained the reasoning behind the move during an earnings call. The company has developed more precise techniques to control costs, and recent improvements in advertising allow Pandora to better monetize those extra listening hours. The decision was made for two reasons the first being when the mobile cap was reinstituted, usage dropped 10 percent. The second is to compete with iTunes radio and Spotify which has no cap. There was one down fall to lifting the cap. Herring mentioned without the cap, subscriptions won’t grow dramatically, and he predicted that they’ll make up 20 percent of the company’s revenue for the year. The announcement was made yesterday at Pandora’s earning report. The revenue report shows great results Pandora is up 58 percent year-over-year the company predicts that it will be profitable for the full year.
  • A handful of tech startups are using social data to determine the risk of lending to people who have a difficult time accessing credit. Two such companies are Lenddo and Kreditech, determines if you’re friends on Facebook with someone who was late paying back a loan to them. If so, that’s bad news for you. It’s even worse news if the delinquent friend is someone you frequently interact with. In addition to data from Facebook, eBay or Amazon accounts other information gathered is the manner in which a customer fills out the online application. For example, your chances of getting a loan improve if you spend time reading information about the loan on websites. If you fill out the application typing in all-caps (or with no caps), you’re knocked down a couple pegs. Your location is a consideration of creditworthiness based upon whether your computer is located where you said you live or work. Borrowers grant access to their PayPal, eBay and other online payment accounts, disclosing real-time sales and delivery information. The company says it can determine a business’ creditworthiness and put money into its account in just seven minutes. Some in the financial industry are skeptical about social data and online behavior being used as a kind of credit score. There are several people who have friends on Facebook that talk to them over chat and never talk to them again or never meet them in person there social friends not people they spend time with on a regular basis. There not people they take advice from there people there trying to catch up with from college, high school and other places so why should that effect there credit score.
  • With accessibility to television and film becoming more convenient for the active person, is the TV and Cinema experience declining? Attending the cinema has always been considered a social experience, then during the 1970s -80s when home video and TV boomed, the audience-film experiences became reduced to a domestic one. Many film scholars felt the cinema had died because people found the conveniences of watching movies at home with their friends and families more appealing. Could the domestic TV experience now be on its way out too? With the release of devices like myTV2GO-M Plug and Play Freeview DVB-T Tuners it is possible to watch and record TV/film from your ipads and iphones. So watching television is going to be even more secluded to the individual, almost resembling a book reading experience. I guess another argument could be made for the potential decline of book reading. If people now have access to television and movies when commuting to work or lying in bed, what is preventing the possibility of book reading losing its already reduced demand? When one medium goes through a popularity demotion, this usually causes a domino effect, resulting in even less fashionable mediums declining even more. It’s not credible to have TV/Films screened on mobile devices!? Film/TV critics and essayist have been quite consistent in mocking the idea of viewing a film from a mobile device, filmmaker David Lynch famously bellowed “Don’t watch movies on a F*%#ing phone”. So it is clear the actual makers of film/tv material are not keen to the idea of their work being viewed on a mobile device and that is understandable. The amount of time and effort put into producing a film or TV series from an artistic point of view may make the concept of it being viewed on a...
  • On April 19, Netflix launched all 13 episodes of Hemlock Grove, a horror thriller from Eli Roth.  In Netflix’s quarterly report they stated “We’re very pleased with its early performance. Hemlock Grove was viewed by more members globally in its first weekend than was House of Cards and has been a particular hit among young adults.” This caused Netflix stocks to rise very heavily.  Putting Netflix stock at a high it had not seen in sometime since the huge drop after the whole quickster debacle a few years ago. So far more people have watched the new supernatural show than the political drama House of Cards.  Hemlock Grove along with House of Cards, clearly shows the company’s desire to be a media player similar to HBO and Showtime. It appears that Netflix’s original content strategy is paying off, with more than 3 million new subscribers signing up last quarter. That brings Netflix’s total membership to more than 36 million members. Netflix’s next original content offering is a new season of the cult comedy TV show Arrested Development. All 15 episodes of that series will be available on May 26.  Netflix original programming will also add ‘Orange is the New Black’ on July 11th.
  • Commercial video games have been on the market for a considerable amount of time now, and there’s a good chance that anybody under the age of 30 was exposed to home video game systems during their youth. While advanced, high-quality computer games took a few more years to develop, they’ve been around for a quite some time as well. Traditional video game systems and computer games are still very much alive. In fact, there is some evidence that certain segments of the video game market are actually growing; however, there’s a new player on the scene that they’re already competing with: free online games.  Why Are People Playing Online Games? One reason some researchers believe that people are playing more online games is because they’ve come to accept advertising as part of their gaming experience, and they aren’t bothered by ads that interrupt gameplay from time to time. Ad-based services like these are popular in other areas of media of well – sites like Hulu, which offers streaming television shows for free, does the same thing. When asked why they play free online games, the responses are typical – for mental stimulation and to relax. Those are pretty much the same reasons people provide when asked why they play traditional commercial video and computer games. Online Games are Profitable for Companies Making Them Traditional videogames and computer games often take years to develop. In addition, they can be incredibly expensive; however, online games don’t cost nearly as much as they don’t offer the use the same depth. After all, the person playing the game isn’t spending $50-plus for the game, so this is acceptable. Companies developing online games also don’t have to take the risk of investing millions of dollars in the production of a game to have it not...
  • May 4, 2013

    Netflix Loses Almost 1,800 Titles

    Netflix users will see nearly 1,800 titles disappear from the video streaming service.  The video streaming service is losing titles from MGM, Universal and Warner Bros. because its licensing agreements with the movie studios have expired.  Classic movie titles like “Dr. No,” “Goldfinger” and “Thieves Like Us” will no longer be available for Netflix instant streaming. Netflix titles have a tendency to come and go from the service, and are rotated out if they are not watch frequently enough.  Netflix will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time. This isn’t Netflix’s first major loss of content. In 2012, Starz let its licensing agreement with the video streaming service expire and Netflix lost another 800 hours of programming from the History Channel and A&E Nexflix says losing the titles won’t hurt its business because it doesn’t want to be a clearing house of rentals. Netflix goal is to be an “expert programmer,” not a “broad distributor” of online content.
  • The ESEA gaming network has been exploiting its users’ powerful graphics cards to mine Bitcoins without their knowledge. “Mining” is the way Bitcoin is created — it involves dedicating some or all of a CPU or GPUs power to solving hashes, which in turn generates the virtual currency. The mining began on April 13th and affected thousands of gamers, who unwittingly mined over $3,700 worth of the currency. ESEA, which describes itself as “the largest competitive video gaming community in North America,” wasn’t aware that the Bitcoin mining was taking place, and blames the behavior on a rogue employee out for personal gain. The full story on how and why the Bitcoin-mining software made its way to users’ computers isn’t yet available, but ESEA had been exploring the idea of adding a Bitcoin mining option to its client. The idea was canned on April 12th, but the next day, the rogue employee secretly distributed the code without permission. The code, which was embeded in the ESEA client, used the gamers’ powerful computers to mine the virtual currency without their knowledge.
  • March 13, 2013

    Netflix Gets Social With Facebook

    Starting today, Netflix streaming members in the U.S. can link their Netflix account to Facebook. The new Netflix/Facebook integration lets Netflix members see what their friends have watched by adding new “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by your friends” rows to Netflix. Members also automatically share what they watch only within Netflix and can optionally share what they’ve watched to Facebook. All U.S. Netflix members will have access to the social features by the end of this week. The way was paved for today’s launch in January of this year, when President Obama signed the new Video Privacy Protection Act into law, after it successfully made its way through Congress late in 2012. The timing couldn’t be better for Netflix, however, since it has just launched its own original programming with the debut of “House of Cards”, and will deliver four more original shows by summer 2013