Tag Archives: Stop

China Can't Stop Falling: Tencent Is Still A Conviction Buy
October 15, 2018 12:01 am|Comments (0)

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The 7 Best Ways to Stop Micromanaging
October 10, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

1. Take a second look at recruiting, hiring and training.

Micromanaging often has a root in bringing someone into the company who wasn’t the best fit in terms of culture or skills. That can cause the worker to clash with you or have trouble following protocols or policies, which in turn might make you feel like you have to watch the employee like a hawk. Review how you describe positions and what you require of your recruiters to see if you can’t find more ideal candidates. Once you’ve hired, make sure that workers have access to resources they need to learn and complete the tasks you expect.

2. Keep your schedule full.

The idea here isn’t to work yourself into the ground. Rather, it’s to keep yourself just busy enough that you’re less tempted to constantly watch over everyone. Try to schedule activities with others for accountability and network expansion, and get yourself out of the office when it’s practical.

3. Take a 360 picture of your life and do more self-care.

While some individuals naturally are a little more prone to micromanaging because of their personalities, you might also do it if you feel like there are other areas of your life that you can’t control. In this case, micromanaging employees can be a way of trying to find balance and cope with personal stress. Consider making some lifestyle changes that can put you back in the driver’s seat outside of the office, and talk with people you trust about what you find challenging.

4. Improve your own skills and creativity.

Micromanaging can be a way to live vicariously–if you don’t feel like you have specific competencies or capabilities, you might want to control the people who do so you can feel connected to those positive traits and take credit for their outcomes. Take classes or find other opportunities to affirm your own talents. Always ask yourself whether your requirements satisfy you or whether they satisfy the interests of the business.

5. Improve your communication.

Good communication between you and your employees reassures you that the workers are progressing as you wanted, which alleviates the worry that can prompt you to micromanage. It also builds rapport and trust, which can make you more confident that the workers will follow your directions even when you’re not looking over their shoulders. Schedule regular check-ins and establish an open-door policy so your team knows they can come to you. Make sure your operational routines and protocols discourage siloing and allow time for interaction. Lastly, outline clear goals and constraints for each project so there isn’t any confusion as you delegate.

6. Get more data.

Just like a lack of control in personal areas of your life can make you tighten your grip on workers, a lack of data can make you scared that you’re missing something or will lose out. Instead of keeping tabs on how workers spend every minute, stay focused on the bigger picture. Get other facts and figures that can reassure you that you’re on target, or that can give you better insights about what your employees can and can’t control. Use that data to evaluate team and company goals and adjust processes or resources on a regular basis.

7. Let workers call you out.

Address the elephant in the room and tell your team outright that you’re trying to be better and eliminate the micromanaging habit. Ask them to let you know when they need some breathing space so you can learn about their needs and what typically triggers you to be most watchful. Most employees will be impressed at your willingness to address the fault and just need some reassurance that they won’t be punished for pointing out what you’re doing.

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Apple Warns Employees to Stop Leaking Information to Media
April 14, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Apple Inc. warned employees to stop leaking internal information on future plans and raised the specter of potential legal action and criminal charges, one of the most-aggressive moves by the world’s largest technology company to control information about its activities.

The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo posted to its internal blog that it “caught 29 leakers,” last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. “These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere,” Apple added. The company declined to comment on Friday.

Apple outlined situations in which information was leaked to the media, including a meeting earlier this year where Apple’s software engineering head Craig Federighi told employees that some planned iPhone software features would be delayed. Apple also cited a yet-to-be-released software package that revealed details about the unreleased iPhone X and new Apple Watch.

Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of current models, give rivals more time to begin on a competitive response, and lead to fewer sales when the new product launches, according to the memo. “We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else,” Greg Joswiak, an Apple product marketing executive, said in the memo.

The crackdown is part of broader and long-running attempts by Silicon Valley technology companies to track and limit what information their employees share publicly. Firms like Google and Facebook Inc. are pretty open with staff about their plans, but keep close tabs on their outside communications and sometime fire people when they find leaks.

Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg last week talked about her disappointment with leakers. In 2016, Google fired an employee after the person shared internal posts criticizing an executive. The employee filed a lawsuit claiming their speech was protected under California law.

In messages to staff, tech companies sometimes conflate conversations employees are allowed to have, such as complaining about working conditions, with sharing trade secrets, said Chris Baker, an attorney with Baker Curtis and Schwartz, PC, who represents the fired Googler. “The overall broad definition of confidential information makes it so employees don’t say anything, even about issues they’re allowed to talk about,” he said. “That’s problematic.”

Apple is notoriously secretive about its product development. In 2012, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook pledged to double down on keeping the company’s work under wraps. Despite that, the media has continued to report news on the firm to satisfy demand for information on a company that’s become a crucial part of investment portfolios, many of which support public retirement funds for teachers and other essential workers.

In 2017, Apple held a confidential meeting with employees in another bid to stop leaks. Since then, publications, including Bloomberg News, published details about the iPhone X, a new Apple TV video-streaming box, a new Apple Watch with LTE, the company’s upcoming augmented-reality headset, new iPad models, software enhancements, and details about the upcoming iPhones and AirPods headphones.

Here’s the memo:

Last month, Apple caught and fired the employee responsible for leaking details from an internal, confidential meeting about Apple’s software roadmap. Hundreds of software engineers were in attendance, and thousands more within the organization received details of its proceedings. One person betrayed their trust.

The employee who leaked the meeting to a reporter later told Apple investigators that he did it because he thought he wouldn’t be discovered. But people who leak — whether they’re Apple employees, contractors or suppliers — do get caught and they’re getting caught faster than ever.

In many cases, leakers don’t set out to leak. Instead, people who work for Apple are often targeted by press, analysts and bloggers who befriend them on professional and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and begin to pry for information. While it may seem flattering to be approached, it’s important to remember that you’re getting played. The success of these outsiders is measured by obtaining Apple’s secrets from you and making them public. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose.

The impact of a leak goes far beyond the people who work on a project.

Leaking Apple’s work undermines everyone at Apple and the years they’ve invested in creating Apple products. “Thousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release,” says UIKit lead Josh Shaffer, whose team’s work was part of the iOS 11 leak last fall. “Seeing it leak is devastating for all of us.”

The impact of a leak goes beyond the people who work on a particular project — it’s felt throughout the company. Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model; give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response; and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives. “We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else,” says Greg Joswiak of Product Marketing.

Investments by Apple have had an enormous impact on the company’s ability to identify and catch leakers. Just before last September’s special event, an employee leaked a link to the gold master of iOS 11 to the press, again believing he wouldn’t be caught. The unreleased OS detailed soon-to-be-announced software and hardware including iPhone X. Within days, the leaker was identified through an internal investigation and fired. Global Security’s digital forensics also helped catch several employees who were feeding confidential details about new products including iPhone X, iPad Pro and AirPods to a blogger at 9to5Mac.

Leakers in the supply chain are getting caught, too. Global Security has worked hand-in-hand with suppliers to prevent theft of Apple’s intellectual property as well as to identify individuals who try to exceed their access. They’ve also partnered with suppliers to identify vulnerabilities — both physical and technological — and ensure their security levels meet or exceed Apple’s expectations. These programs have nearly eliminated the theft of prototypes and products from factories, caught leakers and prevented many others from leaking in the first place.

Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested. Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some partners in Apple’s supply chain. These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere. “The potential criminal consequences of leaking are real,” says Tom Moyer of Global Security, “and that can become part of your personal and professional identity forever.”

While they carry serious consequences, leaks are completely avoidable. They are the result of a decision by someone who may not have considered the impact of their actions. “Everyone comes to Apple to do the best work of their lives — work that matters and contributes to what all 135,000 people in this company are doing together,” says Joswiak. “The best way to honor those contributions is by not leaking.”

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How You Swipe and Hold Your Phone May Be a Critical Clue to Stop Fraudsters
October 24, 2017 12:00 am|Comments (0)

People are creatures of habit. This applies to daily routines, but also to small details like how they use their phones.

The angle they usually hold their phones as well as how they use the screen to scroll and swipe is often predictable enough to create individual profiles of users’ behavior. And in this data-driven age, it’s no surprise that companies are doing just that by compiling dozens of signals related to consumers’ phone habits in order to create so-called behavioral biometrics that prevent fraud.

The latest example came on Monday when a company called BioCatch announced that it has partnered with Samsung SDS to integrate behavioral biometrics to detect fraud on popular mobile apps.

Frances Zelazny, the vice president of BioCatch, said her company doesn’t only look at swiping or scrolling patterns to verify that someone logging in to, say, a banking app is who they are supposed to be. She says the company also relies on “subconscious decisions” such as the way someone toggles between menu options. BioCatch even introduces “invisible tests”—briefly freezing a phone screen, for instance, to see how someone reacts—as part of its project to map phone users’ behavior.

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Part of what makes this all work is the power of smartphones to act as data-collection devices. For instance, technology like the gyroscope (a component found in every phone) can measure the angle users hold their phones. This in turn provides an additional data point that firms like BioCatch can add to hundreds of other attributes that, when taken together, make up a distinct behavioral profile.

On a practical level, these profiles deter fraud because a crook trying to impersonate a real user will display aberrant behavior—say by swiping in an unfamiliar pattern or by tilting the phone in an unusual way. When such red flags are detected, says Zelazny, the app will respond by implementing additional security measures.

According to BioCatch and Samsung SDS, the combination of behavioral biometrics and other new forms of phone-based ID verification (such as fingerprint and, in Apple’s new iPhone X, facial recognition) will eventually replace the password as a form of security.

The introduction of behavioral biometrics is also part of a larger initiative backed by the FIDO Alliance—a group of companies that include Samsung, Google and RSA, which are working to create strong authentication protocols across different devices.

BioCatch did not state exactly when its behavioral biometrics tools will deployed in the apps consumers use every day. Here are a few additional details from the company’s press release:

BioCatch’s unique technology will be integrated into and complement Nexsign, Samsung SDS’s FIDO-certified, enterprise-grade biometric authentication software. The integration will fill the major security loopholes exposed when seamless interfaces of today’s most popular mobile applications don’t require a user to login multiple times to validate their identity.

BioCatch will use risk-based authentication to continuously monitor Samsung SDS’ users by mapping their behavioral patterns after log-in, to better distinguish between an authorized user, and that of an unauthorized user or an automated BOT or malware.

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Failure Only Strikes When You Stop Creating
September 28, 2017 10:30 pm|Comments (0)

The general public has a very narrow view about what it means to be creative. If you are a “creative person,” people usually assume that you’re an art director, a writer, a maker of crafts, an actor, or interior designer. But as entrepreneurs might agree, creativity is within everyone, it’s just differently applied.

This past week illustrated this point for me. I was working on a project with a brilliant engineer who swore up and down that she was not a “creative person” and yet she had built out a pretty incredible technology for online fraud detection. In order to figure out how to best stop fraud before it happens, she had to to put herself in the shoes of the fraudster – strikingly similar to the way an actor prepares for a role.

Then I watched her design the customer experience in real time as she worked out her equations on a whiteboard. The same way folks in the art department sketch out their ideas.

Creativity is so much bigger than arts and entertainment, its the driving force for business disruption.

No matter your area of expertise, you have a creative process. You know your flow, when you’re having a block to work through, and when you are undeniably on-point. And if you can tap into the formula for your most creative moments, you may start to see just what makes you tick as an entrepreneurial artist. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you want to be continuously successful, you’ll keep creating even in the toughest times.

Case in point, Pam Turkin.

Turkin, whose art happens to be baking, founded a cupcake business out of her home in 2008. By the next year, she had ten employees and over half a million in revenue. Seven short years after that, she had twenty locations, ninety employees, and over three million in revenue, making the INC List of Fastest Growing Companies.

But sadly, this company grew too fast and she lost control.

“Like anything that grows too fast, you just lose control of it,” Turkin said. “Once one domino went down, it was a chain event.”

Devastated, Turkin couldn’t dream of starting over again. “Hello Fresh was still writing to me monthly to work with them as an affiliate because they were lacking a dessert option. No longer running a business that could work with them, it felt like a cruel joke when they would reach out,” she recalls.

But as the emails kept coming, she started wondering just what the universe might be telling her because clearly, there was a gap that needed to be filled. So she researched the market and found that there was not a baking comparable to what Hello Fresh and Blue Apron do for dinner. Slowly but surely, she developed Rise Baking, a subscription service that delivers monthly “Baking Boxes” with pre-measured ingredients and instructions to make gourmet desserts.

Not only did this business encompass Turkin’s baking ability, but also her love for teaching others how to bake. “I knew from my failure at Just Baked what I ‘never wanted to do again,'” she says. “I had fallen into the trap of losing my direction there and ended up running a business not creating.”

Now that Turkin has a greater understanding of scaling a business, she’s been able to grow her new business at a much faster rate than a brick and mortar store would allow.

It’s easy to become paralyzed by failure, but really, we only ever truly fail when we stop doing what we love. As you continue on your own entrepreneurial journey, remember that the presence of failure gives you license to be more creative.

So when you do fail, fail hard and create harder.

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IDG Contributor Network: Lesson from AWS outage: stop putting your eggs in the same basket
March 31, 2017 2:25 pm|Comments (0)

It happened again.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) went down yesterday for hours,  bringing down a huge chunk of the internet with it. I didn’t realize at the time that AWS was the reason that I was not able to play the latest episode of Supergirl on my Apple TV. And it was not just the iCloud that was affected. It was not just the small sites. Big players were hit big time, including Apple, Adobe, Docker’s Registry Hub, GitHub, GitLab, Quora, Medium, Signal, Slack, Imgur, Twitch.tv…and many more.

This is not the first time AWS has gone down for hours, bringing everyone down with them. And it won’t be the last time.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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