Tag Archives: Take

In 6 Words, Elon Musk Explained Why So Many People Are Afraid to Take Risks and Achieve Greatness
January 3, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

This series examines the stories behind some of the best inspiring quotes of all time. Check out the full list: the best inspirational quotes for 2018.

The most powerful threat to greatness isn’t evil. It’s mediocrity.

Of all the colorful ways to articulate that truth, one of the best is what Elon Musk told Chris Anderson of Wired magazine, back in 2012.

They were talking about Musk’s space exploration company, SpaceX, which grew out of Musk’s “crazy idea to spur the national will” to travel to Mars–by first sending a private rocket to the red planet.

He tried to to slash the cost of his quixotic dream by buying Cold War Russian missiles to turn into interplanetary rockets. While negotiating that deal, he realized that it wasn’t lack of “national will” that held the U.S. back from exploring space.

Instead, it was a lack of affordable technology–and the high cost, he told Anderson, was the result of some “pretty silly things” in the aerospace industry, like using legacy rocket technology from the 1960s. 

Anderson: I’ve heard that the attitude is essentially that you can’t fly a component that hasn’t already flown.

Musk: Right, which is obviously a catch-22, right? There should be a Groucho Marx joke about that. So, yeah, there’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.

That’s the quote that I liked so much, especially those last six words: a “bias against risk,” because everyone is “trying to optimize their ass-covering.”

It’s funny–but also poignant. And, of course, it applies to a lot more than space exploration.

It applies to the vast majority of successful companies that get stuck producing legacy products–because they can’t risk that innovation might upset their own profit models.

It applies to the service providers that make a mockery of the word “service” (say for example, big airlines and utility companies)–because cost-cutting with crappy service maximizes shareholder value.

It applies also to temptations in our personal lives, and in the lives of those around us.

Think of the colleagues you know who hold onto uninspiring jobs for fear of going after the careers or entrepreneurial dreams they really want.

Or think of the friend you might have (I think most of us do), who stays in a lousy relationship because he or she is more afraid of being alone than of living with less than they deserve.

We’re all a little bit afraid of risk. Yet, each day represents a new chance and a new beginning. At the start of the year, that sense is especially acute. 

And sometimes we need a little inspiration to take the leap.

Whatever is the thing you’re afraid of trying–a new business, a new adventure, a new relationship–maybe now is the time to give it a try.

Cast aside your risk aversion. Be uncomfortable for a while as you try something new. Accept the chance that you’ll fail.

Don’t optimize your ass-covering. Instead, optimize your opportunities. And find your own mission to Mars.

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Take These 7 Steps Now to Reach Password Perfection
December 9, 2017 12:33 pm|Comments (0)

Your passwords are a first line of defense against many internet ills, but few people actually treat them that way: Whether it’s leaning on lazy Star Wars references or repeating across all of your accounts—or both—everyone is guilty of multiple password sins. But while they’re an imperfect security solution to begin with, putting in your best effort will provide an immediate security boost.

Don’t think of the following tips as suggestions. Think of them as essentials, as important to your daily life as brushing your teeth or eating your vegetables. (Also, eat more vegetables.)

1. Use a password manager. A good password manager, like 1Password or LastPass, creates strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts. That means that if one of your passwords does get caught up in a data breach, criminals won’t have the keys to the rest of your online services. The best ones sync across desktop and mobile, and have autocomplete powers. Now, rather than having to memorize dozens of meticulously crafted passwords, you just have to remember one master key. How do you make it as robust as possible? Read on.

2. Go long. Despite what all those prompts for unique characters and uppercase letters might have you believe, length matters more than complexity. Once you get into the 12-15 character range, it becomes way harder for a hacker to brute force, much less guess, your password. One caveat: Don’t just string together pop culture references or use simple patterns. Mix it up! Live a little! A quick for instance: “g0be@r$ ” does you way less favors than “chitown banana skinnydip.”

3. Keep ’em separated. If and when you do deploy those special characters—which, if you opt against a password manager, lots of input fields will force you to—try not to bunch them all together at the beginning or end. That’s what everyone else does, which means that’s what bad guys are looking for. Instead, space them out throughout your password to make the guesswork extra tricky.

4. Don’t change a thing. You know how your corporate IT manager keeps making you change your password every three months? Your corporate IT manager is wrong. The less often you change your password, the less likely you are to forget it, or to fall into patterns—like just changing a number at the end each time—that make them easier to crack.

5. Single-serve only. If you’re on the password manager train, you’re already all over this. But if you can’t be bothered, at the very least make sure that you don’t reuse passwords across different accounts. If you do, a retailer breach you have no control over could end up costing your banking password. See for yourself: The website Have I Been Pwned has nearly 5 billion compromised accounts on file—if yours is one of them, there’s a chance your favorite password might already be toast.

6. Don’t trust your browser. A convenient shortcut to remembering all those passwords, or getting a paid password manager account, is letting your browser remember them for you. You’ve seen the option yourself. You probably even use it on at least one site. Don’t! The option is convenient, but the underpinning security is often undocumented, and it doesn’t require that your password actually be, you know, good. If you need a free and easy option, go with a password manager like Dashlane instead of trusting everything to Chrome.

7. Add two-factor too. Hate to say it, but these days not even a password is enough. Many of the services you use today—social networks, banks, Google, and so on—offer an added layer of protection. It can come in the form of a code sent to your phone via SMS, or if you want to step it up, through software solutions like Google Authenticator or hardware like a YubiKey. SMS should be enough for most people; just know that like many entry level security precautions, it’s not perfect.

The Wired Guide to Digital Security

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Uber's London license appeal could take years: Mayor Khan
November 16, 2017 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

LONDON (Reuters) – Uber’s [UBER.UL] appeal process against a decision by London’s transport regulator to strip the taxi app of its operating license in the British capital could take years, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on Thursday.

A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph, with a London Taxi in the background, in London, Britain November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Transport for London shocked Uber in September by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its license, a decision the Silicon Valley firm is appealing.

“My understanding is that it could go on for a number of years,” Khan said at a monthly question session when asked about how long the appeals process could last.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Tanium CEO’s Refreshingly Honest Take on the State of Internet Security
October 22, 2017 12:00 am|Comments (0)

This is your Cyber Saturday edition of Fortune’s tech newsletter for October 7, 2017.

On Tuesday, the wood-smoke air of California’s wildfires descended on the Bay Area as cybersecurity professionals gathered at the Palace Hotel for an industry event.

I spent the morning interviewing Orion Hindawi, CEO of Tanium, the world’s highest privately valued cyber startup (worth $ 3.75 billion at last appraisal in May), for a fireside chat at his company’s second annual conference, Converge 2017. Hindawi has a no-nonsense approach to business—a suffer-no-fools attitude that landed him in the sights of a couple of unflattering stories about his management style earlier this year. (He later apologized for being “hard-edged.”)

On stage the chief exec delivered his peculiarly unvarnished view of the state of Internet security. “The idea that we’re going to give you a black box and it auto-magically fixes everything, that’s a lie,” Hindawi told the audience. (One could almost hear a wince from part of the room seating his PR team.) “All I can tell you is we can give you better and better tooling every day. We can make it harder for the attackers to succeed. That’s the best I can offer.”

Hindawi is a realist through-and-through. His outlook is perhaps best summed up by his response to a question about whether he subscribes to a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty view of the cyber threatscape. His reply would become a running joke for the rest of the conference. He said simply, “It’s just a glass, dude.”

Other tidbits of wisdom from Hindawi: not all hackers are Russian spies (the majority are lowly criminals). Unsecured Internet of Things devices pose a risk to everyone. And sometimes cyber insurance is the way to go when old systems are all but impossible to patch; the decision boils down to managing “operational risk, like earthquakes,” he said.

Hacking is not a dark miasma that penetrates all things, although it can sometimes feel that way. Companies, like Tanium, that are building the tools to swing the balance back in defenders’ favor without over-promising provide hope. Enjoy the weekend; I will be heading north of San Francisco, visiting friends who, luckily, were unharmed by the area’s recent conflagrations.

Robert Hackett

@rhhackett

robert.hackett@fortune.com

Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach me via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.

THREATS

Always use (advanced) protection. Google debuted an opt-in mode for high-risk users who wish to lock down their accounts on services such as Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube with extra security. (Paging John Podesta.) The feature requires people to log-in using a special USB key (or Bluetooth dongle for mobile devices), it prevents third-party applications from accessing your Google data, and it adds beefed up malware-scanning of incoming documents. This author plans to sign up.

Gather ’round the good stuff. Pizza Hut warned customers that their personal information and payment card data may be at risk after hackers gained access to the company’s website and app for a 28-hour period starting on Oct. 1. An estimated 60,000 customers are thought to have been impacted. The company is offering victims free credit monitoring for a year.

Unicorn? More like Duo-corn. Duo Security, a Mich.-based cybersecurity startup whose tools help companies manage people’s digital identities, said it raised $ 70 million at a $ 1.17 billion valuation (including the capital raised) this week. Th round catapults the firm into “unicorn” territory, the swelling ranks of private firms occupied by young guns valued at $ 1 billion or more. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s security chief, recently praised Duo as the maker of his favorite cybersecurity product.

KRACKing Wi-Fi. A couple of Belgian researchers published a paper containing proof of concept code that exploits vulnerabilities in the way cryptographic keys are exchanged over Wi-Fi, allowing hackers to steal people’s data. Big tech companies like Microsoft issued a patch for the so-called KRACK bug on Oct. 10, Apple is in the middle of testing patches for iOS and macOS, and Google, whose Android 6.0 devices are the most vulnerable, said it would release a patch in early Nov.

Cyber insurers are going to get Mercked. Cyber insurers might be on the hook to cough up $ 275 million to cover damage to drugmaker Merck as a result of a June cyber attack, dubbed “NotPetya,” according to one firm’s forecast. The companies at issue have not yet disclosed figures themselves.

Surprise! It is depressingly easy for penetration testers to break into places where they are not supposed to be.

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ACCESS GRANTED

Boycotts are hardly an option: To opt out of a credit score is to opt out of modern financial life itself. As Equifax’s now former CEO Richard Smith testified in October, if consumers were allowed to abandon the credit system, it would be “devastating to the economy.” The better answer is systemic reform to the credit oligopoly.

—Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts and Jen Wieczner explain what practical recourse consumers and regulators have when it comes to dealing with the major credit bureaus in the wake of a massive data breach at Equifax. 

ONE MORE THING

The adventures of John Titor.  Namesake of a bygone Internet hoax, “John Titor” claimed to be a man sent from the future to retrieve a portable computer. Titor sent faxes to an eccentric radio program, Coast to Coast AM, that specialized in the paranormal. Here’s an oral history of that running joke; the pseudo-scientific explanations of time travel are delightful.

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Cloud Computing surges down stretch to take Preakness
May 27, 2017 9:43 am|Comments (0)

Javier Castellano aboard Cloud Computing (2) battles John Velazquez aboard Always Dreaming, right, during the 142nd running of the Preakness …


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Anahata’s Java Developer Sai Pradeep Dandem to Take the Java Server…
January 21, 2017 2:45 am|Comments (0)

Sai Pradeep Dandem, working as a Java developer at the Australia-based ERP software company, Anahata Technologies Pty Ltd, is all set to take the JSF (Java Server Faces) Certification this year.

(PRWeb January 20, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb14000551.htm


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Doctors take inspiration from online dating to build organ transplant AI
January 17, 2017 6:05 am|Comments (0)

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When Bob Jones performed one of Victoria’s first liver transplants in 1988, he could not imagine that 29 years later he’d be talking about artificial intelligence and online dating.

Jones is the director of Austin Health’s Victorian liver transplant unit in Melbourne, Australia, and along with his colleague Lawrence Lau, he has helped develop an algorithm that could potentially better match organ donors with organ recipients.

Comparing it to the metrics behind dating site eHarmony, Jone said they planned to use the specially-designed AI to improve the accuracy of matching liver donors and recipients, hopefully resulting in less graft failures and fewer patient deaths. Read more…

More about Organ Transplants, Artificial Intelligence, Liver Transplants, Melbourne, and Australia


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Porsche Boss to Take Over VW as Bloodletting Gets Going
February 27, 2016 11:25 pm|Comments (0)

Porsche Boss to Take Over VW as Bloodletting Gets Going

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal is getting worse fast, and the executive board is in full-speed amputation mode.

The post Porsche Boss to Take Over VW as Bloodletting Gets Going appeared first on WIRED.




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This airplane’s wings fold up so you can take it on your next camping trip
January 30, 2016 7:05 am|Comments (0)

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The ICON A5 bills itself as a plane for anyone and everyone: perfect for weekend camping trips, impressing a date, or just flying around New York City.

The experimental personal aviation market is not new: There’s the miniscule Flynano, the Terrafugia flying car and the eco-friendly Synergy. But the ICON A5 is unique in that its main selling point is its safety.

Instead of relying on “perfect pilots who can recover from emergency situations,” the ICON A5 developed “spin resistance.” This summer the aircraft earned received a Light Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate from the FAA. Read more…

Flying for dummies

More about Travel, Tech, Air Travel, Travel Leisure, and Icon A5


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Work collaboration platform Teambition raises $12M to take on Microsoft 365
January 22, 2016 12:35 am|Comments (0)

teambition-1

Shanghai-based workplace collaboration platform Teambition announced this week that it has raised $ 12 million in Series B funding from investors including NLVC, IDG, Vangoo Capital, and Gobi Partners.

Teambition is an online platform that allows for workplace collaboration on things like events, tasks, posts, and cloud-based file libraries. Immediate comparisons that come to mind include Planner, Asana, Basecamp, Wunderlist, Trello, Slack, Jive, Dropbox, Google for Work, and even Microsoft 365.

This Series B round brings Teambition’s total funding to date to $ 17 million — it previously raised a $ 5 million Series A in December last year, and was, ironically, a 2013 graduate of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program in Beijing. The company declined to comment on valuation.

The money will be used to further build out its existing freemium model, expand sales efforts, diversify the team, and hire more global talent from outside China. It also plans to adapt and customize the product “to what specific industries need to collaborate.”

Qi Junyuan

Above: Qi Junyuan

Teambition’s chief executive, Junyuan Qi, a 2012 graduate in management information systems from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, told VentureBeat he is confident of strong traction in China going forward, but is also looking to grow internationally.

To that end, the company recently hired Paris-based Florian Monfort to head up international growth. Monfort, who has experience at companies like Dropbox and LibreOffice, will be moving to Shanghai in the coming weeks.

From VentureBeat

Location, location, location — Not using geolocation to reach your mobile customers? Your competitors are. Find out what you’re missing.

“If you think about services available on the Market today, they are mostly separate and/or bundled,” Monfort told VentureBeat. “This is as close as we get to any form of integration and interaction between each collaboration function.”

“We tackle this by creating an application that has the primary features those services provides, all integrated into one app. This means one account that everybody can use without having to jump between services and apps all the time,” he added.

Teambition is available on both Android and iOS, but also Mac and Windows. Here’s a further breakdown of some of the key functionality it offers, as laid out in the product description:

Tasks — On Task Board, you can share project progress with your colleagues straightforwardly, break tasks down to sub-tasks, add attachments and deadline. And all of these can be discussed in real-time .

teambition-2

 

Posts — You can share your ideas and knowledge with other members on Post Wall. All the posts are editable, and all the involved members will be noticed when the posts are updated. We also provide a Chrome add-on to help you sharing posts easier.

File library — As convenient as Dropbox, File Library is where to share documents with your colleagues and keep them updated. Each shared document can be discussed specifically. And best of all, Teambition File Library offers unlimited storage.

Events — Arrange a meeting and invite members to participate, and start online discussion on Teambition Events. We offer a subscription link which you can subscribe to your calendar app.

But to gain popularity and grow beyond China — clearly something that is playing on the company’s mind, now more than ever — it will need to persuade both free and paying users that it can be trusted with their data. As of now, all of its servers are still based inside mainland China, and that might not sit comfortably with everyone.

Monfort offers an example of how a developer who’s doing some programming based on a task on the platform may benefit.

“The task has some content linked to it: a design file, a post, and an event,” he said. “We let people link content, not only files. People can link to a task Teambition posts, events, or other tasks. Now, every time the designer will change the mock-ups, the developer will receive a notification in this task saying something has been updated.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 17.09.20“This means at the end of the day, everybody works on the same content and items, in the search for a precise goal defined by the project itself. No need for extra services, everything you need is in there. We also put an extreme emphasis on mobile. Being China based, we evolve in a market where mobile and apps dominate,” he added.

In its home market, the company faces the strongest competition in its space from local players, including Worktile, Tower, and Mingdao. As of now, the only number it’s sharing is users, which stand at 500,000, as of August. It declined to comment on revenue or China market share.

Ultimately, Teambition sees Microsoft 365 as its single biggest competitor globally — Monfort believes the Redmond-based giant has moved forward by leaps and bounds on the productivity front under Satya Nadella’s leadership.

“This has made it a bit more difficult today, though I also believe that our value proposition sets us apart enough that we can feed on different pies,” he concluded.

Bringing in more integration with existing players is something that the company may consider going forward, but for now it wants to focus on creating a solid user experience — and not risk sacrificing that by stretching its “limited resources” too thin.

If you’re a China tech watcher, these guys are probably worth keeping on your radar.



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