Current Affairs

Top5-OnlinePrivacy+Security-Blog

Is one of your passwords “password” or “123456789”? Hey, don’t laugh, it still happens. And it’s not surprising: First, most of us don’t think we’re ever going to be hacked, and second, most digital natives don’t have as many privacy concerns as earlier generations.

But whether you’re a tech wiz or a newbie, online privacy is an issue worth thinking about. Remember the Yahoo hacking scandal? It took them three years to notice they were hacked! If you’re a Yahoo user, you might have even gotten an email from them advising you to change your password. If you did, hopefully you changed it to something stronger than “iloveyou” and you started using two-step verification for extra security. Read the rest of this entry »

LindasReadingRecommendations2-Blog

 Thrive

I read Thrive a few years ago when I was just about to change my job in management consulting. I was not only reassessing my goals, but also whether my personality and attitude still suited that industry. At the time, Arianna Huffington’s book was exactly what I needed: She speaks about life goals beyond earning money and power – there’s a “third metric,” as she calls it, which includes “well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.” That’s what I’d been looking for. I knew there was more to life than just waiting for the next promotion or raise. It was a relief to hear from this successful business woman that, yes, there’s more out there that I can achieve. That’s probably the most important lesson I took away from this book: It’s OK to have goals that are different from those of the People around me, because they’re goals worth having.

Another thing I love about Thrive is that it’s a well thought out book with knowledge ranging from Greek philosophy and mythology to various contemporary studies on productivity and happiness.

I would recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a new perspective on what it means to be successful.

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#WeAreBoldForChange-2-Blog

At a moment when the world stage is dominated by tough-talking, hypermasculine leaders, the organizers of International Women’s Day  want attention for a different style of leadership.

The event, scheduled for March 8, calls itself “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” Indeed, men could learn a lot by emulating women, according to authors who have examined gender distinctions in working, communicating and managing.

In The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future , authors John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio make a case for a distinctly feminine style of leadership, one that emphasizes empathy, collaboration and listening over ego, competition and greed.

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Top5-GenderEquality-Blog

Let’s try an experiment: Take a minute to count how many women have leading positions in your company. One, two, three…zero? Don’t be surprised if the number is low; women still have a long way to go when it comes to gender equality.

While the gender gap is closing, it’s simply not closing fast enough. Not one single nation in the world has closed the gender gap when it comes to economic participation or political empowerment. The most recent projections say it’ll take another 169 years for the gap to close completely. At the current pace, gender equality is not something we’ll live to see – and neither will our children.

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Overcoming Shame

2017/3/3

BreneBrown-ListeningToShame-Blog

The moment when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly named La La Land as the winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Picture will go down in history as one of the award ceremony’s all-time biggest bloopers. La La Land’s producer, Jordan Horowitz, upon learning the truth, humbly and graciously revealed the true winner, Moonlight, to millions of incredulous onlookers, and handed over the much coveted statuette to the team behind Moonlight.

This Tinseltown snafu echoes the awkward gaffe at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, when presenter Steve Harvey erroneously announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez Arévalo, as the contest’s winner only to reveal the true winner, Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, moments later. Read the rest of this entry »

ObamasReadingHabits2-Blog

Think 24 hours isn’t enough time in your busy day? Try being a world leader. Yet even the most powerful people in the world sometimes need to relax and temporarily get away from it all. Reading is a source of pleasure for many of us – world leaders included – whether it be educational, inspirational or merely a fictional escape.

A week before he left office, Barack Obama explained to The New York Times the pivotal role that books played during his presidency and how they enabled him to “maintain my balance during the course of eight years,” “slow down and get perspective” and “get in somebody else’s shoes.”

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HowAlgorithmsRuleOurWorkingLives-Blog

Whether you’ve just graduated from school or you’ve had it up to here in your current position, looking for a job can test the limits of your patience. It can actually be downright discouraging. Your well-written, error-free cover letters rarely solicit a response. On those rare occasions when you’re granted an interview, you show up on time wearing nice, conservative clothing and generally make a strong impression. The interview goes well and you’re certain you’ll hear from the company.

Days go by … and nothing. Self-doubt starts to creep in. Maybe you’re not as qualified as you think.

In fact, you may very well be an ideal candidate, but computer programs designed to evaluate information gleaned from job applications, personality tests and social media unceremoniously reject you. A growing number of organizations are depending on algorithms to help shape their hiring practices, yet some observers believe it’s a mistake to rely so heavily on technology.

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FacebooksRaceToDominateAI-Blog

Regardless of how frightening or exhilarating the prospect, there’s no avoiding artificial intelligence. As we indicated in our last blog, AI marches inexorably forward, transforming our reality and challenging our imagination. Pandora’s technological box has been flung wide open and the possibilities appear mind-boggling.

AI developments often come in surprise packages. For instance, you might think Facebook is just an innocuous way of disseminating information and socializing with family and friends. In reality, Facebook is a technological juggernaut with vast financial resources that’s on a mission to overtake Google, Apple and Microsoft and emerge as the force in artificial intelligence. Though Facebook is a relative newcomer to the AI field compared with the Big Three, the company has identified its objectives and how to achieve them.

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AI-3-2016-Blog

Some 40 years ago, a long-running series of iconic TV commercials featured the E.F. Hutton investment firm. Typically in a crowded setting like a party or on an airplane, someone would mention that his broker was E.F. Hutton. Suddenly there was dead silence; no one moved a muscle. “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen,” the announcer intoned.

When it comes to computer science, we tend to pay particularly close attention to those we regard as experts and visionaries in the field. So it’s significant that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates would endorse a couple of books that address the most fascinating and controversial topic of our time – artificial intelligence.

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Invisible Money

2016/8/12

DonTapscott-Blockchain-Blog

You can’t tuck them into your wallet or pocketbook. You can’t use them in a parking meter or to pay your bar tab. Casinos won’t exchange them for chips. You can’t even hold them in your hand, yet people invest in them and their value is increasing.

Welcome to the fascinating and often shadowy world of bitcoin – a completely electronic currency that isn’t backed by anything physical, like gold. Though you may have heard of bitcoin, the concept is tricky to grasp, especially for those of us who find it challenging to replace the AA batteries in our TV remotes. Even technologically savvy individuals could find terminology such as “public and private key cryptography, blockchains and mining pools” a tad unsettling.

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Pokemon Go at the Office

Let’s be frank – we go on the Internet at work for a thousand different reasons: checking e-mail, watching YouTube videos, shopping on-line, following your favorite team, the list goes on and on. Companies understand that it’s nearly impossible to enforce policies that prohibit personal computer use during business hours. It’s just a fact of life.

Mobile devices merely compound the electronic chatter …Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. The lure is so compelling that otherwise intelligent individuals actually take their eyes off the road to text – even while traveling at high speeds. Hey, smartphones can’t cure stupidity.

Apparently, we have now crossed over into a relatively new dimension — “augmented reality” – thanks to the Pokémon Go phenomenon. In less than a month, Niantic’s Pokémon Go has eclipsed Candy Crush Saga as the most popular mobile game in US history with roughly 21 million daily users. Don’t be shocked if someone zig-zags past your cubicle in hot pursuit of Dratini or Snorlax. At this rate, Pokémon Go may soon join tobacco on your company’s short list of banned indoor activities.

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Brexit-Blog-ENG

Last week, it came as a great shock to many people worldwide that a majority of British voters – 52% – supported leaving the European Union.

Now that Brexit is moving closer toward becoming a reality, getAbstract recommends this comprehensive reading list to all those seeking to understand the consequences of the “Leave” vote and to anyone concerned about migration, monetary policy and other major issues the EU faces.

Free Reading List: Brexit and The Future of The European Union

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Soccer and Money

2016/6/9

MoneyAndSoccer2-Blog

Sports fans typically have only a passing interest in their favorite team’s financial state of affairs. They don’t really care if the billionaire owner can afford to upgrade his yacht or whether the front office convinces a sponsor to purchase one of those plush corporate suites.

Sports fans simply are looking for entertainment from athletes who try hard, hopefully win more than they lose and may even occasionally challenge for a title. Soccer, for example, is the world’s most popular sport, yet many professional clubs struggle to meet their financial obligations, according to Stefan Szymanski, author of Money and Soccer. They’ll never win a championship and can’t afford the star players that could really make a difference, but are loved by their adoring followers anyway.

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2016CulturalDiversity-ENG-Blog

Is it possible to be completely objective and non-judgmental about others? If you see co-workers with dreadlocks, tattoos or a yarmulke, do you automatically make certain assumptions? What races through your mind when a disabled person navigates a supermarket aisle? How about the elderly lady who slowly and carefully backs out of a parking space … very, very slowly and very, very carefully?

Don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal to have a whole range of feelings about your fellows. You’re not prejudiced, intolerant or ignorant – you’re just human.

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WorldBookNight2016-Blog

Since we’re in the business of education, it’s only natural for getAbstract to applaud those committed to expanding literacy and knowledge while encouraging more adults to read.

Since 2011, organizers and volunteers with World Book Night have distributed free books to roughly 2.5 million people, mostly throughout the UK and Ireland. World Book Night 2016 will be celebrated this Saturday, April 23, generally believed to be the date of William Shakespeare’s birth and death.

In honor of World Book Night, getAbstract is going to award one-year Business Gold memberships to three lucky people. That’s a $299 value that entitles you to unlimited access to our business book, business article and talk summaries. All you have to do is tell us what you’re reading these days. Share your recommendations via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #worldbooknight and tagging @getabstract. You can post your reads until Sunday night.

Who knows, maybe your selection is already in getAbstract’s library – or will be someday.