Monthly Archives: August 2015

Investigating Applicants Is Not a Luxury | Payroll Link

The trend in hiring is toward intensive pre-screening of job applicants. In our mobile society it’s rare to have firsthand knowledge of a new hire. And the days are gone when an employer would dare hire based solely on a grade point average and a transcript from a school or college.

Now an employer needs to know more about an applicant — much more. Otherwise, the employer risks hiring problems.

With fierce competition for a limited number of jobs, applicants may exaggerate and embellish the experience they have — or don’t have. They may also try to hide things like a criminal record or previous termination.

To a busy employer, background checks on applicants can seem like a luxury, a task that requires more resources or time than is available. But failing to do good background checks will hurt your bottom line and dull your competitive edge in these ways:

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No Humans Allowed! Test ‘City’ for Driverless Cars Opens | Live Science

Imagine a town with crosswalks but no pedestrians, cars and trucks but no drivers. Welcome to Mcity, a fake “town” built by researchers who are testing out the driverless cars of the future.

The controlled test environment, which opened today (July 20) at the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor, covers 32 acres (the size of about 24 football fields) and contains all the trappings of a real suburb or small city. There is an entire network of roads lined with sidewalks, streetlights, stop signs and traffic signals. There’s even a “downtown” area complete with fake building facades and outdoor dining areas.

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Why We Can Fix Your Computer – and You Can’t. | THE BETA GENERATION

download (2)I’m not here as tech support, but there’s a reason almost every Generation Z participant can do the job of a Baby-Boomers computer engineer: Technology has changed the way we think. Now, I don’t mean to say we each have wires in our brains controlling our thumbs as they type 500 word texts at hyper speed, but the way we think and do things has been forced to evolve as a consequence of the electronic world. We have to be able to think in ways computers can’t. There’s more to it than just the simplicity but I’ve figured out three main things that separate our thinking from other generations and the computers that replace them.

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Crowdfunding for Startups: Kickstarter Alternatives | Business News Daily

Obtaining financing is one of the biggest hurdles most entrepreneurs will have to overcome. If a bank loan won’t cover what you need and you don’t have any connections to investors, it can be tough to know where to begin. Online crowdfunding — raising smaller amounts of money from multiple backers — has become an increasingly common solution to this dilemma because it allows startups to reach out to a large number of potential investors at once.

Although Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the most popular crowdfunding platforms, success there isn’t always guaranteed: For every project that meets its goal, there are dozens that just didn’t pick up enough steam to get funded. So, where else can you turn?

Whether you’re looking for a small investment to jump-start your company or a large round of capital to grow it to the next stage, here are 10 sites that can help you raise the money you need.

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This Ingenious $20 Lamp Gets All Its Energy From Gravity | Co.Exist

download (1)The ingenious GravityLight—a light that gets all its energy from its own weight—first appeared about three years ago. We wrote about it as it was launching on Indiegogo and went on to raise $399,590.

It provides free light (after you’ve bought it). It’s cheap. And it has none of the environmental or health side-effects as do other light alternatives in the developing world. But even all those things aren’t necessarily enough if it’s to reach its potential. If the company and foundation behind the device are to make it a success, they need a reliable product; they need to distribute it in places where distribution can be difficult; and, more fundamentally, they need to explain why someone should buy a GravityLight when there’s plenty of good, cheap solar on the market today.

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Huh? Schools Think Kids Don’t Want to Learn Computer Science | WIRED

TIMES HAVE NEVER been better for computer science workers. Jobs in computing are growing at twice the national rate of other types of jobs. By 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 1 million more computer science-related jobs than graduating students qualified to fill them.

If any company has a vested interest in cultivating a strong talent pool of computer scientists, it’s Google. So the search giant set out to learn why students in the US aren’t being prepared to bridge the talent deficit. In a big survey conducted with Gallup and released today, Google found a range of dysfunctional reasons more K-12 students aren’t learning computer science skills. Perhaps the most surprising: schools don’t think the demand from parents and students is there.

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 Questions Every Small Business Must Ask Their Credit Card Processor | Getentrepreneurial

downloadSigning up with a credit card processor is a big step for small businesses. It allows small business owners to accept more forms of payment, which in turn drives revenue by making it easier and more appealing for customers to shop in the store. Before signing an agreement with a credit card merchant service processor, however, it is important to get all of your questions answered so that you know you are putting your business in the best position moving forward.

Start by inquiring about and understanding any contract requirements, as well as any processing rates as they relate to various types of cards. Get these rates for all cards, including corporate and rewards cards, in writing, so there are no surprise increases down the road. In addition, talk to your processor about American Express transactions, as well as the procedures for fee deductions from your account and if they offer next day funding. Finally, research a potential processor and consult other small businesses about their merchant solutions so you do not get stuck in a situation that does more harm than good.

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Why people are pissed about what Spotify is doing to their phones | Mashable

A new privacy policy from Spotify introduced with little fanfare has sparked a backlash against the streaming music service, prompting an apology and clarification from the company CEO.

Earlier this week, Spotify quietly announced that it plans to begin looking through your phone, tracking your location and even following your activity on Facebook in an effort to provide a more personalized experience.

Those new data collection efforts have already pushed some users to cancel their accounts, including Minecraft creator Markus Persson — whose searing objection to the new privacy policy even drew a response from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.

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When It Comes To Long-Term Care Insurance, Americans Don’t Get It | Forbes

download (1)A newly-released survey shows just how conflicted Americans are about long-term care insurance. And how unrealistic they are about how much long-term care costs and how much insurance they can buy for what they are willing to spend.

The survey, completed in 2014 by the consulting firm RTI International and the survey research firm GfK Research for the US Department of Health and Human Services, found that consumers prize two attributes above all others when they think about long-term care insurance: They want lifetime coverage and low premiums. Their willingness to buy any LTC insurance declines dramatically as premiums rise and the benefit period shrinks.

For instance, fewer than half of those surveyed were willing to spend more than $50-a-month for a long-term care insurance policy that covers $100-a-day for 3 years.

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Here Are 4 Intriguing Mobile Startups That Got Cash Infusions This Week | Adweek

It’s no surprise that investment firms are bullish on mobile upstarts, but a series of recent funding moves reveals the smartphone-driven companies marketers should keep an eye on.

1. Popular teen messaging app Kik closed $50 million from WeChat-owned Tencent, and this week’s news follows the app’s $38.3 million Series C funding in November. Kik is now valued at $1 billion.

With 240 million registered users—70 percent of whom are 13 to 24 years old—Kik’s funding puts it squarely in position to compete head-to-head with Snapchat as both companies look to build out new chat features.

2. Kahuna grabbed $45 million from Sequoia Capital and other investors to go after a bigger piece of the automated marketing space, which includes heavyweights like Oracle and Salesforce.

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