Some tech firms release “diversity data” but leave out age

But one set of statistics has been noticeably absent: the age of those companies’ workers.

via In Silicon Valley diversity conversations, age is left out – SFGate.

Under pressure, Silicon Valley tech firms recently released “diversity data” about their workforces. But none are releasing data about the workforce age diversity.

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Rumor: Online real estate web sites Zillow and Trulia may merge

The ultimate fear: Zillow and Trulia could make brokers irrelevant.

via The would-be giant in online house hunting has brokers scared – Jul. 25, 2014.

This could be good for consumers in terms of breaking the Realtor(r) cartel.

Off topic personal comments: Over the years, we have lived in numerous homes, and over numerous home transactions, every one of the “professions” involved committed fraud.

Continue reading

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Avoid Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update – seriously buggy

(See Update, below)

After the 4.4.4 update, battery life on my Nexus 5 is so bad that I’ve started considering switching to iPhone and saying goodbye to Google:

Among the new problems which erupted with the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update includes bad battery life and keyboard lag in Nexus 5, Wi-Fi issues and random reboots in Nexus 7 , Dialer issues in Nexus 4, etc. These issues were present in the Android 4.4.3 KitKat also. The issues is [are?] not being faced by Nexus users only and users of other devices which run on the Android 4.4.4 KitKat are also facing issues.

The Android 4.4.4 KitKat issues have still not been resolved and Google Product Forums are overflowing with complaints from irate users who are facing problems after Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates. The latest problems include Wi-Fi issues, GPS problems, random freezing and lock ups, problems with email sync, and more.

via Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Problems for Google Nexus 5, Nexus 4, 7 users.

I have deleted apps, turned off Auto sync and disable mobile data and WiFi when not using data services (which is almost all day). Yet in 5-6 hours, the battery is half full.

Android 4.2 was the last good release of Android. After that, its like installing Windows Vista over and over again.

Update: Here is something that may help improve the battery.

Go to Settings | Storage | Cached data and press Cached data, and then Ok to clear all cached data. I had also gone through the Settings | Apps list and cleared out the cache of each individual app but the master clear cached data should take care of it in one operation.

Go to Settings | Wi-Fi | select the 3 dot menu at lower right and then choose Advanced. On the dialog box there is an item “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep”. Set this to either Only when plugged in or Never.

Re-boot the phone. The first time I rebooted, battery life was better but not back to where it had been. The second time, battery life is doing much better. Time will tell if this fixes the battery life problem introduced in Kit Kat. If this is the problem, it seems like an easy fix – the 4.4.4 release should just clear out the storage cache as part of the update and make sure the WiFi options are set appropriately.

Hopefully this resolves the problem. The battery life had become so poor after the 4.4.4 update that I charged up my old Windows 7.x phone and was planning to move my SIM card to that phone as a backup.

2nd update: This seems to have solved the problem for me. After several days of use, I am now seeing 1% to 2% battery drain per hour during the day.

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Microsoft Layoffs Impact Thousands Of Contract Workers

In 2009, the Seattle Times reported that Microsoft’s external staff numbered about 80,000. When these numbers are considered – and each of these contractors are forced to take their six month hiatus – Microsoft’s layoffs are much, much more sweeping than just the 18,000 employees initially reported.

via Microsoft Layoffs Also Impact Thousands Of Contract Workers.

The new rule says that a- and v- contract workers are restricted to 18 months of on site work, and after that, must leave for 6 months.  6 months out of 24 months is the same as an across the board 25% cut, or the potential impact of laying off 20,000 of the 80,000 contract workers. But that is not going to be an accurate number since many of the contract workers were already restricted in some ways.

The actual figures are going to be more complex than this. For one, Microsoft is probably laying off some contract workers in this big layoff round. Second, some contractors can continue doing work for Microsoft but not at Microsoft. This could encourage Microsoft projects, though, to outsource – and offshore – more work away from Puget Sound.

 

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Federal government stores all of your detailed air travel records

The US government stores all of your international travel records, including your credit card numbers, expiration date, call center notes about conversations you had with airline staff, email address, phone number used, special food requests, special accommodations, your seat number, the language you spoke to staff, the IP address used to access online reservation systems and more. And basically stores it forever.

Your credit card number and expiration date are stored and transmitted unencrypted in violation of Federal regulations.

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit card numbers | Ars Technica.

The author notes the government can use your seat number to determine who sat next to you. And if that person was considered suspicious, then you are now a suspect – and a social network analysis might be done to examine records of your family and friends.

We today know that the NSA collects all of our credit card transaction records just by buying them from companies like Axciom.

While the government collects and retains detailed information about all of us, the same government was unable to stop the Tsarnaev brothers even after the Russian government notified US government agencies, repeatedly, about the Tsarnaev brothers’ activities, numerous times.

The Obama regime has some explaining to do.

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Spotting Trends and Opportunities using Google Trends

Use Google Trends, enter search terms and I think you will figure it out.

Here’s an article on the value of using search trends data: Search Insights: Spotting Category Trends and Opportunities – Think with Google.

Use search trends for marketing purposes or for coming up with blog or Youtube video ideas. Timing is everything.

I bemoaned that some of my videos recently saw a sharp fall off in views. Using Google Trends, the reason became obvious.

I have a number of Civil War re-enactment videos; until last year, all my videos were posted around Memorial Day because a big Civil War historical re-enactment happened on that weekend where I used to live.

Memorial Day plus or minus is the peak period of the year for online searches related to the U.S. Civil War, according to Google Trends.

But then I moved. And where I now live, the local re-enactments occur in July. So I post my videos in July, which is the time when interest in the U.S. Civil War period is at its lowest of the entire year!

Duh! Few people are watching my new videos because no one’s looking for stuff on the Civil War in July. Plus, the videos originally recorded on Memorial Day weekend all have the “Memorial” keyword that people were searching for.

There’s another trend, though. The proportion of searches geared to Civil War topics peaked in 2005-2007 but has fallen to about 1/5th of what it had been then, in relative terms. Post recession, interest in the 19th century U.S. Civil War has collapsed.

In June I posted 25 photos on Flickr that, with my other photos, accumulated 150,000 views in the past 4 weeks – which is 5x more views than I had in total a month ago. What happened? I posted photos from Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Festival, which is quite a, ahem, interesting experience, featuring a Naked Bike Ride. I posted a few photos and a video from that and the searches went wild.

Many may have been searching for “World Naked Bike Ride”, a different and much larger event, but were happy to find my photos instead.

Marketing research for a personal hobby page of photos and videos can have dramatic impacts on viewership!

So what topics might be trending upwards now, suitable for Youtube videos? Check out “cosplay” at Google Trends.

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To get a tech executive job in Silicon Valley, attend one of these top 10 MBA schools

The Silicon Valley Business School Elite | Poets and Quants.

A study finds the bulk of Silicon Valley executive tech jobs go to graduates of just a handful of MBA programs; 8 of the 10 are the usual East coast MBA programs. Or to those who have started their own tech business.

Other studies have found that MBA’s not earned at the top two dozen or so schools earn quite a bit less than those earned at the top schools. The biggest value of the top schools is said to be providing the best professional network connections.

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“Why I quit Facebook”, by Chris Chan

Why I quit Facebook and we are sharing much more than you think | LinkedIn.

As of today, the above post has been shared over half a million times.

I am now restricting my FB logins to once or twice per week. At some point, I may delete the account too.  Chris’s reasons are relevant, but for me, the bigger issue is the non-stop sharing without thinking – literally the excessive sharing of items using obvious methods of propaganda to persuade others.

Facebook is what I call a frictionless conduit for the dissemination of propaganda through the unquestioned sharing of stories that rely on logical fallacy, appeals to emotion or factual inaccuracies and other methods of propaganda used to persuade others. Few people will challenge their friends; the result is a perfect platform for propaganda. And that means a waste of our time.
Separately, Facebook’s tracking and collection of data is far larger than most realize.

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Google street view cars sampling the air as they drive around

Suppose they can detect marijuana fumes too?

Google Street View cars outfitted with special sensors have identified hundreds of small but steady methane leaks lying beneath the streets in three US cities.

via Google’s latest project: mapping small gas leaks in US cities – CSMonitor.com.

Leaking utilities are far too common. I once lived within a water service territory that at its peak was losing 30% of its water due to leaky water mains!

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