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Thanks to Google Maps, hundreds of tourists got to visit a tiny, idyllic town in Norway. The problem? They were all 19 miles away from where they needed to be.

Categorized in Search Engine

Business school INSEAD has released its annual "Global Talent Competiveness Index" (GTCI), an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.High ranking countries share key traits, including educational systems that meet the needs of the economy, employment policies that favour flexibility, mobility and entrepreneurship.In a list dominated by European countries, Nordic states perform particularly well, taking three of the 9 top spots.Take a look at the countries which made the top of the ranking.

9. Finland — The northern European state comes first overall for formal education, ranking highly in its ability to home-grow business talent as a result. Its business environment also ranks highly (6th overall), led by a very strong regulatory landscape.

9. Finland — The northern European state comes first overall for formal education, ranking highly in its ability to home-grow business talent as a result. Its business environment also ranks highly (6th overall), led by a very strong regulatory landscape.

8. Denmark — The Scandinavian country comes 3rd overall both for its business environment and ability to home-grow talent. Its formal education system is also among the best in the world, coming 6th overall.

 

8. Denmark — The Scandinavian country comes 3rd overall both for its business environment and ability to home-grow talent. Its formal education system is also among the best in the world, coming 6th overall.

7. Luxembourg — The landlocked Western European country has slipped from 3rd place in 2016 to 7th this year, but remains a top country for its ability to attract global talent. Luxembourg also excels at retaining its domestic talent (3rd overall) thanks to its international reputation as a hub of industry and finance.

7. Luxembourg — The landlocked Western European country has slipped from 3rd place in 2016 to 7th this year, but remains a top country for its ability to attract global talent. Luxembourg also excels at retaining its domestic talent (3rd overall) thanks to its international reputation as a hub of industry and finance.

6. Australia — One of the top countries in terms of attracting talent from abroad (6th), Australia has the large pool of high-level management skills necessary for a business-competitive country. Its formal education (4th overall) is among the best in the world.

6. Australia — One of the top countries in terms of attracting talent from abroad (6th), Australia has the large pool of high-level management skills necessary for a business-competitive country. Its formal education (4th overall) is among the best in the world.

5. Sweden — Sweden excels at retaining talent, coming 4th overall in the sub-index. With good formal education and good lifelong access to educational courses, the country's workforce possesses a pool of vocational and technical skills, as well as high-level business management skills.

5. Sweden — Sweden excels at retaining talent, coming 4th overall in the sub-index. With good formal education and good lifelong access to educational courses, the country's workforce possesses a pool of vocational and technical skills, as well as high-level business management skills.

4. United States — Due largely to its leading network of universities, the US comes second overall in the "Growth" sub-index, which measures a country's ability to grow talent through university courses, apprenticeships, and other training.

4. United States — Due largely to its leading network of universities, the US comes second overall in the "Growth" sub-index, which measures a country's ability to grow talent through university courses, apprenticeships, and other training.

3. United Kingdom — The UK performs well across the board except in the vocational and technical skills of its workforce. It is an attractor of talent with good external openness, although the report notes this could change after Brexit.

3. United Kingdom — The UK performs well across the board except in the vocational and technical skills of its workforce. It is an attractor of talent with good external openness, although the report notes this could change after Brexit.

2. Singapore — The sovereign city-state in southeast Asia ranks 1st for its business environment and ability to attract top-level global talent, with high scores across the rest of the measures too.

2. Singapore — The sovereign city-state in southeast Asia ranks 1st for its business environment and ability to attract top-level global talent, with high scores across the rest of the measures too.

1. Switzerland — The central European country comes at the top overall due to its strong performance across all pillars of the GTCI model, in particular showing an excellent capacity to attract and retain talent. It lags behind in gender equality variables, however.

1. Switzerland — The central European country comes at the top overall due to its strong performance across all pillars of the GTCI model, in particular showing an excellent capacity to attract and retain talent. It lags behind in gender equality variables, however.

Author: Thomas Colson
Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/insead-global-competitiveness-index-2016-ranking-of-cities-to-do-business-in-2017-1/#9-finland-the-northern-european-state-comes-first-overall-for-formal-education-ranking-highly-in-its-ability-to-home-grow-business-talent-as-a-result-its-business-environment-also-ranks-highly-6th-overall-led-by-a-very-strong-regulatory-landscape-1

Categorized in Business Research

Google is everywhere on the internet. We use Google to complete web searches. YouTube is our favorite destination for videos that are distracting and educational alike. Chrome is many people’s favorite browser, and Android is many people’s favorite mobile operating system. Google’s infrastructure underlies millions of popular websites worldwide. And over the years, Google has amassed a huge amount of information about what we search, what we read, the websites we visit, and even the locations we frequent.

There are some undeniably great things about Google. (Need an example? We’re big fans of the Google Pixel and the new Google Assistant.) But Google’s world domination also has some not-so-great effects for the average internet user. Ahead, you can check out some ways that Google’s ubiquity online is annoying, or even creepy. You may never look at the Google homepage the same way again.

1. Google tracks everything you do online

Couple shopping online on their laptop

Google (and advertisers) know who you are, what you’re interested in, and what you’re most likely to buy. That’s because the company tracks just about everything you do online. As Becca Caddy reports for Wired, the company saves all of your web searches, plus stores every voice search. (It can track the pages you visit even when you aren’t signed into a Google account through the use of cookies, plus information gathered by Google AdSense and Google Analytics.) It tracks and records your location. Google also scans your emails. To use Google’s apps, whether you’re on Android or on the iPhone, you have to be OK with the company tracking everything you say and do. 

 

2. Most people are monitored by Google — and don’t know it

woman and man at home typing on laptops

Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology wrote for U.S. News several years ago that Google monitors “perhaps upwards of 90 percent of internet users worldwide — whether they use a Google product or not, and most people have no idea they’re being monitored.” Google’s tracking activities are extensive. And they’re enabled not only by the company’s search engine, its Chrome browser, and its Android operating system, but also by products like Google Analytics, Google AdSense, and Google AdWords. All of the information Google collects over time enables the company to build a detailed file on your interests, preferences, beliefs, and problems.  

3. Google may not know your name (at first) but will figure it out

Businessman or designer using laptop computer

Epstein also reports even if Google doesn’t know your name, it can still track your searches with codes, like your IP address, that are unique to your computer or to your specific location. And Google installs an identifier cookie on your computer that makes you easier to track. “Through cross-referencing, the company can eventually find your name, address, and telephone number, too.” As Jeffrey Rosen reported for the New York Times a few years ago, real privacy threats arise when Google and advertisers know who you are. “Computers can link our digital profiles with our real identities so precisely that it will soon be hard to claim that the profiles are anonymous in any meaningful sense.” If Google collects enough information on you, it’s likely to discover information that could lead to harm if it were revealed.  

 

4. It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to use email without being tracked by Google

Azerty keyboard of a laptop computer

If you use Gmail, it’s a given that Google will track all of your messages. It will scan the messages you send, the addresses of the people you’re emailing, plus your incoming messages. Additionally, it doesn’t ever erase its copies of messages you sent, drafts you decided not to send, and incomplete messages you didn’t even save as a draft. But because Google’s servers are used to route the emails of thousands of other companies, many emails that aren’t even sent from or to a Gmail address are scanned by Google. Which means that if you’re using email — any kind of email — chances are good Google is watching you. 

5. Google dominates not only as a search engine, but as part of the infrastructure of countless websites

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during Google I/O 2016

More than half of the world’s most popular websites use Google Analytics to collect information about their visitors. Millions of website owners use Google AdSense to try to monetize their sites. And many even use Google AdWords to scatter ads throughout text-based content. Google often gets information on you when you simply load a page containing such software. That’s one of the creepiest consequences of Google’s world domination. Even if you aren’t using any Google products directly, the company’s software is ubiquitous enough that it’s still able to track everything you do.

6. Google knows what you’re reading and doing online

Hand touching digital tablet

In case you hadn’t realized it yet, Google is paying close attention to the websites you visit and the publications you read when you’re online. For that reason, there are plenty of things you should never search on Google — at least if you don’t want to reveal some pretty personal information to Google and to the scores of companies who advertise with Google. Googling queries about medical issues or drugs, for instance, can make it easy for advertisers to figure out if you have specific health issues (which has some pretty creepy implications).

7. Other companies’ browsers tell Google what websites you’re visiting

student studying

You’d think if you aren’t using Google’s search engine to find a website and you’re not using Google Chrome, then Google can’t spy on what websites you’re visiting, right? Wrong. Epstein reports other companies’ browsers, including Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari, use a Google blacklist to check whether the site you’re visiting is dangerous. That doesn’t sound so bad. After all, it sounds harmless to check the safety of the websites you’re navigating to. But in the process, those browsers are telling Google what websites you’re visiting. 

8. Google even knows information you wouldn’t share with other people

Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

A disconcerting side effect of Google’s world domination? The company probably knows some information about you that you wouldn’t readily share with other people. For instance, you might find it disconcerting to learn that Google probably knew how you were voting in the recent presidential election. Contrary to what you might find on Facebook, not everybody wants to share their political views with the world. So it’s at least a little bit creepy that a giant search engine could easily have that information. 

9. Google has even more information about you if you’re an Android user

woman using smartphone and smilling

Google probably wants everybody to have an Android phone. That probably doesn’t sound bad if you’re already a fan of Android. (Though it might make for a pretty boring smartphone landscape.) But using an Android phone or tablet opens you up to even more tracking by Google — something you might not think about when you’re comparing your options at Best Buy or at your carrier’s store. Of particular interest on Android is the operating system’s ability to track your location. Even its backup utility is cause for concern, as it gives Google access to a lot more information about you than you might assume.

10. Trying to delete yourself from the internet? You’ll need a Google account

smiling man using a laptop

This one isn’t technically Google’s fault, but it’s definitely a strange result of Google’s world domination. The internet collectively raised its hands in praise upon the arrival of Swedish website Deseat.me, which helps you clean up your internet presence or remove yourself almost entirely from the internet. But you’ll need to use your Google account to bring up your online and social media accounts. 

11. You can replace most Google services — with the exception of YouTube

laptop in girl's hands sitting on wooden floor with coffee

Joshua J. Romero reported years ago for IEEE Spectrum that he embarked on a “quest to quit the most pervasive company on the web” and find alternatives to the Google services he had been using. As you might imagine, there are competing alternatives for almost all of Google’s apps, services, and platforms. But there’s one notable exception: YouTube. As Romero explained, “There was one Google service that I found I could just not live without, no matter how hard I tried: YouTube.” He continues, “It’s easy to take YouTube for granted because it’s been hyped in the press for years. There are other video sites, of course, but the depth, breadth, and ubiquity of YouTube became conspicuous every time I watched another video.”

12. It takes some pretty major steps to stop Google from tracking you

Mother And Son In Kitchen Looking At Laptop

If you want to delve into the settings for your Google account, there are plenty of small steps that you can take to control the search engine giant’s access to information about you and your activity. But as Zach Epstein reports for BGR, the best way to get Google to stop tracking you is to use a VPN. Using a VPN isn’t hard, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. (A VPN, for those of you who are unfamiliar, just routes your web traffic through a third party server in order to protect your identity and your information.) VPNs are usually pretty easy to set up and to use. But it’s still pretty disheartening that Google’s tracking is pervasive enough to make a VPN a necessity for avoiding it.

Author: Jess Bolluyt
Source: http://www.cheatsheet.com/gear-style/ways-googles-world-domination-is-downright-creepy.html/?a=viewall

Categorized in Search Engine

You don’t need to worry anymore about internet at the airport. A brilliant single map can ease your pain.

Travel blogger Anil Polat perhaps knows the pain of wheeling a suitcase around an airport, hunting for Wi-Fi.

To combat this nightmare, he’s devised an interactive, regularly updated map of Wi-Fi passwords in airports around the world.

HERE IT IS

 

map

Simply click on the plane that corresponds with the airport you’re going to, and the map will tell you if there’s Wi-Fi there and what’s its password. ENJOY

 

Author: Azhar Khan
Source: http://arynews.tv/en/this-map-tells-you-wi-fi-passwords-for-airports-around-the-world

Categorized in Others

If there's a word that describes the retail space in 2016, it's change. Change in technology, tools and best practices. And, (no surprise), 2017 promises more of same.

Here are five trends destined to make retailing more effective and profitable in 2017.

Multi-channel data integration

After using data analytics for several years, retailers are getting a clear idea of the benefits that high-volume, high-speed data analytics can provide. Unlimited computing capacity in the cloud and advanced analytics enable retailers to overcome a familiar challenge: collecting and analyzing huge volumes of different types of data (databases, social media and instant messages, reports).

More recent developments show by using data analytics software, retailers can unify online and offline data by:

  • Extracting data from different places such as legacy systems and database platforms on-premises or in the cloud.
  • Using new sources of data from commerce, supply chain and customer channels.
  • Integrating conventional retail information and data from new channels with company ERP, order management and warehousing software.
  • Delivering useful operations suggestions quickly enough to capture business opportunities as they occur. Modern data analytics software can cut the time from weeks to minutes.

Modern retail analytics software packages customer and supply chain data and trends in a single view of what's going on. Putting all relevant data into a form that's easy to understand and use helps business users set up operational and promotional strategies and continue to improve efficiency and performance.

 

Predictive data analytics

Every retailer wants to have the right products available to customers at the right place and time. Making this happen, however, is not an easy matter.

Data analytics provides retailers with a better understanding of their current business.Predictive analytics provides retailers with a look into the future.

Until recently, retailers had to rely on insights gained from their own experience and retailing skill, analyst forecasts and customer feedback. But it all added up to high-quality educated guessing.

Predictive analytics uses mountains of data, which retailers already have, and a wide array of technologies and approaches (statistical modeling, data mining and other techniques) to analyze and project the likely outcome of future events and consumer behavior.

The biggest business value of predictive analytics is its ability to help retailers stay ahead of the expectations of discerning, tech-savvy consumers. This includes:

  • Delivering a better shopping experience. That is, enabling customers to shop whenever and wherever they want in an attractive, no-worries environment, in the store or online.
  • Getting a clearer view of customers. This includes a 360-degree view of customers and click-stream analysis.
  • Merchandizing and planning. Add real-time promotions, demand forecasting, pricing and markdown optimization and out-of-stock analysis and management.

One of the biggest changes in retail analytics lies in where all this data comes from.

Internet of Things in retail

Pioneering major retailers are scrambling to collect and analyze data from the Internet of Things. Customers provide useful IoT data by using and connecting to smartphones, tablets and wearables. Brick-and-mortar stores use IoT data generated by digital signage and other in-store sensors and devices.

Together, these sources generate massive data stores that describe customer behavior. Retailers use this data to make decisions and create sales strategies for their brick and mortar stores and distribution centers.

Innovative uses of IoT data and technology enable retailers to:

  • Customize a shopper's in-store experience. Increasingly, customers expect personalized service. Data collected from in-store IoT devices and the shopping history of connected consumers enable retailers to create a shopping profile of each customer. IoT data analysis discovers shopping patterns that help retailers deliver a more customized shopping experience.
  • Make in-store operations more efficient. Data harvested from in-store, IoT-enabled smart cameras, beacons, and sensors provide store managers and employees with a deeper understanding of what does and doesn’t work well on the floor. For example, analysis of real-time location datafrom smartphone apps can be transformed into customer traffic patterns and buying behaviors. With this information, employees can be alerted to bottlenecks immediately and reduce customer wait times at the cashiers.
  • Improve inventory and supply chain management. Smart transportation management applications and demand-aware warehouse fulfillment are two ways to transform IoT data to into an understanding of what’s underperforming, overstocked or running out of stock at your store.
  • Take advantage of new revenue opportunities: Leading-edge retailers are using the IoT to find new methods of acquiring customers and increasing revenues. For example, beacons and Wi-Fi can create an in-store environment, in which customers engage in contests, meet-and-greet events and social media product reviews.

Self-service analytics software  

Not long ago, data analytics software users had to wait for reports designed and delivered by data analyst middlemen. When customers lobbied vendors for change, they got results. Business users got self-service applications that included easy-to-use dashboards and enabled direct queries. The software empowered business users to ask relevant questions and get answers—quickly—without data science degrees.

Specialized retail analytics software enables store managers and retail decision makers to:

  • Use easy-to-understand analytics methods on data relevant to their store.
  • Easily access, explore, and analyze data with just a few clicks
  • Quickly and easily engage with supply chain data.
  • Make decisions by analyzing products and merchandising methods.
  • Identify spending patterns and gain insight into customer behavior by choosing from a library of interactive visualizations.

Mobile to the rescue

We’ve all heard the complaint that customers enter brick-and-mortar stores with more product information than the staff. Equipping staff members with mobile devices linked to key internal applications and databases enables associates to personalize customer services and perform "save the sale" rescues with pricing, promotion and product information.

Author:  Ilan Hertz

Source:  http://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/blogs/data-analytics-and-the-changing-world-of-retail-in-2017

Categorized in Search Engine

An unlikely recent discovery has taken Richard Attenborough's feeble amber-encased mosquito and raised you a whole dinosaur tail, complete with soft tissue and feathers. 

The tiny tail of a 99 million-year-old dinosaur has been found preserved in an amber fossil, according to a Thursday report in the journal Current Biology. It's the first time researchers have been able to study dino feathers while they're still attached to a body. 

Next step? Use their DNA to open a prehistoric theme park featuring cloned dinosaurs, obviously. JK, please don’t. 

Incredibly, paleontologist and report co-author Dr. Lida Xing of China's University of Geosciences made the discovery while perusing an amber marketplace in Myitkyina, Myanmar.

Reportedly, the small piece of amber was believed to contain a plant and would have been turned into a rather fetching piece of vintage jewelry, had Xing not come along.

"It's one of those things where if there hadn't been the right person on the ground at the time, I think it would have disappeared into a private collection or gone entirely unnoticed," co-author Ryan McKellar of Canada’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum told the ABC

 

The appendage itself is believed to have come from a sparrow-sized juvenile coelurosaur, a dinosaur belonging to the theropod family, same as ol' Tyrannosaurus rex, but much teenier. 

Micro-CT scans of the mini feathers show they're a "chestnut brown" colour, with a pale-ish under side. Researchers believe the full tail would have been made up of over 25 vertebrae. 

This kind of articulated vertebrae was not found on Cretaceous birds nor their modern equivalents, who all have pygostyle vertebrae. This ruled out the possibility that the tail belonged to a prehistoric bird, according to researchers. 

"[A pygostyle] is the sort of thing you've seen if you've ever prepared a turkey," McKellar told National Geographic

The amber goodness came from a fossil-rich mine in Hukawng Valley within the Kachin state of Myanmar. 

Sadly the piece of amber containing "Eva," as it was affectionately named, had already been shaped and polished for use in jewelry by the time Xing found it.  

"Maybe we can find a complete dinosaur," Xing told Nat Geo. Maybe one day

In the meantime, this will be the closest thing we've got to patting a real-life dinosaur. 

Really makes you think.

Author:  JERICO MANDYBUR

Source:  http://mashable.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Mountain View, California, November 30th, 2016- – TourMega, a travel startup based in Silicon Valley, launched the first search engine dedicated to tours and activities around the world on November 4th 2016.

TourMega features more than 10,000 tours and activities on six continents and will be adding new choices added on a weekly basis. Travelers will be able to search for and book a variety of experiences from a classic cruise on the Nile to a trek to the Annapurna mountains in Nepal. “What’s unique about TourMega is that not only will we pull from a variety of tour sites around the world, we also provide the option for amateur tour guides and local experts to sign up and post their own unique experiences” says Eric Espino, one of TourMega’s founders. “This allows them to share their personal knowledge with the world and tap into the ever growing ‘gig economy’ and make extra cash on the side.”

 

Tourmega’s technology is user friendly and optimized for mobile devices to allow travelers to search or post an experience on the go and in minutes. “TourMega is the kayak for tours and activities. We’re working to make our search engine robust, providing many options for users to search and compare tours from different partners that we work with around the world” Says Quyhn Pham, TourMega’s Co-founder and CEO. She adds “We are also working on an AI platform to help users book their trips based on past travel behavior and individual interests”. The team also is working on mobile applications for Android and IOS devices which should be available in 2017.

Categorized in News & Politics

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