Layoffs Coming to Twitter?

The micro blogging service that could is rumored to be laying off 300 people…

twitter-lay-off

Twitter is one of the bastions of social media on the internet. When people say, “all the social things” or “social networking,” you normally think of two things – 1. Facebook (obviously); and 2. Twitter. To be very honest, I don’t think that social networking would be as big as it is if not for Twitter. Its quick little 140 character messages have truly made the entire social networking platform what it is today… at least I think so.

Over the past year, the company has gone through a number of interesting changes. Its founder, Jack Dorsey has returned to the company as CEO. He was ousted from the company in 2008; but has returned after a successful stint at Square as founder and CEO to retake the helm of the fledgling service he started. Dorsey was expected to turn things around for the company quickly; but unfortunately, things haven’t rebounded as Twitter would have liked.

When things like this happen, its not unusual for the rank and file to expect organizational changes. According to a report from Bloomberg, Twitter is expected to cut approximately 8% of their current workforce, or about 300 people. The company had a similar RIF (reduction in force) in late 2015 when Dorsey returned. This latest layoff would bring the RIF total to 16% since Dorsey’s return.

My guess is that the recently cooling rumors of a buyout are fueling this latest development, as there aren’t currently any active, interested suitors – which included Salesforce, Disney and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) – for the company. Twitter’s shares were down a total of 4.9% on Tuesday morning, 2016-10-25.

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Buy an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, Lose your Job

Buying an iPhone 7 in certain countries is a shortcut to the unemployment office

I saw this on BGR and thought that it was totally outrageous. However, outrageous is totally from an American point of view – in China, if this report is accurate, this is a huge issue.

Patriotism in China runs deep with their citizens. Nearly everyone there loves their country and they have a huge sense of national pride; and this extends into the corporate world as well as with individual citizens.

So as I mentioned, BGR that some Chinese companies have issued warnings to their employees that purchasing an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus may result in termination of employment. While no specific individual has been singled out as of yet, some companies have issued formal written warnings against the purchase of Apple’s flagship smartphone.

For example, the BBC is reporting that Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site much like Twitter, has issued a stern warning to all of their employees: buy an iPhone and don’t bother coming to work.

iphone7_purchase_warning

There were also a couple of hospitals of note that told their administrative staff,

“Anyone who insists on purchasing one will be removed from candidacy for annual rewards of outstanding performances. And those who could not afford an iPhone 7 cell phone but still bought one will be asked to resign.”

Nearly everyone that I’ve mentioned this to has found this to be completely outrageous. They find it hard to believe that an employer can legally put that kind of consumer purchasing pressure on their employees and get away with it. Apparently, they can in China.

While technically, the sale of the iPhone isn’t banned in China, it is if you want to keep your job. Who knew..?

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The DoJ to Apple Computer – Byte Me…

Apparently, the FBI didn’t appreciate being told to go pound bits…

The battle between the FBI and Apple regarding a certain iPhone 5c got a bit nasty last week. Frankly, I’m not surprised. I really didn’t expect the FBI to go gentle into that goodnight just because Apple said, “no.”

fbivsapple

In fact, it got a lot nastier.

Last week, according to ComputerWorld, the government filed a brief where it hinted that it may demand the Apple hand over the source code to iOS 9 and the key used to sign the OS, so they can do what Apple is refusing to do on their own.

After the government filed its brief, Apple’s Bruce Sewell said the following

We received the brief [last week] and honestly we’re still absorbing it but we wanted to get a couple of points out for you guys as you’re working your way through it.

First, the tone of the brief reads like an indictment. We’ve all heard Director Comey and Attorney General Lynch thank Apple for its consistent help in working with law enforcement. Director Comey’s own statement that “there are no demons here.” Well, you certainly wouldn’t conclude it from this brief. In 30 years of practice I don’t think I’ve seen a legal brief that was more intended to smear the other side with false accusations and innuendo, and less intended to focus on the real merits of the case.

For the first time we see an allegation that Apple has deliberately made changes to block law enforcement requests for access. This should be deeply offensive to everyone that reads it. An unsupported, unsubstantiated effort to vilify Apple rather than confront the issues in the case.

Or the ridiculous section on China where an AUSA, an officer of the court, uses unidentified Internet sources to raise the specter that Apple has a different and sinister relationship with China. Of course that is not true, and the speculation is based on no substance at all.

To do this in a brief before a magistrate judge just shows the desperation that the Department of Justice now feels. We would never respond in kind, but imagine Apple asking a court if the FBI could be trusted “because there is this real question about whether J. Edgar Hoover ordered the assassination of Kennedy — see ConspiracyTheory.com as our supporting evidence.”

We add security features to protect our customers from hackers and criminals. And the FBI should be supporting us in this because it keeps everyone safe. To suggest otherwise is demeaning. It cheapens the debate and it tries to mask the real and serious issues. I can only conclude that the DoJ is so desperate at this point that it has thrown all decorum to the winds….

We know there are great people in the DoJ and the FBI. We work shoulder to shoulder with them all the time. That’s why this cheap shot brief surprises us so much. We help when we’re asked to. We’re honest about what we can and cannot do. Let’s at least treat one another with respect and get this case before the American people in a responsible way. We are going before court to exercise our legal rights. Everyone should beware because it seems like disagreeing with the Department of Justice means you must be evil and anti-American. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sewell is right to be a little shocked and confused on this. The government is starting to get a bit perturbed by all of this; and it’s starting to show on their end. I especially appreciate Sewell’s puzzled notion about disagreeing with the government. Just because they disagree doesn’t mean that Apple is evil and anti-American. At the very least, it just means they disagree.

It’s really the government in this case who is hurling threats and getting nasty. Which is a bit surprising… Honestly, if the government could do everything that they said they would do after receiving the iOS source code and OS signing key (should Apple actually agree to part with it) then why are they “requesting” Apple’s assistance? Requesting the OS and signing key means they can handle it by themselves. Demanding Apple assist them means they can’t; and this really seems like an empty threat.

In a related post on Twitter, my very good friend, Chris Pirillo tweeted a URL to perhaps one of the best summarization of the entire Apple v FBI case I’ve ever seen. While done as satire, its surprisingly accurate and very factual. If you’re still curious about all the facts in the case, this is a good video to watch and is entirely worth the time spent watching it from start to finish.

To further end on an additional jovial note, I saw this last week and nearly spit the contents of my mouth all over my monitors, I was laughing so hard.

While I am certain Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is serious about seeking a warrant for Time Cook’s arrest IF and WHEN they request Apple to unlock and phone and Apple refuses, he’s going to have a very difficult time enforcing a warrant from Polk County Florida in Cupertino, California, especially when its likely no “crime” has been committed.

Saying, “no” to a court order is part of the process. You can appeal the order. Sheriff Judd saying he’d arrest Tim Cook for non-compliance is just this guy trying to capture his 15 minutes of fame…and quite honestly, it clearly demonstrates his lack of understanding in the case at hand.

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Browse the web in a totally new and fun way with RockMelt

209998-rockmelt-icon_original.jpgBrowsing the web is by far the most popular and most predictable internet past time.  Everybody does it all the time, every day, out loud.  The problem with surfing is that its predictable. Browser to browser, computer to computer, the web is always the web, and it’s always the same.  That’s why I like RockMelt. It’s a new kind of web browser for Windows.

RockMelt provides a fundamentally better Web experience by re-imagining the browser around how you use the internet.  It has a built in chat client so you can talk to your friends whenever you want.  It’s got social networking built into it, so you can update a status, tweet links and easily post on Facebook Walls.

RM-02

RockMelt has an interesting feature called Social Reading that is sort of like RSS for your social networking sites. It gathers news from all of your friends and puts it in one place.  RockMelt supports sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.  Social Reading syncs automatically, so you don’t ever have to manually refresh it unless you want to.

RockMelt concentrates on pictures and videos. Its display is visually pleasing, and the app brings you the best of these as soon as they’re published. Its big tiles support swiping – to the right saves a story for later, to the left removes it from the stream. You get to interact with the internet the way you want to.

RockMelt is a different browsing experience and one that you may just fall in love with, provided you can get used to it. It’s got just about every social network built into it, so you can interact with them at your leisure.  Its multimedia-centric and built for speed. The only downside is that the rest of the web is formatted a bit differently and RockMelt attempts to present the web in its own image. I like it, but it doesn’t quite fit everywhere…

download RockMelt

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Yahoo Messenger 11 links to Facebook

After seven months of beta, Yahoo officially released their new Messenger. Yahoo Messenger 11 brings a wider connectivity in terms of social media including support for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Pulse. Its main objective remains the instant messaging, but now everything can be performed in a cross-platform manner. For example you can start text or audio/video conversations and play games while interact across your Facebook network.

With Yahoo Messenger 11 you can stay signed-in simultaneously in multiple places and can give “like” or comment on any supported social media within the program. Updates can also be posted from the application across all of your networks, saving plenty of time.

Any conversation can be backed-up on Yahoo’s online servers in order to give you access to them anytime on any PC while you are signed-in. The application support also seven skins to change its appearance and includes a collection of popular social games (ex.: Mafia Wars) that can be played without leaving the application.

download Yahoo Messenger 11

 

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Social networking creates big vulnerabilities

After an eight-month study, Palo Alto Networks (an enterprise security and firewall company) released a report that provides a global view into application usage by assessing 28 exabytes of application traffic from 1,253 enterprises between October 2010 and April 2011.

More than 40% of the 1,042 applications that Palo Alto Networks identified on enterprise networks can now use SSL or hop ports to increase their availability within corporate networks. This segment of applications will continue to grow as more applications follow Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail, who all have enabled SSL either as a standard setting or as a user-selectable option in an effort to create the perception of improved security for its end-users.

Contrary to popular opinion, social networking has not meant the death knell of webmail and instant messenger (IM). Compared with 12 months ago, IM traffic, as a percentage of overall traffic has more than doubled, while webmail and social networking increased nearly five times.

As browser-based file sharing applications now use peer-based technology and add clients as a “premium”, the question arises: will the business and security risks introduced by browser-based file sharing follow the same path as those that were introduced by P2P? The frequency of file transfer applications – 92% of FTP, 82% of P2P, and 91% browser-based file sharing—each provide business value, but represent security and business risks that may include exploits, malware vectors, and data loss.

Rene Bonvanie, vice-president of marketing at Palo Alto Networks declared:

“This data should be a wake-up call for IT teams who assume encrypted traffic is mainly HTTPS or for those who still believe that social networking usage is not taking place on their corporate networks.”

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Ten Hot Tips for Utilizing Facebook and Twitter to Boost Company Images on the Web in Business

In an interview taken by Business Review Australia Nicole Smith of Blue Fish Social Media offers ten tips on how to make the most of the cheapest, fastest and most effective advertising available—social media.

While concentrating on Facebook and Twitter, Smith says it’s imperative to be authentic when sharing with your audience. “Make sure you share information in a way that shows you’re a human. Humor is a wonderful tool here! People want to get to know you, so a layered approach of business and personal content is good,” she says in the article.

As an experienced director of a marketing group, Smith believes that the convergence of social media has become the norm and will continue to be so. “Make life easy for yourself—link everything! If you have a blog, make sure each post automatically goes to Facebook and Twitter as well. This saves you time and brings people back to your website,” she says.

Read the full article

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