Author Archives: knjohn

Japan Unleashes A Robot Revolution | Bloomberg Business

A new greeter at the entrance of the Mitsukoshi department store in central Tokyo has caused a stir. The worker, dressed in a kimono and cheerfully welcoming shoppers in honorific Japanese, is a robot made by Toshiba and shows how lifelike these machines can be.

This latest example of Japan’s skill comes just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling for a “robot revolution.” Advances in robotic computing power, the ability to recognize voices and images, and machine learning could help the country overcome the handicap of a fast-aging populace and a declining workforce.

At the opening of Japan’s Robot Revolution Initiative Council on May 15, Abe urged companies to “spread the use of robotics from large-scale factories to every corner of our economy and society.” Backed by 200 companies and universities, the five-year, government-led push aims to deepen the use of intelligent machines in manufacturing, supply chains, construction, and health care, while expanding robotics sales from 600 billion yen ($4.9 billion) annually to 2.4 trillion yen by 2020.

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Steps to a Successful Product Launch | Business News Daily

Got a great idea for a new product? In addition to its design and logistics, you’re probably already thinking about how you’re going to launch it.

A well-executed launch is your chance to grab customers’ attention and make a strong impression with your product. But like all first impressions, it’s hard to correct a product launch if it doesn’t go smoothly right off the bat — especially if it’s your very first product.

“Product launches are tricky because, unlike other marketing efforts, you really only have one chance to get it right,” said Daniel Waldman, president of PR and marketing firm Evolve Communications. “There’s not a lot of room for testing and refining tactics. Launches need to pack a punch.”

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Weekly Economic Update | LAEDC

LAEDC BANNERv.19 n. 22 – Released May 26, 2015

This Week’s Headlines:

Train Employees to Avoid Inadvertent Cyber-Security Breaches | Payroll Link

How much do you know about cybersecurity? Small business owners often lack the resources to enact a strong defense against cybercrimes and take for granted that their IT systems are relatively safe. To better understand some of the common ways employees can unwittingly become a conduit for hackers, take the following quiz. This quiz was adapted from a resource offered as a public service by AFCEA, an association of data security professionals.

True or False

1. Mobile applications downloaded from major brand online stores are generally safe.

False: These stores may try to vet mobile applications for malicious behavior, but there’s no guarantee they’re safe. Some online stores may not assess the legitimacy of an app at all, or not adequately.

2. The address or URL you see in the link is always the actual website to which you’re being directed.

False: Masking the real website address in links is a common way cybercriminals use to fool unsuspecting victims into visiting malicious websites. To see where a link actually leads, let your mouse hover over the link without clicking on it.

3. What you or your employees do on social media could have a negative impact on you or your organization.

True: Identity thieves, robbers and other criminals are adept at piecing together data bits from various social media sites, and using the information to plan online and physical attacks.

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Selling your Android phone? Don’t. It keeps your data. | Money CNN

If you recently sold your old Android phone, chances are your text messages, emails, pictures and Facebook key are still in there, even if you wiped its memory clean.

A new study by computer researchers at the University of Cambridge shows that “factory reset” — at least on Android devices — doesn’t actually erase everything.

Sometimes it doesn’t even come close.

The used smartphone market is huge and about 630 million phones out there are susceptible to this problem, according to the study. Wall Street analysts expect the market will keep blowing up in size until at least 2018.

Researchers tested 21 phones made by Google (GOOGL, Tech30), HTC, LG, Motorola (MSI) and Samsung (SSNLF). In every case, they were able to recover text messages, Google account credentials and conversations on messaging apps. A few emails remained on the device 80% of the time.

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Security Awareness: Phishing up the weakest links! | TekSec

phishing-security-awarenessWho (in their right mind) would like to appear as the corporate dunce who infected their company network (by clicking on an email attachment or url)? Not you, not me, and certainly not the PR department or the company CEO’s administrative assistant, or even the CEO himself.

Phishing is an activity that cybercriminals utilize to acquire personal and sensitive information. Whether it is an account username and password, credit card details, a social security number, or other personal data — it is designed to coax you into giving up your personal information for criminal gain. For those of us who have been unfortunate enough to click on a deceptive phishing link or email attachment, it is an event that most of us would probably rather forget.

Phishing it up

Most of us are aware that if an email arrives unsolicited and includes grammatical errors, we should just delete it and continue on with our day. Not all phishing emails contain bad grammar, unsolicited attachments, or immediately request sensitive information. Last summer I received an email that appeared quite genuine, so genuine in fact — that I almost became victim to a very clever phishing scheme.

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Young people are buying real estate — just not the same kind as their parents | Business Insider

Millennials and younger members of Gen X appear to be delaying the financial responsibility of homeownership.

But it’s hard to blame a group who watched the housing market skyrocket and plummet just as they were entering college or becoming young professionals gearing up to buy a starter home.

As the economy improved, and financial arrested development started to end, some 20- to 30-somethings have started to invest in real estate, but not in the traditional sense.

Many have turned to turnkey properties, which offer the opportunity to become a homeowner while adding another revenue stream to an investment portfolio.

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