Beware of your social media history

Beware of your social media history

One firm collects everything you may have said or done online in the past seven years.

Companies have long used the criminal background checks, credit reports and even research on Google and LinkedIn to probe the past lives of potential employees. Now, some companies are requiring job applicants also pass a background check of social media.

A start-up years, social intelligence, scrapes the internet for all potential employees may have said or done online in the last seven years.

He then assembles a dossier with examples of professional awards and charitable work, as well as negative information that meets specific criteria: proof online racist remarks, references to drugs, sexually explicit images, messages text or videos, flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

“We are not detectives,” said Max Drucker, CEO of the company, based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “All that we climb is what is publicly available on the Internet today.”

The Federal Trade Commission, after initially raising concerns last fall about Social Business Intelligence, the company is determined in accordance with the Act, the Fair Credit Reporting, but the service still alarms privacy advocates who say that invites employers to view information that may not be relevant to job performance.

And what a flattering relevant information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not? Mr. Drucker said that a prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing nude in the pictures she has set up a site for sharing the picture did not get the job she was looking for in a hospital.

Other background reports have been found examples of people who are anti-Semitic comments and racist remarks, he said. Then there was the job seeker who belonged to a Facebook group, “is America. I would not have to press 1 for English.” This raises a question. “Does that mean you do not like people who do not speak English?” Asked Dr. Drucker rhetoric.

Mr. Drucker said that his goal was to conduct pre-employment to help companies meet their obligation to conduct fair hiring practices and consistent while protecting the privacy of job applicants.

For example, he said reports remove references to religion of any person, race, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and other information protected by federal employment, where companies are not supposed to ask about during interviews. In addition, applicants must first consent to background checks, and they are informed of any adverse information found.

It supports research to reduce the risk that employers may confuse the candidate working with someone else or displayed on the Information Society that is not legally admissible or relevant. “Googling someone is ridiculously unfair,” he said. “An employer may discriminate against someone inadvertently. Or worse, they face all kinds of allegations of discrimination.”

Marc S. Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington, said that employers have the right to gather information to make a decision on the expertise of job-related, but concerned that “employers should not judge what people do in their private life away from the workplace.”

Less than a third of the surface data firm Mr. Drucker just like the major social platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. He said most of the negative information about job candidates comes from web searches found deep to comment on blogs and messages on small social sites like Tumblr, the blogging site, as well as Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, message boards and even Craigslist.

Then there are the photos and videos that people post – or are tagged in – on Facebook and YouTube and other sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and Yfrog.

And there are pictures and videos that seem to get most people in need. “Sexually explicit pictures and videos are beyond understanding,” Mr. Drucker said. “We see such blatant displays of weapons. And we see a lot of illegal activities. Many, many pictures of drug use. ”

He recalled a man who had 15 pages of photos to show with different guns, including an assault rifle. Another man included pictures of himself standing in a greenhouse with a large marijuana plants.

Given the complex “conditions of service” agreements on most sites and Web applications, said Rotenberg people do not realize that comments or content that they generate are publicly available.

“People are led to believe that there is more limited communication that there is indeed, in many cases,” he said, noting that frequent changes to Facebook’s privacy settings in recent years may put people at risk to find a job today because of the personal information they may have inadvertently made public.

“What Facebook did was to take personal information from people they have available to family and friends and make this information more widely available to potential employers,” said Mr. Rotenberg, whose organization has several complaints pending at the Federal Trade Commission on the privacy settings of Facebook.

Joe Bontke, outreach manager for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Houston, said he regularly reminds employers and human resource managers about the risks of violation of federal rules and laws against discrimination in employment using the online search in hiring decisions.

“The things you can not ask in an interview are the same things that you can not research,” he said, which includes the full range of information on the age of a person, sex, religion, disability, national origin and race.

However, he added that 75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to research candidates online. And 70 percent of recruiters in the report that the United States they have rejected candidates because of information online, he said.

Dave Clark, owner of Advanced Impulse Communications, a telecommunications company in Southern California, began to rely on social intelligence for screening background, because it said the company needed a formal strategy and standards before assembling information online about candidates. “They provided us a standardized arm’s length how to use this additional information to make better hiring decisions,” he said.

About half of all businesses, based on government and private investigations, are now using credit reports as part of the hiring process, except in states that limit or restrict their use. As with background checks of social media, there are concerns about information that appeared. The equal employment agency filed a lawsuit last December against the Company Kaplan Higher Education, accusing it of discrimination against black job seekers in the way we use credit history in its hiring process.

But it is not unusual for senior high-level executives in many companies to submit to background checks even more complete by a private firm to survey.

“We live in a world where you have an incredible amount of information and data on all officers,” said Ann Blinkhorn, an executive recruiter in the converging technologies, media and communications industry. “I think it puts the burden on the recruiter and the hiring manager to be truly reflected on what is important and not important in the hiring decision.”

New tablet beats the iPad in key features

New tablet beats the iPad in key features

Motorola’s powerful, 4G-capable Xoom is a formidable rival to Apple’s device, a reviewer says.

It’s an old design now. Phase 1: Apple introduced several new gadgets. Bloggers and industry tell us why it will fail. Phase 2: It may be for sale. The audience goes nuts for her. Phase 3: Each company and his brother gets to work on an imitation.

It came with the iMac and iPhone. Now, IPAD is entering Phase 3. Apple sold 15 million iPads in nine months, so you can bet that 2011 will be the Year of the Clone iPad.

Starting Thursday, you’ll be able to buy one of the most anticipated rivals iPad: Xoom Motorola. Like most aspiring iPad, it works with Google’s Android software – but the Xoom is the first that runs on Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), which Google designed for tablets instead of phones.

The series continues Xoom recent Motorola gadgets attractive, compact and well built. Unless you inspect the rear (rubber, plastic instead of aluminum for money), you may not be able to say that touch-screen panel of IPAD.

There are some differences, however. The first is price: the cost Xoom a stunning $ 800, $ 70 more than the equivalent IPAD 32-gigabyte (WiFi and 3G cellular). You can get the Xoom for $ 600 if you’re willing to engage in a two-year Verizon contract. That means paying $ 20 a month to get online using the cellular network from Verizon (if you can get by on just 1 GB of data), instead of access points Wi-Fi hot.

The Xoom also offers a dual-core processor, which, according to Motorola, means smoother animation game And he has cameras. On the back there is a 5-megapixel camera that can also record high definition video. On the front, it is a low-resolution video camera for video chat. The new Android software includes a camera module reinforced-up, which highlights the effects bizarre gadget you never use, like Solarize, Sepia and polarize.

Clearly, a camera is useful on a shelf, and will remain a huge competitive advantage for Xoom – at least until the 2 iPad released next month (if Apple sticks to its model of development to usual annual day, that is). If the new IPAD is not a camera or two, I’ll eat a shelf.

The screen has a resolution of Xoom slightly higher than that of the IPAD, and it gives the tablet a slightly different – more like a business envelope with a greeting-card envelope. The screen shape is a better match for video hi-definition, but the worst for photos and maps.

The Xoom has stereo speakers instead of mono, a good battery for 10 hours of video playback and a power button on the rear panel. Motorola said that later this year, a software update will allow the Xoom enjoy Verizon 4G cellular networks, which means a better download speed in a few cities lucky.

A very cool feature: The Xoom has an HDMI, which means a single cable can send both audio and video hi-def TV. It is an ideal proposal for the roving presenter PowerPoint.

doctor dock Motorola is working overtime, too. You can buy either a speaker dock or a loading dock that is automatically activated Slideshow Xoom or alarm mode. If the material of Xoom were the whole story, it would not be much more than an anecdote. The physical improvements are not enough to knock the iPad iPad especially the 2 – to its pedestal, especially given the price increase.

No, the biggest story here is the honeycomb, the tablet software Google. IPad is the real competitor; tablets honeycomb in every size, shape and price range will soon arrive in stores.

So how is honeycomb? Four words: more powerful, more complicated. The screen is now two bands of small icons. In theory, the numbers above refer to the program you are using, and those in the bottom look like the system tray in Windows status icons and pop-up menus for various settings.

But these icons are darned cryptic, it looks like they were designed by foreigners. Google seems to have forgotten a huge disadvantage of unlabeled icons on a touch screen computer: there is no way to see their names or their office before opening them. There are no pop-up bubbles, for example. All you can do is to activate a touch, see what happens and learn from the experience boring.

New bands are not always make sense, either. Why, for example, never touching the clock icon to display your list of notifications (completed downloads, incoming text messages and so on)? Why do you get to some settings by pressing an icon on the lower band, and the rest of the settings by pressing an icon in the top band? Android not want to be when he grows up Windows?

Some changes in the nests of bees are cool. There is a pop-up menu from the list of recently opened applications – not just their names, but the miniature screens that show you exactly what you did when you left. Widgets (small windows that display the most recent data from, say, Gmail or Twitter accounts) are now more flexible, for example, you can scroll through their contents without opening an application greater whole. You can drag messages into folders individual e-mail.

In the miscellaneous category, Google has blessed the Web browser with tabbed windows and an “incognito” mode (where you let the cookies, history or other avenues that could allow someone to see what you ‘ve been up to). When you use Google Maps to display a large city like San Francisco or New York, you can turn with your fingers to reveal the three dimensional contours of actual buildings. (Useful if you’re the pilot of an ultralight aircraft, I guess.)

Other improvements could be better marked, “lovingly ripped off from IPAD.” Take the new applications and Gmail e-mail, for example (still no word on why we need separate applications for Gmail and other account types). They have been redesigned to mimic perfectly the IPAD mail app. In other words, when the tablet is upright, the message fills the screen when it is horizontal, the list of messages appears on the side left with the message selected in the main window. The Contacts application is also similar.

There is an app that mimics Books under IPAD iBooks, even in the animation three-dimensional page-turner. (It accesses Google attractive new store e-book.)

All other Android goodies are still there, such as voice recognition and impressive navigation GPS. Motorola says the download will come to the Xoom play Flash videos online – something IPAD can not do.

Currently, few applications are designed for screen tablets Android ‘more. However, there are 60,000 applications available specifically for the IPAD (not counting the 290,000 iPhone applications that run on it also, at lower resolution). But this is a temporary exception, the library Android is growing at a white-hot pace.

If you are interested in a tablet, it would be wise to wait a few months. You’ll want to consider what Apple has up its sleeve for the second coming, of course, but also the IPAD research in business-oriented playbook Motion BlackBerry and Hewlett-Packard tablet juicy looking TouchPad, which runs the software webOS ( originally designed by former Apple engineers for the smartphone Palm Pre).

It is not clear at this point why the world needs all these competing tablets, each with different operating systems and app store. There is no sufficient differentiation to justify the assault coming models, most of these companies seem freed tablets just so they can say: “We have a thingie iPad, too!”

How Twitter, Facebook and other firms pick names

How Twitter, Facebook and other firms pick names

What’s in a name? If it comes to Twitter, the answer is roughly $ 1.1 billion. In just four years, Twitter has grown from birdsong for most words in the English language, according to Global Language Monitor data for 2009. (“Obama” was second.) Twitter spokesman Matt Graves said his company’s name was flatly brilliant “the result of a brainstorming session among a small group of employees at Odeo, starting in San Francisco podcasting when Twitter started as a side project. They came up with possible names, including “jitter” and “Twitter”, and put them in a hat, “says Graves. Twitter won.

Now the race to piece the name of the next society oddly memorable. The challenge is to come up with something as powerful as Verizon or Haagen-Dazs (invented words have entered the cultural lexicon), not to mention Google (misspelling the founders themselves, the digital word “googol” ), has become even more difficult. There are over one million names, slogans, logos and office in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. And according to VeriSign, a global domain name registry, 11 million Internet domain names were registered in the past 12 months alone, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. In all, 193 million Internet domain names are now available for new businesses.

“The days are incidental to appoint more,” said Naseem Javed, founder of ABC NameBank, a consultant based in New York specializing in the nomenclature of the business. To stand out in crowded market worldwide, “he said, the name a company must now be very strange. “Ten, twenty years ago, you can start a business and take the name in every sense,” he said. “Now, with 200 countries on the cyber platform worldwide Finding the right name has become an expert in the field. ”

More than ever companies are looking for professional advice on their identity. Although the number of customers are difficult to find, there are about 50 naming firms worldwide, the majority of them launched in the last decade, according to DMOZ, the Open Directory Project, the largest of Internet yellow pages. “It’s like modern art,” said Phillip Davis, president and owner of Tungsten Branding, a naming services firm in Brevard, NC “I study words. I saw the words inside. What could they become, what could they be formatted in, are they malleable? “He takes his job very seriously. “In our industry, we call [words] partially shaped vessel.”

One of the most popular trends of naming years, according to Javed, Google is the double-O derivative. “Many companies believe that the double-O gives them a kind of comfort level,” he said. “You have names such as Joost, Boost, Wakoopa, iSkoot, and Qool.” According to Javed, there is a guiding principle in the strategy of double-O. “Basically, you put the double-O in the center, then you drop a letter on the left and a letter on the right,” he said. “I hope this gives you some magic.” ABC estimates there are about 760 company names double-o in the world.

The real art of naming a business must be weird – but not too weird. Jay Jurisics, creative director at San Francisco-based naming and branding agency Igor, points to the array of companies that appear to have been assigned a random combination of letters: Xignux, Epizone, Spansion, Assurant, Primaxis, Qorus. “Although each snowflake is unique technically” Jurisch said, “in a snowstorm they all mix and mingle.”

An odd name with an idea behind it, however, may stand out: take hairyLemon, for example, a web development company in Christchurch, New Zealand. Graham Dockrill, co-founder hairyLemon, explains that the name comes from the Cockney slang for “here at eleven” – as in 11 hours, typically when pubs open in New Zealand.

“Would you say that” hairy lemon and I am meeting you for a pint when the pub opens, “he said. Technically, to drink in the morning has nothing to do with society itself, but attracted potential customers. Dockrill estimated that at least a third of companies hairyLemon name comes from. “People might look at three or four different companies, he said,” and they will take us because we have such a funny name. ”

Like those who have appointed Twitter and Google, the people behind hairyLemon had simply touch. Not all Namer do-it-yourself is such a success. In June 2009, Russian gas company Gazprom announced a joint venture with NNPC Nigeria, which has resulted in an offshoot company they called “NiGaz.” However, the merger of “Nigeria” and “Gazprom” has struck many Americans as more suitable for an NWA album of a Russian gas monopoly. Development of a name in the digital age, according to Davis Tungsten, is both art and science. His most famous invention is PODS, portable storage with short demand. The original name of moving company and storage has been Phones, but Davis thought it “sounded too much like a toilet.” A name like PODS, he says, creates a feeling of “what, tell me more “instead of” eh, I do not understand. ”

The biggest mistake amateur creators name, Davis believes, is overanalyzing the language. Fans can focus too much on linguistics and the number of vowels and consonants. “They are so grammatically inclined to regret their bigger picture,” he said. “They forget that it must be a story connected to it. Other people’s history, but the word is so awkward that nobody cares about history. They will say: “In America, this word means the god of business. Well, yes, but he won 16 and five syllables x and z be three.”

For those who do not have the capital to employ a professional, the Internet is now littered with generating business-free name. Not all are legitimate, others are actually making fun of you. In 2003, an advertising agency in London, The Design Conspiracy has launched a website called whatbrandareyou.com where visitors can type their “core values” (as “dynamic” or “passionate”) and corporate goals (as “world leader” or “client focus”) and the site put together a brand name custom. “We were laughing a number of rebrands ridiculous at the time, as Accenture and Consignia,” says Ben Terrett, a former member of the Design Conspiracy. He said that all 150 of “products” of the site names have been carefully designed to be as bland as possible. However, the case was so compelling that 20 of their false names – including bivium, Libero, and Winnovate – were registered as trademarks by real companies.

Samsung unveils its iPad challenger

Samsung unveils its iPad challenger

Galaxy Tab Has Smaller Screen, Similar Features to Apple’s Device; Likely Cost Is $200-$300.

Samsung Electronics on Thursday unveiled the Galaxy Tab, its take on Apple’s iPad, as more technology companies trickle into the nascent tablet market. Tablets represent a potential new source of revenue for Samsung, which is making up for lost ground in the intensely competitive smartphone business.

Rather than sell it directly to consumers, Samsung will rely on its carrier partners to sell the Galaxy Tab, which runs on Google’s Android software, comes with a cellular connection, and features a seven-inch screen. The tablet will debut in Italy, moving to other markets as Samsung locks in more carrier deals.

Vodafone Group, the world’s biggest mobile operator, said it would start selling the Galaxy Tab in most of its European markets and a number of its other markets worldwide in October.

It is expected to launch in the U.S. over the next few months, but the company would only say it was in talks with multiple carriers. The Galaxy Tab is essentially an enlarged version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S smartphone, which was originally available through AT&T and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, and more recently Sprint Nextel Corp.

While a price hasn’t been set, Samsung product executive Hankil Yoon said in an interview that it would likely retail for between $200 and $300, although the final price would vary depending on different carrier subsidies.

Mr. Yoon expects to ship 10 million units and take a third of the global tablet market next year.

But it’s unclear if any tablet beyond the iPad will prove to be a hit. Samsung follows Dell which launched its Streak through AT&T last month. More tablets are expected for the holiday selling season.

While many companies are devoting resources toward building a worthy iPad competitor, history shows that Apple often enjoys a lengthy lead with its products, said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at iSuppli.

The iPad, which sold 3 million units after 80 days in the market, is expected to control three-quarters of the tablet market this year, with its share only slipping to 62% by 2012, according to iSuppli.

Like the iPad, the Galaxy Tab customizes core applications, such as email and contacts, to take advantage of the larger screen, offers Wi-Fi capabilities, and provides a hub for reading magazines, books and newspapers. It also lacks a removable battery and requires a proprietary dock to connect to a PC.

The Tab sets itself apart on size. The 7-inch screen allows for a slimmer profile than the iPad, which packs a 9.7-inch screen. Also, the Samsung device supports the latest version of Adobe Flash–something the iPad doesn’t do–enabling the Tab to show more video found on the Internet.

It features a camera on each side of the device, as well as a slot for expandable memory. It also has the capability to make phone calls, but carriers will decide whether that capability will be offered. Mr. Yoon said Samsung plans to support the device with two major software updates a year.

The Tab will run on Android 2.2, the latest version, and will have access to the Android Marketplace for a number of applications. But Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said she was concerned about how many apps will be designed specifically for the device. The iPad already benefits from a number of third-party apps that utilize its larger screen.

Samsung is exploring the possibility of a tablet with a 10-inch or 6-inch screen, and Mr. Yoon said the company plans to eventually launch a family of Galaxy Tab devices. Samsung has invested $200 million in advertising the Galaxy S phone around the world. The company plans to spend less promoting the Galaxy Tab, because it feels the product appeals to more of a niche audience than the more mainstream smartphone, said Samsung mobile marketing executive Younghee Lee.