Monday, July 28, 2014

Celebration Brooklyn Bridge

Thanks to

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Find Unadvertised Job Openings with a Clever Google Search

Most job openings at most companies go unadvertised—that is, they're posted on their site, but they're not farmed out to recruiters or posted on massive job boards. That also makes them harder to find. Thankfully, Google can do the job for you. Use these search strings to uncover matching gigs. The market for new jobs is so competitive that most companies don't see a need to spend a ton of money hiring third-party recruiting firms or posting their jobs to the top of big job boards just to get candidates to apply. Between internal referral programs and word-of-mouth, posting a job to the company's "Careers" page is usually enough. To uncover those unadvertised openings, all you need is a little Google-fu. The folks at the Glassdoor Blog explain that all you need to do is cast your net over the major employee applicant tracking systems that companies use to post and manage responses to their job postings: Do you know what an applicant tracking system is? Wikipedia defines it as “a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs.” As a jobseeker, you refer to it as the electronic blackhole that eats up resumes. Specifically, it’s the system you interact with when you apply for a job on a company careers website. One of the more popular applicant tracking systems is produced by a company called “Taleo.” With a little help from Google, you will be able to search company websites that are using the Taleo system. In this way, you will be able to find jobs that are not posted on (insert leading job board name here) and have an edge on your competition. Let me show you how. In the Google search below, I am asking Google to look only on the website (where their system hosts various unadvertised jobs that are typically obtainable when a jobseeker does a search on a company’s careers website). I do this when I search: “” Afterward, I ask Google to find only those webpages that have “careers” in the title. This is what “intitle:careers” means. Finally, I add in the job title “programmer” because that is the job I am looking for. Of course, just adding a job title is giving me too many broad results. I narrow it down by adding more keywords like “SAS” and “macro.” In short, to search all sites using Taleo, for example: intitle:careers JOBTITLE OTHERIMPORTANTWORDS Repeat the process for any other applicant tracking systems you know are in wide use, like Kenexa's BrassRing ( for example.

How many of your health supplements are actually snake oil?

Recent studies have shown that many vitamins and supplements do little for our health and are a waste of money. This chart will make it abundantly clear how true that is. In this brilliant chart by David McCandless from 2010, you can see a gorgeous visualization of how many supplements are actually helpful — based on scientific studies — and how many are basically nothing more than snake oil. McCandless, writing on Information is Beautiful, explains: This image is a "balloon race". The higher a bubble, the greater the evidence for its effectiveness. But the supplements are only effective for the conditions listed inside the bubble. You might also see multiple bubbles for certain supps. These is because some supps affect a range of conditions, but the evidence quality varies from condition to condition. For example, there's strong evidence that Green Tea is good for cholesterol levels. But evidence for its anti-cancer effects is conflicting. In these cases, we give a supp another bubble.

MakerBot Is Changing The World

It was an inauspicious beginning. At the MakerBot event last night at CES 2014 the intro music tended towards soft hard rock. On the plate was a lilting guitar anthem by the Foo Fighters and then a song by Incubus, Pardon Me. So pardon me while I burst into flames. Luckily, nothing did. Instead, as I sat in the audience last night, I was struck just how exciting the proceedings were. Bre Pettis, CEO and a former school teacher, came out coughing, saying “Cool,” dressed in black like a nerdy Johnny Cash. He had a lot to say and his presentation was, in some strange way, a near-perfect facsimile of an Apple keynote: the amazing stuff the company is doing (3D-printed hands, soccer balls that students in the third world kick around and then use to light their homes at night), the retail spaces they’ve opened throughout the Northeast. The sales, the total employees, the dross that borders on self promotion but is a necessary part of the CE dance. Then there was some information on their MakerBot Academy, an effort to push MakerBots into every classroom. “My parents bought me an Apple II+,” said Pettis, comparing his plans to another major hardware player that pushed their product into classrooms before the business world knew what was happening. Arguably, the home PC market and the home 3D printer markets are, in a way, opposed. Home computers can do anything while 3D printers can only make anything. However, 3D printers allow for the imagination to run rampant. By creating things out of thin air they are a high-tech magic wand, a technology that allows us to hack the physical world in the same way Apple II users hacked the digital.
MakerBot products do two things right: first, they mirror the best practices of the CE giants. They are simple, easy-to-use, and offer intuitive, free software solutions. The segmentation of the products into Mini (for everyone), the Replicator (for the prosumer), and the ultra-large Z18 (for the small manufacturing shop) is spot-on and the trade dress – the sexy design, the cartridge-like filament holders, and the removable extruders move the 3D printer from a wonky, home-brew object of nerd veneration to a usable product that anyone with a rudimentary understanding of coffee makers can use. MakerBot also owns the conversation when it comes to 3D printers. While the tinkerers online scream “Sell-out!”, Pettis is defining the face of 3D printing for the world. Through branding, design, and enough open source software and hardware to remain dangerous, he is selling a world where 3D printers are as ubiquitous as samurai swords were in Kill Bill – familiar tools that everyone has and everyone understands but few can use with precision or effect. I’m a proponent of 3D printing, as you well know. I’ve owned a MakerBot for a few years now and it’s changed the way I think of how things are built and expanded my skill set in the way my original Atari 800XL all those years ago taught me that computers weren’t scary, and that they could be a source of pleasure and a true calling. A company that changes the world at CES is a rare treat. Everything else at this circus is a sideshow. MakerBot is the real deal.

Social Voting App Polar Launches Self-Service Poll-Creating Tool For Publishers

Polar, the social voting app that raised $1.2 million from Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Google’s Don Dodge and other prominent investors last year, is launching its free self-service solution for publishers today. We, just like a number of other publishers, have occasionally used Polar for polls in our own posts in the past, but to do so, we had to work with the company directly. The company argues that using its polls can help publishers increase reader engagement exponentially when compared to traditional comments. Leaving comments, after all, tends to take a bit of work, while just clicking a poll is pretty easy. Judging from the data Polar has shown us, the ratio of comments to poll participation is often one to 1,000.
As Polar founder Luke Wroblewski notes, the shift to mobile has made commenting harder for readers. “When you look across the web, most sites rely on tools created during the desktop era for engagement,” he argues. Readers still want to engage with publishers, but instead of traditional commenting forms, he thinks, “the shift to mobile is a very compelling reason to look for other solutions to audience engagement.” Publishers can then also use the results of their polls to get a more representative sample of their readers’ opinions. To get started, publishers use Polar’s responsive web app to either select a pre-made poll or to create their own. To create a poll, users simply write a question and two answers to choose from and select an image to go with each one of the answers. Users can upload their own images or use Polar’s built-in tools to search for Creative Commons-licensed images, product shots from Amazon and images on Wikipedia. Once the poll is finished, all they need to do is embed the code into their stories. Using the company’s publisher tools, they can then watch the voting process in real-time. Overall, working with Polar is pretty straightforward. We have seen very high engagement rates every time we have used Polar in our own posts, so chances are you will see them pop up on TechCrunch pretty regularly going forward.

Sony Goes All-In On Cloud Content With “PlayStation Now” And A Cloud-Based VOD TV Service

The cloud has covered Sony in a big way: at CES today the company announced a pair of new services that will bring a new wave of cloud-based content to use across its range of devices. PlayStation Now will be a new network for cloud-based games, and a new video service will deliver both live and on-demand video. The move points to how Sony is focusing on a more consolidated and converged product and services vision. PlayStation Now is the new name that Sony is giving to a service based on Gaikai, the cloud-based gaming service that it acquired in 2012 for $380 million. Andrew House, the president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, says that it will effectively be a route for bringing legacy PS3 and PS2 games to Vita, smartphones, tablets and Bravia TV sets. “Playing your favorite PS3 game on your television will become a reality,” he said. The service will be starting in beta at the end of January with a full rollout coming this summer. The second cloud-based entertainment service House announced today is Sony’s move into a new cloud-based TV service. House says that this will bring both live and VOD content — a long-rumored product, now finally appearing a reality. He provided very little detail on the specifics of the service — we are reaching out to Sony to find out more. For now, we know that it will be live later this year. Sony’s move into cloud-based content is not early but still essential: it has some 70 million devices in use in the U.S. alone, it has some 70 million devices in use in the U.S. alone, House noted today, with some 25 million of them PlayStation3 players — where it is the most popular console for streaming TV services already. Netflix is a major content provider on that platform today, and so it’s unsurprising to see Sony — itself a big content creator — moving in earnest to offer more content directly to compete against the likes of these OTT players as well as other console makers like Microsoft.

Estonian Farm Management Startup VitalFields Raises Further €500K

Estonian startup, VitalFields, which offers web and mobile apps to put farm management into the cloud and harness otherwise untapped farm-related data, has raised €500,000 in follow-on funding. The round was led by original backer SmartCap, the venture capital arm of the Estonian Development Fund, with participation from new investor TMT Investments. Previous backers Wiser Financial Advisors, and Arvi Tavast, also participated, along with Ahti Heinla (one of the first Skype engineers) and Andres Kull. This brings total funding to €750,000, after VitalFields raised €250,000 in late 2012. Founded in 2011 at the Garage48 hackathon, and also an alumni of accelerator Startup Wise Guys, we first described VitalFields as an agricultural early warning system. Its cloud-based wares help farmers do things like plant disease and growth phase modelling, tracking climatic patterns, and other farm management-related activity such as farm planning, stock management and P&L reports. In other words, it’s another classic SaaS play, replacing old, largely, paper-based ways of doing things, or using legacy and expensive software, or tools that were never really designed to do the job. To that end, VitalFields also provides a degree of automation, consolidating various data, including hyperlocal weather reports and plant disease-related information, that would be otherwise difficult for a human to track manually. VitalFields says it counts 1,500 farms as customers worldwide, and that today’s new capital will enable it to customise its solution for several new countries in Europe this year. It will also invest in R&D, specifically around analytics so that farmers can become more efficient based on the knowledge accumulated from similar farms, with a heavy dose of machine-learning. That’s potentially very beneficial since, as we’ve previously noted, smaller farms don’t always have access to or make great use of data, instead relying on less scientific practices.