Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Dec 2014)
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- Online services oftentimes provide an option to store your method of payment for future uses, for example credit card information, so that you do not have to enter it again next time. While this may be convenient, it is yet another place where your personal information is left vulnerable. Consider pushing payments from your bank to vendors instead of saving sensitive information, like credit card numbers, with each online service.
- Venmo is a money-management app that lets you make and even share payments when splitting the dinner bill, rent, tickets and just about anything else. It is a hassle-free way to transfer money to or from your friends without the hassle of having to look for an ATM. Venmo is free for iOS, Android and Windows phones.
- When you buy a new smartphone, tablet, computer or TV, the sales person will often try to sell you an extended warranty. When deciding if you should purchase one, consider that data from Consumer Reports shows that most gadgets usually don't fail during the extended warranty period. If your gadget makes it through the first year, when most manufacturing problems show up, it often will not hit wear and tear failures until after the extended warranty expires.
- Consider these real-world mail clues in spotting potential identity theft: If you begin to receive catalogs in the mail with a different name, that may mean someone is using your address at stores; Medical solicitations for procedures you do not need and medication you do not take could signify someone is using your medical insurance; Sudden increases in your car insurance rate could be a clue that your credit score has dropped.
- Do you know which files are taking up the most room on your hard drive? WizTree scans your hard drive for the biggest files and folders. It is fast and efficient and enables you to sort the contents of your drive by folder size and then deletes the files for you. You can also view the top 1000 largest files to see what is taking up the most space on your hard drive, like, for example, a large number of movies or pictures.
Hiring that perfect start-up team
When it comes to the technical team, it is important that your team members are a good fit for your start-up. You should hire people who not only thrive in a fast-paced start-up environment, but who share the same core values as you. Your technical team members should be a good fit for the culture, and individual personalities should complement one another.
Additionally, technical team members should not only be experts in their knowledge domain, they have to be able to articulate that knowledge to their peers and managers. The best technical experts are able to work together with other teams, and explain the technical terms in a simple language that everyone can understand.
Furthermore, the quality that venture capitalists are looking for in a start-up is execution. While a good idea is certainly important, and a sound strategy will ensure you reach your objectives, it is the execution along with the product or service delivery that matters the most. Try to hire people who have demonstrated the ability to take a project from its early stages to a successful delivery.
Imagining a world where there are no doors can be frightening. But where the Internet is concerned, that is exactly the kind of world we are living in every day. You need not have read George Orwell's "1984" to understand that surveillance is antithetical to a free society. Gradually, people are starting to realize how a tactless Tweet or a lookup of your address using Google Maps revealing your landlord's unkempt property can prevent you from getting a job or even a date. But with all the cries demanding more privacy, recent studies have shown that we are voluntarily sharing our personal data more than ever before. Usually we debate about the legal ramifications of such sharing. Rarely though do we discuss the psychological effects.
Recent studies have shown that the more we share, the less inclined we are to demonstrate individuality and creativity, due to social pressures to conform. More so, being observed and watched can often lead to heightened feelings of anxiety and depression. So, knowing this, why do we continue to share even more? The paradox may point to our fears of being judged as left out or unengaged (think high-school). Psychologists have warned about revealing too much about ourselves too soon - whether online or offline. If we view personal information as a form of currency, the amount we spend on people can indicate how much we value those relationships. Spending all of this personal currency recklessly and with little forethought can leave us feeling deprived of self-confidence and individualism. Perhaps that is why it may feel like an actual theft when that information is hacked or data mined and then sold off.