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Quick fixes to Android’s 6 common problems

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Given the open nature of Android, users tend to experiment, slowing down the device after some time. Here are six tips to get your Android device back in tip-top shape without too much fuss.

Free up storage space

Over time, your device’s internal storage gets occupied by cache files, apps and files leftover when you remove apps. One of the simplest ways to get this storage space back is by moving apps to the microSD card. We recommend the free AppMgr III app as it supports batch moving of apps from internal storage to microSD card and vice versa. 

Also, camera images eat up lot of storage, so move your existing images to the memory card. In camera settings opt to save images on the memory card to save internal storage space.

Free up RAM

All running apps take up some amount of RAM. You don’t need this step if your device has 2GB or more of RAM, but with 1GB or less — you will notice slowdowns if you install too many apps. Some apps (system apps for instance) need to stay on for the device to work, others don’t. 

Clean Master (by KS Mobile) is a great app that can keep your Android device in peak condition. Not only does it free up device RAM, it can also clean up internal memory, help with app uninstalls and remove temporary files. A one-click ‘boost’ button widget is automatically added to your home screen.

Boost the performance

After a few months, most Android users notice a drop in performance. It may become slower to navigate, take longer to open apps while games and video playback shows random frame drops. To regain lost performance, there are a number of things you can do. Remove any unwanted apps and widgets as they eat up your resources by running in the background. You can also stop all the fancy menu animation effects (usually in Settings > Developer options > Window and Transition Animations). 

You can also use a task killer such as Super Task Killer Free. It kills running tasks after a set period of time or via the desktop idget to speed up phone performance. Using launchers like Nova, Nemus or Lightning will also make your device a lot faster. These launchers consume fewer resources and are highly customisable to suit a user’s requirements. You can even use the free AVG Antivirus app to boost performance. It has a built-in task killer, battery optimiser and a data usage monitor.

Remove bloatware

Bloatware is the collective term given to pre-installed apps on your device that you never asked for (and you may never use). Unfortunately, these apps remain on the device even if you perform a factory data reset. This may include apps from the device manufacturer itself, third-party (sponsored) apps or even Google apps that you don’t use. You can’t uninstall them, but one simple method to make sure that these apps don’t bother you is to disable them.

Head to the application manager in Settings, click on all and click on the apps you want to disable. The only available option to completely remove them is to root the device and use an app like Titanium Backup. Even flashing a custom ROM to replace the original Android OS will remove all bloatware. However, rooting and custom ROMs will void warranty.

Fix random crashes/freezing

There are a number of ways your Android device can get infected by malicious apps that slowdown your device and lead to random apps crashes. Direct download of apk files from websites /forums and at times fake apps from the Play Store itself (remember the fake BBM apps a few weeks back?) can corrupt your device. Install the free Clueful app and run it to identify the risk levels of apps installed on your device. 

The app classifies apps according to high, moderate or low risk — you can uninstall the high-risk apps immediately to get rid of any conflicts the app is causing. The mobile Security and Antivirus app by Avast comes with a Privacy advisor along with a powerful virus /malware scanner. It identifies and provides detailed information about apps installed on your device to help identify a reason for crashes.

Improve battery life

It’s unfortunate that battery technology has simply not kept pace with hardware. Given limitations of weight and size, most manufacturers use batteries that should last most users a day (roughly 10 to 12 hours of use). You may find that over time, battery life does decrease — partly because of normal battery wear & tear and partly because of your usage. 

An app called Battery Doctor (by KS Mobile) has enough options to satisfy both casual and power users. You can better manage remaining battery life using the included widgets. Advanced users can configure various battery saver modes and schedule functions to save more power. If this doesn’t work for you, try Easy Battery Saver (by 2Easy Team).

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10 most difficult tech firms for interviews

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Interviews can be hard for anyone, but several companies tend to make the interview process difficult in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. Technology companies are particularly notorious for making the interviews tough, posing difficult questions to assess how applicants fare on various criteria.

Professional networking website Glassdoor has released the list of companies with the most difficult interview processes. We bring to you the technology with the toughest interviews, as well as details like average span of the interview process and the kind of experience that the interviewees have. Click to find out the 10 tech companies with the most difficult interviews:

ThoughtWorks

ThoughtWorks grabbed the top spot among technology companies when it came to the most difficult interview process, with an average difficulty rating of 3.9. Seventy three percent of the interviewees surveyed by Glassdoor reported a positive experience, while 14% had a bad experience.

The typical interview process at ThoughtWorks lasts 43 days, with interviewees giving it an employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Google

Google has an average difficulty rating of 3.6 out of 5, with a typical interview lasting 37 days. Sixty four percent interviewees had a pleasant experience, while 23% had a negative experience, with the company getting an average employee satisfaction rating of 3.3.

Hubspot

Software maker HubSpot has an average difficulty rating of 3.5 and employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5. The interview process takes 20 days on an average and 62% people had a good interview experience, while 27% had a bad one.

Avaya

Avaya takes the fourth spot in the list, with average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 2.9. Eighty six percent interviewees had a good experience, while 10% experienced a bad time, with the average process time being 30 days.

Microsoft

Software titan Microsoft secured an average difficulty rating of 3.4, while its employee satisfaction score is 3.7. The average interview process lasts 29 days, with 70% respondents having a positive experience and 14% reporting a negative time.

Sapient

With an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8, Sapient takes the sixth spot in the list. Average interview process at Sapient takes 12 days, with 76% respondents having a good experience and 13% having a negative time.

Citrix

Citrix grabs the seventh position in the ranking, with an average difficulty score of 3.4 and employee satisfaction rating of 3.8. The overall interview process on an average takes 29 days at the company, and 56% people report a positive experience and 26% have a negative time.

Nvidia

Nvidia gets an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8. The company on an average takes 22 days to complete an interview; 81% people in the survey had a positive experience, while 7% had a bad one.

Informatica

Informatica scores 3.4 in terms of average difficulty of the interview and 3.9 in employee satisfaction. In the survey, 83% of the respondents said they had a positive experience, while 11% had a negative time; average length of interviews at the company is 19 days.

4 free alternatives to expensive software

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Big name software often comes at a big price too. We’re not saying that you don’t get your money’s worth, but you can save a lot by going with these capable free options…

Operating System

Paid: Microsoft Windows

Price: Rs 6,000

This is the price for the cheapest variant — Windows 7 Home Basic — which does not even include the entire Aero interface. Other advanced features missing on this version include multi-touch support, Windows Media Centre, Windows XP mode and multiple language support. You can get all these features, but you’ll have to spend more for Windows 7 Home Premium. If you want to go for the latest Windows 8 operating system, be ready to spend 12,999.

Free: Ubuntu

There are different variants of Linux based free operating systems available for free. Ubuntu is one of the most popular free operating systems because it is easy to use, has low hardware requirements and includes the option to run from a USB drive or DVD. It comes with built-in document editing software, a chat client, email client and multimedia player. Most popular apps like Skype, Audacity, GIMP, Google Chrome and Steam are available for Ubuntu.

Image editing

Paid: Adobe Photoshop CS6

Price: Rs 51,597

For this huge price, you get the best image editing software available today. It comes with advanced features like type styles, vector layers, tilt shift effects, HDR editing and search layers. You can directly import RAW images from a camera for editing into Photoshop — obviously a big advantage for photographers. The user interface can be customised to suit your working needs and offers quick access to various tools and settings.

Free: GIMP

Nothing comes close to the features and controls that Photoshop offers for image editing. However, as a free alternative , GIMP stands its ground with a very similar interface. It also has support for layers, channel mixer, clone and healing tools and works with majority of image formats such as TIFF, PSD, PNG. Support for different RAW formats can be enabled with plugins. A great thing about GIMP is that it is available for Windows, Linux as well as Mac.

 Video editing

Paid: Adobe Premiere

Price: Rs 6,390

Adobe’s Premiere Elements 12 is an affordable and capable solution if you like to edit a lot of home movies. It has features designed for the novice and home user, including built in video tutorials, intelligent (automatic) video correction tools, various Hollywood-style effects and styles (like motion tracking: graphics that can move along with your subject) and finally, built in optimisation for upload to popular video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

Free: Lightworks

Lightworks is a step in a different direction. This is a fullyfeatured , professional video editing program that you can download for free (no catch). It supports HD video editing and all the other features you need. There’s a steep learning curve but you can get started with the free tutorial videos on the website. A paid Pro version is also available — it adds greater codec support, 3D support and lifetime Pro membership to the Lightworks community and more.

Documents

Paid: Microsoft Office 

Price: Rs 5,499

This is the price for the Home and Student edition of Office 2013 with a single PC license. You get Word, PowerPoint, Excel and One Note in the package along with 7GB of Sky-Drive storage to store documents. It also includes Office web apps sync for Skydrive which lets you view, edit and share documents from a browser on any computer. If you also want Microsoft’s Outlook client for email, you will have to pay 14,999 for Office Home & Business edition.

Free: Open Office

This popular free office suite can be installed on any number of computers — there is no license or registration required. It comes with document, spreadsheet and presentation creators, a database editor, equation/formulae editor and a graphics editor. You can read and save documents in most commonly used formats including all Microsoft Office formats. The interface is very similar to Microsoft Office and takes no time to master.

Social media, mobile phones easing disaster impact: IFRC

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Social Media and mobile phones are saving thousands of lives in disaster-prone countries but many vulnerable communities still need to be equipped with modern communications, the Red Cross said on Thursday.

In its latest World Disasters Report, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said the number of people affected by disasters dropped worldwide in 2012, although poorer rural areas were hit harder.

Far-flung countries like the Philippines and Indonesia are successfully tapping modern communication to gather and spread information when disasters strike, it said in the report released in Singapore and other cities.

But first responders in the world’s most impoverished nations remain encumbered by their lack of access to basic technological tools such as early-warning systems and network infrastructure, it said.

“Although the overall number of people affected by disasters decreased in 2012, the number of people affected in the poorest countries increased, with over 31.7 million affected,” the report’s editor Patrick Vinck said in a statement.

“They are also often the ones with the least access to technology.” A total of 15,706 people were killed and nearly 139 million affected in 552 natural and industrial disasters in 2012, according to the report.

It lauded the widespread use of Twitter and text messaging in disaster-relief efforts in the Philippines when Typhoon Bopha slammed into the south of the country in December last year, leaving more than 1,800 dead and missing.

“Thousands of lives were saved because 99% of the population have access to a mobile phone and could receive early warnings and information on staying safe,” Bekele Geleta, secretary-general of the IFRC, said in a statement.

The report said studies showed many around the world were deprived of access to technology because of “inequalities across gender, income and urban/rural divides”.

It cited the example of the Central African Republic, where 47% of women living in the capital Bangui depend on others for all types of information, compared to 30% of men.

Nationwide, most of the poorest 20% of the population depend on others for information, while only 9% of the richest 20% were deprived of direct access to information.

“These differences may not be surprising, but they have important implications for an increasingly technological humanitarian world, namely the potential for digital exclusion of those most vulnerable to disasters,” it said.

It also warned that even the most cutting-edge technologies cannot replace the human touch needed to reach the most vulnerable during disasters.

“Even traditional means likes radio fail to bridge the ‘last mile’ and reach the ‘information poor’,” it said.

In 2012, the Americas were hit the hardest in terms of damage caused by natural disasters, with Hurricane Sandy a key factor in the $103.6 billion in destruction incurred by the region.

Globally, disasters caused an estimated $157.6 billion worth of damage.

Bored of chatting, Tweet to a plant…

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Bored of chatting with your social media friends? Tweet to a plant, instead!

It is often said that talking to plants may help them grow, and now a US museum is putting that popular idea to test with a technological twist.

The museum is investigating the effect of the social media on plant growth.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has created an interactive experiment that lets people tweet to a plant located at the museum through a website dedicated to the project.

The unique message gets converted into robotic speech which then travels through a speaker to the plant, ‘Mashable’ reported.

Visitors to the site can actually hear the technology at work – as a new tweet pours in, the robot sounds it out.

Another plant currently sits in silence in order to help evaluate the results clearly.

Over the course of the experiment, the museum will look at the overall growth of both plants as well as the colour and size of the plants’ leaves.

People have, so far, tweeted words of encouragement as well as harsh messages to the plant.

Countries with world’s fastest internet

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Indians may struggle to find reliable internet connections even in metro cities. However, it’s a different story in developed world where blazingly fast internet speed is a norm reveals Akamai’s State Of The Internet report. The report for the second quarter of 2013 lists the countries with the fastest internet connections in the world.

Want to know where all in the world you can find superfast internet speed and where India stands in global ranking? Check out the list…

Hong Kong – 65.1Mbps

Hong Kong maintains its position as the country with the fastest internet connections in the world with peak speed of 65.1Mbps. The internet speed has decreased 0.9% over the past quarter, but grown 32% compared to last year.

South Korea – 53.5Mbps

With top internet speed of 53.3Mbps, South Korea has moved from fourth position in the previous quarter to second in this quarter. The peak internet speed in the country has increased 19% over the past quarter and 14% over last year.

Japan – 48.8Mbps

Japan has moved down one place to third in the list of countries with fastest internet connections. The peak speed 48.8Mbps shows an increase of 3.1% compared to the last quarter and 21% over last year.

Romania – 47.5Mbps

Romania is now at the fourth position in this list, with maximum internet speed hitting 47.5Mbps. This translates to a decrease of 0.6% over the preceding quarter, despite a 23% increase compared to the same period in 2012.

Singapore – 45.6Mbps

Singapore ranks fifth in the list of countries with fastest internet connections, with maximum speed of 45.6Mbps. This marks an increase of 61% over last year and 4.1% over the previous quarter, as per Akamai’s ranking.

Latvia – 44.6Mbps

Latvia has dropped one rung in the table and is now settled at the sixth spot with peak internet speed of 44.6Mbps. This shows an increase of 5.4% since the last quarter and 33% over the same time last year.

Switzerland – 41.4Mbps

Switzerland grabs the seventh spot in the list of countries with fastest internet connections with top speed of 41.4Mbps. This translates to a rise of 3.9% and 38% over the past quarter and year, respectively.

Israel – 40.1Mbps

Despite not making it to the top 10 last quarter, Israel has taken the eight spot in the list this time with top speed touching 40.1Mbps. This represents a 53% rise over last year and 6.4% compared to the preceding quarter.

Belgium – 39.9Mbps

Belgium moves up one spot compared to last quarter and takes the ninth position in Q2 2013. With maximum speed of 39.9Mbps, the country saw a 8.1% rise quarter-over-quarter and 35% over the previous year.

Taiwan – 39.5Mbps

Taiwan rounds up the top 10 countries having fastest internet connections with peak speed of 39.5Mbps. This marks a rise of 61% when compared to the same period in 2012 and 22% over the last quarter.

India – 10.5Mbps

India stands at 112th position in the ranking of nations with fastest internet speed with peak speed of 10.5Mbps. This figure shows a 44% increase in internet speed over previous year and 3.5% over the first quarter of the year.

Now LED lights to pinpoint your exact indoor location.

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LED lights have magical possibilities. WIth them, you can light up toddlers in delightful Halloween costumes, rave on the playa at Burning Man, or conduct a light symphony on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

You can also use them track people who are shopping and hit them with marketing campaigns, which is what Bytelight enables.

Bytelight has raised $3 million for its indoor positioning system that connects LED lights with the cameras in your mobile device. Retailers can pinpoint your exact location in a store and deliver coupons or redemptions to your phone at “critical points in the buying cycle,” like when you are in front of a product or at the checkout.

Indoor location is one of the biggest tech trends of 2013. ABI Research predicts it will hit $4 billion by 2018.

People spend a vast majority of their time inside, where GPS doesn’t work or is not accurate. While online retailers can track the online shopping activities of site visitors and target them with relevant offers, brick-and-mortar retailers can’t really. Yet.

A vast majority of commerce still happens in physical stores, and the opportunities to deliver hyper-targeted, geo-located advertising are huge.

Consulting firm Deloitte found that 65 percent of consumers use mobile devices while they shop, and mobile-influenced retail store sales are expected to amount to $689 billion by 2016.

Big-name players including Apple, Google, Paypal, Qualcomm, and Samsung are thus working to bring indoor location tech to market, as are startups like Bytelight, Swirl, WifiSLAM, Estimote, and Shopkick.

Most of Bytelight’s competitors use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors to detect the location of nearby smartphones and communicate.

Bytelight turns LED light sources into positioning beacons, which transmit signals and calculate a positions without requiring an active network connection. The company claims its tech is accurate to less than one meter and can compute location in less than a second.

The applications extend far beyond retail. Building owners, public safety officials, and public spaces such as airports, museums, and convention centers could use the technology to send customized information, special offers, and data directly to users based on their precise location inside a building.

People can use it to find a way around a grocery store or locate a specific booth at a large trade show.

Businesses can also use Bytelight’s analytics to optimize their employee operations, analyze traffic patterns, and measure customer engagement.

Bytelight has partnered with LED manufacturers who license and incorporate its tech into their products. LED lights are commonly used as a cost- and energy-efficient mode of lighting. Every indoor space needs lighting, and Bytelight’s CTO Dan Ryan said this approach turns “an infrastructure cost into a valuable source of data,” not to mention a valuable marketing channel.

Flywheel Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, the eCoast Angel Network, Sand Hill Angels, and Google’s Don Dodge (Who is particularly bullish about indoor location tech) contributed to this round.

Boston-based Bytelight closed its seed round of $ 1.25 million just over a year ago, led by VantagePoint Capital Partners.

LED lights have magical possibilities. WIth them, you can light up toddlers in delightful Halloween costumes, rave on the playa at Burning Man, or conduct a light symphony on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

You can also use them track people who are shopping and hit them with marketing campaigns, which is what Bytelight enables.

Bytelight has raised $3 million for its indoor positioning system that connects LED lights with the cameras in your mobile device. Retailers can pinpoint your exact location in a store and deliver coupons or redemptions to your phone at “critical points in the buying cycle,” like when you are in front of a product or at the checkout.

Indoor location is one of the biggest tech trends of 2013. ABI Research predicts it will hit $4 billion by 2018.

People spend a vast majority of their time inside, where GPS doesn’t work or is not accurate. While online retailers can track the online shopping activities of site visitors and target them with relevant offers, brick-and-mortar retailers can’t really. Yet.

A vast majority of commerce still happens in physical stores, and the opportunities to deliver hyper-targeted, geo-located advertising are huge.

Consulting firm Deloitte found that 65 percent of consumers use mobile devices while they shop, and mobile-influenced retail store sales are expected to amount to $689 billion by 2016.

Big-name players including Apple, Google, PayPal, Qualcomm, and Samsung are thus working to bring indoor location tech to market, as are startups like Bytelight, Swirl, WifiSLAM, Estimote, and Shopkick.

Most of Bytelight’s competitors use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors to detect the location of nearby smartphones and communicate.

Bytelight turns LED light sources into positioning beacons, which transmit signals and calculate a positions without requiring an active network connection. The company claims its tech is accurate to less than one meter and can compute location in less than a second.

The applications extend far beyond retail. Building owners, public safety officials, and public spaces such as airports, museums, and convention centers could use the technology to send customized information, special offers, and data directly to users based on their precise location inside a building.

People can use it to find a way around a grocery store or locate a specific booth at a large trade show.

Businesses can also use Bytelight’s analytics to optimize their employee operations, analyze traffic patterns, and measure customer engagement.

Bytelight has partnered with LED manufacturers who license and incorporate its tech into their products. LED lights are commonly used as a cost- and energy-efficient mode of lighting. Every indoor space needs lighting, and Bytelight’s CTO Dan Ryan said this approach turns “an infrastructure cost into a valuable source of data,” not to mention a valuable marketing channel.

Flywheel Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, the eCoast Angel Network, Sand Hill Angels, and Google’s Don Dodge (who is particularly bullish about indoor location tech) contributed to this round.

Boston-based Bytelight closed its seed round of $1.25 million just over a year ago, led by VantagePoint Capital Partners.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/10/25/bytelight-uses-led-lights-to-pinpoint-your-exact-indoor-location/#EEYYDqCvo0J8MGWc.99

Why there are no women in Twitter Board…

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Twitter is on schedule to go public as a company next month, a sparkling symbol of innovation, technology – and stale, old thinking reflected in a board of seven white men.

Twitter users are reportedly more likely to be female, so it’s bizarre to have no women on the board. But the main reason to add women – not just on Twitter’s board, but in politics, business and the news media – isn’t just equity. This shouldn’t be seen as a favor to women but as a step that would be good for all of us.

In business, there’s abundant evidence that inclusion of women in senior positions is linked to better results. Catalyst, a research organization, found that the companies with the most female board directors earned a 26% higher return on invested capital than the companies with the fewest women.

Likewise, McKinsey & Co found that the international companies with more women on their corporate boards far outperformed the average company in return on equity and other measures. Operating profit was 56% higher.

This isn’t just about boardrooms, though. In the recent government shutdown debacle, some of the first efforts at hammering out a deal to end the crisis came from a group of women in the Senate who were disheartened by the political paralysis. Time magazine’s headline online was: “Women Are the Only Adults Left in Washington.”

That’s progress: The Senate built a restroom off the floor for female members only in 1993, and now, a couple decades later, women are providing adult supervision in the “old boys’ club.”

Still, there’s a long way to go.

The World Economic Forum plans to release its annual Global Gender Gap Report, and the United States ranks an embarrassing 23rd out of 136 countries in the status of women. The US has actually slipped one slot since a year ago and does particularly poorly by international standards in wage equality and in numbers of women in the legislative branch.

Hard-nosed business executives seem to get that this is more than a social justice issue. In a survey by Spencer Stuart, the executive search firm, and Corporate Board Member, a company that researches corporate boards, 4 out of 5 board members said that they believed that boardroom diversity “generally results in increased value for shareholders.”

Yet of Fortune 500 companies, roughly 18% of board members are female. At this rate, it’ll be after 2050 before women hold half of board seats.

So what do women bring to the board table?

Scholarly research suggests that the best problem-solving doesn’t come from a group of the best individual problem-solvers, but from a diverse team whose members complement each other. That’s an argument for leadership that is varied in every way – in gender, race, economic background and ideology.

Another reason companies with senior women may thrive might have little to do with gender. The promotion of women may just be a proxy for those companies that are most open-minded and forward-looking, and those perhaps are the qualities that are mainly driving profits.

Companies sometimes protest that they can’t find qualified women. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School, said that the real problem is boards trying to replicate themselves and that plenty of women would add value to the Twitter board.

“I could come up with 30 names without thinking too hard,” she said, adding that the challenge is to “look more broadly for talent and be more welcoming to people not identical to those in power.”

And, sorry, Twitter, but how about adding not just one woman to your board, but three? Research suggests that what matters is having a critical mass of about 30 percent women. In Twitter’s case, if it added three women, its board would still have as many men named Peter as it had women.

I also realize that I live in a glass house, because my world of punditry is a cacophony of mostly white male voices. Gender imbalance isn’t just Twitter’s problem, but a global challenge across many sectors.

In the midst of the 2008 economic cataclysm, there was introspection about whether the overwhelmingly male leadership in finance led to a macho culture of excessive risk-taking. A British study found that trading behavior reflected testosterone levels in employees’ saliva: The more testosterone, the more risky the trades.

Maybe not: Lehman Sisters, equally nondiverse, might also have been prone to herd behavior of a different kind. The smart bet would have been on an inclusive and diverse Lehman Brothers & Sisters – and there’s a lesson there for Twitter, for our government, and for all of us.

Google world’s best place to work for: Survey

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Internet giant Google has emerged as the world’s best multinational company to work for, followed by software developer SAS Institute and network storage provider NetApp in the second and third place, respectively.

Software giant Microsoft was ranked fourth by human resources consultancy ‘Great Place to Work Institute’, which has compiled a list of 25 such companies.

There is no India-based company in this list and all 25 firms are either American or European.

Others in the top 10 include W L Gore & Associates, which was ranked 5th on the list, followed by personal and household goods maker Kimberly-Clark (6th), hospitality giant Marriott (7th), consumer goods firm Diageo (8th), National Instruments (9th) and IT company Cisco (10th).

While there are no Asian companies in the list, and 9 out of the top 10 positions have been occupied by US firms. London-based Diageo was the only firm in the top 10 which did not belong to the United States.

This year, more than 6,000 companies participated in national Best Companies list competitions in more than 45 countries across the world. The organisations featured in this list represent the 25 Best Multinational Workplaces in the world.

“The 25 companies on the 2013 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list set a high standard for us all. Their outstanding achievement builds a better society by creating great workplaces,” it said.

The list also includes Autodesk ranked at the 11th place, followed by Monsanto (12th), BBVA (13th), American Express (14th), Hilti (15th), Telefonica (16th), Accor (17th), Quintiles (18th), SC Johnson (19th), FedEx Express (20th), Atento (21st), Mars (22nd), McDonald’s (23rd), The Coca-Cola Company (24th) and Novartis (25th).

Together, these companies employ more than 11.9 million employees.

These companies were selected from more than 1,000 corporations, they have appeared on at least 5 national Best Workplaces lists, have at least 5,000 employees worldwide, have at least 40% (or 5,000 employees) of their workforce based outside their home country.

An app to manage all your passwords

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We all know that we need to use strong passwords on websites. In fact, a different password for every site you frequent is wise.Good Web security hygiene creates two problems, however. First, you have to remember all those different passwords. Second, if you lose your smartphone, your many passwords may be at risk.

But there are various password manager apps meant to solve those problems. The best-known password manager app is 1password by AgileBits. This app keeps your many Web site passwords, for your bank and so on, safely locked up. It also can keep track of other data like passport details, addresses and more.

The app has a plain yet attractive interface that makes using it a breeze, because its various icons and controls are obvious at one glance.

Tapping the “+” icon brings up a menu that offers you many data categories , like bank account numbers, e- mail details and wireless router passwords . You simply select the appropriate category and enter as much data in the boxes on the next page as you prefer. All your entries are then listed in the main app, and you can group them into folders if you want to keep work and home data separate.

1Password also has a secure browser built into it. It allows you to surf to your bank’s Web site, in one typical case, where it will automatically enter your passwords for you or enter credit card details into shopping sites.

If you think your passwords are too weak, 1Password has an automatic strong password generator that will randomly put together a complex password for you. These may be harder to remember than your usual passwords but, of course, the app remembers them for you.

This app excels in security. There’s a master password that protects your data, and data stored inside the app is encrypted — which makes it safe even if someone steals your device. Its main downside is the price: It’s $18 on iOS. There is a free Android version, but it’s much simpler and you can’t enter new data.