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Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Everybody knows what is ‘Digital Transformation‘, everybody have an opinion, a vision, an experience and everybody knows the truth of “What”, “How” and “When” related with Digital Transformation.

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This is the message that the IT professionals send everyday, because we are experts and we know everything you can know about it. But although I consider myself an IT professional, I have done something that we do not usually do in this sector… stop, look around and ask ourselves why things are like this and what we are really doing.

The conclusion I have reached is that I am not at all in agreement with my colleagues, or at least with the most widespread opinion, which is usually the most accepted and therefore becomes the truth.

The first point is the most important of all is ‘Digital’, so we can not transform any business, process, task or whatever without introduce digital world in the equation. And the second one is ‘Transformation’, but is not really important, is a consequence of the ‘Digital’. the worst of all is the term is in fashion.

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The mail issue I saw during these years is that the most important thing of the Digital Transformation is the process, and we usually forget what the main objective is.

From my point of view, the important isn´t ‘Digital’ or ‘Transformation’, the most important, the only really important is the person (not the people). ‘Digital Transformation’ is only the way to achieve an objective, and the objective is to help the person to be happy (or is it not what we are all really looking for in life?)

Person is different for each company… sometimes is employee, client, partner or internet surfer. and is person and not people because all we are all different, and therefore we need different things to achieve our goals. This is why today so much is spoken of the millennial, who in the end are the ones who have driven all this process with their vision and their needs

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Out objective (of IT people) is to help this person to achieve the perfect environment that allow them to achieve their objective the most comfortable and satisfactorily possible. With this new environment, the person will be more productive, more satisfied and more happy. it can be with a better workplace, a better web, a better interface, a better process… but always adapted to their needs and expectations.

Finally ‘Digital’ is just the tools of how we help this person: the things we use to give the environment that each person needs. We are fortunate to have a technological evolution adapted to the people within our reach …  and finally ‘Transformation’ is just the way we design to walk. Speaking in IT terms, is the change management, because, we can not forget that we are going to change how the person is going to work/connect/contact/relate but always in positive terms, because the principal objective is to help them.

So, the vision I currently have about ‘Digital Transformation’ is… a cool name that allows it be fashionable, but in essence, is a change management of the current environment of the person to a new environment adapted to their needs using the tools that the 21st century puts in our hands. We adapt our environments, process and companies for the new wave of talent called Millennial.

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leadership

¿Cuáles son las claves a la hora de emprender un nuevo negocio? ¿Cómo lograr que se consolide en un ecosistema ya repleto de startups y pymes que pugnan con hacerse con una parte del mercado? ¿Cuáles son los errores en los que podemos caer?

Con motivo de la celebración del Salón MiEmpresa, que se celebrará los días 21 y 22 de febrero en el Barclaycard Center (antiguo Palacio de los Deportes de Madrid), TreceBits ha contactado con el cofundador del evento, Sébastien Chartier, para que nos ofrezca unos consejos básicos a la hora de ejecutar una idea de negocio y enfocarse a las necesidades del cliente. Por su interés, aquí os dejamos el siguiente decálogo:

1- Detecta en qué sectores hay nichos empresariales. Para que una compañía triunfe es imprescindible identificar una necesidad que aún no esté cubierta y demostrar que se cuenta con una solución que la pueda solventar. Algunos buenos nichos son IoT, Insurtech, Realidad Virtual, o Biotehc entre otros.

2- Plantea proyectos innovadores con vocación internacional. Salir al mercado extranjero es una de las tareas pendientes del emprendedor español y una forma de diversificar su negocio, evitando la dependencia exclusiva de la demanda interna. Además hoy en día la internacionalización resulta muy importante para poder competir a nivel global.

3- Amplía tu red de contactos a través de encuentros de networking. A través de esta práctica no solo se amplían tus posibilidades de venta, también puedes establecer alianzas con nuevos proveedores y partners.

4.- La experiencia es un grado e imprescindible para emprender en sectores como Fintech e Insurtech. Ambos sectores, junto con el de las apps o la economía colaborativa, están en pleno auge pero también son ámbitos son complejos que requieren el soporte de fondos de inversión especializados y mucha experiencia del equipo promotor para que triunfen a gran escala.

5.-El cliente es el rey. Enfócate en lo que va a necesitar y adelántate a sus necesidades. Sus demandas son las que te marcarán el paso y los comentarios que realicen sobre el servicio que presta tu compañía, te ayudarán a mejorar y crecer.

6.- Busca el talento para formar un equipo que sea capaz de ejecutar tu idea de negocio. El equipo es una de las partes más importantes porque será el encargado ejecutar tu idea de negocio. Por ello es imprescindible apostar por profesionales con formación específica, brindarles perspectivas de crecimiento dentro de la empresa, reconocer el trabajo bien hecho y facilitar la conciliación, sin olvidar la flexibilidad.

7.- Consolidar un negocio pasa por reinventarse. La capacidad de adaptación a las nuevas tendencias es casi una cualidad básica para cualquiera que tenga en mente poner en marcha una empresa que sobreviva a largo plazo de forma exitosa, porque las modas cambian, como lo hacen los hábitos de consumo y hay que saber reajustar nuestra oferta, producto o servicio para seguir en la cresta de la ola y no perder cuota de mercado.

8.- Exprime al máximo tu capacidad de adaptación a los nuevos retos digitales. ¿Aún dudas del poder del entorno online? Las redes sociales y la tecnología han revolucionado la manera de vender, usando influencers y creando campañas virales. Para muestra un botón, los datos que registra el Black Friday cada año evidencian la revolución que hemos vivido al calor del fenómeno 2.0.

9.-La calidad del servicio que ofreces es tu mejor carta de presentación. No la descuides. ¿De qué sirve ofrecer una solución innovadora si cuando el cliente tiene un problema no puede contar con un servicio de atención que le resuelva sin demora y de forma eficiente su contratiempo? Son estos detalles los que te harán sumar puntos a la hora fidelizar a tus clientes. La calidad de tu servicio es lo que hoy en día marca la diferencia, ya que cualquiera es capaz de competir en precio.

10.-El éxito solo se puede alcanzar trabajando por tu proyecto cada día. Todas las claves anteriores no funcionan por sí solas, únicamente pueden encontrar acomodo en la implicación al 100%, el esfuerzo constante y el trabajo diario. Roma no se montó en dos días, y deberíamos alejarnos de la cultura del pelotazo, implementando de nuevo criterios de esfuerzo a largo plazo.

SOURCE: TreceBits (http://www.trecebits.com/)

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Dying technologies aren’t the only unnecessary drain on our wallets

 

1. Cable TV

Cable television’s heyday is over. Subscribers have been declining since 2004, and analysts say there’s no end in sight. Roughly 54.8 million households currently pay for cable TV, down 3.3% from 2012 and down 17.6% from a decade prior, according to research firm IHS. Cable companies are expected to shed roughly 1.3 million subscribers in 2014.

The decline is due in part to so-called cord-cutters: consumers who are canceling cable and transitioning to lower-cost services, such as Hulu and Netflix NFLX -0.45%  , which provide much of the same programming at a fraction of the price. Using an Internet connection, consumers can stream many cable shows, news programs and sports games, as well as movies, directly to their TVs. Some channels’ websites also provide viewers access to their shows.

These services are mostly beneficial for people who do not mind watching shows after they’ve aired and are willing to part with most live programming.

 

2. Landline service

Fewer households are holding on to their landlines. Two in every five U.S. homes had wireless phones only during the first half of the year, up slightly from the first half of 2012, according to data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number has been rising over the past decade: Roughly 90 million adults, or 38% of the population, are now wireless-only, versus 21% during the first half of 2009 — and fewer than 3% during the first half of 2003.

Ditching the landline allows households to shed a monthly bill — but it doesn’t mean they’re restricted to their cellphones. There’s also Skype, which is free and allows video chatting via smartphones and other devices with friends and family anywhere in the world at no cost. FaceTime video can also be free with a Wi-Fi connection. Separately, magicJack Plus provides phone service when it’s connected to a USB port, computer, or regular phone router; it costs $49.95 in total for the device and for the first six months, after which service costs range from about $1.67 to $2.50 per month. (In contrast, most traditional telephone providers charge at least $10 a month.)

To be sure, these services require an Internet connection. Consumers who want the security of a landline — many Americans were without phone service after Hurricane Sandy disrupted cellphone and Internet service in some areas — may want to consider holding on to their home phone.

 

3. GPS devices

Up until a few years ago, personal navigation systems were considered a must-have for most drivers since they drastically reduced the chances of getting lost. But the tides have turned and demand for these gadgets is plummeting: 7.5 million personal navigation devices sold in 2012 in North America, down from a peak of 18 million in 2009, according to the latest data from Berg Insight, a Swedish research company.

The need for this service still exists, but consumers can get it for a lot cheaper. Rather than paying $70 to $300 for a new GPS device, drivers can use map apps to get around. They’re available on most smartphones or free to download.

Separately, many new cars come with built-in navigation systems: 49% of 2013 model-year vehicles have a standard navigation system (in at least one of their styles), up from 33% of 2010 models, according to Edmunds.com.

 

4. DVD and Blu-ray players

DVD sales and rentals are down, so it’s not a surprise that fewer consumers are buying DVD players. Sales of DVD and Blu-ray players totaled 21.3 million in 2012, down 20.1% from a year prior and down 24.8% from 2010, according to research firm SNL Kagan.

Instead, experts say, consumers are increasingly streaming movies from Internet-based subscription services like Hulu and Netflix. Gamers can also use their consoles, such as the Xbox One and PlayStation4, to watch DVDs.

 

5. Hotel rooms

As more travelers book vacations, demand for hotels is rising and so are room rates. The daily rate at U.S. hotels averages $110.59 this year, up 4.1% from 2012 and up 12.6% from 2010, according to professional-services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The average price is expected to rise to $115.68 in 2014.

There’s another, cheaper alternative: Travelers can reserve apartments or homes in their destinations at a lower price with more space to boot. Several services, such as Airbnb and Vacation Rentals by Owner, allow consumers to choose from an assortment of homes to stay in. Some owners also offer free airport pickups and drop-offs.

It can also be more helpful and cost-effective for large groups that are traveling together (you can book a large home with many bedrooms) or families with young children who require privacy and can cook in the home rather than paying to eat out. The downside, however, is less security than what hotels offer.

 

6. Two-year phone contracts

Consumers are encountering more setbacks than benefits with two-year cellphone contracts. There’s no way to change phones within this period of time without incurring a fee. And there’s the fine print many of these plans come with that result in consumers paying more than the starting monthly price they’re quoted in the store.

Mobile users have several alternatives. They can opt for no-contract providers that sell the phones at full price (that’s more than the upfront price they’ll pay for a phone with a contract) but monthly payments are much lower (often half). They’re available through MetroPCS as well as big-box retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Most regular wireless providers also offer this option.

 

7. Desktop and laptop computers

There’s little reason to buy a desktop or laptop computer anymore. Tablets perform the same functions — playing music, sharing photos, Web surfing — that most consumers use PCs for and they’re made to use while on the go. They can also be a lot cheaper. For instance, Apple’s iMac’s start at $1,299 and MacBook laptops start at $999 while iPads start at $299.

Of course, ditching desktop PCs isn’t for everyone: Graphic designers and traders, for instance, who require large screens will find it hard to part with traditional computers.

But data shows that PCs are starting to fall out of favor: Worldwide shipments fell 4% in 2012 from a year prior — to the lowest level since 2009, according to the latest data from IDC, an information-technology research firm.

 

8. Extra legroom in economy

Over the past few years it’s become common practice for airlines, including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, to charge many passengers extra — up to an additional $180 — for roomier seats (read: extra three to six inches of legroom) in coach. These seats are often in the exit rows or first row in economy.

But for a similar payment of $100 to $200, travelers can get upgraded to business class where the seats are much more comfortable and the service is of a higher caliber. These upgrades used to be reserved for airlines’ frequent fliers, but many now give them out to passengers who are willing to pay a bit more when they check in or at the gate.

 

9. Credit cards with points or miles programs

Card issuers have been ramping up some of their rewards programs in the past few years, but consumers should steer clear of one common promotion: credit cards with rewards programs that are comprised of points or miles.

Many card issuers are devaluing their rewards programs by requiring cardholders to spend more in order to get the same “free award” they could have gotten previously with fewer points. What’s more, many of these cards come with annual fees, ranging from $30 to $75.

Instead, consider a credit card with a “cash-back” program — a rewards program that’s a lot more straightforward: consumers get 1% to 5% cash back per a certain number of dollars they swipe on their card.

 

10. Digital cameras

Their small size and sleek look made digital “point and shoot” cameras all the rage for years. Now, demand is sunsetting. Roughly 11.5 million are estimated to have sold this year in the U.S., down 44% from 2012, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, which represents consumer technology companies. Sales are expected to drop to just under 8 million next year.

The cameras are suffering from an identity crisis. Consumers who want high-quality photos are opting for the larger, DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras. Others prefer to stick with just one gadget — their smartphone — which takes pictures.

And there’s new competition from cameras intended for the outdoor thrill-seeker, like the GoPro, for people who want photos capturing action (the camera attaches to your body while white water rafting or scuba diving, for instance) rather than stopping to pose for a pic.

 

11. Extra thing – In 2014 not to buy…

… nothing that was created more than 5 years ago… Everyday we have new and better things.

Source: marketwatch.com

 

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Microsoft is adding incremental management, networking and security features to the Windows 8.1 ‘Blue’ update, hoping to convince more business users to take a look at its latest OS release.

Microsoft has confirmed what many business users had hoped were accurate rumors — that a Start Button and boot-straight-to-desktop option are going to be baked into Windows 8.1, the client release of Windows codenamed “Blue.”

But that’s not all the company is doing to try to win more business customers over to Windows Blue. On June 3, the opening day of its TechEd North America conference, Microsoft officials also showed off other management, networking and security features that will be part of the Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 releases.

Microsoft introduced a handful of business-focused features when it rolled out Windows 8 in October 2012. Among those were things like Windows To Go, BitLocker drive encryption, and DirectAccess networking support. But those weren’t enough to sway many business users who were either still clinging to (or stuck with) Windows XP or already in the midst of Windows 7 deployments.

The new Windows 8.1 business features are no guaranteed magnet for business users, either, IDC analyst Al Gillen noted.

“New features are useless if customers don’t want to use the product in the first place,” Gillen said. There’s no one killer feature Microsoft could or should add to Windows 8.1 to convince business users to jump to it, he said, as there’s a lot of business momentum continuing around Windows 7.

Microsoft business users which are adding a lot of tablets to their IT mix may be more inclined to look at Windows 8

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and its successors, Gillen noted, given that the latest Windows release continues to be optimized for tablets and touch.

That said, Microsoft isn’t simply resting on its Windows 7 business laurels, especially because more and more of the workforce is doing at least some work from outside the office. Microsoft’s goal is to make it so that Windows 8.1 will work better on both touch and non-touch devices, said Erwin Visser, General Manager, Windows Commercial

Microsoft is promising that any device running Windows 8 will able to run Windows 8.1 with no compatibility problems. “Any app that works now on Windows 8 will continue to work on Windows 8.1,” Visser said.

Microsoft isn’t going so far as with Windows 8.1 as adding domain-join support for Windows RT 8.1 devices, Visser acknowledged. It is, however, adding some other incremental functionality to the product to make it more appealing to business users.

On the networking front, new Blue features include:

  • NFC tap-to-pair printing: Users can tap a Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and print. There’s no need to buy a special printer; users can attach a NFC tag to your existing machines.
  • Wi-Fi Direct printing: Users can connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software.
  • Native Miracast wireless display compatibility: No extra dongles needed; users can project content to a Miracast-enabled device by pairing the device through Bluetooth or NFC.
  • Broadband tethering: Users can tether Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PCs or tablets into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Auto-triggered VPN: When apps or resources need access through an inbox VPN, Windows 8.1 will automatically prompt users to sign in with one click. This feature will work with Microsoft and third-party inbox VPN clients.

In the security area, Blue will add:

  • More authentication options: Support for fingerprint-based biometric devices and virtual smart cards for multi-factor authentication.
  • Additional Defender and IE functionality: Network behavior monitoring added to Windows Defender, Microsoft’s built-in antivirus product. Internet Explorer 11 will scan binary extensions (e.g. ActiveX) using the anti-malware solution before potentially harmful code is executed.

In terms of management, new Blue featues include:

  • Start Screen lock-down for company-issued devices: IT can control the layout of these machines’ Start Screens and prevent user customization across individual workgroups or the entire company.
  • Remote business data removal: Allows IT to wipe corporate data while leaving users’ personal data intact on user-purchased devices running Windows 8.1.
  • Open MDM support: New Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA-DM) capabilities are built into the OS and enable mobile device management using third-party MDM solutions, such as MobileIron or AirWatch, with no additional agent required.
  • Workplace Join: New feature ensuring that only registered and trusted devices are allowed to access secured enterprise data.
  • Assigned Access: The ability to lock down a machine so that users can use only a specific Windows Store application for a set period of time. A customer service application or a particular learning app for kids are the targets for this scenario.

Most, if not all, of these new features will be included in the Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 public previews which Microsoft is releasing on June 26. The final versions of Windows 8.1 are expected to be released to manufacturing later this summer, according to sources. Microsoft officials have said publicly that Windows 8.1 will be available before the end of 2013.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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¿Cuál es un excelente lugar para trabajar, aquel en el que los empleados confían en sus jefes, están orgullosos de lo que hacen y disfrutan de las personas con las que trabajan?. Esa es la pregunta a la que año tras año Great Place To Work trata de contestar con su lista anual de Best Workplaces y que establece un ranking de las mejores empresas en las que trabajar en España.

Dentro de esta lista destaca la importante presencia de compañías del sector informático y de las teelcomunicaciones, si bien su poderío se va diluyendo en favor de otros sectores de actividad. Así, entre las grandes empresas por número de empleados (más de 1.000 trabajadores), el contact center Atento ostenta la segunda plaza, solo por detrás de la farmacéutica Novartis, y por delante de grandes como Ikea o Randstad.

En el tramo comprendido entre los 500 y los 1.000 trabajadores, ING Direct y de nuevo, otra farmacéutica, Quintiles, ocupan las dos primeras plazas. En cuarta posición encontramos la primera tecnológica de este ramo, la filial ibérica de Microsoft.

Entre los 250 y los 500 empleados, el proveedor de soluciones de storage EMC ocupa la primera plaza, seguida de otra tecnológica, Cisco. En este segmento es donde más compañías TIC son de las más deseadas para trabajar, estando también presentes Telefónica Global Solutions, Softonic o LG Electronics.

Las empresas en la categoría de entre 100 y 250 trabajadores consideradas como los Mejores Lugares para Trabajar de este año 2013 son, en primer lugar, la empresa de seguros para la salud Cigna Healthcare, en segundo lugar, el portal de empleo InfoJobs, seguida de Coca-Cola Iberia, Royal Canin, R, Bausch+Lomb, Proclinic, Inforpress, SAS, Mars España y Artiem Fresh People Hotels. Así, el último tramo, comprendido entre las empresas de entre 50 y 100 empleados, ocupa el primer puesto Bain & Company, seguido de King, JOHNSON´S WAX ESPAÑOLA, Sector Alarm y Trovit.

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The problem with buying gadgets is that they’re bound to be obsolete at some point. But, as Laptop Mag’s Avram Piltch explains, that point is way sooner for some things than others. Here are 10 gadgets you should avoid like the plague right now, however tempting they might seem:

They say patience is a virtue, but like temperance and chastity, it’s not much fun. Unfortunately, if you want to reach a state of true techstasy, you may need to repress your desire to buy a new gadget today and wait for the next version to come out.

To be fair, sometimes now is the best time to buy a particular device and sometimes you drop your phone into a public toilet and have to replace it right away. But when you buy that 3G phone a month before its hot new 4G replacement comes out, you might as well buy an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt for your friends to wear when you go out together.

Here are 10 products you’d be a fool to buy today.


The iPhone

If you have your heart set on purchasing a new iPhone, don’t do it yet. Every rumor points to the arrival of a much-improved product arriving by fall. We don’t know what exact specs the iPhone 5 will have. We don’t even know if it’ll be called the iPhone 5(my money’s on “the Brand Spanking New iPhone”), but we can be pretty certain it will have 4G LTE, a faster processor, a better camera, and a larger and sharper screen.

While four or five months may seem like a long time to wait, most iPhone owners are on two year phone contracts that usually won’t allow them to upgrade until after 20 months. Do you really want to spend 2013 being known as the loser who has to “take a grenade” with Siri’s older, slower moving sister while your friends cozy up to the new model?


Windows Tablets

Let’s face the facts. If you want to buy a Windows 7 tablet, you’re either a multitouch masochist or a sadistic CTO, looking to pinch-zoom in on employee suffering. Though Windows 7 runs all the applications you could ever want, its touch-unfriendly interface makes it really difficult to use with adult-sized fingers. Ever try tapping the X widget to close a window? You’ll need to stick your index finger in a pencil sharpener first, so you can make sure it’s thin enough.

Coming this fall, Windows 8 offers a very touch-friendly Metro UI and a host of touch-friendly apps on top of it. Even better, Windows 8 will run on ARM-based tablets, allowing for thinner, lighter and longer-lasting designs. A slew of new convertible notebooks that run Windows 8 will arrive in fall too. I can’t wait for the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, which bends its hinge back 180 degrees to become a slate. Even Kanye West would sit in his seat long enough to wait for Windows 8.

 


Ultrabooks

The first generation of Ultrabooks — a new category of uberthin, fast-booting notebooks — arrived last fall with prominent entries from all the PC vendors. However, though notebooks like the ASUS Zenbook UX31 and Toshiba Portege Z835 have a lot going for them, a new generation of much-improved Ultrabookswill arrive this summer. These notebooks will sport Intel’s faster, more efficient 3rd generation Core Series processors (aka Ivy Bridge), and many will offer higher-resolution displays.

A couple of models stand out to us. The ASUS ZenBook Prime will offer a generous 1920 x 1080 screen that will let you watch HD movies at their native resolution, while viewing more of your favorite web pages and documents without scrolling. Meanwhile, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon could be the ultimate productivity notebook when it launches this summer. It will pack a gorgeous 14-inch, 1600 x 900 matte display into a .75-inch thick chassis that weighs just 3 pounds. Plus, you’ll get the industry’s best keyboard.

 


Sprint Phones

Sprint likes to call itself “the Now Network,” but it really should be named “the Promise Network,” because right now all it is selling is the promise of 4G LTE at some point in the future. The carrier recently announced that it is dumping its mediocre 4G WiMAX networkin favor of LTE on new handsets. That’s the right move long-term, but it leaves current Sprint customers in a bind.

The company is selling 4G LTE phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper 4G LTE, but they’ll only get a 3G signal until Sprint launches its new network. The carrier plans to roll out LTE this summer to just six cities — Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio — with no ETA for other cities apart from 123 million people covered by the end of the year. Even if you live in one of the designated six markets, there’s no guarantee that Sprint’s implementation of LTE will be as fast as AT&T and Verizon’s; we just don’t know.

Whether you are already a Sprint customer or are just thinking of becoming one, you should wait to see how quickly the company’s version of LTE is coming to your area and whether it actually lives up to the hype. You don’t want to buy that Evo 4G LTE today, only to be stuck with 2007-era 3G speeds while your friends on Verizon and AT&T are cruising along at 4G.

 


MacBook Pros

If you have your heart set on an Apple MacBook Pro, tell your heart to go on without one for just a little longer. Everyone expects Apple to announce a new lineup of MacBook Pros in June and these new notebooks will reportedly weigh less, feature high-resolution “Retina” displays and provide USB 3.0 ports in addition to running Ivy Bridge CPUs. These notebooks will also be running Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lionsoftware, which brings more iPad-like functionality to Macs along with stronger security.

Unless a pack of rabid Windows fanboys breaks into your house and smashes your current MacBook Pro with a Metro-UI styled hammer, you can hold on for another few weeks. The Retina display, which should show more content on the screen at once, is reason enough to wait.

 


Android Tablets

Apple enthusiasts don’t have anything to wait for when it comes to tablets. The “new” iPad just came out in March and has an incredible, high-res screen paired with a powerful processor. However, if you want to consider an Android tablet, now is not the time to buy.

Though we’ve seen some speedy quad-core tablets like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, we’re still waiting for Android tablet makers to come out with screens that have higher than 1280 x 800 resolution. Both ASUS and Acer have announced 1920 x 1200 tablets, but neither one has hit the market yet. If you plunk down $500 on a tablet now, you’ll feel silly when the new HD models arrive within the next couple of months.

 


Smart TVs

Apple can play coy all it wants, but many industry insiders believe that the Cupertino company plans to launch its own TV later this year. There’s no question that the Apple TV will have deep iTunes integration, a gorgeous screen (Apple is known for that) and some kind of Siri-based voice control.

When it comes to launching new Smart TVs, Apple won’t be alone. LG recently showed off its G2 Smart TV, which uses the Google TV 2.0 interface, supports voice commands and comes with a gesture-controlled “Magic” remote. Lenovo just began shipping its Android 4.0- powered K55 Smart TV in China and it may come here at some point as well. If you wait, the additional competition from these new products will force down prices on existing Smart TVs as well.

 


Windows Phones

The Nokia Lumia 900 has a gorgeous design and the HTC Titan II has an awesome 16-MP camera. However, when it comes to specs, apps and basic multitasking, Windows Phones still lag behind their Android and iPhone counterparts.

With Windows Phone 8 due out this fall, Microsoft could finally start to close the feature gap with Apple and Google. According to some reports, the new mobile operating system will support higher resolution screens, dual-core CPUs, NFC payments and apps that can control other apps, a necessity for true multitasking.

Microsoft has issued some conflicting statements about whether current Windows Phones would get an OS upgrade so I wouldn’t count on the Lumia you buy today running Windows 8 tomorrow. If you’re attracted to Windows Phone, delay your purchase until fall. Otherwise, you’ll be living with a single-core, low-res handset for two years.

 


eReaders

There are several great eReader optionson the market right now, from the tablet-like Amazon Kindle Fire to the E Ink-powered Nook Simple Touch. However, as strong as the eReader offerings are today, they’re about to get much better. Barnes & Noble just released its Simple Touch with GlowLight and rumor has it that Amazon is set to release its own backlit E Ink-based Kindle this summer.

However, backlit E Ink is just the tip of this innovative ice berg. Expect Amazon to launch the second-generation Kindle Fire 2 this fall, complete with higher-res screen options and possibly larger form factors like 8.9 inches. Flush with investment money from Microsoft and not content to stand still, Barnes & Noble is sure to release a new Nook Tablet sometime later this year as well. We’d expect the next Nook to also have a higher resolution than 1024 x 600.

There’s also a persistent rumor that Amazon will release Kindles using color E Ink later this year. We just reviewed the color E Ink-powered Ectaco Jetbook Color so the technology is already out there. How bad would you feel if you bought an old-school grayscale Kindle today, only to see one with a backlight or a color screen come out within a few months?

 


BlackBerrys

Research in Motion, the company that makes Blackberry phones, seems to be stuck in a time warp, offering phones that have the best specs of 2009, including single-core 800-MHz CPUs, tiny 2.4-inch screens and an outmoded BlackBerry 7 OS. Fortunately, most people aren’t foolish enough to buy phones that you’d expect to find in the bargain bin at a garage sale rather than the shelf at a Verizon store.

RIM seems to understand the problem too as it plans to release an entirely new line of phones running its new BlackBerry 10 OS later this year. The new touch-friendly BlackBerry London phone, complete with a bigger screen and faster processor than we’ve seen on a BlackBerry before, should arrive by fall. If you must have a BlackBerry, this is the one to wait for.

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Introduction

Leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level. Leaders can be found and nurtured if you look for the following character traits.

A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it’s not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it. Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.

A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer “analysis paralysis” but is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.

Analysis

Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.

Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers.

Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example, leaders can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only opportunities to achieve something great.

Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout the company. Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures. This sort of reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the team closer together. To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership.

Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a “follower-centric” leadership role.

Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while listening to others’ ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision.

Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader can ask is, “What if … ?” Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, “I know this is a dumb question … ”

Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.

Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.

Many leaders have difficulty striking the right amount of assertiveness, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association). It seems that being underassertive or overassertive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders.

A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.

Intrinsic traits such as intelligence, good looks, height and so on are not necessary to become a leader. Anyone can cultivate the proper leadership traits.

Source: Eve O´Neill

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