Here’s what it’s really like to work with Mark

Here’s what it’s really like to work with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook
Image Credit: Business Insider

Not a lot of people get the chance to work directly under billionaire founders and CEOs.

That’s why most people take what they see in the press or movies and create their own – often false and distorted – images of what it’s like to work with them.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, for example was depicted as an arrogant nerd-punk in “The Social Network,” the 2010 film about the founding of Facebook. The film perhaps played a role in creating some of the negative images that follow Zuckerberg to this day.

But is Zuckerberg really a hard person to deal with in real life?

Former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, who worked with Zuckerberg for 3 years, says he’s definitely “a different boss.”

Even when we disagreed, he didn’t have this ego about him, like you could argue with him,” Taylor told Business Insider. “I mean, he would overrule you at that end if we couldn’t reach a conclusion, but I always felt like he was willing to argue it out and listen – which is sadly not that normal among many Silicon Valley CEOs.”

Taylor says he’s still good friends with Zuckerberg even after leaving Facebook, and hopes the rest of the world could see the good side of Zuckerberg as
well.

I also learned that because the movie (‘The Social Network’) came out, it was really easy to build a caricature of these people with very public profiles, but I got to know a version of Mark that was much more human that I wish other people could see.”

In fact, this is not the first time Taylor had good things to say about his former boss. In his resignation letter, Taylor said Zuckerberg’s his mentor and one of his closest friends.

Taylor left Facebook in 2012, shortly after its IPO, and is now the CEO of Quip, a mobile-friendly collaborative word processor. You can learn more about Taylor and his new company here.

This
story originally appeared on Business Insider.


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Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w… read more »



Apple said to be working with American Express on iPhone 6 mobile payments


Building on VentureBeat’s June report that Apple will be building an NFC (Near Field Communications) radio into the new iPhone 6, a new report Sunday says Apple has struck a deal with American Express to work together an a new
mobile payments system for the iPhone 6 and beyond.

Apple, the report says, will announce its new mobile payments system at its event September 9, at which time it may announce more financial services partners to help with mobile payments on iPhones.

The new payments system would create a powerful rival to Google’s Wallet platform, and the ISIS payments coalition supported by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, among others. Those systems have failed to take off with consumers so far.

With the NFC payments capability, iPhone 6 owners would be able to make brick and mortar store counter payments with their phones, instead of cash, cash cards, or credit cards.

Nobody knows yet if retailers have already begun
working with Apple to implement the new iPhone payments option in their point-of-sale systems.

Reports have said that Apple has held discussions with several major credit card companies about participating. At least one report says Visa has already agreed to partner with Apple on payments.

VentureBeat was the first to report (in June) that the new iPhone would have NFC on board, a small radio chip that connects the phone with point-of-sale systems at the counter.

VentureBeat was also the first to report that Apple has been working hard on the fingerprint authentication feature, which will likely play a role in payments transactions.

Via: Re/code


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Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t… read more »



Someone flew a drone over Apple’s new ‘spaceshi

Someone flew a drone over Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ campus: Here’s the video

It was inevitable. Drones would be use to supply content to Apple-crazy tech blogs.

Just as Apple mania is reaching a fever over the iPhone 6 and “iWatch,” someone shoots some video (of another part of Apple’s future) that will add more to the hype.

An unknown someone, reports 9to5Mac, flew a drone over the giant new campus that will one day be home to Apple’s “spaceship” headquarters, and a lot of foliage. The drone took
pictures and shot video.

The ginormous new campus was one of the last things Steve Jobs envisioned before his death. He’s the one who originally described the building as looking a bit like a spaceship.

And it does:

apple drone flight two

Here’s the full video:

And here’s what the new headquarters will look like when it’s completed:
A rendering of Sir Norman Foster’s design for Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Above: A rendering of Sir
Norman Foster’s design for Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Image Credit: Apple


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Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t… read more »



A Remote Controlled, Fully Functional, Steam Powered Tank

Steam Powered Tank for the 21st Century

Steam power anything these days is pretty cool, but rarely have we ever seen such a complex build as this steam powered, remote controlled 1/16th scale tank.

[Ian] is an electronics design engineer whose hobbies include messing around with steam power. The Steam Turret Tank is based on a 1/16th scale Tamiya King Tiger die-cast model tank. It features a 3.5″ diameter marine boiler from MaccSteam, which is a fully equipped miniature version of a real boiler, complete with pressure gauges, safety valves, and a ceramic burner. It can produce pressures of up to 70PSI (max 120PSI), but for this project, [Ian] is limiting it to around 30PSI.

A small 2″ diameter fuel tank contains a propane mixture to fuel the boiler. Two Regner 40451 Piccolo steam engines make up the drive train, with mechanical linkages controlled by servos to engage the various features. The tank can go forward, backward, spin in place, and the turret can both rotate and adjust trajectory. It also has controllable headlights, and can even “fire” the turret.

He’s put an amazing amount of detail into his build log, so much that you could potentially recreate this — if you were determined enough.

Believe it or not, this isn’t actually the first steam powered tank we’ve shared, but it’s probably the nicest. Though the steam powered hexapod is pretty cool too…

Filed under: wireless hacks

Green Light Your Commute with America’s Unsecured Traff

Green Lights Forever

Remember that episode of Leverage (season 5, episode 3), where Alec uses Marvin to wirelessly change all the street lights green so they can catch up to an SUV? And you scoffed and said “that’s so not real!”… well actually they got it right. A new study out of the University of Michigan (PDF warning), shows just how easy it is to make your morning commute green lights all the way.

The study points out that a large portion of traffic lights in the United States communicate with each other wirelessly over the 900Mhz and 5.8Ghz ISM band with absolutely no encryption. In order to connect to the 5.8Ghz traffic signals, you simply need the SSID (which is set to broadcast) and the proper protocol. In the study the researchers used a wireless card that is not available to the public, but they do point out that with a bit of social engineering you could probably get one. Another route is the HackRF SDR, which could be used to both sniff and transmit the required protocol. Once connected to the network you will need the default username and password, which can be found on the traffic light manufacturer’s website. To gain access to the 900Mhz networks you need all of the above and a 16-bit slave ID. This can
be brute forced, and as the study shows, no ID was greater than 100. Now you have full access, not to just one traffic signal, but EVERY signal connected to the network.

Once on the network you have two options. The completely open debug port in the VxWorks OS which allows you to read-modify-write any memory register. Or by sending a(n) UDP packet where the last byte encodes the button pressed on the controller’s keypad. Using the remote keypad you can freeze the current intersection state, modify the signal timing, or change the state of any light. However the hardware Malfunction Management Unit (MMU) will still detect any illegal states (conflicting green or yellow lights), and take over with the familiar 4-way red flashing. Since a technician will have to come out and manually reset the traffic signal to recover from an illegal state, you could turn every intersection on the network into a 4-way stop.

So the next time you stop at a red light, and it seems to take forever to change, keep an eye out for the hacker who just green lit their commute.

Thanks for the tip [Matt]

Filed under: security hacks, transportation hacks, wireless hacks

Here’s what it’s really like to work with Mark

Here’s what it’s really like to work with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook
Image Credit: Business Insider

Not a lot of people get the chance to work directly under billionaire founders and CEOs.

That’s why most people take what they see in the press or movies and create their own – often false and distorted – images of what it’s like to work with them.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, for example was depicted as an arrogant nerd-punk in “The Social Network,” the 2010 film about the founding of Facebook. The film perhaps played a role in creating some of the negative images that follow Zuckerberg to this day.

But is Zuckerberg really a hard person to deal with in real life?

Former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, who worked with Zuckerberg for 3 years, says he’s definitely “a different boss.”

Even when we disagreed, he didn’t have this ego about him, like you could argue with him,” Taylor told Business Insider. “I mean, he would overrule you at that end if we couldn’t reach a conclusion, but I always felt like he was willing to argue it out and listen – which is sadly not that normal among many Silicon Valley CEOs.”

Taylor says he’s still good friends with Zuckerberg even after leaving Facebook, and hopes the rest of the world could see the good side of Zuckerberg as
well.

I also learned that because the movie (‘The Social Network’) came out, it was really easy to build a caricature of these people with very public profiles, but I got to know a version of Mark that was much more human that I wish other people could see.”

In fact, this is not the first time Taylor had good things to say about his former boss. In his resignation letter, Taylor said Zuckerberg’s his mentor and one of his closest friends.

Taylor left Facebook in 2012, shortly after its IPO, and is now the CEO of Quip, a mobile-friendly collaborative word processor. You can learn more about Taylor and his new company here.

This
story originally appeared on Business Insider.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we’ll share the data with you.

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w… read more »



Apple said to be working with American Express on iPhone 6 mobile payments


Building on VentureBeat’s June report that Apple will be building an NFC (Near Field Communications) radio into the new iPhone 6, a new report Sunday says Apple has struck a deal with American Express to work together an a new
mobile payments system for the iPhone 6 and beyond.

Apple, the report says, will announce its new mobile payments system at its event September 9, at which time it may announce more financial services partners to help with mobile payments on iPhones.

The new payments system would create a powerful rival to Google’s Wallet platform, and the ISIS payments coalition supported by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, among others. Those systems have failed to take off with consumers so far.

With the NFC payments capability, iPhone 6 owners would be able to make brick and mortar store counter payments with their phones, instead of cash, cash cards, or credit cards.

Nobody knows yet if retailers have already begun
working with Apple to implement the new iPhone payments option in their point-of-sale systems.

Reports have said that Apple has held discussions with several major credit card companies about participating. At least one report says Visa has already agreed to partner with Apple on payments.

VentureBeat was the first to report (in June) that the new iPhone would have NFC on board, a small radio chip that connects the phone with point-of-sale systems at the counter.

VentureBeat was also the first to report that Apple has been working hard on the fingerprint authentication feature, which will likely play a role in payments transactions.

Via: Re/code


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we’ll share the data with you.

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t… read more »



Someone flew a drone over Apple’s new ‘spaceshi

Someone flew a drone over Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ campus: Here’s the video

It was inevitable. Drones would be use to supply content to Apple-crazy tech blogs.

Just as Apple mania is reaching a fever over the iPhone 6 and “iWatch,” someone shoots some video (of another part of Apple’s future) that will add more to the hype.

An unknown someone, reports 9to5Mac, flew a drone over the giant new campus that will one day be home to Apple’s “spaceship” headquarters, and a lot of foliage. The drone took
pictures and shot video.

The ginormous new campus was one of the last things Steve Jobs envisioned before his death. He’s the one who originally described the building as looking a bit like a spaceship.

And it does:

apple drone flight two

Here’s the full video:

And here’s what the new headquarters will look like when it’s completed:
A rendering of Sir Norman Foster’s design for Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Above: A rendering of Sir
Norman Foster’s design for Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Image Credit: Apple


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we’ll share the data with you.

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t… read more »



September 9: The beginning — or the beginning of the en

September 9: The beginning — or the beginning of the end — of the Tim Cook Era

Above: Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Image Credit: DigitalTrends

It’s going to be a big show in Cupertino September 9th. We’ll see at least one new phone. But most importantly we’ll see what could be called the first product of the Cook era, an Apple smartwatch.

The unveiling will be held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, the same venue where the world got its first look at the Mac. Apple is already building a big new structure outside the venue — a big white box with something mysterious inside.

VentureBeat reported earlier this summer that the “iWatch” is coming this fall (and that it probably wouldn’t be called the iWatch). Re/code, too, cites sources saying the watch is ready and will appear September 9th, although it may not ship for several months. A third major publication, Bloomberg, reported Thursday that the new wearable is about to debut.

The watch is the first wholly new product Apple has developed since Steve Jobs’ death and Cook’s ascension to CEO. It represents the answer to the question of whether or not Cook has, or lacks, the “vision thing.”

Is Apple under Cook capable of creating new products as game-changing as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad?

If Apple’s smartwatch succeeds we will see Cook with new eyes. He may emerge from the shell of his mild-mannered company man image to be seen a someone who has inherited some of Jobs’ penchant for anticipating and even dictating what consumers want in devices and services.

But if the watch never finds its legs with consumers, or even if it just sells moderately well, Cook will be seen as a talented operations manager, but one who lacks the vision to make and break whole markets — to point the company toward the next big thing again and again, as Jobs did.

Apple’s stock has been shooting upward in recent weeks, as the hype builds around the product announcement. Investors are feeling bullish about the new phones, as they should, and possibly about the new watch’s chances of selling well.

The mysterious cube being built near the Flint Center, where the new Apple products will be announced.

Above: The mysterious cube being built near the Flint Center, where the new Apple products will be announced.

Image Credit: The Loop/Jim Dalrymple

Maybe they’re even feeling bullish about the “vision thing.”

One thing that is the same this time around is the palpable feeling of anticipation and excitement around the September 9th event. I am helping fuel the hype machine with this post because the tech press is part of the Apple marketing machinery. Our endless speculation and rumor pitching stokes the fire right up to announcement day.

Can all the
expectation around the watch possibly satisfied?

One source told VentureBeat last week that Apple’s new wearable is indeed beautiful, but that it doesn’t do anything that current smartwatches like those from Samsung and Motorola don’t already do. The source says the Apple watch, like the others, will depend on a phone to connect to the Internet.

Apple’s device just wraps up all the features and functions in the other watches in that cool, designy, brushed-metal Apple magic.

That might be enough on September 9. I’m confident that when the watch is unveiled, we’ll all have that “Aaah” moment when we believe that Apple has once again lead us 15 steps into the future of tech devices.

But the real proof will come a few weeks or months later, when the hype dies down a bit and the watch begins selling. By the end of the Christmas season, we will know by the sales numbers whether Cook was right about diving into
smartwatches.

The messages coming out of Cupertino about Apple under Cook are conflicting. Some reports tell of a harmonious and driven development environment with a hunger for design innovation.

But at least one other person close to the company says that there’s a lot more arguing going on at Apple than there was under Jobs. These days, the source says, there’s no single, irrefutable answer to design and marketing questions as there was under Jobs. Apple, the source says, is now a sort of feudal state where numerous thought leaders within the company muscle their way through debates by saying, in effect, “this is what Steve would have wanted.”

“All these people are running around chasing the ghost of Steve Jobs,” the source said.

If the smartwatch fails, confidence in Cook’s leadership would be diminished, and the board of directors would certainly be asking a lot of questions. Another of the feudal leaders
could win an internal power struggle and be named CEO.

Us outsiders will probably never know the whole story of Apple’s inner workings. But we will see the product of those inner workings, and that’s what counts.

I will be on site in Cupertino to watch Cook pull the veil from the new products. When the moment finally arrives, I believe Cook will walk out with the new Apple watch on his wrist. His future at Apple will be all tied up in that little piece of glass and brushed metal.


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Apple designs and markets consumer
electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t… read more »



Making a great online course, and why high drop-out rates aren

GUEST POST

Making a great online course, and why high drop-out rates aren’t a bad thing
Image Credit: Cali4beach/Flickr

After 30 years in a corporate learning setting, I wanted to try something different. So, I decided to experiment in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs), knowing I could share my passion of big data and learning with an even larger audience (after all, the “M” in MOOC stands for “massive”).

Armed with a topic I was passionate about (big data for learning), I worked with online learning platform Udemy to build my first course. Not only did this experience allow me the
opportunity to expand my audience, but it also yielded a few best practices for others looking to do the same.

Lesson 1: The content itself is only half the battle

When it comes to the content, think about it in context. While the content of any course is key, I was surprised to find that it’s just as important to emphasize the timing and format of the content’s “unveiling.”

MOOC instructors have two routes they can take:

1: Release each course separately
2: Release all their content at once

When trying to identify which route is best for you, consider whether your intended audience is likely to have the time to binge-watch. For example, an audience of busy working professionals likely only has the time (and patience) for courses that are cut into small installments. This type of audience consumes online content in a way best described as “primal” – i.e., they devour the skills and topics for which they are
hungriest and those that are the most “nutritious,” then quickly get on with their busy lives.

Instructors who clearly lay out the course’s content in an introductory syllabus-style outline streamline the process for their students, allowing them to more directly access the course lessons that are most relevant to them. Releasing the content in phases has the added benefit of giving you the chance to incorporate audience feedback and make improvements along the way.

For instance, A trio of three-minute videos might be more digestible than a single video that is nine minutes long.

Lesson #2: Don’t overvalue the “course completion rate” statistic

One of the most frequent – and quite frankly bogus – criticisms we hear about MOOCs is that course completion rates are extremely low, suggesting that students lose interest and ultimately learn nothing.

The beauty of the on-demand MOOC format (i.e., students start and stop
their classes as they desire) is that the student is in the driver’s seat. Asking “what are completion rates?” is the wrong question. Rather, you should be asking, “Did students learn what they needed to know?”

Online learning is different from a traditional academic setting; everyone comes in with a different level of understanding and expertise. Therefore, not everyone needs every segment of every course. A low rate of course completion is a meaningless statistic without any additional context.

Consider your course’s student completion rates in tandem with student feedback. For example: If low completion rates are paired with negative student commentary, then the content may be to blame;  however, if completion rates are low and yet the feedback is positive on the whole, this tells a different story (and is a good sign!). It means the student got what he/she wanted and moved along.

Remember, skill seekers have enrolled in your course to gain a
specific skill, so they are likely to focus on the segments of the course that are most relevant and of most value.

Lesson #3: Do pay attention to the numbers in general

The numbers that really matter are the reviews and ratings. Since this is an online learning marketplace, it is important to understand what students perceive the value of your course to be.

But don’t stop there. Each of the various MOOC platforms offer insight into what adjustments can be made to make the course better; or even highlight opportunities for the creation of other courses that may be in demand.

While some data points look exactly as you would expect them to look (e.g., a course on Microsoft Word may have more baby boomers than millennials enrolled), some of the insights will be unexpected and beneficial. For example, I was surprised that none of my students took my lectures over the weekend, and most chose to learn during the day rather than in the
evening. Most of my content was consumed between the hours of 4 and 5 p.m. — interestingly during the last hour of their work day.

Rather than make assumptions about when your audience might find it convenient to take your course, offer it on-demand and let them decide.

Data also showed that my students still returned to my lectures to review the content more than three months after it originally launched, which, to me, reinforces the evergreen nature of the content itself. Instructors that create content with a practical, on-the-job application are likely to see students refer back to it in a similar way.

Metrics at your disposal will not only provide insight into possible adjustments, but will shed light on the content itself and the ways it is bringing value to your audience.

Despite my vast experience as an instructor around the world, my first foray into the MOOC world was an enlightening one. When I started out, I expected to expand the size and
reach of my audience; what I didn’t expect was the degree to which I would learn something new and expand my own experiences.

Elliott Masie heads The MASIE Center, a New York think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. In May 2014, Masie created a corporate MOOC on Udemy to deliver content to his Learning CONSORTIUM, a coalition of 230 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies. Click here to learn more.