When Will Passwords & Pins Disappear?

Will Pins and Passwords Die?

When Apple first introduced the touch ID security, there was a lot of skepticism about the new process. Who has access to these finger prints? What was wrong with typing in a password? Who came up with this? Will this be secure? Can this be used against me?

Some individuals still have these sentiments, but almost three years later, most of us don’t even give a second thought about unlocking our phones with our fingerprint. Apple didn’t invent biometrics, but they certainly aided in the mass acceptance of it.

A bill was drafted three years ago that proposed a new federal government-issued ID card. It would contain biometric information such as fingerprints.

“At the most basic, biometrics can be best explained by breaking down the word: bio, as in biological; and metric, as in measurement. That is to say, biometrics are biological measurements. Thanks to the unique nature of many of these measurements, biometrics are particularly suited for identification. Fingerprints, facial measurements, the patterns that your veins make and even the way you walk — all of these characteristics and more are unique to you and you only.”

The card would be needed to authenticate the user’s identity and have their working status and history. Drafters ultimately decided to drop the bill, possibly because there are about 8 million undocumented individuals in the U.S. workforce.

Fingerprint ID’s are just a fraction of the possibilities of biometric technology. I used to believe face recognition was only for James Bond characters, but who knew we would have the same technology illustrated in the 1980’s A View to Kill at our 9–5’s. Many businesses have transitioned from old school paper time keeping and have adopted automated biometric timekeeping systems like Clockwise. There is so much more behind this science then IPhones and secret spies. Biometric technology has capabilities ranging from voiceprint biometrics to invisible biometrics that can measure and track the way you type and use your mouse.

“Apple is reportedly working on sophisticated facial biometrics, and Canada is testing facial recognition technology at its border patrol stations.”

I predict that in 2016 the use of passwords and pins will drastically decrease. As biometric technology advances, the public perception continues to accept the changes it brings. Biometrics has claimed their stance in our every day lives. In 2015, biometric technology made nearly $15 billion in the global market and is estimated to reach $41.5 billion by 2020. The health care industry has begun to integrate this technology in their practices. It eliminates security problems and human error possibilities such as “overlays” (when someone’s records are placed in another’s file).

It may take more time before passwords and pins are completely eradicated, but we are moving closer to them being used interchangeably. The general public isn’t as skeptical to log in to a device with a fingerprint as they were three years ago. Many would actually prefer it because it saves time, it adds another level of protection, and for its accuracy. Biometrics isn’t a trend, it’s the new way of security in this digital age.

Advertisements

In 10 Years, We’ll Be Mining Asteroids for Minerals

planetary-resources-asteroid-mining

According to NASA, the mineral wealth found in the asteroid belt equals out to the equivalent of just about 100 billion dollars for every person on Earth today. That’s a lot of wealth, but more importantly, that’s a lot of resources .

If you aren’t aware, getting materials from planet Earth to outer space takes an extravagant amount of fuel, and that means an extravagant amount of money. To that end, by acquiring raw materials from space itself, we could develop a host of space structures (such as colonies or space stations) and even generate rocket fuel, which will ultimately be needed if we ever hope to explore and colonize our solar system in a way that is economically viable.

As Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki asserts, “Whether it’s the air we breathe, the water we drink, the materials that we build things with, or ultimately, of course, the food that we eat…all of these things are available to us on this planet, but when we head into space, we have to bring all of it with us. That of course, isn’t very scalable.”

And to that end, NASA states that, in the 21st century, space exploration will be reliant upon what we can mine in the cosmos, “The metals and minerals found on asteroids will provide the raw materials for space structures, and comets will become the watering holes and gas stations for interplanetary spacecraft.”

A host of governments and private companies are already working on asteroid mining projects. Luxembourg recently established a €220 million fund for space mining projects; the United States signed the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act into law, which recognizes the right of U.S. citizens to own asteroid resources. Private companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries have a number of technologies in production to help humanity mine the cosmos.

“People think that this is something that will be a century away, or maybe something that their grandkids might see,” Lewicki asserts, “but people already doing this. We already have two spacecrafts in orbit around asteroids, and in the first half of the 2020s, we anticipate that we will Planetary Resources will be touching on the surface of the nearest asteroid and extracting the first really demonstrable amount of asteroid resources on site.”

That’s 10 years until we’re mining our first asteroid. Of course, there are a lot of things that need to happen in order for this ten-year timeframe to be met, but we are well on our way.

The first concern is establishing clear regulations regarding asteroid mining. For example, who really owns asteroids, anyways? Can anyone just venture space with a flag and stake a claim?

Lewicki notes that, while such regulations will take some time to fully flesh out, we are already taking steps to cement laws regarding commercial operations in space: “The United States government has taken up this matter for the last couple of years, seeing how this industry was developing very rapidly. They created the first framework that identifies how we will deal with property rights, regulation, and ownership of things that are developed and obtained in space.”

This is the Commercial Space Competitiveness Launch Act, and other nations are already launching similar initiatives. The United States has led this, and now we’re seeing other countries, and other space programs, follow suit. Earlier this spring, the United Arab Emirates and their newly established space program described their intent to establish some policy related to space resources and space mining, and just last week, the deputy prime minister and the prime minister of Luxembourg announced a very large initiative that the country there is starting, and we’re collaborating with them in that activity, and they are going to form a new space policy which helps create a framework that supports the development of the industry.

Another concern with asteroid mining is getting to the asteroids. A great number of the asteroids in our solar system exist in a belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. That’s about 204 million miles. For comparison, the Moon is 238,000 miles away from Earth. Fortunately, we may not have to go quite that far in order to get to find viable asteroids for mining.

“Asteroids are actually the most accessible destinations once you go out of low-Earth orbit, and a lot of people aren’t aware of that. They think of asteroids as something between Mars and Jupiter, and that’s very, very far away. But that’s the great benefit of the near-Earth asteroids. There are now 14,000 that have already been discovered, and a few thousand of those actually are far easier to make the journey to-and-from.”

What do you think, would you invest in asteroid mining?

What Uber & Saudi Arabia’s Relationship Means

574fa789c46188bd088b4586

Last week, Uber received an investment of $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia. While it is bigger than Uber’s previous fundraising rounds, Uber has raised a sequence of $1 billion investments over the last few years. However, in the political view, Uber’s decision to take money from Saudi Arabia is a big deal. Aside from a 5 percent stake in the company, Saudi Arabia also gets a seat on Uber’s board.

For people worried about issues like gender equality, customer privacy, and human rights, it’s hard to imagine a worse choice for Uber’s newest board member. The Saudi regime is notorious for its unequal treatment of women, whom aren’t even allowed to drive in the Saudi kingdom, as well as its disrespect for human rights in general.

According to Human Rights Watch, “Authorities subjected hundreds of people to unfair trials and arbitrary detention.” The Saudi government persecutes human rights activists, subjecting them to decade-long prison sentences for advocating political reforms and talking to foreign reporters. There’s every reason to expect the Saudi government to continue its repressive policies in the coming years. And now when the Saudi government violates human rights, Uber will get bad press for it.

The biggest issue for Uber will be Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women. Saudi Arabia is infamous for refusing to allow women to drive and for limiting their ability to go out in public without a male chaperone. Uber is likely to face awkward questions about whether its partnership with the Saudi government amounts to an endorsement of these policies.

Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick is making it clear that he intends to run Uber as an amoral profit-maximizing machine. This could be a huge problem in terms of long-term success. Monopolies inevitably face public scrutiny and pressure for regulation and it will be much more difficult for Uber to resist that pressure if regulators and customers do not have trust and respect for them.

Over the past few years, Uber has faced accusations that it has spied on its customers and suggested digging up dirt on journalists. It has also generated a lot of backlash with massive surge pricing increases on busy nights.

When a new startup shows that they are willing to do anything to win, it is appealing. However, Uber has exploded past the underdog that it used to be. The difference now is that the “take no prisoners” approach to business seems hostile.

The Secret Ingredient of Being Brilliant

steve jobsEveryone I know wishes that they could harness the creative genius and innovation that Steve Jobs had. He inspired many with his extreme ideas, but there is one secret that I believe greatly contributed to his success – he explored his interests.

During a speech at Stanford, Jobs talked about a calligraphy class that he took:

“I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to [learn calligraphy]. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.

None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would never have multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”

Jobs wasn’t always working on the iPhone, he made sure that he explored other interests outside of it.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Unsurprisingly, this has been found true in other industries outside of tech. Apparently, fashion designers that spent time traveling abroad had the most creative designs. Something as simple as “new sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights” sparks different synapses in the brain and boosts innovation.

When you are an entrepreneur, it is easy to have tunnel vision and all you can think of is completing each of the million to billion tasks that you need to accomplish to make your business succeed. However, new experiences directly correlate with innovation and success, even if it’s not apparent at all how they do so.

However, maybe you can’t go travel or take a seemingly useless course. Try one of the following instead:

Take a Walk

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner regularly hold walking meetings  because walking boosts creativity, backed by research conducted by Stanford University. Even if you feel yourself falling into a rut in the middle of the day, get outside and take a few laps around the building.

Take a Risk

As Mark Zuckerberg put it, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” If you find yourself just treading water, that probably means that you need to make a move that involves some risk. It’s too tempting to only focus on “surefire” projects and ones where the payoff is incredibly apparent. However, it’s beyond important to take those riskier leaps, even if they scare you.

Take a Class

No, not actually – but you are going to treat your own business as such. Ask questions about everything you’re doing. Ask if you’re finding the quickest route from point A to point B. Ask if your approach will produce your best and greatest work.

You should be constantly challenging yourself, creating new problems, learning how to find new solutions. Incorporate at least one of my suggestions into your life and let me know what happens, I’m sure you’ll be surprised.

How the Chatbot will Change Retail

facebook-chatbot

You’ll soon be able to do a lot of neat stuff with a Facebook messenger chatbot or via your favorite SMS app, such as WhatsApp, Line, Kik and Slack. For many of us who’ve used bot-powered digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, bots may seem like a novelty. You may find yourself laughing at their misunderstandings more often than you’ve found yourself appreciating their utility.

But evangelists of the technology say that bots are poised to be at the center of a crucial paradigm shift in how we think about using the Internet. While a Web browser might once have been our front door to the Internet and apps often play that role today, bots could soon become our primary digital gateway. At a conference last month, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said, “Bots are the new apps.”

Retailers will have much more pressure to adopt retail technologies that consumers will enjoy. This means the customer experience will be more implicated with technology, than ever before. The role of AI’s role in customer engagement will be in one word, exponential in its growth and impact on sales.

What many people don’t seem to realize is how chatbots are the first contextual AI that will change how brands and smart spaces communicate with us. The chat bot revolution comes at a time when mobile commerce, the Internet of things (IoT) and more immersive branding combine to form a better experience for customers and one that allows them to truly personalize their journey in relation to your brand and while shopping in your store.

Integrative Engagement Paradigm (IEP)

  1. Personalization: Chat-Bots (AI) linked with predictive analytics and data-augmented technologies such as cloud POS, Big Data, loyalty programs.
  2. Convenience: Wearables (unified nativity). Multiple points of contact (Voice, SMS, notifications, wearable vibrations, color flashes on smart bands (that mean different things).
  3. Responsiveness: Smart Spaces (IoT). Open-source human data-points and human analytics.
  4. Immersion: Video content, Digital signature, holograms, AR & VR. Acquiring and engaging attention, branding and emotion.
  5. Customization: Personal Virtual Assistants (AI-ML-NLP). Hybrid human-AI intelligence.

With social media becoming less engaging and social sharing down on sites like Facebook, we’re already looking to the future. The future is one in which AI actually humanizes cities, spaces and facilitates a more personalized world full of more ambient and emotional customer experiences and authentic interactions.

Growing up texting and on Instagram is one thing, growing up with responsive environments and customizable AI interfaces is quite another. The future is not just one experience, it’s choosing the way you want to interact with people, places, brands and contexts that are customizable with AI to help you navigate an increasingly “noisy” world.

The Future with VR and AR

Virtual and augmented reality have been all the talk the past year and I find myself…along with investors pondering – are they even real? I understand that it is tough to understand the vision for VR without experiencing it. This technology is especially difficult for all of us to grasp because it has to be delivered one a one-on-one basis.

download (1)

Hardware

There is actually a high volume and variety of VR headsets in production that range from the basic Google Cardboard to Gear VR, along with Chinese competitors like Oculus, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. On the AR side, there is Magic Leap, DAQRI and HoloLens among some others. There will most likely be a monopoly in this category, while there are also supporting technologies like eye-tracking and haptic feedback expanding as well.

Content

This past year, we saw headset companies make huge investments in niche VR content producer to drive mainstream consumer adoption beyond gaming. Media companies and Hollywood studios are even jumping into VR content. VR producers are even getting overwhelmed and forced to outsource content creation to visual effects studios like ILM and Weta Digital.

Until there are tools to democratize content creation, content will remain in the hands of niche players that can’t meet the demand. Over time, this will change – media companies will bring VR content creation capabilities in-house. For now, VR producers are maximizing their long-term value by turning themselves into distribution companies and developing their own IP.download (2)

Software

Software enables tools and apps for content creation and discovery – just like in the PC and mobile eras. In the next few years, as headsets come to market, it will be the VR and AR software that will create the most value.

Investors in AR and VR are going to be those who are looking for a transformative opportunity that cannot be displaced by something that is incrementally better. To find the right opportunities within VR and AR, one must understand where this ecosystem is going and be able to identify the technologies and teams that will advance the industry.

Time travel, teleportation and immortality will be within our reach with VR and AR – as well as many other things that we have only imagined. I am very excited to watch VR and AR pioneer the next computing era.

What do you know about VR and AR? Are you just excited as I am?

Does the Head of Diversity Have to Be a Certain Race?

Pinterest hired Candice Morgan as their first-ever head of diversity. This announcement was made shortly after Twitter hired Jeffrey Siminoff, a gay, white man to be their head of diversity, replacing a white woman. Although he previously led diversity efforts at Apple, where diversity is less than ideal and was the defendant for Morgan Stanley when they were in the middle of a racial discrimination lawsuit, people were upset that he was not black.

Back to Morgcandice-morgan-head-of-diversity-e1452030834818an. She has over ten years of experience building diverse work environments through her work at Catalyst, so it is safe to say that Pinterest did not hire Morgan because of the color of her skin. Is she more justified for the diversity role because of her skin color?

I don’t think that there is an answer of who has to fill a diversity role. Some have argued that diversity needs to start at the top and be a priority for every single employee. It also may be the case of needing to factor in the entire employee base at the company to be as effective as possible.

Pinterest has taken some additional efforts. They have launched two programs, The Pinterest Apprenticeship Program and Pinterest Engage for engineers from non-traditional tech backgrounds or underrepresented backgrounds.

The apprenticeship program is for people with traditional backgrounds in things like computer science to see what it is like to be an engineer at Pinterest. The apprenticeships are a year long with an opportunity for long-term employment at the end.

Pinterest Engage is a summer internship program that lasts eight weeks for first-year college students from underrepresented backgrounds that are already studying computer science, computer engineering, software engineering and other related majors.

However, according to a recent study, diversity initiatives can be threatening to white people. They don’t necessarily help someone from an underrepresented group to feel more included or less at risk for discrimination. The study claims that it would be better to employ data-driven, research-based strategies with measurable goals, which is something Pinterest is working on with diversity and inclusion strategy startup Paradigm.

Their goals with Paradigm are to increase hiring rates for full-time engineering roles to 30 percent female, increase hiring rates for full-time engineers to 8 percent from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds; increase hiring rates for non-engineering roles to 12 percent from underrepresented backgrounds; and implement a Rooney Rule requirement where at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position.

What do you think of Pinterest and their initiatives?

Learn from Warren Buffett

There is something to look forward to – Next week, Warren Buffett is going to stump for Hillary Clinton. There will most likely be Nebraska Democrats that come out for a Cherry Coke and maybe even a Dairy Queen Blizzard to hear Clinton speak about closing the income gap and accelerating job growth. How much does it cost to attend? The price tag is $500 and for $2,700 you could even get close enough for a picture with Clinton and Buffett.

1425009060395

Buffett’s climb to his fortune is a legend for more than just investors (he is worth an estimated $67 billion) – that is why he can draw so much attention. You know what makes Buffett great, is that he doesn’t think that money changes you or makes you bad. His outlook is that money can make you more of who you are. If you are a kind and generous person, then with more money, you will be even more kind and generous.

The only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: ‘I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love.’ But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.” – Warren Buffett

Even better, he is always surprised people in ways that no one would suspect and I believe that it has helped lead him to his incredible success and fortune. Just earlier this year, Buffett got into shoulder pads and a Dolphins Jersey. Can you guess why? No, he wasn’t going to play. He was rooting for his mentee, Ndamukong Suh. Buffett can show up to a football game in costume, play a ukelele at an annual meeting and even talk to his team about how he got an investment idea by sitting in his bathtub. He is not like anyone else that you know and that is what enlarges his persona.

Other successful people do this too. Elon Musk came out with the Hyperloop idea. Donald Trump buries the Republican presidential candidate competition. Trevor Burgess, the chief executive of a Florida bank gave away a new Mercedes Benz to wealthy clients who opened up a bank account. They will surprise you in more ways than imagined.

The lesson that you should learn from this is to create your own path. Be yourself rather than trying to fit into expectations of other people. Do things not because you want to surprise people, but because they are in line with your goals. Raise your hand when no one else has, drop out or quit your job, take a new, challenging assignment. Don’t be afraid to do something different and break the mold.

Your Online Presence – Social Media

Social media communicates information, generates discussions, shares videos, pictures and more. It is the medium that everyone can use to express their thoughts, opimeizu-m1-note-indianions, likes, dislikes and reviews to a virtual audience. There is a wide range of social media sites as well including forums, micro blogging sites, social networking sites and wikis like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn and many more. However, we need to realize that these sites aren’t limited to interactions with only customers, but prospective customers as well.

With Social Media You Can:

  • Connect with friends, family and followers
  • Launch a new products
  • Improve the brand image of a product or company
  • Project and promote another’s skills and talents

Social media helps you get noticed on social networking sites and can help to increase the number of visitors to your website. Any startup venture or business can begin their marketing and advertising campaigns in a very cost effective manner. It also helps to improve the business relationship with the customer – strengthening trust and faith. These strong relationships will make your business with them last longer and attract new potential customers and projects. Creating brand awareness always helps to gain first tie customers and break new ground.

One of the advantages of social media is that even a small message can go viral. Your information can reach thousands and millions that you could not reach through any other advertising campaign.

downloadBuilding A Positive Reputation:

  • Create a presence
  • Test your audience
  • Spend time on 4 or 5 different websites to target your consumer

Begin by generating discussions on neutral topics that are related to the industry of your business rather than your own services or products. For example, if you are in the restaurant industry, then a good neutral topic could be healthy food. Once you are comfortable using the website, you can generate content that directs to your business.

There are many social media websites out there and it is impossible to have a presence on all of them. Figure out which websites your customers are using the most and stick with them. For example, if you are a B2B business, then LinkedIn would be more valuable to you. If you are a B2C business, then Facebook and Twitter would be better options.

How do you engage with your customers? Have you experimented with using social media yet?

How to Hire the Best Talent Right Now

Talent is the lifeblood of your company, so recruiting is one of the top jobs for any executive or entrepreneur. There are three macroeconomic factors that are converging to make hiring more difficult for companies – the stronger economy, the large increase in demand for technically skilled workers and the booming freelance economy. Let me explain my points.

2a7dd57

Growing Economy

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in September, which is the lowest level since April of 2008. The low unemployment rate and healthier economy puts pressure on salaries. Median household incomes have consequently increased by 5.2 percent each year. However, low unemployment means that talented employees have more options than ever. If you’re like most companies, you have seen an executive respond with a counteroffer to avoid having a key employee “poached.” This has happened more and more frequently over the past few years.

Explosion of Tech

As our economy becomes more and more driven by technology, the skills needed to manage this new world are more valuable than ever. Software plays a very important role in fields that are not traditionally considered tech such as food, retail, real estate and transportation. That means that hiring tech-savvy workers is more of a challenge. Talent agencies for programmers now exist to hire out the best of the best on a model similar to the agency model for Hollywood stars.

Freelancing

A recent study by Edelman Berland and Upwork found some surprising statistics about freelance workers. The amount of U.S. workers who do some sort of freelancing has grown by 700,000 just in the past year and constitutes for 34 percent of the workforce. There are almost 54 million Americans that freelance and this trend has no signs of going away. For some people, this is just an evening job like driving a car on the weekends or putting together a mix of part-time traditional work. A shocking finding is that over 40 percent of U.S. freelancers don’t have a boss at all – they are entirely self-employed and freelancing is their primary form of income.

Freelancing appears to be more of a choice than a necessity. They enjoy the greater flexibility and many of them are actually making more money than they would working for an employer – 78 percent said that it took a year or less to exceed their previous income.

In a tight labor market, the smart professionals are realizing their options go beyond traditional employment. Smart companies will have to do the same and follow the talent as it embraces the freelance economy.