Losing Sleep Over Benefits Technology? Get Over It!

first_imgIt’s easy to get caught up wanting to deliver a sophisticated platform to engage your workforce. Many benefits technology solutions promise to make employees smarter consumers of health care through slick recommendation engines, bots, and avatars delivered on smart phones.I advise you to keep these three things in mind when you evaluate benefits technology:     1. Technology won’t solve your millennial dilemma.Right now Millenials make up the largest portion of the workforce.  HR professionals are scrambling to figure out how to best communicate and educate them about benefits. The fact is Millennials rely heavily on their parents — not technology — to make insurance decisions.  When the Affordable Care Act changed the benefits landscape by allowing kids to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26, it meant that these new workers didn’t have to take an active role in managing their benefits. They just deferred to their parents. HR needs to figure out how to appropriately involve parents in the benefits decision-making process, while ensuring they meet Millennial’s growing demand for non-traditional benefits. Some solutions may include call center support where questions can be answered prior to enrollment. 2. Technology is necessary to reduce compliance risk.Labor laws are complex and fluid.  The future of ACA and its unpopular reporting requirements are unclear. I believe what is clear is that federal, state and local compliance requirements will continue to be a burden and risk for HR. Compliance falls on HR shoulders and the importance of well-kept records is crucial to avoiding fines and penalties. I advise beginning by automating processes that are currently manual and present the highest risk to your organization. If you continue to rely on manual processes for compliance, the odds of success are not in your favor. 3. Technology is not a strategy.Employers will waste a lot of money on benefits technology if they don’t know what they want to do with it. Develop a clear strategy and roadmap first — then consider how technology can enable your strategy. Determine your cost management and employee engagement goals and then figure out how benefits technology can help drive down administrative cost, create enrollment efficiencies and enhance communication and reporting.last_img read more

Apple Introduces iTunes 8 and New iPods

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… frederic lardinois new iPod Shufflepush notification for iPhoneone more thing…TV ShowsWith regards to TV shows on iTunes, Apple announced the availability of a select number of shows in HD, including Monk, The Office, and Heroes. Apple also announced the return of NBC to the iTunes store.iTunes 8The user interface of iTunes 8 only received minor cosmetic updates such as a flat album cover view and one-click automated playlist creation. The major addition to iTunes is the ‘Genius’ feature, that will make buying recommendation and suggest playlists based on your buying behavior and the music already in your library.Apple also announced that iTunes will start sending data about the songs you listen to and your music preferences back to Apple. This is an opt-in service and, according to Jobs, completely anonymous, but privacy advocates are surely going to take a very close look at this.iPodsClassic: The iPod Classic has been cut down to one model with 120GB. According to Jobs, most users only considered the 80GB model anyway.Nano: The Nano received a major design overhaul, with a curved glass front and a larger screen and a built-in accelerometer. The UI for the Nano is now similar to that of the iPhone/iPod touch.One nifty new feature: Thanks to the accelerometer, you can now just shake your nano and it will automatically go into shuffle mode.The nano can now play 24h of music and 4h of video.The new nano will cost $149 for 8GB and $199 for 16GB and should ship in the next few days. It’s available in a whole rainbow of colors:blue, purple, orange, green, and pink. It also looks as if the new headphones for the iPod’s have microphones, though it is not immediately clear why. We assume that all the iPods now have voice recording built-in by default.Ipod Touch: Apple also introduced a new iPod touch, which keeps the same design as the old one, but is a bit thinner and has a stainless steel rim with integrated volume controls on the side (hey – I want that for the iPhone as well!) and built-in speakers.Nike+ now comes standard with the iPod touch, though you would still need a transmitter for your shoes.According to Apple, the iPod touch can play 36hrs of music and 6hrs of video and the price points are: 8GB, $229, 16GB for $299, and a 32GB for $399.App StoreAccording to Jobs, 100 million apps have been downloaded from the store in only 60 days.Games: Apple is clearly trying to push the iPod/iPhone as a mobile gaming platform. Jobs stressed that there are now over 700 games available for the iPhone/iPod touch platform. To drive this point home, Phil Schiller demoed Spore Origins for the iPod (our review of Spore for the PC was mostly negative, but the iPhone game has gotten rave reviews so far). Phil also demoed ‘Real Soccer 2009’ and ‘Need for Speed,’ which both look like they are very good games as well.2.1 FirmwareThe updated firmware is available for the iPod touch for $9.99.For the iPhone, Apple promises that this updated fixes the problems with dropped calls and crashes in Safari and other applications that have plagued the phone from the beginning. iPhone users can also expect better battery life, though Jobs did not go into any specifics. Apple also promises that backups will now be considerably faster (right now, some users are experiencing backups that can take hours).The update will be available on Friday.SummaryOverall, this was a bit of a lackluster event. While the updates to iTunes and the ‘Genius’ feature are interesting, the updates to the iPod line were, at best, incremental. The new look of the iPod nano is nice (though surely some will complain about it as well), but also nothing too revolutionary. Apple, of course, is in a hard spot, where it is constantly expected to surprise us. This event didn’t hold many surprises, especially because 90% of the news had already leaked before the even even started.One thing that did surprise us was that Apple did not make any announcements about the availability of push notifications for the iPhone in the next release of the firmware. It could still be part of the update, but so far, there is no indication that this will indeed be the case. Tags:#Features#news#web Related Posts At Apple’s “Let’s Rock” special event today, Steve Jobs introduced a new version of iTunes, the availability of HD TV shows for the American market, a new design for the iPod Nano and iPod touch, as well as a major update for the iPhone/iPod touch firmware. According to Jobs, Apple has sold 160 million iPods worldwide and now holds 73.4% of the market in the US.center_img Some things we didn’t see: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Tesla blames crash on braking system, not AutoPilot

first_imgDavid Curry 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… The first fatality while using AutoPilot, Tesla’s semi-autonomous system, happened in May this year in a 2015 Model S. It has changed the debate surrounding autonomous cars, leading to calls to remove AutoPilot from Model S cars and slow down industry adoption of the tech.However, the New York Times revealed Tesla has moved the blame to a fault in the automatic braking system, according to a staff member at the Senate Commerce Committee, which is currently investigating the crash.See Also: Tesla fatality can’t dissuade NHTSA from self-driving upsideThe two systems, automatic braking and AutoPilot, are apparently separate in the Model S. That has raised eyebrows amongst some, who thought that the AutoPilot would be able to control most of the car’s systems while online.“Those systems are supposed to work together to prevent an accident,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, to NYT. “But either the car didn’t know it had to stop, or it did know and wasn’t able to stop. That involves Autopilot and the automatic braking.”Tesla has been investigating the crash for a few months now, trying to identify why the car’s radar was unable to recognize the tractor crossing the roadway. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has tweeted a few details from the investigation, but there’s still no concrete answer from the automaker.Tesla & NHTSA want benefits of self-driving knownAt the same time, Musk has also defended the AutoPilot beta program and ensured that drivers are safer thanks to it. That has been difficult to quantify however, since there isn’t the same uproar over someone saved by the autonomous system as there is for someone that died from it. But even the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants the overall safety benefits evaluated before it will kibosh all autonomous technologies.If the crash was caused by an automatic braking system, it might remove the fear surrounding AutoPilot, at least partially. Though is it any better that a widely adopted system failed instead of AutoPilot?We’ll have to wait and see. Consumer confidence in Tesla appears to still be high, if you count stock valuation and car purchases as metrics of confidence. Musk’s defence of AutoPilot and vision of the future may have diminished some fears of the system and of Tesla as well. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Related Posts Tags:#automatic braking#Autonomous car#AutoPilot#Internet of Things#IoT#Model S#NHTSA#Self-Driving#Tesla last_img read more

Selecting the Right BYOD Strategy

first_imgIT organizations around the world are or should be struggling with this critical decision. And it is not an easy one.  The number of strategies available to an IT organization are on par with the number of devices and OS variants that employees want to bring in. Earlier this week, my social computing alerts shared an article titled “one way to manage BYOD” written by Kevin McCaney of Government Computing News. I was really excited by this article because Kevin based his article on what we were doing inside Intel IT – thanks KevinWhat got me writing this blog was that Kevin helped me put Intel IT’s approach in a broader perspective across the spectrum of strategies available to IT by comparing our approach to those that some of our peers have taken or are considering.  The spectrum or strategies for BYOD range from Say Yes to Everything Say No to AnySomething in the Middle A balanced, middle-of-the-road approach has allowed Intel IT to maximize BYOD business value through providing flexibility to employees (boosting productivity) while minimizing the IT cost/burden of support while maintaining a no compromise approach to security and enterprise risk.At Intel IT, our approach is working and evolving as fast as the number of device requests coming in from our employeesWhat approach do you and your IT org take to supporting the consumerization of IT?last_img read more

Why Sachin Tendulkar is compared to Don Bradman?

first_imgWith his latest study, Australian researcher Dr Nicholas Rohde has reignited an eternal debate who is a better cricketer among two of the world’s top batsmen, Sir Don Bradman or Sachin Tendulkar.As the Griffith University researcher ranked Bradman next only to Tendulkar, Headlines Today decided to take a re-look at their cricket careers and performances in international cricket.Both Bradman and Tendulkar have remained cricket fans’ ultimate fascination leading to the endless debates comparing the two legends’ statistics and their impacts on the sport. The two thespians of cricket are also the ultimate technicians and icons who redefined the game in their respective eras.One is an Indian cricketer globally renowned for his batting abilities and widely considered as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history and the other is an Australian remarkably known as the greatest batsman of all time with a career Test batting average of 99.94, hailed as the top-most statistical achievement in any major sport.Tendulkar is the highest run scorer in Tests as well as ODIs and record holder of the most centuries in both the formats. Bradman’s 20-year playing career records are no less than a benchmark for cricket’s future generations.Both legends, though from two completely different times, have so many similar traits that it is natural to draw comparison. Once watching Tendulkar bat on TV, Bradman suddenly called out to his wife in excitement and told her how the Indian reminded of him of his own batting.Much like Bradman, Tendulkar too is five feet six inches tall and dominates the best of bowling attacks with similar ease. Yet, the best way to truly assess Bradman and Tendulkar is the comparison amid the many factors that made up their style of play.advertisementBradman’s run-scoring speed was unimaginable when he scored a whopping 452 in only 415 minutes. Some might disagree stating that the over rates in the thirties and forties were better than today. Tendulkar on the verge of 100 international centuries is considered to be a monumental achievement. But again, Bradman made 10 Test double hundreds and two triple hundreds with a total six triple and 37 double hundreds in first-class cricket in his time.On a personal front too, Tendulkar is similar to Bradman in many ways. Unfailingly courteous, modest and comfortable with his own company, still unlike Bradman, Tendulkar has maintained his popularity with team-mates as well as opponents.But it is the impact the two have had on society and their country that defines their true value. While Bradman rose to popularity in Australia particularly during the Great Depression and instantly became a symbol of hope, Tendulkar’s heroics have lent confidence and belief that would succeed in a new age India.last_img read more