Towards Digital India- The UPI Way!

The payment of sins can be delayed, but it cannot be avoided.

Let us rewind 5 years of our life. We are living in the era of Internet Banking- the supposedly ‘better’ alternative to offline and physical means of banking. But is it? Net banking requires our account number and type, bank name, and IFSC code. Most banks add a new payee after 4-8 hours, which means one will get the money long after he needs it. Not need to mention the efforts you put into all this.

Enter UPI (Unified Payments Interface):

The very intention of introducing UPI was to get rid of all this hassle. In layman’s terms, UPI has an email-id for you. Something which your bank uses to identify you and do money transfers and payments. UPI uses Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) to do this. IMPS is faster than NEFT, as it acts immediately, and also, it’s 24x7x365. Thus, UPI makes it easier to do online payments than a digital wallet or credit or debit card.

Let’s look at the architecture of UPI.

1. You link your UPI wallet with a bank, after which you’ll get a virtual address for the same.

2. You use this virtual address while making a payment via your bank.

3. UPI would use the information it has to map the virtual address of the sending and receiving banks to the actual bank accounts and then initiates a credit and debit transaction.

IMPACT ON OUR COUNTRY :

Due to its perks, UPI is in progress to overtake the other online wallets. Even if the latter outperform the former on a cumulative basis, UPI app is growing faster on a per month basis. In February this year, transactions exceeding Rs.1.01 lakh crore (that’s over $14 billion) were recorded via UPI, far above mobile wallets Rs.14,279 crore.

UPI deserves this credit as it has three significant advantages over the online wallets:

1. Simpler to use: Upasana Taku, co-founder of Mobikwik, said that UPI is definitely simpler in peer-to-peer transactions and hence there is a pick-up in UPI transactions. A wallet transaction involves multiple legs, including transfer of money from bank account to the wallet and then to the beneficiary, which the UPI doesn’t require.

2. No KYC (know your customer): As of now, KYC is not required for UPI as it is linked to your bank account and it’s just like your any other internet banking transaction.Mobikwik said that close to 50% of its 107 million users have already done KYC.

3. Interoperability- You can’t use Paytm to send money to your friend using Google Pay. UPI overcomes this.
This has forced the online wallets make themselves more lucrative, by offering many cash backs. While this has benefited them, it has also increased the activities the bank has to do, as ultimately the bank is where the real money lies. Thus, the introduction of UPI has benefited both the parties, while the people being the most significant gainers.

Above all, UPI would be good for the economy as it would give a way to mass cashless payments. Use of hard cash has come down and the economy has become more transparent.
Digital payments are growing quickly within the country; however they’re still a fraction of the payments.
Most of the transactions involving small amount of money are still in cash. The ease and convenience UPI offers has helped individuals prefer to pay their maids, milkman, newspaper vendor, etc., digitally than in cash.

Today, most of us find bank visits cumbersome. With UPI, we feel the same about visiting an ATM.

There are over 40 million merchants in India, and out of those only about a million use card readers. With UPI, they won’t even need those archaic machines. Not to forget the costs per transaction that comes with the likes of VISA, MasterCard, etc. UPI costs only 50 paisa per transaction. All in all, the impact of UPI has had, and will continue to have on our country, so it’s too hard to neglect it.

LOOKING AHEAD- WHAT UPI CAN BE:

There is one feature in UPI, which is ‘mandates’. Mandates or standing instructions mean that UPI can become the go-to payment option for all recurring payments like SIPs, Mutual Fund payments, monthly subscriptions etc.

Also, not having biometric Aadhaar-based payment feature has made it difficult for those who do not own a smartphone, i.e. about 30% of India’s population finds it difficult to use UPI, or any other digital payment solution. So, bringing these back will only boost UPI. UPI can actually be used by those having featured phones (non-smartphone), but a smartphone is nevertheless required for one time registration.

A GREEN APPROACH TO DO THAT:

Every year we produce more than 2 million tonnes of e-waste, and majority comes from used mobile phones. What we can do is build our own operating system (O.S.) having the features of calling, texting, maybe camera, and most importantly, an UPI app. We will load this on our used phone. While UPI does offer an offline mode approach for featured phones, using the app will be easier. Selling these phones to the poverty ridden sector at a low price will only help in widening the reach of UPI, while also recycling e-waste.

I’ll conclude saying that for UPI to become the leader in digital transactions, it must drive large-scale adoption of digital payments. There needs to be a large merchant-acceptance network; both online and offline, because that is where the real push for ‘Digital India’ will come from.

#Digital_India

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Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right

When Mark Tibergien, CEO of Advisor Solutions, thought about the future of BNY-Mellon/Pershing, he knew the company had a problem. Millennials were uninterested in working in financial services. In addition, Millennials who did join the company were leaving the company at higher rates than their older peers.

WHAT IS REVERSE MENTORING?

Like BNY-Mellon/Pershing, many companies struggle with how to retain Millennial talent – and also with how to stay relevant to younger consumers. In response to these challenges, leadership teams of major companies around the world are implementing reverse-mentoring programs. Reverse mentoring pairs younger employees with executive team members to mentor them on various topics of strategic and cultural relevance. This approach has precedent: in the late 1990s, GE’s Jack Welsh used reverse mentoring to teach senior executives about the internet. But modern reverse mentoring extends far beyond just sharing knowledge about technology; today’s programs focus on how senior executives think about strategic issues, leadership, and the mindset with which they approach their work. Describing the primary issues that she mentored on, Kayla Kennelly (one of the original mentors at BNY-Mellon/Pershing) stated: “The top of [Mark Tibergien’s] list was, ‘How do I connect with the younger generation?’… And then, ‘How do I attract and retain younger talent?’ Technology has been important but it has  been pretty much at the bottom of many of the mentors/mentees lists.”

WHY IT WORKS?

In a research, four main benefits of reverse-mentoring programs were founded.

1. Increased retention of Millennials

Reverse-mentoring programs provide Millennials with the transparency and recognition that they’re seeking from management. According to Gerry Tamburro, former managing director at BNY-Mellon/Pershing, who was both a mentee and a founder of the company’s program, “This [program] helped the executive committee not only to be more transparent but to also seek input from people throughout the organization on many decisions.” The former CEO of BNY-Mellon/Pershing, Ron DeChicco, and his Millennial mentor, Jamilynn Camino, co-developed fireside chats to increase the CEO’s connection with employees. In these chats, which ran for over three years and were the most highly attended company event, DeChicco discussed critical issues and solicited employee feedback. BNY-Mellon/Pershing experienced a 96% retention rate for the first cohort of Millennial mentors.

2. Sharing of digital skills

While digital skill development should not be the focus of a reverse-mentoring program, many of the companies we researched mentioned that it was a meaningful part of the relationship. For example, the current CEO of BNY-Mellon/Pershing (then COO) used his mentor to help him with social media, which he had never before integrated into his working life. Now, he is one of the most avid social-media users inside the company. As Cimino stated, “Jim [Crowley] has totally shifted the way he interacts and communicates with employees… Jim is incredibly active on [our internal social media platform]. [He] is also active representing the company [on LinkedIn], which he never was before this program.”

3. Driving culture change

As Estée Lauder’s CEO, Fabrizio Freda, noted, the company “had come to a place where the future could not be informed by the past” and therefore decided to implement a reverse mentoring program. Besides educating senior executives on the importance of social media influencers for the overall shopping experience, Millennial mentors developed Dreamspace, a knowledge-sharing portal to exchange ideas. Estée Lauder distributed bi-monthly alerts to employees, including the executive leadership team, on the leading topics discussed on Dreamspace. Kennelly of BNY-Mellon|Pershing told us that she and her mentee had discussed why young people weren’t attracted to the financial services profession. “He asked me to research this question. I came back with three reasons, including a general distrust of the industry, negative portrayal of the industry in media, and misperception that the profession was only about sales. He then used these reasons in shaping the recruitment strategy.”

4. Promoting diversity

The global law firm Linklaters piloted a reverse-mentoring program in order to improve leadership’s understanding of minority issues, including those of LGBT and ethnic minorities. And in 2014, PricewaterhouseCoopers launched its reverse-mentoring program as part of its drive for diversity and inclusion. The program now has 122 Millennials mentoring 200 partners and directors worldwide.

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT?

Program organizers should consider the following four points, which we found to be critical to realizing the benefits of reverse mentoring:

The right match is crucial:

First, emphasize diversity, matching across region, department, and location. Also match for diverse personalities (e.g., it is better to have an introvert paired with an extravert than to pair two introverts). Second, consult mentees before making the pairing formal. While most Millennial mentors accepted any pairing (as long as the mentee was committed), executive mentees were more selective, as they were concerned about crossing supervisory lines and any appearance of conflict of interest.

Address mentees’ fear and distrust:

Many executives are fearful of revealing their lack of knowledge to junior employees. But if the fears are addressed explicitly, open sharing can be incredibly rewarding. At BNY-Mellon/Pershing, these concerns were part of the early discussions within the mentor-mentee community. As Crowley stated, “You know you are exposing yourself, you are exposing your vulnerabilities and… I think that that helps actually strengthen the bond between the two of you and it’s not a bad thing.” Many mentees are also fearful of junior employees sharing sensitive information with co-workers. However, in all the companies, breach of confidentiality was never a problem that we could discern.

Ensure strong commitment from the mentees:

The number one reason that reverse-mentoring programs fail is that the executives don’t prioritize the relationship; after a couple of cancelled sessions, the momentum quickly dwindles. But it’s the Millennial mentors who should drive the program through sharing best practices, helping to select new cohorts, and training mentors. Research shows that without training, only one-third of mentor-mentee relationships succeed, which increases to two-thirds with training. In the companies, training included preparing new mentors for how to structure successful sessions with their mentees and to share challenges faced in the relationships.

Don’t mix a shadow board and reverse-mentoring program:

Another method for integrating Millennials into the organization – shadow boards. Some companies tried to introduce both programs within a single cohort. This led to one or the other winning out; they were never simultaneously successful. Companies wanting to run a shadow board and reverse-mentoring program at the same time can perhaps follow Estée Lauder’s example by using different participants for each program.

Thanks for reading

7 UPCOMING TECHNOLOGICAL TRENDS WHICH WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!

From bendable devices to driverless devices, the technological developments proved that the future is going to be something which is beyond our expectations. In recent times, we have heard about several emerging technologies such as AI machines, Blockchain technology, etc. As we all know that we are approaching a more advanced world, we will witness a lot more technological trends in the near future.

Since technology is progressing at a rapid rate, thus it will make you experience the most landscape-changing trends. In this post, we will discuss the most exciting and incredible technology trends of the future which will definitely blow your mind. 

Following are the seven upcoming technological trends. 

Autonomous Things:

Artificial intelligence has been a consistent trend for the past several years, but now it is time for autonomous things. Either it is a car, computer system, plane, or any other machine, autonomous things make good use of artificial intelligence. This technology is going to be implemented in drones, electronic appliances, robots, vehicles, and others. 

Each of them has a distinctive characteristic, capability, intelligence, and also covers different areas of the surrounding environment. For instance, a drone will be operated in the air and at the same time, a robot will also be assisting farmers in the field. Although, they don’t possess the same capability as humans in terms of decision making and general learning but this will be an amazing discovery for the upcoming time. 

Augmented Analytics:

Augmented analysis means using machine learning and natural language processing. Let’s suppose if you are a businessman and you are asked to prepare and analyze huge amount of data regarding your business. Practically, it is impossible to do that which means that your business might miss essential-insights. But, at the same time, augmented analytics will come into existence which makes the work of data scientist quite easy. 

By the year 2020, the number of a citizen data scientist is going to get increased by five times than professional data scientists. 

AI-Driven Development:

With the rapidly increasing number of organization, the need for AI-driven development is going to increase by the same rate. The AI-enhanced tools and technologies will be used by application developers. By using these tools, the developer can immerse the AI-based features in the application without feeling the need to involve data scientists. 

This upcoming trend will ultimately lead to the production of more software developers.

Digital Ethics:

Now customers are much more aware of the importance of their personal information. Organizations which don’t take it seriously are at risk of customer’s criticism. Basically digital ethics is the field of study which is linked to the way technology is shaping everyone’s moral, social, and political existence. 

The government of various countries is passing laws and regulation to make the organizations become more obedient. Moreover, consumers are also being guarded to provide their personal and confidential information carefully. The technology geeks are putting their heads together to look for ways to maintain digital ethics.

Supercomputer:

With each passing day, the number of mobile phone users is also increasing. This number is increasing all over the world. Smartphones have the computing power and prices are also low than PC so, the number of users continues to increase. 

By 2025, it is predicted that 90% of the total world population will be using smartphones (supercomputers) even in the remote areas of the world too. 

Skin Implantable Mobile Phones:

Do you also belong to those group of people who carry their phones in their pocket? If you do the same thing then you don’t need to do it in the upcoming time. It is because by 2025 skin implantable phone will be available commercially.

These phones will be designed to keep a check on the person’s overall health as well as with the facility to communicate. Although, pacemakers along with other health diagnosing electronic devices are available in the market, soon implantable mobile phones will also make their entry. 

Driverless Cars:

Autonomous cars will surely bring many advantages and ease for the drivers and will also increase their level of safety. 

The famous tech companies like Google and Uber are presently working on this project and as per their reports by the year 2025, 10% of the world cars will become driverless. But, before the roads get filled with driverless cars, manufacturers are also developing several safety plans for the challenges in this way. 

Conclusion

These were some of the amazing upcoming technological trends. Hope you guys enjoy reading this post and will be able to experience all of these trends soon which may make your life easier than before.

How To Find Stalkerware On Your Smartphone

The digital window to your soul might just have a peeping Tom.

Say hello to stalkerware, a noxious class of software designed to surreptitiously run in the background of smartphones. It’s purpose is to keep tabs on everything you do, then report it back to whoever decided to spy on the most intimate and personal details of your life.

As smartphones further entrench themselves in our daily lives, the amount of information we both knowingly entrust to these devices likewise grows. This has, in many respects, been a boon- albeit not exclusively to the people we have in mind.

“Stalkerware is especially pernicious because it is such a rich source of information,” Explained the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s director of cybersecurity Eva Galperin over encrypted chat.”Stalkerware can track your location, record your phone calls and text messages, steal the passwords to the social media accounts you log into through your phone, reveal your contacts, your photos, your emails, and even your end -to-end encrypted communications.”

And the threat is real. Anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab reports that, in 2018, it found stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices.

“The use of stalkerware on phones affects people from all walks of life.”

As you might expect, journalists and activists are often the target of such attacks. However, that doesn’t mean your average person has nothing to worry about. Far from it, in fact.

Galperin made clear that the use of stalkerware goes hand with modern day domestic abuse.

“Like other forms of domestic abuse, the use of stalkerware On phones affects people from all walks of life,” She wrote. “I have been contacted by men being spied on by women, men being spied on by men, and women being spied on by women, but the majority of cases that I see are of women whose phones are being spied on by a partner or a former partner, who is usually a man.”

While this is a particularly modern concern, it is not necessarily a new one. For a brief stroll down a terrifying stalkerware memory lane, one can look to the great reporting done by Motherboard on the topic. Be warned, it’s not a pretty sight.

Clearly, this is a serious problem with real world consequences. Thankfully, there’s something you can do to protect yourself.

Fighting Back

Stalkerware is designed to run undetected by the victim.Finding such a program On your phone, then, is the first step toward addressing the personal violation and safety risk it poses.

But how to do that? Patrick Wardle, security researcher and founder of Objective-See, explained that the easiest way to prevent stalkerware from being installed On your phone is to keep it locked and out of others’ hands.

“Generally, it [is] really hard to install stalkerware on a mobile device [without] physical access… so step 1 is to make [sure] your device is protected against this,” he explained over Twitter direct message. “For example, having a password. ( That you don’t share!)”

While this is a great advice in general, life isn’t always that straight forward. After all, if you’re in an abusive relationship with someone controlling enough to install such monitoring software on your phone, that person may also demand access to your device.

That doesn’t mean you’re helpless, though. If you have a phone running Android, you can scan it for stalkerware with an anti-virus tool from Kaspersky Lab. If there’s a hit, the anti-virus program will alert you.

“We believe users have a right to know if such a program is installed on their device,” explained Kaspersky Lab researcher Alexey Firsh in April press release. “Our new alert will help them to do that and assess the risk probably.”

This industry is fucked up and everyone providing these services are one of the worst people on this planet.”

It’s not just phones running Android that are at risk, of course your iPhone is just as an exciting target for these looking to spy on you.

“For iOS,”explained Wardle,” If there is stalkerware installed it might show up as an app you don’t recognize, or may be even a malicious profile.”

To check for the latter, go to Settings > General > Profiles & Device Management. If you don’t see the last option, it means there’s not a mobile device management profile i installed on your phone (this is a good thing). If you do see it, investigate what the profile is by clicking “More Details.”

There should be a “Remove Management” Option in settings, as well.

If you’re looking for a deep dive on stalkerware,Security Researcher Ivan Rodriguez breaks down the various types and ways it can be installed on your phone in a great blog post. He includes several tips for keeping your smartphone clear: keep it up to date, enable 2FA on your iCloud account, and if someone randomly gives you a new phone as a gift, consider a full restore.

Over Twitter direct message, he explained how the average person can check for signs of stalkerware on their phone. While clarifying that is research focuses on iOS devices, he noted that some of the advice applies to Android phones as well.

“Identifying if your device has stalkerware installed on an iOS device is very difficult,” Wrote Rodriguez, “even for security professionals because there’s no easy way to search for modification within the device and Apple doesn’t allow antivirus apps on the App Store.”

He suggested paying close attention to the following: “From one day to another, the device’s battery doesn’t last as long,” “keyboard keys have some ‘lag’ when tapping ( Like a letter’s animation getting stuck),” the devices run out of space quickly,” or “the location services ‘arrow’ is on all the time.”

In general, Rodriguez has an exceptionally low opinion of these who create and distribute stalkerware.

“This industry is fucked up,” he wrote in his blog post, “and everyone providing these services are on of the worst people on this planet.”

Hopefully you’ll never find yourself being digitally spied on with stalkerware or any other form of invasive tech. But the reality is that this does happen to people, and there’s nothing wrong with taking an extra moment to make sure the blinds on that digital window to your soul are drawn tight.

Thanks for reading.

Why Companies Are Forming Cybersecurity Alliances

In the physical world, governments are responsible for keeping citizens and corporations safe from enemies. The digital world, so far, has been a little different. When it comes to cybersecurity and cyber attacks, most governments have spent much more time increasing their offensive capabilities than protecting companies and individuals.

The reason for this is, until recently, national security officials viewed digital networks as fairly benign and cyber attackers as unlikely threats to safety — or to a country’s sovereignty. However, the advent of cyber-physical systems and the internet of things, along with the increasing sophistication of bad actors, has made cyber attacks issues of human safety. But companies have largely been left to fend for themselves.

That’s why, over the last few years, tech-focused companies have begun entering into cybersecurity alliances and pacts with one another. These alliances are a symptom of the breakdown of trust between policy makers and those they’re making polices for. Hundreds of companies — some of them, such as Airbus, Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Siemens, and Telefonica, among the largest in the world — have tried to step into this trust gap by forming groups around goals related to the future of the internet and digital networks. Some of these groups (those I call the operational alliances) are mainly practical, sharing intelligence or technical data. Others (the normative alliances) are explicitly aimed at changing the ways companies deal with cybersecurity vulnerabilities and renegotiating the social contract between states and their citizens.

Alliances

The operational alliances are built around small groups of companies. Their exchanges of information about cyber attacks and threats try to raise the collective level of cybersecurity, shape overall security practices, and speed the adoption of security technologies. Groups such as the Cyber Threat Alliance, the Global Cyber Alliance, and the Trusted Computing Group (to name a few) represent the range of such alliances.

The normative alliances, on the other hand, make explicit calls for digital peace, government support for companies under attack, and cooperation to limit the use of private systems and networks against citizens (especially by a nation-state). They try to uphold values like trust and accountability in cybersecurity and to spur collective action in favor of peace and nonaggression — much as agreements between countries do.

These alliances are ultimately focused on the wider world, rather than on individual companies and industries. The companies involved reason that working together gives them the ability to create the kind of safe, peaceful digital environment they need to innovate and protect their customers.

For companies with IT or security departments capable of sorting through and acting on cybersecurity data, it often makes sense to become part of a network that can keep a CISO (chief information security officer) or IT team apprised of looming threats and best practices for mitigating them. The nature of digital networks is that everyone has to share the risks; these alliances help leaders to share solutions, too.

Risk Tolerance

Of course, not every company is so systemically important that it needs to take a position on the geopolitics of cybersecurity. Ultimately, it comes down to risk tolerance and capacity. It may be better for these companies to protect themselves as best they can through better cyber hygiene or by joining the operational and information-sharing alliances. These companies may prefer to sit on the sidelines for now, let other companies push the global conversation forward, and benefit from the increases in global security and trust that the alliances are starting to foster.

There is evidence that such efforts have indeed begun to move the conversation forward for companies and nations. Last November, for example, President Emmanuel Macron of France launched the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace,” a symbolic declaration to improve cybersecurity practices and international standards for the internet. Sixty-seven countries, including the entire EU (European Union), have joined the pledge, along with 358 companies and 139 international and civil society organizations. (The list of signatories includes the World Economic Forum) At the very least, the call represents an opening for companies and governments that care about security on a global scale to cooperate with a new set of allies.

Rows of colored high end data cables of computer servers inside a comms room at a office in London, U.K.

That’s not to say cooperation will be easy, or perfect, in the short term. Currently, the most powerful nations are signaling an aversion to cooperation on many fronts, not just in tech. Among the signatories to the Paris call, for example, there are three countries noticeably absent: the U.S., China, and Russia. Although the United States generally supports multistakeholder internet governance, China and Russia have opted for a more isolationist and state-controlled approach. Russia, in fact, has announced plans to develop the capacity to entirely shut itself off from the global internet, similar to the “Great Firewall” of China.

Isolation

And even in spaces that are meant to foster cooperation among nations, there doesn’t seem to be any patience for it. Given the past and continued shortcomings of state-only efforts to create cyber norms, one would think the benefits of working together are obvious.

Isolation is bound to be self-defeating since digital technologies derive most of their value from wider connectivity. In the worst case, digital isolationism fosters the logic of an arms race, where state-directed hackers, hiding behind national firewalls, attack companies and governments seemingly with impunity. But no firewall is perfect, and such thinking will inevitably lead to conflict or a digital cold war. At the very least, isolation threatens to derail the benefits we’ve achieved through wider use of the global internet. Companies and individuals, the ones likely to bear the costs of conflict, should therefore continue to work together where they can. Cooperative efforts will keep up the pressure on governments to recognize that they are not the only actors who matter in the digital world.

Only cooperation can avoid a new age of global isolationism and digital conflict. The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity is working to support new global architectures for security that recognize the reality of the digital world. In this reality, nations are just as important as they’ve ever been; they continue to be the ultimate protectors of their citizens. But civil society and companies are also important as the drivers of human rights and economic prosperity. What’s needed now is cooperation on a larger scale, broader sets of allies working together to build trust and share responsibility, to protect the increasing numbers of citizens who rely on digital networks to survive and thrive.

The Strategy Behind TikTok’s Global Rise

You’ve probably heard of TikTok

It is one of the most popular apps in the world and downloaded over a billion times. According to analytical reports over 1 billion total downloads and 663 million downloads in 2018 were recorded.

So what is TikTok?

Few tech startups have taken off as quickly as Beijing-based ByteDance, the creator of the highly popular 15-second video app, TikTok. In just two years, TikTok has emerged to rival companies like Netflix, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook with more than one billion downloads in 150 markets worldwide and 75 languages. On the app, homemade videos showcase everything from comedy to lip syncs to dog grooming tips that users create and share on their phones. The scrappy, goofy, fast-moving content has hooked young audiences around the world.

Since little translation is required, TikTok reaches well beyond other successful Chinese apps such as Tencent’s messaging app WeChat, which is ubiquitous in China but mostly used elsewhere among Chinese communities keeping in touch with people back home. Chinese entrepreneurs such as ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming are showing that they can succeed in an openly competitive market internationally rather than only in China where the Great Firewall regulates the internet and blocks access to several U.S. social media sites.

His strategy of dual versions of Tik Tok – one for China’s internet censored market and another for the rest of the world – could be a new model for other digital content companies aiming for such global reach – including China-based digital startups with new ambitions to venture out beyond the home market.

From the start, Zhang, a former Microsoft engineer and Chinese serial entrepreneur, had the goal of running a borderless company. Zhang, 36, is among a new generation of home-grown Chinese tech leaders with an international vision inspired by the early success of China’s tech pioneers of the late 1990s such as Robin Li of Baidu, Jack Ma of Alibaba, and Pony Ma of Tencent.

ByteDance

ByteDance has a valuation of $78 billion ─ one of China’s 86 “unicorns” in 2018. Its backers span top-notch venture capitalist firm Sequoia Capital China, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank Group, U.S. private equity investor KKR, Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital and corporate venture unit SIG Asia. As a privately financed digital content startup founded by a tech entrepreneur, ByteDance has a different relationship with the Chinese government and its grip on state-owned conglomerates. But in going global, the China-originated ByteDance could encounter heightened distrust and scrutiny especially as security concerns have enveloped Chinese telecom giant Huawei in readying the launch of its fifth generation, high-speed networks internationally.

In August 2012, five months after founding ByteDance, Zhang launched his first mobile app, Toutiao or Today’s Headlines, an AI-powered daily curated feed of news content personalized to users. In 2016, Zhang added to his product lineup by introducing a video sharing app, Douyin, for the Chinese market. He rolled out an overseas equivalent of the Douyin video app, dubbed TikTok, in 2017. That same year, ByteDance paid an estimated $900 million to acquire Musical.ly, a social video app based in Shanghai with more than 200 million users worldwide and a large following in the U.S.

The deal combined TikTok’s AI‑fed streams and monetization track record with Musical.ly’s product innovation and grasp of users’ needs and tastes in the West.

Merging

After ByteDance folded the four-year-old Musical.ly into TikTok, and rebranded it to a single application under the TikTok name in August 2018, the combined app immediately gained some 30 million new users within three months. The app makes money through ads and from the sale of virtual goods such as emojis and stickers to fans. An easy-to-use interface combining click-baity news and entertainment with powerful AI to precisely match users rather than recommend content based on their viewing habits and “likes” have fueled the app’s success. The homegrown content has become prevalent, particularly among rural and poorer residents in China, India, and other emerging markets where access to other digital entertainment options has been limited.

Zhang has also built upon China’s desire to make AI a priority in the race for global tech dominance. He describes a mission to “combine the power of AI with the growth of mobile internet to revolutionize the way people consume and receive information.”

Venture partner Connie Chan at Andreessen Horowitz in San Francisco wrote in her blog that the AI‑powered apps at ByteDance go to an extreme not common yet in the West. TikTok uses the app’s algorithms to decide which videos to show users, dictates their feed entirely, and learns their preferences the more one uses it. This is different from Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, which use AI to recommend posts rather than send feeds to users directly, she notes.

Rivals

Facebook faces a serious global rival from China in TikTok. In 2018, TikTok ranked fourth worldwide as the top non-game app downloaded, at 663 million behind only Facebook at 711 million and its related apps WhatsApp and Messenger, SensorTower data shows. TikTok’s inroads in India and its young, mobile-savvy population is a big reason it’s soaring. About one-quarter of TikTok’s downloads come from India. TikTok added 188 million downloads in the first quarter of 2019, surpassing Facebook at 176 million, but trailing WhatsApp at 224 million and Messenger at 209 million.

In late 2018, Facebook launched its own short-format video version, Lasso,which is widely considered a knockoff of TikTok. Aimed at teens, Lasso can only be accessed through Facebook or Instagram, and so far is limited to U.S. access. Lasso was downloaded by 70,000 U.S. users within four months of its launch in November compared with nearly 40 million users for TikTok in the same time period, according to app analytics firm SensorTower.

Lastly : Challenges

TikTok’s rise has also brought a string of regulatory problems. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission slapped TikTok with a $5.7 million fine for failing to get parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and personal information about children users under the age of 13. In India, lawmakers briefly banned the app this past April from being downloaded on Apple and Android, for encouraging “cultural degradation” among youth. The ban was lifted a few weeks later when ByteDance lawyers successfully argued that its system screens offensive content and prevents nude videos to be shown, and is continually being upgraded to identify troublesome videos and develop more personalized content recommendations.

Despite regulatory and other challenges, ByteDance is building an empire of apps for a new generation and challenging the borders drawn around traditional digital content. If ByteDance can continue to fulfill its mission of becoming a borderless company with game changing technology, it may lead to the creation of other borderless companies and will influence other tech innovators from emerging markets to venture out too. Ultimately, this trend will create a fuller range of digital offerings globally for consumers and businesses.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT APPLE’S IPHONE EVENT

Apple at it’s special launch event earlier of this week unveiled a host of products and like clockwork, Apple released its next iPhone, watch and iPad and it also finally put a price on Apple TV Plus at $4.99 a month.

CEO Tim Cook took the stage at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., to announce the new products. “We have a huge morning planned for you with some truly big announcements,” Cook said, starting off the event. “So I’m going to dispense with my usual updates and get right into it.”

The event included a look at Apple’s new gaming subscription service and a sneak peek of its Fifth Avenue store retail renovations.

One update that is expected to affect the ad world is Apple’s new operating software for the iPad, which could change how ads are priced when served on websites viewed on iPads.

Here is a look at all the Apple happenings:

Slofies

Among the cool new camera features, however, the company also announced that those who buy the new phones will have the ability to take slow-motion selfies, which, it declared, are now officially known as “Slofies.”

It seemed as though Apple may have coined the term to make a joke about the new feature before the rest of us could, but that hasn’t stopped people from poking fun at the new term.

‘Frogger’ redux

First up was Apple Arcade. For $4.99 a month, Apple says there will be 100 games available. Apple is competing with other video game subscription services like Google Stadia (no price announced) and Snapchat’s new free mobile game hub.

One of the titles coming to Apple is “Frogger in Toy Town,” by Konami. It’s an update to the classic ’80s arcade game with better graphics but basically the same premise—navigate from one place to another while avoiding obstacles.

The service launches Sept. 19.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 5 might just save lives. That seemed to be the message from Apple as it promoted the next-generation watch’s health functions over its fashion. Although there were fashionable accessories with new Hermés bands, the main thrust of the marketing was heart monitors and the ability to call emergency services in crisis situations overseas.

As far as functions, the new watch had a longer screen life, so the display remains active for 18 hours a day. And there’s a compass. The watches start at $399 and go on sale with the rest of the new gadgets on Sept. 20.

iPhone 11

The starting price for the new iPhone costs $50 less than the last version. The iPhone 11 will start at $699 while the iPhone X was $749.

The next-generation phone comes with upgrades to the camera, including “night mode,” which enhances photos taken in dark lighting. Also, the new camera takes “slofies.” That’s right, slow-motion selfies.

There also were two more advanced phones, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, $999 and $1,099, respectively.

iPad ads

Apple showed off the seventh-generation iPad, starting at $329. One of the biggest changes coming to the iPad is the software, as it now has its own special operating system, instead of using the same one as the iPhone.

The new operating system could have ramifications for publishers, according to Alexian Chiavegato, VP of marketing at Marfeel, an ad tech platform used by publishers. There is a quirk to how ads will be priced thanks to Apple’s tweak, Chiavegato says. Now, when a publisher serves an ad to its website viewed on the iPad, the ad space will cost the same as if it were shown on desktop, Chiavegato says. The ads on iPad used to be valued the same as ads served on mobile devices. For many publishers, ads can have vastly different values depending on the device. 

It’s good news if your ad prices are better on desktop. That means the traffic coming from the iPad is going to be of better value,” Chiavegato says. “But if it’s the opposite for your site, then it’s not going to be good for you.”

Apple TV Plus

Apple long-awaited TV subscription service will cost $4.99 a month, the company said on Tuesday. However, viewers get a year free if they buy a new iPhone, iPad, MacBook or Apple TV device.

The TV service gives viewers ad-free access to a host of new shows coming from Apple. One of the shows dropped a trailer on Tuesday, Jason Momoa’s post-apocalyptic fantasy series called “See.”

The service is set to debut in November.

Retail revamp

Apple also showed off its renovated store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Apple plans to open the store just in time for the new iPhone to go on sale Sept. 20.

The store is now Apple’s largest in the world, according to the company.

Chandrayaan-2 & Being an Indian

Chandrayaan-2, is really a flagship mission of Indian Space Research Organisation. The aim of this mission is to visit South pole of the Moon and explore for the signs of water & life.

Why this is a flagship Mission?

1. No other Nation has landed in the South pole of the Moon
2. Till date, all the information about Moon’s south pole is been collected from other nation’s satellites
3. Till date, only USA, Russia and China have soft-landed Rover on the Moon

Mission is completely owned by India:

Russia and India signed an agreement to work together in which ISRO will develop orbiter and Rover whereas Russia will develop Lander at 2008.

Due to failure a mission to Mars from Russia. Russia failed to develop the lander for India’s Chandrayaan-2.

After discontinuation of support from Russia, Indian great scientists started developing their own lander, so whole country can proudly say that Moon Mission is completely owned by India independently (Made in India)

Current Status :

1. Orbiter: The orbiter is successfully in the orbit, and is sending us data from the moon back to the Earth.

2. Lander: The lander successfully completed all except the last phase. In the last and the most critical phase (of 15 mins), everything went fine for 12 mins, but then, when the lander was 2.1 km away from moon’s surface, communication with it was lost. It has either has successfully done a soft landing or not. We have now identified the Lander, soon we will know the status.

3. Rover: If the landing was successful, the rover will be functional but out of communication.

Did we FAIL ?

NOT AT ALL! Don’t let the others fool you. The orbiter is still functional, which will be responsible for 95% of the data sent. The rover had a life of only 14 days.

NYT(NewYork times) published a cartoon on September 2014 representing a cartoon where man in dhoti and cow is knocking at the door of the ‘elite space club’ in an effort to gain entry. This was offensive.

But now its an answering time,Its our Indian scientists who successfully developed everything on their own and launched a Chandrayaan Satellite successfully.

The Chandrayaan 2 mission stood out because of its low cost of about $140 million. The United States spent the equivalent of more than $100 billion on its Apollo missions.

Foreign media’s reactions:

1. The Washington Post wrote, ‘India loses contact with its lander as it attempted to land on the moon’ in its header.
2. The Guardian wrote, ‘India’s moon landing suffers last-minute communications loss’.
3. CNN wrote , ‘India’s historic landing on moon’s polar surface may have failed’

The ISRO team was very excited for this project and all was going according to the plan till the final phase. Then came the sad news of loss of communication. The faces were visibly sad and exhausted as a decade of effort was at stake. Even the loss of communication didn’t deter a billion plus people, whether it be politicians, cricketers, movie stars, industrialists or common man, as all of them were full of praise for the ISRO team.

The way Narendra Modi consoled the Team at ISRO and boosted confidence, it can only be done by Head of the family. He is in true sense leader of the nation. He inspired all of us like a father encouraging his son to work hard after he failed the exam. He could have left and went to Delhi that night but he didn’t, he ensured that entire team is motivated by staying there for a night and talking to them once again in the morning.

After a failed attempt to conquer Mount Everest Sir Edmund Hillary remarked,

“I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can’t grow, but as a human I can.”

#Jai hind #proud to be Indian

Changing Business Dynamics Due to AI Revolution in the 21st Century

The business ecosystem is continuously evolving with the introduction and growth of new technologies every day. Nearly every business is investing in new technologies in an endeavor to stay competitive in the crowded business landscape..

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has turned out to be a promising contender in the technology race and is helping businesses improve business processes.

AI Market Revenue Growth (2018–2025)

Source: Statista [The global AI market is expected to cross $118 billion in revenues by 2025.]

The growing presence of Artificial intelligence (AI )& Machine Language (ML) based tools and solutions are transforming every segment and industry like never before. In this blog, let’s look at the impact of AI on major industries around the blog.

Cybersecurity & Network Infrastructure

69% of IT executives confess that they cannot respond to cybersecurity threats without AI.

Artificial Intelligence is improving the efficiency of cybersecurity analysts. Using AI-powered tools and techniques, cybersecurity experts can automate the process of threat detection and analyze the network for vulnerabilities, round the clock.

AI can use advanced reasoning and can learn from past events to improve network infrastructure within modern enterprises. In the coming years, more and more companies will start using Artificial Intelligence for cyber-surveillance and early response to vulnerabilities and hacks, transforming the entire cybersecurity landscape.

2. Logistics

The entire logistics industry is reaping the advantages of AI technology for improving the efficiency of transport operations. From intelligent logistics management systems to smart warehousing solutions. AI is increasingly being infused in conventional business operations by logistics firms.

On the passenger transport front too, AI is helping organizations become more efficient at servicing their customers and drive innovation.

One of the best examples of AI entering into transport is self-driving cars and automobiles. From Uber to Google, and a lot of other companies, everyone is trying to perfect a smart driving automation system that can be used on actual roads. It is said that smart driving will reduce accidents on the road once the technology matures to a certain extent.

AI will also be seen optimizing traffic flow on roads and optimizing public transport schedules in the future.

3. Manufacturing

Automation is becoming a reality in the manufacturing segment thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). In the future, factories will be seen running on smart networks with robots completing most of the hazardous tasks. This will not only improve the productivity of the manufacturing units but also will reduce chances of accidents due to manual intervention

In the future, the concept of AI-driven collaborative robotics will totally revamp the manufacturing sector as we know it. Robots will be seen working with humans, improving the safety standards while improving the bottom lines for the factories. In fact, a study reveals that collaborative robotics market will exceed $1 billion, soon.

4. Healthcare

AI has phenomenal potential to improve the quality of healthcare delivery to patients owing to its data management and analytics capacity. ML can help caregivers detect anomalies and patterns within a large group, improving the state of preparedness.

The biggest implication of AI in healthcare is the data analytics capabilities. Most often, healthcare established has large amounts of healthcare data associated with a patient. AI can be used to derive meaning from the stored healthcare data to find out patterns and improve the quality of diagnosis and treatment.

Already, companies such as IBM are using its intelligent system, Watson, to create smart diagnosis system that can recommend the potential course of action and treatment plan.

5. Construction

The construction industry has a lot to benefit from artificial intelligence. The most significant use case is associated with the use of smart analytics to improve the work processes and minimize wastage of material. Using AI, architectural and construction models can be analyzed to identify loopholes and reduce the cost of construction, efficiently.

6. Senior Care

Apart from general healthcare, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is improving the senior and nursing care processes too. AI-based tools can be used for constant monitoring of senior health and raise red flags in case of an emergency automatically. Being a full-proof, zero-error technology, AI can replace obsolete technologies that are prone to discrepancies.

In the future, we will see the introduction of smart AI assistants for senior care that can be added to their homes and senior care centers for better care.

7. Retail & eCommerce

Retail and eCommerce segments have phenomenal growth potential as an industry in the near future. With the inclusion of AI-based tools and technologies, these segments are improving the shopping experience. Some of the largest eCommerce and retail companies are increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide personalized shopping recommendations.

AI-based algorithms are transforming the way eCommerce websites are servicing their potential and existing customers. Similarly, retail stores are increasingly looking for ways to add AI-based solutions inside stores to delight and satisfy their customers in a better way.

AI-driven chatbots are also being used by the retail segment for customer service operations, enhancing the interaction and satisfaction of aggrieved customers.

8. Business Intelligence

Probably, one of the earliest use cases of AI was in the business intelligence domains. Growing enterprises have started to leverage enormous amounts of data to make data-driven decisions across their departments. From HR to production, sales to marketing, everyone is using AI-powered Business Intelligence solutions to improve business operations.

In the coming years, Business Intelligence will evolve more to help organizations become better at customer servicing, product development and targeted marketing, all thanks to the AI revolution.

9. City Planning and Administration

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in city planning, development and administration will bring efficiencies to the entire urban infrastructural development landscape. AI can be used to gather and analyze useful insights that will help administrators understand what the residents want from a city in terms of facilities, public transport, utilities, etc.

10. Banking & Finance

The banking and finance segment is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) quite efficiently and the trend will continue to swell in the near future. AI-based chatbots will be seen commonly in the segment to address customer queries and even analyze markets to provide personalized investment recommendations.

As AI can analyze large amounts of data quite easily and swiftly, the banking and investment operations have a lot to benefit from the technology. According to an industry estimate, AI will be seen managing a significant portion of wealth in the next 5 years.

Algorithmic trading is also picking up pace with time. AI will improve the accuracy of automated trades. Also, banks can use AI to evaluate loan applications and streamline their approval process. For the insurance sector too, AI will be seen improving customer experience by guiding users on which plans and products to buy based on their lifestyle, income and future financial obligations.

11. Education

The learning domain will also benefit from the power of AI. AI will help improve the curriculum and assist teachers in creating personalized learning programs and curriculums based on the appetite and potential of each student.

12. Fashion

Also, AI-based tools can improve learning, preparation and capability analysis by tracking performance patterns of students and recommending corrective future course of action on its own.

There are lots of potential implications of AI technology for the fashion industry. For the starters, AI can be used to predict upcoming fashion trends by analyzing past data. AI-based shopping assistant is also a great potential use case that can help fashionistas as well as fashion brands in improving the customer experience.

Apart from all this, AI definitely has the potential to assist in the production of new product lines by automating several processes from manufacturing to inventory management, logistics management and targeted marketing campaigns.

13. Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is also one of the core segments that will see positive disruption due to AI. Not only will AI improve the general processes but will help in predicting future tasks and situations which will help in risk mitigation and bringing down the cost of supply chain management.

Data-driven decision making in supply chain ecosystem will reduce the chances of errors due to human biases. This will improve the entire supply chain operations in the long run across several business segments.

Final Words

Artificial Intelligence is transforming conventional industries as we have known them for years. In the coming decade, we will see AI-driven tools becoming a crucial part of our everyday lives. Companies too will use Artificial Intelligence to its maximum potential for becoming more customer-centric and for achieving their business goals.

Artificial Intelligence is transforming conventional industries as we have known them for years. In the coming decade, we will see AI-driven tools becoming a crucial part of our everyday lives. Companies too will use Artificial Intelligence to its maximum potential for becoming more customer-centric and for achieving their business goals.

How Microsoft Builds a Sense of Community Among 144,000 Employees

As organizations become increasingly global, and remote, human connection and cohesiveness is deteriorating. For many leaders, walking around the office, greeting newcomers, and connecting with people is no longer an option. Getting together in person to discuss pressing matters has been replaced by meeting through online conferences.

At microsoft the leaders like Kathleen, works Rasmus and Jacqueline consult, Satya Nadella and his team have been experimenting with digital tools to bridge this gap, below are some of the practical strategies they rely on to build community and create connection between employees and leaders.

Enterprise-Level Social Networking

Enterprise social networking services are an important channel for employees to connect and share ideas with each other. Microsoft uses Yammer as a channel for Nadella and other leaders to engage with employees, listening to and learning what’s on their minds.On a “CEO Connection” page, employees can pose questions and connect with other employees on a gamut of topics — everything from product strategy to employee benefits. This helps to bolster a sense of community and creates a direct connection between employees and leadership.

Microsoft takes a proactive approach to monitoring questions on its social network in real time, with senior leaders often directly answering questions. By engaging in this virtual conversation, leadership is able to respond quickly and at scale, while gaining an invaluable view into employee concerns and conversations on any given day.Instead of being present only with the people in their office, Microsoft leaders can directly engage employees on the other side of the world, crossing time zones and accommodating varied schedules.

Daily Pulse Checks

Every day, a small sample of Microsoft employees receive a survey called Daily Pulse. Driven by the HR division, Daily Pulse takes a snapshot of how employees are feeling about the company, its culture, and other timely topics. The survey is carefully shaped to ensure the results will be easy to analyze.

Daily Pulse consists of approximately 20 core questions and up to five org-specific questions (as needed by Microsoft’s senior leadership team). In addition, there are rotating open-ended questions that change monthly to get additional sentiment on specific topics.These questions might include, for example, “In what ways do you think Microsoft is different today than it was one year ago?” or “What is the biggest change you’d recommend your leadership make to allow you to be more effective in your job?”

Monthly Live Events

Every month, Microsoft holds an employee town hall meeting where company priorities, progress, and culture are discussed in an open forum. This meeting is broadcast live for employees around the globe and is also available on-demand for employees in other time zones.This gives a chance to share his thoughts across a number of areas — including business, industry, and society — and allows employees to raise topics that matter to them.

During the event, employee engagement is measured to capture real-time sentiment. Once the event is over, the Yammer page is updated with a searchable table of contents for the event and short clips of key moments, which allow the team to highlight priority messages.

“Growth Mindset in Action” Video Series

Nadella has said he wants Microsoft to be a company of “learn-it-alls,” not “know-it-alls.” In support of this ambition, he hosts a video series spotlighting individuals and teams that are embracing a growth mindset.

The goals of the video are to model the shift toward creating a learning organization, to spark dialogue, and to prompt employees to talk about their learnings.

The company has helped increase the reach of these videos by using an influencer model. This means the videos are shared directly with relevant groups through email each month, depending on the topic. For example, a recent video highlighted the Ink to Code project from Microsoft Garage, an internal incubator. This video was shared with the Garage and maker distribution groups. 

As with any project, however, maintaining engagement over time is a challenge. An “evolutionary” editorial calendar — one that can shift, surprise employees, and serve their needs — is critical to long-term success.

Microsoft’s experiences not only provide a window into the technologies it uses but also offer an inspiring picture of its underlying motivation — to better enrich and engage people all around the world. Leveraging technology to connect with people at scale is a cornerstone of the 21st-century leadership journey.

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