Month: December 2014

Holiday Hiatus!

Happy Holidays everyone!

The P4Digital Blog will be taking a break until the new year to celebrate the holidays!

We’ll be back on January 5, 2015.

See you all then!

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Big Data – Will new records be set for 2015?

The weather – record highs, record lows, record rainfall, record snowfall.  Growing up these were the only statistics I knew until I discovered sports.  Then it was goals scored, assists, games won, games loss.  I was blissfully unaware of all the other stats that team sports kept until my son went into peewee hockey.  There was a hockey Dad on the team who sat in the corner by himself with a gigantic spreadsheet with all the kids names on and categories across the top.  Now they were keeping track of all players who were on the ice for goals for and against, hits, powerplays, penalties, etc, etc.  I was amazed who would actually want to come to a game and sit there – tick, tick, tick during the whole game and then analyzing it all and presenting it to the coaches.  This was all done manually – please note:  I am not as old as Methuselah, but I am still a child in wonder when I look at all the amazing innovations happening in the world today and Big Data awes me.

Twitter and the Internet allow me to follow weather reports around the world as they are happening.  See pictures of storms within seconds of them being taken.  Yes I am a weather groupie.  Then there’s traffic, I was on the Don Valley the other day and the sign said 12 minutes to Eglinton.  Yes I glanced at my clock, marked the time and sure enough when I got to Eglinton it was 12 minutes later.  This was in traffic.  How do they do it?  Is there a satellite up there counting cars as they go by?  Sensors in the road?  20 years ago, traffic studies were done by people sitting on a lawn chair on the corner counting cars, tick tick, tick.  Remember those  IIII   (that meant 5).

Big Data, fast data, numbers I can’t even fathom.  What the heck is a zettabyte?  I was excited when they had a terabyte.  I just purchased a new laptop that has more storage on it than my last 5 laptops and desktops combined.

How big and how fast is it going to get?  I have no idea, but I am definitely enjoying the ride.  The attached slideshare has some of my favourite stats from the last couple of years.  Looking forward to what 2015 has to offer.

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting

guestpostintroduction

Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

Job Tips

#JobTip:  Give your action words in your #resume more punch instead of “set up new” use “launched”

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The Circle Book Review

Book Review
The Circle
By Dave Eggers
491 pages. Alfred A. Knopf/McSweeney’s Books. $27.95

Review by Allen Earle

I have a Facebook account. I’ve looked at it occasionally, posted practically nothing on it, and from time to time look at a picture posted by an acquaintance, or something “interesting” shared by a connection. I have never tweeted. (At my age, it takes more characters for me to say “hello” than Twitter permits me.) Needless to add that like many people of my generation (and yes, I’m a Boomer), I don’t “follow” anyone or anything.

Dave Egger’s novel The Circle describes a world that I’m just now really beginning to see and understand – but not like very much. It’s a very odd thing to find oneself in a setting that appears both very true-to-life, and at the same time utterly dystopian. And frankly, it’s just as hard to figure out whether Eggers’ intended world is one or the other.

“The Circle” of the title is the name of a company which seems to be an amalgam of Apple, Google, Microsoft, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else. (Perhaps LinkedIn is too focused to have merited inclusion?) And The Circle is huge – over a billion customers and growing, each and every one with a single identity (“TruYou”). And each and every user can access everything in digital space to which The Circle has access.

The newest employee in this vast organization is Mae, who from the get-go thinks, “My God, [i]t’s heaven.” Mae starts as a kind of help-desk intern, answering clients’ questions and resolving their issues, always striving for service ratings measuring within a point or two of 100 (out of 100), and providing feedback on everything (“smile,” “frown” or “meh”). Her frenzied participation in everything begins making her increasingly popular and followed by The Circle clientelle. As we progress through Mae’s career in The Circle, we learn more and more about the leaders of this behemoth – the “Gang of 40” – and their focus (as befitting an organization controlling 90% of all data searches on earth) on increasing information available to everyone on the planet, to making everything – individuals, corporations, governments – transparently available to all.

And here is where the dystopian view creeps in. If, as the company’s motto affirms, “All that happens must be known,” then what happens to privacy? Who is the “private person” when everything in their life (with the exception of brief bathroom breaks) is under the possible scrutiny of all the other subscribers of The Circle?

And Mae certainly finds this out! Mae’s performance isn’t always perfect, but her willingness to open up publically about “what went wrong” leads to Mae herself helping to devise some of The Circle’s more important (and Orwellian) maxims: “Secrets are lies,” “Sharing is caring” and “Privacy is theft.” Mae sees, through her own experiences, much of the downside of this constant, but seems unable to acknowledge what she really ought to see. Rather, after one serious infraction against the “everything that happens must be known” rule (she takes a secret kayak trip off-camera), she commits to The Circle to “going transparent;” to making her life totally visible to all the membership of The Circle, except for brief bathroom breaks. (Yes, this leads to a little toilet humour – and sex.)

The reader wonders, as we move along, whether Mae will eventually realize the dangers of what’s going on and help free the world of it due to her immense popularity, or if she will commit the world to a 1984-like “Big Brotherhood.” I’ll avoid the spoiler, here.

A few days ago, the physicist Steven Hawking, commenting on the Artificial Intelligence that has speeded up the translation of his thoughts to vocalization, opined that there may well come a time when technology is so advanced – when AI can create its own advanced versions of itself while humans are condemned to wait upon the tediously slow process of evolution – that humanity might be rendered superfluous.

Are our technologies, and our increasing dependence and reliance upon (and perhaps even addiction to) them, leading us to a place where we cease to be humans capable of behaving like humans? Is the human mind capable of living sanely in a world in which that mind has no private place of its own? Those seem to me to be some of the questions that Eggers is asking, although I’m not sure he’s answered them. In a few plodding sections of the novel, Mae’s family and ex-boyfriend, the tedious Mercer, provide us with rather trite set speeches that say, “no.”

What frightened this reader most, though, was the simple recognition that in many ways, almost everything described in The Circleis happening today – or will happen very, very soon. But perhaps I ought to keep my thoughts on that eventuality private?


 allen

Allen Earle is a long-time IT techie, developer and manager, who presently takes good care of all of P4Digital’s contractors in the field, as well as keeping a sharp eye on our production stats. An insatiable reader, who also enjoys writing, he is P4Digital’s authority on all things Shakespeare.

Job Tips

#JobTip:  Make sure to check your spam and trash folders in case an email from the Recruiter or Company has gone in there

 

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Job Tips

#JobTip:  Connect with your recruiter on #LinkedIn.  #Recruiters love LinkedIn for getting quick updates on your status

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P4Digital discusses the growth of the in house digital department

The P4Digital Executive team will be discussing the rise of the In House Digital Department this week – and whether or not companies should use them, or continue to outsource their digital work.

Stay tuned.

Transcript

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Job Tips

#JobTip: Things not needed on your #resume:  “References available upon request”.  Leave it off, you will be asked for them

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5 Tips on how to stop your Social Media + Holiday Celebrations = Disaster

Are you heading off to an office party this holiday season?  Or is there a chance you just may be consuming a little too much alcohol over the holidays.  Then think twice or maybe three times before you post anything onto your social media sites.    It is amazing what seems funny at 2 in the morning after a tequila shooter or two, makes you scared to get out of bed the next morning.   I tend to get sappy at 2 in the morning, so here are a few tips I have been trying to follow:

  • The best advice is to just NOT drink too much.  Hard to do at an office party when the alcohol is free and everyone is letting their hair down.  You also don’t want to be the person who doesn’t drink too much and then thinks it’s funny to take pictures of everyone else doing embarrassing things.  You won’t have many friends the next day if these pictures get posted.  bosseswife
  • Leave your phone at home.  OK, I know that isn’t going to happen, but how about don’t take it out of your pocket or purse after 9 pm.  The 24 hour rule is always a good policy when you are having too much FUN.  Take the picture but don’t post it until after you have a look at it during the light of day.me-dancing-on-the-bar
  • Keep your true inner feelings about a co-worker to yourself.  Don’t verbalize them at the party and definitely don’t post them on facebook, twitter, or instagram.

mybossisajerk

  • Selfies are dangerous.  You have been very careful and your best friend at work appears and starts taking selfies of everyone.  HIDE.  Again, you have left your phone in your pocket and now you want to let your co-worker post a picture of the two of you stuffing cupcakes into your mouths.  Maybe not.
  • Stay Professional.  Bosses and co-workers aren’t as forgiving as family and friends.  We all love telling stories about our brothers or best girlfriends at their birthday parties.  These stories form part of our family history.  But at work – nope.  People will feel threatened, if they know you have pictures of them.  This is your professional life, keep it professional.

It’s the Holidays, have fun and be smart so you will still have a job in the New Year.

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting

guestpostintroduction

Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!