Don’t Expect a Big Bump in That Paycheck Next Year

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NEW YORK — Anyone thinking 2016 could be their year for that big jump in pay likely should temper any excitement.

New numbers show employers are expected to reward employees with the same 3 percent increase in pay in 2016 that they received this year. For those looking for a silver lining, employers are expecting to give bigger pay raises — 4.6 percent on average — to their top performing workers, according to the numbers from consulting firm Towers Watson.
“To a large extent, 3 percent pay raises have become the new norm in corporate America,” said Sandra McLellan, North America practice leader at Towers Watson. “We really haven’t seen variation from this level for many years.”

“While most organizations are finding the talent they need at current salary levels, we are seeing more employers prioritizing how their salary budgets are being spent, especially in light of their ongoing difficulty in attracting and retaining top performers or employees with critical skills,” she added.

The survey of more than 1,100 U.S. companies showed nearly 90 percent of employees at US companies are eligible to receive annual or short-term bonusesthis year, up from 86 percent last year — and 85 percent received a bonus this year, up from 81 percent in 2014.

“Unfortunately, it’s very rare to get more than a 3 percent annual increase within a company,” said Angela Copeland, career coach at Copeland Coaching. “Companies see a higher employer turnover now than ever with people switching jobs every three to five years. They save their money to recruit new talent.”

Copeland and others, however, suggest there is a way to get that bigger salary increase one may be craving. “Hands down, the best way to significantly grow your salary over time is to be one of those people who consistently switches jobs every three to five years,” Copeland said.

“When you change companies, you are able to negotiate pay again from the beginning,” she said. “But, don’t take a low salary just to get your foot in the door — expect 3 percent increases annually at your new job as well.”

Katie Donovan, a negotiation and equal pay consultant at her company Equal Pay Negotiations, agreed that, without a doubt, people get much bigger pay increases when they change jobs. She added with the cost to replace an employee so high, many employees — even the average employee — can use this to their benefit.

For those looking to stay at their jobs, the numbers show it is by far the highest performing workers that see the biggest rewards, with an average salary increase 77 percent larger than the 2.6 percent increase given to workers receiving an average rating. Workers with below-average performance ratings bring up the rear, receiving a salary increase of less than 1 percent.

“Many organizations are rethinking whether linking base salary increases primarily to last year’s performance makes sense or if this should be the role of short-term-incentive and bonus programs,” McLellan said.

Regardless of how a company gives out salary increases, Donovan said now is the time to negotiate next year’s pay raise.

“Budgets for next year tend not to be finalized yet, so there is opportunity,” said Donovan. “Do the research, and see what the pay is for your job in your area. Then talk to your boss about being underpaid and show the data.””Do not make any statements about leaving,” she reminds. “But ask, ‘Well, if you had to hire a new person — based on this data — it looks as though you would need to pay them more than I’m making. I’m just looking to earn that amount.’ ”

Apple Moving Forward on Building a Car With ‘Ship Date’ of 2019: Report

Apple is speeding up work on a project that could lead to the California tech giant building its own electric car, according to a new report.

The maker of iPhones and iPads is tripling the number of engineers on the project, code-named Titan, and has set a “ship date” of 2019, the Wall Street Journal said Monday. The newspaper said that could just be a target for engineers to sign off on the design, not necessarily when a car would be available for sale.

Apple declined comment Monday on the Journal report, which cited unidentified sources.

While Apple has never officially confirmed it’s planning to build a car, there are strong indications it’s at least interested in automotive technology. In recent months, Apple has hired a number of engineers with backgrounds in automotive and battery design.

Apple representatives also met in May with officials at an automotive testing facility located east of San Francisco. Site officials later confirmed to The Associated Press that Apple requested information about using their facility.

And last month, an Apple attorney met with officials at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to discuss the state’s regulations for self-driving cars. A department spokesman confirmed that meeting to The Associated Press on Monday, after it was first reported by the Guardian newspaper.

“DMV often meets with various companies regarding DMV operations. The Apple meeting was to review DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations,” said Armando Botello, the agency’s deputy director, in an email.

A number of automakers and tech companies, including Google and Uber, are working on technology for autonomous and electric-powered vehicles. Google announced last week that it’s hired former Hyundai U.S. CEO John Krafcik to run its self-driving car program.

Analysts say Apple has the financial resources and ambition to design and build a high-end vehicle, although some believe it’s more likely interested in developing software for use in cars made by other companies.

“We believe the auto industry represents a significant opportunity for Apple, but we also expect Apple to be deliberate as always in its product development and testing,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in a Sept. 1 report. Munster said he believes there’s a “50-60 percent probability” of an Apple car becoming a reality.

Peugeot 2008 DKR16 Announced For Dakar Rally

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Peugeot has announced its new car for the Dakar Rally, the Peugeot 2008 DKR16 which will make it debut at the Dakar Rally in January.

The Peugeot 2008 DKR16 is an updated version of the Peugeot 2008 DKR, the new car is longer and wider than the previous model and it also comes with more power.

Peugeot 2008 DKR16

Peugeot’s engineers went over their ‘Lion’ piece by piece, analysing what could be done better, with the help of its Dakar experts Stéphane Peterhansel (an 11-time winner), Carlos Sainz (a two-time world rally champion and also former Dakar winner) as well as Cyril Despres (a five-time Dakar winner on bikes).

These improvements were gradually applied and assessed through a series of tests, culminating in a one-two finish for Peterhansel and Despres on the recent China Silk Road Rally using an interim-specification car. This was essentially the 2015 model, with a number of development parts for 2016 added.

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The Peugeot 2008 DKR16 will make its debut later this year and will then race in the 2016 Dakar Rally next year.

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Instagram Hits 400 Million Active Users

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Instagram has announced that it now has more than 400 million active users, the company has managed to add an extra 100 million users since December 2014.

The company also shared some details about its user bases, noting that they have gained more users around the world and more than 75 percent of their users are outside the US.

We are thrilled to announce that the Instagram community has grown to more than 400 million strong. While milestones like this are important, what really excites us is the way that visual communication makes the world feel a little bit smaller to every one of us.

Our community has evolved to be even more global, with more than 75 percent living outside of the US. To all the new Instagrammers: welcome! Among the last 100 million to join, more than half live in Europe and Asia. The countries that added the most Instagrammers include Brazil, Japan and Indonesia.

There are now more than 80 million photos shared every day on Instagram and the 400 million active monthly users means that Instagram now has more active users than Twitter.

Foxconn Is Looking To Apple To Help Buy Sharp’s LCD Business

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Foxconn is one of Apple’s major manufacturing partners, there have been reports over the last year that the company is looking to get their hands on Sharp’s LCD business.

Now according to a recent report, Foxconn is looking to Apple for help in purchasing the LCD business from Sharp.

Foxconn are apparently seeking funding from Apple to buy the Sharp LCD business, this would apparently help stop a merger between Sharp and Japan Display which could possibly reduce Apple’s supply access and also increase costs for the company.

Sharp has rejected offers from Foxconn in the past and the two companies ceased their negotiations, but they may be opened up again if Apple gets involved.

It would make sensor for Apple to bankroll Foxconn in a purchase of Sharp’s display business as it would give Apple great control over the supply of displays for its iPhones, iPad’s and other devices.

Anti Tank Cannon Takes On The 5k Retina iMac

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We have seen a number of videos before from the guys at FullMag where the take on Apple devices with various guns, although I think the latest video may be their most extreme to date.

In the video below we get to see a 90mm anti tank cannon take on the 5K Retina iMac, as I am sure you can guess, things don’t go that well for the iMac.

 

So there we have it, Anti Tank cannon 1, 5k Retina iMac 0, we wonder what these guys will bring out next to attack Apple’s devices with.

Amazon Web Services Certification Bundle Save 93%

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Narendra Modi to Address Startup Founders in Silicon Valley

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address founders of startups, entrepreneurs and technology leaders in Silicon Valley on September 27 during his visit to the US.

“The day-long event on the side of the prime minister’s visit to the Silicon Valley will highlight the Indian innovation capabilities of 30 startups across diverse sectors in the country,” IT industry representative body Nasscom said in a statement on Saturday.

To be hosted by Nasscom in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A) business incubator Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), the ‘India-US Startup Konnect 2015’ will showcase the strengths of India’s startup ecosystem.

“Before Modi’s address to the gathering, we will sign an agreement with TiE Silicon Valley to facilitate a startup exchange and collaboration programme,” Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said in the statement.

CIIE will also sign an agreement with corporates and academic partners in the US to jointly build and scale-up disruptive innovations for India through financial aid and collaboration.

“Crafting the India of tomorrow is our collective responsibility. With India-US Startup Konnect, we will showcase success of Indian entrepreneurs to highlight the rising global impact of innovation from India,” Chandrashekhar said.

Lauding Modi for encouraging the IT industry to fuel the startup economy, the former telecom secretary said with the ‘start-up India and stand-up India’ call, the prime minister had put the focus on entrepreneurship and job creation.

“With the clarion call, Modi has emphasised on entrepreneurship and job creation by announcing incentives for firms that generate employment and promote bank financing for startups by the underprivileged,” Chandrashekhar said.

An exhibition by Indian startups on the margins of the event will showcase their products and solutions in diverse areas such as healthcare, agriculture, energy, technology and aerospace.

“These startups are representative of the changing India where besides creating solutions for urban consumers, innovators are leveraging technology and their experiences to create massive impact by solving some tough problems,” CIIE chief executive Kunal Upadhyay added.

Apple Explores Rules of the Road for Self-Driving Cars

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Friday said that it met with Apple to discuss rules of the road regarding testing self-driving cars.

“The Apple meeting was to review DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations,” a department spokesperson told AFP in an email response to an inquiry.

“DMV often meets with various companies regarding DMV operations.”

Apple has not commented on rumors that it is working on a self-driving car, and the California-based technology colossus did not respond to an AFP request to contribute to this story.

The DMV’s responsibilities include developing regulations for safe operation of self-driving vehicles. To that end, members of the department meet with companies to better understand the technology.

(Also see:  Ford Ad Tries to Cast Doubt on Self-Driving Cars)

Google and several major car makers have been pursuing autonomous vehicle technology.

Google has been testing self-driving cars in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

Toyota early this month announced plans to invest $50 million (roughly Rs. 329 crores) into building artificial intelligence into cars, an indication it could be joining the race to develop driverless vehicles.

The joint research with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will take place over the next five years, Toyota Motor Corporation said, emphasizing its interest in technology that could be used by people as they grow old or become less able to drive safely.

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While the Japanese automobile giant did not mention making cars that drive themselves, it did promise work on “intelligent vehicle technology.”

A Stanford lab led by professor Fei-Fei Li will work with Toyota and MIT to use computer vision, machine learning and large-scale data analysis to enable vehicles to navigate complex traffic situations.

“Our team will work to help intelligent vehicles recognize objects in the road, predict behaviors of things and people, and make safe and smart driving decisions under diverse conditions,” Li said.

Ford Ad Tries to Cast Doubt on Self-Driving Cars

The traditional automakers have a big problem. The digital revolution is coming for their business, and they appear ill-suited to win a clean fight.

What do you do when you can’t win fairly? Start slinging mud.

Take for example, a recent piece of sponsored content (a nice word for an advertisement) on Car and Driver . It’s brought to us by the Lincoln Motor Company, a division of Ford.

The article argues that a shift to fully self-driving vehicles “will require massive amounts of philosophical, technological, and legislative effort and change.”

There’s an important distinction here. Traditional automakers are paddling in the shallow end of the autonomous pool, with the promise of features such as automatic braking. Tech companies such asGoogle are doing cannonballs from the high dive, reimagining the automobile for the digital age, removing the driver, steering wheel and pedals. That’s the type of autonomous driving Ford is poo-pooing.

There are worthy questions about the nascent technology, including how will self-driving cars handle the busiest city streets and inclement weather? How serious are the hacking risks? What privacy will passengers give up?

But the advertisement’s arguments against fully self-driving cars are the equivalent of dropping a Baby Ruth in the deep end of the autonomous pool.

Take what’s called the trolley problem. When an accident is unavoidable, should a car be programmed to hit another car or a pedestrian? Does it swerve to avoid hitting two people so that it will hit one?

“Asking your car to choose between lives is as logical as you asking your Nest thermostat whether you should spank your child,” writes the author.

Huh? There’s no parallel between the two situations. In fact, asking a machine to handle a potential accident is extremely logical, as it could prevent many of them. Self-driving cars don’t get distracted, drive drunk, or text behind the wheel. Motor-vehicle deaths are expected to surpass 40,000 in the United States this year. Around the world 1.2 million people die every year in motor vehicles. Self-driving vehicles could lower that number.

If one really cares about ethics and the fair treatment of human lives, why give the cold shoulder to a technology that is likely to save millions of them?

“According to many with a vested interest in seeing autonomous driving become reality, it’s just a few years away,” reads one passage in the story. Note the phrase, “vested interest.”

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Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 5 and 34. Doesn’t everyone have a vested interest in seeing the full potential of this technology arrive? But that may not be the case for the traditional automakers. If the fully autonomous vehicle is realized, and is far safer than traditional vehicles, automakers will find themselves protecting their dated businesses, not the public interest.

The article also warns that only a few states have laws allowing self-driving vehicles. What a hindrance! But some states are actually courting companies making self-driving vehicles. And while Texas hasn’t passed a specific law on self-driving vehicles, Google is testing in Austin without state interference.

If Uber can get regulators on their side against taxi companies, a technology that may save thousands of lives likely can, too. After all, the whole point of regulations is to protect the public. If self-driving car prove to be the best way to protect citizens in transit, politicians will embrace them.

The existential risk for automakers is they may not be embracing digital technologies enough. To maintain relevance, they may need to get in the deep end of the pool with Google, Uber and others. The alternative could be the fate of so many newspapers, bookstores, travel agents and camera companies, which didn’t leverage the strongest tools available to keep pace with innovation.

As the saying goes, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Yet right now the automakers are brandishing a handful of Ginsu knives.