Tag: jobs

AI is hype and will not take jobs

mad-scientistResearch from Ricoh Europe has poured cold water on the belief that AI and automation will take channel jobs.

A survey showed that around a third of staff were not in a position to start working with more automation and AI tools.

Ricoh Europe’s VP of corporate marketing, Javier Diez-Aguirre, said that there was a great deal of hype in Europe around digital empowerment and its impact on productivity.

“While AI and automation will transform the way that we work, a lack of training will drastically reduce ROI. Businesses need to consider the person who will be using the new technology. No amount of infrastructure spending will help a business that isn’t encouraging its staff to develop the right skills”, he said.

Despite headlines about being replaced by robots, Europe’s workers see technology to do higher value work, not something that will replace them, he said.

Improving workers’ confidence to use new technology was not a catch-all situation.

“Successfully empowering digital workplaces requires different skillsets and a variety of needs must be catered for. Engaging with workers at every step is vital”,  Diez-Aguirre added.

If this is the case, resellers trying to pitch AI and automation to corporates do not have to mention that the tech will mean job losses – because it won’t.

Fiorina’s attempts to dig up Jobs fails

carlyfiorinaFormer HP CEO turned US presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has been targeting the Apple fanboy vote by claiming she was friends with late Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Iit appears that if they ever were friends, that did not stop the self-serving megalomaniac from getting one over on her. Fiorina has forgotten the sad story of the HP/Apple deal which went sour.

Apple wanted HP to stop installing Windows Media Store on its PCs and replace it with iTunes Music store. Jobs basically offered Fiorina the chance to sell iPods branded with HP’s name if she did this.
Fiorina nodded and the deal went through. However Apple upgraded the iPod, making HP’s version outdated and HP was still stuck with iTunes.

It got worse for HP. After it purged Fiorina in 2005, HP ended the iPod deal in July that year, but because of Fiorina’s deal HP was banned from selling its own music player until August 2006.

All’s fair in love and business, but it does seem odd that Fiorina would suggest that she was a “good friend” with a bloke who mugged her and HP’s shareholders for his own evil cunning plan.

Jobs had effectively got his software installed on millions of computers for free, stifled his main competitor, and got a company that prided itself on invention to declare that Apple was superior.

Fiorina seems to think that Jobs was her mate because he rang her to say he was sorry she got canned. Of course, that could have just meant that Jobs was upset because he did not think he would get another deal like that past a different HP CEO.

Disney hushed up Jobs’ illness

Three-Wise-MonkeyMickey Mouse outfit Disney hushed up Steve Jobs illness even though it was aware of it a month before it bought his Pixar studio.

Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Iger discovered that Jobs’ cancer had returned less than an hour before Disney announced it was buying Jobs’ Pixar studio in 2006.

However he kept the Apple co-founder’s condition a secret for three years.

Iger told the authors of yet another biography of Jobs, “Becoming Steve Jobs,” he thought about the implications of keeping such a secret at a time when regulators were calling for more disclosure and holding executives more accountable to their fiduciary duties.

The $7 billion deal to buy Pixar made Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder and put him on the entertainment company’s board. Iger decided that Disney was assessing the transaction on the value of Pixar, not Jobs, and his medical condition did not need to be disclosed, the biography said.

Jobs told Iger that the cancer had returned while they were on a private walk at Pixar’s Emeryville, California, campus about 30 minutes before the deal was to be announced. “Frankly, they tell me I’ve got a 50-50 chance of living five years,” Iger quoted Jobs as saying.

According to the book, Iger said he told Jobs: “You’re our largest shareholder, but I don’t think that makes this matter. You’re not material to this deal. We’re buying Pixar, we’re not buying you.”

It would have been interesting if his shareholders agreed.  Most people at the time thought Jobs’ involvement was a divine blessing on a company and had news of his death leaked out, the value of Pixar might have fallen.

Jobs had a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2003 and underwent surgery the following year. The tumor returned and he had a liver transplant in 2009. Jobs died in October 2011.

Apparently the new book is supposed to be “more sympathetic” than the 2011 biography by Walter Isaacson, who dared to say that Jobs was not that nice at certain times and was a bit messy in his personal life.

Intel to spend $550 million in Israel

Intel-logoIntel has pledged to write a cheque for at least $550 million in the Promised Land over the next five years.

This is part of Intel’s promise to spend a total of $6 billion to upgrade its Kiryat Gat plant for the manufacture of new advanced chips for its next generation devices.

The $550 is part of Intel’s offset purchase arrangement with the state, which is providing the company with grants of up to $600 million over the next five years as well as a major tax break through 2023. Intel will get two $300 million grants, distribution of which will be spread over five budget years.

Although these figures look great for Chipzilla, executives will be happier with the news that it will only have to pay a corporate tax of only five percent until 2023.  Others in Israel have to give the tax man 26.5 percent. In return, Intel committed to hiring at least 1,000 new employees, at least half of whom will be residents of communities in southern Israel. In addition, the company promised to spend at least $550 million.

Intel is committing to spend what it is getting from the government in direct grants, but the Economy Ministry claims the arrangement was great for the Israeli economy.

“This arrangement will have a very positive effect on hundreds of small businesses and suppliers,” said Ziva Eiger, director of investments at the Industrial Cooperation Authority.

“Offset agreements such as this are platforms for leveraging public expenditures for the benefit of the Israeli economy, both for training and encouraging further expansion of small suppliers for the local and world market, and to enhance Israel’s brand as an attractive place for foreign investment,” Eiger added.

“As a result of this agreement, Israelis can look forward to thousands of more jobs being available. It is a model for offset agreements that can provide benefits to all sides.”


FT names Apple boss “Man of the Year”

Apple's Tim CookThe Financial Times has named the spiritual and temporal leader of the fruity cargo cult Apple as its man of the year.

Tim Cook, the FT claimed, was doing wonders for Apple and making it a less heartless company. Jobs’ Mob is actually starting to do all the things that people said it did.

During a recent shareholders meeting when one audience member tried to push Apple’s chief executive on the profitability of Apple’s various environmental initiatives, such as its solar-powered datacentre, Cook growled.

“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Cook said. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you… then you should get out of the stock.”

Fortunately, for Cook it has not backfired. The share price has increased by around 50 percent since that shareholder meeting, at one point taking its market capitalisation above $700 billion.

Financial success and dazzling new technology alone might have been enough to earn Apple’s steely chief executive the FT’s vote as the 2014 Person of the Year, enthused the FT, but Cook’s “brave exposition of his values” also sets him apart.

“If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” he wrote in Businessweek in October.

In fact, the only criticism that people seem to have of Cook is that he is not Steve Jobs and lacks any sense of showmanship. He is not as closely involved in new product development as his predecessor, which is probably why the new iPhone bends rather easily.

Robots will steal UK jobs

Oxford's own Bridge of Sighs, pic Mike MageePeople in the UK will have more time to watch daytime TV if the result of a survey by an Oxford University team of scientists in conjunction with Deloitte is to be believed.

According to the survey, 35 percent of UK jobs and 30 percent of jobs in London look set to be taken over by automatons or by automated processes. London employers say advances in technology will be the most important reason for job losses.

And if you’re unlucky enough to be earning less than £30,000 a year, your job is five times more likely to be replaced.

While 73 percent of London businesses plan to increase their headcounts, 84 percent of those firms say skills of employees will have to change to include digital know-how, management and creativity.

Over 36 percent of London businesses will invest in bigger properties, the survey said.

Russians destroy shrine to Steve Jobs

Church fireThe Fruity Cargo Cult Apple’s attempts to spread the worship of its founder Steve Jobs has fallen foul of Russia’s backward homophobia.

This week Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the badly kept secret that he was gay, and while that was well received in most of the world it has created a backlash in Russia.

The two-metre-high monument, in the shape of an iPhone, was erected outside a St Petersburg college in January 2013 by the West European Financial Union companies called ZEFS.

But Russia has strict laws against “gay propaganda” and ZEFS said that the memorial had been removed from the courtyard of the Techno Park in St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo.

“In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS said, noting the memorial had been “in an area of direct access for young students and scholars.”

“After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.”

The move is clearly an attempt to butter up Tsar Vladimir Putin who considers homosexuality a moral issue. Putin insists that there is no discrimination against gay people in Russia and the law was needed only to protect young people. It has also encouraged those of a less intelligent disposition to beat up and lynch young gay people.

But Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, was not gay and it is not clear what  Maxim Dolgopolov, the head of ZEFS who ordered the removal of the monument

“Sin should not become the norm. There is nothing to do in Russia for whose who intend to violate our laws,” he said.

Dolgopolov’s implication is that Apple is a gay cult lead by its founder and ruled by its immoral boss and is working to subvert the children of Russia with its homosexual ways. The whole concept is silly, and if Apple were big in Russia it could have seriously damaged its business reputation.

2014 the best year since 2001

2001The tech industry is in its best state since 2001, according to figures from TechAmerica Foundation analysts.

Before the bubble burst, and payrolls shrank dramatically, the tech industry employed 6.5 million people.  In 2014 we are just 200,000 jobs shy of equalling that figure.

Tech industry employment reached 6.3 million in the first half of this year, a gain of 118,800 jobs, up 1.9 percent compared to the first half of 2013.

Oddly that is below the 3.7 percent growth rate overall for private-sector employers and the weaker rate of growth is an anomaly for the industry.

Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of technology industry trade group CompTIA, which bought  TechAmerica, said that the tech industry often experiences a better employment situation than the private sector.

In 2011 and 2012, the tech industry outgrew the overall private sector. In 2009, while the private sector saw employment fall by 5.5 percent. The employment decline in the tech industry was slightly lower at 4.5 percent.

Some of the slowing down of growth might be due to the fact that some big names like HP and  Microsoft have been cutting back, and in the first half of this year there were nearly 50,000 tech industry layoffs.

Safer areas to work have been R&D, testing and engineering services, which saw 54,100 new jobs. IT services was next, with a gain of 36,000 jobs.

Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing saw employment rose from 156,000 jobs in January 2013 to 166,000 in June 2014.

Apparently, the tech industry is one of the best-paying sectors of the economy. The average annual salary for a tech industry employee is $93,000, compared to $47,400 for the private sector.

One in three jobs replaced by IT by 2025

rewardposterCrystal ball readers at analyst outfit Gartner have seen a future where robots and drones replace  a third of all workers by 2025.

At the start of its major US conference, the Symposium/ITxpo Gartner’s research director Peter Sondergaard predicted a future where a drone may be your eyes and ears.

In five years, drones will be a standard part of operations in many industries, used in agriculture, geographical surveys and oil and gas pipeline inspections, he said.

He also predicted a rise in the a “super class” of technologies that perform a wide variety of work, both the physical and the intellectual kind, said Sondergaard.

Machines, for instance, have been grading multiple choice for years, but now they are grading essays and unstructured text.

This cognitive capability in software will extend to other areas, including financial analysis, medical diagnostics and data analytic jobs of all sorts, Sondergaard said.

Gartner predicts one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025. The new digital businesses require less labour and machines will be make sense of data faster than humans.


Schmidt is Steve Jobs fan

19th c. fan068While Google and Apple are bitter rivals, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt said he was a Steve Jobs fan.

Schmidt said last week that the competition between the two companies is more “brutal” than ever, and Apple CEO Tim Cook and Schmidt have taken jabs at each other’s companies.

But despite the fierce competition, when asked  who his heroes were he said: “For me, it’s easy. Steve Jobs,”

“We could all aspire to be a small percentage of Steve,” he said of Apple’s late co-founder.

Schmidt and Jobs met in 1993, when Schmidt was working at Sun Microsystems and Jobs was at NeXT, the computer company he founded after being ousted from Apple. Schmidt, then Google’s CEO,  was invited to join Apple’s board in 2006.

Schmidt describes Jobs as the quintessential “smart creative”. He added  “Exceptional people are worth hanging out with… because there is a good chance they are going to change the world.”

This adoration might explain why when Jobs suggested building an employment cartel to screw up the lives of Silicon Valley employees, Schmidt said yes.  It would also explain why, against all logic he fired whoever Jobs told him to.

IT geeks safe as jobs rise

Jobcentre-plus-IT job vacancies are on the rise.

According to he latest data from CWJobs.co.uk, the sector looks set to be on track to rise back to pre-recession levels.

The company cited first quarter data, which showed that the volume of permanent vacancies had risen for the fourth year in a row. It also showed that  IT jobs were  only 15 percent below where they were, pre-recession, in the first quarter of 2008, compared to 41 percent just three years ago.

As Britain’s economic outlook finally shows signs of stabilising, the company added it was likely that businesses were taking on additional staff as they anticipate expanding, or try to trigger growth.

Alongside the industry’s positive performance, maintaining steady growth is SQL, which has remained the most in demand skill over the last five years. In the last year however, new data shows that demand for C# has overtaken C as a desired skill for employees, as employers look beyond the older programming language.

As a continued result of business outsourcing functions and consumer technology development, software houses and consultancies lead the way in industry growth with vacancy rises of over 1.4 percent last year.

Other sectors are also showing signs of steady growth, such as finance and retail, have increased 0.7 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

The only area showing less sign of prosperity is the public sector, as permanent roles decreased 0.4 percent.

EE pledges jobs, sustainability

eeCarrier EE has published its first Responsibility Report, and we’re sure the PR cogs were working overtime to get it word perfect.

Within its musings, the company claims it has identified twelve areas that need improving, including reducing its environmental impact, keeping children safe and building further sustainability in its supply chain.

It also promised that by 2015 it will improve the digital skills of 1 million people, as well as recruit 500 apprentices into its business

The company has said it will be launching an EE graduate scheme and has committed to
supporting Plotr, the government-supported careers portal which is set to launch this year.

EE said its HR team will begin an initiative in schools, supporting 10 week-long work experience placements at its Bristol office for students from local secondary schools.

The pledges come as a new survey found that a quarter of Brits can’t be bothered to report broadband issues. According to comparison website Recombu.com/digital, of the 1447 people it asked  74 percent blamed slow internet issues on ‘heavy traffic’ and fail to report slow connectivity to their internet service provider.

Just over a third said they only reported a problem when ‘connectivity stopped entirely’, while 11 percent stated that they ‘never’ reported issues.

Jobs shrink in the UK

Jobcentre-plus-KPMG has reported that the UK saw its slowest growth of job vacancies for seven months during March 2013.

The latest findings form part of its Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and report on jobs, collated through survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

The availability of candidates to fill permanent job roles decreased for a fourth successive month in March. However, KPMG pointed out that the rate of deterioration remained only “modest.” It said the availability of temporary/contract staff meanwhile increased slightly, maintaining the trend seen since the turn of the year.

It was also better news on the pay front with the company reporting that permanent staff salaries and temporary and contract staff pay both increased at moderate rates over the month. It said in the case of the latter, inflation was at a 12-month high.

The Midlands, North and South all registered higher permanent placements in March. London, however, saw a renewed decline following two months of growth.

Private sector vacancies continued to increase during March. Expansions were signalled for both permanent and temporary staff,  however KPMG pointed out that these were at slower rates compared with February.

In the public sector, demand for temporary workers increased for the first time in three months. However, demand for permanent employees was down marginally.

The strongest rate of expansion was signalled for IT and Computing staff, a trend carried on from February, while hotel  and catering registered the slowest growth of vacancies.

For the fourteenth consecutive month, nursing/medical/care was the most in-demand category for temporary/contract staff during March.

SAS to hire 94 Scots

Flag_of_Scotland.svgSAS has said that it will be generating 94 new Scotland jobs within its new Advanced Analytics lab and its expansion of  its Scottish Research and Development Centre for Public Security.

The project is supported by £1.3 million from Scottish Development International (SDI), a partnership between the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island’s Enterprise.

SAS has said as well as creating the new job opportunities it will also safeguard the current employee base of 126.

The partnership was announced during a Scotland Week meeting with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond who was visiting New York as part of his programme to boost investment and employment in Scotland.

If follows the news yesterday with Daktari, an American life sciences company, also announcing it too would be creating 126 new jobs as a result of locating its global manufacturing base in Inverness.

Speaking from New York, Mr Salmond said the move by SAS was a “significant feather in Scotland’s cap”.

He added the new facility would position Scotland as an “international centre of excellence for big data analytics” and create a “substantial number” of highly-skilled, high-value jobs.

SAS said it was pleased to be spreading its wings in Scotland, claiming the investments allowed it to see the real “Scottish potential” with access to a pool of talent from Scottish universities.

Microsoft rumoured to be building smaller Surface tab

surface-rtMicrosoft is once again trying to ensure that Surface does as well as it possibly can.

According to Softpedia, the company is apparently working on a smaller sized Surface tablet in a bid to compete with the more miniature devices on the market.

It is thought that the new tablet will have a display around seven or eight inches and run Windows Blue after eagle eyed sources spotted a job ad on Coroflot’s job page asking for developers.

It said the Surface Team focused on building devices that “fully express the Windows vision.”

It hinted at a smaller tab, claiming that a “fundamental part” of its strategy  was having “desirable and powerful devices that enable the experiences people want, and elicit their excitement.

“We are currently building the next generation and Surface needs you,” the ad concluded.

Microsoft hasn’t faced the figures it had desired with its new baby. Last month Bloomberg reported that the company had sold about 400,000 Surface Pro tablets since their debut last month. In addition, it only managed to sell a little over a million Surface RT tablets.

It’s tried to conquer this by making more railroads into China, deciding last month to extend its selling channels for the Surface RT tablets, which it previously only sold through two distributors- its online store and chain store for electronics, Suning.

Previously the giant had not been able to go through further channels as a result of an exclusive distie deal with Suning, but last month sources said that this deal expired in February, paving the way for Microsoft to pick up new channels.

In a bid to boost sales it was rumoured to be turning to four new distribution partners aboard. These included PC Mall, Sundan, One Zero and 360buy.