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Singapore Startup: This HR Tech Firm Worth $100 Million Is Ready To Conquer Asia

In the dizzying world of technology startups, it’s easy to get lost in the hype of hot trends such as AI, blockchain, VR/AR and machine learning. What is often forgotten is the fact that some of the best startups in the world solve the simplest of problems.

This is exactly the approach that Pascal Henry, who is the CEO and cofounder of HReasily, took when he identified the fundamental needs of rapidly growing SMEs–to manage their human resources more efficiently.

Henry launched his Singapore-based HR firm in late 2015 as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business that enables companies to increase productivity by using technology to streamline traditional processes such as payroll processing, leave management and expense claims.

When I was running my first startup in Singapore, I had to do a lot of the manual processes myself. I felt the pain and the drain of it,” explains Henry. “It was taking up a lot of my time and energy, when I should have been focusing on building my business.”

Today In: Asia

 

Improving productivity and efficiency

HReasily’s mission is simple: To innovate and automate HR throughout the world. As one of the fastest-growing cloud-based HR SaaS companies in the region, their simple modules and features aim to transform many of the legacy HR processes and automate them to be accessible anytime and anywhere. Currently the company offers seven modules including payroll, staff leave, employee contracts and attendance. As HReasily grows, it continues to add product lines aimed at empowering companies to scale faster.

Previously, many businesses used solutions that each looked after a particular silo of an HR department. So you’d have one system to manage your payroll calculations, one for leave and others for other functions.

“What happened was you had to log in and out of many various systems, and these systems cost a huge amount of money,” says Henry. “What we’ve done is build a solution that is very affordable that integrates with all the functions on a unified platform.”

A simple but elegant business model HReasily runs a subscription-based revenue model. Starting with payroll, which is at the core of every traditional HR office, the company offers premium versions that run on monthly or yearly subscriptions, with add-on modules available such as staff leave and time attendance. This past summer at the RISE 2019 conference in Hong Kong, Henry and his team unveiled their latest benefits management module which will soon allow customers to acquire group level insurance, healthcare and even apply for credit cards or loans.

HReasily says its competitive advantage lies in its customer base, which is mostly SMEs. By initially focusing on the fundamental needs of this particular segment, the company has earned the support of larger banking and government agencies and has become known as an “SME champion.” Not surprisingly, as the company has grown it says that it began to attract larger corporations, publicly listed companies, multinational corporations and even payroll outsourcing firms.

“As we grew we acquired a more diverse customer base,” Henry says, “because a lot of larger companies are tired of the older and expensive solutions because they need to be installed on premise and they require a refresher every year when rules and regulations change.”

Partnerships are the key to rapid growth

Being based in Singapore has allowed HReasily to capitalize on the rapid growth in Southeast Asia. SME’s account for 97% of all the enterprises in the region, and employ half of the workforce, according to data from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). HReasily’s growth has been nothing short of impressive. With nearly 30,000 companies on their platform and more than 100 new companies onboarding every day, HReasily is said to be growing rapidly in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Some of HReasily’s notable customers include Love Bonito (in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong), Sambat Finance (Cambodia), OnlinePajak (Indonesia) and TechInAsia. As the company looks to complete their coverage of Asia, the next major market they look to tackle is mainland China followed by Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar and Australia.

Investors have taken notice of the company’s growth as well. Fresh off a pre-series A funding round of $5 million from Envy Capital, HReasily is currently estimated to be valued at more than $100 million. Henry admits that the company’s rapid growth in the region has only been possible with the early support from their key strategic partners.

HReasily has been working with Citibank, Mazars and Stripe. The partnership with Mazars, which was a lead investor from the startup’s first round of funding, gives them access to a global audit, advisory and payroll outsourcing firm with 300 offices in 100 countries. Henry says it allows HReasily to localize its solutions to each individual market.

Today, building a solid ecosystem of strategic partners is very important because you come from different angles, but you all serve one customer, which is the SME or the business,” says Henry. “By coming together, we collectively create a great end-to-end experience for them. There’s strength in numbers.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Jay Kim is a full-time investor and the host of the popular podcast The Jay Kim Show, Hong Kong’s first dedicated podcast on entrepreneurship and investing in Asia. Inc. Magazine has named The Jay Kim Show one of the top three podcasts from Asia which are inspirational and useful to entrepreneurs. Jay is an avid supporter of the start-up ecosystem in Asia and frequently consults with leaders in local government on topics related to technology, entrepreneurship, early-stage investing and startups

Source: Singapore Startup: This HR Tech Firm Worth $100 Million Is Ready To Conquer Asia

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Is your administration work taking too much out of your time? HReasily provides HR solutions for payroll processing, leave and claims management, employee scheduling and time attendance, so that business owners can focus on growing their businesses.

 

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Rod Stewart The Legend Of Pop Rock Still Standing Hard In Music Industry

1

Sir Roderick David Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945)[1] is a British rock singer and songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 120 million records worldwide.[2] He has had nine number-one albums in the UK Albums Chart and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top ten, six of which gained the #1 position.[3] Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.[4]

With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960s and the early 1970s with The Jeff Beck Group, and then with Faces, though his music career had begun in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In October 1963, he joined The Dimensions as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist. In 1964, Stewart joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars, and in August, Stewart signed a solo contract, releasing his first single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl“, in October. He maintained a solo career alongside a group career, releasing his debut solo album, An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down in 1969. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B.[5][6]

From the late 1970s through the 1990s, Stewart’s music often took on a new wave or soft rock/middle-of-the-road quality, and in the early 2000s, he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook. In 1994, Stewart staged the largest free rock concert in history when he performed in front of 3.5 million people in Rio de Janeiro.[7]

In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”.[8] A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at #33 in Q Magazines list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time,[9] and #59 on Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers of all time.[10] As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.[11][12]

The family were also great fans of the singer Al Jolson and would sing and play his hits.[24][28] Stewart collected his records and saw his films, read books about him, and was influenced by his performing style and attitude towards his audience.[24][26][29] His introduction to rock and roll was hearing Little Richard‘s 1956 hit “The Girl Can’t Help It“, and seeing Bill Haley & His Comets in concert.[28] His father bought him a guitar in January 1959; the first song he learned was the folk tune “It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song”; the first record he bought was Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody“.[23] In 1960, he joined a skiffle group with schoolfriends called the Kool Kats, playing Lonnie Donegan and Chas McDevitt hits.[23][29]

Stewart left school at age 15[30] and worked briefly as a silk screen printer.[29] Spurred on by his father, his ambition was to become a professional footballer.[27][30] In summer 1960, he went for trials at Brentford F.C.,[31] a Third Division club at the time.[32] Contrary to some longstanding accounts, Stewart states in his 2012 autobiography that he was never signed to the club and that the club never called him back after his trials.[nb 2] In any case, regarding possible career options, Stewart concluded, “Well, a musician’s life is a lot easier and I can also get drunk and make music, and I can’t do that and play football. I plumped for music … They’re the only two things I can do actually: play football and sing.”[24][30]

Music career

1961–1963: Early work and The Dimensions

Stewart worked in the family shop and as a newspaper delivery boy.[35] He then worked briefly as a labourer for Highgate Cemetery, which became another part of his biographical lore.[nb 3] He worked in a North Finchley funeral parlour[35] and as a fence erector and sign writer.[29] In 1961 he went to Denmark Street with The Raiders and got a singing audition with well-known record producer Joe Meek, but Meek stopped the session with a rude sound.[37] Stewart began listening to British and American topical folk artists such as Ewan MacColl, Alex Campbell, Woody Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and especially Derroll Adams and the debut album of Bob Dylan.[37][38]

Stewart became attracted to beatnik attitudes and left-wing politics, living for a while in a beatnik houseboat at Shoreham-by-Sea.[37] He was an active supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at this time, joining the annual Aldermaston Marches from 1961 to 1963 and being arrested on three occasions when he took part in sit-ins at Trafalgar Square and Whitehall for the cause.[29][37] He also used the marches as a way to meet and bed girls.[37][39] In 1962 he had his first serious relationship, with London art student Suzannah Boffey (a friend of future model and actress Chrissie Shrimpton); he moved to a bed-sit in Muswell Hill to be near her.[40] She became pregnant, but neither Rod nor his family wanted him to enter marriage; the baby girl was given up for adoption and Rod and Suzannah’s relationship ended.[40]

In 1962, Stewart began hanging around folk singer Wizz Jones, busking at Leicester Square and other London spots.[41] Stewart took up playing the then-fashionable harmonica.[42] On several trips over the next 18 months Jones and Stewart took their act to Brighton and then to Paris, sleeping under bridges over the River Seine, and then finally to Barcelona.[41] Eventually, this resulted in Stewart being rounded up and deported from Spain for vagrancy during 1963.[34][41][43] At this time, Stewart, who had been at William Grimshaw School with three of their members, was briefly considered as singer for the embryonic Kinks.[21][38][44][45][46]

In 1963, Stewart adopted the Mod lifestyle and look, and began fashioning the spiky rooster hairstyle that would become his trademark.[47] (It was made possible with sugar water or large amounts of his sisters’ hair lacquer, backcombing, and his hands holding it in place to protect it from the winds of the Highgate Underground station.[47][48][49]) Disillusioned by rock and roll, he saw Otis Redding perform in concert and began listening to Sam Cooke records; he became fascinated by rhythm and blues and soul music.[47]

After returning to London, Stewart joined a rhythm and blues group, the Dimensions, in October 1963 as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist.[33][50] It was his first professional job as a musician, although Stewart was still living at home and working in his brother’s painting and picture frame shop.[51][52] A somewhat more established singer from Birmingham, Jimmy Powell, then hired the group a few weeks later, and it became known as Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions, with Stewart being relegated to harmonica player.[33][50] The group performed weekly at the famed Studio 51 club on Great Newport Street in London, where The Rolling Stones often headlined;[50] this was Stewart’s entrée into the thriving London R & B scene,[53] and his harmonica playing improved in part from watching Mick Jagger on stage.[42] Relations soon broke down between Powell and Stewart over roles within the group[51] and Stewart departed. Contrary to popular legend, during this time Stewart likely did not play harmonica on Millie Small‘s 1964 hit “My Boy Lollipop“. That was probably Peter Hogman of the Dimensions, although Powell has also claimed credit.[33][54] Powell did record and release a single during this period, though Stewart did not appear on it.[50]

1964–67: Steampacket and “Rod the Mod” image

In January 1964,[nb 4] while Stewart was waiting at Twickenham railway station after having seen Long John Baldry and the All Stars at Eel Pie Island,[33][54][56] Baldry heard him playing “Smokestack Lightnin’” on his harmonica, and invited him to sit in with the group (which passed into his hands and was renamed the Hoochie Coochie Men when Cyril Davies died of endocarditis on 7 January); when Baldry discovered Stewart was a singer as well, he offered him a job for £35 a week, after securing the approval of Stewart’s mother.[54] Quitting his day job at the age of nineteen, Stewart gradually overcame his shyness and nerves and became a visible enough part of the act that he was sometimes added to the billing as “Rod the Mod” Stewart,[42][54][55] the nickname coming from his dandyish style of grooming and dress.[38] Baldry touted Stewart’s abilities to Melody Maker magazine and the group enjoyed a weekly residence at London’s fabled Marquee Club.[55] In June 1964, Stewart made his recording début (without label credit) on “Up Above My Head“, the B-side to a Baldry and Hoochie Coochie Men single.[57] While still with Baldry, Stewart embarked on a simultaneous solo career.[58] He made some demo recordings,[nb 5] was scouted by Decca Records at the Marquee Club, and signed to a solo contract in August 1964.[59] He appeared on several regional television shows around the country and recorded his first single in September 1964.[58][59]

Turning down Decca’s recommended material as too commercial, Stewart insisted that the experienced session musicians he was given, including John Paul Jones, learn a couple of Sonny Boy Williamson songs he had just heard.[60] The resulting single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl“, was recorded released in October 1964; despite Stewart performing it on the popular television show Ready Steady Go!, it failed to enter the charts. Also in October Stewart left the Hoochie Coochie Men after having a row with Baldry.[59]

Stewart played some dates on his own in late 1964 and early 1965, sometimes backed by the Southampton R & B outfit The Soul Agents.[61] The Hoochie Coochie Men broke up, Baldry and Stewart patched up their differences (and indeed became lifelong friends),[62] and legendary impresario Giorgio Gomelsky put together Steampacket, which featured Baldry, Stewart, Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll, Micky Waller, Vic Briggs and Ricky Fenson; their first appearance was in support of The Rolling Stones in July 1965.[63] The group was conceived as a white soul revue, analogous to The Ike & Tina Turner Revue, with multiple vocalists and styles ranging from jazz to R & B to blues.[64] Steampacket toured with the Stones and The Walker Brothers that summer, ending in the London Palladium;[64] seeing the audience react to the Stones gave Stewart his first exposure to crowd hysteria.[65] Stewart, who had been included in the group upon Baldry’s insistence, ended up with most of the male vocal parts.[64] Steampacket was unable to enter the studio to record any material due to its members all belonging to different labels and managers,[64][66] although Gomelsky did record one of their Marquee Club rehearsals.[nb 6]

Stewart’s “Rod the Mod” image gained wider visibility in November 1965, when he was the subject of a 30-minute Rediffusion, London television documentary titled “An Easter with Rod” that portrayed the Mod scene.[34][67] His parallel solo career attempts continued on EMI‘s Columbia label with the November 1965 release of “The Day Will Come”, a more heavily arranged pop attempt, and the April 1966 release of his take on Sam Cooke‘s “Shake“, with the Brian Auger Trinity.[67] Both failed commercially and neither gained positive notices.[68] Stewart had spent the better part of two years listening mostly to Cooke; he later said, “I didn’t sound like anybody at all … but I knew I sounded a bit like Sam Cooke, so I listened to Sam Cooke.”[52] This recording solidified that singer’s position as Stewart’s idol and most enduring influence; he called it a “crossing of the water.”[38][52][64]

Stewart departed from Steampacket in March 1966,[67] with Stewart saying he had been sacked and Auger saying he had quit.[64] Stewart then joined a somewhat similar outfit, Shotgun Express, in May 1966 as co-lead vocalist with Beryl Marsden.[64][67] The other members included Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green (who would go on to form Fleetwood Mac), and Peter Bardens.[67] Shotgun Express released one unsuccessful single in October 1966, the orchestra-heavy “I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round”, before disbanding.[64][67] Stewart later disparaged Shotgun Express as a poor imitation of Steampacket, and said “I was still getting this terrible feeling of doing other people’s music. I think you can only start finding yourself when you write your own material.”[67] By now, Stewart had bounced around without achieving much success, with little to distinguish himself among other aspiring London singers other than the emerging rasp in his voice.[53]

1967–69: Jeff Beck Group period

Guitarist Jeff Beck recruited Stewart for his new post-Yardbirds venture,[69] and in February 1967, Stewart joined the Jeff Beck Group as vocalist and sometime songwriter.[70] This would become the big break of his early career.[38] There he first played with Ronnie Wood[64] whom he had first met in a London pub in 1964;[59] the two soon became fast friends.[69] During its first year, the group experienced frequent changes of drummers and conflicts involving manager Mickie Most wanting to reduce Stewart’s role; they toured the UK, and released a couple of singles that featured Stewart on their B-sides.[70][71] Stewart’s sputtering solo career also continued, with the March 1968 release of non-hit “Little Miss Understood” on Immediate Records.[70]

The Jeff Beck Group toured Western Europe in spring 1968, recorded, and were nearly destitute; then assistant manager Peter Grant booked them on a six-week tour of the United States starting in June 1968 with the Fillmore East in New York.[70][72][73] Stewart, on his first trip to America, suffered terrible stage fright during the opening show and hid behind the amplifier banks while singing; only a quick shot of brandy brought him out front.[70] Nevertheless, the show and the tour were a big success,[38][73] with Robert Shelton of The New York Times calling the group exciting and praising “the interaction of Mr. Beck’s wild and visionary guitar against the hoarse and insistent shouting of Rod Stewart,”[72] and New Musical Express reporting that the group was receiving standing ovations and pulling receipts equal to those of Jimi Hendrix and The Doors.[70]

In August 1968, their first album Truth was released; by October it had risen to number 15 on the US albums chart but failed to chart in the UK.[70] The album featured Beck’s masterly guitar technique and manipulated sounds as Stewart’s dramatic vocalising tackled the group’s varied repertoire of blues, folk, rock, and proto-heavy metal.[53][71][74] Stewart also co-wrote three of the songs,[74] and credited the record for helping to develop his vocal abilities and the sandpaper quality in his voice.[52] The group toured America again at the end of the year to a very strong reception, then suffered from more personnel upheaval[70][75] (something that would continue throughout Beck’s career). In July 1969, Stewart left, following his friend Wood’s departure.[52][76] Stewart later recalled: “It was a great band to sing with but I couldn’t take all the aggravation and unfriendliness that developed…. In the two and a half years I was with Beck I never once looked him in the eye – I always looked at his shirt or something like that.”[70]

The group’s second album, Beck-Ola, was released in June 1969 in the US and September 1969 in the UK, bracketing the time the group was dissolving; it also made number 15 in the US albums chart and placed to number 39 in the UK albums chart.[38][76][77] During his time with the group, Stewart initially felt overmatched by Beck’s presence, and his style was still developing; but later Stewart felt the two developed a strong musical, if not personal, rapport.[70][78] Much of Stewart’s sense of phrasing was developed during his time with the Jeff Beck Group.[52] Beck sought to form a new supergroup with Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert (of the similarly just-breaking-up Vanilla Fudge) joining him and Stewart, but Stewart had other plans.[79]

1969–75: Solo career established and Faces albums

Mercury Records A&R man Lou Reizner had seen Stewart perform with Beck, and on 8 October 1968 signed him to a solo contract;[70] but contractual complexities delayed Stewart’s recording for him until July 1969.[76][80] Meanwhile, in May 1969, guitarist and singer Steve Marriott left English band The Small Faces.[76] Ron Wood was announced as the replacement guitarist in June and on 18 October 1969, Stewart followed his friend and was announced as their new singer.[76] The two joined existing members Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, and Kenney Jones, who soon decided to call the new line-up Faces.[81]

An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down became Stewart’s first solo album in 1969 (it was known as The Rod Stewart Album in the US). It established the template for his solo sound: a heartfelt mixture of folk, rock, and country blues, inclusive of a British working-class sensibility, with both original material (“Cindy’s Lament” and the title song) and cover versions (Ewan MacColl‘s “Dirty Old Town” and Mike d’Abo‘s “Handbags and Gladrags“). The backing band on the album included Wood, Waller and McLagan, plus Keith Emerson and guitarists Martin Pugh (of Steamhammer, and later Armageddon and 7th Order) and Martin Quittenton (also from Steamhammer).[82]

Faces released their début album First Step in early 1970 with a rock and roll style similar to the Rolling Stones. While the album did better in the UK than in the US, the Faces quickly earned a strong live following. Stewart released his second album, Gasoline Alley that autumn. Stewart’s approach was similar to his first album and mandolin was introduced into the sound. He then launched a US tour with the Faces. Stewart sang guest vocals for the Australian group Python Lee Jackson on “In a Broken Dream”, recorded in April 1969 but not released until 1970. His payment was a set of seat covers for his car. It was re-released in 1972 to become a worldwide hit.

Stewart’s 1971 solo album Every Picture Tells a Story made him a household name when the B-side of his minor hit “Reason to Believe”, “Maggie May”, (co-written with Martin Quittenton) started receiving radio play. The album and the single occupied number one in both the US and the UK simultaneously, a chart first, in September.[83] Set off by a striking mandolin part (by Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne), “Maggie May” was also named in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, one of three songs by him to appear on that list. The rest of the album was equally strong, with “Mandolin Wind” again showcasing that instrument; “(I Know) I’m Losing You” adding hard-edged soul to the mix; and “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”, a cover of a Bob Dylan song. But the ultimate manifestation of the early Stewart solo style was the Stewart-Wood-penned “Every Picture Tells a Story” itself: powered by Mick Waller’s drumming, Pete Sears’s piano and Wood’s guitar work in a largely acoustic arrangement; it is a song relating to the picaresque adventures of the singer.[citation needed]

The second Faces album, Long Player, was released in early 1971 and enjoyed greater chart success than First Step. Faces also got their only US Top 40 hit with “Stay With Me” from their third album A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…To a Blind Horse released in late 1971.[84] This album reached the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic on the back of the success of Every Picture Tells A Story.[84][85] Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols regarded the Faces very highly and named them as a main influence on the British punk rock movement.[86]

The Faces toured extensively in 1972 with growing tension in the band over Stewart’s solo career enjoying more success than the band’s. Stewart released Never a Dull Moment in the same year. Repeating the Every Picture formula, for the most part, it reached number two on the US album charts and number one in the UK,[87] and enjoyed further good notices from reviewers. “You Wear It Well” was a hit single that reached number 13 in the US and went to number one in the UK, while “Twisting the Night Away” made explicit Stewart’s debt to Sam Cooke.

For the body of his early solo work Stewart earned tremendous critical praise. Rolling Stone’s 1980 Illustrated History of Rock & Roll includes this in its Stewart entry:[53]

Rarely has a singer had as full and unique a talent as Rod Stewart; rarely has anyone betrayed his talent so completely. Once the most compassionate presence in music, he has become a bilious self-parody – and sells more records than ever [… A] writer who offered profound lyricism and fabulous self-deprecating humour, teller of tall tales and honest heartbreaker, he had an unmatched eye for the tiny details around which lives turn, shatter, and reform […] and a voice to make those details indelible. [… His solo albums] were defined by two special qualities: warmth, which was redemptive, and modesty, which was liberating. If ever any rocker chose the role of everyman and lived up to it, it was Rod Stewart.

The Faces released their final album Ooh La La, which reached number one in the UK and number 21 in the US in 1973.[84][85] During the recording of the album, the rift between Stewart and the rest of the Faces grew further, as (according to Ian McLagan), Stewart didn’t participate until two weeks into the sessions, “and then complained that some songs were in the wrong key for him. So we recorded them again and waited a week for him to come back. We cut the track for ‘Ooh La La’ three times before he eventually passed on it, leaving it for Woody to sing. […] The week the album came out he did all he could to scuttle it and told anyone who would listen how useless it was.”.[88] The band toured Australasia, Japan, Europe and the UK in 1974[89] to support the album and the single “Pool Hall Richard”.

In late 1974, Stewart released his Smiler album. In Britain, it reached number one, and the single “Farewell” number seven, but only number 13 on the Billboard pop album charts and the single “Mine for Me” only number 91 on the Billboard pop singles charts. It was his last original album for Mercury Records. After the release of the double album compilation The Best of Rod Stewart he switched to Warner Bros. Records and remained with them throughout the vast majority of his career (Faces were signed to Warner Bros., and Stewart’s solo releases in the UK appeared on the Riva label until 1981). In 1975, Faces toured the US twice (with Ronnie Wood joining The Rolling Stones‘ US tour in between)[89] before Stewart announced the Faces’ break-up at the end of the year.[90]

1975–88: Height of fame and critical reaction

On stage in Dublin, 1981

In 1975, Stewart moved to Los Angeles. He released the Atlantic Crossing album for his new record company, using producer Tom Dowd and a different sound based on the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Atlantic Crossing marked both a return to form and a return to the Top 10 of the Billboard album charts. The first single, a cover of the Sutherland Brothers song “Sailing“, was a number-one hit in the UK, but it only reached the Top 60 of the US charts. The single returned to the UK Top 10 a year later when used as the theme music for a BBC documentary series about HMS Ark Royal. Having been a hit twice over, “Sailing” became, and remains, Stewart’s biggest-selling single in the UK. His Holland-Dozier-Holland cover “This Old Heart of Mine” was also a Top 100 hit in 1976.[84] In 1976 Stewart covered The Beatles‘ song “Get Back” for the musical documentary All This and World War II.[91]

Later in 1976, Stewart topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks and the Australian ARIA chart with the ballad “Tonight’s the Night“, with an accompanying music video featuring actress Britt Ekland.[84] It came from the A Night on the Town album, which went to number two on the Billboard album charts and was Stewart’s first album to go platinum. By explicitly marking the album as having a “fast side” and a “slow side”, Stewart continued the trend started by Atlantic Crossing. “The First Cut Is the Deepest“, a cover of a Cat Stevens song, went number one in the UK in 1977, and top 30 in the US.[84][87]The Killing of Georgie (Part 1 and 2)”, about the murder of a gay man, was also a Top 40 hit for Stewart during 1977.[84]

Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977) featured Stewart’s own band, the original Rod Stewart Group that featured Carmine Appice, Phil Chen, Jim Cregan, Billy Peek, Gary Grainger and John Jarvis. It continued Stewart’s run of chart success, reaching number two. “You’re in my Heart” was the hit single, reaching number four in the US.[84]

Hot Legs” achieved a lot of radio airplay as did the confessional “I Was Only Joking“. In appearance, Stewart’s look had evolved to include a glam element, including make-up and spandex clothes. Stewart scored another UK number one and US number one single with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?“, which was a crossover hit reaching number five on the Billboard black charts due to its disco sound.[84] This was the lead single from 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun, which went to number one on the Billboard album charts and sold 3 million albums.[92]

In May 2000, Stewart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, for which he underwent surgery in the same month. It had been previously reported he suffered from a benign vocal cord nodule.[136] Besides being a major health scare, the resulting surgery also threatened his voice, and he had to re-learn how to sing.[137] Since then he has been active in raising funds for The City of Hope Foundation charity to find cures for all forms of cancer, especially those affecting children.[136] In September 2019, Stewart revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017, and has been given the all-clear after treatment.[138]

Before returning to the UK, Stewart played for his LA Exiles team made up of mostly English expatriates plus a few celebrities, including Billy Duffy of The Cult, in a senior soccer league in Palos Verdes, California.[139]

Despite his father being a supporter of Hibernian,[140] Stewart is a supporter of Celtic, which he mentions in “You’re in My Heart“. He supports the Scotland national team and follows Manchester United as his English side, and he explains his love affair with both Celtic and Manchester United in Frank Worrall’s book, Celtic United.[141] Stewart clarifies this more in his 2012 book (pp 163–64), Rod: The Autobiography, mentioning he “only had an attachment to Manchester United in the 1970s, but that was because they had so many great Scottish players in the 1970s, including Denis Law … When I did eventually click with a team, it was Celtic”. He presented Celtic with the trophy after they won the 2015 Scottish League Cup Final.[142]

Stewart is a model railway enthusiast. His 23 ft × 124 ft (7.0 m × 37.8 m) HO scale layout in his Los Angeles home is modelled after the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads during the 1940s. Called the Three Rivers City, the layout was featured in the cover story of the December 2007, December 2010, February 2014, and June 2017 issues of Model Railroader magazine. In the 2007 article, Stewart said that it meant more to him to be in a model railroad magazine than a music magazine. The layout, which has a mainline run of 900 ft (270 m), uses code 70 flextrack and a Digital Command Control (DCC) system made by Digitrax.[143][144] Stewart has a second, smaller layout at his UK home, based on Britain’s East Coast Main Line. In a sidebar[145] to the 2014 Model Railroader article, Stewart admitted (in an anecdote about his having unwittingly mixed red scenery texturing material into a “turf” mix he used around the bases of buildings) that he is colour-blind.[146][147]

A car collector, Stewart owns one of the 400 Ferrari Enzos. In 1982, Stewart was car-jacked on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard while he was parking his $50,000 Porsche.[148] The car was subsequently recovered.

In September 2002, Stewart’s son, Sean, was sentenced to three months in jail for attacking a man outside a restaurant in Los Angeles. Sean Stewart was also required to pay compensation and to attend anger management, drug and alcohol treatment courses.[149]

Rod Stewart was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2007 New Year Honours for services to music. Collecting it in July 2007 at Buckingham Palace, Stewart commented: “It’s a marvellous occasion. We’re the only country in the world to honour the common man.”[150] He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for “services to music and charity”.[4]

In 2017, Stewart endorsed Conservative Party leader and incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the snap general election held that year.[151]

Stewart was estimated to have a fortune of £180 million in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2018, making him one of the 20 wealthiest people in the British music industry.[152]

The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don’t keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities. As a business and technology futurist, it is my job to look ahead and identify the most important trends. In this article, I share with you the seven most imminent trends everyone should get ready for in 2020.

AI-as-a-service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As I highlighted in my book ‘Artificial Intelligence in Practice’, most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020, and while people will increasingly become used to working alongside AIs, designing and deploying our own AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for most businesses.

For this reason, much of the AI applications will continue to be done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in our own data and pay for the algorithms or compute resources as we use them.

Currently, these platforms, provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to apply them to the specific tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuses left not to use AI.

Today In: Innovation

5G data networks

The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity is going to give us super-fast download and upload speeds as well as more stable connections. While 5G mobile data networks became available for the first time in 2019, they were mostly still expensive and limited to functioning in confined areas or major cities. 2020 is likely to be the year when 5G really starts to fly, with more affordable data plans as well as greatly improved coverage, meaning that everyone can join in the fun.

Super-fast data networks will not only give us the ability to stream movies and music at higher quality when we’re on the move. The greatly increased speeds mean that mobile networks will become more usable even than the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the business implications of having super-fast and stable internet access anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever, leading to advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery. Smart cities

Autonomous Driving

While we still aren’t at the stage where we can expect to routinely travel in, or even see, autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue to generate a significant amount of excitement.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has said he expects his company to create a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this year, and the number of vehicles capable of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy – such as automated braking and lane-changing – will become an increasingly common sight. In addition to this, other in-car systems not directly connected to driving, such as security and entertainment functions – will become increasingly automated and reliant on data capture and analytics. Google’s sister-company Waymo has just completed a trial of autonomous taxis in California, where it transported more than Xk people.

It won’t just be cars, of course – trucking and shipping are becoming more autonomous, and breakthroughs in this space are likely to continue to hit the headlines throughout 2020.

With the maturing of autonomous driving technology, we will also increasingly hear about the measures that will be taken by regulators, legislators, and authorities. Changes to laws, existing infrastructure, and social attitudes are all likely to be required before autonomous driving becomes a practical reality for most of us. During 2020, it’s likely we will start to see the debate around autonomous driving spread outside of the tech world, as more and more people come round to the idea that the question is not “if,” but “when,” it will become a reality.

Personalized and predictive medicine

Technology is currently transforming healthcare at an unprecedented rate. Our ability to capture data from wearable devices such as smartwatches will give us the ability to increasingly predict and treat health issues in people even before they experience any symptoms.

When it comes to treatment, we will see much more personalized approaches. This is also referred to as precision medicine which allows doctors to more precisely prescribe medicines and apply treatments, thanks to a data-driven understanding of how effective they are likely to be for a specific patient.

Although not a new idea, thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology, especially in the fields of genomics and AI, it is giving us a greater understanding of how different people’s bodies are better or worse equipped to fight off specific diseases, as well as how they are likely to react to different types of medication or treatment.

Throughout 2020 we will see new applications of predictive healthcare and the introduction of more personalized and effective treatments to ensure better outcomes for individual patients.

Computer Vision

In computer terms, “vision” involves systems that are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images – those collected by a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that allows your smartphone camera to recognize which part of the image it’s capturing is a face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search.

As we move through 2020, we’re going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to the way autonomous cars will “see” and navigate their way around danger. Production lines will employ computer vision cameras to watch for defective products or equipment failures, and security cameras will be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision is also enabling face recognition, which we will hear a lot about in 2020. We have already seen how useful the technology is in controlling access to our smartphones in the case of Apple’s FaceID and how Dubai airport uses it to provide a smoother customer journey [add link]. However, as the use cases will grow in 2020, we will also have more debates about limiting the use of this technology because of its potential to erode privacy and enable ‘Big Brother’-like state control.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset).

These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokemon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR.

From 2020 expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a technology trend that I have covered extensively this year, and yet you’re still likely to get blank looks if you mention in non-tech-savvy company. 2020 could finally be the year when that changes, though. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger used to record transactions but secured due to its encrypted and decentralized nature. During 2019 some commentators began to argue that the technology was over-hyped and perhaps not as useful as first thought. However, continued investment by the likes of FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard during 2019 is likely to start to show real-world results, and if they manage to prove its case, could quickly lead to an increase in adoption by smaller players.

And if things are going to plan, 2020 will also see the launch of Facebook’s own blockchain-based crypto currently Libra, which is going to create quite a stir.

If you would like to keep track of these technologies, simply follow me on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or head to my website for many more in-depth articles on these topics.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. Why don’t you connect with Bernard on Twitter (@bernardmarr), LinkedIn (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr) or instagram (bernard.marr)?

Source: The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

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In this Intellipaat’s top 10 technologies to learn in 2019 video, you will learn all the trending technologies in the market in 2019. The end goal of this video is to educate you about the latest technologies to learn and all the top 10 trending technologies you can watch for in order to make a fantastic career in IT technologies in 2019. Do subscribe to Intellipaat channel to get regular updates on them: https://goo.gl/hhsGWb Intellipaat Online Training: https://goo.gl/LeiW5S AI & Deep Learning Training: https://goo.gl/amnqEK Blockchain Training: https://goo.gl/CgDPyu Cloud Computing Training: https://goo.gl/PY2nbX Big Data Hadoop Training: https://goo.gl/NJaDuf BI Tools Training: https://goo.gl/SbkRXT DevOps Training: https://goo.gl/zz15qn Salesforce Training: https://goo.gl/zN3tLj SAP HANA Training: https://goo.gl/x2Jiu7 Python Programming Training: https://goo.gl/8urtdD Oracle DBA Training: https://goo.gl/LhYLTS Are you interested to learn any of the trending technology 2019 mentioned in the video? Enroll in our Intellipaat courses & become a certified Professional (https://goo.gl/LeiW5S). All Intellipaat trainings are provided by Industry experts and is completely aligned with industry standards and certification bodies. If you’ve enjoyed this top technologies to learn video, Like us and Subscribe to our channel for more trending technologies of 2019 tutorials. Got any questions about the top technologies to learn in 2019? Ask us in the comment section below. —————————- Intellipaat Edge 1. 24*7 Life time Access & Support 2. Flexible Class Schedule 3. Job Assistance 4. Mentors with +14 yrs 5. Industry Oriented Course ware 6. Life time free Course Upgrade #Top10TechnologiesToLearnIn2019 #TrendingTechnologies2019 #Top10ITTechnologiesIn2019 —————————— For more Information: Please write us to sales@intellipaat.com, or call us at: +91- 7847955955 Website: https://goo.gl/LeiW5S Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/intellipaato… LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/intellipaat/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Intellipaat

Apple’s Obsessive Behaviour Is Killing The Macbook Pro

With the iPhone 11 launch out of the way, Apple’s attention will turn from the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones to the iPad Pro and a new wave of tablets to accompany the newly forked iPadOS. But what of the upcoming MacBook Pro updates and the larger 16-inch laptop?

Looking closely at the attitude of Tim Cook’s Apple to the macOS powered laptops, you’d be forgiven in thinking that the MacBook Pro has already been moved to legacy status. The intense and almost obsessive focus on thin and minimalist design, coupled with restricting choice and denying Mac owners long-term flexibility, has pushed the still-useful and beloved laptop family out of the public’s gaze.

First up is the obsessive drive to make its laptops thinner and lighter. Yes, the resulting devices look lighter and I’m sure that focus groups presented with alternate designs will choose the prettier one, but a laptop is not phone, nor is it a tablet. You need a certain amount of size to enjoy the experience, to have space for powerful chips, to handle the cooling requirements, to allow for new technology, and to guarantee reliability.

Today In: Innovation

By all means use the MacBook Air for the ‘thin’ brigade, but for the workhorse laptop, the MacBook Pro, Apple’s decision to prioritise a thin design – notably the fragile butterfly keyboard – has allowed the competition to catch up with and overtake the MacBook Pro in terms of hardware options and software flexibility.

One obvious lucrative area where macOS has fallen behind is in gaming. MacOS

may have a significant share of the market, but where are the gaming options? They’re all using Windows 10, with access to a wide range of graphics cards, super processors, and fast refreshing densely packed 4K screens.

This speaks to another area where Apple’s obsessive nature has hindered the MacBook Pro. The inability to open up the system to graphics cards vendors is a poor choice at best, yet one where you could – if you look hard enough – understand why Apple is restricting the options inside the hardware. But is that any excuse to lock out some of the biggest names when using external graphics card caddies?

Apple has decided on the one true way to use your laptop, and has forced that through. If you want to do something outside of that definition, then the closed nature means you are out of luck.

Take the removal of the SD Card reader. Photographers are a notable demographic in MacBook Pro ownership and regularly tote a ridiculous number of cards around. It was an easy matter to pop these into their primary machine as required. Nope, that’s not the way forward that Apple sees it, so the SD card reader is removed.

And frankly, for a professional machine, the answer of using an external card reader in the USB ports or connecting through the camera is an embarrassment. And that’s before it leads to counting the number of available USB ports.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at... [+] the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo by Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Getty

Finally, there’s Apple’s attitude towards the Mac machines in general, and the flagship MacBook Pro laptops specifically. While Tim Cook and his team are happy to sell them, and happy to remind developers about the machines, when it comes to the consumer events, the MacBook Pro is simply left in the wings.

WWDC saw the launch of the Mac Pro, and a focus on high specs and how it works for the multimedia creative (presumably focusing on the companies that are going to be supplying content for Apple’s subscription TV business). The real line items from WWDC were iOS and the reveal of iPadOS. The Mac was well down the running order and the MacBooks were nowhere to be seen.

Apple’s September event is the key consumer event for the year. It sets the tone for the year to come, it focuses the attention of the public on Apple’s core devices, and that was the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The side order of iPad was a kick in the teeth for those waiting for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The obsession of preserving September for just the iPhone and any supporting peripherals weakens the MacBook Pro. And yes, Apple has the option of an event in October where the MacBook Pro can be revealed, but I suspect that even if the 16-inch MacBook Pro is given a public reveal (rather than a humbling ‘launch by press release’) the priority at the october event will be the iPad Pro.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at... [+] the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo by Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Getty

Tim Cook’s Apple is in the middle of a move towards software and services. At some point that means the focus on the iPhone and the iPad as standalone hardware will fade away and they will become little more than conduits for content. It means that there will come a point where Apple does not have to keep up with other platforms and manufacturers that are pushing the limits of technology – there are some would say that Apple is already following this model given the lack of change in the iPhone over the last few years.

What does that future look like? It looks a lot like the present day MacBook Pro. Unloved by management but continuing to perform vital tasks in the ecosystem; unnoticed by consumers who are lured into more profitable machines with software lock-ins and walled gardens that offer Apple’s accountants a thirty percent rake on everything; and unable to respond to competitors who are developing laptops and desk-bound machines for a new generation.

Now read why Apple is not just ignoring, but is afraid of your new MacBook…

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over ten years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies, some for long periods of time, others for commissions, one-off pieces or a series of articles or shows. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and picked up a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside contributions to Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, presenting Edinburgh local radio’s coverage of the General Election. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and Google Plus.

Source: Apple’s Obsessive Behaviour Is Killing The Macbook Pro

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After many years using MacBook variants I’ve made the switch to Windows. I’ve used every version of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that have been released. My current laptop of choice is the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon / Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.Turns out switching from Mac to Windows isn’t as painful as I expected. FOLLOW ME IN THESE PLACES FOR UPDATES Twitter – http://twitter.com/unboxtherapy Facebook – http://facebook.com/lewis.hilsenteger Instagram – http://instagram.com/unboxtherapy

To Combat Huge Dropout Rates, Colleges Find New Ways To Spot At-Risk Students

At most universities, academic advisors historically wouldn’t know a student is in trouble until that first failing grade hit. But even before that, there are often warning signs. A student never swipes her ID card at the library or dining hall. Another doesn’t use the bus service or attend any events on campus. The lack of even small interactions like these indicates a disconnect from the campus. And without that connection, colleges won’t retain those students.

“Once the student has failed a core course or stopped going to class, it’s too late,” says Nicole Engelbert, vice president of Oracle Higher Education Development. “There’s not much that you can do, or the things that you can do are incredibly resource-intensive with very low success rates. Once you’ve lost that student, bringing them back in is really hard to do.”

The US has the highest college dropout rate in the industrial world right now, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, only about half of the 2 million students who started college this past fall will leave college with a diploma. And yet, it’s never been more important for young people to attend college or obtain some kind of post-secondary certification, as the earnings gap between high school graduates and college graduates continues to grow, according to census data analyzed by the College Board.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, colleges have had more freshmen having more difficult times than students in previous years, and academic probation, suspension, or withdrawal from schools seems to be increasing, according to Vicki Tambellini, president and CEO of the Tambellini Group, a market research and advisory firm for higher education.

The changing student demographic is one reason experts cite for low student retention rates. Colleges are seeing more first-generation college students, more students for whom English is a second language, and more students who are living in poverty—people who might not have gone to college at all a generation or two ago. These new types of students are potentially less prepared for college, often coming from K-12 systems with fewer financial resources.

Growth in the number of traditional students—those who graduate from high school and go directly to a four-year college—is slowing and is expected to slow into the foreseeable future. “That is challenging institutions to rethink or transform how they support students and changing how institutions deliver those services,” says Engelbert.

To address the evolving needs of students, faculty and staff need new tools and processes that facilitate a better student experience across the entire student lifecycle. Here are four ways colleges are changing the lesson plan to support their students.

1. Communicate with students the way they communicate with each other.

Students are used to texting. They’re used to getting everything they need on their mobile device. “They’re not used to logging into email every day or going to different portals on a campus website to find the information that they need,” says Tambellini. “When they get to most college campuses today, that’s what they have to do in order to find the information that they need to succeed.” New student systems, including Oracle Student Cloud, are being used to support highly personalized, multichannel communications that deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

2. Provide proactive support.

Using a single, centralized system, universities can “nudge” students with chatbots to make sure that they’ve bought their books, filed financial aid forms, or registered for next year’s housing. Administrators can use these interactive digital counselors to organize and manage interactions across multiple departments, channels, and devices and to ensure that students are aware of things such as office hours, dining services, and the availability of emergency grants if something happens financially that impacts their attendance.

A powerful aspect of chatbots is that they “scale” and ensure a consistent level of support. Colleges don’t need to hire an army of advisors or worry about whether students are receiving consistent, accurate information and benefiting from the most effective interventions. Chatbots can take care of routine reminders, freeing advisors to address more unusual or complex situations.

3. Use AI to help students choose the right path.

Colleges are also looking at how courses are structured and delivered, and they are employing AI to help students navigate the registration process. There might be 1,000 classes from which students could choose, and according to Engelbert, a common reason why students don’t graduate or graduate later than they should, is because they take the wrong classes in order to fulfill their degree requirements. “A next-generation student system will narrow the field of vision for the student—recommending what courses to take, in what order, to expedite graduation,” says Engelbert. “They may even preregister the student to ensure they get the classes they need.”

4. Use the cloud to better identify risk indicators.

One of the most powerful benefits of cloud applications is that administrators can get to data and identify early indicators faster, and do something about them in real time. Along with focusing on individual student behaviors, the data collected in a cloud-based system allows a university to view patterns and identify behaviors.

“If the school knows that the most successful students on that campus typically eat breakfast three days a week, lunch one day a week, participate in X number of extracurricular activities or clubs, and go to at least one freshman event in the fall, they can track the students that fall outside of those norms and provide those students with more advisor outreach,” says Tambellini.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the institutions that will successfully navigate this period of profound change in higher education are reimagining the work of the institution and investing in the tools that will support that mission. Engelbert makes the case that such change requires new technology that frees administrators to focus on people, process, and cultural change. “We’re seeing the green shoots of the more substantive adoption of cloud technologies and solutions,” she says. For successful schools, this will transform how institutions approach services from residential life, financial aid, and academic support, all the way through career services and beyond.

Margaret Lindquist is senior director of content for Oracle brand marketing.

Source: To Combat Huge Dropout Rates, Colleges Find New Ways To Spot At-Risk Students

9.53K subscribers
Alexandra Bernadotte founded Beyond 12 to help prepare low-income and first-generation students for a successful postsecondary education.

Apple Just Did Something Remarkable And It’s Very Good News For Its Customers

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No one likes to admit when they’re wrong. That’s true for you and me, and it’s especially true for big companies like Apple. The thing is, when you’re willing to admit when you made a mistake, it goes a long way towards building trust. And trust is, by far, your brand’s most valuable asset.

Today, Apple apologized for how it had handled recorded snippets of users’ voice interactions with Siri, the company’s digital assistant. In a statement, the company said that  “we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize.”

You might remember that Apple, like pretty much every other tech company, recently admitted that it used contractors to listen to, and transcribe these recordings in an effort to improve the artificial intellience-powered service. Making matters worse is that fact that the company hadn’t disclosed this practice, and contractors often heard false-activations that revealed personal information and other private conversations.

Earlier this month, Apple paused its review program and ended its relationship with the contractors involved. Now, it appears to be taking the next step, which started with an apology.

That’s actually pretty remarkable. It’s not often that companies say, “I’m sorry. We messed up.” Sure, they sometimes say a lot of words that vaguely sound like “I’m sorry,” but rarely are they this direct. Apple basically called itself out, saying that it wasn’t living up to its own standards, and that it owed customers an apology for a problem it caused.

Along with the apology, maybe the even bigger news here is that Apple announced a series of steps it plans to take moving forward, including:

  • The company will no longer retain recorded Siri interactions, but will use computer-generated transcripts instead.
  • Apple will allow users to opt in to having their audio samples included in the company’s efforts to improve the product. Users will also be able to opt out at any time after that.
  • Apple will only allow its employees (not contractors) to listen to audio samples, and will delete any “inadvertent trigger,” of Siri.

This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but mostly because Apple will now allow users to ‘opt in.’ This is exactly how it should work.

There are perfectly legitimate reasons why Apple would want to listen to recorded snippets of Siri interactions. That’s one of the only ways it can really know how accurate the AI is at understanding user requests and providing the right information for a human to review and correction. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t agree that that’s reasonable.

But Apple is changing the default assumption of an unspoken ‘opt in’ to one where people are given the choice to participate, instead of simply offering some opaque way of opting out. Companies offer opt out because they know most people won’t go through the trouble of changing whatever the default setting is, meaning people stay in whether they really want to or not.

Every tech company handling sensitive data should do exactly this. Don’t just let people opt out, or delete their history, or make a request to no longer be recorded. Make the default position the thing that’s best for the user, even if it makes your job a little harder.

Then, make your case for why your practice is worth it to the customer, and let them decide to participate or not.

By: Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

At its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off iOS 13, which will be coming to iPhones this fall. Some of the new features include a dark mode, an overhaul for Maps, and the ability to swipe to type. Here are the best features Apple showed off. The event took place at the San Jose Convention Center, not Cupertino as mentioned in the video. Tech Insider regrets the error. MORE IPHONE CONTENT: 23 iPhone Tricks To Make Your Life Easier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U52mI… $479 Pixel 3a XL VS. $1,099 iPhone XS Max https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ddAY… Lifelong iPhone User Switches To The Galaxy S10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r3wb… —————————————————— #Apple #iPhone #TechInsider Tech Insider tells you all you need to know about tech: gadgets, how-to’s, gaming, science, digital culture, and more. Visit us at: https://www.businessinsider.com TI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider TI on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tech_insider/ TI on Twitter: https://twitter.com/techinsider TI on Amazon Prime: http://read.bi/PrimeVideo INSIDER on Snapchat: https://insder.co/2KJLtVo The Best Features Apple Just Announced Coming To The iPhone

Amazon Is The Second Company To Report Tesla Solar Panel Fire

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Topline: Amazon is joining Walmart in pointing the finger at Tesla solar panels for fires on the roofs of their facilities in what is yet another hiccup for Tesla’s embattled solar business.

  • Amazon said Tesla solar panels caught fire in June 2018 at one of its warehouses in Redlands, California.
  • Amazon’s disclosure comes days after Walmart sued Tesla for breach of contract and gross negligence after seven stores experienced roof fires allegedly caused by faulty Tesla solar panels. Both companies later said they are working together to “addressing all issues.”
  • Amazon said it would not install any more Tesla panels.

In a statement to Forbes, a Tesla spokesperson said in an email that the Amazon fire was an “isolated event” at one of 11 Amazon sites with solar panels.

“Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to root cause the event and remediate. We also performed inspections at the other sites, which confirmed the integrity of the systems. As with all of our commercial solar installations, we continue to proactively monitor the systems to ensure they operate safely and reliably,” the statement continues.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla did not respond when Forbes asked whether the company has plans for broader inspections of both commercial and residential solar power installations.

According to a Business Insider report, Tesla was aware of problems related to its solar panels. In the summer of 2018, around the same time as the Amazon fire, Tesla launched a secret internal project called Project Titan to replace what the company said were faulty “connectors” manufactured by Connecticut-based Amphenol, according to the report.

“We have no reason to believe that Amphenol’s products are the cause of any issues related to the claims filed by Walmart against Tesla,” an Amphenol spokesperson said in a statement.

Key Background: Tesla’s embattled solar business has been plagued by plunging sales, production delays and layoffs since CEO Elon Musk acquired solar company SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016.

Musk hasn’t tweeted about the Walmart or Amazon complaints, but instead announced a revamped pricing plan in an effort to boost the slowing solar panel business. The new pricing model allows residents in six states to rent solar power systems starting at $50 a month ($65 a month in California) instead of buying them up front.

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I’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering breaking news at Forbes. Previously, I’ve reported for USA Today, Business Insider, The San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Inside. I studied journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was an editor at The Daily Orange, the university’s independent student newspaper. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email rsandler@forbes.com.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

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The True Value of an 80-Hour Work Week

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I recently shared with you the concept of the “time and effort chains,” which are the factors that trap us within a business and force us to work longer and harder, with little to no additional value or payoff.

Today I wanted to share with you the final chains that hold us back and keep us from reaching our goals. These, coupled with an understanding of the time-value matrix and a new way to look at control within your business, will play a huge part in your success or failure as a business leader.

A lack of clear priorities and objectives.

If every member on your staff doesn’t understand your priorities and objectives, efforts get scattered and poor decisions get made. This leads to underperformance, which pushes you to chase after more control to set things back on the right path. This further robs the business of depth because you’re not prioritizing time to develop your team so that they can take on more responsibilities. It’s a negative reinforcement loop.

This also impacts your team as a whole. The lack of strategic structure for how priorities get established, goals set, and plans made causes your team to flounder and struggle. Of course, you’re always there to pick up the pieces and take back more control, but by this point you understand where that leads.

A lack of strategic depth.

When you have a team that lacks the experience or talent to accomplish the goals you’ve set, you often find yourself pulled back into more closely managing the functions of your department, division, or business.

It becomes a chicken and egg scenario: if you had the right people on the team, you could let go of more.

But because you have to handle so much of the work, you don’t have time to hire or develop the people who could take on much of the load currently on your shoulders.

Round and round you go.

Outdated time habits.

The world today is fundamentally different than the world we evolved in. Our time sense was developed in a business world where time and effort were what we were paid for.

But that has shifted. In fact, with the transformation of modern communication and technology, work no longer has to take place in an office or factory; you literally can work from anywhere.

Yet the geographical freedom we now experience, which our ancestors couldn’t have imagined, has a dark side.

More and more of us feel compelled to always be on, checking our devices, responding to messages. The changing, 24/7, interconnected world has completely altered the way we live and work, and many of us simply haven’t updated our time habits to design the structures and systems we need to effectively and sustainably produce.

If you see yourself in any of what I’ve shared, it’s time to take action and start moving toward a reality in which your time and value chains no longer hold you back from moving yourself forward as a leader.

By: David Finkel

Source: https://www.inc.com/

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