Category Archives: Organization

Google uses machine learning to help Gmail users get rid of spam

Google is working on ways to make sure that Gmail users get mails that they want in their inbox and the rest all the spam remains out of sight.

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“Less than 0.1% of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, and the amount of wanted mail landing in the spam folder is even lower, at under 0.05%,” Sri Harsha Somanchi, product manager, said in a Google blog post.

“Even still, Gmail spam detection isn’t perfect. So we’re sharing some of the new ways we are supporting the senders of wanted mail, and using the latest Google smarts to filter out spam,” Somanchi further stated.

Google is launching Gmail Postmaster Tools that help qualified high-volume senders analyse their email, including data on delivery errors, spam reports, and reputation. This way they can diagnose any hiccups, study best practices, and help Gmail route their messages to the right place.

The company said the spam filter now uses an artificial neural network to detect and block the especially sneaky spam—the kind that could actually pass for wanted mail.

“We also recognise that not all inboxes are alike. So while your neighbor may love weekly email newsletters, you may loathe them. With advances in machine learning, the spam filter can now reflect these individual preferences,” the blog post reads.

“Finally, the spam filter is better than ever at rooting out email impersonation—that nasty source of most phishing scams. Thanks to new machine learning signals, Gmail can now figure out whether a message actually came from its sender, and keep bogus email at bay.”

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8 reasons why working at Facebook is better than working at Google

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Business Insider recently released its 2015 list of The 50 Best Companies To Work For In America, based on exclusive data from PayScale.

This year, Facebook tops the list, ranking as the best place to work in America. The social networking site just beats out Google, which comes in at No. 2.

Clearly, both tech giants are great employers, but why is Facebook a better place to work than Google?

To answer that question, we compared the two companies head to head with the help of data from PayScale and Glassdoor.

1. Facebookers are happier.

Employees from both tech companies are pretty stoked to be there, but Facebook has the edge over Google with a satisfaction rating of 93% compared to Google’s rating of 84%, according to employees who completed PayScale’s survey.

“Every morning when I go in, I feel like the luckiest guy on earth for ever landing a job here,” writes a Facebook data scientist in Menlo Park, California, on Glassdoor.

2. They get more freedom.

There are a lot of contributing factors to this high level of happiness, but one important reason stands out – Facebook trusts its people.

Don Faul, a former Facebook exec, recently told The Wall Street Journal that compared to Google, which he says is more structured and places more importance on “manager” titles, Facebook employees are often placed in roles that cater to their strengths and are encouraged to question and criticize their managers. And this kind of freedom is perhaps one of the best drivers for employee engagement.

“You get zero credit for your title,” he said. “It’s all about the quality of the work, the power of your conviction, and the ability to influence people.”

3. They make more money.

We know money isn’t everything when it comes to job satisfaction – but it certainly helps. In fact, while a higher salary won’t necessarily boost your happiness, researchers from the University of British Columbia and Michigan State University found that people with higher incomes reported feeling less sad, something Facebook employees surely know well.

On average an experienced employee at Facebook makes $135,000 compared to $133,000 at Google. And the social media company typically pays 17% above market rates for its employees, while Google pays 10% above market.

Taking a closer look, according to data gathered by Glassdoor, an intern at Facebook makes almost $7,400 a month on average, while a Google intern makes closer to $7,200 a month.

4. They’re less stressed.

If you’re in the market for a stress-free job, you’d be better off avoiding the tech industry altogether. But while it’s unlikely for many techies to consider their jobs relaxing, more Facebook employees report low job stress levels than any other tech company, including Google.

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Despite stressors like product launches and “oncall duty,” a two-week period a few times a year when engineers are responsible for keeping Facebook’s service up-and-running around the clock, 11% of Facebook employees consider their jobs low-stress. Meanwhile, 9% of Google employees feel the same way.
5. They consider their work more meaningful.

“Does your work make the world a better place?” That’s what PayScale asked Facebook and Google employees, and 81% of Facebook employees answered with a resounding yes. At Google, on the other hand, 67% of employees feel their work gives them meaning.

A former Googler cited one possible explanation on Quora: too many overqualified people.

“It can be tough to feel a sense of accomplishment about what you do, and that sense is actually quite important to the type of people who are ambitious enough to get over the Google hiring bar.”

6. The hiring process is less difficult.

Hiring at Google takes an average of six weeks, and job candidates consistently rate Google’s interview process as more difficult than Facebook’s on Glassdoor.

While it may seem counterintuitive that more competitive hiring practices could work against Google, the ex-employee explained that the tech giant has its pick of the best and brightest candidates and often hires them for lower-level jobs.

“There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google’s ad products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube, or writing basic code to AB test the color of a button on a site,” the ex-employee said.

7. A smaller team means more room for growth.

Another former Google employee wrote on Quora that Google is too big for most of the company’s 53,000 employees to have a real impact. Facebook, however, employs a much smaller team of about 10,000.

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“Unless you are an amazingly talented engineer who gets to create something new, chances are you’re simply a guy/girl with an oil can greasing the cogs of that machine,” the former Google employee wrote.

And when it comes to moving up the ladder, Facebook employees report to Glassdoor they have greater opportunities for growth. Compared to Googlers who feel satisfied in their ability to move up, Facebookers report they are very satisfied with the career opportunities at Facebook.

8. They love the generous benefits, especially those for parents.

Facebook and Google both have great perks – free food, a vibrant office environment, easy transportation to and from work – but Facebook trumps Google in the parenthood department.

Facebook is one of the first companies to offer coverage of up to $20,000 for egg-freezing, and its employees love that they can enjoy parenthood on their terms, giving the tech company’s maternity and paternity leave policies an almost perfect score on Glassdoor.

Current employees are particularly excited to report Facebook makes its four-months-paid-leave policy available to both women and men, whereas Google offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave but just 12 weeks of paternity leave.

And overall, Facebookers report on Glassdoor being happier with their benefits than Googlers.

“There is literally nothing bad about it – the perks and benefits are incredibly generous, and only get more so over time,” writes a current employee in Menlo Park, California.

Source: Business Insider India

TCS: Mega bonus likely to help reduce attrition

MUMBAI: Country’s largest software exporter TCS has said it hopes the Rs 2,628-crore bonus to its lakhs of employees will help contain the high attrition level.

The IT major, however, clarified that the 11,000 employees of its recently merged subsidiary CMC will not be eligible for the payout.

Tech Announcement“The bonus does not cover some of the subsidiaries and it is primarily for TCS staff. CMC employees will not be within this,” TCS global HR head Ajoy Mukherjee told in an interaction.

He also denied that the rising attrition levels, which he described as “high”, had anything to do with announcing the bonus.

“The bonus payout should have a benefit (on reducing attrition), but that is not the intent why we did it,” Mukherjee said, adding, the primary aim is to celebrate value creation.

TCS, which employees the largest workforce in the sector and had 3.19 lakh employees as of March-end, has been facing high attrition of late, which touched 14.9% in the March quarter.

Last October, TCS had merged CMC with itself, which it had bought in the early 2000 from the government through a disinvestment, wherein CMC shareholders will get 79 TCS shares of Re 1 face value for every 100 equity shares of Rs 10 each of CMC.

Mukherjee said the payment for employees within the country will be at a gross level, including the basic pay and statutory payments, while for those outside the country, it is a separate one which would also include their bonuses.

The Tata Group company, which contributes over 60% to the group’s net income, announced the hefty bonus of Rs 2,628 crore to celebrate 10 years of listing, during which its market capitalization has grown more than ten times to over Rs 5 trillion — the only company to attain such a feat.

The Lock Has Evolved: Open Doors With Your Phone

You’ve probably opened your car without sticking a key in the door for at least a decade. So why do we still use old-fashioned keys on the locks at home? Electronic locks, around for years, are a paradox. They seem so obvious in cars, hotel rooms and offices, yet alien at home.

Now a crop of smart home deadbolts propose a different approach: Turning your smartphone into the key.

This is still a horrifying idea to many people, including most of my family. There are so many what-ifs. What if your phone dies and you’re forced to sleep in the backyard? What if it goes haywire and lets in murderers?

Two smart locks I’ve tried answer enough of the scary what-ifs to make me consider retiring my trusty brass keys. My favorite is the $250 August, an automated device in stores this week that attaches easily to the inside face of most existing deadbolts. My runner-up is the $220 Kwikset Kevo, which replaces an entire lock with more sophisticated technology, but is a little harder to make work.

Tech Announcement 3When your deadbolts take commands from a phone, some magical things become possible. With August and Kevo, you can order the door to open automatically when your hands are full of groceries, or you just want to show off. You can travel light, because a smartphone can now replace both your keychain and wallet (thanks to services like Apple Pay). You can send virtual keys to tenants, house guests and plumbers that expire before anyone wears out their welcome.

Smart locks can be safer than traditional ones because keys can’t be lost, shared or copied, and there’s a record of the comings and goings of keyholders. The biggest threat is old-fashioned lock-picking.

But an electronic lock requires a bigger leap of faith than an Internet-connected thermostat, security camera or light bulb. Can you trust it to open and close every time? I tested three smart locks in my home—August, Kevo and the $180 Lockitron.

It took a week to get comfortable enough to leave home without a physical backup key for August. Kevo was a bit harder. One time, it locked me out, so I had to climb in through a window. (The cause was a software error, which has been patched.)

I never totally trusted Lockitron, the only one of the lot with a Wi-Fi connection. It didn’t fit one of my doors, and its maker has yet to deliver on several promised features.

Tech Announcement 2August and Kevo get the balance between reliability and functionality mostly right. Both leave an old-fashioned keyhole on the outside, so residents without smartphones (or, with ones whose batteries have died) can still come and go using keys. And since your phone connects directly to the locks with Bluetooth, they have fewer points of failure. Others, such as the $200 touch-screen smart lock made by Yale, connect your phone over the Internet to a potentially flaky smarthome hub.

August is the best-designed home technology I’ve used since the Nest thermostat. Free iPhone and Android apps allow you to dole out virtual keys to permanent residents or guests and track their activity. The hardware, which hooks onto many existing deadbolts by replacing the inside-facing latch, took me under 20 minutes to install.

Inside the chunky aluminum cylinder August attaches to your door, there’s a Bluetooth radio, batteries and a motor strong enough to turn the lock. To lock up manually inside the house, turn the August cylinder just like a latch. (Lockitron attaches a motor to your existing deadbolt latch, which is why I had a problem with the fit.)

When an authorized phone is within Bluetooth range, August can lock or unlock the door. If you use the app, it takes a few seconds to load. You can also set it to auto-unlock without touching your phone: An optional setting lets the app know when you’re approaching your door from the outside. (It isn’t quite as smart about automatically locking when you leave, but can be set to lock on a timer.)

Kevo, whose inventor appeared on the reality show “Shark Tank,” replaces your entire lock, eliminating compatibility problems. It takes a Kwikset deadbolt and adds a motor, batteries, Bluetooth radio and a touch sensor. This extra hardware lets it do a helpful trick: To lock or unlock, just touch the deadbolt with your finger when an authorized phone (or included key fob) is nearby. You never have to take your phone out of your pocket, let alone futz with an app.

There’s also an iPhone-only Kevo app that helps you manage virtual keys and track who comes and goes. You can hand out as many 24-hour temporary keys as you’d like, but Kevo charges you $2 each for more than two permanent digital keys. Any guest would have to download the app, too.

Still, installing Kevo isn’t for the timid. I spent more than an hour working through 24 steps and was frustrated placing two screws in particularly hard-to-reach spots.

Tech Announcement 4And then there’s calibration. Kevo, which has Bluetooth antennas on both sides of the door, is designed to unlock only when it senses an authorized person outside the house. (This security feature prevents the door from unlocking when you’re peering out from inside.) But Kevo failed me when its sensors thought I was inside. The company says that happened to less than 1% of owners—usually on doors with glass. A software patch fixed the problem for me.

Other what-ifs to consider:

• What if your phone’s battery dies? The physical key will still work, so keep one handy. Kevo includes a wireless key fob. August plans to soon work with other secure Bluetooth devices and unlock in their proximity.

• What if your lock’s battery dies? Both August and Kevo come with four AA batteries that should last a year. Their apps will warn you before they die. If they do fail, there’s always that spare physical key.

• What if you lose your phone? You can borrow another phone or computer to log in to your smart lock account and stop your lost phone from working as a key.

• What if the lock’s motor fails? The motor in Kevo is built to last for at least 50,000 uses; August says its can surpass 100,000. An old-fashioned key can override a dead motor.

August did fail on me when it couldn’t quite seal my old door. I’m glad I didn’t just walk away—the motor’s loud whirring told me there was a problem. The company’s fix? Replacement deadbolt locks tapered to work with doors that don’t quite shut all the way.

• What if a hacker breaks in? That would be hard. Both August and Kevo only connect to the Internet via a phone that can unlock it, so some hacker in a basement couldn’t just open your door. (Systems like Lockitron—which connect directly to the Internet—attempt to minimize risk with encryption.)

Someone could steal your account password and attempt to get a virtual key. August alerts you whenever your credentials are used on a new device, and texts or emails you a code that’s required to unlock a door for the first time on a new device.

I’ve gotten over the what-ifs that kept me up at night. August and Kevo are a serious option for homeowners, particularly those who host a lot of guests, roommates or Airbnb tenants.

But this is just a first step. My ideal deadbolt would come with a camera and be able to alert my phone when anybody enters with a key (metal as well as virtual). It should be smart enough to lock up at night if I forget. To be a compelling enough front-door upgrade, smart locks still need to make a quantum leap forward in peace of mind.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

100 Ex-Infosys Respond To Sikkas Call, To Join Company Again

infosys-officeMore than 100 former Infosys executives are returning to the company, heeding new CEO Vishal Sikka’s call to them to rejoin the one-time software industry bellwether in what could be a big confidence booster in its efforts to attract fresh talent and prevent existing employees from jumping ship.

Once an employer of choice in India, Infosys steadily lost that status in the past couple of years, hemorrhaged talent, including at senior levels, and left it with industry-leading attrition levels that has seen almost one in five employees leave the company.

After Sikka took charge of Infosys on August 1, one of his first actions was to issue an open call to former Infosys employees to come back to the company. In an email titled “A new beginning”, Sikka urged former employees to consider joining back, saying: “Our focus on finding new, exciting ways of working together has never been stronger. I have often heard it said that once an Infoscion, always an Infoscion. Friend, you stand testimony to this fact, and I know I can look forward to our continued association and your support as an ambassador for Infosys.”

That plea has since started yielding results, with the number of returnees, which stood in the low teens on average in the last 12 months, now steadily rising. Infosys has long had a programme called “Green Channel” to woo back former employees into the company, but this time around special care is being put to make their return smooth.

“There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the messages that have gone out to former Infoscions,” confirmed Srikantan Moorthy, executive vicepresident and head of human resources at Infosys. “I don’t have a definitive number because these are all people that apply for a position and then we look through and see how many have applied that were former Infoscions. But I can definitely say it will be more than 100.” He did not share details about the levels or roles at which people were returning or whether these included some high profile names.

This will be a shot in the arm for Sikka, who, in his first interview to ET since taking charge, had listed managing Infosys’ high attrition levels as one of his main short-term challenges alongside reviving growth. For the quarter to end-September, attrition stood at 20.1 per cent or one in five employees had left the company. Return of former employees will be perceived as a sign of renewed confidence in the company, and help Sikka and his executive team to attract talent in their attempts at rebuilding Infosys.

Source: ET