Tag Archives: Mobile Trends

I tried 23andMe's genetics test — and now I know why the company caused such a stir

IMG_5547.JPG

This fall, personal-genetics company 23andMe launched a new direct-to-consumer test that complies with the FDA’s rules on personal-genetics testing.

The new test gives information on everything from how much DNA you share with our Neanderthal ancestors to how much caffeine you likely consume.

It also lets you know if you’re carrying certain genetic variations related to diseases that you could pass on to your kids.

I’ve been interested in what 23andMe is doing ever since I heard they were planning to develop drugs based on genetic information. But I was also curious to see what kind of diseases I might be at risk of passing down to my kids and whether the health concerns that run in my family could be spotted in my spit.

Here’s what it was like:

CHECK OUT: Personal genetics startup 23andMe is back — and it wants to tell you what your genes have to do with how much coffee you drink

NEXT: I shipped my spit to a genetics company to have it tested, 23andMe style — here’s what I found out

A few days after ordering, my box arrived! It was colorful and so inviting that I couldn’t wait to open it up.

The test came with instructions, a tube for me to spit in and a special sealed bag to enclose the tube in when I was done. Spit is one of the most noninvasive ways to collect DNA.

Spitting into a tube wasn’t as easy as I expected. (My apologies to my coworkers who had to hear me do this for about five minutes.) 23andMe needs this much spit just in case the first assay, or analysis procedure, fails, 23andMe Vice President of Business Development, Life Sciences Emily Drabant Conley told Business Insider. That way, they have enough to run it a second time.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Microsoft Office 2010
Fatal error: Call to a member function xpath() on a non-object in /home1/mylifeco/public_html/pricecutterstore.com/admin/models/api/affiliate_window.class.php on line 129

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

SNAKES, TANKS, AND PRANKS: This 27-year-old college drop-out travels the world turning other people into YouTube and Instagram stars

Greg Baroth

Ever dream of quitting your job and making your living as a famous YouTube or Instagram star?

If so, meet Greg Baroth.

It’s his full-time job to make people famous on social media.

He’s the one you call if you think up an insane prank — say you want to swim with snakes in your Beverly Hills pool  and you need someone to find the snakes and bring them to your house. 

Or maybe your stunt needs a drone, pronto. Or maybe you want to do your stunt with Denver Broncos football star Von Miller. Or with Vine/YouTube star Logan Paul. Or rap star Wiz Khalifa.

Baroth’s your man.

It all started with a love of reptiles

Baroth grew up in Los Angeles, but as a kid he seemed about as far from the celeb set as possible. He loved snakes and turtles and spent his teens working at a reptile store dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. He was, in a word, a geek. “There was a reason why I was a virgin until college,” he jokes today.

Greg Baroth lizardBut while in college he took a fancy to marketing and opted to explore it by doing an internship at famous music talent agency Bill Silva Management, which led to a paid job for a social media startup backed by CAA, another big talent agency.

That’s where he met his first client Randy Jackson from American Idol. Jackson hired him for a moonlighting gig to do things like man Jackson’s Twitter account (back before Twitter was a part of the show). Baroth helped Jackson get into live tweetstorms during the show with Ryan Seacrest.

Jackson introduced Baroth to other clients, like Carlos Santana’s son Salvador Santana, and the comic Louie Anderson. Soon, he was making more money moonlighting than at his day job.

So Baroth quit his job, and dropped out of college, too, and started doing social media full-time. He was 21.

“My first year, I made $75,000. After that, it’s always been six figures,” he says, and a healthy enough six figures to let him to buy a house in L.A., where the median home price is over $700,000.

But his life really changed when a PR friend introduced him to womanizing party animal Dan Bilzerian, who was looking to hire a social media person. Baroth realized that this dude was “the guy’s guy” and came up with ideas that got noticed by bro media sites like BroBible and turned Bilzerian into a bigger Instagram sensation. “He really does live that lifestyle,” Baroth says of Bilzerian.

Baroth no longer works with Bilzerian (although he says they remain friendly). Today he’s probably best known as the guy helping “Mini-Me” Verne Troyer’s become a social media hit.

But with or without Bilzerian, Baroth’s life is still certifiably insane. Take a look.

Greg Baroth became known as the guy that helped make party-animal socialite Dan Bilzerian Insta-famous. Baroth no longer works with Bilzerian but he helped capture (and sometimes thought up) some of Bilzerian’s most popular stunts.

Here’s a funny pic of Bilzerian and a group of women at Battlefield Las Vegas, a place in Las Vegas where you can drive tanks over cars.  What you can’t see: they are standing on top of a crushed BMW. That’s Baroth in the far left, looking at his cell phone.

Turns out, Baroth’s love and experience with reptiles is a great asset for his chosen career. Here he is with Finnish prank star Jukka Hildén. They are hanging with a 16-foot 150-pound reticulated python. Baroth is perfectly happy having a massive snake draped around his neck.

The python is one of several huge snakes visiting Hildén’s house. “Jukka wanted to swim with snakes. He has a nice house in Beverly Hills with a pool,” Baroth says. So Baroth contacted famous reptile man Brian Barczyk who brought the snakes.

Here’s the video of Hildén and Jake Paul (Logan Paul’s brother) swimming with multiple giant snakes.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Microsoft Office 2010
Fatal error: Call to a member function xpath() on a non-object in /home1/mylifeco/public_html/pricecutterstore.com/admin/models/api/affiliate_window.class.php on line 129

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

15 fascinating facts you probably didn't know about Amazon (AMZN)

Jeff Bezos

When Amazon first launched in 1995 as a website that only sold books, founder Jeff Bezos had a vision for the company’s explosive growth and e-commerce domination.

He knew from the very beginning, he wanted Amazon to be “an everything store.”

In author Brad Stone’s 2013 book on the origins of Amazon, he paints a picture of the early days of the company and how it grew into the behemoth that it is today.

Jillian D’Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story.

SEE ALSO: The company formerly known as Google is far bigger than most people realize

“Amazon” wasn’t the company’s original name.

Jeff Bezos originally wanted to give the company the magical sounding name “Cadabra.”

Amazon’s first lawyer, Todd Tarbert, convinced him that the name sounded too similar to “Cadaver,” especially over the phone.

Bezos also favored the name “Relentless.” If you visit Relentless.com today, guess where it navigates to…

He finally chose “Amazon” because he liked that the company would be named after the largest river in the world, hence the company’s original logo. 

In the early days of Amazon, a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase, and everyone would gather around to see if they knew the customer.

It only took a few weeks before the bell was ringing so frequently that they had to turn it off.

Also, Amazon got started out of Bezos’ garage and the servers that the company used required so much power that Bezos and his wife couldn’t run a hair dryer or a vacuum in the house without blowing a fuse.

In the first month of its launch, Amazon had already sold books to people in all 50 states and in 45 different countries. 

Learn more about some of Amazon’s first employees here

An obscure book about lichens saved Amazon from going bankrupt.

Book distributors required retailers to order ten books at a time, and Amazon didn’t need that much inventory yet (or have that much money).

So, the team discovered a loophole. Although the distributors required that Amazon ordered 10 books, the company didn’t need to receive that many. So, they would order one book they needed, and nine copies of an obscure lichen book, which was always out of stock. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Silicon Valley has a fresh take on a new movement that could be the future of medicine

forward medical office startup 14

Forward is Silicon Valley’s futuristic doctor’s office that looks “like an Apple Store meets ‘Westworld.’

For $150 a month, it acts as your primary care provider, along with providing some extra perks and technology used with the intent to keep you healthier. 

It’s a type of doctor’s office that’s similar to direct primary care, a small but fast-growing movement of pediatricians, family-medicine physicians, and internists. This group doesn’t accept insurance, and instead charges a monthly membership fee that covers most of what the average patient needs, including visits and prescription drugs at much lower prices.

Direct primary care practices are growing at a time when high-deductible health plans are on the rise — a survey in September found that 51% of workers had a plan that required them to pay up to $1,000 out of pocket for healthcare until insurance picks up most of the rest. For more on direct primary care, here’s a snapshot of how it differs from a traditional doctor’s visit.

Forward CEO Adrian Aoun, who formerly worked at Google, didn’t really think about fitting into that DPC model, and doesn’t call what Forward is doing direct primary care. 

Instead, he said Forward is to healthcare what the iPhone is to communications. While the Blackberry phone initially gained traction because companies supplied it for their employees, consumers ended up opting to get their own smartphones that were easier to use. In his mind, the existing employer-backed healthcare system is the Blackberry, and Forward’s model is the smartphone. 

“We want to rebuild healthcare from the patient’s perspective,” Aoun told Business Insider.

According to Aoun, technology plays a big role in that rebuilding process. It’s a way to”supercharge” doctors, Aoun said, so that they have more time with patients and it’s used effectively.

Forward’s “baseline” appointments — that is, when you first join — run about an hour long. The difference is that he hopes appointments won’t be filled with time-consuming tests. “What we don’t think is it should be spent on ‘dumb things,'” he said. 

To take away some of those procedures, you check in with iPads, get scanned using a proprietary all-in-one scanner that looks at your weight, temperature, heart rate and other vital signs, and your history is projected on a screen in the room.

The difference between direct primary care and Forward 

In January, Forward launched after raising an undisclosed amount from Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Eric Schmidt, and Marc Benioff. The practice charges $150 per month (billed annually), which is higher than the price point for most DPC practices, which have monthly fees that are usually between $50-70, depending on how old you are.

Forward is also offering more perks than a traditional DPC office, including certain fertility services, along with wanting to use a lot of the data you collect from monitors. It also comes with an app that you can use to access your information and doctors, and genetic testing to screen for hereditary cancer risks. Like many direct primary care practices, Forward offers generic prescriptions in-house along with some blood tests.  

The practice has also faced the same problems as other direct primary care practices. Aoun said he’s seen a lot of folks swing by the San Francisco office, say it’s awesome, but then almost immediately ask about whether insurance will cover the cost. 

It’s similar to what’s happened to Dr. Matthew Abinante, who opened his practice in Huntington Beach, California, in September. Since then, he has had two people call his office to find out more about his practice. When he explained the system, he said, the callers thought it had to be a scam. The misunderstanding about how no-insurance based business models work is one of the biggest hurdles doctors face when starting direct primary care.

But Aoun said he’s optimistic about Forward catching on. The practice is growing pretty well, he said, and he doesn’t have a target for how many patients the first office takes on. The extra variable of technology could make it so the practice could take on a lot more patients than the typical direct primary care practice, which can vary anywhere from 300 to 1,000 patients per doctor.

BI Graphics_Healthcare Chart

SEE ALSO: A new kind of doctor’s office charges a monthly fee and doesn’t take insurance — and it could be the future of medicine

DON’T MISS: A $12 billion startup you’ve probably never heard wants to cure baldness and smooth out your wrinkles

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 survival myths that could get you killed

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

How Microsoft got out of its vacuum and enlisted 10 million die hard fans to make a better Windows (MSFT)

microsoft windows insider dona sarkar

In September 2014, Microsoft did something very uncharacteristic: Not only did it introduce the new Windows 10 operating system — it invited people to try out the extremely unfinished operating system, a full year and a half before it would hit store shelves.

This program, dubbed Windows Insider, was the brainchild of Bill Karagounis and Gabe Aul, both long-time Microsoft engineers.

Over the past two decades, Windows has been developed in a near-total vacuum. Only Microsoft employees saw the new version in the works until it was almost ready to hit store shelves — “We would go for years before we would show our product to the world,” Karagounis tells Business Insider. 

In early 2014, recognizing that Windows 10 was a major inflection point for the company under new CEO Satya Nadella, the pair went to Windows boss Terry Myerson and his executive team. This time, they suggested, Windows users should “come along for the journey” with product engineering, Karagounis says. 

By September 2015, 7 million people had signed up with the program; there are over 10 million Windows Insiders today, across Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and smartphones. About a year ago, Aul stepped down from his role as leader of Windows Insider to focus on his product duties, making way for fellow Windows veteran Dona Sarkar to take over. 

gabe aul dona sarkar fight

Now, as Microsoft prepares to release the Windows 10 Creators Update, a major free upgrade coming on April 11th, Sarkar says that the Insider program is playing a key role in the future of the operating system. The motto within Windows Insider, Sarkar tells us, is that these power users are “the millions who represent the billions.”

“[Windows Insider] is actually changing the way we build and change Windows,” Sarkar says. 

‘More than a beta testing program’

Apple and Google both make beta versions of their operating system available to app developers, ahead of official major upgrades for the masses. Karagounis says that Windows Insider is different.

“Some people have beta testing programs,” Karagounis says. “We have more than a beta testing program; we have a whole community.” 

The way Windows Insider works is simple: Go to the Windows Insider website with your PC or tablet and sign up, though Microsoft suggests not using any computer you’ll have to use every day, just in case a new build of Windows breaks things. Then, in your Windows 10 settings, you’ll be able to choose the “fast ring” or the “slow ring.”Bill Karagounis Microsoft

On the fast ring, Sarkar says, you’ll get a new version of Windows mere days after the Microsoft team finishes it and it goes through some basic testing. On the slow ring, you’ll get something a little more stable, a little less frequently. Either way, it’s speedier than waiting a year or two between major Windows releases.

“Now, technically, we release Windows every week,” says Sarkar.

Sarkar refers to the practice of running Windows Insider as “Insidering,” and it revolves around the Feedback Hub app. It’s become a community unto itself, Sarkar says, with Insiders offering “lovely, really detailed” suggestions on everything from the opacity of the Start menu, to the placement of the “Save” button in the new Paint 3D app

‘Because that’s what you should do’

Sarkar says that Microsoft has totally revamped its engineering culture around the Windows Insider program: She met with a bunch of Windows product managers recently, she said, and every single one of them told her that they were holding off on making more decisions until more Insider feedback comes in.

And it’s a two-way street, Sarkar says. Every team within the larger Windows organization now has a “community champion” — a Microsoft engineer, given a mandate to work with the Insider community on a specific topic, based on their knowledge and interests, from gaming to programming to the Windows Store app market.

For example, Sarkar says, a visually impaired Windows programmer is working with Insiders as one of those “community champions,” to gather feedback on Windows 10’s accessibility features and bring it back to the team.

 microsoft surface studio

“We try to mirror our Insider community with our community within,” says Sarkar. “Because that’s what you should do.”

To Sarkar’s mind, this approach is especially important now, with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Past versions of Windows have focused on a very straightforward computer experience, basically for people who sit down and type. With new apps like Paint 3D, and new stylus features to go with it, Microsoft is courting creative and artistic types.

“This is an update for people who aren’t like Windows engineers,” Sarkar says.

‘The biggest fans of Windows I’ve ever seen in my whole life’

The Windows Insider model has been enough of a success that it’s being emulated across the rest of Microsoft. Office Insider and Xbox Insider both launched recently, giving similar levels of pre-release access to dedicated fans.

Windows Insider itself just this past week expanded into letting corporate customers into the program, so they can give their own brand of feedback on the future of Windows 10. The goal, Sarkar says, is to just keep talking to Windows users and hear what they have to say. 

This level of openness has won the Windows Insider team a certain level of celebrity within the Microsoft fan community, around the globe. Now, when Sarkar wants to tease a new build of Windows 10 coming down the pipeline, she hides the version number in a photo on her Twitter account, as kind of game with Insiders.

Like so:

Windows Insider fans even created their own mascot, the “ninjacat,” which Microsoft has readily adopted as the officially-sanctioned mascot of Windows 10, at least amongst employees. 

windows insider ninjacat t-rex

All in all, Sarkar says, it’s a level of enthusiasm for Microsoft and Windows that she’s never felt before, but that she’s more than ready to accept, even as the ranks of the Windows Insiders continue to grow.

“I tell everyone, I’ve been waiting around 12 years for this,” Sarkar says. “These are the biggest fans of Windows I’ve ever seen in my whole life.” 

Karagounis is no less excited, but a little more muted: “I probably had more modest plans for the program,” he says.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft explains the new Windows 10 mode that could make video games so much better

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I switched from Mac to Windows and I’m never going back — here’s why

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

PwC's global chairman says we'll see 'that scenario of a negative growth rate' if we don't deal with job-killing robots

factory line car

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may think artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t going to start taking humans’ jobs for 50 to 100 years, but most experts believe a revolution in automation is coming far sooner, promising massive increases in efficiency — and job losses on a huge scale.

A recent study put out by PwC estimated that as many as 30% of UK jobs could be “susceptible to automation by robots and AI” by the early 2030s — with 38% in the US at risk, 35% in Germany, and 21% in Japan — although it believes jobs will be created elsewhere in the economy to help offset this.

Are we doing enough to prepare? Absolutely not, says Bob Moritz, global chairman of consultancy firm PwC.

“I would say no,” he told Business Insider in early March at Mobile World Congress, a major tech industry conference in Barcelona. “We actually have to do a lot better job” everywhere from educating the workforce to governments getting the right policies in place (see also: Mnuchin’s blasé attitude), as well as the role of the businesses in the process. “I think there’s more to be done there.” (We spoke before the announcement or publication of the automation research.)

But for all the doomsaying about a jobs apocalypse, what’s the worst case scenario — what happens if we don’t get our cards in order before it’s too late?

There are three “really big negative or downside implications,” Moritz says, all of which are linked:

  • Job losses: “Do you actually have the employment of the people within your cities, your towns, your countries, that are actually fit for purpose?” If you’re not careful, desirable jobs could rapidly disappear.
  • Risks to economic growth: “Are you able to get the economic growth to sustain yourself?” If these efficiency gains don’t translate into broader economic benefits, that will cause problems.
  • The threat of social unrest: “Is quality of life able to be sustained at a level that avoids potential social unrest?” A rapidly growing out-of-work population with no meaningful prospects to re-enter the workforce can have disastrous consequences.

bob moritz1“When you talk about the ultimate, if countries or cities are not addressing the needs of ‘how do I keep people employed, the needs of ‘how to grow,’ and the needs of ‘what the stakeholders want,’ you do get to that scenario of a negative growth rate, a negative balance of budget, and a poverty situation that … does not allow for the citizens of the country or the town or the city to flourish the way we want them to.”

In other words: It all falls apart.

People are split on the correct response to the looming threat. Some suggest universal basic income — an experimental form of government welfare given to all citizens — could be the answer, if sufficient new jobs aren’t created to replace those lost to automation.

Moritz says that “personally, from my perspective would be focused on training and skills” — governments and corporations pro-actively educating people with new skills. “I think that helps in either case to allow for people to have the opportunities that are in front of them … [and] also allows for them to minimise the needs for the socialisation from a welfare perspective if in fact the employment is there.”

But it’s clear that something needs to be done — likely rather sooner than Mnuchin anticipates.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: You probably shouldn’t use public Wi-Fi — here’s what you should use instead

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

The Green Party wants to create a 3-day weekend: Here are the economic logistics required

Caroline Lucas

LONDON — Last week, the Green Party proposed giving British workers a new right to a “three-day weekend.” In their pitch, party leaders Caroline Lucas MP and Jonathan Bartley wrote, “How deeply do you dread the long week stretching ahead of you when you go to bed on a Sunday night?”

That makes it sound like a charter for the lazy, which is a shame because the Greens are asking a good question about one of the most important issues in economics right now: Why don’t increases in productivity gain us more free time, and why is British productivity so feeble? 

It is not a new question.

  • The economist John Maynard Keynes, writing in 1930, believed the future would deliver “three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week.”
  • In the 1950s, former prime minister Winston Churchill said that he hoped technology would give “the working man what he’s never had – four days’ work and three days’ fun.”
  • And in 1994, the French Marxist Andre Gorz wrote a short book, “Farewell to the Working Class,” in which he calculated that by the year 2001 technology could deliver productivity gains that would allow us to work just two days per week, and still get pay rises.

The Green Party is asking the same question anew. The answer: It is possible to create a four-day week with a three-day weekend as a new legal right … but salaried workers should expect to work 10-hour days if that happened.

Seventy years of failure

In the two centuries between the 1800s to the 1940s the working week declined — by law — from at least 120 hours (12 or more hours per day, six days a week) to the current level of about 40 hours per week with two guaranteed days off. 

Since then, for the last 70 years, there has been no improvement in working conditions. Some countries — France and Holland — have reduced the working week to nearer 35 hours. But for most full-time employed people, time has stood still: Everyone is tied to their jobs for five days a week, just like our grandparents after World War II.

What went wrong?

In a word, productivity. 

Our labour, in terms of GDP growth per hour worked, is simply less effective than it used to be. This chart (below) shows it best. Money invested in work has gets lower returns as time goes by:

productivity

Right now, productivity might be negative. It was estimated at -0.1% in 2016, according to The Conference Board.

Lack of productivity is holding the entire UK economy back. We are technically at full employment. That means we can’t simply employ more people to get more growth because there are no more people to employ. To get more growth, we have to make our work more efficient and more productive.

OK, so we can’t add workers. But we can add technology.

Today, one person with a laptop performs volumes more work than an entire office full of managers and secretaries did in the 1960s. Surely we can get gains from technical efficiency?

Employers have a huge incentive to not cut your hours

The short answer to that is “yes,” but the long answer explains why employers will be unlikely to reduce the working week. This chart from John Pencavel at Stanford University shows two different measures of worker productivity over a week:

productivity and hours worked

In both measures, your productivity rises the more hours you work. But by about 50 hours a week, the gains are becoming marginal. At 65 hours a week, it’s stalling or going negative. Tired, burned out workers just don’t make any more productive work.

The key is that the sweet spot is somewhere after 40 hours per week.

From an employer’s point of view, if you worked a Green Party week — 32 hours over four days — you are leaving money on the table. Any extra money invested in your work gets increasing returns as you work extra hours. 

Employers won’t make much more money from you if you work for six days a week, or 12 hours a day, because you will be doing sloppy, mistake-ridden work. But they will mind a lot if you want to stop working at 20 hours per week, since you’d still be very productive for another 20 after that. 

The temptation is to say that employers should just add more workers to fill out those extra hours. But if each of those new workers is also positively productive for 32 hours it merely proves that they’d be even more productive if they all worked 40 or more. Each new worker leaving after 32 hours is money lost.

Time is not money, unfortunately

Capitalism doesn’t work if all its benefits are turned into leisure time. You can’t invest time. It only works if productivity gets turned into money. Employers are willing to pay you to stay, but they won’t pay you to leave. So workers are essentially robbed of the time that their productivity may save them.

Pencavel’s chart also illustrates another problem with capitalism: Humans get tired and become unproductive if they work for too long. That is one reason employers are increasingly replacing workers with robots, who never get tired.

Caroline LucasIn 1994, Gorz made a startling observation. Capitalism was not, as Marx predicted, creating an ever-larger working class. It was doing the opposite: It was using technology to destroy the working class. Robots were replacing industrial workers. Computers — still a relatively new device in 1994 — were replacing office workers.

Today that same argument is being made, more or less, by Bill Gates. Gates believes robots should be taxed to address the economic destruction they might wreak on jobs.

The Green Party is proposing something essentially different: That workers be paid in the form of both cash and time. When a worker gets paid for five days after working only a four-day week, they will have earned a pay rise in both money and time. 

That sounds like a worthy solution. The Economist noted that there have been some small successful experiments with four-day weeks. But it doesn’t alter the employer incentive to push individual workers over the 40-hour barrier. Anyone doing productive work for 32 hours is going to earn their employer even more if they work for 40.

Which is why the Green Party’s idea might work if installed as a law. But only if you accept that your boss will likely want you on the job for four 10-hour days.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your phone before bed

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

JPMorgan is targeting Silicon Valley

Matt Zames

JPMorgan chief operating officer Matt Zames is setting his sights on Silicon Valley.

In a letter titled “Redefining the Financial Services Industry” in JPMorgan’s 328-page letter to shareholders, Zames ran through the bank’s tech strategy.

Zames said attracting tech talent from Silicon Valley and technology firms is an integral component to that strategy. The letter said:

“Attracting, retaining and developing top technology talent is paramount, and we cast a net far and wide to find the best and the brightest. In 2016, 32% of our senior hires in technology came from non-financial services firms. We had a 10:1 applicant-to position ratio for our Technology Analyst Program, which targets graduates of global universities that have strong technology programs.”

The bank spends more than $9.5 billion on technology, according to the letter, with an increasing percentage of that budget going on new investments and innovation. 

“Our strategy is a combination of build, buy and partner in order to continue delivering the best digital products and services at scale,” Zames said. “Our relationships with the external technology ecosystem helped drive value across our technology focus areas, including next-generation data and analytics platforms, such as Hadoop and Spark.”

Zames highlighted a number of fields such as machine learning and robotics in which the bank made huge inroads with new initiatives.

Here are some of the highlights from the letter (emphasis added):

New design standards

  • “We are also defining design standards to provide a common technical framework for development of applications of a particular type, for example, big data analytics. This will significantly reduce rework and duplication in the software development life cycle where, previously, application developers have had to create their own one-off frameworks.”

A new private cloud

  • “In 2016, we launched a new private cloud platform called Gaia, designed to provide developers with rapid agility – so that they spend more time developing and less time provisioning infrastructure and application services. Over 5,000 developers already have begun to use Gaia. By the end of 2017, we expect to more than double the number of applications hosted on the platform.”

New global data center strategy

  • “In 2016, we invested in a new global data center strategy to consolidate our existing facilities into fewer, larger, more modular sites. In early 2017, we opened our first new state-of-the-art data center, which is the strategic model for all future builds globally.”

New Market Risk platform

  • “Last year, we re-engineered our Market Risk platform, one of the largest in-memory risk analytics platforms in the world. The platform now manages over 1 billion risk sensitivities and provides visibility 17 times faster than the prior system while delivering a more granular and holistic view of the firm’s risk exposure.”

Robotics

  • “We established an internal center of excellence to drive best practices around a growing pipeline of robotic process automation, including systems access administration, for which we expect to automate 1.7 million requests in 2017. We have line of sight into more than $30 million run rate saves from robotic process automation in 2017, a savings that, coupled with other optimization efforts, will continue to increase substantially in the years to come.”

Machine learning

  • “We are initiating pilots for a broad range of machine learning use cases – from detecting anomalies for fraud and cybersecurity, to generating targeted trading strategies to share with clients, to optimizing our client servicing channels. We are only at the very beginning of tapping the potential capabilities of machine learning and its benefits to our business.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These are the states you should live in to pay the least taxes

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Business Insider is hiring a sports reporter

Tom Brady

Business Insider is looking for a reporter to join our sports team.

This job is for someone who cares about sports, loves telling smart, compelling stories, and has a knack for finding original angles on the biggest stories in sports.

The sports reporter will:

  • Write about a wide range of sports, including major sports and sports leagues such as MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and soccer.
  • Cover major events like the Olympics and World Cup.
  • Have an opportunity to cover other sports and leagues, such as NASCAR, F1, UFC and WWE, and more.
  • Write several succinct posts a day while simultaneously working on longer features.
  • Occasionally cover important sporting events on nights and weekends.

The ideal candidate should be a strong writer, have 1-3 years of experience in a newsroom, have an understanding of digital media, and love sports. Knowledge of a wide variety of sports is an asset, as is experience with social media and basic photo editing skills.

Interested? Submit your resume and a cover letter HERE.

Please note: This job requires that you work full-time from our Manhattan headquarters. Business Insider offers competitive compensation packages complete with benefits. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch these giant container ships collide near the Suez Canal

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

'Significant discrimination': Government accuses Google of underpaying female workers (GOOG, GOOGL)

google woman employee

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Government investigators looking into how Google pays its employees accused the tech giant of shortchanging women doing similar work to men.

A U.S. Department of Labor official disclosed the agency’s allegations during a Friday court hearing in San Francisco. The Guardian reported on the testimony of Janette Wipper, a regional director for the Labor Department.

Google says it vehemently disagreed with the charges of sex discrimination, which the Mountain View, California, company said it hadn’t heard until Wipper’s court appearance.

“The investigation is not complete, but at this point the department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters,” said Janet Herold, regional solicitor at the Department of Labor, according to The Guardian report.

“The government’s analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry,” Herold continued.

Google and other technology companies have been trying to improve hiring practices that have historically doled out most of their technical jobs to white and Asian men. Their efforts to strike a better balance have been mostly unsuccessful so far.

The Labor Department is suing Oracle, claiming the company pays white male employees more than counterparts with the same job title. Oracle has said the allegations are “wholly without merit.”

SEE ALSO: The government is suing Oracle for discriminatory hiring practices — Oracle says it’s ‘politically motivated’

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Uber finally released their diversity report — here’s how it compares to Facebook and Google

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,