Daily Archives: May 20, 2015

Google Rolls Out Android 5.1.1 Update For All Compatible Smartwatches

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Google has just announced on one of its product forums that the Android Wear 5.1.1 update has started rolling out to all compatible smartwatches.

Android Wear 5.1.1 is a major update to Google’s wearable platform, chief among the new features being Wi-Fi support. With Android 5.1.1, smartwatches will be able to connect to wireless networks and stay in sync with your Android smartphone even when the Bluetooth connection is lost.

For example, Asus ZenWatch, LG G Watch and LG G Watch R won’t receive Wi-Fi support. On the other hand, LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3 and Samsung Gear Live will get Wi-Fi support through Android Wear 5.1.1 update.

Other new features included with this update are support for always-on apps, a new gesture for accessing apps and contacts (a left swipe from the watch face), the ability to change the font size, and support for emoji drawing.

Then there’s the new heads-up notifications system, which will make text messages appear on-screen even when you are looking at something else on your watch.

The update also provides users with the option to change fonts and the possibility to lock their watch’s screen when they are not wearing it.

Google’s post in the Android Wear Help Forum also says that the update will only roll out to users who are running the latest version of the Android Wear companion app.

GB

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Teaching Teenagers to Develop Their Emotional Intelligence

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If the U.S. is going to remain competitive in an increasingly global business environment, we need a future workforce that’s prepared. But the reality is that the youth who will be tomorrow’s innovators, educators, politicians, and business professionals aren’t ready to meet such competitive expectations – not so much because they’re untrained, but because they’re unequipped emotionally. To be competitive in the future, business leaders need to do something about this today.

At the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we are studying the future workforce, and the outlook isn’t good. Teens in the United States are in dire psychological straits. Their stress is edging beyond that of adults, according to a recent report by the American Psychological Association. Their rate of psychopathology is five times that of 75 years ago, according to one meta-analysis. Their rate of attempted suicide surpasses most other countries. America’s teens “trail much of the world on measures of school achievement, but are among the world leaders in violence, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, abortion, binge drinking, marijuana use, obesity, and unhappiness,” says adolescence scholar Larry Steinberg. A 2013 survey of more than 123,000 students at 153 colleges showed that more than half experience overwhelming anxiety, and about a third feel intense depression during the school year. Business leaders concerned about future U.S. competitiveness on the global stage, take heed: These are the kids leading us into the 21st century.

Business leaders are beginning to recognize that how people manage their emotions matters to their society’s economy. Nobel Laureate James Heckman writes that investment in the education of children’s “non-cognitive” skills – like motivation, perseverance, and self-control – is a cost-effective approach to increasing the quality and productivity of the workforce. The 2014 Skoll World Economic Forum’s vision for 21st century education called for the development of skills like initiative, persistence, adaptability, leadership, and global citizenship. Studies in organizational psychology and leadership, as well as popular articles, buzz with discussions of the importance of emotional intelligence.

Some business schools are working to train future leaders in the management of feelings. The Yale School of Management administers a test of emotional intelligence to students, then offers coaching to shore up skills in need of improvement. At the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the most popular elective for 45 years running is Interpersonal Dynamics, otherwise known as “Touchy-Feely,” where students meet in small groups and receive detailed feedback on how their behavior affects others. Stanford courses like “The Art of Self-Coaching” draw on the latest emotion science, positive psychology and mindfulness training. “Acting with Power” helps students explore the physicality of authority, status and power.

Graduates are getting results. “Something as simple as learning to manage my micro-expressions – a frown or a smile – has made me a more empathic and effective leader,” observes graduating Stanford MBA and healthcare entrepreneur Nima Ahmadi.

A large and growing body of research demonstrates that emotional intelligence – the ability to reason with and about emotions – is correlated with positive outcomes in children beginning as early as preschool, as well as in adults, including business managers and leaders.

Teaching emotional intelligence – or what’s more broadly called social and emotional learning (SEL) – to children and adults also has proven to be effective., The approach to SEL that we’ve developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (called RULER) has demonstrated that children of all ages can be taught these skills – and that when they are, there are real benefits, such as more effective leadership skills, stronger friendships and connections to teachers, better conflict management skills, and greater academic achievement than children who do not receive the training. A meta-analysis of 213 studies on a wide range of social and emotional learning programs showed similar findings. And a cost-benefit analysis released last month concluded that for every dollar schools spend on SEL, there is an average of $11 worth of benefits to society, including costs associated with healthcare and educational attainment.

Given that evidence-based SEL programs in school are highly effective and sorely needed, it’s frustrating to see that the policies to mandate and fund them are slow to come. Two federal bills are pending. One, the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act (HR 850) would fund teachers’ professional development. A second, named for a young child lost in the Sandy Hook massacre, the Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act (S 897) would support evidence-based SEL programming. A few states like Illinois, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have moved ahead to adopt their own policies.

American business leaders have the power and – if they but knew it – the pressing need to advocate for our nation’s schools to include the education of emotions. We hope that leaders across the nation will work to change education to equip America to be competitive for the new global century well underway.

Here’s how business leaders can help: The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in partnership with Born This Way Foundation – founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta – is amplifying youth voices to press harder for change. Together, they have launched a national campaign called the Emotion Revolution to address the emotional needs of high school students.

It begins with an anonymous survey for students to report about how they currently feel in school, how they want to feel, and what they believe needs to happen to bridge the gap between the two. Encourage the high school youth you know to participate in the survey here.

In October 2015, there will be a summit at Yale to unveil the survey’s findings and offer youth the opportunity to share ideas with educators, academics, and policymakers for creating improved learning environments. Business leaders would do well to pay attention to what these future leaders and employees are telling us. Your company’s future depends on it – and them.

HBR

Games on FB messenger very soon

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New York: You may soon be able to play games over Facebook Messenger. According to reports, Facebook is already in talks with developers for creating games for Messenger. Although the plans for games may still be in the early stages, with major decisions on how they actually work yet to be made, the idea has generated much interest, reported The Verge.

People already have their social network established over Messenger, which could make it an easy way to play casual games which work within Messenger and live inside of its app store. Facebook began allowing third parties to tap into Messenger back in March, but the partners so far have largely been about adding new images — be it GIFs, stickers, or drawings — into chats.

According to reports, games are being viewed as a way to get more engagement and more revenue, as traction apparently hasn’t been great for the initial round of apps. However, details like whether the games will live inside of Messenger or simply use Messenger as a way to link players together are yet to be decided by Facebook.

THI

FB may allow businesses to use WhatsApp

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New York: Facebook might soon allow businesses to interact with users of popular messaging service WhatsApp. “We think that enabling that B2C (business-to-consumer) messaging has good business potential for us,” Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner was reported as saying by Mashable.

“As we learn those things, I think there’s going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that’s more longer term,” Wehner said at a tech conference in Boston recently. Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $21.8 billion last year.With 800 million users now, WhatsApp has grown rapidly since 2009, particularly in Europe and parts of Asia.

But profit remains elusive for WhatsApp. In October, Facebook disclosed that WhatsApp made nearly $16 million in revenues during the first half of 2014 but lost $232 million during the same period, mostly from stock-related expenses. The situation looked pretty similar for 2013, when the company generated $10.2 million in revenues for the year but lost $138 million, also from stock-related expenses.

Given that history, it makes sense for Facebook to consider a B2C feature for WhatsApp, where it charges businesses for access to users. The service obviously has huge global reach, and Facebook already has some businesses, including Everlane and Zulily, engaging with customers via Messenger.

WhatsApp has so far largely stayed away from advertising and games which could rake in some moolah for it. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has said he is in no rush to transform services like WhatsApp into businesses until they hit one billion users. The news is, WhatsApp could hit that milestone by end of 2015

HI

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