We should think about this, really!

24/7 Wall St.

educationThe kinds of jobs that don’t require a college degree probably hasn’t changed much in the last 30 or more years. What has changed is the number of those jobs now filled by college graduates.

According to study released today, about 48% of employed U.S. college grads hold jobs that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says require less than a 4-year degree. Of that total 11% of employed college graduates work in occupations that require more than a high-school diploma and 37% work at jobs that require no more than a high-school education.

Whereas in 1970 just 1% of taxi drivers and 2% of firefighters held 4-year degrees, more than 15% of those employed in both jobs now hold college degrees.

Not all colleges are created equal either. Graduates of elite private schools make more than do graduates of flagship state universities, who, in turn, earn more than graduates…

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This what makes studying so much important, the use of experience and knowledge based combined altogether defining the skills valued by the user in increasing your highest bid in salary.

Gigaom

The value of an advanced business degree is eroding — at least as measured by the rate of pay increases for recipients, according to new research by the Financial Times. Bottom line is that graduates of the top US programs in the mid 1990s tripled their salaries in five years on average, but grads from the same schools saw half that increase in 2008 and 2009.

That can’t feel good — though I’d wager those salaries are still pretty robust to begin with. But there is growing skepticism about whether a masters degree in business administration pays off the way it once did. This decline in pay hikes comes at a time when students pay 7 percent more per year for their degrees. In 2012, the fees for MBA programs were up 44 percent in real terms compared to 2005.

Whether an MBA is worth the effort and expense…

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Gigaom

If there were any doubts about Samsung maintaining its world’s-top-phone-manufacturer status for the short to medium-term future, they should be dispelled as of now. The Korean company’s results for the fourth quarter of 2012 show profits up a whopping 76 percent since Q4 2011, reaching 7.04 trillion won ($6.55 billion).

Much of that is down to Samsung’s two Android flagships, the Galaxy S III and Note II. Samsung’s Mobile Communications division brought in revenues of 27.23 trillion won ($25.35 billion) during the quarter, which represents just under half of the overall company’s revenues in that period – remember that Samsung also makes everything from semiconductors to refrigerators.

Smartphone supremacy

“Samsung led gains with its full lineup of entry- to mid-level smartphones, expanded sales of tablet PCs and an increase in average selling price (ASP) from the previous quarter,” the firm said in its results statement. “The success was mainly…

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Gigaom

Google is exploring the idea of making a smart watch according to a Business Insider source. The unnamed source suggests that Google(S GOOG) is researching how to market such a device and BI notes certain relevant patents Google has that would support such a product. Even with the report, which I’d consider a rumor at this point, now’s the time for a Google smart watch for a number of reasons I can think of. The biggest one? Google already has a smart watch on the market.

Hello Moto

I’m talking about the Motorola MotoActv, the part smart watch, part exercise tracker that I bought nearly a year ago. Although Google has kept Motorola as a separate business division since purchasing the company in 2011, for all intents and purposes, whatever Motorola makes is a Google product. The watch also runs a highly customized version of Android. In fact, its been one of the…

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5 Principles for Moral Leadership

Accomplished leaders are like master craftsmen: their first principles are best practices, the felt wisdom of experience and reflection.

Take Benjamin Franklin. In his Autobiography, he describes 13 precepts for self-improvement he coined as a young man. They include Resolution (“Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve”), Industry, (“Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions”), and Order (“Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time”).

When the penniless printer from Philadelphia became one of the leading men in America, his admirers understood the enormous benefit his example could provide. “[Y]ou yourself framed a plan by which you became considerable,” observed one, who implored Franklin to share it in hopes of “aiding all happiness, both public and domestic.”
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Will Smart Machine Create a World without Work?

Paul Wiseman and Bernard Condon, The Associated Press, Washington | World | Fri, January 25 2013, 12:22 PM

They seem right out of a Hollywood fantasy, and they are: Cars that drive themselves have appeared in movies like “I, Robot” and the television show “Knight Rider.”

Now, three years after Google invented one, automated cars could be on their way to a freeway near you. In the US, California and other states are rewriting the rules of the road to make way for driverless cars. Just one problem: What happens to the millions of people who make a living driving cars and trucks —jobs that always have seemed sheltered from the onslaught of technology?

“All those jobs are going to disappear in the next 25 years,” predicts Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston. “Driving by people will look quaint; it will look like a horse and buggy.”

If automation can unseat bus drivers, urban deliverymen, long-haul truckers, even cabbies, is any job safe?

Vardi poses an equally scary question: “Are we prepared for an economy in which 50 percent of people aren’t working?”
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Gigaom

Not a lot of startups tackle the field of geothermal power, which entails tapping into hot rocks deep in the Earth to produce energy and electricity. That’s because it can be an expensive proposition, and can require extensive permits and environmental reports. But a rare startup called AltaRock Energy has recently delivered a promising breakthrough that it says can lead to the commercialization of its next-generation geothermal technology.

AltaRock Energy — which has backing from venture capitalists, as well as Google (s goog) and Microsoft (s msft) co-founder Paul Allen’s investment firm — has been working on enhanced (sometimes called engineered) geothermal tech. This technology drills wells deep into the ground, injects them with cold water to fracture the hot rocks, and creates a geothermal source of power where none was naturally occurring. Traditional geothermal systems, in contrast, tap into naturally occurring geothermal reservoirs (you know, the kind you see…

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24/7 Wall St.

starbucks_coffee_cupStarbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reported fiscal 2013 first quarter results after markets closed today. For the quarter, the coffee roaster and restaurant company posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.57 on revenues of $3.8 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.50 on revenues of $3.44 billion. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.57 EPS and $3.84 billion in revenues.

Same-store sales rose 7% in the Americas and 11% in Asia/Pacific and the company opened 212 new stores (net) in the first quarter.

The company’s CEO said:

Solid growth in our U.S. retail business, further expansion of our Channel Development initiatives and continued successful execution against our expansion plans throughout China and Asia Pacific all contributed to the record results we announced today. Starbucks has never been better positioned to achieve the goals we have…

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Simplicity through video sharing?

Gigaom

Twitter has been on a roll with new product and feature announcements lately: first came the new version of embedded tweets, which brings any extra content such as photos or video into the embedded message, and now the company has launched a new app for creating and sharing short video clips called Vine, not to mention the recent launch of Instagram-style photo filters and editing. Are these features that will enhance the Twitter experience for users, or are they signs that the service — which many saw as the poster child for simplicity of design and usability — is in danger of losing its way?

The defining feature of Twitter used to be the brevity of its messages: 140 characters and no more. Debates periodically flared up about whether this would ever be increased, but Twitter made it clear that it had no intention of expanding the…

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Speak First and Confidently!

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1) How do you motivate people?

What’s the biggest motivator? Progress.

Via The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work:

…of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work; of all the negative events, the single most powerful is the opposite of progress—setbacks in the work. We consider this to be a fundamental management principle: facilitating progress is the most effective way for managers to influence inner work life.

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You're Not the Boss of Me

This post is a refreshed version of one I wrote in 2010.  While I’m not among those who believe rules are made to be broken, I do think some of us have a nasty habit of clinging to them long after they have passed their “sell by” date.  So here is my perspective on rules, along with a couple of things to think about before deciding to break them.

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I think we can agree that one of the key attributes for successful leaders today is the ability to adapt quickly to new situations.   We may also agree that in order for society to function in a reasonably harmonious way, there must be rules.

And there are all kinds of them.

In general, rules are put in place to ensure personal safety and to keep things in balance.  They are also imposed to provide structure in organizational settings that support…

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