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that Facebook has been running on TV in a full-court press to apologize for abusing users privacy. They’re embarrassing. And, it turns out, they may be a sign of things to come. Based on a recently published patent application, Facebook could one day use ads on television to further violate your privacy once you’ve forgotten about all those other times.

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is titled “broadcast content view analysis based on ambient audio recording.” () It describes a system in which an “ambient audio fingerprint or signature” that’s inaudible to the human ear could be embedded in broadcast content like a TV ad. When a hypothetical user is watching this ad, the audio fingerprint could trigger their smartphone or another device to turn on its microphone, begin recording audio and transmit data about it to Facebook.

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Everything in the patent is written in legalese and is a bit vague about what happens to the audio data. One example scenario imagines that various ambient audio would be eliminated and the content playing on the broadcast would be identified. Data would be collected about the user’s proximity to the audio. Then, the identifying information, time, and identity of the Facebook user would be sent to the social media company for further processing.

In addition to all the data users voluntarily give up, and the incidental data it collects through techniques like highrise slimfit jeans Blue Emporio Armani heUTz
, Facebook would use this audio information to figure out which ads are most effective. For example, if a user walked away from the TV or changed the channel as soon as the ad began to play, it might consider the ad ineffective or on a subject the user doesn’t find interesting. If the user stays where they are and the audio is loud and clear, Facebook could compare that seeming effective ad with your other data to make better suggestions for its advertising clients.

Yes, this is creepy as hell and feels like someone trying to make a patent for a peephole on a nondescript painting. Surely Facebook wouldn’t start doing this with all of the heat they’re taking from 874 Work Pant Chinos in Straight Fit Grey Dickies 4dqp5
and its steady drip of bad publicity since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, would they? We’ve asked Facebook if they have any plans to implement this patent in the event that it’s approved but didn’t receive an immediate reply. Based on the fact that Facebook has been apologizing on and off for more than a decade, and its entire business model relies on knowing more about you than its competitors, we’re going to predict that it will definitely do this if it sees the opportunity.

Productivity is about doing more with the same . Growth in labor productivity is measured by the change in output per labor hour over a defined period of time. For a country, productivity is closely linked with living standards. For a company, it is directly tied to performance. With higher labor productivity, a company can produce more goods and services with the same amount of relative work. In contrast to efficiency then, productivity is about expanding the numerator, the output, in order to deliver greater top-line growth from the same workforce.

For most of the last three decades, senior executives have been encouraged to take an efficiency mindset to their business. Six Sigma, process reengineering, spans and layers analysis, and many other tools have helped executives uncover waste in their operations —in effect, identifying labor hours (or materials) that are unnecessary in order to produce the same level of output. In the absence of growth, efficiency gains are most often monetized through workforce reductions. General Electric, Honeywell, HP,and many other companies have showcased their efficiency programs as well as the bottom-line results these efforts have produced.

Today’s business environment requires a different worldview. The benefits from improving efficiency appear to have petered out. In the 1990s and 2000s, leadership’s focus on efficiency produced solid results. Earnings growth for the SP 500 ran at nearly three times the rate of inflation over this period, despite tepid top-line growth in many years. Starting with the quarter ending March 31, 2015 , however, SP 500 earnings began falling, and earnings growth has remained negative ever since. Without top-line growth, continuing to wring out greater profits through efficiency has become the managerial equivalent of attempting to squeeze blood from a stone.

If efficiency is no longer the secret to superior performance, what about productivity? Bain Company recently completed a comprehensive study of workforce productivity and performance. We collaborated with the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey more than 300 senior executives from large companies worldwide. We complemented these survey findings with the results of two dozen in-depth organizational audits to identify the steps companies can take to unleash the productive power of their teams and accelerate profitable growth.

This research, combined with our experience as consultants working with senior leaders over the last three decades, highlights three fundamental tenets of a productivity mindset. Leadership must recognize:

Most employees want to be productive, but the organization too often gets in their way. Our research indicates that the average company loses more than 20% of its productive capacity —more than a day each week —to what we call “organizational drag,” the structures and processes that consume valuable time and prevent people from getting things done.

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