The other day I was on Facebook and saw a post that talked about how we are the last generation to play in the streets, ride our bikes down the street, walk home at night from a friend’s house, etc. That got me thinking about some of the security measures that I think most of us took for granted. But with identity theft, system-corrupting viruses downloaded from emails, online scams…the list goes on and on for the type and kind of threats your data is exposed to on a minute-by-minute basis. Given that we are moving more and more towards a technology-based society – all our critical data is now stored as compressed data in datacenters.
I don’t even carry cash with me anymore – any and everything that I purchase is via a debit or credit card. What does this mean to overall security of our data? How do we keep our data safe? And how do we trust that “safe” is not a marketing term used by companies to get you to sign up for an account? Is out of sight the equivalent of out of mind?
For parents out there, think of data security as those instances where your kids are playing in the next room and you don’t hear them….nine times out of ten times it means that there is something destructive happening, so you have to constantly check in to make sure everyone is on the up-and-up. Just because you store your data with a company that says that they are secure and your data is safe, what are they doing on their end to make sure that your data is really safe? Are they like the parent that checks the next room to ensure that everything is fine or do they leave the house for a few hours and not worry about safety?
I would much rather know where my data is being stored and how it’s being used. Who has access to my data? Why do they have access? How are they using it? Who can I trust with my data? Why should I trust them with my data – just because they say so? These are just some questions that I need to consider – do you?
Shash Cates is the Creative Project Manager on the Mozy Marketing team.
The business of trying to make exercise a fun activity is not for the faint of heart. Nintendo tried it with its famous Power Pad accessory back in 1988, but while the game itself was fun, it was hardly the calorie-buster it advertised. From the other end of the spectrum, infomercials have been pushing all kinds of unintentionally hilarious “can’t miss” products, inventions better suited for generating YouTube views than sales.
Smartphone apps look to be the new frontier of making exercise fun. Striiv is the latest innovator attempting to turn exercise into an interactive game, this time for a new generation of technology.
Striiv hopes to avoid the fate of the Hawaii Chair by not trying to re-invent exercise or guarantee a six-pack. Instead, the smartphone app just accurately calculates the exercise you take for granted–like your daily walk from the train to work–and motivates you to do more of it by handing out awards and prizes. It might seem like a challenge to make exercising as addictive as, say, World of Warcraft, but luckily for Striiv, one WoW’s visionaries is part of the team.
Below is an interview with Lexy Franklin and Melanie Joskel, two members of the Striiv’s marketing team:
What is Striiv?
Striiv is a Smart Pedometer that counts every step you take throughout the day and motivates you to walk a lot more. Striiv goes beyond tracking and gets you active with personalized challenges, activity based games, and competitions.
What was the original thought process behind creating a Striiv gadget as opposed to just focusing on an app?
There are many people who prefer a separate, discrete device to carry around with them. Striiv Play lets people track their activity, even when their iPhone isn’t on them. It also has a high-precision altimeter to count stairs and is a great option for people who want to extend the battery life on their phone. The original Striiv Smart Pedometer is a standalone device with its own color touchscreen. It is great for people who want a one-stop solution, no smartphone required.
When was the app launched? How many app downloads have there been?
The app launched on October 16th. We haven’t announced our download totals, but we are very excited about how quickly the community is growing and how engaged Striiv users are.
Who are Striiv’s main competitors?
There are other companies like Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, but they are focused on tracking activity in charts and graphs. Striiv is really different because we go beyond tracking and we focus on motivating you to be more active by making fitness fun and social.
What makes Striiv different?
It really is the Striiv experience that sets it apart. Striiv is unique in that it uses games, your social network, and tailored challenges to inspire you to be more active. We are laser-focused on making fitness as fun as possible. Striiv’s Trumotion technology assures our users that the steps they take everyday are being counted and are real. There are no false steps in the car for example, which you see with many other pedometers.
When look at the landscape of fitness devices and apps, everything is based on just measuring your activity. It’s charts, graphs, and more graphs. At Striiv, we really are the fun guys. We take our background in designing video games to turn every step you take in a part of a game. Our goal is to inspire users to get up from their computers or TVs and walk, not because they feel like they should, but because they are trying to play a game to grow a plant or walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our mission is to make fitness fun and accessible for millions of people.
What kinds of awards and prizes can Striiv users get? Are there future plans to forge partnerships with mainstream companies for more alluring prizes?
We believe that one of the best ways to motivate people to move is to walk for someone else’s benefit. Striiv’s original Smart Pedometer counts every step taken toward a donation to charity, at no cost to its users. Users can earn real world prizes like Climbing the Eiffel Tower or Burning a Cupcake. They can also compete against their friends’ daily averages and personal best.
We are always looking at interesting partnerships that will bring a better or more rewarding experience to our users. We have already begun a great partnership with MyFitnessPal to bring nutrition tracking capabilities to the Striiv experience and we will continue to find partners that can help us motivate our community to get active.
Where do you see Striiv in five years?
In five years, we see Striiv as the platform you go to in order to walk with your friends all over the world. We want empower millions of people, just like you, to feel like the best versions of themselves.
Yesterday Mozy was honored as one of the 25 best companies to work for in the state of Utah. While our headquarters is in Seattle, Mozy maintains a large office in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and also has offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Cork, Ireland, and Shanghai, China. Here are the highlights!
Mozy’s Best Companies to Work For Video
Mozy’s Acceptance Speech:
Utah Business Magazine’s synopsis:
The work environment is enhanced by the office space, up-to-date computer equipment, a fully stocked break room, great parking, paid time off for full-time employees, and contests for quality, knowledge and satisfaction.
Mozy employees love the company’s laid-back work environment that is created by a casual dress policy, free snacks and drinks, a ping-pong table, foosball and an Xbox. The fun is extended to activities like the company’s Mozy Olympics, barbeques, movie showings and inter-department competitions. Once a year, employees are encouraged to attend an annual hike up Mt. Timpanogos.
“I’ve never worked at a company that cared more about the future of its employees than Mozy. Not only are my college classes reimbursed, but my manager assigns projects to me that complement my field of study and give me excellent experience for the future,” says an employee.
This is the fourth year in a row Mozy has been honored with this award. Mozy also won the award in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Ah, the holidays. That special time of year when we return home to our ancestral stomping grounds and spend a few special days in the company of those closest to us, and all of their devices. From cell phones to game consoles and everything in between, these tiny gadgets have cemented their place in our daily lives. You can’t attend a family party without someone taking pictures on their cell phone or playing some Bing Crosby on their iPod. There will be quite a few kids (and adults, too) falling asleep with visions of tablets and PlayStation 3s dancing in their heads.
More and more of our lives are taking place in the cloud, so the need for devices to access that information has increased as well. This year, as you gather with your family, take some time to be grateful for all that they do for you, and the devices that let them do it.
No one wants to lose their laptop but, with the best will in the world, mistakes happen. And more of them happen at this time of year than any other.
According to new research from Mozy, more items go missing in December than any other month of the year. And 70 per cent of us, the figures show, have lost a data storage device such as a smartphone or laptop.
The research suggested that commuting puts everyone at risk, with 6:00 pm being the peak time of day to lose something and cars and public transport featuring highly on the list of locations where things are mislaid.
For IT managers, that means a flood of requests coming your way for replacement devices. But it’s not just the devices themselves that will be slipping through fingers. Unless it’s properly protected, the data on the devices will be walking out the door with them.
So, if you want to minimise the impact of unintentional loss, make sure that you’re prepared before it happens. It’s easy to insure a laptop but the best insurance for your data is comprehensive backup.
To find out more about how to protect the devices at your company, visit mozy.com/pro.
Or to read more results from Mozy’s research, head over to mozy.com/lost.
Family gatherings, catching up with friends, the school holiday performance … there are so many reasons why we take more pictures with our smartphones in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
But, the memories you’re trying to preserve may not last as long as you’d hoped if your phone doesn’t come home with you at the end of the day.
According to new research from Mozy, Saturday evenings in December is the most dangerous time to lose something, and a smartphone is the most commonly lost item. In fact, 70% of us have lost a gadget such as a smartphone or laptops.
And, if it’s the memories on your phone that you value most, you’re not alone. The majority of people who took part in our survey told us that it was the pictures, contacts and other documents on their phones they missed most.
If you want the peace of mind to snap happy this Christmas, make sure that the stuff on your phone is protected. Sync your phone with the Mozy app and make sure that your laptop is backed up with Mozy. It’s simple, automatic and you can even get a version for free.
To check out Mozy sync and backup, visit mozy.com. Or, for further results from the survey, head over to mozy.com/lost.
Does this schedule sound familiar: Get kids ready for Christmas party and shopping. Coats on. Shoes on. Go to the bathroom? Coats off. Bathroom. Coats on. Lost shoe. Find shoe. Leave house. Go back for forgotten present. Get in car. Out of car. Arrive at friend’s house. Shoes off. Coats off. Swap gifts. Shoes on. Coats on. Leave house. Arrive at shops. Coats on. Coats off. Coats on. Coats off. Call home to check which Lego set you were supposed to get. Call home to check what to get when that one’s sold out. Coats on. Coats off. Drop bag. Juggle bags. Coats on. Wipe noses. Leave shops. Go back for lost coat. Back in car. Arrive home. Collapse!
It’s no wonder that many of us find ourselves missing one or two things – once we get a chance to check. According to new research from Mozy, December is the time of year when most things are lost, and Saturdays are the worst days and that most stuff goes missing – at around 6:00 p.m. as we head home.
And with the top reasons for losing things including “getting carried away,” “carrying too much” and “getting distracted,” it’s understandable how the Christmas season creates a hotbed for loss.
Frustratingly, although hats, gloves and other lower-cost items do feature highly on the list of things that don’t make it home with us, the most commonly lost item is a smartphone. In fact, 70% of us have lost a phone or other electronic gadget.
And, when we do lose our electronic gadget, it’s not just the device itself that we have to say goodbye to. It’s often the pictures, music, contacts and other data that we lose too. The majority of people who took part in Mozy’s survey told us that it was their data they were most upset about when they lost their phone or laptop – not the hardware.
So, before you head out once more into land of lost items, make sure the stuff you care about is protected. You can sync your phone or backup your laptop with Mozy. It’s simple, automatic and you can even do it for free.
To find out more about how to protect your data, visit mozy.com. Or, to get more results from Mozy’s Lost and Found survey, head to mozy.com/lost.
If you’re out and about this month, keep an eye on your stuff – as December is the most common month for items to go missing. And, more precisely, keep a tight grip at 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays, as that’s the time when people are most vulnerable to loss.
According to our new research, Americans will lose $39 billion worth of items this year – the average person in the U.S. has misplaced nearly $250 worth of possessions in the past 12 months.
Proportion of total number of items lost nationally
It’s most important to keep an eye on your electronics as 70% of people have lost a data device such as a smartphone or laptop. In fact, the smartphone is the item most commonly lost.
Of course, it’s not just the device itself that you may never see again. Photos, documents and all manner of other irreplaceable information can disappear with it. And the majority of people taking part in our survey told us that it was losing their data that upset them far more than losing the device itself.
So, if you’re heading out this Saturday, make sure you’re prepared! Make sure that the stuff on your device doesn’t contain the only copies of your pictures and other data. Sync your phone and backup your laptop – it’s simple to do and it’s free with Mozy if you visit mozy.com/home/free. To find out more about the lost and found items from our research here in the U.S. and around the world, head to mozy.com/lost.
Angela Wijesinghe, Marketing Specialist for Professional Photographers of America has heard some unbelievable stories about how photographers have lost their digital photos. Just this year, she says, a professional wedding photographer (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons) left the flash drive with all the photos of the ceremony on his kitchen counter, only to have his dog eat it when he went out to the store.
“We hear about things like this happening all the time,” said Wijesinghe. The organization she works for, Professional Photographers of America, is a non-profit organization that provides education, resources, and industry standards of excellence to photographers. According to Wijesinghe, digital photos are taking over the industry. Not many photographers, amateur or professional, are using film anymore. So the days of looking through old photo albums are passing us by. Now it’s an age of looking over slideshows on a computer.
“Digital cameras are just a lot more convenient for people to use,” she said. “They allow you to manipulate images easier, they can be stored easily, and they’re not overly difficult to work.”
One of the risks of using digital cameras and photos, however, is that your work can be lost in mere seconds if not secured properly, she explained.
“Digital image data loss is huge,” said Wijesinghe. Anything can happen. A storm can wipe out your hard drive. A house fire can take your computer. Freak accidents happen. Having multiple options of backup is the smartest thing to do.”
So how can the everyday photographer make sure to protect his or her wedding photos, baby pictures, and other memories captured digitally?
As Wijesinghe said, your best option for keeping your photos safe is to use several of methods, including cloud; external hard drives; flash drives; and sites like Flikr, Facebook, Shutterfly, and Snapfish. You may also consider having physical prints made, rather than just relying on the digital world.
Make sure to keep all of your devices in safe places, and, if possible, in different locations from one another, she said. That way if there’s a fire, flood, or some other unforeseen circumstances, you should still have some of them in one piece. And lastly, keep them out of the reach of babies, dogs, or other pets; you don’t want them to become a quick meal.
The Internet has both provideth and taketh paid writing opportunities from writers. While many sites rightfully pay their freelance writers (the latter usually by word-count, experience, expertise, etc…), other sites, like Huffington Post, famously do not. Yet, despite the amount of flack non-paying web sites get from the writing world, FanCloud.com, a sports news outlet, is attempting to go where no site has gone before. They’re proposing that interested bloggers actually pay them to write for FanCloud. Yes, you read that correctly.
For a “lifetime membership,” prospective writers have to pay the site’s founders fifty dollars, enabling them to publish anything from “Who Should Close for the New York Mets in 2013″ to “An In-Depth Look at My Son’s Pee-Wee Hockey Team.” But, there is some incentive to write articles closer to the former.
According to the site’s “publishing” section:
“As a member of FanCloud Publishing, you will have the opportunity to be rewarded with equity for reaching certain milestones. Through these milestones we are committed to giving away 49% of our publishing division to our members by the end of the first year. Each month FC Publishing will give away 16 awards of .25% equity (for a total of 4% equity) in the company for milestones achieved. There is no limit to the amount of equity any one writer can earn.”
Before you writers/potential shareholders start dreaming about cashing in your stock and buying that house in Hilton Head, keep in mind that certain “milestones” first have to be reached. For instance, FanCloud lists: most unique pages views across all of an author’s content, highest average article rating, most unique views for a single article, most articles published, lowest visitor bounce rate, and most comments as prerequisites to earning any shares of the company. Not only are these goals a bit on the ambiguous side, but also, it would take a heck of a lot of time and energy for a writer–one who is most likely juggling a variety of jobs that pay in a real currency–to make this offer worth its while.
But, for a moment, let’s say you’re an aspiring sportswriter, you have no other job (and no life expenses either), and simply cannot land a paying gig. Based on your disposition and aspirations, you decide to make it your sole priority to become FanCloud’s most prolific blogger, and subsequently, its greatest non-founding shareholder. There’s just one remaining question then: “What exactly do minimal shares in a identifiably-profitable company entitle you to?” It’s a valid question.
Usually when you’re in-line to become a minor, medium, or major investor in a company, it is standard procedure to have access to said company’s financials. Yet, the only impressive number listed by FanCloud is the supposed twenty-two million visitors per month the Yardbarker Network averages. While FanCloud is a subsidiary of Yardbarker (which is owned by Fox Sports), the popular blogging umbrella is home to blogs for every single team in just about every sport known to humankind. Yardbarker might collectively enjoy the viewer-ship of twenty-two million visitors per month, but there’s little-to-no analytical proof that FanCloud will see even a small fraction of that. So not only does FanCloud have to compete with mainstream giants like ESPN or CBS Sportsline (and a plethora more), but it even has to compete with other similar sites within its own umbrella.
The final variable to weighing FanCloud’s potential success as a sports news outlet comes down to the quality of writing the site will offer its potential readers. If literally anyone (and their mother) could be a writer, how will there be any quality control? Even though sports enthusiasts vary in intellectual expectations for written content, it is unlikely that the model “written for sports fans, by sports fan” will generate a compelling enough grass roots campaign to oust the most mainstream, and non-stat-heavy giants like ESPN’s and CBS Sportsline’s of the world.
Even in the case of Huffington Post, which has both paid staff writers and unpaid contributing bloggers, there is good reason the news-mammoth has such a rigid payment ideology. According to Nate Silver’s articleThe Economics of Blogging and The Huffington Post, Huffington Post’s paid political articles receive twenty times more comments than the unpaid political articles. Since Silver uses “comments” as a means to roughly determine the site’s page views (as Huffington Post does not release its page view numbers to the public), Silver’s analysis exposes that the average reader is a heck of a lot more likely to read an article by a paid writer than an unpaid writer; perhaps insinuating that most readers still tend to gravitate towards articles of greater quality (or unfortunately, of “celebrity” status).
There is no doubt that FanCloud will face an uphill battle to discover top-shelf writing talent and the big readership needed to retain that talent. But then again, those who thought Huffington Post’s ideology was too iconoclastic to become successful saw that publication laugh all the way to the bank.