Technology firm encourages frank talk among staff

first_imgMost employees would welcome the chance to point out their colleagues’failings or say what they really think of bosses face-to-face – but few everget the chance. However, a new scheme at technology firm Intentia is doing just that,encouraging the firm’s management team to talk frankly about each others’strengths and weaknesses. The high-tech Swedish firm introduced the programme to help managers learnmore about themselves and develop deeper skills. It now intends to extend theinitiative to all staff. “If people have issues with the way an individual works, then ourcustomers probably do too, so it’s essential we get it out in the open,”explained HR director Debbie McCallion. Ten managers were asked to evaluate each others’ skills, using a systemcalled SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). The HR teamanalysed the results and compiled a list of each manager’s best and worstskills. The group then talked about each individual in turn, highlighting theirweaknesses face-to-face. At the end of the course, each manager was givenobjectives to try to improve. The company is now planning to extend a similar scheme to all its employees,in the hope that straight talking will improve the way teams work together. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Technology firm encourages frank talk among staffOn 15 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Into the drink – beverages round-up

first_imgHealth is a key trend in the drinks category judging by some of the latest new product developments.The Feel Good Drinks Company (London), for example, is set to venture into the pure juice category, with the launch of 100% Squeezed Juices.Each Feel Good Squeezed Juice contains at least three different types of fruit, for example, orange, mandarin and tangerine; apple, golden kiwi and lime; and raspberry, blueberry and apple.The squeezed juices are available in 250ml and 1L plastic bottles, with eye-catching labels featuring the list of fruits that have been squeezed into each bottle.The range will be available nationally through many outlets including Total garages. The recommended retail price for the 1L range is £2.59 and starts from £1.49 for the 250ml drinks.Sparkling soft drink Appletiser (Uxbridge, Middlesex) has received a licence to use the ’5-a-day’ logo. Each 275ml bottle contains a blend of six varieties of apples; no preservatives, colourants, additives or added sugar.Caroline Bonpain, senior brand manager, says: “It’s great to receive recognition from the 5-a-day programme, which highlights Appletiser’s healthy proposition. This accreditation reinforces Appletiser’s position as a healthy indulgence drink, which is a healthier alternative to alcohol.”Coca-Cola (Uxbridge, Middlesex) says Zero – its no-sugar drinks brand – has been the most successful new food and beverage launch in the past three years.According to the data from retail tracking analyst AC Nielsen, Coca-Cola Zero achieved sales of £24.1m in the 16 weeks after its launch in July – o ver double the size of any other new product.The Zero range reflects a strong trend for low-sugar products, said Coca-Cola, which is anticipated to increase.Currently 34% of the 100 products made by Coca-Cola are ’diet’ or ’no sugar’. Kieran Hemsworth, operational marketing director for Coca-Cola, says: “The Zero range has been re-branded from Z to ensure consistency across the range following the introduction of Coca-Cola Zero. The zero sugar, great taste message on pack will be easy for consumers to understand and identify on shelf.”last_img read more

Someone Invented A Chuck Taylor That Acts As A Guitar Wah Pedal

first_imgHow would you like to use your shoe to add a Wah to any plugged in guitar? Well, in the ever-growing sphere of technology, now you can. That’s right, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars have found a way to take out the middle man and produce a style of high-tops, the unofficial shoe of all rock stars, with a built-in Wah pedal. All you have to do is motion your foot as you would lay the sole down on any pedal, while playing the guitar, and the technology in the shoe adds the effect.How does this even work? A flexible sensor in the sole of the shoe is able to register the foot’s movements as being similar to those pressing against an actual pedal. The sensory information is then sent to a Wah Box via Bluetooth to give your guitar the desired distortion. Named after Chet Atkins, the first guitarist to ever use the Wah pedal, the All Star “All Wahs” have the ability to wirelessly connect to an amp, a Mac, or even an iPhone. The original design was invented by Critical Mass agency during a “Chuck Hack” event back in 2013, and was eventually fashioned by the technological brand CuteCircuit to be completely wireless. While there is no promise that these new shows will become available to the public, it has been tested by thirteen guitarists already. Watch this video of the original concept, which still needed to be plugged in at the time, to understand the premise of the device’s functionality.If this is the direction of music technology, perhaps one day we won’t even need real instruments? Let’s hope not.Converse – All Wah from James & Jason on Vimeo.[via CoS]last_img read more

A new twist in malaria drug resistance

first_img Read Full Story Drug resistance is a major public health challenge for malaria treatment and eradication. In new research, Dyann Wirth and colleagues have found new ways that the parasite that causes malaria—Plasmodium falciparum—is able to develop resistance to the antimalarial drug halofuginone over time.It’s been known that P. falciparum develops resistance to antimalarial drugs through genetic mechanisms. Your new research uncovered a new model of how the malaria parasite can also develop resistance through non-genetic means. How did you and your colleagues discover this?Jonathan Herman, an M.D./Ph.D. student in my lab, became interested in understanding the process by which an organism goes from being sensitive to a drug to being resistant. In the past we’d looked at the endpoint—the point at which the organism had already become resistant—but we never followed the organism’s path over time, over generations, to see how resistance developed. Using DNA sequencing, Jon characterized the features of a malaria parasite population over several generations. He essentially ‘followed’ evolution in the test tube.Jon discovered that the mutation that occurs in the malaria parasite—which confers drug resistance—actually wasn’t the first thing that happened. In fact, the first adaption in the parasite was a change in the concentration of an amino acid called proline, which occurred at a much earlier stage in the parasite’s evolutionary process. The parasite floods itself with this amino acid as a way of neutralizing the effect of the drug, in this case, halofuginone.last_img read more

UW-Madison police chief bans ‘Thin Blue Line’ imagery

first_imgMADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin-Madison’s police chief has banned officers from using “Thin Blue Line” imagery while on duty. The move by Chief Kristen Roman follows criticism on social media of a “Thin Blue Line” flag displayed at the police department’s office. The flag, which resembles a U.S. flag but has a blue stripe, is considered a sign of police solidarity, but has also been criticized as a symbol of white supremacy. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Roman says the flag has been “co-opted” by extremists with “hateful ideologies” and that her department needs to distance itself from the imagery to build trust with the community.last_img

SMC volleyball rallies for cure

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s volleyball team’s annual “Dig for the Cure” has evolved into something more aggressive – and more personal. The team will host the event, now titled “Crush for the Cure,” at 7 p.m. tonight in the Angela Athletic Facility to raise money for a Saint Mary’s alumna and lymphoma patient, Anne Blair Payne. Payne graduated in 2002 as an education major and was a member of Saint Mary’s basketball team for all four years of her time at Saint Mary’s. “She had just come back for a 10-year reunion this past June,” Julie Schroeder-Biek, Saint Mary’s athletic director said. “The next week I got a call that she went for a run and had severe chest pain.” Shortly thereafter, doctors found a large tumor in Payne’s lung they believed to be lung cancer. They said there was little they could do. Even so, Payne’s brother told her she would “crush it” and triumph. After treatment, the tumor shrunk and the doctors discovered that the cancer was not in her lungs, but located in her lymph nodes. “It was a relief, relatively,” Schroeder-Biek said. None of the athletes present at Saint Mary’s during Payne’s career are still enrolled at Saint Mary’s, but Schroeder-Biek said she feels as if she’s watched the “Once a Belle, always a Belle” motto come to life. “The teammates she had then are here for her now,” Schroeder-Biek said. “They hold her hand during [chemotherapy] treatments. When she shaved her head, they were right there with her. They set up a donation website on GoFundMe so that she can pay for the best treatment and take that worry off her mind.” Payne maintains a regular workout routine and uses running as a metaphor for her life in her blog. In an entry from week 15, day 71, Payne recalls that “as [she] passed hikers on the trail, [she] got a surge of energy and unknowingly picked up the pace. It wasn’t something [she] planned on, it just happened. Similar to now and how all the encouragement and support seems to carry [her] along with [her] even realizing it.” Payne updates the online journal daily, to document her journey with cancer. She ends each entry with an inspirational “Lesson of the Day. “She’s handling everything with grace and dignity and embodies true athletic spirit -battling,” Schroeder-Biek said. “She’s positive. She finds something to get her through the day and in doing that, she inspires others. I’m proud of our community for being there for her.” Toni Kuschel, the Belles’ volleyball coach, says that this year the team “wanted to do something that hit close to home and benefited someone we knew.” “Once the issue was brought to my attention, I talked to the girls about it and we decided we wanted to sponsor her in her courageous battle,” Kuschel said. “Not only are we expecting our fans and other teams, but the support is also coming from Anne’s past teammates and other alumni.” The “Crush for the Cure” will feature t-shirts, bracelets, desserts from Sodexo and other concessions. All of the profit will be donated to Payne’s fundraiser. After Schroeder-Biek sent Payne an email about the “Crush It” bracelets she had just ordered, she heard the phone ring. “No caller ID or anything and I pick it up and say hello and no one responds,” Schroeder-Biek said. “It took me a while to realize it was Anne on the line, crying.” People are allowed and encouraged to either donate a fixed amount or to pledge a certain amount per Saint Mary’s kill during the game against Albion, Kuschel said “These are the kind of lifts people need,” Schroeder-Biek. “Raising money matters but support like this is what carries people further than any of us realize.” Payne’s fundraiser is $636 short of its $15,000 goal. For more information, visit and htttp:// read more

Verizon Wireless Expands 3G Wireless Network in Woodstock, Vermont

first_imgVerizon Wireless,To continue to stay ahead of rising demand for wireless voice, 3G multimedia and Internet access in Windsor County, Vermont, Verizon Wireless has expanded its local network. New cell site provides increased wireless voice and 3G data coverage for western portions of Woodstock and along sections of Route 4, as well as the surrounding area. Expanded 3G data coverage in Woodstock lets more customers using notebook computers or smartphones.‘People across Vermont are increasingly relying on smartphones and 3G apps to manage their busy lives and stay connected at home or on-the-go,’ said director for Network Systems Performance for Verizon Wireless, Richard Enright. ‘Our network investment in New England has kept us ahead of consumer trends, provided our customers a 3G advantage and underscored our belief that any mobile device is only as good as the network it runs on. Proactive and sustained investment has made Verizon Wireless the 3G leader in New England and nationwide.’The company has invested more than $60 billion since its inception to increase the wireless voice and data coverage of its national network and to add new 3G services like Mobile Broadband and V CAST. As the carrier with America’s largest and most reliable wireless network, Verizon Wireless cell sites in New England provide 3G wireless data connectivity.Source: Verizon Wireless. 9.23.2010. WOODSTOCK, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit is external). To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at is external).*Verizon Wireless received the highest numerical score among wireless providers in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Wireless Call Quality Performance StudySM’Vol. 1 Study based on 23,373 total responses measuring 4 providers in the Northeast Region (CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, RI, VT) and measures opinions of wireless users about the call quality of their service. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in July-December 2009. Your experience may vary. Visit jdpower.comlast_img read more

The future of financial services with Mark Meyer

first_imgThe evolution of the workforce and society over the next decade provides a “vein of optimism” for credit unions, says Filene Research Institute CEO Mark Meyer.As government and businesses increasingly struggle to meet the financial needs of consumers—including many who will be swept into the “gig economy” by technological advances and automation—the need for self-help solutions will grow.The cooperative finance model is well-suited to serving that audience, Meyer tells CUNA News Podcast.“There will be a great need for creative financial services solutions to meet that dynamic of what’s going to transpire in the employment pool,” he says. 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more


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