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Mobile Technology News, September 30, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Apple Releases Shellshock Security Fix for OS X

    OS X users now have a security patch available to address the Shellshock security flaw that was discovered in recent weeks.  The update, which is available on the Apple Support website, is available for OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion.  It is presumed that the issue is already addressed in OS X Yosemite or will be updated in a patch during its current beta cycle. If you aren’t familiar with what the Shellshock security flaw is exactly, Apple provided the following statement to MacRumors last week on it. Bash, a UNIX command shell and language

    The post Apple Releases Shellshock Security Fix for OS X appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Netflix to release full-length film
    The video streaming site Netflix will release its first feature-length film in 2015, after striking a deal with the Weinstein Company.
  • Update: iPhone 6, 6 Plus approved in China, debuts October 17 [u]
    [Update: Apple officially announcement puts China debut of iPhone 6, 6 Plus on October 17] The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have now finally been cleared by the country’s regulatory agency for sale in China, and will formally debut on October 17, Apple says. According to Bloomberg, the holdup was apparently over some privacy concerns brought up by Chinese authorities. The company agreed to make some changes, which may or may not be included in the forthcoming iOS 8.1 beta, and received the clearance to use Chinese LTE and 3G networks.

  • Netflix To Release 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' Sequel
    “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the Academy Award-winning martial arts film, is finally getting a sequel — and it’s going to be on Netflix.

    The streaming video (and DVDs-by-mail) company announced a deal with The Weinstein Company on Monday night that will bring “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Destiny,” to Netflix subscribers on Aug. 28, 2015. The film will also be shown on select IMAX screens.

    Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in statement cited by Variety. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.”

    “The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”

    Netflix has been expanding its original programming with shows such as “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and the animated series “BoJack Horseman.” Unlike network television, which releases one episode at a time, Netflix has been posting entire seasons at once, feeding the “binge-watching” trend.

    Now the company appears to be taking aim at what’s known as the windowing system, in which films are usually shown exclusively in theaters before being released for home viewing via DVD, Blu-ray, video on demand, etc.

    “We fundamentally believe that the only way to attack the windowing system — that is the centerpiece of the business model of the movie industry versus what consumers want — requires an outsider,” Rich Greenfield, a media analyst with BTIG Research, told The New York Times. “Netflix already changed the TV business in a very, very significant way. The movie business is teed up next.”

    Released in 2000, the original “Crouching Tiger” film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It ultimately won four: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score and Best Cinematography.

    Actress Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role as Yu Shu Lien while Donnie Yen will join the cast as Silent Wolf, according to Variety. However, director Ang Lee will not be returning. Yuen Wo Ping, who choreographed the fight scenes in the first film, will direct the sequel.

    The Verge reports that filming is currently under way in New Zealand.

    “‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend’ echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story — one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World,” the press release states.

  • RESPECT: Makes Young People Safer Online

    Aretha said it in 1967 (scroll down to watch her sing it)

    The conversation around Internet safety has moved a long way since the 1990s when it focused mostly on porn and predators and we’ve even evolved since 2009 when ConnectSafely published Online Safety 3.0: Empowering and Protecting Youth.

    Along with colleagues, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to position online safety messaging and how to integrate it with offline risks (the overlap is pretty major) and with youth rights — an important part of the discussion that is often missing.

    I realize that something as complex as the way we interact with connected technology can’t really be reduced to a soundbite or even an acronym, but that didn’t stop me from trying. So, to make things simple, I’m paying homage to Aretha Franklin, whose classic song “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” sets the tone for how I think we should be talking about youth online safety and rights.

    Read on to “find out what it means to me.” And when you’re done, click on the image below to listen to Aretha sing it out.

    Rights and Responsibility:

    Human rights for young people are essential to their safety. And that not only includes their right to be safe, but their right of free speech and assembly. These rights are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and they apply online as well as off. Blocking access to social media, for example, violates their rights and, I would argue, their safety as well. Rights also tie into privacy, such as student rights to the privacy of their personal data on their own devices and school servers.

    And to help safeguard our rights and the rights of others, it’s important to be Responsible for our actions online and off.

    Emotional literacy (AKA ‘Social Emotional Learning’):

    No matter how hard we try, adults can’t possibly stomp out all bullying and cruelty, But there is research to show that we can help head it off at the pass by teaching emotional literacy, also known as Social Emotional Learning, from kindergarten on. Helping young people learn compassion, empathy and kindness will go a long way toward creating the kind of world that we all want to live in.


    You can’t be safe or free if you’re not secure. We need to not only get industry and government to help secure our devices and infrastructure, but teach everyone — starting with children — how to protect their devices and their data against unauthorized intrusion.

    Privacy and Protection:

    We all have a right to privacy. Whether it’s government, companies or even prying educators and parents, kids have a right to keep their information private. Sure there are exceptions when it comes to some parents’ need to monitor and guide their children but, as a general rule, children should be treated RESPECTfully, which includes respecting their privacy.

    Young people do have the right to be protected from harm, but it’s impossible to shield them from all potential harms, which is why resiliency is so important.

    Education and digital literacy:

    Digital literacy can go a long way toward protecting us online. And it’s not just knowing how to operate computers and mobile devices. It’s developing the critical thinking skills and internal compass to help make good decisions in our digital lives, including making good media choices.


    Being considerate of others means not just treating them with respect and kindness but also respecting their privacy and their rights. It’s about taking the time to think about how our actions will affect others and doing the right thing.

    Thoughtfulness and Tolerance:

    “Think before you click” is just one of many sound bites that come under the general category of thoughtfulness. It doesn’t take long to think about the implications and consequences of what you’re about to do, especially in a medium like the Internet where there really is no such thing as an “eraser button.”

    Tolerance means accepting and celebrating our differences and giving ourselves and each other a break now and then. Embracing the notion that it’s OK to be different goes a long way towards reducing bullying and meanness.

    This post first appeared on SafeKids.com

  • The Venture Capital System 'Simply Does Not Work For Women,' Study Finds
    The Silicon Valley money machine only seems to work for men, a painful new study reveals.

    Less than 3 percent of the 6,793 companies that received venture capital from 2011-2013 were headed by a woman, according to a study from Babson College released Tuesday. That means that out of nearly $51 billion in funding that startups received over those two years, a comparatively teeny $1.5 billion went to women-led ventures.

    “The findings of this study, demonstrate it is not the women who need fixing; the model for venture capital that has been in place since the 1980s simply does not work for women entrepreneurs,” Patricia Greene, one of the authors of the study, wrote in a release accompanying the report.

    The picture for women at startups has hardly budged since 1999, the last time Babson’s Diana Project studied it. Back then, less than 5 percent of companies that netted venture funding had women on their executive team. This time around, 15 percent of the companies had women on the executive team.

    The findings likely serve as cold comfort for those, like Facebook Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg, who are looking to increase gender diversity in the tech industry. While Facebook and Google are both pushing to hire more women, clearly work needs to be done outside of the tech giants.

    Female founders’ limited access to venture funding means they’re largely cut off from creating the next tech giant themselves.

    photo shop graphA graph from Babson illustrating how little funding female entrepreneurs get.

    Women have complained to Wired, Forbes and other outlets about male venture capitalists who try to turn pitches into dates and ask inappropriate questions about whether their business will survive given the founder’s relationship status. But in most cases, the bias is more subtle.

    When venture capitalists evaluate businesses, they’re often looking for intangible qualities that signal success. That can put women at a disadvantage. Experts say female entrepreneurs fall victim to “pattern recognition” when seeking funding. In other words, investors are less likely to bet a woman will be the next Mark Zuckerberg because she doesn’t look like Mark Zuckerberg.

    Subconsciously, people also are more likely to see potential in those that remind them of themselves. Investors are also more likely to fund businesses they understand intuitively. But just 6 percent of partners at venture capital firms are women, down from 10 percent in 1999, Babson found. As a result, female founders are often pitching to panels of people who don’t look like them and are less likely to see the value in projects marketed toward women, such as an on-demand make-up service.

    In addition to putting the female founders themselves at a disadvantage, this dynamic threatens to slow innovation on products that are used mostly by women. As the New York Times “Motherlode” blog argued in March, “if men could breastfeed, surely the breast pump would be as elegant as an iPhone and quiet as a Prius by now.”

    The post inspired a hackathon to do just that.

  • The Best of #BendGate
    When Apple slips up, consumers and competitors alike just can’t help but enjoy some major schadenfreude. Although #BendGate has not been nearly as much of an issue as the botched iOS 8.0.1 update that caused network connectivity and Touch ID malfunctions, it has produced some pretty hilarious reactions.

    There were those who tried to seek the truth:


    — tony (@supremecam) September 28, 2014

    Look at the strain on his face while trying to bend that iPhone 6
    http://t.co/q7d7pQNJm9 pic.twitter.com/lL2QFkyzEt

    — Samuel Gibbs (@SamuelGibbs) September 25, 2014

    2007: Will it blend?
    2014: Will it bend?

    A nice encapsulation of how the iPhone has evolved.

    — Ben Thompson (@monkbent) September 24, 2014

    There were those who tried to find the solutions:

    Oh thank God, there IS a way to fix it! #BendGate pic.twitter.com/3L3dCSVnEG

    — Elleluminati Agent (@Wryyydiculous) September 28, 2014

    #3dprinting can solve any problem: I give you the pre-bent iPhone 6+ case http://t.co/4OnQNGGCDq #bendgate pic.twitter.com/4mEX1yrI2I

    — John Biehler (@JohnBiehler) September 27, 2014

    iPhone bending? Problem solved. #bendghazi #BendGate pic.twitter.com/t8dCRdFyW0

    — anthony snitzer (@anthonysnitzer) September 24, 2014

    There were those who just enjoyed the free social media marketing opportunity:

    Too many unfunny companies jumping on #bendgate but this one almost made me lol : pic.twitter.com/cEGjGWNcDt

    — Bjarne P Tveskov ツ (@tveskov) September 25, 2014

    Our phone doesn’t bend, it flexes…on purpose. #bendgate pic.twitter.com/d1DudxDQgf

    — LG USA Mobile (@LGUSAMobile) September 24, 2014

    We don’t bend, we #break.

    #bendgate #iPhone6plus pic.twitter.com/uippCg4kCi

    — KITKAT (@KITKAT) September 24, 2014

    Although Apple has stated that the iPhone is not prone to bending and that only a few customers have actually come forward with bent devices, this clearly hasn’t stopped the Internet from taking advantage of this rare #AppleFail.

  • How Hacking Education Has Taken Over Higher Education
    Y-Combinator, the world-renowned Silicon Valley startup accelerator, recently announced its first ever college-level course on creating a successful startup at Stanford University. The course, “How to Start a Startup,” exemplifies a growing trend in higher education favoring problem solving, practical knowledge, and skills development to the memorization of theory and textbooks. The rise of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, through hubs such as EdX and Coursera, represent a push from universities to provide skills and knowledge to the masses, without requiring the high cost of university tuition. Similarly, the rapid growth of collegiate hackathons over just the last few years and the popularity of personal websites has converted the student resume from cardstock to LED. Any student now has the capability to complete and share their ideas and projects with people all over the world.

    However, the bigger shift in higher learning isn’t about the way that it’s delivered, but in the downstream effect it has on the way students learn how to learn. Traditionally, university classrooms are set in one of two formats: seminars of 25 students or less, or lecture halls with hundreds of students. The former has been praised for providing high-quality interactions and connections between students whereas the latter’s intent is to easily delivery large quantities of information. Learning from hackathons or project-based MOOCs, however, has started to introduce students not only to a community of engaged students voluntarily taking the time to learn something new, but also to a much more diverse group of people than a standard college classroom. Exposure to different kinds of people, creative perspectives, varying world views, and distinct methods of learning not only improves brain plasticity and the ability to learn, but also helps students increase their awareness of the cultures, environments, and issues that impact areas outside of their university campus.

    This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed. Large companies and startups alike are rushing in hordes to sponsor university hackathons, which have become breeding grounds for talent not only because they show off technical expertise, but also display creativity, intuition, and problem solving. Luckily, this trend isn’t limited to those interested in computer science. For the past ten years, the iGEM Foundation, a non-profit spun out of MIT, has been running the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, which allows college students to design, build, and present projects that use the principles of synthetic biology to engineer living organisms, including an arsenic biosensor, modified E. coli that could act as a red blood cell substitute, and bacteria that can solve Sudoku puzzles. Similarly, programs like National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, have long been promoting community building and project development in writing and literature. The nature of these types of events and competitions, which self-select for students that have the intrinsic desire to learn and have a passion for the subject, improves the quality and diversity of the interactions that students have with each other compared to the conventional general education requirement.

    A similar shift has emerged within graduate business schools. Historically, the MBA was set in stone as a master of “business administration” alone. Lectures, case studies, and seminars were focused on running and managing large, established companies rather than starting them from scratch, developing career capital, or learning the skills necessary for the jobs that might not exist yet. However, many programs are moving from solely analyzing case studies and writing business plans to teaching via semester-long, hands-on internships, entrepreneurship and technology innovation workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, up-and-coming classes on product development and management, technology entrepreneurship, and design in business schools coupled with the rise of hackathons and events like Startup Weekend are bridging the gap between business and technology. The rise of university company incubators and accelerators, which both help grow student-run companies and hold workshops featuring successful entrepreneurs across all industries, exemplifies the priority shift in many industries to value experience over GPA.

    That alone is why the traditional definition of what an education entails will eventually transform from a degree on the wall to, quite frankly, a “smart person that know stuff.” While software engineers and designers have the opportunity to share their work on personal websites or Github and Dribble respectively, the missing link needed to expand the changing educational landscape are web platforms, i.e. “Github for X,” that cater to people in all fields to showcase their creativity. Most importantly of all, students best retain what they’ve learned when they can apply it, whether as a program, an article, or a piece of art, and that retention and application of knowledge is what drives the innovative thinking that drives social progress. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a project is definitely worth more than a course description.

  • Bug in iOS can cause iCloud Drive erasure, report warns
    A newly-discovered bug in the “Reset All Settings” control in iOS 8 can cause documents stored in the new iCloud Drive to be permanently deleted. The feature is not recommended to be upgraded to until OS X Yosemite has been officially released — which is expected to happen sometime next month — but some iOS 8 users who have upgraded prematurely will be at risk of losing files, such as iWork documents stored in the cloud, if they use the “Reset All Settings” troubleshooting feature.

  • Thousands flock to 'anti-Facebook'
    Ad-free social media platform Ello overcomes a technical setback to continue its rapid growth, but one expert questions its business model.
  • London innovation centre launches to tackle data challenges
    An innovation and collaboration centre has been launched to develop ideas relating to data and the UK economy
  • Just Why Is Ello So Naive?
    Challenging Facebook is not about delivering a naive message about privacy and freedom from ads. It is about understanding how we use the market, brands and technology to construct our moral identities.


    In a matter of days, the new social network Ello, described as the “anti-Facebook” for its stand on privacy and advertising, has become an Internet sensation. Ello is rapidly catching on on with its simple message which takes aim at frustrations of Facebook users. As Ello’s “manifesto” states: “We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life. You are not a product.”

    But you actually are. We all are.

    As a sociological game, social media is not about being an authentic person. It is about trying to become an authentic person in the eyes of your audience — a moral protagonist. The goal is to convince family members, friends, colleagues, customers and other stakeholders, through a continuous process of emotional self-branding, that we are able to do the right, or even better, the “righteous” thing — even though we are forced to navigate a complex landscape of moral ambiguities.

    As authenticity enterprises, we need two things:

    • cultural and market resources to build authenticity
    • a technology that brings multiple authenticity producers, including not only regular consumers but also brands, advertisers, opinion leaders, intellectuals, celebrities, journalists and other technologies together so that we can “like” and “share” each others’ standpoints

    Facebook understands its leading role as an identity technology — it is providing the leading tool for individual empowerment, not although, but precisely because it is also the leading tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate the perceptions of others.

    At present, Ello does not even compete in this market. It rather competes in the market for quickly expiring authenticity resources — manifestos, big and small, that allow consumers to take a normative stand: the most recent Guardian article about fairness, the Peta video about the benefits of vegetarianism feat. Paul McCartney, Naomi Klein’s new book about global warming or the Robin Williams Buzzfeet that drives home the point that “depression is real.”

    This interplay between identity technologies and symbolic materials market actors use to create their identities, however, not only illustrates that Facebook’s most important advertisers are not the industry advertisers but the 1.3 billion members who go online to market themselves and their lives.

    It also shows that announcing, on Facebook, that one is now also a member of Ello is never a sign of migration or large-scale market change. It illustrates the urge to make a moral pronouncement. And as such, it rather reinforces Facebook’s status as the leading channel for moral identity construction online.

    Moralistic manifestos aren’t enough. Whoever challenges Facebook will have to move beyond ethic and find better ways to redefine how all market actors — not only consumers — can use symbolic materials and technology to construct their moral identities.

  • VIDEO: Web inventor 'pays his way' online
    Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s concerns for the internet
  • VIDEO: Could VR help build better cities?
    How virtual reality is helping build better cities
  • Coding for cannabis cash
    The startups hoping to transform the marijuana industry
  • Too Much of a Good Thing
    Let’s talk about addiction, I am not thinking about drugs but about technology. Have you ever seen yourself in a situation where you could not resist… another glass of wine, another piece of chocolate, another pair of shoes, or the newest and latest electronic device? I am thinking about self-discipline. None of these before mentioned items are wrong, only when they become addictive as a substitute to human endeavor and become ‘too much of a good thing.’ There are many things we can become addicted to, even to people as history has shown. Another human being, someone we admire or become enslaved to beyond the normal way of like or love. One can be or become a workaholic. Addiction has many faces.

    We all have been tempted. Some of these temptations can be fatal, some can be controlled by self-discipline. What ever the cause is… it can be eradicated if one seeks help.

    It is said that addiction is a remedy for an empty, unfulfilled life, or a life not lived to its fullest. We all need someone to lean on… it is a delicate balance to find answers to addiction. It is not enough to talk to a friend, one needs help from an outsider, a professional who can deal with the problem and helps to find an answer and a solution. It also deals with trust in the person who has the knowledge about the subject of addiction, I was told… that one needs to interview the person whether he or she suits the needs like you would check out a fine lawyer or a doctor. Treat yourself to the best help there is, once you are honest with yourself… that help is needed.

    In our world of total technology… the most prevalent and continuous addiction is technology. Nothing wrong with being tech-savvy, knowledgeable about the newest devices or apps, or functions of your computer table or iPhone. Yet, it becomes disruptive if people have the device turned on all day and all night. We can become sleep deprived by being wired all the time.
    Technology allows us to be hyper-connected with the outside world yet lose the connection to the inner world. These relentless demands on our time effect all our senses. One has to learn to tune out! Technology impacts life, health and relationships. The price for addiction is high… break the habit by disconnecting from the digital world and reconnect to your inner being and a time for contemplation. Banishing devices at night is a start!

    Technology has taken the place of a conversation, eye contact, exchanging ideas with a friend, of a sense of being. Virtual contact is a great tool, but as all tools it only assists in creating a virtual closeness. Just watch people in public places, on the street or in a restaurant, they pay little attention to their environment, nor are they aware of events happening around them. All these devices are fine tools… that is all they are. We use them daily and they make our lives more connected and quicker to find solutions, yet they are also disruptive if they are not controlled. Great to have but should not take place of human and real contact. They’re a substitute and servants… not the other way around.

    We must not allow to be on automatic pilot 24/7. Today it is an accepted practice to having phones everywhere and anywhere, in theaters, in churches or synagogues, in restaurants, in concert halls. Of course there are exceptions, a doctor on call, a babysitter’s problem, but in general it is part of the etiquette to keep the device off the table and turned off. Time off… time out is also like taking a vacation… recharge and unplug. These powerful tools will be there, even if you go offline. It takes common sense.

  • We Didn't Know It Was Possible To Write A Love Letter This Nerdy
    Let’s face it: grand displays of romance don’t last forever. The love letters, flowers and exorbitant Valentine’s Day gifts that marked those early days of your relationship were great… until you stopped receiving them completely about two years in.

    But hey, who needs roses and romantic gifts? We’ll tell you who doesn’t need ’em: this guy’s significant other!



    The letter has made its way around the Internet before, but recently popped up again on Reddit. We can’t say we’re surprised — when you see an expression of love this moving, you feel compelled to share.

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

  • Surprise. My Kids Don't Tell Me Everything.
    I’m sitting at my kitchen table and I hear a ping, the one that indicates that someone has received a text. I check my devices and nothing appears. I look around and see my son’s mini-iPad. Wow. Didn’t expect that one. Let me just say that I can’t share what I saw without using @!#$@!.

    Well, aren’t we “on-top-of-it” parents. My son didn’t have a cell phone (because we thought he was too young). But he did have a mini-iPad that he bought with his own snow-shoveling money. Yet, because we didn’t realize the capability of an iPad–little did we know that he could download texting and calling apps to turn his iPad into a full-fledged phone–we never established any rules.

    I was completely stunned by the text I saw. I think I have always been a little naïve about my children. I remember years ago when my then 16-year-old told me that she had been somewhere where the kids were “crazy.” Not knowing exactly what crazy meant, but clearly knowing that probing would mean the end of the conversation, I asked, “Did you feel uncomfortable?” So I asked a good question, but the answer shocked me. “No. I’ve gotten used to it.”

    WHAT? You mean that wasn’t the first time? How could that be? Didn’t I know where she was at all times? Don’t I know everything about all my kids?

    The big, disappointing answer is NO. Apparently, I have never been invited into my kids’ heads and hearts in the way I expected and believed would happen. The thoughts and experiences they share are edited for parental viewing.

    That first time was the worst; finding out that the picture in my head was more like a Facebook version of my life. The reality was unnerving. They don’t tell me everything. All I kept wondering was where had I gone wrong and how could I ensure their safety if I didn’t know everything about them.

    Of course, when I was a teenager, I didn’t tell my parents everything. But I believed that my relationship with my kids was different, better, more honest. (Don’t we all.)

    Over time I settled into my new reality. I could try to keep apace of the new social media site and the new apps (and I do), but in the end, since my kids would likely share only a small part of their lives, I would need to become a voice (a nagging voice) that would be heard even in my absence.

    Going back to my son’s text. Do I worry about the dangers lurking in my children’s devices? Predators. Cyberbullies. Identity thieves. Porn. Of course I worry. But I no longer believe that my efforts can protect him from all the danger that lives within.

    Instead, I just keep on talking and preaching and warning, with no certainty of the outcome, but a bit of nagging hope.

    Susan Borison is the Publisher and Editor In Chief of Your Teen Media. To learn about parenting in the age of technology, register for Your Teen Technology Webinar.

  • Uber To Hire 50,000 Military Members And Veterans
    Uber has pledged to significantly boost its pool of drivers from the military community, but the gesture is hardly a handout.

    The popular ride-sharing app, which connects everyday drivers with passengers in need of a lift, recently announced that it will hire 50,000 U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses over the next year and a half. But the program, UberMilitary, won’t just help a community that historically struggles to find work, it will likely ramp up the company’s business considering that its veteran drivers typically get the highest ratings.

    Together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes — an initiative that helps the military community find jobs — Uber will recruit veterans, service members and military spouses through job fairs and events across the country.

    UberMilitary is also assembling an advisory board, which will include members from every branch of the military, to help push forward additional programs that will empower military communities when they return home.

    Such opportunities are key for this community whose unemployment rate is typically significantly higher than the national average.

    In August, for example, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans hit 8.1 percent, down from 10 percent a year earlier, according to the Bureau for Labor and Statistics. The national unemployment rate sat at 6.1 percent.

    A major obstacle veterans face is the misconception that returning service members are emotionally damaged and too big of a risk to employ.

    “There is a need to be concerned about this issue and this stigma,” Kevin Schmiegel, retired Marine and executive director of Hiring our Heroes, told USA Today in April 2013.

    By hiring veterans, Uber is directly combating that negative stigma and it’s already working.

    According to the company, veterans maintain higher driving ratings than non-veteran drivers and get frequent positive feedback.

    “I’m proud to be a part of this unprecedented effort by a single company to ensure that tens of thousands of our nation’s military members, veterans and spouses have access to a unique entrepreneurial opportunity,” Robert Gates, former secretary of defense, said in a statement. “UberMilitary is committed to providing our servicemen and women with the economic opportunity, flexibility and entrepreneurship that are the foundation of the Uber platform.”

    H/T NationSwell

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