Unveiling the blackphone 2: privacy without compromise

Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Vanessa Hudgens and Kate Upton have something in common. They were victims of an incident called the The Fappening, where naked pictures of 100+ women were leaked on 4Chan and Twitter in September 2014.

Big data never forgets! What do photo leaks have to do with the launch of a new smartphone? You might ask. Privacy along with the promise to completely secure your data is the answer.

Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director, of Silent Circle showing the blackphone 2

The CEO of Chelcey Telecom, Mr. Asela Waidyalankara, along with Silent Circle announced the release of blackphone 2, at Cinnamon Grand on Thursday , 3 March 2016, which mainly focuses on the aspect of privacy. Hon. Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, graced the occasion and impressed upon the audience that innovation and creativity is the way forward when it comes to this island nation. While being visibly impressed with the amount of work, time and effort which has gone into the blackphone 2, the minister went on to state his support for such ventures that promoted futuristic innovations.

Hon. Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, being gifted a blackphone 2 by Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director, of Silent Circle.

Hon. Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, being gifted a blackphone 2 by Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director, of Silent Circle.

Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director of Silent Circle, stated the importance of privacy in general, but more so when it came to enterprise customers. With a backdrop of celebrity photo leaks, and the NSA accessing private data, there seems to be nothing called – privacy. The truth is people with wealth, power or authority will always be a target for blackmail. The blackphone 2 seeks to change this by making communication and personal details secure. Mr. Berg spoke of how Mr. Phil Zimmerman, the Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, of Silent Circle, is an enthusiastic encryption law activist who fought the U.S. government in the 90s, and built a solid reputation on exporting technology to the rest of the world.

Democratizing the whole process, Silent Circle offers its source code, and requests the public to find out vulnerabilities. The public are paid to find out bugs and since the blackphone 2 runs on Android, Silent Circle works with Google to fix everything within 72 hours. No other company does this. In this day and age, the smartphone is a device of vulnerability. Feeling doubtful? Consider the degree of access rights the apps demand, and you will find, it reaches to ominous proportions.

Aimed squarely at enterprise customers, the blackphone 2 is crafted to ensure complete privacy. When apps can listen to what you are saying, take pictures, and listen via a smartphone’s microphone, the blackphone 2’s Silent OS can shut off surveillance and location tracking with a few quick clicks. With a plethora of nifty tricks up its sleeves, the blackphone 2 promises secure calls, SMS, and file sharing. The blackphone 2 is multiple phones in one phone; it’s secure from the start. It was launched at the end of last year, and is brought down to Sri Lanka by Chelcey Telecom.

4 Surefire Skills That’ll Make You An HR Superhero

There was a time when HR was a mere adminisHRDA_01022014trative function that was as boring as it was tedious; times have changed. Not only do HR professionals have to be proactive, but they need to display an empathetic side that’ll resonate with staff members.

Gone are the days when HR professionals merely fulfilled a desk role where their main responsibility was filling in EPF/ETF Forms and being strictly obsessed with the deduction of pay leave. The employee landscape has changed with millennials making up the majority of a company’s workforce.

Suddenly, HR professionals around the world have slowly realized that the the HR industry has had to change and evolve to cater to a generation that sees and responds far differently to the previous generation; so with that in mind, here are 5 skills that every HR professional should develop in order to become a true HR superhero.

  1. Empathy. An HR superhero needs to develop a sense of empathy, which makes them more human. Seriously, where’s your compassionate side? The corporate world shouldn’t be cut and dry or black and white. As a HR professional, you need to traverse the fine line of human compassion and human responsibility. Lend a sympathetic ear and work with your staff to ensure that you care and want to come up with a solution to whatever problem he/she faces. Remember your reputation and that of your company may depend upon it.
  1. Conflict Management. Just like in the Marvel universe where Thor slam dunks Loki, you go ahead and fight fire with fire. And then it all blows up in your face. Be the real professional here and give into the voice of calm and reason and solve a conflict amiably. Remember, you’re dealing with a glut of different personalities and it’s up to you to gauge each person so that a conflict can be resolved without long-term issues that’ll affect productivity and staff well being. Surely, this is a skill that gets better with experience.
  1. Discretion. One man’s secret is another man’s weapon, and this is why integrity is of paramount importance. When a staff member (irrespective of their seniority or rank) discloses sensitive information that may be work-related or personal — act on it with integrity. Your responsibility as an HR professional is to your company and staff. If you are privy to sensitive information make sure that you act with a sense of discretion. Spilling the beans with ignorance can destroy a team or a person and leave your sense of honor hanging in threads.
  1. Master Of All. Part of your job as an HR professional is to understand the various roles that the entire staff plays in a company. You can’t assess a Sales Executive the way you assess a Software Engineer. Both have different KPIs and they both have different issues to overcome. It’s of significant importance to spend time with staff members to understand their role and their objectives. This would indubitably allow you enough information to help create processed within the HR support role that can drive them towards achieving company goals


Effective Workplace Communication

Workplace CommunicationCommunication is something we do reflexively — like breathing. We talk to our spouses, kids and friends without giving much thought to how we’re doing it.

It might seem easy, but communicating effectively actually takes quite a bit of finesse. Choosing the right words, listening with our minds instead of just our ears, and getting our message across are skills that we all need to work on.

At home and in social settings, miscommunication can lead to arguments. In the workplace, the repercussions can be far more serious. Poor productivity, unmotivated employees — even lawsuits — can result from communication breakdowns at the office.

To improve communication within your team and throughout your entire company, you need to implement a few easy but important changes to your corporate philosophy and practice.

In this article, you’ll learn some of the tips management experts use to improve communication. You’ll also see how changing your communication strategy can lead to real improvements in employee motivation, productivity and profitability.

Handle Conflicts with Diplomacyconflict_management

We communicate in different ways to different people, but we have to be very careful about the way we communicate at work.

Put a group of different personalities in the same room for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, add the stress of multiple deadlines, and you’ve got a recipe for conflict. No matter how well intentioned and intellectually compatible the group of people you’ve hired may be, inevitably you’re going to have squabbles over who jammed up the copier or accidentally deleted a co-worker’s file.

Most minor issues will blow over on their own, but a few can turn into major disputes. Some office arguments can be serious enough to prompt legal action.

To prevent small conflicts from exploding into major crises, nip issues in the bud right away. Let employees know from the start that your door is always open. Encourage them to come to you by creating a safe environment in which they feel comfortable honestly and openly voicing their frustrations. All conversations held in your office should remain completely confidential.

When you respond to conflicts, do so with an open mind and a nonjudgmental approach. That means absolutely no personal attacks. By asking questions and really listening to the responses so you understand how each person in the dispute feels, you can help the two parties reach a resolution that’s acceptable to everyone. Finally, if company policies are to blame for the issues, go to management and suggest some permanent policy changes.

Give good feedback.testimonials-550x300

No employee wants to exist in a vacuum. Whether they’re working tirelessly to get projects done or slacking off, your workers need to know that you recognize and appreciate their efforts — or expect them to work harder.

You don’t have to hold regular meetings to share feedback, although that’s one way to do it. There are many other ways to let your employees know what you’re thinking — through e-mail, phone calls, or a brief status update a couple of mornings a week.

When you do give feedback, make sure it’s as clear and detailed as possible. Try to offer solutions if there is a problem. For example, don’t just say, “You aren’t putting in enough effort.” Instead say, “When you are late 3 weeks in a row filing your budget reports, it gives me the sense that you don’t have enough time invested in your accounting procedures. Can you let me know why you’ve been late and how we might help you get back on track with these reports?”

Don’t forget to give positive feedback, too. Praise and recognition make employees feel important, which motivates them further. Take your team out to lunch to celebrate a sales milestone, get key employees gift certificates to say thanks for a job well done, or just tell them, “You did a great job on that presentation. Good work.”

Take your emotions out of the equation887906-Emotionsatwork-1431882357

You try to promote professionalism at the office, but that’s not always easy to do when so many different personalities converge in such a small space.

Sometimes work discussions can turn into personal attacks. When an employee is starting to get under your skin, take your emotions out of the equation. Instead, take a deep breath, count to 10 and respond in a calm, unemotional way.

When you do respond, don’t make it personal. For example, instead of saying, “You did a terrible job putting together that sales presentation!” try, “Here are a few points I think you need to work on that will really add to what you’ve already written,” or “I’m having some trouble understanding what you’re trying to get across in this presentation. Can you please explain it to me?”

Also, make sure the person on the receiving end isn’t taking your comments the wrong way. Everyone views the world within his or her own emotional framework. No matter now innocent your intentions, they can be misconstrued.

Ask for clarification at the end of conversations to make sure you and your employee are on the same page. You might say, “My intention in talking about your recent absences is to make sure everything is okay with your job and your health, and to see what we can do together to improve the situation. How do you feel about the issues we’ve discussed?”

Make work fun!Fun at work

Who said a 9-to-5 job has to be drudgery? It doesn’t matter whether you’re producing movies or computer chips, the work day can be as fun and exciting as your company wants to make it.

If you visit certain offices, on any given afternoon, you might find employees racing paper airplanes in the atrium or relaxing in recliners and listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean in the company’s “rejuvenation station.” Other companies have set aside a break area for their employees to “hang out,” or bring in an ice cream truck once a month.

You don’t have to come up with these kinds of creative ideas yourself. There are companies that specialize in coming up with and implementing employee perks that will do all the work for you.

Giving employees as little as 15 minutes a day to cut loose can make them much more appreciative — and productive — when they do need to put their noses to the grindstone.

Three interview questions you need to be ready to answer!

Whatever you prepare for, whatever you hope you’ll face, you need to know the answers to these three questions to make sure you stay ahead of your interview, because no longer will companies be asking you where you see yourself in 5 years or the like. So either directly or indirectly be prepared to answer these three important questions. Interview Basics

Can you do the job?

Will you love the job?

Can we tolerate working with you?

Can you do the job?
In this day and age jobs keep getting more complex and even more specialized, and employers need to be assured that you can and will do this job. And that isn’t just making sure you have the technical know-how, or the experience but also that you’ll be able to learn, adapt, think critically and be on top of new technology and approaches, your ability to communicate with others to take your job to the next level and so on. Because the job you get today is likely to keep changing and evolving as time goes on.

Your examples of how you continually adapt and how you have value addition to whatever it is you do and your eagerness to stay at the front of new technological trends, work with others, manage risks and think critically to make decisions will them a broader view of what you can bring to the organization

Will you love the job?
It isn’t just a common thought anymore, research focuses on employee disengagement and unhappiness as a massive cost to the organization. That makes employees not just look out for another person to hire but a person who is passionate about the position and willing to make new strides in it.

So there may not be direct questions at how eager you are for this job, but when the opportunity presents take charge and prove on what this job means to your passion and how you can positively influence the growth of the company. The questions of your previous workplace may want you to say bad things but the most important factor is how appreciative you were of it. Make sure, as you answer questions about your work experience, you share with the interviewer the aspects of work that you love. What are the things at work that “turn you on” and make time disappear? Do you love solving problems? Are you passionate about satisfying customers? Do you thrive on the details or guiding the big picture? Do you need to work on teams? Are you jazzed by beating the competition?

What are the things you need in a role to be fully engaged? And what are the things that disengage you? Be honest about both; it’s in everyone’s best interests for you to work in a job that you love.
Can we tolerate working with you?

As much as it is one position, you need to be able to positively say you are a team player. The way you get along with your employees shows courage, positivity and most of all teamwork.

But more than that, as organizations recognize that their employees are their only true source of lasting competitive advantage, organizational culture and competencies are becoming more critical. More than products/services or technology, this is what differentiates an organization from the competition.

So at the end of it they will be looking into identifying qualities within you that reflect the company’s core values and competencies.After all, if you’re a good fit, you’re likely to be more engaged and perform better.

To excel at this, start by getting as much understanding of the organization’s culture, values and core competencies as you can. There are lots of areas on their website that will give you clues to these. Look at their company history, careers page, mission and values. Look at the words they use to describe themselves, their products/services, market and customers. And decide for yourself whether the organization will be a good fit for you, and you for it.

If you think you’re a good match, let them know, and all the while you answer your questions at the interview tell them about your shared values and competencies. Give examples of how you’ve exhibited those on the job and outside of work. Let them know that you’re more than just the skills and experience you bring to the table and that you share a commitment to the same things.

Phase One of Orion City Towers begins: Development set to position Sri Lanka as an IT/BPO destination

Orion Development, pioneers in introducing IT Parks to the country in year 2009 have now initiated their next venture, Orion City Towers in the heart of Colombo. The project is an eco friendly design and consists of three phases.

The launch of the development of the Orion City Towers was initiated on Saturday, 20 June  alongside Mr. Arul Gnanam, the Chairman of St. Anthony’s Group.

The main and foremost objectives of the company are cater to the needs of businesses by transforming the scope of built-to-specification, cutting edge, commercial and office infrastructure by  combining innovatory technology and international standards. Country’s top companies Virtusa, Sri Lankan Airlines, Pearsons, HNB and HSBC are among the housing clients of the Orion City.

Proposed Orion City 1, a mixed development project comprises of gymnasiums, retail malls, dining options, and hospitality services which aims to provide a complete package under one roof to meet every need of an individual. In addition to the above mentioned facilities, a boutique hotel occupying 350,000 square feet will also be included in the 22-floor building.

Inspired by the Orion belt, the three towers with a height of 110 meters are expected to become a standout design in the city of Colombo and it will redefine the norms for IT infrastructure in Sri Lanka.

Chief Executive Officer Jeevan Gnanam expressed that the project of the Orion City Towers is designed to accommodate future needs.

“We believe in providing the best for our clients. Therefore we are interested in constructing something which fits for all the needs and purposes with regard to infrastructure. Orion City Towers is one such construction which clearly demonstrates the company’s philosophy to provide the best for our clients business needs.”

Recently been awarded a LEED Silver certification for best in class building practices and strategies, next target of the company is to acquire a LEED Gold certification with Orion City project. Phase One of the project is scheduled to commence from June 2015 is expected to be completed in year 2017.