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Monday, March 17 2014

Despite the increased tensions in the Crimea and East Asia, the markets have warmed up considerably, an the white house intends to make your wallet a bit fatter.... This week's top stories.

20140317-fta-internet-tech-online-www393Watercooler Small Talk
On Sunday the Crimean parliament held a referendum on their status, 97% voted to be re-annexed with Russia. The referendum has been declared illegal by the US, EU and other organizations who defy Russia's influence in the region and have issued numerous sanctions. Has the next Cold War begun already?


Has the Bermuda Triangle extended to East Asia?
The details surrounding the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 are still murky. As new information arises even more questions abound. What is clear is the need for more accountability tracking. The international community has responded quickly, and search efforts have expanded to Australia.

Money Makes the World Go Around
Two major Chinese online businesses have announced plans to float on the NYSE:
Alibaba- one of the biggest online sourcing hubs, and the Chinese micro-blogging site, Weibo, also known as the Chinese Twitter. Alibaba is expected to raise $15 billion for its IPO, which would make it one of the largest ever. Weibo, with 241 million users, is expected to raise 500 million. Is this a sign that things are looking up again for the West?

In line with the trend to personalize your online experience, music Spotify acquired The Echo Nest, a music data company. This move also eliminates much of the competition from other clients of The Echo Nest. Big data rules.

The White House's Real- life Drama
The latest bone of contention between republicans and democrats on Capital Hill comes from Obama's declaration to extend overtime protections. It's no secret that for most workers and especially entrepreneurs, the 40-hour workweek is an illusion: a 50 or 60-hour workweek is the norm for millions. Just how this will play out remains to be seen, as the outdated labor regulations need revising and the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act also exempts most white-collar jobs from receiving these benefits.

When it comes to work/life balance though, it looks like the White House is finally paying attention. Several White House Aids have been featured in a Washington Post article about the need to better manage the pressures faced tryng to keep up with their job's demands and tending to their family.

Good news for those still paying school loans: the Obama administration is taking a second crack at for-profit colleges with a so-called gainful employment rules. The measure is aimed at holding these institutions, whose tuition often doubles or triples those of public universities, accountable for job placement and the ability of students to manage their payments after graduation.

Tech: The Promised Land
The World Wide Web turned 25 years old! This is not to be confused with the Internet, WWW enabled people to share pictures and images on the same page as well as share information via hypertext links. In a quarter of a century it has become the basis of one of the fastest growing industries and has changed the nature of business and the way we communicate. But that's not all.

According to a report released last week by the American Association of University Women on the Gender Wage Gap the salary difference in the tech sector is practically nill! Despite the still low representation of women who code, they are paid the same as men.

Additionally, another report from Glassdoor indicates that Interns in Tech Companies are some of the best paid workers in the country, some make more than 53,000 a year! So, if you've been considering changing careers and heading into tech, being an intern may not be such a bad idea after all.

Start Your Week With A Smile and A Wink!
Recently, the BBC published an article by a young Indian woman speaking of the pressures of being 28 and single career woman. It turns out that young female professionals all over the world are going through the same thing. "You're too smart and that's a put off," some are told. Last week Princeton Mom, Susan Patton made headlines with her advice to college girls to spend 75% of their time at school looking for Mr. Right. Millennial women are certainly under the spotlight as much for their work habits as for their love-life.

Nothing says sexy like confidence. Richard Branson has shared his top 10 tips for success. Follow his advice and strut through the business world with a knowing smile.

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