Bibi’s fiscal planning serves his own agenda

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Envoy Sen. George Mitchell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Benjamin Netanyahu

English: Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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English: Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Benjamin Netanyahu – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

English: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politician

English: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bibi’s fiscal planning serves his own agenda

Israel has no fiscal policy, other than implementing measures that serve the political needs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

20 November 13 12:37, Avi Temkin

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said: “Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy.” He was referring to the fact that Israeli foreign policy is dictated entirely by internal political concerns. The new “Budget Surplus Affair” and the question of what to do with the excess funds goes to show that Israel has no fiscal policy either, other than implementing measures that serve the political needs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Higher than anticipated tax collection lies behind the “surprising” surplus that was suddenly discovered. It is safe to assume that low government expenditure in the first half of 2013, during the period in which the budget was not approved, also played a role. This discovery comes at a time when the Prime Minister is in a political crisis, at home and abroad. When this happens, Netanyahu says to himself: “What could be better than appearing to be someone who ‘eases the public burden’ by reducing taxes?”

There is no shortage of parties making strenuous attempts to rain on Netanyahu’s little political parade. For instance, the National Insurance Institute, which is making unwelcome long-term plans to reduce poverty rates and bring them down to OECD average rates.

Everything Netanyahu dislikes is contained within the National Insurance Institute’s plan – strengthening the social safety net, setting long-term goals for reducing the number of poor, and, most of all, a rational debate about priorities. From his perspective, it is much easier, more marketable, and more election-friendly to appear to be a fiscal White Knight. In other words, as the knight in shining armor who strikes the evil bureaucrats in the Treasury Department and distributes money to the middle class.

This in the hope that the next time a fiscal crisis strikes, those same middle-class voters will forget the previous round and will somehow accept the “unavoidable” need to raise taxes again.

This all serves to emphasize the rotten manner in which this government, and previous governments, managed fiscal planning. Instead of real planning, in Netanyahu’s previous term, we were given the foolish “two-year budget,” which served as a Band-Aid, and prevented real discussions about fiscal policy. Meanwhile, the two-year budget was cancelled, but the political desire to prevent any real debate is still with us.

The whole discussion about the “surplus” is just a waste of time. Our society and economy are in need of a long-term master plan, with social goals alongside economic goals, with clearly defined priorities – a transparent framework within which the public will receive accurate information regarding what and whom money is being spent on, how much is being invested over the Green Line, the scope of tax incentives and exemptions, and to whom they are being awarded, what the per-child education budget is in each of the various population sectors, etc.

Israeli society is not the IDF’s ATM machine

If such a debate were to take place, one that would examine the needs of Israeli society and not just the Prime Minister’s needs, we would be able to design a real fiscal policy. The implementation could be based on annual budgets, which the Knesset would debate annually, in keeping with the long-term goals. Our society and economy need to have their budgets rebalanced between income and expenditure, with increased government expenditure and rebuilding of safety nets.

Israel needs an effective retraining system for the unemployed, and an effective day-care system. Israel needs an immediate reduction in class-size in the public schools. Israel needs to reexamine its tax system and to decide who should be bearing the burden. The Israeli economy needs to define boundaries of fiscal significance for the defense industry and to make the General Staff of the IDF aware that Israeli society is not their personal ATM machine.

Unfortunately, none of this will happen. We will read about and hear about these surpluses and about fights between ministers in the media. There will be presentations and press conferences. But the heart of the matter, the most essential, critical issues, will be left outside this time too.

The Often Forgotten Tribe of Marketers Who Amplify Your Brand

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The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-r...

The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-recognized trademark representing a global brand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Often Forgotten Tribe of Marketers Who Amplify Your Brand

 
 

The often forgotten tribe of marketers who amplify your brand

As businesses and brands we are used to paying for attention. TV, Radio and Print.

We call the “Ad” agency and ask them to create the “TV Ad” that is created, published and paid for. Stop paying and the ad and attention stops.

The PR agency is contacted and we brief them on the the latest public relations worthy news event that we think the world needs to hear about. The journalist is tracked down and convinced that the story is worth publishing. The successful result? We get some column inches in a national newspaper. That is lining the bin tomorrow. We pay the PR company for their time and influence.

It’s the way things have been done for decades. Businesses are the paying advertisers and newspaper companies and TV networks are the publishers.

But there is a different way and a source of free attention. There is an often forgotten tribe of marketers who can amplify your brand for free.

The media landscape today is a very different beast and we need to learn how to play with it.

Become the publisher

In 2011, Coca Cola decided to move from agency driven “creative excellence” in marketing to “content excellence“. They decided to become the publisher. Content excellence starts with creating your own content. it could be videos, images or blog posts.

Their goal was to create content so contagious it couldn’t be controlled and create buzz and virality online.

They flipped the old model.

The challenge

The flipping of the “old model” and becoming the “publisher” is a challenge. The typical company doesn’t have writers, video producers or editors. It is an internal and cultural challenge and outside the management’s comfort zone to do something different from the norm.

Paying for attention the old way is easy. it is the way things have always been done. The brand has the systems, processes and key staff to do what always has been done.

Changing is painful.

The hidden tribe of publishers

Becoming the publisher is one thing but the true power of taking control of your own content and publishing lies in what follows. When the online crowd shares and even creates more brand related content. It is the hidden and often forgotten publishers. It is your fans, advocates and customers.

So social media has provided crowd-sourced marketing for free. What is that worth?

The scale of this will surprise you!

Octoly.com have tracked and measured “user generated content” (often termed “UGC”) on YouTube around and about brands. The numbers are a revelation.

  • 95% of the views on YouTube about “Call of Duty” were not created or owned by the brand but created by users. 95% of the 9.3 billion in total views were earned. That’s 8.84 billion views just from fan created and shared content.
  • 99% of the views about “Lego” are user created. Of the 8 billion in total views 7.92 billion views just from passionate advocates who created and shared content about the Lego brand.
  • 99% of the views on YouTube about Apple were not bought or “owned” by the brand. 99% of the 4.2 billion in total views were fan created. That’s 4.16 billion views just from fan created and shared content.

The brands started the conversations by publishing. The online fans amplified it.

You cannot buy that level of attention.

Earned Media vs paid media Infographic

Infographic source: Octoly.com

Where is this going?

The savvy brands are taking control of their marketing by becoming the publishers. The technology, the platforms and the social networks now exist to reach your audience without always paying. New media has given businesses the means to amplify their content and marketing and engage with their own audience.

Red Bull hardly spends a cent on mainstream advertising but instead spends it on “publishing” and lets the the crowd do the heavy lifting. Distributing, co-creating and sharing the brand globally.

Let’s have a closer look at the specific numbers for some brands that get content marketing and are receiving free marketing through user generated content.

Coca Cola

In the “Fast Moving Consumer Goods”  category (FMCG) Coca Cola is the standout with 24.2 million social actions.

Coca Cola and earned Media

Victoria’s Secret

In the fashion category Vctoria’s Secret’s fans and “other publishers” produce 92 times more videos than the brand itself.

Victorias secret and earned media

GoPro

GoPro, the high definition mobile video camera manufacturer in the “Tech” category shows that earning free media attention isn’t just for the big boys. Creators produce 125 times more videos than the Official YouTube channel.

GoPro and earned Media

The social web has provided a “new” and alternate way to get attention. Are you ready to become a “publisher”? Are you creating content and building your social networks to amplify that content?

What about you?

Are you paying or are you working on “earning attention”. How many articles and views are created by your customers about your brand?

Look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below.

Want to learn how to create contagious content that begs to be shared? Do you want to grow your social networks on Twitter and Facebook?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 200,000.

Download and read it now.

 

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Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/11/20/the-often-forgotten-tribe-of-marketers-who-amplify-your-brand/#PCGsth0whG9H2Ktk.99

9 Common Interview Questions That Are Actually Illegal

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English: U.S. LGBT employment discrimination law. Sexual orientation and gender identity: all employment Sexual orientation: all employment Sexual orientation and gender identity: state employment Sexual orientation: state employment No state-level protection for LGBT employees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9 Common Interview Questions That Are Actually Illegal

During job interviews, employers will try to gather as much information about you as possible, so there’s bound to be some questions that will require you to think.

But it’s the simple questions that are often most harmful, and even illegal.

Any questions that reveal your age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation are off-limits.

“State and federal laws make discrimination based on certain protected categories, such as national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, disabilities, arrest and conviction record, military discharge status, race, gender, or pregnancy status, illegal.  Any question that asks a candidate to reveal information about such topics without the question having a job related basis will violate the various state and federal discrimination laws,” Lori Adelson, a labor and employment attorney and partner with law firm Arnstein & Lehr, told us.

“However, if the employer states questions so they directly related to specific occupational qualifications, then the questions may be legitimate. Clearly, the intent behind the question needs to be examined.

“It is often easy to infer what the interviewer is really trying to find out from an otherwise illegal question. For example, if the employer asks “Are you a U.S. citizen?”, this question is a violation of the law.  Although, the employer may just be  (albeit very inartfully) attempting to find out whether the applicant is authorized to work in the U.S. The applicant can simply respond, that “That question is in violation of the law, but yes, I am authorized to work in the United States.”

If you are asked any inappropriate questions, Adelson advises not to lie, but, instead, politely decline to answer.

“Could they not give you a job because of that? Sure,” Adelson says. “But if they do, they would be doing exactly what they’re not supposed to do.”

We asked Adelson to provide us with some illegal interview questions that are often mistaken as appropriate and judicial.

Have you ever been arrested?

Have you ever been arrested?

Business Insider

An employer can’t actually legally ask you about your arrest record, but they can ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.

Depending on the state, a conviction record shouldn’t automatically disqualify you for employment unless it substantially relates to your job. For example, if you’ve been convicted of statutory rape and you’re applying for a teaching position, you will probably not get the job.

Are you married?

Although the interviewer may ask you this question to see how much time you’d be able to commit to your job, it’s illegal because it reveals your marital status and can also reveal your sexual orientation.

Do you have children?

Again, the employer may ask you this question to see your available time commitment with the company, but this question is inappropriate.

However, they are allowed to ask you directly if you have other responsibilities or commitments that will be conflicting to your work schedule.

What country are you from?

What country are you from?

Kin Cheung / AP

If you have an accent, this may seem like an innocent question, but keep in mind that it’s illegal because it involves your national origin.

Employers can’t legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you’re authorized to work in a certain country.

Is English your first language?

Is English your first language?

Joe Corrigan/Getty

It’s not the employers lawful right to know if a language is your first language or not.

In order to find out language proficiency, employers can ask you what other languages you read, speak or write fluently.

Do you have any outstanding debt?

Employers have to have permission before asking about your credit history and, like a criminal background history, they can’t disqualify you from employment unless it directly affects your ability to perform the position you’re interviewing for.

Similarly, they can’t ask you how well you balance your personal finances.

Do you socially drink?

Employers cannot ask about your drinking, or even legal drug use, habits because these inquiries are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.

For example, if you’re a recovering alcoholic, treatment of alcoholism is protected under this act and you don’t have to disclose any disability information before landing an official job offer.

How long have you been working?

This question allows employers to guess your age which is unlawful. Similarly, they can’t ask you what year you graduated from high school or college or even your birthday.

However, they can ask you how long you’ve been working in a certain industry.

What religious holidays do you practice?

What religious holidays do you practice?
Employers may want to ask you this to see if your lifestyle interferes with work schedules, but this question reveals your religion and that’s illegal.
They can ask you if you’re available to work on Sundays.

Read more:http://www.businessinsider.com/9-illegal-interview-questions-that-sound-legal-2012-3?op=1#ixzz2l0oYe5If

29 Smart Answers To Tough Interview Questions

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29 Smart Answers To Tough Interview Questions

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In her book 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, Vicky Oliver says jobseekers need to treat interviews like a final exam, because it’s “rigorous” and “psychologically draining.”

“Make no mistake: in order to prevail, you are going to need to trounce your competition. You could be competing against someone with three times your experience, or conversely, against someone who can do the job at half your salary level,” Oliver says.

We compiled some of the toughest questions from her book accompanied with smart answers that will help you survive the elimination round.

Q: Will you be out to take my job?

A: Maybe in about twenty years, but by then, I suspect you’ll be running the entire company and will need a good, loyal lieutenant to help you manage this department!

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: What if you work here for five years and don’t get promoted? Many of our employees don’t. Won’t you find it frustrating?

A: I consider myself ambitious, but I’m also practical. As long as I am continuing to learn and grow within my position, I’ll be a happy camper. Different companies promote people at different rates, and I’m pretty confident that working for you will keep my motivated and mentally stimulated for several years to come.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: What is your biggest weakness that’s really a weakness, and not a secret strength?

A: I am extremely impatient. I expect my employees to prove themselves on the very first assignment. If they fail, my tendency is to stop delegating to them and start doing everything myself.

To compensate for my own weakness, however, I have started to really prep my people on exactly what will be expected of them.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: You have changed careers before. Why should I let you experiment on my nickel?

A. As a career-changer, I believe that I’m a better employee because I’ve gained a lot of diverse skills from moving around. These skills help me solve problems creatively.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: If you knew that things at your company were rocky, why didn’t you get out of the company sooner?

Q: If you knew that things at your company were rocky, why didn't you get out of the company sooner?

Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

A: I was working so hard to keep my job while everyone around me was being cut that I didn’t have any time left over to look for another job. With all of the mergers that have been happening in our field, layoffs are a way of life. At least I gave it my best shot!

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: From your resume, it looks like you were fired twice. How did that make you feel?

Q: From your resume, it looks like you were fired twice. How did that make you feel?

AP Photos/Paul Sakuma

A: After I recuperated from the shock both times, it made me feel stronger. It’s true that I was fired twice, but I managed to bounce back both times and land jobs that gave me more responsibility, paid me more money, and were at better firms.

The morale here is very high. I’ve been exposed to the “seamy underbelly” of this business, but I’m still passionate about working in it.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: I see from your resume that you worked at CC&L for four years, and that’s terrific. But I also noticed that you weren’t promoted during that time. Why not?

Q: I see from your resume that you worked at CC&L for four years, and that's terrific. But I also noticed that you weren't promoted during that time. Why not?

A: CC&L is a great company, and thanks in part to my team’s contributions, they are doing very well these days. But that wasn’t always the case.

During the first two years that I worked there, people were being fired left and right, and just hanging onto my job was a feat.

Once the company began to turn around, [my boss] was offered a terrific job at a rival organization and it took CC&L six months to replace him and when they did, the new boss was eager to bring in his own people. Once again, I tenaciously hung on to my job, and, even though I was long overdue for a promotion, I really didn’t think that the timing was right for me to broach it. No one from the old staff was there to even vouch for my performance!

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: If you were running a company that produces X and the market was tanking for that product, what would you do?

A: I would search for new markets for the product while I spurred the engineers to change the product to make it more marketable to its original core audience.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: You majored in philosophy. How did that prepare you for this career?

A: Philosophy didn’t prepare me for a career in architecture at all. But it did force me to become philosophical about my prospects. After two years of trying to figure out what to do with my life, I visited Chicago one weekend, and was absolutely spell bound by the gorgeous architecture all around me.

I came home, applied to architecture schools all over the country, and was accepted by one of the best. I’ve never looked back…this is definitely the career that I was meant to be in.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: What do you view as your risks and disadvantages with the position we are interviewing you for?

Q: What do you view as your risks and disadvantages with the position we are interviewing you for?

donald judge via Flickr

A: I think that the home office located halfway across the globe, there is a very small risk that one might not have the chance to interact with the key decision makers as often as might be ideal. On the other hand, teleconferencing, email, faxing, and having a 24/7 work ethic will go a long way towards bridging the gap.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Are you telling me that, now that you’re forty-something, you would be willing to start at an entry-level position just to get your foot in the door here?

A: Sometimes you need to take a step backward to move your career forward. Starting in an entry-level role would allow me to learn your business from the ground up.

The career that I’ve been in is so different than yours that I would love the opportunity to start over again in your field. The salary cut will be well worth it.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: From your resume, I notice that you interned at a small investment banking boutique. Did you pursue a full-time job offer with them? What happened?

Q: From your resume, I notice that you interned at a small investment banking boutique. Did you pursue a full-time job offer with them? What happened?

A: Yes, I did very well at my internship, and I had originally assumed that I would come on staff once I graduated from college. However, BB&L drastically cut back the number of new hires they were planning. As fate would have it, they will not be hiring any of the interns they had last summer.

I love working at BB&L, and I brought some references with me today to show you that my job performance there was stellar. Still, in some ways, I consider this new turn of events to be a lucky break for me, believe it or not.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: We love women at this company, but our clients are Chinese and so we were thinking of hiring a man for this particular job.

A: Why is that, exactly? It seems to me that I am probably more qualified to handle this position than anyone, man or woman.

My father’s career as a diplomat took our family around the world seven times, and I even spent my junior year abroad in the Far East. I would need far less training than an American man who grew up here and has never worked outside our borders.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Can you describe your dream job?

Q: Can you describe your dream job?

A. This is my dream job and that’s why I approached you about it in the first place. I am excited about the prospect of helping your promotion agency upgrade and fine tune your loyalty programs.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Our clients feel more comfortable with ethnic writers. So, while I would love to recommend you for the position, I’m worried that our client will feel uneasy about us hiring you.

A. I sincerely believe that being a great writer requires one major skill beyond being able to string sentences together, and that quality is empathy. I think that, rather than looking at my skin color, your company needs to consider whether or not I can empathize with our target market, and the answer is certainly yes.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Why did you take so much time off from work, and why do you wish to get a job now?

A: When I first had the twins, my husband was working 24/7, and I really needed to be there to raise the kids. But during that time, I really missed working.

Fortunately, I kept my hand in the business during those years by consulting for several of my ex-clients.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: How many skis are rented each year?

Q: How many skis are rented each year?

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani

A: There are 250 million people in the U.S. Let’s suppose that the number of skis is 15 percent of that, or 37,500,000. Of those, let’s figure that 21,175,000 of them own skis, leaving the number who rent at 9,325,000. Then let’s add the number of tourists who ski, say, one million. So the grand total of renters would be 10,325,000.

Now let’s assume that the renters who live here take three trips a year, so three times 9,325,000 is 27,975,000 and add that with 1,000,000 is 28,975,000.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: What would you do if you really wanted to hire a woman under you, and you knew the perfect candidate, but your boss really wanted to hire a man for the job?

A: I’d recommend that we perform an on-site “test,” by hiring both candidates on a freelance basis for two weeks each.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: What if you worked with someone who managed to ‘take credit’ for all your great ideas. How would you handle it?

A: First, I would try to credit her publicly with the ideas that were hers. Sometimes, by being generous with credit, it spurs the other person to “return the favor.”

If that doesn’t solve it, I’d try to work out an arrangement where we each agreed to present the ideas that were our own to our bosses. If that doesn’t work, I would openly discuss the situation with her.

However, if the person taking credit for my ideas was my boss, I would tread cautiously. To some extent, I believe that my job is to make my superiors shine. If I were being rewarded for my ideas with raises and promotions, I would be happy.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: How many hours a week do you usually work, and why?

Q: How many hours a week do you usually work, and why?

Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

A: I work pretty long hours most of the time. With the extra time, I try to find ways to “add value” to each assignment, both my own and the firm’s. When our clients read our reports, I want them to think that no one else could have possibly written them, except for our company.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Does a company need B players? Or is it better off only having A players on staff, and why.

A: I believe that a company needs both A and B players. When you’re pitching new business, you want the A players on the front line. But behind the A players, you need the B players who can hammer out the details of the projects and stick with them on a day-to-day basis. Having too many A players on the team leads to ego clashes and a disorganized, anarchical way of doing business.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Are you better at ‘managing up’ or ‘managing down’?

Q: Are you better at 'managing up' or 'managing down'?

A: If you aren’t good at “managing up,” you rarely get the opportunity to “manage down.” Fortunately, I’ve always been quite good at self-management. I’ve never had a deadline that I didn’t meet.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: This ad agency is a TV shop. But I see from your resume that you have far more experience handling print. You’re weak on TV compared to other candidates. Why should I hire you for the job and not someone else who has the credentials that we’re really looking for?

A: One thing I learned from these ad agencies is that print and TV are only mediums. The real thing that we offer clients is our ideas. And a strong, solid award-winning idea will work just as beautifully in TV as in print.

So while I may have fewer TV spots on my reel as other candidates, hopefully you’ll agree that my ideas are stronger than theirs. Hire me for my ideas, and when you do, I promise you that they will translate seamlessly into TV.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Would you rather get permission from your boss before undertaking a brand-new project, or be given enough rope to “hang yourself”?

A: During my first week on the job, I would ask my boss how she would prefer me to handle projects. If she indicated that she wanted a take-charge person under her, I would take the ropes. If she told me she wanted me to run ideas by her first, I would comply. I think the real challenge is being able to adapt to your work environment, and I’m flexible.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Let’s discuss a time when you missed a significant deadline.

A: I would absolutely love to, but honestly, it’s never happened.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Please give an example of the most difficult political situation that you’ve dealt with on a job.

Q: Please give an example of the most difficult political situation that you've dealt with on a job.

Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

A: I was hired by a woman who was on her way out. She asked me to be her “fall guy” on a number of assignments. I just learned to drop the assignments off with my boss on the day that they were due, and when the managers would ring me up, I would recommend that they simply follow up with her. This kept me out of hot water with my boss and with her superiors.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Did you ever make a mistake that cost your company money?

Q: Did you ever make a mistake that cost your company money?

Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

A: I suppose that asking for name-brand vodka at the Christmas party, instead of the generic swill that they normally serve, doesn’t count, right? No, really honestly, I’m delighted to report that I never made a mistake that cost my company money.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: Is it more important to be lucky or skillful?

Q: Is it more important to be lucky or skillful?

HBO

A: I think that it’s more important to be lucky, although being very skilled can help to create more opportunities. Certainly, [at my former job, my boss’] confidence in me inspired the decision makers at our firm to trust that I could do the job. But clearly, I also happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Q: When do you think you’ll peak in your career?

Q: When do you think you'll peak in your career?

Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

A: I come from a long line of healthy, hardy, mentally active types, and so I confess that I never even think about “peaking” in my career. That having been said, I do think it’s important to have some self-knowledge, and to recognize when one is past one’s prime.

Source: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/29-smart-answers-to-tough-interview-questions-2012-5?op=1#ixzz2l0K5vtqN

3 Israel start ups in the 12 hot security start-ups to watch ..Adallom, Skycure, and Lacoon Mobile Security.

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3 Israel start ups in the 12 hot security start-ups to watch ..Adallom, Skycure, and Lacoon Mobile Security.

Going into 2014, a whirlwind of security start-ups are looking to have an impact on the enterprise world. Most of these new ventures are focused on securing data in the cloud and on mobile devices. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Illumio, for example, founded earlier this year, is only hinting about what it will be doing in cloud security. But already it’s the darling of Silicon Valley investors, pulling in over $42 million from backer Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Formation 8 and others.

The cloud’s lure is easy to see. More businesses continue to adopt a wide range of cloud services — whether software-as-service, infrastructure-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service. That means the enterprise IT department needs more visibility, monitoring and security controls for what employees are doing and evidence their data is safe. In addition, employees today increasingly use smartphones and tablets they personally own for work in “Bring Your Own Device” mode, leading to other management and security questions. When there are perceived security “gaps,” start-ups see opportunities, as the 12 firms we identify here do.

Security is increasingly delivered not as on premises software or hardware but at least partly if not wholly as a cloud-based service. Gartner is predicting security-as-a-service will grow from about $2.13 billion now to $3.17 billion in 2015.

Gartner: Cloud-based security as a service set to take off

With all of that in mind, here’s our slate of security start-ups worth watching in the near future:

Adallom is based in Menlo Park, Calif., but has its research and development roots in Israel, where its three co-founders, Assaf Rappaport, vice president of R&D Roy Reznik and CTO Ami Luttwak have backgrounds in the Israel cyber-defense forces. Adallom — a word which means “last line of defense” in Hebrew — is taking on the problem in monitoring user actions related to software-as-a-service (SaaS) usage. The firm’s proxy-based technology announced this month is offered to the enterprise either as a security service in the cloud or server-based software for on premises.

The goal is to provide real-time analysis and a clear audit trail and reporting related to SaaS-based application usage by the enterprise. The monitoring can allows options for automating or manually terminating sessions or blocking content download. Though not wholly similar, its closest competitors could be considered to be two other start-ups, SkyHigh Networks and Netskope. The venture has gotten $4.5 million in funding from Sequoia Capital.

AlephCloud hasn’t yet made its software and service called AlephCloud Content Canopy generally available, but its purpose is to provide controlled encryption and decryption of documents transmitted business-to-business via cloud-based file synchronization and sharing services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive and Amazon S3. The company was founded in 2011by CEO Jieming Zhu and CTO Roy D’Souza. Zhu says Content Canopy works by means of the “federated key management” process AlephCloud developed that can use existing enterprise public-key infrastructures used in identity management. For the end user, though, who is permitted to retrieve and decrypt the encrypted document via Dropbox or SkyDrive, it’s all transparent. AlephCloud says its “zero-knowledge” encryption process means the company never holds the private encryption key. AlephCloud will first be supporting PCs, Macs, and Apple iOS devices, and Android next year, and specific file-sharing services. Zhu says the underlying technology can be expanded further to other applications as well. AlephCloud has received $9.5 million in venture-capital funding, including $7.5 million from Handbag LLC and the remainder from angel investors.

BitSight Technologies has a simple proposition. It’s not uncommon for companies to want to try and evaluate the IT security of another business before entering into an e-commerce arrangement where networks may be interconnected in some way. BitSight, co-founded in 2011 by CTO Stephen Boyer and COO Nagarjuna Venna, has a security “rating” service to do this, though there are limits on how far it can go at this point. The BitSight approach, says vice president of marketing Sonali Shah, relies on an analysis of Internet traffic by BitSight sensors on the Internet to detect if the company’s IT assets, such as computers, server or network, have been commandeered by threats such as botnets or denial-of-service attacks. But she acknowledges there’s not yet a way for BitSight to determine what security issues might arise in a company’s use of cloud services. Cambridge, Mass.-based BitSight has received $24 million in venture-capital funding from investors that include Menlo Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Commonwealth Capital and Flybridge Capital partners.

Defense.net is focusing on stopping denial-of-service attacks aimed by attackers at both enterprises and cloud service providers. Founded by its CTO Barrett Lyon, who started another anti-distributed denial-of-service firm called Prolexic in 2003, Defense.net relies on a cloud service without the need for an appliance to mitigate against large-scale DDoS assaults. Many in the industry say DDoS attacks are growing worse in scale and number. For his part, Lyon says he thinks the average DDoS attack is probably 16 times larger and “significantly more sophisticated than it was a year earlier.” Defense.net has received $9.5 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners.

Illumio, founded by its CEO Andrew Rubin earlier this year, is still in stealth mode, maintaining a discrete silence about its intentions. But the little hints sprinkled across its website indicate the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s focus is likely to be tackling cloud-based security with an emphasis on virtualization. Illumio has brought in former VMware techies and execs. As for Rubin himself, he was formerly CEO at Cymtec Systems, a security firm providing the means for visibility, protection and control by the enterprise of Web content and mobile devices, plus a means for intrusion-detection analysis. Illumio has received more than $42 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Formation 8 and others.

Lacoon Mobile Security has come up with a sandboxing approach to detect zero-day malware targeting Android and Apple iOS devices by means of a small lightweight agent that examines mobile applications through behavior analysis and a process tied to the Lacoon cloud gateway. The start-up was founded by CEO Michael Shaulov, vice president of research and development Ohad Bobrov, and Emanuel Avner, the CFO. The company has its R&D arm in Israel and its headquarters in San Francisco. It’s backed by $8 million in venture-capital funding led by Index Ventures, plus $2.7 million in angel investing, including from Shlomo Kramer, CEO at Imperva.

Malcovery Security, based in Pittsburgh, was basically spun out in 2012 from research on phishing done at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, according to its CEO Greg Coticchia. Targeted phishing attacks can have disastrous outcomes when devices are targeted to infiltrate organizations and steal data. Coticchia says the Malcovery technologies offered to businesses include ways to identify phishing websites and a service that can detect phishing e-mail. The company’s founders include Gary Warner, director of research in cyber forensics at the University of Alabama, and the start-up has received about $3 million in funding from patents and research from the university.

Netskope wants to help businesses monitor how their employees are using cloud-based applications and apply security controls to it, such as giving IT managers the ability to block data transfers or receive alerts. The Netskope service can apply security controls to about 3,000 different cloud-based applications, whether they be SaaS, PaaS or Iaas. The Netskope service is meant to let IT divisions get a grip on cloud usage and avoid the “shadow IT” issue of business people initiating cloud services without informing IT at all. The Los Altos, Calif.-based start-up was founded in 2012 by CEO Sanjay Beri along with chief architect Ravi Ithal, chief scientist Krishna Narayanaswami, and Lebin Chang, head of application engineering teams, all who bring tech industry experience ranging from Juniper to Palo Alto Networks to VMware. Netskope has amassed $21 million in venture funding from Social+Capital Partnership and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

PrivateCore is a crypto-based security play, focusing on making use of the central processing unit (CPU) as the trusted component to encrypt data in use. PrivateCore has come up with what it calls its vCage software that relies on the Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge CPU for secure processing through means of Intel Sandy Bridge-based servers in cloud environments, first off in IaaS. The challenge in processing encrypted data is “the problem with having to decrypt to do processing,” says Oded Horovitz, CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up he co-founded with Steve Weis, CTO, and Carl Waldspurger as adviser. The vCage approach, based on Intel CPU Sandy Bridge, makes use of the Intel Trusted Execution Technologies and Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm to perform the processing in RAM. This can be done with Intel Sandy Bridge because there’s now about 20MB of cache available, he points out, enough to get the job done. The data in question is only unencrypted in the CPU. This encryption approach is being tested now by IaaS providers and some enterprises, and PrivateCore expects to have its first product in general release early next year. The start-up has received $2.4 million in venture capital from Foundation Capital.

SkycureA is all about mobile-device security, with its initial focus on Apple iOS iPhones and iPads. It recently introduced what’s described as an intrusion-detection and prevention package for mobile devices, which Skycure’s co-founder and CTO Yair Amit says relies on the Skycure cloud service for security purposes. He says the goal is to prevent and mitigate any impact from attackers exploiting configuration profiles on mobile devices. Skycure, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, was co-founded by CEO Adi Sharabani and the company has received about $3 million in venture-capital funding from Pitango Venture Capital and angel investors.

Synack was founded by two former National Security Agency (NSA) computer network operations analysts, CEO Jay Kaplan and CTO Mark Kuhr. According to them, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based start-up is bringing together security experts with expertise in finding zero-day bugs in software, particularly in websites and applications of Synack customers. “We pay researchers for vulnerabilities found,” explained Kaplan last August as Synack officially debuted. He says bug bounty rates typically run a minimum of $500 to several thousand for serious vulnerabilities in databases, for example. Synack says it has cultivated relationships with several bug hunters around the world, including at the NSA, who would be available to take on specific assignments. Synack A has received $1.5 million in venture-capital funding from a combination of investors that A include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners, Wing Venture Partners, Allegis Capital and Derek Smith, CEO of start-up Shape Security.

Threat Stack, founded by CEO Dustin Webber with Jennifer Andre, wants to give enterprises a way to know if hackers are breaking into Linux-based servers that they may use in their cloud services. To monitor for hacker activity, the start-up’s Cloud Sight agent software for Linux needs to be installed on the Linux server under administrative control in the cloud environment, says Webber. “We look for the behavior of the hacker,” he points out, noting the enterprise will get an alert if a hacker break-in is underway and a measure of forensics about incidents can be obtained if needed. Cloud Sight could also be potentially used by cloud service providers as well but the initial focus is on monitoring for the enterprise, he says. Threat Stack, founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 2012, has obtained $1.2 million in funding from Atlas Venture and .406 Ventures. The start-up is yet another example of why there’s new energy directed toward finding ways to provide visibility, monitoring and security for businesses adopting cloud services.

Israel Ranks Second on Global Dynamism Index Science and Technology Sector

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English: World GDP growth rate and GDP growth ...

English: World GDP growth rate and GDP growth rate of total OECD countries. Data source: World Bank Group and OECD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Israel Ranks Second on Global Dynamism Index Science and Technology Sector

Jerusalem Technology Park. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israel has been ranked second in the Global Dynamism Index science and technology sector of one of the world’s largest worldwide accountancy firms with a mark of 62.7. Israel moved up one place to second from third, lagging only behind South Korea with a mark of 64.2. Israel was ranked ahead of Finland (62.6), Sweden (58.8), and Japan (58.7).

The Grant Thornton index draws together 22 indicators, including GDP growth, R&D spend, regulatory risk, access to finance and labor productivity, across five areas of dynamism (business operating environment, science and technology, labor and human capital, financing and environment, economics and growth) to produce the rankings.

Overall Israel ranked eighth place with a mark of 61.8. Australia topped the list followed by Chile, China, New Zealand, Canada, Finland and Singapore.

The Israeli Rental Contract

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Housing & Renting in Israel – The Rental Contract

Hebrew: דיור ומגורים – החוזה

 

The Basic Israeli Rental Contract

There is no standard rental contract in Israel, but you can buy different versions of a basic contract in some stationery stores.  Your landlord may present you with a contract that he drew up with his lawyer.  Take into consideration that the contract will, in all probability, be in Hebrew.   A real-estate lawyer will charge you around half a month’s rent to translate and go over a rental contract with you in detail.  If you can, ask a relative or a friend who speaks good Hebrew to go over the contract with you but realize that there may be some points and nuances that they may miss.

In your Contract

A typical rental contract may include some or all of the following points. Make sure that you have clarified these issues before signing the contract:

  1. Identity and details of the landlord.
  2. Israelis living in other cities or abroad often appoint a friend or relative to handle matters on their behalf.  Make sure you have all the details of all parties involved.
  3. Make sure that the person renting the property has the authority to do so – you don’t want to get caught up in a scam!
  4. Description of the property – the lounge is considered as a room in Israel. A 4 roomed apartment means 3 bedrooms and a lounge.  You may be offered a 3 1/2 roomed apartment.  This means that one of the bedrooms is very small and you may only be able to fit a bed and a small wardrobe/closet.  Often a landlord will close one of the rooms off and store his personal possessions in the room.  Make sure that this is taken into account both in the rental agreement and in the price.  Gardens, storerooms and parking spots must also be stipulated.
  5. Protected tenants law – it was very common many years ago to rent a property for “key money” and this is what this clause refers to.  Mostly this does not happen anymore.
  6. The purpose of the rental: residential, home-office etc.  If you are planning on using the property as a home-office check with your accountant for possible tax deductions.
  7. Verify who can live in the apartment with you – roommates, visitors, pets etc.
  8. Duration of the lease, notice period and regulations (written or verbal)
  9. Option to extend the lease and if there is a possibility to shorten the lease.
  10. Rent – how much, method of payment, frequency (monthly, quarterly etc.).  It was common practice, some years ago, to quote the cost of the rental in US$, to be paid in accordance with the exchange rate, in shekels, on the date of the transaction.  Mostly, now that the shekel is a more stable currency, rent is quoted in shekels.
  11. The state and condition of the property and who is liable for any repairs.
  12. Contents and condition of any furniture, appliances, light fittings or other items that come with the apartment – make a list of the contents.
  13. Check plumbing, gas and electrical – flush all toilets, open all taps, check that there is hot water, switch on all lights, check that the gas balloons are in working order and  that all appliances, included in the contract, are in working order too.
  14. Take meter readings – water and electricity – take photos of the readings.
  15. Is there insurance on the structure, its contents and third party?
  16. Cosmetic  changes – painting, hanging pictures or shelves etc.  Are you allowed to make any?
  17. Vad habayit (house committee) – the tenant is only responsible for the regular monthly payments.  Make sure you give the money directly to the house committee, not via the landlord.
  18. Penalties – agree on a rate.  Whether the landlord does not hand over the apartment on time or if the tenant does not vacate the property on time, it should be the same rate for both sides.
  19. Guarantees – this could be in the form of a cash deposit, a bank guarantee or two guarantors.  The guarantors must have a job and an income.
  20. At what point will the guarantee be returned to you and under what conditions.  This is a very important aspect of the rental agreement.  Landlords often come up with all kinds of reasons in order not to return part or all of the guarantee or deposit.
  21. Visits by the owner/landlord/agent – by prior coordination and at regular hours.
  22. If the property is sold during the course of the contract you must have the option to remain in the property until the end of the lease period.  However if you want to vacate the property, under these circumstances, you should have the option to do that too.

MoreTop Tips

  1. NEVER, EVER, EVER pay with cash. Always pay your rent with a check or by bank transfer so that you have proof of payment.
  2. Demand a receipt
  3. Take photographs of the apartment, furniture etc. before you move in, in case of disagreements when you move out..

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