Stories by Meridith Levinson

  • Mobile malware: Beware drive-by downloads on your smartphone

    While Jeff Schmidt, the CEO of JAS Global Advisors, was surfing the Web on his new Android smartphone (his first Android phone) earlier this year, what appeared to be an ad popped up on his screen. The "ad" looked like the prompt that appears when his phone rings. He clicked the button on the ad to pick up the putative call, and the ad began downloading a binary file - malware - onto his Android phone. Schmidt had been hit by a drive-by download, a program that automatically installs malicious software on end-users' computers--and increasingly, smartphones--without them knowing.

  • Workplace conflict: How to diffuse battles with co-workers

    No one likes to address workplace conflicts -- not the employees who get embroiled in them and especially not the employees' managers, who pretend they don't exist. After all, conflict is messy, often political, and requires confrontation -- an activity most people aim to avoid.

  • IT résumés: Think twice about the advice you've been given

    Recruiters, professional résumé writers and other career experts give out tons of advice on how best to write a résumé that will stand out from the competition. Their intentions are noble - they want to help people land jobs - but the problem with their advice is that it doesn't always apply to IT professionals and the nature of the work they do, says Shana Westerman, a recruiting manager with IT staffing firm Sapphire Technologies.

  • IT Career Burnout: What To Do When the Thrill is Gone

    Burnout is as predictable in an IT professional's career as the long hours that precipitate it. The demanding nature of IT jobs, coupled with a perceived lack of respect and appreciation, leads many IT professionals to lament, à la blues great B.B. King, that "the thrill is gone." Many eventually wonder whether a career in IT is still the right choice.

  • Tech visionaries and LSD: Turn on, tune in, geek out

    Silicon Valley's rise as the hub of the technology industry in the 1960s coincided with LSD's explosion on the cultural scene. Within a few miles of Stanford Research Center (SRI), where Douglas Englebart was envisioning the personal computer as a mechanism to "augment human intelligence," three organizations were then legally administering LSD to guinea pigs.

  • The New Normal for Employment: A Con Job

    The New Normal. I'm sure you've heard this expression. It's used by many people to describe the way the recession has changed American life and business. There's a new normal for consumer spending, a new normal for IT operations, and not surprisingly, a new normal for employment.