Welcome to the Career Explorer Blog!

Apr 19 2011

Hacking is a general term that refers to the reconfiguration or reprogramming of a computer system in order to allow an outsider who wouldn’t otherwise have access to that system to gain entrance. It is an art and a dark science that has been around ever since the dawn of computers themselves. Hacking is often used by the mainstream media to refer to all types of electronics manipulation including “phreaking” and “cracking.” It is a catch-all term that has fallen securely into place as a handle for any outside manipulation of electronic devices, even though in the real world of hacking it refers to a specific type of manipulation.

“Hacker” is a word invented in the 1940s by mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., played by Russell Crowe in the movie “A Beautiful Mind.” Meaning it as a derogatory term, Nash used it to refer to anyone looking for a quick way around a problem.

In 1972, it was discovered that a cereal box whistle emitted a frequency that would authorize long distance calls when played into a phone. This is considered one of the first technology hacks.

In 1981, a hacker named Ian Murphy was the first to be convicted of a felony when he broke into AT&T systems and switched their discount rates to daytime hours.

A hacker named Kevin Mitnick made it to the US Most Wanted list after hacking into a number of phone and computer companies. Some believed he could cause the launching of a nuclear device simply by whistling into any public phone.

Allegedly searching for little green men, Gary McKinnon broke into US Navy, Air Force, Army, Defense Department, and NASA web sites in what some consider the greatest military hack ever.

The US leads the world with thirteen percent of the planet’s spam sent from hacked computers within its borders. Cheap online hacking universities in China lead the world in revenue generated with an annual $40 million profit.

Across the globe, intellectual property amounting to around $1 trillion has been stolen by hackers. This is in addition to an annual $4 billion in damages in the US caused by hackers and $1 billion in China. According to a Symantec survey performed in 2009, slightly less than half the businesses surveyed had been hacked and lost valuable information. It is said that a third of companies have to face daily hack attacks, 17 percent of which manage to gain entry. Hackers attempt to break into power plants thousands of times per year. Successful attempts extort millions of dollars annually.

Around 250 professional hackers are hired every year by the Defense Department to protect the US from malicious hackers. Job applicants are given a thorough career assessment of their past life and must pass a challenging aptitude test. The Pentagon invested $6 billion into computer safety measures in 2009 alone. This figure is expected to at least double in the next five years.

Some of the most often hacked sites include Facebook and other social networks.

By Career Explorer

Apr 14 2011

Don’t overlook working for Ronald & Company…

job-search

McDonald's is hiring

“Explore a golden opportunity!” That’s what the job application states at McDonald’s, and in all honestly, they might not be kidding.

According to emerging signs in the recent economic recovery, McDonald’s plans on hiring near 50,000 people later this month –better yet, in a single day – on April 19th.

A large part of this massive hiring move is due to more golden arched locations staying open 24 hours, in addition to America’s “jobless recovery.” To put it simply, several of the chains are in need of more and more people – daily. In fact, people who had at one time never considered the food colossus are now changing their minds as a result of the growing opportunities available to them. No longer is McDonald’s just a place for prepubescent teens to find work during high school – it’s become more than just a McJob, it’s become a career ladder of opportunity.

Despite all the negativity Micky D’s received after documentaries like 2004’s Supersize Me hit theaters – spawning a growing concern for high-calorie foods in an already unhealthy America – the fast-food kingpin has shifted its reputation into a company built on helping sculpt careers. Now that doesn’t mean that every drive-thru and grease fryer is going to end up owning a location or sitting in a desk that says CEO, but it does show promise knowing that most of McDonald’s higher ups have had to ask at some time or another “What kind of drink would you like with your value meal?”

If you’re looking for a career – a growing career with plenty of outlook and opportunities, don’t overlook the big M. Good news is that if you do move up the corporate chain, you’ll already be used to wearing a shirt and tie to work every day – minus the name tag. If you aren’t sure what you want to do with you life, take our free career assessment to get a feel for what line of work may fit you best.

By Career Explorer

Apr 12 2011

Celebrities Debt

Famous billionaire Donald Trump owns thousands of hotels and other properties worldwide. This man with a trademark hair style also wants to become president of the United States. Even with all of his properties, companies and television contracts, Trump still has considerable debt. Most individuals are surprised to learn this. Trump’s debts reach into the hundred-millions. He was also ordered to surrender his $25 million mansion in a divorce settlement.

Toni Braxton is a well-known singer. After coming from a small church choir originally, Braxton went on to build her way to the top, winning six Grammy awards and multiple other recognitions. She has sold over 40 million records. Despite her success, fame and fortune, the singer and mother has accrued a debt of more than $10 million dollars. She is certainly not hurting to survive; her record sales are well over $188 million.

M.C. Hammer, legally known as Stanley K. Burrell, also has significant debt. His debt reaches into the $40 million bracket. He is not only a rapper, but an entertainer, entrepreneur, actor and dancer. Even after selling 50 million records worldwide, his monetary problems persist. This could be a result of his desire for luxurious living. To give an example of just how much this famous artist shells out for his accommodations, he spent over $2 million on a marble floor for his bathroom.

Mike Tyson also had debts that reach into the $40 million range. He has spent his life boxing, acting and accepting many other well-paying jobs, but he also has some expensive hobbies. Tyson’s passions include exotic animals. He has several pet tigers, which cost over $4,000 each month to keep.

There are many other celebrities that spend lavishly. Elton John spent $468,000 on flowers, Nicholas Cage reported spending $276,000 on a dinosaur’s skull and Kim Basinger actually purchased an entire town for $20 million. Most average workers read these statistics with their jaws wide open in surprise. Although most people could never fathom spending this much money, it is always possible to earn more than the current salary. Most people simply aren’t in their optimal career field. Take a job aptitude test to determine which fields are the most suitable. Career assessments and job aptitude tests determine the best possible jobs for each person, based on their individual answers.

Debt is something that almost every American is experiencing today. With prices constantly on the rise and wages staying the same or decreasing, it is becoming difficult for many to stay afloat. Many people find themselves taking a career assessment or job aptitude test to find a new better-paying career. Getting a better job is one of the best ways to get out of debt faster. Don’t lose heart, though – everyone experiences debt, even celebrities. It is a well-known fact that celebrities spend a lot of money on houses, clothes and vehicles, but some celebs have gotten themselves into deep debt. Several have spent their money on some strange items, which are certainly not things most people would consider essential.

By Career Explorer

Apr 11 2011

Self Employed in the USA VS. United Kingdom

Self-employed individuals have long been the envy of many who are employed in the private sector. The United States and United Kingdom are two of the countries with the highest rates of successfully-self-employed workers. Eventually these workers may take a job aptitude test and enter the ranks of salaried workers. In recent years, research has been conducted to find out which country has a better success rate among those who are self-employed. The United States came out on top, with its self-employed citizens earning about $13,720 more on average than those in the United Kingdom. Average annual wages of self-employed citizens in the United States are $45,092, while the UK average is $31,372. To put that difference into perspective, it is enough to buy 3,843 Big Mac burgers from McDonald’s.

To earn the same as a salaried worker, self-employed citizens in the United Kingdom must work an average of 146 hours more than a United States self-employed person. That time difference is enough to watch 204 episodes of Glee – or almost any other one-hour television show. In the United States, there are 21,351,320 self-employed people; in the United Kingdom, there are 4,070,059. If these two numbers were put into perspectives of the population of countries, the United States’ self-employed population would be equal to the total number of people in Australia. The United Kingdom’s total number would be equal to the population of Liberia, which is significantly smaller.

The amount of self-employed workers per capita in the United States is also higher than the UK’s. In the United States, 13.8% of the population is self-employed, while 8.96% of the UK’s population is self-employed. The United Kingdom also has a significantly higher tax rate than the United States. Tax rates in the United States are 35%; in the UK, they are 50%. The IRS received $962,791,527 in revenue, which is enough to wrap dollars around the moon’s equator more than nine times.

Being self-employed appears to be more attractive in the United States. Although most self-employed workers can quickly dispel all of the positive misconceptions about not having to take orders from a boss. Nearly everyone is enticed by the idea of being their own boss, but the reality is that taxes are higher for self-employed people, both in the United States and the UK. In addition to higher taxes, the income isn’t always guaranteed. Whether a self-employed person works as an independent contractor or a has a business they run as a separate entity, there are many other financial obligations that must be met before the self-employed individual can actually “pay” themselves with the funds. Starting a business or becoming self-employed takes a lot of research, hard work and diligence. Having a steady job is an asset to anyone and eliminates the worry and stress of wondering where money will come from. Those who feel lost in the job search benefit from taking a career assessment test or job aptitude test. Both of these tests provide helpful suggestions for finding optimal employment, based on personal strengths and weaknesses.

By Career Explorer