Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher

Editor's Note: 
Welcome to our new contributor, Reboot!  He will be joining [IGH] as a comic reviewer.

By Reboot

On Wednesday, May 15th, Issue 1 of 2 of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher will be hitting the shelves.  It’s adapted and drawn by Richard Corben and put out by Dark Horse Comics for $3.99.

To start, Richard Corben’s art is beautiful as always and is worth the $3.99 admission if his style speaks to you.  How he captures the people, the trees, the exterior of the house; it’s all stunning and original in its own right.  His use of colors and shadows are mostly spot on and give you a feel for the impending doom ahead.  He also makes good use of the 22 pages he has and creates a story that could stand alone despite only being half of the full story.

Sponsored Post: Cloud Transparency - How Cloud Applications Can Help Employers Uncover Questionable Employee Practices

Cloud Transparency
How Cloud Applications Can Help Employers Uncover
Questionable Employee Practices

Unfortunately, most businesses at some point experience issues with one or more employees.  Perhaps you suspect an employee is flexing their schedule without permission.  Or, maybe you allow employees to work remotely or from home, but feel their work is just not getting completed  Worst case scenarios involve fraud, where an employee steals or attempts to steal something, either tangible like money or intangible such as proprietary information.

As cloud-based technologies become more widely used among businesses, they bring added benefits of new of ways to help uncover unethical employee behavior.  In a totally cloud immersive environment, transparency is both inevitable and useful to business owners and managers. 

First, if you plan to monitor your employees, it is a good practice to have clear written policies.  Within those policies, inform employees how any monitoring may be done.  Once you establish the ground rules and make employees aware their work, online activities, etc. may be monitored at any time, you should be ready to spot check as necessary.

1.         Monitor Work          
            The beauty of the cloud, especially an environment which is completely    cloud immersive, is it offers the ability to see what work is actually being      done. Let’s say an employee who you feel may be slacking or is taking             “extra long” business lunches tells you he is “working” on completing his             assignments.  Don’t believe him?  Log into that employee’s cloud files and           see the exact time and date he uploaded his work and where he or she      really is with the project. 

2.         When the Boss is Away…
            So, just how much work do your employees complete while you are away?           The cloud allows you to log in remotely from anywhere to see what work is       being completed, monitor log-in and status reports, etc.  Makes it much            more difficult for the “mice to play”.

3.         “Working” From Home
            Let’s say you give your employees liberty to work from home under certain circumstances.  Or, maybe an employee has an appointment in the morning and, rather than taking the entire day off, asks if he or she can just work from home rather than returning to work.  It’s fairly easy to see exactly what they are working on, especially if the company uses a platform such as Google Apps for Business. Documents, spreadsheets, etc. are edited and updated in real time, so you can actually see if work is being completed.

4.         Check employee availability
            Some cloud applications allow you to check to see if a particular employee           is logged onto their computer and available.  This is great for larger with       offices which are spread out.

5.         Hmmm….
            Certain cloud applications give you options to monitor employee productivity.  Let’s say you are doing some spot-checking, and you notice a certain employee seems to be working on projects which they weren’t assigned or looking at documents and information which really don’t have any relevance to their job.  This could be a red flag.  Check with your cloud provider and learn ways their applications and platform may be able to help you detect possible employee fraud.

As the cloud continues to evolve, expect additional ways to monitor employees.  However, while you want to make your employees aware that monitoring is a possibility, try not to make them “paranoid” or feel as if you distrust them.  If you are not using any cloud applications to date, Google Apps is a great place to start.  Not only is it easy to integrate and use, but a number of free tools, audit logs and data backup options are also available.  Good luck! 

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

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