Cloud licensing's become so complex that it's easy to pay too much or get burned later on. Here are some tips to make sure you're getting your money's worth.
Stories by Robert L. Mitchell
What recruiters know about you is about to get a whole lot deeper than what you put on your resume. An emerging class of search engines is taking a big data approach to recruiting by crawling the web for every bit of data about you, assembling it into a master profile, rating your knowledge, skill levels and interests, and serving it up to recruiters who can filter it by location, skill, the school you attended and a range of other criteria.
Two years ago, Mark Ehr and a few co-workers began using Skype to communicate between Proxima Technology's Denver headquarters and its offices in Sydney, Australia, and Windsor, England. "I'd spent hours talking to Sydney," says Ehr, director of product marketing at the 70-person software company. Luxembourg-based Skype's peer-to-peer voice-over-IP software routes calls over the public Internet, offers good voice quality and supports conference calls -- and it's free, he says.
The PC still rules the desktop -- but not for long. Laptops, once considered an expensive luxury, will soon claim the mantle as the personal computing platform of choice in the enterprise.
After almost a quarter of acentury as the personal computing device of choice for business, the desktop PC is sliding off its pedestal. It has withstood assaults by technologies such as the Windows terminal, the Web and the network PC, but the mighty desktop has been humbled by user demand for the one thing it can't deliver -- mobility.
American Power Conversion Corp. (APC) Monday unveiled a backup power system for data centers that uses fuel cell technology to keep the centers running during a power failure.
Once the province of in-house developers to quickly test software within multiple virtual environments, virtualization technology is finding new fans.
As vendors continue to pack more servers into a smaller footprint, keeping a lid on power requirements -- and keeping server racks cool -- has become a huge challenge. And the lowly AC power supply remains the toughest part of the problem to solve.
Microsoft offered an early peek at Longhorn's file navigation and search capabilities last week -- and fired a shot across the bow of the emerging desktop search tool vendors.
Building-automation systems used to function in separate technology silos. Now vendors are rapidly adopting IP, Web services and other technologies that are beginning to converge with traditional IT infrastructures.
At Panasonic Corporation of North America's headquarters, a project is under way to replace wall-mounted thermostats with individual, virtual thermostats controlled by PCs. Real estate management firm Kenmark Group in San Francisco created an operations center to save energy by centrally monitoring and controlling the multiple office buildings it manages. The system includes a common Web portal and uses XML and an IP backbone network to "talk" to components within individual buildings.
When it comes to IT security, good technology can't protect an organization against bad policy. Judging from the way the banking industry handled the recent theft of more than 8 million credit card account numbers, that's a lesson that major U.S. credit card associations and issuers have yet to learn.
The situation is unlikely to improve in the near term because the financial services firms that control most credit cards see little economic incentive to change their ways. Those most at risk of incurring losses include consumers (through identity theft), and merchants that accept "card-not-present" transactions.
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