Displaying articles for: 01-08-2012 - 01-14-2012
This is going to be one of my (hopefully) rare curmudgeon posts. Apologies in advance. I just had an attack of the Victor Meldrews this week.
I get very cross when I hear people talk about ‘passion’ in business. Either in mission statements (e.g. Microsoft: “your potential, our passion”) or in CV covering letters (e.g. ‘I’m passionate about the insurance industry’).
As a top salesman put it last week: “you can be as passionate as you like but if you’re not making your numbers it won’t help you.”
C’mon people. It’s just silly. It’s inflationary language. It’s also just the wrong word.
The dictionary definition: “the suffering of Christ … the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces … an outbreak of anger … an intense, driving or overmastering feeling or conviction … sexual desire…” These are not appropriate or relevant in the work place.
Passion, like solution and mission, is just a placeholder for people who can’t think of a more accurate word. Here are some alternatives which would be much more useful, descriptive and precise. Use them and you’ll stand out from the herd of Apprentice-wannabes who are just giving it 110% as they step up to the plate and all that other crap.
- Hard working
But the best thing to do is to shut up and do a really, really good job.
This is a guest post from Matthew's other blog, Bad Language
Rise of the Compute Continuum
With the growing number of ways users want to be able to access their data comes the need for infrastructure that will support a “compute continuum” for multiple devices. Intel has a vision for this that will allow users to access data in increasingly capable public and private clouds from whatever device they choose. These include devices ranging from in-vehicle infotainment systems, smart TVs and smart phones to tablets, netbooks, Ultrabooks, notebooks and desktops. Intel is investing in security, connectivity, platform software and other technologies to help bring about this vision.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently explained that Intel has developed a compute continuum framework that its customers are now using to enable them to have different devices seamlessly interact with one another. Further he claimed that we will see products with this capability shipping this holiday season.
Growing capability of Intel vPro technology
Since 2006, the capabilities of Intel vPro processors have increased significantly. What began as an enterprise remote desktop management capability has since grown to include wireless clients (2007), beyond firewall clients (2008), KVM remote control (2010) and host-based configuration and enhanced KVM remote control (2011).
An array of complementary technologies has also bolstered the capabilities of vPro. These include of course Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) plus Intel Anti-Theft Technology, Intel Identity Protection Technology, Intel Virtualization Technology and Intel AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions). Tools, such as Intel Setup and Configuration Service for Intel AMT devices, and the vPro module for Windows PowerShell, also contribute to vPro Technology’s growing acceptance.
This one’s another trend that seems to be picking up speed because of that darn consumerization of IT. As users want to have access to both their personal and corporate data on one device, this solution provides IT the control it needs while satisfying the users’ desire for flexibility. For more on this, I recommend a very thorough white paper on this topic by the Intel IT folks called Understanding Desktop Virtualization.
Everyone’s talking about clouds on the server end, but is there any advantage is having cloud-aware clients? Intel thinks so.
A key element of Intel’s 2015 cloud vision is secure access and optimal experience across the client continuum. Earlier this year, Intel announced technologies that would allow applications and services delivered from a cloud to know more about the laptop, PC, tablet or other device that they are accessing.
Companies such as Lenovo and NetSuite have announced application services based on this technology that can detect the hardware capabilities of an end-user’s laptop and optimize the services based on the available processing power, memory, graphics, battery life and bandwidth.
Availability of new Ultrabooks, which will provide IT with a more business-savvy alternative to tablets, was the biggest Intel news at the recent Intel Developers Conference. Demos by Microsoft of Windows 8 on several Ultrabook devices certainly support that thinking.
With a new emphasis on user-centered design, Intel social scientists told the electrical engineers what users really want. Here’s how Intel is addressing some of those requirements in designing the Ultrabook:
- Responsiveness. Not only do the Ultrabooks wake up fast, but they wake up already updated. Rapid start technology helps a system come out of hibernation in less than 5 seconds. Intel Smart Connect Technology allows the system to wake up for brief moments while it is in sleep state to download all of the latest updates so that you don’t have to worry about synching your system.
- Longer battery life. While dropping the voltage of the dual core microprocessor almost in half, the engineers were able to achieve responsiveness comparable to a standard system by extending the turbo capabilities.
- Security. Intel and McAfee have been working on anti-theft technology for the Ultrabook to give consumers peace of mind that their data is secure, and control over the safety of their data when their device is lost or stolen. Demonstrated at IDF, the technology will be shipping in the first half of next year. Another technology, Intel Protection Technology, is sure to baffle hackers as it creates a secure transaction portal that is able to display an image to a graphics controller so that the operating system or frame buffer (or hacker!) doesn’t see the information.
- Thin design at a consumer price point. Intel Capital established a $300 million fund to help the ecosystem deliver new and enhanced users experiences with longer battery life, slimmer components and platform technologies.
Some of these trends will obviously overlap and combine to create increasingly mobile and increasingly connected devices that more successfully integrate personal and business content on one device. And that sounds great to me.
Although computer backup is frequently cited in the news and on the web as a business imperative, many small businesses still don’t have a backup strategy in place. If your business’ hard drive crashed today, could you recover those files quickly and easily? If the answer is no, you need to start backing up your files on a regular basis. The good news is, with proper backup, you can recover valuable files in minutes. Getting together your backup plan is as simple as the three steps below:
Decide Which Data to Back Up
Like most businesses you probably have the following company and customer data, which should be backed up on a regular basis:
- Financial and accounting data
- Customer contact data and email
- Office productivity software and word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents
- Databases, web pages, graphics and similar data
- Other data specific to your business, such as marketing collateral, computer-aided design (CAD), drawings, music and video files and so on
In addition, you should do a full back up of your PC’s hard drive to guarantee your operating system and all your important files are protected.
To streamline your backup and recovery, configure your applications to save data files to your documents folders on your hard disk or to a network drive, creating subfolders to organize files appropriately. I do this by year and then by topic. That makes it easy for me to sort when I have to look for older documents.
Many businesses don't back up installed applications regularly. Instead, they keep the original installation material in a safe place and reinstall applications when necessary. However, capturing an image of a hard disk with all applications installed is a time-saving method for quick recovery.
Decide How Often to Back Up
Your backup schedule depends on a number of things, but mainly on how much time and effort it would take to re-create your data. Review your business data and determine which data must be backed up daily, bi-weekly, weekly and monthly.
(Note: Companies that are subject to federal and state data privacy requirements, such as financial institutions and healthcare providers, must adhere to strict data protection rules and procedures.)
Generally, you should back up mission-critical data daily (or multiple times each day) and less-valuable data once or twice each week. Plan to create a full backup of all data and settings once each week and once each month.
Choose the right backup method
Using a solution such as HP Backup and Recovery Manager, you can back up to your hard disk, a secondary hard disk installed in your computer or a USB-attached external hard disk, a flash or thumb drive, a network drive and even CDs/DVDs. Or you can do a complete backup instantly just by plugging in an HP SimpleSave drive. I use a SimpleSave and it automatically backs up anything new on my PC every five minutes, as long as I have it connected. I prefer this to online methods because I don’t need Internet access to back up my PC.
It is a good rule of thumb to keep one or more copies of your backup offsite. In addition, ensure that your backup media sets are secure—they contain the same sensitive information as the computer you're backing up.
HP has backup options that range from simple plug-and-backup to convenient wireless options and other backup solutions to fit your specific needs. You can find out more about simple solutions here and more advanced solutions here.
This is a guest post from our US sister blog 367 Addison Avenue
Microsoft Research is exploring the future of interaction, including direct 3D interactions with augmented reality.
Let’s take a look at the technology that is already out there:
- Sensors. Today’s mobile devices have sensors that make Star Trek’s Tricorder look medieval. For example, a typical smart phone has a compass, accelerometers, gyros, GPS and cameras. Combined with a screen, you can already experience augmented reality. For example, the SLARToolkit for Windows Phone and this YouTube playlist.
- Gestures. Kinect gives computers the ability to ‘see’ gestures and track movement.
- Pico projectors. You can already buy tiny, handheld ‘pico projectors’ such as the HP Notebook Projection Companion and they’re even built into some cameras now. If they were built into phones or laptops, they could project a 3D environment into the physical world.
- 3D graphics. Computers and even phones have the ability to display convincing 3D graphics and, thanks to KinectFusion, it’s also possible to capture 3D environments from the real world in real time. Checkout this video from Microsoft Research to see a computer build up an awareness of its entire environment and Ben Kacrya’s TED talk about long-range 3D scanning.
Tomorrow’s user interfaces
Each of these technologies gives developers new capabilities and lets them offer users new experiences. The challenge is to figure out what to do with them. This is where Microsoft Research is very active, combining different elements to create new kinds of interactivity, including
Holodesk is an experimental system developed by Microsoft Research that brings many of these technologies together to create something very similar to Star Trek’s holodeck. Mixing multiple sensors, physical objects, 3D graphics and intuitive gesture recognition, it lets a user interact with virtual objects almost as if they were real.
Wearable Multitouch Interaction, which is an experimental system that lets people use their hands, arms and legs as graphical interactive surfaces – as the touchscreen of a phone, for example – and interact with them using touch gestures, as in this Microsoft Research video.
Like all research projects, these demos are pre-production versions of soon-to-be-released commercial products. What they do is point to new possibilities and capabilities. In this light, Microsoft has put together a vision of the future that extrapolates the latest touch, gesture and augmented reality technology.
Got enough time? No, I didn’t think so. Running a small (but ambitious) company is an exercise in managing your time. Every hour must count. Big companies can throw big resources at a problem, but you have to use your ingenuity to find a more efficient solution.
However, unlike big companies, you can move faster. Technology can level the playing field and big companies struggle to innovate because their size makes change difficult and expensive.
Web-based cloud applications are the perfect disruptive technology to get a competitive advantage over your larger competitors. The right application used the right way can help you get more done. Here are ten business chores you can move online:
- Keeping track of customers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Highrise let you keep track of customer interactions online.
- Invoicing. Get your invoices out sooner and get paid quicker with online tools like Blinksale and FreshBooks.
- Advertising. Microsoft adCenter and Google AdWords can help you reach new clients online.
- Writing proposals. If you write a lot of proposals, try Quoteroller. It’ll speed up the process.
- HR admin. Check out Turbine for time off requests, appraisals, HR records, expenses etc.
- Recruitment. Online advertising on Monster and LinkedIn.com can be very effective.
- Finding freelancers. Need a little extra help? Try Elance or Concept Cupboard.
- Time tracking. Have a look at Harvest, it’s a great way to track those billable hours.
- Bookkeeping. The job you love to hate but maybe Xero will make it less painful.
- Email and calendar management. In the old days, you needed a big server to run your email system. Now, you can do it online with Microsoft Office 365.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Intel(R) as part of the “Technology in tomorrow’s cloud & virtual desktop” series. For more information please click - HERE