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2014 Survey Report: Remote Collaboration Challenges and Strategies to Overcome

In late 2013, Polycom invited customers and partners around the world to participate in a survey that focused on collaboration challenges. More than 5,000 business professionals from all job levels, functions and vertical sectors responded, candidly sharing insights about their obstacles and the strategies they deploy to overcome them.

The survey reveals that 85% of the respondents believe video conferencing helps them achieve their business goals. See how they successfully use video in their profession and how you can leverage technology to defy distance and improve remote collaboration within your organization as well.

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Heartbleed -- What Can You Do To Stay Safe?

The Heartbleed SSL vulnerability is making headlines around the world – and misreporting in the press and online is causing confusion. How can you stay safe and ensue your personal details aren’t leaked?

What Is Heartbleed? Well, It’s Not A Virus
You’ve probably heard Heartbleed described as a virus. This isn’t the case: in fact, it is a weakness, a vulnerability in servers running OpenSSL. This is the open source implementation of SSL and TLS, the protocols used for secure connections – those that begin https:// rather than the usual http://.

This vulnerability – more commonly referred to as a bug – essentially creates a hole through which hackers can circumvent the encryption. Confirmed on April 7th 2014, it occurs in all versions of OpenSSL except 1.0.1g. The threat is limited to sites running OpenSSL – other SSL and TLS libraries are available, but OpenSSL is employed widely on servers around the web. A fix for the problem exists, but this may not have been applied to the websites you regularly visit for secure activities. These might be online shopping, gambling and other adult themed websites or even social networking.

With this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings

To gain insight into the real-world use cases for video conferencing, Wainhouse Research conducted a series of interviews with organizations using video conferencing to facilitate everyday business. While the applications themselves are highly diverse, the benefits they provide fall into four broad categories as listed below:
  • Team Building
  • Productivity & Efficiency
  • Customer Outreach
  • New Services Enablement
This white paper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and real-world examples of how organizations – large and small – are leveraging visual collaboration to find new clients, serve existing clients better, and improve their bottom line.

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The Total Economic Impact of Polycom Voice Solutions for Microsoft Lync

Polycom voice solutions for Microsoft Lync helped an Organization achieve the following cost savings and business benefits over three years:
  • $452K Employee relocation cost savings
  • $12M Improved productivity and collaboration
  • $15M Total cost savings and benefits
  • $582K Managed services cost savings
  • $2M Phone purchase and installation savings
*Commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Polycom and Microsoft.

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How to Save $18,600 Per Year on Your Credit Card Processing

Business owners may also choose to use an independent sales organization, which is a credit card merchant broker representing third party processor. These organizations tend to have more lenient acceptance criteria than banks, but they tend to charge more in fees, too. While some of these independent sales organizations are above board, others are known for providing poor service, so it is important to check out a processor's reputation before signing up.

This white paper will provide you with the pros and cons involved in selecting a credit card processor.

They will also match you up with a few pre-screened credit card processors who can quote you no-obligation price quotes.

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Boost Agent Performance and Elevate the Customer Experience With Speech Analytics

With companies experiencing hundreds to tens of thousands of phone conversations with their customers each day, the questions arise:

• Do they know what their customers really want and need?

• Are their customers happy or dissatisfied with their service?

• Are their employees delivering an exceptional customer experience?

Much of the data required to answer these questions is contained within phone conversations between contact center agents and customers. Technology is available to automate the process of recording, mining and analyzing these “voice of the customer” conversations, and allow contact center operations to evaluate agent performance, script compliance, and customer satisfaction.

In this white paper, you’ll learn how an affordable and flexible cloud-based speech analytics solution will help your organization monitor agent performance to improve the customer experience.

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CA Clarity Playbook Strategy Planning Demo

Watch this video to see how CA Clarity Playbook gives your organization anywhere, anytime access to:
  • Define strategy based on business goals, objectives, initiatives
  • Engage and collaborate with key stakeholders on strategy
  • Improve alignment of investments & resources to objectives
  • Visualize real-time investment financials in context of plans

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CA Clarity Project & Portfolio Management

By leveraging Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions, organizations can gain visibility into projects and improve decision making while balancing costs and driving more business value. And PPM solutions delivered through cost-effective means, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), can significantly reduce implementation and maintenance costs while speeding time to value. But realizing the benefits of PPM technology solutions depends not only on using the right system, but also the right approach.

Read this eBook on how you can take a prescriptive approach to a simpler, faster and more cost effective Project & Portfolio Management path to success.

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Magic Quadrant for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications

CA Technologies is positioned as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications. Gartner states that "Integrated IT portfolio analysis bridges the formulation of business-IT strategies and the management of physical changes made to the IT footprint in response to the strategies. Program and project managers can use IIPA to communicate across the stakeholders to improve assessment and governance".

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MarketScope for IT Project and Portfolio Management Software Applications

Further they describe the PPM ‘Sweet Spot’ as supporting “high levels of investment, program, and project planning; resource capacity planning; and financial planning and tracking.”

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Rationalize Applications Across the IT Portfolio

Application Portfolio Management (APM) with CA Clarity™ Project & Portfolio Management (PPM) can bridge the gap between growing technology demands and available budget. It delivers a fact-based decision-making process that reduces the costs and complexity associated with managing a modernized and optimized application portfolio.

CA Clarity PPM for Application Portfolio Management helps organizations to:
  • Free up resources to fund new innovation
  • Streamline application portfolios
  • Reduce costs and complexity
  • Respond rapidly to business and user needs

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Reducing Risk: How Cloud Services Can Inject Speed and Accountability Into Your Implementation Timeline

Cloud computing shifts the burden of installing, operating and maintaining software to the vendor. The top-line advantages are fairly straightforward: secure off-site data storage, reduced expenditure through shared infrastructure costs, and streamlined maintenance are just a few of the benefits. Yet, the true value of deploying supply chain management technology in the cloud is the capability it can deliver in terms of business agility and long-term measureable results.

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What's the Secret to Getting PPM Easily and Affordably in Four Weeks?

If you find your company in a similar situation, don't despair. Check out this resource to discover a PPM tool that enables you to quickly and cost-effectively introduce PPM into your business, thanks to an easy-to-implement Software-as-a-Service platform.

Read on to learn about the benefits you could experience from this technology, including:
  • 4 week deployment time
  • Low upfront cost
  • Scalability for future changes
  • And more

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The Essentials of Virtualization - Free Kit

The Essentials of Virtualization, brings together the latest in information, coverage of important developments, and expert commentary to help with your Virtualization related decisions.

The following kit contents will help you get the most out of your Virtualization research:
  • Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization
  • Seven Virtualization DR Myths
  • Where to Go Once Your Servers Are Virtualized

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The Essentials of Information Security Kit: Includes a Free PC Security Handbook - 2nd Edition eBook

The Essentials of Information Security brings together the latest in information, coverage of important developments, and expert commentary to help with your Information Security related decisions.

The following kit contents will help you get the most out of your Information Security research:
  • PC Security Handbook - 2nd Edition
  • Beginner's Guide to SSL Certificates: Making the Best Choice When Considering Your Online Security Options
  • Security Trends 2014
  • Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization

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Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked

David Norfolk of Bloor Research International discusses research that compares two high-productivity Platform as a Service (PaaS) development platforms: OutSystems Platform and from (now re-branded as Salesforce1 Platform). In this webcast, he will debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them, albeit with somewhat different approaches for different kinds of customers.

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Kick Start Your Mobile App Strategy

Mobile has become standard in the enterprise with smartphones and tablets common in the workplace. Anywhere, anytime access to company systems is expected and systems must work flawlessly on these devices! This demand is requiring that corporate IT departments figure out the best mobile strategy to follow.

This eBook looks at how to kick start your mobile application strategy by answering the following questions:
  • Why go mobile?
  • What are the three primary mobile application types?
  • What type of app should you build first?
Get this eBook for help defining your mobile app strategy!

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Planning and Executing Webinars That Generate Leads

People who sign up and show up are motivated to solve a problem or fill a need, and they already trust you to some degree. You want to make sure that the webinar you produce meets their expectations – while maximizing your opportunities for conversion. Webinars have much in common with real-world events and can deliver a similar quality of leads, at a lower cost per lead. Producing a webinar provides its own set of unique challenges, but with strategic planning, a project approach, and attentive execution, you’ll find yourself creating thoroughly professional webinars.

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Professional NoSQL--Free Sample Chapter

NoSQL databases are an efficient and powerful tool for storing and manipulating vast quantities of data. Most NoSQL databases scale well as data grows. In addition, they are often malleable and flexible enough to accommodate semi-structured and sparse data sets. This comprehensive hands-on guide presents fundamental concepts and practical solutions for getting you ready to use NoSQL databases. Expert author Shashank Tiwari begins with a helpful introduction on the subject of NoSQL, explains its characteristics and typical uses, and looks at where it fits in the application stack. Unique insights help you choose which NoSQL solutions are best for solving your specific data storage needs. 

Professional NoSQL:

  • Demystifies the concepts that relate to NoSQL databases, including column-family oriented stores, key/value databases, and document databases.
  • Delves into installing and configuring a number of NoSQL products and the Hadoop family of products.
  • Explains ways of storing, accessing, and querying data in NoSQL databases through examples that use MongoDB, HBase, Cassandra, Redis, CouchDB, Google App Engine Datastore and more.
  • Looks at architecture and internals.
  • Provides guidelines for optimal usage, performance tuning, and scalable configurations.
  • Presents a number of tools and utilities relating to NoSQL, distributed platforms, and scalable processing, including Hive, Pig, RRDtool, Nagios, and more.

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Smashing CoffeeScript--Free Sample Chapters

If you're familiar with JavaScript and the often-frustrating process of creating complex applications, a nice cup of CoffeeScript can help. CoffeeScript is a programming language that compiles into JavaScript and simplifies the entire development process. Now you can tap the full power of CoffeeScript with Smashing CoffeeScript. This full-color, practical book explains CoffeeScript language, syntax, and processes, and will soon have you producing concise and quality code. Ultimately, you'll create RIAs and mobile apps faster, with less hassle.

  • Gets developers up and running on CoffeeScript, a programming language that compiles into JavaScript and simplifies the process of building software
  • Helps you produce better JavaScript and more quickly
  • Introduces the language, syntax, and processes of CoffeeScript
  • Covers the development of both mobile and rich internet apps
  • Explores the HTML5 feature set, real-time communication, and using CoffeeScript within node.js projects

Developers, blend some better JavaScript with CoffeeScript and Smashing CoffeeScript.

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Smashing HTML5--Free Sample Chapter

HTML5 is packed with great new features, including new content-specific elements, audio and video playback, canvas for drawing, and many others. But where to begin? With Smashing HTML5, you have everything you need to get up and running quickly.

Bill Sanders is a professional Web developer, information and interface designer, and instructor. His expertise and knowledge shared throughout Smashing HTML5 will help fast-track you toward building next-generation Web sites.

Smashing HTML5 provides comprehensive coverage - from how to get started with HTML5 to optimizing media on the Web. You will learn how to use text, graphics, audio, video, and navigation in HTML5 Web pages running in compatible browsers.

You will also learn how to:

  • Work with HTML5 tags
  • Design page structure
  • Make site navigation easy for your audience
  • Integrate media including video into HTML5 pages
  • Harness the power of the HTML5 canvas
  • Use HTML 5 forms

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Smashing Mobile Web Development--Free Sample Chapter

If you're a devoted reader of Smashing Magazine, you know that all development roads now lead to mobile, so desktop-browser-based web developers need to get up to speed and soon. Start migrating your abilities to mobile with this terrific book. It first helps you make the switch to HTML5 and CSS3, before teaching you how to apply those skills to build websites that work across all mobile devices and mobile browsers.

Topics include using wireframes and templates, understanding frameworks such as jQuery Mobile, getting up to speed on newer technologies such as Boilerplate, and more.

  • Essential guide for web developers who want to build websites that work across all mobile devices and mobile browsers
  • Explains the essential tools you'll need for web mobile, including HTML5, CSS3, and JQuery Mobile
  • Brings you up to speed on newer tools such as Boilerplate
  • Keeps your professional skills up to date with today's technology trends

By the time you finish Smashing Mobile Web Development, you'll have built your own mobile website that incorporates geolocation, social media, and more.

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Smashing Node.js: JavaScript Everywhere--Free Sample Chapters

Smashing Node.js: JavaScript Everywhere equips you with the necessary tools to understand Node.js and its uses in developing efficient web apps. With more traditional web servers becoming obsolete, having knowledge on servers that achieve high scalability and optimal resource consumption using Node.js is the key to your app development success. Teaching you the essentials to making event-driven server-side apps, this book demonstrates how you can use less space and take less time for communication between web client and server.

  • Contains numerous hands-on examples
  • Explains implementation of real-time apps including Socket.IO and HTML5, and WebSockets
  • Addresses practical Node.js advantages from specific design choices
  • Demonstrates why knowledge and use of JavaScript is beneficial
  • Includes an interactive online component with sample chapters
  • Explains components of stand out apps including brevity and benchmarks

Looking to enhance your abilities even further? Smashing Node.js: JavaScript Everywhere makes developing server-side apps accessible with its focus on JavaScript, open source, and easy-to-use language.

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Supercharge Your Web and Mobile Application Development with High-Productivity Hybrid Cloud

Noted Forrester analyst John Rymer helps take the mystery out of the various cloud platforms available and discusses the tremendous efficiency gains that can be achieved using these accelerated approaches. Forrester refers to this market as “High-Productivity PaaS” (Platform as a Service).

The webinar also features a complex-made-simple, real-world example from Don Griest at FICO. FICO is the leading predictive analytics and decision management software company. Don will discuss how the OutSystems Platform is helping FICO rapidly deliver solutions with superior quality and unprecedented time to value, thus opening up new markets for the company.

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Wiley's HTML5 Book Bundle -- A Free 165 Page Sampler

This Wiley e-book bundle includes selected materials from 5 recently published titles in Wiley's expansive catalog of titles. The material that is included for each selection is the book's full Table of Contents as well as a full sample chapter for your enjoyment.

Titles Include:

  •     Smashing HTML5
  •     HTML5 Canvas For Dummies
  •     HTML5 Foundations
  •     HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies
  •     HTML5 Programming with JavaScript For Dummies

Whether you're a seasoned veteran of HTML5 or a newcomer, there are valuable lessons and advice in these pages for you. Download today and receive your FREE sampler filled with thought provoking insights from today's leading authors.

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Windows 8 Application Development with HTML5 For Dummies--Free Sample Chapters

This book offers a primer for building HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript applications for Windows 8. It includes an up-to-date guide for dusting off an aging HTML skill set and adapting to the Windows 8 apps and provides a reference for Windows and .NET programmers not familiar with HTML5. The overall design principles of MetroUI (the new design paradigm for Windows) are discussed.

The book also addresses visual design with HTML and CSS, which are the visual design languages to bring MetroUI applications to the screen. Finally, there is a section on using JavaScript for inter- and intra-functional components.

  • Contains the design principles for MetroUI, the new design paradigm for Windows
  • The author is an enterprise architect, seasoned programmer and web developer who specializes in implementing Microsoft solutions at his client sites
  • Shows how to develop HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript applications for Windows 8

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iPad CTO Kit - including the iPad Tips and Tricks Guide for IT Executives and Managers

The iPad CTO Kit brings together the latest in information, coverage of important developments, and expert commentary to help with your IT Management related decisions.

The following kit contents will help you get the most out of your IT Management research:
  • iPad Tips and Tricks - A Guide for Executives and Managers
  • Website Security Threat Report 2013
  • Five Considerations for Putting Dev/Test in the Cloud
  • Taking Windows Mobile on any Device

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BCP Software vs. DIY: How to Make the Most Important Decision in Business Continuity Planning

Learn why and what you need to take into account to ensure resiliency by downloading this infographic. We take a revealing look at the pros and cons of business continuity planning software vs. the do-it-yourself options available and help you make a case for a solution that provides increased confidence and better outcomes.

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Earn Money Online: writing, transcribing and tutoring gigs

When you’re talking about making money online, the words scam and slave labor get thrown around fairly often – and not without cause. But there are plenty of legitimate ways to earn a decent secondary income online if you’re savvy enough to avoid the false offers that are simply too good to be true, and if you possess any of a wide variety of marketable skills.

First of all, if you ever come across any sort of advertisement claiming some sort of magical guru can teach you how to make thousands of dollars easily from the comfort of your home, run away fast. That is unless you’re reading this guide of course, in which case we’d like to preface its actual content with a disclaimer: all of these activities are best done as sources of secondary income only, unless you’ve already been doing any of them long enough to feel they’re reliable and you keep a tight budget. You won’t find any get rich quick schemes here, but with some hard work, your finances might get a welcome boost.

There won’t be any information in this guide about doing surveys or odd jobs such as those available in Swagbucks, Clickworker, etc. since these basically pay nothing. Our purpose here is to guide you towards increasing your income in a considerable manner, showcasing easy writing gigs with lower pay through to more elusive work with quite lucrative payments. Whether you’re simply looking for a few extra bucks on the side or you are a competitive freelancer, you should come along for the ride. Your wallet will thank you.

Also with this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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Everything You Need To Know About Switching To A Chromebook

Chromebooks are Google’s take on the laptop. They run a slimmed-down operating system optimized for getting on the web with just the Chrome browser and Chrome apps. If you can do everything in your browser with web-based services and online storage, you can switch to a Chromebook.

Many Chromebook users haven’t actually “switched” to a Chromebook — they’ve purchased a Chromebook as an additional device, not one that replaces their current computer entirely. A Chromebook is the simple laptop you pick up when you need to browse the web, watch videos, type emails, write documents, and do other things you can accomplish in a browser. But let’s assume you actually want to switch to a Chromebook.

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How to Write a Privacy Policy for Your Website

Launching a website? This guide goes through what you need to know about creating, and writing, a privacy policy for your website. Don’t know if you do need a privacy policy? A very simple question will answer this for you: do you collect any kind of personal data from your users? If yes, then you need a privacy policy – it’s required by law in most countries.

What is a privacy policy? What are the legal requirements regarding privacy policies? What are the best practices for writing this agreement?

The guide will answer these questions for you. Please note that this guide is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.

With this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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Learn to Build with PHP - A Crash Course

What was your favorite subject at school?

If you’re anything like me, I bet you loved the arts. The humanities. You know, the subjects derided by some as being vacuous and nebulous in nature, but regardless you loved studying them because you loved being creative.

I bet you never thought of your IT classes the same way you thought of English Language or art; as a purely creative endeavor.

That’s a pity. Learning to program is a bit like doing a creative language class. You have an idea, and you can execute that however you like. It’s pure creativity, but instead of baring your soul on paper, you are commanding a computer to do your bidding. If you can dream it, and if you can describe it in a way your computer understands, then you can make it.

The way we talk to computers is through abstractions called programming languages. There are a whole bunch of these out there, each with their own advantages, disadvantages and truly bizarre idiosyncrasies. They’re imperfect by nature, but people use them to create incredible and wonderful things.

One of these languages is called PHP.

You may have heard of it before. This is the language that Facebook, WordPress and Wikipedia use to serve billions of requests, daily. It is the de-facto language used for teaching people to program for the web. It’s beautifully simple, but brilliantly powerful.

And in this guide, I’m going to teach you how you can use it to build your own websites.

With this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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Newspaper 2.0: Your Guide to RSS

Let’s say that you are obsessed with Justin Bieber and want updates on his whereabouts at all times of the day and night. RSS makes this fantasy a reality; with the right software and subscriptions, you would receive every relevant  piece of information immediately following publication, delivered to either your mobile device or desktop.

Of course, if you are over 14, you probably have other interests – don’t worry, this technology can work for just about anything. With it you can read every article offered by a particular blog, for example. But before explaining how RSS can help you, let’s first get into what RSS is and its history over the years.

With this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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Programming a Game with Unity: A Beginner's Guide

A surprising feature of the Internet economy is the rise of indie videogames. Once the exclusive domain of thousand-man, multi-million dollar triple-A studios, a number of toolsets have been developed that bring modern game development resources into the hands of individuals or small, ad-hoc collections of programmers and designers. These indie game development teams have demonstrated an agility and risk-tolerance that, in many cases, allows them to push gameplay innovation faster than their big budget counterparts. A number of shockingly successful indie titles have premiered in recent years, including Minecraft, Limbo, and Super Meat Boy.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of indie game development, Unity has emerged as something of a de-facto standard: its low cost, ease of use, and broad feature set make it ideal for rapid game development. Even large studios such as CCP (Developers of Eve Online) use it for rapidly prototyping game concepts. Unity provides a “game engine in a box” - a physics and rendering engine with hooks for several scripting languages, adaptable to virtually any genre of videogame.

Also with this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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Your Complete Guide to Windows Customization

If you’re anything like me, when you start to use a new computer the first thing you’ll do is to make it “yours”. Essentially you adapt the computer to fit your needs in a faster manner. For instance, you might Download Google Chrome, install your favorite antivirus software and uninstall the things that you don’t deem necessary. Only then do you get to work.

It doesn’t have to end there. Many go above and beyond to make their devices feel really “theirs”. Rooting your Android device, jailbreaking your iPhone or iTouch, and using custom themes on your phone is fun – and just the beginning. The ubiquity of mobile devices has really pulled the strings and started a mini revolution in this regard.
That’s fun, but the grand majority of people still use desktop and laptop devices in order to get their work done. Sure, mobile devices are becoming increasingly productive tools, but at this point in time the desktop is still king.

But just because your computer is mostly for work doesn’t mean you can’t also make it yours. You can use tools that will customize nearly every aspect of the visual aspect of your Windows experience. These tools are user friendly and are easy to operate – even by absolute beginners.

Also with this free guide you will also receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

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Big Data Basics

Amazingly, 90% of the data in the world today has been created only in the last two years. With the increase of mobile devices, social media networks, and the sharing of digital photos and videos, we are continuing to grow the world's data at an astounding pace.

However, big data is more than just the data itself. It is a combination of factors that require a new way of collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data. These factors are forcing software companies to re-think the ways that they manage and offer their data, from new insights to completely new revenue streams.

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Professional Hadoop Solutions--Free Sample Chapter

Today's enterprise architects need to understand how the Hadoop frameworks and APIs fit together, and how they can be integrated to deliver real-world solutions. This book is a practical, detailed guide to building and implementing those solutions, with code-level instruction in the popular Wrox tradition. It covers storing data with HDFS and Hbase, processing data with MapReduce, and automating data processing with Oozie. Hadoop security, running Hadoop with Amazon Web Services, best practices, and automating Hadoop processes in real time are also covered in depth.

With in-depth code examples in Java and XML and the latest on recent additions to the Hadoop ecosystem, this complete resource also covers the use of APIs, exposing their inner workings and allowing architects and developers to better leverage and customize them.

  • The ultimate guide for developers, designers, and architects who need to build and deploy Hadoop applications
  • Covers storing and processing data with various technologies, automating data processing, Hadoop security, and delivering real-time solutions
  • Includes detailed, real-world examples and code-level guidelines
  • Explains when, why, and how to use these tools effectively
  • Written by a team of Hadoop experts in the programmer-to-programmer Wrox style

Professional Hadoop Solutions is the reference enterprise architects and developers need to maximize the power of Hadoop.

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Make Your Own Android App: Your Unofficial Guide to MIT App Inventor

For most, the underlying technology that makes an app ‘tick’ is shrouded in mystery.  This has been a boon for programming experts and has spurned a very profitable niche for professional programmers who are paid to research, develop, and build these apps.  But what if you have an idea for the “next big thing” – or even the “next little thing” for that matter – with no programming skills to speak of and, for whatever reason, you don’t want to hand over your idea to a professional and pay to have it developed?  In the past, if you weren’t an app programmer yourself, you would have had the option to (a) do nothing, of course, (b) be brave and trust your idea in the hands of a developer, or (c) develop your programming skills and learn how to build the darn thing yourself.  Well, now there is hope for non-programmers.  Recently,  thanks to a collaboration between Google and MIT, the world of mobile app creation has been opened to everyone with App Inventor, which is a web-based development platform, making option (c) not so out of reach for many.

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Best Android Browser: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Opera vs. Dolphin

Still using the stock Android browser? You’re missing out. Android users can choose from a plethora of browsers, bringing a richer mobile Web experience to your smartphone or tablet. We considered Android’s top third-party browsers, Firefox and Opera, along with relative underdog Dolphin, then tested and compared them to Chrome to see which one deserves to be the default choice on your smartphone.

With this download you will also receive free weekly coverage on the latest technology news and developments from Laptop Magazines eNewsletter.

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Best Windows 8.1 Browser: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

When it comes to Web browsing on your Windows 8 tablet, chances are you’ve already picked your favorite browser for the job. But you might be missing out. The best browsers can enhance your surfing experience with fast speeds, comprehensive standards support and intuitive navigation. We put the three leading browsers for Windows 8′s “Metro” mode — Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer — to the test to see which one will serve you best.

With this download you will also receive free weekly coverage on the latest technology news and developments from Laptop Magazines eNewsletter.

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How to Use Your iPad as Your Only PC

Sometimes carrying your 1-pound iPad is just more convenient than toting around a 4-5-pound notebook. For many folks, your iPad can fulfill most of your laptop’s duties. If you’re the type that primarily uses your computer to browse the Web, work in word-processing programs or lightly edit photos, you may be able to ditch your laptop entirely. Here are a few tips and tricks to show you that your iPad could be the only PC you need.

With this download you will also receive free weekly coverage on the latest technology news and developments from Laptop Magazines eNewsletter.

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iOS 7.1: How to Upgrade Your iPhone and iPad Now

You’ll definitely want to upgrade your iPhone and iPad as soon as possible, because with this update comes a whole host of tweaks and improvements.

Among the most talked about improvement is CarPlay, previously known as iOS in the Car. With iOS 7.1 your iPhone will support in-car calling, music, maps and messaging through Siri. Apple’s digital assistant also will get more natural sounding voices for U.K. English, Australian English, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Other new features include:

  • iTunes Radio now gets the ability to buy albums from the Now Playing list
  • TouchID gets a better biometric reader for improved fingerprint recognition
  • Camera will now include a setting that enables HDR mode for iPhone 5s owners
  • FaceTime call notifications are now automatically cleared when you answer a call on a different device
  • Calendar gets back list view in the month view, and adds country specific holidays for various locations
  • Better accessibility options that allow the use of a bolder font, darker keyboard and app icons, plus reduce motion options for the parallax motion feature now applies to weather, messages and multitasking user interface animations

With this download you will also receive free weekly coverage on the latest technology news and developments from Laptop Magazines eNewsletter.

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Managing Communications for the World of BYOD: Deploying the Right Technology for Today's Mobile World

Frost & Sullivan research shows that a growing number of employees are using their personal mobile devices for business purposes, with or without approval or support by IT or management. This can be a boon to the organization, but it is also a risk; Frost & Sullivan recommends that companies leverage the BYOD trend by extending corporate communications to their employees' mobile devices.

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The Global BYOD Management Services Ecosystem

Enterprises with distributed operations and a large or fast-growing population of information workers (iWorkers) need to accelerate their readiness for the “untethered” workplace. In an increasingly mobile world, these companies need to lighten IT's control over technologies — including personal mobile devices — that iWorkers will expect to use as part of their everyday work lives.

To do this, companies will need to dramatically change how mobile devices, connectivity services, and applications are provisioned and paid for. The growing urgency to adapt to and optimize mobility opportunities is pushing sourcing decision-makers to take a closer look at how third-party management services might help their organization support mobile Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives.

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Addressing Changing Customer Behavior

With competitors just a click away, understanding customer behavior and improving customer experience has never been more critical. Reducing customer struggle is no easy feat, especially as each individual customer faces a deluge of different struggles in a multitude of different platforms. But understanding customers is half the battle. In the latest IBM Tealeaf and Econsultancy 2013 "Reducing Customer Struggle" report, 44% of businesses said they had a good or excellent understanding of the overall customer experience.

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Delivering a Seamless Experience Across Every Channel

As life gets busier, more and more people turn to online or mobile channels for a quicker and easier experience. As a result, many businesses are responding to this change by prioritizing their focus on online and mobile channels. In fact, in a recent survey of more than 500 e-commerce and e-business professionals, 73% said they intend to increase their investment in online channels in 2013, and 72% said they plan to invest more in mobile channels. Meanwhile, two-thirds said they intend to decrease or maintain the same level of investment in offline channels, such as stores, branches, call centers and mail order.

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Knowledge is Power

In 2012 Symantec performed more than 1,400 website vulnerability scans each day. More than half the websites scanned were found to have unpatched, potentially exploitable vulnerabilities. Of the vulnerable sites, a quarter were actually infected with malware that could infect visitors and lead to the sites being blacklisted by search engines. These figures show that millions of legitimate websites are at risk from serious attack and exploitation by internet criminals every day.

And yet, a third of companies surveyed by Symantec in ‘The Vulnerability Knowledge Gap', said that they assume their websites are very secure even though they didn't actually scan their sites for vulnerabilities or infections.

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The Power to Destroy: How Malware Works

However, with the number of web-attacks blocked per day rising from 190,370 to 247,350 between 2011 and 2012, it's vital for businesses to understand the part their website plays in the distribution of malware to clients, customers and the wider online community.

Malware takes many different forms. It can log keystrokes, lead to data breaches, lock down hardware and use infected systems to spread malware to other victims. As a website owner it's your responsibility to not only protect your business and customers, but the safety of the Internet too. Consider the impact to your business and brand if you were the source of infection.

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Enterprise Social at the Speed of Business

While solutions come in all shapes and sizes, successful social business collaboration solutions must be more than just a mechanism for sharing information. They must integrate with evolving IT environments, protect user privacy and most importantly help companies meet their business objectives.

IDG Research Services conducted a survey to find out how enterprise social collaboration is playing out in the real world. Download the findings to learn about:
  • Business drivers for social collaboration investments.
  • Obstacles to acceptance and adoption of social collaboration software implementation and how to overcome them.
  • How organizations are measuring ROI of social collaboration solutions.

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IDC White Paper - Blending Transactions and Analytics into a Single In-Memory Platform

See how a single data-management environment can help IT eliminate information delays and enable your financial institution to optimize sales by responding to current, dynamic conditions.

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SAP HANA on Cisco UCS. The Q&A

SAP HANA combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory. The platform provides libraries for predictive, planning, text processing, spatial, and business analytics.

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ESG: The IBM FlashSystem 840: Technical Evolution to Deliver Business Value

In this white paper, you will learn how this high-speed storage technology has tremendous potential to support I/O-intensive and/or latency-sensitive applications. Discover how a well-chosen, well-implemented flash-based system can have positive effects such as faster response times, lower TCO, smaller data center footprint, or speedier or more frequent application updating.

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640-722 - CCNA Wireless (IUWNE) - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

The Cisco 640-722 Implementing Unified Wireless Network Essentials (IUWNE) exam is the exam associated with the CCNA Wireless certification. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of installing, configuring, operating, and troubleshooting small to medium-size WLANs and associated technology. The CCNA Wireless 640-722 CramMaster contains over 360 questions to test your skills and knowledge in preparation for the exam. Also included are Exam Quality Simulations to test your endurance for the upcoming exam.

The Cisco 640-722 - CCNA Wireless (IUWNE) covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Describe WLAN fundamentals
  • Install a basic Cisco wireless LAN
  • Install Wireless Clients
  • Implement basic WLAN Security
  • Operate basic WCS
  • Conduct basic WLAN Maintenance and Troubleshooting
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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642-902 - ROUTE (CCNP) CramMaster - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

Implementing Cisco IP Routing CramMaster ROUTE (CCNP) will prepare you to pass the Cisco 642-902 CCNP exam with more than 270 questions, multiple-choice answers and detailed explanations all designed to prepare you for success on test day. The CramMaster will ready you to pass this exam by providing you with questions built around the topics that will be covered on the exam including configuration of secure routing solutions and using advanced IP addressing and routing in implementing secure Cisco ISR routers. The ROUTE 642-902 exam is a prerequisite exam for the CCNP®, CCIP®, and CCDP® certifications and is geared toward individuals that have at least one year of experience working in the network engineering field and are interested in furthering their careers.

The 642-902 - ROUTE (CCNP) CramMaster covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Implement an EIGRP based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements
  • Implement a multi-area OSPF Network, given a network design and a set of requirements
  • Implement an eBGP based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements
  • Implement an IPv6 based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements
  • Implement an IPv4 or IPv6 based redistribution solution, given a network design and a set of requirements
  • Implement Layer 3 Path Control Solution
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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70-410 - Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

The Microsoft 70-410 exam is part one of a series of three exams that test the skills and knowledge necessary to implement a core Windows Server 2012 infrastructure in an existing enterprise environment. Passing this exam validates a candidate's ability to implement and configure Windows Server 2012 core services, such as Active Directory and the networking services. Passing this exam along with the other two exams confirms that a candidate has the skills and knowledge necessary for implementing, managing, maintaining, and provisioning services and infrastructure in a Windows Server 2012 environment. The Microsoft 70-410 CramMaster contains over 200 questions to test your skills and knowledge in preparation for the exam. Also included are Exam Quality Simulations to test your endurance for the upcoming exam.

The 70-410 - Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Install and Configure Servers
  • Configure Server Roles and Features
  • Configure Hyper-V
  • Deploy and Configure Core Network Services
  • Install and Administer Active Directory
  • Create and Manage Group Policy
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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70-680 - Windows 7 Configuring CramMaster - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

The Windows 7, Configuring CramMaster will prepare you to pass the Microsoft 70-680 exam. Prepare with 260+ questions, multiple-choice answers, detailed explanations, and a comprehensive ALS Study Guide. Candidates for this exam operate in computing environments that use Microsoft Windows 7 as a desktop operating system in an enterprise environment. Candidates should have at least one year of experience in the IT field, as well as experience implementing and administering any Windows client operating system in a networked environment. Certifying on Exam 70-680 showcases your ability to implement and administer a Windows 7 Configuration. Move forward toward your (MCITP) Certification by attaining 70-680 Certification using CramMaster Study Guides.

The 70-680 - Windows 7 Configuring CramMaster covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Installing, upgrading, and migrating to Windows 7
  • Deploying Windows 7
  • Configuring hardware applications
  • Configuring network connectivity
  • Configuring access to resources
  • Configuring mobile computing
  • Monitoring and maintaining systems that run Windows 7
  • Configuring backup and recovery options
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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70-687 - Configuring Windows 8 - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who configure or support Windows 8 computers, devices, users and associated network and security resources. The networks with which these professionals typically work are configured as a domain-based or peer-to-peer environment with access to the Internet and cloud services. The IT professional could be a consultant, full-time desktop support technician, or an IT generalist who administers Windows 8-based computers and devices as a portion of their broader technical responsibilities. The Microsoft 70-687 CramMaster contains over 250 questions to test your skills and knowledge in preparation for the exam. Also included are Exam Quality Simulations to test your endurance for the upcoming exam.

The 70-687 - Configuring Windows 8 covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Install and Upgrade to Windows 8
  • Configure Hardware and Applications
  • Configure Network Connectivity
  • Configure Access to Resources
  • Configure Remote Access and Mobility
  • Monitor and Maintain Windows Clients
  • Configure Backup and Recovery Options
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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Cisco CCNA 100-101 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

The Cisco CCNA 100-101 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) is the exam associated with the CCENT certification and a tangible first step in achieving the CCNA Routing and Switching certification. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge and skills required to successfully install, operate, and troubleshoot a small branch office network. The Cisco CCNA 100-101 (ICND 1) CramMaster contains over 200 questions to test your skills and knowledge in preparation for the exam. Also included are Exam Quality Simulations to test your endurance for the upcoming exam.

The Cisco CCNA 100-101 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Operation of IP Data Networks
  • LAN Switching Technologies
  • IP addressing (IPv4 / IPv6)
  • IP Routing Technologies
  • IP Services
  • Network Device Security
  • Troubleshooting
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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ISC2 CISSP - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

The CISSP CramMaster will prepare you to pass the ISC2 CISSP exam. It contains 650+ questions, multiple-choice answers and detailed explanations along with selected content from the CISSP Sybex book. This CramMaster will test a candidate's knowledge of an international standard for information security and understanding of the ISC2' Common Body of Knowledge. The CISSP CramMaster covers ISC2 recommended domains such as Access Control, Application Security, and Cryptography.

The ISC2 CISSP covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Access control
  • Telecommunications and network security
  • Information security governance and risk management
  • Software development security
  • Cryptography
  • Security operations
  • Security architecture and design
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
  • Legal, regulations, investigations and compliance
  • Physical (environmental) security
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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Microsoft 70-640 Windows Server 2008 - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

Use the Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring CramMaster to study for the Microsoft 70-640 exam. This CramMaster contains 450+ questions, multiple-choice answers, detailed explanations, and comes bundled with select content from the 70-640 Exam Cram book. Candidates for this exam typically have a minimum of one year of experience implementing and administering a network operating system in an environment of 250 to 5,000 or more users, three or more physical locations and three or more domain controllers.

Microsoft 70-640 Windows Server 2008 covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • Configuring Domain Name System (DNS) for active directory
  • Configuring the active directory infrastructure
  • Configuring active directory roles and services
  • Creating and maintaining active directory objects
  • Maintaining the active directory environment
  • Configuring active directory certificate services
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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CompTIA A+ 220-801 - Special Edition Practice Exam Prep Software and Study Guide

In order to receive CompTIA A+ certification a candidate must pass two exams. The first exam is CompTIA A+ 220-801 Certification Exam. The CompTIA A+ 220-801 examination measures necessary competencies for an entry-level IT professional with the equivalent knowledge of at least 12 months of hands-on experience in the lab or field. Successful candidates will have the knowledge required to assemble components based on customer requirements, install, configure and maintain devices, PCs and software for end users, understand the basics of networking and security/forensics, properly and safely diagnose, resolve and document common hardware and software issues while applying troubleshooting skills. Successful candidates will also provide appropriate customer support; understand the basics of virtualization, desktop imaging, and deployment.

The CompTIA A+ 220-801 CramMaster contains over 800 questions to test your skills and knowledge in preparation for the exam. Also included are Exam Quality Simulations to test your endurance for the upcoming exam.

The 220-801 - A+ 2012 CramMaster covers the following recommended objective categories:
  • PC Hardware
  • Networking
  • Laptops
  • Printers
  • Operational Procedures
System Requirements – This exam prep software is a Windows based software download. You'll need Windows XP or better to run the software.

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Considerations for Maximising Analytics Performance

Companies studied in this comparison are IBM® (Cognos, DB2 with BLU Acceleration), SAP (BusinessObjects, HANA), Oracle (Business Intelligence, Exadata) and Microsoft (Business Intelligence, SQL Server). His conclusion: "DB2® with BLU Acceleration should not only provide better performance in the first place, but also provide consistent performance, with a corresponding requirement for less hardware and less cost."

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Cost/Benefit Case for IBM PureData System for Transactions: Comparing Costs and Time to Value with Oracle Exadata Database Machine X3

Three-year costs of PureData for Transactions average 54% less than Oracle Exadata X3. There are also major differences in architecture and technology that affect comparative costs.

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Delivering OLTP Database Technology Aimed at Optimal Business Outcomes

As a result, IT service to business users suffers, and the agility of the enterprise suffers. Integrated systems represent an antidote to this problem. By dramatically reducing the amount of setup and maintenance time for the applications and databases they support, integrated systems enable the technical staff to spend more of their time supporting users and enabling the enterprise to thrive.

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Operating System Strategy for Mobile Computers

This paper will discuss the major operating system environments for mobile computers and Intermec's strategy to serve customer needs with each. The scope of this discussion is limited to operating systems used on handheld computers and does not address strategy for larger form factor devices such as Vehicle Mount computers. This paper is intended as an introduction and overview to the various technologies discussed; many online resources are available for further technical information.

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A Manifesto for the Corporate Idealist

“We are Corporate Idealists. We’re in Asia’s factory zones, working with local managers to make sure employees are paid and treated properly. We’re in Africa, sitting on dirt floors with village elders to protect indigenous traditions amidst an influx of foreign oil workers. We’re in Silicon Valley, collaborating with product developers to better protect user privacy. We’re in London and New York, convincing our directors that protecting people and the planet is good for business.

We have experienced heartache and disillusionment. But we also know that big business can make the world a better place, and feel compelled to do all we can to make that happen.

Are we delusional or realistic? Are we changing the way that business is done or tinkering at the margins? Terrified of the risks or excited by the opportunities? Is our love of big business justified or misguided?

Yes. This is our manifesto.”

About Christine Bader | Christine Bader is a sought-after speaker and adviser on corporate responsibility, one of the few experts who has worked in business—both on the front lines and in headquarters—as well as in international policy, nonprofits and government. Christine is a Lecturer at Columbia University, where she co-teaches a course on Human Rights and Business. She is also a Human Rights Advisor to BSR, the world’s leading business membership organization focused on sustainability. Her new book, The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, is being released March 25, 2014.

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Amazon Web Services: An Overview

Getting a clear understanding of what Amazon Web Services (AWS) is and how it can help your business can be a daunting task. The depth and breadth of AWS is significant, comprising over 30 services in dozens of data centers located in nine regions across the globe. They offer computing, storage, networking, deployment, management, and a host of supporting services, such as queues and email services.

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Configuration Cheat Sheet for the New vSphere Web Client

If you have been working with vSphere 5.1 or 5.5 lately, you have undoubtedly noticed that the latest features such as XvMotion and vSphere Replication are only available on the Web Client. This cheat sheet for the new Web Client includes instructions for configuring VMs, networking, storage, resource settings, cluster settings, permissions, and many other settings.

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Essentials of Secure Network Access for Remote Workers

In today's mobile society, how can a company protect its network resources while also making them available to remote employees, business partners, and customers? Many companies survive and thrive only if their customers and partners have immediate access to the goods and services they want.

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Faxing over IP Networks

Sending faxes over an IP network presents some challenges, primarily due to the fact that these devices were designed for use over the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN). Knowing how to use fax relay and passthrough allows you to configure your gateways to reliably send faxes.

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IPv6 in the Data Center: Trends and Cisco Configurations

With IPv6 becoming more popular, how is the data center affected? This white paper covers the latest trends within the data center for supporting IPv6, as well as the ways in which Cisco supports IPv6 in their data center product line. Because of the transition from Cisco IOS based devices to Nexus, a matrix is included that compares the Cisco IOS and NX-OS command sets.

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Don't Let Your Next Technology Purchase Include a Trojan Horse

Are you involved with purchasing technology for either personal use or your company? If so, read on. Supply chain is something that most take for granted and usually don't even think about. We buy phones, servers, firewalls, and so on-and we assume it is safe and secure. But, do we really know where it came from, who built and assembled each individual piece? Many instances exist where technology that's built or assembled in other countries comes preloaded with malware or backdoors. Learn what you need to know and what can you do.

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Hackers, Hacking, and CEHv8

The Art of War describes how an understanding of your enemy ensures your success against them in battle. Our battleground is not a field with opposing warriors, but rather, opposing cyber-forces. In this conflict, both the defenders and attackers must use the same tools to gain the same advantages. You can only successfully defend when you understand your opponent, their techniques, and how they use their weapons.

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Security Trends 2014

Several security concerns examined in this paper have grown more significant over the last year. Now more than ever, the risks are greater and the stakes are higher. Security experts are working diligently to offer hope and protection, but we must stay alert, be cautious, and educate ourselves. Find out what you need to know about security trends in 2014.

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5 Ways to Reduce Advertising Network Latency (and not keep your customers waiting)

Whether it's display, mobile, or video ads, visitors are not likely to wait around for your ad to load to see what it's all about. Just the smallest amount of latency can cost you thousands of views, clicks, and conversions. By following these 5 guidelines, you can reduce your overall network latency and keep those clicks coming.

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Designing IP Addresses for Large Networks

In numerous Cisco classes, students learn about IPv4 and IPv6 address subnetting, complex subnetting, Variable Length Subnet Masking (VLSM), summarization, prefix routing, and address aggregation. These are valuable skills. In order to apply these skills efficiently, a network designer should possess one additional skill. Planning the IP address space for a Class A or B IPv4 address is necessary to apply the complex skills listed above properly. Complex subnetting, VLSM, and IP address summarization can be implemented simply and efficiently with proper planning.

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How Cloud Communications Reduce Costs and Increase Productivity

Download this new eBook to quickly learn how cloud communications deliver these benefits:
  • Cost Savings - Up to 50% savings on phone bills
  • Communication Features - Enterprise-class communication features
  • Mobile Features - Employees can access the phone system anywhere
  • Easy Setup - All you need is an existing Internet connection and IP phones
Plus, you'll learn how advanced Cisco IP phones further increase communication productivity and efficiencies for businesses.

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The Cost Advantages of Using a Hosted Unified Communications Service

A challenge for Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) is the cost of scaling their communications systems to rival the rich functionality and flexibility of bigger competitors with dedicated IT staffs. Upfront capital costs and the requirement for on-site staff to manage equipment and applications have fueled interest in hosted Unified Communications (UC) services, which allow smaller organizations to use a third-party provider's UC infrastructure in the cloud and enjoy the economies of scale of very large organizations.

This paper offers a full Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) comparison between using a hosted UC service and buying/maintaining an on-site UC system for a 55-employee company distributed across three sites. The paper also offers a UC-in-a-box primer to put the landscape into context for those in SMBs new to unified communications.

The findings might surprise you!

Download this new white paper now to:
  • Understand the tradeoffs between owning vs. hosted UC systems
  • Review a dollars-to-dollars comparison in a full Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study
  • Learn the pitfalls to avoid when evaluating different UC systems

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Unified Communications 101

This webcast will debunk unified communications myths and answer your burning questions on how small business like yours can:
  • Use this technology to boost productivity
  • Get more out of your existing Internet connectivity using UC
  • Improve customer outreach and improve overall communications
  • Compare and contrast costs and benefits
View the On-Demand Webcast today!

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You can find other free technology white papers here.