Posts belonging to Category Business



Four New Ways to Customize Your LinkedIn Profile

Customization and variety are key to making your LinkedIn profile stand out and get you recognized by recruiters. Check out these four new profile sections that do just that.

By Kristin Burnham – Wed, October 20, 2010

CIO — With more than 80 million registered users worldwide, making your profile stand out among LinkedIn’s crowd can be difficult. That’s why the professional social network has rolled out a number of features to help you get noticed: LinkedIn Apps give hiring managers a better peek into your work life; reordering your profile sections gives you more control over what you deem is important; and Company Follow gives you an inside look at companies’ business opportunities and job leads.

Now, LinkedIn has added an element to its site with a handful of new profile sections you can selectively add to your profile. Among those in the “Add Sections” part of LinkedIn are Publications, Languages, Skills and Certifications.

“These are most valuable for job seekers, passive candidates open to new opportunities, and consultants,” says Nathan Kievman, owner of the LinkedIn group Linked Strategies and host of weekly LinkedIn webinars. “Variety in a profile provides you the opportunity to stand out and showcase your talents that otherwise may not come up in everyday conversations, business dealings or interviews.”

Kievman also notes that LinkedIn is possibly rolling out these features to benefit recruiters. “It will provide more search results for recruiters to enhance their search for qualified clients. This is LinkedIn’s number-one revenue stream, so it makes sense that they would push these tools out there,” he says.

[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com’sLinkedIn Bible.]

To find the new profile sections, choose Profile > Edit Profile. Below your main profile box will be the “Add sections” button. The new profile sections will appear after your work experience. [Click here to learn how to reorder your profile sections.] Read on for a look at four of the new profile sections.

1. Certifications

LinkedIn is including a new section specifically to highlight any certifications you might have earned—ITIL, Six Sigma or PMP certifications, for example. You’ll be required to include the name of the certification in the form; you can also add the certification authority, license number and expiration date, too, if you want.

For the rest of the list, visit CIO Online

When IT is asked to spy

IT managers are being put in the awkward position of monitoring fellow employees.

By Tam Harbert – October 11, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld – It’s 9:00 in the morning, or 3:00 in the afternoon, or even 10:00 at night. Do you know what your users are up to? More than ever, IT managers can answer, “Oh, yes.”

As corporate functions, including voice and video, converge onto IP-based networks, more employee infractions are happening online. Employees leak intellectual property or trade secrets, either on purpose or inadvertently; violate laws against sexual harassment or child pornography; and waste time while looking like they’re hard at work.

In response — spurred in part by the need to comply with stricter rules and regulations — organizations are not only filtering and blocking Web sites and scanning e-mail. Many are also watching what employees post on social networks and blogs.

They’re collecting and retaining mobile phone calls and text messages. They can even track employees’ physical locations using the GPS feature on smartphones.

More often that not, IT workers are the ones asked to do the digital dirty work, primarily because they’re the people with the technical know-how to get the job done, says Nancy Flynn, executive director of The ePolicy Institute, a Columbus, Ohio-based consultancy that helps companies establish Internet and computer usage policies.

Statistics are hard to come by, but Flynn and other industry observers agree that monitoring and surveillance are becoming a bigger part of IT’s job.

Michael Workman, an associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology who studies corporate IT security and employee behavior, estimates that monitoring responsibilities take up at least 20% of the average IT manager’s time.

Yet most IT professionals never expected they’d be asked to police their colleagues and co-workers in quite this way. So, how do they feel about this growing responsibility?

For the rest of this article, visit Computerworld.com

12 iPad apps that mean business

Serious software to make a business run more smoothly

By Brian Nadel – October 4, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld – So far, Apple has sold more than 3 million of its iconic iPads, making it the best-selling tablet on the market. A runaway success? Absolutely.

But an out-of-the-box iPad can be a disappointment for business tasks. Its rudimentary word processor, e-mail client, contacts directory and calendar are slim pickings, especially for those who want to use the device for work on the road.

Thankfully, Apple’s App Store has a good variety of software designed to help business people get through the day.

I looked at 12 different apps that can make your workday easier and more efficient. Some of these apps do one thing well, like Network Utility, which quickly checks out a company’s networking infrastructure. Others are multifaceted, like Office² HD, which is a one-stop shop for creating and modifying business documents. And then there are those that are indispensable for road warriors, like FlightTrack Pro, which lets you keep an eye on your travel plans and react quickly to cancellations.

In short, these apps can transform an iPad into a Swiss Army knife for cutting through a workday.

PagesNumbers and Keynote

Apple’s iWork suite for the Mac includes applications for word processing (Pages), spreadsheets (Numbers) and presentations (Keynote).

All three apps work well and offer a number of features in common — for example, they can all accommodate eight different languages and let you undo the last 200 changes. They can import the latest Word, Excel and PowerPoint file formats (although you can only save files in the Office 97 format).

However, these programs are available only individually for the iPad. Because of this, the suite has lost the integration that made each of these applications more than the sum of their parts on Mac laptops and other Apple systems. To add prewritten text to a presentation, for instance, you have to click the iPad’s Home button, open Pages and copy the text. Only after hitting the Home button again and opening Keynote can you paste it in place.

Still, anybody who works on the road needs this trio of apps for reading, creating and working with all manner of documents. Despite the hassle of individually paying for, downloading and installing the three programs, it’s worth the effort.

Pages

Pages ($9.99) creates documents of surprising sophistication — documents look great, and there’s a lot of flexibility in how you can present them.

Click to view larger

The app can change formatting options like margins, type and indents, as well as adjust word wrapping around images. There’s a good variety of formatting options, including 16 premade templates, and to make a simple chart or graph, you just tap in your numbers. Pages will automatically fit the document to the width of the iPad display, regardless of whether it’s being held horizontally or vertically. This makes complicated documents easier to work with.

If you’re working with a sophisticated document, be prepared to be patient — it took several seconds for documents to appear when I pulled them up in Pages. Other apps, like Office² HD, don’t have that problem.

Pages works with Word files and does an excellent job of font substitution when necessary. On the other hand, it lacks the ability to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature for facilitating group work. Documents brought into Pages include comments and notes, but only as plain text without highlighting or any indication of who made them. Pages automatically saves the document every time a change is made (as do Numbers and Keynote).

It’s a snap to import an image, as well as to resize or rotate an image. And don’t worry about using the app with external keyboards; Pages worked well with my wireless Matias Folding Keyboard.

The documents can be shared on Apple’s iWork.com site. The site was still under development at the time of this writing but was stable enough for use. Apple recently added support for its MobileMe synchronization system.

For the rest of the apps, visit Computerworld.com

Sticks and stones: Picking on users AND security pros

Nobody likes to get picked on. But is it sometimes necessary to snap people out of their apathetic approach to security?

By Bill Brenner, Senior Editor

August 25, 2010 — CSO

I took my share of name-calling as a kid. I did my share of name-calling, too. We’re taught that nothing good comes of such behavior. I’ve been thinking a lot about that since writing an article two weeks ago called “Security blunders ‘dumber than dog snot’” during the 2010 USENIX Security Symposium.

The story is based on a talk of the same title given by Roger G. Johnston, a member of the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory. In the presentation, he gave examples of surprising (or not) examples of what he has seen as a vulnerability assessor: security devices, systems and programs with little or no security — or security thought — built in. There are the well-designed security products foolishly configured by those who buy them, thus causing more vulnerability than before the devices were installed.

Then there are the badly-thought-out security rules and security programs laden in security theater, lacking muscle and teeth. In fact, some policies only make some employees disgruntled because they are treated like fools. In turn, the company risks turning them into malicious insiders.

Also see “Ouch! Security pros’ worst mistakes

Johnston described three common problems: People forgetting to lock the door, people too stupid to be helped and — worst of all — intelligent people who don’t exploit their abilities for the betterment of security. Enter what he calls the dog snot model of security– where intelligence and common sense exist but are not used.

He came up with the term by watching his dogs, who often crash themselves against the picture window facing the yard when they want to go chase a squirrel. Hence, the windows are covered in dog snot. Executives and lower-level users are often like the dogs in that they bang their heads against the firewall (or their fingers against the keyboard) in an effort to get at a shiny object online. The security pros themselves can get caught up in this too, usually banging up against the glass by trying to prevent bad things from happening by repeating the same failed practices.

Moments after the story went live and appeared on Twitter, I got a message from Adam Shotack, co-author of “The New School of Information Security” and a security specialist at Microsoft.

“Is that attitude helpful? Does anyone respond better when you call them ‘dumber than dog snot?'” he asked.

For the rest, visit CSO Online.

Google makes Chrome devs dig into pockets

By Gregg Keizer at Computerworld – Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:09pm EDT

Computerworld – Google on Thursday announced that it would require new Chrome extension developers to pay a one-time $5 registration fee as a way to stymie malicious add-ons for its browser.

The company also launched a preview of its Chrome Web Store, giving developers a chance to experiment with the online mart before it goes public later this year. Developers can use the store to give away or sell theirbrowser extensions, themes and Web apps.

“[The signup fee] is intended to create better safeguards against fraudulent extensions in the gallery and limit the activity of malicious developer accounts,” said product manager Gregor Hochmuth in a blog post.

The payment must be made using Google Checkout, which links payments to a credit card, thereby creating a paper trail to the developer — or at least to the billing address and phone number recorded by the credit card company.

By charging the fee, “Google gets some more information about the human on the other end [of the developer account],” said Andrew Storms, director of security at nCircle Security. “It adds some legitimacy to the developer.”

A Chrome rival noted the paper trail aspect of the new registration fee, too. “Someone pointed out the $5 registration fee for Chrome Extension Gallery creates a paper trail, which is a good point,” said Mike Beltzner, Mozilla’s director of Firefox development, in a Twitter message on Thursday.

For more on this story, visit ComputerWorld.com

Bulletin: Intel to buy McAfee for $7.68 billion

Chip maker says deal intended to beef up its mobile strategy

By Marc Ferranti – August 19, 2010 09:45 AM ET

IDG News Service – Intel said Thursday it plans to acquire security vendor McAfee in a cash deal valued at about $7.68 billion and aimed at enhancing the chip maker’s mobile strategy.

Both boards of directors have approved the deal, and McAfee is expected to become a subsidiary within Intel’s Software and Services Group.

“Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow,” said Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager of the group.

For more, visit Computerworld.com

Microsoft Launches PC v. Mac Website And Talks Some Serious Smack

By Alex Wilhelm Follow Alex Wilhelm on twitter on August 9th, 2010

It may be long overdue, but Microsoft is finally coming out swinging against the rise of OS X. Apple has long played the underdog against the giant, writing Microsoft off as stodgy, technologically backward, and problematic. Microsoft let them do it, focusing more on promoting their efforts than denigrating Apple’s products.

This stance confused some, why didn’t they bite back? It was on a long past episode of Diggnation that Alex Albrecht summed it up, saying in short that Microsoft didn’t even want to acknowledge Apple as a competitor. Doing that would give Cupertino market credibility. Now it seems that enough is enough, and Microsoft is finally fighting back.

Redmond has launched a website to discuss Mac versus PC that deals some serious blows to Apple, whether or not they are valid is up to you. Roughly broken into large sections, Microsoft says this

Having Fun: Macs Might Spoil Your Fun

Simplicity: Macs Can Take Time To Learn

Working Hard: Macs Dont Work As Well At Work Or At School

Sharing: Macs Don’t Like To Share

Compatibility: Macs Might Not Like Your PC Stuff

Choice: Macs Don’t Let You Choose

Read further here…

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The 10 most cryptic project management expressions

  • Date: July 7th, 2010
  • Author: John Sullivan

Project success requires clear communication among managers, team members, and stakeholders. Be sure you really know what’s being said when you hear the terms on this list.

Employers continue to cite communications skills as one of the traits they value most in their employees. But that trait may be less sought in managers, who (in my experience) use a lot of slang terms and catchy phrases that can result in trouble if misinterpreted.

Knowing the difference between what is being said and what is really meant is critical. Based on my research and experiences, here are the 10 most cryptic project management terms and phrases and how to interpret them.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Manage the white space

The term “white space,” first used in 1849 to mean “the areas of a page without print or pictures,” has come to mean “an area between the work.” That translates to vague or undefined responsibility and requires negotiating with another entity — a department, division, vendor, or strategic partner — to persuade them that they do indeed have ownership of a task or process that affects your project.

2: One-off

Webster defines this term as something “limited to a single time, occasion, or instance.” That agrees with Wiktionary’s explanation that it likely came into use from foundry work, when making reusable molds was costly.

Created to fill a need quickly and cheaply, one-offs can still last for years. Modern one-offs are programs, processes, or manual efforts that usually go well until the resignation of the owner or discovery by an overseer, like information security. When that happens, you’ll need to find a way to formally and legally bridge the gap covered by the one-off or deliver the message to its users that they’ll no longer have it.

3: Think outside the box

The origins of this phrase point to the traditional “nine-dot puzzle,” which requires all nine dots to be connected by just four lines without lifting the pen. The solution (shown below) requires an extension of an implied boundary.

This phrase implies that some thinking has occurred but not the right kind of thinking. It really means finding a way to do something faster, better, or cheaper without the benefit of more time, tools, or money. That requires a solid explanation of all your alternatives because you may need to show that your solution — if you can find one — is the best, given the real-world constraint this phrase often represents: that no realistic options exist.

4: Workaround

Webster defines this as a “plan or method to circumvent a problem without eliminating it.” The danger lies in the circumvention. How far, how deep, how wide you go to implement your “alternative solution” could be the difference between innovation and incarceration. Obey company policy and the law when creating a workaround. Remember that workarounds become one-offs, so if you end up creating one, suggest a time limit for it or even a future project to address the need for a legitimate solution.

5: Leverage

Defined as “the power to act effectively,” this term has come to mean “using the results of someone else’s work.” That work could come from another person, project, or even another company (when it’s another company, it’s called “best practices”). That’s great when it easily transfers to your project, your culture, and your customers. When it doesn’t, be prepared to defend the modifications or rejections because the implied expectation with “leverage” is that it will be a complete, effortless, and free solution.

6: Facilitate

This literally means “to make easier.” If you are asked to facilitate something, it likely means it is high time for progress or that what has been done to date isn’t working as well as your boss expected.

Make sure the request to facilitate comes with the time and resources you need. If your intended audience emerges from your facilitation without the expected product (solid requirements) knowledge (how to gather requirements), or changed behavior (using the new requirements tool), you could be in trouble.

7: Take it offline

This generally means “don’t discuss it here,” which is a positive thing if the topic is important but is not on the agenda. But it can also mean “I don’t want to hear about it.” The only way I’ve ever been able to determine the difference is by later bringing it back “online” and being told again to forget about it.

8: It is what it is

This one was USA Today’s Sports Quote of 2004. Writer Gary Mihoces called it “the all-purpose alternative to the long-winded explanation” for any coach or athlete. In the project world, it generally means “done” — which really means any incomplete, incorrect, or inept result is to be left alone. Attempts to fix it, even if it is blatantly wrong, are forbidden, probably due to some political consequence unknown to you.

9: Do the right thing

Because “the right thing” can vary by person, corporation, or culture, this can be a dangerous directive. The manager or executive saying this often knows what the “right thing” is, either from past experience or directly from his or her manager. Make sure you know what it is by asking open-ended and nonjudgmental questions. Better yet, put it in writing as part of a project or process document so your immediate manager can refer to it before — and after — you do it.

10: Anything from the latest business bestseller

Moving the cheese, driving the hedgehog, and reaching the tipping point sell books but don’t help complete projects. If you work with someone who seizes the latest phrase from the bestseller list, I suggest you do what a co-worker of mine once did: He asked a person who had access to the boss to check and see what business book he was currently reading. That way, they could understand what the boss was thinking and what he expected to hear. There’s another phrase you may need to start saying yourself: “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

For more news and how-to articles, visit Techrepublic.com

Gartner: Global IT spending to rise in 2010; watch for Europe concerns

By Sam Diaz | July 6, 2010, 2:15am PDT

IT spending around the globe in 2010 is still expected to grow beyond its 2009 levels, but Gartner has lowered its outlook for the IT industry from growth of 5.3 percent for the year to growth of 3.9 percent, a response to uncertainty in the European economy, according to a recent report issued by Gartner.

In all, Gartner expects worldwide IT spending to total $3.350 trillion this year, up from $3.225 trillion last year. In a statement, Gartner’s research VP Richard Gordon said:

Longer-term, public-sector spending will be curtailed in Europe as governments struggle to bring budget deficits under control during the next five years and to reduce debt during the next 10 years. Private-sector economic activity will also likely be hindered because of the direct impact of austerity measures on key government suppliers and the indirect impact caused by the ‘ripple effect.’ An effective policy response will be critical to stimulate investment in general and in IT in particular.

Computer hardware spending, benefiting from a healthy PC sector, is forecast to reach $365 billion in 2010, a gain of 9.1 percent over 2009 spending. PC shipments are expected to remain strong through 2011, with consumer shipments powered by strong interest in mobile and professional shipments sparked by a replacement cycle and migration to Windows 7.

For more, visit ZDnet.com

Probably the greatest Internet story we’ve heard in some time.

By Brad McCarty – on July 4th, 2010

By now you’ve probably realized the immense power that social media can have. However, it isn’t often that we’re witness to exactly what can happen when a direct mission is undertaken by a single site. In this case, the mission was to repair a reputation, and the site is Reddit.

As a back story, a popular Reddit user named CarlH was the victim of an Internet smear campaign after a business deal gone wrong. For five years he had dealt with losing clients and eventually his company.  A couple of weeks ago, he turned to the users of Reddit to clear his name.

In a post to the popular social news site, he stated his case and then made his plea to the other users.  His sole question was whether or not anything could be done.  In answer, the users of Reddit went to work.  Posts were put up, around the Internet, linking to legitimate information about CarlH and his business.  Within 12 hours, the #1 listing in Google (which happened to be the misinformation about CarlH) had been replaced by a real, relevant site.

How powerful was the force behind this movement?  Apparently,  it held enough weight to place the user’s name into the 5th most searched term on Google, on June 30th.  According to a follow-up post by the user:

Enough searches were done to result in the automated creation of over 200,000 new web-pages containing my name.  And here we are on July 4th and finally, after five years, that lie is completely gone from the first 5 pages of search results on Google and all other search engines, and it seems to be dropping more every day. Further, many other pages containing my name now rank high on Google, including automatically generated pages that have nothing to do with me, as well as pages about other individuals who share my name. Nothing negative therefore stands out against me.

Read the rest of this blog at The Next Web