Ask an economist what a recession is, and you’ll be told that it’s a period of contraction during a given business cycle, often signaled by a slow down in economic activity. Now, ask the same question of members of your family, your neighbors or friends. Chances are, you’ll find there’s at least someone you know who’ll say a recession was responsible for their being laid off, the loss of their retirement funds or even their homes. As if the these fiscal hard times the world is going through weren’t already rough enough, unscrupulous financial vultures have been licking their chops in anticipation over the possibility of getting their rat claws on our hard-earned assets at the first sign of our weakness or despair. While it’s not capable of outright saving your home, the National Fair Housing Alliance’s QuestionsProtect.org arms consumers with the tools they need to defend it.
You might have heard of the Goo.gl URL shortener late last year when it was made available to those using the Google Toolbar. Now Google has created an easy to use web page where you can create shortened links using Goo.gl. Just type Goo.gl into your address bar to get started.
Google is touting their near 100% uptime since launching the service late in 2009. As they have expanded it into other services, Goo.gl has remained rock solid. Though, now that it's available to everyone, we'll have to see how it goes. The service will also have auto-detection of spam using Gmail's excellent filtering technology.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is that if you are signed into your Google account, you can see a list of all your shortened links, along with real-time analytics data. Google says they will be making a public API for the service soon, so expect apps to start offering Goo.gl as a URL shortening option.
Does your life feel savorless? Ridiculously easy-to-use web apps might be to blame. Google has launched a command-line utility, GoogleCL, to return the missing flavor to your life and provide an alternative way for users to interact with its popular web apps and services, including Youtube, Blogger, Picasa and Docs.
Of course, the tool is not meant for the ordinary user as it can be a bit tedious for most users spoilt by prolongsed exposure to graphical user interfaces. And it might not take long before it begins to wear on people who take the plunge just out of curiosity.
But now that it exists it surely must have a purpose and a target audience: “GoogleCL is a command-line utility that provides access to various Google services. It streamlines tasks such as posting to a Blogger blog, adding events to Calendar, or editing documents on Google Docs.”
With every passing day, we're becoming increasingly mobile with our computing devices. Smartphones are getting smarter, portable PCs are getting more portable (netbooks come to mind), and now tablet computing is starting to take off. We're no longer tethered to our desktops throughout the day, but one thing that hasn't yet been addressed is how to print on the go. Enter Google Cloud Print, a new service Google is working on primarily for its upcoming Chrome OS, but could also see use in a variety of platforms.
"Since in Google Chrome OS all applications are web apps, we wanted to design a printing experience that would enable web apps to give users the full printing capabilities that native apps have today," Google's Chromium team wrote in a blog post. "Using the one component all major devices and operating systems have in common-- access to the cloud-- today we're introducing some preliminary designs for a project called Google Cloud Print, a service that enables any application (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer."
The way it works is pretty simple. Bypassing the need for local print drivers, apps can simply use Google Cloud Print to submit and manage print jobs. The online service will then send the print job to whichever printer the user selects, and then return the job status to the app.
AT&T has a lot of work of ahead of it, work that will cost the company $1 billion. That's how much AT&T said it plans to invest to upgrade its business network and services for both large companies globally and SMBs in the US.
"Despite the continuing challenges of today's economic environment, we continue to deliver on our commitment to provide companies with the network-centric capabilities and applications they need to enhance their operations," said Ron Spears, President and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. "IP-based solutions and applications have become ever more important to companies aiming to take their productivity to a new level while transforming their operations to adapt to their customers' changing needs."
AT&T's list is nothing short of extensive and range from increasing broadband speeds in more than 120 markets to putting a heavy focus into continuing to develop and deploy cloud-based managed hosting and infrastructure as a Service capabilities.
This will bring the total investment to upgrade its systems and services to over $4 billion since 2006.
I'm not going to ask how or why but, for whatever reason, people can sometimes end up with more than one Google account. Maybe you just need double the space in your Gmail; Perhaps you're the poor person who has to control both your personal Gmail and some kind of corporate account for your business. Maybe you just really like Google.
Whatever the reason, you don't really have much of an option for switching between these accounts in Google Chrome. Signing in and out of your respective accounts is your only real choice, and that's a cumbersome process that's going to tie you up in authentication procedures (especially if you aren't saving your passwords via the browser). After you've completed your thirty-fifth consecutive sign-out and sign-in between accounts, you're going to ask for one of two things: a sanity check, or a better way to manage your multiple Google accounts.
Think about it for a second. Do you care if your programs are open-source? Do you care if companies whose services you frequent are built around open-source technology or not? Do you care whether their developers, in turn, support other open-source movements or not?
If you're not a decision-maker at a company when it comes to IT requirements or business operations, then no, open-source doesn't matter. If you're not a developer who has the knowledge--but more importantly, the time--to invest as much into an open-source project as you receive back from its functionality, then no, open-source doesn't matter either. If you're a typical computer user who wants programs that offer more than what you'd otherwise find in a vanilla Windows installation, then the concept of open-source really has no bearing on you.
Open-source matters as a concept. In its execution, however, a vast majority of enthusiasts, average folk, and neophytes could honestly care less. But why is that? Why aren't we all raising the flag with Linus Torvalds' head on it and parading through the aisles of our local electronics stores in support of the open-source movement?
IBM on Friday announced it has inked a new agreement with the ABB Group, a global provider of automation technologies, to transform the company's Information Systems (IS) infrastructure across 17 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific.
"With the new agreement, ABB will realize considerable savings, while harmonizing and optimizing IS infrastructure," said Haider Rashid, ABB's global Chief Information Officer. "Our partnership with IBM allows us to implement new technologies and processes to build for continued globalization of our business. At the same time, we will be improving energy efficiency."
ABB said it expects immediate cost savings as a result of the new agreement, while it also puts ABB in a better position to utilize cloud computing down the line.
For the quarter ended October 31, HP reported a net profit of $2.4 billion, up 14 percent from $2.1 billion in Q4 2008. That's good news for HP, considering the company's net revenue dropped 8 percent to $30.8 billion.
HP's struggles have been in just about every sector minus services, including big losses in revenue in consumer PCs, enterprise storage and servers, software, and printing. But the continued strength of HP's services business, along with corporate cost-cutting measures, helped the company turn what looked like an unlikely profit in Q4.
"HP's solid performance in Services drove record profit, and the accelerated pace in signings creates strong momentum going into 2010," said Mark Hurd, chairman and chief executive officer, HP. "Our operational execution and improving cost structure generated strong quarterly and year-end results. We expect to outperform the market due to our significant scale, broad portfolio, and market-leading position."
Out of all of HP's businesses, only services (and to a smaller extent, financial services) saw an increase.in revenue. Services spiked 8 percent to $8.9 billion, the company reported.
Verizon this week unveiled its Teleheatlh Collaboration Services, which is designed to aid health care organizations in setting up online collaboration environments and let health care professionals collaborate remotely through the Internet with patients and colleagues.
"Health care providers increasingly are tapping the power of IT, and our telehealth solutions offer an effective way to meet a wide range of challenges, including the expansion of access to care, speeding diagnoses, and driving efficiency," Rajeev Kapoor, global managing director for Verizon Connected Healthcare, said in a statement.
Verizon isn't alone in pushing collaboration tools for health care professionals. Cisco in July announced it was joining forces with UnitedHealth Group to create the Connected Care program, which will combine audio and visual technologies with medical information that will benefit both doctor and patient.
According to analyst company Datamonitor, annual spending on telehealth hardware, software, and related services will balloon to $6.1 billion by 2012, eWeek.com reports.