Sunday, May 22, 2011

10 things you can do to conserve Internet bandwidth

By Brien Posey | May 21, 2011, 6:59 AM PDT

As organizations move more and more services to the cloud, it is becoming increasingly important to make efficient use of the available Internet bandwidth. Here are a few techniques you can use to conserve Internet bandwidth in your own organization.

1: Block access to content-streaming Web sites

If your organization allows employees to use the Internet for personal use, the first thing you should do is block access to streaming media sites, such as Netflix, YouTube, and MetaCafe. Playing the occasional YouTube video probably isn't going to have a crippling effect on your Internet connection, but streaming videos do consume more bandwidth than many other Web-based services.

2: Throttle cloud backup applications

If you're backing up your data to the cloud, check to see whether your backup application has a throttling mechanism. An unthrottled cloud backup solution will consume as much bandwidth as it can. This might not be a big deal if you're backing up small files (such as Microsoft Office documents) throughout the day. But when you first begin backing up data to the cloud, an initial backup must be created. I have seen this process last for months, and if left unchecked, it can have a major impact on your Internet bandwidth.

3: Limit your use of VoIP

VoIP is another bandwidth-intensive protocol. If you plan to use VoIP, you might implement a policy stating that phones are to be used for business calls only. While I will be the first to admit that employees sometimes need to make calls that aren't specifically related to work, almost everyone has a cell phone these days, so limiting the office phones to business use only shouldn't be a big deal.

4: Use a proxy cache

A proxy cache can help limit the amount of traffic created by Web browsers. The basic idea is that when a user visits a Web site, the contents of the page are cached on a proxy server. The next time that person visits that Web page, the content does not have to be downloaded because it already exists in the cache. Using a proxy cache not only saves bandwidth, but it can give users the illusion that your Internet connection is much faster than it really is.

5: Centralize application updates

Today, almost every application is designed to download periodic updates over the Internet. You can save a lot of bandwidth by centralizing the update process. For example, rather than let every PC in your office connect to the Microsoft Update Service, you should set up a WSUS server to download all the updates and then make them available to the individual PCs. That way, the same updates aren't being downloaded over and over again.

6: Use hosted filtering

If you operate your own mail servers in-house, a great way to save bandwidth is to take advantage of hosted filtering. With hosted filtering, your MX record points to a cloud server rather than to your mail server. This server receives all the mail that's destined for your organization. The server filters out any spam or messages containing malware. The remaining messages are forwarded to your organization. You can save a lot of bandwidth (and mail server resources) because your organization is no longer receiving spam.

7: Identify your heaviest users

In any organization, there will be some users who use the Internet more heavily than others. It's a good idea to identify your heaviest users and to determine what they are doing that's causing them to consume so much bandwidth. I have seen real-world situations in which a user was operating peer-to-peer file-sharing software even though the administrator thought that the users' desktops were locked down to make it impossible for anyone to do so.

8: Aggressively scan for malware

Malware can rob your organization of a tremendous amount of bandwidth by turning PCs into bots. Be aggressive in your efforts to keep the desktops on your network clean. Here are some resources that can help:

10 ways to detect computer malware

10 more ways to detect computer malware

The 10 faces of computer malware

Five tips for spotting the signs of malware

Rescue CDs: Tips for fighting malware

10 free anti-malware tools worth checking out

Virus & Spyware Removal Checklist

9: Use QoS to reserve bandwidth

QoS stands for quality of service. It is a bandwidth reservation mechanism that was first introduced in Windows 2000, and it's still around today. If you have applications that require a specific amount of bandwidth (such as a video conferencing application), you can configure QoS to reserve the required bandwidth for that application. The bandwidth reservation is in effect only when the application is actively being used. At other times, the bandwidth that is reserved for the application is available for other uses.

10: Make sure you're getting the bandwidth you're paying for

A lot of factors affect Internet bandwidth, so you can't expect to connect to every Web site at your connection's maximum speed. Even so, your Internet connection should deliver performance that is reasonably close to what you are paying for.

I haven't ever seen a situation in which an ISP intentionally gave someone a slower connection than they were paying for, but I have seen plenty of situations in which a connection was shared between multiple subscribers. In the case of a shared connection, a neighbor's online activity can directly affect your available bandwidth. If your Internet connection isn't as fast as it should be, talk to your ISP and find out if your connection is shared. You might pay a bit more for a non-shared connection, but the extra cost may be worth it.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

10 things you should know about open source before you use it

By Jack Wallen | May 18, 2011, 7:52 AM PDT

I remember a day when the mention of open source in a business setting — no matter the size of the business — was unthinkable. The times they have changed, and open source is no longer considered a pariah. In fact, open source is often now considered first when a solution is needed. But when open source is being considered, certain things must be known. If you just dive in head first, there may well be some surprises waiting for you.

To keep new open source users from losing their sanity, I thought it might be helpful to list a few things everyone needs to know about open source before it's put into place.

1: It's not just for Linux

This is probably where most users get tripped up. When open source is brought up in a conversation, talk inevitably (and almost always initially) turns to Linux. This causes the public to assume open source is only for Linux. Not so. There are plenty of open source projects that are either cross-platform or Windows-only. This site lists a variety of Windows open source software. But that site doesn't include the listing of big-time players, like Apache, MySQL, and Drupal.

2: It's not always free

To be considered open source, the source code needs be freely available. This does not mean the application itself must be free. There are actually a lot of companies making money from their open source projects. In many cases, the price tends to be attached for things like support or added features, but companies tend to make a "community" version of their product, which is free. When a company sells a community version, it's usually a stripped-down, bare-bones version of the commercial (but still open source) product. A great example of this is Zimbra, a powerful email and collaboration tool that offers a free, open source edition and editions that have price tags (as well as more features and less access to source.)

3: It may or may not have support

Some open source software offers support options (sometimes with an associated cost) and some don't. This is often a deal-breaker for larger companies. But even though a piece of open source software doesn't have a corporate-friendly 24/7 support hotline to call, that doesn't mean there is no support. Sometimes, there are forums and /or mailing lists for support. In other cases, the developers who created (or work with) the software can be contacted. Support options are certainly available — even if that support might not be compatible with the corporate train of thought.

4: You have full access to the source code

Although this generally doesn't apply to the average user, I do like to bring it up to make sure possible users are aware of both ends of the spectrum. Open source does, in fact, mean you have full access to the source code of a program. That does not mean you need access to the source. This is a myth that has been around for a long, long time. Just because the source is out there and available doesn't mean it's necessary. In fact, users can go their entire life using open source software and never have to touch the source. But should you (or your company) want to make some modifications to an application, the code is there when you need it.

5: Open source is not just for programmers

A lot of the public seem to think that because of the nature of open source, only programmers use it. Is that because the source code is available? Does the availability of code mean that only those who know how to read, edit, and rebuild that code can and should use it? Not at all. Anyone can use open source software (from both a usage and legal standpoint) with or without the skills to modify and rebuild the software. It's a safe bet that the majority of open source users do not have a single programming language in their skill set.

6: You aren't breaking any laws by adopting open source

Thanks to SCO, people used to think open source adoption might be illegal. But fortunately, all that changed when the SCO case was tossed out. The use of open source software does not break any intellectual property laws. Nary a single case has proved that open source has infringed on other, proprietary work. So it's safe to say that if you are using open source, you are not considered a rebel who is breakin' the law.

7: You don't have to be an expert to use it

This relates to the previous entries. Repeat after me: I do not have to be an expert computer user to use open source software. I still hear that old question, "Do you have to write your own drivers to use that?" The answer has been, for a long time, no. Many people still believe that open source software is for uber-geeks who can compile software in their sleep. Not so. In fact, with most open source projects, there's no need to install from source now. Most platforms have binary installers that make adding open source software to your PC as easy as installing proprietary software. In some cases, it's even easier. And using most open source software is the same. Open source, like all things computer, has evolved in direct opposition to that of the average computer user. As the intelligence of the average computer user drops, the ease of use of open source software increases.

8: Most open source software is as reliable as its proprietary counterpart

Open source software is everywhere. It's available on, in the Android Market, in every Linux distribution's Add/Remove Software utility, from Web sites across the globe… you name it. If you can do a Google search, you can find it. There are dedicated sites for open source software on specific platforms, and even Microsoft has a dedicated open source site. Open source has come a long way from its earlier roots, where locating the counterpart to a proprietary piece of software was like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Now that haystack has grown small and the needle very large.

9: Freeware and shareware are not the same as open source

Most users are familiar with freeware and shareware. Those two types of software are not the same as open source. If the source code to the software is not made available, that piece of software is definitely not open source.

10: You're probably already using it

Are you using the Firefox browser? If so, you are already using open source software. In fact, a lot of people use open source without knowing it. OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Drupal, WordPress, GnuCash, Notepad++, and many more products enjoy widespread usage. And that doesn't even account for the snippets of open source code that find their way into proprietary software.

A growing trend

Open source software no longer has the stigma attached to it that it once had. Many open source apps are now seen as either equal to or superior to their proprietary counterparts. I would expect this trend to continue, especially as more and more users move away from the traditional desktop and to cloud-based or virtualized solutions.

If you're considering the migration from closed to open source software, there are things you should know, but very little you have to know. Armed with the right information, your migration to open source software can be painless and worry free.
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Effectively use social media for business applications

By Sonja Thompson | May 17, 2011, 3:45 PM PDT

It is no secret that technology has changed the way we do business. Companies are no longer limited to certain markets by virtue of geographic location; any size or type of business, whether it is brick and mortar or web-based, can become a player in the global marketplace. Technology advances and new trends develop at a rapid pace, allowing for new marketing opportunities and creating the ability to expand a company's web presence and customer base. The latest trend businesses are utilizing is the application of social media as a business and marketing tool.

Social media sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, have been around for a while and have been widely used by artists, writers, and musicians to promote their work. Companies are becoming aware that these sites can be used quite effectively for many business applications as well. A search of any social media site will come up with a profile listing for any type of product or service, from yoga instructors to moving companies. So, just how effective is social media when used for business applications?

The short answer to that question is: very effective, if you understand how the medium works and use it properly. The key to the effectiveness of using social media for business depends on your approach. Like any business plan, organization is essential for success. The same general rules of using social media apply to any other type of marketing and promotion:

Have a specific purpose in mind and narrow your focus to achieve that purpose.

Know your target market and streamline your approach to reach and serve that market.

Make sure that your content is relevant to the purpose that you are trying to achieve.

Diversify your efforts. Social media use should be integrated as a part of your overall marketing and business plan; it should not be your entire strategy.

It is also important to understand how social media sites work in order to use them effectively. Navigate around the sites, join various communities and discussion groups, and build a following. If you dive in and just start posting links and comments, you could easily end up driving prospects away instead of bringing them in.

Twitter functions in a slightly different way than other types of social media sites, but it can also be a very effective tool for business applications. You do not have to Tweet to Ashton Kutcher-like proportions, but once you build up a following of users who are interested in what you have to offer, it is a very good way to alert prospects to new web content, special promotions, and new products or services.

When used as a part of an overall business and marketing strategy, social media is an effective and cost-efficient tool to promote and develop your business, increase product or brand awareness, and communicate more effectively with your customer base. It is free, has the ability to reach a market of literally millions of potential customers, and has the additional advantage of being able to integrate other types of media, such as video, to increase awareness and web traffic.

Do you have a Facebook profile or a Twitter account? The smart business owner will answer both of those questions with, "Yes. I do.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 reasons why you should give Slackware Linux a chance

By Jack Wallen | May 11, 2011, 11:37 AM PDT

Slackware. You've either used it, thought about using it, or you're scared of using it. Slackware Linux is one of the most powerful distributions available. But that power comes with a price — it's not nearly as user-friendly as many other distributions. In fact, Slackware is typically bested only by Gentoo for level of difficulty.

But if you avoid Slackware, you miss out on quite a lot. I can think of at least 10 reasons why you should give Slackware a try (or another chance). Before you hold up your hands in the middle of the installation and cry out, "I give up!" give these reasons a read.

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

1: Stability

If you're looking for the best of the best, you will be hard-pressed to find a Linux distribution that enjoys more stability than Slackware — and that's saying quite a lot! Slackware has been around for 20 years now, and for the longest time it has enjoyed the reputation of being the most rock solid of the Linux distributions. In my time with Slackware (and I have installed the most recent version as well as using versions throughout my time with Linux), I can with complete honesty say those claims are the truth. Slackware is about as solid as an operating system can get. Be it for a server or a desktop, if you are using Slackware, you are going to enjoy some serious reliability.

2: Security

Slackware does not fall into the many traps that some other distributions fall into with security. There are many reasons for this higher level of security. For example, Slackware does not release a new version until it is ready. Because of this, Slackware is released with far fewer bugs and holes than rolling release distributions or distributions that release frequently. In addition, Slackware doesn't use package managers like Synaptic or yum, so any application is generally installed from source.

3: Neutrality

Slackware doesn't depend on a package manager, so it enjoys much more neutrality than any other distribution does. This is mostly because most applications are installed by source, but also because Slackware has no affiliations with any companies. Slackware is very much a community-driven distribution. The only piper it pays is the user who installs and enjoys the distribution. Although some might argue this point, I would add that because Slackware allows the end user to carefully pick and choose what to install (during installation), Slackware has a much more neutral feeling. This even applies to the desktop. Slackware allows for the installation of numerous desktops (and not just KDE or GNOME).

4: Better adherence to the GPL

Of all the distributions I have used, Slackware is probably the most GPL compliant. The last time I did a Slackware installation, I found no signs of software in violation of the GPL (of course, I did not install Java). For many serious open source advocates, Slackware is going to be the most obvious choice.

5: Speed

Because Slackware installs only what you want, and because of its release policy, you are going to find this distribution runs faster than most. I installed the latest Slackware (13.37) with KDE 4.5 and compared it to an installation (on the same machine) of the latest Kubuntu (11.04) with KDE 4.6. The Kubuntu installation should have been faster (thanks to KDE 4.6), but it wasn't. In fact, the Slackware installation offered a much improved experience over the Kubuntu installation.

6: Better, cleaner configuration

One of the complaints against Slackware is the lack of graphical configuration utilities. This goes for just about every subsystem on the installation. If you want to add users, you're using the command line. If you want to configure Samba or start up services, you're using the command line. But this helps create much cleaner configuration files. Now, anyone can also argue that this is dependent upon the user's ability to create clean configuration files. But as I have experienced, most end users who are willing to use a distribution like Slackware are going to create clean code… much better than most GUI tools.

7: Better understanding of Linux

If you know Slackware, you know Linux. By its very nature, Slackware demands a better understanding of the operating system as a whole than does any other distribution (with the possible exception of Gentoo). After an installation (and administration) of a Slackware machine, you will know the directory hierarchy, how to administer users and configure networking, the init system, and much more.

8: Great server OS

If I'm setting up a Linux server, and I want to set up one for reliability, security, and longevity, I am using Slackware without question. There are many reasons for this — just read the above list. But over the years, Slackware has been fine-tuned to stand as a sever OS (that doesn't mean it can serve as a desktop, of course). Because Slackware does a great job of following standards, you'll find that standard server documentation (such as for Samba and Apache) works exactly as expected. And because Slackware always scores high with reliability and efficiency, your server won't suffer from hiccups or downtime associated with OS software.

9: Slackbuilds

If installing from source isn't your thing, you can always take advantage of Slackbuilds, a repository of build scripts that automate the installation of various applications. On that site are thousands of scripts you can download and use to install everything from system tools to desktop tools. The Slackbuilds site also contains some great how-to documentation and allows the uploading of new scripts from the community.

10: IT cred

Although this might well be seen as superfluous, I always like to think that just like bragging rights that center around any accomplishment in any field, the bragging rights associated with using and administering Slackware can go a long way to winning you respect as an administrator. When you use and administer Slackware, it says a lot more about you than does using and administering most other operating systems. Using Slackware means you're serious about knowing your operating system, about Linux, about reliability, and about adhering to the GPL. Having this bit of bragging rights can be a big help in an industry that demands you prove yourself immediately and constantly.

Worth a try

Is Slackware a perfect OS? No. It's a challenge. But if you are up to the challenge of Slackware, you will profit from numerous benefits associated with a distribution known for stability and security. I highly recommend that you give the latest Slackware release a try. Once it's installed, you will have a Linux distribution that works like a champ, the likes you may never have seen
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hemat energi dengan Monitor LED-Backlit

Fokus Produk: Monitor LED-Backlit

Disponsori oleh

GovConnection dengan

Ingat ketika bola lampu neon kompak pertama menekan pasar? Meskipun janji penghematan energi yang signifikan, beberapa orang bisa perut harga pembelian hampir $ 20 masing-masing. Tapi hari ini, ini lampu listrik-menyesap biaya sebagai sedikit sebagai $ 1,50 dengan rabat, dan lampu pijar telah termaktub dengan kegelapan.

Banyak hal yang sama sekarang terjadi dengan menampilkan komputer, yang selalu menjadi konsumen energi besar. Dua tahun lalu, sekolah mungkin tidak akan memberikan pertimbangan serius ke monitor hemat energi baru yang datang ke pasar. Meskipun janji penghematan energi dan penggunaan bahan berbahaya yang lebih sedikit, monitor baru, backlit oleh dioda pemancar cahaya (LED), dilakukan label harga sekitar 35 persen lebih tinggi daripada rekan-rekan tradisional mereka. Tetapi penurunan harga, ditambah dengan fokus pelanggan besar pada penghematan energi dan jejak kaki lingkungan, telah mengubah monitor ini dari hal baru menjadi pesaing yang layak. Dalam survei pasar, kami menemukan bahwa sekolah sekarang dapat memilih dari berbagai monitor LED-backlit energi efisien untuk kurang dari $ 1000 - dan, dalam beberapa kasus, kurang dari $ 200.

Semua singkatan digunakan dengan monitor bisa kabur ke dalam sup alfabet membingungkan. Satu singkatan yang tidak akan pergi adalah LCD, yang merupakan singkatan dari layar kristal cair. Sampai akhir-akhir ini, mayoritas adalah backlit LCD dengan lampu fluorescent katoda dingin (CCFLs), yang mengandung merkuri dan mengkonsumsi banyak daya. penghematan daya dari LED backlighting mengakibatkan emisi karbon yang lebih rendah, yang merupakan pertimbangan yang semakin penting untuk lembaga-lembaga pendidikan yang telah berjanji sendiri untuk netralitas karbon. Beberapa monitor bahkan mencakup fitur power-management dan meter jejak karbon. Dan karena menampilkan LED-backlit mengandung sedikit atau tidak ada zat lingkungan berbahaya, seperti merkuri, arsenik, dan memimpin, mereka lebih mudah untuk mendaur ulang dari monitor tradisional.

Menampilkan dengan teknologi LED-backlit juga menawarkan keuntungan luar lingkungan. Karena mereka menggunakan lebih kecil, komponen solid-state, monitor bisa lebih tipis dan ringan dibandingkan monitor CCFL. Juga, tidak seperti menampilkan sebagian besar lainnya, menampilkan LED-backlit tidak mengambil waktu untuk pemanasan: Mereka menghidupkan langsung dan seragam cerah.

Dalam usaha untuk memutuskan yang memonitor terbaik memenuhi kebutuhan sekolah Anda, Anda perlu memotong beberapa hype pemasaran sekitar "hijau" fitur. Salah satu pilihan adalah untuk mencari produk yang mendapatkan peringkat Gold dari EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), yang menilai produk elektronik untuk manufaktur bertanggung jawab mereka, efisiensi energi, dan daur ulang. EPEAT adalah alat pengadaan dirancang untuk membantu pembeli mengevaluasi, membandingkan, dan produk elektronik pilih berdasarkan atribut lingkungan mereka. Sebuah produk yang menghasilkan EPEAT Gold telah memenuhi semua kriteria yang dibutuhkan 23 organisasi, ditambah paling tidak 75 persen dari kriteria opsional.

Untuk menemukan model yang tepat untuk sekolah anda, gunakan link ke kanan untuk menelusuri menampilkan kami LED-backlit dengan fitur produk. (Catatan: Semua harga harga eceran yang disarankan pabrikan, dengan harga reseller bisa sampai 50 persen lebih rendah ini daftar didasarkan pada spesifikasi pabrik disusun oleh dan dari produsen sendiri; ATAS Journal tidak melakukan pengujian produk. untuk memverifikasi klaim produsen '.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Five tips for conducting webinars that work

By Katherine Murray | April 26, 2011, 2:45 PM PDT

Picture this: You've been preparing for a big meeting all week. You plan to roll out the latest pitch for the products your group has been designing. All the top-level managers will be there and you really want to hit a home run. Minutes before the meeting, you walk quietly to your office and close the door. You put on your favorite jazz CD (quietly, in the background) and slip your feet into the bunny slippers beneath your desk. With a click or two of the mouse, you arrive in a virtual space, where you and your team present your creative genius… via webinar.

1: Educate as you inspire

Even though webinars are becoming more widely used in all sorts of industry areas, how many have you participated in that have been done really well? Sure, you can use a basic presentation. You can drone on about your program, burying your participants under a mountain of facts. They can sit there passively, playing Angry Birds on their phone (you can't see them, so how do you know?). Or you can involve them early in the webinar, help them understand what you hope they'll get from the experience, and let them know what you hope they'll provide.

At the beginning, talk about why you chose the webinar format and what you want participants to learn. Tell them where you have planned "audience participation" activities so that they know you'll be calling on them in the near future. This sets up the expectation for engagement and keeps them listening so they'll be ready when it's time for their part.

2: Begin with introductions

The webinar format enables you to be creative and deliver your message in a variety of ways. You can show video, draw sketches, run a terrific presentation, brainstorm, sing, or do anything else that fits your project and your participants. But even though people can hear each other's voices and see each other's handwriting or doodles, getting a good sense of who is talking (and why) can be a challenge. So unless you're using a webcam (in which case participants can see who you are as you're presenting material), start the webinar with good old-fashioned introductions that show a picture of each person involved in the presentation and give them a chance to say hello to the group so members can recognize them by voice right from the get-go.

3: Plan for engagement

The best webinars present information in a format that makes learning easy and interesting. Participants feel included, informed, and involved — not like they're being held captive while a forgettable series of bullet points scroll by. If you choose webinar software that's flexible (like Go To Meeting, shown in Figure A), you can build places into your webinar where you invite participants to share experiences, answer questions, and provide their perspectives on the information you're presenting.

You can also change the way in which participants receive the information by using different methods. For example, you might begin with introductory information in a slide show and then go through a variety of activities — demonstrate a Web site; play a video clip, draw a flowchart in real time; show photos of events, products, or people; and invite your audience to share their own ideas and experiences about the topic you're covering. Remember to include time for questions and answers at key points in the webinar so that audience members don't have to save what they're curious about until the end of your time together.

Figure A

Your webinar software should make it easy to relate to your audience in a variety of ways (audio, video, chat, presentation, whiteboard, and more).

4: Prepare collateral materials

In addition to the webinar you present in real time, giving your participants follow-up materials can be a great help if you're sharing lots of information. You can send handouts in advance of your webinar, if you like, so that audience members can refer to your outline or see your slides as you present them. PowerPoint makes it easy for you to prepare handouts to go along with your virtual presentation. You might also want to put together a list of resources that includes links to Web sites, videos, and other resources you used in your presentation. Be sure to put your contact information and your company name in the footer of the materials you send — they can continue marketing for you long after the webinar is over.

5: Invite feedback

At the end of the webinar — and at several strategic places along the way — be sure to invite your participants to ask those questions that bubble up during your session. You may also want to ask those involved whether they'd be willing to stay an extra five minutes after the webinar to share their experience about learning in this way. Some will stay; others will log off, and that's fine. But ask those who remain questions that will help you identify what worked and what didn't for them; where you could be more flexible in your presentation; what they're taking away; and changes you might consider making for next time. You can also follow up with a link to a survey to all those who registered for your webinar, which will help you get real data of participant reactions and maybe give you an opportunity to let them know about the next webinar you'll be presenting

Kontak kami utk kebutuhan pembuatan sistem webinar Anda..
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