The Cloud Changes Everything

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The concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1960’s, though it wasn’t widely known among consumers until much later. Amazon launched their Amazon Web Service (AWS) in 2006 that offered cloud computing to customers. Microsoft has been working with cloud technology for years as well. Today, Google, Apple, and countless other companies are providing some type of cloud experience, such as computation, storage and services, usually as a metered service. The Cloud has changed the way we conduct business, as well as our lifestyles. Often seamlessly, without us even knowing.

It is ground breaking, the extent that “green cloud technology” is changing our way of collecting data and addressing environmental sustainability. Monitoring soil moisture so farmers know when to irrigate, reducing water consumption by as much as 50%. Monitoring air quality that will alert people with asthma where higher levels of contamination are located. If you are not familiar with this fascinating technology, GreenBiz sponsored this video at a State of Green Business Forum. The presenter is Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist for Microsoft, who is responsible for defining and implementing the global strategy for the company’s environmental efforts.

Taking green cloud technology a step further, the link below describes work IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft are doing that will bring to us Green Cloud Cities.  Continue Reading →

The Smarter City

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 “Organizations today are embracing a more sustainable approach to business – one that takes into account the environmental and societal impact of their activities. By factoring this accountability into their strategy, they implement new ways to source, manufacture, and distribute goods in a more sustainable manner, often while simultaneously lowering costs. And, based on more transparent and proactive engagement with employees, consumers and the communities where they operate, organzations are becoming better equipped to create products and services for a smarter planet.” Corporate Social Responsibility – IBM

One of the recent articles linked in the Current News & Events section, IBM’s Top 5 Predictions for Smarter Buildings for 2012, only touches the surface of IBM’s commitment to the role technology can contribute to helping develop smart buildings and communities. To see just how committed they are, IBM has provided this fascinating video presentation, The Smarter City, explaining how we can build a smarter planet – city by city – today. Topics range from Transportation/Traffic, Airports/Rail, Public Safety, Healthcare, Education, Energy and Utilities, Economic Development, to Social Services. Included is a short documentary and a HELP (?) section that explains how to navigate through the video.   Continue Reading →

Social media history becomes a new job hurdle

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Most novices launching websites labor through the perplexing task of trying to understand and implement procedures and techniques designed to increase site traffic. SEO, post titles, key words, tags, links, trackbacks, pings, commenting on other sites and forums, etc. are all important considerations. So when you read an article, post or other commentary, there was generally a great deal of behind-the-scenes prep work done before it was published.

Recently, I read a report where both Google and Bing agreed that social networking is now the Numero Uno – #1 – factor for delivering visitors to websites. Perhaps in support of this proclamation is the fact if you pay attention, you’ll notice the increase in companies linking to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sources. In consideration of this newly discovered revelation, I began my quest to connect with as many professionals and other sources as I could on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – with more to come as time permits.

We know that the content on LinkedIn, Facebook and other media sources we use to establish connections and communication is considered public domain. But were we aware that, like e-mail, our actions can, or will, rest somewhere in the heavens forever? Once you say it, it lives on forever.

Well now, who would have thought that a new cottage industry of Cyber Snoopers is seeing gold in them thar hills! The NYT has (disturbing) news where possible employers may look at everything you’ve said or done online in the past seven years. In their article Social media history becomes a new job hurdle :

Companies have long used criminal background checks, credit reports and even searches on Google and LinkedIn to probe the previous lives of prospective employees. Now, some companies are requiring job candidates to also pass a social media background check.

A year-old start-up, Social Intelligence, scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.

And what relevant unflattering information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not made? Mr. Drucker said that one prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing naked in photos she put up on an image-sharing site didn’t get the job offer she was seeking at a hospital.

Given complex “terms of service” agreements on most sites and Web applications, Mr. Rotenberg said people do not always realize that comments or content they generate are publicly available.

As one commenter stated:

Go ahead, search me. I don’t do drugs, my president sucks and since I don’t speak any ‘foreign’ languages I shouldn’t have to press one for english. NOW will you hire me?

Continue Reading →

How Much Cloud for Construction?

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According to the recent article at Constructech, How Much Cloud for Construction? , the cloud has created much buzz in construction these days with many in the market still looking for answers. As with any technology investment, a good rule of thumb with the cloud is to take it in small steps. When it comes to cloud computing in construction, the question isn’t so much should you take to it, but rather what is the right amount? Information technology managers in construction are struggling with the tongue-in-cheek “fully vs. partially cloudy” dilemma regarding which construction technology applications are indeed best suited for the cloud.

The debate has been generating much discussion on Constructech‘s own LinkedIn group lately, where many believe it comes down to the decision of which applications to take to the cloud, and which to leave in the standard delivery model.

“Programs that sync data in the background are a perfect fit,” says Morrow. “Data that is fetched via realtime requests may or may not present more of an issue. As a general rule, the more unique the software/data is to your specific business the more cloud resistant it might be. Start with services that every business uses. Get a comfort level, and then move to industry-specific software, (and) save any custom ‘in-house’ software for last.” Continue Reading →

Off to the Clouds (computing), I Shall Go!

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From the moment the studio4llc website was launched, I realized my workstation pc and faithful Blackberry would no longer fulfill my requirements. 24/7 access, mobility options, pen and power are now the prime parameters for restructuring my operations.

For mobility, there seems to be little choice than to migrate as much as I can to the cloud. My available options here were pretty much pre-established, given my long time dependence on Microsoft and the decision to trade my Blackberry for a Windows 7 phone. And this is fine, as Microsoft has no equal when it comes to enterprise operations, IMO. Not that I have anything against Apple, other than the fact they cater to the general consumer market and are highly proprietary, and I won’t even consider letting anything Google near my computers. I’ve had a Windows Live account for a number of years, so all I needed to do was install additional Microsoft software.

Windows Live Messenger 2011, Windows Live Essentials 2011, SkyDrive, Windows Live Mesh 2011

To help with the cloud migration and Windows 7 phone selection, I have been following Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows. Continue Reading →