Author Archive

It might not seem like dolls — especially fashion dolls like the Monster High Dolls – have life lessons to tech kids. And when you’re in the toy aisle looking at kids dolls, these dolls — which look like goth versions of Bratz — may not seem like the best pick for girly girls. Yet there’s more to these spooky dolls than meets the eye, which makes Monster High a great gift for your young child that may also function as a self-esteem booster. Monster High Message Getting past the doll’s strange appearance, there is a message that we are all unique and that is a good thing. Sure, the dolls look strange. One has greenish-blue skin, another one has pasty white skin and another one wears

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By Jennifer Marsh Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting. Ever lost data and wished there was a backup available? Backups save companies time and money, especially when the data is an integral part of revenue and customer support. Internal backup systems are expensive, but cloud backups eliminate much of the cost, time and storage space needed to keep archives of data. Good cloud hosts offer cost-saving opportunities for companies looking for a backup solution. Backup De-Duping Even some seasoned IT professionals haven’t heard of a process called de-duping. De-duping checks the physical blocks on a hard drive and identifies whether the system has “seen” the block of data before. If the system has seen the data

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In preparation for the new year, what are you doing to erase digital illiteracy in your company? The world is changing quickly, and companies who don’t know about common tech concepts like cloud computing, virtualization and big data management are going to be left behind. To help companies become more knowledgeable about cloud computing, the cloud hosting company Rackspace is offering cloud education curriculum. You owe it to yourself to sign up for Rackspace’s CloudU so you can prepare your organization to use cloud backup services for the rest of 2013. If you’re already using cloud hosting, you still owe it to yourself to actually understand the product so you can get the most out of it and make the right choices for your business.   About CloudU Rackspace

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Trampoline fitness may look like too much fun to be effective, but bouncing your way to a healthier body is actually serious business. Personal trampolines or mini-trampolines are often used as therapy tools to help patients who are recovering from injuries that affected their strength and balance. Medical experts from a variety of fields are discovering that bouncing is also good exercise that can improve the immune system and assist the lymph system in detoxifying the body. Benefits of Trampoline Fitness 1.     Aerobic Benefits Bouncing on a trampoline provides the same type of aerobic workout as jogging or running, but without the stress on the knees and ankles. Because the device absorbs approximately 87 percent of the shock of each bounce almost everyone can work

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Earlier in February, the Creative Arts Entertainment Group, or CAEG, released the results of in-depth testing into the benefits and drawbacks of various LED and plasma TVs. This report showcases the challenges for today’s shoppers who are in the market for a new TV. The television has experienced an intense and fast evolution in technology, and today’s shoppers have so much to choose from. Before you choose your next TV, take some time to look at how the TV has evolved from the black and white box of the I Love Lucy days to the option for theater level, 3D entertainment right in your living room. The Early Days The television first came on the scene in 1922 with the thick, heavy, glass-screened cathode-ray tube TVs.

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You’ve probably heard it many times before: Data is the new currency. We live in a world where companies live and die based on how data is managed and understood. It’s a great way to think about data for businesses. If you think about data in terms of currency, you’ll be more likely to take the appropriate measures to protect it from disaster. When something goes wrong – and you can count on things going wrong at some point in the life of your business – a quality backup solution serves as insurance. Types of Back Up Solutions ·       Local Back Up – Local back up has been the de facto solution for many small to mid-sized businesses for years. Traditionally, this has included everything from tape-based to

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Bottlenecks are those pesky hiccups in workflow that can cause massive backups in productivity if you don’t get past them quickly. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for handling workplace bottlenecks. Bottlenecks have various causes, and eliminating them requires an answer that fits the problem. Bottleneck 1: Slow Team Members Let’s say you have a project that requires input from every member of your team. It needs a little IT work, some accounting, a run through HR and a touch of promotion before it goes out into the world. The accounting department is swamped, though, with year-end tax work and budgeting. The project passes through IT without a hitch and stalls as no member of your accounting department has time to work on it. Solution:

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The healthcare industry is in desperate need of a technological upgrade. Medical professionals, industry analysts and IT specialists all agree that in order to satisfy patient and medical professional needs, healthcare tech needs to become more efficient. Fortunately, hospitals and medical facilities are heeding this call for better tech processes by implementing new technologies. New Hospital Tech ·       Wi-Fi-enabled Technology – The Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, CA recently implemented wireless Internet for patients and guests. They have also implemented remote monitoring, which is allows doctors, nurses and other medical workers to monitor patients remotely with a handheld device, offering more flexibility for medical workers in a hospital environment. ·       Image Sharing – Recently, hospitals have been implementing a new type of image sharing technology called the RSNA Image Share

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As the price of technology has dropped significantly in recent years, home theaters have become attainable for many middle-class families. Creating a theater at home is the perfect way to enjoy the big game, watch a movie with the family or just enjoy your favorite television shows. During 2012, there were some home theater products that were more popular than others, and if you don’t have these yet, you should definitely consider making them a part of your home theater next year. Here’s what you need to create a great home theater: LCD TV: High definition is the standard now, as screens have become both bigger and sharper, all while maintaining affordable price points. LCD TVs offer sharp images and can be easily mounted on a

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Within today’s business structures, there’s a growing element of collaboration. This means that employees are looking to their employers to provide easy to use and maintain collaboration resources within their business infrastructure. This also means that developing an internal social community that makes sharing and updating files and folders is easier than ever. This is just one of Microsoft SharePoint’s many strong suits. Whether it’s community building, social computing or sharable feeds, SharePoint has social built into its framework. There are plenty of resources and features available to SharePoint users to help facilitate social sharing and collaboration in the work place. In this post, we’re going to take a look at five of those features. Top Five Social Features of SharePoint Communities – In older versions of SharePoint,

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By Sue Poremba Sue Poremba is a freelance writer focusing primarily on security and technology issues and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting. Your website is the public face of your company. You want a site that easy to navigate and that provides all of the basic information about your company. Your website also needs to be available when your customers need it. A website that is down for even an hour or two can be a serious blow to a small company’s reputation. Do you know how reliable the provider you want to use really is? “I always look for stability in both the networking hardware layers. If you don’t have stability there, no one can hit your web site and everything else is a waste,” said Vaughn

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If you’ve been following the tech blogosphere for any length of time, you’ve probably come across the term big data. What is big data, exactly? What makes data big? Why does it matter? These questions are more important than you think, and the answers directly affect your business and how it performs on the web. What is Big Data, Exactly? This is the best place to start. If you don’t have a solid grasp on what big data is, it’s hard to talk about more sophisticated aspects of how it behaves. In very simple terms, “big data” refers to databases that become so large that they become awkward to manage. To put this into numbers, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data everyday. In fact, 90 percent

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Valpak, the company behind those familiar blue envelopes filled with coupon deals that arrive regularly in our mailboxes, recently announced their newest public relations program to encourage and emphasize the success of small businesses throughout the US and Canada. The “Dough to Grow Award” is a prize designed to demonstrate the company’s recognition of the struggles and odds that small businesses must overcome in order to be successful. The program makes a lot of sense when one considers Valpak’s early history. Valpak’s Small Business Beginnings Now owned by Cox Target Media, Valpak first began in the 1960’s by an unemployed forklift operator, Terry Loebel, trying to make a living during tough times and feed his family. Loebel’s company began at the dining room table with him, his wife

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Knowledge is power and preparing for your open heart surgery by learning about the process can be empowering. During open heart surgery, your chest is surgically opened and repairs are performed on the muscles, valves, tissue or arteries of your heart. These days, you may be receiving: Robot-assisted open heart surgery, where precision is needed to repair heart valves Endoscopic heart surgery, performed with the aid of a camera Traditional open heart surgery, where a heart-lung machine helps pump blood to your organs while the heart is operated on Equipment Used in Open Heart Surgery Most open heart surgery is performed with a transesophageal echocardiogram or TEE. The TEE consists of a probe fitted with an ultrasound transducer, which is then passed into the body through

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By Jennifer Marsh Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting. The cloud offers the security, affordability, and convenience of backups for business networks without paying for the computing power, support and staff of a backup data center. After a business commits to a cloud backup, the next question is: “How much storage space do I need?” Establish Data Requirements What storage space the business uses now will increase as business picks up. Database administrators account for current database storage requirements, but as data is input into the database, the growth of the database increases substantially. The storage space available for the incremental backups of the database must have enough space to provide storage for a growing business. To

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For all the talk of pollution pouring into the outdoor air every day, it’s easy to forget that some of the biggest air quality threats exist inside your home. Your indoor air pollution has the potential to be several times more polluted than the air outside those walls, in large part because the contained interior spaces allow for pollutants to become trapped and recycled.                 However, another compounding factor is the ignorance many consumers have toward this issue. The good news is that, with a little heightened awareness of the potential threats you are facing, it is easy to enact simple changes that dramatically improve the quality of your indoor air. Here are some simple solutions for this

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With such fluidity in education today, everyone is asking questions and debating the merits of various forms of learning. Parents are asking if public schools are good enough. They question whether private schools are a viable alternative—and about the social aspects of home schooling. In higher education, the questions become more economically focused. Is a four-year college affordable? How much does it cost to live on or off campus? Will an associate degree get me where I want to be? Is getting a degree online an option? But the questions should go a little deeper. Perhaps we should be asking first, what is a better way to learn? Research Shows Results Research indicates that “learning by doing” is an extremely effective way to learn. Immersion and

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If cloud computing is a new technology to you, perhaps you should lift the rock you’ve been living under and scuttle back under there until Dec. 23, 2012, when your ignorance won’t matter anymore. Simply put, businesses have moved on from the old way of doing things through traditional IT infrastructures and are rapidly adopting cloud-based services to bolster the efficiency of complex business processes. But do they really make things more efficient? The short answer is a resounding yes. Not only do that, they also give companies a better handle on their business through simple application design. A Match Made in Heaven: The Marriage of Cloud and Mobile No new technology supports business-savvy cloud computing services like mobile devices. In fact, more businesses are

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In the midst of the Olympics, one of the major discussions going on in the gaming world is whether gamers are athletes. After all, hardcore gamers train for hours each day, compete in major international events, and even have to meet some physical requirements to maintain endurance. The way I see it, if ESPN will play poker tournaments, it isn’t much more of a stretch to have them play video game tournaments, too. And given the name of the network, that makes gaming a sport. But let’s take a step back first and see how gaming has managed to rocket itself into the spotlight. Casual Console Gaming To get a true look at the evolution of gaming, we have to go back. Yes, I’m talking about

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Running a business is cheaper than it used to be–at least when it comes to technology! Cloud hosting will help you avoid computer equipment costs on the front end, and maintenance and personnel costs later down the line. VoIP services can save you tons of money every year on phone costs–especially if you do business internationally. Microsoft’s Sharepoint is a good example of a specialized cloud service suitable that will help any SMB save money and run more smoothly. 1. What is “Cloud Hosting” and Why is it Good for Small Businesses? Cloud hosting is a great way to go for any growing business or small startup that just doesn’t have the money for a basement full of computers and a fully-staffed IT department. Something that many people

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