BetaNews Staff

Making sense of the cloud: SaaS, PaaS and IaaS explained

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Cloud computing is one of the most important technologies in the world right now, but it can be extremely confusing at times.

What, for example, are SaaS, PaaS and IaaS? Read on as we take the jargon out of the cloud and explain things in a much more brain-friendly way.

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5 tips to make your browsing safe and secure

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The internet has become as ubiquitous as air. You’re connected at home via Wi-Fi, then you go out and stop by a cafe to grab a quick morning coffee and check your Facebook, then you come to the office, get all serious and send business mail to your colleagues. The internet gives us great freedom. But with that freedom comes great dangers and great responsibility -- you are responsible for protecting yourself on the web.

Every time you indulge into any sort of online activity, your data can be easily monitored and checked. The websites you visit receive your IP address, location, browser and operating system, screen resolution, ISP and more. You can check on what information you give away at stayinvisible.com. I have nothing against sharing this data when I do simple browsing. I am like Dutch windows without curtains -- doing nothing wrong, peep in whenever you want, I have nothing to hide.

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Lenovo Yoga 2: A decent budget hybrid [Review]

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The Lenovo Yoga 2 is not to be confused with the Yoga 2 Pro. Although the basic principle of a notebook with a screen that flips over to turn the device into tablet is the same, the specification is markedly different. Just for starters, this is an 11.6in device rather than 13.3in -- but what's inside is much more value-oriented as well.

Instead of a processor from Intel's Core range, our Yoga 2 sample came with a Pentium N3520. This is part of Intel's Silvermount microarchitecture generation, in particular the Bay Trail-M family, which means it's actually from the same line as the Atom processor, despite the Pentium brand name. The N3520 has a nominal frequency of 2.166GHz, but a single core can rise to 2.42GHz in Turbo mode.

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How to secure commercial online file sharing

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Cloud-based file-sharing services benefit all types of businesses by providing easy, convenient access to information anytime, anywhere. With technology increasingly blurring the lines between work and personal lives -- often with the same platform being used in both worlds -- it can be easy to forget that work-related information often needs to be handled with greater care and a higher level of security.

If employees use personal accounts and free services designed for consumer use, in order to manage clients' documents, they could be putting your business at high risk for a security breach. This will become ever more important as the regulations around management of sensitive and private information get stronger and enforced more strictly. However, there are several simple steps companies can take to tackle these issues and keep business information protected.

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Nearly 70 percent of homes will have an Internet of Things device by 2019

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Acquity Group (part of Accenture Interactive) has just released the findings of its 2014 State of the Internet of Things Study, and the headline fact is that the firm estimates 69 percent of consumers will own an in-home IoT (Internet of Things) device come the year 2019.

Looking nearer to hand, by the end of 2015, 13 percent of consumers (2,000 US consumers were surveyed, incidentally) will have at least one IoT device in their home, such as a thermostat from the likes of Nest, or home security camera. Only 4 percent own a device like this right now, so that's a tripling up of ownership by the end of next year.

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Software-defined networking on the edge

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Software-defined networking (SDN) enabling the wireless LAN (WLAN) can help deliver a consistently high performance of critical business applications and simplify unified management of wired and wireless networks. However, to do this effectively, WLAN vendors need to provide solutions that offer immediate benefits to the IT department without any additional training or a "rip-and-replace" of existing controllers and access points.

It also means that these solutions must truly embrace the open architecture approach to SDN enabled by OpenFlow and advocated by communities and industry organizations like the Open Networking Forum and Project Open Daylight.

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Gartner: 3D printing still a decade away for most consumers

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Gartner says that 3D printers will be used to print medical devices in just two to five years. According to Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner, in the next half decade "3D printing of medical devices will offer exciting, life-altering benefits that will result in global use of 3D printing technology for prosthetics and implants".

However it could be a decade before consumer level 3D printing reaches the mainstream. Basiliere continued, "over 200 startups worldwide are developing and selling consumer-oriented 3D printers, priced from just a few hundred dollars. However, even this price is too high for mainstream consumers at this time".

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Samsung launches the Level Box mini wireless speaker

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Samsung has a new option for music fans with the addition of the Light Box mini to its line of Level premium audio products that doubles up as a microphone when calls are received.

The new speaker is 30 percent slimmer than its predecessor, the Light Box, and despite this it still provides the same high level of sound that is expected from Samsung’s Level products.

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SanDisk releases Ultra II SSD with enhanced SSD Dashboard

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SanDisk has announced a new SSD solution with a range of capacities from 120GB upwards, and an enhanced SSD Dashboard.

The SanDisk Ultra II SSD, which is based on X3 NAND Flash technology, offers claimed sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s and write speeds of up to 500MB/s. SanDisk has also incorporated nCache 2.0 tech which is a two-tiered caching architecture that helps on performance and endurance fronts. The Ultra II SSD is also shock resistant.

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US states with faster internet access have smarter people

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Despite several doomsday claims that the internet is breeding a generation of morons, new analysis suggests the opposite may be true.

We gathered the 2013 average ACT scores for each state from act.org and compared them with the 2013 internet speed data from Akamai that was highlighted in a recent Broadview article. We found a correlation of .57. This strong correlation shows that students from states with faster internet speeds have higher ACT scores on average.

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Is legacy IT paralyzing your organization?

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There is no doubt that technology is an integral part of helping businesses reach the top of their industry. Ironically, the IT department can be a barrier to innovation and technological change. This is as a result of being indentured to legacy IT, which is having a huge impact on the ability to keep up with consumer and market demand.

Budgetary limitations and the sheer challenge of upgrading or replacing an aging system are often behind the reluctance to embrace change. If properly planned and approached, businesses can mitigate the perceived risks and issues and reap the benefits from better use of today's technology.

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How schools can use eLearning tech to keep up with Generation Z

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It's well known that the Millennial Generation or the so called Generation Y who were born after 1982 are having a profound effect on business and government as they become workers and citizens.

But, what's also becoming apparent is how the children of the Millennials who have never lived without digital technology are going to shake up how our educational systems use technology for teaching and learning. These digital natives, often described as Generation Z, are entering schools and colleges with a digital outlook and set of behaviors that educational institutions need to respond to and harness.

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How to avoid a big data nightmare

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Big data is no longer just the domain of big companies. As the perception of big data moves from futuristic hype to real-world opportunity, the promise of improved decision making, increased operational efficiency and new revenue streams has more organizations actively engaging in data analysis projects than ever before. That no longer only means more enterprise organizations, either. Midmarket companies are jumping on the big data bandwagon in a major way.

In fact, a recent survey by Competitive Edge Research Reports indicates that an astounding 96 percent of midmarket organizations are either already in flight with a big data initiative, or plan to start one in the next year. That's a whole lot of companies whose big data projects are either going to sink or swim in the very near future.

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BlackBerry creates new Technology Solutions unit for key assets

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Blackberry has announced that it has a created a new unit to group together its most important assets. The new division will include the firm's cryptographic applications, its QNX embedded software and Project Ion platform for connecting devices.

The project has been dubbed the Blackberry Technology Solutions unit and will be led by Sandeep Chennakeshu, who was previously chief technology officer at Sony-Ericsson and president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms.

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Is a lack of Wi-Fi truly good for business?

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As the world packs its bags and forms an orderly queue in crowded departure zones, the plethora of smartphones, tablets and laptops coming along with us, highlights a need to stay connected on holiday. This is the age of the connected consumer. As travel surveys and online review sites repeatedly confirm, the most important amenity for the connected consumer is Wi-Fi.

Whether venues like it or not, wireless internet access is now as important to customers as electricity, or water in the bathroom, and for many more important than a clean room or a brilliant hotel restaurant.

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