BetaNews Staff

Setup and access your own cloud service using Mountain Duck 2

Backing up your data to the cloud makes sense. But using an existing service such as Dropbox is more complicated as these cloud services insist on mirroring your content across your devices.

The most obvious solution is to create your own cloud. This is easy to achieve through a service such as Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service). The Amazon S3 is a cost-effective virtual hard drive in the cloud. You are charged depending the amount of storage you use, the number of times you access your content and the location. It’s competitively priced, too. We backup our server content to Amazon S3 and our monthly bill rarely tops a dollar.

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Adobe releases Acrobat Reader 2018 -- Do you still use it? Perhaps you should

Let’s be fair, for reading a PDF your average end user will rarely need anything more than a simple reader, so Preview on the Mac or Edge on your Windows 10 PC will suffice.

For business users, portable document format files offer a method for sharing commercial-grade documents which can be marked up before they are sent to a printer. Indeed, if you share your PDF through the cloud, anyone can download, view, add a comment and save it back for others to read the comments and make changes.

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SoftMaker releases Office 2018 with enhanced Thunderbird

You have to admire some of the recent design work from Microsoft. Windows 10 has transitioned into a robust and visually-appealing operating system, whilst Office 2016 really is a superb, well-designed, cross-platform office suite.

In addition, Office 365 offers reasonably priced subscription and includes a fair number of licenses for your devices. We have Office 365 installed on our Mac and Windows computers and it’s seamless switching between the two platforms. So, why would you need anything else? That’s certainly a valid question. We do not see too many Office 365 subscribers complaining about the price and home users can pick up a license for as little as $5.99/month for a single device.

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The myth of cloud insecurity

It’s not exactly clear when the term "cloud" was first used to describe shared pools for configurable IT resources.  However, it’s safe to say that it started creeping into our lexicon less than ten years ago.

Back then, the official definition of cloud was even less clear than it is today. Regardless of what the cloud actually was, this mysterious cloud entity was widely assumed to be unsafe.

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Home tech gifts: Which products are topping consumer wish lists?

Our ongoing obsession with electronics shows no sign of cooling off, but consumers are showing an increased interest in connected devices, according to CES trends, market research from Parks Associates, and Amazon Wish List rankings. While gaming and mobile devices continue to be favorite gift items, many consumers are just beginning to embrace the idea of a smart home. As they do, smart and connected products are seeing a rise in popularity. Some consumers shop independently for smart products, while others seek to purchase easy-bundled solutions from home security companies and ISPs.

As consumers are creating wish lists for housewarming presents, wedding gifts, and holiday surprises, here are some items that are emerging as trends this season. 

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A guide for mastering endpoint management

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has emerged over the last couple of years as a new approach to help IT teams better manage a growing number of devices in an increasingly distributed work environment, by uniting traditional endpoint management and mobile device management (MDM). Yet successfully integrating the two commonly disparate approaches is easier said than done. In fact, many teams find themselves overwhelmed by the thought of figuring out where to even begin marrying both approaches, resulting in continued separate workflows and lingering inefficiencies.

For the modern enterprise looking to maintain both its security posture and digital relevancy, however, the impact of resisting UEM extends well beyond a missed opportunity for IT workflow optimization. By not deploying an effective UEM strategy, an organization is missing a critical step to comprehensively and uniformly securing its entire IT environment -- which includes an ever-growing web of network connected devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, as well as printers, projectors, BYOD devices, gateways and Internet of Things devices -- all of which are essential to employees’ daily work and, ultimately, business continuity and growth. For organizations looking to unite endpoint management and MDM workflows to optimize efficiency, security and digital enablement UEM has to offer, here are some key tips to keep in mind.

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9th anniversary of Bitcoin: Is the war between cryptocurrencies and governments over?

Bitcoin more acceptable

The global real estate market is worth $217 trillion, and one-third of income-generating real estate transactions are cross-border. But cross-border real estate transactions are notoriously complicated and rife with delays and impediments inherent to antiquated property rights registrations systems. However, an American’s purchase of $60,000 apartment in Kiev may change everything.

In September, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington remotely purchased a $60,000 apartment in Kiev in a deal that will change real estate forever.

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Dashlane 5 and 1Password 7 support Face ID -- which password manager will you choose?

Using more than one password is somewhat essential. Remembering all your passwords is a lot trickier. Remembering them and keeping them safe is even tougher.

There are plenty of password managers out there, but which one do you choose? We’re big fans of 1Password, primarily due to the seamless cross-device synchronization.

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Speeding up product development with Infopresence

True product innovation has long heralded not just greater growth for companies, but for nations and individual careers as well. (Apple is a great example of this.) Now take it a step further: the ability to repeat a successful product innovation model confers an even more important benefit: lasting competitive advantage. (Again you can look to Apple and its concerted efforts to continue innovation in the absence of Steve Jobs.) Yet we see successful innovation within large companies trending consistently downward, and according to the Journal of Product Innovation & Management, up to 49 percent of innovations now fail.

So what can companies do to bottle innovation?

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How self-driving cars will forever change California's cities

With more than 46,500 miles of interconnected highways and minimally viable public transit in most parts of the state, California is undoubtedly a driving state. This is best evidenced in Southern California, where the freeway system’s notorious traffic and intricacy in design is a daily conversation piece.

A novel concept at the time, California freeways expounded upon the rudimentary expressways that existed in New York, Detroit, and Chicago. What had once been an impromptu system of roads were revamped into streamlined boulevards. Highways were widened and streets were extended. Arteries like the Ramona Boulevard freeway and Hwy 101 linked metropoles to remote locales. Californian’s urban and suburban identity was radically transformed and never looked back.

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3 tips to guide your digital transformation efforts

digital transformation

A quick look at current rankings of the top Fortune 500 companies reveals a key finding -- most of today’s best performing companies have had to start from scratch when it came to digital transformation.

Of the top 10, only one -- Apple -- started as a technology company. The other highest performers, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway and Exxon Mobil, all had to strategize to become digital after their company was well on its way to success. Being digital today isn’t about having a website -- it involves redesigning the experience based on the way we work, live and interact. A recent report by Forrester suggests that companies have underestimated just how difficult it is to pivot to mobile-led digital transformation. But, as the world around us becomes more and more connected, digital transformation is within reach -- and in our always-on society, it all starts with a "mobile first" mindset.

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The new Skype for Desktop 8 is here (whether you like it or not)

Keeping in touch with other users is essential for your business. We use Skype to keep in touch with contacts all over the world, from freelancers writers, through to key contacts.

With this in mind, all we want is a relatively simple tool that enables us to perform our business without distractions.

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Facebook Workplace Chat gets a desktop app

Facebook Workplace Chat desktop

Facebook has expanded its Workplace enterprise suite with the launch of a real-time desktop comms offering called Workplace Chat.

Even though it is called Workplace Chat, the PC app offers much more than just text-based communication. It also offers video chat with a co-worker or a group, screen sharing and file sharing.

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Best practices for Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Microsoft Azure

Transitioning business IT from a primarily hardware based infrastructure to a high-performing cloud environment is compelling for most enterprises. Cloud computing has the power to streamline organizational processes and offers a reliable solution for data storage, access, management, business continuity, and analysis. IT teams stand to benefit from implementing a cost effective and scalable solution that is, in principle, simpler to manage than a traditional data center comprised of disparate hardware components. There are important challenges to consider when adopting cloud, such as vendor lock-in, security management, and redefining the organization’s culture.

Microsoft Azure has been adopted by the vast majority of IT teams globally. The cloud based platform allows IT managers to build, test, deploy and oversee applications on a global network of Microsoft data centers. The scalable as-a-service solution has proved extremely popular: by the year 2020, Gartner believes that 90 percent of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management and that Azure, along with its larger counterpart Amazon Web Services, will dominate this market. However, while the pace of cloud adoption shows no sign of abating, migrating to, and managing data within a cloud environment comes with a set of unique challenges around accessibility, data protection and security. So how should organizations set about putting in place an effective Azure Active Directory?

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Nvidia releases GPU Cloud container registry

Nvidia headquarters

Nvidia has marked a new step forward in AI development with the release of its Nvidia GPU Cloud container (NGC).

The NGC helps developers make their first steps into developing deep learning by allowing free access to a "comprehensive, easy-to-use, fully optimized deep learning software stack."

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