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You’re probably in that middle ground somewhere between needing to save money on your in-house IT services and outsourcing the whole thing to an external vendor. However, you can’t quite see yourself giving up any convenience or control just to cut those costs. It’s hard to give up control of your local computing assets and services, but you need to put your ailing budget on the treadmill. Problem solved. You can do both by moving your hard assets to virtual ones and there’s a strong possibility that you can do it at no cost.

On February 23, Citrix announced that its XenServer 5 product is now free-saving you a whopping $5,000-plus per server. With savings like that, how can you go wrong? The truth is, you can’t.

The decision to make XenServer free is a clever one. First, it almost guarantees adoption by those who were holding off on the decision to go with virtualized infrastructure due to the increased initial costs. Second, cloud computing businesses, already more than 90 percent Xen technology, will flourish with new offerings and lower pricing. Third, Citrix is hoping that the upsurge in XenServer adoptions will boost its new enterprise management software (Essentials) sales and service. Finally, the hope is this move will have a negative impact on VMware’s dominance in the virtualizationsoftware market.

You don’t have to purchase Essentials for your Xen-virtualized environment, but for those companies with very large virtual infrastructures, it is an essential add-on.

To use XenServer 5, you’ll need a dedicated server system equipped with modern hardware. You probably have one sitting in your server room unhappily idling away instead of flexing its virtual muscles for you. The following system description is the minimum required for a positive experience with XenServer: AMD or Intel dual-core 64bit CPU with 4GB of RAM and large (greater than 250GB) internal disks or array (XenServer supports both IDE and SATAdrives). You’ll also need a Windows computer from which to manage your Xen server(s). Any Windows computer works for the XenCenter management system, and it doesn’t have to be dedicated to this task.

Virtualization extensions, enabled via the system’s BIOS, are necessary for this technology and are often disabled by default.

Citrix XenServer 5 is a powerful, enterprise-class, scalable hypervisor that’s yours for the taking. No strings. No cost. No limitations. If you’re worried about having the necessary skills to manage a Linux-based virtualization solution, don’t be. If you can download software from a web page, burn it to a CD-R, boot from that CD and press the ENTER key a few times on your keyboard — congratulations, you have the skills. Once installed, you manage your new system via the local, menu-driven console or a Windows application (XenCenter 5). There’s a good chance that you’ll never interact with the Linux operating system at all, and that’s great news for your in-house Windows gurus.

Will your staff need a lot of not so free training once you’ve downloaded and installed this otherwise free product? No. In fact, XenCenter is so easy to use, you’re bound to wonder why you didn’t make this leap earlier regardless of its cost. Anyone who’s worked with a virtualization product before, even Microsoft’s Virtual PC, will be right at home with XenCenter. The manual and online help is enough to answer most of your questions and to have you up and running with Xen in a very short amount of time.

This article was first published on ServerWatch.

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Got A Nokia Lumia 920? Give Amber A Try Before You Upgrade To 925

Got a Nokia Lumia 920? Give Amber a try before you upgrade to 925

Nokia Lumia 920 users tempted by the improved lens of the Lumia 925 and the new Windows Phone’s broader ISO support should probably hold off before they trade in, with Nokia’s photography chief Juha Alakarhu promising an incoming update will significantly narrow the gap between the phones. While all eyes are on the new Lumia 925 today, Nokia has a pleasant surprise for existing 920 owners, with confirmation that the Amber update due this summer will bring many of the improvements to the older device. Meanwhile, Alakarhu also explained why Nokia’s burst-photo system is better than, say, HTC’s Zoe approach, and why the Finnish firm would be happy to work on making it better.

Amber has already been confirmed to include the Smart Camera app, which brings effects like Motion Focus, Action Shots, and other burst-image-related trickery to the Lumia 925. However, Alakarhu also told us that Amber will expand the supported ISO range of the Lumia 920, just as the 925 comes with support for out of the box.

Nokia Smart Camera hands-on:

Currently, the Lumia 920 tops out at ISO 800; with Amber installed, that will be quadrupled to ISO 3200. The result will be better low-light shots as well as improvements in sports photography and when snapping images of moving subjects.

It’s not only the old flagship which will get a photography polish after Amber. All of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 line-up will get the newest version of the photo engineers’ algorithms, which will help increase sharpness – particularly in cropped shots, Alakarhu explained – and lower noise, in addition to improvements in exposure. There’ll also be support across the range for remapping the camera shortcut key to the Smart Camera app, instead of the Windows Phone default.

Not all of the Lumia models will see the same degree of improvement, of course. Nokia will adjust the level of tweaking depending on the core sensor; the Lumia 520, for instance, won’t attempt ISO 3200 shots, since the hardware really isn’t up to it. A final decision on what changes will be delivered to each device is yet to be reached, with Alakarhu’s team still working on that ahead of Amber’s expected release in July.

The speed at which Smart Camera clusters of shots open up – something we found to take around 15 seconds with Nokia’s current pre-production software on the 925 – will also be improved, though the photo team couldn’t tell us exactly how fast the process will become. Although it’s slower than how quickly, say, HTC’s One can open up a Zoe set, there’s a good reason for that.

One of our ongoing criticisms of the One is how much space Zoe photography takes up, both on the smartphone itself and in the cloud. Nokia has addressed that by packaging the ten stills together, rather than storing each as an individual frame; the end result doesn’t follow the “ten shots so 10x the size” explanation you might expect, Alakarhu explained. Opening and editing those takes some processing time – in fact, it’s currently the most processor-intensive thing the Lumia 925 is asked to do – but while there are other ways Nokia could deal with the files, the company is wary of diverging too greatly from imaging standards.

“I think what we want to do next is make the sharing super-easy, so that your friends can also enjoy making those changes on Facebook or their own phone” Alakarhu told us. “And so we need to find the right format, the right way to do it. There is currently no industry standard for doing that, and I don’t want to take the proprietary route for doing that, because this needs to be accessed by everyone.”

Exactly how that common format might look is unclear. HTC has opted for Zoe Share, a free – albeit temporary – web-gallery service that One owners can use to show off select stills, video clips, and highlight reels created on the smartphone. Nokia currently has no specific sharing system that preserves the Smart Camera post-processing potential, though you can of course push out the final results as regular photos through the usual Facebook, Twitter, email, and other routes.

“In the 920, we actually did a lot of the foundations” Alakarhu concluded, hinting that there was plenty more photo-centric news to be shared later in the year. “The algorithms we had have, for example. But now we have been able to do that optimization, and the pace of the development has been incredible now that we have that great foundation of algorithms.”

A Free Online Screen Recorder You Need To Try

Have you ever thought about recording your display? Let’s say you are talking to a family member you don’t get to talk to very often, much less see them. Wouldn’t you want to record that session? If you want to enjoy reliving that video call over and over, ApowerSoft’s online screen recorder can help.

In the Audio Input option (the icon with the microphone), you can either choose None, System Sound, Microphone and System Sound and Microphone. In the Recording options, you can decide if you want the mouse cursor to appear in your screenshots or not; it’s up to you. You also have the option to show the countdown before recording or not, beep on start recording, show recording boundary, and show recording toolbar.


Judy Sanhz

Judy Sanhz is a tech addict that always needs to have a device in her hands. She loves reading about Android, Softwares, Web Apps and anything tech chúng tôi hopes to take over the world one day by simply using her Android smartphone!

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Five Reasons To Give Windows 7 A Second Look

Microsoft has sold 150 million copies of Windows 7 in nine months–that is, seven copies per second. It’s the fastest-selling operating system in history. Vista, by contrast, was such a flop that users couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

What does the new operating system mean for the business community, especially all the little guys and mid-sized companies that can’t afford to make another hefty investment in a rotten lemon?

Thankfully, Windows 7 is not the lemon Vista was, and its big, positive features are well-known by now. For example, multitasking makes it easier to navigate, and Windows 7 is more stable and secure. The new OS requires less memory and disk space. It has easier, more proficient file organization, less clutter and garbage, and more efficient networking setup and management. Windows 7 also touts a fancy new taskbar and system tray, better backup options, and some great entertainment features.

These five additional selling points of Windows 7 may surprise you.

1. XP Mode

One of the best features for companies who still want to use many legacy XP applications is XP Mode, which runs in the Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise versions. This was a lifesaver for me, because I have dozens of old graphics programs that I use several times a week.

Admittedly, some programs, such as Office 2000, run a bit slower in XP mode, but all the graphics programs work fine. However, even if they did run slowly, I’d still be grateful for the ability to continue using them.

2. Folder Options

Someone at Microsoft came up with the lame idea that users needed to be told which folder options are displayed based on the files in that folder. For example, if the folder contains JPEGs, then Vista defaults to Icon view and displays the Name, Date Taken, Tags, Size, and Rating columns. Hundreds of bloggers provide the Microsoft knowledgebase workaround, but it doesn’t work permanently.

Vista also has a maximum number of folders for which you can customize the settings. Once you exceed that number, the old defaults return.

Windows 7 fixed this problem. First, it offers several different custom views that you can apply through the Properties dialog, which, like Vista, can be customized further. But there is no visible maximum. We tested a system that had over 3000 folders, and Windows 7 retained the settings we defined. This might seem like a minor feature to some, but for the legions of companies and users who have begged for a solution, it’s a deal breaker.

Location Aware printing–available in Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions only–is a big plus for employees who work remotely or who carry a laptop in the field. This feature allows users to configure multiple default printers, based on their location. And it is system controlled; that is, once you define the setup criteria, Windows 7 automatically resets the default printer to your current location. All you have to do is select Print, and it automatically sends the job to your network printer at work, your personal printer at home, or another shared printer. And, you can define as many print locations as needed, based on how many locations you frequently visit.

4. Remote desktop connectivity

Remote desktop connectivity is another big plus in Windows 7. If your employees are working at home or out of town and forget a file at work, they can connect to their office PC in five easy steps. Not a big deal? Well, yes it is. Wasn’t this function available in Vista? Well, yes, it was, but it rarely worked and, when it did work, it was far more trouble than it was worth.

You cannot connect to your office PC if it’s in Sleep or Hibernating mode, so be sure to disable this feature by setting it to Never when you visit Windows 7’s Power Options, then select Change Plan Settings.

Also, you cannot connect to a computer remotely with Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, or Home Premium. And if, for some reason, you work in a network environment but can’t change your remote settings, then ask your system administrator about releasing control through the Group Policy settings.

It’s much easier than using the keyboard and mouse just to tap the screen, slide a scroll bar, or roll the cursor across the desktop with your fingers, especially when showing a quick presentation to your clients at lunch. Desktop users may not appreciate this feature much, but your employees with mini and mobile systems will love it. Besides, how many employees still have desktops these days?

So, what will Windows 7 do for you and your company? In five words: simplify tasks and increase efficiency. It’s definitely worth a second look.

Tiktok Owner Bytedance Wants To Make A Smartphone

TikTok Owner Bytedance Make A Smartphone

Bytedance is not the only Chinese firm that’s seeking to construct a telephone because of its programs. Selfie app manufacturer Meitu had previously built a smartphone teeming with its own collection of photo editors.

TikTok’s Mobile app parent company, ByteDance(China), could soon be launching yet another ambitious project: own smartphone with pre-installed which will come preloaded its apps like TikTok, Flipchat and more.

2023 had been difficult of a year for ByteDance beacuse its popular video app TikTok banned by India for a couple of weeks. And after all The TikTOk App saw tremendous growth over the last few months.

ByteDance, the owner Zhang Yiming of apps such as news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, collaboration tool Lark, and short video app TikTok, is reportedly building its own smartphone in market to compete with Xiaomi, OnePlus.

Based on sources of Times report, the telephone would come packed with ByteDance’s several App — that include the information aggregator Jinri Toutiao, the omnipresent TikTok, and based on some rumors, an unreleased streaming music app.

Hence, companies such as ByteDance, apparently the world’s most precious startup ($75 billion) right now, are raising self-dependence. The Business has found success beyond its housing, particularly in India, where it seems almost 300 million consumers, mostly from TikTok (currently India’s most downloaded app).

ByteDance is confronting some uphill climbs on a worldwide scale. The continuing trade warfare of the U.S. and China can also wrench. The U.S. Department of Commerce banned Chinese technologies giant Huawei, by means of example, over spying and other national security problems, prompting Microsoft to wash its own laptops from its own shop and Google to cut company with the supplier.

Read also: – Huawei Countdown: May 20, and Continue through August 19, 2023

The move fits in accord with the organization’s strategy to go into the smartphone company. FT noted unsuccessful efforts of US internet companies when attempting to go into the smartphone marketplace, including Amazon and Facebook.

Chinese selfie app maker Meitu successfully parlayed a smartphone business into a deal with Xiaomi.

ByteDance phone manufacturers, such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo and Realme will offer tough competition from the cheap Android smartphone area, to mention a couple. And when ByteDance would like to play with at the flagship smartphone area, it’s going to need to compete with all the established players such as the likes of Samsung and Huawei.

Annie Leonard To Give Idea 2023 Conference Keynote

Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard will give the keynote speech at BU’s IDEA 2023 Conference

Annie Leonard is the creator of The Story of Stuff and executive director of Greenpeace USA. Photo courtesy of Annie Leonard

Strategy & Innovation

Activist and Consumerism Critic Annie Leonard to Speak at BU Creator of viral video The Story of Stuff will give IDEA 2023 Conference keynote Saturday

Annie Leonard’s 20-minute video The Story of Stuff explores Americans’ obsession with material things—a just-released iPhone or the latest sneakers—and delivers a stinging critique of capitalism’s excesses.

Released in 2007, it went viral and became a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation. The New York Times calls it a “cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste.” 

“Study after study shows that the things that really make people happy [are] not that new flat-screen TV—it’s having a sense of community and a sense of purpose,” Leonard said on The Colbert Report.

Now the executive director of Greenpeace USA, Leonard is coming to BU this weekend to give the keynote speech at IDEA 2023: Embrace Your Impact, an Innovate@BU one-day conference on entrepreneurship and innovation being held at the Questrom School of Business. 

BU Today spoke with Leonard about her activism, the need for change, single-use plastic, and how entrepreneurs are trying mightily to change the world—but fighting against old-world systems.



A With Annie Leonard

BU Today: You call capitalism a “deadly take-make-waste machine” in your 2011 book The Story of Stuff. Why did you decide to speak at a conference for entrepreneurs?

Leonard: Entrepreneurs, by definition, think of new ideas and make things happen. They are not constrained by conventional thinking and practice. They dream big and are ready to work hard to bring those dreams to life. And that kind of creativity, innovation, and passion is exactly what the world needs right now.

Americans expend a lot of effort sorting waste for recycling, but since China and other countries have restricted US paper and plastic exports, what’s the state of recycling?

Critics say your video frightens children and some take issue with your facts. How do you respond?

Greenpeace has a strict nonpartisan policy, so we remain independent and don’t endorse candidates. However, I will say that I personally am going to support a climate leader, since this next four years is absolutely essential if we are going to have a chance at meeting the emission reduction targets that both science and the Paris Accord require.

Greenpeace protesters are infamous for activist stunts (several were arrested last year for blocking a Texas bridge, shutting down the largest US fossil fuel thoroughfare). Do you encourage civil disobedience?

I have personally been arrested about five times over my career, but as the window to avoid the worst climate impacts closes, I suggest we all need to get comfortable with peaceful protest and civil disobedience, like many who have come before us and made this country better.

You mend your own shoes, bring your bike in from the rain, and live in a “kampung”—an Indonesian term for a compound that’s home to a bunch of families. Who inspires you?

IDEA 2023, organized and hosted by Boston University’s Innovate@BU initiative, is a one-day conference for college students and young alumni across New England to explore innovation and entrepreneurship. It is Saturday, February 15, 2023, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the  Questrom School of Business, 595 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Tickets ($15 students, $20 alumni and community members) are available here. 

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