Monday, 30 April 2012
First BlackBerry 10 Superphone Could Come As Soon As October… is a post from: RIMarkable, the Unofficial BlackBerry Weblog...
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Everyone, including Intel is expecting Windows 8 to launch before 2012 is over. Intel also wants to ensure its chips are inside as many Windows 8 tablets too, especially considering ARM is now an option. With that in mind, the chip giant has used the Intel Developer Forum being held this week in Beijing to [...]
As techy jobs push further and further into the wilderness of innovation, new tools and new rules have become increasingly required for assessing and tracking one?s deserved compensation. Workers of the world rejoice! Instead of sauntering empty-handed into that meeting to ask your boss for a raise, you can use one of a slew of new sites and apps that have come to help calculate what you deserve whether you're applying for a salaried position or clocking freelance hours. Here?s a run-through.
''This article was written by John Flanagan, a Vermont-based writer, film fan, and intermittent bon vivant.''
==Websites that Help Assess Your Professional Worth Based on Experience==
[http://payscale.com PayScale] uses a real-time, user-reported profiling system based upon your job title, location, education, and experience. It also predicts your future career moves, tells you which cities you?d be economically most fruitful in, browses local job listings, and provides information on current or potential bosses.
The most basic version of PayScale, [http://www.payscale.com/wizards/choose.asp My PayScale], is free and includes comparative salary/hourly cash compensation data, sneak peeks into three profiles of other workers, and access to job listings. [https://www.payscale.com/signup.asp?subtype=2 PayScale Premium], at $19.95, earns you PDFs of your PayScale report, a negotiation guide, and just a few more bells and whistles than the basic service. [http://www.payscale.com/hr/default PayScale MarketRate] considers current market data, employee attributes and company location and size to determine appropriate wages for employers to set. Individual reports are available for $219 ($799 for a six pack).
A predecessor of PayScale, [http://salary.com Salary.com] similarly offers employee-driven wage information and hosts a healthy wealth of career resources. While assessing your professional value, take advantage of its job-search and college-planning tools; test your workplace personality traits or brush up on the dos and don?ts of office etiquette. Also, you can find out what your superiors rake in with Salary.com?s [http://swz.salary.com/execcomp/layoutscripts/excl_companysearch.aspx Executive Salary Report].
Salary.com?s free [http://www.salary.com/category/salary/ Salary Wizard], which appears on [http://www.salary.com/category/salary/ Monster.com], [http://money.cnn.com/ CNNMoney], and many other sites, culls a list of jobs similar to yours in your region for wage comparison. You can also purchase Salary?s [https://secure.salary.com/salaryreport/layoutscripts/srpl_overview.asp?r=sal_header_psr Personal Salary Report], which offers ?experts? opinions? on your market value. Prices for the Salary Report PDF vary depending on the cost and difficulty of analyzing your customized data.
[http://www.salaryexpert.com/ SalaryExpert] offers a platform with most of the same features as the databases listed above. Its free [http://www.salaryexpert.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Main.Home_Personal Broad-Range SalaryReport], however, is far less detailed than the aforementioned free reports, and its [http://www.salaryexpert.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=PCSReports.Main&ItemID=14 Personal Salary Report] lets you customize your information for $29 (i.e., $29 more than what PayScale and Salary.com charge for the same service). SalaryExpert also has a [http://www.salaryexpert.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=LP.Main&P=ERISA business/HR resource, which runs for $889].
[http://www.wageexchange.com/ WageExchange] aims specifically at accounting, IT, and advertising professionals. It?s not free, and the nuisance of their account-creating system is reason enough to browse elsewhere for salary comparison.
==Websites that Help Track Your Work Hours==
[https://www.toggl.com/ Toggl] has an efficient time-tracking program available for use on its website, on your desktop, or as an app on your iPhone or Android. The program integrates other accounting software, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks, and provides charts to show how your time has been spent. With Toggl, you can send PDFs of your progress to colleagues and clients and add up to 200 team members to any given project. You can also pre-define specific tasks for team members. Bonus: It?s free.
[http://www.getharvest.com/ Harvest] offers a one-click time entry database available online, as a desktop widget, or as a mobile device app. The program automatically integrates invoices and reminds employees to submit their timesheets. For the ?Solo? freelancer, Harvest costs a mere $12 per month; $40 for ?Basic,? and $90 for ?Business.?
[http://tickspot.com/ Tick] is purposely less flashy than Toggl. ?You won't find complex charts of theoretical data here,? their website boasts. You can choose the monthly rate of $9, $19, $39, or $79, depending on your interests and the size of your business. Tick is also available as an iPhone app.
[http://www.getcashboard.com/ Cashboard] focuses mostly on creating, configuring, and automatically sending invoices. Also available as a desktop widget, Cashboard tracks your time daily, weekly, or whenever you remember all those hours you?ve worked but forgot to record. A free account is available for one active employee with one client invoiced and two active projects per month. All others can check out Cashboard?s ?[https://www.cashboardapp.com/sign_up/configure Dynamic]? paying plan, which starts at $10 per month.
FreshBooks wins its appeal from its ability to integrate with other invoice software, though it offers its own tools for sending and following-up on invoices, bookkeeping, and time tracking as well. Like Cashboard, you can continue to use FreshBooks on-site or as an app for free. Paid packages start at $19.95 per month.
Available as a downloadable app only, [http://www.nbdtech.com/yaTimer/ yaTimer] is the most bare-bones self-timer of the list. It features a countdown, the ability to run multiple timers at once, editable and printable time sheets, analytical reports, and colors that make it resemble Snood. No go on yaTime for Mac users, though; this gadget is for the PC alone.
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Summary: spelling and punctuation
Between writing the title for this next how-to and beginning its first sentence, I?ve installed an upgrade for my laptop, glanced at Twitter, gaped in wonder at an Instagrammed photo of an enormous alligator posted on Facebook, e-mailed a former professor, Googled videos of distracted cats (for research?), then watched them on YouTube. I assume I?m not alone in my tendency toward diversion.
According to ?Information Overload,? a [http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/12/measuring-the-costs-of-info-overload.ars study] conducted by New York-based business research company Basex, techy distractions waste an estimated $650 billion of U.S. business? cash each year. As we adapt to our gizmo-driven lives, learning to say no to constant beeping and booping has become a skill increasingly difficult to master. Fight fire with fire by using the techy tools listed below, and heed the following advice to help curb your 21st-century interruptions.
''This is an article by John Flanagan, a Vermont-based writer, film fan, and intermittent bon vivant.''
An extension for Google Chrome, [http://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji#detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji/ StayFocused] has you set a limit for how much time you can afford to dawdle through the ether. Choose particular websites, or even parts of websites, to self-restrict your access. After you reach your allotted time, vamoose, back to work. A menu on the left offers a "Daily Reset Time" and shows what content you're currently blocking or allowing. With "The Nuclear Option," you can eliminate ? brace yourself ? the entire web. While turning off Wi-Fi or ripping out your Ethernet and FireWire cords works just as well, with the Nuclear Option you can't change your mind once initiating the sequence (unless you quit the app or restart your computer). Other anti-distraction Google Chrome extensions include [http://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cljcgchbnolheggdgaeclffeagnnmhno#detail/cljcgchbnolheggdgaeclffeagnnmhno/ Nanny For Google Chrome] and [https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cgmnfnmlficgeijcalkgnnkigkefkbhd#detail/cgmnfnmlficgeijcalkgnnkigkefkbhd Pomodoro].
[http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/leechblock/ LeechBlock] is an extension for FireFox which, like StayFocused, imparts the same tough-love tactic on your time wasting tendencies via blocking entire sites or just parts of sites. "Block Sets" correspond different access settings to different projects, a unique LeechBlock feature. You'll have a password with which to adjust your options, and it's up to you whether settings can be changed during blackouts (though there are still ways out of this in case of emergency).
[http://rescuetime.com/ RescueTime.com] charts you how you spend your time by recording what websites are on the forefront of your screen. It stops recording when you leave your computer, but will ask you what you?ve been up to since you?ve been gone. (You can tell it to bug off if you want to.) The RescueTime website advises against "wholesale blocking of leisure surfing," so its FocusTime feature only blocks distracting websites via a stopwatch that you set. While the app makes recommendations for sites to block based upon your browsing habits, you can modify the list easily. RescueTime's "Automagical" time tracking database displays in-depth graphs that chart when and at which times you find yourself most distracted. With RescueTime Pro, business owners and managers can follow an entire corporation of sidetracked workers.
An online bookmarking device, [http://keepmeout.com/ KeepMeOut] blocks you from revisiting a site within a preset amount of time. You'll replace bookmarks for distracting sites with aliases that monitor your use frequency. Set how long an interval you'd like between visits, choose whether you want the restricted access to stay for the weekend, and monitor your average daily blocked/allowed hits.
'''Note''': Visiting the restricted site without going through KMO's alias is an easy way around its barricade. Recommended only for those with decent self-control.
==Modify Your Behavior==
Blacking out websites might only provide a temporary, and perhaps frustrating fix. Get to the root of the issue by changing your work habits and personal tendencies. First, add up how much time you spend distracted from a task at hand, then estimate how much money you're wasting. You may be shocked into working harder.
Form a routine where you set aside a specific part of the day in which you won?t access e-mail, answer phones, check the headlines, or patrol Facebook. Because we all need time for leisure browsing, do the opposite as well. Set off some tech-check time. After a few weeks you should notice more productivity and perhaps have more peace of mind!
Taking short breaks to restore energy and focus is essential. The aforementioned Pomodoro device times you as you work, leaving increments for essential recharging.
When reaching for your phone, remind yourself of the unexpected time you?ll probably waste on Words With Friends. Put it down, remind yourself of what you're doing, and do it. Via positive reinforcement, this will develop into habit.
Guard yourself against known distractions such as chatty coworkers or roommates by posting auto-reply messages on your e-mail or voicemail. Indicate you?re working under a deadline so your work can take the blame for your unresponsiveness. Also, restrict your social media to alert you only of issues that you actually care about. Don?t let someone you barely knew in high school disturb you from writing the great American novel with a picture of her lunch.
Friday, 27 April 2012