Windows Azure suffers worldwide outage

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

A component of Windows Azure has experienced a worldwide outage for the past eight hours, preventing customers from carrying out management operations for technology that uses the cloud management service.

The worldwide outage of the Windows Azure Service Management technology began at 1:45am GMT on Wednesday 5:45pm PT Thursday) and, at the time of writing, Microsoft was in the process of rolling out a fix to deal with the problem. Here’s how the Azure outage affected businesses in the United States.

Windows Azure Service Management lets customers manage their deployments, hosted services and storage accounts on the cloud platform-as-a-service.

The most recent update by Microsoft on the Windows Azure status page said it had broadened a hotfix patch to cover all sub-regions.

“As we proceed through the rollout, we will progressively enable service management back for customers,” the company wrote at 10:30am. “Further updates will be published to keep you apprised of the situation. we apologize for any inconvenience this causes our customers.”

At the time of writing Microsoft had not responded to requests for further information on the outage.

Update: 12:02pm GMT/4:02am PT

After rolling out the hotfix to deal with the Windows Azure Service Management fault, Microsoft began reporting problems with Windows Azure Compute across North America.

“Incoming traffic may not go through for a subset of hosted services in this sub-region,” the company wrote at 10:55am GMT (2pm PT). It assured customers that applications will continue to run and there is no impact on storage.

Update: 12:36pm GMT/4:36am PT

ZDNet UK is now unable to access the Windows Azure Service Status dashboard.

Update: 1:54pm GMT/5:54 PT

ZDNet UK continues to have trouble accessing the service dashboard. Microsoft has acknowledged requests for further information but not responded to questions.

Update: 2:20pm GMT/ 6:20pm PT

The service management issue has been “mitigated” and service has been brought back for the majority of customers, Microsoft wrote on its periodically inaccessible service dashboard at 1:30pm GMT. however, “We still need to work through some issues before we can completely restore service management.”

Meanwhile, the company continues to investigate the Azure Compute issue and is in the process of “verifying the most probable cause,” it wrote at 1:30pm GMT 5:30am PT.

Update: 4:00pm GMT/8:00am PT

Microsoft has started trying to restore Azure Compute service in the North Europe, North Central US and South Central US regions, the company said at 3:30pm, without giving details on what caused the fault.

According to a Microsoft dashboard update at 2:30pm around 37 percent of Azure Compute services in North Europe, 6.7 percent of North Central US and 28 percent of South Central US, were affected by the problems.

Service Management is still unavailable for some customers in the North Central US, South Central US and North Europe regions, Microsoft wrote at 3:30pm.

At some point during the day the Access Control 2.0 service experienced an outage in the North Europe and South Central US regions. A dashboard post at 11:15am said customers were not able to access their ACS namespaces. The post has not been updated since then.

At the time of writing Microsoft had still not been able to raise anyone for ZDNet UK to speak to about the outages.

Update: 4:58pm GMT/8:58am PT

Microsoft has acknowledged the issue and admitted that some customers in the North Central US, South Central US and North Europe remain affected.

“On February 28th, 2012 at 5:45 PM PST Microsoft became aware of an issue impacting Windows Azure service management in a number of regions. Windows Azure engineering teams developed, validated and deployed a fix that resolved the issue for the majority of our customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement delivered to ZDNet UK at 4:55pm, over 12 hours after problems started being flagged on the service dashboard. “Some customers in 3 sub regions — North Central US, South Central and North Europe — remain affected. Engineering teams are actively working to resolve the issue as soon as possible we will update the Service Dashboard, hourly until this incident is resolved.”

Update: 7:05pm GMT/9:05am PT

One ZDNet UK reader called in to give some details on how the Azure problems affected their business.

“Our live site’s been down all day now, so we’ve been losing money. The address it’s on is not resolving, you can’t even ping it,” Ashley Rudland, who runs a startup travel site hosted on Azure named worldcitycard.com, told ZDNet UK. “Everything I’ve been told is that the management portal is the only thing that’s got down, but the thing is I can go in and see my machines are running in the cloud, they all say they are ready and green and fine, but they’re completely inaccessible.”

Rudland said he shares an office with a major Microsoft partner that does cloud integration for the public sector and large companies. “Their biggest clients are all offline,” he said. “It’s ridiculous, it’s crazy, you need so much confidence to use these cloud services.”

Earlier in the day the Government’s G-Cloud application store, CloudStore, was also down due to the Azure problems, though it was brought back online in the late afternoon.

Update 7:50pm GMT/11am PT

Faults spread across Azure as Microsoft tries to restore service

Failures are propagating across the Azure cloud in America and Northern Europe as Microsoft tries to get its cloud online.

Due to attempting to restore Compute functionality in the North Central US, South Central US and North Europe regions, functionality has been downgraded or squashed on a range of Azure services, including the Windows Azure Marketplace Datamarket in South Central US; SQL Reporting in North Europe; SQL Azure Data Sync across the East Asia, North Central US, North Europe, South Central US, Southeast Asia and West Europe regions; the Service Bus, Access Control & Caching Portal worldwide; the Service Bus in South Central US, and there are continuing problems in Access Control 2.0 across the North Europe and South Central US and Access Control in the South Central US region.

Strangely, the faults for the above services are reported on Microsoft’s flaky Windows Azure Service Dashboard as all having occurred earlier in the day. ZDNet UK has been checking the dashboard since the problems first emerged and can attest to readers that Microsoft is retroactively giving fault information about Azure services — not as they happen.

Microsoft is keeping quiet on the entire thing. “There will not be any briefings around this issue,” one of Microsoft’s PR companies informed ZDNet UK on Wednesday afternoon.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet UK.

Leap year: why we have a need for the occasional Feb. 29

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Extend a welcome to Feb. 29, the official leap day in the Year of our Leap 2012.

Skip to next paragraph

If you were born on Feb. 29, 1988, you can claim with a wink that you’re only 6 years old. And if you’re a single woman with your eye on a special guy, this is the day to pop the question. if he refuses, by tradition he owes you.

The leap year is a testament to the tough time that humans have trying to squeeze the 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds of a year – as measured by one trip around the sun – into a yearly calendar containing 365 days.

Knowing when to tack an extra day onto a year isn’t as simple as “add a day to February every four years.” That would be too easy.

For those who have trouble remembering the spelling rule, "I before E, except after C," and its caveats, try this: if the year is evenly divisible by four, add a day to February – unless you can divide the year evenly by 100, then no leap day, unless the year is evenly divisible by 400, then you add a leap day.

It could be worse. if Julius Caesar hadn’t reformed the old Roman calendar (and no one else had in the meantime), we might still be adding a month to the calendar every two or three years. the Roman calendar was based on a lunar month, which averages 29.5 days. if you were big on festivals and a slave to your calendar, your spring planting festival could end up in the dog days of summer unless you brought the calendar back in sync with solar time.

Around 46 BC, Caesar stepped in and, one can imagine, said, “Ist es ridiculum!” he moved the calendar onto a solar year.

But even Julius didn’t get it quite right.

The Julian calendar is based on a year that is 365 days, 6 hours long. So you could add one day to February every four years from now until Brutus stopped by and be happy. however, if you did that, the equinoxes, as marked on the calendar, arrived earlier every year. the spring equinox, always a favorite among festival planners, arrived on March 25, when Caesar had completed his conquest of the calendar. by the 1500s, the spring equinox was cropping up on March 10 or 11.

Keep this up long enough, and Easter Sunday as marked on a calendar eventually would take place in the dead of winter. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, keeping it close to the Jewish observance of Passover. In the late 1500s, a continued shift of Easter and other Christian holy days did not sit well with the Vatican.

The result: the Gregorian calendar, which has since become the international standard as a general-purpose calendar for scheduling business meetings, mortgage payments, and Little League games.

Still, variations on the lunar calendar – and the periodic additions of leap months – remain in place for religious and cultural purposes, largely within cultures that trace their roots to Asia and the Middle East.

But back to marriage. Remember we mentioned marriage? According to an Irish tradition, back in the day, St. Bridget cut a deal with St. Patrick allowing women to propose marriage to men on a leap day. In some areas that adopted the tradition, men were penalized if they refused the proposal. Small consolation, perhaps, but a “no” would leave the forlorn miss in line for a new gown or several pairs of new gloves.

These days, international time is determined by the vibrations of atoms in incredibly accurate atomic clocks, rather than by Earth’s rotation. this has added another kind of leap to the time-keeping lexicon: the leap second.

Keepers of atomic clocks periodically add or subtract one or two seconds a year to keep the clocks synced with a 24-hour day as measured by Earth’s rotation – which on average is gradually slowing. the first leap seconds were added in June and December 1972. the next leap second – the 25th since 1972 – is slated for this coming June.

Earlier this year, international time gurus meeting in Geneva considered a proposal to abolish the leap second. a final decision is expected in 2015.

Windows: The Triple Pane Dilemma

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

If a double pane window is better than a single pane window, should I use triple pane windows?

This is getting to be an appropriate question, Should a window retrofit use triple pane windows? the vinyl window manufactures are getting so good at making energy-efficient windows, it doesn’t take much for them to throw in another pane of glass or two. wonder if we will be considering quad pane windows one of these days?

If you were really interested in saving energy and wanted the best wall construction possible, you wouldn’t put a window in the wall to begin with. a wall without a window has a greater R-value and fewer air leaks. we know how to build a wall that will separate the outdoors from the indoors – what we don’t know how to do is build a wall that will keep the outdoors out and the indoors in and still let light through. Come to think about it, our need to let light in is at the root of the problem.

Actually, letting light in is just one of the needed benefits of having a wall with a window. being able to see through the wall is another benefit and being able to get out of a room during a fire is another. Energy wise, a door is not much better than a window, so I guess windows are here to stay.

The Space Between the Glass:

A window with more than one piece of glass is a real blessing for saving energy and helping with indoor comfort. there is more to a vinyl window than just several panes of glass. two panes of glass also come with an insulated frame, mounting flange, and better air seals. But the most important part is not the glass, but the space between the glass. Considering window performance, it’s the space between the glass that makes the difference.

Since there is more than one pane of glass, there is also a space in the middle, between the two glass pieces. the window manufactures now have the opportunity to put something between the glass panes besides plain old air. Low-E coatings can now cover one of the surfaces of the glass and be in the middle where it is protected. Low-E is a metallic coating that can reflect unwanted rays of the sun. the room stays cooler in the summer sun and the carpet won’t fade as fast.

Another use for the space between the glass panes is to hold a special gas that slows the transmission of heat. the name of the gas that is used makes the windows sound really efficient and high-tech. How would you like to have triple pane windows with low-e coating and krypton gas. just the mention of gas, let alone Krypton, makes the windows sound strong and indestructible. I feel warmer already.

It is the gas, krypton or argon, that is between the glass panes that allow the window to reach higher insulation values. with a triple pane window, there are two spaces to use for Low-E coatings and superman gas.

Comparing Double Pane and Triple Pane:

Let’s look at some comparisons concerning energy efficiency between different window types. Remember, the higher the R-value and the lower the U-value, the better for saving energy. Values listed are representative of an average range for that window type.

  • A single pane window has an R-value of about 1 and a U-factor of 1. That’s easy to remember.
  • A double pane window has a R-value of about 3.3 and an U-factor of 0.30.
  • A triple pane window has a R-value of about 8.3 and an U-factor of 0.12

Replacing windows usually has a long pay-back period. the ROI ( return on investment ) is not encouraging. However, if the home is well insulated, air sealed, and the heating and cooling system is efficient, window replacement is a logical next step to increasing energy efficiency and saving energy.

In the part of the country where heating degree days out number cooling degree days, choose a replacement window based on the lowest U-value. Whether the window is double pane or triple pane, the U-value should be 0.30 or lower. we are looking for good insulation value here.

In the South, where cooling degree days out number heating degree days, choose a replacement window based on SHGC ( solar heat gain coefficient ). here, the SHGC should be 0.40 or lower. with this window, we are looking to reduce solar heat gain so the a.C. unit does not have to work so hard or so long.

A Triple Pane Future: in the past ten years, we have seen building codes spec windows with lower U-values. the energy Star rebate program and the federal energy tax credits, both have continued to spec windows with lower U-values and greater efficiency. ten years ago the new windows were fantastic at U-0.40. Five years ago, new windows were wonderful with a U-factor of 0.35. Today, most new windows on the shelf at your favorite building store will have an outstanding U-factor of 0.29.

The Future of Windows:

In the near future, the efficiency ratings of windows will continue to drop. the only way a window manufacturer will be able to reach the energy efficiency ratings of the future is with three or four panes of glass. if you are seriously considering a retrofit window project, you should select the best window for your climate and that means the window will have three panes of glass.

Yes, three pane windows are more expensive than two pane windows. Shop around for the best U-factor and the best SHGC for the best price. if finances are the deciding factor, it will be better to install two triple pane windows than three double pane windows. Stick with the triple pane window and you will have greater energy efficiency for the future which will save you money for years to come.

P.S. Buy your windows and window installation from a local glass company or a licensed general contractor. please don’t buy our windows from a super salesman at a home show that has all the financing you need and a worthless lifetime warranty to go with it.

Thanks for stopping by, please come back soon, but I won’t leave the light on for you.

Tips and tricks for online daters this Valentine's Day

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Macomb Daily staff photos by Ray J. SkowronekKaren Blaisdell of Washington Township shares a glass of wine with her fiancée, Mike Thomas. find out how they met and how to survive the crazy world of online dating in her new book, "I can Write a Book: so I thought I'd try online dating."

As Valentine's Day looms large, Washington Township's Karen Blaisdell has this advice for those single and looking online: put the mouse down, let the computer go to sleep."You are looking for someone for the rest of your life, not one day," said Blaisdell, a 3-year, online-dating veteran and author of "I can Write a Book: so I thought I'd try online dating." "look at Valentine's Day as an opportunity for self-pampering," not self-pity.with these thoughts in mind, Blaisdell's book offers tips and tricks for staying afloat in the chaotic world of blinking, online status alerts and thinly veiled desperation.Interestingly, Blaisdell said, the biggest hurdle to overcome has little to do with stalking psychopaths, cold indifference or old-fashioned ennui."The biggest hurdle to overcome is yourself," said Blaisdell, who went out with more than 300 men in her quest for Mr. Right. "everybody goes into online dating with huge expectations. There's this fantasy that you're going to flip on your computer one day and Prince Charming is going to be right there. but perfection, we all know, doesn't exist."another fallacy: many online daters tend to blame the technology when things go wrong."how was I supposed to know this person didn't want a relationship? Everybody's pretending to be something they're not," said Blaisdell, who is now happily engaged — but insists we have to read the book to find out how they met.when she first started, Blaisdell said, her must-have list included: extremely good looking, financially loaded and possessing identical interests."it took me about three years to realize that all I really needed was for someone to love me," Blaisdell said."That's all." Continued…

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Central University of Tamil Nadu Recruitment for Non-Teaching Posts: Last Date 24th March 2012

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Central University of Tamil Nadu

(Established by an Act of Parliament 2009)Thanjavur Road, Thiruvarur 610 004Phone: 04366-220311 Fax: 04366 225312VACANCIES FOR NON-TEACHING POSITIONSNOTIFICATION No:01/CUTN/NT/2012

The Central University of Tamil Nadu, an Institution established by an Act of Parliament, invites applications for the following Non-Teaching posts:

1 Librarian:1 UREssential Qualifications and Experience:

Essential:i. Master’s degree in Library Science/Information Science/Documentation Science with at least 55% of the marks or its equivalent grade of ‘B’ in the UGC 7 point scale with consistently Good Academic Record.ii. At least 13 years as Deputy Librarian in a University library or 18 years experience as College librarian.iii. Evidence of innovative work in library science and organization of published work.iv. a minimum score as stipulated in the Academic Performance Indicator (API), based Performance Based Appraisal system (PBAS), set out in the UGC Regulation, 2010.

Desirable:- M.Phil/Ph.D. degree Science /Library Science/Information Science/Documentation Science.- Strong evaluative, assessment, analytical and leadership skills. Strong, positive and effective communication (verbal and written), interpersonal and motivational skills.- Strong commitment to service and capacity to collaborate and communicate with diverse communities – university faculty, students, staff and outside institutions- Knowledge of principles of management, marketing and implementation of services using Information Technology tools.- Years of experience in collection development, organization and administration.- Worked in the State-of-the-Art Information Technology Environment managing the acquisition of and administration of services to respective clientele of the University.- Awareness of external resources to effectively implement resource sharing.

2 Assistant Librarian:1 UR

Essential Qualifications and Experience :Essential:i. Master’s degree in Library Science / Information Science/documentation Science or an equivalent professional Degree with at least 55% marks (or an equivalent grade in the UGC point scale whenever grading system is followed) and a consistently good academic record with knowledge of computerization of library.ii. Qualifying in the national level test (NET) conducted for the purpose by the UGC or any other agency approved by UGC is mandatory. However, candidates, who have been awarded PhD degree in accordancewith “University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of PhD Degree), Regulations 2009”, shall be exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SLET/SET.

Desirable:(i) PG Diploma in Library Automation/Computerization or Networking;(ii) Atleast 3 years working experience in library computerization, digital library and/or Networking.(iii) Effective communication and interpersonal skills with friendly user orientation.

3 Private Secretary:1 UREssential Qualifications and Experience :

Essential:Graduate degree in any discipline with proficiency in English. Stenography Speed of 100 WPM; Typing Speed 40 WPM.Good knowledge of Computers with three years experience as Personal Assistant.Desirable: Experience of working in a University/Educational Institution.

4 Section Officer:2 UREssential Qualifications and Experience :Essential:(i) Graduate Degree in any discipline.(ii) five Years’ Experience as Upper Division Clerk/Three years as Assistant in University system / Central Educational Institution/Research Institution/ National Institutions under Govt. of India or in a university recognized by the University Grants Commission.Desirable:Capacity to work in a fully computerized environment.

5 Assistant:3 UR ,1 OBCEssential Qualifications and Experience :Essential:i) Graduate degree of a recognized University with working knowledge of Computer applications.ii) Three years experience as Upper Division Clerk/Equivalent posts in University system or comparable experience.

Desirable:Capacity to work in a fully computerized environment.

6 Hindi Translator:1 UREssential Qualifications and Experience :

Essential:i. Master’s degree in Hindi or equivalent from any recognized University with English/Hindi as one of the compulsory/optional subject at Degree level.ii. Diploma/certificate course in translation from English to Hindi and vice-versa.OR2 (two) years work experience in translation work in any Central Government/ University / or Autonomous institutions.

Desirable:Working knowledge of computers.

7 Hindi Typist:1 UREssential Qualifications and Experience :Essential:i. Passing of 12th Examination of any recognized Board.

ii. Certificate/Diploma from a recognized Institution in Hindi Typing with minimum speed of 25 W.P.M. and working knowledge of computers.Desirable: Multitasking with experience in Hindi Typing

8 Internal Audit Officer: on Deputation.

Essential Qualifications and Experience :Essential:(i). Officers of the Central/State/Statutory or Autonomous organization holding analogous post on regular basisORWith five years service in the pay scale of Rs.15600-39100/- with GP – Rs.5400/- or equivalent.(ii). Good knowledge of computer applications.

Desirable:i) Possessing experience of handling Administrative, Financial Budget/Account matter in a responsible capacity.

9 Junior Engineer(Civil):on Deputation.Essential Qualifications and Experience :Essential:i) a degree in Civil Engineering with at least three years of experience

ii) Experience in supervision of erection/maintenance of Civil Works in a Government/CPWD/University establishment.

Last Date: 24th March 2012

For Complete Details

School ‘holiday’ closings to get a broader review in Bernards Township – New Jersey news, sports, arts, obits, offers, deals: Bernardsville News — Newjerseyhills.com

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

BERNARDS TWP. – A community request to close the districtschools for a Hindu holiday has convinced the Board of Education toreassess all of the current school holidays and vacations.

At the board’s meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, board member andpolicy committee chair Elaine Kusel said her group wished to reviewthe Diwali request “in context of the entire calendar.”

“We should see if the calendar serves our community well,” shesaid.

Board member William Koch asked if the review would apply toreligious holidays.

“All holidays,” Kusel replied. “We need to see what people want.The town has changed a lot. What made sense 10 years ago may notmake sense now.”

Kusel, speaking after the meeting, said that with SchoolBusiness Administrator Nick Markarian poised to succeed ValerieGoger as superintendent of schools in July, the board plans todevelop a strategic plan.

That effort would include volunteer committees, one of whichwould focus on school closings, she said.

“What we don’t want to do (with holiday requests) is to considerone group and not another,” Kusel added. “Instead of doing itpiecemeal, maybe we should look at everything.”

The district has no standards for how many observers justifiesclosing the schools for a day, she said.

Members of the Asian-Indian community appeared before the boardon Dec. 15 to ask that the schools be annually closed for Diwali, aHindu holiday that falls on varying days between mid-October andmid-December. They presented a 78-signature petition in support ofthe move.

The board, which votes on school calendars three years inadvance, chose to approve the 2014-15 calendar without Diwali. Butboard members promised to explore the request for futureconsideration.

The possibility of adding a Muslim holiday has also beenbroached, and Kusel said the district has received requests toclose the schools for the Chinese new Year.

District schools have long closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas,new Year’s Day, Good Friday and Memorial Day.

 The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur was added in 1992-93, and twoyears ago the board voted 7-2 to add the Jewish holiday of RoshHashanah and Martin Luther King Jr. Day starting in 2012-13.

The district also has an annual, one week winter vacation inFebruary and a one-week spring vacation in April. other districts,such as Somerset Hills Regional, have only a President’s Dayclosing in February and a one-week vacation in March.

Adding holidays and having two one-week vacations after Jan. 1has been faulted for lengthening the school year. State lawrequires 180 days of class per year, and next year’s Ridge HighSchool graduation is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – thesecond latest for any district school in 90 years.

The only later date occurred in 1994, when an all-time record 11snow days pushed the Ridge High graduation back to June 27.

Proponents of a Diwali closing have argued that the holiday isas important to Hindus as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are to Jews.They also cite growth in  their community.

The district’s Asian-American enrollment has, in fact, grown 40percent since 2006, according to Township Demographer WilliamDraper. It now stands at 1,134 students, or nearly 20 percent ofthe 5,725 grade K-12 total, he said.

Among the Asian Americans, about 41 percent are of Indian-Asiandescent, for a total of 460 to 465, Draper said.

The total appears to be far greater than the township’s Jewishpopulation was in 1992 when a divided school board agreed to closethe schools for Yom Kippur.

At the time, a Jewish leader argued that the closing was meritedbecause the new Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) had a membership of70 families. The board approved the request in a 6-3 vote, with onedissenter saying the CBI figure amounted to only one-tenth of 1percent of township households.

Draper said he doesn’t believe the U.S. Census Bureau compilesrecords on local religions.

Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71 ($508 direct) is a standard entry-level tower desktop PC for your business. It’s not perfect by any means, but it shows that you don’t have to settle for buying two-generation old components in a $500 desktop PC. It’s powerful enough to run today’s apps, as well as tomorrow’s business apps. It may be “just enough” for the business workers in your small shop, as such, it’s our new Editors’ choice for entry-level business desktop PCs.

Design and Features The ThinkCentre Edge 71 is a reasonably attractive tower, due to styling cues like the carrying handle mounted on the top of the system above the optical drive. this handle can be used to quickly carry the system from a cart to the end user’s desk. The Edge 71 has the usual tower proportions: it’s a smidge wider than the optical drive’s tray and is a lot taller than it is wide. The chassis is essentially matte black, with some red accents like on the system’s handle. inside the chassis, there’s room for an additional hard drive, one more memory DIMM, a PCIe x16 graphics card and two PCIe x1 expansion cards. However, the system’s relatively low-powered 180W power supply means that you won’t be installing a high-end 200W graphics card anytime soon. for users that need that kind of power, look at a midrange or workstation-class system instead.

On the outside, there are six USB 2.0 ports, DVI, VGA, Ethernet, audio, serial, and parallel ports. Serial and parallel are there for really old peripherals, like dot matrix printers and bar code readers that a business might still need to support. It’s notable that the system doesn’t have any next generation ports like HDMI or DisplayPort for external monitors, nor eSATA or USB 3.0 ports for faster hard drivers. The system does support simultaneous multiple monitors with the included DVI and VGA ports, however.

The ThinkCentre Edge 71 comes with a few pre-loaded programs, most of which are useful. there are the usual ThinkVantage utilities, including rescue and recovery for getting your system back up and running, as well as programs that help keep your system’s hardware and software drivers up to date. You’ll also find a pre-installed copy of Google Chrome, a great browser that’s an alternative to Internet Explorer. There’s also the usual Office 2010 Starter, plus a business document template collection called Business in a Box. Skype and Norton Internet Security are marginally bloatware, particularly since Norton expires after 30 days of updates unless you pay for a full subscription. Not too bad for a business system, but I’d prefer if the copy of Norton was an installer instead of being pre-installed.

Performance Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71 The ThinkCentre Edge 71 has an Intel Core i3-2120 dual-core processor with Intel integrated graphics. It’s inherently faster than the Intel Core 2 Duo in the Editors’ choice HP Compaq 4000 Pro ($549 direct, 4.5 stars), and as such, the ThinkCentre Edge 71 is faster on the benchmark tests, including the Handbrake video encoder test and the Photoshop CS5 test. But the Acer Veriton L4610G-Ui5240W ($699 direct, 4 stars) trumps both with its Intel Core i5-2400S processor. of course, at about $700 the Acer L4610G-Ui5240W is the high end of the entry-level business PC range. When we compare the ThinkCentre Edge 71 to systems with nettop-class processors like the HP 100B ($499.99, 4.0 stars) and Cybernet ZPC-D5 ($384 direct, 3 stars), you’ll see the extra performance the Core i3 gives your users. Essentially, the performance in the ThinkCentre Edge 71 is “fast enough” for business use.

Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71

The ThinkCentre Edge 71 is faster than our current EC, the HP Compaq 4000 Pro, but that alone isn’t enough to make the Lenovo the new top dog. The HP Compaq 4000 Pro is tool-less, while the Lenovo requires a screwdriver for component swaps. that said, the Lenovo has a newer processor and integrated graphics, so they’re likely to stay relevant longer than the components in the 4000 Pro. The ThinkCentre also has more interior room for upgrades, so it can accommodate full-sized PCIe cards. Though the Cybernet ZPC-D5 is cheaper, the Lenovo gives you a lot more for the money. Prices on desktops are falling, especially at the entry level, so we’re making the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71 our latest Editors’ choice for entry-level business desktops.

BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS Check out the test scores for the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71

COMPARISON TABLE Compare the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71 with several other desktops side by side.

More desktop reviews: •   Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71•   Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z•   Velocity Micro Raptor Z90 (Intel Core i7-3930K)•   HP Compaq 8200 Elite All-in-One PC•   Lenovo ThinkStation E30•  more

Haiti Floods

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Haiti is flooding now due to Super Hurricane Wilma as she grows into a major Category Storm. this is not the first time that the impoverished nation of Haiti has been hit by severe floods, which only lead to a greater disparity of human suffering. Haiti is one of the poorest nations in World with death and disease a way of life. even worse is the cultist religions of the nation’s Voodoo Priests who further victimize and terrorize the people of the island.

Haiti has taken all the water it possibly can and every additional inch from Hurricane Wilma will only lead to more deaths. Hurricane Wilma as she finishes with the floods and high winds in Haiti is hardly done yet, as she ramps up to take willful track to the Western Shores of Florida. As Wilma makes the hook and hard right turn and she heads towards the Florida Gulf Coast she may wreak similar havoc and even higher winds on the great State of Florida.

The NOAA has continually upgraded the storm from a tropical depression number 24 to a Tropical Storm Named Wilma, thus breaking the Western World weather record book. Then the stunning Wilma went from a tropical storm to a tightly formed Category I Hurricane, then category II with 85-degree waters under her tight spin. Then NOAA watching the tight eye said indeed, that Wilma was a Category III Hurricane and she has not even reached the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico yet. oh god help those poor Haitians and God’ Speed to those in the Path of this Super Hurricane Wilma as she continues to grow. Think on it.

How To Set-Up A Computer Training Center For Students Of Higher Institutions

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

INTRODUCTION

The use of computer as part of Information Technology has become an important tool used in aiding challenges of life in our daily activities both at home, schools or offices. Some individuals of present days are limited to the core values and ample opportunities of information technology available to them but are only concerned on using the computer for some ‘dubious’ internet purposes only. The world we live in is very dynamic in nature as new ideas, innovations and concepts of computer education are being introduced at all levels to solve human problems in all fields of endeavour.

The challenges being faced by fresh graduates with little or no requisite skills in computer knowledge always get disappointed as most employers seek for those talented graduates with computer skills. Some of the graduates leave the university without these skills despite the introduction of some relevant programmes in their schools. without exaggerating, experiences have shown that graduates find it difficult to succeed as an entrepreneur without proficiency in computer appreciation/applications or inability to demonstrate their work efficiency in the latest information technology of the corporate world as an employee. The universities cum private organizations have to look inwards to provide the students not only with the theoretical aspect of learning but also with relevant skills in computer practical training sessions.

The essence of introducing the use of computer training practical to all students and lecturers of tertiary institution is to equip these young minds with the extra skills to meet up with the challenges of work during and after school life. secondly, the programme also act as medium to prepare the students to be self employed with these computer skills and be an asset to the society they belong to. Therefore, all students especially the graduating students of these institutions should not be left out in this wonderful experience as we highlight the usefulness of this programme.

BENEFITS:

1. It empowers the students/graduates to be self employed with their relevant computer skills which would help to reduce unemployment.
2. through these medium, the university/organization would have an equipped facility to run the programme from time to time.
3. It would also make our graduates sellable and the lecturers competent in their distinguished fields.
4. It would project the good image of the Institution or Organization.
5. Introducing the computer programme would generate revenue to the university or organization as the case may be.
6. on the part of the students, the training fees would be very affordable compare to outside prices.
7. in addition, this initiative would also help the government at all levels, realized their objectives in the ongoing National Skills and Acquisition Programme.

AIM & OBJECTIVES

The aim of this programme is suggested to cover for all the students and interested lecturers of the institution to equip them with the basic practical skills of computer appreciation before and after their graduation which would be a continuous process within the complex.

Moreover, we intend to achieve the following objectives of this programme;

• to improve on the general abilities of students and lecturers on the use of computer appreciation/applications.

• to develop their typing skills and English grammar competence which aids them in their research and speech reports.

• to learn basic mathematical and statistical functions that would be useful in presenting and analyzing their work data in tables and charts for greater understanding.

• to know how to design and present information or reports using slides for seminar presentation or project defense which would aid both the lecturer and students.

• to know how to use the internet for academic research, posting of journals or articles and electronic mails (e-mail) transfers.

• It would act as an avenue for researchers and scholars to carry out their project/thesis research work online with useful results.

COMPUTER PACKAGES

The training of the basic computer appreciation and application will include the following but not limited to;

• Microsoft Word/Word Processing
• Microsoft Excel
• Microsoft PowerPoint
• Microsoft Access
• Microsoft Outlook
• Networking, Repairs & Maintenance
•Internet Applications

CHALLENGES

The challenges of this programme may not be limited to the following;

• Student’s commitment and awareness
• Resource personnel
• Adequate power supply
• Venue
•other logistics:
- General awareness
- Learning materials
- Collection of registration fees
- Miscellaneous expenses, etc.

TIME FRAME

The period of the computer programme would cover for a period of one to two months for a particular set of participants depending on the arrangements during all first semesters of the academic sessions.

RESOURCE INSTRUCTORS

The organizers have to employ experienced instructors in specialized fields of IT who are very knowledgeable and skillful in training the students on the use of computer appreciation/applications. Also, the need to hire an Administrative Head and Accounts officer would be necessary for organization and accountability of the centre to run efficiently and effectively.

VENUE

The venue of the computer programme should be situated at any of the university’s’ designated places. The computer centre must be equipped with standard Central Processing Units (CPU) with Desk top Monitors of minimum of 30 sets with installed split units to make the environment conducive for learning.

PAYMENT FOR REGISTRATION

The management of the organization should create an affordable fixed fee for the students training (subject to review) in order to pull a large crowd. Also, there should be a separate fee for Registration, Identity cards and Learning materials for the participants.

CONCLUSION

It is important that the students, lecturers and institutions should take the training of computer appreciation very serious by improving their competence skills to enable them to stand out among their peers as the world is evolving through science and technology. Organizing a computer programme centre for the students would undoubtedly bridge the gap of computer appreciation and information technology deficiency among our youths in this part of the country as they face the challenges of the labour market after graduation and the capacity to interact with their compatriots in the outside world.

Finally, it is most valuable to introduce the computer appreciation training programme into the university curriculum for students generally especially those with study loans as we cannot leave our leaders of tomorrow behind as knowledge in Information Technology is highly beneficial.

Katherine Jenkins to appear on Dancing with The Stars

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

SONGBIRD Katherine Jenkins is to don her dancing shoes and appear on Dancing with the Stars, the American version of Strictly Come Dancing, in a bid to crack America.

The mezzo-soprano has long been a household name in the UK for her soaring voice and classic looks and has also had success in America.

The Neath-born beauty will attempt to put the split from fiance Gethin Jones behind her when she appears alongside the likes of veteran Motown diva Gladys Knight, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw and tennis legend Martina Navratilova in the line-up for the 14th series of the US-version of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars.

The 31-year-old has been paired up with hunky US dancer Mark Ballas – a passing resemblence of Jones – who was the professional partner of Kim Kardashian in her run on the show.

Dancing with the Stars – which also previously featured hellraiser Kelly Osbourne, singer Nicole Scherzinger and racing driver Helio Castroneves – pulled in more than 19 million for last series’ final, with the latest shows kicking off on March 19 on American network ABC.

Other celebrities signed up for the 12th series include little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert, Cuban-American actor William Levy, Jack Wagner of Melrose place fame, The View host Sherri Shepherd and Jaleel White, known as Steve Urkel from Family Matters.

Her publicist Dan Deacon said yesterday: “Katherine is very excited to be going on the show.”

Her appearance marks another step in her recovery from her split with Jones just after Christmas.

It’s not the singer’s first appearance on the show, having performed in April last year, although insisted that she “wasn’t looking for world domination” after completing a South African tour when she played sell-out gigs to around 3,500 fans over five nights.

However she said she was still “working” at breaking the lucrative US market.

“I’ve been going back and fore and chipping away at it,” she told the Western Mail.

“It’s such a huge place and I’m not a pop artist. I get invited to go and sing at events and it’s going well.

“I’ve just got to keep working at it. I knew [success] wouldn’t happen overnight. It’s starting to happen in other countries and the response to the last album has been brilliant.”

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