Travel With a Smartphone? 3 Things to Check Before You Buy

Mobile World Congress
With business workers relying increasingly on smartphones, staying connected on the road is increasingly important. AT&T announced a new “global SIM” platform at Mobile World Congress on Monday that will allow connection and management of mobile devices in over 200 countries. Though efforts like this should make things easier, choosing a phone as a world traveler can be difficult. Here are three things to consider when choosing a phone you'll need to use for business around the world.

1. The Networks

The first thing to understand is that there are two competing cell-phone technologies in the United States: CDMA and GSM. Each is based on a set of standards that define which frequencies are allowed and how they are used to transmit voice and data. Each also relies on supporting technologies like CDMA2000, UMTS, and HSPA to extend their data capabilities to 3G and 4G speeds. The network you choose will determine which countries in the world you can travel to and still have voice and data coverage.

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What You Should Know About Pinterest and Copyright

What You Should Know About Pinterest and Copyright
Content-sharing site Pinterest has been surging in popularity. The bigger it gets, the more responsibility it has to ensure that copyrighted content doesn't show up on its site.

Less than a week after Pinterest offered an opt-out code for websites seeking to protect their content, Flickr is adopting that code to help users protect copyrighted images on its photo-sharing network.

If you're fitting Pinterest into your company's marketing plans, or seeking to protect your content from eager Pinterest users, what should you do?

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First Look: Samsung's Galaxy Beam Android Phone with a Built-In Projector

Samsung Sunday announced its first phone of Mobile World Congress (MWC), the Samsung Galaxy Beam, an Android smartphone with a built-in projector. The Galaxy Beam will be available globally in the second quarter of this year. MWC, which officially starts Monday in Barcelona, Spain, is the world's largest mobile show.

Projector phones (and mobile projector accessories) have been around for some time, but they tend to be on the chunky and not-so-attractive side. The Galaxy Beam measures only 0.49 inches while packing in a 15 lumens projector. Most pico projector accessories sold today are only 10 or 12 lumens bright.

Samsung Galaxy Beam Android smartphone with projector
Samsung Galaxy Beam Android smartphone with projector
The Galaxy Beam can project video, images or PowerPoint presentations up to 50-inches wide. The resolution of projected video is 640-by-360 pixels. Samsung did a quick demo projector image quality. The image clarity was impressive: colors looked vivid and the picture looked sharp. In other demos of pico projectors I’ve seen, colors looked washed out, while images and text looked faded.

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Five Reasons to Host Your Own Email

Email is still an important means of communication in business. In recent years, an increasing number of businesses are outsourcing their email to web-based services like Google Apps for Business. In a tight economic time, the money saved by moving to the cloud can be hard to ignore. There are trade-offs though. Today, for instance, iCloud email users in Germany found that push-email features were disabled due to a patent lawsuit by Motorola. Here are five things to keep in mind when considering outsourcing your businesses email.

1. Privacy

Hosting your company’s email on someone else’s servers means trusting them to keep your data private. When a company like Google changes its privacy policy, you can never be certain about the privacy of your data. With your email hosted on servers housed within your business, you control all aspects of its privacy. This includes not only who has administrative access to accounts, and network access to the service, but also physical access to the hardware the service is running on.

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Android: Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You?

If ever there was a week to make plain the writing on the proverbial wall of the personal computing world, this week has been it.

android
That writing, it's becoming increasingly clear, spells out the word “convergence.”

First, on Tuesday, there was the news that Canonical is bringing its popular Ubuntu Linux distribution to Android phones, delivering a full desktop experience when the smartphone is docked with a monitor and keyboard.

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Now You Can Edit Collaboratively with Google Docs for Android

Just a few short weeks after giving users of Google Docs for Android offline access to their documents, Google on Wednesday announced another highly sought-after addition to the software.

google docs
Specifically, users of the word processing app can now collaborate with others on their documents, with updates appearing in real time as participants type on their computers, tablets, and phones. Users need only tap the document to join the collaboration.

“We want to give everyone the chance to be productive no matter where they are, so today we’re releasing a new update to the Google Docs app for Android,” wrote Google software engineer Vadim Gerasimov in a Wednesday blog post announcing the news. “We've brought the collaborative experience from Google Docs on the desktop to your Android device.”

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Three Ways Windows 8 Improves Language Support

Three Ways Windows 8 Improves Language Support
Microsoft's desktop OS has let users install additional display languages since Windows 2000. This made Windows computers accessible to billions of people, but installing and switching languages on a PC wasn’t easy. Businesses generally assigned only one language to a computer, limiting its use to those who understood that selected language.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview, likely making an appearance by the end of February, changes the way languages are handled, and should make it easier for organizations with employees that speak multiple languages to share computers. It’s not uncommon for business computers to be shared by workers, especially in workplaces open for multiple shifts. Tablets, which Windows 8 will also run on, are even more likely to be shared if used for tasks within a company.

In the Building Windows 8 blog on Wednesday, Ian Hamilton, a program manager for the Windows International team, details the changes to Windows 8's language options.

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