Which Smartphone Should I Get?

It's time to ditch my battered BlackBerry 9000. Whether the successor should be a newer BlackBerry, an iPhone, an Android handset, or something else entirely is up in the air. Is it worth waiting for something that's not out yet, like the Windows 7 phone?

My wish list for a new phone includes reliability, a speedy Web browser, lots of options for apps, a decent camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Easy access to Gmail and Google Docs would be great.

Many shiny, new handsets beckon, but I don't want to take a leap of faith or greed without advice. Which smartphone should it be? (You can help by voting at the end of this post.)

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Save Serious Money With a Business Energy Audit

Sluggish sales and hard-to-get loans may blight the business landscape, but cutting energy waste can bring a big payoff to a small company. To shave liabilities off your profit-and-loss statement, aim to slash your power consumption instead of your workforce or the crucial projects that could help your company expand.

An energy audit creates a portrait of the energy demands that matter to your operations--as well as those you can do without--and it can lead to skinny electricity bills and fat tax breaks.

“We all have incentives to manage our utility bill, but many people don’t try because they don’t know how,” says Geoff Overland, who runs IT and data-center programs for Wisconsin's statewide Focus on Energy program. "By efficiently managing our energy, we have an immediate impact on our bottom line."

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Secrets to Maximizing Your 15 Minutes on YouTube

YouTube has extended the maximum video length from 10 minutes to 15 minutes to compete against Hulu and keep users engaged on the site longer. While the vast majority of the video clips on YouTube are silly, YouTube also provides a number of benefits for businesses if you know how to use it right.

Break out your megaphone and director's chair and start basking in your 15 minutes of fame on YouTube.
Artwork: Chip Taylor
Every minute, 24 hours' worth of video clips are uploaded to YouTube. Now, YouTube is granting millions of YouTube users five extra minutes to upload even longer pathetically lame--although sometimes vaguely humorous--nonsense. Or, businesses can now have five more minutes to make use of YouTube for marketing, training, and customer service.

Here are some of the ways to get the most out of the YouTube platform:

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Why Business Should Embrace the $139 Kindle 2

Amazon is aggressively defending its position in the e-reader market by unveiling a redesigned Kindle 2 for a mere $139. As Amazon and Barnes and Noble battle for e-reader supremacy, it's time for businesses to take a closer look at the benefits and advantages of embracing e-readers like the Kindle 2.

The Kindle 2 is smaller and lighter than the original Kindle, making it even more portable. Amazon managed to squeeze more into the smaller form factor as well--making the Kindle 2 faster, and expanding the memory to 4Gb so the new Kindle can now hold an estimated 3,500 books. And, somehow Amazon also managed to extend battery life--enabling the Kindle 2 to hold a charge for up to a month with the wireless radio off.

The Kindle 2 has an opportunity to deliver valuable tools and resources for mobile workers, or for professions that don't lend themselves to sitting in front of the computer or taking time to visit the library in order to get information. There are many lines of work that rely heavily on printed documentation, or could if it was available.

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Four Ways IPv6 Will Save the Internet

The world is almost out of IP addresses--or at least it's almost out of the IPv4 addresses that IT admins and users are most familiar with. Fortunately, IPv6 has been developed to exponentially expand the pool of available IP addresses while also providing a few other benefits.

Artwork: Chip Taylor
To address issues with the current IP protocol in use (IPv4), and to add features to improve the protocol for the future, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has introduced IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). Let's look at a few ways that IPv6 will come to the rescue and save the Internet.

1. More Addresses. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses rather than the current 32-bit addresses allowing for an exponential increase in the number of available IP addresses. Network routing experts have been aware of the limitations of IPv4 addressing since the 1980s--before most of the world even knew the Internet existed, and before the Web became ubiquitous.

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Secrets to Using Facebook to Market Your Business

Your business can't afford to not have a Facebook presence. The social networking site now has more than half a billion users--despite users' privacy concerns, and a recent survey suggesting that customer satisfaction is abysmal. Here are some tips to follow if you want your business to tap into that audience of half a billion potential customers.

Build It

The change by Facebook to "like" a page rather than being a "fan" of it seems like a great move.
First, you need to set up a page. They were once known as Fan Pages, and those that wanted to follow had to elect to be a "fan", but Facebook changed them to simply Pages, and members can now "like" the page rather than becoming a fan of it.

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Don't Wait for Adobe Sandboxing to Secure Your PDF Viewing

Adobe has revealed that it will strengthen the security controls in the Adobe Reader application by adding sandboxing in the next release. With malicious attacks targeting Adobe products more frequently, it is definitely a move in the right direction, but there are also more secure PDF reader alternatives you can start using today.

FoxIt Reader is one of the more secure PDF alternatives available today.
Adobe plans to add a Protected Mode--borrowing the name from the security feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Protected Mode will provide a sandboxing capability, confining processes such as JavaScript and image parsing in separate areas to prevent malicious--or even legitimate--software from modifying core files, accessing other running processes, or installing or deleting files.

The sandboxing feature will not be available until the next major release of Adobe Reader, which Adobe expects to be release by the end of 2010. Adobe specified that the sandboxing security control will not be included in the Mac version of Adobe Reader, as the vast majority of threats exploiting Adobe products are aimed at Windows systems.

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