The lovely city of Austin, Texas (at least I hear it's lovely) has joined the LED City program touted by Cree, a maker of solid-state lighting technology components. The installations included the retrofit of a major parking garage, the installation of hallway lights at the headquarters of Austin Energy (which is participating in the rollout and has a local rebate program of $17 million per year to encourage energy efficiency), new streetlights in the Barton Springs section, and fixtures in the marquee sign and a fountain in the Palmer Events Center. According to Cree, the city also plans to install LED lights along some local park hiking trails. The fixtures being used are 47-watt products from Beta LED. Actually, Austin has been playing with LED lighting since as early as 2003, when it swapped out 5,200 traffic signals and 3,700 pedestrian signals. Sorry to overlook that before. That retrofit reduced the wattage to about 15 watts, compared with the previous 135 watts. Cree reports … [Read more...] about Southern lights: Austin gets added to my green-tech city check list
Commentary - While PCI is the most widely adopted standard, HIPAA/HITECH has become the fastest-growing adoption standard-wise. The big push for HIPAA comes from its enforcement. There are about 600,000 medical providers who need to be HIPAA/HITECH compliant. Those who do business with these Covered Entities (CEs) – everyone from lab technicians to hazardous waste disposal services – are known as Business Associates. With the passage of the HITECH act, every one of these BAs, about 2 million of them, now needs to be HIPAA/HITECH compliant. What’s increased the adoption rate for compliance is the $20 billion of the Fed’s 2009 stimulus money that’s been set aside for upgrading healthcare IT to support electronic medical records. Small businesses can apply for up to $44,000 over a period of three to four years, while hospitals are eligible for up to $2 million in grants. Both need to demonstrate “meaningful use,” which essentially is another … [Read more...] about Check-list to compliance readiness for SMBs
There are hundreds of considerations when selecting and implementing an IM management solution -- from product features and technology to pricing. Still, IM security consultants and vendors agree that the following points apply across the board. Recognize that IM is taking place.IT managers must accept that employee use of public IM clients is occurring and is likely widespread. Rather than taking a knee-jerk approach to blocking all IM, establish strategic objectives on how IM can improve customer communications and employee productivity. Create appropriate policies and communications plans.Just as most organizations have formal guidelines for e-mail use, you must develop IM handling and content rules. For example, explain the type of communication that is allowed, list sanctioned IM clients, and specify permitted file attachments. To be successful, this information must be widely shared with employees so that they understand how to use IM professionally and safely.Remember, … [Read more...] about A chat check list for IT managers
As part of our year-end coverage, TechRepublic is doing a series of "Best of 2007" wrap-ups, including the top 10 from each of our weekly franchises. As you may know, Tech Sanity Check is the featured franchise every Monday and here is the list of the top 10 for 2007:1.) Sanity check: 10 dirty little secrets you should know about working in ITTechRepublic spills the beans on some of the most nefarious aspects of working in IT. From bursting the bubble of newbies wanting to play with cutting edge gear to explaining how techies cover their butts by confounding business managers with technical jargon, this piece provides the tell-all.2.) Sanity check: The truth about Windows Vista adoption in 2007In October, Microsoft reported strong revenue from Windows Vista sales, but in September Microsoft quietly agreed to allow vendors to downgrade Vista PCs to Windows XP. This column cuts through the mixed messages and spin to uncover the truth of Vista adoption in 2007. 3.) Sanity … [Read more...] about Best of 2007: Tech Sanity Check
The official Indian Railways site at indianrail.gov.in isn’t quite user-friendly and it takes a couple of steps to check the availability of seats on any train.If you are looking an alternative to the Indian Railways website, check the Cleartrip Calendar that combines train search and seat availability in one step. You just need to specify the source and destination railways stations, the class of the coach and your expected travel date.See: Track your Train’s Running StatusThe results table will display the list of trains available on the route as well as the booking status of individual trains. Red means that all the seats are booked, yellow mean R.A.C. while green indicates that you can get a confirmed seat on that date.In case you find seats available on the train of your choice, Cleartrip even allows you to book the ticket right from the site itself. You can also check seat availability in Indian Railways using the MakeMyTrip, another travel and online ticket … [Read more...] about Check Seat Availability in Indian Trains
Hard disk failure is possibly the worst thing that can happen to your computer and it often occurs without giving any warning signs.You may however run certain tests on your computer beforehand to get an idea about the current condition of your hard disk. This should in turn help you decide whether a replacement drive is necessary or not.Step 1: Check your hard disk for errorsAll recent versions of Windows include a utility called Chkdsk.exe that can check your hard disk for any bad sectors.You may either run Chkdsk from the command line (see details) or launch Windows Explorer, right click the drive that you wish to examine and choose Properties. Switch to the Tools tab and click the “Check Now” button under Error checking. Select “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors” to perform a thorough disk check.Step 2: Understand the sounds of your diskDo you sometimes hear strange sounds coming out of the CPU box? Well, if the hard drive is making those … [Read more...] about How to Check the Health of your Hard Drive
Notice some suspicious activity on your wall? Well there some simple security settings built into Facebook – some of these settings are new while others have been around for some time – that should help you quickly detect if any other person is secretly logging into and using your Facebook account.Go to Facebook.com -> Account -> Account Settings -> Account Security. Here you’ll see a list of all computers and mobile devices that have logged into your Facebook account and when. You can also see the approximate geographic location of the device, based on the IP address, that was used to access your Facebook account.If you come across an unknown device / location in the list, say you are Mac user and the device listed is IE on Windows, just click the corresponding “end activity” link and it should immediately log you out from that machine.For extra safety, you may also choose to receive email and SMS alerts if someone else tries to log into … [Read more...] about Check if Someone Else is Using Your Facebook Account?
Dean recently lost his web domain as all the renewal email reminders from his registrar were getting marked as spam and, unfortunately, Dean did not care to check his spam folder.We can’t really blame Dean for this because if someone receives a few hundred spam email messages in a day, it’s not always possible to manually review each and every mail in the junk list just to filter out the false positives.What we therefore need is some sort of safe senders list or a white list of email addresses (and web domains) that should not be marked as spam by your email service.Microsoft Outlook includes some excellent filtering options to help you minimize the risk of important emails getting marked as spam. Let’s see how we can go about implementing Outlook like safe filters in Gmail.Safe Senders List – A list of domain names and e-mail addresses that you want to receive messages from.Let’s say you want to create a white list in gmail such that none of the following … [Read more...] about Create a Safe Senders List in Gmail Similar to Outlook
You are expecting an important email from the client, he just confirmed over the phone that the mail has left his outbox but the message is nowhere to be found in your inbox. An hour later, the email finally arrives.Emails are usually delivered in a second or two so why did it take so long for this particular message to reach your mailbox? Was it due to the attachments? Or was there a problem with your mail server?You can usually find the reason for the delay in the email message itself. Open the message inside Gmail and choose Show Original to view the message headers.Here you will see a list of machines (or servers) that a message had to pass through before reaching the recipient’s mailbox. The IP addresses are listed in the reverse order so start from the bottom all the way up to see the actual path travelled by an email message.The message headers may appear complex and geeky but they really aren’t. For instance, the following line from the headers simply indicates that … [Read more...] about Check Why your Email was Delivered Late?
You are planning to buy a new iPhone 7 but the model you want to have, the premium jet black finish with 128GB, is neither available at Apple stores in your area nor at any of the online shopping sites. Now the Apple website does have a simple tool to help you check the availability of iPhone, or iPad or any other Apple product, at their retail stores but you still need to perform these inventory checks manually.Wouldn’t it be easier if these checks could be automated? You specify the iPhone model you wish to own, your preferred color, capacity, your area zip code, your desired carrier and the tool would send you an email alert when iPhone is back in stock at any of the Apple retail stores in your area. It’s like having someone check the Apple website for iPhone availability every few hours.What we have here simple Google Spreadsheet, that resides in your Google Drive, and it will monitor the Apple store in the background for iPhone availability. When any of … [Read more...] about Check iPhone Stock in nearby Apple Stores with a Google Sheet