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Leadership – How to become an IT or business Project Manager

A strong desire to lead individuals and the willingness to work beyond a 9-to-5 day are essential.  Continuing education training and pursuing special certifications like the PMP designation are helpful ways to prepare for this profession. It is demanding, but also rewarding when you see individuals on the team succeed and move ahead in their own careers.

4 Tips for Getting Your First Project Management Job

Make no mistake, the role of a project manager is difficult and demanding. It requires immense flexibility and unwavering leadership, but to helm, such a role is equally rewarding. The profession covers a range of industries, from IT and software development to construction or human resources.  Your role will include planning, organizing, delegating, budgeting, and documenting every aspect of a commencing project. You are the cartographer of every individual worker’s efforts. The fulfillment of completing a project you’ve managed is why a career in project management gives you a promising scope of opportunities in the future to come.

Research reveals that employers want these attributes

1. Strong Leadership
2. Clear Communication
3. Honesty and Integrity
4. Review your Experience and Know your Limitations

Prospective Project Managers should focus on these 3 key strategies

1. Foresight and Initiative
2. Get Qualified – Education & Certification
3. Prepare Yourself to Step Up

Apple iOS 11 – Eleven Features in new release

Apple released their latest version iOS 11.  This PC Magazine review highlights some of the most advanced features.

Apple’s iOS 11, its latest and greatest mobile operating system, arrives today on iPhone and iPad. And it brings a slew of productivity features that let you do more with your Apple device.  With hundreds of new features, not everything can be a winner. But there are several things that caught our eye and will likely improve the iOS experience. Check them out in the gallery below.

1. Augmented Reality – new tools for software developers that will allow them to bring augmented reality apps to iPhones and iPads

2. Apple Pay Person to Person – you’ll be able to send money via iMessages to friends who also have iOS devices

3. Siri Translation – The voice assistant can now speak 21 languages across 36 countries

4. Multi-Tasking With Files App, Dock – Apple is also able to do all this without breaking its security model, so you know your information will always be safe.

5. Slide Over and Split View Apps – That means you can move seamlessly between the two, as well as moving files and information

6. Tap, Drag, and Now: Drop – Now, you’ll be able to tap and drag files, text, and just about anything else wherever you need them

7. Multi-Room Audio – Music fans can extend music from room to room using AirPlay 2, which brings HomeKit support to speakers for multi-room audio

8. Apple Maps Do Not Disturb – With “do not disturb” enabled, you won’t get any notifications or messages while the car is in motion. If anyone texts you, they’ll get an auto-reply that says you’re driving and will get back to them at your destination

9. Live Photos – With iOS 11, Live Photos will add three new tricks: the Vine-like Loops (above); the Boomerang-esque Bounce; and a Long Exposure option

10. Screenshot Preview – In iOS 11, taking a screenshot brings up a little preview in the lower corner that you can drag and drop to share

11. Screenshot Doodle – Tap the preview image, and you’ll get a slate of tools to doodle and draw on the screenshot

Professional Designations – Top 18 certifications for 2017

This article shares the advantages of continuing education and professionals investing in their careers with 18 highly sought after designations.  The PMP and CISSP are two examples cited in this review.

A certification is more than a gold star. It’s more than a pat on the back or a “job well done.”  Obtaining a professional certification is an indication that you’re an expert. It’s proof to employers, peers and even yourself that you speak and think in a specific language. It comes with the expectation that co-workers and decision-makers will call on you for advice and insight. Your experience and expertise will be key to a business’ growth in the face of internal and external changes.

Basically, a certification is confirmation that you provide value. And in a competitive and crowded industry like IT, it’s often not easy to stand out.  Whether you’re wading into the waters with a foundational credential or pulling all-night study sessions to prep for your six-hour CISSP exam, a lot of time and energy goes into certification. Here are 18 options, in no particular order, that are worth your effort based on site searches, feedback from instructors and data in the Global Knowledge 2017 IT Skills and Salary Report.

Microsoft .NET Framework – New Version 4.7 offline installer

A new version of the Microsoft .NET Framework facility 4.7 was recently released and includes a new offline installer to facilitate corporate deployment

The Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7 is a highly compatible and in-place update to the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, and 4.6.2.  The offline package can be used in situations in which the web installer cannot be used because of lack of Internet connectivity. This package is larger than the web installer and does not include the language packs. We recommend that you use the web installer instead of the offline installer for optimal efficiency and bandwidth requirements.

When you install this Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7 package, you can see following packages or updates that are installed per operating system:

*** On Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, it’s listed as an installed product under the Programs and Features item in Control Panel.

*** On Windows Server 2012, it’s listed as Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3186505) under the Installed Updates item in Control Panel.

*** On Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2, it’s listed as Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3186539) under the Installed Updates item in Control Panel.

*** On Windows 10 Version 1607, it’s listed as Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3186568) under the Installed Updates item in Control Panel

The OFFLINE .NET Framework 4.7 installation may be blocked on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 because of a missing d3dcompiler update (that needs to be added in for WIN7 SP1 offline updating for example)

Facebook – New guidelines for content that can be monetized

Facebook has published stricter standards & guidelines for what can be monetized

Facebook wants content creators to earn money, but not at the expense of the family friendly social network it’s built, or the integrity of its advertising clients. So today Facebook established formal rules for what kinds of content can’t be monetized with Branded Content, Instant Articles, and mid-roll video Ad Breaks. These include depictions of death or incendiary social issues even as part of news or an awareness campaign.  This is a big deal because it could shape the styles of content created for Facebook Watch, the new original programming hub its launched where publishers earn 55% of ad revenue.

Apple – iPhone X and other products announced SEP-2017

Summary of key product announcements below:

1. Apple unveiled iPhone X, its first premium-tier phone, at an event in Cupertino, Calif., on Tuesday. (Pro tip: The X is pronounced 10, and not “ex.”) .. features OLED display, no home button, FACE-ID, and multi-core CPU

2. iPhone X has a newer screen technology known as OLED, a type of display that can be made thinner, lighter and brighter with better color accuracy and contrast than its predecessor, LCD.

3. The screen on the X has a so-called edge-to-edge display that takes up the entire face by eliminating the borders around the screen. Apple also eliminated the physical home button that has been a signature button on the iPhone for a decade. (simply swipe bottom of screen for “home” menu now)

4. iPhone 8 is also here, as well as its bigger sibling, the iPhone 8 Plus. The models include a high strength glass body on both sides with a faster CPU chip.

5. Apple TV, the company’s set-top box that has never been a blockbuster hit, got an upgrade. The device will now be able to stream so-called 4K resolution, which refers to screens with two times the vertical resolution and twice the horizontal resolution of older high-definition TVs.

6. Apple took the wraps off a new Apple Watch. Called Apple Watch Series 3, it has cellular capabilities. There’s also a new Watch OS.

Data Breach – Equifax reports over 143 million impacted

Equifax, a major credit rating servers collected this data on almost every adult citizen in USA and reports a major data breach between MAY – JULY, 2017

As most of you have read by now, Equifax was hacked. Equifax is one of four credit rating services, called Credit Bureaus (the other three are Experian, Trans Union and Innovis). This means they harvest (and sell) the financial data and credit ratings of almost every adult citizen in the United States. Yesterday (7 Sep) Equifax announced they were hacked between mid-May through July 2017 and discovered the incident on 29 July. Over 143 million records may be compromised. This includes peoples’ names, Social Security Numbers, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. This is a big deal.

2017 STORMS – Disaster Recovery and safety tip lists

Below are some excellent best practices & planning for both computer and personal safety — when any major storm is forecast (where a hurricane or  winter storm) … For example, back up computer data in advance to media and/or the “cloud” … Then place computer backup media & all electronics in protective waterproof plastic containers. 

Unplugging & even wrapping expensive electronic equipment with plastic trash bags might help in some cases … this is good to do days ahead of storm & might allow some things to escape damages.  If there is a need to quickly leave premises for safety – there will not be time to do some of these needful things that can make a difference

Below is another list that is actively circulating on Facebook

 1. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.
2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.
4. Fill up all vehicles & check tires & oil.
5. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town.
6. All important docs screenshot & send to your email or cloud backup.  Take original media and place  in sealed bags or plastic bins. Cover & wrap all electronic equipment in waterproof plastic
7. Pet & livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.
8. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you’re headed.
9. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on taking them with you.  And protect expensive electronic equipment in a similar fashion (computers, monitors, smart TV, etc) 
11. Old rags & beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!
12. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).
13. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places.
Additional tips:
14. Fill tubs with water for flushing if you aren’t on city water.
15. Pack dry clothes in heavy duty plastic bags so if you leave you at least have something dry to change into.
16. Put water in 2 liter bottles, like empty soda bottles and freeze them. They take a long time to thaw and are good to keep in freezer or put in frig to keep it cold when the power goes out

IoT Security — Research report highlights 30 improvements for privacy AUG-2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) are a family of devices like smart TVs, smart appliances, etc.  An EXCELLENT research report shared below was authored by Charith Perera, researcher at the Newcastle University in the U.K

To improve IoT security and privacy, we need to create a security culture. Much work still must be done before the industrial and municipal Internet of Things (IoT) becomes widely adopted outside of the circle of innovators. One field, privacy, well understood by the public and private sector in the context of the cloud, PCs and mobile, is in the early stage of adaptation for the IoT.

A demonstration of this new aspect of privacy and compliance is the Privacy Guidelines for Internet of Things: Cheat Sheet, Technical Report (pdf) by Charith Perera, researcher at the Newcastle University in the U.K. The nine-page report details 30 points about implementing strong privacy protections.

FULL PDF – Charith Perera, researcher at the Newcastle University in the U.K

Digital Assistants – Microsoft Cortana to work in future with Google Alexa by 2018

Microsoft Cortana will interoperate with Google Alexa’s voice activated devices  by the start of 2018, as shared in following article:

SEATTLE — The crowded pack of voice-controlled digital assistants — Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana — are good at numerous things. They can help people play music, set up calendar appointments and check the weather.

For the past year, the two companies have been coordinating behind the scenes to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other. The partnership, which the companies plan to announce early Wednesday, will allow people to summon Cortana using Alexa, and vice versa, by the end of the year.

It is unusual for big tech companies to cooperate on important new technologies that they want to stand out from the competition. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google and nearly every other big tech company is pouring huge amounts of money into making digital assistants that are smarter and can do more, seeing them as a new way for people to interact naturally with devices and online services.

The Amazon-Microsoft partnership started in May 2016, when Mr. Bezos raised the idea with Mr. Nadella at Microsoft’s CEO Summit, an annual event for business leaders in the Seattle area. Mr. Nadella was receptive to the idea, so a short while later Mr. Bezos emailed a draft of a brief news release that described how their assistants would work together, both men said.

In a phone interview, Mr. Nadella compared digital assistants like Cortana and Alexa to competing web browsers that provide access to the same pools of online information. “The personality and expertise of each one will be such that if they interoperated, the user will get more out of it,” he said. “That resonated for me and for him, and then that’s what led to the teams working.”