What is on your holiday tech wish list?

I am sure most of you have been waiting all year for certain tech items. Did you hold out until the holiday season to ask for it or did you go ahead and splurge on yourself? I am one that normally does not wait (CAN NOT WAIT) to get something for myself. But I am curious as to how others go about it all. And what do you want this year? Where do you shop mostly for your tech items? Do you wait for the item to come out and read the reviews? What reviews do you rely on? I would love to know. Recommendations from others and their reviews is what really helps me and I am sure folks would benefit as well. So bring it ON!

Check out these ideas for holiday tech gifts (2012)

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Google me this?

I have been Google fan for a long time.  But I never have the time to figure out all the neat things it can do for me.  The fact that I use Google apps makes me incredibly happy. All my applications are in one place – I don’t have to search for anything.  Do you feel the same about your calendar, your email and your documents?  I wanted to share with you some neat tricks that I stumbled upon that can help you make Google work better for you.  I found some of the tips pretty handy!  Do you have any tips to share that are not on the list?  I would love to know!

Google Tricks — Check them out

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The Facebook it is a – changin

Facebook is changing to a new look. It is aimed at allowing you to get a fuller picture of a person by seeing more than their most recent updates. As Facebook’s blog post about Timeline reads:

“The way your profile works today, 99 percent of the stories you share vanish. The only way to find the posts that matter is to click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of the page. Again. And again. Imagine if there was an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect all your best moments in a single place.”

If you don’t wait a few more weeks till the launch you can enable it now by going to ://mashable.com/2011/09/22/how-to-facebook-timeline/#27139Youve-Done-It and follow the very simple 8 steps.

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ICE CREAM Anyone?

Google’s Android 4.0. -ICS- ICS is short for Ice Cream Sandwich
So the Android 4.0 OS will be a unified OS whereas right now you have Gingerbread for phones and Honeycomb for tablets. Ice Cream Sandwich will be a single OS for both kinds of devices, with the user interface adapting to suit whatever form factor you are on. This unified codebase also means developers can code their apps just once and they will work on Android 4.0 phones and Android 4.0 tablets. Google can offer a bunch of new APIs so that developers can then code apps for every kind of Android 4.0 device. Rumor has the launch in November but the Android Developer’s YouTube Channel posted and then pulled down an “Android ICS launch” event video that’ll go live October 11th. Right now everyone will just have to wait for the Ice Cream Man!

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BRAC brings job opportunities and internships for students

 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is the process by which the Department of Defense restructures military installations by closing some and rehoming people and jobs to others. An estimated 19,000 new indirect and induced jobs – defense contractors, jobs supporting the installations, jobs generated in the communities surrounding the bases – was associated with the influx of nearly 28,000 households moving to the area. Maryland has always played a pivotal role in our Nation’s defense and will take on even greater responsibilities in homeland security. The opportunity for those individuals with cyber security skill sets to procure jobs in the area has never been better. The deadline for those military and civillian jobs to be in place was September 15, 2011. This does not mean that you have missed out – the hiring for the jobs put in place will be on-going.

Students just starting out or those looking to further enhance their knowledge can find plenty of educational opportunities in the State and the Maryland Higher Education Commission has a great resource page listed here http://www.mhec.state.md.us/higherEd/BRAC/BRACpage.asp Students can also apply for internships and in some instances you may receive college credit for your work.

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The Phisherman Will Be Coming

So Epsilon (provider of multi-channel marketing) had a security breach (hacked) and some email and name information has been compromised. Epsilon has thousands of clients like Disney Destinations, CitiCorp, Chase, Best Buy and Walgreens to name just a few. They have not released a complete list of which client’s data got comprismised but I have already been contacted by a few over the weekend. Start gearing up to protect yourself now from the phishing attacks that are sure to follow not to mention the onslaught of more spam. If you do nothing else just always remember never to give your username and password out over email.  Here is a good article to get you started http://tinyurl.com/3t9qgjs

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Technology Companies to Aid japan

Several technology companies have programs to aid Japan and to help displaced people find each other

Google has a page dedicated to donations and has setup a Person Finder to help people reconnect http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

Microsoft has a site with lots of resources including the Red Cross “Family Links”http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/our-actions/in-the-community/disaster-and-humanitarian-response/community-involvement/disaster-response.aspx

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Kill the Internet?

When turmoil broke out in Egypt the government pulled the plug on the Internet. In China the government censors what sites people can see. Here in the US there is a bill granting President Obama the authority to shut down the Internet within the United States in the event of a cyber-attack. The Bill, an amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, was tabled in December and is being re-introduced by senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins. Of course there is lots of talk about how it would only be used in appropriately (in case of attack) but do you really want to believe that. Once a mechanism is in place it is easy to use it and then make excuses for why you did. Can you think of the ramifications of having the Internet down for even one day? http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.413:

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WIA and IT

Most private career schools and colleges that teach technology courses and meet certain criteria participate with their States Workforce programs, these programs collectively fall under the heading of WIA.  WIA stands for Workforce Investment Act, which was a  bill that Congress passed in 1998. It combined and improved a number of federal, state, and local job training programs into one system.

In Maryland there are many “One-Stop Centers” each in different counties. These centers provide unemployed, disadvantaged, and incumbent workers  access to training funds, labor market information, and job counseling .

The bill is up for re-authorization and at the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) annual conference was a the topic of discussion. CompTIA has more on that meeting at http://blog.comptia.org/2011/02/10/wia-to-impact-tech-workforce/

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