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  • What is "the box"? And why would you want to think outside it? Here's why—and how.

  • If you're a software engineer, you can pretty much command a six-figure (or near six-figure) salary, on average. But this Glassdoor list of the 10 "best-paying cities for software engineers" points out that the size of a paycheck isn't everything. Think "location, location, location," as any realtor likes to say. By crunching and comparing the cost of living with median base salaries in every city, Glassdoor was able to come up with a real adjusted salary that reflects the true buying power of a paycheck. The calculations demonstrate that a very lucrative offer from a company in, say, San Francisco or San Jose may not make you as rich as you'd think. Meanwhile, there are plenty of nice towns—such as Madison, Wis.; Austin, Texas; Boston; Atlanta; and Raleigh, N.C.—where your paycheck will stretch much further. The lesson here is to consider all factors—not just salary and benefits—before deciding to accept a job offer. Glassdoor based its findings on salary reports shared by software engineers who are members and users of its site. 

  • Brew Hub uses a remotely managed service to protect data, strengthen network security and ensure credit card compliance for itself and its partner brewers.

  • One would think that the aggressive spread of ransomware would have the lion's share of computer users taking steps to prevent an attack and protect their most vulnerable data. Yet, nearly half of all consumers admit that they don't know what ransomware is or how to combat it, and those who are aware of it don't know what types of data are at risk. A recent report from data security firm Kaspersky Lab, "Ransom-What? A Study on Consumers' Awareness of Ransomware," paints a grim picture of a public that's ripe for ransomware attacks and slow to educate itself about how to contend with this rising threat to their personal information. "Ransomware is an epidemic. Although it has been around for more than a decade, we have seen a recent explosion of new ransomware families that is cause for serious concern," said Ryan Naraine, head of Kaspersky Lab's global research and analysis team in the United States. "With this epidemic, the need for increased consumer awareness about ransomware is essential. Consumers today must not only learn about ransomware, but also use solutions to protect themselves against it, including installing Internet security, making sure all devices are updated with available software patches, routinely backing up all important digital assets and implementing better user habits."

  • Fast Mirror, a professional development firm, adopted a cross-platform development tool that has slashed overall development time by about 50 percent.

  • Most business users experience frequent delays while attempting to use software apps at work, and that downtime is costing U.S. companies billions of dollars a year, according to a recent survey from Oxford Economics and Nimble Storage. The resulting report, "Mind the Gap: How Application Delays Affect Company Performance," indicates that a significant share of users waste more than one-tenth of their workday due to these issues. Some employees have even started to avoid using certain apps because they run too slowly. Yet, despite these productivity issues, very few IT decision-makers believe that employees are unhappy with the situation. With the rapid pace of business and tech changes today, such an impression puts organizations at a competitive disadvantage. "In an innovation-powered economy, ideas need to travel at the speed of thought," according to the report. "Yet, even as our ability to communicate across companies and time zones grows rapidly, people remain frustrated by downtime and unanticipated delays across the increasingly complex grid of cloud-based infrastructure, data networks, storage systems and servers that power our work." Nearly 3,000 global business users and IT professionals took part in the research.

  • With virtual places in the game superimposed over real places, gamers trespass on private property or access public spaces at times when they are not permitted.

  • A vast majority of senior IT decision-makers and customer experience professionals said that the pursuit of a digital transformation has created significant challenges for their organization, according to a recent survey from Bizagi, which was conducted by Loudhouse Research. The resulting report, "The Agility Trap," indicates that most businesses are either implementing digital transformation projects or plan to in the future. With constantly increasing customer expectations driving much of these efforts, most survey respondents agree that business agility is critical for this transition, but very few of them said their company performs at a high level of agility. It doesn't help that when incorporating technology changes, IT systems are frequently too complex, or that change initiatives take too long to complete. Tech teams must work closely with their business counterparts to overcome these obstacles, in the interest of their organization's competitive advantage. "Companies undergoing transformation can experience a lot of turbulence along the way," according to the report. "Large, complex organizations often discover that the pace of change is set by their customers and a wave of disruptive competition. This can make these businesses feel very slow, very quickly." More than 1,000 senior IT decision-makers and customer experience professionals took part in the research.

  • An intelligent virtual assistant gives agents easy access to an online knowledge base, eases the push into commercial markets and relieves call center overload.

  • It's important for business and IT leaders to evaluate all Internet of things options and approach IoT initiatives smartly and in a cost-conscious manner.

  • The U.S. presidential campaign rolls around only every four years, but, for American workers, office politics remains a never-ending reality that must be dealt with every workday, according to a recent survey from Accountemps. A clear majority of the employees surveyed said office politics exists in their workplace—often in the form of activities such as gossiping and taking credit for the work of others. Most professionals concede that in order to get ahead, they need to be involved—at least some of the time—in office politics. It's best, however, to tread carefully, as aligning with the wrong person could result in career damage. "There are certain situations in which office politics can't be avoided—it's a natural part of workplace dynamics," said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. "The key is to understand what's at the core of politically charged situations, such as personalities or working relationships, and try to resolve issues in a tactful manner. If you must get involved, you want to be seen as the diplomat." In addition to the survey research, Accountemps has come up with a list of classic "office politicians"—along with tips on how to deal with them—and we've adapted some of those situations here. More than 1,000 U.S. workers took part in the research.

  • Although a steady stream of news reports chronicles the activities of hackers, attackers, state actors and cyber-criminals who break into systems and steal or damage data, the greatest risk actually resides within an organization. A recently released Ponemon Institute and Fasoo study, "Risky Business: How Company Insiders Put High-Value Information at Risk," points out that the vast majority of organizations' executives are not confident in their ability to manage and control employee access to confidential documents and files. "What should be concerning to C-level executives and corporate boards is that most organizations have no idea where mission-critical information is located on the corporate network, who has access and what they are doing with that information," stated Bill Blake, president of security solutions firm Fasoo. Ponemon Institute surveyed 637 U.S. IT security practitioners familiar with their organization's approach to protecting data, documents and files against cyber-attacks. Some of the key findings are included here.

  • The low oil prices we've seen lately present a challenge for the energy industry. To maximize output, global energy company Total upgraded its supercomputer.

  • While a significant number of both IT and business decision-makers believe their company has secured a strong competitive advantage within their industry, they express caution about the likelihood of new disruptive tech radically changing this equation, according to a recent survey from Juniper Networks. The resulting report, "Will Your Company Survive the Next Big Disruption? IT as the Great Enabler," indicates that organizations would better position themselves for disruptive IT by elevating the tech-savvy quality of their C-suite. Most IT decision-makers, in fact, said the C-suite doesn't view the network as a vital component of company success. There's definitely a greater "need for speed" too, as many survey respondents said it takes a year or longer to develop and support an improved product or service. And business leaders admitted that they've circumvented IT to push through needed initiatives. "Business is changing fast," according to the report. "Even companies that believe they have a competitive edge today are at risk of falling behind. … Leadership is preoccupied with growing the customer base, keeping costs down, profitability and growth. At a time when disruptive products and services are the name of the game, it's become clear that doing 'enough' with your technology investment simply isn't enough to survive. … To remain relevant in the future, companies need to address impending disruption by rethinking their approach to IT for ongoing innovation." Much of the survey compares perspectives of IT and business decision-makers on these topics, and we've included a number of those findings. More than 2,700 global IT and business decision-makers took part in the research.

  • Savvy leaders emphasize human-centered design, which empathizes with their customers and citizens, and then redesigns services to improve their experience.