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  • Did you ever wonder which cities offered the best salary packages for technology skills that are in great demand? If so, then you'll want to read the following list from Indeed's recent report, "Where Are the Highest Paying Tech Jobs in the U.S.?" The report ranks the 15 highest-paying IT positions with respect to the average adjusted salaries they command in 15 cities that are at the top of Indeed's tech job search destinations. The fact that the salaries are adjusted for differences in the cost of living makes an important distinction. However, no matter what the job is, it's clear that IT pros can command terrific compensation packages wherever they end up. "Since the global financial crisis, salary growth has remained sluggish for many workers in the U.S. and around the world," according to the report. "However, when it comes to tech roles, it's a different story. Here, employer demand continues to outstrip talent supply, and stiff competition for individuals with in-demand skills places upward pressure on salaries. Little wonder, then, that tech jobs often feature heavily on 'best-paid' lists." Indeed based its salary data on postings and reviews on its site, and adjusted the salaries using cost-of-living information from the most recent Regional Price Parities (RPP) data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  • We're in the early stages of voice interfaces, but this message will soon come through clearly: Voice tools must be embedded in almost every system people use.

  • A significant number of employees around the world think the technology tools provided by their employer aren't smart enough, according to a recent survey from Dell and Intel. The resulting "2016 Future Workforce Study" reveals that many workers prefer the technology at their home to the ones they have on the job. Many of the survey respondents said IT-related issues create the biggest time-wasters at work. Asked what solutions they'd like to have at the office, many chose the internet of things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence (AI). Such aspirations seem lofty, given that most professionals still use desktops in their cubicles instead of laptops or tablets. "Today's workers have a growing expectation that their employers will integrate the latest technologies seamlessly and securely into their working lives," said Allison Dew, vice president of global client solutions marketing for Dell. "Employees have seen first-hand the ways new technologies can help them do their jobs better, and are hungry to use the latest advancements to be more productive. While this may seem daunting, it's a business-critical opportunity for companies to be at the forefront of the future workplace and enable the future workforce." More than 3,800 employees worldwide took part in the research.

  • With the current presidential election season intensifying by the day, it's difficult to avoid heated political conversations—whether face to face or on social media. Even the workplace isn't immune from campaign-charged exchanges, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. The report states that a significant number of managers and staff have argued with colleagues about this season's presidential candidates, and IT managers are the most likely to take part in impassioned discussions. In terms of which candidates inspire the most debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in a virtual dead heat among managers. Even if these discussions are initially well-intended, they can eventually turn into ugly shouting matches. To help employees act appropriately in the workplace while still exercising their freedom of speech, CareerBuilder has come up with a number of best practices, and we've adapted some here. "With passions running high this political season," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, "individuals run the risk of saying things or behaving in ways that can be considered unprofessional or discriminatory toward each other." More than 3,200 workers and 1,900 managers took part in the research.

  • On average, IT salaries have increased only slightly this year, according to a recent release of survey and government-data-focused research from Janco. The resulting "2016 Mid-Year IT Salary Survey" also reveals that IT executives at both large and midsize enterprises received significantly higher percentage increases than their middle managers and IT staffers. In fact, these executives are the only tech pros who are getting more than a single-percentage increase this year. The report also provides insights about tech job creation, and the latest figures (compiled from Janco's analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data) indicate slower job growth in general. And this figure could take a negative turn later this year. "There could potentially be a net decrease in the size of the IT job market in 2016," said M.V. Janulaitis, CEO at Janco. "Many companies are cutting back on contractors and consultants. [But] there are new jobs being created in the application development sector of the IT job market. We feel this trend will continue until the November election in the U.S. and through the fourth quarter of this year. … On the plus side, CIOs report that CFOs are not completely averse to incremental spending for IT-related activities that have operational support and have a good ROI." Executives representing nearly 850 companies took part in the research.

  • News reports about growing waves of ransomware and organizations that have been infected by it are chilling. Over the last few years, companies—staring down the barrel of encrypted and inaccessible files, and an inability to conduct normal business—have been coerced into coughing up multimillion dollar sums in order to regain control of critical data. A new report from security firm Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), "Ransomware Research Report," offers some interesting, if disturbing, insights into how the space is evolving and how organizations are at risk. The report points out that the attacks are becoming more frequent, and a larger swath of organizations are encountering these malicious methods, which typically take the form of pop-ups that block access to a browser or device, or a download that encrypts and locks files. In fact, the report goes so far as to describe ransomware as an "epidemic," but it also points out that organizations can protect their assets without paying off the cyber-criminals. When victims do pay, it "brings a lot of money into the underground ecosystem that has grown up around this malware, and, as a result, we are seeing new cryptors appear almost daily," warns Fedor Sinitsyn, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.