The financially ailing Sprint Nextel may offer consumers a solid reason to use its services this fall — an unlimited data plan for the iPhone 5.
Sprint will become the U.S.’s only wireless carrier to offer unlimited data for the iPhone 5, Bloomberg reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Details about pricing were not disclosed. Sprint currently offers unlimited data and voice for $99 a month for some smartphone models.
AT&T and Verizon will offer the phone with tiered pricing plans. AT&T’s plan ranges from 200 megabytes of data for $15 a month to 4 gigabytes for $45 a month. Verizon’s plans range from $30 for 2 gigabytes to $80 for 10 gigabytes. Both offer unlimited voice plans for the iPhone for $69.99 a month. AT&T scrapped its $30 a month unlimited data plan in June 2010. Some veteran AT&T customers were grandfathered in under the unlimited data plan.
Offering a competitive advantage could surely boost Sprint’s fortunes. The carrier lost $847 million in its most-recent quarter as customers flocked to its two larger rivals to access the iPhone, the best-selling smartphone on the market. But Sprint and its investors have lately had reason to be optimistic. In addition to getting the iPhone, Sprint is also seen as a beneficiary of the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
However, you may want to take the report with a grain of salt: A similar rumor surfaced before Verizon got the iPhone, which never came to pass.
You hear a lot about the “cloud” and company cloud solutions, and honestly… whenever I hear the word “solutions” from a big name company, I’m instantly thinking “That sounds expensive!!!”, and most the of the time I’m right. The cloud is offered in several products and provides multiple methods and solutions for your company or business to colloberate openly with one another in order to improve communication and efficiency. I spend a lot of time on the internet digging around and sniffing out the so-called “cloud solutions” – some were great, some not so great; all were to expensive!!! There is absolutely no reason to pay thousands of dollars to be able to communicate with one another through a network. So, these are my top 3 choices for a cloud solution.
eyeOS 2.5 by Softpedia (Completely Free and by far the best CLOUD solution I’ve seen to date)
eyeOS is an Open Source Platform designed to hold a wide variety of Web Applications over it. eyeOS was thought as a new definition of Operating System, where everything inside it can be accessed from everywhere in a Network. All you need to do is to login into your eyeOS server with a normal Internet Browser, and access your personal desktop, with your applications, documents, music, movies… just like you left it last time.
Easy and powerful Free CMS
eyeOS is scalable
Eyecandy user interface
Very easy to install
Can be extended
eyeFiles is a simple and intuitive file manager you can use to transfer, copy, rename, delete and paste files but also to create folders, download or upload files and explore the eyeOS virtual filesystem.
eyeDocs is a word processor that offers you a quick and efficient way to write and edit text, HTML and Microsoft Word documents. Not only is eyeDocs a pretty good HTML editor, but it can also be used to paste text from other applications installed on your real operating system.
eyeCalendar is a calendar application that allows the association of a block of text with a certain day of a given month. It can be useful for things such as meetings, tasks organizer or even for remembering birthdays.
eyeContacs is a address book application that allows you to store your contacts and even import vCards.
eyeBoard is, like the name says, a message board which can be used to post messages. Each user can post messages and others may view them.
eyeFTP is a FTP client to connect to servers through eyeOS. With eyeFTP you can browse directories, download and upload files, create folders, rename, move and delete files.
eyeMail is, as the name suggests, an e-mail client that permits multiple accounts and allows you to send and receive e-mails. At the moment, it is very simple and does not offer any other features.
eyeNav is, basically, a browser within a browser. You can use it for browsing the Internet. Note that eyeNav uses thebandwidth of the server that hosts eyeOS for you. However, note that some web hosting services might not allow such behavior of the applications that you host on their web servers. You might want to double check before allowing eyeNav to run on a server that is hosted by a third party. eyeNav can be useful if it runs on a server with a different ISP. In case you cannot reach a page from your ISP, you might reach it by using eyeNav on a different hosting server. You can even watch YouTube videos on it!
eyeRSS is a RSS/Atom feed reader that allows you to read the latest news on your favorite websites.
eyeCalc is, obviously, a calculator, that you can use the same way you are using any other calculator. Some important functions, such as %, are missing, but it’s quite useful when you really need to do some quick and basic calculations.
eyeNotes, which is basically a text editor, can be used to write text documents.
eyeChess is a very nice chess game, which you can play if you’re bored or just to …exercise your brain!
eyeProcess is a basic task manager application used to kill running eyeOS processes and applications.
eyeTrash is a trash application that stores deleted files. At the moment only the empty, restore and file properties functions are implemented, but for a trash app that’s more than enough.
eyeGroups functions as a workplace for group works. From here, you can create new groups and restrict the access of some users to different files.
eyeApps is an eyeOS app that can be
used to delete and install other eyeOS applications.
eyeOptions, a.k.a. System Preferences, can be used to change the eyeOS theme, upload and set a new wallpaper and to change your password.
eyeInfo provides information about eyeOS, like version number and all the developers, collaborators etc.
More applications (files with the .eyepackage extension) can be downloaded from the eyeOS-apps website and uploaded to eyeOS. However, if someone else gave you access to a server that runs eyeOS, you might not be able to upload and run your own applications.
eyeOS is also available for your smart phone!
The possibility to view eyeOS files from a mobile phone, allows users to use eyeOS in a wide variety of situations.
This is perfect for any small business that’s wants to collaborate and share business related documents. This also allows you to store information, documents and data on a large scale without slowing your computer down or worrying about losing important information. If you’re wanting to download the product onto your server, please note that this software can be very tricky to install if you don’t know what you’re doing on a Linux/Unix server. I suggest you either utilize a eyeOS server or pay a IT tech/Hosting company to download it for you.
You can visit Smyrna IT Consulting, LLC www.smyrnait.com contact me and I’ll do it for a flat $50. I’ll be glad to host it as well for $50. Or just Google “dedicated server hosting”.
#2 Google Apps for Business (Not Free) and Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft (FREE) :
IT’S NOT FREE!!! BUT IT’S PRETTY DARN CHEAP!
See how it works.
Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office
Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office brings collaborative multi-person editing to the familiar Microsoft® Office experience. You can share, backup and simultaneously edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint®, and Excel® documents with coworkers.
Teach your old docs new tricks
- Simultaneous editing for Word, PowerPoint and Excel files, no document or paragraph locking
- Google Docs sharing URLs for each Microsoft Office file
- Revision history for Microsoft Office files, stored in Google Docs
- Offline editing with smart synchronization of offline changes
- No Microsoft Office upgrade or SharePoint® deployment required
|Flexible Plan||Annual Plan|
|Cost||$5 / user account / month||$50 / user account / year
Save $10 / user account / year
See prices in available currencies.
Messaging apps: Gmail and Google Calendar and Google Groups for Business
|Gmail storage||25 GB / account|
|Interoperability with Microsoft Outlook email and calendar|
|Sync with Blackberry Enterprise Server|
|Easy contacts management|
|Mobile email, calendar and IM access|
|Email security, powered by Postini|
|Gmail ads can be disabled|
|Resource scheduling in Google Calendar|
|Mailing list functionality and easy content sharing with groups|
Collaboration apps: Google Docs, Sites, and Video for Business
|Google Docs storage||1 GB per user for file storage|
|Google Sites storage||10 GB plus 500 MB per user for shared storage|
|Google Video for Business offers private, secure video sharing|
|Google Apps Script|
Support and reliability
|24/7 phone and email support for critical issues|
|99.9% uptime guarantee SLA*|
|Self-service online support|
|SSL enforcement for secure HTTPS access|
|Customizable spam filtering|
|Customize password strength requirements|
|Email routing and email gateway support|
|Customizable policies to filter email containing sensitive information|
|Email encryption using standard TLS protocols|
Migration and integration tools
|Manage multiple domains from one Google Apps account|
|Email migration tools and API|
|Directory sync with LDAP systems|
|Email routing and email gateway support|
|Single sign-on API|
|User and group provisioning API|
* The 99.9% uptime SLA for Google Apps is offered to organizations using Google Apps for Business, as described in the Google Apps for Business Terms of Service.
#3 ( FOR THE TECH-SAVY BUSINESS) Fantastico Module in your CPanel on Linux.
When you design a website, you have a lot of options for how to create your site. If you know how to code extensively, you can create your website from the ground up from scratch. You may also choose a web host that provides you with a lot of templates and pre-written HTML components that you can install, move, or remove a bit like applications in Facebook. At the middle of the road between these two options is a content management system, or CMS. Many web hosts provide a platform that can accept various kinds of outside scripts. These allow users to upload scripts from outside sources with the assurance that they will work on their website without issue. Web hosts with Fantastico, for example, provides for a number of outside scripts. Fantastico leads the way in this regard. A webhost that includes Fantastico in its control panel is compatible with dozens of different programs/scripts that can be found on the web, fulfilling a wide range of functions. There are popular blogging tools like WordPress and Nucleus, content managers like Phpnuke and Siteframe, customer support programs, discussion boards, and even several options for e-commerce scripts. All of these programs can be easily added to a website when using a host that has Fantastico without the complication of coding the functions from the ground up, and without the hassle of making sure that each program is supported by your web host (or is only supported after technical tweaking).
Finding a web host that can fulfill your needs may be difficult, and building a website can be complicated as well. But with Fantastico’s few click script installation process, it is substantially easier to undertake these steps. With so many tools at your disposal in the form of scripts that can be easily installed, most users will find that no matter what their needs are, a web host that uses Fantastico will be able to do whatever they want it to do. With multiple choices of scripts in each category, they are not limited to a function that they don’t like in the form of a web host template or a single kind of prewritten script. Users have a choice between three to ten different kinds of scripts that do the same thing, so can choose the one they like the most. Since the umbrella of Fantastico ensures that each of these scripts can be installed with no trouble, the user has the benefit of ease of use and configurability without needing to know how to code HTML or PHP.
If you are somewhat familiar with Linux and know a little about programming, this is the place to be! Fantastico is LOADED with all sorts of opensource (meaning free to use) software that you can edit and design as you please to meet your companies cloud demands. My suggestion is to lease out a Linux server from a company like HostGator.com or Google “Linux dedicated servers” and make sure CPanel/WHM/Fantistico is offered as a bonus within your lease agreement. This will save you big time bucks and you will find that most colleges actually utilize this opensource software for their websites and school.
The blog represents one of the very first social networking platforms and Fantastico gives you a wonderful variety to choose from. Both Nucleus and b2Evolution are included but the most notable of all has to be WordPress. Easily the most popular blogging application available, WordPress is widely supported by a large community and can be enhanced through a number of themes and templates. If you’re looking to delve into the Blogosphere, Fantastico has you covered.
Content management systems provide webmasters with a more effective way to build and administer their websites. Even though most web hosting accounts come integrated site builders, these utilities fail in comparison to the power of a CMS. This type of software is ideal for running medium to large sized websites and has the ability to assign varying levels of administrative access and permissions. Some of today’s most popular community-based sites are running on content management systems. The CMS lineup you will find in Fantastico includes Drupal, Mambo, Tiki Wiki, XOOPS and Joomla among several others.
Establishing trusting relationships with customers is vital to the success of any business. Fantastico betters the chance of keeping your customer base happy with applications like Help Center Live, osTicket, PHP Support Tickets, Support Services Manager and more. These programs give you the ability to create the ultimate support center where your customers can get assistance through support tickets, FAQs, video tutorials and downloadable documentation. Even if you can’t be around to answer the phone 24/7, such resources can assure that your customers are still able to get the help they need, when they need it.
Fantastico has a little something for everyone, including those who desire to sell products and services online. You can set up a web-based storefront in no time with popular open-source programs such as Cube Cart, osCommerce and Zen Cart. Shopping cart software can get pretty expensive but these highly functional applications won’t cost you a thing with Fantastico.
These are just a few of numerous scripts that come bundled with Fantastico. Other programs include discussion boards, photo galleries, project management tools and website builders. Fantastico contorts to the novice, allowing those with little to no technical skills to instantly enhance their web presence. One could say that cPanel is a trendsetter as more control panels are being developed with application installers that mimic the abilities of Fantastico.
I’ll be happy to assist anyone on how to get started with Fantastico. Just visit http://www.smyrnait.com and click “live support” to speak with myself or another technician for free.
blogged by: Davis Dolezal, Smyrna IT Consulting, LLC
It seems link everyday more and more online companies are offering things such as SEO (search engine optimization), computer resources, hosting, online leads and just plain annoying services that flood the internet, shadowing the real resources to either free or very cheap services.
If you own a small business and you are looking to advance your technology services. You must know these resources…
Need facts on products, scams and deals for your small business?
1. http://www.clarkhoward.com – If you don’t know Clark then you are really missing out on saving money for your business. He loves saving you money and there is so many resources and links for small business owners.
2. www.consumerreports.com – This site provides information on the latest gadgets with reviews and product testing.
Looking for a computer, technology or office supplier?
1. http://www.globalcomputers.com – That is the only company I buy from and for good reason too. Global Computers is part of Tiger Direct and supplies to Circuit City and Best Buy. You won’t find better products for cheaper.
2. http://www.microcenter.com – You cannot beat Microcenter’s customer service. I have a store right down the street and I couldn’t be more happy. Great prices and customer service you will not find anywhere else.
Need a low cost remote server?
http://www.Hostgator.com offers dedicated servers for the cost of your energy bill. The power consumption alone is enough to quiver… Not only that, but they provide thousands of website templates for free, setup and maintain your server for you, and I love the amount of free software that is provided as a perk – and they are green utilizing windmills for their server farms.
Looking for better SEO for your website?
Utilize WordPress http://www.wordpress.com – Sign-up for a free website blog, or you can actually find a hosting company that provides Linux servers that should be more than willing to setup and install the WordPress script on your CPanel. This way, you are able to have your own domain name http://www.yourname.com instead of http://yourname.wordpress.com.
Plugins – Install SEO and Social Media plugins by clicking “add plugin” in the admin area of your wordpress site. Search for Social Media and SEO and there ya go! Cheap or free website.
You can visit http://www.smyrnait.com and get a domain name for $10 and $5/month hosting with WordPress Installed for you. Or Google WordPress Hosting and see what you discover.
http://www.onlywire.com – this site is free for personal bloggers, but does get up in price for businesses who utilize social media a lot. It’s still worth mentioning though, due to the fact that you can submit a post to all your social media accounts with a click of a button. Saves a lot of time and money if you were to submit individually or hire a company to promote your business. Actually, several business promotion companies utilize this same tool to promote you!
I’ll leave you with this last, but definitely not the LEAST online resource,
If you’re not taking a little time to investigate Google’s Tools, you’re definitely losing out on saving money. So many tools are available for free and you will be surprised what Google has that you never even knew existed for your small business. Search around and discover 1,000’s of free apps and tools that are yours for the taking.
-Blog by: Davis Dolezal, Smyrna IT Consulting, LLC
It’s time to clear out the clunky machines and aisles of file cabinets. Businesses nowadays can function without a ton of storage space for supplies and paper records. Use these seven essential tools to save money, time and space for your small business.
Contracts take up a lot of space and resources. Multiple pages and copies need to be printed and copied, then mailed, and finally stored away. Enter EchoSign to save the day. Contracts can be filled in and signed, verified and secured, and a PDF copy distributed to everyone in no time at all.
Cute PDF allows you to save any webpage or document as a PDF. Instead of printing something out on a piece of paper that you need to file away, save it as a PDF and keep it as an electronic copy that you can access easily on your computer. CutePDF is installed as a printer. To use it, go to “print” and choose CutePDF as your “printer.”
Donate your fax machine. You don’t need it anymore. Use eFax to send and receive faxes from anywhere. When you receive a fax, you’ll get an e-mail notification with the scanned document. You won’t have a machine taking up space or need a stash of paper to feed it.
Do you have large audio, video or image files that need to get sent to clients or vendors? Are you still burning them on a DVD and mailing them because the files are too large to send via email? Use YouSendIt instead for files up to 2GB.
There are various services available that helps businesses back up their data in case of a computer crash. I useMozy and love it — it’s affordable and no fuss. Once it’s set up it works quietly and efficiently in the background with no further action required from me. There’s no need to manually transfer your data to an external hard drive or burn hard copies of the data periodically.
Do you still carry a bunch of flashdrives to carry your important e-files with you from work computer to home computer? Do you need to e-mail documents to yourself when you’re traveling? Dropbox will make your life easier. Put documents you need to access in Dropbox and retrieve it from any computer. There are also sharing features that allow others to access those documents, too.
There’s no need to continue to print out and mail invoices. Just use FreshBooks to create simple invoices and have it delivered to their inbox. Clients and vendors can view and save a copy fo their records. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Keeping up with the latest technologies and features is not just something that will help streamline your own processes and cut expenses, but will help the relationship with clients, customers and vendors alike. They may be used to using these new apps and if you aren’t up to date, it can affect the ability for others to interact with your business. While you don’t want to jump on every new thing that comes out — that would be inefficient if it turns out to be a dud and you have to go back to an old system — you want to always be aware of what many businesses have started to adopt so that you can decide whether it’s a good option for you.
Just a few years ago, the small business tech catch phrase was Voice over IP (VoIP). By now VoIP is the standard in telephony. A Computer Economics study shows that by 2009, nearly 60 percent of organizations had adopted VoIP and more than half are investing in VoIP. The initial draw for small businesses to make the switch to VoIP related to cost savings — namely, there are no toll charges or long distance fees with VoIP. Now many IT managers wonder, what’s next for VoIP?
While the technology hasn’t changed, the number, quality and maturity of VoIP applications has grown. The answer to the “what’s next” question centers not around the technology itself but the unified communications applications businesses can use over the VoIP platform: immersive telepresence, IM, soft phones and video can now all run over the same IP network as the voice service. In fact, VoIP will be a key platform to support new business needs and processes as employees’ work methods continue to evolve. VoIP can become a keystone in a small business’s unified communications suite.
The Future Lies in Collaboration
Video conferencing, made possible by VoIP, is the future of corporate communication. Video conferencing enables collaboration between employees while they’re working remotely, while simultaneously cutting travel costs. And at a moment’s notice, you can hold that important face-to-face meeting with a top client, without all of the associated planning and travel costs of an in-person meeting.
VoIP will also make everyday business processes simpler. Think about how your organization collaborates on document edits, for example. Perhaps one employee saves a file and sends it to another for review. Inevitably, there’s the headache of multiple versions and identifying which one is up-to-date and includes everyone’s edits.
With communication-enabled business processes run over VoIP, employees can work on a document simultaneously and collaborate over Web, video or IM. For small businesses with tight budgets and little time, improved business processes can be the difference between completing a project on time and going over budget.
Going Mobile with Wireless VoIP
Mobility is a major competitive advantage for today’s small business workforce. As the number of teleworking and work-at-home employees increases, wireless VoIP is quickly becoming a necessity. The biggest benefit of wireless VoIP for small businesses is giving employees one phone number where they can be reached no matter where they’re located.
Single-number access is a risk-avoidance measure that’s worth taking. Previously, when an employee was away from the office he or she would give customers his or her cell phone number to be reached remotely. This may not seem like a problem, but it means that the customer will have the employee’s cell phone number after said employee leaves the company, which could potentially be harmful to business.
User-friendly Open Source VoIP
Open source options, for any technology, have always been more affordable from a licensing standpoint, but they can be more difficult to implement. Though open source offers a lot of room for customization, it can be intimidating for those not intimately familiar with the technology.
With VoIP, there are some open source options coming out on the market that are more user-friendly. For instance, businesses can now buy a pre-built appliance that includes traditional applications plus the flexibility inherent in open source options. This can be a good fit for smaller businesses with a smaller budget.
It is helpful to think of open source VoIP options in comparison to the operating system world, where most people consider Linux as the main open source platform. For example, when comparing Linux to Windows, they both have the same inherent feature set, but there is only so much customization possible with Windows.
While Windows offers a rich, thoroughly-tested feature set, Linux gives users the option to turn on or off many features. Open source VoIP solutions offer that same functionality, allowing customers to enable or disable many features that they would be locked into with standard solutions.
Tips When Considering VoIP for Small Business
New uses for VoIP may seem straightforward but, as with any technology, it pays to be prepared and think things through before you dive in. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Today’s networks have improved capabilities, but bandwidth is still a commodity. As technology progresses, network service providers have adapted to new kinds of traffic to deliver faster speeds. One of the keys to running new VoIP applications is that speed – and the capability to prioritize voice traffic over normal data traffic, such as email or downloads. Voice traffic is classified as high-priority so that end users do not experience problems, such as choppy calls. Network providers achieve this by enabling Quality of Service (QoS), which assigns different priority to different types of network traffic. Be sure your provider can support the applications you’re moving onto their system.
Security is always a concern for small businesses, and IT managers will have to be especially vigilant with new applications of VoIP. These applications often enable new forms of communication for small businesses, and it is important to capture every piece of communication to ensure both secure connections and compliance to company policies. For instance, the capability to save IM correspondences will allow you to ensure employees adhere to your company policies
VoIP has moved beyond being an affordable alternative to traditional telephony to become the standard platform for unified communications. If your business’s network can support it, VoIP will help your employees collaborate, be more efficient and effectively work remotely.
Everyone who has answered so far obviously has not read the blog post nor has been kept up to date on the current situation with Android and manufacturers who use it on their devices.
First of all, Motorola Mobility is staying a separate entity. They will continue to make their own devices and make their own design decisions on that front. Yeah, Google will run them, but it’s not in their interest to micro-manage them, as they don’t want to directly compete with other manufacturers who use Android.
Second, companies like Microsoft and Apple have been taking advantage of the broken patent system here in the U.S. to sue the manufacturers who choose to use Android. Rather than compete against Android, cheat and whine your way to winning, right? Google is acquiring Motorola Mobility specifically to acquire their patent portfolio in order to better protect itself and manufacturers against trolling companies like Apple and Microsoft.
Since the government won’t wake up and see how flawed the patent system is, the best outcome is for Google to beat the trolls at their own game. These things shouldn’t even be occurring. Rather than suing other companies for “copying” a virtual idea (ideas which should never be granted patents in the first place), Apple, Microsoft, and the other patent trolls should be improving their own software and devices if they want to compete.
So you’re right, this isn’t a big deal. Just keeping with the status quo.
Google’s Android platform is shooting for the moon.
NASA sent two Android-powered Nexus S smartphones into space with the last manned space shuttle,Atlantis, on the STS-135 mission. The duo of smartphones were used to test and investigate how humans and robots can coexist in space more efficiently.
In the mission, the phones were used to control SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), small robotic satellites that were originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The SPHERES are used to do things like record video and capture sensor data, errands that once required astronauts. The phones are used to help control the SPHERES, which have their own power, computing, propulsion and navigation systems. The robotic devices have built-in expansion ports that allow a variety of additional sensors and devices, like cameras, to be attached.
Another group of researchers from Great Britain hope to send a smartphone powered satellite into lower Earth-orbit before the year’s end. This experiment differs from NASA, however, in that it’s primarily testing how well the guts of the smartphone can stand in the extreme conditions of space. And last year, a pair of Nexus Ones were sent 30,000 feet into the air as the payload of a small rocket. One was destroyed when its parachute failed, but the other safely glided to Earth, capturing two and a half hoursof video footage.
In the future, the phones will be used to navigate and control the SPHERES using the IOIO board and the Android Open Accessory Development Kit.
Why Android over iOS, or another smartform platform? NASA thought an Android device would be a good fit since it’s open source. Google’s engineers even wrote a sensor logging app that NASA ended up using on the mission (and it can be downloaded from the Android Market, if you’re interested).
Check out the video below to see the Nexus S and the SPHERES in action.