Are you involved in developing your company’s social media campaign? If so, it is important, if not imperative, that you use the best practices. Fortunately HootSuite provides some useful tools and information to help manage social media campaigns.
HootSuite Enterprise provides advanced features for team members to leverage HootSuite’s advanced functionality to deliver effective social media campaigns campaigns every time.
Sir Patrick Moore, an inspiration to generations of astronomers has died aged 89. The Astronomer and Sky at Night TV presenter died died peacefully at 12.25pm on 09 December at his home in Selsey, West Sussex.
Sir Patrick Moore was born on 4 March 1923, and presented the world’s longest-running television series with the same original presenter, having presented the show since 1957, which is acknowledged as a Guinness World Record.
His rapid diction and monocle made him a popular and instantly recognisable figure on British television.
Sir Patrick Moore was a former president of the British Astronomical Association, co-founder and former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA), author of over 70 books on astronomy. As an amateur astronomer, he became known as a specialist on observing the Moon and creating the Caldwell catalogue.
His work has been an inspiration to generations of scientists and engineers, and particularly his willingness to admit that Astronomers (and by implication scientists and engineers) are not infallible. They make mistakes, but unlike politicians are honest enough to admit them.
Sir Patrick Moore Links and Credits
While reading an article preview on Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think, we came across a comment by James Watson which deserves a wider airing. Actually warranting a post on its own, this response is about projects which are labeled as black swans, and is a reason why companies looking to engage in IT enabled transformation should take a deep breath.
If your company leadership is considering a strategic change of direction, planning on ditching your in-house custom software without taking the advice of the internal IT professionals, or without competent IT stakeholders at the highest levels of the organization, then you should point out this post to them without delay. Remember, Information Technology is part of your core business.
The issue is that in most non-software companies, information technology is treated like something separate from the business. The conventional wisdom of a decade ago dominates. That is, if your company is not producing software for sale, it shouldn’t be building software. It should be purchased, like Word or Excel.
This line of reasoning seems pretty bullet-proof until you dig into the details and it leads to a number of problems including the issues in the article. First, lets be clear, no company should seek to build software for internal use that can be purchased at reasonable cost and can can meet their needs without customization.
Secondly, companies should seek to purchase or otherwise acquire software that implements the generic functions and allows for powerful customizations. The issue arises when companies purchase something like SAP assuming that their needs are sufficiently supported by the software and that anything they need that is special will be supported by ‘configuration’.
What then happens is that the company realizes (after investing large amounts of money) that they can either make their business completely generic and lose all strategic advantage over competitors or they can pile on a lot more money to customize the hell out of it. Given the options, most high-level execs prefer more investment over losing strategic advantage. Some companies (I suppose) choose the other option and a lot of IT people think this is a good idea (it isn’t.)
You might be more likely to succeed at the project but the company will often be ruined in the process. In the ‘success’ example, I wonder how much of the companies strategic differentiation was sacrificed in order to avoid increasing scope. Alternately, the ‘success’ could be a shelfware system that is unusable because it doesn’t meet business needs. I have seen many ‘successful’ projects that produce no positive business value.
The true error is taking on a project based on false assumptions and magical thinking. Once that mistake is made, there are no good options. Companies need to stop thinking that information technology is separate from their core functions. Most information technology is only worth having if it is tightly coupled to the design of the business and often technology imposes fundamental constraints on business.
No project management methodologies or helpful tips will address this problem. Companies need to embrace technology and make IT a stakeholder at the highest levels of the organization for the kinds of problems described in the article to be fully addressed.
This comment by James Watson was cribbed wholesale from Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think by Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier. Check out the full article and then quote James Watson to your company leadership!
Have you ever wondered what the maximum size of a FAT-32 partition could be?
Do you have an external drive which needs to be accessed on different operating systems such as Windows and Mac OSX? Have you moved from Windows to Mac or Linux and find that you can no longer access the Windows (NTFS) drive you used for your media files? How about plugging your media library into the DVD or other player, but find that it can not read NTFS or one of the Linux formats? That means that you probably need to format your disk using FAT32.
FAT32 provides the maximum level of compatibility between OS X and Windows machines. OS X has the capability of reading and writing to FAT32 drives built into the OS, and naturally Windows can see these drives too. But what is the Maximum Size of a FAT-32 Partition?
According to Microsoft, when you use the FAT32 file system with Windows XP:
- Clusters cannot be 64 kilobytes (KB) or larger. If clusters are 64 KB or larger, some programs (such as Setup programs) may incorrectly calculate disk space.
- A FAT32 volume must contain a minimum of 65,527 clusters. You cannot increase the cluster size on a volume that uses the FAT32 file system so that it contains fewer than 65,527 clusters.
- The maximum disk size is approximately 8 terabytes when you take into account the following variables: The maximum possible number of clusters on a FAT32 volume is 268,435,445, and there is a maximum of 32 KB per cluster, along with the space required for the file allocation table (FAT).
- You cannot decrease the cluster size on a FAT32 volume so that the size of the FAT is larger than 16 megabytes (MB) minus 64 KB.
- You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (GB) in size using the FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process. Windows XP can mount and support FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB (subject to the other limits), but you cannot create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB by using the Format tool during Setup.
- You cannot create a file larger than (2^32)-1 bytes (this is one byte less than 4 GB) on a FAT32 partition.
Remember, the maximum file size on a FAT32 drive is 4GB. So if you have a file that’s larger than 4GB, you can not use FAT32. It is not uncommon for raw HD video files to be much larger than 4GB, particularly when recording live events. If you are planning to access such video files on both Windows and Mac OSX machines, do not have access to network connectivity and want to avoid third party add-ons, then download the files onto a Windows NTFS drive which a Mac will subsequently be able to access (read-only).
So according to Microsoft’s calculations above, the Maximum Size of a FAT-32 Partition is approximately 8 terabytes.
For additional information about the FAT32 file system, see the links below:
Microsoft has now announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8.
For people planning the move to Windows 8, you should be aware that there are three consumer versions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT. Windows RT is a tablet and mobile focused OS which will only run on ARM-powered devices, while Windows 8 is a full-featured PC operating system aimed at x86 devices, powered by Intel or AMD chips.
For those who have not yet seen Windows 8 or read the reviews, the benefits are as follows:
- It is sleek, fast and fun (on the right hardware)
- Huge security improvements
- Much faster boot up
- Improved battery life for mobile users
- It is Great for touch
Some people may take a little convincing of the benefits of the change to Windows 8, so on the down side:
- Some users will miss the Start menu
- It will not boot to the desktop
- It needs a touchscreen/trackpad gestures/Touch Mouse to get the best out of it
- The new style Modern UI will not please everyone
- Some older CPUs won’t run it
The flashy new interface is in line with other tablet styles, so will require little training for novice users to get at the obvious features. For people who really can not live without the Start Menu, there is a basic alternative which you can display by pressing Win + X, which gives you quick access to:
- Programs and Features
- Power Options
- Event Viewer
- Device Manager
- Disk Management
- Computer management
- Command Prompt (both standard and Admin)
- Task Manager
- Control Panel
- Windows Explorer
Windows 8 will run all software from the Windows Store and any third-party programs that you may have used in earlier versions of Windows. On the other hand, Windows RT only supports apps from the Windows Store and its built-in version of Office 2013.
Windows RT is aimed at the consumer tablet market, so is not so business orientated. As a full-featured operating operating, Windows 8 Pro offers Remote Desktop server, Active Directory domain support, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, BitLocker and more.
Useful Windows 8 Resources
Other Windows 8 Reviews
From the 1st April 2013 the UK Government is offering a tax break for patent owners and Intellectual Property (IP) holders in a effort to encourage businesses to move to the UK. This so called Patent Box will reduce the rate of corporation tax payable on profits from patents and some other forms of IP.
While large IT companies like IBM and Apple have extensive patent portfolios, and may actively pursue patent acquisition as a potential revenue stream, the proposed patent box may provide a significant boost to acquisition. The proposal will apply to patent holding companies based in the UK, not just UK companies developing technology.
HM Treasury state
The Patent Box will encourage companies to locate the high-value jobs and activity associated with the development, manufacture and exploitation of patents in the UK. It will also enhance the competitiveness of the UK tax system for high-tech companies that obtain profits from patents.
Bizarrely, profits from providing software as a service will not be entitled to benefit from the reduced tax rate. That is profits from the sale of services which owe some of their value to a patented innovation. This could cause some anomalies, for example in relation to a software application which has a patented element; if the application is sold on a disk this would qualify under the Patent Box regime, but the same application provided say as a service from the cloud would not qualify.
It is suggested that companies may elect for a notional royalty to apply in this case, so we will probably be hearing more about this in the near future.
Patent Box Links and Resources
HM Treasury: Patent Box
HMRC The Patent Box: Technical Note and Guide to the Finance Bill 2012 clauses