Archive for April, 2010

IT certifications have always been popular among IT pros to bag the right job or seek the right jump. With the economy back in green, IT jobs too are back. And with them the demand for IT certifications, which in recent times have become more vendor- and technology-specific. So, what are the IT certifications that will keep IT pros in demand or are useful for job/career opportunities going forward.

Here’s over to the top 10 hottest IT certifications that could be considered “hot” in the coming months… (I am providing a high level overview on this certifications, google them for more info…)

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (Security)

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Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification provides an individual skills in designing, implementing, and administering infrastructure for business solutions based on Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server. Implementation responsibilities include installing, configuring and troubleshooting network systems.

To be certified on newer Microsoft technologies, such as Exchange Server 2010, Windows Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008, a prospective candidate should pursue the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification. In case a student has done the MCSE on Windows Server 2003 certification, he can upgrade to the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) on Windows Server 2008 certifications.

VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

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With virtualization technology becoming hot, it is little surprising that VMware Certified Professional (VCP) programme is in demand. Research shows that enterprises often face lack of required expertise specific to virtualization. According to Forrester Consulting, proper skills for virtualisation-specific projects are difficult to attain and retain.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

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Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a professional certification for Information technology audit professionals sponsored by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Candidates for the certification must meet requirements set by ISACA.

The CISA certification is for pros seeking jobs in areas of IT auditing, security, and control. CISA tests are conducted once a year, in locations spread worldwide. Five years of verifiable experience in IS auditing, control or security is required to take the exam.

GIAC Security Audit Essentials (GSAE/GSEC)

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GIAC Security Audit Essentials or GSAE is for pros planning to enter the information security industry who are tasked with auditing organization policy, procedure, risk, or policy conformance.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

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Certified Information Security Manager or CISM is a certification for information security managers awarded by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). To apply for the certification, an individual must have at least five years of information security experience with a minimum three years of information security management work experience in particular fields.

The certification aims to provide a common body of knowledge for information security management and includes material on broader issues such as how to govern information security as well as on practical issues such as developing and managing an information security programme as well as incidents.

Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE)

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Designed for experienced security professionals, Check Point Certified Security Expert or CCSE certification is claimed to be one of the most respected vendor-specific security certification. CCSE is an advanced Core security certification built on CCSA NGX, confirming in-depth skills and expertise in managing and supporting Check Point products.

Proficiencies include configuring and managing VPN/FireWall as an Internet security solution and virtual private network (VPN), using encryption technologies to implement site-to-site and remote access VPNs, and configuring content security by enabling Java blocking and anti-virus checking.

Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA)

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Another Check Point-specific certification, Check Point Certified Security Administrator or CCSA aims to validate a security administrator’s ability to maintain day-to-day operation of vendor’s security solutions and ensure secure access to information across the network. Proficiencies include creating and installing security policies, using logging and reporting features, and managing anti-spoofing, Network Address Translation (NAT), and OPSEC applications.

Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP)

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Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) is claimed to be an advanced level certification that measures the ability to secure any wireless network. A wide range of security topics focusing on the 802.11 wireless LAN technology are covered in the coursework and exam, which is vendor neutral.

The CWSP certification is awarded to candidates who pass the CWSP exam and who also hold the CWNA certification. The CWNA certification is a prerequisite to taking the CWSP exam. The certification covers a range of security areas including detecting attacks, wireless analysis, policy, monitoring and solutions.

GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)

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GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA) is an information security certification entity that specialises in technical and practical certification as well as new research in the form of its GIAC Gold program. SANS Institute founded the certification in 1999. GIAC provides vendor-neutral computer security certifications linked to the training courses provided by the SANS.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

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Another vendor specific certification, Cisco Certified Network Professional or CCNP aims to validate the ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks and work collaboratively with specialists on advanced security, voice, wireless and video solutions. To apply for CCNP certification a candidate must have at least one year of networking experience. The CCPN tests are conducted by Pearson VUE.

There are five levels of certification: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect, as well as seven different paths, Routing & Switching, Design, Network Security, Service Provider, Storage Networking, Voice, and Wireless.

Hope this help some of my tech readers, if you already have certified in either one of them or planning to get one or even something I missed, please leave a comment, on your thoughts or knowledge on this, so other can get helped out of it…

Have a great weekend….

Computing giant Apple is back to safeguard its turf in the smartphone market with the launch of next-generation iPhone OS. The new operating system, called iPhone OS 4.0, adds as many as 100 new features, including the much-wished multitasking feature and an all new look. Apple iPhone which created a revolution in the mobile industry, has been facing onslaught from smartphones based on Google’s open source OS Android and some other big smartphone manufacturers who have just launched a slew of iPhone rivals.

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Here’s looking into all that’s new in Apple iPhone OS 4.0.

The most-sought after feature multitasking will finally make its way in the next-gen iPhone. This means the upcoming iPhone will be able to run more than one programme at a time, an ability that phones from Apple’s rivals already offer.

iPhone OS 4 will deliver seven new multitasking services that allow apps to perform tasks in the background while preserving battery life and performance. These multitasking services include Background audio, Voice over IP, Background location, Push notifications, Local notifications, Task finishing and Fast app switching.

Though the current iPhone model allows minor multitasking, the feature is limited to Apple’s own programmes. For instance, currently a call automatically ends if iPhone users exit the Skype app. With multitasking, that call could continue, or users could receive incoming Skype calls even if they are reading news.

Finally, iPhone gets a camera update. The upcoming model will have a 5x digital zoom. Present iPhone version, iPhone 3GS, packs a 3 megapixel autofocus camera. Other new features include the ability to create playlists on the phone.

Another interesting addition is folder support. The new iPhone OS will come with folders to organise and access applications. According to Apple, the feature will let users simply drag one app icon onto another and a new folder will automatically be created. The folder will automatically get a name based on the App Store category of that app.

The new operating system also features a spell check function and will allow users to buy applications and gift them directly through their iPhones.

Other new features include larger fonts for email, texts and alerts, tap to focus video, Bluetooth keyboards, Birthday calendar, Web search suggestions and Search text messages.

Apple’s new OS promises improved mail functionality that will let users funnel incoming mail from multiple email accounts into a single inbox.

This means the new OS will allow users to see messages from all their email accounts displayed together in a single inbox. With just a few taps, users can quickly switch between inboxes to see messages from any single account. The new OS will also let users thread their messages by conversation, making it easier to stay on top of email discussions, as well as open email attachments.

Among other features, Apple has introduced an iBooks reader that will allow users to download electronic books online and transfer them between their iPhones and iPads. The iBooks function will wirelessly sync between the two devices so readers will not lose their place when shifting from one to the other.

Apple also introduced iAd, a mobile advertising system that is built into the phone. According to Apple, The iAd system will allow developers and ad agencies to build advertising directly into their applications, compete with the emotional impact of television ads and earn money beyond selling their applications.

Currently, when users click on mobile ads they are always taken out of their app to a web browser, which loads the advertiser’s webpage. However, iAd will display full-screen video and interactive ad content without ever leaving the app, and letting users return to their app anytime they choose.

Apple also announced the launch of a social gaming network for the iPhone, claiming the device had more than ten times the number of games available for traditional hand-held consoles like the Nintendo DS and Sony’s PSP.

iPhone OS 4 will be available as a software update to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer. The OS will soon be available for iPad users too. However, the multitasking function won’t work with the original iPhone or the iPhone 3G. The 3GS versions released last summer will get the mutitasking feature. For the iPod Touch, multitasking feature will be available for the models that came out late last year. I know it maybe bit boring reading it all, but leave a comment on what new feature would like to see on a phone you want to buy next…

Here is a specific part of the launch of iPhone O.S specifically on iAD, Enjoy and have a great week…

Want to see what lies ahead in the world of operating systems? Head to the Web, Yeah !! 😉 . Bet me that’s where you’ll find some workable examples of operating systems that move everything — applications, files, and communications — from the confines of your desktop to the more widely accessible Internet. And mind you, Web-based operating systems are more than just a collection of applications that run within a browser. They’re self-contained environments in which you can create and store documents, copy files from one folder or drive to another, and conduct communications.

In short, almost everything you can do from Windows or the Mac OS should be able to be accomplished within a Web OS. All you need is a Web browser to get there. Before looking into some options, if you want to ask the question: Why Web-based OS ? read on..

Web Based O.S / Online O.S

Web Based O.S / Online O.S

One could argue that a Web-based operating system is redundant, since one needs a computer, operating system, and Web browser to access an online operating system. While that’s true, the point of an online operating system is complete environment portability. That means being able to log on to any computer that has an Internet connection and, in the time it takes to launch your Web OS, having all of your applications and documents ready for you to resume work. Although you could cobble together many of the elements of a Web OS by using, say, Google Docs, Yahoo Mail, and other online applications, doing so would require you to make several stops around the Internet.

There’s no doubt that today’s Web-based operating systems are far from feature-laden, and they probably will not tempt many to abandon their current routine that combines desktop and Web-based software.
But given the push that the major players in the industry are making toward a completely Web-based future, there’s also little doubt that Web-based operating systems, or some form thereof, are in our collective future. Now here is the list…

Google Chrome

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While the major players in the software industry are not yet among those with Web-based operating system (OS) prototypes, it’s clear that the big names are paying attention – and making plans. Google’s Chrome, with its Spartan interface — largely devoid of visible menus, button bars, and status panels, easily reminds one of the basis of an operating system when it’s expanded to full screen. And Microsoft, although deriving a large portion of its revenue from the lucrative desktop applications business, has just announced that it will create Web-based versions of its Microsoft Office applications – and make them available for free.

eyeOS

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A good place to start in your discovery of Web-based operating systems is eyeOS (http://eyeos.org), which is free, open source, and very easy to sign up for. There’s no need to install anything to use eyeOS. Simply sign up with a user name and password to create an account, and from that point forward, you have an operating system on the Web, accessible from any browser. eyeOS creates space on its servers to store your operating system settings and any files you create. eyeOS resembles contemporary desktop-bound operating systems. There’s a workspace area — or desktop — along with icons on the left that represent shortcuts to applications, including a word processor, calendar, contact manager, RSS feed, and a trash bin. Fire up the eyeOS word processor and you’ll find yourself in a serviceable document creation tool, replete with toolbar buttons for most of the formatting tasks that users require today.

G.ho.st

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G.ho.st (http://g.ho.st/) is in some ways even more full-featured and certainly more colourful – than eyeOS. After you sign up, for free, G.ho.st carves out an impressive 5 gigabytes of file storage on its servers for you, and it creates your very own G.ho.st Mail e-mail account, with 3 gigabytes of storage. Like eyeOS, there’s nothing to install. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail message. Click the activation link inside, and you’re ready to go. The first time you launch G.ho.st, your browser will switch to full-screen mode so that you can see all there is that G.ho.st has to offer. There’s a full-featured word processor, spreadsheet, e-mail, your personal G.ho.st drive for file storage, instant messaging, and even a few games. There’s also plenty of hand-holding in G.ho.st, as well, with icons that offer to take you on a tour of G.ho.st, help you set up your e-mail, create and edit documents, and upload files from your desktop computer to your G.ho.st environment.

Desktop Two

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Desktop Two (http://desktoptwo.com) is a java-based Web operating system that’s the quickest of all to set up and get going. After a brief sign-up routine, the desktop loads, and you’re ready to start exploring. Desktop Two offers more applications that allow users to create their own presence on the Web than the other major Web operating systems. Along with a word processor and e-mail program, Desktop Two provides a Web site editor and a blogging pro-gramme. The blogging application, in particular, is impressive, providing a two-click entry into the world of setting up and maintaining your own blog. Once you create your first blog entry, the programme provides you with the Web address that you can distribute to the world so that others can visit your blog on the Internet. Desktop Two’s conventional applications are less impressive, however, in part because the operating system was not always able to save documents to Desktop Two’s online storage system.

Cloudo

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Formerly known as Xindesk, Cloudo is an open internet-based operating system that is written in PHP and runs the LAMP software bundle. It makes full use of the area of the browser and seamlessly integrates with the iPhone’s mobile browser. Written using open technologies, this browser based OS is high on features and usability. Currently in Public Beta, it opens to consumers very shortly this year.

Online OS

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A welcome departure from the masses, Online OS is written in Javascript and uses AJAX for its fast and user-friendly work. The demo desktop looks like the Windows XP desktop (the registered version can be made to look like KDE or Mac OSX) and loads very fast (although there are a few glitches here and there when components fail to load quickly). It has file-management and other abilities, but most of its applications are not part of the OS itself – rather, they launch outside of it, making Online OS a sort of a portal to these apps.

Glide OS

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TransMedia’s Glide OS is yet another entrant into the competitive world of cloud computing. However, with Intel’s plans of putting Glide into their ultra-mobile PCs, this is one online OS that is not to be trifled with. Packing a host of applications in its basic version, Glide does an admirable job of providing easy cloud computing for its users on both the PC and mobile platforms.

qWikiOffice

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This is one of those few online operating systems that make use of the EXT-JS library for its functioning. Coupled with cutting-edge GUI, qWikiOffice is indistinguishable from an ordinary OS when it works. However, it is still under development and there are no releases as yet, but should be on shortly.

SilveOS

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SilveOS.com is a Silverlight operating system (called a Web OS or a Webtop or a cloud computer). It brings the convenience and comfort you know from classical desktop applications into your browser. SilveOS.com gives you a familiar work interface that looks the same whether you’re working at your home computer, or remotely from a borrowed or public computer. System hosts all of your data and applications on the web so that they are accessible from Internet browser and not tied down locally to any one. You can launch applications right away without installation and it will be executed in draggable and resizable windows. SilveOS.com is web-based and requires Silverlight 3 to operate. Application runs in Silverlight’s security sandbox. By default code is restricted from accessing your file system or doing anything that could hurt your machine. Besides desktop, taskbar, start menu and sidebar, currently it includes wide of variety of applications, including File Explorer, Internet Explorer, Video Player, Rich test editor, RSS reader, Notepad, Paint, Twitter client, Flickr viewer, Youtube viewer, Virtual Earth, Chat, Calculator, Games like Chess, Solitaire, Spider etc…

Stay tuned for a complete review of the new iPhone OS 4.0, next week, still then, enjoy your week….

My one of a kind offshoot mini post on some tech news, so this time its on Nintendo Co Ltd plans to launch a new model of its DS handheld game series by March 2011 gear that allows users to play three-dimensional (3D) games without using special glasses.

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The Japanese firm’s new portable player will be able to play titles created for previous DS models and will be launched in the financial year starting in April. Nintendo, which competes with Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp in video games, declined to give details such as price and launch dates, but said more information will be announced at the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June. Sony plans to release 3D titles for its PlayStation 3 game console in time for the planned release of its 3D TVs in June. That game console can be upgraded to become 3D-capable using a software update.

Do cell phones cause brain cancer, dementia or have other side effects? Though there have been numerous studies on this, the verdict remains unclear. For, some studies reveal long-term side effects of cell phone usage others term them as mere hype. However, it is largely certain that cell phones do emit radiation. In fact, some analysts are now of the view that all cell phones should compulsorily display their radiation levels. Recently one of the US-based environmental group EWG recently published a list of phones with high levels of RF radiation. The list includes some of the most popular smartphone models from companies like Apple, LG, HTC, Motorola, Blackberry and Samsung.

The study is based on SAR or Specific Absorption Rate. SAR according to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association is “a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body, (SAR is used to measure exposure to fields between 100 kHz and 10 GHz), as per standards it requires that phones sold have a SAR level at or below 1.5 watts per kilogram (W/kg) taken over a volume of 1 gram of tissue.. Here’s a quick view of that EWG list of the phones with high radiation levels and there SAR levels, in this week of my blog episode :

Motorola Droid

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Maximum radiation: Wireless 1.50 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 1.49 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 1.50 W/kg

Apple iPhone 3G S

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Maximum radiation: 1.19 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 0.63 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 0.52 W/kg (GSM 850 Mode)

HTC Nexus One

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Maximum radiation: 1.39 W/kg All models/modes
SAR when held at the ear: 0.87 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 1.39 W/kg

Blackberry Bold 9700

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Maximum radiation: 1.55 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 1.55 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 0.77 W/kg

Samsung Instinct HD

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Maximum radiation: 1.16 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 1.16 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 0.71 W/kg

Motorola Cliq

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Maximum radiation: 1.10 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 0.69 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 1.10 W/kg

Motorola Brute i680

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Maximum radiation: 0.86 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 0.59 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 0.86 W/kg

Pantech Impact

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Maximum radiation: 0.92 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 0.72 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 0.92 W/kg

LG Chocolate Touch

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Maximum radiation: 1.46 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear 1.46 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body 0.79 W/kg

Samsung Mythic

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Maximum radiation: 1.08 W/kg
SAR when held at the ear: 0.67 W/kg
SAR when worn on the body: 0.64 W/kg (GSM 1900 Mode)