Richard Hoffman

About the Author Richard Hoffman


15 video conferencing products that are enterprise-ready

For many years, ubiquitous video conferencing was a technology firmly in the realm of science fiction — a video-phone almost defined “futuristic.” Later, such devices became technologically feasible, but only for those with dedicated high-bandwidth connections and expensive, specialized hardware. Over the last decade, however, on-demand video conferencing has increasingly become just a basic, normal expectation for almost anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone. The magical has become a commodity. Now the only question is, Which video conferencing offering to use?

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5 top ways to run Windows on a Mac

Other than a few interesting years in the mid-2000s, Apple’s approach to the enterprise market has been one of benign neglect. The one exception, starting in 2005, has been consistent support for running Windows on Macs.

By now, the practice is well-established. But the issue of management still looms large. How can IT deploy Macs that run Windows without multiplying the complexity (and cost) of deployment, maintenance and security by at least a factor of two? The enterprise question that vendors are now addressing in a variety of interesting ways is, “How can we make Macs running Windows securely maintainable components of the IT infrastructure and ecosystem?”

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The paranoid Windows traveler’s data-protection checklist

It used to be that the most intrusive experience business travelers faced at airport security was a possible pat-down, or a customs check of luggage. These days, border control agents are searching passengers’ phones, tablets and laptops for … well, anything they want to see. Your complying with the request grants them access to documents, emails, passwords, contacts and social media account information. So travelers carrying confidential or privileged corporate information (in addition to the merely personal) need to take steps ahead of time to ensure that private data stays private. 

The laws around data privacy at checkpoints are murky, and border control officers in the U.S. and elsewhere have been making full use of the allowable gray areas, asking travelers to turn over email logins and social media passwords, searching devices and making forensic copies of data. If this concerns you and your company, these tips could prove useful. While legal issues vary by country, most of these suggestions will provide a measure of data security in a variety of situations.

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The paranoid Mac traveler’s 10-point data protection checklist

Here’s an increasingly common scenario: You’re on a business trip, either entering a foreign country or returning home. As you go through customs, a border-control agent asks you to turn on and hand over your iPhone, then starts poking around, looking at your text messages, call logs and apps. The agent then asks you to wake your MacBook, log into your social media accounts and open your email. After the agent reads your tweets and posts for a few minutes, your phone and laptop are taken “for further inspection” — and returned some time later.

Alternatively, the equivalent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in a foreign country declares that all laptops on international flights must be put in checked baggage — a scenario only narrowly averted a few weeks ago. Your company laptop is properly checked in, but when you arrive at your destination, you discover that not only has your bag been searched, but your laptop appears to have been opened and powered on.

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