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Most People Don’t Think about Mobile Security – But They Should

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By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In the 20 years we’ve had to get used to the Internet, we’ve learned a lot about web security and our own role in keeping ourselves safe from the nastiest things out there. At the very least, most of us now recognize the need to install antivirus software on our computers and to keep that software updated.

When it comes to the other kinds of computers we use though – our ubiquitous smartphones and tablets – it’s a different story. According to a 2011 report by Canalys, just 4 percent of the smartphones and tablets shipped the previous year had some form of mobile security installed.

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Ever Have A Day Where So Much Goes Wrong But Still Works Out?

Today has been one of those days. I knew it was going to be a rough day when I hadn’t properly set my alarm this morning. The switch was in the middle between “on” and “off” and the middle equates to “off”. Fortunately, my internal clock was still ticking and by some miracle I woke up not much later then my semi-set bedside alarm was supposed to wake me. It’s amazing how quickly I can move when this happens. It must be the adrenaline rush that comes with the realization that I am now behind schedule on getting ready for work. This morning I was scheduled for a customer presentation. I have a 50 minute commute when there’s no traffic, I pad an additional half hour for rush hour. I was running about 10 minutes behind, but I could still make it on time if traffic was cooperating.

Traffic was not cooperating, at least not for the first leg of my commute. On the second leg of my commute traffic was moving nicely and I recovered some time. As I approached my half way mark (isn’t it something how many landmarks we have for our daily commute?) I saw that I was still 5 minutes ahead. I’m not panicking yet. I take the exit for the third leg of my commute and things are looking good for about 5 seconds, then traffic slows to a crawl and many times to a complete stop. Now I start to panic. I grab my mobile phone and send an e-mail to the presentation program manager letting her know I will need to reschedule 10-15 minutes later. If you happen to be a member of California law enforcement this is not an admission of guilt to the “hands-free” law. As I neared the presentation site, I used Jabber IM on my mobile phone to provide an update to the program manager (while stopped and not driving) and received an immediate response that everything was set. The new expectations were communicated and the customer filled the available time by going to the Cisco store. We had a great presentation.

Right after, I had a meeting to attend a couple buildings down, so I hustled over and got there just after start time. Only thing was, this was a virtual meeting. The only people in the conference room were the presenters. My laptop was back in the car two buildings over. However, the conference room was equipped with a display screen on the wall. The presenter sharing the content slides was able to display them on the in-room screen as well. I was now able to fully participate in the presentation by viewing the content as I listened.

Immediately after the presentation ended I had another call scheduled. I’m in a completely different building and without a workspace. Read More »

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ClearCaptions for Cisco Helps the Hard of Hearing

One in five Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear, and statistics suggest almost two thirds of these Americans are in the workforce. Trouble with hearing on the phone in the workplace can be stressful, and most audiologists recommend hearing loss solutions to their patients.

Similar to captioning on a television, ClearCaptions has developed a secure Cisco-certified captioning technology that makes Cisco Unified IP Phones an incredibly powerful tool for people with hearing loss. With ClearCaptions for Cisco,  employees simply press one button to hear and read their calls. Plus, it’s discreet: Only the employee knows when they are using captions.

Employers can make a profound improvement in employee productivity by providing reasonable accommodations that address this concern in the workplace. “My phone is central to my job,” says South Eastern Washington Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board President Melissa Ruth.

“Whether I’m on a conference call or talking one-on-one with management, my hearing loss can put me at a disadvantage. I used to miss names, numbers and have to ask people to repeat themselves, but ClearCaptions for Cisco allows me to see what I’m hearing on my phone, making me much more confident in the workplace — it’s been a very important accommodation for me.”

To learn more about Ruth and her experience with ClearCaptions for Cisco and workplace accommodation, watch this video:

Interoperability Verification Testing (IVT) certification provides assurance for organizations that ClearCaptions for Cisco has been thoroughly tested and verified to work with Cisco equipment, which can reduce integration costs, accelerate deployments and minimize the risk of failure.

Learn more about the Cisco Accessibility Initiative.

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Three Paths to the Cloud, They All Start in Vegas (EMC World, Interop, and More)

May 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm PST

If you’re looking for Cisco in the cloud next week, you’ll have your choice of events. The source of all of this cloud knowledge, Las Vegas. Who knew that was where the cloud started?

#EMCworld #CiscoEMCW

First up, Cisco Data Center Cloud team can be found at EMC World, Booth 401, at The Venetian/Palazzo, May 6-9.

For all of the latest information on Cisco’s presence, from theater presentations to demos to speaking sessions, visit www.cisco.com/go/emcworld

#EngineersUnplugged

We will be shooting the first half of Season 3 of Engineers Unplugged in front of a live audience! Surrounded by whiteboards and as a part of the EMC Elect Space of EMC Square, the social hub, we’re pretty excited about the line up of guests and topics. Want to learn more? Ping me @CommsNinja or visit EngineersUnplugged.com.

Unicorns and Waffles, Together Againe waffles to a whole new level.

Unicorns and Waffles, Together Again

There will be unicorns.

#Interop

But wait, there’s more! Just down the strip, at Mandalay Bay, May 6-10, you’ll find Cisco at Interop. For all of the details on the keynote, speaking sessions, and Booth 1327, visit: www.cisco.com/go/interoplv

#Cloud2020

If that’s not enough Vegas cloud for one week, Cisco’s Rodrigo Flores will be speaking at the Cloud 2020 Summit, and we’ll be providing coverage.

That’s what’s happening during the day, but what about the community? Where can you meet with your peers? Beyond the numerous official parties, and there are many, here’s where you can meet up with @CiscoDC peers.

  • Monday, May 6, 9:30-11:30 pm: Join Matthew Brender (EMC), John Troyer (VMware), and Amy Lewis (that’s me, from Cisco, if that wasn’t readily apparent) for an informal non-sponsored Tweetup (BYOWallet). We podcast as The Geek Whisperers, a show about all things Social Media in Enterprise IT. Social is a part of all of our careers these days, and we’d love to hear what it means to you. Come out and say hi.
  • Tuesday, May 7, 11 pm -- 1 am: It’s Vegas, baby! After the official parties end, it’s time for Waffle Club. The first rule of Waffle Club, don’t talk about Waffle Club. Space is limited, and spots are going quick.
  • Wednesday, May 8, 10 pm until: Tech Field Day’s Buzzword Bingo Bash! What could be more fun that coming out to apply all the terms you’ve used and abused during the week. This is a crossover event in a neutral location, easy to get to from EMC World or Interop.

So safe travels to all who are coming. We look forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new. Please stop by the booths and say hi, or hunt one of us down by following the Twitter stream.

For everyone watching at home, pop some popcorn, and get ready for the ride. We’ll do all we can to bring the action to you. Send questions, suggestions, and feedback: here on the blog or to @CiscoDC or @CommsNinja. We’re listening!

 

 

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Local Government Success in the Cloud

By Brenda Germundson and Kerry Best

Can local governments improve the overall citizen experience, and at the same time increase workforce productivity? Yes, and cities are doing it now. Providing on-demand access to innovative services, whenever and wherever, opens up a whole new world to local government.

“We had a hard time meeting constituent and customer expectations,” says Jorge Pazos, chief information officer, City of Melrose. “Melrose residents go home, and on the train they can open up their iPad, they can program what’s going to be on their DVR that night, they can rearrange their Netflix queue, do banking, and pay bills, and then they come to municipal government, and it was like going back to the 1970s.”

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