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3 days ago

Technology :: 10 Favorite Productivity Apps for Business Owners

Your business is running fine, but taking care of all the wok related to accounting, tracking the expenses, employees' schedule, and answering queries and complaints of clients bogs you down. To overcome these constraints that a small business owner faces, using apps that can save your time and money is the best solution.

The app's developers have gone all out to create utility-based apps. Choose the ones that work to make your task easy. Here is a list of some apps that are helpful for business growth and management.

Call Scheduler

3 days ago

Making sense of the new Microsoft Office offerings

(MoneyWatch) It's that time of the decade again: Every three years like clockwork, Microsoft (MSFT) rolls out a new version of its Office products and invites individual users and businesses to try out a cavalcade of new features. Of course, there's often no compelling reason to upgrade, and many people choose to skip several new versions of Office until they eventually get it with a new PC, for example.

But it's a little more complicated with the latest Office renovation. If you're considering stepping up to the newest version, you have more choices than ever, including something called Office 365. What does it all mean?

Let's start with Office 2013. If you want to get Office the traditional way -- on a disc and in a box -- then you'll want Office 2013. There are several flavors of Office 2013, from the Home and Student version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for $140) to Office Home and Business (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, $220) to Office Professional (everything, including Access, for $400). Office 2013 works the way you'd expect: It installs on your computer's hard drive and the user license only allows you to install it on one PC.

New for 2013, though, is a new variety of Office, called Office 365. You can think of Office 365 Premium as software-as-a-service -- you pay a monthly or annual subscription, and have full access to the program as long as you subscribe. If you stop your subscription, you keep any documents you created, but the Office software no longer works.

Office 365 Home Premium costs $10 a month or $100 a year, and gives you the right to install it on as many as five computers (both PC and Mac). It includes all of the components in Office 1013 Professional, plus 60 minutes of Skype calling per month, and 20GB of SkyDrive storage (in addition to whatever storage space you already have).

For a side-by-side comparison of the various versions of Office, check out the "choose your Office" chart on Microsoft's website.

And don't forget that there's yet another version of Office out there as well: the Office Web Apps, which are Web-only versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel that you can access from the Create menu on the SkyDrive website. The Office Web Apps are free to use and work in any Web browser.

6 days ago

A Java Web Application Framework


Perhaps you're tired of battling web frameworks with their mix of languages, rules, configurations, scripts and XML files. Are page-oriented web apps with the attendant complexity of handling state, debugging and testing making life difficult? Does the thought of supporting multiple browsers suck all the air out of the room? Maybe you or your team are Java developers, more familiar with Java application development than web development. For these reasons and more, you should investigate Vaadin, which is Open Source and freely available at under the Apache 2.0 license.

Server-Side Development

Vaadin is a Java web application framework for Rich Internet Applications (RIA) which have many characteristics of desktop applications but are web applications running in browsers. The large collection of UI components and the use of layouts is more akin to Swing development for the desktop. Developers implement these widgets in a Java server application which Vaadin dynamically translates (using Google's Web Toolkit (GWT)) into browser client-side components using AJAX technology behind the scenes. The application code runs in the server, handling the client requests via "normal" event listener handlers.

Support, Community and Tools

The free support behind Vaadin is impressive. The Book of Vaadin is an excellent manual. There is a short tutorial and a long tutorial covering many aspects of the Vaadin library. I have used the Vaadin Forum several times and the response from the community has been swift and helpful. Vaadin also provides an impressive Sampler Demo page which shows off all the UI components and the source samples used behind each one. And, of course, the source code for Vaadin is available.

Also available are tools for Eclipse and Netbeans integration, Maven support and testing. I've used the Eclipse plug-in for development and a Glassfish server and debugging is almost like debugging a desktop application-- no more breaks when something magical happens because of XML. I would say the area that could use more attention is explaining database binding. It's discussed in the book, but not really demonstrated. A solid tutorial showing this, now that one of the SQL Add-ons has lately been incorporated into the basic Vaadin library, would be useful.

There is a growing library of Add-ons (nearly 200), some free and some for sale. Example Add-ons include additional UI widgets, data components, themes, tools, etc.

Basic Vaadin, however, may be all you need. The basic Vaadin library is a single JAR file which needs to be included as part of your web application.

The company behind web application development Vaadin is Vaadin Ltd., based in Finland. They also provide support and development help for a fee. The Vaadin framework may not be the holy grail but it's worth a look, if only to compare it to other frameworks.

Some other features:

The five supported browsers are:

Servers supported:

Apache Tomcat 4.1+

Oracle Weblogic Server 9.2+

IBM WebSphere Application Server 6.1+

JBoss Application Server 3.2.8+

Glassfish 2+

Google App Engine


Comprehensive Component Framework

Rich, interactive widgets with lazy-loading

Drag and Drop support

Mobile touch event support

Databinding using MVC


Server-side state management

Application code runs in the server

Secure parameter and request validation

Built-in input validation

SSL support

Extensible Component Architecture

1 week ago

Press release distribution, EDGAR filing, XBRL, regulatory filings

EuropeAustriaNewspapersAlpenpostBadener ZeitungBurgenl

2 weeks ago

Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa North America.

New York (AirGuide - Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa

North America) Feb 15, 2010

Travellers need not leave their aesthetic sensibilities behind

during their journey, with website Travel+Leisure listing the

world's top examples of design and architecture that are especially

appealing on the road. The website's (

2010 Design Awards were judged by a panel that included fashion designer

Isaac Mizrahi, designer Terence Conran, restaurateur Jean-Michel Gathy

and architect Holly Hotchner. Winners included U.S. hotel chain Motel 6,

Swiss Interna

2 weeks ago

There’S Nothing Quite Like The Lakes Boutique Lodge

There's Nothing Quite Like The Lakes Boutique Lodge

Nestled in reclusive tranquillity, along the skirts of the Silver Lakes region, is a place where you can rediscover the finer things in life. Cloaked in secluded privacy and nature, here you can work, rest and play, with all the luxurious comforts of home during your stay.

Located within easy reach of Pretoria, and just an hour's drive from Johannesburg, discerning business travellers and families seeking accommodation at this Luxury Lodge in Pretoria ( will find The Lakes Boutique Lodge within close proximity of all commerce and entertainment hubs in the city.

Ideally positioned for guests who seek tranquillity and convenience in luxury surroundings, this Four Star Hotel in Pretoria rooted in the heart-warming ambiance of Africa, inspires uncompromised luxury, designed to cater for your very need and desire in understated luxury and secluded privacy.

Individually Designed Accommodation with You in Mind

Discover elegant and contemporary short and long-term accommodation ranging from classic rooms Pretoria Shuttle Services to executive studios, and spacious apartments offering you luxury living without compromise.

Rooms inspire harmony and relaxation decorated in plush furnishings and calming shades, complete with all the modern amenities to ensure your experience here is one of true comfort away from home.

Comfort of Home, Away from Home

If you are accustomed to the luxury and convenience of home, no expense has been spared living at The Lakes Boutique Lodge ( Here luxury coupled with convenience extends your stay with comfortable one and two bedroom apartments.

Complete with a private balcony overlooking the golf course, separate dining room and lounge and a well-equipped kitchen, you can enjoy long-term accommodation at special rates during your relocation or renovation, perfectly suited for you and your family, equipped with the comfort and convenience of home.

Everything You Need

Flanked with picturesque views of the lakes and golf course, and the serene sounds of nature, The Lakes Boutique Lodge secures complete privacy and peace of mind with unparalleled service to make you feel right at home.

Daily service and hospitality extends from 6am to 10pm to ensure your every need is met. Complimentary weekend newspapers make the perfect start to the day, and for early risers a breakfast pack to start you on your day. Spend the day relaxing at the poolside enjoying a cocktail on the sun deck while your grocery shopping is delivered to your room.

Daily laundry and shuttle services give you more time to enjoy the day exploring the estate with your personal security access card. Voted as one of the most secure estates in Gauteng, you can enjoy peace of mind with 24-hour manned security during your stay.

Enjoy wireless broadband in the privacy of your room and delicious breakfasts in the dining room complete with sumptuous dinners in the clubhouse - everything has been exclusively designed with you in mind.

Whether a local or international traveller, your stay at The Lakes Boutique Lodge is one of security and comfort, convenience and luxury. With secure access, plenty of parking and unparalleled service, warm African hospitality and golf right on your door step, there's nothing quite like luxury living at The Lakes Boutique Lodge in Pretoria.

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2 weeks ago

Google: Web and browsers will lead app development

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNET) -- Google spent Wednesday morning trying to get developers excited about the next generation of Web technologies by showing off how future Web applications will mimic desktop apps.

"It's time for us to take advantage of [this]. . .amazing opportunity," Google's Eric Schmidt told developers.

"It's time for us to take advantage of [this]. . .amazing opportunity," Google's Eric Schmidt told developers.

"It's time for us to take advantage of the amazing opportunity that is before us," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt, kicking off Google I/O 2009 in San Francisco. Schmidt was referring to the growing sense that the Internet and browsers--rather than a computer's operating system--will be the future foundation for application development.

The industry isn't quite ready for that yet. Many of applications demonstrated before the crowd of around 4,000 developers will require the widespread adoption of HTML 5 technologies, which are still under development by a consortium of companies and organizations.

Still, Google's Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering, noted that the four modern open standards browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome,and Opera) are all adopting some HTML 5 technologies as they become more stable, taking every opportunity possible to ding Microsoft's Internet Explorer for lagging behind the other four browsers.

However, offstage after his keynote, Gundotra downplayed any conflict with Microsoft, noting that its task in moving toward HTML 5 is more complex because of the large number of enterprises running Internet Explorer, and the possibility that internal applications developed for that browser could break. "As they follow through, they are going to have a huge impact on moving the Web forward," he said.

Gundotra showed off how Web applications will be able to take advantage of five main HTML 5 concepts: canvas tags, video tags, geolocation, application caching and database, and Web Workers.

For example, canvas tags help developers bring all kinds of sophisticated graphics to their Web applications without having to use a plug-in--which is also the appeal of the video tag. Google showed off an "experiment" with YouTube videos coded using the video tags, which gives developers quite a few more options when it comes to how those videos can be embedded into a Web page.

Geolocation is another huge topic of late with mobile applications. Google showed off how its Google Latitude application takes advantage of a new iPhone geolocation API that Apple will release as part of the iPhone 3.0 software to run in the mobile Safari browser. Mozilla's Jay Sullivan also showed off how Firefox 3.5 will come with a button that allows the browser to pinpoint your location in Google Maps using Wi-Fi and cell tower positioning data.

In a briefing session following the keynote, Google's Matthew Papakipos, engineering director, said Google has various aspects of the HTML 5 capabilities demonstrated Wednesday in different parts of the development process. For example, the canvas tags that allow for richer graphics are present in Chrome 2.0, which is currently available, but others, such as the video tags, are farther away from reaching the world.

Mozilla plans to support all the HTML 5 technologies demonstrated Wednesday with the release of Firefox 3.5, Sullivan said. That is expected to arrive fairly soon.

One interesting question, perhaps saved for another day, concerned how, or if, Google plans to index the coming wave of Web applications as part of its search efforts. Attempting to index these rich applications at the moment presents quite a "challenge" for search bots trying to figure out how to categorize the content within an application.

"Content won't be a problem, but how do you index Gmail? Should you index Gmail?" Gundotra pondered.