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How to make the most of Minnesota winter

All you need are plastic bins and frigid temps
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Mon, 03/10/14 - 10:35am.

A highlight of Minnesota winter: the ice bar. This past weekend we finished ours. The weather was perfect, a balmy 22 degrees with sunshine for the early crowd.

We filled plastic bins -- about 20 at a time -- and made the blocks in batches. We started in early January. Since it rarely got above freezing, we could make the blocks ahead of time and stack them in the yard. The hardest part was shoveling out the yard to make room for people to stand.

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It's time for Fave Raves. What's your favorite enterprise IT product?

Send us your submission for Fave Raves, our annual call for the best products, as chosen by readers.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 02/28/14 - 12:48pm.

******* UPDATE *******

The original submission deadline was March 19, but a handful of people have asked for extensions, so I'll be accepting submissions through March 26.

******************************

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Most U.S. employees work on vacation

61% of employees will work during vacation -- some willingly and some (20%) because they're asked to by a boss, client or colleague
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 08/02/13 - 2:54pm.

'Time off' means different things to different people. For many employees, it means working during vacation.

In a survey of 2,000 American adults, 61% said they plan to work while on vacation. That's up from last year, when 52% of respondents said they would work during their summer vacations.

What exactly will they be doing? Reading work-related emails (38%); accessing work-related documents (32%); receiving work-related calls (30%); receiving work-related text messages (24%); and being asked to do work by a boss, client or colleague (20%).

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What's your favorite enterprise IT product?

It's time for Fave Raves, our annual call for the best products, as chosen by readers.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Thu, 04/11/13 - 7:28am.

*** UPDATED ***

I've had a few requests for more time, so I'm extending the deadline for anyone who hasn't had time to send in his/her favorite product. I'll accept submissions until Friday, May 3. Thanks to all those who've sent in their raves already. It's great stuff so far.

-- Ann Bednarz

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Floods, fires, hurricanes… how do you prepare for data center disasters?

Network World and SolarWinds want to hear how you’re dealing with business continuity and disaster recovery.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 08/17/12 - 10:52am.

Floods, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, power surges. There are plenty of disasters that can derail your data center operations. How you prepare for the worst? Do you have a disaster preparedness and response plan in place? How confident are you that your company could recover if a significant disaster were to make your main data center inaccessible? Please take our confidential survey and let us know.

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Survey: Tell us about your data center disasters (and how you avoid them)

Network World and SolarWinds want to hear how you’re dealing with business continuity and disaster recovery.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 06/29/12 - 2:10pm.

Do you have a disaster preparedness and response plan in place? How often do you update it? How confident are you that your company could recover if a significant disaster were to make your main data center inaccessible? Please take our confidential survey and let us know.

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What's your favorite enterprise IT product?

It's time for Fave Raves, our annual call for the best products, as chosen by readers.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Mon, 03/05/12 - 11:16am.

Do you have a favorite enterprise IT product you can't live without? Tell us about it and we'll share your raves with our readers.

Please send your submissions to Ann Bednarz at Network World (abednarz@nww.com) by Wednesday, March 21. Please note: Submissions must be received directly from IT professionals, not through a third party.

Items to address:

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Job hunting? Salary negotiation season is open

Job seekers are gaining leverage in salary discussions, according to staffing firm Robert Half International
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Wed, 01/25/12 - 2:16pm.

Job seekers are gaining leverage in salary discussions, according to new data from Robert Half International.

The staffing firm polled 1,600 chief financial officers and asked if they're more or less willing to negotiate salary with top job candidates than they were 12 months ago. Eleven percent said they're much more willing to negotiate, and 27% said they're somewhat more willing.

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Survey: Tell us how you’re handling the BYOD trend

Network World and SolarWinds want to hear how you’re dealing with the issue of personal devices at work.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 01/13/12 - 7:50am.

Do you allow personal devices to access the corporate network, and if so, under what circumstances? Are you worried about security breaches and the possible loss of enterprise data via employee-owned devices? Please take our confidential survey and let us know.

Network World and SolarWinds want to learn more about how folks in IT are dealing with the issue of personal devices at work. Our survey takes about 5-8 minutes to complete, and it's completely confidential. SolarWinds is also giving away five $50 Amazon gift cards, chosen at random from those who complete the survey.

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Financial services firms try to scrimp on IT pay

If financial services firms reduce IT pay rates, they'll lose top talent to other industries, warns Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing and recruiting firm Modis
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Tue, 01/10/12 - 12:18pm.

At a time when most IT hiring managers are mulling pay increases to attract in-demand talent, there's a trend among financial services firms to reduce IT pay, according to one IT staffing firm.

"Some of the larger financial institutions are trying to cut some rates," says Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing and recruiting firm Modis. "That's the only industry we're seeing this in."

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Developers top IT hiring managers’ wish lists

Help wanted: Java developers, software developers/engineers, mobile developers, and .Net developers are in demand
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 01/06/12 - 12:08pm.

Hiring developers is the top priority for today's IT staffing pros, according to Dice.com. The IT jobs site polled 1,200 tech-focused hiring managers and recruiters, and Java developers ranked first among 10 staffing priorities for 2012.

HELP WANTED: 7 hot jobs for 2012 

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Specialty certification targets mobile app security

CompTIA teams with viaForensics to test secure mobile application developer credentials
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Fri, 12/23/11 - 11:29am.

Mobile application development is among the hottest jobs these days, and talent will be in high demand in 2012. As IT pros with programming skills weigh the job opportunities, CompTIA is working on a specialty certification to help ensure that security is given due attention in the mobile apps gold rush.

IT CAREERS: 7 hot jobs for 2012 

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Holiday e-commerce spending at $32 billion and counting

Shoppers log heaviest week in online holiday shopping history
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Tue, 12/20/11 - 1:30pm.

Online shoppers hit the "buy" buttons in droves last week, surpassing all past weekly sales tallies.

During the one-week period ended Dec. 18, online retail shoppers spent a record $6.3 billion. On four days of that week, the single-day e-commerce tally surpassed $1 billion dollars, according to web watcher comScore.

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Employees aren’t waiting around for IT to deliver new apps

50% of information workers say they find their own tech solutions to business problems
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Tue, 12/20/11 - 12:42am.

Today's tech-savvy employees aren't waiting around for IT to deliver new applications. They're taking matters into their own hands, according to new survey data.

Intuit QuickBase found that among 900 information workers surveyed, nearly 20% have built or customized a Web app or software for work purposes without support from IT. In addition, 50% of workers said they use tools such as online databases, Web-based productivity apps, instant messaging, video chat and social networks to solve their own business problems.

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Companies shift away from yearend bonuses, perks, gifts -- except on Wall Street

HR execs say 43% of companies don’t award yearend bonuses, perks or gifts
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Mon, 12/19/11 - 10:49pm.

Yearend bonuses are a thing of the past at many companies.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas surveyed human resources executives and found that 43% of companies don't award yearend bonuses, perks or gifts. Back in 2007, just 28% of companies surveyed by the outplacement firm said they never award yearend bonuses.

PAYDAY: How much do top CIOs make?

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Online holiday spending nears $25 billion

Online sales are up 15% compared to the first 39 days of the 2011 holiday season, according to comScore
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Tue, 12/13/11 - 7:46am.

U.S. online shoppers have spent $24.6 billion so far this holiday season, marking a 15% increase compared to the first 39 days of the 2011 holiday season, according to Web watcher comScore.

Since Nov. 1, the single-day online tally has surpassed $1 billion on six days: Nov. 28 ($1.25 billion), Nov. 29 ($1.12 billion), Nov. 30 ($1.03 billion), Dec. 5 ($1.18 billion), Dec. 6 ($1.11 billion), and Dec. 8 ($1.02 billion). Before the 2011 holiday season, that had only happened once before, on last year's Cyber Monday, when sales hit $1.03 billion.

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Why are you online? Just passing time

Using the Internet out of boredom? Not unusual. In fact, it’s a common diversion these days
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Thu, 12/08/11 - 2:37pm.

Using the Internet out of boredom? You're not alone. More adults than ever before are using the Internet to kill time, thanks to the prevalence of high-speed broadband connections and the explosion of social networking.

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65% of hiring managers plan to add IT staff in 2012

Among those in hiring mode, 27% said they plan to expand headcount by more than 20%
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Wed, 12/07/11 - 8:14am.

Demand for tech professionals is expected to grow in 2012, according to new data from Dice.com. The IT jobs site surveyed 1,200 IT hiring managers and recruiters in November, and 65% said their companies or clients plan to add tech pros to their staff in the first half of 2012.

Among those in hiring mode, 27% said they plan to expand headcount by more than 20%. Tech pros with six to 10 years of experience are most sought after, followed by those with two to five years of experience.

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Cyber Monday sales climb 33%

Average online order size increased 2.6% from $193.24 to $198.26, according to data from IBM.
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Tue, 11/29/11 - 10:33am.

Online sales jumped 33% yesterday compared to last year's Cyber Monday tally. In addition, average order size increased 2.6% from $193.24 to $198.26, according to data from IBM.

HOLIDAY PREP: Target's website woes getting fixed, CEO says 

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Cyber Monday snapshot: Sales up 20% as of midday ET

Most online shopping will come from laptops and PCs during the day, while mobile shopping activity will pick up later in the day, IBM predicts
Submitted by Ann Bednarz on Mon, 11/28/11 - 1:47pm.

Looks like last year's Cyber Monday sales record might get broken. Online sales as of noon ET were up 20% compared to last year, says IBM, which has been tracking online holiday shopping.

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