James A. Martin

About the Author James A. Martin


What is IFTTT? A free platform that connects everything as a service

You’ve no doubt heard of software as a service. Those who are deeply into IT will nod their heads in recognition when acronyms such as IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) are tossed around, too. But here’s one “*aaS” you might not have heard of yet: everything as a service. And it’s the future, according to Linden Tibbets, CEO and co-founder of IFTTT.

But what exactly is IFTTT? And how does it relate to the idea of everything as a service? Here’s what you need to know.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT derives its name from the programming conditional statement “if this, then that.” What the company provides is a software platform that connects apps, devices and services from different developers in order to trigger one or more automations involving those apps, devices and services.

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7 reasons Chrome OS computers are ideal for enterprises

Will 2018 be the year Chrome OS devices emerge as mainstream computers in the corporate world?

Not a chance. Microsoft Windows is predicted to represent 85% of worldwide PC shipments next year, with macOS at 8% and Chrome at 6%, according to IDC.

But consider this: In 2017, 5.5% of all PCs sold will be Chrome OS devices, according to IDC analyst Linn Huang. This marks the first time a third operating system has joined Windows and macOS in crossing the 5% threshold in PC shipments since IDC started tracking that data in 1995.

So is it time for your organization to consider Chromebooks, Chromeboxes (desktop computers) or other Chrome OS devices for your workforce? There are several well-known reasons for adding Chrome OS thin clients to your arsenal — including tighter security, easier management and greater ease of use for your workforce. (If users know their way around the Chrome browser, they can use a Chromebook.)

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7 reasons Chrome OS computers are ideal for enterprises

Will 2018 be the year Chrome OS devices emerge as mainstream computers in the corporate world?

Not a chance. Microsoft Windows is predicted to represent 85% of worldwide PC shipments next year, with macOS at 8% and Chrome at 6%, according to IDC.

But consider this: In 2017, 5.5% of all PCs sold will be Chrome OS devices, according to IDC analyst Linn Huang. This marks the first time a third operating system has joined Windows and macOS in crossing the 5% threshold in PC shipments since IDC started tracking that data in 1995.

So is it time for your organization to consider Chromebooks, Chromeboxes (desktop computers) or other Chrome OS devices for your workforce? There are several well-known reasons for adding Chrome OS thin clients to your arsenal — including tighter security, easier management and greater ease of use for your workforce. (If users know their way around the Chrome browser, they can use a Chromebook.)

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How to get a cutting-edge web browser

Installing a pre-release version of your web browser promises at least two distinct thrills. The first one: You get to test new features sometimes months before mainstream users see them. How cool is that?

The second thrill comes from taking a risk. Installing pre-release software can cause data loss (perhaps even hair loss), excess battery drain on portables and other aggravations. As Google puts it on its Chrome Canary download page, it’s “not for the faint of heart.”

But let’s assume you’re up for the challenge and eager to see what’s next for your browser. Here’s what you need to know about pre-release versions of Chrome, Safari Technical Preview, Firefox and Edge.

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Top Slack app tips, tricks and hacks for power users

Slack users tend to be passionate about the popular collaboration tool. “Slack has changed the way we communicate internally,” said Rob Shapiro, senior director of product strategy for Muck Rack, a digital PR and journalism platform. Slack’s easier access to shared files, discussion areas and notifications “made our team smarter, faster and more in tune with one another,” he said in a recent interview.

That passion also tends to lead users to find ways to get even more from the app, which can be downloaded for Windows here, for Mac users here and for Linux here

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The best Google Chrome extensions of 2017

Google’s Chrome browser rocks. It’s reliable, efficient and nicely cross-platform. Chrome is by far the most-used browser in the U.S., too, with nearly 60% market share as of July 2017, compared to 22% for the second-place Edge/Internet Explorer combo from Microsoft, according to Net Applications.

And Chrome has a huge ecosystem of extensions that make the browser even more powerful. The following is a sampling of 25 of the top-rated, free Chrome extensions (receiving 4 or 5 stars from users) across a variety of categories. (Note: Not all of the 25 extensions have their own mini-review below.)

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7 unexpected ways collaboration software can boost productivity

At many companies, the productivity benefits of collaboration software have been long apparent: easier communications with colleagues, more effective brainstorming with remote team members, and the ability to share content, files and other resources with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

But as collaboration tools have evolved, some organizations have found benefits they hadn’t counted on, such as increased transparency, better problem-solving and more efficient crisis planning.

Here are seven unexpected ways collaboration software has bolstered enterprise productivity — along with a look at some of the challenges companies may need to address first.

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How to pick the right collaboration tools

Does the prospect of choosing a collaboration suite seem unusually daunting? That’s because for many people, it is.

“I’ve covered this space for nearly 20 years, I know all the tools, and personally, I’m overwhelmed,” said Alan Lepofsky, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

The recent proliferation of collaboration software has put many technology decision-makers and users “in a tizzy,” he explained, as mobile apps, social media, the cloud and virtual teams and workplaces continue to change how and where we collaborate — and the software we use to make that happen.

Picking the right collaboration suite or stack isn’t just challenging — it’s critically important. Nearly seven out of 10 IT professionals say collaboration is a high priority or is essential to their organization, according to a recent Spiceworks survey commissioned by videoconferencing provider Lifesize.

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