Posts tagged 2014

Google’s 14 biggest hits and misses of 2014

A tech company as big as Google is bound to do some amazing things every year, but it’s also not immune to failure. Let’s look back at where the search giant went right and wrong in 2014.

The best of times, the worst of times
A tech company as big as Google is bound to do some amazing things every year, but it’s also not immune to failure. Let’s look back at where the search giant went right and wrong in 2014.

Hit: Android Lollipop’s new look
Android wasn’t exactly ugly in its previous incarnations, but it’s never looked as gorgeous as it does in Android 5.0 Lollipop. The new software combines flat design conventions with just a touch of depth and shadow, giving a sense that Android is built from layers of card stock. Now all we need is for OEMs not to mess it all up.

Miss: Finding a future for Google Glass
It’s been nearly two years since Google launched the prototype version of Google Glass, and its future looks murkier than ever. Instead of building hype, the Glass Explorer program merely exacerbated the stigmas and fears people had about Google’s high-tech specs. Recent reports suggest that a consumer launch is nowhere in sight. A possible pivot toward enterprise uses may help Google salvage the project, but it’s hardly looking like the revolution that Sergey Brin and his Google X labmates had in mind.

Hit: Chromecast beams past the competition
Google’s $35 TV dongle had its share of naysayers when it launched last year, but it’s clear now that Chromecast is a huge hit. A recent survey by Parks Associates found that Chromecast overtook Apple TV in U.S. sales, moving into second place behind Roku. Google also continued to build on Chromecast’s app library this year, with major additions such as MLB.TV, WatchESPN, Showtime Anytime, and Comedy Central. This isn’t rocket science, folks; Chromecast is a smart idea, executed well, at a price no other media streamer has been able to beat.

Miss: Android Silver slips away
Earlier this year, a slew of rumors suggested that Google was working on a white-glove service for high-end Android phones. Dubbed “Android Silver,” the plan was to offer fast upgrades and minimal bloatware on multiple phones from major wireless carriers. Ultimately, Silver may have replaced the Nexus program and helped bring pure Android to the mainstream. But according to The Information, this plan fell apart after receiving little interest from carriers and phone makers, followed by the departure of Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora. Long live the Nexus, then?

Hit: No more Kafkaesque Captchas
Copying jumbled letters into a web form stopped being an effective anti-spam measure years ago, as machines became better at the task than most people. Fortunately, Google is putting an end to the cruel joke. Its latest “No Captcha ReCaptcha” requires only the click of a button, as it picks up on subtle cursor movements to figure out who’s human.

Miss: Staying neutral on net neutrality
Google was once a major proponent of net neutrality, pushing the idea that Internet service providers shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against certain types of traffic. That was before Google forged a pact with Verizon in 2010 and essentially flip-flopped. With net neutrality becoming a hot topic again, Google had a chance to make things right. Instead, it has maintained a healthy distance, refusing to discuss its views with any substance. That’s a letdown regardless of which side of the debate you favor.

Hit: VR goes cheap with Cardboard
While Oculus and Samsung charge hundreds of dollars for their respective virtual reality headsets, Google proved that you can make compelling VR out of nothing but a pair of lenses and some cardboard. Just follow the online instructions (or order a cheap construction kit), download the Cardboard Android app, and enjoy some neat demos. Even if Cardboard never matures beyond its current state, it’s a welcome throwback to a time when Google liked to have fun.

Miss: Twitch today, Amazon tomorrow
It seemed like Google was this close to locking up its Internet video dominance with a billion-dollar acquisition of Twitch, a hugely-popular live video service focused on gaming. But while numerous publications claimed the deal was done, a last-minute arrangement with Amazon left Google empty-handed. The good news for consumers (which, in turn, is bad news for Google) is that Twitch now represents the closest thing to a competitive threat that YouTube has seen in years.

Hit: Google Voice’s new lease on life
Google Voice users had been understandably on edge since last year, as the call management service had been sorely lacking in major updates. Fortunately, 2014 brought substantive improvements, including MMS support and integration of many Voice features in Google’s slick new Hangouts app. While Google is known for putting niche services on the chopping block, longtime Voice users should be able to rest easier now.

Miss: Good grief, Google+
Google’s social network isn’t technically dead, but all signs indicate Google could de-emphasize its social network after the departure of Vic Gundotra in April. Google’s I/O conference came and went without any major Google+ news, and users may now create Google and Gmail accounts without a mandatory Google+ page. An unconfirmed report by TechCrunch also claimed that Google killed a policy requiring new products to have some Google+ element. While the single sign-in aspect of Google+ remains a success, the social networking angle is a failure—even according to one of its former engineers.

Hit: Bridging the Office-Drive divide
For lots of people, Google Drive and its Docs/Sheets/Slides suite have become a suitable replacement for Microsoft Office—until it’s time to deal with someone else’s Office documents. This year, Google updated its apps and added a Chrome extension to allow direct editing of Office documents, and added one-click document conversion from Gmail. There may still be other reasons to choose Office, but document formatting doesn’t have to be one of them anymore.

Miss: Take down that barge
It’s been more than a year since Google ‘fessed up to plans for “ interactive spaces” on a pair of floating barges in Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. But now those plans seem to be adrift. Googledismantled the Portland barge in August amid fire safety concerns, while the Los Angeles barge shipped up to Stockton, Calif., near San Francisco, where it can “have a break,” according to Google. Strangely, Stockton’s tourism website has a page about the incomplete barge, but notes that it’s off-limits to the public and is best viewed from a nearby peninsula.

Hit: Peace in the patent war with Apple
While Steve Jobs made no secret of his disdain for Android, and even likened Apple’s patent battle to a “holy war” in company e-mails, Tim Cook seems more willing to let the patent spats slide under the bridge. Apple settled with Google’s Motorola in May, and settled all non-U.S. disputes with Samsung in August. Google also settled with Rockstar, a consortium that includes Apple, Blackberry and Microsoft, for a bundle of patents last month. Maybe now, everyone can get back to competing.

Miss: The right to be forgotten
Although Google doesn’t want to be in charge of erasing the past, that’s exactly what it must do according to Europe’s “right to be forgotten” rules enacted this year. The issue is a knotty one: Crime victims and people who made stupid mistakes arguably deserve a second shot at web anonymity, but the rule also threatens press freedom and gives public figures a way to hide unsavory truths. Either way, it’s Google’s mess now, as the search giant must figure out how to reasonably maintain a memory hole for the Internet.


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Cool Yule Tools: Best techie gifts for 2014

The National Santa Agency has a handle on what everyone wants.

Our motto: “He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, He Knows When You’re Awake…”
After months of investigations, cups of coffee and several arm-twisting interrogation tactics, the Cool Yule Tools staff of writers and editors has discovered a shocking truth. The government group that has allegedly been spying on us, known as the “NSA”, is actually a cover group for a little-known organization with headquarters near the North Pole. Yes, we are speaking of the National Santa Agency. (See full writeups on these products.)

Thanks to our “Special Agents” who contributed reviews: Keith Shaw, Craig Mathias, Neal Weinberg, Abigail Weinberg, Ken Mingis and Tom Lupien.

Phones, computers and other mobile goodies
A large majority of the subjects we were monitoring were VERY interested in acquiring a new mobile device, whether it was a new laptop, phone or tablet. But we think they’ll be quite happy with these reviewed devices.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
$299 for the 16GB model with 2-year contract; $749, contract-free

The iPhone 6 Plus represents the epitome of Apple’s phone line, but if you’re thinking of getting one as a gift, make sure your gift recipient can handle it. Literally. With a 5.5-in. “Retina HD” screen, this is one big phone — the biggest Apple’s ever made and its first foray into the phablet market.

As you’d expect from an Apple device, the design and engineering are top rate, and the screen is pixel packed, with 401 pixels per inch. That means everything is razor sharp, colorful and bright. It’s easily the best iPhone display Apple has produced.

Kyocera Brigadier smartphone
Price: $49.99 with two-year agreement, plus data plan

The Brigadier by Kyocera runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, and can take any kind of abuse you can dish out. We dunked it in water, dropped it on a hardwood floor, scraped the screen with a sharp knife. And nothing, not even a scratch.

Lenovo Horizon 2 Tabletop PC
$1,500 (our test unit, available via Best Buy)
When you lay this giant 27-inch computer flat on a table, the first thing people may think is that you somehow got your hands on the iPhone 7 Plus (a really really really big phablet). But in reality, it’s still a Windows 8.1 PC, but one with a touchscreen that multiple people can interact with. The Aura interface that overlays the Windows PC to provide the tabletop mode lets multiple people pinch, expand, shrink and move objects around on the touchscreen. While you can collaborate with co-workers via this method (looking at photos, or watching videos, for example), the majority of your time spent with this machine will be spent playing games.

Logitech k480 Multi-Device Keyboard
$49.99
You’re most likely to need/want a Bluetooth external keyboard when you acquire a tablet, but plenty of other devices (such as your smartphone and notebook) have Bluetooth as well, so it’s nice to have a single keyboard that can connect to multiple devices.

Logitech achieves this with its k480, a small, portable keyboard that includes a dial that switches between up to three devices, across multiple operating systems. If you want to connect a Windows PC, Android smartphone and Apple iPad, just turn the dial associated with each of those devices (it’s up to you to remember which device goes with each setting on your dial). The keyboard quickly and easily makes the Bluetooth connection to those devices. (See full review here).

Lenovo Y50
Starts at $1,089
I’ve been in the Mac camp for about three years now, about the same amount of time that Windows 8 has been out. But if I were ever considering coming back to the world of Windows, it would definitely be with this machine – the Lenovo Y50. The latest systems include fourth-generation Intel Core processors, a brilliant 15.6-inch full HD displays (touch-enabled, too), JBL speakers and a very cool backlit keyboard. I’m even coming around on Windows 8.1, if only a little bit (the return of the Start menu and easier access to the desktop definitely helps). (See full review here).

Lenovo N20p Chromebook
$329.99 (as tested)
Chromebooks have been out for a few years now, so the rough edges from earlier models have smoothed out, and Google seems to be doing a pretty good job at filling in the blanks of things that were missing from the operating system (remember, Chromebooks don’t use a traditional operating system like Windows or MacOS). You have to be invested in the Google universe, which means email will be done through Gmail, your browser will be Google Chrome, your productivity applications will be done through Google Drive (Docs, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.), and your music will be located on Google Play Music, etc. In fact, you might want to ask your friend, family or co-worker how comfortable they are with all of these Google offerings – if so, then it’s a definite recommend. (See full review here.)

Macally Quick Switch Bluetooth Keyboard
$69.99
It may seem like overkill to think that you would need one keyboard that quickly switches for use with five different devices, but you could find yourself in a scenario with two computers, a phone, a tablet and then you’re already up to four right there. Even if you don’t need five devices, it’s still a very cool option to have this functionality. In fact, you can connect a sixth device via the included USB cable, which is like Spinal Tap going to 11.

The keyboard itself is a full-sized keyboard with a very light touch and feel – it’s so light that you could carry it with you if you had a big enough laptop bag (it’s the width, not the weight that would be limiting).

REPORT #2: Audio Entertainment (Headphones, Music, Speakers)
After mobile devices, the next most popular item on holiday wish lists focus around musical entertainment. Whether speakers or headphones, we think these items will look great under the tree (or on your head).

Blue Mo-Fi headphones
$350
At first glance, the Mo-Fi headphones from Blue appear to be so large you’d never want to be seen in public with them. The headphones are big – very big compared with other headphones we’ve seen. They’re heavier, too. But the reasons for that will likely cause you to veto any concerns you may have. The extra weight and design are due to a built in audiophile amplifier and “ultra-premium drivers”, which give high-fidelity sounds to multiple devices – whether you’re listening on your phone, tablet, computer or even higher end A/V systems. Sure, this adds some extra weight, and you might get some odd looks while wearing these on your flight. But deal with it, you’ll enjoy the awesome sound compared to your seatmates listening on other headphones.
(See a full writeup of this product.)


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Weird science: The 10 oddest tech stories of 2014

Online telepaths, culinary AI, criminal drones — the tech world was full of offbeat surprises this year

Weird science: The 10 oddest tech stories of 2014
Every now and again, strange events from the world of high tech bubble over to the general news cycle and make headlines for a day or two. No doubt these crossover hits favor reports that enforce the general populace’s sentiment that technologists are fringe lunatics with their eyes on our collective future demise. This phenomenon has become more common in recent years as the intersections of technology and pop culture have become busier and more crowded. In 2014, plenty of technology weirdness cycled through the “odd news” section of mainstream media outlets. But for the real connoisseur of weird tech news, there’s a very specific sweet spot.

It concerns those instances in which emerging technology seems to misbehave, wandering to places we don’t anticipate, thereby generating a moment of cognitive dissonance. Here we take a look at 10 of the weirder tech stories of 2014, featuring online telepaths, moonlighting artificial intelligences, and criminal drones. And now, here’s the news….

IBM creates AI foodie chef
Advances in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing continued to make headlines in 2014, with Johnny Depp getting all transcendent and ex-“Jeopardy” champ AI Watson doing on-the-fly Twitter translations and demonstrating its first machine learning API. IBM launched another cognitive computing initiative earlier this year, partnering with the Institute of Culinary Education to create what is essentially a hipster foodie AI chef.

Designed to think, experiment, and learn, the computer chef has generated recipes like Belgian Bacon Pudding, Swiss-Thai Asparagus Quiche, and the deeply disturbing Austrian Chocolate Burrito. The foods, prepared by a team of carbon-based chefs, have been touring around to industry events in the IBM Food Truck — three words that really should never appear in sequence.

3D printer hacked into tattoo machine
“Trypanophobia” is the medical term for fear of needles, and for us dedicated tryanophobes, this may be the scariest tech story of the year. Back in April, a group of psychotic French design students hacked a commercial 3D-printing machine and added, yes, an actual tattoo gun.

Check out the accompanying video and you’ll see that the machine pretty much works how you think it might. A young insane person volunteer sticks his arm into the tattoo machine, whereupon his flesh is inked automatically by the computer-controlled needle, in place of the printer’s original extruder. In case you’re interested in making your own tattoo machine, the team has posted full instructions on the hack at Instructables.

Fans of Franz Kafka will note that “In the Penal Colony” got a little less metaphoric

Robot hitchhikes across Canada
Then there’s the curious case of the Canadian hitchhiking robot. In July, researchers from a pair of Canadian universities deployed hitchBOT onto the highways of the Great White North, where the experimental ‘bot ultimately traveled from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Victoria, British Columbia — hitchhiking the entire way.

The project was part of a larger research study concerning the utility of social robots and the psychology of human kindness. Using its LED-screen face to petition for rides, hitchBOT made the coast-to-coast trip in 21 days, plugging into cars’ cigarette lighters to recharge, posting videos on social media, and relying on the kindness of strangers. Canada, generally regarded as the planet’s nicest nation-state, may be the only country where this could have worked.

University builds city of robot cars
More from the robotics desk: Back in May, an odd little news story started making the rounds about a fake city sprouting up in southern Michigan. Designed by engineers and robotics researchers at the University of Michigan, the 32-acre simulated city center is intended to be a future home for hundreds of autonomous robots.

Well, sort of. The Mobility Transformation Facility is a test site for the future of automated vehicles and self-driving cars and trucks. Situated only a few dozen miles from the original Motor City of Detroit, the ersatz metropolis will eventually include a four-lane freeway, merge lanes, stoplights, a railroad crossing, and even mechanical bicyclists and pedestrians.

Drug-smuggling drone crashes outside of prison
Probably the single most prevalent tech topic in 2014, drones made for weird news throughout the year — from controversial FAA decisions to eerie footage of Chernobyl to insanely great Halloween projects.

In July, authorities at the maximum security Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina reported on a new and potentially problematic drone development. It seems someone attempted to fly a small drone loaded with contraband — marijuana, tobacco, and mobile phones — over the walls and into the prison yard. The scheme didn’t work, though. The drone crashed short of the prison walls.

Smartphones are the new plumage
Sometimes the worlds of hard science and social science converge to make news in a weirdo, Venn diagram kind of way. Such was the case in October when researchers at the University of Würzburg in Germany released a report that was both intriguing and entirely predictable. According to the study, men who are single or in uncommitted relationships are more likely to purchase high-end smartphones than other men.

The phones are a mating signal of sorts, the researchers conjecture, intended to communicate that the bearer of the phone has sufficient resources to provide for potential partners. “Studies have suggested that, as part of short-term mating strategies, men are particularly willing to engage in conspicuous consumption to attract mates,” according to the research abstract. The full report will be published early next year in the prestigious quarterly journal Incredibly Obvious Things We Get Paid to Quantify.

Scientists test Internet telepathy
Another odd trend in 2014 involved news stories about an emerging kind of online telepathy — really. In November, researchers at the University of Washington sent direct brain-to-brain transmissions over the Internet in which one test subject was able to move the hand of another, simply by thinking about it.

In a similar study back in August, scientists from several different countries employed Internet-linked neural devices to essentially broadcast one person’s thoughts to other people around the world. The single-word thoughts (like “hola” and “ciao”) were detected by electroencephalogram units, translated into binary code, then reassembled in the receivers’ brains by way of transcranial magnetic stimulation technology.

Google Glass app promises brainwave control
In yet another variation on the theme, an intriguing open source app surfaced over the summer that — in terms of strict dictionary definition — appears to give users telekinetic powers. The MindRDR system uses Google Glass plus a commercially available EEG headset to let users take pictures and post social media — using brainwaves.

The dermal patch on the headset can be positioned to detect when you’re concentrating hard on a particular image in your field of view. When the displayed indicator reaches a threshold, MindRDR snaps a pic via the Glass camera and uploads it automatically to whatever online destination you’ve previously chosen. When news broke about MindRDR in July, nerdier observers noted that the effect is arguably telekinetic — you’re effecting change in the material world by the power of thought. Jean Grey would be proud.

Smartphone chip beams real hologram
Speaking of nerdy, the new “Star Wars” trailer has fans geeking out yet again, nearly 40 (!) years after the first film’s debut. That movie featured one of the most iconic images in all of science fiction: R2-D2 projecting a free-floating hologram of Princess Leia imploring Obi Wan Kenobi, “You’re my only hope.”

Hope for actual free-floating holograms has waned in the years since — the technology is further away than the Death Star, it seems. Or maybe not. In June, the Wall Street Journal reported on a low-profile but impressively funded project to create a hologram projector chip small enough to fit into a smartphone. The report even featured video evidence — a short clip of the technology generating a 3D hologram of floating dice.

Letterman hosts hologram musical guest
In the absence of actual free-floating holograms, you can always rely on show business to bring you the next best thing. In October, the indefatigable David Letterman welcomed his first hologram musical guest: the Japanese pop star sensation known as Hatsune Miku.

The technology behind this particular brand of hologram is similar to that used for famous previous appearances by, for example, hologram Tupac. The image appears to be free-floating, but it’s actually projected onto a transparent 2D surface. Hatsune Miku’s “voice,” meanwhile, is synthesized from vocal samples. Nevertheless, the virtual pop star is regularly booked in theaters and arenas. Hatsune Miku’s name, by the way, translates roughly to “First Sound From the Future.” There you go.



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best-it-trainer-certs

Plenty fast way to be MCSE 2012 in 2014

This is to certify that MCSE 2012 can get you carrier boost and you can get the job worth $95,276,

The first question that come in your mind how long it will take got get prepared and become MCSE certified?.

If is say in on week!
How?
I mean wow!
Yahoo! it is possible.

If you currently hold the MCSA: Windows Server 2008 or one of the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certs, you can upgrade to:
MCSE: Server Infrastructure,
MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure,
MCSE: Private Cloud.

Each upgrade requires you to pass three exams, and by no coincidence whatsoever, Microsoft is offering a 3-exams-for-the-price of-two deal through May 31, 2014.

First you need to understand the complete structure of the Microsoft MCSE 2012 certification, understand the concepts and off-course you need learn and get some training. ( are you think of getting the certification without any training, I say you can and but after that you cannot fit in the job)

Let Me Explain:
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) credentials, have long ruled the hearts and minds of those who work on Microsoft-based systems and servers. The newly polished offerings have been simplified, and focus on the latest technologies.

MCSE certification, which recognizes advanced skills for running a data center. An MCSE is well-versed in networking and virtualization, and managing systems, identity and authorization, and storage.

MCSE 2012
The globally recognised standard for IT Professionals
Demonstrate your ability to build innovative solutions across multiple technologies, both on-premises and in the cloud.

As For Training
You need find one, but I suggest find a online training provider. this will best solution, you can learn with in the comfort of your time and convince.

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18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014

For years premium pay for IT certifications has been on the decline, but top pay for IT certifications has increased for two consecutive quarters and is up 1.5 percent; the largest quarterly increase since 2006. Read along as we look at the IT certifications predicted to grow in early 2014.

18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
Foote Partners just released the November update to their quarterly report, the 2013 IT Skills Demand and Pay Trends Report in which they look at both certified and non-certified IT skills, 641 in all. They use what David Foote, founder and CEO of Foote Partners, refers to as, “a specialized methodology for collecting, and validating compensation data for workers with identical jobs titles that need to be differentiated pay-wise for specific IT and tech skills they possess.”

There are some surprising changes to the market over the last two quarters. The certified skills that seem to be flourishing the most fall into the architecture, engineer, security and database categories.


Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
Premium pay for this ISACA certification has risen 9.1 percent in the last three- and six-month periods. In general, IT certifications from ISACA tend to center on IT governance. Originally offered in 2010, this certification focuses specifically on risk management. “The CRISC is awarded to those experienced in business and technology risk management, and the design, implementation, monitoring and maintenance of IS control,” according to CRISC.

Vendor: ISACA
Certification: Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

Prerequisites:

A minimum of three years of cumulative work experience executing the tasks of a CRISC pro across at least three CRISC domains.
Take and pass the CRISC exam
Adhere to the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics
Meet the terms of CRISC Continuing Education…


CWNP Certified Wireless Security Professional
Wireless security is hot, according to Foote, who goes on to say, “CWNP is a really small company and for them to be on this list is a headline.” This wireless security certification has been riding high. Premium pay is up 35 percent over the last 12 months, 28 percent in the last six months and 20 percent in the last three months, making it a marketable bullet point on your resume.

This advanced certification teaches individuals how to securely set up and run enterprise wireless LAN.

Vendor: CWNP
Certification: Certified Wireless Security Professional

Prerequisite:

To earn the CWSP certification, you must pass two exams


CWNP/Certified Wireless Network Expert
Here is another CWNP certification that is seeing a huge spike in premium pay. Value/demand for this role is up 42 percent in the last 12 months, 37.3 percent in the last six months and 30 percent in the three months.

This is the highest level of certification offered by CWNP. Recipients should have a mastery of skills relating to the installation, configuration, troubleshooting of enterprise Wi-Fi networks.

Vendor: CWNP
Certification: Certified Wireless Network Expert

Prerequisite:

Valid and current CWSP, CWAP and CWDP certifications (requires CWNA).
Three years of documented enterprise Wi-Fi implementation experience.
Three professional endorsements.
Two other current, valid professional networking certifications.
Documentation of three enterprise Wi-Fi (500 word essays.)
Re-certification every three years.


GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA)
This intermediate forensics certification is targeting individuals in the information security, incident response and computer forensics field who focus on only Windows and Linux operating systems. Value/demand for this role has climbed an impressive 16.7 percent in the last 12 months.

Vendor: GIAC
Certification: Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA)

Prerequisite:

One proctored exam
115 questions
Time limit of three hours
Minimum Passing Score of 69 percent

*No Specific training is required for any GIAC certification.


HP/Accredited Solutions Certification
Each of these HP certifications has seen gains of at least 9 percent over the last two quarters and Foote Partners is predicting that this trend will continue for at least the next three-six months. There are a number of different certifications offered.

Vendor: HP
Certification:
HP/Accredited Solutions Expert (ASE – all)
HP/Master Accredited Solutions Expert (MASE – all)
HP/Master Accredited Systems Engineer (Master ASE)

Prerequisite:
You can download the different HP certification paths here


Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP/CISSP)
Developed with input from the NSA, this vendor-neutral security certification is about integrating security into all forms of information systems applications and projects. In a recent interview David Foote, the CEO mentioned that employers are paying less for security in a time where security is at the forefront, an interesting trend an keep an eye on.

Demand/pay premium has risen 8.3 percent in the last 12 months, 30 percent in the last six months and 18.2 percent in the last three months.

Vendor: ISC2
Certification: Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP/CISSP)

Prerequisite:
There are several prerequisites for these IT security certifications.


Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)
Microsoft announced in late August that this certification and others would be retired as of December 31 with no clear replacements, angering many people who are current or on the path to Microsoft’s highest level IT certifications. We reached out to Microsoft and was told that the program was too costly and time consuming for both MCSM candidates and Microsoft. They are now investigating future ways to make this program more scalable.

With that said, premium pay for this cert rose more than 10 percent in the last quarter and will likely continue to do so, according to Foote Partners.

Vendor: Microsoft
Certification: Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)


Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (all)
This is another elite Microsoft certification that is being retired December 31st with no clear successor. However, employers are still willing to pay extra for these certifications. Individuals with this certification, according to Microsoft, have the deepest level of product expertise.

Here is Microsoft official statement on why the certifications are being retired: “The IT industry is changing rapidly and we will continue to evaluate the certification and training needs of the industry to determine what the right certification is for the pinnacle of our program.”

Vendor: Microsoft
Certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (all)


Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)
Currently, this vendor-neutral certification is focused squarely on IT architecture, but according to the Open Group website, the plan is to incorporate more business and enterprise architecture into the programs. Employers have paid a premium of 16.7 percent over the last 12 months to individuals with this certification under their belt.

Vendor: Open Group
Certification: Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)

Prerequisite:
The program is based upon four key documents:

The Certification Policy, which sets out the policies and processes by which an individual may achieve certification.
The Conformance Requirements, in which the skills and experience that a Certified Architect must possess are documented
The Accreditation Requirements

Conformance requirements for the Open Ca program can be found here


Open Group Master Architect
Another vendor-neutral certification from the Open Group, this is the 2nd level of architect certification it offers. Business and enterprise architect certifications are in development but currently the focus is on IT architecture.

Premium pay for this architect certification is up 14.3 percent in the last 12 months and is forecasted to grow in the next three-six months.

Vendor: Open Group
Certification: Open Group Master Architect

Prerequisite:
Candidates must meet experience and skills requirements, Certification Policy, either from the Open Group or an ACP.

The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) program requires candidates to submit a comprehensive certification package detailing their skills and experience gained on working on architecture related projects, followed by a rigorous peer review process.


Oracle Certified Expert MySQL 5.1 Cluster Database Administrator
This certification was formerly known as MySQL Cluster Database Administrator (SCMCDBA). IT pros with his certification are experts at administrating designing, deploying, configuring and maintaining databases that utilize MySQL cluster technology and they are in demand in the enterprise according to Foote Partners 2013 IT Skills Demand and Pay Trends Report. Premium pay for this certification is up a 37.5 percent over the last 12 months.

Vendor: Oracle
Certification: Oracle Certified Expert MySQL 5.1 Cluster Database Administrator

Prerequisite:
You must have one of the certifications below first:

Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5 Database Administrator

OR

Sun Certified MySQL Database Administrator (SCMDBA)
Then you need to pass the exam


Oracle Certified Professional MySQL 5 Database Administrator
IT pros awarded this IT certification have mastered all Oracle server related issues. Premium pay/demand for this certification is up 12.5 percent over the last six months.

Vendor: Oracle
Certification: Oracle Certified Professional MySQL 5 Database Administrator

Prerequisite:
You must pass these two exams to get certified:
1Z0-873 MySQL 5 Database Administrator Certified Professional Exam, Part I
1Z0-874 MySQL 5 Database Administrator Certified Professional Exam, Part II


Oracle Database Administrator Certified Master
Oracle’s master level certification has risen 8.3 percent in value/demand over the last 12 months. Database certifications are another area that, according to Foote, is a headline. These certifications have been declining for years but recently the pay premium for them has risen. “What’s driving this is not the relational database stuff but the non-relational database stuff. It’s the NoSQL stuff. We’re seeing a lot of spending in data analytics, but we don’t see companies getting a lot out of it,” says Foote.

Vendor: Oracle
Certification: Oracle Database Administrator Certified Master

Prerequisite:
There are several paths to this certification.


PMI Risk Management Professional
The PMI-RMP certification ensures that the holders are capable risk management professionals schooled in international best practices for managing project and operational risks. Premium pay for this certification has risen 9.1 percent over the last year.

Vendor: PMI
Certification: PMI Risk Management Professional

Prerequisite:
A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent), with at least 4,500 hours of project risk management experience and 40 hours of project risk management education.

or

A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent), with at least 3,000 hours of project risk management experience and 30 hours of project risk management education.


Program Management Professional (PgMP)
The vendor-neutral program management professional certification from PMI is a way to demonstrate your ability to oversee several projects and programs. Premium pay is up 7.7 percent in the last 12 months and is expected to continue upward, according to Foote Partners research.

Vendor: PMI
Certification: Program Management Professional (PgMP)

Prerequisite:
A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent), with at least four years (6,000 hours) of project management experience and seven years (10,500 hours) of program management experience.

or

A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent), with at least four years (6,000 hours) of project management experience and four years (6,000 hours) of program management experience.


Program Management Professional (PgMP)
The vendor-neutral program management professional certification from PMI is a way to demonstrate your ability to oversee several projects and programs. Premium pay is up 7.7 percent in the last 12 months and is expected to continue upward, according to Foote Partners research.

Vendor: PMI


Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
The RHCA is Red Hat’s highest level of certification and recipients must hold the RHCE as a prerequisite. From deployment to systems management in larger enterprise environments this is the top tier. This certification has grown 25 percent in the last three months and is expected to trend upward in the next 3 to 6 months according to Foote Partners.

Vendor: RedHat
Certification: Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)

Prerequisite:
RHCE certification must be current in order to be eligible.
Earn the following Red Hat Certificates of Expertise:
Deployment and Systems Management
Directory Services and Authentication or Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator
Clustering and Storage Management
Security: Network Services or Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening
Performance Tuning


Teradata: Certified Enterprise Architect
Premium Pay for this architect certification is up 11.1 percent over the last 12 months. It’s made gains in the last three quarters and is expected to continue to grow. IT pros with this advanced certification will have an advanced knowledge of Teradata fundamentals such as SQL, design and implementation. It’s associated with data warehousing and big data.

Vendor: Teradata
Certification: 12 Certified Enterprise Architect

Prerequisite:
Candidate must currently hold one of the certifications below.
Teradata 12 Certified Technical Specialist
Teradata 12 Certified Database Administrator
Teradata Certified Solutions Developer
Teradata 12 Certified Enterprise Architect
Candidate must be in good standing with the TCPP program and not have violated security policies and procedures on the previous certification track.

MCTS Training, MCITP Trainnig

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