“The company is highly focused on circulation profitability, so we have never been in the business of growing rate base to abnormal and unhealthy levels just to gain additional advertising revenues,” says Eric Hoffman, executive vice president and COO. Hoffman says the company drives close to 80 percent of its revenues from subscriptions and newsstand sales.Headed by president and CEO (and FOLIO: 40 inductee) Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, Hoffman Media launched in the early 1980s with titles including Cross Stitch, Southern Lady and Tea Time. After launching 725,000-circ Cooking with Paula Deen in 2005, Hoffman Media struck up a joint-venture with Hearst in 2007 to relaunch Victoria magazine (paid circ base of 250,000), and launched Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade (also carries a paid circ of 250,000), a bimonthly title, last year. (Paula Deen and Sandra Lee are both hosts on the Food Network.)Hoffman says the company plans to bump Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade to a 300,000+ circ by mid-2011. And while he declined to offer any specific figures, Hoffman says the company was “on budget” through the first half in terms of revenue and expects to post “double digit” growth through the end of the year.“We believe that if we deliver premium content at a premium price, and let each title grow into its natural circulation level then our business will develop stronger and more stable earnings over time,” Hoffman says. Online5% Print10% Subscriptions40% Hoffman Media Revenue Breakdown Newsstand35% It’s no secret that managing a magazine publishing business is no easy feat, especially since the recession that rocked the economy hit in late 2008. But despite the massive hurdles, some companies are more than managing to stay afloat.This week, Inc. magazine released its annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately-held companies in the U.S. In the media category, Penthouse publisher the FriendFinder Networks ranked number one among magazine publishers on the list. In addition to the magazine, FriendFinder is known best for its sexually-oriented online social networks.Coming in second among magazine publishing companies this year is Birmingham, Alabama-based Hoffman Media, the publisher of 11 magazines including Cooking with Paula Deen (the company ranked #38 in the media category and #3,102 overall). According to Inc., Hoffman increased its revenues 65 percent from $25 million in 2006 to $41.3 million in 2009. Revenues were up 5 percent last year compared to 2008. Meanwhile, EBITDA jumped 35 percent. Events, ancillary products10%
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The military’s push to ensure its installations are energy resilient has slowed, according to a McClatchy DC Bureau story which makes its case primarily by pointing out that only a small portion of the solar arrays built on installations over the past decade are connected to microgrids. But while there is no overarching mandate to install microgrids at all installations, efforts to provide bases an “islanding” capability are advancing, the story states. “I would say things have slowed, but the program has broadened,” said Katherine Hammack, who led the Army’s effort to adopt renewable energy as its installations chief under President Obama. “I don’t see it as a negative. I’m glad that the Trump administration is encouraging the strategy to continue,” she said. Hammack told McClatchy that DOD has solicited bids for microgrids on “many” projects, including one to build and operate a system for Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, Calif., which would help power the facility in the event of a nearby earthquake. And despite its overstated headline, the story provides other evidence that the services are moving to enhance the energy resiliency of their installations. The Southern Co., which has built 14 solar farms with generating capacity exceeding 400 megawatts at installations in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, now is pursuing opportunities to develop microgrids for the military following its acquisition of PowerSecure. Company officials are “in discussions with senior leadership of the military” about microgrid projects, said Rebecca Gray, the utility’s DOD liaison.Additional evidence can be found in a new report produced by ADC in partnership with Converge Strategies. It features four case studies of how installations — in conjunction with either state or local investment, or significant participation by local authorities — have deployed a mix of distributed energy resources in combination with a microgrid to enhance their energy resilience.Photo by Spc. Robert Porter
Twitter Email This year’s ACL featured headliners Paul McCartney, Metallica and Travis Scott, but the weekend was also chock-full of special performances from all over the musical map, everything from great Texas artists to international artists and more. The Recording Academy is on-the-ground in Austin to bring you all the action right here on GRAMMY.com.Elle King On Self-Love & Individuality: “You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For” Backstage At Austin City Limits Festival 2018 inside-austin-city-limits-festival-2018-recording-academy News Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Oct 7, 2018 – 11:17 pm Backstage At Austin City Limits Festival 2018 Whether you made it to Austin for this year’s ACL Fest or not, we’ll take you backstage for an exclusive look at some of the festival’s hottest artistsNate HertweckGRAMMYs Oct 7, 2018 – 11:22 pm Festival season comes to an official—and incredible—close each year with Austin City Limits Festival inTexas. For two weekends in October, Austin’s Zilker Park is taken over by multiple stages featuring artists spanning a multitude of genres and styles for three days of great music and rich Texas culture. Inside Austin City Limits Festival 2018 With The Recording Academy
Turo Now playing: Watch this: How is Apex Legends different from Fortnite and PUBG? Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) It’s basically EA’s answer to Epic’s Fortnite: Battle Royale, which had 200 million players in late 2018 after coming out the previous year and hit mobile last summer.We’ll likely see more at its EA Play fan event next month.First published at 4:35 a.m. PT.Updated at 5:05 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. Sarah Tew/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. 7 Read Google Home Hub review $999 Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) See it HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) EA revealed its plan to bring Apex Legends to mobile devices. Jason Parker / CNET Apex Legends gathered 50 million players in its first month, and publisher EA apparently wants to keep that momentum going by bringing it to mobile.EA COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen said during a Tuesday earnings call that it’s “in advanced negotiations” to bring the free-to-play battle royale game to mobile devices and China. It’ll also release the game in South Korea.The call revealed that Apex Legends — which you can currently play on PS4, Xbox One and PC — became the EA’s fastest-growing new game ever after its February release and that 30% of its players are new to the company. It was developed by Respawn, the studio behind Titanfall and the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Sarah Tew/CNET 2:42 $6 at Tidal Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Electronic Arts (EA),I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Best Buy Sprint Read Lenovo Smart Clock review See It The Cheapskate DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. $999 Read DJI Osmo Action preview $210 at Best Buy $999 Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Angela Lang/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $155 at Google Express Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Sarah Tew/CNET Comment Sarah Tew/CNET Read the AirPods review Boost Mobile Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) $999 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Tags Mobile Video Games DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Read the Rylo camera preview Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $59 at eBay $60 at Best Buy Comments Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. $299 at Amazon Amazon Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) 1 Share your voice See It Chris Monroe/CNET TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays See at Amazon $520 at HP Apple iPhone XS Tags Share your voice I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See at Turo See It Rylo
$999 $999 Originally published on Aug. 8 at 3:08 a.m. PTUpdate, Aug. 14: Adds Apple comment and information. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 8:10 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier See it • Apple iPhone XS Best Buy Tags $999 That realization caused outcry and allegations that Apple is “locking iPhone batteries to discourage repair,” as iFixit put it. “Apple is effectively announcing a drastic new policy: only Apple batteries can go in iPhones, and only they can install them,” the site said. But Apple on Wednesday defended the move, saying it displays the message to keep customers safe and make sure battery replacements are done properly. “Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that a new, genuine battery was installed by a certified technician following Apple repair processes,” the company said in a statement. “This information is there to help protect our customers from damaged, poor quality or used batteries, which can lead to safety or performance issues. This notification does not impact the customer’s ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair.”People are holding onto their smartphones longer than before, and for many, the battery is one of the biggest reasons to eventually upgrade. Being able to monitor the battery’s health, and cheaply replace it, lets people wait longer to buy newer models. Apple’s iPhone battery practices have drawn scrutiny in the past. In late 2017, the company admitted that software it released the previous year slowed down iPhones to offset problems with their aging lithium ion batteries. As batteries get older, they don’t hold their charges as well as newer batteries, and they can have worse problems when the charge is low or the temperature is cold. Apple ended up releasing new features to help iPhone owners monitor their batteries, and it offered a short-term, 63% discount on its battery replacement program.Battery healthThe warning message, which is found in the iPhone’s settings, usually indicates that your battery is degraded and must be replaced, iFixit said. The publication’s tests revealed that even a brand-new, genuine Apple battery caused the message to appear. It appears on iPhones running iOS 12 and the iOS 13 beta.If you replace your iPhone battery on your own, you won’t be able to monitor the battery’s health. Apple The update won’t throttle the battery’s performance or prevent you from using your phone, but you won’t be able to see details of your battery’s health. The site compared this to a car displaying a Check Oil light that only a Ford dealership can get rid of.The only way to get rid of the message is to have an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider authenticate it — essentially forcing you to take the battery through official channels.Apple has over 1,800 authorized service providers across the US, including all Best Buy stores, and 5,000 around the globe. In a support page about batteries, the company noted that if the message appears, you should contact an authorized service provider to have the iPhone checked. “We take the safety of our customers very seriously and want to make sure any battery replacement is done properly,” Apple said in its statement Wednesday. Sprint Apple wants you to make iPhone battery replacements through official channels, to ensure the battery’s safety. Angela Lang/CNET A teardown specialist said Apple is making it hard to replace your own iPhone batteries. But the tech giant on Wednesday defended how it authenticates the batteries used in its iPhones, saying it’s the only way to ensure they meet its standards.Starting with iOS 12.1 from October 2018, Apple included the ability to monitor the health of your iPhone XS, XS Max and XR battery. By going into settings, you can see the maximum capacity your battery is able to charge and whether it supports normal peak performance. You can also see if you should replace your battery.But if you swap your battery yourself or go to a nonauthorized vendor, you’ll see a Service message that warns Apple is unable to verify if your iPhone has a genuine Apple battery, as noted last week by teardown specialist iFixit. You can still replace your battery, but you won’t be able to monitor the health of the battery unless you’re using one from Apple or an authorized reseller. Now playing: Watch this: Comments $999 See It 17 Share your voice reading • Apple defends controversial battery certification warning message Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See All Boost Mobile Apple See It Three new iPhone 11 models coming in September, rumor… See It Phones Aug 31 • Apple iPhone 11 launches Sept. 10, Disney Plus in big demand Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X iOS 13 iOS 12 Apple
A blue moon occurs once every 2.7 years. (Twitter)ReutersSkygazers have something to cheer, as the full moon in May, popularly known as the flower moon will grace the skies with its full beauty in the night of May 18. However, this year’s flower moon will also be a ‘Blue Moon’, even though our natural satellite will not appear blue in the skies. So, why today’s full moon is called Blue Moon? Let us check it out.What is a Blue Moon?Usually, the term ‘Blue Moon’ is given to a lunar cycle when two full moons happen in a month and it can also be the third of four full moons during a single season. This year, it is the third of four moons this spring, and this happens quite rarely.”The name ‘Blue Moon’ has nothing to do with the colour of the Moon. Every two to three years we have 13 full Moons within a year. This way, we can have four full Moons during a given season or two full Moons in a given month,” said Gianluca Masi, astrophysicist and director of the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, CNN reports.Brian Murphy, a professor of physics and astronomy at Butler University in Indiana revealed that Saturday’s blue moon will appear as a normal full moon, and he added that there will not be anything odd about it. Murphy added that earth’s natural satellite will appear in its greyish white colour, Washington Post reports.Did Blue Moon has a historical connection?NASA reveals that the Blue Moon has a little historical connection, and interestingly it is linked with a volcanic eruption. As per the United States space agency, the Krakatoa volcanic eruption that happened in Indonesia in 1883 sent plumes of ashes into the skies, and it turned the moon to blue colour for quite some time.”The time was 1883, the year an Indonesian volcano named Krakatoa exploded. Scientists liken the blast to a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Fully 600 km away, people heard the noise as loud as a cannon shot. Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth’s atmosphere. And the moon turned blue. Krakatoa’s ash is the reason,” wrote NASA.Is Blue Moon and the Supermoon the same?Many people often misinterpret a Blue Moon as a Supermoon. However, Blue Moon and Supermoon are entirely different. A supermoon happens when the earth’s natural satellite comes very close to the earth than its average distance. It should be noted that the average distance between the earth and the moon is 238,000 miles, but during a supermoon, this distance gets reduced to 221,000 miles.
Representational imageNDTV.comNDTV officials have denied reports of SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh taking a majority stake in the news channel. “Not even a single sentence of these reports is true,” a senior NDTV official told The Hindu on Friday.Earlier, on Friday, the Indian Express (IE) had reported that Ajay Singh, the co-founder and owner of SpiceJet, has tapped a majority stake in India’s first English language private news channel NDTV.”Yes, the deal has been finalised and Ajay Singh will take control of NDTV along with editorial rights,” a source had told IE. Sources further said that Ajay Singh will have a controlling stake in NDTV of around 40 percent, while promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy will hold around 20 percent stake. IE had reported that Singh would also pick up NDTV’s debt of over Rs 400 crore and the total deal was valued at around Rs 600 crore, sources told the daily.Singh had played an important part in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2014 poll campaign, and also coined the campaign slogan “Abki baar Modi sarkar.”Promoter shareholding in NDTV as of June 2017 stood at 61.45 percent, while the remaining 38.55 percent is held by the public, according to data available with Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). RRPR Holding, the parent company of NDTV, owned by founders Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy is presently facing a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe for allegedly concealing a share transaction. In June, the CBI had conducted searches at the residences of the Roys.NDTV had then called the raid a “blatant attack on the freedom of the press”. CBI had filed its FIR based on a “shoddy complaint” by a “disgruntled” former NDTV consultant who has not obtained a “single order from the courts,” the channel said in a statement then.Following rumours of the acquisition, the NDTV stock was locked in the upper circuit of five percent at Rs 53.10 on the BSE. On the other hand, SpiceJet was trading two percent lower at Rs 143 after hitting a low of Rs 142 on BSE.For the June quarter, NDTV’s standalone income dropped 36 percent sequentially to Rs 69.9 crore from Rs 109.6 crore in March 2017 quarter, while the net loss stood at Rs 15.94 crore.
A total of 1,035 illegal immigrants, including 515 Bangladeshis, were detained in Malaysia in the first day of a nationwide operation to crack down on illegal foreign workers following the passing of the E-Card registration deadline, reported Malaysia based daily The Star on Sunday.Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said, enforcement officers inspected 155 premises across Malaysia, screening 3,393 people, it added.Of those rounded up, he said the majority were from Bangladesh at 515, followed by Indonesia (135), Myanmar (102), the Philippines (50), Thailand (five) and Vietnam (two).The rest were from other countries, he said, adding that those detained included 101 women and three children.“The 16 employers were held for hiring and harbouring illegal foreigners,” he said, adding that Johor had the highest number of those caught, followed by Kelantan.
When the entire country celebrated 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) decided to celebrate it totally in a different but unique way befitting Gandhi’s vision of empowering villagers.While inaugurating a two days workshop-cum-training programme named ‘Technology for Modern Pottery’ at Bishampur village of Sewapuri in Varanasi district on December 21, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said that in a joint effort of highly skilled 150 potters from all over the country to give a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the commission has decided to make 150 square meters (15 meters long by 10 meters wide) wall mural, using ‘chai kulhad’. “While each chai kulhad will be one pixel of the entire image, small terracotta parts will come together to form the entire image. As this mural will become a finite entity formed by a simple unit of larger generality, the KVIC will showcase it at some prominent place in New Delhi,” he said. Saxena revealed that KVIC has already started identifying potters from different parts of the country to produce the chai kulhads for this very purpose. He also informed that as India has a great pottery tradition and different parts of the country has diverse techniques of clay production – the selected potters will produce the kulhads in stipulated size, shape and finish them with their respective techniques. An Ahmedabad-based firm the ‘Clay Club’, which specialises in terracotta and ceramic products will design the artwork and will manage the production by engaging with the identified potters. To make the life of mural long and all weatherproof, these Kullad will be glazed and baked in high temperature at Morbi in Gujarat, which is world famous terracotta and glazed clay articles. KVIC has so far in this financial year distributed 4700 electric potter wheels in different parts of the country and has planned to distribute additional 7000 Electric potter wheels by March 31, 2019.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now The new Office embraces change.Combined with Microsoft’s upcoming Surface tablet and its Windows Phone mobile OS, the new Office software can help open new opportunities for firms that have been hesitant about using touch-based tools. With its tile-based look, buttons are large and navigation for complex programs such as Excel is simple. With rival Google claiming that 4 million businesses use its Google Apps office software suite, Microsoft needed a cloud-based makeover. The new Office’s integration with SkyDrive means documents can be accessed via a desktop app, Web app or mobile device. Contacts can be culled from Outlook, for example, and ported into social media.And the download time is quick. Users can be running the upgrade in less than 15 minutes.Related: Microsoft Upgrades Office for Cloud, Social The learning curve will be steep.While the new features can be useful, a business that upgrades from an older version of Office to this one might be overwhelmed by how different it is.For example, the new Office uses the “Metro” style interface used in Windows 8, eliminating the old-fashioned virtual desktop, that showed a user’s documents, and making it so that you never have to leave the app. It’s now possible to search the web and upload photos from within Office itself. That’s a major shift in thinking from shrinking a window or clicking into another tab.Another feature, called Resume Reading, lets users immediately pick up where they left off in a document, even if they were previously on another computer. While handy, it might be distracting or disorienting for some. Veterans of previous Office iterations will have to learn a new way of thinking.And even though collaborative features have elegant interfaces, they can be complex to learn. There is a dizzying array of buttons for everything from launching a meeting to sharing comments or documents.Related: Why Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ Might Be Your Next Tablet More work to do when it comes to the cloud.Many team features in the new Office are improved but, at least in this early demo, Office is not the collaborative engine Google Apps is. Basic documents are still aimed at single-person editing. And it can be slow for teams to learn to work together in real time. Collaborative team sites have to be set up and administered for working on different documents and projects. Will you upgrade to the new version of Microsoft Office or continue using the tools you currently have? Let us know in the comments section below. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. The new features that come with the recently announced Microsoft Office 2013 — such as a touch-friendly interface and new Internet-oriented collaborative features — are sure to be useful tools for businesses large and small. But when it comes to switching from an older version of Office to this one, the interface is so drastically different that it might be too much for many users to make a quick adjustment.And for companies that are already using plug-and-play apps such as Google Apps or Zoho, upgrading to the new Office might not be a consideration at all.So, does the new Office make the case for replacing the tools you already use? Here are our initial impressions of the free Office 365 preview and what they mean for small-business users: July 17, 2012
An artist who has been making quilts in Tuscaloosa for 67 years had her work recognized and publicly displayed for people to enjoy for years to come.On Jan. 12, 94-year-old Hallie O’Kelly’s quilt “October Glory” was given a special recognition by the West Alabama Quilters Guild. Her artwork, along with her personality and dedication, is why the guild wanted to honor her by displaying her work in Government Plaza for future generations to admire.“She’s just so giving and so loving and just such a wonderful person,” Debbie Watson, the outgoing president of the guild. “So our guild wanted to honor Hallie with this October Glory and have it right here in West Alabama so many generation could enjoy it.”Friends, family and fans of her work came out in support at the display’s reveal. For O’Kelley, the community’s support came as a surprise.“Something you didn’t expect would ever happen let’s put it that way,” O’Kelley said. “I knew that people in the guild were recognizing my things but to have this community effort, that’s particularly special.”The quilt is mounted on metal to help preserve it in Government Plaza forever. As for O’Kelly, she doesn’t plan to stop doing what she loves any time soon.“I’m not gonna stop quilting as long as my fingers keep working,” O’Kelly said.