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26 Sep 2012
In a survey of 323 SMBs just released by Spiceworks, a social business site, and sponsored by storage management vendor EMC, 62% report they are using some type of cloud  application, up from 48% at the beginning of the year and 28% a year ago. Most of this growth is coming in online file-sharing services (such as Dropbox), but haven’t moved into online productivity offerings in a big way just yet.

When it comes to moving productivity suites to the cloud, which include word processing, spreadsheet and calendar applications, adoption is slow among SMBs. Cloud-based productivity suites have the lowest adoption rate among the three applications reviewed in this study. Nearly two out of three businesses have no plans to use cloud-based...

01 Sep 2012

A perfect storm of factors is producing record-high gasoline prices this Labor Day weekend, just as millions of motorists hit the road to catch the last breath of summer.

The U.S. national average for a gallon of regular gas hit $3.82 on Thursday according to AAA's tracking, jumping 7 cents in two days. Last year at this time, the average was $3.61.

"This week, the main factor that is driving up gas prices is the landfall of Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf Coast," said Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA. As the Category 1 slow-moving storm approached the region, many refineries were closed down so they wouldn't be damaged, stopping their gasoline production. "Whenever you see supplies drop, prices increase," Green said.

Isaac was downgraded to...

31 Aug 2012

The basic story is that after the financial crisis, lawmakers decided that one of the reasons the economy collapsed is that average investors didn't understand the various stocks and bonds and mutual fund shares they had bought. So they decided to require the SEC to find out how much average (also known as "retail") investors knew about the stuff in their portfolios, by asking them questions like, and I'm paraphrasing: "This stock you own — what does it do?"

The resulting study, released today, is amazing and depressing. Not only does it contain the world's longest section titles ("The Most Useful and Understandable Relevant Information that Retail Investors Need to Make Informed Financial Decisions before Engaging a Financial...