The Best Fitness Gadgets [Best Of]

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It’s August, and you’re either on vacation, or leaving soon. The problem? You just tried to fit into last year’s swimsuit and – worse – you did it in front of the mirror. While it might be a little too late to lose that belly before you hit the beach this summer, take steps now and you’ll be a slimline hottie in time for Christmas and New Year, ready to undo all that good work in a week or two.

To help you, here’s our list of the best fitness gadgets around.

MacTech Conference 2012 Registration Opens With Early Bird And Education Discounts

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Pre-registration open for this fall's MacTech Conference 2012.
Registration is available for this fall's MacTech Conference 2012.

Registration is now open for MacTech Conference 2012. The annual conference, which is a great learning and networking experience for IT professionals and developers, will be held October 17 – 19 in Los Angeles. A pre-registration discount is available for anyone who registers by the end of August.

The conference is sponsored by MacTech magazine and was launched in 2010, the year that Apple chose to focus its annual Worldwide Developers Conference solely on iOS. Since then, the conference has grown into a major event for IT professionals that need to support Macs and/or iOS devices in business, enterprise, and education environments. The conference has also become a serious event for Mac and iOS developers.

Apple Begins Offering Mountain Lion Training And Certification Options For IT Pros

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Following the launch of Mountain Lion, Apple has started rolling out Mountain Lion IT certifications.
Following the launch of Mountain Lion, Apple has started rolling out Mountain Lion IT certifications.

Apple has launched its first Mountain Lion training guide and certification for IT professionals. The certification is the Mountain Lion edition of the Apple Certified Associate – Mac Integration certification, which can be viewed as the introductory Mac IT certification.

Apple began offering the certification following last year’s launch of Lion. Unlike Apple’s other certification options, Apple provides a free guide to the material on the Mac Integration Basics Exam on its training site. You can also register and take the exam online for $65. Should you fail the exam, Apple will let you retake the exam at no additional charge.

USDA Rolls Out Thousands Of iPads, Says Other Tablets Don’t Measure Up

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iPads help USDA service survey farmers and collect agriculture data across the country.
iPads help USDA service survey farmers and collect agriculture data across the country.

The USDA is working its way through an ambitious iPad deployment that may come to serve as a model for a range of government agencies within the U.S. and around the world. The challenge was to develop a simple, intuitive, and effective field survey and data collection system.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a division of the USDA that is charged with surveying and reporting agricultural data across the country. NASS operates in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico. With a staff of around 3,000 enumerators NASS conducts thousands of survey each year about agriculture across the country. The service has been operating since the mid-1800s and, until the iPad, it conducted surveys and collected data in pretty much the same way that it had back in the 19th century – with paper forms filled out by hand and mailed to various field offices. Although various technology initiatives have been tried by NASS since the 1980s, none was a successful fit before the iPad.

iFit Outside, A Slick Exercise And Calorie-Tracking App

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Keep fit, without all the interface fat.

 

IFit may be a familiar name to those who weigh less than 200 pounds. Found in many fitness machines, the iFit service lets you plan a training regime via the web, and then carry it out down at the gym.

Now, iFit has released an iPhone app so you can continue training outdoors instead of holed up in that sweathole you pay $100 per month to use.

As Companies Abandon The BlackBerry, MobileIron Offers Free iOS /Mobile Management Training

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MobileIron now offers free training for BlackBerry IT pros who are considering moving to iOS and other platforms.
MobileIron now offers free training for BlackBerry IT pros who are considering moving to iOS and other platforms.

There’s a growing consensus among IT leaders that organizations need a contingency plan in the event that RIM experiences a sudden and unexpected meltdown. That concern is so strong that 70% of IT managers are planning to replace RIM’s BlackBerry management tools with third-party options over the next one to two years – a move that could ease the transition away from BlackBerry devices to iPhones, iPads, and other mobile technologies.

Seeking to capitalize on that concern, mobile management powerhouse MobileIron announced yesterday that it is opening its training and certification services to any IT professionals that are administrators of RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

MobileIron, which we profiled during our Mobile Management Month series, offers one of the most full-featured mobile management solutions on the market, and is the only company to offer training and certification centered specifically around mobile management technologies. Until now, however, the company’s MobileIron University training service was available only of MobileIron customers and partners.

FileMaker Launches Developer Certification Program For FileMaker 12

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FileMaker delivers training resources, classes, and certification exam for FileMaker 12.
FileMaker delivers training resources, classes, and certification exam for FileMaker 12.

FileMaker has announced the availability of its FileMaker 12 Certification exam. As with other certifications for IT professionals, FileMaker’s certification illustrates to potential employers or consulting customers that you have the key skills to deliver a solid and complete solution using FileMaker Pro and related products like FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad and FileMaker Server.

Penn State MacAdmins Conference Videos Available – Great Mac/iOS Resource For IT Pros

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Penn State MacAdmins Conference 2012 videos are a goldmine for Mac IT Pros.
Penn State MacAdmins Conference 2012 videos are a goldmine for Mac IT Pros.

If you’re an IT professional charged with rolling out Macs and iOS devices to employees in your company or students in your school, the Penn State MacAdmins Group has a wealth of new resources for you.

The group puts on an excellent annual conference for Mac and  iOS administrators and IT professionals each year. The sessions cover just about everything you might need to know when it comes to developing a solid strategy for deploying and managing Macs and iOS devices in schools or business. Sessions are led by IT professionals with a solid background in Mac and iOS technologies. Real world experiences with the tools and processes involved are discussed along with tips, tricks, and advice.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference, however, you can view the sessions online.

Not An iOS For Business Certification, But CompTIA’s Mobility Course Is A Start

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CompTIA finally gets into the mobile management game at its upcoming conference.
CompTIA finally gets into the mobile management game at its upcoming conference.

IT industry group CompTIA has announced the agenda for its upcoming Breakaway Conference that runs from July 30 though August 2 in Las Vegas. CompTIA will be offering a two-day/three-session training on mobile devices in the business and enterprise environments during the event.

The training, which CompTIA refers to as CompTIA Executive Certificate in Mobility (Foundations) Course 1, 2, and 3, will focus on three distinct areas – a session on the shift to a mobile workforce and the challenges that this poses for businesses, a session on locking down mobile devices using mobile management solutions, and a session on mobile app development.

CompTIA Tries Its Hand At IT Apprenticeships

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CompTIA looks to make IT apprenticeships a viable training model for U.S. businesses
CompTIA looks to make IT apprenticeships a viable training model for U.S. businesses

 

Earlier this year, we profiled the Mac IT apprenticeship program offered by London-based consulting and training group Amsys. IT apprenticeships offer technology training based around various common IT certifications and real-world IT experience. Apprentices are paid for their time and typically receive career placement services at the end of the apprenticeship.

Applying the apprenticeship model to the IT industry is relatively common in Europe, but rare in America. A new pilot program designed by IT training and certification powerhouse CompTIA aims to change that and bring the IT apprenticeship concept to the U.S. in a big way.