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New Amazon Fire HD 10 tablets bundle Microsoft 365 and a keyboard case

Amazon also announced a new approach to its Kids lineup of Fire tablets based on age.

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trona-plus-bundle2.jpg Amazon

Amazon has updated its Fire HD 10 lineup. The update includes all of the normal aspects we’ve come to expect from a generational bump. The Fire HD 10 shares the same design as the Fire HD 8 refresh we saw last year, a processor upgrade more memory, a brighter display, and 12 hours of battery life. All of those changes are welcome, especially with the last Fire HD 10 update occurring back in 2019.

But what’s most interesting to me about the new Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus is that Amazon is offering a productivity bundle for those who want to use Amazon’s tablet to get work done.

For $219, the bundle includes a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal — which includes access to all Office apps and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage — and a detachable keyboard case.

It’s the first time that I can recall where Amazon has positioned one of its tablets as a work device, and not an entertainment device that’s primary purpose is to envelop you in Amazon’s own stores, apps, and services.

Going even further, Amazon is debuting a split-screen mode on the Fire HD 10 that will allow you to use two apps at the same time.

The Fire HD 10 and HD Plus are available with 32GB or 64GB of storage, and both will accept a MicroSD card with up to 1TB of additional storage. The 10.1-inch display is 1080p and 10% brighter than the previous model. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera has been moved so that it’s centered when the tablet is in landscape mode.

The main differences between the Fire HD 10 and the HD 10 Plus come down to 3GB of memory in the standard model, and 4GB of memory in the Plus version. You’ll also get a “premium” finish and wireless charging on the Plus model, for a price of $179. The standard Fire HD 10 starts at $149.

You can preorder the new Fire HD 10 tablets today, with shipments starting on May 26.

fire-hd-10-kids-pro-lifestyle-one.jpg Amazon A new approach to tablets for kids

In addition to announcing updates to the Fire HD 10 line, Amazon also unveiled a new approach to its Amazon Kids tablets based on age group. There’s now an Amazon Fire Kids version of each Fire tablet in Amazon’s lineup. For example, the Fire HD 10 Kids version includes a protective case, one-year of Amazon Kids+ for parental controls and kid-friendly content, plus a two-year worry-free guarantee where Amazon will replace a broken tablet, no questions asked. An Amazon Kids tablet is designed for kids ages 3 to 7 and includes the base model Fire HD 10 for $199. Alternatively, you can get the Fire 7 Kids for $99, or the Fire HD 8 Kids for $139.99

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There’s now a Kids Pro line of Amazon’s tablets designed for kids ages 6 to 12. All Kids Pro tablets come with a slim style protective case — one an older child won’t mind using — the same one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ and a two-year worry-free guarantee.

Pricing for the Kids Pro models is the same as the Amazon Kids models. The Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is $199, the Fire HD 7 Kids Pro is $99, and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is $139.

The Fire HD 10 Kids and HD 10 Kids Pro are both available to preorder, with shipping starting on May 26.

Getting a child a Kids or Kids Pro tablet from Amazon is an inexpensive way to keep them entertained while you work, be it reading books, watching videos, or playing games that are included with the Amazon Kids+ subscription. And you’re in total control over their use with the parental controls included in that subscription.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/new-amazon-fire-hd-10-tablets-bundle-microsoft-365-and-a-keyboard-case/

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CISA awards $2 million to cybersecurity programs for rural, diverse communities

The heads of CISA, NSA and IST also took part in the ShareTheMic campaign to promote diversity in cybersecurity.

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CISA has announced awards of $2 million to two organizations training underserved communities in cybersecurity.

The funding will go to NPower and CyberWarrior, two programs helping to train veterans, military spouses, women and people of color for cybersecurity positions. These are the first awards of their kind handed out by CISA.

CISA Director Jen Easterly said addressing the cyber workforce shortage requires the agency to proactively seek out, find and foster prospective talent from nontraditional places.

“CISA is dedicated to recruiting and training individuals from all areas and all backgrounds with the aptitude and attitude to succeed in this exciting field,” Easterly said. “It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do — for the mission and the country. We’re best positioned to solve the cyber challenges facing our nation when we have a diverse range of thought bringing every perspective to the problem.”

The organizations are targeting communities with high unemployment as well as those who are underemployed and underserved in both rural and urban areas.

CISA explained that they are looking to support programs that benefit communities and populations that may not have access to training programs centered around cybersecurity.

CISA, CyberWarrior and NPower will work with them to “develop a scalable and replicable proof of concept to successfully identify and train talented individuals around the country.

They noted that the effort will help address the “staggering” shortage of cybersecurity talent facing the country.

“CyberWarrior is honored to take part in the Cybersecurity Workforce Development and Training Pilot for Underserved Communities,” said Reinier Moquete, founder of the CyberWarrior Foundation.

“Working with CISA and other stakeholders, our 28-week bootcamp program will train persons from underserved populations for a career in cybersecurity. We encourage prospective students, employers and workforce stakeholders to reach out and join us in building opportunities for these individuals.”

According to CISA, the three-year program seeks to establish a cybersecurity pathways retention strategy while also providing entry-level cybersecurity training and hands-on professional development experience through apprenticeships.

Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower, said her organization’s cybersecurity program offer young adults and veterans the opportunity to advance their careers and deepen their specialties.

“This is particularly important for individuals coming from underrepresented communities that systemically lack access to those specialized skills,” Ceccarelli said. “We are honored for the support from CISA, which will enable NPower to expand our reach to trainees across the country.”

The award is part of a larger effort by CISA and other agencies to diversify the cybersecurity industry. On Friday, Easterly, NSA cybersecurity director Rob Joyce and Institute for Security and Technology CEO Philip Reiner handed their Twitter accounts over to three Black women, who spoke about their experiences in the tech industry while urging other women of color to join in.

CISA has also created a CYBER.org initiative and Cyber Education and Training Assistance Program to promote cybersecurity among young people.

The organizations are targeting communities with high unemployment as well as those who are underemployed and underserved in both rural and urban areas.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/cisa-awards-2-million-to-cybersecurity-programs-for-rural-diverse-communities/

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How to request an invitation for the Black Card (formerly known as the Centurion® Card from American Express)

You don’t have to wait for an invitation to apply for the Centurion® Card from American Express any longer. Now, you can ask for one.

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Carrying the “Black Card,” formally known as the Centurion® Card from American Express, gives you special status. It’s rare and broadcasts that you’re part of a small group of individuals who have exclusive access to the invitation-only elite card. Its inaccessibility makes it sought after by credit card hackers and American Express loyalists who won’t settle for the Platinum card.

Now, Amex has loosened its grip on the Black Card ever so slightly.

If you’re not familiar with the Centurion Card, you’re not alone. There’s an air of mystery surrounding the card’s perks, but what sets the card apart from others is the personal concierge service it offers cardholders. You may get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a cardholder in Reddit posts or occasional articles. Delivering ice for your drinks, dropped off by helicopter to a remote island resort, is just one example of the lengths a Black Card concierge will go to.

According to American Express, “We go above and beyond to help you from planning a vacation to dealing with an emergency.” However, that’s just the beginning of what you can ask for. According to a former concierge, if it’s legal, the team will stop at nothing to fulfill your request.

amex-black-card.png American Express How the Centurion Card by American Express works

Before you get too excited about joining the exclusive club of Amex Black cardholders, keep in mind that much of the information available about the card is anecdotal. We reached out to American Express, and the company representative’s response was, “Centurion offers the highest level of benefits and services to its Members. However, we do not discuss benefit, service or selection details publicly.”

Exclusivity

The card isn’t available to everyone. In fact, even individuals with an excellent credit score and a long, positive track record with American Express may not be selected to apply. One thing’s for certain: You’ll need to be an existing American Express cardholder to qualify. The rest relies on the financial institution’s secret criteria.

Black Card holders tend to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the card per year. High spending isn’t an official requirement to receive an invitation, but if you plan on getting on the Centurion team’s radar, six-figure annual spending is the best way.

Card types

There are two types of Centurion cards: the personal Black Card and business version. It may be easier to qualify for the business card. As with other corporate cards by American Express, a Black business card will reflect on your personal credit report and not the company’s.

Membership fee

The Centurion Card annual fee is the highest of all credit cards on the market. You’ll need to pay a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 on top of a $5,000 annual fee just for the privilege of having a Black Card. Plus, adding other cardholders costs an extra $2,500 each per year.

In comparison, the Platinum Card’s annual fee is $695 per year for many of the same services. The main difference could be the higher level of personal concierge services; it takes a large staff to hunt down hard-to-find products, tickets, and reservations.

Rewards

You’ll earn the same level of rewards other American Express cardholders earn. The Black Card doesn’t accrue Membership Rewards Points any faster than other Amex cards.

Concierge

Centurion cardholders are typically assigned a personal concierge, available 24/7. You’ll have a direct line to the person, who can serve as a personal assistant to handle nearly anything you need. However, there’s a whole team behind the scenes dedicated to handling Centurion cardholder requests. As you can imagine, some requests can be time-consuming, such as locating the latest game console days before Christmas.

How to get an invite for the American Express Centurion Card

If you’d like to speed up the process of getting an invitation, there is a way to send American Express a proverbial poke. A Centurion Membership interest page has recently appeared with little fanfare. The page explains that it’s for existing American Express cardholders interested in being considered for the card. There’s no guarantee you’ll receive an invitation, but you’ve at least let American Express know you’d like one.

To request consideration for an invite, you’ll need to enter:

  • Your first and last name

  • Existing American Express card account number

  • Four-digit security code found on the front of your Amex card

Is the Black Card worth it?

If you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on credit, the card can be a good option. However, it comes with a high price tag of $15,000 the first year, followed by $5,000 per year thereafter.

If you’re looking for a premium card with excellent travel-related perks, the Black Card isn’t too different from the Gold Card or Platinum Card by American Express. In addition, you won’t earn any more Membership Rewards points than what you’d get with the other cards.

Unless you rely heavily on the stellar concierge service for the Black Card, it may not be worth it. Keep in mind that American Express is extremely selective of who it offers a Centurion card to. You may not even receive an invitation after you have informed Amex that you’re interested.

FAQ Who is the American Express Black Card for?

The Amex Black Card is for higher-net-worth individuals who spend significantly. The typical Centurion cardholder spends hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) per year. They regularly use the concierge services, which provide a dedicated concierge to fulfill requests, and don’t mind the steep annual fee of $5,000.

Where can I apply for a Black Card?

The Centurion Card by American Express has historically been an invitation-only card. It still is, but you can express your interest in receiving an invitation by visiting the Centurion Membership interest page. You’ll need to enter your name, existing American Express card number, and four-digit PIN shown on the front of your card.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-request-an-invitation-for-the-black-card-centurion-card-from-american-express/

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Business courses online: Grow your business skills from home

Online business courses are a convenient, accessible way to sharpen your skills, advance your career, or take your entrepreneurship to the next level.

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Whether you already work in business, want to transition into the field, or aspire to be your own boss, online business courses teach the skills to succeed, which you can learn from the comfort of your own home.

Business courses online range from introductory to advanced, designed to accommodate your busy schedule. Taking online business classes also gives you an opportunity to explore the world of business and decide if a degree in the discipline is in your future.

Should I take business courses online or pursue an MBA?

If you want a quick, flexible, and affordable option for learning business skills, you should take business courses online. Earning an MBA is ideal for individuals who want to grow their business knowledge through a series of courses and activities over a longer period of time, or for those pursuing careers that require or prefer MBA graduates.

Because the amount of time invested into an online business course is minimal compared to the commitment required for an online business degree, you should consider your lifestyle and schedule when choosing which option best suits your needs.

Online business courses can last a few hours or several weeks, while an online MBA program spans as many as two years. The overall commitment to an online business degree also means a higher price tag than individual business courses.

Standalone business courses mean you can get what you need in one package, and can likely tailor your education to directly fit your goals. Online MBAs require students to complete numerous courses as they work toward a comprehensive project or practical requirement. MBA students often take many courses that don’t directly tie into their personal career goals. Taking online business classes can often provide more freedom in selecting your course program.

The best online MBA programs and degrees are a good fit for current business professionals or individuals pursuing leadership business roles. With specializations, advanced coursework, and networking opportunities, an online MBA builds careers while fostering individual skills.

Online business courses to prepare you for career advancement

Top academic institutions around the world offer online business courses, as do numerous well-respected individuals and groups within the business industry.

Business courses online vary in content and scope. Many provide information on specific aspects of business like marketing, accounting, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Others offer intensive, comprehensive knowledge about business as a whole. Take a look at our list of 10 online business courses to find the one for you.

Babson College’s Financial Accounting Made Fun: Eliminating Your Fears man with dark brown hair and beard looking at papers in front of a laptop By Klever LeveL — Shutterstock

Cost: Free, optional upgrade available

Length and format of course: Self-paced, estimated to last 4-6 weeks

What you’ll learn: In this class, students learn the fundamentals about how to use financial statements. The course explores financial statement preparation and assessment by introducing learners methods and metrics to calculate performance ratios. The course also trains students to create and present financial forecasts.

Who will this course most benefit? The introductory course benefits individuals entering the field of business, starting their own business, or looking to enhance their financial skills.

Brunchwork’s Business Intensive Woman with shoulder-length dark hair and glasses working on a laptop at an office Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: $1499 for basic course, $1840 for advanced

Length and format of course: Weekly meetings with 14 live video sessions, professional presentations, weekly speakers, and projects distributed over an online system

What you’ll learn: Emphasizing eight business skills, the intensive course incorporates interactive projects to engage learners. Students gain fundamental understanding of strategy and finance, pricing, web development, and communication and presentation. Additional areas of emphasis include sales and influence, customer research, marketing, and branding.

Who will this course most benefit? Designed as a comprehensive program to build business skills, the course is designed for busy professionals.

Cornell’s Structuring Business Agreements for Success Woman with hair in ponytail and glasses showing papers to a man with graying hair. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: Free, optional upgrade available

Length and format of course: Five weeks, instructor-led sessions.

What you’ll learn: Enrollees in Cornell’s Structuring Business Agreements for Success course learn about laws that govern business and society as they develop skills to construct legal documents. The course trains students to evaluate contracts and covenants, assess the benefits and challenges of various provisions, and how to assign risk in an agreement.

Who will this course most benefit? As an introductory course, this class would benefit individuals who need to understand contracts and agreements present in daily life benefit from the comprehensive content. The class also provides understanding of common legal terms and concepts, useful for professionals and nonprofessionals alike.

Project Management Institute’s Online Courses Diverse group of people talking with computers in front of them Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: Varies

Length and format of course: Varies

What you’ll learn: PMI offers foundational, intermediate, and advanced courses on numerous aspects of project and program management. As students learn topics such as Agile, digital intelligence, and business leadership, they also receive continuing education and professional development credit as needed.

Who will this course most benefit? PMI is a world-recognized leader in project and program management. Current business professionals and individuals looking to enter the field can find a course that benefits them.

Steve Blank’s How to Build a Startup Concentrated mixed race young colleagues standing near glass kanban board. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: Free

Length and format of course: One month of self-paced content with interactive quizzes

What you’ll learn: The class leads students through content on business models and customer development, value proposition, and distribution channels before moving into content on revenue models and partnership. The ninth and final lesson focuses on resources, activities, and costs.

Who will this course most benefit? This class serves aspiring entrepreneurs by looking at each step in the process of building a startup. At the end of the course, students will have created a real business model.

University of California, Berkeley’s Effective Business Writing Focused African American woman wearing headphones using laptop Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: Free, optional upgrade available

Length and format of course: Four weeks, instructor led

What you’ll learn: Students in UC Berkeley’s Effective Business Writing course learn to write effective and efficient business communications such as letters, emails, and reports. Learners explore formatting, concision, and streamlining as they develop business writing skills. Through instruction and exercises alike, individuals create documents using the techniques and approaches learned in the class.

Who will this course most benefit? Any business professional benefits from learning how to organize, condense, and present clear information via writing. Individuals looking to get into business also gain essential writing skills.

US Small Business Administration (SBA) Learning Platform Multi-ethnic group of people discussing in front of a whiteboard Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: Free

Length and format of course: Self-guided content varies in length; some in-person content with additional options to register interest for upcoming programs

What you’ll learn: SBA provides several online learning resources, including the Learning Center and Ascent for Women. Learning Center courses train individuals to plan, launch, manage, market, and grow their business. SBA also offers entrepreneurial training to individuals transitioning their businesses, spouses, and executives of small businesses in underserved cities.

Who will this course most benefit? SBA’s content meets the needs of entrepreneurs, business professionals, and leaders in the field. Ascent for Women specifically supports women interested in starting or growing a small business.

Wharton’s Business Strategy –– Competitive Advantage Female wearing hair in a bun and glasses looking intently at a computer screen Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: $585

Length and format of course: Four modules covered in six weeks

What you’ll learn: Students evaluate their business with any eye to the future by determining the differences between organizational effectiveness and strategic personing. The course incorporates organization mapping, strategy implementation, and change, and how to optimize strategic planning processes.

Who will this course most benefit? The course serves current business professionals who seek to identify, assess, and redesign internal, external, and dynamic aspects of their organization. By learning tools and frameworks for competitive strategies, learners gain new insight into strategic possibilities.

Y Combinator’s Startup School Multi-ethnic young women working together standing and sitting around a computer Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cost: Free

Length and format of course: Varies with self-guided content available

What you’ll learn: The curriculum of Y Combinator’s Startup School explores how to effectively share, get feedback for, and pitch a startup. Content focuses on launching startups, prioritizing, goals, and building an effective culture. Students can also access startup advice and get answers to frequently asked questions.

Who will this course most benefit? With information gathered from a pool of knowledge and advice on entrepreneurship, the Startup School benefits individuals who want to build their own business. Alongside the school itself, individuals have opportunities to take part in co-founder matching or access a six-week, online aspiring startup founders course.

Yale’s Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator a handshake Rawpixel

Cost: Free

Length and format of course: Thirty-one hours of online sessions with readings and quizzes

What you’ll learn: The course trains students to develop negotiating skills by focusing on building a negotiation framework. Through case studies, learners explore business scenarios, assess their approach, and look at alternative tools and techniques for negotiating outcomes. Topics include making ultimatums, avoiding regret, and gender differences in negotiations.

Who will this course most benefit? While the course is geared toward those working in business scenarios, anyone who wants to learn how to negotiate more effectively benefit from the course. By learning how to analyze and shape negotiations, individuals learn to predict, interpret, and the behavior of others.

What is the best course to start a business?

The best course to start a business is the one that provides information that relates to your goals and needs. Introductory courses offer comprehensive content, while more advanced classes focus on niche aspects of business.

How do you transition into a business career?

You can transition into a business career by taking online classes, enrolling in a business degree, or jumping into an entrepreneurial role and learning as you go. Organizations such as the Small Business Administration or Small Business Development Center in your area may have free or low-cost training courses, coaching, and mentorship to help you determine the best skills to achieve your goals.

Is it worth getting an MBA?

An MBA is worth it for individuals who seek advanced business knowledge and skills. Many business leaders and executives benefit from having an MBA.

This article was reviewed by Krystal Covington, MBA Krystal Covington, a woman with medium-length, curly hair, smiles at the camera.

Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. Her company, Go Lead Consulting, provides clients foundational tools to build new client and customer relationships.

Covington founded Women of Denver, one of the largest privately held membership organizations in Denver, Colorado. Her program helps women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills and connect with other high-achieving women. Covington received her MBA from Western Governors University in 2012.

Krystal Covington is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

Because the amount of time invested into an online business course is minimal compared to the commitment required for an online business degree, you should consider your lifestyle and schedule when choosing which option best suits your needs.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/business-courses-overview/

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