Friday
Apr222016

How do I share my work calendar with all the applications that I use?

image

Like a lot of you, I would want to have to enter information into my computer once in the best of all worlds have it show up everywhere that I may want to access it from.

I live and breathe inside of Microsoft Outlook with everything from email, scheduling, task management and accessing information about the people I need to be in contact with. So Outlook is a good container to house all this information for me. It also integrates with a lot of the business applications that we use at our office so it is an essential part of my daily routine.

So over the past month I've been experimenting with some ways to be able to share information that is in Outlook with other applications and devices that I use. The picture to the right is a good example of how I have accomplished at some the things that I use on a daily basis.

Google Calendar seems to be the central application that I need to coordinate the sharing of all the calendar data. Using a shareware program that I've commented on last month, called Outlook Google Calendar Sync, I have the conduit that I can use to connect Outlook calendar to Google calendar and have them synchronized automatically. This allows me to set up the connection from Cozi Calendar to Google Calendar to display all of my events for my family to share, again, without me having to reenter the information.

So now as I enter new events into my Calendar in Outlook, the Outlook Google Calendar Sync Application periodically updates Google Calendar and when ever my wife looks at our family Cozi Calendar she has the ability to plan around my schedule very easily. Another nice thing that happens is that unable to connect our Amazon Echo to my Google account and when I come down in the morning I can just ask Alexis what my days schedule is. I know then what I have to ramp up you soon I need to get moving towards the office. Voilà! Information at your fingertips

  • Outlook Google Calendar Sync - Offers calendar synchronization between Outlook and Google, including attendees and reminders. Completely free, no install necessary, works behind web proxies and actively developed.
  • Google Calendar -  With Google's free online calendar, it's easy to keep track of life's important events all in one place.
  • Cozi - Cozi is the must-have organizer for families. It helps coordinate and communicate everyone’s schedules and activities, track grocery lists, manage to do lists, plan ahead for dinner, and keep the whole family on the same page.
  • Amazon Echo - Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like iTunes from your phone or tablet. .
Friday
Apr222016

New Ransomware called Jigsaw is now live

ZDNet’s headline Tick, Tock: Jigsaw ransomware deletes your files as you  wait just posted with a scary tale of how this new malware product works. The code is being sold to would be blackmailers for $139 but so far ZDNet states that only 24 people have purchased it.

According to most of the discussions out there on this new malware package it was poorly written and Forcepoint researchers were able to easily reverse engineer the code.

Forcepoint says:

"A genius malware author this is not, the use of C#/.NET makes it trivial to reverse engineer and analyse. At the current rate, by selling the source code for the software is not going to generate nearly enough money to pay for much.
Finally, the customers who have purchased this kit are non too smart either, even with the documentation available some have left their names in the malware."

ZDnet goes to say that while this version is not as dangerous as it could be but future versions could be even worse:

The infection rates are small and the return seems to be poor. However, the functionality of this new type of ransomware is still worth noting. As cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and tools are developed, even those with a lack of skill can cash in -- and Jigsaw is a prime example of how ransomware may end up evolving on a wider scale in the future, reported

See more coverage here.

Thursday
Apr212016

Another OneDrive Issue!

Until I read this article from our friends over at https://winsupersite.com I didn’t realize that this feature ever existed. This is something that I have used in DropBox when I was using a my old surfacepro2 that had limited storage space on its drive. Now that I see what they are talking about, yeah! I want it back, too! Hopefully they will bring something back that will useable in this manner and help you to manage the files the files that you put on OneDrive. The link to this article is below:

Will OneDrive Placeholders Return for Users of Microsoft's Cloud Storage?

Wednesday
Apr202016

Lexmark has new ownership

imageWe just had notification that Lexmark has entered a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by a consortium of investors.  According to the press release and our representative at Lexmark we should see and change in services or availability of product and that this merger will help to provide a larger base of cash to continue to grow from.

Supporting Quotes

“This is an exciting transaction that Lexmark’s Board of Directors believes is in the best interests of our shareholders following an exhaustive strategic alternatives review process to maximize value,” said Paul Rooke, Lexmark chairman and chief executive officer. “The transaction will benefit our customers and provide new opportunities for
our employees. 

“As part of the Consortium, Lexmark will be able to reach the next level of growth and innovation, to the benefit of our customers, business partners and suppliers, faster than we could achieve on our own,” added Rooke. “With the Consortium’s resources, we will be able to continue to invest in and grow the business to more fully penetrate the Asia
Pacific market for hardware, software and managed print services.”

Jean-Paul Montupet, lead director of the Lexmark Board of Directors, said, “This transaction represents the culmination of an extensive review process by the Board of Directors and the next step in Lexmark’s growth and transformation. We anticipate that the transaction will cause no disruption to our operations or our ongoing cost-savings
initiatives, and will only strengthen the business.”

“Lexmark is a recognized global leader in printing technology and enterprise software, with a proven track record of performance, a consistent annuity-based business model and a talented workforce,” said Weijian Shan, group chairman and CEO of PAG. “We look forward to working with Lexmark’s management team and focusing on expanding
the business in the Asia Pacific region.”

“Lexmark’s passion for excellence and unwavering commitments to customers, employees and communities represent a tremendous cultural fit,” said Jackson Wang, Apex Technology chairman. “We are excited to work alongside Lexmark as it continues  to invest in advanced technologies and solutions to best serve its customers and business partners while simultaneously pursuing additional untapped opportunities for future growth.” 

Wednesday
Apr202016

Savings in the Cloud: How the Cloud Cuts Costs

Local IT infrastructure and the employees needed for maintenance, troubleshooting and general repair are a costly investment. However, the advancement of cloud technology has made localized infrastructure obsolete. While some businesses are skeptical, others have embraced cloud computing and reduced their operating costs in the following areas:

Hardware

Localized IT infrastructure is an expensive investment. On top of the initial costs of the hardware, most companies don’t use the majority of their hardware, which wastes space and money. A lot of IT infrastructure is more complex than most businesses need, so they end up paying for capabilities and functionalities they’ll never use.

Alternatively, cloud computing services utilize the hardware they have because multiple companies, businesses, firms and individuals use different aspects of their hardware. Cloud service companies pack huge amounts of hardware into secure data centers, so when a company pays for their service, they are technically renting the hardware the cloud provider owns. Cloud providers make the initial investments in hardware and IT support, so businesses have more time to complete other tasks and focus on the products and services they specialize in.

Capital

In addition to most companies not needing all the functions of local hardware, many cannot afford the upfront costs of purchasing the local servers. Even though they may recoup the costs over time, the initial investment may be too much for startups and small businesses to pay. However, cloud computing enables businesses to forego this equipment and let specialized cloud companies invest in it instead. By not having to come up with the capital when starting their organization, businesses can put that money into production, marketing, advertising or other areas that may need it more.

Power

Businesses are not turning the cloud on and off like they would with their computers or overhead lights to save energy. One of the byproducts of the cloud is that it uses less energy than localized servers because it uses more efficient hardware. Since cloud service providers run hardware at its maximum capacity, they pass the savings onto businesses who subscribe to their services. As a bonus to cutting down on the cost of the power bill, the cloud is a greener option for the environment.

Labor

Any company that uses localized servers should have a dedicated IT department that can troubleshoot and support the business’ employees in-house. However, many cloud services provide full IT support, which eliminates the need for in-house IT employees. Outsourcing IT support can cut costs for businesses using servers without cloud support, but this is not the only affordable option. Many cloud services can provide IT support for their servers as well as support for internal IT departments. This enables businesses to grow their company and maximize their profits, rather than wasting time, energy and resources on IT maintenance.

Environment

Although the environment is a less tangible type of savings, it can make a big different for organizations and their customers. People want to work with and buy from environmentally friendly companies, and corporate responsibility is becoming more popular. In addition to public perception, cloud computing reduces the amount of energy used and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted. Cloud data centers are doing more to decrease their carbon footprint, which means their business partners are reducing their environmental impact as well.

Kyle Peterson    March 28, 2016

Wednesday
Apr202016

Article Healthcare InfoSecurity questions why we are so stupid!

These tricksters are getting better and better at finding ways to bilk us out of our hard earned cash. Here is an article posted at HealthcareInfoSecurity Blog that asks: Why Are We So Stupid About Security?

And we really are at times, letting our greed and hopes for easy or quick returns to egg us on. The new FBI Alert states that businesses have lost over $2.3 billion in the last 2.5 years. The article above gives some examples of what to look for and some of the security that you need to consider with your transactioins.

Tuesday
Apr192016

Surface Book-OneNote-Handwriting-Text

I have been continuing to work with my Surface Book and finding new things that I can do with the pen or other applications in Windows 10 that are really quite amazing. I have been working between the OneNote App and the Desktop OneNote Program to see what the differences are and how to work around some of the limitations I have found in the OneNote App. If you take a quick look at it you don’t have anywhere near the options but the big ot ne that I see missing is the ability to transform handwriting to text. This is something that the OneNote Desktop Program does very well and is missing from the App. Not a problem though. If after you have done all your handwriting in the OneNote App when you are at a meeting or seminar or wherever, all you need to do is jump to the desktop program and go to the draw tab while on the page with you handwritten text and choose the function to Ink to Text. It works like a champ

Tuesday
Apr192016

Meet Root: The Robot that Brings Coding to Life 

Here is a very interesting program presented by Harvard’s Wyss Institute that is providing a robot that can be controlled via a app and travels on a school’s whiteboard, making drawings primarily but it is being controlled on several different levels of programming platforms. This is an interesting video discussing this new concept.

Tuesday
Apr192016

Safe Browsing Site Status – Transparency Report – Google

So what is this all about? Is it a hoax? Is it a disclaimer? I don’t know but it just goes to prove that it isn’t 100% safe anywhere on the Web.

Safe Browsing Site Status

Google’s Safe Browsing technology examines billions of URLs per day looking for unsafe websites. Every day, we discover thousands of new unsafe sites, many of which are legitimate websites that have been compromised. When we detect unsafe sites, we show warnings on Google Search and in web browsers. You can search to see whether a website is currently dangerous to visit

Tuesday
Apr192016

Podcasts are now available through Google Play Music  

This is not going to be anything that I am accessing soon, their library is something to be desired. No place to go but up, right? I’m still using my BEYONDPOD APP to access my favorites and that still seems to be working pretty well. So I won’t be leaving that anytime soon. Of course you have to pretty much program where you want to take things from (the RSS Feed) to be able to get the items that you care about. Apple still seems the king of the hill with their management of Podcast access through iTunes (GAG!).

But this is why in the Android world we have so many apps that we can use to gather our content into. A wide open world with no restrictions. I like it. Hopefully Google were work on this and make it a better experience soon.

By the way… Google Play Music Podcasts are only available in the US and Canada. I am sure that will be changing as well soon.

Tuesday
Apr192016

Microsoft's OneDrive for business is expecting a facelift in the next few months

RCP Magazine posted on their Blog an article discussing the recent announcements by Microsoft for upgrades to their Microsoft OneDrive for Business Product. While many of the enhancements revolve around better synching with pc’s and mobile devices there are a few other things that might interest you as well. Take a moment and see what they posted.

Monday
Apr182016

Podcasts coming to Google Play

 

It's about time. One of the keystones to Apple’s iTunes has been its access to the huge reservoir of independent information sources known as podcasts. For many of us ensconced in the tech industry this has been our method of gathering both technical and current newscasts of up and coming industry products and services. There is a wide range of subjects to draw upon that are both audio only and video content.

 

Hopefully Google’s access to this vast library of information will catch up quickly to what Apple offers. I will be watching closely to see where there goes.

It's about time. One of the keystones to Apple’s iTunes has been its access to the huge reservoir of independent information sources known as podcasts. For many of us ensconced in the tech industry this has been our method of gathering both technical and current newscasts of up and coming industry products and services. There is a wide range of subjects to draw upon that are both audio only and video content.

Hopefully Google’s access to this vast library of information will catch up quickly to what Apple offers. I will be watching closely to see where there goes.

Monday
Apr182016

Amazon is unbundling Prime Video for $8.99 per month`

I guess Amazon figures our New Math can't make sense of this. Let me see... $99/year for prime and $8.99 per month for Prime Video $119.88/year. That's my math and you lose all of the other services associated with the Prime Membership. Hmmm....

Compare that service to Hulu, $7.99 and NetFlix $7.99 and what are they thinking? I really don't fine Prime Video as that great of a source of video options so I think they really missed the mark on this one.

They are also going to offer the full Prime Services as a monthly option for $10.99 per month. That comes to $131.88 per year. That's $42.88 extra over paying it annually. That's a pretty big premium! But I understand budgets are tight and this may allow you to afford the service when you can't afford the annual fee. However, that is a pretty big premium.

Monday
Apr182016

Apple Confirms that QuickTime for Windows is at End of Life

As with all End of Life products that means that there will be no more updates to the software. The main concern is that there will not be any more security updates and this piece of software can become a big hole in the security of your system. So you will need to consider alternatives to QuickTime if you haven't already. For most of us using a Windows System this is not a big deal since we don't really care about the Apple Centric World, we like the availability of choice and that is exactly what you have. Most everything that is being produced today will run on media player or groove, and if you want to get more sophisticated there are plenty of programs to choose from. So don't worry, no big deal!

However, even the government is getting in on suggesting that you uninstall QuickTime after two bugs were found in the current version that could be exploited. See article.

Monday
Apr182016

Should you pay to get your data back after a Ransomware Attack?

Here is an interesting discussion about whether it is ever ok to pay of the Ransomware Hackers. The discussion revolves around whether it is just an incentive to be attacked again. With all the recent news about Medical and Financial Institutions being attacked this is something that you may want to consider or prepare for.

Sunday
Apr172016

Badlock Revealed - by Naked Security

Beware and patch often is what Sophos has recently stated in their Naked Security Blog. There was a lot of hype out on this one but it if you just install the recent patch updates by Microsoft and SAMBA you should be fine. Here is there article.

Sunday
Apr172016

Netherlands under attack!

Websites in the Netherlands are under attack with MalWare Advertising exploits. Naked Security article discussing how these attacks are being pulled off and what to look for.

Sunday
Apr172016

Microsoft OneDrive storage decreases in July 2016

The free storage tier used to be one of the largest in the industry at 15GB absolutely free. In 2015 Microsoft announced that they were going to lower their free offering back to 5GB's and gave user the chance to claim the 15GB's by acknowledging that they want it. If you have not made that effort to claim the extra storage you will need to make sure you are not using more than 5GB’s because you will lose anything above that if you don’t pay their $1.99/month fee for the next step up of 50GB’s.

The smaller space will be for all new users so if you don’t have an account yet, all new users will get 5GB’s for free. Microsoft is in the middle of the pack of other options from competitive companies. Of course if you have made the move over to Office 365 the amount of storage you will have starts at 1TB for personal space. This for most people is more than adequate for most users. Let us know your thoughts about these changes.

Saturday
Apr162016

Intel's SSD Drive Pricing bringing them into the mainstream

We have noticed great pricing on Intel's SSD hard drives making them a great alternative over the older spinning plate designs of the past years. Why do you want to jump to this technology? Speed! Once you have jumped to SSD technology you will never go back. I currently boot into my systems in less than 30 seconds and that includes my login. If you don’t need extra storage than you will probably be able to get by with a 250GB drive. This is a great size for office workers that are attached to network servers that are storing all their information up to the server and have no need for great amounts of local storage.

If you need more, than go with either a 500GB or 1TB. They too are very reasonable but are more of a premium than their spinning platter counterparts. Be sure when you are getting a quote for your new workstation that you ask for a comparable price for a SSD upgrade on your new system. Believe me when I say that it will bring a big smile to your face.

Friday
Apr152016

Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (Part II)

The Ingram Micro Cloud Summit used both general meeting sessions and breakout sessions to get its enormous amount of content out to us. While much of the general sessions material discussed the "Why the Cloud", I think that most of us that were there did not need to be convinced that the trend for most software manufacturers is for them to learn how they can leverage "The Cloud" advantageously with their products.

One of the major categories of software/services that I saw here was for offsite storage. From the fire sharing applications like OneDrive and SharePoint from Microsoft and DropBox to Backup and Disaster Recovery from Acronis, Veritas and Azure. There are a lot of options to enhance how you work and how you protect your office's data.

Ingram Micro Cloud MarketPlace is looking to add more and more vertical applications to its portfolio of products as well and providing bundles to make it easier to manage and supply services that these vertical markets can take advantage of. One of the first vertical markets that IMCM is working on is the legal profession. Some of these applications include: Office 365 E3 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and more), Law Toolbox (Matter Time Management), RPOST (Encrypting), Rmail, Trend (Virus Protection), Dropbox for Business (secure file synchronization and file sharing), and Acronis (Backup and Disaster Recovery).

While many of the products in the Cloud MarketPlace are considered to be horizontal in nature, covering a wide variety of business types and needs, having a distinct set of applications that fit together well for a specific industry helps to us to bring our customers a good offering to choose from for their business processes.

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