Tuesday
Sep162014

TechSmith Snagit–Graphics Screen Grab Software

imageSnagit has been a part of my tool box of applications that I use for many years. I am not sure how I would work if I didn’t have it available to me. Some of the features that I like include scrolling back through screen grabs to reuse an image, editing and image either by cropping or creating special effects. This is great for inserting an image into a quote or a document quickly with little work.

TechSmith’s library of tutorials are especially helpful to get you up and running or get a quick refresher on how a particular part of the program works. They have both written and video tutorials to draw on for all of their programs so don’t be shy accessing them since they are free for your use.  http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-snagit-current.html

Monday
Sep152014

Microsoft sets Windows 9 reveal for Sept. 30

imageAre you ready for a new update? Most of the world says yes but what will it look like? Invitations went out on Monday for a September 30th event where Microsoft will show off the next version of Windows. One of the ongoing questions being bandied about is how much is the new version going to cost. If they decide to give it away for free or very low nominal cost then it would go along way to heal the rift that has opened up on how Corporate Users look at version 8 and 8.1.

Microsoft is going to presumably release it sometime during the first half of 2015. Corporate users as a whole don’t much care for the split personality (User Interface) of Version 8 and if Version 9 converges the functions within a single user interface than it might be a more widely accepted product. If Microsoft doesn’t provide a product that Corporate wants to use than we might see a real decline in Microsoft’s presence in the workplace.

There have been some images leaked showing what the new operating screen is going to look like but I still take a wait and see attitude before I jump aboard. What everyone is saying should happen will hopefully happen and we will get a good product that makes us all very happy users.

Friday
Sep122014

How do you keep up on the News that you are interested in?

imageOne of the rules that are part of my mantra in choosing the tools that I use on a daily basis is that it must be available to be used on any device that I pick up. I don't like having to go to one specific device to be able to use any one application. So what I'm looking at a solution, that solution must be available on my phone, on my tablets, my computers, in Android, iOS, Windows or Mac OS. What good is a tool if it is not available to you when and where you want to use it?

So when Google got rid of its Google reader program I had to go looking for an alternative. I came upon an app called Feedly. At the time it was perfect because it pulled all my RSS feeds from Google Reader so I didn’t have to set them up again. Other great features let you group them so that if you are looking for specific information it is easier to go to the group to see what information flows in. It allows you to see just the unread posts and provides the number of articles in each group and feed.

imageSo what is an RSS feed? RSS stands for Rich Site Summary and is a format for delivering regularly changing web content.  It is great for collecting posting from sites that weblogs or are news services. So if the information source has made its content available in RSS format you can then subscribe to that site using a program that consolidates the feeds you have subscribed to. This saves you time from having to visit each site individually. I personally subscribe to a narrow range of topics including local news sources, IT topics, Business Management, Sales Management and Photography. Almost any subject has someone producing information that you can subscribe to in this manner.

One of the aspects of Feedly that I use a lot is the share function. This allows me to grab the posting and store it for future use in other applications to make it easier for me to use it. I use Instapaper for my long term storage documents, Pocket for my short term subjects and sometimes OneNote depending on the subject matter. Other share functions that you can use include GooglePlus, LinkedIn and of course email. So this program allows to me to sift though a large amount of information very quickly and share or save it very simply as well.

I hope this brief explanation helps you and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate contacting me.

Thursday
Sep112014

Amazon Mobile LLC now available for your Android Phone

imageIf you have been waiting on the edge of your seat for an APP to allow you access to the World of Amazon Shopping you no longer have to wait.

Amazon describes the APP as follows:

Shop the millions of digital and physical products in Amazon’s catalog and manage your orders from anywhere. The Amazon App for Android phone combines the fast and easy mobile shopping experience customers have come to know and love with access to unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes from Prime Instant Video. After installing this version of the Amazon App for Android, customers wishing to stream Prime Instant Video movies and TV episodes can install the Prime Instant Video player, which is delivered exclusively via the Amazon Appstore. To start streaming movies and TV episodes, just search for your favorite video and tap play; the Amazon app will guide you through the setup process.
• US customers can now use a single app to discover and shop for hundreds of millions of physical and digital items.
• Prime members in the US can stream unlimited Prime Instant Video from inside the Amazon app using the Prime Instant Video player, including HBO shows The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Six Feet Under, and The Wire
• Customers can shop any of Amazon's sites around the world from a single app
• Quickly search, get product details, and read reviews on millions of products sold by Amazon and other merchants
• Take advantage of 1-Click ordering, order tracking, delivery information, customer support, Wish Lists, and Push Notifications
• Compare prices and check availability instantly by scanning a barcode, using Flow, or typing your search
• Buy with confidence, knowing that all transactions are securely processed

Wednesday
Sep102014

Dyre malware adds corporate espionage

imageViruses and Trojans are continually being repurposed for all kinds of nastiness.  A Zeus variant known now as Dyre, is a banking trojan that first got noticed in June when security companies warned that the Zeus knockoff found a way to bypass Web encryption, know as secure sockets layer (SSL). At that time, it was used to target some of the largest banks concerns including: Bank of America, Ulsterbank, RBS, Natwest and Citibank. An even newer version of Dyre has begun targeting Salesforce, a popular cloud service for storing customer information. We use this program to manage many of our vendor’s CRM functions. Watch out, another whole new breed is coming out.

Tuesday
Sep092014

Aruba: Leader in 4 out of 6 o Garner’s Critical Capabilities

Aruba Networks

 

 

Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Wired/Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure, Aug 2014

GET THE REPORT

The 2014 Gartner Critical Capabilities Wired and Wireless Access Infrastructure report is an extension of the Magic Quadrant which investigates product and service ratings based on key network capabilities set to differentiated use cases. This report allows network decision makers to more deeply explore vendor offerings based on specific network access needs.

Aruba Networks received the highest scores for the following 4 out of 6 use cases:

  • Enterprise WLAN-Only Access
  • Small or Remote Office
  • Guest or Hot Spot Access Only
  • High-Density Volume

Click the button below to download the full report*

GET THE REPORT >

Monday
Sep082014

ioSafe’s CEO Robb Moore on Discovery Channel

imageioSafe is being featured on the Discovery Channel program Daily Planet. You can watch our CEO, Robb Moore, with the host burning, dousing with water, and even dropping our 1513 form 30 feet all in an effort to try and render the data useless. The data SURVIVED intact!  A video is worth a million words in this case! Here is the link to the video: http://www.discovery.ca/Video?vid=433556

Sunday
Sep072014

New Notice on Dropbox Pro updates

imageWhat’s new with Dropbox Pro?

  • We're giving you 10x the space — for the same price. You'll have 1 TB of space for your photos, videos, docs, and any other files you want to keep safe in Dropbox.
  • With new sharing controls, we’re making it easier to manage access to the stuff you share. You can set passwords and expiration dates on your shared links and grant view-only access to shared folders.
  • Keeping your stuff safe is our top priority. For extra peace of mind, remote wipe lets you delete your Dropbox files off a lost or stolen device.
Learn more about Pro changes
Thursday
Aug282014

Follow up on IRS Scam Call

Now a call came in from Federal Magistrate Office. Is there such a thing?

I can’t believe they are still trying this. Here is an article my accountant sent me from the IRS.

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IRS Newswire

August 28, 2014

 
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Issue Number:    IR-2014-84
Inside This Issue

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot   Suspicious Calls

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.

These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.

“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

1. Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

Additional information about tax scams are available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube http://youtu.be/UHlxTX4rTRU?list=PL2A3E7A9BD8A8D41D. and Tumblr http://internalrevenueservice.tumblr.com where people can search “scam” to find all the scam-related posts.

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Monday
Aug252014

Beware of Scam Phone Callers identifying themselves as calling from the Legal Affairs Agency (IRS)

imageThis past Sunday I received a call from a foreign gentleman stating he was from the Legal Affairs Agency and told me that the IRS had issued a warrant for my arrest for fraudulent tax reporting and they wanted me to wait at my house for two agents from the IRS to come and identify me and take me to jail for 6 months.

After being hung up on from the caller, (I called him back on the number he left me), I realized that this was a total scam. After spending a little time researching the phone number and referencing IRS Scam it seems that this has been going on for a very long time. It is a well documented scam so beware if you get the call. They are very convincing and for most of us, the bare mention of the IRS has us scared sh!!!less. If you have ever been through an IRS audit you will find that if they want to, they’ll find something to justify their looking at you. So when something like this happens you might have a tendency to jump to the wrong conclusion.

They never did ask for money from me but they have from other reports. Can’t imagine why they didn’t try with me but I was giving them a lot of guff. First off, the government is not going to haul you off without notification. Second, a foreign accent coming from the Southwest and not local or in DC is just not going to happen. When my accountant confronted they on the phone by asking for their supervisors name and number they just hung up. This would probably be a great way to shut them up very quickly. Anyway, I just wanted to make you aware that these guys handle social engineering real will and can get you going if you don’t sit back and think about what they are telling you.

How do you prevent being aggravated from this? If you don’t recognize the number on your caller don’t pickup! They will get discouraged if they don’t ever talk to someone and eventually go away. If you want to find out who the caller was Google the number. It should give you hint as to where it is coming from. If you are not expecting a call like this, of course you’re not, just don’t respond. Take a deep breath and erase the message and go on with your life.

Saturday
Aug232014

Sophos Receives Multiple Top Honors in CRN 2014 Annual Report Card

imageBoston – August 20, 2014 – Sophos today announced it has taken the highest awards in the CRN 2014 Annual Report Card (ARC).  The company was named overall winner in the Client Security Software and Network Security Appliances categories and swept the subcategories of product innovation, support and partnership. It is the first time in the history of the ARC that a company has swept both awards. For nearly three decades, this distinguished study has served as a benchmark for excellence throughout the IT channel, recognizing the technology vendors most highly praised by their solution provider partners.

Honorees were selected based on the results of an in-depth survey by The Channel Company’s research team.  More than 2,500 solution providers were asked to evaluate their satisfaction with 81 vendor partners on each of the 18 criteria in terms of product innovation, support and partnership.  The winners were honored by CRN, the top news source for solution providers and the IT channel, on Aug. 19 at The Channel Company’s XChange conference in San Antonio.  To view the results of the study as well as the list of this year’s ARC honorees, visit www.crn.com.

“IT today is about solving business problems, and it requires more than just stellar products.  Solution providers are looking for vendor partners that embrace the IT channel, working with them hand-in-hand to meet their customers’ needs,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company, publisher of CRN.  “CRN’s Annual Report Card is the definitive word on who those vendors are, coming straight from the solution providers themselves.  The ARC has been recognizing the vendors that deliver their solutions through the channel in the most effective ways for 29 years, and we congratulate Sophos as one of 2014’s top honorees.”

Sophos is dedicated to the channel, as evidenced by the company’s channel-first reseller strategy.  We assist our partners in identifying opportunities to retain and grow their customer base and increase profits.  In an increasingly complex security environment, we work with partners to make security simple to deliver, implement and manage. Our Partner Program provides partners with protection for deal registrations, attractive margins and joint lead generation initiatives. We also provide up-to-date certification, to ensure partner sales and technical teams are fully trained across our latest solutions.

“It’s an honor to sweep these important security categories,” said Michael Valentine, senior vice president, worldwide sales, Sophos.  “At Sophos, 100 percent of our focus is on the channel.  These awards are a testament to the trust of our partners, the strength of our solutions, and the investment that we continue to make in our partner organization.  We are excited for the future as we continue to innovate to make security simple to manage, deploy and use.”

Friday
Aug222014

TechSmith has uploaded 10 Ways to Use Video in Education

If you are in any kind of education in a school or business environment this product can be enormously helpful in getting your information across. I use it quite a bit to capture issues, training or other informational videos that I put together for internal use.

This video highlights 10 ways educators and students are using TechSmith tools to create, share and assess with video.

10. Flip a Lesson
9. Teach While You're Absent
8. Personalize Feedback
7. Parent & Community Communication
6. Stop Repeating Yourself
5. Record Experiments
4. Authentic Assessment
3. Create a Professional Development Library
2. Student Video Projects
1. Formative Assessment

Thursday
Aug212014

Thinking about backing up your data? I have a few thoughts about that…

imageI try to put together a new overview discussing the why’s and howto’s of backing up your data. In this white paper I have listed a few of the methods to consider to use for backup and some of the services that we provide to help fit your needs and budget numbers. If you are interested, and we all should be, take a few minutes to download this paper. I think you will find it interesting and very informative. If you have any questions about the information I have listed or you want to pursue a personal design session please let us know and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and suggest the best backup design to fit your needs.

Wednesday
Aug202014

Citrix OnLine Products

imageHere are the products that have now been added to our portfolio. Click on the product name to download a product sheet on each one. Be sure to contact me to sign you up for a comprehensive overview of the product and it’s capabilities. Hope to hear from you soon!

GoToMeeting provides simple online meetings with high-definition group video conferencing, creating a natural, face-to-face collaboration experience that brings people together like never before, within and outside your organization. Meeting is believing!

Podio offers a collaborative work platform that enables people and teams to work the way they want to work in a social setting.

GoToWebinar makes it possible for anyone to host their own do-it-yourself webinars, allowing them to reach larger audiences, expand their marketing reach and communicate with groups more effectively.

GoToTraining enables trainers to conduct interactive online training with up to 200 participants in any location. Reduce costs and increase training capacity by moving your training program online.

OpenVoice Our audio services team provides integrated toll-free audio services that work with GoToMeeting, GoToTraining and GoToWebinar, plus a standalone service for businesses needing high quality conference calling at affordable rates.

GoToMyPC gives you the ability to access and work remotely on your PC or Mac from any web browser – including from your iPad, iPhone or Android device– so you can be productive wherever you go.

ShareFile is a secure, file and content sharing solution specifically built for business professionals who need to manage and share data and files.

GoToAssist remote support, service desk and monitoring tools empower IT professionals and support teams to provide technical assistance and easily manage everything IT from anywhere.

Tuesday
Aug192014

We are now a Citrix SaaS Advisor Partner

image

I have been using Citrix Support products for many years and it is hard to fine a simpler product to use that encompasses all of the features that they do. It makes me happy to send out this notice that we are now signed up as a partner now for their products and I will be outlining over the next few days a brief overview of each of their products and how they can best be used.

Feel free to contact me with any questions that you might have about you can sign up for any one of these wonderful products.

Thursday
Aug142014

Intel SSD 730 Series Drives

imageIntel offers its new SSD 730 series, which provides a combination of enthusiast-grade speed and data center endurance.

New SSD 730 series testing specs show the following key features:

  • Designed for content creators and gamers, the SSDs are rated for 70 GB writes per day, compared to the industry-standard 20 GB.
  • Users can get up to 1,000 MB/s sequential read speeds by combining two 730 series drives in RAID 0,2, which is nearly double the sequential read speed compared to just one 730 series drive on its own. That means customers can get two 240-GB SSDs and twice the read speed for about the same price as a single 480-GB drive and half the speed. 

Intel SSD 730 Spec Sheet

Tuesday
Aug122014

Looks like LG is giving Sonos a run for their money

imageLG is planning on showing their Wireless Multiroom-Audio System at September’s IFA show in Berlin. Called the LG Music Flow System it will include a 70-watt H7 Speaker, 40-watt H5 speaker and their R1 network bridge that connects to a home router to synchronize music among multiple speakers in different rooms. They will add a 30-watt H3 speaker and soundbar soon after.

The products incorporate mesh network technology and dual-band Wi-Fi. Although the company promoted it as the first system of its type to offer high-resolution 24 bit/192kHz playback, a wireless multiroom-audio system from Lenbrook Industries' Bluesound brand also offers such a capability.

These products are slated to enter the US market late Q2 or early Q3. The system used iOS and Android mobile devices that need to be equipped with an LG App that makes them a system controller to stream music from the mobile devices or PC’s to the speakers. The app also accesses Internet radio stations, recommends songs and playlists, and functions as a smartphone music player when the user is on the go.

A song can be directed to all the speakers simultaneously, or different songs to different speakers at the same time. If you have two speakers in the same room you can join them for stereo playback. There are many more features available in the app to give you more versatility.

This seems to this year’s hot new product area so keep looking at other companies coming out with similar products. Sonos has been the leader for years but Samsung (probably Sono’s closest product rival), Panasonic, BlueSound, Voco and Pure Audio to name a few. While Sonos has had this area all to itself for years we may be seeing some products that will give them a run for their money just like LG.

Tuesday
Aug122014

TechSmith AppShow Screen Recording for iOS devices

TechSmith AppShowTM will allow you to easily record your iOS apps and make app preview videos, tutorials, and explainer videos on your Mac.This product is in beta right now but looks very interesting. Here is a link to sign up for beta opportunities, video examples and best practices.

Friday
Aug082014

ioSafe releases larger data safes

imageThe ioSafe 1513+ NAS can scale up to 90TB, has 4 LAN Ports with Link Aggregation and High Availability and solves a variety of business challenges for the enterprise, creative professionals and home users

Scalable NAS for growing demands

With its fire/water protection, superior performance, scalability, resilience, and comprehensive features, ioSafe® NAS 1513+ is the ideal storage solution for your growing business. The 1513+ can help to simplify disaster recovery, business continuity, data management, sharing storage for storage and backup - with minimal setup and the freedom to expand capacity at any time.

  • Protects data from fire up to 1550°F, 30 minutes per ASTM E-119
  • Protects data from floods up to 10 foot depth, 3 days, complete submersion
  • 202.34 MB/sec Writing, 350.94MB/sec Reading
  • Four LAN Ports with Link Aggregation Support
  • Scale Up to 90TB with one or two ioSafe N513X Expansion Chassis
  • Expandable RAM Module (Up to 4GB)
  • CPU Passive Cooling Technology & System Fan Redundancy
  • VMware®, Citrix®, Microsoft® Hyper-V® Ready
  • High Availability and Automatic Failover between a pair of 1513+ systems
  • Running Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

An Ideal Solution for:

  • Medical Data Storage/HIPAA Compliance
  • Collaborative File Sharing
  • High Availability RTO/RPO
  • SAN / Tier-2 Storage with low operating costs

How does it work?

The ioSafe 1513+ connects to your network, preferably at the main router or switch. A network drive (or "share") can be created that allows everyone on the local area network (LAN) with proper permissions to "see" the common drive and share the data. The data can also be made available to the wide area network (WAN - aka the Internet) by allow applications and data to be "forwarded" to the NAS at your router.

These are great products that we use for onsite backup solutions where there is too much data to effectively get it offsite. We typically use them with Veeam for our larger VMware installations.

Friday
Aug082014

Microsoft Surface Pro 3-Did MS finally get it right?

imageThis may be the first Microsoft Surface that really caught my interest enough to think about buying one for myself. The screen is slightly larger which makes it nice for my old eyes, and is thinner and lighter than its predecessors. The kickstand has been improved to have multiple positions and the keyboard connection is a little better I feel by being on an angle. This tablet is now available in five models that take you from an i3 through i7 with various storage options. The systems are a little pricey but if you have the money they may be worth it.

Paul Thurrott wrote a guide on how to choose the right model for you needs and I have included it below:

Core i3 model. Panay says that the base Core i3-based Surface Pro 3 model ($799 plus Type Cover) "is one of the fastest Core i3 devices available," but is aimed at "customers who want the versatility of a Surface Pro 3 but who don't run the most demanding applications or workloads." He recommends this version to students (for note-taking and web-based research) and for "anyone [who] wants a very portable device to be productive on the go, run Office and other desktop applications, make Skype calls, watch video, and casual gaming."

Core i5 models. The mid-level Surface Pro 3 models ($999, $1299 plus Type Cover) should satisfy the needs of most users, providing "the power and efficiency to be productive across a huge range of activities ... This machine outperformed any laptop I've used, and it will be the machine of choice for a lot of our customers." I'm using the $1299 version (8 GB of RAM/256 GB SSD) and find the performance to be just fine, though as I've noted the fan does kick in if you really press the machine.

Core i7 models. Of most interest to power users and the well-heeled, the Core i7-based Surface Pro 3 models ($1549, $1949 plus Type Cover) is "the most powerful Surface [Microsoft] has ever released" and is "designed to provide the power that [its] most demanding customers need." Panay specifically says that these Surface Pro 3 models will be "brilliant" for photo, video, or music editing, and they are aimed at scenarios as diverse as "connected to multiple monitors and peripherals or travelling."

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