How much does Facebook really know about you – and is it right?

imageThis is a very interesting point of view on how Facebook and other social networks use your interactions with their applications to their financial benefit. These “Free” services aren’t really free. They may be costing you in ways other than monetarily. Take a quick peak.

It is always a good thing to be more fully aware of what you are getting into when you access an online service. Be careful of the information you share and equipment you use to to access it.


Watch out LinkedIn Facebook now lest companies post job listings

imageWhile I am not really a candidate for looking for a jobs right now, I have been here at PAconnect for over 35 year at present, but if you are you will have a new place to dig into for your next potential employer. Facebook has initiated support for job listings on company pages in the US and Canada over the next few weeks. With Facebook being the world’s largest social network, it may be a perfect method of getting more eyeballs to your company’s job opportunities.

This is a good addition to most of the nonsense that appears in Facebook today. Hopefully these listing won’t get lost in the online clutter. If it works out for Facebook it could eventually harm Microsoft’s LinkedIn and other services that provide this already.


Amazon files patent for drone deliveries

imageAmazon is planning on using drones and parachutes for their future deliveries.

CNN reports that the US Patent and Trademark office provided Amazon with a patent that sees the everything giant delivering packages with drones and parachutes. The patent shows Amazon would use drones to delivery packages "at altitude" and "monitor and adjust package trajectory during descent". CNN reports that Amazon's drones could "radio a message to an off-course package, instructing it to deploy a parachute, compressed air canister or landing flap".

So, for now, drones still need a human at the flight stick but Amazon hopes to be in the lead with automating delivery in the very near future.


Sophos iView Overview


Amazon offering kindle versions of “100 Books You Must Read Before You Die”

imageI am big into “reading” and I do so mainly digitally. Whether I use my Kindle, Tablet, or switch to audio, I hardly ever touch a real, physical book anymore. So if you haven’t read what are considered as the books you must read for your bucket list, Amazon is giving them away free for your Kindle device.

This looks like a good collection of public domain novels, in Kindle format.  It's volume 1 of a 2 volume set. Here's volume 2.

This is a great way to get started, but don’t forget the Kindleunlimited option that you can purchase which costs $9.99/month for basically unlimited reading. You can borrow up to 10 titles at a time and you can consume most of these either in text or audible formats. This is a really nice option especially for me consuming 8-10 books a month.

If you have Prime, there is also Prime Reading option that comes with that subscription. There are quite a few books and magazines available through this service as well.


Analysis: The Shame of Ransomware


GoPro Karma drone is available again

Image result for gopro karmaWhen this first came out I was very interested in it because not only was it by the company that I trusted their camera systems for the ruggedness and high-quality imaging, but the pricing to the in the ballpark of what I was going to spend. The fact that it came in a nice protective travel case made it even more appealing. Especially if I decided to keep it available in the back of my vehicle for spur of the moment photo shoots.

However, the product has had some problems with the battery latch which caused GoPro to recall its newly released Karma drone. On Feb 1st it posted that it was again available for purchase with the fixed battery latch cover.

I tend to wait a long time to see how things settle in before jumping on them. So I will wait to see if the changes in this product work and if any new revisions to the Karma finally put me over the edge to fork over some money. It looks interesting though and I'm getting closer to opening up that wallet.


Ransomware: What to do?

What to do?

Here are some links we think you’ll find useful:


Eight years’ worth of police evidence wiped out in ransomware attack

Image result for ransomware imagesRansomeware is such a big problem these days causing havoc wherever it can. In this Naked Security article Sophos discusses how a Texas police force lost a year's worth of digital evidence by getting hit by ransom ware attack in December and refusing to pay the ransom. In their attempt to clean up the systems that were infected they wiped out data that they had no backups for. This digital evidence is gone forever. Had they had in place a backup system set up for disaster recovery, and/or security measures like Sophos’s Intercept X, Sophos Central Server Advanced Protection, Sophos Central EndPoint Advanced Protection they would have had a good chance of not losing anything. That wasn’t the case!

See more information on why this happened.


Acer's new 38-inch UltraWide: FreeSync, 3440x1600 res

The first thing that jumped out at me was the resolution of this monitor. The following tweaktown blog article provides a quick rundown of this monitor specifications:

Acer's new XR382CQK is a 38-inch UltraWide monitor with a native resolution of 3440x1600 (compared to the 3440x1440 on 34-inch UltraWide displays) - with AMD's FreeSync technology offering up to 75Hz. We also have DTS Sound with 2 x 7W speakers, and Acer's impressive ZeroFrame design. Here's the full run down of what to expect:

  • AMD FreeSync™ renders smooth, stutter-free gameplay
  • Ergonomic stand promotes optimum comfort with adjustable tilt, swivel and height
  • ZeroFrame design affords maximum viewing area and near seamless multi-monitor setups
  • Dynamic sound effects thanks to DTS® Sound and two 7W speakers
  • Excellent multitasking capabilities via picture-by-picture, picture-in-picture and daisy chaining

Display connectivity includes 1 x DP, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, and 4 x USB 3.0 ports.

I think the additional pixels on the XR382CQK will be interesting to see, with 3440x1600 being a nice addition to the 3440x1440 native res I've come to know and love over the years. The 75Hz refresh rate is a little disappointing, as we're in a world of 3440x1440 monitors with a native 100Hz refresh rate. But still, 75Hz with FreeSync will be great for UltraWide gamers who aren't playing twitchy first-person shooters.

Acer's new XR382CQK is available at US retailers for $1299 right now.


It is not just your IoT's that can get you into trouble with the LAW!

Image result for Image of house firesA recent article in Naked Security how gentleman's pacemaker information may help to convict him of setting a fire in his own home. It shows how so much of our lives now is being recorded by different types of devices and in so many different locations that it is hard to stay off of the grid. With this being said, it makes you wonder how people think that they can get away with illegal acts. Remember, Big Brother is watching!



IRS: New Email Phishing

Image result for irs images this article from healthcare info security  discusses  what to look for  and helps prevent  your  organization from  being fooled into sending  out  money  to perpetrators of this type of phishing attack. 

The IRS is warning of one of the "most dangerous" kinds of phishing scams in which fraudsters are successfully tricking organizations into sending wage data on employees and then making fraudulent wire transfers.

Don’t be fooled!


Having an issue with OneDrive or SharePoint?

imageEmail a take a quick look at this new version of OneDrive which my guys are telling me that it has stabilized synchronization to both one drive shares and SharePoint libraries out of Office 365. I am all for doing just that and I will be looking forward to getting this installed on all of my workstations and notebooks to see how well it begins a synchronization between all of those devices and are SharePoint document libraries. The link above will take you to Microsoft's blog article that discusses this new update and you may want to view this article to see exactly how to install the new client. Good luck!


Windows 10 Cloud?

imageWindows 10 cloud has just been recently announced and it looks a lot like standard Windows 10. It is meant to be a chrome OS competitor and will be interesting to see as time goes on the type of equipment will be required and how well it will work on that equipment. This operating system is targeted for education and business sectors and ZDNet is reporting that it is designed to only run universal apps from the Windows store. I don't know the release date as of yet, but will be keeping my eyes open for new information as time goes by.


Thinking about creating a Media Server in your Home?

Image result for media server imagesIt is great to have all the information and entertainment that you want right at your fingertips on any device that you pick up and at the location that you currently are at. Is this plausible? Of course it is!

Gizmodo put together an interesting article on “How to Build an Ultimate Movie and Music Server” that provides the basic components that you need to consider in creating your own home system. Most of the people in our office have put together some kind of NAS (network attached storage) box that creates a a storage area for all your videos, photos and music. Most of us are also using a server application called plaques which has android Apple and many other clients that can be called upon to connect to your media storage server.

When putting together your NAS device make sure you take in consideration the amount of media that you are putting in the box. To be surprised how fast you can fill it up. There are some great suggestions in the article for the base components and some suggestions on what types of drives that you should use.

There are lots of ways to collect your media that always consider adhering to your local  copyright laws.

Other How To Articles:


Sophos XG Firewall 16.5 Release Info

Sophos XG Firewall from Sophos on Vimeo.

You can also continue reading on our product pages about new features and what’s new in the latest release.


Thinking about getting a New Bike?

imageAs I am getting older I'm trying to come up with different ways that I might be able to exercise and enjoy the process of it. An article in Gizmodo by Michael Nunez got my eye about a bicycle made by Priority Bicycles. It is their Continuum model that is categorized as a commuter bike and is outfitted with low maintenance components in a drivetrain system using a variable transmission hub located in the rear wheel that gives this bike a continuous spectrum of gears rather than a fixed number. The bike doesn't require a derailleur system which provides the bike with a much smoother ride.

While most bikes in this category are several thousand dollars, priority bicycles sells this bike four $899 which is not exactly a bargain looking at many commuter bikes being in the $400-$500 range the Michael says that once you write it it will become your favorite bike to ride.


Data Privacy Day: know the risks of Amazon Alexa and Google Home

imageHere is a great discussion of whether you should be concerned with Amazon Alexa and Google Home

See the Naked Security article here.

The article addresses the following topics:

  • Your technology is listening
  • Lessons from the Dyn attack
  • Defensive measures

Sonos’s New CEO Wants To Connect With Alexa, Google And All Services That Matter.

imagePatrick Spence, Sonos new CEO, has a new mission: Keep Sonos alive in the face of the innovative disruption from the rest of the industry. Amazon’s Alexa and now Google’s Home Products are part of this competition invading the networked speaker environment. Sonos is a manufacturer of home speaker systems that have their own unique connectivity. Instead of embracing standards they have stood alone with their products not interfacing with other manufacturers products.

The Alexa is a good example of this type of device providing more than just sound, but services as well to access information or purchasing merchandise. Integrating this product with internet programming like IFTTT provides an extension to personalize its services.

So if Patrick Spence gets his way, Sonos will be connecting to these other devices that are exploding onto the market. I hope so.


You aren’t using Plex?

Here is quick video on how to setup Plex server for yourself. Once you get started, you will probably need to pick up a large storage device to store your content. Have fun!

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