Kobo Aura One

imageWhere was this device a few years ago. I have had some issues over the years with electronic devices finding their way into our pool. This new Kobo Reader gets rid of that issue with its waterproof design. This eBook reader is a little larger than most of the ereaders in this category of devices sizing out to 7.8 inch display. The unit is no thicker than an iPhone 6s and not much heavier than the 6s Plus. The Aura One is rated to 6 feet of water resistance, I’ll have to keep it out of the deep end of the pool, which normally shouldn’t be an issue unless you are floating in the deep end.

The number on eBook company that Kobo is competing against is Amazon with their kindle products. With Amazon’s deep source of books to purchase and borrow you have almost any book that you could desire available to you. It’s ability  to also play back audiobooks for those of us that are deep into their Audible Library, is another boon.

Kobo however has deep ties into the the US Lending Library system with Overdrive. So this feature is part of their system. That gives you access to books for free if available from your local and regional libraries that you are a member of.

The cost of this device in the US is going to be around $229 and it should be available in early September.

Review at theverge


Automatic Pro now offers free 3G service

imageWhen I read the post describing this product it really began to intrigue me. First, let me say that I wish it were free 4G but any “G” is better than none. This device plugs into your car’s OBD-II port, unlocks the data in your car’s on-board computer and connects it to the internet. While that is a concern to me as far as security, I’m planning on looking into the repercussions of adding this to a vehicle.

This is the same concern I would have for any of the IoT devices that are constantly showing up around us. There are an interesting list of things that this device will bring to the table that might be of interest to you though.

The primary reason this device was created was allow you to connect into the on board computer system of your car to allow you to also access the diagnostic information about your vehicle. The Pro version takes it one step further to actually connect the device through an internet connection to applications to make use of that data. Many other things become available to take advantage of once this has been unlocked.

Have you ever forgotten where you have parked your car? Now this device provides the ability to find it again. Tracking driving statistics is also an interesting feature. I need to provide my driving information for sales/service trips to the IRS every year so this device along with one of several available Apps can automatically log the exact mileage for these trips without me having to write it down.

Interesting enough this also works with IFTTT and the Amazon Echo. I am also playing with a Pebble watch right now and there is a an App available to connect that as well.

I sure you guessed that I am excited about this device, so I placed an order for one for my Jeep. I’ll get back to you later after I have put it through its paces.


Is the USB-C connection really that great?

imageAccording to Intel the addition of USB-C connector in your mobile device gives you a single connection type for every use. With Apple’s disclosure that they are not going to include a headphone jack in the next iPhone release we are going to need some method of connecting a headphone to your device. While wireless Bluetooth headset/buds are an alternative, a lower power consumption method is much desired. We don’t want to do anything to diminish our battery life at all.

The most obvious advantage, at least to devices manufacturers, is slimmer phones. Without needing to route analog circuitry, a phone maker could switch to digital audio and shave off precious millimeters from the device's body. With digital audio, Saunders added, software and device makers could help cheaper earbuds take advantage of features reserved for more expensive headphones, like noise cancelling and bass boosting.

Another benefit is the ability of this connection to handle multiple functions simultaneowusly through the single connection. This means, you could be charging your phone, streaming music or video and transferring files all simultaneously. So, One connector to rule them all!


Uber may be planning to add driverless cars to its fleet in Pittsburgh as early as this month.

imageApparently they have been testing driverless cars in Pittsburgh for eighteen months and are getting ready to take the next step and actually implement them. Obviously if this is implemented we are going to see a big change in cost of using this type of system versus the current one. Uber recently purchased Otto which has equipment that can be retrofitted into current vehicles to create a driverless car. Otto initially was launched to do bring this technology to the trucking industry.

According to TechCrunch:

The company will deploy around 100 modified Volvo XC90s outfitted with self-driving equipment. Each vehicle will be staffed by one engineer, who can take the wheel as/when needed, and a co-pilot to observe and take notes. There will also be a “liquid-cooled” computer sitting in the trunk recording trip and map data.


Facial recognition features can be a big security issue

imageI  saw an article posted in Engadget today discussing how 3D faces based on Facebook pictures can be used to fool facial recognition systems.

"Some vendors -- most notably Microsoft with its Windows Hello software -- already have commercial solutions that leverage alternative hardware. [In Hello's case, that hardware is Tobii's eye-tracking camera.] However, there is always a cost-benefit to adding hardware, and hardware vendors will need to decide whether there is enough demand from and benefit for consumers to add specialized components like IR cameras or structured light projectors."

I'm glad Microsoft is using this technology to create a more secure feature it makes me believe that someone come up with some sort all method be around this is well. Your post interesting in that they detailed how they were able to fool the camera phone software. It must have been fun to use all the toys to accomplish this.


Windows 10 Anniversary Update is reported to cause millions of webcams to stop working

imageMicrosoft decided to exclude both H.264 and MJPEG codec support for millions of webcams. This includes cameras from manufacturers like Logitech.  According to Microsoft-focused blog, this was supposedly a decision the company made to prevent performance issues now that certain Windows apps have more direct webcam access post-update.

Members of Microsoft’s Windows Camera team are performing damage control in support threads, and reports an official fix may be in the works for a September release. Unfortunately, that may only remedy the MJPEG format. Those who rely on H.264 may be waiting even longer to make use of their webcams. If you recently installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you can revert to the prior version of the software within 10 days.


Accepting LinkedIn Invitations

imageAn interesting article in suggests that you should ask yourself “11Questions to Ask Before Accepting a LinkedIn Invitation”.

My rule of thumb is that if I don't know the person, the company or organization they are with, or if the organization is not one that I think fits my general group of companies I want to work with then I probably don't want or need to accept their invitation.

So the reasons not to just accept any old invitation that comes along is that you'll start receiving all sorts of information that is not necessarily relative to you or even more dangerous you are very, you could possibly open yourself up to somebody that is trying to scam you.

So you will want to think about the parameters that you want to use, that makes sense to you, but if you feel you need a little more help than take a quick gander at the article listed above. It is a great is a starting place but is by no means definitive.

Inc’s Criteria:

1. Do I know this person? 5. What is their industry and job description? 9. Do they have any recent activity?
2. Did they send a personal message? 6. Where are they from? 10. What does the profile tell me about the person?
3. Who else are they connected to? 7. Do they have any endorsements or recommendations? 11. How many connections do they have?
4. Does their profile have a photo? If so, what does it convey? 8. Have they published anything on LinkedIn?  

(Cloud) Tip of the Day: FreeBSD now available in Azure Marketplace

FreeBSD is Now being supported in the Azure Marketplace.



HikVision’s new PanoVu DS 2DP1636Z D & DS 2DP0818Z D

Presentation of the Camera PanoVu 16 Megapixel 360 ° + PTZ Darkfighter of HIKVISION DS - 2DP1636Z - D, mounting and installation in the showroom of the company DIXYS


Naked Security Post: NIST’s new password rules – what you need to know

imageby Chester Wisniewski

It’s no secret. We’re really bad at passwords. Nevertheless, they aren’t going away any time soon.

With so many websites and online applications requiring us to create accounts and think up passwords in a hurry, it’s no wonder so many of us struggle to follow the advice of so-called password security experts.

At the same time, the computing power available for password cracking just gets bigger and bigger.

OK, so I started with the bad news, but this cloud does have a silver lining.

It doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it and the government is here to help.

That’s right, the United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is formulating new guidelines for password policies to be used in the whole of the US government (the public sector).

Why is this important? Because the policies are sensible and a great template for all of us to use within our own organizations and application development programs.

Anyone interested in the draft specification for Special Publication 800-63-3: Digital Authentication Guidelines can review it as it evolves over on Github or in a more accessible form on NIST’s website.

For a more human approach, security researcher Jim Fenton did a presentation earlier this month at the PasswordsCon event in Las Vegas that sums up the changes nicely.

To see what is new click here


This pen blew my mind when I saw the video

The Cronzy pen puts over 16 million colors in your pocket

I pulled this one from the Verge and it was pretty cool if it really works. I included the video that was on the Verge site below showing the pan in operation. Currency claims that it can scan and draw 16 million colors, “collecting all the existing colors and shades of the world!” That's a pretty big claim but even if it works only half as well as they show in the video this is a pretty neat capability for those of you that have an artistic temperament. See the full article on Verge.


SharePoint for iOS mobile app is now available

So part of this month’s Office 365 newsletter discussed that the iOS app is now available for access to your SharePoint site. Here is the Microsoft posting discussing this and below is a video running though the functions of this new application. Enjoy!


Office 365 Newsletter just showed up

imageIf you are a subscriber to Microsoft Office 365 you may want to take a quick glance at some of the new features have just been added to your subscription. Now, you may not have everything that is shown here because of your subscription level, but this may give you a reason to update if you don't have these options available to you.

I'm a big proponent in using Skype for business so I was real happy one I was able to get my hands on an E5 license of Office 365 to try out the web conference features that are built into this subscription. 8 vital online meeting features

Microsoft Office Store has all sorts of add in functions to make your life easier both in your mobile devices as well as your PC. It is probably worth a visit to it every so often to make sure that you haven't missed anything that might be useful to you.

For a complete list of the Office 365 updates that are relevant to your subscription, read the action and awareness notifications in the Message Center.

The Office 365 Admin app allows you to remain informed on the go.


OneNote July Updates

imageI love OneNote and it has become a central point of my daily information collection and distribution medium. Combine it with Office 365 and SharePoint file access on the internet and you have a product that will provide you a wonderful tool to capture your ideas and notes.

The earlier versions of OneNote when compared to the ability of products like EverNote was a little lacking. If you haven’t tried it out recently you really should. It is nothing like what it was a few years ago. Whether you are a school student, office worker or retired, this product is a winner.

In this article from, they posted some of the new July updates to the OneNote program. The three main areas that have been added to include Inking, Clipping and Notifications. Take a look!


Hands-on: Ubiquiti’s Amplifi covers the whole house in a Wi-Fi mesh

imageWe are very impressed with all of Ubiquiti’s products and this one look pretty good for the home environment. If you have a rambling home that you want to be able to light up with a mesh network wireless setup this might be a good answer to this issue that we have many customers coming in to us to discuss.

While extenders can sometimes fit the bill, having a complete system that is somewhat pre-configured for you that gives you a single connection from anywhere in your home and surrounding yard is a very positive thing. Take a look at this ArsTechnica review of the Ubiquiti Amplifi System.


Lost Outlook Folders Display

Here is a quick video I just put together showing how to restore your Outlook folders display if you accidentally lose it. It could happen in one of two ways so I have both of them listed in the video. Let me know if you have any questions.


Amazon is talking with the UK Government about the safe use of drones in small package delivery


While the idea of placing a One-Click order on Amazon Prime and having the package delivered to you just thirty minutes later is very intriguing, this really is taking the shopping experience to a level that is suggesting pure laziness on our part. But is does fuel my geeky side as well.

This service dubbed “Amazon PrimeAir” suggests that there is a real strong case for the service as shown in the video below because we really need to instantly quiet down the screaming child.

While this is old news the video above shows a new drone prototype that has been released. This drone is designed to fly up to fifteen miles and up to 400 feet. It will be able to carry up to 5 lbs of cargo and unlike the original images we saw it will no longer be delivering your stuff in a plastic box but in a normal cardboard box that is carried internally in the drone.

While the same concerns that were mentioned in earlier reviews of this service still exists, Amazon is still actively pursuing this avenue of delivery.

  1. Review: Concerns over Drone Delivery
  2. One of the original Amazon Videos
  3. New Drone Look

Google adds robocall warnings to Phone app – Naked Security

imageI sure you have seen an increase in unwanted solicitation call on your mobile phones like I have. Some are spam call any others are outright con artists trying to con you our or your hard-earned money. This article discusses how the FCC is requesting help from our phone carriers and Google’s plans on helping you to determine which calls should be blocked and their suggested method of letting you know and control these unwanted calls.

So, if you are interested click here to read more…


Surface Book 2 coming in first half of 2017

imageI am going to have to really control my need to have the newest and greatest gadget next spring when it is expected the replacement for the current Surface Book is expected to be released. While this one took me about a year of drooling over before I finally bit the bullet the new one might go come to me much more quickly.

So what should we expect for the next generation? First, the Intel next-gen Kaby Lake processor that will give you lower power consumption and it is suspected that it will be even thinner than it is now (how can that be). We may see NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 10 series inside, either the GTX1050 or GTX1060. That would make it extremely popular for those who need the graphics power.

The current Surface Book has a 3000x 2000 resolution display so expect we will reach 4k resolution of  3840 x 2160 or so. It is not expected to release until late Q2 2017 but with all these upgrades it should be worth the wait. I just hope that the battery life is still going to be there. That would be a big disappointment if we lose that aspect.


Yahoo ordered to show how it recovered ‘deleted’ emails in drug case – Naked Security

imageInteresting reading about Yahoo recovering supposedly deleted files from their servers for a U.K. drug case. It makes you wonder what else is available that can be handed over to the government to prosecute you. I am not totally unhappy that these drug dealers information was made available for prosecution, however, this may be a real issue for the general private market out there. Just something to think about!

If this is peak your interest you can read more here.

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