Are your looking forward to the Window 10 Anniversary Update?

Iimaget looks like Microsoft is making Cortana a central focus to many of its search functions including showing up on the lock screen. It will not only be more prominent but will also be much harder to get rid of “her”.

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the search box is now Cortana. Customers can expect the same great search experience powered by Bing and Microsoft Edge with the added benefit of Cortana’s personality.

If your system is on a Windows Domain Network your IT Department can control this through group policies but we don’t have a simple and quick method of shutting “her’' down.

Another “feature” that is baked in is the inability for consumers to control Windows 10 updates. Your going to have to suffer through them.

The spokesperson suggested that there are some Cortana tweaks that Windows 10 consumer users could do, if wanted:

We know consumers want choice and we make it easy to customize Cortana’s personalization or opt-out of Cortana’s suite of personalized services. Cortana works best when you sign in, but if you choose not to, you can still use her to chat, search the web and your Windows device. If you like, you can also easily hide Cortana and the search box in the taskbar altogether.

Cortana is also going to hold a prominent role in educational environments as well.

For our education editions, Microsoft is committed to an experience free from sponsored content by default. Within Cortana, Microsoft could not guarantee that sponsored content would not appear as part of the online search experience.

Microsoft is working on creating a future Cortana service that has an "education-appropriate experience."


Secure messaging app Telegram leaks anything pasted in to it – Naked Security

imageWhile this more of an old story than a new one since a patch for the issue has already been issued, the information that Naked Security discussed was interesting an if you are a Mac user and you are worried about security issues this would be something to consider. Read More Here.


Another posting for Sysadmin’s Day from Naked Security

imageFeeling under appreciated, needing a little help? Want to get a little something for talking about your favorite issue?

Here is good way to compensate. Find a little humor with the Sysadmin foolproof flowchart guide on fixing any computer problem. After you stop laughing send in one of your many experiences and get a free IT Survival Kit.



In case you missed the Windows 10 Free Upgrade

imageThere is a little loophole that I am sure that Microsoft will close up quickly that still allows users that need to use assistive technologies to still receive the Windows Upgrade for free.

According to a tucked-away page on Microsoft’s site, users who need accessibility features can still choose to upgrade for free for an undetermined amount of time. To sign up for the free upgrade, you simply have to check a box that says you use assistive technologies, and Microsoft doesn’t seem to be verifying the claim at all so it may work even for typical users who missed the deadline.

Microsoft may rescind or modify the offer at any time, so if you want to upgrade to Windows 10 and don’t want to pay, you should probably check this out as soon as possible. To get started, head to the source link below and click Upgrade Now.

Windows 10 free upgrade for customers who use assistive technologies

Thanks Matt for this little insight.


Sophos SafeGuard – encryption that won’t slow you down


Sophos SafeGuard – encryption that won’t slow you down

Looking for the answer to your encryption needs? Sophos SafeGuard provides the most complete data protection solution on the market today.


It keeps your data secure as it moves from laptop, to mobile, to cloud, to Mac; as well as making it easy to manage native encryption such as BitLocker and FileVault 2.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what the experts are saying:

  • ‘The Breakout Star’ in Forrester Encryption Wave 2015
  • Winner of TechTarget’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Encryption
  • Recognized as a Leader by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection


Learn more and get a no-obligation quote.

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© 2015 Sophos Inc. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy
3 Van de Graaff Drive, Burlington, MA 01803.


Protect Data Everywhere, Automatically

Sophos SafeGuard encrypts content as soon as it’s created. And with the encryption always on, you can enjoy seamless secure collaboration. Synchronized Encryption proactively protects your data by continuously validating the user, application, and security integrity of a device before allowing access to encrypted data.

Looking for an encryption solution?

If you’re considering a new encryption solution we highly recommend you take a look at Sophos. Their solution is easy to deploy, manage and use. Sophos has been named as ‘The Breakout Star’ in Forrester Encryption Wave 2015 and recognized as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection. Find out more [link to https://www.sophos.com/en-us/lp/encryption-dance.aspx#encryption-made-simple]

Is encryption the Achilles heel in your data protection strategy?

Get the free whitepaper from Sophos and bust 6 common encryption myths including system performance and key management. Download now [link to https://secure2.sophos.com/en-us/security-news-trends/whitepapers/gated-wp/deciphering-the-code.aspx]

See how a hacker can strike through unsecured Wi-Fi and gain access to your login details and sensitive files. Then watch the same scenario with Sophos SafeGuard encryption in place and see the same sensitive files become unreadable and unusable to the hacker. Watch now [link to https://www.sophos.com/en-us/lp/encryption-dance.aspx#encryption-isnt-complicated]


Happy SysAdmin Day!


Microsoft to offer access to Pen Using Apps in the MS StoreFront

imageI get a lot of good insightful information from the Supersite for Windows and I have pointed you to articles from there that I think are interesting or important from time to time. With the advent of the soon to be released Anniversary edition of Window 10, I am looking forward to seeing what Paul and his group of writers have to tell us about this update. In this article Richard Ray presents five of his favorite apps that are in Store. Take a look here.


It Never Fails… LastPass reports issue

imageIt seems to never fail that as soon as you think that something is a great solution someone puts a kink into it. However, the good news is that the issue was fixed in a day. Thanks LastPass!

LastPass password manager “zero-day” bug hits the news – Naked Security

Password managers are tools that help you keep track of the numerous accounts that a modern digital lifestyle needs.

These days, it’s not just passwords for your mainstream online accounts such as webmail, Facebook and Twitter.

Even activities that you probably don’t associate with online life – renting an apartment, for example, registering to pay tax, or applying for a visa – often end up at a web page that requires you to create an account before you can go any further.

Click here to see the rest of the article.

Endgaget post on LastPass Fix to this issue


Using a Password Manager to enhance your Security

imageI spend a lot of time on this site discussing security issues and pointing to articles that describe good methods of securing your personal and work data. I am a big fan of the Naked Security blog not only because it comes from one of most important security partners, Sophos, but also because of the in depth an timely information that they bring to the table. Again, I am going to point you to another article that talks about using LastPass to organize and control the passwords that you use for internet sites. This is a program that most of us internally have been using for a long time to secure our access and we think that using this program to generate better passwords and giving you better control over access to your important websites is extremely important. This along with 2-factor authentication are great steps in securing yourself.

Try a password manager: how to get started with LastPass


Facebook tests end-to-end encrypted Secret Conversations on Messenger – Naked Security

imageDo you trust Facebook? Their providing end to end encrypted messaging that they don’t keep a record of just seems like something that wouldn’t fly with the government, and aren’t they already in bed with them providing all of the data flowing through their servers?

read Naked Security’s take on this


Configure Toll-free Numbers for Dial-In Conferencing in Office365

imageMatt Soseman posted an overview on how to configure Toll-Free Numbers for Dial-In Conferencing in Office365.

What is Cloud PSTN Conferencing?

Cloud PSTN Conferencing is a feature in Office365 E5 offering the capability to join a Skype for Business meeting using a traditional dial-in telephone number as an alternative to using the Skype for Business client on a PC or smartphone. This will allow the meeting attendee to participate in the audio only portion of the meeting.

This can also be used independently of Skype for Business as a traditional conference bridge, a useful scenario when the full client experience is not desired or inaccessible.

What’s Required?

To enable, you must have:

  • An Office365 tenant
  • A E5 subscription (either trial or purchased)
  • At least one user account located in the tenant

Assign the user the full Office365 Enterprise E5 license, or the Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing license.

For access to more information check it out here:

How To Enable Cloud PSTN Conferencing in Office365 in Skype for Business Online

Configure Toll-Free Numbers for Dial-In Conferencing in Office365


Wi-Fi sharing community Instabridge picks up backing from Draper Associates

imagetechcrunch posts a report that is initially a little deceptive. Of course, I am the one that assumed that the sharing was of Wi-Fi access not information of where there is Wi-Fi access. But still this is an interesting data source for finding hot-spots that you can use. The Instabridge app allows you to share details of any Wi-Fi hotspots shared by everyone else in the community.

This has enabled it to build a crowdsourced database of Wi-Fi hotspots, in addition to a list of known public venues that have free Wi-Fi, such as McDonald’s or Starbucks.

read more


Introducing free Skype Meetings


Microsoft introduced a free browser based Skype Meetings.

We’re pleased to introduce free Skype Meetings—a new online meetings tool that provides small businesses with real-time audio and HD video conferencing. Skype Meetings includes collaboration features like the ability to share screens and content during meetings.

Watch this video to see Skype Meetings in action:

With Skype Meetings, you can quickly set up meetings and share a personalized URL that participants click to join the meeting. During the meeting, participants can IM, share their screen or PowerPoint presentation or use the laser pointer and whiteboard features to make it more engaging and productive. The meeting organizer also gets professional meeting controls such as the ability to mute the audience in order to be heard.

Anyone in the U.S. with a business email address and whose organization doesn’t already have Office 365 can sign up for free Skype Meetings at www.skype.com/meetings. Once you sign up, you can set up meetings for up to 10 people for the first 60 days and up to 3 people thereafter. All you need is a device with an Internet browser, a microphone, speaker and camera, which are included on many devices.

If you have an Office 365 business subscription that includes Skype for Business, then you already have richer online meetings capabilities, such as the ability to conduct large group meetings for up to 250 people and the ability to IM anyone in your organization at any time—not just during meetings. In addition, Skype for Business is integrated with other Office 365 apps to enable you to do things like schedule a Skype meeting from your Outlook calendar, see your colleagues’ presence, and initiate an IM or start an audio or video conversation within apps like Outlook, Word and PowerPoint.

Start a free meeting today at go.skype.com/meetings.

—Andrew Sinclair, general manager for Skype for Business

What I was really hoping from this was gaining the PSTN conference calling and that is not what we have here. This is Microsoft providing the product to entice users to jump onto one of the Office 365 subscriptions that provide Skype for Business as part of the App group that you get.


Do you have a spare $1499?

imageSamsung has just launched an EVO 850 4 TB drive SSD which has just become the largest consumer grade SSD on the market.

Built with Samsung's renowned V-NAND technology, the 4TB 850 EVO SSD melds the reliability and endurance of the 850 EVO series with high-end performance. Set in a slim and compact 2.5-inch form factor, the Samsung 850 EVO 4TB model sports all the trimmings and optimizations of the 850 EVO line with blistering-fast 540 MB/s read and 520 MB/s write speeds with TurboWrite.

Four terabytes is quite a staggering amount of data, especially for an SSD; for reference the 4TB 850 EVO can hold up to 1,000 two-hour 1080p movies with compression--that's more than two or three movie libraries on a single 2-inch SSD. The colossal SSD also features a 1.5 million hour MTBF rate, and uses the SATA 6Gb/s interface for speedy transfers.

Samsung's 4TB 850 EVO SSD retails for a staggering $1,499 and comes with a five-year limited warranty, with availability across over 50 regions like the United States, Korea, China and Europe. Drop by the product page for more information.


Ransomware that demands money and gives you back… nothing! – Naked Security

Ransomware isn’t a laughing matter, especially if you’re the victim.

Even if you don’t lose any data in the attack, it’s a bit like getting mugged by crooks who end up running off without your wallet.

If ransomeware by itself wasn’t scary enough!

read more


Users sign away their firstborns on fake social network – Naked Security

imageWe already know that people are willing to hand over their firstborns for free Wi-Fi.

Or, at least, they’re more willing to accidentally sign over perpetual ownership of their tots than they are to read lengthy terms and conditions. We know this thanks to a security firm that set up an open Wi-Fi network in a busy public area in London and then presented people with lengthy terms and conditions to sign up and – buh-bye, now! – inadvertently sign kids away in blissful ignorance.

Now, thanks to new research, we know that the same goes for signing up for a new social media platform.

Sorry, kids: you’ve once again been put on the bargaining table by researchers out to prove the point that this is the biggest lie on the internet:

I have read and agree with the terms and conditions.

The study comes from Jonathan Obar, who teaches communication technology at York University, and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, a University of Connecticut communications assistant professor.

read more



Card fraud now hits nearly one third of consumers worldwide

Naked Security reports:  Card fraud now hits nearly one third of consumers worldwide

imageImagine folded, chopped, and mutilated plastic up to the sky: that’s the pile being generated by cardholder fraud these days.

I’ll let ACI Worldwide and Aite Group quantify the pile just a bit:

Of all cardholders – debit, credit, and prepaid – 30% have experienced card fraud in the past five years.

That’s the #1 takeaway from their latest biennial survey of cardholders in 20 countries worldwide.

If that topline figure isn’t bad enough, 17% of debit and credit card holders say they’ve fallen victim multiple times over that period – up from 13% in the 2014 survey.

Many of the costs to individuals and institutions are pretty obvious: reimbursements of fraudulent transactions, potentially damaged credit ratings, card replacement and security costs. Unsurprisingly, card fraud also contributes to costly customer churn: worldwide, one-fifth of consumers “changed financial institutions due to dissatisfaction after experiencing fraud.”

But, as the survey’s authors note, financial institutions face an additional cost that might not be obvious to the casual observer: worldwide, 40% of consumers use the compromised account less frequently after the fraud.

Read More


USB Tethering

It has been a long time since I have written anything about photography equipment which is funny since I still consider photography as one of my main hobbies. Today I ran into an article posted in the Verge describing a USB Tethering system to boost signal strength between your computer and your camera. You can add additional lengths of cable for a total of 65 feet. Other additional support products include a battery and power injector to increase the signal strength even more making a much more reliable connection especially at the longer cable lengths.

TetherTools is a great place to purchase or learn more about this product and the options they suggest. In fact they have a whole line of products to support your camera to computer tethering needs. You can purchase product individually but they have a great kit with:

  • image(1) Tether Table Aero Traveler
  • (1) TetherPro Cable 15'
  • (1) JerkStopper Tethering Kit with Camera Support & Clip-on for the Aero
  • (1) Non-Slip ProPad for the Tether Table Aero Traveler
  • (1) SecureStrap
  • (1) Aero XDC External Drive Compartment
  • (1) StrapMoore
  • (1) Tether Tools Cable Organization Case (Standard)

All for just $379.00, not to bad. You will need to add your own tripods though.


Fake Pokémon GO app watches you, tracks you, listens to your calls – Naked Security

imageI don’t understand its popularity but there is no denying that it is taking the world by storm. With a world that is already so full of wonder why do we need this? Well, the bad guys are taking advantage of it of course!

Take a look at this article on NakedSecurity that describes not only the program but also some very scary security issues.

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