Heartbleed and KineticD Cloud Backup

Posted by admin on Apr 25, 2014

This notice is for our customers that either use (or are planning to use) our Cloud-based data backup solution provided by KineticD.  Here is a notice that we received from KineticD:

As you may be aware, a major vulnerability code named Heartbleed recently been discovered for OpenSSL, the popular encryption software that powers two thirds (2/3) of the Internet.  Since KineticD only relied on OpenSSL for our marketing portals, none of your data was ever at risk.

We take the security of our customer data very seriously and at this time have no evidence of any compromise, but like many web companies, our security team took immediate action to proactively address the issue.  Further to our stringent Vulnerability and Threat policies, all data backed up with KineticD is protected by the following safeguards:

-Military Grade Encryption: Your data is encrypted using military grade 448 bit blowfish encryption before it leaves your machine, in flight (over the internet) and at rest (when its stored in our servers).

-Industry Leading Data Centers: Our state-of-the-art data centers are guarded 24x7x365 with uniformed security guards, CCTV cameras throughout, door entry-card access and fully redundant power supplies.

-ITL-Based Compliance Audit Procedures: Our data center recently passed an external audit which awarded us with the SSAE16 certification of compliance.   

If any of your other online vendors have been impacted by Heartbleed and you use the same password for both KineticD and them, we recommend changing both passwords.  As a best practice, your password for KineticD should be unique and contain at least 6 characters, with capital letters, numbers and symbols.  

Thanks for trusting KineticD with your data, The KineticD Team

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Six Reasons You Still Need A Desktop PC

Posted by admin on Sep 30, 2013

Like most computer users, you have probably already migrated to some sort of mobile device… a laptop, tablet or even a smart phone.  Does that mean your old desktop PC is destined for the scrap pile?  Well, that old computer – even though past its prime – is far from useless.  In fact, for some jobs, it is the perfect tool.  Here are six reasons to keep that old clunker around.

Dual Monitors: Yes, you can set up dual screens on your laptop, but the external one is usually much larger than the built-in screen, and so easily navigating between the screens can be a bit of a pain.  Just pop a dedicated video card into your desktop (if it does not already have one), connect two monitors, and you are off with double the productivity!

Raw Power: Mobile devices sacrifice speed over battery life, desktops don’t. So if you are a power user, your programs will probably run faster on a desktop.  Now, if your desktop is 10 years old… or older, forget about what I just said.

Expandability: Notebooks are not easy to fix or upgrade.  Their compact form means that most components are soldered together. About all you can effectively upgrade is the memory and the hard drive.  In a desktop, everything is fair game.  In fact, you can basically strip it down to the bare components and start over if you want.

File Storage: In many cases, your desktop has more storage space than your mobile device.  And if not, you can easily add an additional hard drive.  You can even backup your data from your laptop or smart phone to your desktop.

Better Productivity: Using the touchpad can be a pain for some notebook users, not to mention that the keyboards are usually more compact.  If you are a touch-typist or do a lot of mouse work, then a full sized keyboard and standard mouse can be a lot more productive.  Yes, you can connect a USB keyboard and mouse to a laptop, but you are losing the convenience of the laptop.

Remote Access: If you leave your desktop powered up all the time, you can have your own computer in the cloud.  Use one of the various remote desktop tools that are available, and you can access your programs, documents, and even printers from anywhere in the world.

Blackberry Messenger for Everyone!

Posted by admin on Sep 20, 2013

Amid rumors of layoffs and a possible sale of the company, BlackBerry announced some good news Wednesday: its growing BBM instant messaging service will be available for Android and iPhone devices in the next several days. BBM is one of the high points of the failing BlackBerry legacy business, with recent growth in BBM users mainly in Europe and Asia. Until now, BBM has only been available for BlackBerry devices. BBM has 60 million monthly active customers who send and receive more than 10 billion messages a day, BlackBerry said. Messages are quickly read in seconds, which BlackBerry said is an indication of how engaged BBM users are.

BBM will be a free download in the Google Play store for Android on Saturday and in the Apple App Store for iPhone on Sunday, BlackBerry said. “With more than a billion Android, iOS and BlackBerry smartphones in the market, and no dominant mobile messaging platform, this is absolutely the right time to bring BBM to Android and iPhone customers,” Andrew Bocking, executive vice president for BBM at BlackBerry, said in a statement.

In addition to BBM text chat, users can share files such as photos and voice notes. BBM lets a user know that a message has been delivered and read and shows when a friend is responding. Up to 30 friends can join in group chats and share photos and schedules. A function called Broadcast Message allows users to send out a message to all their BBM contacts at the same time. BBM relies on a unique PIN to authorize a user, which BlackBerry maintains is more secure than giving out a phone number or email address to a new contact.

The Android download will be available at 7 a.m. ET on Sept. 21 for Android 4 and later. For iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7, BBM will be available in the App Store at 12:01 a.m. local time on Sept. 22. Later in 2013, BlackBerry is expected to unveil BBM Channels to allow for conversations between users and communities. The conversations can be organized around common interests, brands, celebrities and more. BBM video and BBM voice calling are also planned for Android and iPhone in a future version, but BlackBerry didn’t disclose when.

BBM isn’t yet available for Windows Phone smartphones, and BlackBerry didn’t indicate when, or whether, that would occur. Windows Phone recently overtook BlackBerry as the third-largest smartphone brand shipping globally.

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Microsoft lures nonprofits with Office 365 freebie

Posted by admin on Sep 14, 2013

Nonprofit organizations will be able to sign up for Office 365 for free or at a reduced price as part of a new program Microsoft launched Tuesday. Properly certified nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 41 countries can apply to the Office 365 for Nonprofits program. Microsoft expects to offer the program in 90 countries by July. “Nonprofits are seeing more and more the advantages of cloud computing, but they often can’t access it because of costs and other reasons,” said Lori Harnick, general manager of Microsoft’s Citizenship & Public Affairs group. While Microsoft has had a software donation program for years, this is the first time it will offer Office 365 in this manner, she said.

Customers can subscribe to the Office 365 Enterprise E1 plan for free for an unlimited number of seats. This plan, which normally costs $8 per user, per month, includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and the browser-based Office Web Apps. For an additional per user, per month charge of $2, customers can get the full Office ProPlus productivity application suite streamed down and installed on users’ desktops. Exchange Online Archiving costs $1 per user, per month extra. Customers also have the option of signing up for Office 365 Enterprise E3 at $4.50 per user, per month, a reduction from the regular price of $20 per user, per month.

Following Google’s lead

While it’s a good move to cater to nonprofits with Office 365, Microsoft is following rival Google, which has had a free nonprofit edition of its Apps email and collaboration suite since 2007. ”My take is that Google Apps for Nonprofits was doing very well in the market, and Microsoft needed to combat Google’s inroads with a more attractive Office 365 no fee offer,” Gartner analyst Matt Cain said via email. However, a difference is that Apps for Nonprofits is only available in the U.S., England and Wales. In addition to giving Office 365 a competing offer among nonprofits against Google Apps, the product earns Microsoft points for corporate citizenship, according to TJ Keitt, a Forrester Research analyst. ”It provides organizations performing public services an affordable tool for communication and collaboration,” he said via email. Moreover, this nonprofit offering expands the pool of people exposed to Office 365, potentially creating future customers for the paid editions, Keitt said.

New SEO Service Now Offered

Posted by admin on Sep 10, 2013

We have recently purchased a new SEO analytics program that will provide a neutral, analytical view of your website — it’s like looking at your pages through a search engine’s eyes. Browse through the generated report and get valuable insight in the experience and impressions of your human visitors too.

For only $25, we will scan your site, and provide you a written report of what the program has found.  We can also provide a quote to complete the recommendations and when completed, we will run another report for you, absolutely free!  That way, you can see if the changes have made a difference.

Contact us right away, and we will complete that scan for you!

Office hear you didn’t know you needed

Posted by admin on Aug 22, 2013

Taken from PC World.

You might think you don’t need much in the way of business equipment to get your work done—maybe just a PC with an Internet connection. But you’re missing out on some interesting, under-the-radar products that can speed your workflow, protect your business, and keep your body healthy during long hours at your desk. We’ve assembled a collection of ten peripherals and accessories that are so beautiful, smart, or helpful that you’ll wonder how you ever got anything done without them.

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Obituary: Doug Engelbart, Inventor of the computer mouse

Posted by admin on Aug 18, 2013

Doug Engelbart, best known for having invented the computer mouse in 1968, but whom was also one of the pioneers of the computing industry, sadly passed away on July 2 at the age of 88 from kidney failure.

While working at a government aerospace laboratory in California in the 1950s, Engelbart had ideas swirling in his mind about collaborative and interactive computer work where scientists could easily share information among them. He eventually demonstrated his many inventions once he established an experimental research group at Stanford Research Institute, which eventually came to be known simply as SRI International. Among them was the rodent-like device called a mouse (though back then, it hardly resembled a mouse as it does today) that was used to navigate a computer’s screen, and control tasks. Reportedly, the idea for the mouse came to Engelbart during a computer graphics conference in 1964. The device, however, didn’t make its way to become a mainstream computer accessory until some time in the 1980s.

Why it was given the moniker “mouse” is up for debate. Hardware designer Roger Bates has been quoted as saying it was coined by Dr. William English, as collaborator and mechanical engineer who received Engelbart’s sketch of the device. Supposedly, the mouse was a natural extension to the name used at the time to describe the cursor: CAT.

Engelbart’s influence on the computing industry extended far further than the invention of the mouse. In 1969, his Augment NLS system application helped lead to the internet as we know it today. Oregon State University, from which Engelbart graduated, credited him in 1997 with 20 lifetime patents at the time, and helping to “pave the way for electronic mail, computer ‘windows’, computer networking and the internet.”

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How Windows 8 Trumps Non-Windows Competition

Posted by admin on Jul 23, 2013

You may not like Windows 8, but Microsoft Windows did not become the all-encompassing king of the desktop out of sheer luck. Here are a dozen reasons why Microsoft’s latest operating system beats OS X, Linux and Chrome OS.

1) Vast Software Library – including apps and full fledged software and games

2) Backward Compatibility – You can run programs all the way back to good old DOS

3) Games – No PC can handle games as well as Windows

4) Syncing – Windows 8’s syncing options exceed Apple’s in almost every respect

5) Native Web Browser – Internet Explorer may not be your browser of choice, but it is included with every version of Windows… right from a fresh install

6) Security – For the past two years, Internet Explorer has been the target of far fewer exploits than Safari, Chrome or Firefox.

7) Widespread Compatibility – Almost every hardware device supports Windows PCs

8) Multiple Monitor Support – It is simple to setup and configure, Mac and Linux are not quite as easy.

9) System Search – Search for files, programs, and even internet results in once place

10) Multitasking – If you have a plethora of programs open, Windows 8 will handle it the best

11) New Car Smell – Windows 8’s new Refresh option makes clearing out the cobwebs effortless

12) Getting Things Done – When it is time to roll up your sleeves and get some work done, nothing tops a Windows machine

Accept Credit Cards on the Road

Posted by admin on Jul 18, 2013

Are you a mobile professional?  Would you like to accept credit card payments wherever you are?  Would you like to do it for free?

Well, that last one I can’t really do, but there is a great deal from a company called Square.  For a $10 investment (and you get that back after your first transaction) you can get a small card reader from Square that attaches to your smart phone or tablet.  No start up fees, no monthly fees, just 2.75% per swipe for Visa and Mastercard.

Install a simple app on your iOS or Android device, plug in the small square card reader into the headphone jack, link your bank account, and you will be accepting payments in minutes.  The money is directly deposited into your bank account within 1-2 business days.

For more information check out www.squareup.com or come in and talk to us about it.

3 Technologies That Should Disappear

Posted by admin on Jul 16, 2013

Legacy hardware often overstays its welcome.  For example, these 12 components, ports, and devices have lingered far beyond their freshness date.

1) PATA (or Parallel Ports), also known as IDE ports is so old that you might never have heard of it.  It was originally designed as an interface for mechanical hard drives back in 1986, it was replaced by SATA over ten years ago.  Some motherboard manufacturers are still including it on their boards.  Why?

2) eSATA (External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is fast, but does not carry power to the external drive. So you need an additional power adapter for your external device. Since we now have USB 3.0, which are plenty fast and deliver power to the attached devices, there is no need for eSATA ports.

3) IBM introduced the PS/2 port in 1987 with its line of PS/2 personal computers.  Since the ports were not designed to be hot-swappable, changing your keyboard and mouse meant you had to turn off the computer first. All keyboards and mice that have shipped in the past 5 years use USB, so why are board manufacturers still including these ports on their motherboards?

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