Category: Mobile Technology

What is HEARTBLEED??

What is the HEARTBLEED computer bug that you are hearing about?  And can you be affected?  In a word – YES!

It was accidental programming code that left a security hole in websites protected by OpenSSL against data theft.  About 60% or so of secure websites use this since they are sites where you login like banking, webmail, etc.  The code was not caught in proofreading back in 2011 and so has been out on the intertubes since then!

The secure sites can be identified easily in Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer and the web address starts out as https:// rather than the non-secure http:// .  The problem of course is that the locks looked locked, but they really weren’t.

People can confirm the sites have been patched using this link:

http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/

Then change passwords at sites known to be fixed.  You can also confirm by contacting the website owner.

Good luck – and safe, happy computing!

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Wired or Wireless??

Our industry continues to move toward wireless connections to the network, to the internet.  And who wouldn’t like to get rid of that cable jungle under their desk?

Historically of course things have needed a cable to connect them.  And we like wireless ‘cuz it’s like being free of a tether to any certain location.  But still today many applications run better over a wired network, and faster.  The prime example is a database app which might be CRM (Customer Relationship Management like we talked about last week), or maybe video editing apps, some cloud apps.  Many are not very tolerant of even a short blip of connection drop.  You wouldn’t notice this so much just browsing the internet or checking email.  But think about an app that needs to have uninterrupted connection to its sharepoint (i.e. a server) and it’s trying to go over a wireless connection similar to your cell phone.  Oops, under a bridge, dropped call.  App crash.  If you’ve ever sat and watched wireless signals (what we do with our Friday nights) you’d see they fluctuate up and down, grow and fade.

And wireless is getting faster, but still no match for a wired connection.  More speed and more stability.  And then we see fiber optics coming at us fast, wired at the speed of light.  So if you’re in your office and you don’t need to move from room to room, get a wired connection and increase your productivity.

Use wireless when you’re on the move.

Happy computing!

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Your New Mobile Device!

So it just arrived.  You got a new Kindle, or Nook, or iPad, or Droid Tablet, Nexus, or SmartPhone.  Now what?

Flick it on, and a totally foreign set of icons, sliders, and hidden gestures await your every command.  Kind of like being plunked down in the cockpit of stealth fighter, no?  Wheels up in 10!  Now where is that instruction manual anyway…

Don’t be intimidated, forget the manual for a bit.  We recommend you just start exploring and touch icons, follow where they lead, then try to find your way back to the home screen.  Pick another icon.  Try out a couple gestures that always look so cool on that primetime detective/cop shows where a lead character is mining forensic data for clues on their translucent floor-to-ceiling touchscreen.  With surround-sound of course.

At some point before you decide to chuck it out the window, search the internet or even the (gasp!) manual for how-to steps.  There are likely a gazillion poorly produced youtube videos demonstrating just what it is you want to know.

The reason we suggest this approach is to integrate the intuitive-ness in design of the device with your own cognitive approach to discovery and problem-solving.  Is there science behind this method of learning?  Maybe, maybe not.  But probably most of us learned to communicate with words before we learned to read.  We played the instrument before we read the manual.  Also it’s what we’ve found to work best, and many clients have told us the same.

So back straight, chin up.  Feel the wind in your hair and go boldly forth.

Happy Computing!

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