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iPhone Tricks you may not know (7/14)

This article has a long list of cool tricks – chances are that there is one you don’t know! Here is a sampling:

  • Shake to undo. If you make a mistake while typing or editing a picture just give your phone a little shake and you’ll be asked if want to “undo” your typing.
  • Recharge your battery faster by switching to airplane mode – this works for many devices.
  • Find out what flights are overhead – ask Siri “What flights are above me” or “Planes overhead”. A real time waster, but pretty cool.

BEI – Reston Chamber’s Medium Business of the Year (7/14)

At the recent ACE (Awards for Chamber Excellence) awards luncheon BEI was selected as the Medium Business of the Year. BEI provides the IT support for the Chamber, and has long been very active members. Mike Jennings is a member of the Board of Directors, and we are active on several committees. In addition, a group of employees regularly staff booths at the major Chamber events – Oktoberfest and Taste of Reston. We get a lot back from the Chamber, and were very pleased to be recognized by this award. You can read about the event and other honorees here.

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Cyber Attack Map (7/14)

This map (best viewed in Chrome) shows cyber attacks by geographic area and allows you to drill down into specific countries. It mostly confirms what you would already suspect, that there are lots of cyber attacks and that the United States is both the most popular target AND the most frequent origin of these attacks.

Cybersecurity Travel Tips (7/14)

Traveling introduces new cybersecurity risks – whether you are going to the beach a few hours away or to remote corners of the earth. Here are a few thoughts and we’ll expand upon these in the upcoming months:

Social Media – many of us will post something about vacations on Facebook or other social media sites. And if we don’t our teenage children very likely will! This is a common way for criminals to target their visits to your home, so use caution and tell your family to do the same.

Travel to hacker-friendly areas of the world – we certainly would not say that the United States or Western Europe are free of cyber-criminals, but the reality is that some countries (Russia and other areas of Eastern Europe are examples) you are much more likely to be hacked. Many companies who commonly send people to certain countries send “disposable” laptops. You get a newly “wiped” laptop for each trip and when you return it is wiped again. The assumption is that it has been infected and no chances are taken.

Executive background searches – think about doing an online/social media executive background search for your key executives or new hires.

If any of these issues are of concern to you please give us a call – we can either help you or suggest partners who can do so.

Laptop Encryption (7/14)

What happens if one of your corporate laptops is lost or stolen? Would client or employee data be compromised? Would you know if it had been? BEI recommends encrypting all laptops – which means that unless someone has the encryption key, they have no access to your data.

The AlertBoot system that BEI recommends and resells provides Full Disk Encryption that complies with HIPAA, NIST FIPS, SOX and more. It has a cloud-based management console, so that encryption can be remotely monitored and managed. The price is $79 per encrypted device per year. Give us a call and we’d be glad to discuss what makes sense for your organization.

Kickstarter Campaigns (7/14)

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding program. In 2013 people pledged $480 million (which doesn’t mean that much was collected) and 19,911 projects were successfully funded.

To create a project you create a pitch and specify a funding goal. People pledge toward that goal, but no one is charged until the goal is met. Fees in the United States are as follows:

  • Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds raised
  • Amazon applies credit card processing fees (3-5%)
  • There are no fees if funding is not successful

Many Kickstarter projects are game or music-related, but some are manufacturing (a number of us ordered a kickstand for our Surface – not arrived yet!) and many are education-related.

Health IT News for Metro DC: July An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away (7/14)

On June 2, Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference and announced iOS8, the new version of its operating system for the iPhone and the iPAD. Many new features were announced, including Health and HealthKit. Health is a “default” app that every iOS8 device will have — similar to Mail, Safari, Phone, etc. HealthKit is software that will allow developers to share data from medical devices and other sources with Health. Read this article for details.

Surface Pro 3 now available! (6/14)

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is currently available. The version that is based on the Intel i5 chipset is currently shipping, the i3 and i7 will be available on August 1.

Below are some highlights of the Surface Pro 3:

1.76 pounds

12″ display

Runs all your favorite programs – it really is a full laptop replacement

Multi-position (redesigned kickstand)

Up to 9 hours of web browsing on batter

Handwriting recognition that really replaces traditional note taking

Lighter and thinner than the Macbook Air!

We are hoping to offer a special session at the Microsoft store for a demo and hands-on time with the Surface Pro 3. If this is of interest to you please fill out this short form and we’ll keep you posted about that event.

Amazon unveils smartphone (6/14)

Amazon announced its long-awaited smartphone, called the Amazon Fire on June 23. It has a screen with holographic images, hands-free scrolling, earphones that resist tangling and the ability to recognize merchandise through its camera lens. With 4 cameras to facilitate the holographic capabilities the ability to scroll by tilting the phone, Amazon has optimized the Fire to for commerce – you can point the phone at an item and order it online within seconds.

At $199-$299 with a two-year contract from AT&T, the phone is about $100 cheaper than the iPhone 5S. The Fire uses a version of Google’s Android operating system, but won’t be able to use the same apps that Android phone users can buy from Google’s Play store. So developing apps will be very important to the Fire’s success. You can read more here or go right to Amazon and read what they have to say.

Intel aims to eliminate all PC cables in 2016 (6/14)

Lots of tech problems are caused by cables. Connectors aren’t right, cables aren’t long enough, things get tangled… So Intel has announced that their next generation platform – codenamed Skylake – will lead to Intel designs that eliminate all cables from PCs. Wireless display, docking and charging features will get rid of the last cables that most of us use for our desktop. Of course, it will be a while before this becomes a reality. You can read more about it here.

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