Amazon is Now Testing Drone Deliveries in the U.S.

DronesIt’s a different world out there.  The FAA has just allowed Amazon to do limited testing of their drone delivery system in the U.S. according to techcrunch.com.  Here is the full article regarding the announcement. I don’t know about y’all, but I have mixed feelings about drones hovering around “delivering” who knows what.  The use of  drones could also potentially cause a major headache regarding having to keep track of all of them. As with most technology, there will be some major growing pains with this as well, but I’ll try to keep an open mind about it. What do you all thing about it?  Are you for or against the use of drones?  Let us know in the comments.

Good Password Tips

John DavisonWith all the news and hype about recent hacker attacks these days I decided to share some quick tips about online passwords.  I hope you find it useful.  At the beginning of the year, CNN put out an article entitled “123456 Tops List of Worst Passwords,” in which it discusses the sad state of our password creativity (or lack thereof).  It references a list compiled by the security company Splashdata of the top 25 worst passwords to use. Some of the passwords were the following:

123456
Password
Monkey

If your password is as simple as “123456”, then you are just asking for it. What were people thinking when they came up with that one? “Let’s see, the password has to be a minimum of 6 characters…” The password “password” is no better and is on par with the height of laziness just like the previous password. And, what is the fascination with monkeys and why should it even be a password?

Ok, I’ll try to contain myself. Anyway, you can read the articles mentioned in the links above to learn how to setup good passwords, but if you want the cliff notes version of these Password Best Practices, here’s my Top 5 recommendations.

  1. Use a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols.
  2. Change your passwords at least every 3 months.
  3. Don’t use the same password for all your websites.
  4. Use long passwords, preferably 8 characters or more.
  5. Don’t share your password with anyone.

This may sound excessive, but this “hassle” is nothing compared to the hassle of having your online identity stolen or your Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, or other personal information hacked. Please, Please be diligent in keeping your information as secure as possible.

There are a lot more issues regarding security that we can discuss and over the next few weeks, I’ll be addressing those. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding your security needs.

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Windows 8.1 Release Features

Since its release in October 2012, WindowsWindows 8.1 8 has been a source of frustration for its users. In Microsoft’s attempt to improve Windows 7, an operating system that was already user-friendly, some features were changed that have left users and techies as well scratching their heads.

Wednesday, June 26th, the software giant released a beta version of Windows 8.1, formerly known as Windows Blue, for testing by software developers. Users are scrambling to be among the first to download the preview version of Windows 8.1, which is slated for release later this year.  Get your copy of Windows 8.1 Preview now.

So, what are some of the improvements that can be expected from Microsoft’s newest release?

  1. Return of the Start Button
    In Microsoft’s haste to make PCs more like touch screen tablets, the Start Button was removed, a fact that annoyed die-hard Microsoft fans. With 8.1, you will see the Start Button’s return to the bottom left hand corner, which will take you to the Start Screen where you can see your apps and settings tiles.
  2. Boot to Desktop
    Upon startup/reboot, you can go directly to the Desktop instead of the Start Screen.
  3. Additional Tile Sizes
    Speaking of the Start Screen, you will have more control over the size of your app and settings tiles. For example, you can choose to display more info on your weather app tile, while at the same time making your news app tile a simple icon.
  4. Revamped App Store
    Microsoft’s Windows Store already has over 80,000 apps to choose from with more being added daily. Upon the release of 8.1, you will see a redesigned Store as well as recommended apps just for you.
  5. More App Resizing Options
    Windows 8 allows you the capability of having two apps open side by side, one larger and one smaller. In 8.1, you will be able to adjust the sizes of the apps in precisely the way you choose. You can have them exactly the same size or whatever floats your boat
  6. More Keyboard and Mouse Friendly
    Much to the dismay of Windows users, Microsoft made it difficult for us to use a keyboard and mouse in an attempt to cater to touchscreen users. Version 8.1 will make life simpler for those without a touchscreen.
  7. Lock Screen Features
    The Lock Screen in 8.1 will double as a slideshow of your pictures. It will not just scroll through your photos but it will choose from pictures in the same time of year of previous years. You will also be able to access the camera app and Skype without having to login first.

These are just some of the many changes that are coming. Hopefully some of these changes will make your Windows 8 experience better.  Please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think about these new features that will be coming out in Windows 8.1 and as always, please share this info with your friends and coworkers.

Latest Apple iPhone Rumors

Latest Apple iPhone Rumors

By Abbey Markland

Of all Apple iPhones reviewed in the current blogosphere of latest iPhone reports, the iPhone 5 has, arguably, been the most controversial. So it may not be surprising that even though the iPhone 5 has been around just seven months or so, there exists a rapidly increasing upsurge in rumors about iPhone 6. However, Apple’s policy of no information before launch of an anticipated new iPhone makes it anybody’s guess what we’ll see in this next generation smartphone by Apple.

The huge volume speculation regarding the future of iPhone, and in particular, the expected brand-new model launches, need not come as a surprise to anybody. With stiff rivalry going on between Apple and its main competitor Android, people are excitedly waiting to see exactly what ideas Apple will come up with next.

In some cases, latest iPhone rumors are based on historical patterns. For example, many have observed that iPhones normally follow an S model upgrade course prior to appearance as a bona fide new iteration. This notion suggests that an iPhone 5S is more likely to be released prior to an iPhone 6. Additionally, there is the belief that Apple appears to go along with trends, suggesting that features such as motion control, a bigger display, and a much better camera are likely possibilities to appear in the next iPhone design.

One of the more pervasive rumors regarding upcoming iPhone innovation involves the addition of eye tracking or gesture control. Given that Apple currently has a number of patents that refer to this technology, it is only a matter of time until it is executed in their iPhones. The only thing that seems essential now is for iOS 7 to support this decision. This should be a relatively simple process given the manufacturer continues to approach such brand-new and novel ideas from a basic software point of view.

There is certainly lots of iPhone speculation that anticipates a new, larger display size: i.e. 4.8 inches across. This is noticeably bigger than the present criterion of a 4-inch display size. The supposed reason for this specific modification is to enhance opposition against rival Samsung Galaxy S4. Further, incorporating such change into the design of a new handset would likely be associated with an increase in display resolution as well, perhaps to as much as 480 dpi or more. With this greater resolution, there is also talk of making use of Sharp’s IGZO technology for better clarity and power effectiveness.

Then there are rumors regarding iPhone’s characteristic home button. Already among the more distinguishing characteristics of the iPhone line, this attribute stands to be made even better if reports of a fingerprint scanner are to be believed. Positioned just below the home button, this scanner-based feature can possibly obliterate the demand for passwords and so greatly improve user convenience of the iPhone 6 (or iPhone 5S) more generally. Supporting this rumor is the fact that Apple has purchased AuthenTec, a leading designer of such technology, in 2012.

Other iPhone rumors include (1) polycarbonate body construction, (2) the use of sonar as a replacement for the infrared distance sensor, (3) a more powerful (quad-core or greater) processor, and (4) even wireless charging. Sonar is an intriguing option that is often reputed to be superior to infrared technology. Such addition should significantly improve location tracking generally, while also improving ability to calculate nearness of other objects. A processor upgrade is almost certain, made even more probable by the prospect of an expansion of the phone’s dimensions. Meanwhile, cordless charging, if included, is a powerful and substantial individual benefit as numerous devices could be charged at the same time.

Whether features like gesture control, larger display size, a fingerprint scanner, or even wireless charging will really be a part of a brand-new phone is all pure speculation. Only one thing can be certain, and that is the new iPhone is something that Apple hopes will take the market by storm.

Article Source: Abbey Markland