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Questions about Digital Storage

While the User Friendly Team decides on if they want to do any more episodes for this season of the radio show, we have some questions from our website and social media that Bill Sikkens, our Technology Expert, had planned on answering. The first one was from Gary Lanson of Nashville, TN: – Should USB drives be used for storing files? There is a wide variety of USB drives available, and as time goes on larger drives are becoming more affordable. And Bill Answers: - USB Memory sticks are designed for temporary storage and transfer of files. These devices can be easily lost or damaged and as such are not recommended for long term storage or archival purposes. Bill makes a very good point, but I have to admit that I keep a good many files on USB drives for quick and easy access just because I don’t have my backup drives sitting around at arms reach. These drives tend to house the same files for many years. I am pretty good about not losing items, but some of these drives can be incredibly small. So if you are a person likely to lose stuff, perhaps it would be wise to select a drive that is more colorful and bulky. Our next question is from Betty in Atlanta, GA: - I have a number of CD’s with personal information. How do I destroy them so they can’t be stolen out of the trash? Can they be erased? Bill’s response: - CD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-ray media created is in most cases permanent to the disc once written (there are some exceptions to this, but for this purpose rewriteable media works the same way). For

Custom Software Solution

So why should anyone consider a custom software solution when the market place has so many of the “in the box” software applications that might solve their business software needs? This question has been pondered, no doubt, countless times in boardroom meetings and planning sessions amongst professional teams. Old and long trusted responses have been that custom software is too expensive, not necessary, or that a box software solution will work for awhile and then one can always upgrade. And then the final nail in the coffin on this discussion would be that if custom software was decided upon – who would write it? Great reason for a custom software solution. So custom software is too expensive – is that really true? In some cases custom software may indeed be very expensive, after all the software has to be designed, coded, and then debugged. And the initial cost and effort may seem daunting to some boardroom committees that may baulk at the prospect of bringing such a request to the finance department. But is the custom software solution really more expensive in the long run? How will custom software affect the company in the years to come? Will productivity go up because employees are no longer wasting time fighting with in box solutions that may require extra steps and time? Giving company professionals time to be creative or allowing them to focus on what they are really good at instead of fighting software systems that don’t compliment the company’s focus can prove to be very beneficial. Survival of a business requires the leadership to look at the so called “big picture” and see if one aspect of a company’s infrastructure can change productivity.

Net Neutrality

This is a really important topic for everyone that loves technology, everyone who wants to work with technology, and everyone who wants to invent/develop things that work with technology.  I don't know how to emphasize this any greater.  It's really important.   And I hate politics, but this is something that everyone should be looking at closely. Allowing company's - ISPs - the ability to censor what is affordable and what is not - is a big step in losing another major freedom in our lives and it will only hurt the poor and startup/small business owners.  It could also open doors for businesses with political or religious agendas to censor what they think is fit for their customers to see.  This is no joke.  I have had personal experience with emails being censored by an ISP company because they did like an email with a swear word in it.  (I have a friend who swears a lot in his emails - and his messages were being held back because of an outsider's opinion of what is right and wrong.)  It should be up to me to decide if my friend should not swear in emails to me and not some company that is supposed to be providing Internet and cable service. I came across this article on the BBC that I wanted to share.  They write so well and explain the situation much better than I can.  Please read this and be aware of how your technological rights may be decided by strangers who may not like you or think the same way you do. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27141121 G. Winkler (c) 2014 Technology Artist We Are Technology by Cumulus Technology

Bugs, bugs, and more bugs…heartbleed bug, Yuk!

Yep, it looks like another rash of  the technology version of an illness.  Ugh.   The heartbleed bug is the latest concern.   ven the name sounds yucky, but regardless of the type of name, it is the same old story that someone wants to steal or destroy data.   This comes on the heals of the Windows XP  expiration of support and services, which could be bad for those who are not paying attention.   So I am sending out another article to herald to all those that love their computers and other tools of technology, make sure your IT crew knows what they are doing.  Be vigilant and informed and ask your IT crew questions and voice concerns.   These people are supposed to be your technological experts and if they aren't get yourself another IT crew.   We live in a day and age where your data is often vital to the survival of one's company.  In a short amount of time information that is key to your business could be damaged or destroyed costing you well into the thousands of dollars, and if you are the small business owner that price for not making sure data is secure and passwords are good could be the end of that small business. So keep informed.  Here is a link from the BBC for more information concerning the heartbleed bug. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26971363

By |April 13th, 2014|Categories: Security, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Bugs, bugs, and more bugs…heartbleed bug, Yuk!

Dropbox – scanning for copyright?

How does that innocent looking icon on your desktop really work? Everyday new tools come out of the cloud for us to use to make work and everyday life just a little bit easier, and Dropbox is just one of those neat tools that did just that.  One no longer has to be networked together, or have a huge email file capacity, or a giant thumb drive to pass documents between computing systems.  One can simply use Dropbox, but is there something insidious going on?  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  With so much concern about privacy and Internet rights going on perhaps you should read the article posted on techcrunch.com and make a decision for yourself. Here's the link to read all about the latest concerning Dropbox.

By |March 31st, 2014|Categories: Data Storage, Mobile Apps, Security|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Dropbox – scanning for copyright?

Windows XP Discussion on Portland’s KXL

Windows XP will no longer be supported as of April 8, 2014. It will be a good morning to be on Portland, Oregon's KXL radio station.  Our very own Bill Sikkens will be "keeping it weird" as he discusses the expiration of Windows XP with KXL show hosts Steve and Rebecca at 10AM Pacific time on Friday March 21, 2014.   The soon to be expired Operating System, on April 8, will no longer be supported by Microsoft, which will invariably cause future security and software concerns.  This is all happening during a time when all businesses know very well the concern for keeping costs low but also maintaining a safe and secure technology infrastructure. Tune in on the local station at FM 101 KXL or listen online by visiting the KXL website and clicking on the listen live button on the upper left hand side of the website. UPDATE: 3/21/2014 10:05AM  It appears that a miscommunication has occurred concerning the airing time of the interview - we will post that time as soon as we know it. G. Winkler (c) 2014 Technology Artist Cumulus Technology - the "We Are Technology" people

By |March 20th, 2014|Categories: Radio, Security, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Windows XP Discussion on Portland’s KXL

Your Home Router may be the Next Target

Read Kim Komando's article about router security. The bad guys don't even have to show up at your house anymore to get in and rob you.  Who are these fantastic sounding criminals?  They are hackers, and they are using your everyday appliances to get into your personal space and steal vital data from you or perhaps just use your location for their crime.  And apparently your home router is letting these guys in through various back doors! This is important stuff because no one wants to be violated, victimized, or unwittingly be the site for ongoing criminal activity that hurts others.  The damage can be expensive and very stressful, and that is why we want to make sure that our Team Members and clients all are made aware of what is going on.  This is the first part of winning this battle.  Knowing that it is possible to be hacked and learning measures to prevent these events from happening is the first vital step to securing your home router. So that's why we are sharing this article on how hackers are targeting your personal router and the steps to help prevent such an intrusion into your private space.  Just click the link to read more. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/03/15/hackers-now-targeting-your-router/?intcmp=features

By |March 17th, 2014|Categories: Data Storage, HIPAA, Privacy, Security, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Your Home Router may be the Next Target

Tech Tuesday on KKOH Newstalk Radio

Today at 3pm Pacific time Technology Architect, William Sikkens will be chatting with Dan Mason on his KOH Newstalk radio show. You can access the radio show via the web by just going to KKOH.COM There is a red link button in the upper right hand corner of the website that says “Listen Live“. Click that button and it will start the stream. Topics for today will focus upon the death of the XP Operating System that is just a few months away, and how that will affect the millions of computers currently running that system.    Important concerns will be the dramatic costs of upgrades and how these changes can be implemented.  And the second topic for today is the continuing growth of "Wearable Technology" that is the product of the future.  Google is planning to play an active role in that future. The powerful Android platform is becoming an amazing tool for programmers and businesses to work with. So don't miss out and click on the link above and listen live via the Internet for the discussion. And for more information about Google and wearable technology, please check out this link on SiliconValley.com

More Technology Talk on KCBS – Feb. 28 at 9:30Am Pacific Time

KCBS is the World’s First Broadcasting Station.  The station started out as a hobby of scientist Charles Herrold.  Herrold and his engineering students scheduled their first programming in 1909 on a 14 watt transmitter in San Jose, a full 12 years before radio licenses were issued. KCBS is also among the most honored radio stations in the United States, winning every major national award for excellence in broadcast journalism. These awards include the Peabody Award, the duPont-Columbia Award, five Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence from the national Radio-TV News Directors Association, the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Crystal Award for public service from the National Association of Broadcasters. It is with great pride that Cumulus Technology will now take part in that long pioneer history of radio technology, and be alongside shows such as 60 Minutes and Face the Nation.  KCBS is now 105 years old.  The interview will be conducted by 30 year veteran of Northern California Radio, Stan Bunger. To check out the interview tune in at 9:30Am Pacific Time on 740 AM and 106.9 FM in the San Francisco Bay area or listen via the Internet.  Just go to the link http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/station/kcbs/ and click the "LISTEN LIVE" button on the right hand side of the website.

Cyber theft: First three weeks of February – 360 million stolen and abused credentials

Is your data secure? Are you HIPAA compliant? The amount of data theft is rising, or at least it is becoming more public.  Either way, the security concern over keeping your personal data as well as your company's data is now even more vital since cyber criminals are starting to discover that these databases are hackable.  Just recently one of our own clients had a cyber attack upon his business, and the only reason why his vital data was not stolen was that a proper firewall had just been installed.  If you are considering a software security upgrade, now is the time to do so.  Most especially if you are part of the medical, banking, or even retail industry.  Cyber theft is a reality that you cannot afford to ignore. Here is another article from the BBC that is worth reading. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26351123

By |February 26th, 2014|Categories: Data Storage, HIPAA, Privacy, Security, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Cyber theft: First three weeks of February – 360 million stolen and abused credentials