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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

Drones, Drone, and Drones

So when is a drone a drone? And an RC helicopter an RC helicopter? We have been hearing a lot about drones lately and I keep wondering if people are mixing up drones with RC flying helicopters and planes. So I searched on the Internet to see if there was any established definition of what a drone was. You see, I had always thought of a drone as being a large military or commercial industry oriented flying device that did not house a pilot and was controlled on the ground by a sophisticated computer and could fly outside of the operator’s line of sight like a large airplane or helicopter. But the article I found on arstechnica.com referred to a small flying device that did have a limited distance as being a drone. Check out this fun article and watch the video they put together, it is actually quite interesting if you love technology and cool toys of tech. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/06/flying-and-crashing-a-1300-quadcopter-drone/ So is a drone a design style or something defined by technological abilities? So I checked Wikipedia to get an idea of what the basic parameters are and here is what I discovered. There were three categories for this type of usage of the word. The first one that I thought was the definition was basically described as thus… “An unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), also known as a combat drone or drone, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is usually armed. Aircraft of this type have no onboard human pilot. Drones are usually under real-time human control, with "the human's role in UCAV system [varying] according to levels of autonomy of UCAV and data communication requirement[s]" The modern military drone as known today

Printable Coverings using Camouflage Algorithms

Lots of interesting technology and science coming out of MIT these days and I just could not resist sharing it. It appears, or perhaps that is not the correct word for this article, that a team of students are working on creating an algorithms that will make it possible to print out a covering that will assist in the camouflage of stationary objects. I can just see the military getting excited about this one and wanting to put it on top of their buildings that need to remain hidden. Now my first reaction to this article is what exactly is an algorithm? I know it is something our Technology Expert, Bill Sikkens, always refers to, but what exactly is it? According to wikipedia “an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” So this team of MIT students are creating a procedure for a software to select the best choices of color and gradient to make a stationary item seem to disappear from view. What a really cool idea! Now of course the art of camouflage has been around for a long time and is used mostly in military situations and are evident in the painting of tanks, airplanes, uniforms, and netting used to hide bases and so forth. But it is also used in civilian applications as well. First World War German Fokker DVII biplane using camouflage pattern. How many people have seen the strange cell towers that look like trees? I have seen a number of these and I actually kinda like them. I appreciate the effort to make them look less like a blight on the landscape – especially in areas

By |June 12th, 2014|Categories: Software Development, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Printable Coverings using Camouflage Algorithms

User Friendly to air for an hour

A special treat today – User Friendly is going to an hour long format! Yes indeed, we have been asked to make it an hour long show so that other stations will be able to fit it into their programming schedule. This is exciting news for us, and we are very proud of our team members that have worked so hard to make this all happen. Tune in live at 10AM Pacific Time at FM 101.3 or online at http://renegaderadio.org/listen/ If you don’t have time this morning then you can listen online by going to the We Are Technology website under the News Desk to find User Friendly or just click on this link https://wearetechnology.com/news-desk/user-friendly/ The show also airs on America Matters radio 99.1FM, check their website for times. And don’t forget if you have questions or would like to suggest a topic or interview, you may do so by going to the following: https://twitter.com/1UserFriendly https://www.facebook.com/cumulustechnology https://www.facebook.com/pages/User-Friendly Or simply click onto the Ask Your Question tab on the right hand side of the We Are Technology website and send your question or comment that way. G. Winkler – Technology Artist © 2014 Cumulus Technology – the “We Are Technology” people

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!

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

Death of an Operating System – XP OS

On April 8, 2014 the Windows XP Operating System will no longer be supported by Microsoft.  No more bug fixes and no more security patches to help keep the bad guys out of your computer.  So what now?  Some might suggest that they have security softwares like Norton and McAfee that will simply take care of any of their problems or perhaps a new firewall is the answer.  But some security experts have suggested the idea that some hackers are just waiting for Microsoft to abandon ship before they start to plunder computers still using the XP OS.  And it won’t be just the old operating system that will cease to be supported by Microsoft but also the support for Office 2003 ends as well.  It seems ironic that a product that has had such enduring loyalty as the 12 year run of the Windows XP OS is being thrown away while newer systems such as Vista and Windows 8 have been barely adopted at all.  To me that sounds like a message from the customers that they rely on and want good operating systems and will remain loyal if the right product is made. Amazingly enough sources on the Internet state that the old operating system still commands 40% of all business computers.  This is a high percentage for an old software which brings up even more questions concerning the cost of upgrades and what that will entail.  If a company has older machines that are not capable of running the new Windows 8.1 Operating System, they may be forced to upgrade their hardware.  New CPU’s may require new peripheral hardware and software not to mention that custom company software may not be compatible

By |March 12th, 2014|Categories: Security, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Death of an Operating System – XP OS

“Profiles in Business” features another interview with Technology Expert

"Profiles in Business" with Chip Evans will host another live broadcast featuring an interview with our very own Technology Expert, Bill Sikkens.  This broadcast will be on Tuesday, March 4, on KRNG 101.3FM at 1-2 PM Pacific Time - Bill's interview will be at 1:45PM. Show host Chip Evans of "Profiles in Business" Bill Sikkens speaks about a wide variety of topics concerning technology and how it is evolving on a rapid basis.  He expands upon on how that can effect our daily lives within the business community as well as our private lives at home and on vacation time.  We no longer live in a society where technology just touches one aspect of our lives. You can follow posts or send questions and comments via the America Matters facebook, twitter, or LinkedIn accounts.   And don't forget the We Are Technology team also has a special place for submitting technology questions or concerns for future shows.   Just look on the right hand side to find the Ask Your Question tab on www.WeAreTechnology.com website. G. Winkler (c)2014 Technology Artist Cumulus Technology

By |March 3rd, 2014|Categories: Radio, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on “Profiles in Business” features another interview with Technology Expert