April 2014

April 2014

Trivia Contest
Who Else Wants To Win A $50 Gift Card?

The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is Martha Coffey from Stonebriar Foot & Ankle! She was the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: What was first introduced on March 29, 1886?

The correct answer was c) Coca-Cola. Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $50 gift card to Best Buy!

Who was the first U.S. President to be born in a hospital?
a) John Adams
b) Jimmy Carter
c) Andrew Jackson
d) Gerald Ford

Call us right now with your answer!


R.I.P. Windows XP (October 25, 2001 – April 8, 2014)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to say farewell to a dear old friend, Windows XP. Born October 25, 2001, this operating system was a reliable computing friend through the dawn of the Internet revolution. She introduced us to “the blue screen of death,” but overall lived a happy and productive life. XP outlived her troublesome brothers, Windows ME and Windows Vista, and is survived by Windows 7 and 8.

April 8, 2014, officially signifies the end of life for Windows XP. When launched in 2001, Windows XP instantly became a huge hit, unable to be toppled later by Windows Vista (by most) and even Windows 7 and 8 (by many). The operating system was still being installed on some new computers as recently as 2010.

An Urgent Security Warning For Any Business Still Running Windows XP

If your organization is currently running Windows XP on one or more computers in your office (29% of all PC operating systems were Windows XP as of the beginning of this year), you need to be aware that you are exposing your computer network to a dangerous security threat that must be addressed immediately.

With the retirement of Windows XP as of April 8, no further security updates, patches or system updates will be released to protect you from viruses, malware, spyware, crashes or theft of personal information. That means your computer network could very soon be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing data, crashing your system and inflicting a host of other business-crippling problems you do NOT want to deal with. If you have even one XP computer on your network, then you are at risk!

If you still have any Windows XP PCs in your office, we need to replace these computers immediately! Please call our office at 214-329-1349 to schedule a priority appointment with one of our team members.

There Are 3 Critical Elements You Must Have In Place to Guarantee a Fast, Pain-Free Recovery of Your Critical IT Systems In The Event of a Data-Erasing Disaster, Yet Most Businesses Don’t Have Even One

When it comes to backing up and protecting your company’s critical data, you need to know for certain – without any lingering doubts – that you could recover your files and be back up and running again fast after a natural disaster, server crash, hacker attack or other data-erasing event. Here are 3 critical elements you must have to guarantee a painless recovery when things go wrong.

Critical Element #1: Secure, Encrypted Off-site Backup

While we recommend that you have on-site backup, it’s absolutely critical to keep an encrypted copy of your data off-site as well. If a fire burns your office to the ground – or a thief breaks in and steals your server and equipment – or a natural disaster floods your office or makes it impossible to access your PCs and server – the on-site backup will be useless to you. And copying your data to an unsecure device and carrying it home every night isn’t the safest or smartest system either. Data needs to be encrypted to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.While we recommend that you have on-site backup, it’s absolutely critical to keep an encrypted copy of your data off-site as well. If a fire burns your office to the ground – or a thief breaks in and steals your server and equipment – or a natural disaster floods your office or makes it impossible to access your PCs and server – the on-site backup will be useless to you. And copying your data to an unsecure device and carrying it home every night isn’t the safest or smartest system either. Data needs to be encrypted to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Critical Element #2: A Data Recovery And Disaster Recovery Plan

A HUGE mistake many business owners make is thinking that data backup is the same as disaster recovery – it’s not. Many business owners are shocked to find out just how long and arduous the process is to get all their data back after a disaster – and that’s IF they have a good, clean copy of ALL their data (most are surprised to find out they don’t). Just having a copy of your data isn’t enough; you need to have a plan in place to get everything restored quickly, which is something that many solutions don’t offer.

Critical Element #3: Test Restores

After you have a good backup system in place, you need to test it regularly to make sure it works. Point is, there’s something wrong if you aren’t doing this simple check at least once a month. If your current IT person is not doing this, you can’t have any confidence in your current backup system.

Virus of the Month: Adware

Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer.

Adware, or advertising-supported software, displays advertising banners or pop-ups on your computer when you use an application. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Such advertising can fund the development of useful software, which is then distributed free (for example, Android apps, many of which are adware funded).

However, adware becomes a problem if it:

  • installs itself on your computer without your consent
  • installs itself in applications other than the one it came with and displays advertising when you use those applications
  • hijacks your web browser in order to display more ads (see Browser hijacker)
  • gathers data on your web browsing without your consent and sends it to others via the Internet (see Spyware)
  • is designed to be difficult to uninstall

Adware can slow down your PC. It can also slow down your Internet connection by downloading advertisements. Sometimes programming flaws in the adware can make your computer unstable.

Advertising pop-ups can also distract you and waste your time if they have to be closed before you can continue using your PC.

Some antivirus programs detect adware and report it as potentially unwanted applications. You can then either authorize the adware program or remove it from your computer. There are also dedicated programs for detecting adware. “

- “Ransomeware.: Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats. Boston: Sophos, 2009. 9. Print.

4 Reasons You Might Be Wasting Good Advice

Have you benefited from all the good advice you’ve received over the years? Have you experienced times when you got great advice and it didn’t work?

Don’t we all want good advice from whoever can give it? There are times when even the best advice doesn’t pay off. Here are four reasons you might be wasting good advice.

Reason #1: You don’t think you need it.
You can’t help somebody who doesn’t think they need it, and these people aren’t usually seeking good advice. Sometimes someone who doesn’t think they need it asks for advice for appearances, or to ingratiate themselves to someone.
Even if the non-learner stumbles upon worthwhile information in a speech or seminar, they will dismiss it: it becomes seed falling among the stones.
Moral of the story: don’t ask for advice unless you really value and need it. Asking to patronize someone will usually backfire, especially if you don’t take their counsel.

Reason #2: The advice is good but you’re the wrong person.
The relevancy of the advice is dependent on the person and their situation.
I’m always amused when I hear a new salesperson say they don’t need to prepare because they know a sales legend in their company who successfully “wings it.” Really? Might it be that the successful old pro has prepared so much over so many years that he or she makes it look effortless?
Likewise, you might be past the point in your career where the advice offered is relevant. It might apply to someone with less experience, but it won’t reward you where you’re at in your journey.

Reason #3: You get good advice at the wrong time.
Sometimes advice arrives when you’re not in a position to apply it immediately. There are more urgent or pressing matters to attend to, or you don’t have the necessary resources. If this is the case, put it on your “to do as soon as possible” list.
Sometimes it is the “wrong time” in that the advice might be too uncomfortable or painful. You need to wait until you’re able to accept it gracefully.

Reason #4: You don’t recognize it as good advice.
You might not like the advice you’re getting because it is difficult or painful to accept. The best advice often comes from friends and colleagues who love us enough to tell us the truth. Don’t let the unpleasantness of advice prevent you from recognizing its value.
So what is good advice? It is information relevant to you and your business based on where you are at a particular point in time. Advice that comes too late or too early won’t be helpful to you. And you need to be receptive to what it suggests you do.

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: DigiMemo – Digital Notepad And Pen

While many people have converted to electronic methods of note-taking by using tablets and laptops, there are still a few holdouts who prefer to use good old-fashioned pen and paper. Transferring, sharing and saving electronically is the one setback to this classic way of doing things. Well, not anymore. Now you can go from paper to e-mail or Word in seconds.

The DigiMemo with 32MB memory and memory card slot is an amazing stand-alone digital notepad that digitally captures and stores everything you write or draw with ink on ordinary paper, without using a computer or special paper.

When connected to a PC via USB, the DigiMemo easily organizes your notes with its powerful, included DigiMemo Manager Software in Windows or Mac. Want to e-mail your notes and drawings straight out of the DigiMemo? Simply launch Mail software, press the send function and off it goes!

For the 8-1/2″ x 11″ digital notepad, an online writing function can instantly synchronize your writing on the paper with the page in its software in Windows.

Get yours today at: www.SkyMall.com

The Internet Of Things

In January, Google purchased home automation company Nest Labs, the maker of the Nest Thermostat, for $3.2 billion. This purchase was a huge sign that big companies (like Google) very strongly believe that we will soon live in a world where everything is connected online.

This new world has been coined “The Internet Of Things” and will soon be the reality of the world that we live in. Consider that high-quality sources estimate that by the year 2020, between 26 and 30 billion devices will be connected to the Internet and more than half of these devices will be everyday appliances such as thermostats, refrigerators, parking meters, trash cans and such.

SAP describes the “Internet Of Things” as everything from smartphone apps that control your home’s lights and temperature from afar to real-time analytics that help ease traffic congestion and city parking woes.

Imagine a world where:

  • You can find a parking spot and reserve it with your mobile wallet before you arrive.
  • Traffic stoplights adjust to real-time conditions automatically to improve the flow of traffic.
  • Municipalities detect trash levels in containers to optimize trash collection routes.
  • Car insurance companies can track your actual miles driven and allow you to pay insurance only for the miles that you drive.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and if Google’s projections are true, you are going to see huge adoption of these devices coming fast.

The Lighter Side: Spring Is In The Air

  • If you stand at the equator on the first day of spring, you will see the sun pass directly overhead. This only happens two times a year: the first day of spring and the first day of autumn.
  • Baby birds are born with the ability to sing, but they must learn the specific songs of their species. They are thought to acquire these songs between 10 to 60 days of age and begin to sing them the next spring, when they have matured at about 300 days old.
  • Spring fever is real! It commonly occurs when a sudden warm spell follows a long cold period. When the temperature rises, there’s a dilation or expansion of the blood vessels so that blood can be carried to the body surface where heat can be lost quickly. This makes some people experience an energetic feeling.
  • Spring cleaning often accompanies spring fever. And with the warmer weather, windows and doors can be open, which allows ventilation for dusting and the fumes of cleaning products. It has been suggested that spring cleaning dates back to the Persian New Year, when they practice “Khoneh Tekouni,” which means “Shaking the house.” Another possible origin can be traced to the ancient Jewish custom of cleansing the home in anticipation of Passover.
  • Children tend to grow a bit faster in the spring than during any other time of year.