Aug
24
2015

Chromebook for School

Chromebook for school: May be the Best Laptop as a classroom computer

It’s no wonder that Chromebook has become very popular in classrooms, and that’s why:

Chromebooks don’t cost much and work well. No setup is needed for this device, as user can log in with their Google account. Google claims that using its device in school requires 70 percent less effort to deploy more than 90% less time to manage Chromebooks over Apple iPads or Windows laptops.

Chromebook’s boot-up time is less than ten seconds.

Chromebooks are automatically kept up to date for free (no need for manual downloads), and it has built-in protection, so you’ll always have the latest virus protection, and multiple layers of security, along with the features like Voice Search. Thanks to offline apps, like Google Docs and Gmail, users keep getting stuff done even when they are disconnected from the web. They can write answers to their e-mails, read e-books, edit documents, listen to music and watch movies without any Wi-Fi signals.

Thus Chromebooks is just as productive when you are off-line as when you are using Mac OS, Windows desktop, Linux and so on without an Internet connection.

If your Chromebook for school is stolen, as happens in every school, and it contains your child’s school work, all the data is safe. Indeed, by default all papers and notes are safe on the Google cloud. Besides, Google has made it easy to disable stolen Chromebooks. This makes it useless for any thief.

Let’s note that the long-life battery is one of the features, you can leave your charger at home.

As to apps, Google offers a suite of programs just for schools, Google Apps for Education Suite; class-specific ChromeOS and Android apps, Google Play for Education, and so on.

Finally, let’s remind you that might want to consider getting a used Chromebook instead of a new one. When considering a used Chromebook, you should know that getting rid of personal information and resetting a Chromebook is a snap. Whoever logs into the Chromebook next is its new primary owner. That means you can trust a used Chromebook to not have malware hiding on it.

True, Chromebooks don’t come with much storage. However Chromebooks store almost all your data on Google Drive. And whenever you buy a new Chromebook, you get two years of at least 100GBs of free Google Drive storage.

You also can’t run Adobe Photoshop, Windows PC or Mac specific programs on a Chromebook. You can, however, run Microsoft Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, such as Office 365, in a Chromebook. But there is currently an Adobe beta version of Photoshop for Chromebooks, Project Photoshop Streaming. You can run Windows or Mac OS X from your Chromebook with programs such as Chrome Remote Desktop or Chrome RDP. You can also run them from your Chromebook with Citrix Receiver. If you have a Linux desktop, you can run Chrome OS and Linux at the same time on your Chromebook with Crouton.

Asus Chromebook for school

Asus Chromebook for school

Asus Chromebook for school. Source of the photograph: Google Chromebook

Aug
22
2015

Wi-Fi Sense

Many users are concerned about Window 10’s Wi-Fi Sense feature, as everyone thinks about wireless security. But many experts, after they had looked at this controversial feature carefully, thing that it’s a good improvement to wireless networking. The biggest benefit of Wi-Fi Sense is that with this feature, you can connect automatically to suggested hotspots. Of course, you should avoid connecting to insecure open networks. But if the network is known to be reliable and safe, then Wi-Fi Sense improves your security. In this case, with its Wi-Fi Sense, Microsoft keeps a list of open networks of airports, hotel lobbies, shopping malls or official networks in public areas in cities. With Wi-Fi Sense, Windows 10 device never sees fake hotspots. It only connects automatically to the one that is known to be safe.

In fact, Microsoft isn’t the first company in the world trying to expand wireless coverage worldwide by making it possible for users to turn personal wireless routers into wireless networks without compromising their security or sacrificing bandwidth. For example, Comcast has a feature called the “Neighborhood Hotspot initiative,” since 2013. In Australia, Telstra has introduced a similar feature with the theme “share a little, get a lot.”

The experience and the technology tell us that crowdsourcing Wi-Fi isn’t insecure if it’s done right. The security problems are the same as with websites that require authentication. Thus you must add a few things to your network in order to ensure that your business and personal wireless networks are secure from outside attackers.

Anyway, with your Windows 10 laptop, you don’t manually have to scroll through the list of open networks. You don’t have to guess is an open network is the official access point. You can be quite sure you connect to a network run by a cybercriminal who is trying to lure you into an unsafe connection so he can attack my system.

As to another Wi-Fi Sense feature, the “share my network” feature… Let’s say that Wi-Fi Sense gives consumers a safe way to share wireless access without sharing Wi-Fi secrets. But the access limited to Windows 10 by now.

Wi-Fi Sense

Password must be locked

Keep your password locked, Wi-Fi Sense turned on or not. Photograph: ProvinceQuebec.com

Aug
22
2015

DDoS Attacks – the Rise of Cybercrime

The FBI reports that in 2015, DDoS extortion attacks are expanding. Indeed, many businesses are being threatened today with network flood attacks. The malicious actors email a potential victim to warn that their Web site will be annihilated by a flood if they fail to pay a huge sum in ransom. Thus businesses are at an increased risk of being extorted by hackers.

The FBI alerted about this threat in an online bulletin at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. This institution works in conjunction with the FBI and other similar agencies. The warning states as follows: “the victim business receives an e-mail threatening a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack to its website unless it pays a ransom.” In fact, it seems that different groups of attackers or individuals are behind those threats, as the ransoms vary in price and the approach is different. For example, some of the criminal demand the ransom in bitcoin, the new online currency. (It is widely considered that bitcoin is almost impossible to trace). In many cases, the attackers warn that victims that do not pay the ransom will have to pay more if they fail to pay within the time frame given. Web Sites administration receives thus subsequent threatening e-mails. Then the attack may come. An attack typically lasts one to two hours with 30 to 35 gigabytes as the physical limit.

The malware that extorts money for the release of encrypted or locked files (so called “ransomware”) is offered in the net for a rather high price. Sometimes this new wave of ransomware attempts to extort funds prior to any attack taking place.

The DDoS attack are likely to expand to online industries and other targeted sectors, especially those susceptible to suffering financial losses if taken offline, according to FBI alert.

One way to protect themselves from the attacks is to report implementing DDoS mitigation services as a precaution.

Cybercrime - DDoS Attacks

Cybercrime: DDoS Attacks

Cybercrime: DDos Attacks – a real threat to your WebSite. Photograph by Megan Jorgensen

Aug
21
2015

Will Apple iOS sales surpass those of Windows computers?

It seems that Apple iOS sales will surpass those of Windows computers in the near future, as the growth of iPhones, iPads and iPods has become a challenging and dangerous reality for the PC market. Well nobody says that traditional desktop and laptop computers are going away. They are still popular. Besides, plenty of services and apps are best suited for a PC. However a sizable subset of tasks can be performed on more portable devices and mobile platforms. For example, mobile version of Photoshop or other photo editing apps can be easily operated with apps for iOS and Android. Even Microsoft creates dozens of apps for them.

Perhaps in the near future Microsoft will give Apple a run for its money, introducing more smartphones, tablets and computers. Most people still have a “big computer” and the tablet as a portable device. Besides Microsoft has updated Outlook to cut down on the number of steps required when editing and collaborating on documents on iOS. These updates update makes it much more easier to open Office docs on the fly and edit them.

But as the tablets’ era is hitting the maturity, the PCs sales are starting to wain. Will we see Apple’s Kingdom, this electronic giant, to take over the world with its Apple iOS sales. Will it dominate our univers for long time to come? Well, the winter is coming and Bill Gates’ dragon is still alive there preparing a few surprises for everyone to see…

Apple iOs Sales

Computer era

Computer era. Photograph by Megan Jorgensen

See also:

Aug
20
2015

Chromebooks outsell Windows laptops

According to recent studies, tablets are on the decline and laptops are rising once again in 2015. Among the laptops which sell very well, are Chromebooks. The fact that Chromebook is growing in popularity, doesn’t mean consumers are looking for cheap laptops instead of expensive, but performant computers. The sales grow for both personal and business domains.

After Samsung had launched its first commercial Chromebook, the research groups report that Chromebook sales this summer exceed sales of Windows notebooks, passing the 50 percent market share threshold. According to NPD, a retail research group, Chromebook sales through the U.S. Business to Business (B2B) retailers and resellers increased more than 40 percent during the first half of 2015. This increase kept overall Business to Business PC and tablets sales from falling altogether.

Last year, Google OS-equipped Android and Chrome devices saw a 29 percent increase, but those numbers are due primarily to Chromebook sales. At the same time Apple devices, such as iPads, dropped by more than 10 percent. Windows laptops and desktops declined by 8 percent in 2014.

Today, with overall 43 percent sales increase, Chromebooks are the best player in notebooks market for B2B corporate client. However, Apple MacBook sales have also increased by more than 25%, while Windows laptops grew 3 percent in the first half of 2015 (let’s remind you that they declined by 8 percent last year).

So what can we tell about all these curious numbers? The PC market seems not to be dead, the tablets still survive. Information technologies pros and all kind of businesses are still buying laptops, mostly Chromebooks. But the notebook, this functional and affordable device, remains the device of choice for the purchasers, with sales volumes more than triple that of tablets. Even when tablets are on the decline and laptops are rising. We’ll see soon if Chromebooks will be able to win in every domain.

ISUS chromebooks

ISUS

Chromebook ISUS. Photo by https://www.google.com/chromebook

Aug
20
2015

iPad Air 3

Apple introduces a new member of iPads family, its seventh-generation iPad Air 3 (rumors are, it will its specific models will be called iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro). It will have a 12.9-inch screen in order to compete with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. They say that the new device will appeal more to the content creation professional.

The new iPad will be launched at the end of this calendar year.

Gyroscopes will have some additional sensor improvements, perhaps the GPS and the light sensor. It will be able to collect data from integrated accelerometers, compasses and gyroscopes. It also will offload the collecting and processing of sensor data. There will be an additional sensor processor revision to M9.

We would expect that the cameras that might appear on the new crop of iPads will be at parity with the iPhone 6. Apple will certainly install a better FaceTime HD camera, with a better microphone, in the front. It will serve for enhanced video conferencing usage on at least the iPad Pro version. Bringing the 8MP OIS camera from the iPhone 6 Plus and putting it on the Air 3 would be welcome.

However, with the introduction of a larger iPad, with a bigger screen, we’re going to see a lot more battery draw. Thus a new architecture is a must if Apple wants to optimize these tablets for reduced power consumption. Chances are that the iPad Air 3 will get a hybrid architecture chip similar to Samsung’s Exynos 7. Some of the battery draw could be offset by introducing an improved mobile networking chip that would have lower power consumption.

In conclusion, let’s say that the newest crop of iPads may have double the memory of the regular iPads. It will accommodate more demanding, professional-type content creation and data visualization applications.

The iPad Air Plus/Pro will likely have a screen resolution of 2732 x 2048, with 264 pixels per inch at a diagonal display size of 12.93 inches.

iPad Air 3

iPad Air 3

iPad Family. Photo: Koalas

Aug
20
2015

Samsung Pay

Samsung will roll out Samsung Pay in the U.S. on September 28, 2015. This new payment service has been built out via the acquisition of LoopPay.

Samsung plans to roll out Samsung Pay in China, the United Kingdom and Spain in the near future.

The Samsung Pay rollout was announced at an event in New York launching the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Edge+, on which the new service will be preloaded (and it’s free). In fact, after the company had acquired LoopPay acquisition, Samsung Pay beta test showed good promise for the Korean electron giant in its war destined to catch up with Apple Pay and Android Pay, Google’s entry into mobile payments.

The big win is that LoopPay already works with most point-of-sale terminals, and Samsung uses the combination of magnetic transmission and Near Field Communication technologies to gain share.

Samsung Pay will work with payment networks and major credit card companies, such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, as well as with hundreds of banks around the world.

The goal was to make smartphone payments easier and secured with Samsung’s KNOX technology. The system works with the big chains and small businesses, even with your local grocery. Brief, it works virtually anywhere. If a retailer can swipe a card, most likely he will accept Samsung Pay, this secure, supper easy and simple mobile payment.

Note that Samsung Pay doesn’t store or share your payment information, so you can pay without worry. Let’s also remind you that Samsung Pay Comes Free on the New Galaxy S6 Edge + and Note5. Thus the new service doesn’t cost you anything: it’s already available on your latest Samsung Galaxy device.

Finally, let’s remind you that mobile payments are have been heating up this year. Indeed, Apple made a push with Apple Pay. Google announced that it had purchased Softcard for its Google Wallet and at Google I/O, Android Pay was introduced.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay Compatible phones

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung Notes, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge & S6. Photo by: samsung.com

Aug
16
2015

Demand for iPhone 6s – 6s Plus

Apple will produce a record number of iPhone 6s – 6s Plus in 2015, its latest device. Indeed, for the end of the year, Apple may have 90 million units built, according to Wall Street Journal. That’s up even from 2014 year’s iPhone 6 – 6 Plus production figures, when Apple ordered suppliers between 70 and 80 million phones in the new larger 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes. In April 2015, Tim Cook said that the company was seeing a record number of switchers from Android and other well-known brands. Besides, Apple is considering the addition of a third manufacturing supplier to join Pegatron and Foxconn for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus production in hopes of reducing wait times for consumers.

Apple reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $13.6 billion on earnings of $2.33 per share for the sale of all its products and services. Revenue for the same period was $58 billion. (In fact, the profits bet expectations: Wall Street analysts wanted $2.16 per share on revenues of $56.06 billion). According to professional analyst from Fortune, there were 61.17 million iPhones sold in this period, up from 43.7 million from the same period in 2014 (the number of devices sold also bet expectations, as experts were expecting 55.7 million this quarter). As to iPads, there were 12.62 million sold (down from 16.3 million), and there were 4.56 million MACs sold, up from 4.14 million (slightly less than expected 4.2 million). As to iTunes and Apple Pay, the revenues totaled $4.99 billion, up from $4.57 billion from the same period 12 months ago. Apple’s gross margin was 40.8 percent, while Wall Street was expecting 39.7 percent and international sales accounted for 69 percent of the revenue.

iPhone 6s - 6s Plus

iPhone 6s – 6s Plus

Apple’s newest smartphones: iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Photograph by gigaom.com

Aug
15
2015

iOs Crash Warning Scam

You must have seen a popup on your iPhone or iPad iOS crash warning. Something like “Warning! iOs Crash report. Due to a third party application in your device, iOs is crashed. Contact Support for immediate fix.” There can be other variations. This announcement seems legit. In order to make you react, it may even claim that it`s originated from an Apple: “There is a problem with the configuration of your iOS. Please call Apple Technical Support.” It suggests you should call a toll-free number for your geographic location. If you fall in the trap, the person on the other end of the line will ask you for money to make to make the popup go away by repairing your phone.

But it’s nothing more than a scam which appears to be targeting the Safari browser users. Obviously, these people do not have any connection neither with Apple, nor with similar companies. The scammers will not make the popup go away, as they can’t do it, and all they are looking for, is your personal data, your financial details and your identity.

This scam pollutes the net since November 2014, when it was seen for the first time. However yiu can fix it in a few seconds, as it is very easy:

Put your device into Airplane Mode. To do so, go into Settings and toggle the Airplane Mode switch into OFF. Go to Settings and then go to Safari. Once there tap Clear History and Website Data. Close Safari by double-pressing the Home button and swiping Safari up to close. Now exit Airplane Mode and restart Safari.

If you want to reduce the risk of the scammers from hunting your iphone or ipad in the future you can always block popups. It’s easy: just go to Settings, next go to Safari and then toggle the Block Pop-ups switch

Assassin Creed iOs Crash Warning Scam

Assassin Creed – iOs Crash Warning Scam

.No need to be a Legend to get rid of iOs Crash Warning Scam. Photograph by ProvinceQuebec.com

Aug
15
2015

The Best Security Practice in Staying Safe Online

Cyberattacks have become a real nuisance for everyone. They are on the rise. Even housewives ask themselves about the best security practice. Everyone looks for the top ways to keep their digital identity safe. Indeed the attacks range from simple scams and phishing on social media to high-profile assaults. For the average user knowing security practice in surfing through the Net is a question to survive in this ocean full of sharks and monsters. These are some tips the experts suggest for you and your family:

  1. Use unique, not just good passwords. In fact, strong passwords are not enough. You should use unique password for your online accounts. If you fail to do so? You are leaving the door open for the cyberattacks. If one account is compromised, all other will fall. The attacker will steal your personal and financial data. Change your password frequently.
  2. Use two-factor authentication. A password isn’t enough. Sending a code to your mobile device when you login will keep your accounts safe. Google, Facebook, PayPal and other companies offer these features.
  3. Lock your passwords away if possible. Consider using services of a company which offers a lock-box where you can store sensitive password data. It can also be used to autofill an access forms. Thus all you must remember is one password to access your password cache.
  4. Use an antivirus program: There are a number of options on the market, both free and paid.
  5. Update your system. If you decide to ignore update prompts, you are leaving your computer open to known vulnerabilities. So patch the computer every time you are prompted to do so by the system.
  6. Avoid suspicious offers. You`ve got an email from the Spanish lottery congratulating you on your win? It is certainly a way to lure you into a trap. These scams are called phishing campaigns. If you follow them, malicious software will capture your computer. Your personal date will be lost, and your bank account will be rinses. Sometimes the fishers look as legitimate websites. Always be wary of unexpected emails which seem to be giving you a stroke of good fortune.
  7. Never send sensitive data across public Wi-Fi networks. They are by nature not secure. As we browse the Web from a café or any other public place, we are exposed to hackers who monitor free networks. They even can set up similarly-named hotspots to dupe you in to connecting before grabbing sensitive data including account information or financial details. Keep in mind that public computers can have software which monitors your keystrokes.
  8. Shred your documents: Your garbage can be used to fake your identity, steal it, or potentially access your accounts.
  9. Shop only at reputable websites: Counterfeit boutiques and fake website which doesn’t originate from a reputable source could place your bank account at risk.
  10. Finally, a good security practice is keeping data divulging on social networks to a minimum, but it’s another story…
Staying safe online - Security practice

Banana Computer – security practice

Banana Computer. Illustration by Megan Jorgensen