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Oh yeah "the cloud" is such a great idea...

Oh yeah "the cloud" is such a great idea... thanks' for keeping my information safe [again].

"Adobe suffers major cyber attack, the company has revealed that an intrusion led to an untold number of Adobe IDs and passwords falling into the hands of hackers. But it gets far worse. Adobe says "certain information" on 2.9 million customers may have also been compromised. Among that data set are customer names, encrypted credit / debit card numbers, and expiration dates."


Read more:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/3/4800042/adobe-suffers-cyber-attack-millions-of-customers-affected

 

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Windows tablets from 8" - 20"

There have been a number of Windows 8.1 Tablets and PCs unveiled in the last few days all the way from 8” to 20” (yes a 20 inch tablet). All of these will have the newer internal chip technology that’s faster and more battery efficient along with the much revamped windows 8.1

More details will emerge between now and October 18 which is the windows 8.1 launch date.

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Microsoft buys Nokia

When Microsoft announced that it was going to become a "device and services" company a while back they didn't have any devices and their services certainly weren't well known or well supported.

Now with Office 365, Azure, the Microsoft surface (surface 2 hopefully being released on October 18) they really have reinvented themselves.

Windows PC's still represent 90 something percent of all PC's. To put this in perspective, Windows 8, which was released less than a year ago accounts for more "PC's" world wide than all the Apple "PC's" on the planet put together (yes that's JUST windows 8).

As if that wasn't enough Microsoft have announced today they have done some shopping and bought Nokia (Subject to all the legal stuff) for 7.2 billion US$. With windows phone climbing in market share each month and the Nokia Lumia 1020 flagship camera/phone kicking everything else on the market. (photos from the phone about to appear in national geographic) it will be interesting to see what happens next.

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Soundgecko

Do you need to consume a lot of web based textual material, if you like it to be read for you (like an audio book) then have a look at the free (or paid) service from http://www.soundgecko.com.

Sign up for a free account, email the link for the web page and they will send you back the link to the audio in 10 minutes or so. This is available in a number of different formats:

  • Streaming via the link in the email (Just click and listen)
  • RSS (subscribe to your personal “podcast”)
  • Phone app (including your Windows phone)
  • Download the MP3 file

 

There are a few limitations on the free version as follows:

  • 30 Articles per day maximum
  • 4,000 words
  • Random voice gender


In the full version you can also do things like send PDF’s and have them converted/read.

One final thing to consider is that it’s a computer generate voice and it does very well based on my experience but it’s a bit hard to listen to for long periods (over say 20 mins at a time) and there is also some content which doesn’t lead itself to being computer-read such as content with a lot of numbers, non-english words or perhaps industry/profession specific words. For example I don’t know how well it would handle Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs."

Happy listening

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Moving your Windows programs round the screen...

Moving your Windows programs round the screen using the Windows key and the arrow keys:

Pressing the Windows key and Left or Right arrow keys will dock the active window to the left or right-hand side of the screen. Pressing the Windows key and the Up arrow will maximize a window and pressing the Windows key and the Down arrow will "restore" and then minimize the window.

If you have multiple monitors use the Windows key + Shift + the Left or Right arrow keys to move the window to another monitor.

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Recent comment in this post
digitalwelcomemat
Should have mentioned... this is Windows 7 (or Server 2008 R2) or later only
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:18
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Domain registrar, hosting, web site, email and cloud?

I get asked the same questions over and over again by new customers looking to setup a web site and also when the inevitable bills come in for your existing setup. Why do I have 4 or 5 separate bills for internet? Is a common one.

I have created the following diagram which hopefully illustrates the purposes of all the various “services” and approximate costs. Note that not all organisations will have all services but these are some common ones.

If you want the high quality printable PDF drop me an email. I hope this helps, if not let me know and I’ll bring my big black “Texta” pen and draw all over yours next time I see you :-).

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AU vs US pricing

Finaly we get confirmation of what we knew all along...  but will we actually get lower prices?

...parliamentary report into the "price gouging" of Australian technology consumers wants the lifting of restrictions on parallel imports, a ban on geo-blocking stopping Australians wanting to buy goods offshore, and the formal monitoring of IT prices....


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/personal-tech/australians-pay-50-per-cent-more-for-tech-goods/story-e6frgazf-1226687429151

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Smartphone market share results

Apple's share of the global smartphone market fell to 13.1 per cent in the April-June period, according to research firm IDC...

Read more http://www.theaustralian.com.au

I know you all think I'm making this up, Steve Jobs's "reality distortion field" is still just working fine.

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Wi-Fi not quite reaching all areas?

If you find that your Wi-Fi network is not quite reaching all areas in your home or business? Have a look at this product its a Wi-Fi extender, it takes the signal received from your existing Wi-Fi hotspot and relays and amplifies it so that you can get more coverage. (model number F9K1106au)

http://www.belkin.com/au/F9K1106-Belkin/p/P-F9K1106

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A Microsoft account?

[Updated 15/01/15] If you have Windows 8 (or a Windows phone) and you want to use Windows to its full capacity including getting apps from the Windows Store you’re going to need a free “Microsoft account”, basically this just equates to a hotmail.com or outlook.com email address, note that you don’t need to use this as your primary email (or use it at all beyond just getting access to the store and logging on to your PC).

Logging on to Windows in versions 8 and later now utilizes a "cloud" based logon name for example This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to tie all the accounts and services to you as the user and also gives you the ability to log on to multiple computers or devices. You can, if you chose, still use a traditional "local account" and in fact I always recommend another local administrator account so that your always covered if you can't logon via your normal account. However if for some reason you chose to set yourself up to use a "local" account initially it will pretty soon convert to a Microsoft account anyway (or at least try) as soon as you connect to various services. That can be pretty confusing so its best to start out the right way from the beginning, so setup your Microsoft account first before you even turn-on your new PC, tablet or phone.

Just a note if you logon in a business setting either via a domain or even peer to peer things are little different. In a domain you logon as the domain user and can then optionally "connect" the Microsoft account to the domain logon, peer to peer needs a bit more planning.

A Microsoft account is basically an email address and password. The good news is you probably already have one. If you use Microsoft services like hotmail.com outlook.com, Xbox, or SkyDrive/OneDrive, the email address and password you already use is your Microsoft account. You don't have to do anything else to get one. Just use that Microsoft account to sign in to your Windows 8 PC, tablet or phone, and you'll get free online storage, apps in the Windows Store, access to Xbox music* (on windows 8). You can also use your Microsoft account to synchronize your photos, documents and files to and from One drive to whatever devices you sign in from, on your phone, laptop, and tablet.

Here is the link to signup if you don't have one already:

https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx

Tips

  • Setting you the account is free however once you have the account setup and if you want to purchase apps for your shiny new PC or tablet then you will also need to add your credit card details (only required if you want apps that cost money).
  • If you do logon with a domain account you can "connect" your Microsoft account to the domain account as well.
  • I suggest you do NOT chose to save all your files to one drive by default, firstly its a bad idea and secondly Microsoft has realized its a bad idea and that concept has been depreciated in windows 10 which is in public beta as of the date this was written. See a screen shot here about where you get asked that question.

 

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Microsoft Autologon [to Windows]

Great for media centre or kids PC's but not for business PC's or sensitive data:

Microsoft Autologon enables you to easily configure Windows' built-in autologon mechanism. Instead of waiting for a user to enter their name and password, Windows uses the credentials you enter with Autologon, which are encrypted in the Registry, to log on the specified user automatically.

Autologon is easy enough to use. Just run autologon.exe, fill in the dialog, and hit Enable. To turn off auto-logon, hit Disable. Also, if the shift key is held down before the system performs an autologon, the autologon will be disabled for that logon.

(it works with windows 8 as well)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963905.aspx

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“Phishing” (What!?)

phish·ing
/ˈfiSHiNG/
Noun
The fraudulent practice of sending e-mails purporting to be from legitimate companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information.

The article below is a good timely reminder from AVG about blindly clicking on a link that you receive in an email.

“Phishing” is a jargon name for emailing you something that purports to be from a legitimate source and tries to get you to click on a link and then enter some security information which they can use for their own purposes.

Have a read though the article, it’s important.

My recommendation is to NEVER click on a link that you receive in an email for banking or any other important service. If you get an email from Westpac (for example) saying something needs to be done no matter how legitimate it looks, delete the email and open the Westpac website directly from your browser (preferably from a favorite item), if something needs to be done I’m pretty sure they will tell you.

 

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Windows phone

I have discussed Windows phone with a number of people recently here is some more information:

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-au/features

"Stay closer to the people and things you care about: Start screen

The Windows Phone Start screen makes sure you're always caught up and plugged in – to your best friend's texts, the time of your next meeting, the latest Groupon deals and whatever else you decide to pin there."

It’s not so much about any particular brand its more about the operating system (Microsoft Windows Phone 8), however a great brand would be Nokia. I love wireless charging!!.

You do need to think it through a bit before you make the change. If for example you are using Android now changing to Windows phone  you need to check if you have special apps that you need and see if they are available on the WP marketplace sure, not as many as Android but 145,000 will give you plenty of options, plus the phone has so much built in smart functionality that it really does make some of the other offerings out there look dated.

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Windows 8 start button and desktop

The Windows 8 start button and "boot to desktop" (go straight to desktop rather than the start screen) will be back by public demand in a free update coming to windows 8 in the next couple of months.

While I didn't mind the new start screen (and I haven't had any complaints from clients after their 5 min training session) it has, once again, very much been "trial by media" on this.

However its always good to have options especially on non touch screen PC's.

IT pros such as myself will be testing this new update codenamed Windows blue and finally now named windows 8.1 which apparently includes additional features as well when it arrives from Microsoft. Ill post more information when I have it.

This will be one that you won't want to allow by automatic updates due to the size and the time it will take to install.

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Intel 4th Gen CPUs on their way

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57581633-92/intel-confirms-haswell-chip-intro-at-computex/

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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.

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