My Thoughts On IT…

Brian Lewis's Thoughts on all things Information Technology related

This list was recently updated to version 2.0 and helps to describe the dangers to your computer security. I highly recommend you click the link to the full article on the TechNet library because the descriptions are both educational and entertaining.

  • Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not solely your computer anymore.
  • Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  • Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  • Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it’s not your website any more.
  • Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security.
    Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.
  • Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as its decryption key.
  • Law #8: An out-of-date antimalware scanner is only marginally better than no scanner at all.
    Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn’t practically achievable, online or offline.
  • Law #10: Technology is not a panacea.

For full details behind each one of these 10 Laws of computer Security hit the TechNet Library at this Link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh278941.aspx

imageIf you have heard me talk about it before then you know I love Windows Live SkyDrive! SkyDrive provides 25 Gig of personal cloud storage for Free. All you need is a Windows Live ID.

This past Monday SkyDrive has been upgraded with HTML5 and CSS3 to give a cleaner and easier to use interface to your files through your web browser. It responds faster and has added a couple of photo view enhancements.

image

You can share files with specific other people or share them with anyone or keep them private. You can also keep files synchronized between your multiple PCs and SkyDrive.

Windows Phone 7 already has some SkyDrive integration which is expanding with the Mango update this fall. Currently you can upload your photos to SkyDrive. Uploading your videos will be added and a Live Mesh client is expected also.

Give it a try:  http://skydrive.live.com

While I was out on vacation last week we announce the launch of System Center Orchestrator 2012 Beta. This represents a significant milestone for and System Center, as we enable seamless integration between System Center and 3rd party products, to allow for unified orchestration and automation of enterprise IT. To me computers scream “automation”! It is a waste of my time to do tasks that I can just have a computer do. So, I see one of my jobs, as an IT Pro, is to automate most of my job so I can either move on to something else or have more time to surf the web. Winking smile 

Orchestrator is a critical component in the System Center 2012 release and provides a framework for that automation. It provides 3 key benefits:

  • Optimizes existing datacenter investments by integrating, extending, and interoperating with heterogeneous tools and systems.
  • Helps deliver flexible and reliable datacenter services by orchestrating process workflows  across multi-disciplinary process silos
  • Lowers costs and improves predictability by automating private cloud scenarios to reduce manual error-prone activities

To begin automating your workloads download the beta and begin testing today. Here is the link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=221096

Kinect SDK

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imageMicrosoft has made available an SDK for using the Xbox Kinect on Windows.

The Kinect is a innovative addition to Xbox based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral. It enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. If you haven’t played with one you should stop by a store and try it! It is very cool, fun, and amazing.

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a starter kit for applications developers and includes APIs, sample code, and drivers. This SDK enables the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich experiences by using Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect sensor technology on computers running Windows 7.

So if you have an idea of something you want to do with a Kinect – grab the SDK and make it happen. Your imagination (and programming skills) are your only limit!

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/

I came across this today. It is a video blog about two Samsung laptops.
http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2011/06/20/pc-snapshot-samsung-qx410-and-sf510.aspxSF_Image1_7

As you may remember I really want a Samsung Series 9 laptop but I thought it was a little pricy.  That is why I found these laptops interesting. Samsung has really done a great job of creating visually appealing laptops and has a very competitive price. If you take a look at the old IBM Thinkpads designs they look very techy with exposed ports on both sides. These Samsung laptops are very visually appealing and I believe we are seeing the start of a transformation in the laptop industry to elegant laptop designs. Just look at the lines of the SF510 in the photo to the right. I believe Intel sees the need for this style in laptops and is part of what’s behind the push of their thin "Ultrabooks".

These two machines have been out for a while so the prices are pretty low. Check it out on Bing! Smile

computer_iconA common way for cybercriminals to steal money from people is through the use of fake security software, according to the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.

This kind of software is also known as “scareware” or “rogue security software.” Cybercriminals use it to scare people into downloading more malicious software onto their computer or pay for a fake product. For more information, see Watch out for fake virus alerts.

imageEvery so often there is a good deal in processors. Back in the day my first good purchase was the AMD 386-40mhz. A well priced chip that was screaming fast for the time. It was great because your purchase would last for several years before becoming obsolete. Other good deals I had were the Intel 486-66mhz and then there were the CPUs that I overclocked. In the days of the processor speeds doubling every 18 months you sometimes wanted for a new faster machine just a few months after your purchase.  It hasn’t been as important lately because A machines you bought 5 years ago can run the latest OSs just fine. But everybody still likes a good deal. I think I found a one. It looks good on paper but I have yet to play with one – so results may vary.

The AMD Fusion Processors combines a graphics processor and a quad core CPU and gives about 10 hours of battery life. Initial reports are that it gives great graphics performance and solid CPU speeds. There are laptops from various manufactures. The Toshiba Satellite C600 starts at $379 list price. I found the ASUS Eee PC 1015B for $290. There are others too they seem to range between $290 and $600 list. If you are looking for a low priced laptop that has good battery life and good graphics performance these are something to take a look at.

More information can be here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Fusion
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/hp-toshiba-launch-amd-fusion-laptops-from-379-and-up/25565?alertspromo=&tag=nl.rSINGLE
http://www.bing.com/search?q=AMD+Fusion+Processors

imageEvery so often there is a good deal in processors. Back in the day my first good purchase was the AMD 386-40mhz. A well priced chip that was screaming fast for the time. It was great because your purchase would last for several years before becoming obsolete. Other good deals I had were the Intel 486-66mhz and then there were the CPUs that I overclocked. In the days of the processor speeds doubling every 18 months you sometimes wanted for a new faster machine just a few months after your purchase.  It hasn’t been as important lately because A machines you bought 5 years ago can run the latest OSs just fine. But everybody still likes a good deal. I think I found a one. It looks good on paper but I have yet to play with one – so results may vary.

The AMD Fusion Processors combines a graphics processor and a quad core CPU and gives about 10 hours of battery life. Initial reports are that it gives great graphics performance and solid CPU speeds. There are laptops from various manufactures. The Toshiba Satellite C600 starts at $379 list price. I found the ASUS Eee PC 1015B for $290. There are others too they seem to range between $290 and $600 list. If you are looking for a low priced laptop that has good battery life and good graphics performance these are something to take a look at.

More information can be here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Fusion
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/hp-toshiba-launch-amd-fusion-laptops-from-379-and-up/25565?alertspromo=&tag=nl.rSINGLE
http://www.bing.com/search?q=AMD+Fusion+Processors

June 14—Time to update your PCs…

Tuesday, June 14, Microsoft will issue 16 security bulletins through the regularly scheduled monthly release cycle to address nine Critical vulnerabilities and seven Important vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Office, Internet Explorer (IE), .NET, SQL, Visual Studio, Silverlight, and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server. Additionally, the company will release statistics on the decline in Autorun-related malware infections. 

The clock is ticking so install your patches today and stay “clean”!!!

June 14—Time to update your PCs…

Tuesday, June 14, Microsoft will issue 16 security bulletins through the regularly scheduled monthly release cycle to address nine Critical vulnerabilities and seven Important vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Office, Internet Explorer (IE), .NET, SQL, Visual Studio, Silverlight, and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server. Additionally, the company will release statistics on the decline in Autorun-related malware infections. 

The clock is ticking so install your patches today and stay “clean”!!!