My Thoughts On IT…

Brian Lewis's Thoughts on all things Information Technology related

I have seen many futuristic videos depicting what the future may look like from an end user display perspective. Here is one of those videos from Microsoft. We produce them to help people internally and externally imagine what can be done as we move forward and create new things.
http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/e7728af1-3fe4-4e25-a907-3dbf689fe11a

Well here is a prototype of an actual working flexible display with e-ink. This prototype was created by Arizona State University’s Flexible Display Center, Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab and the E Ink Corporation. One really cool thing about e-ink is the very low power consumption that it uses. For example my 3rd generation kindle only needs to be charged once a month! So a flexible low power display may be perfect for a news paper or a wearable device. For more information on this device see the article below:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/could-this-paperphone-be-the-future/24367?alertspromo=&tag=nl.rSINGLE

TNsubPro_300X250_TN3MNA12TechNet is an awesome subscription which gives you access to over 70 Microsoft products to evaluate and learn at your own pace. These are full products that continue to function even if you don’t renew your subscription.

If you don’t like evaluation software and want to use full  product for your evaluations and testing then TechNet is for you! TechNet Subscriptions was designed by IT Pros especially for IT Pros. It is a subscription similar to the developers MSDN program but without the Developer tools and at a much lower price. Learn more about the subscription benefits here.

As an IT Evangelist, I’m able to provide a 15% discount on a TechNet Subscription Professional edition with this promo code TN3MNA12! This drops the price from $349 to $296. This offer is available only on new orders of TechNet Subscription Professional only in the U.S. between May 1 and June 30, 2011.

So go get your TechNet Subscription today, and remember use the promotion code: TN3MNA12 to save 15%!

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/bb892754.aspx

Ever wonder what happened to the security guides from Microsoft Solution Accelerators? Your go-to security guidance from Solution Accelerators hasn’t disappeared, it’s just been repackaged. The previously stand-alone Microsoft product-specific security guides are now included within the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) tool.

To simplify: Stand-alone security guides à Security Compliance Management Toolkit à Security Compliance Manager tool

Got it?

So, how do you get your hands on trusted guidance for Windows client and server operating systems and Microsoft applications from the Microsoft security experts? First download and install the SCM tool. Next, import your product baselines of choice (options include Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Internet Explorer 8, and more). Finally, select the Documents tab within a baseline to access the security guide for that Microsoft product. Simple, right?

Next steps:

· Download and install the Security Compliance Manager tool.

· Check out the SCM TechNet Wiki for more details on how to get up and running with the tool.

· Learn more about the Security Compliance Manager.

· Questions? Comments? Tell it to the development team: secwish@microsoft.com.

· Looking for a specific security baseline? Browse away!

o Windows Server 2008 R2 Security Baseline

o Windows Server 2008 Security Baseline

o Windows Server 2003 Security Baseline

o Windows 7 Security Baseline

o Windows Vista Security Baseline

o Windows XP Security Baseline

o Internet Explorer 8 Security Baseline

o Microsoft Office 2010 Security Baseline

o Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 Security Baseline

Microsoft Solution Accelerators

SCM is just one of the tools provided by the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and Security Compliance Manager provide tested guidance and automated tools to help you plan, securely deploy, and manage new Microsoft technologies—easier, faster, and at less cost. All are freely available, and fully-supported by Microsoft. Learn more.

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I have been traveling around the Midwest and presenting on “the cloud” and there are always questions on the details of Office 365. Today I came across several whitepapers that address many details of the Office 365 offering. If you are one of those wondering about the details including: security, continuity, and compliance – then take a look at the link below:

Whitepapers: from the Office 365 Product Group
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=6c6ecc6c-64f5-490a-bca3-8835c9a4a2ea

· Microsoft Office 365 Security, Continuity, and Compliance This comprehensive document describes the security, continuity, privacy, and compliance policies and controls for the Office 365 services at general availability.  Learn about how Microsoft helps comprehensively secure Office 365 services by applying the Microsoft Security Management approach.

· Microsoft Office 365 Identity (Beta Service Description) This paper discusses the design, policies, and best practices related to Office 365 identity, including the creation of user accounts, password policy, co-existence, directory synchronization, and identity federation (single sign on). 

For general info on Office 365 hit the main page: www.microsoft.com/office365

I am speaking at the Greater Milwaukee IT Pro User Community this Thursday evening. Come join the fun!

Thursday April 28th, 2011 @ the Waukesha, Microsoft office, N19 W24133 Riverwood Drive, Suite 150, Waukesha,WI 53188 Starting at 6:00 PM

Brian Lewis – Microsoft Online Services

Cloud computing is emerging as a promising IT service delivery vehicle. But is the question “To cloud or not to cloud”? For IT professionals and your IT organizations, it is crucial to recognize the opportunities and play a key role in the transformation from existing infrastructure-focused IT into a service-oriented, user-centric, and IT-as-a-Service environment. Instead of having to worry about the plumbing, the public cloud gives IT the power to focus on the business, and gives you the ability to scale up or down resource capacities based upon business demands. With a pay-just-for-what-you-use business model, IT won’t be wasting money on providing services you once thought you might need but never got around to using. We will be going through two of Microsoft’s current public cloud offerings: the Windows Azure Platform-as-a-Service, and the Office365 software-as-a-service.

Meeting Format

6:00 – 6: 30 pm Social time – Pizza provided
6:30 – 7:00 pm – Members open discussion on what tech they use and how they use it.
7:00 – 8:00 pm – Presentation

www.gmitpuc.com

computer_iconIt feels that malware, viruses and spyware, is prevalent. Just ask yourself what you think the percentage of infected machines is. Would you believe it is 50%? When that number was stated many did believe that; however the real infection rate is not near that high. The actual number worldwide it is about 1% of machines are infected with spyware. 

Stats taken from this article:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/how-prevalent-is-malware-on-windows-pcs/3148?tag=nl.e589

One really good resource for information on what is going on in the computer industry is my blog. wink. When it comes to trade magazines information Week is one I read.  I have canceled most of my subscriptions to these trade rags but Information Week is one of the few I keep. It has been a good non biased magazine with articles that are worth my time. They have asked me to share this opportunity with friends and colleges, so I thought why not blog it and share it with you.

Here is the email:


Give your colleagues and friends an opportunity to receive their very own, complimentary subscription to InformationWeek!
It’s simple. All you have to do is forward this email to them, and if they qualify, they will receive a complimentary one year subscription to InformationWeek– the source of cutting-edge commentary and leading business technology analysis.

They just need to use the following link to apply:

SERVICE SUMMARY

.. Publication:

InformationWeek

.. Term:

One Year

.. Rate:

COMPLIMENTARY (Others Pay $199)

.. Deadline:

5-6-2011

..
Submit
your application instructions.

We appreciate your help and look forward to bringing you InformationWeek each month, the source for unique editorial and in-depth analysis for the leading business technology buyers.

Sincerely,
Karen McAleer
InformationWeek Subscription Services

P.S. Should you miss the deadline of May 6, 2011 you may request a paid subscription to InformationWeek for $199 per year. Just write us at:

InformationWeek Customer Service
P.O. Box 1259
Skokie, IL 60076-9656

big-viewer-WIFI-04-lrg__V188696053_I had to get a Kindle because it is a technical work of art. It weighs only 8.5 ounces and has an amazing display. After two months I have only needed to charge it about every four weeks! That isn’t marketing – that is real world usage. It has some very cool experimental features too. One is, “Read to me”, a text to speech feature that absolutely rocks. It reads the book to you! Another great experimental feature is a web browser based on webkit.

There are a few areas for improvement.  One disappointment is that the square mouse on the bottom right is clumsy. It is small and hard to get to do exactly what you want. Another big disappointment is that it lacks an RSS or blog reader. You can subscribe to a large list of blogs but they want you to pay for it. Bummer. I would also like to see more applications. There are a few games you can download but that is it.  An SDK for developers would also be nice. I am sure people could think of some great things to do with this device. Hopefully it will have it one day. This device has the potential to have iPad type success but they need to open things up just a little for that.

I have found it to be the best electronic device for reading that I have ever used. Even thought it is only black and white; the quality of the display makes you think it is one of those printed plastic screen protectors that you peel off when you first buy something. The clarity of the display is so fantastic that it often fools my eyes into thinking it is that printed plastic. The biggest benefit for long reading is that my eyes don’t get tired on this type of display. Unlike on an iPad or computer display.

You can pick these up for as low as $114 from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Special-Offers-Wireless-Reader/dp/B004HFS6Z0/ref=amb_link_355949422_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1STBVHZDF919TRS7YG5S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1293701242&pf_rd_i=507846

big-viewer-WIFI-04-lrg__V188696053_I had to get a Kindle because it is a technical work of art. It weighs only 8.5 ounces and has an amazing display. After two months I have only needed to charge it about every four weeks! That isn’t marketing – that is real world usage. It has some very cool experimental features too. One is, “Read to me”, a text to speech feature that absolutely rocks. It reads the book to you! Another great experimental feature is a web browser based on webkit.

There are a few areas for improvement.  One disappointment is that the square mouse on the bottom right is clumsy. It is small and hard to get to do exactly what you want. Another big disappointment is that it lacks an RSS or blog reader. You can subscribe to a large list of blogs but they want you to pay for it. Bummer. I would also like to see more applications. There are a few games you can download but that is it.  An SDK for developers would also be nice. I am sure people could think of some great things to do with this device. Hopefully it will have it one day. This device has the potential to have iPad type success but they need to open things up just a little for that.

I have found it to be the best electronic device for reading that I have ever used. Even thought it is only black and white; the quality of the display makes you think it is one of those printed plastic screen protectors that you peel off when you first buy something. The clarity of the display is so fantastic that it often fools my eyes into thinking it is that printed plastic. The biggest benefit for long reading is that my eyes don’t get tired on this type of display. Unlike on an iPad or computer display.

You can pick these up for as low as $114 from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Special-Offers-Wireless-Reader/dp/B004HFS6Z0/ref=amb_link_355949422_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1STBVHZDF919TRS7YG5S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1293701242&pf_rd_i=507846

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This is my favorite graphic for helping explain the IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS paradigms and what it means to IT Pros. Here you can see what you need to manage in the different parts of the stack. As a side note today I have not seen a way for you to avoid managing the local workstations, local networks, and internet connections.