CONTROL PANEL
WEBMAIL 

Spam Filter Login
Follow Us:

  
 

Search:

Company Info

P: 845-689-9076
F: 845-228-8171

Company Policy & Disclaimer 

 

Join EFF!
Monday
Sep142015

iPhone(s) 6 S

Wow, Its been a year since the last Blog Post on here. Be sure to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/computersolutionsny or join our mailing list by sending a blank email to alerts-subscribe@ineedbob.com for more up to date information.

So the iPhones announced on September 9th, 2015 just upgrade the current iPhone 6 line. For starters, as normal every other year, they added the letter "S" onto the name. :)

Next they upgraded the camera, the video recording and added something you will either love or hate called 3D Touch.  Based on applying different amounts of pressure and time delay to the screen you can do different things. Kind of like Right-Clicking on your computer.

You can always find more information at www.apple.com

 

Tuesday
Sep092014

What was announced from Apple today 09/09/2014

There is an iPhone 6 at 4.7” (iPhone 5 was 4”)  (Price: $199/16gb,$299/64gb,$366/128gb) and an iPhone 6 Plus at 5.5” (Price: $299/16gb,$399/64gb,$466/128gb).

Preorders start on Friday the 12th, Phones ship on the 19th.

Older iPhone 5c will be Free and the 5S will be $99.

20% faster processor and 50% faster graphics

Make calls over WiFi now when you have a bad cell signal on T-Mobile and more carriers in the future.

New 8MP iSight camera. New censor they say will make photos even better. Digital and Optical Image Stabilization.

iOS8: iMessage can share your location and audio messages. New Health app.

ApplePay: Use your iPhone with the fingerprint scanner to pay at stores that implement their ApplePay device. It uses NFC, the technology pretty much every other phone has had for years. Payment info is stored encrypted securely in your phone, not with apple. Even the store does not get your credit card number. Already starting with Macy’s, Bloomingdales, McDonalds, Staples, Wholefoods, Walgreens, Toys R Us, Disney and Oh…Apple stores.

 

And there "One more thing…"

The Apple Watch. 

There is a dial on the right side allowing scrolling on the screen and it’s also the home button.

Very different screen design from others out there. Looks very busy on the screen but we will have to see.

Easily changable bands.

Different versions:

Apple Watch Steel 
Apple Watch Sports collection
Apple Edition

My evaluation based on their demo is the screen is small and navigation is annoying. But the clearly has the best display of any watch. Apple has focused on the watch design, beauty and it looking good but their design of how to use the interface is not very good. That is just based on what they showed at the demo.

Inductive charging, just place it against the charger. Works with Apple Pay. Just hold your watch near a payment system in a store and your done.

$349 avaialble early 2015.  

Friday
Sep052014

The reason NOT to remember your password

You might have heard in the news about the many celebrities who have had their “phones hacked”. Their personal information posted online including explicit photos. But what you never hear from the mainstream media is what really happened. They either don’t understand or don’t care and just want to post a sensational story to get viewers.

But here is what you need to know and why...

It appears that these celebrities had iPhones and it was actually Apple’s online backups and storage of these phones that was hacked. It also appears it was not any problems with Apple’s online service. So how did they get this information and what does it have to do with you?

 

Well in the past few months, perhaps going on for even much longer, Russian hackers have been breaking into many smaller companies and online sites. Small unknown sites that don’t have the resources of the big sites like Google and Facebook and therefor don’t have the security or knowledge or capability to have the lastest updates and security. As these hackers get into these lesser known sites, they get copies of the passwords used there. They have been building this online database of those accounts containing what appears to be over 1 billions user passwords.

 

The problem is people often use the same password on multiple sites because its easy to remember. So because of a little convenience people are willing to risk their bank accounts, their email...everything.  The hackers can now use that database and try logging into peoples accounts on more important sites by comparing the email address and trying the password to see if they used the same password elsewhere.

 

And when people answer the “security questions” many sites have as a backup if you lose your password such as “what is your favorite movie” or “what town were you born in” they actually give the real answers to these questions. Its trivial to find out those answers for celebrities and not much harder even if you're not a celebrity.

The answer is simple...You have to do a little extra work. You have to give up a little convenience for security. Here is what you should do:

1. Passwords should be at a minimum 10 characters, 12 is better, 20+ would be great!

2. Passwords MUST contain UpperCase, LowerCase, Numbers and Symbols whenever permitted by the website.

3. NEVER use the same password twice. Every site must have a unique password. (how will you remember them? more on that further down).

4. NEVER answer security questions with the truth!
  What town were you born in? Answer:  3rdCityOnPlanetMars

  What is your favorite movie? Answer: IDontWatchMoviesIRead

  Make things up!

Now since you will never remember the answers to all the different sites, you have to write them down. Either keep on them on paper, put them in a document or spreadsheet and password it (Word and Excel have password features!). Don’t store them in Google Docs or anywhere else online! If you're a more advanced user you can create a secure TrueCrypt file or Zipped Passworded file. But log them all!

Your email should be one very long password that you commit to memory because if you lose a password on most sites you can just request a password reset be emailed to you and you can reset it that way, but your email account must be very secure. There are also options like Lastpass.com which very securly logs into each of your sites for you and all you need to rememeber is the lasspass pasword, which agian should be a very good long password.

And don’t assume this can’t happen to you. Those 1 billion+ passwords belonged to everyday people like you and me! If you own a business, have a bank account or credit card then your at risk. People always ask me “why do they do this?” The answer should be obvious...Money. Its a business for these hackers. Sometimes its to empty your bank account. Sometimes its just to order some expensive items online on your credit card and have them delivered to them.

They say you don’t get something for nothing. You want all the internet and technology has to offer? Then it can cost you a little inconvenience or a lot financially. Its your choice. I recommend the longer passwords. :)

 

Sunday
Jul202014

A week with Android Wear

So its been five full days of wearing a Samsuing Gear Life watch with the new Android Wear software.   I wanted to list my pros and cons and overall experience as well as recommendation for who can benefit from a Google Wear watch.

 

I received it on a Monday and it came with about a 70% charge. I was down to 24% in just a couple hours which worried me but that was almost constant use and learning to use it.  I find that at the end of a normal work day I have 60-65% battery life left so battery really is no problem even though the Samsung has only a 300mah battery compared to its only other competitor made by LG which has a 400mah battery. But Samsungs uses a screen technology that is not only cleaner and sharper but uses less power so it probably evens out. Some people have told me the idea of charging every night, even with their smartphone bothers them but thats just the way it is with current technology. Get use to it.

 

As a geek and IT person, I find the cons much faster than the pros when I realize there is something I want it to do and it can’t. But quickly for those who don't know... Android wear is an operating system of sorts designed by Google that any manufacturer can use on their digital watch product.  It interfaces with your newer model Android phones and gives you a way to do common tasks and get information that would have otherwise required you to take out your phone, unlock it and navigate to an app to do. Its not something you “need”. It something you want. I classify it as a productivity tool for people who depend on their phones a lot.  Of course if your just into tech and love cool things, its great too. But its not something the average everyday person would “need”.

 

To explain my use case....I use my phone constantly. A Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with a large screen, lots of power, and a 7500mah extended battery to get through the whole day.  I use it for email, texting, calls, testing networks, wifi tests, remotely working on customer computers, looking up information and many other things. I never counted but I probably take my phone out, use it and put it back in my belt case a couple dozen times a day.  I got an Android Wear watch with the hope I could reduce that, simplify some tasks and take a little stress away from my daily activities by not get frustrated when I put my phone away and a few seconds later it rings or alerts me to something new that again required my attention. The watch does this and I find it very useful in this way. Probably reduced the amount of times I take my phone out in response to an alert about 50%.

 

What it can do. The Pros.

When a call comes in, I can look at my wrist and see who it is. Since I rarely answer the phone I swipe left to right and it sends them to voicemail. Ringing stopped. When a text comes in, I can read it, click Reply and dictate a message which is automatically sent. An email comes in (they never stop for me!) and I can see it, reply by voice if I want or know if its worth taking my phone out to deal with further.  Alerts, calendar events, reminders all come in and I can see them and decide how I want to deal with them, all without taking out my phone, turning it on, unlocking and going to the app. When playing audio through my phone or watching something on TV via Chromecast I can pause and resume from a single press on the watch. I love the quick timer option too. I park my car on a meter, and where I use to take out my phone and open the Clock app then set a timer for 55 minutes so I knew to go back and feed the meter again, Now I just say “Ok Google, Set timer for 55 minutes” and it alerts me at that time. Oh yea, it also tells me the time! Its new so Im sure there will be many updates and new apps that allow more useful features as well. Overall, the display is nice, its very responsible to touch, fast, works well and a designed nice.

 

The Cons.

I am not into the looks or aesthetics as much as the functionality. I want it to work. I want it to work well and I want it to do a lot of cool stuff. So I find all the little things it can’t do or not do exactly the way I want annoying. For example, probably my biggest complaint is when I reply to an email or text via voice, it does not give me an option to send, it just does it. Meaning, I click Reply, talk into it and it translates it to text and as soon as I pause, it sends it. Does not matter if it translated it wrong, if I was not finished talking or if I want to start over. It just sends it. Thats a problem as the translation may have not been right or I may have just paused for a second to think. This must be corrected in an update!

Gmail has what I would consider a big design flaw.  On your phone if you have gmail set to Show Archive & Delete options to ON then you only get the Archive option on the watch. No way to delete! If you turn on the delete only option on, then on the watch you finally get a Delete option but no Archive. Annoying! Thats the way I had to set it because I can delete the junk that comes in right from the watch but have to just swipe away other emails and archive them later from my phone or computer.  Makes no sense to me why its that way, hopefully an update will fix that soon. I asked about this online and no one had a solution so I don’t think I am missing anything in the options.

There is no sound. It can vibrate to let you know of an incoming email, phone call or text but while I guess they figure you will always feel the haptic vibration, I would like the option for a beep or sound when an alarm is set to go off.  Not the devices fault, but if you wear glasses like me, you may find it hard to read text off a watch. Sometimes holding your wrist far away or looking under your glasses depending on your vision to read it. We are use to a watch just having a big time display but now it has small text too.


Thats about all there is at this time to say about Google Wear. Im sure there will be much more as apps are coming out daily from programmers and updates from Google are sure to improve it. Its certainly more useful and practical than Google Glass. You can see them in the Google store at https://play.google.com/store/

Here is a great video on Youtube showing the watches and demoing them...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6p_bvHDEN0 

 

Wednesday
May072014

Why Antivirus software no longer works!

It happens constantly…A customer calls us in to remove a virus and asks “Why didn’t my antivirus software stop it?”

The answer is that while there are updates almost every day to antivirus software to block the latest viruses, the virus makers are updating their software just as fast or faster.  If you click on a link or go to an infected website with a new virus, it gets in because often its newer than the antivirus updates and knows how to bypass any antivirus software.

We tell people that even if you have antivirus software running, if you click on a link in an email that leads to a virus, you’re asking for the virus and will probably get it.

Recently Symantec, makers of Norton’s Antivirus admitted that their software stops only 45% of virus attacks on the internet! (Full article at http://tinyurl.com/nortononly45)

We have explained what to do and not to do to avoid getting a virus previously at http://www.ineedbob.net/blog/2013/9/20/viruses-how-we-get-them-today.html

But often we get the call saying “I got a virus” but when we ask “Why do you think you have a virus?” Often the answer tells us they don’t have a virus at all. Often it’s just what is called malware or spyware or adware.

What’s the difference?

Malware is a generic term meaning Malicious Software. Technically any software trying to do something you don’t want it to do is Malicious but usually we use this to mean anything malicious that is not a virus.

A virus is software that spreads on its own. They look for computers on your network, when you plug in a memory stick or hard drive, sending itself automatically via email, etc.  It can multiply over the internet and other ways all on its own. What it does when it’s in your system can vary from steeling information, holding your computer random by demanding a payment to the virus writer before it will let you use your computer or access your files or even damage or erasing everything on your system.

Most “viruses” these days look like fake antivirus software. Telling you your computer is infected and you should upgrade the software by paying for it to protect your computer. But this software IS the virus  and is often stealing information in the background, sending emails to everyone in your address book with copies of itself, and trying to spread.

It is important to know what antivirus software you have on your system so when its pops up you know it’s real! (e.g. Microsoft Security Essentials, Malware Bytes, Norton’s, McAfee)

Some FAKE examples look like this:

 

Spyware is simply software that is spying on you. It can be one of the above viruses or software that you don’t even see, sitting in the background recording what you are doing like logging into your bank or email and sending what it sees and what you type back to the criminals who made it. Often once infected Spyware will immediately start copying files from your computer (Documents, pictures, etc.) and sending them over the internet instantly to a server out of the country were the criminals who made the software can browse through it at their leisure for any useful information.  Find some personal pictures of you or your loved ones one day on google? Now you know how it got there!

Adware is the least harmful but often what people see the most of on their screen so they hate it the most as it interferes with normal use of your computer. It causes pop up ads; redirect you to a different search engine other than Google or what you intended to use; creates fake webpages, etc. You may search for a website and instead get ads for 10 similar sites but not the one you wanted. Often the adware writings are getting paid for displaying those ads to you, and that’s why they use malicious means to get those ads in front of as many people as they can. Now Adware can be dangerous as it can also steal information but often it’s just very annoying and renders your computer almost useless until it is removed.

Some examples of adware are as follows:

 

Now that you know what to look for, the important thing to remember is that once infected, with the speed how fast you can bring up a webpage on the internet, your information can be stolen and sent off to servers in China or Russia or else ware.

So when you see any of these problem, your first reaction should be to disconnect the Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable from your computer to try and prevent information from being stolen if you plan on dealing with it yourself, or Turn Your Computer OFF if on a company network or will need to call in an IT Professional to deal with it. These programs won’t go away on their own and they will continue to steal information and dig themselves deeper into your computer over time making them harder to remove.