Category : Ease of Use

Turn Voicemail into Text with iOS 10

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Apple has always had a productive approach to voicemail, first with the visual listing of voicemails with the contact name, date and time attached, making it easy to browse past or go directly to the voicemail you would like to hear. The upgrade to iOS 10 takes this a little further, allowing for voicemail transcription, that can be shared or saved. When you have a voicemail you would like transcribed, open voicemail and select the voicemail you wish to be written. The voicemail should automatically start playing. If the person has just left the message, iOS will start the process automatically, showing a “Transcribing” message, to tell you what is taking place. Once the voicemail is transcribed, the written message will be displayed within the original voicemail, in other words in the visual list of voicemail. This could be helpful in those instances when raising a phone to your ear is not allowed, perhaps during a presentation, work meeting, event, important dinner, etc. The transcription of the voicemail might be a little off, but at least this gives a general idea as to why the person is calling, aka emergency or non emergency. This feature is currently considered a beta feature, therefore after transcription has taken place you will see a tiny typed question asking “Was this helpful?”, which Apple will use to decide if the feature will be a permanent one.

 


 

If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.howtogeek.com 

The verdict is in…2-in-1 vs. tablet

Just the other day I tried relentlessly to convince my mother than a PC with tablet capabilities would significantly improve her work flow. She brought up the usual restrictions associated with tablet use, “does it have enough power to accomplish what I need?”. Most iPads and tablets just can’t compare to the power behind a PC or laptop. Doing research can be a pain, as it isn’t always easy to switch between applications on a tablet device. Multitasking for the work day is exponentially better on a machine that can allow multiple applications to be open and running so that the user can easily shift gears without creating a giant mess. However, tablets have their perks, the machine is much lighter and easier to carry and the hands on capabilities are great. The riddle here is finding a machine that can take from both a PC and a tablet and combine efforts to create a better machine.

Windows 2-in-1 systems combine power, ease, and the Windows operating system, to create better raw usability. Apple iOS and Android can’t compare to the usability of Microsoft Windows even with continuous improvement. With a 2-in-1 system you can run full applications, several of them, side-by-side, switching without problem. The Windows platform was designed for this. I love Apple products and I own quite a few myself, but I know needs and Apple products cannot match the needs of the consumer that wishes to work from a tablet. I know this from experience as I tried to brave my first year of college on only an iPad. I lost a lot of sleep that year.

A Windows 10 powered 2-in-1 PC is not only less expensive, but easier to use for ‘real’ work. Here are a few guidelines to help you make a 2-in-1 purchase.

Choose your Size – 2-in-1 devices range in size from 10 inch models that are ideal for those that are always on the go and need something light that travels well, to 11 and 13 inch models such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Lenovo Yoga 900. If you are simply not impressed with 13 inches, the HP 15 inch Spectre x360 should do the trick.

Detachable or Rotating Hinge? – Typically you can opt for bendable or detachable. If you prefer the touch-based experience similar to using a tablet but again with better power and management, choose a detachable model. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, HP Spectre x2 and the Dell XPS 12 are all great detachable models with tablet bodies and magnetic keyboards. In comparison, if you write a significant amount for your job then a bendable 2-in-1 is a better match for you. The Lenovo Yoga 900 and HP Spectre x360 have hinges that bend 360 degrees, and also offer tent and presentation positions.

Processor Specs – The highest power systems will feature an Intel Core i7 or m7 chip. Midrange models will have Core i3, i5 and m5 CPUs, which will support productivity as a good middle range between price and performance. Those on a budget are going to find Intel Celeron and Atom CPUs in their hybrids. If you want a device for browsing the web, answering emails, and watching Netflix a lower budget spec should work just fine.

Storage– The standard for 2-in-1 machines is 4GB of RAM, but 8GB is better if you can afford the increase. I would not advise 16GB of RAM unless you are going to be answering some serious work demands. For most people the extra memory and performance is not needed, not to mention it is more expensive.

Screen Resolution– Screen resolution is very important! A higher resolution screen makes a huge difference throughout the day. Affordable 2-in-1 models have 13366 x 768 pixel displays, but if you can you should look for a sharper 1920 x 1080 full-HD screen. Better image quality and side by side window viewing. The higher end resolutions are so beautiful it is hard not to pay the price for higher resolution. But these can suck up a lot of power, so be mindful of what is really important.

Budget – You can spend anywhere from $150 to $3,000 on a 2-in-1 device. Prices escalate as you increase size, specs, storage, and resolution. Look to our next post to find the perfect 2-in-1 for you!

Google gifts teachers with VR field trips and much more

Google brings VR to teachers

Google released a string of announcements today, many of which are aimed at the education of our youth. Using a Google Cardboard viewer in combination with an accompanying Expeditions app, students will be easily transported to far away lands, prehistoric times, truly anywhere the imagination can venture, so can Google. This will give students the opportunity to learn in new and exciting ways, bringing together textbook information and video viewing into one interactive experience. Can you imagine a group of ten year olds waiting in line for their turn with a virtual reality headset? I imagine giggles and excitement no matter the subject.

Since launching, over a million students in 11 countries have gone on these virtual reality field trips, says Google. In addition, the destinations have grown to over 200, including those made by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and soon Pearson, two established educational providers. Google says they are making the Expeditions program available to everyone. All that is needed to participate is a Google Cardboard device and smartphones, or tablets in 2D full-screen mode. The Expeditions app is currently available for Android, but will have an iOS counterpart according to Google. Best Buy Education will also be making Expeditions kits available for schools to purchase, including a tablet, VR viewer and router.

In addition, Google also announced a free Chrome app called Google Cast for Education, which works with the Google Classroom service. The app works to give teachers more built-in controls, running on the teacher’s computer so no additional hardware is needed. Teachers run the Cast for Education app, and students can share their screens using the the existing “Cast” feature in the Chrome browser. How cool is that? There are also a trio of new apps coming for classrooms that use Chromebooks, such as the interactive whiteboard, Explain Everything. Google also will release a music and podcast maker called Soundtrap and a video project tool called WeVideo. Although in my personal opinion, I don’t see these making it across all schools, rather I predict the Google Cast for Education app getting the most buzz.

Lastly, Google announced a new feature in Quizzes in Google Forums which will let teachers grade multiple choice tests and checkbox questions. Rather than just marking answers wrong, teachers can add review materials, explanations and supplemental websites when an answer is marked wrong, to give a little clarity to why the answer is incorrect. As highly requested, Google now allows teachers to disable a setting that lets students send themselves a copy of their responses.

I think Google is trying to be first in line for the education market… and I’m all about it. Lets see if schools can afford to get on board. Cheers to VR field trips!

 


 

If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog please visit our original source: Tech Crunch

 

5 New Tech Tested Products for Your Business

Ever wondered what the best in tech products are at this very moment? The experts at Network World weigh in and give us a little glimpse of the newest innovations on the market.

Vidder PrecisionAccess – By rendering applications invisible to unauthorized users PrecisionAccess does a fantastic job at preventing application hacking. Even with stolen credentials hackers can’t access protected applications with unauthorized devices.precision-vpn_clip_image002

VeloCloud SD-WAN – VeloCloud provides a hybrid WAN solution that works with MPLS private links as well as ATT-U-Verse with cable or any broadband DSL links. One tech pro reported an increase from almost zero network visibility to nearly 100% network visibility. A great tool for IT management across multiple locations without staff needing to be onsite at all times. Facilitates communication and network visibility.  velocloudlogo

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) – With so many features that help with managing user-facing ports and devices, whats not to love about Cisco ISE. One huge factor reported by tech pros is the integration of TACACS within Cisco ISE, making it easy to run Cisco ISE as a Radius server or TACACS server for network devices. In addition to this, Cisco ISE significantly improves management of devices especially restricting machines from devices and sites they are not permitted to visit.Cisco_ISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intermedia SecuriSync – For backup and file sharing SecuriSync is the way to go. As a two-in-one tool for consolidated file backup and management of continuous file backups, Intermedia SecuriSync makes relevant files easier to access as they are all stored in a secured shared folder. If you have team members spread across different locations, this tool is very helpful in making sure the data is always backed up and kept secure. One platform with a master source keeps project collaboration as safe as it can be.securisync-logo-247x300

OpenSpan Transformation Platform – OpenSpan collects all employee desktop activities both productive and nonproductive, including time away from the computer. This platform allows businesses to evaluate from employee activities how employees work best and what can be improved upon in order to drive down operational costs and maximize revenue. Providing data about employee activities takes away the need for manual employee logs. Lack of employee logs that need to be analyzed by supervisors for key performance indicators (KPIs), such as call volumes, proves to be a huge time saver. OpenSpan Transformation Platform takes working smarter to a higher level.

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Fave Raves: 29 tech pros share their favorite IT products 

Storage and Backup Products that Save the Day

Nasuni Cloud Storage – Leveraging the cloud as a primary storage component, Nasumi Cloud NAS combines local storage controllers and cloud storage to provide global access to data with local performance. The only file system of its kind that can scale from hundreds to hundreds of billions of objects without any degradation of performance. If your company is having trouble taking on highly data-intensive projects because of limited storage capacity that is costly to upgrade, NAS is the right solution.pic

DataCore’s SANsymphony-V – This software-defined storage option maximizes IT infrastructure performance by virtualizing storage hardware in a universally compatible format. The SANsymphony-V software runs on standard x86 servers, providing one set of common storage services across all storage devices even allowing communication between unlike storage devices. Customers and IT techs rave about the increase in performance and especially the 75% reduction in storage costs. “[It] meets our replication needs — replicates all critical data between two data centers. Also provides rich SAN capability.”says David Blaisdell, assistant IT director at the New London, NH, college.

Intermedia SecuriSync – Backup and File sharing with Intermedia SecuriSync is made easier by providing real-time backup and point-in-time restore for PCs and Macs. When data is the core of your business, you need to be able to retrieve and analyze data without delay. SecuriSync provides both consolidated file management and continuous backup of documents, while securing access to sensitive data. Going beyond read-only access, employees can edit documents from mobile devices without having to worry about version control. Real time backups give users the comfort of being able to easily restore corrupted files.

CloudBerry Managed Backup – This flexible and cost effective solution allows the user to choose the storage providers as well as provides remote management capabilities. For small to mid-sized businesses this is the perfect option. Cloudberry provides all of the benefits of cloud based storage, scalability, reliability and security but at a size attainable for small businesses. Backups are made both easier and less costly.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Go-to storage and disaster recovery products

 

Who’s in Charge of Your Cybersecurity?

 

The first step in successful cyber-security is getting every employee on board. It is pretty obvious that some hardware goes into creating a security shield around important data. As an Information Technology company ourselves, we already know the value Firewall, and anti virus software have on making your network more secure. However, in order to adopt a more proactive protection policy, the groundwork needs to be laid, starting with company culture and communication. It is increasingly important to enforce awareness and education in order to save a lot of headache later down the line.

The CEO of the company needs to take interest in cyber-security before any of the employees can get on board. Simple risk analysis is a great start. Buying products online is not sufficient. A knowledgeable IT professional should be on hand. You need someone who is going to leverage the right equipment as well as set security measures that fit your establishment.

“The cyber threat cannot be solved by buying products” says Tim Holman, president of the Information Systems Security Association in the UK. Holman has the right idea, if your company is not equipped with the right skills to manage these products they are basically junk. It is important to attack cyber-security the way a hacker does. Common sense leads us to find that reducing the amount of sensitive data stored will always be a great measure. Restricting access to information and getting cyber liability cover is another way to lessen the probability of attack.

As information continues to flow in and out of your business remember that with any exchange over the internet comes a great deal of risk. Ensure your company professionals understand how to practice good security efforts. Never open an attachment that is unfamiliar, back up data in two separate places, and utilize solid Firewall and anti-virus software. Keep all platforms up to date with the latest patches and security fixes. Top to bottom, cyber-security is the responsibility of all.bva_withninja_teal-centered

 


 

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: The CISO, the CIO, the CEO, or you: Who is really responsible for cybersecurity?

The Newest Security Trend – Rewarding Hackers

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There is always that one superhero willing to play nice with the villain. In the world of tech hackers, HackerOne is that superhero. HackerOne acknowledges that modern security is hacker-powered. They have created a platform for vulnerability coordination and bug bounty. In other words, HackerOne works with hackers to find security holes in your company, because to be honest, who better to trust than the villain himself!

HackerOne facilitates communication between hackers and companies. If a hacker does find a bug, HackerOne works as the middleman ensuring the company pays the hacker for the discovery, charging 20 percent commission of the hacker’s pay out. Companies such as Uber, Dropbox, Square, Snapchat, Airbnb, Vimeo, have all joined the HackerOne movement.

Bugcrowd works similar to HackerOne, bringing together good hackers with companies looking to verify their security systems. In comparison to HackerOne, which rewards hackers with a payout decided by the company in question, Bugcrowd works on a subscription basis. Charging a service fee or a project-based charge, Bugcrowd provides market rate suggestions for rewards and manages all payouts for their companies. Their companies consist of AT&T, Dropbox, Facebook, Etsy, Paypal, Twitter, just to name a few. As you might notice, some of the companies listed are clients of both HackerOne and Bugcrowd.

Google, of course, has a public bug bounty program of their own, that offers up to $100,000 for hackers who find vulnerabilities in its Chrome software. Although the reward amount depends on the size of the bug, the rewards are substantial enough to keep hacker interest, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousands.

Opening a bug bounty program to the public, puts forth the message that the company values the security of its systems and lessens the likelihood of malicious activity. Despite strong efforts to keep systems secure, no one bulletproof organization exists. In the fight against hackers, a little incentive goes a long way toward a more secure system.

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Meet the Middlemen Who Connect Hackers for Hire With Corporate America

Two-Factor Authentication Evaluation Guide

Two-factor Authentication is a type of multi-factor authentication that provides identification of users using a combination of two different components. These components are often something the user knows, possesses, or something that is inseparable from the user. This Guide has been adapted from Duo Security, and illustrates what to consider when deciding upon a vendor for Two-factor Authentication for your company.WP17

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In order to enforce this extra layer of protection it is important to consider the factors involved. Security and ease of implementation should be of first priority. The vendor in which provides your two-factor authentication should be secure by design. The cloud based service should use multiple, independent PCI DSS Level 1 and ISO 27001-certified, SAS 70 Type II-audited service providers and is split across multiple geographic regions, service providers and power grids for seamless failover. This ensures that you have a reliable vendor that has an infrastructure that is fully scalable and elastic enough to be able to accommodate any number of users. You should be able to add users as you need them without issue. The vendor should also be backed by a strong service level agreement and the service should offer 24/7 operational coverage.

Cloud-based authentication services are easy to use and tend not to require installation of hardware. Selecting a vendor with drop-in integrations for all major VPNs, Unix, and MS remote access points. Something to look for is deployment. The two-factor authentication process is best implemented when it leverages a platform users already have, such as cell phones. Make sure the service you employ works with landlines and tokens to save your IT administrator from having to manage tokens.

Usability

Usability and convenience are a major part of making two-factor authentication a productive solution. A vendor that keeps a lot of “clutter” such as extra steps gets in the way of the login path and makes for a large and unneeded distraction. Allowing users to easily enroll themselves and set their preferred devices to use for authentication makes the login process easier. This should be met by a vendor that supports a wide range of authentication methods including push to mobiles app, passcode and phone call back.

Administration

When choosing the ideal vendor, make sure the administrative needs are met. For instance, consider if the solution allows for visibility insight into user access of your network. Authentication logs should be provided for auditing and reporting. Systems that provide a centralized admin interface give a consolidated view of how the two-factor authentication is working, and allows for better maintenance. It would be best if the system managed the physical tokens rather than forcing you to manage such items. In addition if you are looking for a cost effective solution, cloud hosted vendors have the lowest costs and least amount of hassle because the infrastructure, upgrades and maintenance are all managed by the vendor.

 

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://hosteddocs.emediausa.com/duo-security-twofactor-evaluation-guide.pdf

Three Unbelievably Tiny Computers

The market for a device that can easily replace the standard PC has taken a new approach to size. Don’t be fooled, you may be surprised when you find out what is hiding inside these small machines.

Zotac Zbox Sphere

This computer not only breaks the mold in terms of size, but shape. The Zbox is in fact, not a box, but a sphere. Simply twist the circular top and feast your eyes on the interior powerhouse of the computer. The top half of this tiny PC houses an Intel Core i5-42WP 300U motherboard and 4GB of memory. The back panel provides six USB ports, as well as an HDMI and DisplayPort. In addition, the Zbox includes a 802.11ac WiFi module and a spot for an Ethernet cable if preferred. This almost bowling ball like computer packs a serious punch in terms of creativity and power. WP 4

 

 

 

 

Intel Compute Stick

This tiny PC resembles a USB thumb drive, and has stirred massive attention since its release in early 2015. The Intel Compute Stick plugs into any monitWP 5or’s HDMI port, an added bonus for anyone working in tight spaces. Concerned about over heating? Fear not, this tiny machine has a fittingly tiny fan inside, ensuring fast performance without
overheating. Unfortunately the stick does not have an internal battery and thWP 6erefore must run off micro USB power at all times in order to function. What the Intel Compute Stick lacks in battery capabilities it makes up for with a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, with micro SD support for up to 128GB of storage. That’s a lot of power crammed into 4.5 inches.

 

 

 

 

 

Mouse Box

The tiniest computer of the three is cleverly disguised as a computer mouse. The Mouse Box device contains a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM processor, a 128GB solid-state drive, and built-in b/g/n WiFi. The wireless image transfer module allows for easy visual transmitting in addition to the convenient micro HDMI port. The coolest part? Sticking with the mouse motif, the Mouse Box doesn’t need to be plugged in. The inductive charging mat doubles as a mousepad. Although the Mouse Box is not up for public release quite yet, they most certainly have our attention.  WP 8

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.geek.com/chips/the-11-tiniest-most-powerful-computers-your-money-can-buy-1627324/

Microsoft OneDrive raises the bar for cloud storage

Microsoft OneDrive Cloud Storage The Microsoft OneDrive, otherwise known as “device cloud”, is available free of charge for anyone who has created a Microsoft account. Included are 5 GB of free storage, easy access to media files, folder syncing, documents, as well as playing and viewing capabilities in addition to simple storage.

Similar to the iCloud for iPhones and iPads, OneDrive allows iPhone, Android, and Windows phone users to automatically upload photos to the OneDrive camera roll. Combining online storage and syncing into one device, One Drive offers a new convenience for Microsoft users who had to previously deal with separate storage and syncing services. Windows 10 has allowed OneDrive to grow as a built-in capacity. If you utilize other technology platforms OneDrive is compatible with Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

 

PROS-

Excellent photo viewing and slideshow capabilities.

Clear interface.

Works with Windows phone, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Easily retrieves any file from a PC.

 

CONS-

Storage offerings shrinking according to a recent release from Microsoft.

Not a share target for Windows 10 apps.

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409569,00.asp