|« Monday Afternoon Technologist?||Lock The Doors »|
Monday Morning Technologist
Intel is 43 years old today and as a present to them...here's today's Monday Morning Technologist.
If you go to Control Panel you can find the Java configuration applet listed there. (if you don't see it then you don't have Java installed) Go into the configuration applet, go ot the Update tab and see when it was last updated (at the bottom).
If it's been a while you should click the "Update Now" button to force an immediate automatic update.
As long as you're there, make sure the "Check for Updates Automatically" box is checked and click the "Advanced" button to make sure it's set to check for updates daily. Some machines may default to monthly and you definitely want to change that.
As we discussed in a recent episode of the MMT it's important to stay up-to-date on your Windows and application patches. Generally speaking those patches fall into 4 categories:
1. Security - fixing vulnerabilities and holes.
2. Bug fixes - fixing problems that have surfaced in the original program code. These fixes tend to make the product more stable and/or faster.
3. Enhancements - Not nearly as common, these patches add new features (usually very minor features) or improve the performance of the product.
4. Developer tools - Enhances or fixes aimed at making it easier/better for developers to write add-ins for the product.
Of these four kinds of improvements, the first two are easily the most common. And most important. Keep your patches up to date.
Ever notice how the more expensive the hotel is the worse and more expensive the WiFi is? The Hilton's WiFi is slow and costs $15 a day while Motel 6 gives you snappy WiFi for free? There's a reason for that...the Hilton knows that a large percentage of its guests (especially it's WiFi-using guests) are business travellers who are going to expense it and/or write it off anyhow so they're far less price sensitive. The WiFi service at an expensive hotel like that becomes a profit-center.
Motel 6 plays in a different space - they have to compete with Comfort Inn and a dozen other economy chains for the families and other more price-sensitive travellers who are looking for amenities like breakfasts and WiFi at a low price - since it's coming out of their own pockets.
WiFi charges have become to hotels what food/snack charges are to airlines. Another way to boost the bottom line.
As more and more travellers, especially business travellers, are travelling with 3G and 4G Internet-connected devices in their pockets it may be more and more of a challenge for those hotels to get anybody to pay for their slow WiFi service. Every year at ABA TECHSHOW I hear from grumbling colleagues who have resorted to tethering their laptops to their mobile device rather than pay for, or suffer with, the expensive and unreliable hotel WiFi.
I suspect the hotels are quietly glad for the data caps that many wireless companies are starting to impose on their users. Might steer more of them back to paying the daily fees.
Last week I told you that there was a mobile device viewer for WordPerfect documents. Well this week I'm telling you (all 4 of you who still use WordPerfect) that there is also an iFilter for WordPerfect documents. WAIT...stop...come back to your desk. Sit down. Thank you. The iFilter isn't some new gadget from Apple so you can put your credit card away. (I once heard a commentator say that Apple is the only company in the world that can get 500,000 people to pay $500 for a product just to find out what the heck it is.)
An iFilter is a software driver of sorts. It's a plug-in to Windows Desktop Search that lets WDS do full text indexing. That means if you download and install the WordPerfect iFilter (available here) that you'll be able to search for words and phrases WITHIN your WordPerfect documents. Just like how WDS searches for words and phrases inside Microsoft Word documents. It's a great way to super-charge your search capabilities.
The WordPerfect iFilter also works with Google Desktop, by the way. If you're using WordPerfect then you should get the iFilter; it's free.
Google's Facebook killer has arrived at last. Over the last couple of weeks the digerati have been falling all over themselves to get invites to Google+ (if you want one, e-mail me). My take? It's not bad, but it's not life-changing either. It combines elements of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
In one major way it's more like Twitter than Facebook - the relationships ("Circles" in Google+ parlance) are uni-directional. On Facebook you have to ask somebody to be your friend and they have to confirm it. Unless/until they do you have (usually) limited access to their profile. In Google+ you can add as many people as you want and they get only a quiet notification - much like Twitter where you can follow anybody and everybody without them even acknowledging that they know about it (unless they're one of the rare folks with a locked profile).
I will say, by the way, that the Google+ app on Android phones seems pretty slick. They've done a nice job on that - it looks good and works well.
So far I don't see any reason to abandon Facebook for Google+ and at the same time I'm a little weary of managing multiple social silos. Do I really want to have to check Facebook AND Google+? Not really, no. But I already have hundreds of friends on Facebook - actual friends. (remember when a "friend" was somebody you actually knew?) And I have family there too - I don't think my aunts are likely to jump to Google+ any time soon so if I want to keep up with my family (or at least with how many Unicorns they have on their "Farm") I have to stay on Facebook. Just as well, I already have hundreds of pictures uploaded there, and a couple of years of history. It'll be hard for Google+ to wrestle us away from that critical mass.
So for now I'll do both. For now.
I predict that sooner, rather than later, we'll see some third-party app come along that will aggregate Facebook and Google+ (and probably Twitter and LinkedIn too) into a single interface. The biggest obstacle to it may be if Facebook lets them access the data.
If you've got Microsoft Office 2010 (and a lot of you do) then you already have Microsoft OneNote. It never ceases to surprise me how many people don't realize that. Go ahead, click your Start button and go to Microsoft Office. We'll wait. It's under "Programs"
or "All Programs" most likely. See it? Good. Wondering what to do with it? Might be useful to start with the Microsoft OneNote Frequently Asked Questions.
David Rogers at Sophos has posted an interesting article explaining how the voicemail hacking situation happened and giving some suggestions for how you can prevent it. You can click that link a few inches back to read it yourself but the big tip I want to reinforce with you is something we encourage with ALL devices and accounts: Change the default password. And for the love of Murdoch....don't change it to "0000" or "1111" or "1234". Everybody guesses those. Make it something personal to you that would be hard to guess. And longer is better. If the system allows 5 digits use 5 digits. It's 10 times stronger than using 4 digits. If it allows 6, use 6.
And on a vaguely-related note you might get a chuckle out of how Fox News (and their no-doubt highly paid PR guy) tried to spin the News Corp. phone hacking scandal. SEE HERE. Clever how they try to lump News Corp in with Citibank and the Pentagon and a bunch of companies who got hacked. They even tossed out the word "China" a couple of times, in case you want to think they're to blame. Might make people who aren't familiar with the scandal think that News Corp was the victim of hacking, rather than the perpetrator.
Let me help Mr. Dilenschneider with his faux confusion: "We've got a serious hacking problem in this country." Yes, and News Corp is part of the problem. The Chinese had nothing to do with this one. Is Citicorp and Bank of America getting the same kind of attention News Corp is getting for their hacking scandals? No, because Citicorp and Bank of America didn't DO the hacking. News Corp weren't the victims in these hacks, they were the CRIMINALS. Hope that clears it up for you.
Not surprisingly Fox News is owned by News Corp.