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Laptop or PC

A relatively age-old question with a computer purchase is: should I get a laptop or PC? Here’s a simple outline of the pros and cons.

Laptops

  • Built-in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • Portable
  • More expensive
  • Easier to steal
  • Harder to upgrade

PC

  • More powerful
  • Less expensive
  • Harder to steal
  • Easier to upgrade
  • Fixed location
  • Uses more energy

Your choice often hinges upon budget and purpose — frequent travelers may want a laptop while most office workers are content with a PC. Whatever your choice, happy computing!

Cozy Baseball game

End of Summer 2018

The month of August is considered to be the last chance to soak up some final moments of Summer before the start of the new school year. Family vacations wind-down, lawns need less tending, and hints of yellow start to appear on tips of trees.

For parents, the moment is bittersweet — Summer fun is over but kids go back to school, bringing relief to weary care-givers. 😉

We hope your Summer held lots of fun, leisure, and inspiration!

 

When an Employee Goes Rogue

It’s the stuff of nightmares for an owner and manager of a tech-related business: an employee goes rogue, steals, and hobbles code. Tesla’s Elon Musk alleges that an employee as his facility did such things and is trying to mitigate damages.

Rogue employees often give a hard lesson in trust.

The publication Tech Republic points to a few ways to ensure this doesn’t happen at your business. One is to setup permissions on servers and computers that make sense for the employee’s tasks, and to go no further with escalated permissions unless there’s a promotion. Another approach is to conduct audits every so often to look for signs of sabotage and stolen data.

There will always be a “rogue” employee in a large organization. It’s human nature. To keep the risks low ensure IT permissions match the employee’s job, conduct audits, and the risk of data loss and sabotage are kept to a minimum.

NASA Mars Rover

From Germ Theory to Spacecraft Microbiome

It was about 150 years ago that the idea of microbes finally became accepted (aka bacteria and viruses). Germ Theory had beaten Miasma Theory and scientists of the late 1800’s were developing new tools to study microbes — the pace of development bloomed. Now, we decontaminate spacecraft & rovers to prevent microbes from hitching a ride to planets we are exploring. The reasons for this is less about Star Trek’s Prime Directive and more about ensuring that life-detecting equipment is free of false positives.

NASA has been pretty good about sending sterilized robots to planets. Some of these microbes, however, have recently eluded spacecraft cleaning techniques — yet another example of “life finding a way”. After some research, it was found that these hardy bugs were feeding on trace amounts of alcohol-based cleaning solutions creating a spacecraft microbiome that was hard to kill. Some of the next steps include developing new techniques and tools to stay ahead of them.

It’s an amazing jump in understanding and capabilities from then to now. With the pace of change increasing it will be an interesting next 150 years.

 

Reduce Your Chances of Getting Hacked

The allegedly hijacked feed of C-Span and other odd media glitches have brought cybersecurity to the front burner again–although for some of us it never actually left. Although C-Span folks deny it, no one is kidding themselves about whodunit. The hijack may have been due to nefarious forces (read: Russia). And while we do not know specific details of the attack it doesn’t take long to imagine how it happened. Typical suspects include unpatched servers, routers, PC’s, or even bad password management. That’s because security can be breached through exploits in older computer software and firmware.

Solutions

Reduce your chances of getting hacked by applying patches, running an updated anti-virus package with real-time protection–it should be on all Windows machines–and a hardware firewall that blocks ports. Those are some of the essential methods for cybersecurity.  Modern offices have lots of network-connected computing resources that drive functionality and enable productivity. Don’t risk disruption and data loss. It is important to have a well thought-out patch and update strategy for its devices and computers.

The latest patches and updates should be completed weekly for the following:

  • Windows and Mac computers and servers (yes, including Linux)
  • Firmware in routers, switches, cameras
  • Content Management System (CMS) Websites & its plug-ins/themes
  • Android and IOS phones

Once this is done you have patched weak spots in your organization and made it much more difficult for hackers to penetrate your network.

 

 

 

Old TV in field

Tech trash

This study reveals how much “material for tech” we’ve extracted and produced from the Earth — 30 trillion tons. It’s an amazing amount of tonnage and I was totally stunned when I read it. They call it our Technosphere.

Technosphere includes physical human-made structures such as houses, factories, smartphones, computers and landfill.

All is not lost though. Electronic recycling is strong in the United States and is growing more efficient every day. In fact, many places give you a good sized payment for your efforts. So the next time you’re ready to upgrade your computer just remember to recycle responsibly — and wipe your data first. 😉

Check it out at Science Daily.