Two Step Authentication Password Protection

Google

We all have them and we all use them every day in one way or another. We also trust the companies that we use them to keep our information hidden.  What are we talking about? Well Passwords of course. Let’s talk a minute about trusting the companies that you deal with to keep your information and passwords secure. Remember hearing about the Target Breach? So you say you don’t shop at Target or one of the many other retail chains that have been breached. Well, I know you use a password for your banking or even your email. How many people use the same password on every site they visit? If your user name and password gets picked up and put on a public list then you could stand to be hacked on any number of your accounts. Sound scary? Well, it should and you need to take steps to protect yourself.

Step up to what is known as Two Factor Authentication. You can use the FREE app on your smartphone shown above called Google Authenticator or there is one by Microsoft. The idea with these apps is once you turn on Two-Factor on the sites you visit whenever you log into the site it will show the message above. You then open the app on your phone and it will give you an ever-changing number that you enter to access your site. I have also found that if a site does not support this tool they will have a way that they will text you a number to enter to ensure that it is YOU trying to access your account.

I hear you now. This will take to much time to get into my accounts. Wonder if I don’t have my phone sitting next to me? How can I share my account with others NEVER DO THIS! The simple truth is this. We all take an extra minute to lock our house when we go to work and we all take the extra minute to lock our cars before walking away from them. Why not take an EXTRA SECOND to protect all of your ONLINE accounts?

New Technology In 2018

2018 Tech

With each passing year, we always see new technology coming to our hands. I have to sit and wonder what will be next? Often I have people ask me what will be the next big thing? My reply is if I knew that I could be a very rich man. But I like most of you reading this normally sit back and waits to see what the next thing will be in technology.

Let me begin by saying this might be the year for VR, Virtual Reality? I think VR will be used for more than just gaming. I think we might see VR pushing its way into the entertainment world. This would be great to help bring back movie theaters. It might be for awhile anyway something that most of us do not have at home? Instead of just watching a movie we could be in the movie or a part of a scene?

The next push I see coming is flat everything. From flat card-like phones that we can roll up and put in your pocket to flat TV’s that will be hanging on the walls. Not flat as we now know, there will be paper flat that might be put up with double face tape?

My wish is that someone will invent a credit card system where there is no standard numbering system. I feel that credit card companies can come up with a chip that mixes your numbers up everytime you use it. As long as there is a standard numbering system hackers will be able to get those numbers and use them for whatever they wish.

I have been in technology working now for the past 25 years. I am like most of you who are always amazed by what comes out next. Just look at our camera’s we use every day. I now use a mirrorless that weighs almost nothing compared to the large Nikon I use to carry around. Now that smaller is better it is just easier to carry around.

I would like to know what you think might be coming to the technology landscape? Or do you have an idea of what we need that we do not already have? Only time will tell what the next big thing will be.

Happy Holidays Did You Remember Batteries

Batteries Chargers

It seems like today everything takes a battery? From a simple toy for the kids to that toothbrush you bought your spouse for Christmas. I remember years ago we forgot batteries for the kid’s toys only to be rushing out Christmas morning to buy some at a high priced convenience store. Now we move years later and everyone in the house is looking for a plug to charge something they are carrying or wearing. I guess the one positive thing to come out of all of these gadgets is that the battery companies and seeing stock prices go up, and that is good.

I find myself each night as many of you. I plug in my laptop, plug in my phone and take my watch off and connect it to its little cradle.  Then I can safely go to sleep knowing all my gadgets will be ready for me in the morning. One of the worse feelings is waking up and finding the plug was not all the way on my phone and it is running on fumes. Never fear I can plug it into my car on the way to work. Yes, we have become a battery/charger nation.

Sometimes I have to reflect back on the simple days. When you had to get up to change a channel on the TV, and when the phone rang we didn’t ask who’s phone was ringing we ran to the kitchen to answer it. When we left home we worried everyone was in the car not who gets to the car chargers first. But I must say I do enjoy the convenience of having a world of information in my pocket and now on my wrist. And I can honestly say since I have had my smartphone I have never been lost anywhere.

Let me hear how you handle a plugged in charged world that you live in? And have you ever thought of investing in a battery company?

Just Got A Apple Watch

Apple Watch

My wife just bought me an Apple Watch for my birthday. This is something I have been looking at ever since they were released. The only reason I never bought one is that I didn’t know how it would fit into my daily lifestyle?

My main issue with not getting an Apple Watch long before now was it is a device that attaches to my phone. Why would I want this when I already have an iPhone? I can pull out my phone and check my email, help tickets, messages and yes even the time. So why would I need a watch that just extends these features?

Well, step over to the Apple Watch. With the Apple Watch on I don’t have to dig into my pocket just to check my latest emails, they are now pushed right to my phone. When I get a text message I’m not digging in my pocket either I just look down at my watch and there is the message, I hit reply and speak into the watch and hit send to drop a quick message back. I often use my phone to check the weather or outside temp, now I just look down at my watch and it shows me the temp all day without having to open an app. When my phone rings it now vibrates my watch and I can answer the call from my arm again without having to take the phone out of my pocket.

So is the Apple Watch a killer gadget? NO! Can you run your day form your Smart Phone? YES! But overall does the Apple Watch make you more productive in and out of the work environment? YES! And I don’t worry about dropping my phone everytime I need to text or answer a call, I can do all of this from the device strapped to my wrist. Is the Apple Watch for everyone, it could be but not really.

Then you might be asking yourself why am I so impressed with the Apple Watch? Well for the reasons above and remember I am a gadget kind of guy. I just really wish there one day will be a KILLER APP for the Apple Watch that works better on the watch than the iPhone. But for now, there is not a KILLER APP. I will keep you informed if I find one sometime.

Please let me know if you have an Apple Watch and let me know what you think of using it and maybe if and how it changed your life?

Google Chromebook or Windows Cloudbook

ChromebookorCloudbook

I have been reading across the web that Microsoft is releasing a Chromebook killer their words not mine on May 2, 2017. Will this be a knife in the side of Google or a knife in the side of IT Administrator in schools trying to rush to buy this new product? I wanted to give you my thoughts from the IT Administrator side. I have been working in the IT field in education for the past 20 years. Again these are my views on the subject.

I have been using Microsoft products since I started in computers some 30 years ago. I have watched the company struggle to innovate on every level. I am not saying their software is not great, I am saying they normally are not the first ones to the table or playing field. Does anyone remember Bill Gates saying “The Internet is just a Fad”? Well that statement didn’t work out to well. To catch up to other big players in the Internet field Microsoft began to give Internet Explorer away with Windows. If you can’t build something better then NetScape, just giving yours away and try to crush the computation.

Now let’s move forward some 20+ years. Google releases a Chromebook, at first not a promising product. I remember watching their product release and the Chromebook didn’t boot well and sometimes hung when trying to use it. After some years of work and getting the Chromebook to shine they started getting the attention of people like me, IT Administrators in schools. Why not give this device a try? Google has been supplying our education market for years with Google Apps and FREE email services, which I jumped on that wagon 15 years ago. This is a company that is building on a foundation and building slow and steady. Now let’s jump to today.

Now on May 2, 2017 it is said that Microsoft will launch a Chromebook killer? Microsoft has always tried to do this build off of everyone’s success. Remember they don’t innovate! I really don’t think the schools that have adopted the Chromebook will drop them to run back to Microsoft. I also don’t think that a brand new product to hit the market will be accepted with open arms by very many IT Administrators in schools. Will they get a few nibbles? Maybe? But I know the field well and I know the people doing this very stressful job and none of them need or want a new player in the field of Internet based devices.

A final thought on market share for education. The Chromebook has played a major role on cutting Apple and Microsoft into lower shares of the education market. Is it only price that sets these devices apart? I as a person who has had the pleasure of managing Chromebooks have to say it is also the ease of administration. I can go into one web based console and manage every aspect of the Chromebook. Recently we looked at changing from iPad’s to Chromebooks as a budget move. In our final minutes of crunching numbers Apple made a smart move, they lowered the price of the iPad. This will help them maintain some market share. Microsoft made a move such as this a few years ago by giving Office 365 to education for FREE. This will keep office products in the reach of shrinking budgets across education. But bringing a Cloudbook to the education market might just prove to be a little late to the game? Anyone remember the Windows Phone?

Samsung Note 7

Nice Note 7

I for one like many of you out there really always liked the Samsung Note phones. I have never owned one but that is because my wife and I are in the Apple ecosystem and have been for years. I did try my hand at a Windows phone once but that only lasted about a week before I returned it and got a new iPhone. But the Samsung Note line has been great and I know a lot of people who still use them everyday. But now the company is in trouble. I really don’t think this is any wrong doing by Samsung. Let’s face it they don’t want all of this bad press. What everyone should be asking is where was this phone made? We all know that these electronic companies are not building these gadgets in the USA in their own factories. This might be traced back to someone in some far off land putting these together with some oil on their fingers? Would I say run out and buy a new Note 7 anyway? NO, but I am saying don’t kill a entire company because of a mishap until we get all the facts. Was this a design flaw? Are they trying to get more power out of the internal battery? Is there something wrong with the charger? I always feel bad for any company that gets hit with one bad product and it starts to make everyone fearful of their products. I hope that Samsung pulls out of this downfall. Remember I said in the beginning of this post that we are iPhone people but I think every company needs computation. Next thing to watch is that law suit because Samsung phones icons look like Apples. This is funny because my car tires looks likes yours and I bet that they came from two different companies?

Personal Assistant

Personal Assistant

When one company begins to shows a little profit on a innovative idea there will always be someone out there to try to cash in on their success. Not that I think the Amazon Echo is a huge success but they were the first to the table with this idea. Now we have Google that owns the world, at least the part that was left by Face Book has now released the Google Home. Let me first say if you are getting to lazy to pick up your smart phone, roll back over in bed and just forget life all together. Is it a great idea? I really can’t comment because I have never used one or had the desire to buy one. But if you own one feel free to comment and let me know what the greatness this device has for you. Both of these devices cost about the same so price will not be the factor to pull you one way or the other. I guess it is which ever company you want to support more? I have a friend that owns the Echo and she loves it. I don’t know how much she uses it but she did tell me it is cool. I normally don’t pay $100.00 or more for cool. I would say before you buy either of these  I would suggest that you do your research. For me I will keep my phone as my personal assistant.

IPhone 7

IPhone 7

The Iphone 7 has arrived! Really the way I see it it’s really nothing to get to excited about. Why would I say this when people are flocking to the stores to get their hands on one? It’s easy, innovation is by it’s very term adding something new to the table. When you take a product and remove something it might be a step backwards? Or is it in reality a great marketing tool? So this is what I am thinking. Apple people are sitting around and they are talking about how to make more money with a product that a lot of people already have? Well it’s simple really just remove the head phone jack and then everyone will want to buy their new blue tooth ear buds, right? No wrong, did you ever try to keep the current ear buds in your ears? Mine always fell out but the cord always kept them from getting lost. Now with the new blue tooth ones you will be jogging along and one pops out it is gone for ever. Well back to the Apple store you go to buy a replacement set. My wife was due for a phone upgrade and we thought about switching to the Samsung phone but we had one little issue. All of her music was bought using the ITunes store. I asked around and there was no one that could tell me if we could move her music to the new brand. In the end she got the IPhone 6S. Why didn’t we jump on the band wagon and go for the new 7? Really it came down to cost. We got the 6S for about $15.00 less per month. There was really no reason that I could see to buy the new 7, it really does nothing new and exciting. I am not bashing the new phone really. I just think that Apple needs to change the phone industry once again, they did it years ago and with the smart people they have working at Apple I think they could do it again? The watch is a step in the correct direction, but how can you get the masses to buy something that most people stopped wearing years ago for so much money? Drop the watch to $100.00 and you might see a spike in the Apple stock once again.  Just for the record, I am an Apple fan boy. I have been using Apple products for years.

Creating On An iPad


It has been said by many people that you can not create content on an iPad? I even read a large column once that said it is not a creation tool. I have to admit it is different. It is not a computer this is true. Although it is used as a computer by many people. The smart phone in your pocket is also a computer. It seems now a days that these mobile devices are used by more people then the desktop computer. But that still leaves us with the question. Can you create content using an iPad?

I am writing this post using only an iPad. I have to admin I am using a bluetooth keyboard. Using the onscreen touch keyboard makes typing a little harder. It can be done but it is different. I see many people as well as myself using the iPad to take notes during meeting and conferences. You have to admin they are lighter and take up less room on your lap.

The truth is I can not use the iPad to do all of my work as a technologist. I need certain programs that run on a desktop. And I always say, there is really no one device that can handle every type of computing. We are getting close, but it’s just not there yet.

My last thought is. You can create content using the iPad. It is different and there might be a learning curve. But it can be done. But keep your computer, you might just need it again one day?

Larger Phones Less Tablets?

Large Phones

I have the opportunity to get a shinny new iPhone 6 under the Verizon Edge plan. My first thought is that I know I want to get the 64 Gig. I have a 5C now with 16 Gig and it always seems full. As I have been looking at others who have the new iPhone I have been asking if I should get the Plus 5.5″?

The first person I talked to told me “YES!” She says that she never uses her iPad any longer. She tells me she can watch movies on it and read books. The next person I talked to said, “NO!” He said that he can’t use one hand to text while driving. Okay well not an issue. I don’t text when I drive and if I have to respond I use Siri. My daughter got a larger LG phone and she loves it.

My over all thoughts is that these larger phones and replacing the tablets. Normally if I take a class or sit in a meeting I bring my phone in my pocket and I bring either my iPad or Windows 8 tablet or laptop. It might be nice to just have my phone. I have started looking for some kind of keyboard for the iPhone 6 but then it would be just another item to carry. We will get more into touch typing another time.

So what do you think? Do you have one of these larger phones? If so maybe you can comment and give the readers your thoughts. And I do get one of these little monsters I will do a blog post using it. Then we can maybe find out if it will be my tablet replacement?