How you do unbox the new ThinkPad X1 Extreme? By hiring an extremely large grizzly bear to do the unboxing.
Many Apple owners believe their Macintosh computers are immune to viruses. Apple itself has run ad campaigns promising its computers “don’t get viruses”. And those who have owned a Mac for years, decades even, are particularly prone to believing. After all, nothing’s happened to them yet. Regrettably, Macs do get viruses, and the threat is growing. For a long time, the argument was that cybercriminals didn’t bother to develop Mac viruses. There weren’t enough users to justify the effort. Instead, they’d focus on the lower hanging fruit – PCs running Windows.
Yet Apple’s market share is on the rise, and it’s increasingly common to see Macs in the workplace, especially in creative industries. Plus, there’s a widespread assumption that Mac users are a smart target as they are likely to be better off. So, while Macs remain harder to infect (installing most software requires a password), there’s often a greater payoff. The research reflects the reality. In 2017, for instance, the iPhone OS and Mac OS X placed #3 and #6 in CVE Details’ top 50 ranked by total number of distinct vulnerabilities. Apple TV and Safari also made the list at #17 and #18, respectively. In 2017, Malwarebytes also reported it “saw more Mac malware in 2017 than in any previous year”. By the end of 2017, the cybersecurity firm had counted 270% more unique threats on the Mac platform than in 2016.
Finding Apple’s Weak Spots
It’s obvious then that bad actors are no longer steering clear. They are actively looking for ways to exploit Macs. A common approach is to use Trojans. Named after a wooden gift horse that hid an army, Trojans look like something you would want to install. So, Mac users happily enter their passwords to download that application and open the gates to the cybercriminal.
In 2011, for instance, a Trojan called “Mac Defender” took advantage of people’s desire to protect their computers. The fake program appeared to be anti-virus software. Once the users installed it, they’d get an onslaught of pop-up ads encouraging them to buy more fake software.
Trojans get through the gates because you let your guard down. You are taken in by that supposed note from a long-lost friend. You think you want to see that pic of that famous celebrity. All it takes to stop this type of attack is suspicion of everything you might install or download.
A business would want to educate its employees about the importance of:
Apple is always working to protect its users from malware. It has measures in place, and user caution can make a big difference, too. Still, it’s not true that Macs are completely safe.
Find out what you can do to protect your Macs and guard against threats. Partner with our managed services to gauge your security levels.
The average person spends 90,000 hours at work. These hours can cost us sleep, affect our mood, and cause us to gain weight. Oh, and work can cause stress, too. We can’t give you a “get out of work free” card, but these essential Windows shortcuts will help you save time.
By gaining efficiency at your computer, you may find you have more time for what matters. At work, this may be devising new innovations or getting out in the field. At home, these shortcuts can free up time to play a board game with the kids or do some gardening with Grandma.
Ctrl + X to Cut
Think about X marking the spot in the text where you want to cut words, an image, or a URL. Drag your cursor over the selection to highlight the particular text/table/image/file (or a part of it). If you don’t want it at all, the cut function is another version of delete. If you want to move the selection, this is your first step.
Ctrl + C to Copy
Similar to the cut function, Ctrl + C will copy the item you have selected, allowing you to quickly duplicate it. The item will remain in the clipboard until you copy something else, so combine this function with Paste (Ctrl + V, outlined below) to rapidly duplicate your selection.
Ctrl + V to Paste
With this simple shortcut you can place the information you just cut (or copied using Ctrl + C) anywhere you want. The important thing to remember is that the paste function only holds one selection in memory. So, if you cut a phrase from one place, don’t get distracted by an image you want to copy or other text to cut. You want to paste what you have first, then go back and copy or cut the next thing so as not to risk risking losing anything.
Ctrl + Z to Undo
If only this shortcut was available in real life. We could retract that thing we inadvertently said to Uncle Steve, or take out the salt we put in a recipe instead of sugar, or avoid leaving the house for the gym without our running shoes. Still, Windows users are able to undo their most recent action with this key combination. Whichever Windows program you’re in, you can use Ctrl + Z to reverse your last action. To redo something, go with Ctrl + Y.
Alt then Tab to Switch Screens
There are many things you can do with Windows. Perhaps you’re multitasking: you have a PowerPoint open, as well as an Excel spreadsheet, and a web browser, too. By pressing Alt and then the Tab key, you can switch between tabs or screens. If you hold down the Alt button while tapping Tab, you’ll scroll through all screens.
Ctrl + N to open a new window
Pressing Ctrl+N together opens up a new document file or browser window, depending on the program you’re in. It saves you a few drop-down menus and works in most Windows applications and Web browsers.
Ctrl + F to Find
This is another one we’d love to see in the real world. Using the find shortcut calls up a pop-up box where you can enter text or numbers. You can use this shortcut to find what you’re looking for on a Web page, in a PDF document, or in your rough draft of a speech. In fact, you’ll be able to see how many times your search text appears and toggle from one selection to the next.
Ctrl + Mouse Wheel to Zoom
Forget your reading glasses? Looking at a too-small infographic? Having a tough time locating the right tiny file on your desktop? You can zoom in with this shortcut. Using this shortcut on your desktop makes files and folders larger. In your browser, this function zooms in on the page. Hold down the Control key and scroll up to zoom in, and scroll down to zoom out.
Want to know more about Windows and technology to streamline processes? Our experts can help you find the right computer solutions for your home or office. Contact us at 715-255-0325 today!
The following is a poem I found in The Patriotic Anthology of 1941 and it seems appropriate given the holiday. Each time I read it, I weep. It is about the Baltimore Riot of 1861, which is considered the "First Bloodshed of the Civil War". The first casualty in the battle with rebellion was that of Private Arthur Ladd, of the Sixth Massachusetts, killed in the attack of the Baltimore mob.
Apocalypse - Richard Realf
Straight to his heart the bullet crushed;
Down from his breast the red blood gushed,
And o'er his face a glory rushed.
A sudden spasm shook his frame,
And in his ears there went and came
A sound as of devouring flame.
Which in a moment ceased, and then
The great light clasped his brows again,
So that they shone like Stephen's when
Saul stood apart a little space
And shook with shuddering awe to trace
God's splendors settling o'er his face.
Thus, like a king, erect in pride,
Raising clean hands toward heaven, he cried:
"All hail the Stars and Stripes!" and died.
Died grandly. But before he fell—
(O blessedness ineffable!)
Was granted to him, and his eyes,
All radiant with glad surprise,
Looked forward through the Centuries,
And saw the seeds which sages cast
In the world's soil in cycles past,
Spring up and blossom at the last;
Saw how the souls of men had grown,
And where the scythes of Truth had mown
Clear space for Liberty's white throne;
Saw how, by sorrow tried and proved,
The blackening stains had been removed
Forever from the land he loved;
Saw Treason crushed and Freedom crowned,
And clamorous Faction, gagged and bound,
Gasping its life out on the ground.
With far-off vision gazing clear
Beyond this gloomy atmosphere
Which shuts us out with doubt and fear
He—marking how her high increase
Ran greatening in perpetual lease
Through balmy years of odorous Peace
Greeted in one transcendent cry
Of intense, passionate ecstasy
The sight which thrilled him utterly;
Saluting, with most proud disdain
Of murder and of mortal pain,
The vision which shall be again!
So, lifted with prophetic pride,
Raised conquering hands to heaven and cried:
"All hail the Stars and Stripes!" and died.
April 19, 1861
In several recent articles, we’ve talked about the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and increased automation. One thing that I’ve heard repeatedly is how these and other technological advancements are taking away jobs from real people. But this perceived problem is nothing new. When we look back at history, we find numerous examples of technology “stealing” jobs from people, only to find that these changes led to the creation of more jobs, albeit of a different sort. What I want to remind people of is this; life is full of change, and while at times uncomfortable or undesired, humanity is very good at adapting to these changes. We can choose to live in fear and sorrow over what we may be losing, or we can view it as an opportunity for greater things.
According to a recent McKinsey report, by 2030 up to 800 million jobs worldwide could be lost to automation. In the US, the figure is likely to be 39 to 73 million jobs, or around one-third of the workforce. The report sees “a rich mosaic of potential shifts in occupations in the years ahead, with important implications for workforce skills and wages.” Importantly, “while there may be enough work to maintain full employment to 2030 under most scenarios, the transitions will be very challenging.”
With automation providing compelling benefits for users and businesses, a workplace transition is inevitable. But what tools will you require to successfully navigate this exciting future?
While many jobs will cease to exist, and all work will be completely redefined, one of the biggest advantages people seem to forget they have over a machine is their humanity. Simply put, there are skills that are beyond even the most advanced artificial intelligence – for example, emotional intelligence. According to the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is set to “become one of the top skills needed by all,” as it’s not something you can teach a robot. By comparison, the abilities to negotiate and be flexible are going to be far less important “as machines, using masses of data, begin to make our decisions for us.” It’s a case of identifying what skills you bring that no computer or algorithm can successfully recreate.
Cheaper Goods Create Employment
It may seem counter-intuitive that having machines create our goods could ultimately fuel further employment – after all, if a robot is doing a job, that necessitates a human not having one. However, as has been shown throughout history, improved automation leads to prices falling, which leads to greater spending, thus creating more demand and new jobs. Deloitte gives the example of grooming services: “In 1871, there was 1 hairdresser/barber for every 1,793 citizens in England and Wales; today there is one for every 287.” As life has grown more affordable, people have had enough disposable income to spend money on services that would have seemed frivolous if they were living in poverty. Greater automation will make life cheaper, increasing demand and thus creating jobs.
The End of Mundane Tasks
Ultimately, the kind of tasks that are going to be performed by machines and AI are the ones that people would probably rather not be doing in the first place. Dr. Don Perugini, co-founder of AI company Presagen, explained in Revolver that his own staff were far more productive as a result of increased automation in the office: “An example is our former staff’s productivity was 70 percent. They were spending 30 percent on all these mundane administrative tasks that they just didn’t want to do, filling out timesheets and so forth. AI can easily take over those specific tasks for people, and we can become a lot more productive, and people may actually enjoy their jobs more.” At the end of the day, automation is dramatically changing employment, and change tends to be daunting. But if the outcome is cheaper goods, more jobs and more enjoyable work, perhaps this is a change we should embrace.
Bridging the digital divide between what Marc Prensky coined digital “native” students and digital “immigrant” teachers will mean a rethink in education as the pace of technological change picks up. Fundamental to this shift is the way teachers view technology as something new and innovative, while their students just regard it as a normal part of everyday life. It just is. Let that sink in.
Throw in a recent PwC study that showed teachers lack confidence when it comes to using technology in the classroom and it is the teachers who have been thrown a steep and uncomfortable learning curve. Two trends seem to emerge from this discomfort: either a passive use of technology for watching clips or reading websites, or denial by not using technology at all.
Many teachers feel they simply cannot compete in the attention economy against the power of the internet. After all, the web provides a slew of distractions: games, social media, YouTube. Add to that for every 30 students to keep an eye on, there are 30 screens to supervise. Students can easily hide their device as they aim for a new high score on Fortnite. Griffith University lecturer Jason M. Lodge warns the prevalence of technology can hinder rather than help. “The most scarce and precious resource that the internet is designed to capture is attention,” he says. “The very same resource that is required for students to learn effectively.” Then there’s Murphy’s law and technology. Frozen screens, uncharged devices, and a network outage can really disrupt the flow of a lesson. But the tide of technology is not going to reverse, so teachers do not want to be caught on the wrong side of history.
Effective use of technology in the classroom means putting the pedagogy first. Throwing technology into schools is an expensive exercise if it does not serve a purpose. That is the argument of Michael Cowling from Central Queensland University, whose visit to the EduTech conference forced him to think hard about the role of technology in the classroom. “I’m not questioning the ability of teachers to develop good lessons; I’m questioning how they will be able to integrate technology into their class for maximum effect without a full understanding of the technology and what it is capable of,” he writes. Google can see the gap and is attempting to close it with professional learning.
Effective Professional Learning
Choosing the right type of professional learning to help close the technological gap is key. Making time to master a new piece of technology is important. But not as important as understanding how that technology can be harnessed to supercharge student learning gains. Teachers need to be shown the promise of technology so they can focus on its potential rather than its pitfalls. They can become part of a school-based professional learning community. A meeting once or twice a week with colleagues can provide an environment to discuss and solve technology-related issues in the classroom as well as allow peers to share knowledge. Building a technology-rich classroom has the potential to transform student learning and lead to greater engagement. Students are screaming out for challenge. We know this because they look for it in sports teams and online games. Becoming more confident users of technology in the classroom requires teachers to become the students for a while.
Two days after being shot, Bob Marley took to the stage to perform a free concert in aid of easing political tensions in his home country of Jamaica. The legendary musician’s logic was simple: “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”
It’s a logic that the tireless researchers, doctors and scientists working in the field of medicine take to their work every day – disease doesn’t take a day off! As a result, brilliant discoveries and inventions are being brought to light all the time.
Where There’s Smoke There’s … Diagnosis
Part of the reason we use terms such as ‘remission’ rather than ‘cure’ is that cancer is such a difficult disease to pin down – surgery may have got all the cells, but there’s also a chance some were missed (chemotherapy is often used as a precaution for this very reason). However, the iKnife could help ensure all cancerous cells are removed in the first procedure. Like many modern surgical instruments, the iKnife uses heat, rather than a blade, to make its incisions. However, where smoke is generally seen as a superfluous side effect, the iKnife uses rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) technology to analyze the smoke.
“After the smoke has been aspirated, we then apply machine learning tools to the raw data to search for patterns of molecules against large databases of previously validated spectra,” Dr James Kinross, consultant colorectal surgeon and senior lecturer at Imperial College London, explained to SelectScience. The result is that the surgeon is told in real-time if the cells being removed are cancerous or not – vastly improving the odds that all cells that need to be removed are done so.
Wiping Out Malaria With Spit
The 2018 World Malaria Report found the disease is still killing 435,000 people per year, with the majority of those children aged under five. While there is new technology that can identify the disease before the patient begins to exhibit symptoms, vastly improving the chances of successful treatment, a blood test needs to be administered. And with the majority of fatalities occurring in children, it can seem an unnecessary cruelty to subject someone so young to the pain and trauma of a blood test for a disease they don’t apparently have. It’s also an expensive procedure, requiring highly trained professionals and extensive logistics – all to identify a disease found overwhelmingly in the world’s poorest nations. However, a team of researchers have discovered a workaround – saliva. Specifically, it was discovered that the parasite that causes the disease secretes a specific molecule that can be found in an infected patient’s saliva.
“The saliva test basically works like other blood-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests that have a test strip inside a plastic cassette, similar to a pregnancy test,” Rhoel David Ramos Dinglasan, of the CDC Southeastern Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases, wrote for The Conversation. “It is important to note that the portable saliva test is almost as sensitive as a molecular diagnostic test, which are only available from a laboratory.” Dinglasan speculated these cheap testing kits could be rolled out within three years, which hopefully would help achieve the World Health Organization’s stated aim of malaria elimination.
How Packaging Could Slash Heart Disease
It’s far cheaper and less invasive to prevent disease than to cure it, which is why preventive medicine is becoming a major focus. And one of the best ways we can defeat a host of diseases in advance is to cut obesity levels. Obviously, this is a battle that needs to be fought on a number of fronts, but healthy diet is a huge factor – and recent studies have found that getting people to eat better may simply be a case of changing the packaging. Research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine said the key to getting people to eat better is by emphasizing “taste and satisfaction rather than nutritional properties”. “By making the healthy choice and the delicious choice one and the same, taste-focused labelling represents a low-cost, scalable strategy that holds potential for increasing consumption of healthy foods,” the study concluded. It’s a small start, but if it helps to cut rates of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, the most important shift in medicine in the immediate future may actually be redesigning food packaging!
A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day. Your business is receiving only a small fraction of those emails. Yet your staff likely feel as if at least 269 of those are coming their way daily. In fact, the typical employee in 2018 received 90 emails, and sent out 40.
Email is a powerful tool. But its help with doing business ever faster creates added business pressure. Consider these five strategies for better email management.
“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”
-Thomas Paine, The Crisis.
As you enjoy time with your friends and family on this Memorial Day, please take time to remember all of those who have fallen in defense and service of our great nation. Their sacrifice, and that of their families, shall not be forgotten!
Death is a morbid topic most of us try to avoid. Making a will and saying we prefer cremation is often the extent of our advance planning. Yet, you may want to also think about what’s going to happen to your data.
Consider your digital footprint. You have photos, files, and emails on your computer and your phone. You’re also documenting your life on social media and sharing on more than one channel.
Your wearable technology (say an Apple Watch or a Fitbit) may be recording information too. If you have a virtual assistant in your home, it’s recording your search history and saving that data on the cloud.
Yet many of us never think “What will happen to my data after I die?” Do you want it deleted? Are there digital assets you want to share? Perhaps there is tangible value attached to some of your digital assets. At the very least, some photos and videos that may have sentimental value for those who survive you. So, let’s explore some advance planning you can do to protect your digital legacy.
Personal Files on Computer or Phone
Your personal devices are password protected. While necessary, this makes it more difficult for your survivors.
Now, they could physically pull the computer or phone apart if needed. But, it’s easier to have a copy of your passwords in a secure place for someone to access in the event of your death. Another option is to use a password manager. You can designate someone as your backup contact. They will be able to gain access to your passwords should you die.
Digital Media Collections
Often, when you click the “Buy” button, you’re not really purchasing that movie or music forever. Your contract with iTunes, for instance, was only for your lifetime. Your rights expire at your death.
Consider the personal and private data you have in the cloud, such as Google or Microsoft’s Outlook. This might include calendars, emails, GPS, documents and financial information.
Google’s Inactive Account Manager lets you make plans for your account. You decide:
Other cloud providers ask for proof of death and of legal right to access. In Dropbox’s case for instance, your survivors will need a court order. Even with all this, there’s no guarantee your personal data is completely removed from the cloud. It may exist in other datasets in system backups.
Social Media Accounts
Social media companies do not provide login credentials. Many require proof of identity and a death certificate to deactivate the account. Facebook and Instagram will “memorialize” your accounts. The public can’t see, but Friends or Followers can still view it and post memories. You can assign a legacy contact to look after the account or have it deleted.
You don’t want someone using your social account to send out spam or inappropriate photos. For instance, a sexy spambot took over a New York Times media columnist’s Twitter account after his death in 2015.
Plan ahead to protect your privacy and provide access where necessary. Think of the pain and heartache you can save your survivors by managing your digital legacy now.
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