Archive for News

Watch Out for Malicious Flashlight Apps

Who would have thought that the flashlight app on your smartphone could be malicious?

According to this cyber-security company, SnoopWall, there are at least ten flashlight apps that are malicious, and can steal and send personal data. They published a threat assessment report back in October, 2014.

If your phone has one of these listed apps, the recommendation is to backup your contacts and personal files from your phone, and then do a factory reset your phone. Deleting the app is not enough, as these apps are storing malicious information  in hidden places on your phone.

Here is a 6 minute video from Fox News interviewing SnoopWall’s CEO, Gary Miliefsky, on this subject.

Why you will love Windows 10

I am still amazed at the number of people, both consumers as well as I.T. professionals, that simply do not like Windows 8.1. Many managed service professionals (MSP) that I know are still installing Windows 7 in their customer base, avoiding windows 8.1 altogether. I’m fine with that, as that’s their choice.

Personally, I like Windows 8.1 (for the most part). And those sites where I have installed 8.1, the reaction of the users quickly go from “Dislike” to “It’s OK”, and in some cases, they move to “I like it!”.

I came across this article from CNN Money website that gives a very nice overview of why people will want to upgrade to Windows 10.

CNN: You’ll love Windows 10

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Trade your old Surface RT/Pro to Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has a trade-in program for any existing model of Microsoft Surface devices – from the original Surface RT,  to the Surface 2 RT  / Surface 2 Pro, and to the current Surface Pro 3. The trade-in value will vary depending on the model of the Surface device.

Note: This offer is only good from February 15, 2015 to March 8, 2015.

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BOA Dropping Windows Mobile Phone App

wp_ss_20150219_0002I am not a happy camper with both Bank of America (BOA) and Microsoft.

Earlier this month I started to receive the following message whenever I logged onto my BOA phone app from my Nokia Lumia 920 –>

So, what’s their definition of “soon”?

You have to go to the Windows Phone App store to find that in “early March 2015” they will stop supporting this app on the Windows Phone platform!

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I utilize the electronic check deposit feature of their phone l the time.

Their suggestion that I do my mobile checking through the browser is a farce, since their web site does not provide the capability of electronic check deposit.

Why am I upset with Microsoft? Because it appears that BOA is waling away from the Windows Phone platform, and I’m not hearing anything from Microsoft on this situation. If BOA walks, whose next? And what does that say about the future of the Windows Phone platform?

P.S. Now it looks like both BOA and Chase are moving away from the Windows Phone platform! click here

Bing Rewards and 100GB of OneDrive Storage

Thanks to David Nickason, my MVP buddy from New York, who informed me of a way to get 100GB of OneDrive storage. Microsoft s offering Bing Rewards, to earn credits when you search on Bing or MSN.

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As part of this promotion, you can get 100GB of OneDrive storage for free for two years! Please note that this offer is only available until February 28, 2015.

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What are you waiting for? Go to Bing Reward and request your storage!

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Samsung Data Migration and Dell Workstation

I’m working on a new Dell XPS 8700 that was just delivered, with Windows 8.1 pre-installed and a 1TB SATA drive. I ordered a Samsung SSD 850 Pro 500GB drive to use as the system drive. I’ve used the Samsung Data Migration cloning software successfully on a scratch install of Windows 8.1, but this is the first time to try it with Windows 8.1 pre-installed on the computer.

You install the Samsung Data Migration utility onto the computer to the existing hard drive. I then connected the SSD drive to a USB3 port using a USB3 data & power connector.

Note: Do not connect the SSD drive until the Samsung software has been installed.

  • Attempt #1: I ran the Data Migration wizard, and it came back saying that there was an issue with defragging the source disk.
  • Attempt #2: I install Piriform’s Defraggler and did a full defrag (about one hour). I reran the wizard and this time it reported that there was an issue with the source disk. I rebooted the computer and tried again, and received same error.
  • Attempt #3: I then do a sfc /scanow followed by a chkdsk /f c: – both had no issues or errors. I rebooted the computer and tried again. Same issue. I tried plugging the USB3 cable into other ports. Same issue, again.
  • Attempt #4: I then proceed to uninstall all the Dell add-on stuff (data protection, etc.) and then rebooted the computer. Voila! This time when I ran the wizard, we successfully clones the hard drive to the SSD drive.
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After powering down the workstation, I unhooked the SATA drive and connected the SSD drive in its place. I powered up the system and it successfully started up Windows 8.1

Windows 10 January Preview Now Available

The January 2015 build of Windows 10 is now available for download for those who signed up for the Windows Insider program. If you’re not signed up, you should be – it’s free!

Windows Insider Program

This release is labeled Build 9926. To learn what’s new in this release, go to the Windows 10  January Build blog page.

Please note: it does NOT include all the new features that were shown during the Windows 10 presentation on Wednesday.

Enjoy!

Windows 10 free upgrade for first year!

At the Windows 10 briefing event today (Jan-21-2015) they announced that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year!!!

Read the specifics from Arstechnica

And here is the link to the video of today’s presentation:

http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story/

12th Year as a Microsoft MVP

New Year’s arrived this morning with an email from Microsoft announcing that I have received the 2015 Microsoft MVP award for Small & Medium Businesses. This is my 12th consecutive year to receive this honor.

Dear Kevin Weilbacher,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Windows Server for Small and Medium Business technical communities during the past year.

Microsoft MVP Banner

Why Windows 10 and not Windows 9?

This week Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows would be called Windows 10. Many of us (myself included) wondered “why did they skip calling it Windows 9”?

Today I read of one plausible explanation.

It suggests that there may be plenty of third party Windows programs still in use that have lines of code in their software to perform specific tasks if it was running on a legacy version of Windows (specifically Windows 95 or Windows 98). If so, those programs could include code similar to this:

 

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True? False? I don’t know. But being a long time programmer, I could be convinced. Just look back to the “Y2K” fears 15 years ago:

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, we only stored the last two digits of the year in computer records. So, “12” meant “1912”. None of us programming back then ever envisioned that our software would still be running 30 or 40 years later, past the year 2000. Suddenly, we weren’t sure if ‘12’ was meant to be 1912 or 2012?

I keep thinking to myself … the more things change, the more things remain the same.