River Run would like to remind of you to take a few extra precautions to help in the event of an emergency like yesterday & today. With severe winds and storms rolling through southeast Wisconsin, we would like to remind everyone of a few things to keep handy.
Having the necessary information readily available in the event of an emergency will save you time and stress!!
Keeping the basic information that is vital to your computer network is key in having a quick reaction in the event of an emergency. If there was a power outage would you know who to call? What if your phone system crashed? How about your data, is it currently being backed up? Is your tape being taken offsite? These are all questions you should be asking yourselves on days like today.
IT Checklist for Severe Weather
Basic Contact Info
- Internet Service Provider
- Phone Service Provider
- WE Energies
- When was your last complete backup?
- How was your data backed up?
- Who currently has last nights tape?
Server Power Backup
- Is your UPS (Battery Backup) working properly?
- In the event of a loss of power, and your servers are running on a UPS, be sure to properly power the servers down until power is restored.
In the event of an an after-hours IT emergency, River Run Engineers are available 24/7 by calling our after-hours emergency support line at: 414-228-3076
For all other non-emergency technical support requests, please click here to be leave a message for our Help Desk.
Microsoft has officially released the Release Candidate of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to the public just one day after a mysterious leak. The release candidate, or RC, is the first edition aimed at the general public, a Microsoft spokesman said in an entry on the company's blog. It will also be the last, as the company will move directly from SP1 RC to RTM, or "Release To Manufacturing," a term that describes code that's been given the green light for duplication and distribution to computer makers.
Microsoft started testing SP1 seven months ago and a public beta was released in July 2010. The final release of SP1 is expected to arrive during the first quarter of 2011. Microsoft provides service packs for free to bring their OS up to speed with all of the latest security patches and bug fixes, provided that you have a genuine copy of Windows.
The update applies to both Windows 7 as well as Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft did not specifically list changes for Windows 7 or even new features, but stated that SP1 includes both a roll-up of operating system updates and several new capabilities for Windows Server. Those new capabilities refer to RemoteFX, which is a “set of remote user experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual and session-based desktops.” SP1 also delivers Dynamic Memory, which enables servers running Hyper-V for server virtualization to be more efficient in the use of memory.
The update is available in an 865.4 MB package for 64-bit systems or a 514.7 MB version for 32-bit computers. The software can be downloaded here and requires a Windows Live ID.
After almost a year of rumors and waiting, HP’s Slate is official. When it comes to tablet PCs, Hewlett Packard means business. This evident by the new HP Slate 500 Tablet PC. As leaked, the HP Slate runs Windows 7 (not webOS). If you’ve been following the rumors then you already know a lot about the Slate 500, but what you might not know is that HP is promoting it as a business product. Yes, the same HP tablet PC that appeared in a series of leaked YouTube videos is now for sale, but HP is quick to point out that this is not a consumer device.
HP sees the tablet market as split up into two segments–one for media consumption and one for use as a PC. The iPad is a media slate, according to HP’s reasoning, while this is a PC slate. What this means is that it runs Windows 7, it has both touch and stylus interfaces, and it can handle the requirements of a business user, like VPN and encryption. Using Windows means that it can run all the software businesses normally run.
On the hardware side the Slate 500 fits closely with what we expect a Windows tablet to be. This is to say that it aimed to out-do the iPad and Android tablets on both features and hardware specs. Ultimately, the Slate 500 is spec’d like a high-end netbook without the keyboard.
It runs an Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB RAM, a 64GB SSD for storage, and Intel’s integrated GMA 500 graphics with the Broadcom HD encoder. Connectivity includes b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but there is no 3G option. The exterior has one USB slot, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and hardware buttons for volume up/down, Ctrl-Alt-Del, Home (a Windows Desktop shortcut), Power, and a button to bring up the soft keyboard. There are also two cameras, a front-mounted one that shoots at VGA and then a 3MP one on the rear. The display is 8.9-inches and it runs at 1024×600. It’s LED-backlit and features chemically-strengthened edge-to-edge glass. It’s not Gorilla Glass, but it’s the same glass used on the EliteBook 2540p so you know it’s tough. The HP Slate is a rather complete package.
The Slate 500 will include a charging dock that has two USB slots and HDMI out. This will be a useful accessory for using the tablet on the desktop as well as charging it in between carrying sessions. A case is included, as well as a stylus. You’ll need the case to carry the stylus because the Slate does not have a spot to insert it.
The Slate 500 is available through HP.com and is selling for $799.
The next version of Google’s smartphone operating system, Android 3.0, is just around the corner and the folks over at Phandroid have managed to obtain some new details on the forthcoming update. As you might already know, the “Froyo” (Android 2.2) successor is codenamed “Gingerbread”, and is slated to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2010, just in time for the holidays.
A lot of new and interesting updates have been made into this version, and seem rather appealing. Gingerbread will focus heavily on an improved user experience, which Google hopes will enable it to bring smartphone vendors into a more unified User Interface.
Most of the visual changes to Gingerbread are quite subtle, according to Phandroid. Icons have been redesigned to give a more uniform appearance, while the notification bar gets a “warm slate grey” color and the overall aesthetic has a more uniform feel to it – that includes revamping standard apps, like Youtube, to make them look and feel more integrated with the OS. Apparently the idea is to eventually eliminate the need for manufacturers to create their own overlays, so users won’t have to face long waits for manufacturers to roll out their updates.
Android 3.0 is also expected to include the Google’s music service. This will give you the ability to use your Android 3.0 handset to stream music from your home computer over the air. This feature seems quite cool and innovative too. It is also expected that this upcoming version of Android operating system will allow the user to enter a larger and more resourceful Android Market.
The minimum hardware requirements of the Android 3.0 Gingerbread operating system include the 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and a display which should be at least 3.5 inch or higher. But, most of us might have already heard of the Android handsets with 2 GHz CPU approaching our way. Moreover, a new resolution support of 1280 x 760 pixels have been incorporated and will prevail on devices which have a display of about 4 inch or higher.
With the release date a few weeks away way, we’ll have to wait and see what other tricks Google has up its sleeve.
More than 2 million PCs in the U.S., or just over 5 out of every 1,000, were recruited into botnets during the second quarter of 2010, according to a Microsoft report released last week. Botnets are networks of unsuspecting computers, dubbed zombies, that have been infected by malicious software, or bots. Cyber-criminals control and use those computers through the bots to launch spam, viruses, and phishing attacks against other PCs over the Internet.
Microsoft issued its latest Security Intelligence Report, indicating that botnets pose the biggest problem for security teams attempting to defend websites, networks and end user devices from malware infections.
Volume 9 of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report lays out evidence that while there has been some success in breaking up major botnets, more action is needed if security teams ever expect to see a major decline in botnet malware infections. Microsoft said it cleaned more than 6.5 million computers of botnet infections in the first half of 2010, double the amount for the same period a year before.
The U.S. had the most botnet infections, with 2.2 million in the first half of 2010, ahead of second place Brazil with 550,000 botnet infections, according to the report. Meanwhile, Spain held the top spot in Europe with 382,000 botnet infections, followed by France, the U.K. and Germany.
Nearly every piece of malware Microsoft identified in the first half of 2010 could be traced back to a major botnet. Worms increased in prevalence the most over the past four quarters, tying Trojans in prevalence in the second quarter of 2010. In addition, some malware contains hundreds and sometimes thousands of different variants, designed to slip past traditional security technologies and remain virtually undetectable on systems.
To better protect PCs from malware, Microsoft and River Run advises individuals and businesses to make sure to update their PCs with the latest patches, download the latest antivirus definitions, and use strong and secure passwords. Just last week, Microsoft launched a record number of patches to fix 49 different security holes, including one used by the Stuxnet worm.
Verizon Wireless has made it official, they are going to begin selling the Apple iPad as of October 28th. Verizon just issued a
press release announcing the launch of the Apple iPad in over 2,000 Verizon Wireless stores. Could this mean the start of a new frontier in the Android vs. Apple war?
This is indeed a bit of good news
, but it comes with some potentially bad points. The Verizon iPad will NOT be sold as a CDMA device – rather it will be a Wi-Fi only iPad that is bundled with the company’s MiFi service allowing a mobile modem of sorts. Whereas the AT&T iPad can simply roam around and get service via AT&T’s 3G signal.
Here’s the deal, Verizon will be bundling the iPad
with a MiFi Mobile Hotspot modem. Not entirely a bad idea, though this does mean an extra device to keep charged while on the go. That aside, this comes with some good and some bad points. First the good, the data plan will be contract free and only set you back $20 per month. The bad, you will only be given 1GB of data per month. Let’s just say that you are not going to be streaming Netflix with only 1GB. Another downside is the steep sticker price. Verizon will be offering the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPad with Wi-Fi for $629.99, $729.99 and $829.99 respectively.
Either way you look at it, this is a huge symbolic shift in the way mobile politics are being played and it definitely foreshadows changes to come. Android and Apple have been very secluded in their own little carrier worlds. AT&T has had the exclusive contract on the iPhone for quite some time. Since the launch of the Motorola Droid, Verizon and the “Droid” campaign have been the dominating Android influence. The Verizon vs. AT&T war has run parallel to the Android vs. Apple war, accentuated by AT&T being the last carrier to get an Android device.
The implications are obvious, the fact is that Verizon and Apple are now officially working together definitely opens the door for the Verizon iPhone 4G early next year. There is a clear partnership and the remaining hurdle is stuffing CDMA specs inside Apple devices. This is something that hasn’t been done yet, but something that will surely come soon. And of course with Verizon getting the iPhone, and other carriers possibly getting the iPhone as well, it makes Android’s competitive landscape in the United States much different.
The Apple & Android showdown has been pretty fun for everyone involved. Not to mention, it’s been great for consumers who are seeing manufacturers and carriers push devices, capabilities, and prices to the limits. With an Apple product being sold within the House That Droid Built, let the games begin!
Microsoft is preparing to unveil its Windows Phone 7 operating system at a press event in New York City this morning, but already details are leaking about the phones themselves.
LG's U.K. office apparently leaked an announcement about its upcoming Windows Phone 7 handset, the Optimus 7. An announcement of the phone was released early and then withdrawn, but not before bloggers at Slashgear were able to get the details on the phone. The Optimus 7 features a 3.8-inch WVGA touch-screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and 16GB of memory.
Engadget, meanwhile, is reporting that Microsoft leaked a bit of Windows Phone 7 info early, too. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 site apparently was running an ad that noted that Windows Phone 7 devices were "coming November 8." The software giant has not confirmed a launch date for its new mobile platform, though a November 8 launch has been rumored.
Remember the thundering applause and all the excitement that accompanied the debut of Apple's iPhone 4? Then came the discovery of the design flaw involving the smartphone's antenna. There now seems to be quite literally a new chink in the iPhone armor, it has been dubbed "glassgate” and the tech world is buzzing about it.
By now most of you have heard about the design flaw of the antenna on iPhone 4, and Apple’s solution to the problem. Apple offered free “bumper” cases to end users (which recently ended), creating the space the phone needed between the antenna and the users palm. Now Apple faces another problem, those cases could potentially cause damage to the handset’s glass body.
According to Ryan Block of gdgt, apparently the non-bumper type iPhone 4 cases allow dust and dirt to get trapped between the case and the back of the phone and the resulting scratches can grow into big cracks in the glass. Specifically, we’re talking about the ones that slide on and off that can cause a scratch or two on the device and lead to bigger problems.
Apple has removed the damaging third-party phone cases from its store and is taking "Glassgate" seriously. It has created a lab and test program to investigate the problem of the cracking glass according to Ryan Block who first reported the story.
It's a pity that the smartphone that generated such excitement has been so plagued. Ho will Apple combat this latest issue? Users with cracked phones won't want new cases, they'll want new phones. Will Apple offer replacements?
Google launched a new Google TV site yesterday, and announced some new content and application partnerships. A few of the apps that will come pre-installed on Google TV devices are Twitter, Pandora, Napster, Amazon and Netflix.
The new Google TV site comes just a couple of days before one of the first Google TV-ready products, the Logitech Revue, makes its debut at a Manhattan press event Wednesday. Sony is expected to have a Google TV-embedded HDTV on tap for the holidays as well.
Each of these companies is talking about their respective Google TV experiences today. From the sounds of it, users are going to be in for some cool things.
Twitter's Carolyn Penner blogged, "The application has most of the features and functionality that you’d expect from Twitter. It makes it easy to look through Tweets, @mentions, and favorites. When you click on a Tweet, you can reply, retweet, favorite, or share it. You will also see additional options depending on the content of the Tweet. For example, you can visit a URL or click a hashtag to search for it on Twitter. If a user is mentioned, you can visit that user’s profile to see their Tweets or follow them. And if there is a link to a photo or video, you can see a thumbnail version. Clicking the link will take you to the site so you can see a larger version of the photo or watch the video."
Pandora's Tom Conrad mentioned, "We're excited about what the Google TV platform means for the future of the Consumer Electronics device industry and for the last few months we've been working together with the Google TV team to deliver a Pandora experience that was built to take full advantage of the TV experience. With Pandora for Google TV you can easily tune in to the personalized stations you've created on the web or on your phone, listen, and rate songs with a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. You can even create new stations right on Google TV. It's great for parties too -- as you listen, the screen updates with big beautiful album art and information that illustrates what's playing - a great conversation piece for you and your guests."
Netflix actually didn't reveal much about its app specifically, but it will likely operate like the service does on other devices. The Netflix app, for example, will let you tap into more than 20,000 streaming movies and TV shows. Netflix's Rich Ezekiel does say, "We’ll continue to work hard to maximize the flexibility for how, where, and when you want to instantly watch TV shows and movies streamed from Netflix."
John Biggs at CrunchGear wrote about Google TV's secret weapon being video calls from the TV, because of Logitech's Revue product and its ability to work with HD cameras. He calls to mind the buzz around Apple's FaceTime. He certainly makes an interesting point.
Even more interesting is the news that Google TV devices will get full Android Market access "early" next year — meaning you’ll be able to install just about any existing Android app onto your Google TV box.
Meanwhile, Google has revealed a list of websites that’ll be optimized for Google TV’s Chrome browser, ranging from TBS and TNT to the New York Times and CNN. You’ll also be able to watch Web videos on Google TV-ready sites from HBO, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim, Google says. And yes, Google TV’s Chrome browser supports Flash Player 10.1, which means Web pages with embedded Flash videos and modules will work.