Technology continues to evolve every day, changing the way we communicate. Despite the various means of communication, the importance of a reliable phone system reigns supreme.Read More
Jan 26, 2017 1:20:10 PM
Is your business phone system 5 years or older? Having trouble finding new parts for your aging phone system or is it nearing ‘end of life’? Are you looking for ways to potentially save money on your phone bill? River Run can help!
Business phone systems have changed dramatically since the days of rotary phones. In today's world, we rely on our phones for instant communication no matter where our location.Read More
Dec 3, 2015 9:00:00 AM
Talking instead of typing!
If you have an iPad, Android tablet, or smartphone, you may have noticed a little “microphone” symbol on your keypad (usually to the left of your spacebar or on the number row). If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It’s an alternative to typing text that will change the way you interact with your phone.Read More
Sep 20, 2011 10:43:00 AM
How many of you have more than $50 in your pocket right now? If you’re like me, you rarely ever have cold, hard cash in your pocket. Just about every purchase I make is used with a card. Well, for some of us, that is about to change. Soon you will be able to pay for everything using your smart phone. Wait a minute…what? Want to pay for something? Walk up to the register, have the clerk check you out, and then tap your phone to the front of the register. The register picks up some data on your phone, and the bill is settled. No sliding a card, no pulling out cash, just tap your phone to the register and you’re on your way.
All of this is made possible thanks to technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) and Google Wallet. This week, Google Wallet became available to the public, and provided you're in the right place, you can use it to pay for your goods.
How does Google Wallet work?
Let’s start with the basics. Google Wallet is an Android application. It’s a free download and you can add the details of your credit cards so that it stores all the basics that you need to make payments – your credit card number, expiration date, name and the CCV security code on the back.
Google Wallet works by communicating with the checkout terminal when you go to pay for goods or services. Tap your phone to the register and your phone sends wireless data to the store and your products are paid for. There's no cash involved.
Jul 26, 2011 9:39:00 AM
Social engineers have been using various dirty tricks to fool people for centuries. Social engineering, the art of gaining access to buildings, systems or data by exploiting human psychology, rather than by breaking in or using technical hacking techniques, is as old as crime itself and has been used in many ways for decades.
For the past several years online, social engineers have been trying to fool unsuspecting users into clicking on malicious links and giving up sensitive information by pretending to be old friends or trusted authorities on email and social networks.
And now that mobile devices have taken over our lives, social engineering is an attack method of choice to gain access to a person's smartphone or tablet.
Here are three examples of current cons being used by criminals to get inside your mobile device.
Malicious apps that look like legitimate apps
One example is the case of a popular and legitimate application Android users were purchasing that caused a virtual "steam" to appear on the screen of a smartphone. You could move your finger to scrape the virtual steam off, people love this sort of thing, although it served no real purpose.
But a malicious application that looked exactly like the virtual-steam application was created and many were conned into purchasing that one, instead of the authentic application. From a users perspective it is very hard to distinguish between an app that is legitimate with an app that turns out to be malicious.
What users ended up with was an application with unwanted things behind it. In some cases, the malicious application activated an SMS message from the victim's phone that was sent to request premium services and the user was charged. The attacker, meanwhile, would delete any return SMS messages acknowledging the charges so the victims had no idea they were being billed.
The best advice, don't install applications that come from un-trusted sources.
Malicious mobile apps that come from ads
In some cases, legitimate applications on a smartphone run bad advertisements. If the user clicked on the ad, they are taken to a web site that tricks the victim into thinking their battery is inefficient. The person is then asked to install an application to optimize the battery consumption, which is instead a malicious application.
Our advice is the same as with PC’s, be leery of any advertisement that is asking you to install an application.
Apps that claim to be for "security"
Another new mobile attack vector is a ZeuS malware variant that actually originates with an infected PC. When a user visits a banking site from an infected computer, they are prompted to download an authentication or security component onto their mobile device in order to complete the login process.
The attackers realize that users are using two-factor authentication. In many cases that second factor is implemented as a one-time password sent to the user's phone by the banking provider. Attackers were thinking: 'How can we get access to those credentials?' Their answer is: 'Attack the user's phone.'
The way this ruse works is once the PC is infected, the person logs onto their bank account and is told to download an application onto their phone in order to receive security messages, such as login credentials. But it is actually a malicious application from the same entity that is controlling the user's PC. Now they have access to not only the user's regular banking logon credentials, but also the second authentication factor sent to the victim via SMS. In many cases, people thought they simply were installing security applications, or in some cases, a security certificate.
Mobile devices, pure and simple, are hand-held computers and should be treated as such. The best way to protect yourself is to be cautious of not only the applications you install, but the links you click on in the web browser. If asked to download a file, application or security certificate, be leery and only download from trusted sources.
Jul 1, 2011 10:20:00 AM
This week, Google launched its own social network in an attempt to challenge Facebook with a service that ties together all its existing sites including Gmail. Google’s long expected second shot at taking on Facebook in the social networking space has arrived in the form of the Google+ Project. It has some interesting twists on the social networking model but is far from a Facebook-killer.
Google+ is structured in a remarkably similar way to Facebook, with profile pictures and news feeds forming a central core. However, a user's friends or contacts are grouped into specific circles of their choosing - as opposed to the common pool of friends typical on Facebook.
Google+ started rolling out to a limited number of users on Tuesday in what the company is calling a field trial. Only those invited to join will initially be able to use the service. Google did not say when it would be more widely available.
To create Google+, the company went back to the drawing board in the wake of several notable failures, including Google Wave and Google Buzz, a micro-blogging service whose launch was marred by privacy snafus. 'We learned a lot in Buzz, and one of the things we learned is that there's a real market opportunity for a product that addresses people's concerns around privacy and how their information is shared,' said Google spokesman Bradley Horowitz.
As with Facebook's service, Google+ has a central web page that displays an ever-updating stream of the comments, photos and links being shared by friends and contacts. A toolbar across the top of most of Google's sites - such as its main search page, its Gmail site and its Maps site - allows users to access their personalized data feed. They can then contribute their own information to the stream. Google+ will also offer a special video chat feature, in which up to ten people can jump on a conference call. And Google will automatically store photos taken on mobile phones on its Internet servers, allowing a Google+ user to access the photos from any computer and share them.
Want to try the service? Right now, it’s strictly invite only. Some press are being allowed in, along with others that Google hand picks. There’s no ETA on when wider invites will be available. Unusually, this isn’t being called a beta test or an experiment but rather a “field trial” that’s meant to finally gather some feedback from outside Google itself. The limited test is probably wise. It’ll give Google more time to discover things it might not have anticipated being problems, as was the case with Buzz.
For more detailed information and additional video tours of Google + click here.
Apr 20, 2011 10:45:00 AM
After rumors that Skype and Facebook were in talks to add Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capability to Facebook chat, coming from nowhere, the newly released Bobsled app by T-Mobile just jumped at this opportunity by providing free voice calling to Facebook members worldwide. Days of calling people with a phone number are numbered.
T-Mobile has announced a new service named Bobsled and that is worth getting excited about. Why? Because it means that you can make free voice calls through Facebook — even if you're not a T-Mobile customer.
Once you install the app (powered by Vivox), a little phone will appear by online friends’ screen names of those who have the app installed, and placing a phone call is just a click away. Bobsled takes out the need to dial friends’ numbers, or remember screen names, which is required by Bobsled’s competitors on Google Talk and Skype. You can also leave a voice message for your friends and family when they are not available. The messages can be public by posting a link on your friends wall or they can be marked private and will be sent via Private Message.
Bobsled will eventually be a suite of services but T-Mobile is launching it first as an app for people using PC or Mac computers. According to T-Mobile’s official press release, Brad Duea, Senior Vice President, T-Mobile is confident that the service will continue to expand, possibly even to T-Mobile’s mobile platforms.
“Integrated voice on Facebook is a critical part of our roadmap for Bobsled by T-Mobile and Vivox is the clear leader in this area,” said Duea, “Vivox is a talented and innovative company, and we look forward to a successful partnership with Vivox.”
In the near future, T-Mobile plans to evolve Bobsled by T-Mobile to include video chat, the ability to place VoIP calls to mobile and landline U.S. numbers, and will offer applications on smartphones and tablets across various mobile platforms, regardless of the carrier that powers such devices.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the service, visit www.LetsBobsled.com or look for the free download from Facebook’s mobile app page. From what I can tell, the install is fairly simple and is finished in three steps.
Nov 16, 2010 2:08:00 PM
The ever-popular social networking site, Facebook, announced yesterday that it is rolling out a whole new messaging system over the next few months. This new messaging system "isn't just e-mail," but integrates four common ways users communicate: email, Facebook messages, chat, and SMS, archiving it all in a single thread.
The new system puts a user's identity above the communication protocol. Facebook Engineer Joel Seligstein said in the company blog, "You decide how you want to talk to your friends...They will receive your message through whatever medium or device is convenient for them, and you can both have a conversation in real time. You shouldn't have to remember who prefers IM over email or worry about which technology to use. Simply choose their name and type a message."
Nov 8, 2010 8:59:00 AM
With Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all duking it out for browser market share, some might think the world doesn’t need another Web browser. However, a group of developers led by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria have taken the wraps off of RockMelt, a new Web browser that builds on the notion of a social Web by building Facebook and Twitter directly into the browser. RockMelt will also include integrated sharing tools and an enhanced way to navigate through Google search results via the keyboard to find exactly what you want. Additionally, if you happen to be using a public computer or someone else’s system, no problem: RockMelt is the first browser to be “fully backed by the cloud.” Just run RockMelt, and your personalized browsing experience is waiting for you.
Oct 14, 2010 10:48:00 AM
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!