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notes from an admin for himself. you can read it if you want.

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Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

5 October, 2011 (16:57) | mac, OS | No comments

One of the great men of the computing world passed away. Pretty sad day for nerds everywhere. We all learned a lot and felt the world change from innovation after amazing innovation. Mr. Jobs gave us windows guys serious motivation to improve. Check the apple page they have a nice entry:

 

Sign your business up for all the social networking you need

22 August, 2011 (14:19) | blogging, Easy Money Making | No comments

Buy account: http://knowem.com/

Wait 2-5 days.

Viola –

 

 

 

 

Finally a great alternative to Powerpoint

22 August, 2011 (14:14) | How to, software | No comments

http://prezi.com/

Very cool vector graphics presentations. This should be able to outdo powerpoint any time you need something flashy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magellan GPS – fix for Content Manager has stopped (release) working

2 June, 2011 (18:35) | Hardware Info, How to | 11 comments

First register an account with Magellan If you are running vista or windows 7, download the latest content manager for your magellan gps. Don’t tell the browser to run now, or open. Browse to the directory where you downloaded the installer file Right click the file and select “run as administrator” If you do not tell it to install in this order, it will appear to install but it does not have the ability to write all of the files it needs. When you launch it after an incorrect install it will say “Content Manager has stopped (release) working.” I just ran this on a brand new Magellan roadmate 9020T-LM. It is now updated and functioning fine. Crazy to have a 7″ gps, I’ll let you know how I like it compared to my Garmin 2360LMT.

Extreme Couponing – Dangerous and mostly illegal

21 May, 2011 (07:22) | antivirus/spyware, Easy Money Making, prediction, security | No comments

Watching the TLC show Extreme Couponing immediately leaves a computer nerd with a skeptical feeling. Coupons today are driven by an incredible data mining corporate machine, it is hard to understand the $/hour cost of couponing and selling your soul vs getting a job. A little googling shows the illegal status of bar code fraud that many of the TLC couponers use. Navigating the minefield of bargains available on the web is tedious and leads to spyware, tracking and a complete lack of online privacy.

For today the windowsnerd prediction is that the TLC show will end after enough people get in fights with supermarket managers or go to jail and sue TLC. If there was a phenomenon where you could get $1000 worth of groceries for $30 consistently, companies will go out of business, people lose jobs. The show decided to highlight an anomaly that can’t be sustained on a large scale. Too bad for them.

Later on it might be interesting to study the amount of spyware, cookies, etc that come along with a standard visit to some standard coupon locations. Slickdeals.net, coupons.com etc. More interesting would be a list of statutes violated by the bar code scam. Is is possible to be charged with a felony for enough coupon scamming?

Apple spyware numbers through the roof (for a mac)

18 May, 2011 (15:23) | Mindless Blather | No comments

So first read this:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/why-malware-for-macs-is-on-its-way/3243

Ed got it right 13 days ago. Mac trojan on a large scale popped up in a big way. The problem with this particular one stems from the press it is already getting. If more news agencies catch on, more dumb users will start to panic. As they start to panic or remember the story about needing antivirus, they will be more likely to fall for the antivirus scam. This problem could grow quite a bit over the next few weeks if mac doesn’t do something clever.

For the fanbois, check out other sites if you don’t believe. Like the apple support forums. There are thousands of page views and hundreds of threads about this problem already.

http://blog.intego.com/

Just pay attention to the numbers. As mac usage increases, threats increase. Lets hope linux stays small so my servers are safe. No OS is safe, all have rootable exploits. Numbers of Google OS phones up = http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216835/Google_moves_fast_to_plug_Android_Wi_Fi_data_leaks

Ok so why not linux? Well because as a desktop it sucks. Normal people can’t run a linux desktop. The people who do won’t fall for these simple attacks. Their desktops and servers are targeted based on their valuable data. Databases full of credit card numbers, sony playstation logins etc. No need for a stupid spyware install when you can root a database with a buffer overflow on an open port.

To the loyal macheads, I wish you luck in your frantic race to download antivirus and hope that there are mature security solutions to protect your mom who you smugly told to buy a mac. The good news is that logmein works on windows and mac so you can take care of this remotely once she gets it. Pretty easy fix. No nasty rootkits yet.

Imagine a fanboy speaking on this timeline about the greatest mac feature:

2005 Macs don’t ever get hacked!

Today Macs don’t get hacked much! Especially compared to Windows!

2015 Macs are really shiny and blingy!

2020 Macs were cool when I was in college!

Overall macs are just computers. Get some antivirus, stay patched, you will be fine.

Here is a link to free av for mac at sophos:   http://www.sophos.com/freemacav

Kaspersky for mac – http://www.kaspersky.com/kav-mac-latest-versions

Symantec for mac – http://us.norton.com/macintosh/antivirus/

Several sources are calling for apple to funnel people to the apps store so that they only get known good downloads. Bad idea:

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/05/18/mac-app-store-security-risks/

Black market movie trading getting way too easy, RIAA is going to be pissed

4 May, 2011 (19:09) | Mindless Blather | No comments

You can find all sorts of places on the net these days to buy a 2-3TB hard drive with a few thousand episodes of tv show or movies. As storage capacity increases, it will be more difficult for Hollywood to keep up their old model. Movies are going to have to get really cheap if people are able to walk to their buddies house to swap 5TB of movies around. 2TB drives are well under the $100 mark, as the masses realize how much they can store, they will. Hollywood has to find a way to add value to what they are doing. Better interfaces than itunes for access to movies, more content, options, something. Here is a great example of a quick start for a sneakernet instacollection of movies.

How long till Hollywood lawyers bankrupt this fool?

 

USGCB compliance help list started here for Windows 7

12 April, 2011 (15:36) | Mindless Blather | No comments

I’m starting up a set of pages to help out with Winodws 7 USGCB compliance. Probably 4 items per page, starting here

Why Apple has difficulty in the corporate world

2 April, 2011 (10:10) | linux, mac, OS, security | No comments

I’m tired of absolute statements like being accused of hating iEverything. I like an ipad for surfing the web on the couch, ipad for listening to music and supporting clueless users on a mac. They can’t figure out how the hell to fire up vi, how are they going to break it? That is great for home. Super great. At home, mac is cool just like sony or microsoft is if you keep all the same gear working together.

I disagree with the use of Apple tech to solve corporate problems. I work with protected information and use standard tools every corporation should be using. The problem with Macland is that Apple does not support secure computing. Try writing email to their HIPAA support address. So far they have not responded to a single one of our emails in the last 3 years. They don’t exist. Apple has no FIPS-140 support. They do not have a single certified device on the NIST FIPS 140-2 list.

 Apple is like a gold hammer if home computing is a kind of nail. Works pretty well together and looks nice. But the hammer is expensive and has to be replaced pretty quick. When you smack the business screw with the gold hammer, all kinds of crap goes wrong. Eventually when your business puts a heavy load on the screw, everything will fall apart.  I’m looking for the right tools to go in my toolbox. Not the one the popular comedian on TV uses. I’m a professional IT person, not a comedian.

I’d like to start a table to show a comparison of just Dell laptops with Windows, Red Hat vs Apple full OSX and iphoneOs. I’d like to stick to features useful to a medium to large business, not a group of 10 developers. Over time I’ll add links to each item to show a source for data directly on a government site. For the most part this is a cheat sheet for myself but if anyone else finds it useful let me know.

To the apple fanbois who will find this site, if you have helpful comments to keep this accurate, fire away. Just keep in mind that I’m in the big kids playground where Ford vs Chevy doesn’t matter. Individual products that meet government requirements matter. FIPS 140-2, HIPAA, HITECH, FDCC, USGCB are the types of regulatory issues I have. If you don’t have emails coming to your inbox every day with compliance reports… well just keep your flamebait to yourself please. You can’t learn about this stuff overnight. It takes years and a decent size staff. Until you have lived in that world, you don’t shed bias to examine this rationally.

I believe this is accurate as of March 2011.

  Dell Windows Dell Linux Apple Laptop Apple ipad  
           
Theft recovery          
GPS location available from hardware absolute.com absolute.com none yes  
GPS activated by cell yes yes no  no  
Tracking not dependant on OS yes yes no no  
BIOS doesn’t allow turning off GPS tracking yes yes no no  
Geofence autoalarm yes yes no ?  
Central web console to track all corporate users yes yes no no  
Police will pick up your stolen machine yes yes no no  
           
           
HIPAA          
FIPS140-2 approved components in the OS many many none none  
FIPS140-2 integrated smart card option yes yes no  no   
FIPS140-2 integrated fingerprint reader yes yes no no  
FIPS140-2 disk encryption built into OS yes sortof no no  
           
           
FDCC compliance available yes no no no  
USGCB compliance available  yes no no no  
           
Physical attributes          
Laptop dock available yes yes no no  
multiple monitor support without extra hardware most models most models no no  
More than 8GB ram available yes yes no no  
More than 1 internal hard disk available yes yes no no  
3 SSDs/48GB ram in a laptop yes yes no no  
more than 2 usb ports yes yes no no  
third party batteries and power cords yes yes no no  
           
Warranty          
Work can be done onsite yes yes no no  
Warranty can be extended to 5 years yes yes no no  
minimum 1 year phone support yes yes no no  
           
Servers          
Company sells servers yes yes no no  
Full support with dell kbox yes some some some  
SCAP scanning with kbox yes no no no  
driver and firmware updates automated with kbox yes no no no  

 

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HP Slate 500 first impressions

21 March, 2011 (09:29) | Mindless Blather | 1 comment

Just got my first HP slate 500 for my office. This is going to be interesting finding out how it works with our medical SAAS model. Ipad is the worst thing you could possibly do to a HIPAA/PHIPA bound organization, but it is very good for viewing data. My main goal with the HP Slate is to find out if it is going to be a good tool for both viewing data as well as minimal input. I will also be testing it with tools that we use to comply with many of the HIPAA/NIST FIPS-140-2 requirements. Active Directory integration to meet password requirements, disk encryption etc.

Out of the box:

1. The case sucks. If I compare things to Ipad, it is because they are close to the same size, and our customers compare them. I know it is apples to oranges, home use vs business. Anyhow they are about the same size, and the ipad standard case is much better. This HP one feels flimsy and does not fit on the device very well. If anyone sees cases/slings for carrying them, shoot me some links in the comments. My target customer is on their feet, in and out of hospital rooms all day.

2. Keyboard input will take some getting used to. Same with an Ipad for me. I don’t type well on a screen. For customers this will be an issue with either device.

3. HP comes with a stylus. I am already writing just fine, but I have experience back to the palm/hp200/hp Jornada 430. I’ve also been working on the tablet XP, vista and 7 OS’ for quite a while.

4. Win 7 pro looks good. Internect connection fired right up on the wireless. Everything is working well.

5. IE needs a fullscreen button to hit with your finger. Maybe someone wrote something already? Let me know.

6. Right click in IE needs the following:

  • fullscreen
  • Go to url:
  • exit
  • lock rotation (so if I want it to stay portrait while working even though I am physically setting it down etc)

7. Joined my Windows 2008 R2 Active directory just like any other Windows 7 Pro machine. It did not bring up a keyboard or stylus interface right away when I clicked in the text boxes to type in the domain name to join. That was a little odd, but I am already getting used to using the keyboard button on the side of the slate to pop it up when I need it.

8. HA! No need to sync with another computer for itunes. Or anything. It is it’s own computer which I intend to manage for now with a Dell Kbox 1000.

9. My screen is broken. There is a small dent or something under the glass on the lcd about an inch down from the camera if you hold it portrait mode. If there is a blue background, you can see about a 1/4 by 1/8th inch distortion area and the line where it is cracked. Nice work HP quality control. I’ll be starting a trouble ticket and asking for a replacement soon.

I know ipad lovers are going to find this and want to tear me apart. Please, if you want to help, email apple and tell them to get FIPS-140-2 certified. For anything. Apple does not have a single entry on the FIPS-140-2 list of approved algorithms, devices etc. This means you can NOT use an Iphone, Ipad, Ianything for access to patient data.

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