Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

June, 2015:

Facebook – Improved Mobile photo editor in development

Facebook will be improving photo upload capabilities in the coming months as documented in article below,2817,2486942,00.asp

Facebook is about to make it a lot easier for users to spruce up their photos before posting them to the social network. According to TechCrunch, Zuckerberg and Co. appear to be testing a new Snapchat-like photo uploader for the Facebook iOS app, which will let you jazz up your photos with text, filters, and stickers.

Facebook iOS photo edit toolsJust select a photo like you normally would and you’ll see a vertical line swipe across the image. From here, you can swipe right to select a different filter. At this point, Facebook’s selection of filters is small. There’s Auto, which will just correct the color; Vintage for a sepia look; Spring to brighten it up; Summer to give your image a golden tone; Fall for a more orangey look; Winter for a more muted, moody look; and Snow for black and white.

Windows 10 Professional – Links for new improved SECURITY features

Several new safeguards will be built into Windows 10 Professional to better protect corporate users

Learn about new features in Windows 10 for IT professionals, such as Enterprise Data Protection, Microsoft Passport, Device Guard, and more. These technical overviews are designed to help you understand key feature changes and benefits and answer common questions about Windows 10 technologies.

Device Guard overview

Device management overview

Enterprise Data Protection overview

Microsoft Passport overview

Provisioning packages overview

Untrusted font blocking overview

Leadership – Assessing personal growth progress at mid-point of 2015

John Maxwell shares some important self introspective guidelines and techniques leaders can use to assess their own growth in leadership skills

Today, at almost the mid-point of 2015, it’s a natural time to evaluate your progress in personal growth so far. So here are some questions to ask yourself to see how well you’ve been growing this year:

1. When was the last time you did something for the first time? — Have you been trying new things in 2015? Or are you still doing what you’ve always done? Trying new things – and sometimes failing – is one of the best ways to grow.

2. What have you learned and applied in the past six months? — How intentional have you been about learning and putting new ideas and skills into practice? What have you read, listened to, or attended that gave you practical guidance toward reaching your goals? And how have you applied what you learned?

3. What have you been doing daily to facilitate your growth? — Successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily. Once you’ve decided to grow, the progress is measured day by day. So what daily steps are you taking to get closer to your goals.

4. How are you passing on what you are learning? — This is the most important question for a leader. That’s because I believe we’re called to be “rivers,” not “reservoirs.” In other words, we’re at our best when we let what we learn flow through us so it can impact others. How have you done at strategically sharing your learning with those around you?

Google GMAIL – New UNDO SEND button added

Sometimes when sending an email a mistake may be seen and Google now allows 10 seconds to completely re-call the message for further editing

It took Google six years to add an ‘Undo Send’ feature to Gmail. Thankfully, the company didn’t waste much time adding it to its Inbox app.  You have 10 seconds to hit Undo after you send a message.  The feature has been around for a few weeks; Google is highlighting that it’s now available by default on Inbox’s Web, Android and iOS apps.

Network Security – Banks attacked 3X more than any other sector

Banks have good reasons for having some of the most hardened security environments based on the following research report

Financial services organizations–traditionally some of the best-fortified against cyber attacks –see three times as many attack attempts by cybercriminals than other industries do, a new study by Raytheon/Websense shows. Among the tricks they’re using to try to bypass security at banks: code obfuscation, redirected code, and code injection, says Carl Leonard, principal security analyst for Websense Security Labs, who notes that his team intercepts data-theft incidents but not distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attempts.

The financial services industry is considered the gold standard for security as one of the early adopters of the newest security technologies, and with one of the most active cyber threat intelligence-sharing organizations, the FS-ISAC. Regulatory pressure indeed has been a major factor in its maturity in security, but that hasn’t stopped money-hungry cybercriminals from continuing to hack away at banks and financial firm’s defenses.

Banks are well-aware that their security measures aren’t deterring the bad guys. A recent survey by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) found that almost half of financial firms consider cyber security the biggest risk to the overall economy. Cybercriminals and nation-states are now regularly performing reconnaissance to find employees within financial firms to target, as well as to probe for vulnerabilities via vulnerability scans. Brian Lozada, CSO for Abacus Group, which provides managed IT services and solutions for hedge funds and private equity funds, says his firm has witnessed an uptick in these scans the past few months.

Scans looking at open ports, protocols being run, services being run, that sort of thing,” Lozada says of the recon efforts, which he says mainly come from China and Eastern Europe, including Russia. “They are putting out feelers for our environment, trying to listen and look at opportunities,” something that’s a common phenomenon for financial services firms today, he says.

Leadership – Building a lasting Legacy

Key leadership principles are shared in this informative blog post by John Maxwell

That’s because we all leave some kind of legacy – whether we’re trying to or not.  What is a legacy? Something you leave behind. That includes possessions that we pass on to the next generation. But it’s so much more than things. We are all capable of leaving either a positive or negative legacy, based on the people we have influenced and the principles that we have lived and taught.

How To Achieve the Legacy You Want to Leave:

1. Choose it — Here is the legacy I want to leave: I want to add value to the lives of others. When I’m gone, my hope is that those around me will say that I added value to them.

2. Live it — Your life is like a book. The title page is your name, the preface your introduction to the world. The pages are a daily record of your efforts, trials, pleasures, discouragements, and achievements. Day by day your thoughts and acts are being inscribed in your book of life. Hour by hour, the record is being made that must stand for all time. Once the word ‘finis’ must be written, let it then be said of your book that it is a record of noble purpose, generous service, and work well done.

3. Pass it on by every means possible — Really, the best way to pass on your legacy is described in #2 above: Live it! That’s because people learn best from what they can see. It’s been said that 89% of our learning is visual, so living out what you believe to be important is critical.

COBOL – Business Use continues in 2015

I learned COBOL in early 1970s while in high school and later even had opportunity to have dinner with inventory Grace Hopper twice at our ASM and DPMA meetings in Roanoke decades ago. I wrote last COBOL program back in 2013 for a former client.  While other programming languages are more popular today, COBOL continues to survive in many organizations with IBM mainframes.

COBOL has been around since Eisenhower sat in the Oval Office. At one time, it was estimated that 80% of all business applications were written in COBOL — a total that represented more than 2 billion lines of code. That was nearly 20 years ago. Does COBOL still matter to the world of enterprise IT today? Many people seem to think so.

And, why do we care? In part, it’s because there are lots and lots of applications written in COBOL that remain part of the enterprise IT landscape. And, like many other things with historical foundations, COBOL has a whiff of the “retro-cool” about it: You can even get COBOL development environments that run on Raspberry Pi. There are a number of options for someone who wants to use COBOL — the real question is why you might want to do so.

The first reason is employability. As noted, there are still plenty of companies running applications built on COBOL. And not all of those applications are archaic: Since 2002, COBOL has had an object-oriented framework. And as you’ll see, a number of the options we list have Java as an intermediate target — a strategy that has both plusses and minuses when it comes to performance and compatibility with other applications.

The next reason is readability. COBOL is known as a “verbose” language, especially when it’s compared to a very terse language like C++. From a debugging standpoint, COBOL can be like reading a novel.  So let’s take a look at the modern options in COBOL. Let us know whether you’re using COBOL — and why. Surely the story will be as compelling as one written in Grace Hopper’s legacy language…

Windows 10 – AllJoyn Internet of Things standards support

Windows 10 will provide support for the open-source AllJoyn standard which will allow plug-and-play connectivity with the “Internet of Things” device standards.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a technological marvel happening in the distant future. The technical obstacles that have held up progress in the interconnection of just about everything have been overcome, and an explosion of new services, devices, and applications is just around the corner. Make no mistake about it, the way we live our collective lives is about to change.

Microsoft plans to play a major role in the IoT universe, so when Windows 10 becomes available on July 29, 2015, it will support the open-source standard AllJoyn. Developed by the AllSeen Alliance, AllJoyn is a common language all IoT devices can use to communicate. This native support means that any Windows 10 device can control any AllJoyn-aware device in the network.

The AllSeen Alliance includes over 150 companies from around the world that have joined together to create an open-source standard framework supporting communication between things. Being open source, AllJoyn will work on all the major platforms, including Linux, Windows, Android, and Apple iOS. However, it is notable that Microsoft is the only commercial operating system developer in the alliance. Both Apple and Google have developed their own frameworks for the IoT.

The goal of the AllSeen Alliance and the AllJoyn protocol is to make connecting things to the network a simple plug-and-play experience. Plug in your brand new LG 79″ class 2160P Smart 3D Ultra HD 4K TV and it’s immediately seen and connected to any AllJoyn device on the network. In particular, Microsoft wants that connection to be to any Windows 10 device. There are numerous devices already supporting the AllJoyn protocol, and more are sure to follow.

Facebook Malware – New Unfriend Application steals login credentials

A new “Unfriend” Application is spreading within Facebook and is designed to steal login credentials as follows

A new app is making its way around Facebook that promises to alert you when someone unfriends you on the site. However, the app also claims that it needs your Facebook username and password in order to check.

While the app may actually work, its real purpose is likely to steal your login information. Online security company Malwarebytes found that the login info entered into the app does not go to, but instead to a highly suspicious URL. Even fishier still, the app does not show up on the list of your Facebook apps, meaning it’s effectively concealed on your page—and incredibly easy to forget.

Thankfully, there’s a simple way to protect yourself from this spammy app. You can just go to your Facebook Settings page and change your password as soon as possible, or use Malwarebytes’ recommended tool to get rid of it completely. Though it’s easy enough to delete, it’s even easier not to fall prey to scams like this one in the first place. Any kind of suspicious-looking link that promises something salacious or improbable is likely malware—especially if it asks for sensitive info. It’s a good idea to never, ever give away your login, but it’s an especially good idea not to hand it over to a strange third-party app.

Windows 10 – Video Training Resources

Several free Windows 10 presentation & training courses are available as follows: 

Windows 10 Security

Windows 10 O/S Updates

Windows 10 Enterprise

Windows 10 Education

Windows 10 Small & Medium Enterprises

Windows 10 Phone in Enterprise

Windows 10 Commercial Partners

Windows 10 Deployment

Windows 10 Licensing

Windows 10 Management

Windows 10 Business App Store