Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

July 13th, 2015:

Facebook – Delta Airways Hoax impacts numerous users

Most free offers that are “too good to be true”, are usually a hoax designed to cause users to let down their guard and compromise security or privacy safeguards

A Facebook promotion from “Delta Airways” has gone viral on the site, getting shared nearly 65,000 times in 24 hours. The only issue: the promotion is a hoax, and it’s from an imposter Facebook page.

The fake promotion says that Delta is “celebrating a 100 million customers already this year we’re giving you the chance to win one of 175 gift bags. Each one contains $5,000 in cash, 5 first class tickets to be used till 2016 and some delta goodies.” To win these gift bags, Facebook users are encouraged to share and like the post, thus perpetuating it further across the site.

A Delta representative told Buzzfeed News that they asked Facebook to remove the page, and as of Wednesday afternoon the original page had indeed been shut down. However, another one popped up to replace it soon thereafter. While scams like this one are widespread, they’re also extremely easy to detect. For instance, Delta’s official name is “Delta Air Lines,” not “Delta Airways.” A small bit of Internet research would immediately prove that the too-good-to-be-true offer really was.

Windows 10 Theme – A more human way to do

Windows 10 will be released later this month with a theme of “A more human way to do”

SEATTLE — Almost 20 years ago, Microsoft licensed the Rolling Stones song “Start Me Up” to add a dash of rock ‘n’ roll to the release of Windows 95, the product that catapulted the company to a high-water mark of influence in the tech industry. Microsoft‘s tagline for Windows 10, a new version of the operating system that will be released later this month: “A more human way to do.”

That slogan will be part of an advertising campaign for Windows 10 that Microsoft will announce on Monday. The ads will start appearing online and on television July 20 in the United States and outside the country on July 29, which is when Windows 10 becomes available for downloading to the first wave of consumers.

It’s clear the introduction of Windows 10 is going to be more low key than that for Windows 95. The technology industry is a much bigger, more diverse business than it was 20 years ago and the PC is just one of many devices. The release of a new Windows operating system isn’t the kind of cultural event that piles of marketing dollars can will into existence anymore. For Windows 95, Microsoft held a jamboree with huge circus tents on its campus in Redmond, Wash., hiring Jay Leno, then the “Tonight Show” host, to act as emcee.

Leadership – Mentors are valuable role models

John Maxwell’s blog discusses the value of mentors in leadership

Mentors matter, and having the right mentor matters even more. You see, the right mentor expands your vision. They help you see farther, and stretch your horizons. They help you see more by uncovering your blind spots. And they help you see clearly to discover your best path to success. That’s why I’ve chosen mentors at every step along my journey. I can’t see it all, I can’t know it all – and neither can you. We all need someone to help us in our pursuit of intentional growth, and the right mentor helps you take massive leaps forward.

Mentors do three things for you:

1. They know the way – so they have insights and wisdom born from experience.

2. They show the way – by generously applying their insight and wisdom to your specific situation.

3. They go the way – by walking with you through your own journey and helping you learn from your experiences.

PHP version 5 – Security Updates available

Many online forums use PHP as the key authorizing language and important security and other updates are now available

PHP 5.6.11, 5.5.27 and 5.4.43 were updated fixing numerous bugs in the various components of PHP including CVE-2015-3152. PHP recommend testing and upgrading to the current release. The binaries and packages are available here and the release notes here

Microsoft Power BI Suite – Major Enhancements in next release

The Microsoft Power Business Intelligence suite has several major enhancements planned as documented below:

Power BI, Microsoft’s cloud-based suite of data analysis tools, is getting a few key additions. New capabilities will be added to the current preview version throughout July until it enters general availability on July 24 and preview accounts are converted to Power BI free accounts.  Here’s a closer look at the new features arriving on Power BI and how they’ll change the service:

1. An Open Source Project — Microsoft is opening its visualization framework and visuals built on D3.js to make it easier for customers to extend, build, and customize visuals specific to their enterprise.

2. Power BI Desktop — Currently known in preview as the Power BI Designer, the Desktop is a new data-reporting tool freely available on Users can drag and drop their data on a free-form canvas then explore a library of visualizations. These include new additions like matrix, area, donut charts, and waterfall and more options for formatting and color. Microsoft has added new data source support from services including Twilio, GitHub, Zendesk, SweetIQ, and AppFigures. These additions, as well as a direct connection to SQL Server Analysis Services, will be available later in July.

3. New Content Packs — Users who subscribe to specific services can connect to their accounts through Power BI to access prebuilt reports and dashboards. Microsoft has released content packs for 16 services, including Quickbooks Online, Salesforce, and Marketo. Other platforms, including SQL Sentry, Adobe Analytics, and Azure Mobile Engagement, will be added.

4. Apache Spark Connectivity — Current Power BI customers can already connect to Azure SQL Database, SQL Server Analysis Services, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Now, they’ll be able to connect with Apache Spark for Azure HDInsight, a new addition for connecting to, and visualizing, large data stores. Connected dashboards and reports will query to data from the Apache Spark open-source framework.

5. New Collaboration and Excel Support — Users will be able to import Excel workbooks to build dashboards and reports and view workbooks through Excel Online via Power BI. They’ll be able to more easily collaborate on the same dashboards and datasets with new capabilities for sharing Power BI content among work groups.

6. Android Support — Power BI is already available on mobile for iPhone, iPad and Windows devices. Now, Microsoft has extended support to include Android smartphones.