How to Fix Common Internet Problems

Manage your browser’s cache. Make sure you know how to clear your browser cache, which includes your cookies, temporary internet files, browsing and download history, form data, and so on. You can also do an intensive clean by deleting your usage history tracks on Windows. To deal more specifically with cookies, read up on how to:

  • View cookies
  • Enable cookies
  • Disable cookies
  • Clear cookies

cache removal

Clear your Google search history. Though Google Search History is designed to customize search results to fit your needs, many people aren’t comfortable with being tracked by such a huge and powerful organization.

history

 

Stop ads and spam. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use an ad-blocking program. Try Adblock Plus on Firefox or Adblock on Google Chrome. (You can also go through a special procedure to specifically block ads in Hotmail.) Make sure you also know how to prevent and block spam.

Caution-Do-Not-Send-Spam_osrvoz

Avoid bugs. Make sure you know how to avoid getting a virus or worm on Windows and get rid of adware, spyware, and viruses once you do have them.

family-safety-and-activity-reporting-windows-8

Restrict certain sites. Make sure you know how to filter porn from your computer. You can also restrict web browsing on Internet Explorer

uncheck-settings-opera

Speed up your connection. Use tips in next post to maximize your connection speed (or speed up your wireless Comcast connection, if applicable). You might also want to test whether or not your internet service provider is limiting your bandwidth.
 

Find your computer’s address. You can look up either your IP address or your MAC address (which is built into your hardware).

 

Secure your wireless network. If your network has no password (or even a lousy one), it’s be vulnerable to being used by nearby computers and devices. If you bank, shop, or transmit any other sensitive information online, you run the risk of allowing it to be seen by strangers.

 

Windows 9 technical preview

Windows 9 Threshold Start menu crop

Windows 8 was supposed to finally unify the computing experience, bringing tablets and PCs together with Microsoft’s modern UI at its core. To say that hasn’t worked out would be a grotesque understatement. Consumers by and large have either avoided Windows 8 or managed to put up with its tablet-oriented feature set while grumbling to anyone who will listen. In response, Microsoft is accelerating its release cycle, and sources now say the first technical preview of Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold) will be out in late September or early October.

Threshold is going to be the logical continuation of changes the company started to make in Windows 8.1. Microsoft is rolling back the clear tablet focus for desktop users while maintaining usability on tablets in hopes Windows slates will finally catch on. One of the most complained about features in Windows 8 is the full screen start menu with big finger-friendly tiles. It matches Windows Phone and Xbox, but it makes no sense on a PC. Threshold will likely signal the return of the desktop start menu, but it will have a metro flair with smaller live tiles and smarter search. The 8.1 update added the visible start button back to the taskbar, so Windows 9 is just finishing the job.

Microsoft’s updated design aesthetic was carried through into apps built to work on Windows 8. These full screen apps were originally called “Metro,” and that will probably always be the most common name for the design style no matter how much Microsoft tries to distance itself from the term. Windows 8.1 added the ability to run metro apps in split screen mode with a maximum of three of four (depending on screen resolution), but Threshold will make metro apps fully resizable in traditional floating windows. The OS is still called Windows, after all.

Start Screen

Whether or not you use Metro-style apps on Windows 8, there’s always that strange Charms bar hiding on the side of the screen. You access it on tablets with an edge gesture, or by mousing to the corner on a regular PC. Threshold will allegedly kill that UI element, which really only served to hide common features in an unusual and not very discoverable place. That’s a lot of do-overs, but what about new stuff? Based on the information so far, Microsoft’s big new feature will be integration with Cortana, the voice assistant from Windows Phone. Windows 9 could also sport multiple virtual desktops. What do you do when desktop users aren’t happy? Give them more desktops.

The first technical preview might not show off all these changes, especially the much anticipated interface stuff. As a technical preview, it’s mainly intended to give developers a head start in ensuring software compatibility, so don’t expect a huge departure from Windows 8 just yet. Remember, the first developer builds of Windows 8 still had the translucent Aero UI. Despite the developer slant, Microsoft might still allow anyone to grab the first version of Threshold and take it for a spin.

You’ll probably want to wait at least until the consumer preview of Windows 9 to leave Windows 8 in the dust. Judging from Microsoft’s quicker update cycle, a consumer preview should be out around the end of 2014 with most of the final feature set in place. Windows 9 is expected to ship in Spring 2015, and only then will we see how successfully Microsoft has responded to customer complaints.

Call 1-800-935-0537

http://computertechsupport.us/

What Windows 9 Must Do To Avoid Flopping Like Windows 8

 

windows-9How-much-to-upgrade-to-Windows-8

Windows 8 is a flop. It is a painful thing to say about one of the most ambitious operating systems ever released, but the stats don’t lie. It has taken half the OS market share Windows 7 did in its first 12 months (10% vs. 20%) and now the adoption rate is so slow it is barely gaining on its 4 ½ year old predecessor. Finally Microsoft MSFT -0.24% has had enough.

Windows 9 will be formally announced at Build, Microsoft’s annual developer event in April. If true this is an extraordinarily short gap for the company to jump between Windows versions and it is thought Windows 9 will formally go on sale in early 2015 as part of the ‘Threshold’ wave of updates it will apply to its Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox OSes.

But if Windows 9 is to avoid the pitfalls of Windows 8 it is going to have to make some major changes. These are my suggestions, and I welcome yours in the comments.

In merging the traditional Windows desktop with a finger-friendly touchscreen interface Windows 8 broke new ground, but the implementation was jarring. Speculation is Microsoft may formally split the platform into formal desktop and Windows RT only versions, but that would be a backwards step.

Instead the two need better integration. Syncing wallpapers between both was a step in the right direction, but the touch UI should have a transparent background to feel more like a flyover to the desktop and therefore never disorientating the user. It also needs to enable apps to operate on the desktop (not in a split window) to encourage greater use and spur on developers.

The advances Windows 8 made in touch usability were negated by the ropey keyboard and mouse integration as Microsoft threw out the baby with the bathwater. Catering for new laptop and tablet form factors is well and good, but forgetting (or ignoring) 99 per cent of the market using traditional laptops and desktops was foolish. A new, universally accessible control method for Windows 9 is a priority – particularly for touchpads where compensatory gestures have become horribly fragmented between PC makers.

Ever since the iPhone ‘Retina Display’ ultra-high resolutions have been all the rage – first in phones, then tablets, now in laptops and desktops. Windows 8 coders failed to address this and the increasingly wide array of high resolution laptops and 4k monitors result in a ludicrous Windows 8 desktop experience. Websites and text have to be blown up around 200% while menus, tabs and other crucial parts of the user interface shrink becoming microscopic (above Windows 8 on a 3200 x 1800 pixel display).

The flaw is a lack of scaling, something Mac OS X wasn’t immune to when Apple AAPL -4.22% launched Retina Display MacBook Pros but it still works better than Windows 8. The trouble is not only does the Windows 9 desktop need to scale, but it needs to introduce upscaling for legacy software to also make these programmes useable. A huge, but essential task.

Corners’ were introduced in Windows 8 to bring some of the touch navigation gestures to keyboards and mice, but they are horrible. Hot Corners are activated when a mouse pointer ventures near the top left, top right and bottom right corners of the screen or when the pointer gets to the bottom left corner then moves vertically.

Needless to say these areas of the screen are regularly visited by the cursor in normal use when looking to open, close, minimise or maximum windows and programmes. This causes endless frustration as users looking to manipulate windows are dragged off into touch gesture shortcuts and users looking for touch gesture shortcuts end up accidentally manipulating windows (image right – cursor over the close window option brings up the ‘Charms Bar’). At the very least there needs to be an option to disable Hot Corners, if not redesigning them completely.

For Windows users part of the appeal is it is not Mac OS. That is Windows brings greater freedom to pick, choose and customise itself using the software you want in the manner you want. Windows 8 veers dangerously away from this imposing Windows Live accounts on all users, SkyDrive for backups, Bing for search and more. It is time Windows remembered where its appeal comes from in the first place.

Microsoft may have thought it was leaping ahead of the pack with its revolutionary Windows 8 UI but, in truth, both Apple and Google GOOG +0.18% better integrate their distinct mobile and desktop platforms. With Windows Phone 8.1 lifting the lid on hardware restrictions and the Xbox One launching with bags of unfulfilled potential Microsoft needs far better communication between these powerful platforms.

This means synchronised media content, app purchases, remote control and ifSony can make PlayStation 4 content run on the Vita, Microsoft should be able to bring Xbox One gaming to Windows Phones and Windows 9 PCs and tablets. No company has Microsoft’s breadth of platforms, it needs to start capitalising on that.

While it has not met commercial expectations, the good news for Microsoft is Windows 8 has already done much of the heavy lifting for Windows 9. It is fast, efficient, stable and has excellent inbuilt security. With this foundation the list above feels far from wishful thinking and Microsoft should be looking to implement them all and much more.

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously said Microsoft “bet the company” on Windows 8. It didn’t. With its vast wealth Microsoft took a calculated but affordable gamble. This time things are different. Windows 9 is not coming off the goodwill of a respected predecessor, PC and laptop sales are collapsing against the threat of tablets, Apple is edging ever closer to Mac OS XI and Google is starting to gain momentum in the desktop and laptop space with Chrome OS and Android – both of which are expected to unify during Windows 9’s lifetime.

Call 1-800-935-0537

http://computertechsupport.us/

Simple Hack Gives Windows XP Users 5 More Years Of Support

Windows-support-for-XP-security-update

Forget Wolverine, clearly there is nothing more difficult to kill than Windows XP . Having finally ditched support for the 12 year old operating system in April, Microsoft MSFT -0.24% performed an arguably foolish U-turn just three weeks later when a massive Internet Explorer flaw blew holes through every version of Windows. And now it seems users will be able to get five more years of Windows XP support .
No Microsoft hasn’t changed its mind yet again. Instead the life extension comes courtesy of a simple hack spotted by computer tech support. The workaround exploits Microsoft’s continued support of ‘Windows Embedded Industry’ (previously ‘Windows Embedded POSReady’) which will last until 2019. Embedded Industry is designed for use in industry devices across retail, manufacturing, healthcare and – you guessed it – the operating system is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Consequently the security updates that continue to be released for Windows Embedded Industry are essentially the same as what Microsoft would have released for Windows XP, had support continued. Now with a simple hack you can trick Windows Update into thinking Windows XP is Windows Embedded Industry.

This is how you do it:

1. Create a text document, and call it XP.reg. Be sure that the ending is ‘.reg’ not ‘XP.reg.txt.’ (check this in Windows Explorer by going to Tools > Folder Options > View and check ‘Show hidden files and folders’)

2. Right click the file, select ‘Edit’ and type in:

3. Save it and double click the file twice with the left mouse button which will add it to the registry.

You’re done. Windows XP will now tell Microsoft Update it is Windows Embedded Industry and automatically download and install security updates as they are released. The snag is this hack only works for Windows XP 32bit because Windows XP 64bit is based on Windows Server 2003. There is a more complex workaround for that which can be found here.

Now come the caveats. Firstly the updates are designed for Windows Embedded Industry not Windows XP and while that should not matter, it is possible there may be some compatibility issues. Secondly – and most importantly – it is impossible to say whether these hacks will keep working until support ends for Windows Embedded Industry in 2019 or if Microsoft will close this loophole.

The optimistic viewpoint is Windows XP’s end of life status should mean it receives no future software updates so Microsoft would have to make another U-turn to close the loophole.

The cynical viewpoint is Microsoft would prefer users to move to a newer operating system so closing the loophole would be in its interest. This is a fair point given the age of Windows XP, but countered by the fact 1-in-4 PCs still use it. Microsoft also hasn’t helped its case after releasing misleading data earlier this month suggesting Windows XP is safer than Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Either way Microsoft is left in a tricky situation. Following the controversial ‘Update 1’ patch Windows 8.1 is actually a very good operating system, but its reputation is irreparably damaged.

Furthermore, while it is fair to stop providing a free warranty service for a 12 year old OS, Microsoft is offering military and government organisations a paid service to keep their Windows XP computers safe as part of a scheme dubbed ‘Clandestine Fox ’. Surely this should also be a paid option for users who wish to stay safe, but can’t afford new hardware or fear the leap to a free Linux alternative like Ubuntu.

Yes Windows XP has arguably been Microsoft’s greatest success, but its troubled legacy is fast becoming the company’s Achilles Heel .

Call 1-800-935-0537 For any support.

http://computertechsupport.us/

images

 

‘Unofficial’ Windows XP SP4 Launched. Microsoft OS Lives On

 Windows XP SP4

Despite having been discarded by Microsoft MSFT -0.24% in April, the 12 year old OS just received Service Pack 4.

Needless to say this isn’t Microsoft demonstrating yet another generous act of utter stupidity, but the work of its diehard fanbase. Dubbed the ‘Unofficial Service Pack 4’, credit goes to Greece-based developer harkaz who started the project back in September 2013. The third beta has already been launched and, in true Microsoft fashion, a Release Candidate (RC) will be ready soon.

“Many users  who won’t be able to upgrade their old machines to a newer OS would like to easily install all Windows updates in one convenient package.

“Windows XP Unofficial SP4 ENU is a cumulative update rollup for Windows XP (x86) English,”. “It can be applied to a live Windows XP system which has SP1, at minimum, installed or it can be slipstreamed (integrated) in any Windows XP installation media.”

Harkaz breaks down Unofficial SP4 stating that it includes ‘ updates for most Windows XP components’, including:

MCE and Tablet PC
Request-only hotfixes
Microsoft .NET Frameworks 4.0, 3.5, 1.1 and 1.0 (Tablet PC only)
Integrated POSReady security updates

The POSReady security hack was announced in May and it takes advantage of a Microsoft loophole that provides security support for ‘Windows Embedded POSReady’ (now called ‘Windows Embedded Industry’) which will last until 2019. Emdedded Industry is a b2b-focused variant of Windows XP running Service Pack 3.

How it works is the POSReady hack tricks Microsoft servers into thinking consumer versions of Windows XP are in fact Embedded Industry and therefore supplying them with security updates. Rightfully critics have noted that the two OSes are not identical which could cause problems, but it has proved a fruitful route so far. The hack was fairly simple, but automating it within a wider update will appeal to many.

Needless to say caveats apply if you are going to consider installing Unofficial SP4, many of which are stated by harkaz. The main one of which is to obtain the downloads from the developer’s posts on RyanVM as there are numerous malware and virus infected fake SP4 patches floating around.

xp21
The official Microsoft Windows XP countdown clock has expired

I would also add that in installing any Windows patch not verified by Microsoft is a risk, though in this case the lack of future security patches for Windows XP means running the OS is already a big risk in itself. Furthermore – with a reported 25% of all PCs still running Windows XP – this is a risk which is only going to get worse.

All of this is a potential PR disaster for Microsoft. I personally believe the company has every right to end support for an operating system after providing it for free for 12 years and providing years of warning, but reports of Windows XP mass hacks and customers suffering poses a real problem. Furthermore with Windows 8 failing to take off and Windows 7 Mainstream Support ending in January Microsoft is fast becoming cornered.

The only card the company has to play is Windows 9. It will have to be incredibly lean to have any chance of running on Windows XP computers, but more than that it will need to be a compelling, crowd pleasing and affordable operating system in its own right.

The first public beta of Windows 9 is expected to arrive on 30 September. No pressure Microsoft…

159420 4444444

Open-Xchange launches open-source OX Guard encryption tool for its mail and storage apps

Gigaom

Germany’s Open-Xchange, a provider of web apps for renaming by service providers and deployment in the enterprise, has released an encryption tool called OX Guard. As around 110 million people use Open-Xchange’s apps (though they probably don’t know it), this is a reasonably big deal.

OX Guard is designed to provide a layer of security over Open-Xchange’s email and cloud storage products, whether they’re consumed through a service provider or installed on the customer’s own servers (the software is free for non-commercial use).

The system encrypts email and file content with symmetric AES keys, then with RSA private/public key combinations. The idea is to make encryption simple for the end user, which is the holy grail of data security, as hard-to-use tools don’t get used. And indeed, a demo of the service showed me that it’s dead simple to deploy.

Open Xchange OX Guard

When in the mail client, you just need…

View original post 419 more words

TOP 10 MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS IN THE INTERNET OF THINGS SPACE 2014

Top 10 merges

Google & Nest Labs

In its second-largest acquisition ever, Google paid $3.2bn to buy Nest Labs, a maker of smart smoke alarms and thermostats for homes, back in January.

The search giant, which already had a 12% interest in the company, said the buyout would bolster its collection of smart products, while giving Nest Labs the opportunity to create more smart appliances and grow in other countries.

Sylvain Fabre, research director and analyst at analyst firm Gartner, told CBR in February that the acquisition signalled a landmark moment for information privacy as Google competes for a presence in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) market

“There is the risk of hacking and misuse of machines…and if Google or other providers hold some information, we now know that there is a definite possibility that government entities may also access and use that information.”

At Munich’s DLD Conference in January, Nest CEO Tony Fadell said that any data collected from users is used for improving its range of products.

Last month, hackers gained root access into a Nest Thermostat at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas within 15 seconds.

Zebra Technologies & Motorola

Zebra Technologies, a manufacturer of barcode, receipt, kiosk and RFID printers, agreed to buy a unit of Motorola for $3.45bn.

Both companies offer bar-code scanning and radio-frequency identification, which they hope to combine to create a larger company that would specialise in tracking applications for everything from groceries to car parts.

The deal, announced in April, leaves Motorola, once a giant of the wireless business, with only its government and public safety business, and some leftover network technology, called iDEN.

Cisco & Tail-F Systems

Cisco is paying out $175m for a Swedish firm called Tail-f, which it hopes will boost its network-management tools for the IoT.

Tail-f, headquartered in Stockholm, provides tools to help companies install, manage and maintain networks and applications running on top of the network.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

Additionally, the San Jose-based networking firm agreed to buy Assemblage, a Danish developer of cloud-based collaboration tools, in June for an undisclosed amount.

Cisco’s head of business development Hilton Romanski said in a blog at the time that Assemblage will “help us capture the ongoing market transitions of mobility, cloud and the Internet of Everything (IoE)”.

Google’s Nest labs & Dropcam

Google’s Nest Labs also acquired Wi-Fi video monitoring startup Dropcam for $555m in efforts to further expand the search giant’s home automation products.

The San Francisco-based company, which has been making Wi-Fi enabled, home-monitoring cameras for the past five years, last year raised $30m in funding for them. Using a special app, users can use them to see live feeds, zoom and record footage.

Dropcam will adopt Nest’s privacy policy, so that the data from the monitoring service won’t be shared with Google or any other company without a customer’s permission.

Microchip Technology & ISSC

Microchip Technology, which makes memory and analog chips, signed a deal to buy Taiwan-based wireless products maker ISSC Technologies for $328.5m back in May.

The deal is the first major overseas acquisition by the Chandler-based company, which it hopes will expand its Bluetooth and wireless products for IoT growth.

Atmel & NewPort Media

Atmel agreed to buy Newport Media, a provider of low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth systems, for $140m in July, as the chip maker puts part of its efforts into the Internet of Things market.

The San Jose-based company, which makes microcontrollers and touchscreen chips, said the deal will allow it to develop a variety of IoT products, including home and building automation equipment and consumer devices that require longer battery life.

“This acquisition immediately adds 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to our offerings and will accelerate our introduction of low-energy Bluetooth products,” Atmel’s President and CEO Steve Laub had said.

The deal, expected to be completed in the third quarter of the year, includes an additional earn-out of up to $30m to be paid out if future revenue targets are achieved over the next two years.

PTC & Axeda

Data management firm PTC announced plans to buy Axeda, a Massachusetts-based provider of cloud services, in July for approximately $170m.

PTC said that Axeda’s Connected Machine Management application set, which allows companies to remotely monitor and service products and deliver over-the-air software updates, will help PTC expand its footprint in the IoT space .

PTC’s CEO Jim Heppelmann added that the buyout will complement ThingWorx and “accelerate PTC’s ability to deliver best-in-class solutions across the entire Internet of Things technology stack.”

Samsung & SmartThings

Back in July, Samsung took steps to acquire Internet of Things experts SmartThings.

The firm, snapped up for a reported $200m, lets people sync their devices and IoT gadgets with a standalone smartphone application.

SmartThings, founded in 2012, has some 5,000 developers building devices that connect to its open platform, and will now be relocating to Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto.

Samsung has also been touting its Tizen OS around town as a potential IoT operating system.

Samsung & Quietside

Samsung also announced plans within a week later to buy air conditioner firm Quietside for an undisclosed amount, in further efforts to strengthen its smart home business.

The company said it had acquired 100% of Quietside, which also manufacturers heaters andother HVAC appliances, but declined to comment of the price or other details.

“Because air conditioning products are a necessity in all buildings, including homes and offices, this acquisition is expected to be of help to our future smart home business,” Samsung Electronics said in a statement.

Vodafone & Cobra Automotive

The UK mobile operator bought the Italian car technology group for £115m in June, taking further steps in becoming a provider of IoT car services.

Cobra provides security and telematics software, which collects and analyses data from computer-controlled car systems, such as steering and brakes, to the automotive and insurance industries.

Vodafone said the acquisition will expand its IoT growth strategy beyond connectivity by providing services on top of it.

http://computertechsupport.us/

Call 1-800-935-0537