Archive for the ‘Security’ category
Today I tried to load and activate VIP Access on my iPhone. The app loaded OK from the app store, but finding the page on PayPal where I could activate it was another story.
For those of you out of the loop, VIP Access provides a means to use your iPhone as a second authentication factor. When installed, the software provides a different six-digit code every 30 seconds. This code is used to verify your identity at sites supporting this VeriSign identity management technology—like PayPal. See Figure 1.
Installing and launching the free software on my iPhone 3GS was easy. The first screen included a video and other information about how to use the service. So, having lost my VIP “football” for PayPal, I was anxious to try this out. That was where the fun began.
There are no references to this service on PayPal. Neither searching nor browsing turned up anything useful. Finally, I searched Google and found someone who had solved this lack-of-information challenge by actually sending a message to PayPal.
It turns out VIP Access activation uses the same link used to activate the VIP token, as shown in Figure 2.
In the activation form, enter the VIP Access Credential ID into the Serial Number field. The rest of the form is self-explanatory. After jumping the activation hurdle, everything worked as advertised.
How to Crack a Wi-Fi Network’s WEP Password with BackTrack.
You already know that if you want to lock down your Wi-Fi network, you should opt for WPA encryption because WEP is easy to crack. But did you know how easy? Take a look.
Paypal’s New Security Card Fits Inside Wallet – The Consumerist.
Like the idea of the Paypal security key fob, which auto-generates a 6-digit code that must be entered every time you use your Paypal account, but not so hot on its bulky shape? This year Paypal introduced a credit-card sized design that fits inside your wallet.
Help protect your kids online
With Family Safety, you decide how your kids experience the Internet. Limit searches, monitor and block or allow websites, and decide who your kids can communicate with in Windows Live Spaces, Messenger, or Hotmail.*
Family Safety is part of Windows Live Essentials, which includes free programs for photos, movies, instant messaging, e‑mail, blogging, family safety, and more. Get Family Safety or get them all—they’re free!
* The Family Safety Filter must be installed on each computer your children use. If the Filter isn’t installed, the safety settings can’t be enforced.
Rather than wait around for your software to notify you of updates (let’s face it, a lot of applications never will), these five handy tools keep an eye on your apps, alert you when an update’s available, and streamline the updating process.
Photo by Wesley Fryer.
Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite software update tools, and now we’re back with the five most popular nominees. Read on for an overview of each, then cast your vote for the one you like best in the poll below.
Note: Clicking on the screenshots below will enlarge the screenshots to their original size.
I noticed over at Lifehacker they have started a new series call “Stay In, Geek Out” just in time for winter. I have already started to see several great articles so far!
Go, and check it out…
Windows Home Server has been around for a couple of years now, and while it is seen by many as something of a niche product, it is often overlooked as a solution that is of use to home consumers only. Naturally this is hardly surprising given that WHS has the stigma of the word Home in its name, but when looking at its features it is perfectly suited for a small business that isn’t looking to upgrade to full server product such as Small Business Server.
The reason for my writing about this? I have been coming into contact with customers lately who are running a small business from home with a couple of PCs and no need for a stand alone server such as SBS or even the new Windows Foundation Server. They store documents locally or on a simple NAS box, perhaps sharing them out between users. The PCs and data are backed up to either a NAS box or a USB hard drive using a product such as Acronis True Image, or even Windows Backup. This configuration works just fine for them, they don’t have a large amount of money to outlay on hardware and software and they are happy to do things this way. Of course we don’t always agree with the way our customers do things, but the IT solution should always be designed around the customers wishes and their budget.
My interest in WHS as a business solution has been piqued this week by the news that HP has started to sell its superb MediaSmart Server products here in the UK again. HP are the largest manufacturer to truly embrace the WHS platform, but the second generation of units was not made available to us. Only a single model has been released here though, the MediaSmart EX490 coming in with 2Gb of memory and 1Tb of disk storage (expandable of course, by adding more drives).
But what exactly does WHS do? It is essentially a storage device designed to sit on your network and store all of your data (photos, documents, music, etc) and manage all of your connected PCs.
Each PC on your network running either Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 connects to WHS via a piece of connector software and from there it is monitored and backed up.
Backup is a key feature in WHS which takes away the headache of keeping your backups monitored. It is a set and forget solution, and each computer is backed up to the server each night (or whenever you choose to schedule it). WHS backup overrides the default Windows Backup program, and restoring files or even an entire PC is as simple as boiling the kettle while it does so.
What makes the HP boxes so special is that HP supplies them with their own custom software which far expands the default functionality of the WHS product. I mentioned all of your PCs connect to WHS, and with the enhancements HP have made, Mac computers are also supported. Full system backups from Time Machine are supported by the MediaSmart server allow for file or complete system restores should the need arise.
Naturally as the product is primarily designed for multiple computers on a home network, many of the features of the HP box are designed for home users such as media collection, iTunes server, streaming of audio and video, iPod and iPhone streaming support, etc. Hardly hardcore applications required for a business I will admit, but handy ones to have.
Where I feel the HP WHS box does appeal is in its price. The EX490 has a UK RRP of £430, and I believe it is certainly worth considering for the small business customer who isn’t looking for all the bells and whistles that an SBS or EBS server solution provides.
For more information on the HP WHS box I suggest reading Paul Thurrott’s excellent review at the SuperSite for Windows. And of course, feel free to contact us if you are considering an installing of WHS and require some assistance.
Set Up Windows Home Server to Automate Your Backups and Corral Your Media – windows home server – LifehackerOctober 28th, 2009
It’s that time of year, when colder weather and dreary conditions keep us inside more often than not. That also makes it a perfect time to set up a home backup and media server to streamline your digital life.
We’re at an interesting point in the expansion of digital media. For the first time, thanks to more advanced still and video cameras and a proliferation of digital music and movies, non-power users are finding themselves needing a home server to store all their digital stuff and to backup all their data.
While a variety of options have been available to computer hobbyists and power users for years—I can recall friends running Linux-based home servers well over a decade before the average person would have even entertained the notion—none of them are particularly practical or easy to use for a person who hasn’t made tinkering with computers a daily part of their lives and an enjoyable hobby. We appreciate the variety of options that are available, but for off-the-shelf ease of use for the millions of Windows-only households out there, it’s nearly impossible to beat Windows Home Server.
WhiteHouse.gov has gone Drupal. After months of planning, says an Obama Administration source, the White House has ditched the proprietary content management system that had been in place since the days of the Bush Administration in favor of the latest version of the open-source Drupal software, as the AP alluded to in its reporting several minutes ago.
The great Drupal switch came about after the Obama new media team, with a few months of executive branch service (and tweaking of WhiteHouse.gov) under their belts, decided they needed a more malleable development environment for the White House web presence. They wanted to be able to more quickly, easily, and gracefully build out their vision of interactive government. General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), the Virginia-based government contractor who had executed the Bush-era White House CMS contract, was tasked by the Obama Administration with finding a more flexible alternative. The ideal new platform would be one where dynamic features like question-and-answer forums, live video streaming, and collaborative tools could work more fluidly together with the site’s infrastructure. The solution, says the White House, turned out to be Drupal. That’s something of a victory for the Drupal (not to mention open-source) community.
Drupal proponents have long tried to make the case that open-source software could be just as safe, just as stable, and and just as reliable as pre-boxed software, even if hundreds, thousands, or even millions of volunteer developers had their fingers in the mix at some point along the way. The White House’s seal of approval doesn’t hurt.