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Apple and Microsoft’s latest for 2016

The tech giants Apple and Microsoft are at it again with some cool hardware and software integrations.

Apple just released 2 versions of the 2016 MacBook Pro with a small second touch screen – called the TouchBar (amazingly similar to the one that came out on the LG V10 smartphone two years ago) shown below- it’s right above the keyboard area. touchbar
It makes certain tasks more convenient if your hands are already on the keyboard, but high end professionals still prefer a mouse. Apple has gotten the closest it has ever been to adding a touch screen without adding a touch screen.
touchbar

** review of the 2016 Apple Macbook Pro

Microsoft has push its technology skills to the far limits of the universe with its Surface Studio and Surface Dial.
Surface Studio is an entirely new device designed for the creative process. Its roomy and adjustable 28-inch Display provides a huge canvas for all kinds of work. Position it upright to sketch, paint, and edit photos, or lay it flat to draw on it like a drafting table, the possibilities are limitless. The minimal and modern design sits perfectly on your well thought out desk, with clean lines and a small footprint.surfacestudio

Interact with Surface Studio in a whole new way using Surface Dial.  This is alien-like technology never seen before.
Press and hold to display a radial menu of tools to do the things you love in applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, Autodesk, Microsoft Office and SOLIDWORKS.
Or, simply place Surface Dial directly on the screen and watch as a color picker or a ruler magically appear.
Haptic feedback provides helpful vibrations through the aluminum body into your fingertips, to help you stay in the moment and feel totally in touch with your work.
surfacedial

 
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Spring Cleaning …….hashtag #springcleaning

Every now and then you have to clean out a drawer or cabinet to make room for the future. Here are some items I came across this week.

IBM Fixed Disk Organizer is a simple menu program for DOS. Using this shell, you will no longer have to repeatedly muddle through DOS commands to get to your commonly accessed applications. You can customize your menu items, and organize them in customizable categories. It also lets you set a password for menu items, and you may customize the screen colors. While there were many, many better menu programs produced for DOS, Fixed Disk Organizer was a standard IBM offering.

IBM PC5 1/4″ Floppy Disks – IBM Personal Computer AT (screenshots below)

ibm-fixed-disk-organizer-100-1
ibm-fixed-disk-organizer-100-2
ibm-fixed-disk-organizer-100-4

 

Sideways Printing software was used to print large spreadsheets in a vertical direction so that all the data would print on the paper rather than wrap around.

20160525_113057Sideways Printing software

 

WordPerfect – During the late 1980’s, WordPerfect was THE standard word processor for DOS based PCs in big business. Under DOS, it competed mostly against Wordstar. WordPerfect for Windows enjoyed some success in the early Windows environments, but was quickly displaced by Microsoft Word for Windows.

20160525_112535Later Windows versions were part of Corel Office, then Microsoft Office. (screenshots below).

5x-dos-57015085390ba61da28451a13992801d-WordPerfect 5.1 - Splash 5x-dos-284f003a59458b87e1d10d24d7405d36-WordPerfect 5.1 - Files 5x-dos-a559929a888425c7cd465e0ce76fc149-WordPerfect 5.1 - Edit

 

The Hercules Graphics Card (HGC) was a computer graphics controller made by Hercules Computer Technology, Inc. that combined IBM’s text-only MDA display standard with a bitmapped graphics mode.

20160525_113212Hercules Graphic Cards – before the days of NVIDIA (Magazine ad below)
hgc1

 

Windows 3.1 ran on top of MS/PC-DOS.  As such, a Windows 3.1 computer may either start Windows automatically when it is turned on or it will start in DOS. If it starts in DOS the user must type “WIN” at the command prompt to start Windows.

20160520_1049453 1/2″ diskettes – Microsoft Windows 3.1 Graphical Environment (screenshots below)

win31logo
doswin31

 

Xtree2 by Executive Systems has been around for several years.  Its popularity is due in large part to the graphic display it offers of the hard disk directory and subdirectory.  Unlike DOS’s “dir” command, Xtree visually distinguishes the directory, subdirectories, subdirectories, sub-subdirectories, etc. so that the user can gain a better perspective of the hundreds of files on their disk.

20160610_113847Xtree 2.0 from 1990. (screen shots below)

xtreedir
xt2sc

 

The very first CD drives on some PC’s and Mac’s had these Disc caddies that the CD was put into first then the caddie was inserted into the drive of the PC.  This was an extra step and a pain in the butt, they did not last long.

20160608_105010CD Trays!

 

“You Got Mail” – If you lived in the United States in the 1990s, you remember these. They started as 3.5-inch floppies and transitioned into CDs. And I’m not exaggerating. I got one just about every single day. You’ve got mail, indeed. Here is a tin can mailer below.
AOL 7.0AOL CD’s mailed to you in a tin can

 

Microsoft MS-Dos User Guide and Reference
20160422_121527MS-DOS Reference Guides (Bibles) were printed on paper back in the day, paper is expensive and shipping them is too so now you have to download the PDF and print it yourself.

 
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Hacking the Hacker

Every day users log into corporate computers when in the office during business hours and even remotely from home, but when someone logs on at 2am and starts running database queries is it legit or a hacker? Maybe it’s your pimple faced database administrator performing after hours maintenance, but maybe it isn’t. Old school perimeter defenses are no longer adequate in the new age of hacking.

But by using User Behavior Analytics we can eliminate this guesswork using these machine learning algorithms to assess the risk in real-time. Is it normal or is it a risk?

Risk = Likelihood x Impact
Likelihood = refers to the probability that the user behavior in question is anomalous. It is determined by behavior modeling algorithms.
Impact = is based on the classification and criticality of the information accessed, and what controls have been imposed on that data.

User Behavior Analytics is transforming security and fraud management because it enables enterprises to detect when legitimate user accounts/identities have been compromised by external attackers or are being abused by insiders for malicious purposes.

Hack the hacker

 
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A.I. a new era on the horizon

i-robot

Machines are getting smarter and smarter, so smart they get to that spot on the curve in the graph , the point in where they are smarter than we are, but more importantly come the conclusion they are smarter than us. They won’t need money to do what they need to do, just massive processing power, something that has been supplied to us in recent times courtesy of Moore’s Law and to the networked computers all over the world.ai-sep-moores-law-kurzweil

 

Here is a great diagram on Artificial Machine intelligence.               Image: Shivon Zilis/Bloomberg Betami landscape

We all carry phones around, but are they really phones or little A.I. machines.

These handheld devices have Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording, Haptic vibration feedback, Internet data connections, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, HDMI, Muti-Colored LED’s and Super-hi megapixels cameras with image stabilization, slow motion and great lens optics. They track our activity, sleep, heart rate and oxygen levels. They can see and hear everything and respond to our commands. They keep us informed and assist us to our destinations.

noteedge

Yes, Hal 9000 is coming…  –  machines are taking a more active role in enhancing human endeavours but hopefully he wont get pissed off as he did in the movie at Dave and lock the pod doors.

hal

and eventually the T-800 will come.
t800

Until then, enjoy the technology.

 
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Modern day Exploiting & Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

The modern world of Hacking just got real and its not just for unpatched operating systems.  All sorts of devices are getting hacked into these days.

This is what happens when designers and engineers don’t have security as a high priority in their designs.

 

DDR Memory -“Rowhammer” attack goes where few exploits have gone before, into silicon itself.
ddr

Src: CUTTING-EDGE HACK GIVES SUPER USER STATUS BY EXPLOITING DRAM WEAKNESS

 

 

Hospital drug pumps produced by a leading medical supplier Hospira could be hacked because of security weaknesses, a cybersecurity experts have revealed.
pump

Exploiting cybersecurity vulnerabilities requires penetrating several layers of network security enforced by the hospital information system, including secure firewalls, however once inside you could really wreck someones day.

Src: http://www.hospira.com/en/products_and_services/infusion_pumps

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33759428

 

Cars these days are computers on wheels

GM | CHRYSLER | JEEP

This product image provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) shows the Uconnect 8.4 inch infotainment system on a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. FCA on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 said that it has a software fix that will prevent future hacking into the Jeep Cherokee and other vehicles. Owners of some 2013 and 2014 model year vehicles with 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment systems can download the software from FCA's UConnect Web site and install it on their vehicles. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles via AP) ORG XMIT: NYBZ127

This product image provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) shows the Uconnect 8.4 inch infotainment system on a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. FCA on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 said that it has a software fix that will prevent future hacking into the Jeep Cherokee and other vehicles. Owners of some 2013 and 2014 model year vehicles with 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment systems can download the software from FCA’s UConnect Web site and install it on their vehicles. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles via AP) ORG XMIT: NYBZ127

GM says it’s now resolved the problem with a change to its server software and update to its OnStar RemoteLink iOS app.

Src: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/gadget-hacks-gm-cars-locate-unlock-start/

TESLA

Tesla Model S work and most importantly how they can be hacked,” read the Def Con keynote description.

Tesla-Model-S-dash-640x400

Tesla hackers explain how they did it at DEF CON 23
src: http://www.cnet.com/news/tesla-hackers-explain-how-they-did-it-at-def-con-23/

Its a dog eat dog world out there for cyberthieves and hackers, have fun and be safe!

 
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Lost In Computerization

Lost in computerizationAre we are becoming lost in the computerization we have built our lives around?

We are flying high and speading our wings with every new website we visit and every new app we install, but we are slowly growing apart from each other as people.  Technology can give us the grand illusion of a connection, but it often just enhances our ability to be alone together.

We are the Endangered Species

Without physically being in the same room with someone can we ever really be close friends or achieve any quality time?

Sure there may be a heated conversation or even the possible backlash of gas from the mix of beer and spicy tacos from your group gathering,  but it may just be well worth it.  In fact, I believe that it’s a necessity… (the physical part, not the gas).  As it brings us closer together, completes the bond of friendship and creates the beginning of deep meaningful long term relationships.

As a technologically advanced society, we need to seek out more meaningful and sensible connections as opposed to so many forced and unauthentic ‘digital’ connections.  The social networks have been an amazing tool to bring us together, yet they have pushed us a part in other ways.

I am starting to underestimate the value of family and friends.  Instead of calling to say “Hello how are you, whats new”, I just click to see their stream of posts or recent pictures.  Days, months and years past me by, all in a single page scroll.  No interaction needed.

Messaging and texting….yes sometimes it’s the only way when your far apart from one another, but we do we really even know how to talk to one another anymore? it’s becoming a lost art.
Almost anyone can ‘‘poke’  ‘+1’  ‘tweet’ or ‘like’  but where is the actual connection on a person to person level?

I lost track of how many times I have been at the park and looked over at a park bench and I see a group of people sitting all together, but they all have their heads down looking into their electronic worlds.

Let’s not get lost, if we can.

Vince.

 
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