WannaCry? Don’t Panic!

Synopsis: Guest Contributor, Samuel Rowland, has looked into the recent news articles about the global computer hack known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt.  He offers guidance on what to look for and how to protect yourself.  Enjoy.

To quote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Don’t Panic”. Yes, I think we are all aware of the recent and ongoing ransomware cyberattack. For those who don’t know, ransomware is malware that encrypts all of a user’s files before demanding a fee to unlock them. This malware – known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt – specifically says that you have 7 days to pay about $300.00 in BitCoin payments before they lock your files away forever. The program enters your system usually through an attachment to an email that is usually, but not always, a zip file. When this file is opened or previewed, it instills the malware. This sort of virus will force you to wipe your entire hard drive and restore your files from whatever backups you have, so it’s best to learn how to protect yourself.

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Guest Feature: The Ultimate Paralegal

As we all know, paralegals are an essential component of the legal profession today.  But, there is a drawback – aren’t they just a little bit too “human”.

Still in R&D but very exciting – The Paralegal of the 21st Century from Japan Industries.  21Para, as the prototype is called is more than a robot – it is a completely actualized and optimized Paralegal.  Using a simple in-office procedure, a computer chip is inserted into your Paralegal’s brain.  The chip will allow your Paralegals to bypass the necessity for physical computer and keyboard by becoming computers themselves.

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Gadget Watch – Meet the Squirrel Buster

I am lucky that my office looks out on a wooded area with a lake.  We often see ducks and other waterfowl cavorting in the lake and hunting for food.  The occasional neighbor’s dog, white tailed deer, or even a coyote strolls into the yard for our diversion.  We see birds, woodpeckers and others, but they are often camouflaged in the trees.  I had thought about bird feeders, but had been worried that I would spend more time feeding the grey squirrels, rather than feeding actual birds.

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Women and Computers by Rose Rowland

Many years ago, there was a book called “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” which became wildly popular.  Since it was so popular, Basha ripped it off for a lovely little article called “If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus – how do you sell computers  (really software) on Venus?”.  The basic gist of the article was that men and women view and use computers and software differently.  Men were more excited by the gee whiz  aspect of new software while women looked at computers as a necessary work tool.

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Windows 10 – Same Machine, Increased Speed

windows-10 On Basha WorkstationI recently took the plunge on my primary workstation and clicked the Upgrade to Windows 10. I have been using Windows 10 on a Surface Pro 3 for over a year, but had delayed switching throughout the office. I had been using Windows 8.1 with Classic Start Menu enabled.

Apart from the hour it took for the PC to process the upgrade, there was very little I had to do. Of course, my Classic Start Menu was disabled, but then again Windows 10 essentially restored the Classic Start Menu found in Windows 7, and then threw some tiles on as an option. But what was surprising was that the computer seems to be “zippier”.  I believe it is ultimately a programming trick, but programs load and start faster.

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Surviving the Cold Snap

There are times when it gets REALLY  cold.  Today was one such day.  It seems as if my office overlooking a frozen lake was like the place on left.  The funny thing is that while humans don’t like the cold, computers do, so long as  they are not in a moist environment.  The “cool air” is far preferable to the amount of heat generated by CPU processors, graphic processors, and memory cards.

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Some CHEAP Gift Ideas

For the past six months, I have been making extensive use of my JAMBOX.  This little “electronic box” connects via Bluetooth to my iPad, iPhone or Android, and even my laptop, and gives room-filling, high fidelity sound.  It does require periodic recharging. And setting it up for Bluetooth connection can be shaky after six months of use.

Further, at over $150 price tag on Amazon for the small version, and $250 for the larger version, it can be a large ticket item.

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KRONOS Watch – Copy2Contact Review

In an old post I set forth my standard for evaluating software (See KRONOS – Evaluation Criteria for Software).

.  Keystroke Count
.      Return on Investment
.          Opulence and Intuitiveness
.              Networkability and Integration
.                   Options and Customization
.                        Suitability for the Task.

W  * A * T  * C  * H

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