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Office 2013 is out, although not in stores yet. If you buy a license of Microsoft Office 2010 now, you will get a free upgrade to Office 2013. You can download the Preview here or download the final version here (60 Day trial).
Here is the PC World Review of Office 2013. You can also find out more on TechNet and a detailed list of changes here. Microsoft Visio 2013 has a new VSDX file format.

In October all Comcast Business Class customers Starter package went from 12Mbps download / 2Mbps upload to 16/3; Premium package went from 22/5 to 27/7. On November 15, rates each had $10 increase. Bundles did not increase in price.  Be sure you are getting the newer speeds.

Selected Predictions for the coming years in technology from Gartner Group:
  • By Year-End 2014, three of the top five mobile handset vendors will be Chinese.
  • Through 2014, employee-owned devices will be compromised by malware at more than double the rate of corporate-owned devices.
  • By 2016, wearable smart electronics in shoes, tattoos and accessories will emerge as a $10 billion industry.
  • Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013
Personal Cloud
  • The personal cloud will gradually replace the PC as the location where individuals keep their personal content, access their services and personal preferences and center their digital lives. The personal cloud will entail the unique collection of services, Web destinations and connectivity that will become the home of their computing and communication activities.
The Internet of Things
  • The Internet will expand as physical items such as consumer devices and physical assets are connected to the Internet. Key elements of the IoT which are being embedded in a variety of mobile devices include embedded sensors, image recognition technologies and NFC payment.
Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
  • IT departments must play multiple roles in coordinating IT-related activities, and cloud computing is now pushing that change to another level.
More predictions from LockerGnome.
  • Internet bandwidth will grow with 4G Cellular and Fiber to the door.
  • Privacy concerns will grow.

OTHER NEWS

Google Apps is no longer offering a Free edition of their service as of December 6th. If you currently have a Free or Education account, you will be able to keep it without any charge for the life of the account. Google's official statement is here.

GetListed, a service for local search listings, has been acquired by SEOmoz

Cisco may sell off Linksys product division.

Some Christmas time offers


SECURITY



Windows updates were released Dec 11th. All workstation updates should be installed.

There is an optional server update for Windows Management Framework 3.0. This should not be installed, it causes serious problems with Exchange.

New Windows 8 users have reported problems with some updates. Installing KB 2771431 (a servicing-stack patch) before any other update should fix most of those issues
 
Java, Acrobat, and Flash all had critical security updates that should be installed.
 
iTunes had an important update, including an update to iCloud. Current version is 11.0.1, which fixes some significant bugs in version 11.
 
Firefox is on Version 17, Updated Nov 21.  Be sure to update if you use Firefox.
 
Dropbox is on version 1.6.10.  It may require a manual update. Just reinstall from here. Check security settings (under account settings in the web interface) after updating, there may be new features if you have not updated for a while.
 
PC Mag Review of LastPass.
 
How useful is antivirus software? Current antivirus software detects about 25% of the most popular malware currently being emailed to people.  Common sense and keeping your computer updated are critical.  New viruses are custom made daily, and often last only a few days before being replaced with a variation that is not yet detected by antivirus software. Common sense and keeping your computer patched are more important than ever. “… if you click a malicious link or open an attachment in one of these emails, there is less than a one-in-five chance your antivirus software will detect it as bad. …Web browsers are checked for close to a dozen outdated plugins; any insecure plugins found can be used to silently install malicious software on the vulnerable machine.” A Closer Look: Email-Based Malware Attacks  The State of PC Security
 
Wireless routers with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (push a button to connect) are easily hacked. This feature should be turned off. Even when turned off, some Wi-Fi routers still respond to this flaw.
Reaver (an open source program for hacking WPS) … is capable of cracking the PIN codes of routers and gaining access to their WPA2 passwords "in approximately 4 - 10 hours." 

Certain Samsung smart phones have a flaw which can grant malicious Apps root (full) access. Devices that use Samsung's own Exynos processor versions numbered 4210 and 4412 are vulnerable. Be extremely cautious about loading any apps on these until there is a fix. Get the technical article here.
These are the Smartphones and tablets affected: 
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100)
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300)
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE (GT-I9305)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (GT-N7100)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8010)
 
Mobile devices to be a primary target for malware – Predictions for 2013.
Mobile users will be tricked into incurring Premium SMS charges (similar to 900 phone number scams), and into clicking on links that download malware.

More security predictions for 2013.

TORIAN GROUP NEWS
Apps for Business

12 - 1 PM | Thursday, Jan. 17th
Fresno Pacific University Visalia Center

We will be giving away a copy of
MS Office 2010 Pro
.

 
Attend this hands-on training to learn how cross platform apps can enhance your productivity and make information available when and where you need it. Brown bag your lunch and learn some practical tools you can put to use immediately. 
  • Learn how Windows 8 incorporates apps
  • Storing data online - comparing solutions and features in DropBox, Google Drive, Skydrive, Box.net and others.
  • The apps we use daily - a tour of the best and most useful apps
  • Security issues your business should be aware of with online services.
  • Learn how to use Lastpass and Lastpass enterprise, a free and useful password management tool.
 
Free Visalia Chamber Lunch Bytes Thursday November 15th, 12-1PM Bring Lunch if you wish. RSVP with the Chamber at 734-5876 or call our office at 733-1940 to reserve a seat.

The pricing for our offsite backup service is being simplified. It will be a flat fee based on the amount of storage used per computer.  Most clients will not see much change in cost.
 
Rates for Web design will go from $55 to $60. Rates for Advanced Technical Services will go from $115 to $120. This is to keep up with increased overhead costs.
 
Thank you for working with us this past year.

 
HUMOR


Tim Torian
Torian, Group, Inc.
http://www.toriangroup.com
 
This and past newsletters, and various articles are available on our web site.
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Torian Group, Inc. 621 W. Willow Ave. Visalia, CA 93292 (559) 733-1940

 

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