The technology troubles that plagued the HealthCare.gov website rollout may not have come as a shock to people who work for certain agencies of the government — especially those who still use floppy disks, the cutting-edge technology of the 1980s.
The internet has been especially full of hoaxes lately, so that was my first thought, but it’s not. Unreal…
Microsoft launches Student Advantage worldwide, lets teachers who bought Office 365 give it to students for free
Pretty cool move by Microsoft, via The Next Web:
Microsoft today announced the worldwide launch of a program called Student Advantage. In short, the move lets teachers offer Office 365 to their students for free.
All schools and universities that license Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can now also provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students, without paying a dime. While the program was originally announced back in October, it has only been made available now, and Microsoft says more than 35,000 educational institutions can currently take advantage of it for their students.
If you haven’t heard by now, on April 8th of next year Microsoft will be ending support for Windows XP. That means no more tech support, no more security updates, nothing. XP will overnight become a security black hole for your organization.
Govloop, a site that talks about IT issues in government, has put together an infographic that shows just insecure it will be, and how much more time you will spend dealing with it.
If you are not the infographic type, check out this post and video on the USA Today website:
Microsoft’s venerable Windows XP operating system is six times more likely to be successfully hacked than newer Windows 7 and Windows 8 personal computers.
Microsoft disclosed that metric at the RSA Conference in Amsterdam this [recently]. The software giant hopes to compel XP users to dump XP and upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 — before it ends all XP support, including issuing security patches. That will happen come April 8, 2014.
"XP has been a beloved operating system for millions and millions of people around the world, but after 12 years of service it simply can’t mitigate the threats we’re seeing modern-day attackers use," says Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing.
Are you still on XP? Are you planning on making the upgrade before April 8th?
How Long Do Hard Drives Last?
How long do hard drives last? How long should they last? We’ve all heard anecdotal stories about brand-new drives crashing, or have a friend who will never buy a certain brand because they “always” fail. It is basically accepted fact that hard drives are a crapshoot with only one real guarantee: sooner or later they all fail.
Online backup company Backblaze has not exactly answered the question of how long they last, but they have done some very interesting research into hard drive failure rates. It’s a subject very important to their business, because they use a lot of hard drives:
How long do disk drives last? The short answer is: we don’t know yet, but it’s longer than you might guess.
Why does a company that keeps more than 25,000 disk drives spinning all the time not know how long they last? Backblaze has been providing reliable and unlimited online backup for over five years. For the past four years, we’ve had enough drives to provide good statistics, but 74% of the drives we buy are living longer than four years. So while 26% of drives fail in their first four years, and we have detailed information about the failure rates of drives in their first four years, we don’t yet know what will happen beyond that. So how long do drives last? Keep reading.
Dropbox For Business Takes on BYOD, Hybrid Cloud Providers
Last week, online file-syncing provider Dropbox announced a new version of its service for business users.
Hybrid cloud* providers (which Dropbox essentially is) are popping up like weeds trying to sell businesses on the ideas of disaster recovery and business continuity. That’s not a bad thing, every business should have a plan in place to ensure their data is protected and their business can keep running no matter what happens.
The problem is that disaster recovery providers are selling their product as a service. Their offerings are (relatively) expensive, proprietary, complex, and have a long learning curve. While you can probably point to features in those solutions that Dropbox can’t offer, it may not matter. Cloud providers are going to have a hard time matching the simplicity and pricing Dropbox does offer — selling points likely to win out in the minds of SMB IT buyers.
In other words, why would SMBs buy a service when Dropbox is so easy?
“We didn’t just re-do Dropbox for Business,” CEO Drew Houston said. “We re-did the [whole] foundation of Dropbox.” The company redesigned the service across the desktop, mobile and the Web. The changes also include advanced security and access controls, which should help mollify company IT managers. Businesses can, among other things, manage (or block) sharing to outside users, prevent sensitive docs from going into personal accounts, monitor all activity around work files, and even remotely wipe files from the devices of former employees.
It will be interesting to see this play out in the SMB space. There are a lot of companies with a lot of venture capital dollars behind them trying to solve business continuity and disaster recovery for SMBs, but a lot of employees are already using Dropbox, which should give them a huge advantage, if not an outright win.
*Hybrid cloud refers to situations where data is stored both locally and remotely (in the cloud) and is the foundation of most good disaster recovery programs.
HP Ships It’s 200 Millionth HP LaserJet Printer
HP reached a milestone today, announcing that their 200 millionth HP LaserJet printer just rolled off the assembly line.
The company is doing a couple of things to celebrate the achievement. First, there will be a collection of limited-edition, commemorative HP LaserJet printers on display at HP Customer Experience Centers worldwide—including Barcelona, Spain, Beijing, Mexico City and Palo Alto, Calif.
You can also win one of these limited edition printers, in the “200 Million and Counting” sweepstakes. Basically, HP wants you to join in the celebration by sharing your personal stories, images or videos about what the HP LaserJet has meant to your business. Each photo and video that is uploaded will be included on a digital wall at www.hp.com/go/celebratelaserjet.
The sweepstakes runs through Dec. 24, 2013, and is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, (as well as Russia, France, the UK, Germany and China). Participants are invited to submit their digital photos and stories, which will serve as their sweepstakes entry, at www.hp.com/go/celebratelaserjet
Here’s a timeline of the HP LaserJet Printer:
- 1984: HP makes history with the HP LaserJet printer, the world’s first desktop laser printer
- 1991: HP Jetadmin simplifies remote management of printers on a corporate network; HP introduces the HP LaserJet IIISi , the industry’s first network laser printer
- 1994: HP Color LaserJet, the industry’s first color laser printer, brings color to business documents
- 1998: HP LaserJet 3100 becomes the first mass-market laser all-in-one (AiO) device
- 2002: HP Color LaserJet 4600 is the first laser printer to print color documents at the speed of black
- 2004: HP LaserJet M4345 multifunction printer (MFP) raises the bar by bringing print, copy, digital send and advanced paper handling into the office—in one easy-to-use workgroup MFP
- 2008: HP Color LaserJet CP1510 makes high-quality technology affordable for small businesses as HP’s first color laser printer costing less than $300
- 2010: HP LaserJet P1102 is named the most energy-efficient laser printer on the planet by ENERGY STAR; HP introduces industry’s first mobile print solution with HP ePrint
- 2012: HP LaserJet Enterprise flow MFPs and HP Flow Content Management (CM) software help businesses integrate paper and digital workflows for increased productivity
- 2013: HP LaserJet Enterprise 800 series and HP 1200w Mobile Print Accessory make mobile printing as easy as touching a smartphone or tablet to the printer; including the launch of the new device, HP has introduced more than 15 LaserJet devices in less than two years