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YouTube

Are you a fan of YouTube? I don’t spend a whole lot of time on YouTube myself, but I do take advantage of it. I have a personal blog and I’ve been going through somewhat of a musical Renaissance and have been posting a song or two each week as I remember the music I’ve loved and enjoyed throughout the years. I use YouTube to share those songs.

I personally don’t use it for much more than that, but apparently you can find all kinds of things there. My son used to watch (probably still does on occasion) Captain Sparkles—how many of you are familiar??? If not, Captain Sparkles is a guy who records himself playing video games, providing a look-see for gamers to get a sense of the game before buying as well as tips and tricks and the like and many other entertaining and informative offerings.

I love that I can find interviews with my favorite celebrities or random TV shows and movies since I don’t have live TV myself, or that the occasional fan girl treasure such as Benedict Cumberbatch narrating audiobooks, including Casanova!, are available.

I do have a channel of my own where I mostly have videos of my son’s marching band programs or jazz band concerts loaded so I can share with his grandmothers.

Are you a fan/user of YouTube? What do you use it for primarily? Do you have your own channel?

Jen FitzGerald
OfficeManager
StormsEdge Technology

Top Reasons to Be Thankful For Technology

When you’re making a list of things to be thankful for, computers and technology usually don’t make the list; as a matter of fact, they often get put on the “hate” list of things that frustrate us!

However, I think it’s time someone gave credit where credit is due! Here are the top 5 reasons why we should be thankful for all the new (and constantly evolving) technology we have available to us:

1.  It allows us all to be more “earth-friendly.” Thanks to e-mail and the Internet, as well as the ease in document imaging, we can all communicate with each other without having to waste paper and ink, not to mention stamps!

2.  We can instantly access information on practically any topic we want, whenever we want. I remember when I was a kid, all research required a trip to the library and old-fashioned research with a set of encyclopedias. Now, if you need to find a Mexican restaurant within 1 mile of your location, you can not only find one, but you can check out the menu and order online so your food is waiting for you when you show up!

3.  It keeps us in touch. Although it can easily be argued we’ve gone too far in this department (see the article to the right), cell phones, Blackberries, and even online forums (blogs, Facebook, MySpace) have enabled us to find and stay in touch with more people more frequently.

4.  It saves us time and money. Nothing has done more for the consumer than the Internet. In minutes, you can search on and compare various products and services without having to make a single phone call or (even better) getting in your car to drive about looking for what you want. Plus, you can order just about anything online and have it shipped to your door. Amazing!
    
What are WE most grateful for? Those of you that trust us to make all the computers and gadgets work the way they are supposed to – our customers!

Daniel A. FitzGerald
President & Owner
StormsEdge Technology

Can Apple Macs Get Viruses?

A very common misconception is that Apple Mac products cannot get viruses. Not true! There is no such thing as a 100% safe computer. Devices running OS X, Windows, Linux, Android or any other operating system are all capable of being infected with a virus or other malware.


However, the likelihood that an Apple Macintosh user gets a virus is much lower than for Windows users. In fact, many Apple users don’t even run any antivirus software on their computers. Whether that is a smart strategy is debated by many IT professionals.


A few of the reasons why Macs don’t get as many viruses as PCs are:
1. Mac OS X is based on the Unix operating system, which is one of the oldest and most secure operating systems around.
2. Microsoft Windows is used by many more people, so it’s a bigger and better target. Plus the way that Windows is built makes it easier for viruses to spread across computer networks.
3. Many of the tools designed to create viruses or malware are written for the Windows operating system.


Windows Threats Even For Macs
Many Mac users find themselves having to use Parallels, BootCamp, or other virtual software to run Windows only programs such as Microsoft Publisher. Because these Macs are now running a Windows operating system, they are now susceptible to Windows viruses. In addition, an Apple computer can certainly become a “carrier” of a Windows-based virus. This virus would not infect the Apple machine, but could infect other Windows machines on your network if it were to send that virus via email or across the office computer network.


And Even More Threats…
Any software, plug-in or other third party add-on that is installed onto any computer that connects to the Internet can introduce its own security risks. One of the most common ways that the “bad guys” are able to attack a Mac is through browser applications and browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java and others. Just about every Mac user has all three of these plug-ins installed on their computers (and many more). These are a necessary part of business, but do introduce additional security risks for all computers.


The Human Factor
Although Apple Macs are less vulnerable to viruses, they are still operated by flawed humans who can still be the victim of trojan horses, phishing and other online fraud. Your best bet is to keep everyone informed about online security risks in your business, no matter the computer they’re using.

Daniel A. FitzGerald
Owner & President
StormsEdge Technology

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