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Copeland Data News - July, 2011

We bring you this summer edition of Copeland Data News. Technology is moving forward and it does appear that the consumer side of technology is pushing the business side of technology into new areas.  This "consumer" movement of technology in business, generally speaking, is a good thing. However, this trend does bring many challenges to business, namely security and integration efficiencies. This current tide certainly will provide for an interesting ride for all of our pursuits of business.

While browsing this newsletter, if you think of anything that you would like to discuss as it applies to your situation, never hesitate to drop me a note.  We are here to help and serve in any way we can.

Thank you,

Tom

In this issue of Copeland Data News

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What is a Chromebook?

A Chromebook, from Google, if you have not heard, is a notebook computer with an Internet Browser at its core.  The Chromebook is a different animal, in that its minimal operating system (basically, Google’s Chrome Internet Browser) is designed with one  and only one goal in mind – to produce a simple device that allows the user, through an Internet Browser, access to the cloud. 

ChromebookWith a Chromebook, there is no other Operating System – whether it is from Microsoft or anyone else. Therefore, startup times are quick. Keep in mind that there is no concept of running applications locally. This implies that the Chromebook relies on a connection to the Internet to work. Without an Internet connection, the device is virtually useless.

Google has teamed up with Samsung and Acer to be the hardware providers of the initial launch of the Chromebook offerings. Prices range from $350 - $500 depending on hardware and the connection to the Internet.

It will be interesting to see where the Chromebook fits, especially now that the tablet world is starting to take off. Even in the land of Google, the Chromebook brings somewhat of a conflict:   a tablet built on the Android (from Google), versus a Chromebook.  It will be interesting, indeed.

You can learn more about Chromebooks at http://www.google.com/chromebook/.

Did you Know?

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Lookout

Consider adding Anti-Virus protection to your smartphone. “Lookout” is free and
currently available for the Droid, Blackberry and Windows Mobile Phone, in their respective
marketplaces or stores.

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TranswaveNeed more effective Internet access to your building?  Transwave Communications Systems, Inc offers a solution to Internet connectivity that also gives the user 100% independence from your local carrier loops – a great choice for both primary and redundant network connections. Transwave offers a variety of plans in both shared and dedicated access. You can learn more about Transwave at www.transwaveisp.com.

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WeTransfer

Need to transfer large files between yourself and another party? We have all seen how large files when sent via email do not work as expected in so many cases. There is a free service that addresses this - https://www.wetransfer.com/  .  Simply supply who you are and who you would like to send the files to (up to 2 GB), and in a no-nonsense fashion, this free service will expedite this transfer request.

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CDS Online, a service that allows you to manage your project requests and monitor the statuses of all open issues, is available for your smart phone. Go to www.copelanddata.mobi and check out our new interface of the mobile version of CDS Online. You may want to consider making your online presence more “mobile aware”.

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nookThe Nook, an e-reader from Barnes and Noble has had a color version available for a few months now. The latest updates to this device, with Android 2.2, an app store and Flash, make this a very capable tablet. We are starting to see the lines between e-readers and tablets blur.   More can be found at here.

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IPv6Back on June 8th of this year marked an interesting event – World IPv6 Day. This day is where major online players were out to prototype and test their IPv6 equipment and readiness – all to self-reflect to see how well each of them are prepared for the new IPv6 protocol.  As you may recall, the IPv6 protocol change is imminent on the Internet because the current IPv4 scheme (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) is running out of available IP addresses. This change will affect most customers by simply adding one single device to the outside of their network. Stay tuned for more development on the IPv6 front as it may pertain to your business.

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“Rooting” your smartphone refers to the process of gaining administrative access to your phone, for which a knowledgeable technical user can utilize to do various functions, including over-clocking the phone’s CPU. A rooted phone is no longer supported by the carrier’s customer support line, and in some cases, actually violates the warranty of the phone. “Jail-breaking” is a term used to describe a process specifically on IPhones that open up other features that were locked down by Apple. Be careful if you are contemplating “rooting” or “jail-breaking” as there may be consequences that are not easily reversed.

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The cloud can be looked at in two ways: Utilizing tools and services that are available out on the Internet, no different than many of us have used over the years with services like POP-based email. Additionally, the cloud brings us the ability to roll out new Windows or Linux servers for specific business purposes and utilize these servers just like we would use them if the servers existed physically in our building.  With a solid connection to the Internet as well as proper security with a VPN, one can run an entire business system from the cloud, all from renting the “server instance” from an online provider like Rackspace. Here at CDS, we have a complete business system running over the cloud. 

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Office 365Speaking of the cloud, Microsoft’s latest cloud offerings include Office 365, which markets directly against Google Apps. Office 365 offers users online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, and Exchange Mail services for about $6/user/month for up to 50 users. Office Pro Plus is $12/user/month and includes additional tools like SharePoint, Access and Outlook with Business Contact Manager.

Google Apps is a flat $5/month/user, and has been the leader in cloud tools.

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Smartphones are the rage, and that also has Apple and Google collecting as much information on you as possible as you use your smartphone. The phone’s ID and where you are at any given time is logged in databases as you traverse through life with your phone. More information can be found here.

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Microsoft would never call you up directly and mention that problems are coming from your system and you need to take immediate action to correct it.  We have heard of situations where fraudulent activity has happened where calls are being placed to folks from “Microsoft” where a “fee to fix” needs to be paid.  Buyers beware – these scams are out there.

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Solid State drives, or SSD’s, are becoming popular, especially in laptop configurations. These drives do not use traditional “platters” and “read/write heads”, which makes these drives more shock resistant, less of a battery drain, and faster than traditional drives.  The PC needs to support SSD Drives from a BIOS point of view, so going back to older systems to add SSD drives is not necessarily a good idea. For any new laptop purchase, you may want to consider an SSD drive.

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BNBEA Crystal Award WinnerCopeland Data Systems has earned the 2011 Crystal Award under the small business category (under 50 employees) from the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association.

Eaton Office Supply has earned the Crystal Award for mid-sized companies (50-150 employees) and Edukids earned the Crystal Award in the large company category (over 150 employees).

The BNBEA looks towards organizations that have a demonstrable track record in showing ethical foundations in their pursuit of business.

“This year’s crystal award recipients have chosen the high road and consistently demonstrate exemplary ethical conduct in their businesses and professions,” said Fred Holender, Chair of the 2011 Awards Steering Committee. “In other words, these companies make a difference in our community, not just for what they do, but how they choose to do business…the right way,” added Holender.

You can learn more about the BNBEA at http://www.buffalobusinessethics.org/.

Those Were The Days - The Last 25 Years

A recent edition of Network World Magazine had a nice timeline that is not conclusive by any means, but certainly interesting nevertheless of our networked world over the past 25 years.  

1986 – War of the PC Worlds: Compaq beat IBM to the market with Intel’s new 80386 processor

Macintosh Classic1987 – IBM came out with Token-Ring LAN technology that was sure to be a hit but could not complete when an inexpensive alternative in Ethernet was designed with 10-Base-T cable (non-coax) cable

1988 – Cornel student Robert Morris released the first Internet Worm as a proof of concept. While the virus was non-destructive, he was fined and put on probation - this was the start of the need for Anti-Virus products

1990 – Cisco, which was founded in 1984, went public

Linux1993 – As open source variant of UNIX was formed by a student named Linus Torvalds which was called Linux- Red Hat was founded this same year.

1993 - Marc Andreessen co-founded Netscape with the first Internet browser – Netscape Navigator Web browse - the browser wars started when Microsoft needed to react

1994 – E-commerce over the Internet was now a possibility when Netscape released its Navigator with SSL encryption

1995 – TCP/IP was in a battle with IBM’s own standard – SNA. With Cisco’s help, TCP/IP became the standard

1995 – The introduction of “Voice Over IP (VOIP) would start a change in the telecommunications – all from a small company called Vocaltech

Google1996 – Two Stanford students, coming from an offshoot of a research project, launched a search engine running Linux that they called Google

1998 – The start of the court case: United States Vs Microsoft – all based on the accusation of Microsoft abusing its monopoly

2000 – The ILOVEYOU worm, initiated from Hong Kong, made its way in record time and infected an estimated 10% of all connected computers- this was the start of aggressive use of worms and virus activity

Y2K2000 – The Y2K problem, where most systems stored dates in 6 characters (MMDDYY), an expansion was needed to manage the full century (MMDDYYYY)

2002 – WorldCom – which at one time was the second largest phone company in U.S., filed bankruptcy where the CEO  Bernie Ebbers was sent to prison for 25 years

2004 – Mark Zuckerberg as a follow up to a college project, founded Facebook

2007 – Apple announces a new product called IPhone

2009 – Microsoft had approximately 91% of client market share with Windows which all started with an MS-DOS add on back in 1984

2010 – With the success of a variety of products, Apple becomes the world’s largest technology company
 2011 – IBM turned 100 years old and showed how a computer named ‘Watson’ can complete against “people” in the game of Jeopardy

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