KFC Saves Touchscreens From Greasy Paws – Geeks are Sexy Technology NewsGeeks are Sexy Technology News

KFC Saves Touchscreens From Greasy Paws – Geeks are Sexy Technology NewsGeeks are Sexy Technology News.

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#HUAW Hurry Up and Wait

The Bane of IT techs everywhere!

The curse of working on computer systems in this modern day of cloud computing and multi-level technical support is the inevitable problem of waiting for somebody else or something else to complete its portion of whatever it is you are working on.

This can be waiting for a computer that is old to finish copying data, it could be waiting on a support line with a tier 1 level tech to get further instructions, or it could be waiting for routers or servers to reboot. It is especially relevant when you are instructed to wait for said actions to occur and regardless of getting paid to wait, it can be a technician’s greatest frustration.

Since a couple of our technicians, Leon and Bruno are currently onsite doing just that, I thought it would be funny to review a few other terms that we use in our everyday conversations amongst ourselves.

#Crapware – unnecessary, unwanted or trial software pre-installed on a new computer by the manufacturer.

#scriptkiddie – people who download apps or tools on the internet to fix things without understanding what the items actually do.

#gaveuptheghost – a system under data recovery that fails. Usually this means the physical hardware is electrically or mechanically failing.

#schmuksunlimited – referring to other IT operators who previously worked on the current systems in question and are deemed incompetent.

#deadtest – when we pull the power to test batteries or UPS systems.

#zombie – a computer with a rootkit infection so bad that it requires a full rebuild.

#nuke – completely wiping a computer/device of any and all data.

#boatanchor or #bricked – when a computer is completely dead to a point where it will not turn on.

#clusterf*ck – when a system suddenly performs many negative actions simultaneously without cause. Usually this is a sign of a system that is beyond simple repair.

#plugandpray – an oldy but a goody referring to something that you attach or install on a computer that is supposed to work without any configuration.

There are lots of other more “geeky” terms and lingo but in our office, these are the most common.

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What Windows can you upgrade to Windows 10?

The short answer is, almost anything that is currently supported and that has a legitimate license key. We’ve made mention of it before but Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 10 this summer to any user of Windows 7 or Windows 8. The exact version you get depends on what you are upgrading from and Ars Technica has a good read on that below:

Details of Windows 10 upgrades

If for some reason you are running Windows XP or Vista, you can’t do the upgrade. Really, though Vista is still in extended support, you should not be running these systems anymore, just do the age of the hardware they would be running on.

Once we have a chance to do the upgrade, we’ll be giving out report and recommendations on the process. There is no rush to do this, as windows 7 is supported until 2020 and Windows 8 far beyond that. It’s is a good perk to consider though if you have the confidence to try it out.

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The difference between good cabling and bad cabling – Part 3

Today’s video is about the differences between traditional cat 5e cabling and the new cat 6A.

Cat 6A cabling is rated for higher 10GB speeds and is starting to become more visible in new construction even though the costs are significantly more than cat 6 or cat 5e.

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Why Join BNI?

I joined BNI as a business networking opportunity because of a variety of reasons which include foremost, the fact that it makes us money. Here is a video that explains some of the reasons why we continue to be members. Interviewed along with myself are successful members from my own chapter including Nadia Kalnieva from S&Sons Moving and Adam O’Neill from Sunlife


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Trusting Lenovo? Read on

Lenovo’s had a bit of a rough run in the past year, given the glaring mistake of shipping software on their laptops with spyware in it. Now it seems they have some new issues.

Lenovo intentionally ships laptop with flaws (via CNet)

Given all this, the one bulletproof Lenovo brand is taking some major hits. Lenovo (which used to be a branch of IBM) was known for making really good business class laptops for years. Now?

Buyer beware.

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Anatomy of a spam scam

We often get calls from clients in a panic asking about strange emails they’ve received and whether or not they are legit. We can usually answer just from a description of the email if it’s a fake scam or something real. Our years of computing in the trenches helps us identify a good number of the scams out there, but some can come close to fooling us too. Despite our best efforts, some people still get hit when they receive official looking emails and in a panic, open themselves up to more risk.

So how can one identify scams and questionable emails? I wish I could say there was a tried and true email filter that could catch them all, but that just isn’t out there. While there isn’t also a universal set of rules to follow when looking at emails, there are some guidelines you can keep in mind that will help you avoid the scams. As an example, we have taken a very tricky spam email that was recently sent to several of our techs at Fixmycomputernow.com

A common fake Apple invoice scam

A common fake Apple invoice scam

This “invoice” came in recently and is specifically designed to elicit a panic response that will make users click the link at the bottom to stop what appears to be very odd charges to their account. If you look closely, however, there are a number of lines that are should put up red flags for how fake it is.

1> It would be very odd for an admin account to email you with just an invoice. The other flag here is the Display name beside the email address – 2015 iTunes Store. Having the year in the name seems more designed to try to bypass spam filters than an official email address.

2> I’ve included my email that was in this and not blurred it out because it is commonly and publicly available. The trick to this one is that I know I’ve never used that email to register for iTunes account. Be aware of what you have and haven’t used an email address for. If it doesn’t make sense that you’d receive an invoice or a delivery notice (ie. Canada Post package notices) at that email address, be careful.

3> $87 dollar to rent Hot Tub Time Machine 2? That’s not exactly an Oscar calibre sequel and the rates are WAY out of line for what iTunes charges. The charges here are meant to cause a person to have a panic reaction, thinking they’ve been charged something that makes no sense and send you looking for a means to revoke those charges. This is where the kicker of the scam comes next.

4> Here is the real giveaway. See the close up of the end of the email below.

spam closeup

This invoice oddly states immediately, “Issues with this transaction?”. That is a call to action, as it is referred to in marketing speak. It should immediately make you look at the next line which has a convenient link to click to get help. It looks like an Apple.com link, so why not go ahead and click it? Don’t even think about it, because it ISN’T an Apple link. Links to website require code that activates them when clicked on, and the location it goes to doesn’t have to be same as what is shown to you. It could just have easily said, “Click HERE for help” with the HERE being the link.

The dead give away is if you just hover your mouse over the link without clicking on it, you should get small overlay that shows you the real link. You can see this highlighted with the red arrow below the link. The link actually sends you to a server for a company called hedlundarchitects. Now I don’t know who they are or what they do, but that isn’t Apple. Now this isn’t universal, as some companies use obscure shortened links to redirect people legitimately, but if the link shows a name that has nothing to do with the company you think sent the invoice, chances are its fake.

In this particular case, I suspect this Hedlund Architects company isn’t even aware they’ve been hijacked for a spam campaign (if they exist). This is one of the reasons we have stopped recommending local hosting of email servers in small businesses. The risks are just too high anymore.

So what do you do if you aren’t sure? First, go to the real website of whatever company you think it is from. Be it Apple, or your Bank, or Canada Post, they all have links for support dealing with possible abuse. Either call or email them at their appropriate abuse links and check with them about the email. It will take a bit of time, but will give you piece of mind and also help the company itself fight against another scam in their name.

Spam scams are getting more sophisticated as time goes by. There are some that won’t set off these obvious alarms when you see them, but there are almost always something to give it away (spelling mistakes, for example). If you aren’t expecting a delivery or an invoice, question it before you click any links in the email itself.

As ever, if you have questions or get an email you aren’t sure of, feel free to contact us.

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Network Re-design

This has been floating around the intertubes today….


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Time for Human Resources, Facility Managers and Purchasing to Meet with Sr Level OPC Consultants before Human Rights Complaints start!!

An interesting read about the sit/stand workstation issue and non-bias consultation.

Time for Human Resources, Facility Managers and Purchasing to Meet with Sr Level OPC Consultants before Human Rights Complaints start!!.

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Colorado man shoots computer, gets firearms citation – World – CBC News

Ah, how I would like to get away with this in Canada! Then again, it does reveal the problems with gun control in the USA when discharging a firearm is only a citation…

Colorado man shoots computer, gets firearms citation – World – CBC News.

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