Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Apr 2014)
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- Not only are cell phones becoming as complex as computers, we are using them to access more and more content online. It may be a good idea to install an antivirus application on your phone to make sure it is secure, along with your information.
- Some of us are stuck with the same cable provider and no other option. If you have Time Warner Cable, you know it's recently started charging a monthly lease fee for their Internet modem. In this case, you do have a choice: if you feel that leasing a modem from TWC adds no value to your service, get your own modem from the list of approved modems here.
- Computer and laptop keyboards can be very dirty and contain potentially harmful germs. To clean your keyboard, unplug it and give it a good shake up-side down. Then use a can of compressed air and spray between the keys. Next, use a mild rubbing alcohol – not too strong to avoid rubbing off the lettering on the keys – on a cloth or cotton swab and wipe the whole thing clean of dust and moisture. Try to do this at least once a month.
- While many web sites offer support for encryption, they do not necessarily make it easy to use. Those web sites may default to unencrypted traffic, or a combination of encrypted and unencrypted traffic. With a web browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere, your web browser will always use the encrypted version of the website, if one is available.
- While it may seem like obvious advice, you should always type your PIN under the cover of your hand when you’re using an ATM. Thieves place hidden cameras at ATMs to secretly record customers entering their PINs. Try to use only ATMs that are in public areas and well-lit. Be aware of your surroundings as you approach the cash machine. If the ATM looks out of place or tampered with, then try to find another one.
Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management
Cloud-based Wi-Fi management removes the cost and complexity of Wi-Fi controller appliances while providing centralized management, visibility, and control. It gives you visibility into how your users are using the network, their devices, and their applications. Additionally, you can quickly create access control and application usage policies, optimizing both the user experience and network security.
Wi-Fi networks in multiple areas, floors, or office locations can be configured and managed with a single cloud dashboard, giving you complete control and visibility over Wi-Fi devices in all locations and eliminating the complexity and cost of traditional on-site wireless controllers. Wi-Fi devices can be easily upgraded over the web, delivering new features, firmware updates and reporting tools.
You can see how many users have connected to the Wi-Fi network, measure the bandwidth they’ve used, and see their percentage of total traffic. User devices can be automatically identified and classified, allowing you to distinguish between iPads, iPhones, Androids and other devices connected to the network.
Even if you can’t access the cloud management dashboard, your Wi-Fi network will continue to function normally. Users will be able to authenticate, firewall rules will remain in place, and traffic will flow at full Internet line speed. Only management functions like reports and configuration tools will be unavailable.
- “Pay it forward” chains have recently been in the news- with coffee and fast-food buyers paying for the orders of customers behind them, and so on. One theory is that generosity among strangers may be socially contagious. According to this concept, if you observe or receive an act of help, you are more likely to help others, even if your act of kindness may not be reciprocated or rewarded. However, scientists have put that argument to the test and found that simply observing a big act of kindness may not prompt someone to “pay it forward” because the individual doing the observing may feel like a “bystander” whose help he/she feels is no longer necessary. Although, findings do show that observing a “lower” act of kindness is much more likely to prompt a person to “pay it forward”. Regardless of what the findings show, next time you have an opportunity to help someone out for seemingly no reason at all, you should remember that what goes around comes around.
- The need for meditation has recently been in the news, with some claiming that just 5 minutes of meditation a day can reap a 10% increase of overall happiness in our lives. If you have ever attempted to meditate, you probably already know that it can be quite challenging to completely focus on solely your act of breathing. If you’re like some who have tried it but dismissed it as “not your thing”, keep in mind that finding 5 minutes of your day to tune out completely from social, family and work responsibilities may be more exponentially beneficial than you think. This can include simply sitting on your couch in the morning or after work, or on the subway home, with your eyes closed- not asleep, but tranquil and aware. Brain activity that deals with satisfaction and contentment has shown to surge in moments after these “serenity” breaks and can last for several hours.