Archive for November, 2012

Tutorial on Using Windows 8

The first time I sat in front of the Windows 8 interface, I have to admit I was not thrilled; no Start button, I couldn’t find the control panel, things just weren’t what I was used to. That was over two years ago in the early adopter program for Windows 8, and now when I use Windows XP or Windows 7, I find it very inefficient to “have to click through so many menus” to find and do basic stuff.

The focus of this article is to share with you not simply how to make Windows 8 work like Windows XP/Windows 7 “the old way” (which I will go through and give you tips on how to find stuff and configure stuff to work the old way), but instead to really focus on how to do things better and more easily, effectively helping you shortcut the learning process that makes Windows 8 actually extremely easy and efficient to use.

First of all, some basic terminology and “old way” of finding things so that I can take you through Windows 8 in a way you have learned how to use Windows. As I’m sure you are aware, Windows 8 no longer has the “Start Button” at the bottom left of the screen. Instead, Microsoft has the “Windows 8 Style Menu” (that they formally called the Metro style menu, until Microsoft was informed Metro Style was copyrighted, so they’re just calling it the Windows 8 Style menu). This is the menu that Windows comes up with.

If you are in the middle of an application (browser, Word, or any other app) and you want to get back to the menu, on a tablet, you press the “Home” button (usually a physical button on the bottom middle of the tablet device) or from a keyboard system, you press the “Windows-key.”

The “start button” for the most part (the thing that gives you access to the Control Panel, shutdown/restart, etc) is called the “Charm” and it pops up on a touchscreen tablet when you swipe your thumb from right to left on the right side of the screen (basically swiping the charm menu out from the right edge and into your screen of view). On a keyboard system, the charm menu pops up when you move the move cursor all the way to the right bottom of the screen.

From the charm menu, you can click on the top most icon (“search”) and it shows you all of your applications installed (this would be similar to doing a Start/All Programs in Windows 7). You’ll see the search bar (circled in red) and on the left you can scroll through all of your apps.

When you search/find the app you want or simply just scroll through the apps off this Charm/Search view, you can right-click the application, and at the bottom of the screen you are given options to Pin to Start, which adds the app to your Windows 8 Style Menu (THIS is a good idea as it puts a shortcut on your main menu screen so that every time you press the Home button or press the Windows-key, your apps show up on the main menu). You can also Pin to Start things like Control Panel, Command Prompt, Run, etc. I usually Pin everything I usually use/access to the Start which makes it easy for me to just go back to the main Windows 8 style menu to launch my apps!

Note: You’ll also see when you right click an app, you can also Pin to Taskbar (this pins to the old Windows 7 style taskbar at the bottom of the “Desktop” screen). I used to Pin stuff to the Taskbar, but now that more and more apps are coming out with Windows 8 menu icons (like Office 2013, SkyDrive, Box.net, Real Player, etc), I no longer find myself working from the older Win7 “taskbar.” This is one of those crutches you can continue to use, or just move into the 21st Century and start using the native Windows 8 menu.

Note: You’ll also see when you right click an app, at the bottom of the screen you can choose to run the app as an Administrator, uninstall the app, find the file/application location. These are helpful “things” we used occasionally in Win7 in the past that you now have shortcuts to run.

Another option off the Charm Menu (when you move your mouse cursor to the bottom right, or swipe your thumb right to left off the right edge of a tablet) is the Settings options (the bottom-most option on the charm) when you click on Settings…

…this is where a LOT of common things are found, such as Control Panel…

…Power (where you choose to shutdown/restart the computer/device), Network (where you select the WiFi connection you want to connect to), Change PC Settings (where you can change other things that are not in the Control Panel like desktop background, the photo you associate to your logon…

…add printers, etc).

Basically click on this Settings place and you’ll get to a lot of things you may normally access for configuration.

Okay, so with the basics under your belt, here’s where you learn to be a Windows 8 person and not a WinXP/Win7 person trying to run Windows 8. Instead of moving your cursor to pop up the charm to then click on Search to then find your application, or instead of moving your cursor to pop up the charm to then click Settings to then go to the Control Panel…you would do one of two things. If you are on a Tablet (or a keyboard-based Win8 device), ADD all of your apps, control panel, etc. to your Windows 8 style menu. It’ll take you a couple minutes to right click and “Pin to Start” all of your apps and utilities, but once they are pinned, you will almost never have to go fiddle with the charm thing. You’ll just press the Home button (on a tablet) or press the Windows key (on a keyboard-based system) and from the menu, click/tap the app and you run the app. To “switch” to another app, press the Home button or press the Windows key and click/tap the other app you want to run. All apps stay in memory; you just “toggle” between apps by simply pressing the Home button or pressing the Windows key to get to your apps.

Note: On a keyboard system, you can still Alt-Tab between apps, so toggling between apps is really easy. No more Start/Programs to get to applications. No need to Charm/Settings/Control Panel to get to the Control Panel if you simply pinned the Control Panel onto your Windows 8 style main menu!

So what happens if you want to access an app that you did not pin to your menu? On a keyboard-based system, at the Windows 8 Menu, just start typing a few letters of the app or function you want to do, and the “search” starts working immediately. For example, at the Windows 8 menu, if I start typing the letters n-o-t-e-p, the search bar will appear in the upper right and it’ll zero in on the Notepad application on the left.

Assuming the app is highlighted on the left, just press the Enter key any time and it’ll launch that app, no key clicking, nothing extra. If it pops up several apps with n-o-t-e-p, then either keep typing to zero in on “the app” you want and press Enter to launch, or you can arrow around/tap-touch/click on the app name on the left side to select “the app” you want. Fiddle with this, but effectively this is a very quick way to launch apps that may not be on your Windows 8 menu (yet).

If I start typing w-o-r-d, if I have Microsoft Word on the system, it’ll show me Word, or e-x-c-e-l will give me the option of launching Excel. Or even things like p-r-i-n-t-e-r will pop up under Settings the option for me to “Add a Printer,” or n-e-t under search settings will show me options like “Connect to a Network.”

Between Pinning things to Start and simply typing a few letters of something, I can launch apps, run utils, add printers, and do things on a Win8 system FASTER than what I thought was super efficient in WinXP or Win7. This was the trick to making Windows 8 easy to use.

Now that you have the navigation thing figured out, go to the Windows Store and download “apps” for your most common things you do, so things like there are Box.com apps, Acrobat reader apps, Picture viewers, Real Media Player app, etc.

Note: When you are in the store looking for apps, as much as you can scroll through the “Popular” apps or “Top free” apps it shows you on screen, if you wanted to “search” for an app to download, it’s not intuitive how to search for an app. The way to search for an app is when you are in the Store, pull up the “charm” thing (move mouse to the bottom right, or on a tablet, swipe your right thumb right to left to have the “charm” menu on the right side pop out and then use the “search” function in the charm). So just as you “searched” your apps earlier in this blog to find stuff on your local computer, when you are in the Store app and do a search, it’ll now search for apps in the Store (ie: searching for Acrobat, or Box, or Alarm Clock, or USA Today or the like).

When you install the app, it shows up on your Windows 8 Style menu. Simply clicking the app launches the application. However, from your Windows 8 Style menu, you might want to move your most commonly used apps to the left side of your menu so they are visible to you more frequently when you pop up the Windows 8 menu. To move the app with a mouse/keyboard, just click and hold down the mouse button down and “drag” the app to the left. On a touch tablet, you touch the app with your finger and then slide the app “down” and then to the left. This took me a while to figure out as I logically tried to push the app with my finger and immediately drag to the left which would tend to just launch the app. The trick is to touch the app with your finger, drag down a bit, then to the left to move it around! Move any non-commonly used apps from the left side over to the right side so they are out of your way.

Many times apps take up two spaces on the menu. I hate that. I’d rather have all of my apps as the small 1-square wide icon. All you do is right-click the app icon and at the bottom it’ll show you “larger” or “smaller” to make the icon a different size. Some have this option to make small icons larger. Oddly, you cannot tag multiple icons and make them all “Smaller” at the same time, you have to right click and “make smaller” one by one. It takes a few seconds to do, but buys you back more real estate on your Windows 8 menu to get more apps 1 click away to run. (Note: if you have a touch tablet, some of these first time configurations are BEST off doing with a mouse. I would usually plug a USB mouse into my tablet and run through some of these basic right-click configuration things, or drag/drop icon things as it is a LOT faster with a mouse. Everything “can” be done with your finger on a touch screen; it’s just not as efficient if you have a lot to configure/setup).

When you are in a Windows 8 app, you likely find there are no application configuration options, settings, things you can do with the app that you have in Windows XP or Windows 7 apps might have found as Tools/Options, or Options/Settings. With Windows 8, apps typically DO have configuration settings, you just have to know how to find them. Here’s the trick, app settings are in the Charm/Settings on Windows 8. Launch and sit in the Windows 8 application, and then with a touch tablet, swipe your right thumb from right to left off the left edge of the tablet screen, and press Settings; with a keyboard system, move your mouse cursor to the bottom right to pull up the Charm menu, then click Settings. With the Charm/Settings exposed, you’ll see configuration settings for that app!

Also, when you are in a Windows 8 application, there are frequently more options when you “swipe down” from the top of the tablet, or “swipe up” from the bottom of the tablet screen (or on a keyboard-based system, you position your mouse cursor at the top of the screen where a bar appears, or you move the mouse cursor at the top of the screen and right-click). As an example, when I’m in the Internet Explorer in Windows 8 and want to have the Address Bar appear, or I want to switch between IE “tabs”, things like the below pop up and give you additional application options…

For applications on your Windows 8 menu, there’s also this thing called “Live Tile,” in which the icon changes screens, like the way the CNN news live tile shows you the latest news and flips through things, or the Photos “Live Tile” flips through your pictures. You can turn Live Tile off (again, right click the icon, choose to turn Live Tile on/off). I find it annoying to have the thing flip through stuff when I don’t remember what icon is what, but it’s really your call.

To flip through running apps, you can Alt-Tab from a keyboard-based system, or from either a mouse or touch tablet, move the cursor to the upper left hand corner and little tiles of the running apps show in the left margin of the screen. You can right-click and “close” any of those running apps. I used to close apps all the time as I’m old school and after running an app and don’t need it anymore, I close it. But after a while, I just leave the apps running. They don’t take up processing power and with 4-8GB of RAM in my systems these days I have plenty of memory. Every now and then I reboot my device/tablet/system but on occasion, and I will run my finger to the upper left and choose apps to close.

And a hidden thing in the bottom left corner of the screen is a “start”-type button thing that when right clicked will show you a list of common tasks like Event Viewer, Disk Management, Command Prompt, Task Manager, Control Panel, Windows Explorer, Run, etc. It’s sometimes helpful to use that, although these days with most stuff on my Windows 8 Menu or I just type a few letters, I don’t bother with these various other menu things, but just FYI…

Logging Out of a system is done by click on your name from the Windows 8 Style menu as shown in the Figure here:

To shutdown or restart the computer, you can navigate the menus (like Charm, Settings, Shutdown), or what I did was create a Windows 8 style menu “app” that I simply click that’ll shut down my computer. You effectively create a “shortcut” on the “desktop” and then you “Pin to Start.” That’ll add the shortcut to your Windows 8 menu. Here’s what it looks like:

1) From the Windows 8 menu, click Desktop to switch to the old Windows 7 style desktop
2) Right click on the desktop and choose New | Shortcut
3) When prompted for the Location of the item, enter in c:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe /p as shown below, then click Next

4) For the name of the Shortcut, type in something like Shutdown, then click Finish
5) Right click on the shortcut that is on your desktop and choose Pin to Start

You now have an icon on your Windows 8 menu that allows you to shutdown your system with a single click.

You can change the command syntax in #3 above to restart the computer by making that c:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe /r or /h at the end (instead of /r) will hibernate a system.

Oh, and one more thing – so once I tricked out my Windows 8 menu with all of the icons I wanted, how do I transfer my icons, menu items, etc. to other systems? Microsoft came out with this thing called the User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) that is the new generation of “roaming profiles.” However, unlike roaming profiles of the past where EVERYTHING was moved from system to system whether you wanted it or not (ie: registry settings, apps, icons, junk on your desktop, etc), with UE-V profiles, you can specifically just note to “roam” your Windows 8 menu. Microsoft did a case study on my organization’s experience with UE-V [link download].

More information on UE-V is available on the Microsoft site. UE-V isn’t free; it’s part of what Microsoft calls its Desktop Optmization Pack (MDOP) that includes a bunch of other tools like RemoteApp, App-V (application virtualization), VDI, etc. Any case, you might find your organization owns MDOP as part of the Software Assurance for Windows client licensing, and if so, explore UE-V where you can roam your Win8 menu from your desktop, to your laptop, to your tablet, to your VDI guest session, to your Remote Desktop (terminal server) guest session, etc.

Hopefully, this is a place to start. I REALLY fought the whole Windows 8 menu thing for a long time, even filed several “bug reports” during the early adopter program noting that the whole Windows 8 menu was a major “bug,” although with a bunch of these tips and tricks I’ve noted in this article, I think you’ll find this whole Windows 8 menu thing to actually be a LOT easier to use and definitely faster than having to fiddle through a bunch of menus.

Several other postings I’ve done on Windows Server 2012, Exchange 2013, Intune, System Center, etc. Just click the Next Article or Previous Article buttons on this blog post to get to other articles I’ve covered, or click here to see a listing of all of the various blog posts I’ve done over the years. Hopefully this information is helpful!


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Windows 8’s early uptake trumps Vista’s

Windows 8’s early uptake trumps Vista’s
New OS beats perception-plagued Vista even as it fails to match Windows 7

Microsoft’s Windows 8 may be lagging far behind Windows 7 in its usage uptake, but it’s easily topping the low bar set by Windows Vista, according to data from Web metric firm Net Applications.

Windows 8 accounted for 0.45% of all computers running Windows during October, Net Applications noted earlier this month, five times less than Windows 7’s 2.33% for the same month three years ago.

Both operating systems were launched in the waning days of October, Windows 7 in 2009, Windows 8 in 2012.

Previously, Computerworld had been unable to compare Windows 8’s uptake to Windows Vista’s because it had started recording Net Applications’ data for the latter only February 2007, the first full month after that problem-plagued operating system’s launch.

Numbers recently unearthed on Net Applications’ website, however, now allow a head-to-head comparison for previous months.

By the end of January 2007 — Vista debuted Jan. 30 of that year — the then-new OS powered just 0.19% of all Windows systems, or less than half that of Windows 8 after its Oct. 26, 2012 release.

In the two prior months — November and December 2006, which was as far back as the Net Applications data went– Vista also struggled to draw users.

During those two months, Vista’s share of all versions of Windows was significantly lower than Windows 8’s: Vista accounted for 0.12% and 0.17% of all Windows-equipped PCs, half that of Windows 8 in the same pre-launch period.

Windows 8, however, had inherent advantages over Vista based on their respective launch months. First, Windows 8 debuted several days before the end of the month, giving it an opportunity to rack up users through its $40 upgrade and new PC purchases. And second, like Windows 7, this year’s upgrade made it to market before the critical holiday sales season kicked off.

Vista missed that market in 2006, one of many reasons cited for its slow start if not its ultimate failure, hitting retail as upgrades and on new PCs more than a month after Christmas.

But the trouncing of Vista may be little consolation to Microsoft when it compares Windows 8’s numbers to Windows 7’s. The latter started strong — its usage share was robust throughout its preview phase, unlike Windows 8 — and took off like a rocket after its launch.

By the end of March 2010, just fives months after retail release, Windows 7 had snapped up more than 10% of all Windows machines. Vista needed 12 months to do the same.

Windows 8’s share should jump this month. While Net Applications won’t publish November’s data until Saturday, if Windows 8’s gains are similar to Vista’s and Windows 7’s, it should finish with a share between 1% and 2% for the month.

Early data aside, it’s impossible to predict whether Windows 8’s future will be more like Vista — which peaked at 20.3% of all Windows computers in October 2009 — or akin to Windows 7, which continues to gain usage share. At the end of October 2012, three years after its launch, Windows 7 accounted for 49% of all Windows-powered PCs.

Most analysts are forecasting a weak reception for Windows 8, blaming the poor global economy, the OS’s confusing dual user interfaces, enterprise upgrade fatigue after migrating from XP to Windows 7, and fierce competition from rivals’ tablets, including Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus lines.


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VMware cost calculator can show Microsoft is cheaper

In certain configurations, Windows Server 2012 is cheaper than vSphere

Which is cheaper: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or VMware vSphere 5.1? Well, that depends on who’s doing the math.

A Microsoft general manager recently wrote a blog post pointing out that a cost calculator on VMware’s website shows that if a system is configured in a certain way then Microsoft’s Windows Server is less expensive for virtualizing workloads compared to VMware’s flagship software. “VMware (finally) admits that its costs are higher than Microsoft’s,” is the title of the post.

At least one analyst is chalking this up as Microsoft “mudslinging” aimed at VMware, but also points out that it could reflect the increasing competitiveness of the virtualization market.

The cost calculator on VMware’s website must be configured a certain way for Microsoft’s Windows Systems Server to come out cheaper than VMware. The configuration includes 100 virtual machines, an iSCSI SAN, using VMware vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus, with low electricity and real estate expenses. Microsoft says this represents a “common data center virtualization configuration.” When doing this, VMware’s vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus is 19% higher than Windows Systems Center 2012 and 12% higher than VMware’s Enterprise edition. VMware’s Enterprise Plus is priced at $257,385 compared to $217,226 for the Microsoft brand. When comparing the Windows version to the standard VMware edition, however, VMware comes out to be 7% less expensive than Microsoft.

In the blog post, Microsoft GM for Servers and Tools Marketing Group Amy Barzdukas says Microsoft could be even cheaper. VMware, she says is using a 2011 study which assumes that VMware ESX hypervisor can handle 20% more applications per virtual machine compared to Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization tool. Barzdukas says that’s “an assumption with little credibility or real-life customer evidence” by VMware, noting that application memory has been improved in the 2012 version of the software.

Public relations representatives that work with VMware did not respond to multiple inquiries to offer a response to Microsoft’s claims. VMware’s cost calculator Web page does note that VMware’s Enterprise edition includes more than a dozen features that Windows Systems Center 2012 does not, such as VM fault tolerance, dynamic resource scheduling and distributed networking switching, for example.

ESG analyst Mark Bowker says “this is basically just some mudslinging,” by Microsoft. Despite what can sometimes be higher priced products, Bowker says he’s hard pressed to find users who are not happy with VMware’s services. “It’s an investment in licensing, and the hardware to go with it, but people use it because of the management capabilities it gives you to run the shop more efficiently,” he says.

It’s not the first time Microsoft has taken some jabs at VMware. Earlier this year the company released a series of advertisements featuring “Tad,” a fictional salesperson for “VMlimited.” As Network World’s Jon Gold pointed out in April, it was attempt by Microsoft to paint VMware as expensive and outdated, by portraying VMware as working with only VMware’s hypervisors. VMware has changed that since then.

John Treadway, VP of Cloud Technology Partners, a consultancy, says the cost per VM price can be slightly misleading. “Enterprise buyers know that there is a difference between the list price and what the actual price turns out to be.” Plus, he says, VMware is trying to play a price game. “That’s not their value proposition,” he says. “Cheapest isn’t always necessarily the best.”

MORE MUDSLINGING: VMware and Microsoft are missing the boat on private PaaS, consultant says

Treadway says there are plenty of ways to set up a virtualized infrastructure that would be cheaper than both VMware and Microsoft. Commodity hardware could be used on top of an open source hypervisor to create a system that he guesses could be 20% cheaper than Microsoft’s price. The tradeoff is it would take more configuration and management, but it would be cheaper.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Windows Server 2012 in the enterprise though, Bowker says. More and more, enterprises are turning into multi-hypervisor environments, with Microsoft’s Hyper-V gaining traction in adoption. “There’s a comfort factor there with Microsoft,” he says.

And overall, Bowker says that competition is a good thing to keep these vendors on their toes and ensure that customers reap the benefits of a diversified marketplace.


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Microsoft reportedly allows pirates to activate unlicensed installations of Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Pro pirates can install free Windows 8 Media Center pack from Microsoft to permanently activate their installations, users report

Users running pirated copies of Windows 8 Pro can reportedly upgrade to a fully licensed and permanently activated version of the OS by simply installing a free Windows 8 Media Center upgrade offered by Microsoft.

Can you navigate Windows 8?

The relatively simple technique that essentially allows users to get Windows 8 Pro for free was described late Tuesday on Reddit by a user named “noveleven” who claims to have successfully tried it out. At least one other Reddit user confirmed that it works in the same discussion thread.

Microsoft currently allows Windows 8 Pro users to gain the Windows Media Center (WMC) feature set for free by downloading and installing a Windows 8 Media Center pack from its website. This offer was launched on Oct. 26 and is scheduled to run until Jan. 13, 2013.

Users only have to register with a valid email address and they will receive a valid product key which they can use during the upgrade.

However, the problem is that the upgrade process doesn’t check if the existing product key is valid or not, as long as the system appears to be activated, noveleven said.

Users who install Windows 8 Pro without paying for a license currently activate their systems by using rogue KMS (Key Management Service) servers that accept any product key as valid.

KMS was designed to allow enterprises with a Microsoft volume license agreement to activate new Windows installations using a server located on their internal network.

KMS-based activation is temporary and has to be renewed every 180 days. However, it seems that after applying the free WMC upgrade and using the unique product key supplied by Microsoft, the temporary KMS activation, whether legitimate or rogue, becomes permanent.

“When you activate Windows via KMS, in the activation window it says ‘Windows is activated until…’ and a date (so if you were to install it today, it would say it’s activated until May),” noveleven said in the Reddit thread. “After installing the upgrade, the window just says ‘Windows was activated on…’ and the date of activation. That means the activation is permanent.”

Noveleven did not give instructions on how to obtain a pirated copy of Windows 8 and activate it using a rogue KMS server in detail. However, this information can easily be found on various Internet forums.

On one particular forum, users have been discussing the permanent WMC-upgrade-based activation technique described by Noveleven since Oct. 28, two days after Microsoft started offering the Windows 8 Media Center pack for free.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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10 Types of Tablet Users That Drive Us Nuts

10 Types of Tablet Users That Drive Us Nuts
Tablet PCs are valuable devices that can simplify and enhance our lives. But they also bring out the worst in some people. Here’s a list of 10 stereotypical tablet users that amuse, annoy and frustrate us to no end.

 

A couple of years ago, as smartphone mania started gripping the nation—and the world—I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story that spotlighted the funny and annoying ways people use their smartphones. Today, smartphones are nearly ubiquitous, and tablet PCs are the new craze. With tablets come a whole new set of strange, silly and often aggravating gadget-toting characters. Here are the most common culprits.

 

 

 


The Tablet Shutterbug

Forgive the Tablet Shutterbug – he knows not what he does. This poor fella usually has a smartphone with a better-quality camera that is much easier to use than the one in his tablet PC. He may even own a high-end point-and-shoot digital camera. HOWEVER, none of that matters to the Tablet Shutterbug because his camera of choice is his tablet. He can be spotted in public awkwardly holding up his tablet to snap a quick pic. And it’s not uncommon for him to drop the tablet while clumsily trying to tap the on-screen camera button. On top of all this, the Tablet Shutterbug never gets any good photos because tablet cameras suck.

 

 


Tablet Barfly Guy

Tablet Barfly Guy can be spotted at the end of the bar at your local watering hole, reading and only looking up to order another libation or to see if any other Tablet Barflys entered since the last time he glanced around the joint. The Tablet Barfly is frequently rude to anyone unwise enough to start a conversation—he’s at the bar to drink and be with his tablet, that’s all. Tablet Barfly Guy is usually a day-drinker, and he’ll leave before the evening crowd arrives. But occasionally Tablet Barfly Guy hangs around to grumble at the social drinkers for being too loud and infringing on his precious tablet time.

 

 


Obsessive Stylus Girl

Obsessive Stylus Girl doesn’t care if her tablet has a multi-touch display that was designed for use with human fingers. The stylus has been her input tool of choice since the days of the Palm Pilot, and she’s not letting go. One stylus is not enough, either. Obsessive Stylus Girl has a whole pile of styluses at the ready, she knows the perfect use case each one, and she’s prepared to detail each of them for any critics. In fact, Obsessive Stylus Girl is on a bit of a crusade to convert others to the way of the stylus, so it’s often better to simply ignore her.

 

 

 


The Tablet Showoff

You know a Tablet Showoff when you see one, because he or she holds up their tablet like a badge of honor. Tablet Showoffs frequently cradle their tablets like small children when walking around. Tablet Showoffs identify themselves, and others, based on their tablets of choice. The Tablet Showoff’s natural environment is the trendy coffee shop. And though they may sometimes seem intimidating or standoffish, Tablet Showoffs can be quite friendly—as long as they approve of your tablet of choice. (Tablet Showoffs are often, but not always, iPad users. And most Tablet Showoffs use only cases or sleeves that leave the Apple logo on the back of their iPad exposed, so everyone knows their technology vendor of choice.)

 

 


Mr. Ready for My (Tablet) Close Up

Mr. Ready for My (Tablet) Close Up, or MRMTC, uses his tablet to place video calls every chance he gets. It doesn’t matter if MRMTC is walking around the city, sitting in the coffee shop or riding the train, if an opportunity to make a video call presents itself, he’s all over it—even if a text message, email or regular old voice chat would be more appropriate or effective. If the person MRMTC is communicating with doesn’t have a webcam or a device that supports video calls, MRMTC just turns on his tablet’s front-facing camera to look at himself during a call. MRMTC can also frequently be heard asking people with awe, “Remember when we used to have to phone calls without video?”
 

 


Ms. In-Your-Face Tablet Case

Ms. In-Your-Face Tablet Case cares more about her tablet’s case than the actual device inside of it. At least that’s the way it looks. She doesn’t use any specific type of tablet case, but her case of choice always screams for attention. Her tablet protection frequently doesn’t even look like a tablet case at all, but some kind of bizarre fashion accessory. And she’ll always have the colorful case in hand, not in a bag, so everyone can see what “interesting” taste in tablet cases she has. (Ms. In-Your-Face Tablet Case also has a male counterpart, but the two are rarely spotted together, for fear of drawing attention away from each other’s respective tablet cases.)

 

 


Dr. Frankenworkstation

It’s not hard to spot Dr. Frankenworkstation; his tablet is propped up in front of him on some kind of stand; he has a portable keyboard between him and the tablet; and a mouse or trackpad—or both—sits beside the keypad. Frankenworkstation doesn’t use a keyboard case with his tablet, he builds his own workstation with an assortment of peripherals until he has the equivalent of a laptop computer… but much more awkward. He doesn’t mind carrying so many gadgets instead of just one notebook. In fact, he’ll tell you he likes it. The doctor can also frequently be heard talking about the “post-PC revolution,” and how it’s only a matter of time before tablets “kill off” PCs and laptops.

 

 

 


The Tablet Lover

The Tablet Lover is abnormally infatuated with her tablet. It’s not uncommon for new tablet owners to take great joy in using their gadgets. But the Tablet Lover legitimately loves her slate, in a way that makes her coworkers, friends and family feel uncomfortable and concerned. She takes her tablet everywhere and often has a pet name for it. She thinks of her life in terms of “before tablet” and “after tablet.” The Tablet Lover can often be spotted embracing her tablet. And the Tablet Lover is known to say things like, “I wish I could find a man that treats me as well as my tablet.”

 


Sports Fan Tablet Man

Sports Fan Tablet Man, or Woman, loves a good day at the ballpark. But he’s not satisfied with the warm sun, a cold beer and a steaming hot dog. Sports Fan Tablet Man needs his tablet to make a sporting event complete. Sports Fan Tablet Man often goes to games without another person; his tablet is company enough. He frequently uses headphones to further shut himself out from others fans. And Sports Fan Tablet Man isn’t self-conscious about his game-day tablet use at all; in fact, he’ll often purposely draw attention to himself and his tablet by telling strangers how “awesome” a new app is.

 

 

 


Tablet Wardrobe Guy

The Tablet Wardrobe Guy — who often carries around multiple tablets — buys clothing not based on style but on its ability to help him tote around his tablets. Unfortunately for Tablet Wardrobe Guy very few clothing manufacturers make tablet-friendly clothes, so he’s become adept at sewing. His jackets have custom tablet pockets. He buys cargo pants three sizes too large, with huge pockets, and then tailors the waists to fit. And he owns special gloves that let him use his tablets while outside in harsh climates. (Tablet Wardrobe Guys are also usually single, and have been known to live in their parents’ basements.)

 

 


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Five reasons Microsoft Lync 2013 matters

Five reasons Microsoft Lync 2013 matters
Lync 2013 has some new tricks up its sleeve that make it a great communication and collaboration tool for businesses.

Lync 2013 has a variety of benefits that businesses can take advantage of to make internal and external communications A more effective and efficient.

Lync, which comes bundled with Office 365 business subscriptions, is Microsoft’s server platform for unified communications. In a former life, it went by the longer, but more accurately descriptive name Office Communications Server. Lync ties real-time presence information with instant messaging, video conferencing, and voice communication, and it integrates with Exchange email and Microsoft Office applications.

Here are 5 reasons businesses can benefit from adopting Lync 2013:

1. HD video conferencing
Lync 2013 delivers support for 1080p HD resolution for video conferencing so participants have a sharp, clear display. Lync 2013 uses the standard video codecs like H.264 SVC to provide compatibility across a broader range of platforms and devices, and provide greater flexibility in terms of how video is delivered.

2. Mobile Apps
Microsoft has developed Lync Mobile apps for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, so Lync communications are available almost universally. The Lync Mobile apps allow users to instant message, call, or join a Lync Meeting from virtually anywhere.

The cross-platform approach is a trend with Microsoft, and it’s an important one. Microsoft would obviously prefer that everyone choose Windows Phone, but the reality is that Windows Phone has relatively little market share, while the vast majority of smartphones and tablets use iOS or Android. Microsoft is wise to provide tools that make sure customers continue to rely on Microsoft software no matter what platform they choose.

3. Web app
Beyond the actual Lync client software, and the Lync Mobile apps, Microsoft also introduced a Web app for Lync 2013. Users can join a Lync Meeting from Windows or Mac OS X using a Web browser, and still have access to all of the features of Lync, including HD video, VoIP (Voice over IP), instant messaging, and desktop sharing.

4. Skype federation
As great as Lync is, you will run into plenty of partners, vendors, and customers who don’t use it. Skype, on the other hand, is a very popular and free communications tool–and Microsoft owns that as well. Lync has always provided the option to integrate and communicate with Windows Live Messenger, but Microsoft is phasing that platform out and driving users over to Skype instead. Lync 2013 extends communications to Skype with presence, instant messaging, and voice capabilities.

5. Office 365
Small and medium businesses–or even larger businesses for that matter–can take advantage of Lync 2013 as a function of the new Office 365 offering. Lync is not part of the standard Office 365 Home Premium service, but for $150 per user per year the Office 365 Small Business Premium offering includes Lync, as well as Exchange and SharePoint hosted and supported by Microsoft so you don’t have to invest in or manage the backend server infrastructure yourself.

The Office 365 element is arguably the most compelling aspect of Lync 2013. There are other video conferencing solutions, like Cisco Webex or Citrix GoToMeeting, but they can be costly and only provide the video conferencing piece. Office 365 makes sense for most business customers, and the addition of Lync, Exchange, and SharePoint for only $50 per user per year more make it an even greater value.

Microsoft has also made some substantial improvements in the look and feel of Lync 2013–making it easier to facilitate Lync Meetings, and presenting a cleaner, more intuitive interface for users. For some businesses, Skype alone may be enough, but businesses that want more robust, comprehensive communication tools should take a look at what Lync 2013 has to offer.


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How Big Data Will Separate Haves From Have-Nots

When the Internet and the World Wide Web first gained momentum in the 1990s, words such as email and ecommerce entered the popular lexicon. (In fact, a lowercase “e” became a symbol of all things electronic.) The dot-com boom and bust cycle played out in what has since come to be known as Internet time. Entire industries were created and decimated in the span of a decade. Today, it’s hard to imagine either a business or personal life without the Internet and the Web.

Top 5 ciities for Big Data jobs

Tips: 4 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Big Data Initiative

We are now arguably entering a similar historical inflection point with big data, according to Dun & Bradstreet CIO Walt Hauck. He should know. For 170 years, data has been D&B’s business. Now Hauck controls how the company gains competitive advantage by wielding this asset.

Big Data Will Help You Understand Your Customers

According to Hauck, the companies that “get” big data and use it to better serve their customers will be the “haves.” Those that don’t might as well open a corner bookstore.

Dun & Bradstreet CIO Walt Hauck

“I think big data is the beginning of the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, Hauck says. “You’re either going to be able to take your data, manipulate it and understand it at scale, or you’re going to follow those that do.”

How-To: Use Big Data to Stop Customer Churn

Hauck isn’t talking about the data that comes from Twitter feeds and Facebook “likes.” That’s interesting and grabs headlines, but the real value in big data is better understanding what you already know:

Why do your customers do what they do?
What is it about your products or services that resonates with your customers?
What do your customers need-and need more of?
How are you going to use what you know about your customers to do what you do better, attract new clients, open new markets and so on?

“How many times do companies build products that don’t change the market in any fundamental way?” Hauck asks. The promise of big data, he adds, is avoiding such scenarios. It won’t come easily.

“You’re going to get a much tighter feedback loop. Your data is going to double next year and double again in six months after that,” Hauck says. You can ignore that information and just guess, he continues, or you can analyze the data, test a hypothesis and see what works. “In the broader world, we are awash in data but bereft of insight. I think our value prop is around creating more and more insight.”

CRM is the classic example of this, Hauck says. CRM data is all over the place, and sometimes it’s corrupted. The challenge is getting all that information normalized and into a model that gives you a good idea of a customer’s propensity to spend. From there, you have to manage that model against what actually happens and fine-tune it. Being able to look across all your data sets to find these answers is one of the promises that big data technology brings to the table.

Analysis: Five Things CIOs Should Know About Big Data

Most people talk about applying big data principles to Internet data, crowdsourcing and sentiment analysis, but Hauck says Dun & Bradstreet gets a lot of value from looking at internal systems in new ways.

“We look through our products to see what people are using. We’re promoting features in products in ways we haven’t before, and we’re taking features out of products based on usage,” he says, adding that this provides value related to upselling, cross-selling and point-of-sale decision-making.

Librarians, Data Scientists and Master Data Management

Before you can obtain these insights, though, you have to roll up your sleeves and finally implement those massive master data management projects that have been sitting on the back burning, waiting for a strong business case.

Big data could just be it. Unfortunately, there’s a dual challenge here. “Good librarianism,” to use Hauck’s lingo, and big data share a lack of critical talent.

“The biggest challenge for me is getting people who are competent in using this stuff at scale,” Hauck says. “Everyone can build a 100-by-100 cube with this stuff. The guys that have done a billion-table join? Not as many. You can try to rent the technical skills, but, unless they understand the context of your business, it just takes a couple of years to build up the chops to use this stuff.”

Fortunately, the barrier to entry is low from a technical and cost standpoint, and companies such as Cloudera are bringing big data technologies in reach for the smallest of businesses. However, you still need the in-house expertise to make sense of the all the numbers. You can put all these numbers from all over the place into a blender and get an answer, but it will be meaningless if you don’t understand the question you’re trying to answer.

“Maybe downstream you need some analytics, [but] at the front it’s really hard to get all your data out of your SAP system [and] into a Hive,” Hauck says. “That doesn’t come for free, and that doesn’t come without expertise.”

Big Data’s Customer Service Imperative

Such problems aside, ignore big data at your peril, Hauck cautions. The companies that “get it,” and understand that it’s about managing expectations as much as information, will benefit.

Think about your own interactions with the companies you work with. If it takes days (instead of seconds) to update your records, or if the customer service representative can’t see a list of service calls and outcomes on her display and react accordingly, you are going to feel like the company is inept, incompetent or, worst of all, doesn’t care about you as a customer.

How-To: Big Data Analytics Gold for the Call Center

Big data will put the expectation of instantaneous feedback and reaction into hyper-drive. Those that embrace this change, and the velocity of it, will be the winners. “Amazon is the exception to the rule today,” Hauck says, but we’re not far from companies being described as “slow” and “dumb” if they aren’t monitoring customers in real time.

“A few years from now, someone’s going to say ‘You didn’t change your application based on what I did a minute ago? Don’t you care about me?'” he suggests. “It’s going to separate the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots,’ much like…brick-and-mortar vs. Internet shops. Big data is going to create that kind of divide.”

It appears that most enterprises planning to avoid this fate. Prior to his conversation with CIO.com, Hauck walked out of a meeting of Fortune 500 CIOs. “It’s on everyone’s mind,” he says. “Part of the struggle in today’s business economic environment is [wondering if]can people squirrel away enough resources to take a swing at it?”

Time will tell, of course. You can always swing and miss, as some surely will, just as some unexpected winners will come out of nowhere to claim victory and play spoiler.

Either way, big data is here to stay. It’s more than just a buzzword or a hype-cycle, Hauck concludes-it’s going to separate the customer-centric companies from those that simply act as commodity sellers. “It’s about what you do with [the data], how are you going to do real-time offering, how are you going to do processing, how you stand against your competition. People who can leverage that…are going to win.”


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SmartGlass: Microsoft’s secret weapon in the battle for the living room

Analysis Why SmartGlass is Microsoft’s killer app

The launch of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system was an unprecedented moment for the industry giant.

It is, after all, the first major version of Windows to be built from the ground up with smartphones and tablets in mind rather than being PC-centric.

What’s more, it was accompanied by the launch of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, marking a historic new appetite within Redmond to take the fight to Apple on the hardware front.

It also coincided with the quiet release of Microsoft’s SmartGlass app. Inevitably the bulk of the media attention has been focused on Windows 8 and its flagship hardware, but SmartGlass is equally as important to the company’s plans. This is Microsoft’s killer app, and it could be pivotal.

Back in 1980, Bill Gates stated that Microsoft’s ultimate goal was “a computer on every desk and in every home”. At the time this was considered rather farfetched, but three decades on it almost seems conservative.

Having long since achieved this original ambition, Microsoft started looking for ways to expand its presence in our lives.
Enter, Xbox

There’s little doubt that the launch of the original Xbox console back in 2001 was part of a long term strategy to gain a foothold in the living room and help Microsoft become an arbiter of our digital leisure time in the same way it had become an ubiquitous part of our working lives.

Of course, Microsoft denied this at the time as it sought to gain credibility with the gaming press and establish itself in the market as a pure games company. However, once it launched the Xbox 360 and began to overturn the dominance of the PlayStation brand, the façade started to slip and more and more media services were added to Xbox Live.

Today Microsoft earns more revenue from TV, movies and music on the Xbox 360 than it does from games and there is no longer any ambiguity about the company’s intentions. Microsoft wants to own the living room.

However, as this strategy has been unfolding, the ground has been shifting beneath Microsoft’s feet. A resurgent Apple charted a different course for digital entertainment with the iPod, iPhone and iPad and in the process opened up a whole new world of computing on the go to ensure we are connected to our media everywhere and always.

Microsoft knows it is lagging behind in the new world of smartphones and tablets, and it’s banking on SmartGlass to help it catch up, and ultimately, to lead in the battle for the living room.
The Xbox advantage

The Xbox brand is a key advantage in Microsoft’s arsenal. There are 70 million Xbox 360s sitting under televisions across the world, most of which are connected to Xbox Live and able to stream on-demand television, movies, music and of course games to their owners TV screens.

With SmartGlass that same content can now be seamlessly served out to existing tablets and smartphones, including iOS devices. SmartGlass also augments television media with second-screen functionality such as displaying information about the cast in a movie you are watching or allowing you to bet on live sports, but only if you are watching them through your Xbox.

Shortly before the launch of Windows 8 and Surface, Microsoft highlighted the evolution of Xbox from a device to an entertainment service, with Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing officer for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Division confidently stating that “Xbox will be a gateway to the best in movies, TV shows, music, sports, your favourite games and instant access to your friends, wherever you are”.

SmartGlass is a key component in this evolution, because it’s through SmartGlass that the Xbox is able to become the “gateway” to your media that Mehdi is describing.

Microsoft knows that most of us own iOS or Android powered tablets and phones, but SmartGlass allows its Xbox entertainment ecosystem to bleed out onto these devices.

Microsoft doesn’t mind if you’re watching movies on your new iPad as long as they were purchased through Xbox. In addition, it’s betting that the more deeply you are drawn into Xbox entertainment services presented through a Windows 8 interface on your TV, the more likely you are to embrace Windows 8 powered tablets and phones with your next upgrade.

However, there are still some kinks to iron out. The aging Xbox 360 hardware isn’t quite the ideal central hub for all your entertainment needs. It’s not practical (or economical) to leave the device running, which creates an instant barrier between you and your media, and it wasn’t designed to multitask in the way that modern users expect.

Conveniently, hardcore gamers are also hungry for an upgrade, as the performance of games on the system has now fallen far behind that available on a modern PC.
Xbox 720

So, in 2013 Microsoft will launch a next generation Xbox console which supports an always-on power state and carries a chipset designed to enable concurrent apps.

The company knows that hardcore gamers will drive early adoption, but mass market penetration must follow quickly if its strategy is to succeed. In order to achieve this, Microsoft will begin to position itself more as a service provider like Sky than as a traditional console manufacturer.

Indeed, Microsoft has already been trialing this model with Xbox 360, which you can now purchase through selected retailers in the US for just $99 if you also sign up to a two-year Xbox Live subscription. This move is clearly in anticipation of a full transition to service provider when the new Xbox launches.

Bill Gate’s was serious about his company’s lofty goal back in 1980, and today Microsoft is serious about its new ambition to own the living room and become the de facto provider of our digital entertainment.

To achieve this objective, the Redmond giant is attacking on all fronts. Surface and its successors will answer the demand for sleek, innovative hardware that Apple has created in the market place, Windows 8 is ready to run on the full array of devices we now have in our lives, and Xbox will serve up all the entertainment and content we need via a seamless, SmartGlass-powered medium.

But is this strategy too convoluted? If one piece of the puzzle fails to fall into place, will the whole house of cards come tumbling down? This is the beginning of a fascinating new era in the history of Microsoft.


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How to get free remote access to your PC or Mac

How to get free remote access to your PC or Mac
Sponsored Access your files from anywhere with an internet connection

Go anywhere and do anything using free remote access to any PC or Mac from LogMeIn Free. Live your life your way – secure in the knowledge that you’re never farther away from all your information than the nearest internet connection.

How many times have you wished you could just get your hands on your computer – whether to access a critical piece of information, update a file, show a friend your most recent video or offer IT support?

Well, with LogMeIn Free you can put that feeling behind you forever. The application provides free remote access to any PC or Mac through the cloud. So now you can get to all your information, applications and files from anywhere, at any time, as long as there’s an internet connection.
Make the connection

Getting started is easy. Users first download and install the free LogMeIn client software on each computer they want to connect to. It doesn’t matter if you own a desktop, a laptop or both, and it works with all versions of Windows or Mac OS X.

From there, one simple website login is all it takes to connect from any public or private computer, and access your files, applications and media as if you were sitting in front of your remote PC.

Making the connection is easy and doesn’t require the user to tinker with router preferences, port forwarding or other messy network settings – it all “just works.”

Best of all, LogMeIn can take advantage of whatever internet connection is available – Wi-Fi or cellular, including 3G or fast new 4G LTE data speeds.

Data security is always a concern whether you’re travelling or not. Users can feel safe knowing that LogMeIn takes advantage of the same powerful 256-bit SSL encryption used by major online banks, protecting you from initial log in until it’s time to log off and call it a day.

LogMeIn Free also includes the ability to cut, copy and paste text between remote and local screens, map keyboards so you’ll be right at home on every computer you use and even supports multiple monitor setups.

LogMeIn Pro takes the same great experience available in the basic version, but adds an additional layer of features squarely aimed at true road warriors.

File Manager makes it easy for users to transfer large files or even entire folders between remote computers, where they can be saved locally – perfect for making sure a forgotten presentation slide or other document doesn’t spoil your next big meeting.

Pro-enabled Windows and Mac computers also enjoy HD video and audio streaming over any internet connection, and remote files can even be printed locally with ease.

Available on Windows or Mac with an annual, six-month or three-month in-app subscription upgrades for iOS, LogMeIn Pro takes remote control of your computer to a whole new level.

Once that’s done, you simply log in through the LogMeIn website and access the remote computer. You’ll feel like you’re sitting right in front of it no matter where you are and no matter what you’re doing.

It turns out, all this freedom will make you more productive since you are no longer ‘away’ from your computers. People have used Free or Pro to provide support for their friends and family, run their small business and to work from home. Because it’s not just about access. It’s about accessibility.


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The 5 worst mobile threats of 2012

New types of mobile malware make headlines every day, but what are the most prevalent threats out there? The team at Nominum decided to find out by analyzing Domain Name System (DNS) data of approximately half a million users from various countries.

Most malware uses the DNS to communicate and our technology processes about 30% of the worlds’ DNS traffic, so we were able to identify the top five mobile-only malware threats.

We defined greatest threat as the most widespread malware that meets a baseline level of risk to the end user — for example, malware that attempts to steal a person’s identity and/or money. What follows is a summary of the current mobile malware landscape and a short description of each malware threat, along with some thoughts on what can be done to protect end users.
But how bad is it, really?

The mobile malware threat is real with a significant number of infections in existence today that are capable of stealing mobile phone users’ identity, and this number is growing everyday. Our research shows that Android remains the top target of malware writers.

Despite that finding, our data was not extensive enough to prove just how prevalent threats were in the U.S. specifically, but recent research has shown that malicious links within text continue to be the biggest concern for mobile device users in the U.S. with 4 in 10 American users likely to click on an unsafe link.

Although Androids topped the list of mobile malware targets, there are still major regional differences in mobile malware prevalence. For instance, “Notcompatible” has a much higher infection rate in Latin America, while “SMSPACEM” and “Netisend” are much more prevalent in the Asia Pacific regions.

These regional differences may be explained by end users’ personal networks. Like a cold or virus in the real world, once someone in a community gets infected with a mobile malware, they are more likely to spread it to others in that community — instead of a sneeze, it is through SMS. As the mobile malware area is less mature than its fixed counterpart, it may take more time for mobile threats to “jump” networks; this will change soon, though, as malware threats get more sophisticated.

Mobile malware writers are leveraging many of the same social engineering techniques (e.g., spreading through end users’ contact lists) and technical capabilities (e.g., rootkits) to spread and make money they’ve used on the Fixed side for years. As the proliferation of smartphones continues and the mobile ad market matures, the incentive of higher profit possibilities will encourage malware writers to write more sophisticated malware.

With multiple mobile operating systems and a vast array of devices, device-based anti-malware software alone isn’t a scalable solution to the problem. The DNS enables a network-based approach for preventing malware that works regardless of what type of device is infected.

The DNS is primarily thought of as a functional technology to navigate the Web, as its original role was to facilitate ease of use of the Internet. DNS eliminates the need to type in long strings of numbers (IP addresses) to access content and translates the numbers into words. Due to its history, DNS has become an often-overlooked layer but it is essential to the network running. As network activity has advanced (think the proliferation of applications, mobile banking, etc.), the DNS layer has evolved into an efficient network infrastructure tool that guides high-performance transactions.

In the case of mobile malware threats, the DNS layer can be analyzed to detect and mitigate suspicious activity. Accordingly, solutions have been invented that enable mobile carriers to layer security applications upon their pre-existing DNS network. These applications can conduct a number of roles from detecting and thwarting hackers’ efforts to alerting users of potentially dangerous mobile websites.

Compared to other solutions, utilizing the DNS layer allows for a faster response time and cost-effective options — both important benefits to a mobile carrier and its subscribers. The DNS’s ability to secure networks should be a part of the modern mobile operator’s security playbook because the mobile malware problem is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Here are the top threats that we’re up against:

* NOTCOMPATIBLE — The worst of all malware created in 2012 is a drive-by Trojan which can infect Android phones via their mobile Web browsers. When a browser’s download is completed, it will ask for user permission to install as depicted below. After infection, the Android phone can work as a proxy. It is widespread and growing every day. [Also see: "For the first time, hacked websites deliver Android malware"]

* SMSPACEM — This is the second-most widespread malware for Android phones in 2012. It will change a phone’s wallpaper and send anti-Christian jokes by SMS to all the user’s contacts. Here is an example: “Looks like Jesus is a no-show, maybe Judaism was on to something Cannot talk right now, the world is about to end Just saw the four horsemen of the apocalypse and man did they have the worst case of road rage Prepare to meet thy maker, make sure to hedge your bet just in case the Muslims were right.”

* LENA — This Android-based malware is capable of taking over a user’s phone without asking permission by using an exploit such as gingerbreak or appearing as a VPN app. Once gaining root access, LENA can start to communicate with its command an control site, download additional components and update installed binaries.

* NETISEND — An information stealer on Android phones, it can retrieve information like IMEI, IMSI, model information and installed applications. After downloading, the malware will ask permission to connect to the Internet and open a backdoor with its C&C domain site.

* BASEBRIDGE — It can get an Android phone root access by exploiting netlink message validation local privilege escalation vulnerability. Once infected, Basebridge can disable installed AV software, download additional malware components and open a backdoor with its C&C site. It will steal IMSI, manufacture and model info. It can also send SMS messages, delete SMS messages from inbox and dial phone numbers.

These five mobile malware threats are just the tip of the iceberg. New types of mobile malware are designed everyday by ill-intentioned individuals, and hardware-based security is just a temporary Band-Aid to defend against sophisticated mobile threats. Staying aware of what is out there and abreast of the latest threats is the first step in protecting yourself, but a joint effort is necessary and carriers will soon need to start arming their networks with security layers for their customers’ sake too.

Nominum is the worldwide leading provider of integrated subscriber, network and security solutions for network operators. Nominum is the provider of the N2 Platform that leverages more than 1 trillion DNS queries daily and enables the rapid development and seamless integration of applications that leverage DNS data. These applications are generated by the Nominum IDEAL ecosystem, an open ecosystem of application providers. The combined value of the N2 Platform and the IDEAL ecosystem provides network operators with the ability to deliver a differentiated subscriber experience with cost efficiency and agility. Nominum is a global organization headquartered in Redwood City, Calif.


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