COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE & SECURITY BLOG

iOS 12 Released! Practical Paranoia iOS 12 Security Essentials Now Available!

Apple has just released iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad–the most advanced mobile operating system ever. It is recommended that all iPhone and iPad users upgrade to take advantage of all the new features, including: Speed–Up to 200% faster FaceTime–Video and audio sharing with up to 32 people at once Notifications–Instant Tuning reduces interruptions Photos–Faster,…
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macOS 10.14 Mojave Released! Practical Paranoia macOS 10.14 Security Essentials Now Available!

Apple has just released macOS 10.14 Mojave–the most advanced computer operating system ever. It is recommended that all Macintosh users upgrade to take advantage of all the new features, including: Stacks automatically organize files on your Desktop Finder is more powerful than ever–locate a file by how it looks, instantly see all file metadata, and perform…
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Q: Would a school or business that bans personal WiFi routers be able to “scan” for them?

A: WiFi routers can be scanned for by their wireless signal (the electromagnetic frequency that is easily triangulated), and can by way of device type on the network. Improperly configured, such a router could easily be a potential security vulnerability to the network and the devices connected to it. Even if properly configured, it would…
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Practical Paranoia iOS 12 Security Essentials Released! 50% Discount!

Apple released iOS 12 today–the most advanced mobile operating system ever. It is recommended that all iPhone and iPad users upgrade to take advantage of all the new features, including: 50-200% performance improvement FaceTime now supports video and audio with up to 32 people at once Personal Animoji The most advanced Augmented Reality Do Not Disturb can…
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Remove Adobe Acrobat “Please wait while the document is being prepared” alert

Many of our clients have recently noticed a new alert appearing when opening files in Adobe Acrobat (both Reader and Pro). The alert reads: Content Preparation Progress. Please wait while the document is being prepared for reading." Adobe support says this alert should normally not appear, but may with large (number of pages or file size)…
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Q: I’ve been told my file has illegal characters. What is that?

A. Every operating system recognizes some set of characters. In the earlier days of computing that set was called ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange). This consisted of 255 characters including a-Z, 0-9, special characters such as !, and control characters such as carriage return. And then someone realized that some places on the planet didn't use…
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Q: Will I get fired if my manager find out I sent the project file home, and they are very tight on security?

A: This depends on your company IT Policies and Procedures. For most organizations that deal with sensitive information, that information is not permitted to leave secure controlled company IT infrastructure. Your home network and computer have not been through a security audit. It is almost certain there are significant security vulnerabilities (in 37 years of IT,…
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Q: What equipment/services do I need to set up my home office for telecommuting jobs?

A: In large part this depends on the specific needs of the telecommuting job, but here are the basics required by any telecommuter: A reliable computer that is faster than you. If your computer is a performance/productivity bottleneck, your employer will likely notice and find someone else who can be more productive. The software mandated…
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My Technology OMG! Moment

Years back, Business Week magazine published a study on what personal computer IT upgrade provides the biggest return on investment. Issues such as faster cpu, more RAM, larger storage (they didn't have "faster" storage back then as we do now with SSD and Flash drives), and monitor size were evaluated. The study prompted me to…
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New, Best-In-Class Network Equipment For Sale

New, Best-In-Class Network Equipment For Sale MintzIT is clearing out our stock of new, best-in-class network equipment at great discounts. Asus RP-AC68U AC1900 Wireless Access Point New, never opened. 2 available. Currently selling on Amazon for $223 plus $21 shipping. Specs MintzIT Price: $175 plus $20 shipping. Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro Access Point New. In box. 2 available.…
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Practical Paranoia macOS 10.13 1-Day Workshop

Practical Paranoia macOS 10.13 1-Day Workshop with Marc Mintz Secure your Mac OS 10.13 computer from malware, criminals, snoops, and the whackadoodle ex. Concerned about being hacked? Your identity stolen? Your precious data stolen or encrypted? You should be. Hacking is a billion-dollar enterprise and everyone is a potential target. At risk are your personal and business messages, emails, photos,…
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Can I use a basic software solution like Apple’s Mail to manage multiple email addresses?

First, I’m a bit pressed to see Apple’s Mail as a basic software solution. I believe it has hit the sweet spot of performance, features, and stability. Ignoring that, yes! Outlook, Thunderbird, and almost all (maybe all) mail clients allow for multiple accounts. Where you will see the one-account limit is with web-based email (hotmail,…
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Why did Apple change all the ports on the Macbook Pro to USB-C when you can’t connect your iPhone to it with the usual cable? Is this against Apple’s motto of simplicity and seamlessness?

I may well have missed the memo, but as a Certified Apple Consultant and Apple Developer, I’ve never heard that Apple had such a motto, and it is nowhere to be found in their mission statement (I may not have the current statement). When would you like Apple to move to the next generation technology?…
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Are Apple’s iOS updates throttling phone speeds based purely on it being an older phone, or can it tell if the battery is bad? Would an older phone with a new battery still get forcibly slowed down by iOS updates? Which versions of iOS slow iPhones?

According to Apple (and the substantial evidence we have at hand), throttling is done based on the performance of the battery. As the battery ages, it is less able to provide for peak current demands. This can result in the phone shutting down. To help prevent such events, iPhone 6, 6S, 6 SE, and 7…
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What media would one use to store a large amount of data (4000 MB) to transfer to a different computer?

Without getting esoteric options, we have: magnetic hard drives Least expensive Slower than RAID or ssd Faster than online Solid state drives Most expensive Fastest RAID (comprised of multiple magnetic hard drives or solid state drives) Faster than hard drives Can be faster than solid state if combining multiple SSD’s Less expensive than a single…
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Q: Why do recent iOS operating systems such as 10.3.3 cause earlier iPhone models, such as the 5c to have performance slowdowns on common tasks, such as launching and switching between apps? What OS architecture changes account for this?

A: Your premise is in error. Independent testing has been performed that determined there isn’t any code within newer iOS systems that makes older units slower. However, as with almost every OS and app upgrade, there are significantly more features and functions (most under the hood), requiring more cpu cycles. This can have the effect of…
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Equifax Cybersecurity Breach

Equifax Cybersecurity Breach Announced today via the Equifax Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information page https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, between May and July, 2017, criminals were able to access the Equifax database. The criminals harvested Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers impacting approximately 143,000,000 consumers (don't you just love being identified as…
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Secure Your Digital Life With UNM Continuing Ed

PRACTICAL PARANOIA SECURITY ESSENTIALS WORKSHOPS AT UNM CONTINUING EDUCATION You don't need to be a Microsoft Engineer, Apple Genius, or Google Guru to know state-sponsored system penetration, ransomware, malware, hackers, pranksters, and even a whackadoodle ex or two are out there to get you. You includes your data, intellectual property, financial information, personal communications, web activity,…
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Practical Paranoia Security Workshops at UNM

PRACTICAL PARANOIA SECURITY ESSENTIALS WORKSHOPS AT UNM CONTINUING EDUCATION You don't need to be a Microsoft Engineer, Apple Genius, or Google Guru to know state-sponsored system penetration, ransomware, malware, hackers, pranksters, and even a whackadoodle ex or two are out there to get you. You includes your data, intellectual property, financial information, personal communications, web activity,…
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Q: Why does Apple charge more to repair an Apple Watch than what it is sold for?

Q: Why does Apple charge more to repair an Apple Watch than what it is sold for? The cost of out of warranty repairs to Apple watches are posted at https://support.apple.com/watch/repair/service/pricing. Depending on model, out of warranty repair is as much as $100 less than replacement cost, up to 25% the cost of replacement. Original Post: https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Apple-charge-more-to-repair-an-Apple-Watch-than-what-it-is-sold-for/answer/Marc-Mintz-4?share=701ab32f&srid=hFp4n
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Q: Could the FBI have requested a subpoena if Apple claimed a First Amendment right for not unlocking iPhones?

Q: Could the FBI have requested a subpoena if Apple claimed a First Amendment right for not unlocking iPhones? Theoretical legal arguments are the domain of fools. Dozens of potential paths of argument. Zero potential to reach a conclusion. Apple has no need to risk a costly constitutional law battle. They had no back door.…
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Q: If brains can be connected to computers, then how would a brain be protected against malware and spyware?

Q: If brains can be connected to computers, then how would a brain be protected against malware and spyware? Our brains are already connected to other systems, and have been for a very long time. Our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin pull in (or better, interpret) information constantly. This is used by advertisers to sway…
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