Introduction to OpenVPN

Looking for a simple VPN soliution?

Check out OpenVPN.  Here's a talk I did recently on setting it up and using it.



My most difficult technical support problem

Online storage is not backup

I recently had a user with a corrupt Microsoft Word file.  He felt he had a backup since he was using Microsoft OneDrive.   
Unfortunately, services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive will not protect you again accidentally deleted files, modified files, or corrupted files.   These services are designed to synchronize files between different systems and the cloud.  If a file is deleted on one computer or becomes modified or corrupted on one computer, this will propagate to the cloud and all the other computers.   

Nepotism is alive and well at NASA

In 2010, NASA started a competition to have private companies provide crew transportation to the International Space Station.   This is supposed to be a competition where the best performer will receive the most business.   Based on the history of the contracts and NASA's actions, it's pretty clear that this is not the case.
There was a news conference this past week talking about the progress and planning for NASA's commercial crew initiative.  
In this meeting and previous actions, NASA has shown their preference for Boeing over upstart SpaceX, despite SpaceX out-performing Boeing. 
Why is Boeing getting preferential treatment?

Apollo program - What could have been

What were the plans for the Apollo program after the initial moon landings?   What could have been if America had not abandoned the Saturn V and all the Apollo technology?   

Too many passwords? Try a password manager

How many different online accounts do you have?  Online banking, e-mail, social websites, etc.  Add on to that all of the online shopping sites, and you're probably over 20 at least.   How do you remember the passwords?  Some people use a single password for every site.  That's NOT a good idea.  Take a look at the linkedin security breach a few weeks back and you can see why.  If you used the same password for LinkedIn that you did for your e-mail, the data thieves now have access to your e-mail, which will pretty much give them access to nearly every account you have.
So what is the solution?  You should have a different, hard to guess password for each site.  To keep track of these passwords, you should use a password manager.

How to securely erase your hard drive

Are you planning to recycle, donate, gift, or sell your computer?   Before you do this, you should think about the data on your hard drive.  There is lots of personal information on your drive that could be used in a harmful way if it were to fall into the wrong hands.  
A colleague of mine has purchased numerous hard drives off of eBay and found data on them when he installed them.  There are man people who purchase used hard drives with the express purpose of gathering data from them.  So what is one to do?  
You have a few options.  

Security Advisory - LinkedIn password breach

Yesterday, June 6th, it was announced that a large security breach had occurred at LinkedIn.  This security breach was a large file containing password hashes.  
A password hash is how your password is stored on a server instead of as plain text.  It is advised that all users change their password immediately.
While the danger on LinkedIn is minimal, the real danger lies in the fact that many people use the same password at mulitple sites.  So, if you use your e-mail as your ID on LinkedIn, and used the same password for your e-mail your e-mail could be vulnerable.

Windows Security Essentials

Many people are paying hundreds of dollars for anti-virus and anti-malware software on their computer.  After the initial investment, some companies offer to "keep your computer secure" for an annual or monthly fee.  These programs often bog down the system and cause annoying messages to frighten you into buying more of their products.  
This is really not necessary.  I have found for my personal use that Microsoft provides all that I need fro free.   Yes, Microsoft provides things for free.  

Behold the power of Evernote

How many devices do you have?  Do want to share information across all your devices AND have access to it when at a computer that is not yours?  How about sharing documents between co-workers or friends to collaborate on?  
I would suggest taking a look at Evernote and the tools that are available to work with it.
It's available for the PC, MAC, iPhone, and Android.  You can also access your notes from the website.


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