Technology
Microsoft Temporarily Pulls Windows RT 8.1 Update
Monday, October 21, 2013 14:49

Tags: Microsoft Surface | Surface RT | Windows 8.1 | Windows RT 8.1

If you are searching for the Windows 8.1 update for your Surface RT tablet you won’t find it.  On Friday, October 18, Microsoft pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update from its Windows Store.  This response from Microsoft came after users reported trouble updating their tablets. 

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“Your PC needs to be repaired.  The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information.”  This was the message displayed to “a limited number of users” who were trying to update their Surface tablet to the new 8.1 operating system.  This error then left users with the “blue screen of death” that rendered their tablets unusable.  As per a Microsoft representative, “Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1.  As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store.”  Microsoft has assured users that their engineers are working on the problem, but they are not giving a timeline for when the issue will be fixed.

 

If you were one of the unfortunate ones to get the “Blue Screen of Death” after trying to download Windows RT 8.1, Microsoft has released a fix.  To read Microsoft’s troubleshooting instructions:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40810

 

To read more about Windows RT 8.1:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2056295/microsoft-releases-fix-for-surface-rt-slates-borked-by-windows-rt-8-1-update.html

 

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243368/Microsoft_yanks_Windows_8.1_update_for_Surface_RT_after_Blue_Screen_of_Death_reports

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Schwab Phishing Scam May Be Targeting Some Advisor Clients
Monday, October 21, 2013 13:48

Tags: privacy; security

Schwab Advisor Servcies today alerted some RIAs about a new phishing scam that is being directed at some Schwab clients. 

 

 

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Clients are receiving emails, that appear to be Schwab Alerts, asking them to click on to review their account. The email message reportedly says tells clients their accounts will be locked if they do not respond.

 

 

Phishing scams prey on naive Web users, tricking them into logging in to a "secure" website that is, in reality, a fake, so that the scammers can collect user names and passwords. 

 

 

 

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Windows 8.1 Now Available; Should You Upgrade?
Thursday, October 17, 2013 09:42

Tags: microsoft | Operating Systems | windows 8

Windows 8.1 is avaialble. Should you upgrade?

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If you are running Windows XP, you pretty much have no choice but to upgrade to Windows 7 or the newer, Windows 8.1, operating system. XP is not going to be supported anymore by Microsoft. The fact that you have stuck with Windows XP even after Windows 7 and Windows 8 were released indicates that you're not a techie, don't care much about this stuff, or don't trust Microsoft.  

 

I've been using Windows 8 since Februrary 2013. Based on my personal experience and the many reviews I've read in the press, Windows 8 and 8.1 is solid. It does not crash. While I would not have suggested non-techies upgrade desktop machines from XP to Windows 8 until now, today's release of the 8.1 version of Windows addresses the useability issues that made Windows 8 confusing. The familiar "Start" button is back and there's a lot more help for new users in 8.1. So you'll be fine. 

 

If you are already running Windows 8 on a computer or tablet, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store. The update has been getting very good reviews and you'll only benefit from the improvements.

 

If you are on a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the Windows 8.1 Preview, visit this page on Windows.com to detect your OS and get Windows 8.1 on your device.

 

To get the full benefit of Windows 8.1, you really need to use it on a device enabled for touch computing. Tablets, laptops, convertibles, and phones with touch screens are an inexpensive way to try out the touch-enabled operating system. This holiday season, a new generation of ultra-high resolution touch screen monitors will be debuting that will make the touch experience on desktops much better. Because these monitors are 2560 X 1440 resolution, they can be closer to you (18 inches) and you can comfortably reach out and touch the screen. With a high-definition 1080p monitor, everything displayed on the monitor is too large when it is only 18 inches away from you. Check out new Windows devices available now and coming in the holiday season.

 

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Researcher Uncovers Backdoor Vulnerability in D-Link Routers
Monday, October 14, 2013 21:19

Tags: privacy; security

A security researcher this weekend discovered a backdoor vulnerability with certain D-Link routers that might allow cyber criminals to alter a router's setting without a username or password, and D-Link says it is working on a fix.

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D-Link will address by the end of October, says PC World.

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The New Surface Is Coming Out October 22, Should You Get One?
Thursday, October 10, 2013 13:23

Tags: microsoft | Surface 2 | Surface Pro | Surface Pro 2 | Surface RT

Has Microsoft hit a homerun with the new line of Surface tablets?  The original Surface RT and Surface Pro were released in 2012 and met with a lukewarm reception.  Recent reports however, are indicating that the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 almost sold out.  When October 22 comes should you be standing outside the store waiting for it to open to buy one of these new tablets?

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Since the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are not out yet all we have to go by is the original line of Surface tablets.  We currently have Surface RT tablets in our office and have been quite happy with their performance.

 

The Surface allows us the convenience of an “on-the-go” tablet while giving us some of the functionality of a computer.  In our eyes the Surface is lightweight, easily portable and runs the web-based applications we use daily, making this the perfect tablet for us.

 

The question now is, should you get the Microsoft Surface or the Surface Pro?  The screen, connectivity option, size and weight are pretty much the same in both tablets.  As far as hardware goes, the Surface Pro has a better processing unit, which makes the tablet run faster.  The Surface Pro also has better rear and front facing cameras.  Both newer models of the tablets, the Surface Pro 2 and the Surface 2, come with the full Microsoft Office suite.  In the older models the Surface RT only comes with a trial addition of Office, whereas the Surface Pro does come with the full suite.  One of the biggest differences is the Surface Pro allows you to download applications on your desktop and the Surface 2 does not.  The Surface 2 will be starting at $449 and the Surface Pro 2 will be starting at $899.

 

To decide which tablet will best fit your needs you should first figure out what you want the tablet to do.  If you are looking for the tablet to replace your laptop then you would probably want to go with the Surface Pro.  The Surface RT is a great tablet, but it is just that, a tablet.

 

For those of us who have applications still dependent on Internet Explorer, the Microsoft Surface line of tablets is a great option.  If your applications are not dependent on Internet Explorer you can also consider the iPad and Android tablets.

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