I’m always watching the boards and blogs for news about new security threats. Today, I read about CryptXXX and it is really scary. This ransomeware is transmitted by drive-by-download but look for phishing scams soon.
Here are the highlights: CryptXXX infects your computer, steals information (potentially BitCoins too), and starts doing industrial strength encryption of your local files AND mounted network shares.
- Have backups and don’t keep them mounted all the time. It would suck to have both your machine and the backups encrypted by ransomware.
- Keep everything patched. Disable Flash if you can stand it.
- Use an ad blocker to prevent infection from Malvertisting.
See more about CryptXXX here:
I upgraded my MacBook Air 2012 last night and everything went smoothly. I left my Thunderbolt displayed plugged in but didn’t have any ill side effects.
Initial observations using OSX Mavericks:
- Everything feels a little faster, starting apps, Finder
- Everything works – exception being the WP editor in v3.6 – no bullets
- Parallels 9 and Parallels Access is fine
- RoboForm is still fine
- PyCharm needed to install Java 6 SE to start
- Office 2011 (mac) runs fine
Wonder what it would have cost to have Apple do the ACA website rollout?
PyCharm has really improved my developer productivity. It has great integration with the Google Apps SDK and with a little tweaking, can support multiple Google Cloud SQL database logins.
The tricky part is managing the stored credentials behind the scenes. Seems like the Google SQL Command Line Tool only supports 1 login at a time. If you are like me and do projects for multiple clients, then you need multiple Google Account logins.
What works pretty easily is swapping out the credential file behind the scenes. Take a look here to find where the Command Line Tool is storing it’s credential:
You can setup the Command Line Tool using your first account, then rename the resulting credential File (or Registry Key in Windows. Setup the Command Line Tool again using your next account, then rename the credential file/key to something else. Now you can swap your active credential by swapping in the right file/key. Symbolic links work in Mac/Linux, .reg files to set the right key should work in Windows.
Once you have the right Credential in place, tell PyCharm about the Google Command Line Tool .jar database connector file and you are good to go. Here’s a picture of my setup.
Labor Day always feels like New Years Day to me. Kids go back to school, summer’s over.
Last year was great building PowerWeek.com and using Google App Engine for the first time. This year will be my next big GAE application and learning more about hospital scheduling.
I’ve got one son heading off to Wayland Middle School, the other starting Cambridge School of Weston. Both boys are tech savvy, so what are the right devices to support their educational experience?
Wayland High School is giving every kid a Macbook Air. My high schooler, thinks that’s a great idea. But recently he was interacting with his school portal and everything posted there was an Excel file. He’s also into having “different” stuff than everyone else. Could it be that a Microsoft Surface RT tablet makes sense for High School?
The middle schooler just want’s a Nexus 7 tablet so he can read and play tablet games. So that one is easy. Nexus 7’s are about the most reasonably priced devices on the market.
You might be thinking that these tablet devices are not powerful enough for real gaming (and that’s what kids really want computers for these days). Right-O. They’ve both already got PCs loaded with games and other distractions. The idea of a device for school is something that can do email, writing, basic web searches, play music, and not much else.
I’ve been using a Macbook Air from 2012 for the last year and love it in general. Our Wayland High School is “loaning” them to every high school student as part of a 1-1 program. It is a sweet machine, but I’m learning it does have it’s limits.
The big limitation I’ve hit with my Air is fan noise when doing anything with video or screensharing. GotoMeeting, WebEx, Skype, all of these get the CPU fan spinning to maximum. While this isn’t technically a problem, it is lowering my satisfaction with my Air being my only computer. And for reference, I’ve got the Core i7 version w/ 8gb RAM.
I’m hoping the next generation of Macbook Pros with Haswell internals will be powerful and have great battery life. I’ll probably upgrade and pawn off my Air on one of my kids. Don’t tell them I said that.
The Wayland Barn loves PyCharm. I’ve been using Google App Engine and Django with Eclipse for about a year and I finally took the plunge and switched to a dedicated IDE. What a difference!
I shouldn’t complain. The Eclipse add-in I had been using, PyDev, was free and worked pretty well. In fact, I’d never have switched except that Google broke the dev_appserver about 3 months ago and I lost my ability to do step debugging in Eclipse.
After a very short learning curve with PyCharm, I’ve got my projects, databases, GIT source control, and deployment all working in a neat package.
Over the weekend, PowerWeek.com switched from Freemium pricing to a Free Trial model. The change was motivated by 3 factors.
- We looked at our user base and saw that lots of people signup and then never return. So we were emailing them every day for the rest of their lives? Not good.
- Most of our user community is trying to make a change in their work habits. They want to get more done. If PowerWeek is free, then we reduce the commitment and initiative to really try our dogma.
- Our users are business people who can benefit economically from adopting PowerWeek and promoting that others in their downline do the same. By leading with a “free” promise, it becomes hard to see the product as something you pay to leverage.
Freemium is great for advertising driving websites. We are the opposite. Our users unanimously told us to NOT start using advertising to pay for the operation.
The experiment has begun. We had an 8% conversion rate from Freemium (which is killer, we know), but we think we can do even better! To read more about our user-driven decision, check out our press release.
I’ve been relying on Skype as my primary phone at my Wayland MA office for the last 2 years. It has been really good in general. Then again, I’ve got super big pipes from Verizon FiOS (70mbs down/35mbs up).
Recently, I’ve had clients who prefer to use Google Hangouts. On my Mac, it seems harder to get everyone assembled using the Hangout UX. Also, the audio degrades for me after about 30 minutes. If I disconnect and reconnect, then I’m fine again.
It is a pretty interesting story to see how Google has progressed to invade this space. Check out the excellent chronology by the Verge here.
I just took the plunge and purchased a Jawbone UP for my 49th birthday. The idea is the little bracelet keeps track of how active you are (or aren’t) and reminds you to get more exercise. I was waiting for the Fitbit Flex to be released first, but now they are sold-out everywhere and have an 8 week waiting list. I was able to get an UP at BestBuy right next to Wayland, MA.
It just buzzed at me to indicate I’ve been stationary in my chair for 45 minutes. I’ve got to get up now and move around. I’ll be experimenting with the app and device the next few weeks and will report back how it feels.