Posts Tagged ‘#updates’

JAVA Warning

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis July 12th, 2012

UPDATE YOUR JAVA.  I’ve cleaned up two very nasty PC infections this week that were Java-based viruses.  BOTH had current anti-virus protection, which didn’t stop the attack.  When Java updates, it’s usually to patch some security hole or other issue.  The hackers and Bad Guys know this, and will exploit any software to take over your computer.  If you’re not sure if you’ve got the latest, click here to get the most recent version.  WARNING: this install will try to get you to add the Ask Toolbar.  Watch for the option and uncheck the box if you don’t want it. 

Java, anyone?

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis June 9th, 2012

“What IS Java?!” my customers often ask.  Besides coffee, Java is a programming language, and since 2006 has been licensed and handled by the GNU open-source project.  It’s original intent was to make a streamlined, object-oriented language that would work on any platform.  So you’ll find Java on all kinds of devices from PC’s to smartphones.  Android is a fine example of Java-based software, although Google  broke away and created their own version of the platform.  The language has a rocky history, with Microsoft initially helping Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) push the standards, then later becoming the villain in a dramatic turn about.  When Microsoft was sued by the DOJ for anti-trust practices, Java was part of the lawsuit.  The claim was that they were implementing Java with the intent of eventually destroying it.  Microsoft (MS) settled, and stopped shipping Java with Windows.  Nowadays you have to download it yourself.  Meanwhile MS started pushing .NET as a competitor language.  It’s all based on the C# language core, but the big argument is about open vs. closed source.  MS doesn’t like open-source software.  After all, that’s how they make their money.  So ANY open-source software is a threat to their livelihood.  Meanwhile Sun Microsystems/Oracle has helped foster and grow the Java platform to be one of the most popular and stable languages in the world.  For you, the end users, what’s all this mean?  Well, now you know what Java and .NET are all about.  They help bring your devices to life, with cool apps that are often web-based.  And YES you should update these two whenever prompted.  Sometimes they find security or other glitches that are fixed with updates.  BUT watch out!  The Java install often tries to add some other junk software, like the ASK toolbar for example.  Keep your eye out for a check box to disable this. 

Android updates

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 7th, 2011

Did you know that your phone might need updates?  It’s easy to do on Android, and you’ll really want to do it if you updated your ‘droid version (e.g. I just went from 2.1 to 2.2 AKA Froyo).  Just go to Marketplace, and you’ll see an Update button.  Some of the apps will update automatically, but others will have to be installed manually (just press the button).  The reason for the manual updates are to warn you about privacy; these apps have changed what information they access from your phone, so you have to agree before installing.  Note:  be sure you have a good internet connection before doing this.  Wi-fi is recommended.

When to update (or NOT!)

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis April 15th, 2011

People get frustrated trying to figure out when to update which software.  As a rule of thumb, we don’t buy into brand new issues of software until they’ve been out for at least 6 months.  So, for example, right now we’re warning our clients to stay away from Internet Explorer 9.  Microsoft is notorious for throwing their software out there half-baked.  BUT there are lots of cases where you SHOULD update, and that includes normal windows updates, driver updates, other standard security updates from vendors like Adobe, Java (Sun), etc.  WATCH OUT because a lot of times they bundle some crappy package with it, like McAfee Security Scan.  To avoid it, look for a checkbox along the way and UNCHECK IT.  Another good reason to buy new releases of software is for your database(s).  If you have critical business or personal info on a database (like Quickbooks, for example), you should get the new version every 2-3 years to insure that your data gets converted to the latest, greatest.  Otherwise, if you wait too long, you might not be able to upgrade.


Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis December 23rd, 2010

Christmas joys – techno toys.  Gizmos, gadgets, whoosits and whatsits, lots of you will be giving or getting new technology for gifts.  REMEMBER TO UPDATE!  Almost every device and software these days gets shipped too early.  Companies do this to get them on the shelf, then fix problems later.  So whether it’s a router, game, X-box, or phone; the first thing to figure out is how to update it to the latest version.  PC’s in particular can have a myriad of downloads available.  WIN 7 does it automatically, but it won’t do things like sound drivers or BIOS patches.  These will come from the manufacturer.  After that HAVE FUN!  :-)


Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis October 18th, 2010

Update all your Adobe stuff! (flash, reader, etc.).  They’ve had some of the most serious security holes  in their software in the last year or two.