Join Fat Guy Media's own Filippo Impennato and TCI Technologies Matt Galiano for a great night of guest bartending in efforts to raise money for Long Island Fight for Charity!  Event Details Enjoy a night of appetizers, cocktails and win great raffle prizes, while supporting a great cause! Theme: Halloween Costume Party Date: Thursday...

At this point, just about everyone is familiar with connecting their cell phone, laptop or tablet to a wireless network. Wireless networks are created by connecting an Internet access point, like a modem, to a wireless router, which then sends a signal through the air to a Wi-Fi enabled device. However, if you don’t know how to secure your wireless network, you may find out the hard way how easy it is for hackers to use it to launch malicious attacks on your computer.

Started by founder Steve Jobs, the yearly Apple launch event has become a subject of cultural curiosity where Americans aim to guess what to add to their technological wish lists. Prior to this year's event, rumors of new products flew across the Internet. And while the iPhone 6s rumors rang true, the details of the new smartphone were a mystery until now.

Although CryptoWall 3.0 ransomware has been around for a while now, we’ve recently seen a surge in the number of PCs infected. Lately, many CryptoWall 3.0 infections have come from malicious spam (malspam) emails and the Angler Exploit Kit, a software package that contains easy-to-use attacks against vulnerabilities in browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox, and in programs such as Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Java. Though it’s tough, CryptoWall 3.0 is not impossible to defeat.

The latest update to the Google Chrome web browser, version 42, now blocks Java, Silverlight and other plugins. However, not all is lost. As long as you remember to update Java, you can continue to utilize all of Google Chrome’s features. As a security measure, Google has blocked NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API) plugins, including Java, to protect against “hangs, crashes, security incidents and code complexity.” But if you are a Java-dependent Internet user or developer, it’s simple and easy to disable the Google Chrome block.

Spartan. It's a word that still carries a fair amount of weight despite the fact that the warriors that originally gave the word its' gravitas have been dead for over 2000 years. Unfortunately, brands have begun to hop on the Spartan bandwagon so we've seen everything from Spartan races, Spartan athletic equipment and, now thanks to Microsoft we have the Spartan web browser. It's a little early to cast judgement on Internet Explore'rs successor seeing as Windows 10 has yet to debut but, it does feel a bit like a last ditch effort by Microsoft to keep their own web browser. And who knows, it could be a vibrant success for a sleeping giant.

Now, if you’re like any normal American you probably don’t know what a CAPTCHA is, but… you’ve probably seen them before. A CAPTCHA (which is an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a little program that websites use to determine whether or not the thing visiting their website is a human or a robot. They usually show up as text boxes and have a complicated array of numbers and letters that you then have to input into that text box (and pray you got it right). If you enter it wrong, the computer assumes you’re a robot and you get kicked off the site. So, needless to say, we’re not a big fan of CAPTCHA’s. But all of that might change thanks to a little bit of help from a World War II era mathematician and Silicon Valley tech-giant Google, CAPTCHA’s are on the way out. Here’s what you need to know.

If you thought that Heartbleed was bad, brace yourselves for the server vulnerability that we’re up against now. Last week, a 20-year-old bug was discovered that affects almost all Linux and Mac OS X deployments. You heard that correctly: malware that’s not confined to PCs. The new bug is called Shellshock, and it affects Bash, the Unix shell that is used as a default shell on both Linux and Mac OS X. For those of us who aren’t terribly techie, a Unix shell is a command-line interpreter, which is a program that allows a user to instruct the computer to perform the actions that the user wants by entering in text commands. The Bash shell is widely popular because it is free software that replaced the Bourne shell, which was one of the first Unix shells to ever be used.

What is Ello?

In short, it’s the new “anti-Facebook” that’s creating quite a buzz in digital media. But why is this different from every other time someone claimed to have made the “new Facebook,” and why are people so excited about it?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said that the average Facebook user spends about 40 minutes a day on the network. Putting that into perspective, only 20% of Americans actually fulfill the CDC’s recommended 21 minutes of daily exercise. Let’s break that down a bit further to uncover the shocking link between social media and obesity.

The SHOCKING Social Media and Obesity Link

iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Delays?! *collective gasp*

The pre-order for the new iPhone 6 is now fully underway…or is it? As per the Apple announcement event on Tuesday, pre-sale should have begun at 12AM PST, or 3AM EST (yuck, I know). Nevertheless, all sorts of Apple aficionados either stayed up late or set their alarms to be awake for the release time.

Tomorrow’s the big day for Apple-lovers everywhere: the unveiling of the iPhone 6 (or so we hope)! There’s some speculation floating around—from leaked photos and factory orders to mock-up drafts and insider hints—but the long and short of it is that all will be revealed in less than 24 hours.

So. Many. Yellow. Bars. At least that’s what it looked like… A few weeks ago, I plugged my iPhone into my computer with the intent to upload the entirety of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiobook to my phone’s library for a road trip back to Buffalo (8 hours in the car by yourself can get a little lonely). Everything started normally, my phone backed itself up, did its’ usual sync and prepped itself for 859.7MB of data. I had no media in my library (no music, no videos) and I figured the transfer shouldn’t take to long so I left for a moment to pack my things. Upon my return, I was met with a message that said that there had been an error and that the files could not be stored on my iPhone. Why? Because the space that I had previously assumed was vacant was apparently being inhabited by a plethora of yellow bars. The bars claimed to be “other” data (which is pretty much useless information when you’re looking to clear space). With no idea what to do I got some help from a member of our team who told me to take the following five steps.

We’ve put out a lot of blogs about IT news, some of the services we provide and ways to improve your small businesses cyber security just to name a few. But, what we haven’t covered much is what IT is. It’s a pretty large field filled with a plethora of subfields which means, at least for the average consumer, finding the right IT support can be as difficult as driving down the highway backwards with no mirrors (pretty hard). In this blog we’ll break down what IT support is, who needs it and how to get it.

If you are a Russian-speaking Android user you could be in trouble (and if you don’t speak Russian you might be in trouble too). A piece of malware has been causing some serious havoc for Russian users around the world. It’s called “Android/Samsapo.A” and it has developed a habit for abusing people’s contacts and infecting the devices of those contacts. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Android has been afflicted by such malware prompting Android users to look for ways to defend themselves from hackers and viruses. Here are a few precautions you can take to better protect yourself.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s been the major focus of politics and politician’s for the past couple years (and probably ever since politics was invented (thank you Greece)… I think?). It used to be easy to debate about jobs in America. Where do we want jobs? America! Great, case closed (not much of a debate). But in today’s globalized world that question has a much more convoluted answer as businesses try to find ways to cut costs and boost their profits which often means that they outsource jobs from America to some other country. That’s why when you have a problem with your laptop, PC, desktop, smartphone or tablet you typically get one of two things; one being that droning, monotonous digital voice that sounds like Siri after she took too much Benadryl and two being the at-times-hard-to-understand accent of a foreign call center employee. Either way, you can find yourself frustrated and left with more questions than answers. Here at TCI we’re here to find those answers, alleviate your IT concerns and help you focus on the more important stuff. Plus we’re local! Listed below are three reasons why we believe you should focus on getting your IT support locally.

In our last blog we discussed how to diagnose whether your computer has been infected by a virus or malware (or any other kind of insert-prefix-here ware). It’s important to be able to diagnose the problem. But a diagnosis without a plan of action to fix your computer’s affliction is about as useful as going to the doctor, finding out you have strep throat and just going back home (not very useful). Typically, the doctor would take you through some tests, tell you what’s wrong and then write you a prescription. That’s fine for most people, but drugs can sometimes be more trouble than their worth (just listen to the side effects attributed to Nasonex) in which case people might opt for a more grassroots approach, like homeopathy. Which approach is better? We can’t say but we do know that just as there are a variety of ways to recover from an ailment yourself there are also multiple options to help your computer recover from a virus.

A little over a month ago, Mozilla launched its’ newest version of Firefox and internet users have had some time to examine all of the ins-and-outs of the updated browser. It’s no secret that the old version of Firefox had become extremely dated. It was a browser living in the modern age who refused to upgrade from their Stone Age tools. Luckily, Mozilla decided to launch Firefox 29 which is a little more advanced than its’ predecessors. What do we think of it? It is kind of Chrome-y.

When you think cloud, you typically think gigantic white fluffy thing that’s mostly water vapor and takes a bunch of random shapes. They look like gigantic pillows. Not exactly the most terrifying thing. But for Figaro Pho, clouds are about the worst thing since brussel sprouts (no offense to any of our readers who actually enjoy brussel sprouts). Luckily for little Pho, he’s not the only one suffering from nephophobia (the fear of clouds), because a good number of businesses are still afraid of the cloud.

Since the advent of the smartphone consumers, have been looking for the ‘next big thing’ in commercial mobile technology. That future was predicted to come in the form of small, mobile devices that you could wear on your head, arm, or wrist (pretty much everywhere, check out smart socks). Wearable technology was supposed to be big by now, but a series of unfortunate failures and weird-looking products has estranged pretty much everybody.

Do you ever feel like you’re being overrun with post-its? I do. They have managed to overrun both my desk at work and my one at home. Besides the post-its, there’s notebook paper everywhere (some of which I can’t even remember scribbling on), and trying to find a pen is like buying a lottery ticket; you just can’t win. If you haven’t noticed, I’m disorganized (but I’ve heard the first step towards recovery is acknowledging you have a problem).  With that, I asked my friends what they do to keep their desktops organized, and I found that a few of them rarely put any paper on their physical desktops. They use everything from their iPhone to their laptop to take notes, and could organize them or read them across all of their devices.

In a previous post, we discussed how cloud computing firms are a little nervous about the future of their online services after Edward Snowden’s now infamous (or famous) leak of confidential NSA surveillance information. That leak could cost cloud companies between $22 billion to $35 billion in foreign business over the next three years. Even for tech giants like Apple and Google, losing that sum of money represents a major obstacle for the technology, and could result in them abandoning the cloud altogether. While some companies run for cover, and others step into the arena with the NSA, there is one company that is focused primarily on the growth of cloud computing.

They say the cure for a hangover is to crack open another beer, and fortunately for us, the day after Cinco de Mayo is another cause for celebration—TCI’s anniversary! Since TCI’s inception, from service additions, team expansion, and an entire company rebranding, the past eleven years have been both fun and exciting. In honor of our anniversary this year, we wanted to highlight our top 11 changes at TCI in 2014.

Cloud computing companies based out of the United States have had one hell of a time trying to reassure customers that the information they put in the cloud, stays in the cloud. With an increase in NSA surveillance, as well as greater public awareness about clandestine malpractice (thank you Edward Snowden), these companies stand to lose billions of dollars in revenue in foreign markets alone, which could severely damage one of the strongest pillars of the American economy. The NSA may seem like an unassailable opponent, but cloud service providers such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft aren’t going down without a fight.

Since his notorious intelligence leak back in June of 2013, Edward Snowden has become a household name. Surrounded by controversy, many are uncertain of the character of the man who exposed classified NSA documents to the press. Some will call him a traitor, while others sing his praises. With little agreement over whether to condemn or exonerate him, the American public can agree on one thing: we don’t want our private information monitored by the government.

Calling all iPhone users (4S and above, at least)! If you have updated to iOS7, then you may want to check out the upper right corner of your home screen. There you will find (unless it has been turned off) a grey squiggle next to your battery. Your phone has been Bluetooth enabled, but that’s not entirely new. iPhones have worked with Bluetooth for a few years now, but something changed in 2011 after the release of the 4S—something that would change Bluetooth forever.

Two weeks ago, the Heartbleed Bug rocked the world (literally). Some are calling it the greatest security threat the Internet has ever seen, while others are less certain of the damage inflicted by the virus. The truth is, as of right now, we don’t know a whole lot about it, and sometimes not knowing how to protect yourself from hackers can be much more frightening than understanding the gravity of the situation.

Do you remember your first toy? For some people it was a teddy bear, for others it was a doll, and then there were those poor, unfortunate souls who got a pet rock. Regardless of what the toy was, people typically form a strong emotional attachment to that first toy. It’s the first thing you ever owned. That sticks with you, and it’s hard not to get nostalgic when you pull that bear off of the top shelf of the closet and clear off nearly three decades worth of dust.