IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
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IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
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Apple Rolls Out Force Touch 15" MacBook Pro and Cheaper iMac Retina

Apple Rolls Out Force Touch 15" MacBook Pro and Cheaper iMac Retina | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

You don’t always have to wait for a keynote for new Apple products, as is the case today with a sneaky rollout of some new Macbook Pro and iMac with Retina 5K configs.

The coolest new update is a 15” MacBook Pro that features Force Touch trackpad, previously only found in the 13” version and the New Macbook. It also has a new AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics card, along with slightly improved battery life. That should be a boon to designers, gamers, and video editors who need as much horsepower as they can get. The new 15” MacBook Pros come in two models, priced at $2000 and $2500.

Also updated are the prices of Apple’s line of iMacs with Retina 5K displays. The cheapest model is now $2000, and the top-end model is $2300. By going for the cheaper model you are sacrificing the 1 TB hybrid Fusion drive for a traditional hard disk, as well as a slightly slower processor.


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Windows 10 Technical Preview Available For Mac Users Through Parallels

Windows 10 Technical Preview Available For Mac Users Through Parallels | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Parallels allows Mac users to run Windows 7, 8.1, Linux and Chrome OS on any Mac product, and today, the program now allows Parallels customers to also try out the Windows 10 Technical Preview, as well as the Windows 10 Office Preview.

Just like Windows 10 testers on PC, those who use Parallels can also provide feedback on the new Windows build. The Windows OS is technically a virtual machine and works alongside Mac OS Yosemite, Mavericks or Mountain Lion and appears as a separate window on the desktop. To run Windows 10, Parallels users need to upgrade to version 10.1.4.

The latest version includes Windows integration with Mac functions. For example, running Microsoft Office on Parallels allows saving documents on Dropbox, Google Drive or Apple's iCloud. Additionally, apps installed on Windows will also appear on the Mac launchpad for easy access.

However, Parallels might be a little costly for customers. After a two-week trial of Parallels, it will cost you $79.99 to keep going, while students only have to pay $39.99. Those who already own Parallels version 8 or 9 might have up to upgrade to the latest version for $49.99.

Additionally, those on Parallels version 10 also get a three-month subscription to Parallels Access, an app that allows remote access for up to five Macs and PCs as well as iOS and Android devices.


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Three Tips For Password Security That Actually Work - HITECH AnswersHITECH Answers

Three Tips For Password Security That Actually Work - HITECH AnswersHITECH Answers | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Someone once told me that developing a usable and secure password management system isn’t rocket science…it’s much more difficult than that. Naturally, I disagree as I have witnessed numerous implementations of password management solutions that were a major success in a very short period of time. Plus, “success” of these implementations can be measured financially, through improved operations and through improved security.

An organizational password management implementation involves a number of key elements consisting of a blend of technology and internal business processes including:

  • the use and misuse of multiple passwords
  • composing hard-to-guess passwords
  • changing and reusing passwords
  • the art and science of keeping passwords secret
  • intruder detection and lockout
  • encrypting passwords in storage and transit
  • synchronizing passwords and the latest in single sign-on
  • user authentication for self-service capabilities
  • IT support for forgotten and locked out passwords.

However, introducing password management best practices is not a daunting task, and I am certain almost every organization has the main concepts already defined (although possibly not matured). Here are three tips to help in your management.

Tip #1: Multiple Passwords Can Be Inhumane

The problem with passwords in a large enterprise is that people generally require so many different accounts and corresponding passwords to access the expansive list of both cloud and on-premise systems and applications, that sometimes it feels humanly impossible to remember them all. And just about the time you feel you have them all memorized, they then need to be changed. So what is the natural reaction of a worker who needs to efficiently accomplish all their tasks across a number of different systems? They start to develop a host of insecure behaviors around password management including:

    • writing passwords down and supporting 3M PostIt Notes sales
    • using passwords that are simple and easily compromised
    • contacting the Help Desk constantly when they forget their password (contributing to 30 percent of All Help Desk calls)
    • reusing old passwords as often as possible

These behaviors creep into the workplace because workers want to avoid downtime and the hassles that go along with it.  The solution to the entire password management problem incorporates three critical components: an easy self-service password reset capability to ensure people can reset their own passwords, a synchronization solution that changes passwords across all of a user’s systems and a single sign-on solution to limit the number of sign-ons required.

Tip #2: Compose Passwords That Are Difficult To Crack

All it takes to understand the glaring issue of password strength is to see the 25 worst passwords and their current ranking based on use (thanks to Splashdata who measures them):

1. 123456 (up 1 and taking the top spot from “password” for the first time
2. password (down 1)
3. 12345678 (unchanged)
4. qwerty (up 1)
5. abc123 (down 1)
6. 123456789 (new)
7. 111111 (up 2)
8. 1234567 (up 5)
9. iloveyou (up 2)
10. adobe123 (new)
11. 123123 (up 5)
12. Admin (new…you know who you are…)
13. 1234567890 (new)
14. letmein (down 7)
15. photoshop (new)
16. 1234 (new)
17. monkey (down 11)
18. shadow (unchanged)
19. sunshine (unchanged)
20. 12345 (new)
21. password1 (up 4)
22. princess (new)
23. azerty (new)
24. trustno1(down 12)
25. 000000 (new)

But hey, at least “password” is no longer #1!  The solution to this overly simple problem:  prevent your users from being able to use simple, easy-to-guess passwords!  Controls around password strength have been around for a long time, and most software and operating systems provide a way to prevent weak passwords from being used if configured correctly.  Unfortunately, some organizational legacy system baggage prevents setting stringent controls holistically at the target system, so software solutions have been created to help enforce password policies and prevent poor password decisions at the time the password is set and then synchronized across systems.

Tip #3: Change every password but the kitchen sync.

Password synchronization can solve so many issues around password management, so I am amazed when organizations choose a password management solution that only changes the core Active Directory or LDAP password without being able to sync to all the other systems a worker uses on a regular basis. Syncing passwords ensures users only need to remember one core password when logging into corporate systems, and this ultimately helps prevent the problem of workers writing down their passwords. It also helps solve the password expiration problem since the passwords will all be changed at the same time.

The latest solutions can map usernames across systems and still sync passwords successfully. For instance, my AD account may be RYANW, but my AIX Unix password is WARDR. The password management solution keeps track of those mappings and automatically knows to change my password for both AD\RYANW and AIX\WARDR. Synchronization can now also work with cloud-based applications such as Salesforce.com, Google or Office365, so security is strengthened by regularly changing cloud-based applications that in the past were typically left unchanged or had longer expiration windows.

Hopefully, you will find these tips easy to implement. In my experience both in-house and as a member of an IT Consulting firm, these simple additions, if you are not already employing them, will go a long way in keeping your passwords secure and your chances of a breach considerably lower.



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Apple's next MacBook Air could come with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor just like the iPhone

Apple's next MacBook Air could come with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor just like the iPhone | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Apple may bring its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to Mac laptops and desktops in the future, according to a new rumor from Taiwanese website Apple.club.tw, as reported by 9to5Mac.

The website claims Apple might integrate the fingerprint scanner in the trackpad of its rumored 12-inch MacBook Air and next-generation MacBook Pro.

For desktop computers like the iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini, Apple is likely to put Touch ID in its Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

There's also a chance we'll see new color options for the purported 12-inch MacBook Air, according to the report. This could include silver, space grey, and gold just like Apple's more recent iPhones.

It's unclear whether or not the blog's sources are legitimate. But, as 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman pointed out, Apple.club.tw did publish early photos of the iPad Air 2's Touch ID and the A8X chip that powers Apple's latest iPads in the fall.

If Apple does bring Touch ID to the Mac, it's probably part of a push to further promote Apple Pay. And as Gurman also notes, Apple will have to make sure it's just as secure as it is on the iPhone. Touch ID's functionality is based on a secure element within Apple's A-series chips that power its iPhones and iPads, which keep financial transactions safe. Apple will have to create the same experience on the Mac.

We're expecting to learn more about Apple's future additions to the Mac line later this year. The company has been rumored to be working on a 12-inch MacBook Air with a Retina display and an even thinner design than the current model. 


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Apple's next iPhone update may come next month, and it'll include Apple Watch support

Apple's next iPhone update may come next month, and it'll include Apple Watch support | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Apple is planning to release a new software update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch in March, so those products can support the Apple Watch, according to BGR.

The update will bring some general fixes, but the update will largely focus on making sure Apple's devices are compatible with its watch.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac previously reported that companion app for the Apple Watch would require iOS 8.2, so it's not too surprising to hear that the update will focus on Apple Watch compatibility.

Apple has also released a new beta version of iOS 8.2, providing more evidence that the company is in fact readying its next big iPhone update. Other than adding Apple Watch compatibility, the update is said to fix a bug that prevented Facebook from working properly on some iOS devices.

The update is said to roll out in the second week of March, but there's no solid release date just yet. The Apple Watch, meanwhile, is set to ship in April, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced during the company's earnings call last week. 


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