Category Archives: Tech

OneNote and Evernote Oh My!


I’ll be honest, I’ve always had a good feeling for Microsoft’s OneNote application. The only reason I have used Evernote instead of it was because the copies of OneNote that I’ve had over the years have all been part of MS Office, which I “owned” by way of the company I worked for at the time. Not wanting to be left high and dry should I move to a company that didn’t provide OneNote, I’ve always opted to use the free version of Evernote to keep notes and have them synched up whether I was using my PC, my MacBook, my iPad or just a web browser from any computer.

Now that Microsoft has basically given OneNote the same treatment, I’m tempted to switch. Except, I also really like Evernote. And Evernote already has all of my stuff. Perhaps I can start playing around with both and figure out some way to keep some things in OneNote and some things in Evernote.

That’s the take Computerworld had on it, which I found pretty interesting:

If you’re primarily looking for a tool that lets you easily capture, organize and find content from the Web, you’ll clearly want Evernote, because its tools for doing that are exemplary. If you instead want to create notes from scratch and have them in well-organized notebooks, clearly OneNote is the way to go.

Then again, you may be like me. I’ve been using both of them for years. OneNote is my go-to tool for organizing and taking notes for projects such as books and articles. I use Evernote for research. Given that they’re now both free, it gives me the best of both worlds.

Personally, I’m hard pressed to find a clear delineation. I’m already using Penultimate on the iPad for handwritten notes in Evernote, does ONeNote give me anything I don’t get there? Should OneNote be my go-to for longer form organization? Which one do you use? Why? Would you consider using both at some point?

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WordPress Sites Being Used in DDOS Attack?

This article caught my interest:

Just in the course of a few hours, over 162,000 different and legitimate WordPress sites tried to attack his site. We would likely have detected a lot more sites, but we decided we had seen enough and blocked the requests at the edge firewall, mostly to avoid filling the logs with junk.

Can you see how powerful it can be? One attacker can use thousands of popular and clean WordPress sites to perform their DDOS attack, while being hidden in the shadows, and that all happens with a simple ping back request to the XML-RPC file:

It caught my interest because for the last couple of months, I’ve been dealing with a problem on this site, tens of thousands of requests to post via XML-RPC, causing huge traffic bursts, time outs, and all sorts of other problems. So much so, in fact, that I’ve taken some pretty drastic measures to re-route requests to that file to null.

Continue reading

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Naughty Gmail App Upgrade

Both my iPhone and iPad prompted me to update my Gmail app recently. Seems Gmail was releasing a new version to fix some bugs and so on. nothing really out of the ordinary there. However, it was right after the app updated, and I launched it that I realized that there was a problem.

You see, I use the Gmail app for two different email accounts. My personal Gmail account, and my companies GoogleApps domain account. When I launched the app, i was prompted to sign into a Google Account. The new version of the app had none of my accounts setup any longer. I had to sign in to one of the accounts, and then go back and add the other account again.

Granted, this is the very definition of a first world problem, taking a few minutes to add a Gmail account, but really Google, can’t you update the app and keep my settings? How difficult could that be when every other app does it?

Speaking of Gmail, there was a much ballyhooed addition of an unsubscribe button to the Gmail web interface. I’m looking forward to using that, especially since there seems to a pandemic of people signing up for all sorts of services using the mikemcbride version of my gmail address instead of their own address. The only problem is, I haven’t seen it yet. Have you?

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Zite Gets Gobbled Up By Flipboard

I’ve been using Zite on my iPad for awhile now. I found it to be a really good way to “discover” news stories and other articles that I wanted to share through my Diigo account, and on Twitter. Given that, I’m a little apprehensive about it being acquired and rolled into Flipboard. Flipboard is a nice tool, but I’ve found it a little bit limiting for that purpose. It’s great for flipping through what others have been sharing on Twitter or GPlus, but much like Kevin O’ Keefe, who shared the news about the acquisition, I’ve found Flipboard to be a bit lacking when it comes to flipping through a specific subject and finding relevant stories.

My theory is that Flipboard’s requirements for publishers make it difficult for bloggers and other sites to get their content into Flipboard’s subject sections. I can’t just feed them my WordPress RSS feed, I have to jump through hoops, add images toe very post and so on. I have a job and a wife, I don’t have time for all of that. This leaves those subject areas to be limited to a few big name publishers, which compared to the rich variety of the web, and blogs specifically, is pretty stale.

I’m hopeful that Zite doesn’t head down that same path, but rather that the Zite technology will help Flipboard make improvements on the subject sections. But I will miss my Zite app when they shut it down.

How do you “discover” new blogs, news, opinions or articles about your areas of interest?

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Good Reason to Use Travel Apps

Times Square Morning
I have to be honest, I use travel apps, as you would imagine for someone who travels as much as I do, but I hadn’t considered that using apps instead of maps and guidebooks would make it harder for criminals to mark you as a gullible tourist.

When I first went to Rome a few years ago I had a bulky guide book but felt like I had an X on my back with pickpockets, especially around Trevi Fountain. After that experience, I went digital,

Good point, especially in Rome! ;-)

For myself, I use Tripit all the time, Around Me, combined with Yelp when I want to find a nearby place to eat, and of course, the apps for my airline and hotel chain of choice. (Gotta track those points!). For sightseeing, there’s always the City Maps to Go app.

So what are your favorite travel apps?

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Update Your iPod iPad and iPhone

For those of you who don’t pay attention to the tech blogs over the weekend, or ever, and use one of these Apple products, go check for a software update today. That’s right, today, as soon as possible. Or at least before you go connecting to public wifi or anything like that, ok?

Make sure you’ve got the latest iOS version..

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If you want the details on is latest security flaw, you can get it here.

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City Maps To Go App Free Today

Theater Row

The iOS app City Maps to Go Pro is free until Sunday. I have used this app to grab a city map for walking around London and Oslo because of it’s offline map feature. That lets me download the map to my iPhone while I’m in the US, and use it in offline mode while in Europe to avoid paying data roaming fees.

I can’t say they are the world’s greatest maps, but they do pretty well, and they are free for the next day or so. If you travel anywhere that would require data roaming fees to access the online map functions of your iPhone, it might be worth checking out.

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Convenience Always Trumps Security

Even when people are fully aware of the dangers of using unapproved cloud services and personal email accounts, people still use ‘em.

And it gets worse! They’re more likely to email work documents to their personal accounts, move documents via cloud apps that IT doesn’t know they have, and lose devices that would give whoever found them unrestricted access to company data. Basically, in every way that Softchoice measured, the youngest workers were the most likely to lose data or leave themselves open to hacking.

millennials-data-oops

But – here’s the kicker — they’re also the most informed about the risks. Younger workers were also the most likely to say that their company has a clear policy on the downloading of cloud apps; that their IT departments have communicated about the risks of cloud apps; and that their workplace has a clear policy on how to protect information.

So the theory that if we simply educated and trained people to take security seriously the problem would be a long way towards solved, appears to be just flat out false. They know the risks, they know they aren’t supposed to do these things, but for the sake of easy access to work information, they do it anyway.

I honestly don’t know that we can train for security. Even when a company has been involved in litigation, and had to review employees personal devices for relevant information, those employees still turn around and do the same thing. Personally, that’s the reason I don’t mix my personal and business information, but I work remotely and have access to cloud based tools, if I didn’t, I might be tempted, and I say that as someone who lives and breaths e-discovery. If anyone should fear the mingling of personal and work data, it should be me, and I still wouldn’t do it.

No, the only real solution is providing convenient, yet secure, tools at the Enterprise level. Obviously, we’re not there yet.

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WordPress Security Esentials Videos

Noting these, for myself if no one else. But if you host your own site using WordPress, you might pick up a tip or two from these videos put together by the folks at WPMU Dev. Personally, I might not be taking all of the advice given, even though I realize that might make my site a little less secure than it could be. Just stuff that makes it easier for me to use though, thus displaying the time honored conundrum of computer security. ;-)

WordPress Security Essentials: Say Goodbye to Hackers

WordPress Security Essentials : Four Points Of Vulnerability

WordPress Security Essentials: Password and Username Safety

WordPress Security Essentials : Building A Layered Defense

WordPress Security Essentials: Obscurity Tactics and Backups

 

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