Fake Android Apps

Editors Note:  There are dozens of Android smartphones and tablets in the marketplace.  Here's some "words to the wise" regarding apps that aren't the real thing.

Not all apps are created equal

So, you just got your shiny new Android phone? The world is your oyster and now you want to download apps! After all, who doesn’t want to get Angry Birds® on their phone and start flinging birds at evil pigs right? Slow down, take a deep breath, and hold off on that “Download” button press just a little bit longer. “But I want the app now!” Simmer down and take some time to look over the app you’re about to download.

The reason is simple. There are a fair amount of fake apps in the Google Play Store® (formerly known as the Android Marketplace® ) that could cause some unwanted problems, like a virus infestation, or your personal and sensitive information falling into the hands of someone that could wreak havoc on your very livelihood. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from this happening.


Wireless Solutions for Businesses

We are living in a wireless society. WiFi is everywhere, in our businesses, in our homes, and the data component of our smartphones is rapidly overtaking voice capability.  We are already starting to see the major cellular carriers changing their plans to primarily provide data with voice becoming secondary.


Many businesses and organizatinons added a wireless access point or two over the years as kind of an afterthought.  They purchased a consumer grade (home) access point or wireless router, maybe added baseline security and that was enough.   It is however becoming more and more common in businesses and organizations to have serious wireless access needs and more people are beginning to rely on wireless in order to get their job done more effectively or conveniently.  Notebooks, netbooks, smart phones, and tablets are all becoming very common in the BYOD workplace, and the ability to quickly connect to the Internet or local business network is almost second nature to most people.


BYOD - Getting real about Security

How many iOS, Android, and other mobile devices are using your company network?

Hint: The numbers are higher than you think.
"A client thought that they only had two or three iPad users on their business network," says Clay Ostlund, senior systems engineer at Marco, a Cisco Premier Certified Partner. "When we polled the network with a Cisco Identify Services Engine ISE, it showed there were 100 iPads active." Welcome to the new work culture of bring-your-own-device (BYOD)!  Many people will use their personal smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device on their employer's network. No matter what the IT policy is.  As a leader of your business, it's time to protect your company with BYOD security strategies. Here are a number of ways to do it:


Blackberry Outage in US

 The RIM Blackberry Outage that began in Europe and the Middle East has expanded to the US and Canada.  We began noting problems with our Blackberries this morning around 7:15am.  We will continue to monitor what is occuring and will add more to this article as we know more.

Here is the link to the RIM Status Site:  www.rim.com/newsroom/service-update.shtml

Update - 10/12 @ 16:30  -- We are starting to see some email coming through our Blackberry Enterprise Server at Computing Center.  Still not totally reliable.

Update - 10/12 @ 19:20 - Most local BlackBerry emails are now working.  There are still some BlackBerry Messenger and browswer issues.

Update - 10/13 @ 10:00 - RIM reports that all Blackberry Services are back to normal and all backlogged emails have been delivered.

Wifi in the Air

A few months ago, I got to try out WiFi aboard an airplane. For those of us who travel on the airlines, it used to be that for a few hours, we'd be completely out of touch, not connected.  No more!  On a flight from Dallas to Atlantaa while back, the aircraft had onboard WiFi installed. I HAD to try it. So for $9.99 to the "Gogo Service", here's what I learned.

In airplanes, the WiFi only works while the aircraft is in the air. We had a ground delay, and it did NOT work while we were on the ground.

  • The transfer rate up and down is about 300kbits/second. Not fast by any means (your typical home broadband connection is over twice that speed), but it worked fine for email and basic web browsing.
  • The Skype WiFi phone application access were thankfully turned off on this aircraft. There have been a few reports of users being able to make WiFi based phone calls from aircraft. Frankly, the last thing I want to do is listen to one-half of a phone conversation while tied to an airline seat.
  • I happened to be using my new iPad at the time.  It's a great device to use on an airplane, particularly in a coach seat. Battery life is excellent and it's much smaller than a laptop. There was no problem finding a comfortable viewing position for the iPad.


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