If you’ve been having problems with getting Java 7 applications to run while connected to Cisco Anyconnect version 3.0 or 3.1 you’re not alone. There is an issue with how Java 7 handled IPv6 that causes it not to run within the VPN tunnel. Fortunately, there are some workarounds.
It seems that no matter what the technology is, hackers have to come along and ruin it with malware in an attempt to cheat unsuspecting users out of their hard earned money. Smartphone technologies seem to be of particular interest for cyber criminals in 2012 and 2013. Everything from bluetooth to NFC has already been abused, and in some cases it’s better to not even use the technology anymore because the danger is so high.
Hackers have apparently gone so far that they are using non-technical means to peddle their malware infected sites. A new and growing trend seems to be the placement of malicious QR codes in high-traffic areas. These codes can either be placed near legitimate advertisements or used as stand-alone ads. QR code users will then use the QR codes to load a webpage — not knowing that the code took them to a site that infects their device with malware or brings them to a phishing site in an attempt to steal identities.
I’m a battery junky. Since I’m always on the road — and always using my phone, tablet, laptop and 4G jetpack, I’m painfully aware of just how dependent I am on battery power. Every night, it’s quite a chore to make sure I plug in each device at night before I go to bed. It’s therefore easy to imagine that I can’t wait for the day where wireless power becomes a reality. And indeed, it will likely happen in my lifetime. But for now, I’d settle for a decent wireless charging solution so I could walk in my house or office and no longer have to worry about plugging stuff in. It would just start charging automatically.
Love them or hate them, technology buzz words are here to stay. Often they’re helpful to get people interested in a new technology. But other times, a buzzword becomes so overhyped that it becomes loathed. The term “cloud computing” nearly became a hated buzzword a few years ago, simply because everyone used it, but didn’t really know what it meant. Over time however, people eventually learned the true power of the cloud and the term was accepted because it became a legitimate technology to the IT community.
For past couple of years, there’s been a battle raging in the enterprise-WiFi space. There are several promising wireless vendors out there, but each one had definite strengths and weaknesses. Wireless network administrators have had the difficult decision of having to choose which features they desired more, at the expense of others.
One of the little talked about benefits of the latest-gen smartphones and tablets is the fact that manufacturers are finally starting to implement wireless chips inside them that can utilize 802.11n at 5 GHz. Many people don’t realize, but before the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, all of Apple’s smartphones and tablets only leveraged wireless chips that operated at 2.4 GHz. This is a problem for many that have a great deal of wireless interference on 2.4 GHz while 5 GHz has far less congestion. Additionally, utilizing 802.11n at 5 GHz allows you to achieve much better performance.
One of the major differences between 802.11n and all previous WiFi standards is the fact that 802.11n can operate within a 20 MHz channel like 802.11a/b/g — or it can consume two consecutive channels for double the bandwidth! With twice the bandwidth, it seems like everyone should configure 802.11n to operate in a 40 MHz channel, right?
Not exactly. The problem is, when you consume two channels, you end up shrinking the number of non-overlapping channels available. If you enable 40 MHz channels in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, you only have two non-overlapping channels to choose from – as opposed to three when using 20 MHz channels. That means your likelihood of interference increases dramatically. In the 5 GHz spectrum, things are a bit better as you shrink your non-overlapping channels from 23 down to 11. In fact, the use of 40MHz channels at 5GHz will increase the coverage area at higher data speeds.
Now that it’s Christmas 2012, the 7 inch tablet market has reached a fever pitch. We now have high-end devices (with mid-range prices) like the Samsung Galaxy tab, Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and even the Apple iPod mini are the talk of the town. But there’s one little tablet that’s been around for a long time now that just won’t go away. The Nook Color. And despite the Nook Color falling behind in the specifications department, it’s still fully capable and highly hackable — which makes it a tech geeks go-to tablet despite all the newcomers. After all, it is one of the only tablets out there with an micro-SD card slot. And to top it off, there are great deals on the Nook Color — everything from new units going for $99 on Black Friday, to refurbished units going for $79 online. In my opinion, the Nook Color is a perfectly capable tablet that’s going to find it’s way into plenty of Christmas stockings this year. And if you’re looking for something to tinker around with, for under $100, you can’t go wrong.
From the looks of it, enterprise owned and operated WAN acceleration and optimization appliances are quickly becoming a extinct. One recent example is Ecessa Corp., a manufacturer of WAN acceleration hardware appliances. Seeing the writing on the wall, the company decided to pivot from their focus on hardware manufacturing and sales to a WAN acceleration services and support model. Ecessa will continue to sell hardware, but consider it to be “legacy” arm of their new business strategy. Future customers and revenue streams are expected come primarily in service form that will be sold through their existing VAR network.
In my line of work, I frequently get asked “what causes WiFi interference?”. In a word: everything. WiFi signals in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ranges are susceptible to all obstructions. It’s just that some cause more interference that others. For example, a dry walled partition isn’t going to slow down your wireless signal much, but a plaster or cement block wall certainly will. Below is a short list of indoor and outdoor obstructions I’ve had to deal with over the past few years when designing, deploying and performing wireless site surveys for various businesses:
It’s likely that your business already has WiFi. But when your wireless requirements were first spec’d, the original WiFi design probably didn’t consider things like smartphones and tablets. Additionally, take a look at the latest laptops and you’ll see an interesting phenomenon — many of them are now rolling off the manufacturing floors without Ethernet ports. While you can purchase Ethernet port adapters, most will simply want to connect wirelessly.
I was recently at a remote site trying to bring up a site-to-site connection between a Cisco IOS router and an ASA firewall. Everything was working properly except for IKE phase 1 and 2 proposals. When you get mismatches on either of these two phases, the tunnel won’t come up and it can be confusing to know what part of the IOS configuration is IKE phase 1 and what part is phase 2. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sort this out for everyone.
Economics sometimes works in strange ways. During slow economic times — such as the one we’re currently going through — low-end and cheap products sit on the shelves while high quality and more pricy ones seem to do just fine. This is the situation with the smartphone and tablet case market right now. OtterBox makes a high quality, yet expensive case and it’s flying off the shelves. My most recent OtterBox case is the Defender for my new iPad, and I absolutely love it.
At West Gate Networks, we’ve got some big news now that we’ve made our expansion out to the beautiful mountains of Northern Colorado. We’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Ruckus Wireless — the manufacturer of WiFi hardware and software that’s the best in the business in terms of performance, ease of setup/management and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to other enterprise vendors. We’re just getting started with Ruckus — but in a short while, look for more exciting announcements from us regarding unique offerings of Ruckus solutions for a variety of specialized uses both indoors and outdoors!
I was recently tasked with setting up an Autonomous System Number (ASN) which is a unique number to identiy companies that want to control their own routing of public IP space. In my case, the company wants to design their network for ISP redundancy using BGP. In the United States, all ASN’s are registered through the American Regristry for Internet Numbering (ARIN). And while ARIN has instructions on how to register and ASN, they’re a bit long and overly complex. Therefore, I’ve created my own set of instructions that you can use…and hopefully answer some of the questions you may have. After using this process, ARIN gave us an ASN in just a few days!
Steps on How to Register an AS Number:
When I first unboxed the new iPad this morning, my first impression was “meh”. Because, as we all know, the new iPad hardware is nearly identical to the old one. While I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of physical design changes, I completely understand Apple’s thinking. Just look at the current MacBook Pro design as a comparison. The MBP has been relatively unchanged for nearly four years now and still is a beautiful piece of hardware.
WiFi is easy — as long as you have the wireless spectrum all to yourself. For most, people’s experience with WiFi is simply a matter of going to their local Best Buy, buying a consumer grade wireless router and plugging it in at home. If they live in a suburban area where the houses are fairly separated, these people really don’t have much to worry about in terms of interference.
After reading about the search engine result doctoring that Google seems to be taking part in these days, I finally decided that after twelve years using Google search exclusively, it was time to try out a new search engine. Clearly, the next in line behind Google search in the United States would be Microsoft’s Bing. So I made the switch to Bing as my go-to search engine.
It’s that time of year where tech bloggers all around the world give their predictions about the future of hardware/software in 2012. I realized that I haven’t made a single prediction yet so I decided that I should at least try. Here goes: