I’ve implemented plenty of ASA 5525-X firewalls with the integrated IPS software module. While the legacy Cisco IPS module does what it’s intended to do, it leaves a great deal to be desired in terms of customization and usability. That’s why I’m very excited to try out Cisco’s new ASA with FirePOWER services. This is the SourceFire implementation when Cisco bought them back in mid-2013. SourceFire was at the top of their game when Cisco bought the company out for $2.7 billion. So it will be very exciting to see how it turned out. NSS Labs performed preliminary testing and found that the ASA/SourceFire combo was more affective at stopping malware than any other vendor including Fortinet and Palo Alto. Looks like good times ahead for Cisco network security in 2015!
Rush Limbaugh is one of the most polarizing figures in America. As a fellow tech geek, I love to hear his comments on Apple products and the company as a whole. And even if you don’t agree with Rush’s politics, he’s dead on when it comes to his opinion on everything Apple.
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.
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.
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.
Someone asked me today: which one should i get, the Nook Color or the newer Nook Tablet? I had to scratch my head a bit because I didn’t realize that Barnes and Noble still even sold the Nook Color. But I checked, and sure enough, the Nook Color can still be bought for $199 while the Nook Tablet is going for $249.
The CyanogenMod team is at it again. This time, they’re taking on Androids’s recently released 4.0 software — otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich. The Ice Cream Sandwich version of CyanogenMod will be known as CyanogenMod 9 or simply CM9.
But let’s not get too excited just yet as the CM team has stated:
I finally received the Nokia N9 upgrade notification on my phone on November 23rd while in Bangkok Thailand. I knew that I could have download the update onto my computer and performed a manual install off of the USB earlier but I wanted to see how the OTA upgrade worked.
I was doing some traveling on the 23rd and wanted to be in a spot where I had a WiFi connection as was recommended by Nokia. So I had to wait a full 24 hours until I was back at home. Once there, I performed the recommended backup and then pressed the update software button. But nothing happened.
When I first started using the Nokia N9, right away I knew there was something special about the display but I couldn’t put my finger on just exactly what it was. You see, when you use the N9, it’s almost as if the icons on the main screen float in mid-air. This is because the black background produces no light whatsoever…as if the LCD’s were simply turned off. It truly is remarkable and puts my iPod Touch 4th Generation Retina display to shame despite the Retina displays higher pixel count.
I did a bit of digging and discovered that Nokia is using a technology in their AMOLED screens called ClearBlack. This new technology uses a polarized filter between the Gorilla glass and the LED lights that blocks light when it shouldn’t be seen by the end user–this is obviously most useful with the color black.
I should note that Nokia is using this tech not only on the new N9 but also on the E7 and C6 phones. But in my opinion, ClearBlack is perfect for the minimalist-look of MeeGo on the N9.
I finally put my money where my mouth was when I previously stated that the Nokia N9 was the most interesting smartphone of 2011. When Apple finally announced the iPhone 4S, I honestly was a little let down with their offering. After all, nobody I know was asking for a faster processor, marginally better camera and voice recognition with a slightly modified OS. Instead, I was looking for something completely different from end-to-end and the Nokia N9 does exactly that.
To start, the hardware of the N9 is absolutely first rate. Nokia has been in the hardware “biz” for a long time now and it really shows. The phone is very light, yet it feels like you could drop it without any worries. For those of you that are really concerned, Nokia was nice enough to include a protective silicone case. The great thing about this particular case is that it really becomes part of the phone as it fits very snugly and doesn’t add any unnecessary bulk. Also included with the N9 is a pair of headphones, USB charger and AC adapter.
I realize I”m a little late to the party in talking about the Kindle Fire. But I thought I’d briefly add my two cents. On first glance of the new 7 inch color tablet from Amazon, I’d say it’s very much like the Nook Color…only crippled. Yes, clearly the Fire has a much more powerful dual-core processor compared to the single-core processor found in the NC. Additionally, the Fire runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread right out of the box while the Nook is still running Froyo 2.2.
Cisco just announced a new entry-level certification called the “Cisco Certified Technician” (CCT). This certification sits along side the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) level of certification. According to Cisco, the CCT is for individuals that “have the skills to diagnose, restore, repair, and replace critical Cisco networking and system devices at customer sites.” There are three different flavors of CCT certification including: Continue reading
Ever sicne Slashdot posted a story regarding the “hidden” Wi-Fi Diagnostic tools found in OS X Lion, I’m getting lots of questions on how to use it. First of all, the tools aren’t secret or hidden but simply not documented or highly advertised. In fact there’s lots of really interesting tools and utilities in OS X that you probably aren’t even aware of.