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Software is any set of instructions that directs a computer to perform specific tasks or operations. Computer software consists of programs, libraries and related non-executable data (such as documentation). Computer software is non-tangible, contrasted with computer hardware, which is the physical component of computers. Software written in a machine language is known as "machine code". However, in practice, software is usually written in high-level programming languages than machine language. High-level languages are translated into machine language using a compiler or interpreter or a combination of the two.

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Would you purchase Sony's Koov for your child? It's definitely a cool concept and I love the look of the "pixel" blocks, but the high price point is definitely a deterrent with more affordable competing products available. 

https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/20/sony-soft-launches-an-educational-robotics-coding-kit-on-indiegogo/
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Expert Comment

by:Daniella Barion
Sometimes in the Internet World, the recognized brands charge a lot to show how "Great" are their products.  This is the space for startups to have a chance.
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by:Brian Matis
I love seeing these kind of products; this stuff is so cool! I've really been wanting to get something like this for myself, but I'm more inclined towards going with Lego's Mindstorms since they've been around so long and been through many revisions. Plus, they're Lego; can't go wrong with Lego!
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Complete VMware vSphere® ESX(i) & Hyper-V Backup
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Complete VMware vSphere® ESX(i) & Hyper-V Backup

Capture your entire system, including the host, with patented disk imaging integrated with VMware VADP / Microsoft VSS and RCT. RTOs is as low as 15 seconds with Acronis Active Restore™. You can enjoy unlimited P2V/V2V migrations from any source (even from a different hypervisor)

A recent post by Brian Matis motivated me to make this alternate post to see what sort of reaction others might have about these recent revelations.

A recent article on The Verge claims that "The older operating system was less vulnerable that anyone expected"

Windows XP computers were mostly immune to WannaCry

Another article from the same source claims "Windows XP was ‘insignificant,’ researchers say" with regards to helping the WannaCry outbreak spread.

"Almost all WannaCry victims were running Windows 7"

Lots of folks (from their perspective) with a genuine need to keep running on Windows XP suffered a lot of grief in Tech forums as being one of the root causes of giving WannaCry a platform to spread and thrive from, yet now it appears all the criticism may have been a little premature and unjustified.

For the record, I personally don't condone anyone using unsupported operating systems and actively encourage everyone I deal with to get themselves up to date, but I am also sympathetic to those who feel they have a genuine need to do that, so also think they shouldn't be …
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
We have too many XP computers at my institution (some with only SP2) - mostly due to budgets and instrumentation.
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by:Andrew Leniart
Hi Thomas,
Have you considered purchasing an XP Updates agreement with Microsoft? Might be an easier solution if budget restraints prevent you from upgrading? I wouldn't feel comfortable with a lot of XP machines in an environment as it would be a case of when, not if, it will come back to bite you.  Patches are available, just at a cost.

Incidentally, SP3 for XP is still provided by Microsoft - why not install it?

Steps to take before you install Windows XP Service Pack 3

How to obtain Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)

Cheers..
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Once again, security threats are prompting Microsoft to provide patches for Windows XP, which theoretically isn't supposed to be supported by them anymore. While it sucks to have to support old systems like this, it's a good call on their part. Security weaknesses in one version of Windows can weaken the entire ecosystem by allowing the spread of malicious software.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/13/15790030/microsoft-windows-xp-vista-security-updates-june-2017
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by:Andrew Leniart
Just read that article and was interested to read this.. "Windows XP computers were mostly immune to WannaCry"

Not that I'm condoning folks should continue to run XP of course, but I found this very interesting "Almost all WannaCry victims were running Windows 7"

Just goes to show how slack a lot of people are with regards to downloading their updates I guess.
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although we have plenty of clients, that had missing updates since Feb 2017, and they were not caught out!

because FIREWALLs and GROUP POLICIES, and restricted Applications!

The layered approach!
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June’s Course of the Month has been released! Enroll in our community security expert, Thomas Zucker-Scharff's, ransomware prevention and preparation course free of charge. Learn more about the course.
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As if I needed another reason to get excited for the Olympics--take a peek at Toyota's flying "car" that is planned to deliver the Olympic torch in 2020. It's a bumpy ride in the video, but its only a matter of time before our current modes of transportation are obsolete.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/04/toyotas-flying-car-project-takes-a-tentative-test-flight/
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by:Daniella Barion
I am glad they have enough time to practice.
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by:Brian Matis
Well, we might feel less good about all that practice time if Skynet ever comes online and takes over ;-)
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When a tech company stops servicing a particular program, software, or piece of hardware, consumers still using the outdated equipment are usually left to fend off security measures, bugs, and other problems that come their way on their own.
 
During the WannaCry ransomware attack a few weeks ago, we saw an unprecedented action from Microsoft, as they stepped up to provide a patch for Microsoft XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft XP is a program they have not supported since 2014.
 
This action to secure vulnerable devices and avoid the encryption of personal, patient, and corporate data showed the tech community that corporations care about more than the bottom line.
 
Learn more about Microsoft’s special patch release and how the tech community has responded.
 
How were you affected by WannaCry? We’d love to hear from you—share your experience online now.
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by:Lucas Bishop
Uber is really coming out with great ways to leverage their technology. Next thing you know, we'll see them getting into air and water transport...
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A new malware called "Adylkuzz"  was recently discovered and leverages the same hole in old Windows software used to spread WannaCry.

"The interesting thing about the Adylkuzz malware, Huss said, is that it prevented other viruses from infecting the computer it's on because it wanted to remain undetectable for as long as possible -- that means it prevented WannaCry from ransoming those computers."

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/18/technology/windows-adylkuzz-cryptocurrency/index.html
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by:Brian Matis
Wow... viruses fighting other viruses...
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by:John Hurst
A new malware ...  leverages the same hole in old Windows software

So stop the excuses, dump everything earlier than Windows 7 and Server 2008, and patch the rest. That works.

Then put in good spam filters.

People are tied to their old systems and then they wonder what happened.
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Using 2003 or XP?  Something older?  I have little sympathy for you.  Things get old.  Software is constantly evolving and those creating it utilize new features and capabilities that (in theory) bring you more capabilities and ease of use.  It's impossible for any software developer to support everything they've ever created indefinitely.  Their abilities to continue innovating would grind to a halt.  Even for the largest of companies, like Microsoft.  They MUST cut off support at some point.  Microsoft has, it would seem, set this standard to 10 years.  Given how long that is and the advancements that can be done in 10 years, in my opinion, that is reasonable.  XP and Server 2003 are now 14+ years old.  WELL BEYOND their support life.  

Now I'm confident Microsoft doesn't actively seek to "break" their newer products ability to connect to the older, now unsupported ones, but I would say it's reasonable to EXPECT they no longer test and see if a Windows 10 computer can connect to a 2003 domain.  They MAY, at points, decide to remove functionality from 10 but I'm confident they do so to improve security.  And if that aspect that is removed happens to be the "main" way something was done in an older version that is no longer supported? Well, they warned you!

Ten years is a reasonable time frame.  If you're using what is now antiquated technology, I have little sympathy.

"Fine Lee, but what about me - I use a program that controls a device that requires it run on …
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by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
I suppose in the end that what it boils down to is whether you consider safety a function of software or not.  I would say not.  

 But if you do, the problem is in measuring how safe it is and I don't think you ever can.   You can throw a battery of tests at it, but what's safe today may not be safe tomorrow.

 On the flip side, upgrading is no guarantee of being safe either.   To use your car analogy, if my new vehicle uses a Takata air big, then I'm not very safe am I despite that I now have an air bag.  

 So do I use "safety" as a measure in the decision to upgrade or not?   I don't see how you can.

 One could even make the argument in general that by upgrading into a situation with more complexity then what I currently have, I will probably be less safe than I am now (more complexity = more potential holes).    So in regards to safety, not upgrading may be a better choice.    Sometimes, the Devil you know is better than the one you don't.  

 To wrap this up,  I don't think there are any simple answers here of course, but I don't hold it against people for not wanting to upgrade.  I also don't think software vendors should sunset support for products they release.    If someone calls me on something I wrote 15 years ago, I'm not going to say "sorry, can't support that" just because it's old and they decided to keep it.
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Author Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
Funny, as I was formulating my response to you yesterday, I was going to include a reference to the Takata airbag thing - any time you add new capabilities, you get more complicated and though overall safety can improve, it can also, in some circumstances, become less safe.  I believe there is a net benefit (both with airbags and with new software's increasing complexity).

I guess it depends on how you value things.  To me, safety (security) is extremely important.  And I think most people should feel that way.  As such, people need to take responsibility for their continued existence and accept how technology generally (and technology companies) generally work and the economics attached to it.
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Thought for the day: if you have an autonomous car and get pulled over for speeding, who pays the ticket? You or the car manufacturer?
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by:Dustin Saunders
@brian - That's an interesting question, I would assume that the cars actively can process a speed limit sign and then that data gets relayed back to Google after x number of verifications and the database gets changed permanently.

There are some other interesting problems to, come to think of it- for example, I wonder how the car would react to something like a construction worker either waving you on to move forward or holding up his hand to stop you.  

For a lot of things, there's going to need to be manual interaction- and I think the variable of liability will be in who the car's black box says was in control at the time.
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by:Justin Pierce
@Brian

Maybe car companies will work with the state to help pay for electronic signs that interact with their cars. The German automakers did this for the autobahn, making it a super safe place to drive. I was astonished when my rental car automatically pulled the speed limit from the passing signs, and put it on my HUD.
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"This is called a book, it installs new software in your brain operating system!"
By Tico Santa Cruz, Brazilian Composer, writer, and poet.IMG_0135.JPG
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Expert Comment

by:Lucas Bishop
Is there any sort of repair tool? Afraid I've installed too much Hunter S Thompson...
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by:Brian Matis
Ha! Every time I read a book, I think of the movie The Matrix and how they get new skills uploaded directly into their brains. "I know kung-fu!"
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New freeware from CodeTwo to automate bulk upload of user photos to Office 365


Hi there,

We (CodeTwo) have released a new free tool for bulk Office 365 user photo management - CodeTwo User Photos for Office 365. This application is a twin program of our other well-known freeware for user photo management CodeTwo Active Directory Photos, but it operates in Office 365.

CodeTwo User Photos for Office 365 will handle everything from photo preparation, through auto matching, to straightforward bulk upload of users’ photos to Exchange Online mailboxes. No need to use PowerShell and the Set-UserPhoto cmdlet – the entire process is easily handled via an intuitive GUI.

Here you can watch how the program works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6eLrwLVY3o&t=1s?sts=6789

You can also find more details on program’s official website or this blog post.

Enjoy!
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by:Craig Kehler
And Michael if you factor in lawyers fee's and prison time, no. One can also hope for a lack of malice and some common decency.
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by:Michael Arciniega
Craig, that's if they get caught though and even they do, enough resources/wealth can potentially get you out of it (ie bankers in the 2008 market crash). Here is a notable example in the cryptocurrency space that underwent a professional third party code review and had a bug bounty program.

I wish more people had common decency and lacked malice but millions of dollars can be very trying on people's moral fortitude.
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One of the projects I've been following in the blockchain space is Colony.io and they've just released their beta:

https://blog.colony.io/colony-beta-product-summary-2121a357d61d#.ndtlkkfo8

It's essentially a decentralized Jira that allows people from across the globe to collaborate. Some killer features include getting paid in 'tokens' which are general enough to represent stake in the company, a fixed dollar amount, or whatever else you decide, as well as a reputation system that allows you to demonstrate your chops to new teams.

Since it's built on the Ethereum blockchain it'll have cryptographic security and distributed properties baked in. I'm excited to see more projects like this coming to fruition.
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by:Juana Villa
The UI looks pretty neat.
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I wish I knew about this tool a week ago.  I would have tried it then.  Great video by a member who has been with EE for some time.  This is their first video and they hope to make more!

https://www.experts-exchange.com/videos/5838/AOMEI-Backupper-Pro-Cloning-software.html
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by:Dustin Saunders
I've used AOEMI to clone a hard drive to a SSD before, no complaints.  EaseUS Todo worked well for another time also (but was free) http://www.todo-backup.com/
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Expert Comment

by:Dustin Saunders
I think they also used to have a partition manager that was pretty useful, could do tasks outside of the Windows OS limitation.
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Software-Other

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Articles & Videos

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Software is any set of instructions that directs a computer to perform specific tasks or operations. Computer software consists of programs, libraries and related non-executable data (such as documentation). Computer software is non-tangible, contrasted with computer hardware, which is the physical component of computers. Software written in a machine language is known as "machine code". However, in practice, software is usually written in high-level programming languages than machine language. High-level languages are translated into machine language using a compiler or interpreter or a combination of the two.