Steve Phillips Concrete

Please check out our latest Website Design for Steve Phillips Concrete located at 359 Russells Mills Rd, Dartmouth, MA 02748.

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Upscale Look at an Affordable Price

Add to the value of your house! Concrete is a much better alternative to asphalt. It has far less maintenance, isn’t as susceptible to damage, and has a much cleaner look! With stamped concrete you can get the classy curb appeal of Stone or brick work at half the cost! We have a huge variety of colors and stamp patterns to choose from! Stamped concrete can match Granite, Marble, Brick, Wood, Stone, or Tile at a fraction of the price of the actual material!

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Nemasket Kayak Center

Nemasket Kayak Center

Please check out our latest Website creation for Nemasket Kayak Center

We are the Nemasket Kayak Center, located on the beautiful Taunton River. Providing Kayak, and Canoe Rentals, ACA guided trips and instruction. The Taunton River is part of the Wampanoag Canoe Passage and is divided into three sections of nearly equal length. The first from Scituate to Pembroke ending at Little Sandy Pond. The second from East Bridgewater to Middleborough, ending at Camp Titicut, and the third from Raynham to Berkley, ending at Dighton State Park. The owner of Nemasket Kayak Center, Roy Edwards is a Certified ACA Instructor with over 17 years experience in kayaking and canoeing. Stop by our Paddle Shop and say hello, we will be happy to supply your needs, help plan your trips, or prepare Kayak, Canoe or SUP Instruction.

Thank you for continuing to support PADDLING in S.E. MA.

NKC – One of the Best Kept Secrets in New England

ASUS does not stand behind their products!

On August 11, 2011, I purchased the ASUS NX90JQ from B & H Photo in New York.  The first day of ownership, I plugged in the HDMI cable from the Laptop to the T.V. and my computer died.  Not blue screen of death “died” but “Dead as a door nail” and won’t power up again.  I called B & H Photo and they sent me a replacement three days later.  After receiving my new laptop I immediately plugged in the HDMI cable and all was well.  About a month later I tried to do a Windows Live Messenger session with my sister in Michigan and discovered the built in Cam and the microphone didn’t work.  I called ASUS and they told me to send it to their service center for repair.  Three weeks later I got it back and decided to connect the cable wire from the T.V. to the T.V. Tuner card and it didn’t work.  I called ASUS and the told me to send it to their service center again.  Three weeks later I got it back.  They wiped the hard drive so I had to connect my external hard drive to the laptop and move my files back.  When I plugged my USB 3.0 external hard drive to the 3.0 USB port it died again.  I called ASUS and they said to send it to their service center for repair.  Three weeks later I got it back and decided to do everything I mentioned previously in this article and everything worked.  Then one day I got a low battery warning so I plugged it into an outlet and it died again.  I called ASUS and sent it into the repair center AGAIN!  Three weeks later I got the laptop back only to find the speakers hanging from it, the keyboard didn’t work and the technician scratched correction gouged the polished aluminum case with his tools.  I sent it back and they replaced the lid and fixed the keyboard.  Just last week I received the low batter warning again so I shut it down completely, plugged in the power cord and tried to start it up.  It wouldn’t come back on.  I called ASUS and they sent me a RMA so I could pack it up and send it off to their repair facility.  One week later I got it back, plugged in my 3.0 USB Thumb drive into the USB 3.0 slot and once again, twenty four hours after receiving it form it’s latest repair it’s dead again.  I called corporate headquarters in California and they will not refund my money.  Today I filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General and the BBB for full refund.  I tried the philosophy “You get a lot further with honey than vinegar” and that got me nowhere.  Break out the fish and chips ’cause here comes the vinegar!

Who’s side are you on anyways?

I post many technology ezine (electronic magazine) articles that I think may be of interest to the average user.  Today a customer sent me an e-mail and asked “Who’s side are you on anyways?” after he read one articles that claims “Window 8” will be the greatest thing since sliced bread and another article that pointed out everything that is wrong with the new OS (operating system).  He also mentioned one article that told him everything he wanted to know about the latest iPad and a more recent post that read “16 reasons not to buy the new iPad.”

I take what I post very seriously and I only post articles that are factual not speculative.  I feel it is my responsibility to give you both sides of the argument so you can make an informed decision that best fits your needs.

When I go on a consult to a customer’s houses or businesses to help them pick out their next computer, I take time to find out what their particular needs are.  I ask if they are looking for a stationary desktop computer or for the portability and convenience of a laptop or tablet.

Once I know what their needs and goals are, I look for the best deal for that particular device.  Whether I find it on “ACME’s Discount Computer Emporium” or “Mega Computer’s Inc.” I don’t get any financial compensation from these companies.  My goal is to help the consumer get the computer or software that best fits their needs for the cheapest price possible.

The majority of my customers are 55 and older.  They use their computer to check e-mail, surf the web and view photographs of the grandchildren–so to suggest a $2,000 gaming rig would be irresponsible.  On the other hand, one of my customers does a lot of video editing, so an entry-level computer or a tablet would not suffice for his needs.

Another consideration is their openness to change.  A younger user may be more inclined to switch to a new OS, where others draw the line in the sand and wouldn’t dream of switching sides.  Either way, I have a responsibility to give you the pros and cons of a computing device, software requirement or an OS to help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs.  So to answer the question “Who’s side are you on anyway?” the answer is always “Your side!”

Phishing

Phishing is defined as a way of attempting to acquire information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.  Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.

Many experts predict that 2012 will be as the worst year yet for phishing attempts.  Over the past few weeks I have seen first hand the rise of such emails.  Some are obvious and quite adolescent while others are very creative and sophisticated to say the very least.  Even if you have not had any experience with such emails there are some tell-tale signs to look for.  First of all, an e-mail from a legitimate corporation or institution will always have their domain as part of the e-mail address ie  whomever@capitalone.com.  Last week, I received an e-mail that read my American Express card had been compromised and advised me to click on the following link to obtain further information.  This was obviously a phishing attempt because I don’t have an American Express card but it left me wondering what other ways could one tell that an e-mail was not legit.  This prompted me to look at the sender address which turned out to be something like rick349@gmail.com.

A couple of days passed and I received another phishing attempt via e-mail that read my Citizens Bank account was compromised and my card had been suspended in an attempt to protect me.  It too read “Click here for more details”.  Again, I looked at the sender address and it read candygirl189@yahoo.com.  This sparked my curiosity to find out for myself  how a bank or debtor would notify a customer in the event that their account had indeed been compromised.  I decided to make an appointment with the Vice President of a local bank to ask her that very question.  To my surprise, the Vice President told me “If we have your e-mail address on file we will contact you via e-mail that we have suspended your account to avoid further fraud but the e-mail would not contain a link of any kind for you to click on.”  She proceed to tell me “We also send notifications via postal mail to the customer notifying them that their account has been temporarily suspended and a new card would be issued.”  The fact that they would notify a customer via e-mail concerns me.

With that said, I decided to contact the Vice President of my bank to ask them the same question.  She told me “We never alert the customer via e-mail.  We will temporarily suspend the customers account to avoid further damage and then we notify them via postal mail.”  Keeping in mind not everyone is computer savoy, I think all debtors and financial institutions should contact their customers when their account has become compromised via postal mail rather than e-mail.

When I returned to my computer, another example of Phishing was in my inbox, this time disguised as a tax return error in my favor from the IRS.  The e-mail advised me to click the link below to receive the amount of $2400.00 dollars that was awarded to me due to a calculation error.  This email went as far as having an official seal from the state of Massachusetts.  To the unsuspected, this e-mail looked legitimate enough but once again, the senders address was the key ie cashback459@hotmail.com.  If this email were from the IRS, the domain would have been something like whomever@irs.gov.

One of the most intelligent men I have ever had the privilege to work with to date was an astrophysicist.  The best advice  he gave me then, which still holds true today was “Sit on your hands.”  You don’t need to be a genius to tell when something smells Phishy.  The internet is not a safe place, we all know that, think before you act and when in doubt, check it out.

Slow sales of Windows Phone 7

I’m a firm believer of “A wise consumer is everyone’s best customer” so I read a lot about technology.  In fact, I spend the first hour or two of my working day reading about the latest advancements in technology and the latest gizmos that are available or soon to become available to the consumer.  Back in July of 2009 my cell phone stopped working but my wireless contract was not up for renewal until November of 2009 which incidentally was when the newly redesigned Windows Phone 7 was to become available to consumers.   If I was going to stay in business and hold out for the WP7, I need to buy an unlocked phone from Amazon to hold me over.

During those four months I had a lot of time to consider which features I had to have in my next new phone.  Having large fingers, I knew I had to have a slide out keyboard.  With that said, the obvious and only choice at that time was the LG C900.  The phone is a bit heavy but solid and the OS is very fluid and responsive.

Before ordering it, I was fully aware of the short falls it would have when the product hit the shelves but I was willing to ride the storm out until such features as “copy and paste” would become available.  All reports I read predicted that this key feature and a few more would be available to consumers no later than January 2010.  Since copy and paste was not a deal breaker for me and considering that when the iPhone and the Android made their debut they didn’t have this functionality either, I decide that I would take a leap of faith and buy it.

The copy and paste functionality that would arrive with the “NoDo” update slated for January of 2010, didn’t become available to the consumer until March.  This much-needed update also made it possible to send and receive Pop3 e-mails.

During the months of June and July I read about the latest update A.K.A. “Mango” that was to deliver over five hundred new features to the WP7.  Due to testing at AT&T, I did not receive that update until the third week of October.  As much as I felt that the first to buy the device should have been the first to receive the update, “Mango” turned out to be worth the wait.

Just recently I read an article by Jason Hiner of TechRepublic who feels that WP7 may be suffering from the “Windows” branding itself more than any other reason and there may be truth to that but I think there are other reasons that have led to the WP7 only achieving 2% of the smart phone market.

Product Knowledge (or lack thereof): Recently, I sat down with a customer of mine that was in the market for a new cell phone.  I showed him my WP7 and went over all that the device had to offer him.  Armed with all the details he needed to buy one for himself he went to the AT&T store and asked a salesperson to show him to the WP7 phones that they carried.  The salesperson suggested that he buy an Android or iPhone instead.  He said he tried asking questions about some of the features that the WP7 that we had discussed and the salesperson know nothing about the product.

Availability: AT&T only had three different flavors to choose from LG, HTC and Samsung where the Android had more flavors than you can shake a stick at.  To make matters worst, iPhone 4 had just arrived and you could buy the iPhone 3 for $100.00.

Advertising:  Microsoft came out with a clever commercial that proclaimed “It’s time for a phone to save us from our phones” which showed cell phone users constantly looking at their phones while life was passing them by.  This Christmas they came out with a new commercial that shows how Windows 7 and WP7 can quickly and easily interact with each other to deliver digital content in seconds.  There needs to be more advertising that focuses on the ease and usability of the WP7 if the product is going to gain any ground in the future.

Variety:  The first few WP7 products to hit the market were phones were built on Android’s second class hardware.  Nokia introduced the Lumia 710 & 800 model which claims to be the first true WP7 but they lack features like a qwerty keyboard and front facing camera that consumers look for in a phone even if they never use it.

My gut feeling is these are the many reasons that have contributed to the sluggish sales of the WP7.  Recently there has been a change of the guard in the WP7 division named Steve Sinofsky that may bring a breath of life into a well designed device.  It is rumored that Steve Sinofsky wants to take the  Windows Embedded Compact kernel in Windows Phone 7 and replace it with a stripped-down Windows 8 kernel widely known as MinWin.  How that decision will play out is yet to be seen but I for one have no choice but to hang in there at least until November 2012 when it’s time to renew my cell phone contract.

InPrivate Browsing and On-Screen Keyboard

Another layer of security built into every Windows 7 operating system that is often overlooked by new and experienced users alike is Windows Virtual keyboard.

The on-screen keyboard allows you to enter data without touching a single key on your physical keyboard.  To access this feature, type “On-Screen Keyboard ” in the search box and select “Start On-Screen Keyboard” before you begin using InPrivate Browsing.

A few years ago the virtual keyboard would have been viewed as an inconvenience but now that everyone is texting these days, I believe it’s time has come.

With the virtual keyboard, I can do everything that I can do with a physical keyboard using the mouse to select the keys on the virtual keyboard.  This way, if there were a key logger installed on my computer that I didn’t know about, my financial security would not be compromised.

The complaint I typically hear from people who try this feature is “When I access my bank using InPrivate Browsing it always asks me for the answer to my security question and even after I click “This is a computer I use often – remember it” it doesn’t……why is that?”

That is because when you close the InPrivate Browsing window your history is not saved,  hence the “In Private” in InPrivate browsing.

Another complaint I typically hear from people who have tried InPrivate Browsing is “I access my accounts several times a day so InPrivate Browsing is just too inconvenient for me.”  Think about this for a moment “Which is more inconvenient, having to answer your security question every time you log in or trying to recover your life’s savings if your identity was stolen?”