CryptoWall of Doom

NOTE TO ALL WINDOWS USERS:

If you’re e-mailing, be very careful what files you open. Cryptowalls are Super-Viruses, and they can ruin all the data on your computer.

Cryptowalls generally come in e-mails as .PDF/.EXE file attachments, asking you to open them for more information about a question posed in an e-mail.

Once you open these files, the malicious code sweeps your computer, encrypting all your files. The infected computer receives a notepad file warning of a $500 USD ransom that goes up to $1000 in seven days. The money must be sent in bitcoins and sent to the e-mail directed.

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Are Wearables Really Worth It?

Wearable technology is bound to usher in an entirely new experience for it’s users, but are the devices really worth the price? From the Google Glass to the the Apple Watch, wearable devices promise an extra level of convenience, but at what cost? Will the price-points scare away the casual crowd?

In this day and age, there are very few technological advances that could have the practicality and perceived necessity of a cell phone or MP3 player. Having a consistent line of communication is important, having a watch that keeps one from reaching in their pocket…less so.

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Anything but EasyTechs

Many consumers prefer large retail stores when it comes to electronic device repair. We live in a world that’s increasingly defined by large corporations promoting their presence and cajoling shoppers into believing quantity = quality. Many customers with broken laptops, phones and tablets genuinely believe that the big shop, with its brand name, should be their first stop for repairs.

This three part series presents another side to some of the leading consumer repair shops – BestBuy, Staples and the Apple Genius Bar — with published reports from former employees and feedback from disgruntled customers, so that the buyer may beware.

To conclude this three-part series, we focus on the Staples EasyTechs: Staples is not primarily known for computer repair. The office supply giant does not extensively promote its EasyTech program. Staples.com’s homepage does not mention of the repair service. Why is it barely advertised?

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The “Big Deal” about Hillary’s E-Mails

What is she wearing? I can’t wait to E-mail Michelle about this.”

 

If you’re like many, you may wonder what the big deal is about Hillary Clinton using a private e-mail server for her governmental duties. While there are way more important stories in the world, the concern about the former Secretary of state using an e-mail address linked to a personal server is legitimate. Besides the remote but intriguing possibility that she was handling foreign policy with a NextPrez2016@gmail.com handle, her sidestepping of the government network is a somewhat devious maneuver. Additionally, the security concerns that arise with using a private network are too dangerous when our nation’s sensitive information is involved.

All municipal and federal employees utilize government servers to correspond. As a former government worker, I can attest that rules stated I was never to use my personal e-mail for ”business”. With top flight encryption and consistent maintenance by IT engineers beyond the cutting edge, these networks are simply more secure than the average e-mail server. Big time public e-mail providers can’t be held to the same standard, because pictures of your week at the beach are a little less of a priority than protecting national security.

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A Million Ways* to Save Your iPhone Battery

A public power outlet is a gold mine isn’t it? I know when I’m out with a certain friend he takes advantage of every working power outlet he can. He’s constantly on his iPhone. If he’s not e-mailing, he’s searching social media or taking pictures. Once his phone hits below a certain percentage he suddenly becomes a character in an adventure film, on a far and wide source for the hidden power. Sometimes the place we eat lunch depends on whether he can charge his phone. Yes, it’s that bad.

I’ve slowly realized that instead of combing backstreets and awkwardly procrastinating in stores until he gets a decent charge, I could be a little more proactive in helping him. We did some hands on research and found myriad ways to preserve an iPhone battery. This is iPhone centric, but some of the general rules apply to all smartphones. There are very practical solutions, as well as some I never would have thought about. At LaptopMD we’re known for curing smartphones, but part of any good Medic’s duty is making sure your phone is always in peak condition. Here are some tips for iPhone owners:

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Battery Usage feature – i0S 8 has a new feature called Battery Usage, which allows you to see which programs are sucking up the most of your battery power. It’s a good idea to know which Apps are taking up the most power, so you can decide which Apps are the best to kill or maybe seek alternatives to. Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage.

Don’t Kill Your Apps! – This is the most obvious solution……except it’s not a solution. The iOS system doesn’t actually hold background memory on Apps, so when you’re not using an app, it holds exactly 0% of your CPU, and subsequently none of your battery. Constantly “killing” your Apps does nothing but drain your battery.

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The Geniu$ Bar

Many consumers prefer large retail stores when it comes to electronic device repair. We live in a world that’s increasingly defined by large corporations promoting their presence and cajoling shoppers into believing quantity = quality. Many customers with broken laptops, phones and tablets genuinely believe that the big shop, with its brand name, should be their first stop for repairs.

This three part series presents another side to some of the leading consumer repair shops — BestBuy, Staples and the Apple Genius Bar — with published reports from former employees and feedback from disgruntled customers, so that the buyer may beware.

The Geniu$ Bar
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best buy secrets

Dirty Little Secrets: The Geek Squad

Many consumers prefer large retail stores  when it comes to electronic device repair. We live in a world that’s increasingly defined by large corporations promoting their presence and cajoling shoppers into believing quantity = quality. Many customers with broken laptops, phones and tablets genuinely believe that the big shop, with its brand name, should be their first stop for repairs.

This three part series presents another side to some of the leading consumer repair shops – BestBuy Geek Squad, Staples Easy Tech and the Apple Genius Bar — with published reports from former employees and feedback from disgruntled customers, so that the buyer may beware.
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Party Time In The Office

Happy Birthday Zoltan!
Happy Birthday Zoltan!

Last Thursday we celebrated the birthday of Zoltan, one of our best medics! We know, our engineers know devices so well you’re not even sure sometimes, but we are human! We like to celebrate the special moments in our lives. The day was full of Pizza, chocolate cake, and chips. OK, they were motherboard chips to be replaced, but we still had fun!

Our engineers have traveled together, played paintball vs. rival services (and won), and even attended a Russian cabaret. There’s no telling what fun we’ll get ourselves into when we’re not providing you excellent device repair. We have a live camera on our website, so the next time we have a party, check it out with us!

Random Trivia: Zoltan has an IQ of 155, has worked in antiquity repair for a brief period of his life, and was the “local Howard Stern” DJ in Hungary during the time that he lived in Europe.

10 Great Mobile Messaging Apps

We all know the old adage; New York is indeed a melting pot. Millions of people from all over the world call New York home, but how they you contact their friends and family overseas? Long distance calling cards are OK. International mobile plans are expensive.

Social Media is cool but nothing compares to the instant connection that mobile messaging Apps offer. They allow you to talk to anyone around the world for free, and are a prime means of international communication. Many may not know just how many options there are to choose from.

We decided to take a look at some for you! Continue reading

Apple planning to corner the Gold market too?

gold When Apple releases its Apple Watch in April, most of the world will fall over themselves to snag one. Apple’s newest masterpiece will probably be treated like gold, especially the ones that are actually made of Gold.
Along with standard models with stainless steel casing, the brand has announced a “high-end “model made of 18 Karat gold. You would think this would be a rare, one of a kind model, bestowed perhaps to presidents and superstar entertainers to flout their importance, but Apple actually plans to mass produce these devices. They could retail for as much as $7500. Continue reading