Come and find out what all the fuss is about.
Over in the Windows camp, laptops with touchscreens are commonplace. In fact, from Windows 8 onward, Microsoft has optimized its operating systems to work best with a touchscreen display. But there are disadvantages to this approach. Take a quick look at the screen of your smartphone. If you’re like most of us, it’s constantly getting smudged, smeared, or scratched. So Apple went another way: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar offers all the cool things you enjoy about touch interactivity with your devices (including the ultra-cool Touch ID), and removes virtually all the disadvantages.
But don’t take our word for it. Come see for yourself on Thursday, June 1st. This is something you need to see in person, and try for yourself, to fully appreciate. So after a breezy, informal presentation, we’ll personally guide you through this latest, greatest MacBook Pro family. Better still: Every attendee will get coupons for discounts on any new Mac, and they’ll be valid through June 20th.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Differences between 13- and 15-inch models
- Much larger Force Touch trackpad
- Improved keyboard response and reliability
- The Touch Bar
- Using Touch ID on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
- Incredible connectivity capabilities
- Apps that use Touch Bar
- Configurations and pricing, including custom-built options
- Questions and answer period
- Hands-on sessions with the assistance of our experts
WHEN AND WHERE
Thursday, June 1st, 2017, from 5:30 to (approx.) 6 p.m.
at Connecting Point‘s new home:
1251 E. McAndrews Rd., Suite 114
Medford, OR 97504
Seating is limited, so reservations are strongly recommended. There is no cost to attend this event. Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation email with additional details. CLICK HERE or call 541-773-9861 to reserve your spot.
Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, MacBook Pro, Touch Bar, and Touch ID are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. AppleCare is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
THIS WEEK’S DOTW: Braided 3-Foot Lightning USB Cable $4.99
You can never have too many of these things. Inevitably, you’ll see the battery level on your iPhone or iPad dropping, and feel that sickening sensation when you realize you’ve left its charging/syncing cable at home. With these durable, braided nylon cables selling for less than five bucks, you never need to face that situation again. You won’t get pretty packaging or a recognizable corporate logo, but you will get a Lightning cable fully compatible with all your iOS devices.
- Durable, braided nylon design offers a 4000+ bend lifespan
- Certified compatible with iPhone 7 / 7 Plus / 6s / 6s Plus / 6 / 6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air / Air 2, iPad mini / mini 2 / mini 3 / mini 4, iPad (4th generation), iPod nano (7th generation) and iPod touch (5th generation)
This offer runs from Friday, May 26th through Thursday, June 1st, 2017, or while supplies last. Sorry, no rain checks.
UPDATE 05.25.17: Here’s Connecting Point’s Service Manager, Jason Kellogg (among others), in an interview about WannaCry and other ransomware hitting systems right here in the Rogue Valley. (Courtesy NBC5, aka KOBI Channel 5, the local NBC affiliate.)
You’re probably safe. But you really should make sure—now.
The first reports came out of Britain last Friday: The National Health Service found some of its Windows PCs under attack by a virulent piece of ransomware named WannaCry, foisted on vulnerable systems by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers. Then it attacked Germany’s national rail system. WannaCry exploits a critical vulnerability in Windows computers, a vulnerability that Microsoft had issued a patch for back in March. But for those not diligent with their operating system updates, many found their computers completely unusable, with a pop-up message informing them that their files were encrypted and locked. To release them, they needed to pay a ransom of £230 (about $300) to a BitCoin account.
By Monday morning, the attacks had surfaced globally, in particular in China, where many computers run on pirated versions of Windows and thus cannot be patched. The extortion scheme has now spread to 150 countries. Microsoft has pointed a finger at the U.S. government’s National Security Agency (NSA), which created hacking tools enabling this type of cyberattack – and then had them stolen by hackers. Ironic.
So are you at risk? If you’re using a licensed copy of Windows and have up-to-date security software installed, you’re probably fine – but let’s make absolutely certain.
Which versions of Windows are at risk?
WannaCry take specific advantage of a vulnerability in older Windows operating systems to infect and encrypt. These versions are Windows 8, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. If you’re currently running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2016 and have been diligent about system updates, you’re fine.
Here are some steps you can take to protect your PC from WannaCry:
- If you don’t have a recent backup, make one immediately. Once WannaCry encrypts your files, your options become very limited. Restoring your system from a backup is one of them – but you can’t make such a backup retroactively. As we tell our customers: You should assume at all times that, 30 seconds from now, everything on your computer will go away… forever. You should always have multiple current backups, with at least one of them kept off-site (in case of fire or other disaster). Talk to one of our sales or service specialists about implementing a robust backup strategy as soon as possible.
- Make sure you have the latest Windows updates and patches installed. As mentioned above, the security vulnerability that makes WannaCry and other attacks possible was identified and patched by Microsoft a couple of months ago – but it only works if it’s been installed. Windows 10 checks for updates on a regular basis, then downloads and installs them automatically. But in light of this recent attack, you should check to make sure you have the latest updates installed. To do this, click the Start button, then go to Settings > Update and security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates. Windows XP users can download a special patch Microsoft created to address this vulnerability. Find out how here.
- If you’ve turned off Windows Update, turn it back on. Many users, weary of constant updates and patches, disable this important feature. Better to deal with a bit of inconvenience than risk infection by malware.
- Use a good Internet security suite. PC Magazine has an in-depth review of the current offerings here. Get a good one, install it, and keep it updated.
- Bring your co-workers into the loop. At your next staff meeting, budget time to go over “best practices” for using office computers. A good place to start: Don’t click on questionable links, and don’t open suspicious attachments. IT administrators should restrict user access to the company network to just the areas they need to do their jobs.
- If you’re attacked, don’t hesitate. Act. Shut down the entire network immediately. Ransomware often threatens dire consequences if you turn off the computer or disable Internet access, but that is rarely the case. Security experts and law enforcement agencies warn against paying ransoms, since this only encourages fresh attacks further down the road. And paying the extortion fee does not guarantee your files will be unencrypted.
- Get a Mac. While no longer immune to all viruses and other malware, Mac systems are far less prone to such infections. (The exception would be if you are running Windows on your Mac via something like Boot Camp or Parallels. Windows running on a Mac is just as vulnerable to WannaCry and other PC malware as any other Windows computer.) The same holds true for users running ChromeOS, Linux, or mobile operating systems like iOS and Android.
The experts at Connecting Point can offer assistance in making the transition from Windows to Mac as painless as possible (we’ve done it literally thousands of times). We even offer a monthly class to ease your switching journey.
Print, scan, copy, or fax from anywhere on your office network with the HP Color LaserJet Pro M277dw
This robust office workhorse is a new arrival here at Connecting Point. For a multifunction color laser printer/scanner/copier/fax with this much capability, it’s surprising how small a footprint it has. Connect via Wi-Fi or ultrafast Gigabit Ethernet (and it also has a USB port for direct connection). The HP Color LaserJet Pro M277dw also boasts auto-duplexing, allowing unattended double-sided printing and copying – which, combined with its low cost-per-page, saves you both time and money.
In stock now. $399.99 ($14 per month on approved credit)
- Printer, copier, scanner, and fax
- Up to 19 copies/pages per minute black and color; first page out in as little as 11.5 seconds black, 13 seconds color
- 600 x 600 dpi, with HP ImageREt 3600 enhancement
- Scan (24-bit color/8-bit grayscale/up to 1200 dpi), copy, or fax
- Built-in 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
- Three-inch touchscreen Color Graphic Display
- Maximum monthly duty cycle up to 30,000 pages; recommended volume 250 to 2500 pages per month
- USB 2.0; Gigabit Ethernet; 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi; AirPrint; HP ePrint
- Mac and Windows compatible
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Thrill Mom with a gift she’ll use and love all year — long after the flowers have dried and the candy has been eaten. Here at Connecting Point, we have a few recommendations we’d like to share. (Also, we’re open every day, including Sunday — Mother’s Day itself — so we’ve got you covered.)
Red Planet SubSonic Bluetooth speaker
Do you know what 60 Hertz feels like?
Mom’s mouth will drop when she listens to the big sound coming out of this diminutive speaker. Few pocket-size Bluetooth speakers can produce 60Hz bass, the kind of bass you feel as well as hear — but the SubSonic can. It even doubles as a hands-free speakerphone. And to make it sound even sweeter, we’re shaving 10 bucks off the regular price!
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch
The super computer that’s a super gift.
More capable, simple, and portable than anything that’s come before. iPad Pro is an incredible gift with the power of a PC. And the power to go beyond it. 1
PowerBeats3 Wireless earphones $199.99
Performance. Power. Freedom.
Take your workout to the next level with Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones, featuring up to 12 hours of battery life to last through multiple workouts and secure-fit earhooks to maximize comfort and stability. With Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives you 1 hour of playback. Sweat and water resistance provides trusted durability and dual-driver acoustics deliver dynamic sound to power your workout. 2
Apple Watch Series 1
Give Mom the power to stay active, motivated, and connected.
A dual-core processor lets her do it all in an instant. Track and share activity. Measure her workouts. Monitor her health. And access the people and information she cares about most. 3
MacBook / MacBook Pro / MacBook Air
The gift she’ll love opening again and again.
Incredible performance. Innovative design. And great built-in software. With a Mac, the things she loves doing have never been better. 4
iHip Power Bank USB charger
Ruggedly rubberized and built to go wherever mom’s busy day takes her, the sleek iHip Power Bank is ready to revive and resuscitate practically any kind of USB gadget (tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, etc.). And we’re offering a special Mother’s Day price on it: just $4.99 (regularly $29.99). Includes Micro USB cable; to charge iOS devices, you must use its cable.
Apple AirPods $159.99
Wireless. Effortless. Magical.
Introducing wireless AirPods. Just take them out and they’re ready to use with all your Apple devices.5 Put them in your ears and they connect instantly. Speak into them and your voice sounds clear. Simplicity and technology, together like never before. The result is completely magical.
1 Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard are sold separately. TM and © 2017 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
2 Beats, Beats by Dr. Dre, the circle b logo, and PowerBeats are trademarks of Beats Electronics, LLC.
3 Requires iPhone 5 or later. TM and © 2017 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
4 TM and © 2017 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
5 Requires an iCloud account and macOS Sierra, iOS 10, or watchOS 3.
THIS WEEK’S DOTW: Smartoools MICROBATT AA 4-Pack $14.99
Why do these batteries have Micro USB ports in their sides? Direct charging, baby! All you need is a standard Micro USB to USB cable (and one is included) to charge these NiMh AA batteries. You can even plug into the USB port of your laptop and refresh the charge. Good for up to 500 cycles, it’ll save you a bundle on disposable alkaline or lithium batteries. And because it’s our DOTW, we’re selling them for half price!
- Capacity: 1000mAh 1.2 volts
- Current Charge: 5V/110mA
- Charging Time: 8.5 hours
- Battery Indicators: LED Red when charging, LED Blue when fully charged
- Charging Method: Micro USB Cable by AC Adapter or Computer
This offer runs from Monday, May 8th through Sunday, May 14th, 2017, or while supplies last. Sorry, no rain checks.
Computer webcams, home security systems, and baby and pet monitors allow us to stay connected 24/7. These camera-enabled devices allow us to video chat with family members and work contacts and keep tabs on the safety of our homes, pets, and children with ease. But all this connectivity opens us up to some serious vulnerabilities. Cyber hackers can gain access to some of our most intimate moments if we don’t take the proper precautions. Thankfully, there are ways to protect ourselves-beyond covering your computer webcam with masking tape. Check out the infographic below to better safeguard your devices.
Are Today’s Cameras Cybersecure? 10 Tips to Avoid Camera Hacking