In Other News

Sep 19

Dell today confirmed to us that they have stopped selling their popular printer hardware. After quizzing a third-party wholesale supplier, the Dell online chat service, and our Dell Direct Account Manager, we can today confirm that Dell has made the decision to stop selling printers as part of their hardware offering (in the UK at least).

This morning we checked the Dell website and confirmed that all printers had been removed from the Dell UK section, with the exception of their large workhorse C7765dn model.

Speculation could lead us to believe this is the direct result of some sort of fall-out from the recent Dell EMC merger.  We found an interesting article from late 2015 on the merger that says:

It makes you wonder how Dell’s acquisition of EMC will affect its printer business.

Jun 19

We have noticed a large number of calls yesterday and today in relation to users on Windows 7 where the computer sits stuck on a “Starting Windows” page. The common denominator between all of these incidents is that the computers had AVG Anti-Virus installed.

Whilst we wait on AVG getting back to us with news on this issue we have been resolving these incidents by booting the computers in to Safe Mode, un-installing AVG completely, then booting back into Windows in normal mode before reinstalling AVG.

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This is not the first time Anti-Virus programs have caused catastrophic issues with Windows PCs. In April 2010 a McAfee pushed out an update that caused a false positive identification, and incorrect deletion, of the critical Windows system file svchost.exe.

Jun 05

HMRC has turned its back on Microsoft after announcing the news that they plan to switch to Google’s cloud apps services.

First reported by The Register, 70,000 HMRC employees are dumping Microsoft’s productivity solutions in favour of the Google Apps service proudly boasted by the internet giant.

This means HMRC will be the first of the major UK governmental departments to make the switch away from Microsoft.

HMRCInterestingly, back in May 2013, MPs accused the internet giant of deliberately subverting its motto, “don’t be evil”, in order to pay less tax. It’s almost ironic that of all the government bodies to make the move to Google Apps it’s HMRC that’s doing so.

Infuriated members of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) lashed out at the company as one of its most senior executives insisted it was not “selling” advertising in the UK – but in low-tax Ireland instead.

Jun 03

PayPal and eBay have fallen out and are splitting up with each other on 1st July 2015. PayPal have published a new set of Privacy Policies that will come into force on the same day.

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE AMENDED USER AGREEMENT, PRIVACY POLICY OR ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY, YOU MAY CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT BEFORE JULY 1, 2015 AND YOU WILL NOT BE BOUND BY THE AMENDED TERMS.

PayPal is nice enough to give its customers only two options when it comes to the new terms: begrudgingly accept them or close your account entirely.

There’s a temporary page showing all the new Privacy Policy changes in full with the highlighted points at the top. The top paragraph states several scenarios where PayPal may choose to automatically call or text you:

  1. notify you regarding your account
  2. troubleshoot problems with your account
  3. resolve a dispute
  4. collect a debt
  5. poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires
  6. contact you with offers and promotions
  7. as otherwise necessary to service your account or enforce this User Agreement, our policies, applicable law, or any other agreement we may have with you.
May 29

OfCom have published a report after conducting research on tablet usage in the UK.

The tablet computer has established itself as a must-have device in just five years with more than half of UK homes now owning one.

 

Apple’s iPad launched in the UK on 28 May 2010 and, alongside Android and other tablet devices, it is helping to shape the way we surf the internet, communicate and watch TV and video.

 

Tablets are proving very popular among people aged 35-54 with nearly two thirds of this age group (64%) having a tablet.

The rapid rise in popularity of tablets means that over half of UK households (54%) now have one1, up from just 2% in 2011.

May 18

The ICO has issued South Wales Police with a £160,000 fine for losing a video recording which formed part of the evidence in a sexual abuse case.

Despite the DVDs containing a graphic and disturbing account, the discs were unencrypted and left in a desk drawer.

The recorded interview took place in August 2011 and the loss was discovered by staff after an office move in October 2011 but the security breach then went unreported for nearly two years due to lack of training. Although the DVDs were stored in a secure part of the police station, South Wales Police had no specific force-wide policy in place to deal with the safe storage of victim and witness interviews in its police stations.

May 01

The online streaming website Grooveshark has been shut down after losing its battle with the music industry on Thursday.

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The company reached a settlement agreement after being sued by a number of different record companies. One such suit brought by Universal Music Group was for $15 billion.

The notice on the company’s website says they “…have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies’ copyrighted works and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.”

Founded 9 years ago by three students at the University of Florida, this sees the end of the company that claimed to 35 million users they could “Play any song in the world, for free!”.

Apr 27

Google Chrome is ending support for Silverlight – used by NOW TV and BT Sport to play video.

The Microsoft runtime depends on an ageing plug-in protocol called Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI), for which Google is currently phasing out support in its browser.

 

The Google Chrome team originally speculated that support for the old protocol would be removed from Chrome before the end of 2014.

Silverlight remains very popular with broadcasters because of the level of encryption it offers. Many broadcasters seem to be sticking with Silverlight instead of migrating to HTML5.

“With each step in this transition, we get closer to a safer, more mobile-friendly web,” said Justin Schuh, software engineer and plug-in retirement planner at Google.

Sep 26

The Shell Shock security flaw could be bigger than Heartbleed.

A serious security flaw recently discovered in the Bash command-line shell application has been nicknamed “Shell Shock”.

Bash, an acronym for Bourne Again Shell, is a command-line shell application that allows users to issue commands to launch programs, features and make changes by typing text into a console. It’s typically used by programmers and server administrators when making changes to their servers. Bash usually isn’t open to the general public nor made available to access over the Internet by unauthorised users, but Shell Shock changes that.

This isn’t a new vulnerability (although it’s only just been discovered),  in fact it’s been around for 20-25 years. It allows the user to manipulate “environment variables” to influence how the software responds and ultimately exploit the machine it is running on.

Feb 18

Edinburgh based IT Support company, Consider IT has achieved the internationally recognised ISO 9001 standard, establishing us as one of the leaders in our field.

This independent assessment was conducted by the leading Certification Body, the British Assessment Bureau and demonstrates Consider IT’s commitment to customer service and quality in delivery.

Consider IT has now earned the right to display the coveted British Assessment Bureau ISO 9001 certification mark to demonstrate its conformance to the standard.

ISO 9001 was first introduced in 1987 and requires organisations to demonstrate that they do what they say they do and that they have a quality management system in place to ensure consistency and improvement; leading to high levels of performance and customer satisfaction. Certified organisations are committed to continuous improvement and are assessed annually to ensure progress is being maintained.