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A Kansas City

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Consulting Firm

 

 

 

 

 

Technology Tips and News for Busy Professionals

IN THIS ISSUE

 

 

Greetings!                                                                                                        Volume 4, Number 8

We hope you enjoy and benefit from these technology tips and news for busy professionals.  We bring this to you because we are committed to bridging the gap between people and their technology.

 

INFO-TEK employs a full time staff of trained and certified computer & network specialists who are quick to respond, easy to talk with and people you can trust. 

 

We specialize in small business and home office clients and we have helped thousands of people in the greater Kansas City area with their computer service needs at very competitive and affordable rates.

Keys and phone, forget the wallet

 

Do you secure your online identity?

 

Messy cables? Time to fix that

 

Rule of Thumb

 

 

NEWS:  HP brings tablet functionality to new laptop

“Building good relationships between people and their technology 365 days a year.”

 

 

Keys and phone, forget the wallet

 

 

Keys, wallet and phone, the three things most of us check for when we leave the house. It’s second-nature to most of us by now. If current trends are any predictor of the near-future though, we will probably just be checking for our keys and phone; the phone having replaced the wallet. Imagine being able to simply swipe your phone to pay for anything and everything.

There’s a new phenomenon that ties your wallet together with your smartphone. This rising trend, commonly known as a digital wallet, is gaining popularity with a number of recently launched systems and being adopted by large companies. Yes, it looks like the days of carrying cash, credit and debit cards around are numbered.

What exactly is a digital wallet?
A digital wallet is the idea of essentially digitizing your credit and debit cards, and placing them on your smartphone, usually in the form of an app, with credit card numbers and information stored in the cloud. You can then use your phone in place of a card when you go to purchase something from a store, usually by swiping the phone over a special sensor then entering your pin.

If you’re a Starbucks fan, you might use their mobile app to load money onto your account and then simply scan your phone to pay for coffee. The digital wallet is a similar idea to this, the only difference being the card scanned is essentially a digital version of your normal bank card, or is linked to your bank account much like a debit card.

The technology behind this is largely based on Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is a radio based technology that allows users to transmit data between devices when they are placed in close proximity. With digital wallets, either your smartphone, or a device that attaches to your phone, has an NFC chip in it that can talk to a related receiver. Another version of the digital wallet utilizes a dongle you attach to your phone, which allows it to function as a credit card or card reader (if you’re a vendor).

After you swipe your phone, the vendor’s system takes over and interacts with your bank or credit card provider, usually via the Internet, to charge you the appropriate amount.

What are some options available for my business?
While still in its infancy, digital wallets do provide some benefits for small to medium businesses. One provider, Square, uses a small device attached to a tablet or smartphone to process credit card payments. This negates the need for a costly payment system, as it can be easily run on common devices. PayPal has launched a similar device targeted at small business owners in Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and the USA.

With both of these services you sign up for accounts, get a dongle that you attach to your device which allows you to accept credit cards. Customers also get an app that they can link to credit cards and allows them to make payments through their phone without needing their physical cards while at the shop. The main downside to these forms of payments is that each transaction is charged over 2%, which could make them financially unfeasible for small businesses that do a lot of low-value transactions.

A digital wallet that utilizes NFC is Google Wallet. Users can link their cards to the wallet and simply swipe their phone over a MasterCard PayPass, or other compatible terminal. The card is charged, then the customer gets a confirmation and is on their way. Pretty slick. There are a few downsides to this however: only nine Android phones are supported, the service is only available in the US and only two mobile carriers support it.

While NFC based digital wallets appear to be a bit far from the mainstream for now, that will likely change as more phone companies and vendor payment providers adopt NFC. Digital wallets that utilize dongles like Square are set to take off, especially in the FMCG and service industries. Industry heavyweights like Starbucks have already announced they will adopt Square in their outlets to process payments. This definitely puts digital wallets on the fast-track to widespread adoption. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.

 

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Do you secure your online identity?

 

Theft has been going on nearly as long as there has been life on Earth. When the Internet was invented, theft was digitized and, one can argue, that’s where it really took off. One of the more common types of online theft revolves around criminals stealing online identities and there’s big business in people’s personal information.

 

In the first quarter of 2012, nearly 12 million pieces of online identification and personal information were stolen by thieves. This represents a nearly threefold increase over the same time period in 2010. A staggering number for just three months, and it’s forecasted that the number will only increase in the years to come.

 

Read more...

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Messy cables? Time to fix that

 

Wireless connections are a great thing, as you can connect devices to the Internet and one another without the need for cables. Sadly, many of us don’t use wireless devices much beyond Wi-Fi. As we continue to use an increasing number of devices, all of which use cables, it can be hard to keep them in order. If you have a mess of cables in your office, it may be time to straighten them out.

Like most things in business, organization is the key, and a neatly organized cable system not only helps IT, but can help ensure you can troubleshoot/repair if an IT professional isn’t available to do so in person.

If your server room/office looks like a Jackson Pollock painting, there are a few measures you can take to ensure a neat and tidy set of cables.

Read more...

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR

 

Christmas in The Park

With over 300,000 glowing bulbs and 175 animated figures 

 

Longview Lake

 

November 24 – December 31, 2012

 

Click here for more information

 

 

 

More about INFO-TEK

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Rule of Thumb

 

The key to a successful relationship, whether personal or business is communication.  It is impossible to have a fruitful relationship if the channels aren’t clear of debris (so-to-speak).  Implement means for good communication to avoid building a mountain out of a mole hill.

 

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NEWS:  HP brings tablet functionality to new laptop

 

Hewlett-Packard is bringing a twist to its business laptop design with the new EliteBook Revolve, which is the company's first Windows 8 touchscreen laptop that can double up as a tablet in some circumstances.

The Revolve has an 11.6-inch display that can swivel and be placed on the keyboard to turn the laptop into a tablet. The screen displays images at a 1366-by-768 pixel resolution.

 

The laptop has a classic convertible design, but is thin and has more of a tablet feel when used in that mode. But at 1.36 kilograms, the laptop is heavier than pure tablets, which generally weigh under a kilogram.

 

The laptop has 256GB of SSD (solid-state drive) storage. Chip options are Intel's Core i3, i5 or i7 processors based on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.

 

This is the first Windows 8 touchscreen laptop for commercial customers offered by HP, said Ajay Gupta, director of commercial notebook products.

 

"We expect the battery to be close to 10 hours, but it hasn't been finalized," Gupta said.

HP is expanding its lineup of touchscreen products with Windows 8 for businesses. Earlier this year, the company announced the ElitePad 900 tablet, which will ship in January.

 

 

Read more...

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INFO-TEK manages your technology, so you can focus on your business!

 

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If you have found this Newsletter helpful, please pass it along. 

 

Remember, if you need help in implementing any of this month’s tips, contact us — we’re here to help.

 

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Sincerely,

 

Brian Greenstreet

INFO-TEK, Enterprises, LLC

Your local IT service provider

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