Office Online Coming to Chrome

In Microsoft’s Office Blog it was announced that Microsoft is expanding their online Office products to include the Chrome web store, so now Google Chrome users can use Microsoft’s Office Online product.

You may already access Microsoft’s Office Online products at: http://www.office.com

Microsoft also discussed its “Tell me” feature, which allows you to ask Word how to do something, and the relevant information will be presented in a simple drop-down list.

Word Online now includes commenting, improved footnotes, and lists.

PowerPoint Online also offers improved performance, text editing, and the “Tell me” feature.

Office Online works in all browsers according to Microsoft, and if you use Chrome, you can now add Word Online, PowerPoint Online, and OneNote Online. Excel Online will be coming to the Web store shortly.


Canon Announces the Vixia Mini-X Camcorder at NAB

Canon Vixia Mini-XI really love the Canon Vixia camcorder line. I use a Canon camcorder to shoot my video netcast. This week at the NAB Canon announced the Vixia Mini-X full HD camcorder.

It has an F/2.8 lens, a Canon DigiX 4 image processor, and a 12.8 megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor, which increases its ability to operate in low light levels. It records in AVCHD at 1920×1080 resolution at a 60i frame rate, as well is recording in MP4 format in either 1920×1080 or 1280×720 resolutions at 30p or 24p frame rates. It also provides linear PCM audio recording, and captures great video, but also has great audio thanks to a built-in, high-quality set of stereo microphones.

It records to an SD card and has the ability to have external audio pluged-in via a mini-jack. All these features, taken together, provide for a camera that would be excellent for podcasting. At around $400 it would be a great choice for beginning podcaster that was serious about a high-quality HD video production on a budget.

This was a standout in a release of other Canon Vixia camcorders at this past week’s NAB convention!


NAB Coverage!

As you, no doubt, know… I’m very into video, and video broadcasting technology! This past week was the National Association of Broadcasters convention; and it gave many vendors an opportunity to update the video community on new hardware and software releases.

I wish I could’ve been there! To quote Klingon Commander Kor, “It would’ve been glorious!” However, Tech Podcast Network was there, and there are a lot of great videos covering the NAB available at TPN.TV. So do yourself a favor, and go check out the coverage TPN.TV!.

I also saw some great videos on Geekbeat.TV over the last few days. Notable among them was their coverage of BlackMagicDesigns new cameras available for studio usage. They had a standard HD camera for under $2000, and an Ultra HD version, which some people call 4K, camera that was around $6000. Now, there’s no question that that’s a lot a lot of money, but for the quality, and features of these cameras, that is an awesome price point!

So if you’re into video, and video technology, check out these resources. There’s a lot of really neat stuff coming down the pipeline for prosumers!


Twitter Adds Real-Time Notification

TwitterTwitter announced on their blog this week that they are adding a new feature to web-based Twitter account interaction. You’ll now have real-time pop-up notifications when someone is Tweeting you.

You will receive a notification if someone has replied, favorited, or re-Tweeted one of your tweets. The notifications are fully interactive and you can reply, or re-Tweet using the interface.

Twitter says they’re planning to roll out this feature over the next few weeks.


HeartBleed Hits Cisco and Juniper!

But wait, there’s more! HeartBleed isn’t through it with us yet! It turns out that the exploit also affects networking gear from Cisco and Juniper.

HeartBleed, has already affected popular web and e-commerce sites, and now it seems that many of Cisco’s products use a version of the OpenSSL as well! In a press release they said this “could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to retrieve memory in chunks of 64 kilobytes from a connected client or server.”

Juniper also posted a “high alert” on their support page with similar information. Infected networking hardware is not as easy to fix as a simple software patch, in many cases, in fact, in some cases the upgrade is going to require buying new hardware!

This is because the code is actually embedded in the chips within some of the hardware. As you might imagine, this is not going over well with people that own this hardware!

Before it’s all said and done, I expect that HeartBleed will rack up millions of dollars in successful exploits to people’s accounts, as well as corporate remediation of hardware!


LinkedIn Announces New Features

LinkedIn has a new feature that is somewhat interesting. Now LinkedIn will notify you of open positions at your own company!

This new feature is called “Internal Job Recommendations.” It would seem to me that this points out that most companies have a hard time communicating changes, and positions that may be open, within their own company. It’s been my experience that communication is one of the biggest failings in the business world. Whether that communication is among our own peers, or from management “down,” it is an issue that arises again and again. I think this is due to the fact that everyone gets busy, and everyone gets focused on what they’re doing, and doesn’t think to share with their coworkers information that can help them do their jobs, and perhaps help you do yours in the process.

LinkedIn also announced two other major enhancements that are mostly aimed at recruiters. They’ve added an updated recruiter profile page, and new mobile apps that are aimed at recruiters as well.

For additional information you can check out the announcement in their blog post.


Amazon Buys Comixology

In an interesting move, Amazon, has acquired the digital comic book store, Comixology. Amazon is been acquiring different companies over time such as its acquisition of Audible some time ago.

If you’ve never used Comixology, then imagine a sort of iTunes store for comic books, where you can buy a comic book and read it on the web, or you can read it through iOS or Android app on your tablet, or smart phone.

Comixology has some 50,000 comics available for sale, and last year the company launched a self-publishing platform for comics, that allows comic book creators to upload, and sell, their own work, which will tie in well with Amazon’s own self-publishing efforts.

Comixology will remain a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon, and retain its name, much is Audible did.


LastPass Announces a New Feature!

Speaking of my favorite password tool, LastPass, the LastPass company announced a new feature in their blog on April 9th.

This new feature arose in the wake of all the publicity around the HeartBleed exploit that I mentioned in an earlier post, and addresses the HeartBleed exploit specifically. Now the LastPass security check can be run from the LastPass icon menu, and it will run the security check and give you recommendations as to whether you should immediately change your password on a given website.

Essentially, it is checking for the use of OpenSSL, and then directing you to change the password for that site. One feature I like about LastPass is its ability to choose a random password that is very complex, enter it into the field for the password change, and then “remember” that password in your LastPass database.

This is a very neat way of checking websites and changing your password to a strong, difficult to guess, password, thus adding greater security to your web surfing habit!


Google Glass will Be Available on a Limited Basis April 15th

Google GlassGoogle is selling Google Glass to anyone in the United States on April 15, but only for a limited time. This is a change from those beta users that essentially had to qualify for the right to spin their $1500 to be part of the beta program!

Now, even if you don’t have a Google Glass Explorer invitation, you can get your hands on Google’s wearable computer. You still need to go to a special website and sign up, again, for the right to spin your $1500 to purchase Google Glass. And, in the interest of helping the economy, here’s a link to that website.

Now, I’m not sure how many of you have $1500 lying around that you can use for an impulse buy! If so, I’d be glad if you send some my way! I can think of some cool tech toys that I’d like to get my hands on. I’m not sure Google Glass would be among them, but that’s just me!


The HeartBleed Bug Runs Rampant!

The big news this week in the tech world is the HeartBleed exploit. OpenSSL is used by many websites to secure their web traffic. Secure socket layers (SSL) provides encryption for websites to encrypt and protect the flow of data.

However, Open Source is “taking it on the chin” from a lot of corners that were already opposed to Open Source in the first place. The accusation is that because OpenSSL is an Open Source project, and that so many people have eyes on the source code, that that is allowing exploits to be developed. In fact, the opposite is actually true! The more eyes that are on the source code, the easier it is to find holes and patch them. However, as my colleague at work, that I’ve chosen to call “JoeBob Not-his-real-name,” says: “Anything created by man is inherently flawed.”

The HeartBleed bug, known by the rather difficult to say name, CVE-2014-0160, has been spreading out on the Internet for the last two years, and there’s even some speculation that the NSA has been exploiting the bug for some time to gather information from websites.

Whether this is true or not, it is true that this exploit provides a hacker access to be able to read usernames and passwords from anyone that uses the websites that are using OpenSSL.

This is a HUGE problem, and for this reason, you need to change your passwords immediately on all sites that use OpenSSL, among those are: Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter.

So, get out there and change those passwords! And, Oh, by the way, you should be using something like LastPass to provide very secure passwords for all of your websites, which you can then access by a single password into your LastPass account!

AVG Antivirus Professional 2014