US Nuclear Missiles Are Still Controlled by Floppy Disks

Article from Seeker website - January 1, 2018

Reading this article scares me a little bit about our capability of recovering from a crashed system. Where are we going to get the parts for repairs?

Basically, our Minuteman III missile systems are being controlled by computers from the 1970's. Sounds ok, right? But here is the configuration of those computers.

The computers have a 100 MB hard disk, 16 MB of RAM, and 200 KB of memory! Removable storage that is used to communicate with the missiles are on 8 inch floppy disks (250 KB of data per disk)! Wow! Be sure to read this paragraph again to take it in. 

Good news is that these systems don't run Microsoft Windows, nor Mac OS...

Meltdown and Spectre - serious flaws found in Intel based processors!

"Two major computer processor security bugs, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, affect nearly every device made in the last 20 years."

Read this article on the flaw - https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/4/16850516/intel-meltdown-spectre-bug-patch-cpu-security-flaw-news

Here you can find a program from Steve Gibson (Gibson Research Corp.) to help you check to see if your computer system is vulnerable - https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm

Mitigation for these flaws are specific to your machine's make and model - if you are vulnerable to either or both of these flaws, check your manufacturer's website for firmware/BIOS updates to fix this issue.

Our "Congress" at work - for themselves

Republicans are poised to pass the largest transfer of wealth in our nation’s history—financed by mortgaging our children’s future with a mountain of increased debt. It was written over the last few days to satisfy donors and win the final few votes necessary for Senate passage. It is not tax reform. It is not even a policy, but rather a collection of special interest provisions. It is being sold on a false set of promises.

It is decidedly not middle-class tax relief. It provides permanent and massive tax reductions for the largest corporations. The American public understands that the benefits in this bill flow to wealthy individuals like Donald Trump. Every independent expert agrees.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans will only receive a small and temporary tax reduction—when the bill is fully phased in, the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers actually face a tax increase.

These massive tax cuts for the privileged few comes at a very high cost for the rest of America: 

  • It will massively increase the national debt and interest costs by an estimated $2.3 trillion—and likely even higher as accountants and lawyers discover ways to full exploit the many new loopholes created by lobbyists.

  • Insurance premiums will rise by 10 percent per year for everyone, the insurance market will destabilize, and the ranks of the uninsured will increase by 13 million people over the next 10 years.

  • The increased national debt will increase interest rates, making it harder for everyone who wants to borrow money to start a business, buy a home, or finance a college education.

  • The bill fails to invest in our crumbling bridges and roads or to meet the needs of our aging and growing population.

In fact, by slashing federal revenues, the legislation triggers a $25 billion cut to Medicare in the first year alone. Republican leadership also plan to cut back on other critical programs relied on by Americans.

The legislation fails utterly to invest in the American people. It is, however, a bonanza for all of the attorneys, accountants, and lobbyists, who will find ways to further enrich the most privileged. And for weeks to come, we will only learn more about the “special gifts” hidden within the bill to nail down the last few votes.

No wonder the American public is opposed. They are right, and the Republicans are wrong.


Courage,

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

Office Locations

Washington, DC Office
1111 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4811
Fax: (202) 225-8941

Portland Office
911 N.E. 11th Ave
Suite 200
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (503) 231-2300
Fax: (503) 230-5413

 

1&1 Web Hosting causes PDXPC outage for 3 weeks

As you have probably noticed, Paradigm Concepts LLC web page was down for almost 3 weeks as 1&1 web hosting had problems with my renewal of hosting my domain name. 

This also caused a major issue with my email services. No one was able to communicate with my business through my website nor through direct email to any of my @pdxpc.net email addresses.

Sorry for the lack of being able to contact us, but the issue has been resolved now and we are back up and running normally. We've taken measures to be sure this doesn't happen again and hope that you continue to do business with us.

Sincerely,

Scott D Bur
Computer Support Specialist

Paradigm Concepts LLC Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Paradigm Concepts LLC has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the Computer Support companies in Portland, Oregon were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“Affordable support for your PC."

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

 ### 

Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Year-end personal info checks you should do

Well, it’s getting close to the end of the year. Now is the time to check all of your email addresses to see if any of those email servers have been hacked and also to re-read the privacy information that is part of your email contract with that company. Check https://haveibeenpwned.com to see if there are any breaches to your email account(s) and also visit each email service provider to make sure your privacy settings are set up the way you want them.

 Another thing to consider is to check your credit rating and FICO score by getting your free annual credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com and you can check your FICO rating at any time for free at https://www.creditkarma.com/

 

Watch Out For Fake Apps!

The holidays are here and the scammers are out in full force. Their latest trick is fake apps. Starbucks started the first "retail app", and many stores have followed.

But scammers are now creating fake apps, trick you into downloading them to your smartphone or tablet, and ask you to load your credit card information in these apps. You can guess what happens next.

Here are 5 things to think about

1.    Be very judicious in deciding what app to download. Better safe than sorry.
2.    If you *do* decide to download an app, first thing to check is the reviews, apps with few reviews or bad reviews are a big red flag.
3.    Never click on a link in any email to download a new app. Only go to the website of the retailer to get a link to the legit app on the AppStore or Google Play.
4.    Give as little information as possible if you decide to use an app.
5.    Be very, very reluctant to link your credit card to any app!

There is more information about this at the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/07/technology/more-iphone-fake-retail-apps-before-holidays.html

 

Windows 10 free update ending July 29, 2016

If you are thinking of upgrading your Windows 7 or 8.1 computer system to Windows 10, be sure to do so on or before July 29, 2016 as Microsoft will end the free update at that time.

If you have Windows 7 Home or Home Premium or 8 or 8.1, you will get a free update to Windows 10. If you have Windows 7 Pro or 8 Pro or 8.1 Pro, you will get a free update to Windows 10 Pro.

After July 29, 2016, Windows 10 will cost $119.00 and Windows 10 Pro will cost $199.00.

Don't want to update your Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10?

Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corporation has written a small easy-to-use program that will stop Microsoft from "accidentally" upgrading your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system to Windows 10.

The program is free and is reversible by running the program again if and/or when you wish to upgrade.

Go to this link to download and run the program: https://www.grc.com/never10.htm 

Windows OS End Of Support Dates

End of support

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update or service pack installed. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. For more information go to Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Windows XP         Service Pack 3       April 14, 2009            April 8, 2014

Windows Vista     Service Pack 2       April 10, 2012             April 11, 2017

Windows 7 *         Service Pack 1        January 13, 2015        January 14, 2020

Windows 8           Windows 8.1           January 9, 2018         January 10, 2023

Windows 10         N/A                         October 13, 2020       October 14, 2025
released in July 2015 **

* Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates.

** Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (“OEM”) support period. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, mobile operator (e.g., for cellular-capable devices), or hardware capabilities (including, e.g., free disk space).