Mediacom System Maintenance Notification

If you’re a Mediacom customer and subscribe to their Internet service, you may get an HTML message injected into whatever website you visit. They are somehow able to insert their own HTML into whatever site you are viewing. Below is a screen shot showing what this looks like, and here is the actual text of the message:

IMPORTANT: From 5/3/2016 03:00 AM to 5/3/2016 06:00 AM (Central Time) we will be performing maintenance on our Internet systems network. For this reason, during this time, your connection to the Internet may be unavailable or slow. Our maintenance program involves regular system updates and improvements that help make your service experience more reliable and deliver the always fast Internet you expect from us. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to improve your service experience.

Example

The example below is what a person would see visiting a site like Subaru.com. The message would appear above the website content.

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Apple Public Beta Website Outage News and Updates

In the past 48 hours, Apple has received exceptional press coverage in technical news blogs for their Public Beta program. It’s a great opportunity for Apple to impress people with their latest desktop and mobile operating systems (El Capitan and iOS9).

These links will take you to the appropriate pages:

Site News

As of 5:30 AM the Public Beta site is working again.

As of 3AM Pacific Time on Friday, July 10, those attempting to get access to the Public Beta will get an error when landing on the page, or if the page loads, when attempting to register by authenticate with their Apple ID.

The error isn’t the expected, “We’re experiencing too many visitors right now. Try again later.” It’s not that. Nor is it the “We’re upgrading our site.”

Instead, the error message below shows up. One of the rules of having a successful Public Beta program is to make sure that the Beta Program isn’t itself a beta version.


We’re sorry, but something went wrong.

We’ve been notified about this issue and we’ll take a look at it shortly.

Information for the administrator of this website

The Phusion Passenger application server encountered an error while starting your web application. Because you are running this web application in staging or production mode, the details of the error have been omitted from this web page for security reasons.

Please read the web server error log to find the details of the error. If you don’t know where the web server error log is, read the troubleshooting documentation below.

Alternatively, you can turn on the “friendly error pages” feature (see below), which will make Phusion Passenger show many details about the error right in the browser.

Phusion Passenger troubleshooting documentation:

To turn on friendly error pages:

Page Screen Shot

Below is a screen shot of the error page. Click the image for a larger view. The URL is for the landing page after entering your Apple ID.

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Get Your Free Upgrade to Microsoft #Windows10

Summary

Windows 10 is scheduled to be released on 29 July 2015. In the past, major upgrades of Windows were complicated to choose from and expensive to purchase. Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft is making it easier to upgrade.

Windows 10 Upgrade Icon

Microsoft has begun placing a Windows 10 upgrade icon in the task bar system tray of Windows 7 computers. You can see it in the image below on the left.

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When this icon appears on your computer it means that you qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10, which will be pushed out as an update later this summer.

Reserving Windows 10

To reserve your copy of Windows 10, click the icon and follow the instructions as shown in these screen shots. Click an image for a larger gallery view.

Confirmation Email

Once you’ve completed the reservation process, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Congratulations on reserving Windows 10

Your free upgrade will be available from July 29th, and now that you’ve reserved it, you won’t miss a minute of Windows 10 helping you do great things.

Because you’ve reserved, Windows will automatically take care of the download in advance. Then you’ll get a notification when your upgrade is ready to install. That way you can start using Windows 10 immediately – or schedule a time to install that’s convenient for you. If you have any more questions, check out the upgrade FAQ.

What’s in the “Get Windows 10” app?

You’ve just reserved your free upgrade using the “Get Windows 10” app. You can also use the app to confirm the reservation, check to see if your device is compatible with Windows 10, and un-reserve if you wish to cancel your reservation prior to your Windows 10 upgrade. If you want to return to the app, just click the Windows logo in the taskbar.

Windows 10 is full of great features

In addition to features you may have heard about such as Cortana* and Microsoft Edge, our new web browser, Windows 10 contains lots of other exciting tools to help you do great things. [More…]

Windows is for people who do

Windows is about helping people do great things, so we created a series of videos to show the innovative ways individuals use Windows to realize their potential. These include Mikaila, a young girl working to save the bees, and Kyle, who creates motion capture animations. Doing is part of their DNA, and Windows gives them the tools they need to follow their passion.

More ways to keep up with Windows 10

Want to get periodic emails about Windows 10? If you checked the box to receive emails when you reserved your free upgrade, you’re already signed up. If not, sign up here. You can also keep up with all things Windows 10 on our Social channels, as well as the Windows Blog.

Legal Disclaimer

Here’s the humorous legal disclaimer at the end of the confirmation email:

Our lawyers made us say this: Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and the Windows 10 Specifications page. Additional requirements may apply over time for updates. Security and features are kept automatically up-to-date which is always enabled.

Windows 10 Video Highlights Reel

Here’s a quick overview of Windows 10.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3ZLphVaxkg]

Windows 10 Preview with Joe Belfiore

This preview video with Joe Belfiore covers more features of Windows 10.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwc5jKc-EgE]

Introductory Welcome Video for Mozilla Firefox 38.0.5

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/129896165]

On 2 June 2015, Mozilla released Firefox 38.0.5 with a few new features including:

  • Keep track of articles and videos with Pocket
  • Clean formatting for articles and blog posts with Reader View
  • Share the active tab or window in a Hello conversation

For more about the benefits of Firefox, visit https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/desktop/

Consumers Pay the Cost of Frivolous Apple Lawsuits

Sophisticated intellectual property and patented technologies sometimes take many years and many hours to develop. Companies that take the risk and make the investment required to develop new innovations should be rewarded and have the opportunity to recuperate their costs and enjoy the profits of hard work and innovation.

Unfortunately, there are some ‘companies’ spending more time engaging in frivolous lawsuits than they spend on development of innovation.

Recently one company has tried to take Apple, Google, Samsung, and HTC to court over what they claim is patent infringement.

When a technology is so widely used that it’s incorporated in the devices of multiple manufacturers, one must wonder how unique that technology is.

Part of the problem is with the original patents being too vaguely worded, broadly defined, or allowing patents to be issued for relatively common sense, generic, and obvious designs. These things create a context for conflict.

Based on these poorly conceived patents, companies are now trying to take advantage of the patent system and court system.

A spokesperson from Apple described one of their recent court battles this way:

“[The company that is suing us] makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no US presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented. We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.”

This is, of course, only one side of the story, but if true, it illustrates the wide-spread problem we’re seeing repeatedly today.

The company suing Apple for $533 million is self described on their website as “an innovative technology development and licensing corporation that owns an expanding portfolio of foundational patents….” This description sounds more like an organization established as a patent broker.

Surprisingly, this company that is suing Apple for $533 million has only a simple five page template website using stock photos that was copyrighted back in 2013.

Ultimately consumers pay the cost of all these lawsuits, and as with war, there often are no winners, only losers, as all the expense, stress, and effort doesn’t go toward creating solutions for a better world, but instead only drains our valuable scarce resources.

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UI Partners Offers Web and Tech Consulting for Iowa Small Businesses

Summary

UI Partners is a program through the University of Iowa that offers website and technology consulting to Iowa businesses. This page offers some general information about the program. To learn more, visit the UI Partners website or contact UI Partners to get started.

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Overview

UI Partners was created by the University of Iowa specifically to help small Iowa companies innovate and grow. UI Partners works directly with businesses to solve their information technology (IT) challenges, using practical insights and ideas drawn from University faculty, staff, and students.

UI Partners consults with small businesses throughout Iowa on their IT needs, such as creating websites, managing databases, e-commerce or general tech support, as well as general business planning. This translates into projects that student interns or apprentices could work on, allowing UI students to build their resumes while also connecting with innovative Iowa businesses.

UI Partners is working to create a statewide network of integrated engagement centers to assist small businesses.

To support Iowa’s entrepreneurs, targeted technology training is available through the University of Iowa’s Dev/Iowa programs.

IT Assessment

UI Partners provides FREE Technology Needs Assessments for small businesses. Their staff and students work together to find business and technical solutions that help small businesses remain competitive and work more efficiently.

Business Strategy

UI Partners can provide leading edge informatics expertise and business training to organizations, startups, and established businesses. The group uses advanced entrepreneurship and business training to help find innovative solutions for your business.

Technology & Business Survey

The UI Partners Business Survey helps gather the essential information about a business to provide the best services possible.

Student Experience

UI Partners has a student employment program to assist college students in obtaining real world technology experience. Students get to work with multiple businesses to assist with IT and business strategy projects. Learn more or Apply Now.

Technical Training

UI Partners offers resources and training to help new and established business thrive with the technology solution that’s developed for their needs.

Innovate & Grow

UI Partners was created by The University of Iowa specifically to help small Iowa companies innovate and grow. They work directly with businesses to solve their information technology (IT) challenges, using practical insights and ideas drawn from University faculty, staff, and students. They are working to create a statewide network of integrated engagement centers to assist small businesses.

Workshops and Events

To support Iowa’s entrepreneurs, targeted technology training is available through the University of Iowa’s Dev/Iowa programs. Training opportunities include guest speakers, weekend workshops, one week programs and the intensive Dev/Iowa Bootcamp. Below is a video from the Dev/Iowa Bootcamp 2014.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amD2rraQwLg]

Engagement Centers

UI Partners currently has three Engagement Centers located in Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and Sioux City. They plan to open more UI Partners locations across the state of Iowa.

Direction & Leadership

UI Partners is a division of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

Click here to visit the UI Partners website.

Android Has Over 400 Security Vulnerabilities and Leaks Data Almost 100 Times Per Hour

A cryptography firm has identified over 400 security vulnerabilities in the Android operating system widely used in smart phones and tablets. They also identified data leaving Android devices going to various unknown destinations at a rate of about 80 to 90 times per hour. These security concerns are compounded by the fact that rogue cell phone towers (like malicious routers) can take control over devices. Popular Science reports, “Every smart phone has a secondary OS, which can be hijacked by high-tech hackers.”

Read more: “Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls,” Popular Science 27 August 2014.

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Microsoft Windows 8.1 August Update and Windows Server R2

(Source: “August updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2,” Microsoft Windows Blog, 5 August 2014)

In April, we released a bigger, more comprehensive package of improvements to Windows 8.1 called the Windows 8.1 Update. We did the same for Server too, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Update. As we said at the time, our goal is to continue to deliver improvements to Windows through regular updates in order to respond more quickly to customer and partner feedback. After all, we already have a regular monthly update process that includes security and non-security updates.

With the above in mind, rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of “Update Tuesday.” So despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 “Update 2.”

We’ll continue to use our normal channels such as Windows Update (WU), Microsoft Update (MU), and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to deliver updates to Windows. These updates will include security updates to help keep you protected, as well as non-security updates that can bring a range of improvements to your PC or tablet running Windows. Examples of some of these non-security updates are the Windows Store Refresh in May and the June update to OneDrive to improve your control of sync. Some of these improvements might be more visible or even new features, while others might be more “behind-the-scenes” that improve things like the performance and reliability of your device. With these monthly updates, we continue to refine and improve Windows 8.1 in a more nimble way, creating a richer experience for all Windows customers.

Following are some of the new features and improvements included in the August 12th Update Tuesday:

  • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

This update will be delivered automatically via WU and optional through WSUS. Enterprises can take the update anytime. Further details on the update will be included here on August 12th.

For current Windows 8.1 consumers who have elected automatic updates, the rollout will be gradual to ensure all customers receive the update in a timely manner. Those who wish to install the update ahead of automatic updates may do so beginning August 12th manually via Windows Update.

As you might expect, we’re taking the same approach to deliver improvements to Windows Server 2012 R2 as well – go here for additional information.

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WordPress.com Momentary Outage on 15 April 2014

A momentary outage was observed with WordPress.com and websites hosted through their service. For a few minutes, the site was unavailable.

This may be related to some updating that’s been done recently across the entire WordPress platform (including self hosted sites). In recent days self hosted sites are being updated automatically to version 3.8.3 to “fix a small but unfortunate bug in the WordPress 3.8.2 security release.”

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Second Annual Hawkeye Innovation Summit on March 28

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A celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa. 

This full-day event brings the UI’s most innovative, faculty, staff and students together in one place to celebrate successes, inspire new creations, and encourage networking for future collaborations.

Throughout the day, there will be keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a luncheon, a startup showcase, and competitions.

You can signup for the entire day, or choose the morning or afternoon sessions.

Click here to learn more and register.