k_Street Consulting, LLC Blog

k_Street Consulting, LLC has been serving the Washington area since 2009, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Building a Reliable Remote Workforce with Managed IT Services

Building a Reliable Remote Workforce with Managed IT Services

Remote work has been a popular topic for a few years, but over the past year, with so many people forced into working from home, a lot has been written about it. Today, we wanted to briefly talk about some of the technology that is suggested for the remote business, and what we can do to help you support remote workers. 

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Understanding the Benefits of Data Automation

Understanding the Benefits of Data Automation

Businesses of all sizes rely on data to operate, which means that this data needs to be collected somehow. Let’s consider how the concept of data automation has assisted these businesses to successfully accomplish more.

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Chrome Adds Color Coded Tabs and We’re So Thankful

Chrome Adds Color Coded Tabs and We’re So Thankful

Google Chrome is adding a cool feature over the next week or so (it may already have been released for you). The next feature is sure to make a big difference for some and will be non-descript for others. Let’s unpack colorful tabs in Google Chrome.

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Trust Your Gut when it Comes to IT Services

b2ap3_thumbnail_trust_your_gut_on_it_400.jpgHave you ever been stuck in a technology rut while working on a major project? If this is an everyday occurrence for you, your gut might be telling you that there’s a better way to handle your business’s IT. Most of the time, there’s usually a better way to handle these issues, and it’s with the latest and greatest technology. Your IT provider needs to be familiar with the most recent developments, good or bad, to deliver you the best quality services available.

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Latest HIPAA Settlement at $150k for Compromising 2,700 Medical Records

b2ap3_thumbnail_hipaa_fines_levied_400.jpgThe latest in a string of costly settlements associated with the violation of the HIPAA law highlights the importance of your health care organization closely following HIPAA’s mandates. Is your practice’s IT infrastructure HIPAA compliant? If not, then even an overlooked detail as seemingly-insignificant as updating software will subject you to penalties.

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Europe’s Great Debate: The Right to Be Forgotten

b2ap3_thumbnail_do_you_have_the_right_to_be_forgotten_400.jpgOne of the hot topics in recent news is a concept in European courts about the "right to be forgotten." The ruling, passed in May 2014, suggests that search engines must consider requests for removal of content that is, according to ZDNet, "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant." In some circles, this ruling is seen as controversial.

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3 Simple Solutions to Free Yourself from IT Issues

b2ap3_thumbnail_usa_it_400.jpgWe're just about to roll into a weekend, which to a lot of employees (and hopefully some business owners) means a little bit of relaxation and freedom from the day-to-day grind of business - not that it's all THAT bad, but it's nice to step away for a while, right?

We know what it's like running a business. Sometimes you simply can't unplug, step away, and be free. There's just too much to worry about, and not enough time in the day. Business owners often sacrifice that little bit of freedom the weekend brings (when you should be spending time with family, recharging your batteries, and preparing for yet another Monday). We have a few ways to help you free up more time.

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The Fascinating Art of Server Migration

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_migration_data_migration_400.jpgOnce in a while, a server must play its part in the ultimate task - moving all of its data to another server. This includes moving all of the files and applications on one server to another unit in a process called server migration.

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Do Pets at Work Improve Productivity?

b2ap3_thumbnail_kitties_and_puppies_at_work_400.jpgDo you have pets at home? You might find it painful to leave them behind when you head to the office. You might find yourself wishing that you could bring them to your workplace with you. Well, why not? We're hearing about more companies that have implemented a pet policy that lets them bring their furry friends to the office with them.

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It Finally Happened, Mobile Technology is Winning

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_device_400.jpgFor years, we have been watching the growing trend of mobile computing. All of us knew that one day mobile technology would overtake PC desktops, and 2014 looks to be the year when the scales finally and decisively tip in favor of mobile tech.

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Alert: Cryptolocker Threat Returns with a Vengeance!

b2ap3_thumbnail_warning_malware_400.jpgTwo weeks ago, the National Communications Administration managed to weaken a set of malware designed to steal banking and personal credentials from unsuspecting users. They warned the world that GameOver Zeus and Cryptolocker ransomware would be back with a vengeance, and that immediate action could prevent a whole lot of pain later.

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What is the Future for Net Neutrality?

b2ap3_thumbnail_net_neutrality_no_monopoly_400.jpgThe issue of net neutrality is a hot topic in the United States, but not many people actually know what it is and how it affects their day-to-day routine. This is certainly an important topic that shouldn't be ignored, as it might very well affect all end users.

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Eugene Goostman Program Supposedly Passes Turing Test

b2ap3_thumbnail_will_there_be_ai_400.jpgArtificial intelligence might not be a thing yet, but according to the results of a recent Turing test, it might very well be on its way toward becoming reality. A Russian team has put together a computer program named Eugene Goostman that may (or may not) be the first program to pass a Turing test.

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Managed IT Services: The Perfect Gift for Business Dad!

b2ap3_thumbnail_happy_fathers_day_400.jpgDo you know what to get Dad this Father's Day to show him that you appreciate all that he's done for you? If he's a business owner, we have the perfect gift for him!

That's right - k_Street Consulting's managed IT services! We don't mean buy them outright for him, but by suggesting our services to him, you can give him the greatest gift of all: peace of mind and a whole lot more cash in his pocket. Here are four good reasons to outsource Dad's IT services.

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Never Lift a Style Guide Again With Microsoft Word’s Built-In Citation Machine

b2ap3_thumbnail_Microsoft-Word-Logo.jpgDespite what many people think, Microsoft Word is far from a normal word processor. Microsoft has thrown all sorts of nifty new toys in there for its consumers to enjoy, such as a built-in citation machine for all of your research needs. When writing a white paper, you want to use specific examples and you want to give others credit when it is due. That's the only professional way to do it.

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Spring Cleaning Could Save Your Business Money on IT!

b2ap3_thumbnail_green_it_400.jpgWith the coming of spring, many people are taking the opportunity to get rid of all of the stuff they don't need anymore. As time goes on, you accumulate all sorts of junk that you probably don't even know you have. Sometimes it's a good idea to go through it all and see if you really need it - especially for your business's in-house IT department.

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Microsoft to Revamp Windows Phone Offering

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_phone_400_20140606-140412_1.jpgSmartphones that have been running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system have been manufactured for over a year and a half, and in that time, Android has wrestled the title of "most popular mobile OS" away from Apple's iOS. Windows Phone 8 devices currently sit third, making up just over 3% of all the world's mobile phones. Despite its place in the market, the world's largest software company will release the first major update to their Windows 8 Phone platform in the upcoming months, and early users are saying they're really hitting the mark.

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Warning: New Botnet Threat Could Spell GameOver, Literally

b2ap3_thumbnail_gameover_botnet_400.jpgLook out, users of Windows; the Greek god of thunder is angry, and he's sent the Zeus family of malware out into the world. The one in question, GameOver Zeus, is particularly nasty. Thankfully, the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice managed to find a way to disrupt it, but that doesn't mean that GameOver Zeus is out of the game - in two weeks, the threat will return with a vengeance.

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Protect Your Little Bundle of Joy, Before You Get a Bundle of Terror Instead!

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_family_400.jpgToday's home has all sorts of conveniences when it comes to security and wireless devices, such as mobile-controlled security systems, temperature gauges, and light switches. These devices can also be connected to the Internet for ease of access. You think it's safe behind passwords, firewalls, and security applications, but you're wrong. Anything that's connected is at risk - even baby monitors.

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A Game of Words: George R. R. Martin Finds Use For Old Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_grrmartin_400.jpgThe latest technology can provide your business with increased productivity. However, not everyone sees it that way. George R. R. Martin, one of the most well-known authors of our time, would disagree. He prefers to work in the ancient realm of 1970s word processing.

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4 Reasons Your Business Needs Remote IT Support

b2ap3_thumbnail_you_need_it_400.jpgTechnology grows more mobile with each passing day, but the need for technical support remains the same. But, sometimes you just can't get on-site support while you are traveling. What, then, would you do if you had an urgent need for IT support, especially if your provider doesn't offer remote support?

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Dogecoin Hacked! Such Loss.

b2ap3_thumbnail_docecoin_wow_400.jpgDoge, the Internet meme of a grammatically-challenged Shiba Inu dog that prefers comic sans, is so popular that it has its own online currency called Dogecoin. The fact that Dogecoin exists may be news to you, but it's also news that Dogecoin is temporarily stopping its service after its database (the Doge Vault) was hacked.

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For Hackers, Microsoft Security Patches are Roadmaps to Access Your Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_eight_point_one_400.jpgLately, there's been a string of computer security issues making the news, like the vulnerability found within Internet Explorer, the Heartbleed bug, and the host of issues associated with the recently-expired Windows XP. Is it possible that the security patches issued by Microsoft are making the problem worse for users of older systems like Windows XP?

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“The Most Connected Human on Earth” - Chris Dancy on Technology and Life, Part 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_dancy2_400.jpgThe other day, we introduced you to "the most connected human on Earth", Chris Dancy, and his story. Dancy had lost his job due to corporate downsizing, which in turn led the former IT manager to use his knowledge for the study of quantitative technologies and systems as part of a "quantitative life existence." In this second installment of our interview, Chris is going to explain how you too can lead a similar lifestyle.

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“The Most Connected Human on Earth” - Chris Dancy on Technology and Life, Part 1

b2ap3_thumbnail_Most-Connected-Man.jpgChris Dancy is known far and wide for being "the most connected human on earth", but how exactly does he do it? It's much easier than some people think. He takes advantage of the numerous technologies and systems available, and they all work together to track his every move. Why would he want to do this? It's not for bragging rights, as some might say - rather, it is all about a "quantified life existence." To find out what this means, we got a chance to interview Chris about his tech journey.

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Alert: Siri’s Leaking Secrets - iPhone Lock Screen Vulnerability

b2ap3_thumbnail_ios_vuln_400.jpgApple's iOS 7.1.1. operating system has been affected by a series of bugs throughout this month. The first bug was emails being sent unencrypted, but now a new threat lurks in the shadows - a lock screen flaw that allows hackers to access your contacts list without unlocking the phone.

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Microsoft Yields - Windows 8.1 Update Deadline Extended

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_eight_point_one_update_400.jpgMicrosoft has announced that, unless you upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update (think of it like a service pack) users will no longer receive updates and support for Windows 8.1. The deadline was set for May 13th, but Microsoft bailed on this deadline the day before it would pass and, instead, extended the deadline. The update is crucial if you are using Windows 8.1 and desire to continue receiving patches for the operating system.

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2 Tips to Get More Out of Your Chromebook

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_chrome_400.jpgMobile devices like Google's Chromebook are designed with the casual computer user in mind. Equipped with Chrome OS, some people mock the device calling it, "Nothing more than a browser with a keyboard." Granted, a Chromebook can't come close to doing what a "real" computer can do, but if you know how to use it, the device can be much more than a glorified browser.

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Is Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 8.1?

b2ap3_thumbnail_win_8_one_update_400.jpgIn an interesting twist to the Microsoft OS saga, Microsoft announced that it will cease providing security updates for Windows 8.1 unless users upgrade the software to Windows 8.1 Update (the newest Microsoft OS update). What's Microsoft's reasoning behind this verdict?

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A Second Chance - Microsoft Releases IE Patch for Windows XP!

b2ap3_thumbnail_update_two_400.jpgLast week, six versions of Internet Explorer were diagnosed with a crippling vulnerability that could have potentially allowed hackers to take over your computer, install malware, or steal sensitive data. The threat was deemed so immediate that the United States and the United Kingdom both issued warnings advising against the use of Microsoft's beloved web browser.

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4 Tips to Keep the Phish From Biting

b2ap3_thumbnail_phishing_400.jpgJust like the dark waters of the benthic ocean trenches, the Internet is filled with wondrous creatures that have never been seen before. However, there are also rather ugly things lurking in the depths as well. No matter how deep you swim, there are always the deep sea phishermen that will try to rip you away from everything you hold dear – your personal and professional data.

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Technology Repair… In Space!

b2ap3_thumbnail_millennium_falcon_400.jpgDue to the overwhelming success of George Lucas's science-fiction film franchise Star Wars, fans all over the world will be celebrating May 4th as a holiday (May the Fourth be with you). Star Wars wouldn't have been nearly as successful if it weren't for its fascinating space technology, something that was previously only imagined by the most creative of minds. X-wings, blasters, and hyperdrives seem really neat, but they can break down just as easily as present-day space technology. There's something about the unknown void that is space which draws our attention, even if it's "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

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Cyber Punks – Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_from_threats_400.jpgIn high school, there were always the rebellious kids who never wanted to do what their teachers said. They would vandalize the bathroom stalls, walk around the halls without permission, skip classes, and make the school an overall unpleasant environment. The teachers eventually decided that enough was enough, and they banned certain privileges that the students had. Bathroom breaks became timed. Hall monitors stalked the halls looking for troublemakers. Our liberty was stolen by these hooligans.

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WARNING: Huge Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Affects Everybody, No Fix for XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_alert_red_400.jpgAlert! Those using Windows Internet Explorer as your preferred web browser might want to take a short break from it and consider using a different browser like Chrome or Firefox until Microsoft works out a recently-discovered vulnerability.

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Touch Screen PC Productivity - Gimmick or Not?

b2ap3_thumbnail_touch_screen_pc_400.jpgTouchscreen devices have been all the rage for around a decade and have brought a degree of mobility to business that was unheard of only a short time ago. At first it was the smartphone, followed by the 10-inch tablet, and then the smaller tablets; which are designed for media consumption. This recent trend, which provides a superior user experience, has integrated touch screen usability into the expectations of end users. Recently, some of the largest and most recognizable personal computer manufacturers have begun making hybrid laptop computers that have all the capabilities of a powerful laptop, but come equipped with a touchscreen display. Can these all-in-one devices be just what your business needs to get to the next level?

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The Future’s Technology, Today

b2ap3_thumbnail_old_tech_now_400.jpgThe people of 1967 were no different than we are today - obsessed with the future and the new technology it might yield. It was a magical time when technology was developing so rapidly that people were placing wild assumptions of what the technology of the 2000s would be like. How accurate were the predictions of the scientific community of the 1960s? Let's look at this 1967 video from CBS's The 21st Century!

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Is Old Technology Holding You Back?

b2ap3_thumbnail_is_that_a_typewriter_400.jpgYour computer might only be two years old, but in terms of tech-age, it is often much older than you realize. The rate at which new technology, malware, and viruses are being produced, it might as well be twenty years old. This is called Moore's law, which states that computers double in complexity every two years. Think of it like the lifespan of a dog or a cat - their lifespan is so short that one human year is equivalent to multiple years for them, meaning that they are much older in terms of their actual lifespan than they are in human years.

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Never Ignore that Hard Drive Clicking Noise

b2ap3_thumbnail_hard_drive_error_400.jpgThere are times when you put off something on your to-do list and somehow it magically works itself out. This usually happens when someone else picks up the slack and takes care of what you needed to get done. Then there are things on your to-do list that, if you don't get to in a timely manner, will end up costing you in the long run--like PC maintenances.

Computers are machines that need to be cared for and maintained. If a PC is left totally unattended to and it's used regularly, it will wear down after each use and eventually experience the dreaded crash. The primary piece of equipment responsible for this risk is the hard disk drive. A computer hard drive contains disks called platters that have data written on them. These platters spin at thousands of RPMs and tiny moving parts are used to read the data off of the spinning disks. The intricacy and design of all the tiny moving parts lends itself to product degradation.

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The Heartbleed Aftermath

b2ap3_thumbnail_heartbleed_aftermath_400.jpgThe Heartbleed bug, one of the nastiest deficiencies in Internet security to date, was found last week. More than two-thirds of the Internet's secure information could have been leaked from websites utilizing the OpenSSL cryptographic library's encryption style. Most major websites have already issued a patch to resolve the problem, but that doesn't change the fact that this information has been available to anyone looking for it for over two years. Worse still is that you would have no idea how to tell whether your data has been compromised.

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Multitasking – Making the Impossible, Possible

b2ap3_thumbnail_multitask_400.jpgMultitasking is something that everyone prides themselves on, but cognitive psychologist Art Markman seems to think otherwise. He says, "you are your own worst judge of how good a multitasker you are," due to the same areas of the brain that monitor performance are the same areas that work with multitasking, making it nigh impossible to determine how well you are actually multitasking. Of course, multitasking is something that every good employee should learn how to do, as it can improve productivity significantly.

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3 Useful Mobile Apps To Take Your Business on the Go

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_apps_400.jpgThe world is changing as technology grows ever more mobile. Cell phones have gone from bulky, large pieces of hardware to smaller, more compact specimens. Fifteen years ago, if you were to tell someone that your cell phone could connect to the Internet, you would quickly be dismissed. If you look past the surface laden with Candy Crush Saga and Words with Friends game requests, you can get to the heart of what smartphones have revolutionized – the way we communicate with others.

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Warning: Heartbleed Bug Assails the Web

b2ap3_thumbnail_heart_bleed_two_400.jpgThe same day that Microsoft ceased supporting Windows XP with security patches was also the day a vicious little monster was discovered – the Heartbleed bug, which renders privacy in the OpenSSL cryptographic library completely obsolete. Basically, anything utilizing the OpenSSL open source library is at risk here. Websites utilizing this form of encryption include Yahoo! Google, and Facebook. To put it in perspective, sites that utilize OpenSSL number more than two-thirds of the entire worldwide web. Though this bug only applies to versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 beta of OpenSSL, hackers are able to obtain private keys which can be used to obtain sensitive information from countless people all around the world. Nothing says "heartbreak" like having your identity stolen and your sensitive data Shanghaied.

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It Doesn’t Make Sense to Be Anti-Antivirus

b2ap3_thumbnail_antivirus_solutions_400.jpgThe Internet has grown to such a vast size that it in itself is like a world within a world. Some people live on it, and share their secrets far too openly. These people think themselves safe in a world that technically doesn't exist, but there is a lot more danger involved with the Internet than some people realize. There are criminals everywhere, and they are just waiting for you to drop your guard long enough to swipe everything you've worked so hard to protect.

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Fare Thee Well, Steve Ballmer and Windows XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_time_to_upgrade_400.jpgApril 8th is a big day for Microsoft; it's when they will finally pull the plug on their successful Windows XP operating system by ending its support. There are many users around the world that are still using Windows XP, which is a very risky move after tomorrow. Before we retire XP from the office, let's take a look back at how great it was with help from Steve Ballmer.

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Proceed With Caution – Learning Curve Ahead

b2ap3_thumbnail_lots_of_tech_400.jpgHumans are notorious for staying within their comfort zones. When something new or unfamiliar rears its ugly head, we often are too habitual to change with the times. While this is mostly applicable to social situations, such as an introvert being stuck in a hot, stuffy room full of people, comfort zones can also apply to your outdated laptop or smartphone. Upgrading can be challenging, but very rewarding.

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How to Install Multiple Monitors

b2ap3_thumbnail_multiple_monitors_400_20140404-154025_1.jpgNothing says productivity like a workstation with a boatload of monitors hooked up to it. Using multiple monitors allows you to display several different applications at the same time, which improves workflow because you no longer have to shuffle through different windows to find what you need. Here's how to hook up an extra screen to your PC!

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Hit a Home Run with Outsourced IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_hit_a_homer_400.jpgToday is opening day for Major League Baseball. Teams are finishing up spring training and making the last round of cuts before they start the regular season. In the MLB, each team is allowed to have 25 players on their club when they break camp. Every year each club has a handful of guys that make that decision hard for the General Manager.

This situation happens in your business as well. After determining the viability of an expense, the least viable expenses are often cut from the budget. Redundant expenses can really drive down the bottom line, so cuts are made. Here are three ways the IT professionals at k_Street Consulting, LLC can save your organization money and give your team the best chance to succeed.

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What to Do When Your Smartphone Gets Stolen

b2ap3_thumbnail_lost_my_phone_400.jpgAs with anything else that's deliberately taken from you, having your smartphone stolen can be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. After all, many of us use them to keep us on point with our daily tasks. Measures are being taken by legislators and cell phone companies to help curb the issue, but there are ways that you can prevent and react to your phone being stolen.

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Google Enters the Wearables Market with a Plan

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_android_smartwatch_400.jpgWearable technology is all the rage these days. For users that are waiting patiently for the yet-to-be-released Google Glass, there are plenty of other options on the market that have moved beyond the proof of concept to grace retail store shelves. Several of the top mobile device manufacturers have released, or will release in 2014, products designed to seamlessly integrate into a user's daily routine. With Glass on the horizon and the newly announced Android Wear, Google is taking its future tech to your body.

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3 Great Technology Resources for Small Businesses

b2ap3_thumbnail_small_business_tehcnology_400.jpgSmall business owners and executives spend a lot of time going over the expense sheet. Most times, this is a result of not having the financial resources to do everything they want to do, when they want to do it. When your organization's growth stagnates, finding a way to turn that trend around is of paramount importance.

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Our IT Services Are a Slam Dunk

b2ap3_thumbnail_slam_dunk_it_400.jpgAs the top men's and women's collegiate basketball teams in the United States begin the 2014 NCAA tournament, there is a competition going on that doesn't get quite as much press. That is the competition for local market share. When that competition is stiff, as it always is in the NCAA tournament, you have to find ways to set your business apart. There are a lot of similarities between running an efficient business and the make-up of a championship basketball team.

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7 Funny-Yet-Sad Technology Statistics

b2ap3_thumbnail_tech_funny_jargon_400.jpgIt's embarrassing to get technology terms mixed up with other terms that have nothing to do with technology. If you've found yourself confused by the latest tech terms, then don't feel bad. According to a recent survey of 2,392 adults by Vouchercloud.net, mix ups like this are a fairly common occurrence.

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200 Million People’s Identities Compromised in One Scam

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_security_400.jpgDetails are still coming in regarding one of the biggest data breaches in history that compromised the personal records of 200 million Americans! The scam was propagated by the online ID theft service Superget.info, and it's currently being investigated by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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There’s No Good Reason to Disable Your Antivirus Software

b2ap3_thumbnail_dont_turn_off_antivirus_400.jpgIt's a nightmare scenario for any business when a computer virus cripples their system. It's even worse when it happens to a company that has invested in a dedicated antivirus software, especially when the virus got through because someone felt the need to disable it! Because of scenarios like this, you should never disable your antivirus software.

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Go Green by Taking Advantage of Remote Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_go_green_phone_400.jpgToday's business world is more environmentally conscious than ever before. An organization that goes green will help the Earth, improve their reputation, gain tax credits, and even attract new environmentally-conscious customers. When your business is making changes to go green, one of the easiest places to start is with your technology.

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Shouldn’t Everybody Be on the Internet? Yes!

b2ap3_thumbnail_everyone_business_internet_400.jpgAlmost 20 years ago, a class of fifth grade students from Helena, Montana produced a PSA video about the future-changing possibilities of the Internet. When this PSA was shot in 1995, only 0.4% of the world's current population (16 million people) used the Internet. Now, almost 39% of the world is online, making this video scary accurate!

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Data Protection is Still Important, No Matter What We Write

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_data_security_400.jpgPrior to the XXII Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, concerns were shared from many American news outlets in regards to mobile data security. On the eve of competition the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams broadcasted a story suggesting that data security in Russia, and more specifically, at the Olympic games was atrocious; with the reporter, Richard Engel, getting both his smartphone and his work laptop hacked almost immediately.

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3 Legal IT Solutions from the Ground Up

b2ap3_thumbnail_lawyers_need_it_too_400.jpgThere's no denying that lawyers have a crucial role in western society. They are at the center of every trial, hearing, and financial exchange. Like any other business professional, lawyers tend to lean on technology to boost their effectiveness; both for their benefit and for their clients. They rely on mobile technology, hardware and software systems, and even cloud computing systems to better serve their clients. Can your practice benefit from the newest technology?

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29% of The World is Still Running Windows XP!

b2ap3_thumbnail_xp_end_of_support_400.jpgMicrosoft's popular operating system Windows XP is scheduled to have its support end on April 8. Microsoft has been telling the world about the need to upgrade for years, and most users have gotten the memo and either upgraded to a newer OS or they're at least making plans to. However, 29% of the world's computers are still running Windows XP!

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Happy 20th Birthday Bluetooth! What Comes Next?

b2ap3_thumbnail_bluetooth_turns_twenty_400.jpgWith all the recent buzz about wearable technology, biometrics, and smart appliances, it can be easy to forget about a much older technology that is still providing tremendous value. Bluetooth. Believe it or not, Bluetooth is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, having been invented by Ericsson in 1994.

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The Need to Secure Your Backed Up Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_data_backup_400.jpgYour company's data is extremely valuable, which is why you have security measures in place in order to keep hackers out of your network. Although, it's easy to spend so much time focused on your network firewall that sometimes, securing your backed-up files gets overlooked. In the hands of a hacker, the copies of your backed up data can be just as valuable as breaching your network.

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What’s an Internet-Addicted Person to Do?

b2ap3_thumbnail_surfing_at_work_400.jpgSometimes it's okay to waste time surfing the Internet, like when you're unwinding at home after a long day at the office. However, wasting time with mindless Internet browsing can become a problem when it cuts into your work day and makes you less productive.

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Microsoft SkyDrive is Now OneDrive

b2ap3_thumbnail_onedrive_from_microsoft_400.jpgUsers of Microsoft SkyDrive are having their service upgraded to the new OneDrive. Besides a new name, OneDrive has been given new features and Microsoft is marketing this solution as the "one place for your photos, videos, documents, and files across all your devices."

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Is Your IT Company Kicking You While You’re Down?

b2ap3_thumbnail_taking_advantage_400.jpgWhen your technology goes down, it's a painful experience for your business because operations grind to a halt. When you have to deal with an expensive computer repair bill from your IT company, then it's basically like they're adding injury to insult, or kicking you while you're down.

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Start-Ups Can Avoid IT Hassles with Managed Services

b2ap3_thumbnail_startup_power_400.jpgEvery business has to start somewhere. Starting a new business can be the most exhilarating (and often terrifying) endeavor a person can undertake. Technology can play a extremely important role to get your business venture off the ground quickly.

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How to Make a Graph in Microsoft Excel

b2ap3_thumbnail_excel_logo_400.JPGThere's nothing like a professional looking graph to get your point across in a big way. Having all the facts and figures compiled in a dynamic graph is a great way to show market trends and make decisions, but how do you create compelling graphs? One of the best tools for graph making is Microsoft Excel.

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Hackers Go for the Gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics

b2ap3_thumbnail_sochi_winter_olympics_400.jpgIn Sochi, Russia, the world's best athletes aren't the only ones having spent years preparing for the Winter Olympics. Russian hackers have also readied themselves for the world's arrival. Hackers have tapped every public WiFi network in the vicinity of the games. We can learn a thing or two about the WiFi problems in Sochi.

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Everyone Saves Money Working from Home!

b2ap3_thumbnail_work_from_home_400.jpgIt's no secret that employees love working from home. In fact, in a recent survey, 25% of employees admitted that they would accept a reduction in salary for the opportunity to work from home. This statistic may sound odd, but it makes perfect sense when you understand how much money working from home saves both employees and employers alike.

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By the Numbers: Is the PC Market Shrinking?

b2ap3_thumbnail_is_the_pc_market_shrinking_400.jpgThose paying attention to technology industry news may have noticed the current trend of declining PC sales. Any way you spin it, the latest statistics dealing with the PC market are not favorable toward the future of widespread desktop and laptop computer purchases. Let's take a look at some of the numbers and their implications for your business.

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The Best Way to Take Advantage of New Business Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_your_dedicated_it-consultant_400.jpgTechnology is showing up in unexpected places these days, like kitchen appliances being connected to smartphones and wearable tech enveloping people's bodies. These fun technology trends make life easier, and it is advantageous to get in early on these trends. Technology is also showing up in new and unexpected places in the business sector. Are you up on these tech trends?

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Your Technology Hates the Cold Too

b2ap3_thumbnail_technology_in_the_cold_400.jpgIn the midst of one of the coldest and most grueling winters the U.S. has experienced in years, millions of Americans are growing impatient for the arrival of spring. As subzero temperatures spread across the country, the cold weather and snow has become a hazard not only to humans, but to their technology. How cold is too cold for your gadgets?

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Don’t Underestimate the Black Market Value of Your Email

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_value_400.jpgDue to the many different forms of digital communication, you may check your email less than ever before. However, just because you may not use your email account very often, it doesn't mean that a hacker will leave it alone. Every email account is full of valuable information and should be protected with the strongest security measures available.

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What Streaming Media was Like 100 Years before YouTube

b2ap3_thumbnail_history_streaming_400.jpgWe marvel at how easy it is to stream media over the Internet and turn our PC or mobile device into an entertainment terminal to the world's vast entertainment library. Having every movie at our fingertips is a new experience, but the technology of instant media is over 100 years old, and its development is a testimony to human innovation.

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Eco-Friendly Phone Chargers by XD Design

b2ap3_thumbnail_xd_design_solarflower_400.jpgIf you take a look around, it's a mystery that the human race is tied to their technology. Many of us use smartphones and tablets every day to get our work done, to communicate with friends and family, to feed us information, to help us be more efficient in everyday life, to aid us in our hobbies, and to entertain us. In their research, Gartner recently found that over 1.2 billion smart devices were purchased in 2013 alone, opening up new market opportunities for technology innovators to explore. XD Design is certainly rising to the occasion with an impressive line of solar-powered battery chargers.

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Google’s Influence in the Digital Age

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_is_winning_400.jpgIt's a rare occasion that a company grows to have as much prowess over multiple industries as Google has. Since their launch in 1998, their mission has been "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." By launching products and services centered on this purpose, Google has grown to set the world's standard of information and how it's managed. What can your business learn from them?

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The Digital Payment War Round 2: Google Wallet vs. Coin

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_pay_400.jpgPreviously, we wrote the blog post, "The Digital Payment War, Round 1", where we looked at the differences between the old school PayPal and the new school Square Cash methods of digital payment. While we didn't officially declare a winner, Google Wallet and Coin are a couple more contenders to our "Best Online Digital Payment Method Ever in History" award.

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Biometrics: The New Standard in Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_biometrics_future_of_security_400.jpgWith the introduction of Microsoft's Kinect and Apple's iPhone 5s, biometrics has exploded! Both of these tools are being utilized for security purposes to lock others out of your device and accounts. Biometrics for these devices are also being employed to grant you access to your technology. As biometrics becomes more popular, you are sure to see it used for your business in the not too distant future.

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3 Trends Your Business Will Encounter in 2014

b2ap3_thumbnail_trends_you_will_see_400.jpgAwareness to business trends are important for any business owner. The savviest businessman finds a way to use the trending topics to improve their enterprise's operational efficiency. The trends of the past for small business computing seem to be focused on the establishment and practical use of technologies that are relatively new, but are in full practice in the business world. These technologies include the manufacturing and worldwide distribution of devices that enhance a user's connectivity by presenting powerful interfaces to take advantage of their incredible mobility.

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Results are in from the 2013 Battle “Android vs iOS”

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_operating_systems_400.jpgAndroid vs. iOS, it's a battle of the brands that evokes passionate responses from both sides of the technology isle. In 2013, the battle intensified as Apple launched iOS7, and Android gained significant ground as the standard OS installed on a barrage of devices. As the dust settles from a competitive year we're left asking, "Who won?"

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It’s Too Loud! 3 Solutions to Remedy Server Noise

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_noise_400.jpgIt's no secret that businesses often have limited space and resources. The problem is that you need your IT infrastructure in order to do business, and when you don't have a dedicated server room, you have to house your server in a common area. This presents an annoyance since a running server sounds like an air conditioning unit on full blast.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Company’s Twitter Presence

b2ap3_thumbnail_boost_your_twitter_400.jpgIt's no secret that social media has become an integral part of any business' marketing strategy. Twitter, being one of the top social media outlets, should certainly not be avoided. There is much potential to be unlocked by your business by using Twitter.

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Could Your Business Function Without Computers?

b2ap3_thumbnail_plan_business_continuity_400.jpgCompanies that are actively seeking growth would be well advised to have a backup plan in place in case of emergency. Businesses that don't have a solid continuity plan in place will seldom survive accidents and disasters. Without a business continuity plan, your company may be forced to operate without using computers. Could your company survive?

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IaaS is Changing IT as You Know It

b2ap3_thumbnail_hosted_infrastructure_400.jpgAccording to IDC, the fastest growing sector in the new cloud IT market is Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). This consists of providing users virtual machines and other resources to manage tasks over the Internet, and it's scalable to the user's needs. Additional services offered over the cloud include firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual-machine disk image library, raw (block) and file-based storage, virtual local area networks (VLANs), and software bundles. With IaaS, the cost will reflect the resources allocated and consumed, making it an attractive option for businesses wanting to take advantage of these services without having to purchase and maintain their own IT infrastructure.

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The Digital Payment War Round 1: PayPal vs. Square Cash

b2ap3_thumbnail_payme400.jpgThe Internet has become an extremely efficient shopping tool for consumers. Nearly all available products can be found quickly and easily online. Traditionally, when shoppers settle on what they'd like to purchase, they charge their credit cards, but a new school of digital payment has provided a more secure alternative. How will this affect your business?

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How Forgetting to Upgrade Puts Your Business at Risk

b2ap3_thumbnail_updatesoft400.jpgKeeping your software up to date is one of the most important things you can do to secure your system and give your business the competitive edge. However, staying on top of these upgrades is a big maintenance job that's easy to neglect when things get busy. A system with neglected upgrades could spell trouble for your business.

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5 Awesome Keyboard Shortcuts that Nobody Knows About

b2ap3_thumbnail_scuts400.jpgThe computer mouse is a great tool that has made our operating system navigation much easier. However, our dependence on the computer mouse has naturally led to an independence from its counterpart, the keyboard (aside from everyday word processing). Here are a few awesome functional keyboard shortcuts that everyone has forgotten about.

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The Holiday Spirit in the Christmas Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_chtree400.jpgIn Charles Dickens' tale, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge learned an important lesson that most of us already know. In order to get the best out of people, you need to give the best of yourself. For those of you who don't remember the 19th-century novella, Scrooge is a business owner who only cares about money and because of this, draws the disdain of his family and his extremely patient subordinate, Bob Cratchit. On Christmas eve, he's visited by three Christmas spirits, and as he gets a look at the reality of how his actions affect those around him, he wakes up on Christmas morning with a new perspective.

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WARNING: Microsoft Windows XP End of Life!

b2ap3_thumbnail_wxp400.jpgSome fashion of Microsoft's Windows series of operating systems are at the helm of roughly 90% of the world's PCs. Because of this, it's common knowledge that Microsoft will be ending support for the twelve-year-old Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014. This "death date" has been publicized for years, but some businesses and end-users still rely on the OS.

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3 Crazy Statistics That Prove Mobile Marketing Matters

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobilemark400.jpgAt this point, mobile technology use is more than just another trend; it's ingrained into almost every facet of our culture. In fact, the majority of adults in the United States not only carry cell phones, but 56% of all American adults carry smartphones. If you haven't tapped into the potential of mobile marketing, your company is missing out!

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5 Technology Trends for 2014

b2ap3_thumbnail_trendy400.jpgTechnology is moving forward at a blistering pace and it's changing the IT Industry in a big way. In order to stay competitive and profitable, your business needs to stay on top of the different technology trends. Here are five technology trends you need to be aware of that will shape 2014.

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Where Did Internet Spam Come From?

b2ap3_thumbnail_spammy400.jpgSpam in your email inbox is extremely annoying. Email spam is always an eyesore, and swallows up valuable time wasted on sifting through your inbox. Have you ever wondered how email spam got its name? You may be surprised to find the answer. Here's a hint: it has something to do with Vikings, a diner, canned meat, and a British comedy.

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Protect Your Critical Data with VPN

b2ap3_thumbnail_vpnet400.jpgWhen getting work done on the Internet, users are faced with a slew of threats that could hack sensitive company and personal data. Integrating a VPN solution may be your best option in securing your company network and files from online attacks. What is VPN, and why should your company be using it?

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2 Million Stolen Passwords Recovered

b2ap3_thumbnail_pwrrrd400.jpgSecurity company Trustwave made a discovery last week that sent the online world into a frenzy. They recovered two million stolen passwords from 93,000 different websites. This password cache included user accounts from major companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo. Is your password part of this haul?

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Can the CryptoLocker Virus be Stopped?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ransom400.jpgLast September, the Internet was introduced to CryptoLocker, a dangerous ransomware that has quickly spread and become one of the worst viruses we have seen. CryptoLocker will literally take your files hostage by encrypting them so it can force you to pay for the encryption key. A business hit with CryptoLocker will be locked out of their computers and unable to get work done.

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Is the PC Really Dead?

b2ap3_thumbnail_trashed400.jpgThere's a lot of buzz floating around about "The death of the PC." This is due to the growing popularity of mobile devices and the sluggish sales of PCs. Will the PC ever die, or are we just in a time of transition? For your business, it's all a matter of perspective and your computing needs.

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Will the Computer Mouse Go Extinct?

b2ap3_thumbnail_olmouse400.jpgHow could it have ever come to this? The everyday practical use of the beloved computer mouse has been put in jeopardy due to the relatively recent introduction of touchscreen technology. Tablets, smartphones, and touchscreen computers are driving our handheld friends off of the shelves and into history books. Will the computer mouse go extinct in the near future?

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Go Green With BYOD

b2ap3_thumbnail_tabgreen400.jpgTwo hot trends in the business technology industry are companies going Green (adopting environmentally savvy work environments), and implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) system for your office. In reality, these two trends go hand in hand, as they seek to use technology to increase efficiency in the everyday operation of businesses worldwide. Here's how to implement your company's Green campaign with BYOD.

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Let's Talk Tablets

b2ap3_thumbnail_tablet.jpgTablets are definitely becoming a staple in the consumer electronics world. For the longest time, the tablet PC was an expensive, clunky device that just didn't wow consumers. Some businesses had adopted tablets back in the day, but they were difficult to use, hard to support, and they simply didn't perform for the price tag. However, like many consumer electronics, Apple reinvigorated the tablet market with the original iPad, and now it would seem tablets are here to stay. The question is, are they right for businesses?

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How Safe is Your Email?

 b2ap3_thumbnail_how-safe-email.jpgEmail is (and has been) a prime method of communication for businesses of all sizes. With email comes a whole slew of issues that are essentially synonymous with the technology; spam, information overload, phishing, and information privacy. Even DC Metro Area small businesses that only do business locally are at risk of these issues. Personal email accounts are equally at risk. Employing proper precautions and practices whenever communicating via email is very important to prevent the risk of security compromises, monetary loss, and even legality issues.

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Slow Computer? Increase your memory to boost computer Speeds

b2ap3_thumbnail_computer-memory.jpgSometimes when your workstation feels bogged down, a relatively cheap and simply hardware update can make a huge difference in performance. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a game changer for your bogged down PC.

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