Archive for August, 2014

postheadericon Microsoft technology hits the high seas with Royal Caribbean International

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 25, 2014 — Royal Caribbean Cruises International is providing its 40,000 crew members with Windows 8.1 tablets. Crew members of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will be the first to receive the 8-inch Windows-based tablets built by HEXA for the cruise line. The tablets will feature services such as Bing, Skype, Office 365 and OneDrive. Rollout will begin in October and is expected to be completed by the end of December with every shipboard employee in the Royal Caribbean fleet receiving a tablet.

Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, made the announcement Monday in Papenburg, Germany, at a technology reveal of the Quantum of the Seas, a new ship reimagined with technology to take the vacation experience to a whole new level. Fain said, “The Royal Caribbean men and women who provide such great vacations are the real heroes of our fleet, and these gifts demonstrate our appreciation in a tangible way. This technology isn’t only about giving our guests a better vacation — it’s about giving our crew and their families a closer connection than we’ve ever been able to.”

The Windows tablets will enable crew members to keep in closer contact with family members and friends while away from home. With a personal tablet, crew members will be able to keep family members up to date by talking face-to-face via Skype, sharing photos on OneDrive and getting things done with Office 365. With Windows 8.1, the device provides a modern, touch-friendly experience that will easily accommodate the active and mobile lifestyle of crew members.

“Royal Caribbean is using technology to transform experiences for guests and crew members, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on their journey. Microsoft cloud and mobile technologies are going to help Royal Caribbean crew members who represent so many countries around the world stay in touch with their family and friends,” said Jane Boulware, vice president of U.S. Windows Devices. “With a tablet in hand, a father can attend a parent-teacher conference, a mother can review her son’s book report and friends can check each other’s Facebook posts.”

The Quantum of the Seas will include Microsoft technology onboard as well. Guests aboard the Quantum will be able to take advantage of Xbox One consoles on board to play games with friends around the world or enjoy entertainment at sea — all available for the first time through Xbox Live and via the ship’s unprecedented connectivity. The new ship also will leverage a mobile point-of-sale system that is powered by sleek Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets featuring the VeriFone payment sleeve, which includes card swipe, bar code reader and RFID reader.

Read more about the Royal Caribbean news on the Windows for Business Blog. More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft

postheadericon Microsoft and TracFone collaborate to offer innovative mobile health management solution to the healthcare market

REDMOND, Wash. Aug. 21 , 201 4 Microsoft Corp. and TracFone Wireless on Thursday announced a collaboration that will bring the benefits of smartphone technology and services to underserved and high-risk populations through a new mobile health management solution offered through providers and insurers. This approach expands on Microsoft’s commitment to healthcare and TracFone’s telecommunications expertise as the largest Lifeline provider and prepaid wireless leader. Microsoft and TracFone will work with Health Choice Network (HCN), a Miami-based company that manages and connects a network of community health centers with more than 760,000 patients in 17 states, to conduct a pilot project where HCN will provide smartphones to diabetes patients to help them better manage their care.

Building on the success of TracFone’s short message service, text and phone programs, the new solution will be offered on a Windows Phone and feature Microsoft’s familiar suite of services and solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft HealthVault, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a variety of smartphone applications. It will combine enterprise-grade security and privacy features to allow security-enhanced, HIPAA-enabled email and messaging communications to patients regarding their health and regimens. In addition, it will provide appointment reminders with calendar functionality and remote device management that is standard with a Windows Phone.

“Putting existing technologies to use for today’s patients will help improve healthcare, coordination and outcomes, as well as better manage costs,” said Lee Stevens, director of Health Information Exchange Policy and Interoperability, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Combining the power of a smartphone with a personal health record platform that brings disparate data together in a secure environment is an important step toward the goal of providing better patient engagement and more mobile healthcare in the U.S.”

Windows Phone already has built-in enterprise-grade safety and security features, as well as the ability to offer security-enhanced, HIPAA-enabled communications through Office 365. These features help patients, health providers and insurers retain control over important personal health information.

“With over 500,000 subscribers through SafeLink Health Solutions, we have seen firsthand the benefits of technology and the association between great health and a better quality of life,” said F.J. Pollak, president and CEO, TracFone. “We are excited to begin this program with Microsoft and HCN by bringing this innovative solution to market and helping our customers achieve their healthcare goals.”

Patients participating in the HCN pilot will receive a Windows Phone with TracFone’s prepaid services that will help them improve their engagement and manage their disease. The pilot’s goal is to demonstrate how access to mobile technology can help improve patient compliance, education and ultimately disease-related outcomes. HCN will develop a customer application to help participants provide consent, deliver and receive reminders, ensure treatment plan understanding, and aid in disease self-tracking for blood sugar levels and other vital health information. Patients will also have access to a variety of apps, including several that are specific to diabetes care, and other mobile devices connected to HealthVault to ensure the personal health records are pulling information from any devices they regularly use to help monitor important health information.

Because the solution will also be running on the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, the mobile health solution will benefit from emerging Microsoft technologies such as Cortana personal assistant, which can help set reminders based on time, location, individual habits and preferences. For example, Cortana can remind patients to fill a prescription the next time it senses that they are near the pharmacy, or it can remind them to talk to a doctor about a specific concern the next time a doctor’s call or email is received.

“For several years, our patients with chronic health conditions like diabetes have benefited from access to their personal health record in HealthVault,” said Kevin Kearns, president and CEO, HCN. “We are excited to include a mobile smartphone to extend the platform for patient engagement and enhance our ability to provide, connect and utilize the tools to drive better outcomes. This is particularly timely as we focus on the tremendous growth in the Medicaid and individual market, whose enrollees traditionally are at higher risk for chronic disease and benefit most from patient engagement.”

“This solution brings together the strength of Microsoft’s comprehensive platform and productivity tools in an evolving mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Michael Robinson, vice president, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft. “Combined with TracFone’s strong presence in the Lifeline mobile marketplace, we have a unique opportunity to provide our joint insurer, provider and Medicaid agency customers with the platform and tools to enhance patient engagement and meet the requirements necessary to succeed in today’s healthcare marketplace.”

More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/healthplans, http://www.microsoft.com/hhs, this Mobile Health Management Solution data sheet and the Microsoft in Health Newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft

postheadericon Microsoft Matter Center for Office 365 boosts law firm productivity

REDMOND , Wash. Aug . 18, 2014 Addressing the unique document management and collaboration requirements of today’s legal professionals, Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a preview version of Matter Center for Office 365 at the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. Matter Center, an intuitive document management and collaboration solution catered toward law firms and law departments, works seamlessly with Office 365 and offers legal professionals a way to easily find, organize and collaborate on files without leaving the familiar Microsoft productivity tools they use the most.

“Microsoft has built a security-enhanced, cloud-based document management application that allows our professionals to quickly locate and collaborate on documents with our counsel from virtually anywhere,” said John Frank, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft. “We’ve decided to make this solution more broadly available at the request of our outside counsel, who want to utilize it in their own environments.”

Matter Center for Office 365 offers benefits to both legal professionals and IT.

Valuable b enefits for l egal p rofessionals

Matter Center gives legal professionals security-enhanced access to the information they need — virtually anywhere, anytime, and from virtually any device.

  • Your briefcase in the cloud. Matter Center works with OneDrive for Business, providing 1 TB of individual storage and a personal briefcase, which automatically synchronizes your documents so you can access them online and offline from virtually any device.

  • Get more work done together. Share your files with others, both within and outside your firm. Work simultaneously on your documents with other attorneys, and easily track changes with automatic version control.

  • Robust matter and document search. Easily search and find matters and related documents directly within Outlook or Word. Track or pin frequently used or recent matters and documents.

  • Integrated and automated document management. Drag, drop and save emails and attachments from Outlook into the right matter. Tagging and sharing each document separately is no longer necessary, as the matter documents are automatically saved with the right metadata, permissions and version control.

  • Security-enhanced access and permission controls. Users can be granted or excluded access to a matter. All subsequent documents associated with the matter will inherit the same permissions, thereby reducing the worry about ethical walls and data leakage.

  • Reduce overhead and maximize time with clients. Matter Center helps you to reduce the amount of administrative resources needed to support a document management system, enabling you to spend more time working with clients.

Maximizing ROI for IT p rofessionals

Matter Center offers a way to begin your journey to the cloud, enabling you to maximize the ROI on your existing infrastructure with enterprise-grade security, management and administrative controls.

  • Deploy based on your terms. Matter Center can be deployed in the cloud, in a hybrid scenario, or as part of an on-premises SharePoint environment based upon a firm’s needs and existing infrastructure.

  • Maximize ROI on existing IT investments. Adding Matter Center to existing on-premises solutions such as SharePoint and Exchange will help you realize greater value from a unified productivity platform.

  • Built on an industrial strength platform. Matter Center includes enterprise-grade security, management and administrative controls, and is compliant with multiple industry standards. Permission control and taxonomy are centrally managed and applied automatically; legal professionals don’t need to manage with the back-end settings.

  • Always up to date. By deploying in the cloud, you can reduce the cost and time of upgrades and migrations as Office 365 is always up to date. No patches or software upgrades are necessary, and Microsoft frequently adds new value and capabilities.

  • Higher adoption rates. Matter Center has an intuitive interface, simplifies processes, and can be accessed directly from Microsoft Office products that are used every day. This tool satisfies the most important needs of users, while reducing training and support efforts.

“Matter Center for Office 365 is the product of months of collaboration between Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA) division, outside law firms, and our Office 365 product engineering teams,” said Tejas Mehta, group product manager for Matter Center at Microsoft. “We are very excited to bring Matter Center to market in the near future.”

Matter Center for Office 365 is available in a limited preview. Interested customers can learn more about participating in a beta program at http://www.microsoft.com/mattercenter. More information about Matter Center and other solutions for customers in the legal vertical can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/legalproductivity.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft

postheadericon Saudi Airlines flies high by improving its business intelligence with Microsoft

REDMOND, Wash. August 14 , 2014 — Saudi Airlines , among the largest airlines in the Middle East, has implemented a business intelligence (BI) solution with Microsoft Corp. that includes Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Power BI for Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 to analyze, visualize and share data in a unified way, which allows the company to have better business visibility, more engaged employees, and projected savings of millions of dollars per year in the process. This deployment is helping the company gain insight to better manage different aspects of the global aviation operations, and once totally completed, it will also provide management with the necessary consolidated insights into subsidiaries such as Saudi Cargo, Saudi Catering and Saudi Ground Services, and is uniting business information spanning across multiple systems at the airline.

“Before we worked with Microsoft, we had scattered information everywhere. We had many different business intelligence and incentive solutions, separate training and no standard platform to run all the environments,” said Muhammad Albakri, executive vice president of Finance, Saudi Airlines. “The new BI solution from Microsoft maximizes the value of information coming from multiple systems. We’ve started to run analyses and provide results to executives to help them track trends and react quickly and proactively.”

Beginning in 2007, Saudi Airlines spent five years on a major overhaul of its IT infrastructure to automate and integrate the airline’s core planning, scheduling, marketing and sales — including e-commerce, operations and back-office functions. It needed a business intelligence solution that could provide an integrated view of its data across its growing and expanding operations. By working with Microsoft Consulting Services, Saudi Airlines was able to implement the foundation of its business intelligence solution in just 90 days, which provided fast payback time to recoup the investment. The solution is able to pull disparate data together for multiple sources for analysis, and provides dynamic dashboards, enterprise reports and customer reports that allow executives to view any subset of information and any level of detail they require. In addition, the airline is using a Windows 8.1 app to give a consolidated view of the data for its highly mobile workforce.

Since the implementation, the airline is seeing improved operational functions, such as passengers sales, revenue accounting, customer service, marketing and fraud prevention, which has increased Saudi Airline’s overall efficiencies globally and saved millions of dollars annually.

With highly flexible, rich information now readily available through its business intelligence solution, Saudi Airlines has clear visibility into everything going on within its business, with its customers and in the marketplace, giving the airline a strong advantage over competitors.

“For us, the new BI solution is like turning on the headlights of a car on a curvy, dark road,” Albakri said. “Without it, it really would be a sort of guessing game for how to tone our marketing or determine our pricing strategy or our service offering. So for Saudi Airlines it is a competitive advantage; it is a valuable tool.”

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft

postheadericon Apple security updates

This document outlines security updates for Apple products.
Apple – Support – Most Recent – iPhone

postheadericon Microsoft Devices Group announces ultra-affordable mobile phone with music and video player for 19 euros

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 11 , 2014 Recognizing the rapid growth of ultra-affordable mobile phones, Microsoft Devices Group on Monday unveiled the Nokia 130, a mobile phone designed to introduce millions of people to new digital experiences. At just 19 euros,* the Nokia 130 combines the everyday essentials that first-time mobile phone buyers expect with the beautiful design, reliability and mobile entertainment they want. Featuring a built-in video player, music player with up to 46 hours continuous playback on a single charge, and everyday essentials such as a flashlight, FM radio and USB charging, the Nokia 130 is the perfect introduction to a “mobile first” world.

The Nokia 130 is an ideal handset for first-time mobile phone buyers, or for people seeking a reliable backup phone to complement their existing smartphones. It’s built to last, with a 1.8-inch color display and outstanding battery life of up to 36 days’ standby for the single-SIM variant and 26 days’ standby for the dual-SIM device. In design and quality, the Nokia 130 stands out among devices priced below $ 35.* Every year, people buy 300 million phones from this category alone.**

As one of the most affordable mobile phones with video playback, the Nokia 130 makes new digital experiences accessible to more people. It delivers hours of entertainment with the built-in video player that offers up to 16 hours of playback for video stored on a microSD card, MP3 player and FM radio. With support for expandable microSD storage up to 32GB, alongside the Bluetooth-enabled SLAM application and USB connectivity, it also makes sharing digital content easy without the need for an Internet connection.

“As demand in the affordable mobile segment continues to grow, Microsoft remains committed to delivering market-leading mobile innovation at each and every price point,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for Phones, Microsoft Corp. “It is estimated that at least 1 billion people in the world still do not have a mobile phone, while at the same time there is increasing demand for reliable backup phones in both mature and high-growth markets.”

She continued, “With handsets like the Nokia 130, we see tremendous potential to deliver the experience of a ‘mobile-first’ world to people seeking their first device, and we continue to invest in ultra-affordable devices that will introduce people to a ‘cloud-first’ world through Microsoft services such as Bing, Outlook.com and OneDrive.”

Pricing and availability

The estimated retail price before taxes and subsidies for the Nokia 130 and Nokia 130 Dual SIM is 19 euros. It is expected to begin shipping in the third quarter of this year. The Nokia 130 will be available in select markets, including China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Tech specs summary: 

About Microsoft Devices

Microsoft Devices Group is responsible for the company’s devices strategy, including Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel products, and accessories.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Suggested retail price before local taxes and subsidies.

** Strategy Analytics

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft News Center – News and Announcements from Microsoft

postheadericon What is a DNS Leak & How Can You Prevent a DNS Leak?

Protect Yourself from DNS Leaks

Google DNS Leak

It’s no secret that FlashRouters are serious proponents of VPN usage: our official supported provider list certainly speaks to that.

In an age of massive amounts of online governmental snooping, identity theft, and hacking, protecting your wireless network is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity, and a VPN is a surefire way to keep all of your sensitive online information out of the wrong hands.

But even if you’ve gotten your VPN subscription all set up, it’s important to maintain vigilance. VPN services can let you down in a number of ways if you’re not careful, and there are some bigger issues that VPN users need to be aware of.

What is a DNS Leak?

It’s called a DNS leak, and it can most definitely happen to you.

DNS, or the Dynamic Name System, translates domain names into IP addresses, represented by a series of numbers. For example, one of Yahoo’s IP addresses is 67.195.160.76, and when you type in “www.yahoo.com” to your address bar and arrive at Yahoo, that’s because your ISP (Internet Service Provider), with the help of their DNS servers, have translated that domain name from that numerical IP address.

Ideally, when you’re using a VPN, it’s your VPN’s DNS servers translating these IP addresses into domain names, rather than your original ISP. But sometimes, Windows defaults to its original settings and translates those IP addresses through your ISP’s DNS servers, rather than your VPN.

That, my friends, is called a DNS leak, and if the government can snoop on your ISP’s servers, then they can now see what you’re doing online. And if it can happen to Google (as the picture up top references), it can happen to you. This is why it is important to learn how to prevent a DNS leak.

How Can I Detect or Prevent a DNS Leak?

Using a DNS Leak Test

DNS Leak Test

Detecting a DNS leak is the simple part. For that, we recommend going to dnsleaktest.com.

If your results show either your actual location or an IP address from your ISP, then you’ve got yourself a DNS leak.

Preventing a DNS leak altogether is a little trickier. It helps if you’re subscribed to a VPN with DNS leak protection, like PrivateInternetAccess, but that’s unfortunately not the most popular VPN feature these days.

HideMyAss actually has a number of ways to prevent a DNS leak over on their personal Wiki. Among their suggestions is blocking non-VPN traffic by using “IP Binding“, or you configure your firewall to do the same. Doing so “ensures that your real internet connection is not being used, and also that your ISPs DNS servers are not being used.”

Lastly, FlashRouters also recommends checking out VPN Check Pro, which both keeps you safe in the event that your VPN malfunctions and features a DNS leak fix. You’ll need to enable the feature on your own, but at least it’s there, and while this option costs a little, it is definitely cheaper than the alternative of allowing your credit card numbers to be exposed.

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