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Policy Pulse: Crafting and Sustaining Effective Computer Use Compliance

How good is your computer use policy?

What constitutes a good computer use policy for your business?

How often should a compliance policy be reviewed and updated?

What role does employee training play in maintaining compliance?

Can technology automate compliance policy enforcement?

What are the common pitfalls in compliance policies that businesses should avoid?

How can businesses ensure their compliance policies are aligned with international standards?

What happens if I just trust the employees?

Identity theft at work who is liable?

How do I get a truly compliant computer use policy?

Audit-Ready: The Art of Compliance Mastery with Sam & Neuman

Compliance: Could You Pass an Audit Today?

* Sam and Neuman CSO of Network Providers, Inc. Discuss Company Wide Security.

NPI offers a free consult and plan for IT Compliance.

What is a table top discussion

Can you explain the basics of compliance and why it's critical for businesses?

What is the compliance that I am looking for in my line of business

What are the most common compliance standards that businesses need to be aware of?

How can a company determine if it's currently compliant with relevant regulations?

What steps should a company take to prepare for a compliance audit?

What Are the types of things you see in an audit

Can you share a success story of a business that improved its compliance processes?

What are the risks of non-compliance for businesses in today's digital landscape?

How can MSPs assist businesses in staying compliant?

It seems overwhelming but line up on line, along with guidance from the right people around you, makes all the difference.

What types of administraters are there?

Checkout Challenges, Tipping Dilemmas, and a Troublesome Win11 Update

* Even Retailers Are Fed Up With Self-Checkout Automated kiosks double theft rates, among other issues - Gina Carey.

Self-checkout machines aren't only annoying customers, Quartz reports, as a growing number of large retailers have begun rethinking the costly tech.

Last year, companies like Target, Walmart, Dollar General, and British grocer Booths have pared down (and in some cases eliminated) how the automated systems work in their chains, largely due to theft.

Shoppers are 21 times more likely to slip purchases past scanners than they are human cashiers, doubling theft rates in stores.

* Tipping Etiquette: When You Must Tip, When Its OK Not to Tip?

* Have you installed the December 2023 Windows 11 update? You should know about how the Windows 11 update breaks Wi-Fi networks.

The Windows 11 update breaks Wi-Fi networks by affecting your adapter's ability to connect with the network. The connectivity issues in the Windows 11 update aren't always consistent across all networks. While you might easily connect to your home network, your adapter might struggle to connect to others.

You'll most likely experience problems if you use an enterprise, education, or public Wi-Fi network using 802.1x authentication to connect to an enterprise, public, or education Wi-Fi network.

You can fix in two ways:

Disabling 802.11r.

You can solve the problem by using the Known Issues Rollback feature. Microsoft developed this feature to deal with non-security bugs that occur from updates.

* Apple Vision Pro available in the U.S. on February 2.

* Apple Vision Pro: 7 Things to Know Before You Buy - Will Greenwald, PCMag.com

* ICANN proposes creating .INTERNAL domain to do the same job as 192.168.x.x! - The plan is to keep the world at bay by never recording it in the DNS root – like many already do with a subdomain for an intranet - Simon Sharwood.

ICANN's board still has to sign off the creation of .INTERNAL. But if you want to get ahead of the pack, there's nothing stopping you. Indeed, some outfits already use ad hoc TLDs. Open source Wi-Fi firmware project WRT has used .LAN, and networking vendor D-Link has employed .dlink. There's nothing stopping you doing likewise.

* Krebs on Security: Google continues to struggle with cybercriminals running malicious ads on its search platform to trick people into downloading booby-trapped copies of popular free software applications.

The malicious ads, which appear above organic search results and often precede links to legitimate sources of the same software, can make searching for software on Google a dicey affair.

* We Suggest Using: VirusTotal.com

* Water from Air - CES 2024 - GenesisSystems.

* Microsoft Joins Peers by Cutting 1,900 Jobs From Activision Blizzard and Xbox - NYT.

The reductions come three months after the tech giant completed its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

This month, thousands of employees across the video game industry have been told they are facing layoffs, as the pandemic boom in playing continues to recede.

Riot Games, which makes League of Legends, said it would lay off about 11 percent of its work force.

Twitch, a video streaming platform owned by Amazon that is used heavily by gamers, announced that it would cut 35 percent of its staff.

Discord, a social platform beloved by gamers, is cutting 18 percent of its ranks.

Unity Software, which provides software for game developers, said it was cutting a quarter of its staff, or roughly 1,800 jobs.

They all had layoffs last year as well.

In the meantime, companies are shedding workers and cutting costs to stay competitive.

SpaceX's Sky-High Cellular Dreams and Amazon's AI Image Revolution on Fire TV

* SpaceX launches first batch of direct-to-cell Starlink satellites for testing this year.

T-Mobile Jumps in The Game as Well!

The company launched six Starlink satellites with this capability with a batch of 15 other Starlink birds aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The approval, which was granted by the US Federal Communications Commission, was for a 180-day period.

SpaceX said the tests would eventually involve 840 satellites transmitting 4G connectivity to around 2,000 unmodified smartphones. The satellites will act as “cell phone towers in space,” according to Starlink’s website.

* Amazon brings its AI-powered image generator to Fire TV - Lauren Forristal.

Amazon is officially rolling out the ability to create AI-generated images on Fire TV devices.

the feature is available in the U.S. for users with a second-generation Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Fire TV Omni QLED Series.

Google's Incognito Illusion, Facebook Scam Alert, YouTube's Job Cuts, and Tandem's Financial App for Couples

* INCOGNITO BUT NOT VERY PRIVATE — Chrome updates Incognito warning to admit Google tracks users in “private” mode - Jon Brodkin

Google is updating the warning on Chrome's Incognito mode to make it clear that Google and websites run by other companies can still collect your data in the web browser's semi-private mode.

The change is being made as Google prepares to settle a class-action lawsuit that accuses the firm of privacy violations related to Chrome's Incognito mode.

Many tech-savvy people already know that while private modes in web browsers prevent some data from being stored on your device, they don't prevent tracking by websites or Internet service providers. But many other people may not understand exactly what Incognito mode does, so the more specific warning could help educate users.

* Facebook Scams, All the Rage!

* YouTube to eliminate 100 employees as layoffs at Google continue - Lauren Forristal, TechCrunch.com

Last week, Google laid off more than 1,000 workers across several divisions, including engineering, services, and voice-activated product Google Assistant.

We’re only three weeks into the new year and already have seen dozens of companies across the tech industry face job reductions, including Discord, Twitch, Prime Video and MGM Studios, as well as Audible, Duolingo, Instagram, Pixar and Unity, among others.

* Tandem gives ‘modern couples’ app to manage finances together and separately, Christine Hall.

Tandem, fintech app for modern couples

“It gives you the experience of a joint account without actually having to have one”

* How to Be More Anonymous Online - Being fully anonymous is next to impossible—but you can significantly limit what the internet knows - Matt Burgess.

* Google Launches Plan to Kill (Non-Edible) Cookies Initiative to eliminate third-party trackers online begins with test of 1% of Chrome users - John Johnson.

If you are a Chrome user who gets a pop-up from Google on Thursday, it's likely a sign that you're part of the first phase of the company's plan to eliminate cookies.

1% of Chrome users, or about 30 million people, to be included in the first roll out.

The company aims to eliminate them for all users by the end of the year. How to tell if you're in the 1%? Affected users will get a pop-up announcement from Google telling them so, reports Gizmodo (which describes cookies as the "original sin of the internet"). They'll also see an eyeball logo in the URL bar. If cookie-blocking interferes with the ability to call up certain websites, Google will prompt you on how to override the setting, the company says in a blog post. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is a major change for advertisers, who don't appear to be ready for it.

* What It Is Like to Use Apple’s Lockdown Mode.

Tetris Titans to AI Innovations

* American teenager named Willis Gibson, aka BlueScuti - Why Everyone Is Obsessed With the Kid Who Beat 'Tetris' - Angela Watercutter.

How do you Actually Win Tetris? By forcing the more than three-decade-old classic Nintendo video game into a "kill screen."

* Microsoft wants to add a Copilot key to your PC keyboard.

Microsoft Copilot - Microsoft would like 2024 to be the “year of the AI PC,”

MS announced a new key for Copilot — that is, a physical key that will soon make its way to your keyboard and join the Windows key, together with its friends the Control key, Alt and that Insert key you’ve never purposely used. Based on the image Microsoft sent over, it looks like the new Copilot key will replace the right Control key on the standard PC keyboard, where it will slot in between the Alt key and the left arrow key.

“The introduction of the Copilot key marks the first notable change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades.

In regions where Copilot is not available, the Copilot key will launch Windows Search. The first keyboards with the new key will launch at this year’s CES in Las Vegas and will likely start shipping in late February.

Tech Tomorrow: Simplifying Innovations and Cyber Safeguards

* Sam's Tech Goals for 2024 - 'Operation Tech Simplify'!

* New And Urgent Bank Account Fraud Alert!

The infamous Xenomorph Android malware, known for targeting 56 European banks in 2022, is back and in full force targeting US banks, financial institutions and cryptocurrency wallets.

Besides being alert to this scam (and you should let your spouse, partners and family know as well), you should be aware of a few ways to protect yourself.

Remember, bank fraud can manifest itself in several forms.

To protect yourself, use strong, unique passwords for your online banking accounts and never store them in your browser.

Always turn on multifactor authentication (MFA) so you’re notified if anyone tries to log into your accounts without your knowledge.

* The Race to Put Brain Implants in People Is Heating Up - Emily Mullin. - Thanks in part to Elon Musk, the field of brain-computer interfaces has captured both public and investor interest, with a cadre of companies now developing implantable devices.

Tech Frontiers: Litigation, Innovations, and CES Insights

* LITIGATION Apple Can Resume Selling Watches, a Court Allows. Apple can, for now, resume sales of its flagship smartwatches, after a US appeals court on Wednesday paused a government commission's import ban on the devices imposed in a patent dispute over its medical monitoring technology.

* CES 2024: What we’re expecting - TechCrunch.

CES runs January 9-12 in Las Vegas.

Health tech will continue to be a big piece of the puzzle.

AI Hardware?

Anticipate more companies will be leaning into the automated processes they utilize on the back end.

TV will continue to be a major focus.

Car makers generally make a big splash at the event. a big part of CES’s evolution over the past few years has been its positioning as a major automotive show.

* macOS Update 17.2.1 - update your Apple computer.

* The big security flaw is a Screen Sharing flaw that lets a person connected to your computer see the screen when they should not.

* As a practice Apple does not disclose security exploits - Call it security through obscurity – it’s a garbage idea and doesn't work.

* Consider Bitdefender. Grab a copy from Amazon.

* Also, you should probably dump Safari At all the security hacking conferences, Safari is the first browser to be compromised. It’s too easy a target and it unlocks the rest of the system. For web browsers, I really like Brave, I also enjoy Opera. DuckDuckGo has a cool browser too.

* Out With The Old: Debunking 5 Common Cybersecurity Myths To Get Ready For The New Year - NetworkProvidersInc.com

* In today’s hyperconnected world, cybersecurity is a critical concern for individuals and organizations alike. However, as the digital landscape evolves, so do the myths and misconceptions surrounding cybersecurity. If you want to be protected, you have to understand what the real threats are and how you could be unknowingly overlooking them every single day.

* When Your Facebook or Other Online Account Gets Hacked, Who’s Responsible for The Losses?

Futuristic Frontiers: Data Centers and AI-Assisted Living

* Several companies are putting data centers underwater. Are these submerged data centers just a novelty -- or is data management really better down where it’s wetter? - Richard Pallardy.

* Microsoft staged the first large-scale underwater data center experiment beginning in 2015 Called Project Natick initiative.

The inert gases and liquids used to fill underwater data centers are less corrosive than ambient air.

* Would you live in this self-sufficient pod in the ocean? These white, spherical SeaPods are designed to help people live in luxury with rising seas.

* Here’s hoping Google Maps new colors are a sign of more changes to come.

* Sam just hopes Maps Continue to Improve with AI!

Deep Dive Tech: Exploring Underwater Data Centers and Beyond

* Gift card scams 2023: What to know about 'card draining' and other schemes to be aware of - Mary Walrath-Holdridge, USA Today.

Don't get duped out of your gift-buying money this holiday season.

Even the most tech and street-savvy of us can easily fall victim to these schemes if we aren't paying close attention.

Card draining "Card draining" is a popular scam that leaves gift card purchasers with an empty balance despite having paid for the card.

* Is the Future of Data Centers Under the Sea? Is the Future of Data Centers Under the Sea?

* Cyber Security Tip: What is the “dark web” anyway?

The “dark web” or “deep web” is a part of the World Wide Web we know and love that is accessible only via a special software that allows users and website operators to remain completely anonymous and untraceable. That’s why it’s the playground for hackers, cybercriminals, drug deals, human trafficking and more.

Because hacking is a for-profit business, there are criminal entities that steal, combine, and sell personal information on the dark web, like passwords, social security numbers, bank account information and credit cards.

If your network or one of the people in your company has been breached, your password and other credentials will show up on the dark web.

* Find out what data you have on the dark web before someone uses it to gain more access to your systems – but be careful! Some websites offering this are scams designed to con you into giving private credentials.

* If you want to know what’s out there on the dark web about you, your company, and your employees, join our mailing list, contact us and we’ll do a free dark web scan for you.

* Is Google’s Gemini the Real Start of the Generative AI Boom? - Early impressions of Google’s Gemini aren’t great.

* NotebookLM, originally called Project Tailwind, starts by creating a data set of your source * Google’s NotebookLM Aims to Be the Ultimate Writing Assistant - Steven Johnson.

“NotebookLM is an experimental AI-powered note taking tool that helps you learn faster by reading and understanding your documents, generating summaries, answering your questions, and even helping you brainstorm new ideas.”

* Amazon will no longer accept Venmo as a payment option starting next month - However, Will still accept Venmo debit and credit cards.

* Sam and Jay discuss Credit Cards, High Tech Payment Methods and More!

* Police Issue Warning to Parents About New iPhone Feature - Jack Davis.

Police agencies around the country are issuing warnings to parents about the new NameDrop feature in iOS 17 and the potential that a new iPhone software feature could compromise the safety of their children.

“To shut this off go to Settings, General, AirDrop, Bringing Devices Together. Change to OFF,” - “PARENTS: Don’t forget to change these settings after the update on your children’s phones as well,” the post read.

“To cancel, move the two devices away from each other or lock your iPhone before the NameDrop transfer completes,” the Apple post said.

The Roku Reign, Cybertruck's Countdown, and TikTok's Triumph in Montana

* Best streaming device overall: Roku Express 4K Plus.

* Tesla’s cheapest Cybertruck won’t drop until 2025! - The automaker now estimates it’ll charge $60,990 — or $53,490 after $7,500 in federal tax credits. That’s more than the starting price for a Ford Lightning or Silverado EV (both around $50,000).

* Federal judge blocks Montana's TikTok ban before it takes effect.

The Playlist Prescription: Music's Impact on Pain Perception

* Your favorite, bittersweet tunes may help relieve pain better than unfamiliar, relaxing music.

Participants in a small study said that pain less unpleasant by about nine points on a 100 point scale when they were listening to their preferred music.

Research has long suggested that music can help lower pain perception without medication and could even help babies tolerate heel-prick blood tests.

Emerging research has also found that music might change our experience of certain types of discomfort.

They are exploring new dimensions of the psychology of music listening that have not been well-studied, especially in the context of pain relief. As a result, the data we have available is limited, although the preliminary results are fairly strong.

Acceleration vs. Contemplation: Sam and Jay's Dilemma

* Feds Want To Install Speed-Limiting Devices On All New Cars - MSN.

The ISA tech utilizes a car's GPS, a database of speed limits, and onboard cameras to ensure compliance with legal speeds.

Sam Advocates for the slow down of (not only cars) but, life in General.

Jay advocates for speeding things up via using technology and high tech coordination to improve efficiency.

Cybersecurity, iPhone Updates, and the Future of Communication

* US Harbors Prolific Malicious Link Shortening Service.

The top-level domain for the United States, .US is home to thousands of newly-registered domains tied to a malicious link shortening service that facilitates malware and phishing scams, The findings come close on the heels of a report that identified. US domains as among the most prevalent in phishing attacks.

* Iphone 15 Features.

* Is the App Store still a source for new technology innovations or has AI development become the hotter new tech to build for these days?

* Apple unveiled This Week in Apps: Apple’s iPhone app of the year finalists - Sarah Perez.

* Apple’s Pledge to Support RCS Messaging Could Finally Kill SMS - Apple to finally bring RCS to iPhones.

* Toku’s AI platform predicts heart conditions by scanning inside your eye.

Live from Vegas: Exploring Boxabl, Mint's Shutdown, and Plex's New Social Features

* Sam Reports Live From Vegas At The Boxabl.com HQ!

VIDEO!: https://youtu.be/jgf2e1ekF68

* Intuit: Shutting Down Mint, A personal finance and Budgeting App.

Intuit, which acquired Mint in 2009, is encouraging users to switch to Credit Karma, its money management and credit score service.

Credit Karma does not offer a budgeting tool that allows users to set a monthly budget and budgets by category, a favorite feature of Mint users. Mint allowed users to link their spending accounts to the service, so purchases could be automatically categorized as restaurants, groceries or bills, making it easier to track spending.

* Plex Media software startup and streamer is expanding its service to become more of a social network, not just a way to organize your home media or stream free content.

Plex Discover Together Lets You See Your Friends' Streaming Activity.

Beware the AI Imposter: Voice Cloning Scams and the Arrival of Tesla's Cybertruck

* Is It Really Sam Or Just An Electronic Replica?

* True or False, When your phone rings and you hear the familiar sound of your spouse’s voice on the other end, you can be 100% confident it’s really them right? - Maybe not.

Criminals have found a new, terrifying way to use AI to scam people, and it starts by cloning your voice.

* The Cybertruck is set to finally arrive after a nearly two-year delay. Tesla First officially unveiled back in 2019, Teslas electric Cybertruck impressed and amused the public with its angular, Blade Runner -inspired design and purported features including reinforced glass, stainless steel body, and a lack of door handles.

* Jay hopes for a Christmas Present!

X's Tiered Future, The Return of Tech Layoffs, and Raspberry Pi 5's Big Moment

* X, formerly known as Twitter, is introducing two new tiers for its subscription offering in order to bring in additional revenue.

The social media giant is adding a new Premium+ tier that costs $16 per month and offers the “largest reply boost” and removes ads from the For You and Following feeds. The tier also comes with revenue-sharing, along with access to other creator tools.

The second tier launching today is called “Basic” and costs $3 per month. The tier doesn’t come with a blue checkmark, but includes basic features like the ability to edit posts and post longer text and videos. It also offers a “small reply boost.”

* Tech layoffs are back with a vengeance

* Introducing: Raspberry Pi 5! - It isn't just a progression; it's a transformation.

It's up to three times faster and packed with new features, it's an exciting upgrade.

* Pi 5 is no longer a toy or single task system, it's fast becoming a real full featured machine.

Digitally altered or deepfake photos incident makes some rethink what they post online

* Girls at Westfield High School in New Jersey were left shocked when they discovered boys were circulating fake nude photos of them, according to a Thursday report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

* at least one student had used online tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to create fake nude photos of their female classmates using pictures of them that were already on the internet.

* Digitally altered or deepfake photos and videos have exploded in recent years. Briefly searching online will lead users to dozens of tools that offer face-swapping and "clothes-removing" capabilities. Pornographic material makes up the majority of deepfakes created on the internet.

* TikTok, is now the home to a steady stream of deepfake videos.

* Because there is no law against deepfake porn creation, victims may not have a clear legal avenue to press charges against the creators of the deepfakes.

* The incident has made the girls rethink what they post online, and some decided to delete social media altogether.

Social Media Showdown: X's Resilience, Meta's Threads, and Our Top Picks

* What Is Your Fav Social Media Service And Why?

* Despite usage declines, X remains ‘stickier’ than first thought

* A year after Musk’s takeover, X says an average user spends 32 minutes per day on the platform

* Meta’s X rival, Threads isn’t dead and it now has polls and GIFs.

* Jay's Fav Social media Services is Telegram, followed by TikTok

* Sam's Fav Social Media Service was Twitter, now is Pinterest

Tech Frontier: iPhones Made in India, AI Wars, and Amazon's Virtual Clinic

* Tata to start manufacturing iPhones in India

* AI is going to make Big Tech even bigger, and richer

* Let The AI Wars Begin

* Spam is about to get even more terrible - Will AI Make Things Worse?

* X to take on newswire services with new product, XWire

* OpenAI forms team to study ‘catastrophic’ AI risks, including nuclear threats

* Amazon’s virtual health clinic can now treat patients for a cough, cold or flu