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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Are You Right for Software-as-a-Service?

Your business depends on software for many of its day-to-day operations, whether it’s an email system, productivity suite, or other specialized software. When it comes to acquiring software, you have two options: the traditional method of acquisition, i.e. buying it from a vendor, or subscribing to a Software as a Service solution. What are the differences and how can you make sure your organization is getting value out of its investment?

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Features to Seek Out in a Note-Taking Application

If you’re the one in your office known for taking spectacularly detailed notes, then you’ll find no greater productivity tool than a note-taking app. There are dozens of options on the market today that can help you make the most of your note-taking experience, as well as the integrations that they can provide.

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Tip of the Week: Saving Time in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a super useful collection of software that serves the purposes of just about any business, at least to some degree. Since it is so popular—taking up almost half of the office productivity software market in February 2022—we figured it would be helpful to share a few tips to help speed up some of the things you may be spending time on now.

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How to Properly Manage Business Software

It's always important to maintain and manage the tools you use for work. Nowadays, this includes the software your business uses each day. Let's go over some tips for doing so properly.

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Get the Apps You Need in the Cloud

When it comes to your desktop infrastructure, your company has several different options available to it, one of which is Desktop-as-a-Service. How does this option compare to having a traditional workstation, and why might a small business get value out of Desktop-as-a-Service? Let’s take a closer look at what DaaS involves.

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Productivity Software is Smarter Than Ever

All businesses rely on software to an extent, but there are several that transcend industry or organization size and can be implemented by most businesses to improve productivity. Let’s go over some of the common types of software you might find in a business environment and why you should consider implementing them for your own company.

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VoIP Can Make Communications Easier

Nothing changes the fortunes of a business faster than having clear lines of communication, especially after operating with less-than-effective communications for a time. Today, there are options that provide businesses with enterprise-level communications without the massive price tag and commitments that they typically bring. 

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ALERT: Your Business Needs to Take the Log4j Extremely Seriously

You’ve probably already heard about Log4j this week. Maybe you don’t recognize the name, but it’s likely that you have run across emails or news articles talking about this widespread vulnerability. You need to take it very seriously.

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Outlining the Usefulness of the Password Manager App

Businesses sure use a lot of online accounts, and if they don’t keep track of the passwords associated with these accounts, things can get messy fast. To help with this effort, password managers, or applications that store passwords in an encrypted vault, have really taken off. Here are some of the reasons why businesses invest in password management solutions.

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Windows Suffering from MSHTML Exploit

A vulnerability in Microsoft’s MSHTML browser engine has been discovered and tracked by Kaspersky. It is being exploited all over the world right now. How can you avoid this vulnerability so that it doesn’t affect your business? Let’s find out.

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Have You Bitten Off More Software Than You Can Chew?

While we certainly have a lot to say about the benefits of the right IT solutions, even we can acknowledge that there is a point of diminishing returns. So, how much technology is too much technology, specifically in terms of the software your team relies on? Let’s explore some of the warning signs.

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Is Your PC Ready for Windows 11?

Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, the latest in its line of PC operating systems, as well as detailed its system requirements. Will your business be upgrading to Windows 11 when the time comes? We think a lot of it will depend on its current IT infrastructure and whether or not you meet the minimum requirements right out the gate. Let’s dive into the details and what you need to know about Windows 11.

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What is the Konami Code?

If you’re familiar with the combination
Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Select-Start, chances are good that you grew up in the 80s. This is because this combination of buttons is the infamous Konami Code, a cheat code that video games (and others, including some websites and software) have continued to reference since it first appeared in 1986.

Let’s examine the Konami Code’s origins, as well as the various ways it has been used since.

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Software Management Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

We live in a world of the “as a service” business model, where services are rendered on a per-month or per-billing cycle service model rather than the traditional “buy now, replace later” one. What they don’t tell you, however, is that when you use Software as a Service (SaaS) for multiple purposes, things can get messy pretty quickly. How do you manage all of your software solutions without breaking the bank (and your brain)?

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Is Discord a Viable Choice for Your Business?

While it isn’t officially a business solution, per se, the collaboration platform known as Discord has seen some popularity as a means of facilitating a business’ internal communications. Let’s go over some handy tips to improve your use of the platform, in case you are part of an organization that does so. Who knows… this might inspire you to give it a chance for yourself.

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4 Basic Technology Maintenance Practices for Small Businesses

If you are one of the many small businesses out there that does not have reliable technical support for the myriad of devices on your network, it might be difficult to imagine a world where your technology gets the maintenance it needs to thrive. Thankfully, you’re not alone. Here are some basic technology maintenance tips that anyone can implement, plus one at the end that we think small businesses, in particular, will benefit from!

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Productivity Apps Aren’t Just a Fad

Businesses need to maximize productivity any way they can. Some look to software to make this happen. When searching for productivity software, it may seem like you are looking at the same thing over and over again. While we admit that many productivity programs are similar, it’s important that you acquire the software that will give your team the tools it needs to succeed. Let’s take a look at how you can find the right productivity apps for your business’ needs.

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Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Software runs our lives. It certainly runs your business. What if I told you that this essential cog in your business’ operations can also be the thing that is most susceptible to being exposed by outside attackers? It’s true, software can be the very door that hackers and scammers need to get into your network and run amok. Let’s take a look at the unsung service that is patch management and why it is so important. 

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Tip of the Week: How to Share Documents in Google Drive

Collaboration is something that no modern business can do without, which helps to explain why so many current applications feature it so heavily. Let’s focus on Google Drive and its multitude of collaborative capabilities that so many businesses are now making use of.

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Prioritizing Security with Your Messaging Apps

If you asked your average person whether they are okay with their personal information being taken and used by businesses, you’d probably come across quite a bit of dissent. Ironically, it seems that people will give it right over via social media programs, but you are beginning to see some pushback when using apps. WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, that is known for end-to-end encryption, has told users that they will soon be forced to share their personal data with Facebook.

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Helpful Features Found in Google Docs

Within Google Workspace is Google Docs, a useful word processing solution that can be accessed through your web browser. In case you’re new to using Google’s productivity software, we have decided to assemble a short introduction to some of Google Docs’ most useful tools and features.

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How to Use Google Drive to the Fullest

For the business seeking out a comprehensive cloud-based content management and collaboration solution, Google Drive is an option that warrants serious consideration. While we don’t want to recommend it over another one of your options, per se, we did want to provide a brief beginner’s guide to putting it to use. That way, any business that does elect to adopt Google Drive—and the associated solutions it comes with—has more information going in.

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How to Determine Which Productivity Suite Is Right for Your Business

The productivity suite is one of the most utilized software combos going. Usually it comes with a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a note taking program, and a presentation creator. There are other pieces of software included in some of today’s most dynamic options, but for our purposes we are going to limit it to these. 

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Let’s Look at a Few Collaboration-Themed Applications

Boosting collaboration is a central theme to many companies' operational strategies. The more that people can do as a team, the less costly operations have to be. That is a sound business strategy. Today, many businesses are looking to software to build a successful collaborative situation. Let’s take a look at three such apps that, if used properly, will help any business boost their team’s ability to work together. 

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Document Your IT Infrastructure

Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?

That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.

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What the Retirement of Adobe Flash Means to Your Business

Once December 31st brings the New Year around, support for the once-popular Adobe Flash Player will officially end. Of course, it isn’t every day that a 24-year-old software is taken out of commission, so it only makes sense to wonder how much this will impact businesses.

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More Than 70 Percent of PCs Run Windows 10

Ever since Windows 10 debuted in July of 2015, it has slowly risen in its market share. This has continued throughout the tumultuous times that 2020 has provided, as the OS has now reached a market share of 72.2 percent as of October. Let’s go over why this matters, and why—if you haven’t done so yet—you need to add your organization’s PCs to that number.

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Is Automation Really a Threat for Workers?

Automation has helped many businesses improve their output and efficiency, but what is the cost to the people that work for these organizations? Many systems rely on the autonomy of artificial intelligence systems to keep certain tasks and workflows on point. Automation could replace up to a quarter of the current workforce in the next ten years, so people are naturally skeptical and worried about how safe their jobs are going to be with more and more businesses utilizing software automation. 

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Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Flash Player—the familiar Adobe web application that first premiered in 1996—is finally going into retirement at the end of the year. This is quite a big deal, as Flash Player was (at least initially) instrumental to many of the platforms that so many rely on these days. However, what will this mean for your business?

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Reviewing Zoom’s Efforts to Improve Its Security

As a communication tool, the video conferencing app Zoom saw a considerable bump in its popularity with both personal and business users as the coronavirus pandemic made other means of meeting no longer viable. However, this sudden increase in its user base also revealed some serious security issues with the platform. Let’s examine what Zoom has done to resolve these issues since then.

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Google Adding Features to the G Suite

It is apparent that Google is deeply invested in the G Suite, as they recently added an assortment of features to make basic processes much simpler and more convenient for their users. Here, we’ll go over a few of these updates, and how they can positively influence your operations.

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Blockchain Is Moving Into New Industries

Blockchain is one of the most dynamic new technologies, but up until recently, there hasn’t been a lot accomplished in the way of creating viable distributed software titles. In fact, the most practical technology created with blockchain is cryptocurrency. This says quite a bit. Today, we’ll take a look at blockchain-enhanced software and how it’s only a matter of time until it is a commonplace addition to most businesses.

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As IT and OT Merges, You Need to Be Prepared

Businesses have two different types of technology to contend with each day: their information technology, and their operational technology. As these categories have become less distinct with the introduction of the Internet of Things and other similar advancements, a few new challenges to maintaining security have become apparent. Let’s go over these challenges, and what you need to do to overcome them.

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How to Use a CRM Effectively

There are a lot of businesses that depend on their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. It’s not just used to manage their customer relationship, it also helps with production, invoicing, operations, human resources, and more. Today, we’ll take a look at the CRM and see how strategic use of this platform can help build your business. 

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Why Software as a Service is the Future

The cloud has provided businesses with remarkable capabilities and opportunities, but we wanted to take a moment to focus on one in particular: software as a service, or SaaS. Let’s go over what SaaS is, exactly, and how it can assist you in your operations.

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Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

IT administrators are pretty particular about what software is used on the networks that they manage. This is not because we have any vested interest in the software itself, it’s because of the inherent reliability of the software they manage. They’ve tested it, they manage it, they know it. When an organization starts dealing with employee-downloaded software--especially if there is no procedure in place to report additions to IT--they can quickly lose control over the network. 

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Microsoft Does Some Patching Off Schedule

To keep your business’ network free from threats, and to keep your software working effectively, patching the software it uses is extremely important. The reason is that the threat landscape is always evolving. Recently, Microsoft announced that they have released an emergency out-of-band security update to fix two security issues, an atypical act for the software giant. 

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What is G Suite, Really?

There is no question that Google is an absolute giant in computing, having moved from web search functionality to a much wider variety of applications. These applications now make up the G Suite, and are used by many, many businesses to accomplish their goals. Here, we’ll go over some of these features and how they can benefit your operations.

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Four Essential Business Software Types to Consider

While each business today features its own balance of company culture and processes, there are certain varieties of software that all companies in operation today should be leveraging. Here, we’ll go over what these solutions are, and how they can benefit you.

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In Cybersecurity It’s Fool Me Once, Shame on Me

In the course of doing business everyone has their own specific responsibilities. One overarching responsibility that all employees need to have today is a keen eye for detail. The health of a business depends on it. A staff’s failure to properly shoulder their load of security can have an immensely negative result for both the employee and the company. Today, we’re going to explain that when your organization gets breached by hackers, that fault is largely found in the mirror. 

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Tip of the Week: Master the GIF and Rule the Internet

b2ap3_thumbnail_make_animated_gifs_400.jpgUsing GIFs in your digital communications is a great way to enhance them. A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is an image that loops a few seconds worth of animation and it’s a great way to grab someone's attention. If you don’t know how to make a GIF, then we’ll show you how in this week’s tip!

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Tip of the Week: Know When Your Windows OS Expires and Why it Matters

b2ap3_thumbnail_end_of_life_headache_400.jpgBy design, Microsoft’s operating systems aren’t built to last forever. Due to the fact that technology is always changing, new operating systems with better security and improved capabilities are routinely needed. Microsoft gets users to transition from an older OS to a newer one by ending support for the older one. This begs the question, how long until Microsoft pulls the plug on your OS?

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Tip of the Week: Adjust the Brightness of Your Device’s Screen to Prevent Eye Strain

b2ap3_thumbnail_control_your_brightness_400.jpgComputer monitors have become streamlined in appearance and design over the years. One of the biggest improvements was the addition of the LCD screen, which in comparison to the old CRT monitors is more pleasing to the eye. However, its brightness means that there are side effects that can lead to eye strain and headaches. You can lower your screen brightness to preserve both your eyesight and your sanity, in addition to saving precious battery life.

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Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts for Slack

Collaboration is crucial in today’s work environment, which is one reason that solutions like Slack are so popular among businesses. Another reason that Slack is a popular option is how user-friendly it is - especially with the many shortcuts that are built in. We’ll go over a few of these shortcuts.

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Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Microsoft 365 has been on the market for a while now, and we thought it would be a good time to go into the different tiers of the platform to give you an idea of what it is, why it is useful, and how your business fits into the latest cloud platform offered by Microsoft. Let’s start with what it is.

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Getting to Know Technology: Application Programming Interface

Software runs the world, or so they say, and it’s all thanks to the ability to integrate with one-another through the use of APIs. This tech term, which stands for application programming interface, and it’s crucial to understand what these do in today’s technology environment.

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Microsoft Ending Support for Major OS Titles

Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, and as such, developers are always hard at work on the next new version of the OS. However, organizations are often stuck in a tricky situation whenever end of support occurs for any popular operating system. When your reliable technology solutions finally stop receiving updates and patches, what do you do? Well, users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will have to answer this question next January.

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Google Docs Finally Adding Microsoft Office Support

Businesses generally have to make an important choice about which brand of productivity software they will implement for day-to-day operations. Two of the heavy hitters in today’s business environment are Google and Microsoft utilizing their respective productivity solutions. While the choice of which service to work with seems exclusive, Google is making strides to break down this barrier and allow certain file types to be edited in Google Drive.

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SQL Server 2008 R2 Has Reached the End of the Line

Technology doesn’t last forever, and this is especially true for software solutions. Granted, software is a little easier to upgrade than hardware, as they can be administered patches and updates remotely, but what happens after that support ends? Well, it turns out that the widely used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be reaching their end of support date soon, meaning businesses will need a plan in place to overcome these challenges.

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Fuel Productivity with Collaboration Tools

The modern perspective of productivity would not be possible without the use of collaboration tools. Some of them are so game changing that they can completely revolutionize the way you hold meetings, deal with clients, and manage in-house processes. We’ll discuss how you can implement collaboration tools that work for your business, as well as use them to overcome the many challenges you might face in a business environment.

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Unified Software Brings Multiple Benefits

People have come a long way in a very short amount of time. The development of tools designed to make tasks easier have pushed people from hunter/gatherers across the known solar system in the matter of only a few thousand years. One way humans are able to do so much with seemingly so little is though ingenuity, but another is through consolidating management.

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How Automation Rejuvenates Productivity

There are some cases where productivity is a challenge, especially in the case where you’re being asked to work on something repetitive or monotonous. To make these tasks more bearable, automation solutions can be used. Although, depending on the purpose, they can become an integral part of your business’ productivity strategy.

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Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

When you’re talking about something to do with a computer, you’re going to start hearing about some word that ends with “-ware.” You could probably list off a few yourself, but have you ever stopped to think about why they’re all described as “something-ware?” For this week’s Tech Term, we’ll take a peek at why we refer to things that way.

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Communications Are a Big Part of New Productivity Software

When people find new reasons to collaborate, it typically results in something positive. There is some new software that is now making collaboration easier, while still providing people the tools they need to stay productive. These collaboration tools are changing the face of business. Today, we take a look at them and how your organization can use these new collaboration tools to move business ahead faster.

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Tip of the Week: Get the Most Out of Google Maps With These 4 Tips

Throughout human history, cartography served as an exciting and specialized field for knowledgeable scribes. Today, the entire planet has been mapped and apps like Google Maps allow any Joe Schmo with a smartphone to have the world at their fingertips. Consequently, you can effectively be a cartographer of sorts, just by knowing how to best use Google Maps.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Tools for Simplifying Your Company’s Email

Managing your company’s email can be a complex endeavor, due to the sheer volume of messages being sent and received, as well as the need to have a way to prioritize which messages are important. It’s safe to say that all organizations can benefit from email management solutions, such as email archiving and spam protection, and multi-factor authentication.

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Tip of the Week: Lock Your Computer By Simply Walking Away With Dynamic Lock

Security best practices demand that a workstation should never be left unlocked. However, it can be really tempting to leave it unlocked if you only plan on stepping away for a moment--but unfortunately, that moment can easily turn into many if you are distracted from your task. Fortunately, there is now a fix that relies on the one device most of us are never without: our phones.

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Tip of the Week: How To Put A Table Of Contents In A Google Doc

If you author a long document, having a table of contents can help your readers get the information they need fast. Here is how to insert a table of contents into a Google Doc.

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Tip of the Week: Google Drive is Better with these Chrome Extensions

Google Drive provides its users with a considerable amount of utility. However, when combined with extensions made for Google’s Chrome browser, users have the tools to make their use of Drive’s capabilities even more efficient. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over a few Chrome extensions that your business might find useful.

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What You Should Be Mindful of Before Hosting Your Software in the Cloud

Businesses have focused on efficient utility software deployment for the better part of 30 years. Today, developers are increasingly offering software titles “as-a-service”, which gives users access to these powerful tools, via the cloud, for a consistent monthly payment. Distributing solutions through cloud technologies, be they a private cloud server or a reputable public cloud provider’s platform, can give your business considerable benefits.

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How Rogue Software Makes PC Problems Worse

It’s difficult to know what you can and can’t trust in the realm of cybersecurity. However, you’re likely to trust your own security solution. Yet, even this could be a devastating oversight, as some malware masquerades as your security software.

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“The Worst” Windows Bug Discovered... and Thankfully Fixed

Microsoft has resolved what a security researcher tweeted was “the worst Windows remote code exec” in his memory. This vulnerability allowed a targeted file to implement remote code execution processes, manipulating the infected system and spreading the infection to other machines. In other word, it’s a bad problem to have. The scariest part: the attack would be triggered if a particular file were to be scanned by the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine.

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Businesses Running Outdated Software are Taking a Huge Risk, Study Finds

It goes without saying that businesses that don’t want to invest in the latest and greatest software solutions will be denying themselves the opportunity for more productivity and efficiency, but most of all, security will be put on the line. A new study has proven that there is a direct correlation between businesses that run older versions of out-of-date operating systems and web browsers, and organizations that suffer from data breaches.

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Why SaaS Is Best For Your Business’ Software Needs

All businesses have certain software solutions that they need to keep their operations going. Be it an email solution or a productivity suite that you lack, your business is held back from ideal operational efficiency. The traditional way of acquiring these pieces of software can be holding your organization back, so we’ve come to you with a solution: Software as a Service (SaaS).

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You Need To Be Familiar With Patching Terminology

Over the past several months, while watching the news or reading about business and technology, you’ve probably encountered a few words, such as ‘ransomware’ ‘exploit weakness’, and ‘security patch’. These terms are used often, and you may be confused as to what they really mean, and how they relate to you and the security of your business’ data.

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Google Will No Longer Display Results As You Type--Here’s Why

If you hadn’t yet noticed, there’s been a change made to the Google search engine that will influence how search results are presented to users. Google’s ‘Instant’ feature, introduced in 2010, is no more.

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How To Keep Your Company Out Of The BSA’s Crosshairs

Let’s say that you have an employee who wants to do some good for your business and save your IT some cash on a piece of business software. They find a “free” version of it on the Internet, thinking they have found you a bargain deal. Little do you know that there is an agency out there that’s specifically looking for businesses like yours that don’t keep track of their software licensing, just to make a quick buck off of copyright infringement.

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Google Pixel Is First to Come with Zero-Touch Provisioning--Will Your Favorite Be Next?

Does your business use Google’s line of Android devices for business purposes? Well, you might be happy to hear about Google’s new zero-touch solution for enterprises for their Pixel line of smartphones. If you provide smartphones for your business’ employees, you know how much of a hassle it is to set up these devices. This new zero-touch policy attempts to make a change to this.

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Why You Need to Be Certain You’re Using Licensed Software

Using pirated software or abusing your software licenses for your business is heavily frowned upon. However, many software companies, in an attempt to protect their products, have unleashed a practice that can actually reward those who let it happen in the first place.

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Why You’ll Likely See More and More Chatbots

Chatbots have been around for quite some time, and artificial intelligence is shaping the way that they are utilized for the modern business. Virtual assistants have risen in popularity, and they are featured on most smartphones out there. How can these “bots” help your organization?

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Three Keys to Proper Software Management

Nowadays, every company relies on some kind of software in order to properly function, so you need to ensure that this software is properly managed in order to maintain operations. While this may sound like a grand undertaking, software management is relatively simple and can be whittled down into three steps: leveraging the assets available, testing your strategies, and understanding what it is you have.

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Managing Your Software Requires Three Actions

It’s imperative that your organization’s software is managed properly. If you can’t do this, then your operations can suffer in the long run. While this might sound like a lot of work, software management isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you break it down into compartmentalized tasks. Ultimately, you can group it into three major steps: leveraging available assets, testing strategies, and understanding the software.

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Understanding the Importance of .Net Framework

If you’re a habitual user of the Microsoft Windows operating system, there’s a relatively good chance that you’ve been prompted to install something called “.NET framework.” Pronounced “dot-net,” this framework is most commonly used for Windows. In this blog, we’ll go over what a software framework is and is for, as well as examine what makes .NET stand out.

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Getting to Know Technology: Plug-In

The Internet is an amazing tool in and of itself, but like many tools, it can sometimes work better if other tools are used alongside it. These additional tools are called plug-ins. Here, we’ll discuss what a plug-in is, and how they all help us use the Internet a little better.

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Windows 8 - An OS for Every Occasion

windows 8 dashboard

Windows 8? Doesn't it feel like Windows 7 just came out? Windows 7 isn't being replaced anytime soon; the latest operating system by Microsoft hasn't even been out for two years, but that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't cooking up their next incarnation. Microsoft has always kept small businesses in mind as well as the residential consumer, so will Windows 8 stick with the same trend?

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What's New in Firefox 13

Firefox logoFor those who use Mozilla Firefox as our web browser of choice, you may have noticed that there have been a large number of updates over the past year, leaping from version 4 to the now current Firefox 13. Mozilla has been following an aggressive roadmap to improve performance and features.

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What Office 365 Can Do for Oneonta Small Businesses

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At the beginning of the month, Microsoft officially launched Office 365. What makes this Office different from the other Office suites that Microsoft has released is that Office 365 doesn't run on your computer, it runs on a cloud server. All of your data is stored securely in the cloud on Microsoft's servers. This is great for smaller Oneonta businesses that need to access their files from anywhere but don't currently have the infrastructure in-house to make it happen.

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Tutorial: Master the Art of the Mail Merge, Part 2

laptop mail

Last time we spoke about creating your contact list in Excel when performing a mail merge. Of course, you can also use your Outlook contacts, and if you are running any sort of CRM software it is pretty likely it exports its own spreadsheet that can be used in a mail merge. Let's go over how to perform a mail merge now that you have your list.

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Top Ten Keyboard Shortcuts To Get Things Done

typing on keyboardMicrosoft Office and Windows 7 provide many keyboard shortcuts that can improve your ability to multitask and get things accomplished quickly. Most of these shortcuts will work in previous versions, like Windows XP, Vista and the Microsoft Server Operating Systems as well. Give them a try, and the next time your tech comes by, be sure to show off your new skills.

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Taking Microsoft OneNote With You

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Recently we mentioned Evernote as a great note taking app that is supported across multiple operating systems and mobile devices. We compared it to Microsoft OneNote as a lighter alternative that is easy to set up and sync across a plethora of devices. However, diehard fans of OneNote probably don't want to make a switch to a whole other platform. Today we're going to talk about ways to mobilize your OneNote notebooks as well as some other features that are exclusive to OneNote that you might not know about.

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Remember Everything from Everywhere with Evernote

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Are you the kind of person who takes meticulous notes? Do you carry around a pen and pad with you so you never forget a single line item from meetings, presentations, or your grocery list? Enter Evernote, a free application that gives you an easy-to-use note taking solution that syncs your notes across multiple devices.

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QikPad: Collaborative Workspace Review

QikPad iconQikPad is an online collaboration resource that enables users to produce, sustain and customize data in a collaborative atmosphere. Making use of author color codes, users can readily determine the root of modifications by identifying the particular color assigned to a specific employee. Best of all, the application is free and does not require any sort of sign up.

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Process Deals Faster with Electronic Signatures

sign here on piece of paper

Has waiting on a signature ever brought a project to a halt?  A major way to simplify the signing process and get those contacts and other documents signed and delivered faster is by utilizing e-signature technology.

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Microsoft OneNote: Your Desktop's Productivity Swiss Army Knife

onenote screenshot

Microsoft's OneNote is often seen as one of the extra applications that is bundled in with several Microsoft Office packages.  In this article, We'll introduce OneNote, and show off some neat things it's used for, and how it can make your life easier.  OneNote has a whole slew of neat features that you can take advantage of, which we'll cover in the article as well.

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Microsoft Office 365 - Your Office in the Clouds

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Microsoft Office still holds a very strong position in the small business world despite some serious competition from Google, who boasts having their software package hosted online.  The latest incarnation of the Microsoft Office suite, named Office 365, is designed to rival Google's offering. Today we're going to talk about Microsoft's hosted productivity software and see what the pros and cons are for small businesses.

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Microsoft Office 2013 Sneak Peak

microsoft office iconMicrosoft has released a preview of their highly anticipated Microsoft Office 2013, with features meant to coincide with their release of Windows 8 set to be released this fall. Like Windows 8, Office 2013 was designed to accommodate the needs of not only individuals but businesses, as well.

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How to Create Amazing Document Templates with Microsoft Word Part 2

definition of the word SolutionLast time we talked about ways to standardize your Microsoft Word documents so the look and feel remains consistent throughout the document and between multiple documents. Today we are going to look at a more advanced trick that will let you take predefined content and data and allow yourself to pick and choose when you use it in a document.

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How to Create Amazing Document Templates with Microsoft Word Part 1

docx file iconDo your documents look a little bland? Representing your brand is important whenever you do any corresponding, whether you are just using letter heads or creating custom documentation or project proposals. Microsoft Word makes it simple to standardize the look of your documents so your brand can shine through no matter what type of document you are creating.

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How New Businesses Slash Start-up Costs

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Veterans to building and running small and medium-sized businesses probably know about the huge initial start-up costs.  A small business needs to consider investing in all of the necessary infrastructure, from things like desks, chairs, computer equipment, security devices, break room appliances, heat, air conditioning, a website, marketing materials… the list goes on.  Today, small businesses are finding new ways to streamline and reduce the costs of getting started.  Hit the jump to see a few ways small businesses are cutting high start-up costs.

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Google's Goal: 99.98% Uptime

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You are running a business. You don't want downtime, you want your email to be as reliable as the sunrise. Google Apps has been adjusting their service level agreements over the years to accommodate to the high demands of the millions of businesses that use their productivity software each day.

 

Before we talk about that though, I wanted to share an announcement Google recently had. In 2010, the Gmail email service, which provides both free consumer and business email services globally, was available 99.984% of the time. That means about seven minutes of downtime per month on average was experienced in 2010. According to Google, the seven minute average comes from a lot of tiny delays that normally consisted of a few seconds a shot. Most users experienced no issues, and in the rare case they did, a few seconds of delay is pretty easy to miss.

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Google Wallet - The Future of Commerce?

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The Internet giant Google is well know as being the primary search engine on the Internet and the definer of many web standards. The Big G isn't afraid to trek into new and exciting verticals. Google Wallet is one of those endeavors. Google states that Google Wallet has been designed for an open commerce ecosystem. Their goal is to eventually replace the cards that you keep in your wallet. Since Google wallet is a mobile application it can store as many cards as you want without having to carry multiple cards.

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Getting Excited for Windows 8

 

windows 8 dashboard

At Directive, we always look forward to checking out new gadgets and software, and since Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is so fresh and unique compared with previous iterations, we are interested to see how it will impact businesses.

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Dress up your next PowerPoint with SmartArt

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PowerPoint has been, for a long time, the staple of presentation software. The last few incarnations of Microsoft PowerPoint (especially 2007 and 2010) have some great tools to spiffy up your presentations quickly and easily.

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At Long Last: Android Users get OneNote Mobile

android alien and OneNote logoFans of Microsoft's note taking application can now use OneNote on iOS devices, Windows Phone 7 Smartphones, and at long last, Android devices. Up until now, Android users have been left in the dark for synchronizing and managing their notes through an official OneNote app.

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Are Upstate New York Businesses Pirating Software

pirate using laptop

Software is expensive, especially business critical software. On top of that, as a small business expands, more software licenses need to be purchased for new employees. Organizations such as the Software & Information Industry Association and the Business Software Alliance are always looking for businesses that are guilty of stealing software, and businesses that get busted get hefty fines exponentially higher than the price of the software licenses.

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Android Malware on the Rise

cell phone with red screen and Android users may have some cause for concern. Considering its surging popularity, there is going to be a certain amount of rouge applications and other malware that targets the top iPhone OS. According to the popular anti-virus maker, Trend Micro, there are at least 20,000 applications that are malicious that target Google's Android OS. That is an increase of at least 400% since the beginning of 2012. By Christmas of this year, experts have given a conservative estimate that puts potential malware and rouge apps at around 150,000 different applications.

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5 Steps Toward Making Documents Presentable with Microsoft Word

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Plenty of Upstate New York businesses use the Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools. From Office 2007 and on, Microsoft has made it extremely easy to dress up your documents and presentations. These tricks will typically work with most Office products, from Word to Power Point, even Outlook; although in some apps the options might be in different places. Today's tutorial will focus on Microsoft Word.

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Don't Let Antivirus Management Slip Through the Cracks

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Did you know? Microsoft reported in May that every one in 14 downloads from the Internet may now contain malware code. Keeping your business protected is extremely important. Fortunately there are plenty of tools out there that do most of the protecting for you, but these tools need to be managed and kept up to date.

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How to Covert PDFs to Word Documents

b2ap3_thumbnail_pdfword400.jpgHave you ever been frustrated by not being able to edit information locked up inside of a PDF? Now, with Microsoft Word 2013, the issue is resolved, making it super easy to edit text, tables, and graphics within a PDF file.

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How to Permanently Delete Your Files and Cover Your Tracks

b2ap3_thumbnail_trashed400.jpgAfter you've finished with that incriminating file (you know which file we're talking about), you will drag and drop it into the Recycling Bin. You may think that just because you selected "Empty Recycling Bin" that the evidence is gone forever, but that's not exactly how the Recycling Bin works. You will need a more permanent solution to completely cover your tracks.

 

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