The last few grains of sand in Windows XP’s hourglass are beginning to run out, and one group in particular sits eagerly awaiting the discontinuation of the old operating system. Eventually, the OS will stop receiving security updates; updates that keep you and your system safe from cybercriminals and hackers. On April 8th, those defenses will be gone and 500 million PCs that run everything from ATMs to your business will be exposed.
April 8th, 2014 will be the end of an era for Microsoft as they terminate support for Windows XP. For the past 10 years, people have used the company’s first mass-market operating system, and in just a few weeks it will be time to say good-bye. Most programs would have been completely phased out by now, but there are still quite a few XP users; users who more than likely are wondering what will happen to their soon-to-be-outdated operating system.
As they say, all good things must come to an end, and the Windows XP end of life is long overdue. If you haven’t already heard, all support and updates for the 12-year-old OS will come to a halt on April 8, 2014. So what does that mean, exactly? It means it’s time to say goodbye to Windows XP, and get acquainted with a new OS.
The Night Sky: A Source of Security
In honor of the return of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos to television, we are going to take a minute to appreciate the night sky. Being so close to a major city can make it a little difficult to see the stars due to the exorbitant amount of light pollution that emanates from the urban center (have you seen Time Square?). But, when the cosmos are fully visible, it is hard not to be overcome with wonder. Humans have tried to create patterns out of the night sky for thousands of years (i.e. constellations), but no matter how hard we search, or how much we think we know, there is always something that emerges and changes our celestial maps. Such immensity and entropy define the universe and also, surprisingly enough, have created the perfect blueprint for you to protect your devices from those that would seek to tamper with them.
The Internet is constantly changing the way people do business. In a world where efficient solutions are constantly being pursued, it was only a matter of time before an alternative to the way we handle phone systems came about. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is the revolutionary concept of converting analog audio signals, such as those used on a landline telephones, into digital data capable of being transmitted over the Internet. It’s changed the way we use the office phone, for good.
In 1965, an American psychologist who went by the nickname "Lick," claimed that one day the entire world would be completely interconnected, and be able to share information through the "Intergalactic computer network." Besides that being an awesome name, J.C.R. Licklider predicted the invention of what we now call "cloud computing." Through programs like Google Drive, iCloud, and Dropbox, business professionals now have access to their work regardless of where they are located, which has resulted in a far more flexible and interconnected workforce than any other time in history.