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This week, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 11.  While it offers some interesting new features, we recommend you wait a bit to let us sort out the bugs first.  Our initial testing has revealed a few annoyances that you might want to be aware of before upgrading.

Right now, we can confirm the following:

  1. We will not be upgrading clients to Windows 11 via our normal system maintenance processes.
  2. Even though Microsoft may offer it to you via Windows Update, we do not recommend our clients upgrade at this time because it is too new.
  3. Windows 11 is an upgrade, not an update – and although Microsoft offers the software for free to qualified systems, we reserve the right to charge for work related to these upgrades.
  4. Microsoft will be staging the rollout, and if their data indicates there may be issues with your hardware, it will not be offered to you.
  Read more...

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This article is about the use of AI in content creation. The previous two articles (The latest Threat to your Computer, CISA: Don’t use single-factor auth) were written with the assistance of artificial intelligence, and this one will be as well. Artificial intelligence can help to increase your blog post production by generating more content for you at a faster rate than you could do it alone.  

The Jarvis AI first scans the title and description and determines the main point, summarizing it in a few sentences before using those to write its own post.  It also inserts relevant keywords and synonyms throughout to improve SEO.  The system is built on top of Google Cloud Natural Language API, but the team did not provide much detail how it works exactly.   

Microsoft is using AI in its products as well.  For example, Microsoft 365 uses AI to provide a more personalized experience for its users. PowerPoint uses  Read more...


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On June 24th, Microsoft announced Windows 11, it’s evolution of the Microsoft Windows operating system. While hard to believe, Windows 10 was released almost 6 years ago, on July 29th, 2015. Microsoft hasn’t officially announced a release date, other than stating it will be “coming later this year”. 

A new version of Windows?! What does this mean for me? 

Windows 11 comes with a new design, new features, and new capabilities described on Microsoft’s website here

But, if you’re happy with Windows 10, or your system does not meet the expected requirements to upgrade (which we’ll get into below), that’s fine for now: although subject to change, Microsoft has stated they will continue supporting Windows 10 until October 14th, 2025. 

If you’d like to upgrade when Windows 11 becomes available, read on: 

Alright, what are the requirements? 

Microsoft has stated that this will be a free upgrade for all users running Windows 10, and the free upgrade will upgrade them to same edition of Windows 11.   Read more...


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We’ve been watching Elon Musk’s new satellite-based internet service with interest.  SpaceX opened it up to more people last night, and if you are working remotely and live in an area where high speed internet isn’t available to you, you might want to get signed up.  People that sign up now are supposed to receive their equipment later this year.  Speeds are up to 150mb/sec with latency in the 40ms range, which is better than old DSL lines and most cellular-based services.

It is not a mobile solution – it is not intended for use while traveling, unfortunately.  Service is locked to the general area around the address you provide when signing up.  The satellite dish automatically aims itself, so installation is relatively straightforward.  Pre-orders are $99 (refundable), the equipment is $500, service is $99/mo, and you can sign up at https://www.starlink.com/  

This is an option for people who can’t get fast service over fiber or cable – perhaps those still limited to old copper lines.  Read more...


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Apr 1, 2020 

Portland, OR. – for immediate release 

In response to an uptick in demand for customers to work from home, SpireTech has developed some new technology to rapidly move legacy servers to the cloud.  For a quick demonstration video, please see our YouTube Channel: 

PS – This is meant to add a laugh to everyone’s day – even April fool’s day is not quite the same this year! Be safe, and let us know if we can be helpful to you.


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used with permission from Microsoft Industry Blogs

Small businesses can use AI to improve their bottom line

Chatbots cut business costs by $20 million last year. By 2022, that savings is expected to jump to $8 billion.[1] That’s an increase of about 75% in five years. Artificial intelligence (AI) allows customers to ask questions, compare products and pricing, and make purchases, without speaking to a sales representative. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their enterprise relationships without interacting with a human. Not only does this empower consumers, but it saves your business time and money with fewer personnel on the payroll.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

To understand what AI means today, it helps to go back in time. In the mid-19th century, when a person carried out a task that required thinking, problem solving, planning, learning, or reasoning, it was said that they had to “apply intelligence” to accomplish the job.  Read more...


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used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com, by Anne Field

Robots as a service providers let customers use robots without spending the money to buy them.

Robotic systems can offer businesses a great many benefits: reducing costs, increasing productivity and freeing up humans to do less repetitive, more interesting tasks. But for many small to medium-sized businesses, buying, installing and maintaining them can also be quite pricey, especially if it means throwing out and revamping existing production systems.

That’s where “robots as a service”(RaaS) comes into play. Recently, a growing number of companies have started offering customers the option of leasing or renting robotic systems either by the hour or with a monthly subscription, instead of purchasing and installing them on their own.

The advantages are similar to outsourcing, according to Frank Tobe, editor of The Robot Report. On the one hand, customers don’t have to bear the cost of installing robots.  Read more...


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used with permission from HP Technology at Work

Ever think you’d need an olfactory alarm clock? With all the technological advances we’ve seen this year (e.g., reusable rockets, 2D materials, DIY super batteries), there were also some weird and wonderful items that found their way into our world. From coffee alarm clocks to window-cleaning robots, here are a few gadgets that spiced up our lives this year.

Wake up to the power of scent

When’s the last time your alarm clock woke you up pleasantly? Unlike traditional alarms that jolt you out of bed with loud sirens or vibrations, the Sensorwake olfactory alarm clock gently rouses you with pleasant aromas like espresso, peppermint, chocolate—even croissant. This clever contraption works by using dry-air diffusion, much like a plug-in air freshener. Each scent cartridge is 100% recyclable and lasts for 30 “awakenings.” The alarm clock should be able to wake you up within two minutes.  Read more...


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used with permission from HP Technology at Work

3dprinting

As you may have heard, 3D printers are going beyond the simple plastic creations we’re already familiar with. Way beyond. Scientists, engineers, doctors and creative makers are developing printers for advancements in health care, city planning and space travel. Oh, and now you can print sneakers and pizza, too. Here’s a roundup of the latest and greatest developments in the 3D printing world.

Medical treatments

A variety of 3D printing techniques are being used to create more customized medical care and treatment plans for patients.

  • The FDA has approved the first 3D-printed drug: Spiritam, which controls seizures brought on by epilepsy. The pill utilizes 3D printing to create a more porous structure that dissolves faster and allows patients to swallow high doses more quickly. It has opened the doors for additional 3D-printed drugs that can be packaged in precise doses that are custom-tailored to each patient.
  Read more...

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Used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com, by Scott Gurvey

ipv6Are you ready for IPv6? With the Internet running out of IPv4 addresses, the time is now, ready or not. What is it and what do you have to do to make the transition.

2015 will go down in history as the year the Internet ran out of addresses. Again. Maybe. A little history is in order.

Long, long ago on a planet far, far away, which for our purposes means October, 1969, a message was sent from UCLA’s Network Measurement Center to the Stanford Research Institute. With this single connection between two hosts, the ARPANET was born. The rest, as they say, is history.

But all is not well in Internet land. On September 24, 2015, the American Registry for Internet Numbers announced it had no more assignable blocks of IPv4 addresses to hand out. It was the fourth of the five regional Internet registries to reach that state; Latin America and the Caribbean did so in June, 2014, Europe and the Middle East in September, 2012, and Asia-Pacific in April, 2011.  Read more...

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