Thanks to Randy Muller, my good friend over at Global Knowledge, for his company’s excellent annual salary survey.
Read the article at the source; you’ll be glad you did!
15 Top Paying Certifications for 2013
Secure boot, also known as Trusted boot, is a new feature available to users of Windows 8 computers. It uses a special chipset available on Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) motherboards. UEFI is a graphical environment that has replaced, on most systems, the standard Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware interface that one sees when booting a computer. The UEFI firmware can access a list of digitally signed software and uses this list to allow or disallow any software to run. The list is stored in a protected location on a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 chipset on the motherboard.
This provides a significant enhancement in antimalware protection. There is a certain class of malware, sometimes called a rootkit, which attempts to load itself before the boot loader starts the actual operating system. If the rootkit is successful, the operating system’s antimalware protection software will not sense the rootkit as it loaded into its own allocated memory space before actual system startup. Secure/Trusted boot will ensure such antimalware cannot load as it will not have a digital signature that is stored in the trusted location, and the UEFI only allows loading of software with these signatures.
Careful consideration should be given, however, to users who may need to dual boot certain operating systems, such as Windows 8 and a Linux variant. The motherboard vendor might not have a digital signature of a Linux operating system or boot loader, and without such a signature in the trusted location and with Secure/Trusted boot turned on, that operating system will not load. Microsoft has asked that all independent software vendors, including distributors of various Linux systems, to submit their software for approval for a digital signature. This has naturally created a great deal of controversy.
Another antimalware enhancement to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 is the Measured boot feature. Measured boot logs all boot components that are started before the operating system loads and all system components before the antimalware software starts. The logs are kept in a trusted location resistant to spoofing and tampering on a TPM chipset. These logs are forwarded by the local antimalware software to a remote antimalware server that verifies the loaded operating system and components.
For more information about these features, consult the Microsoft white paper, Secured Boot and Measured Boot: Hardening Early Boot Components against Malware, which can be downloaded here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/br259097.aspx
This past August, I started the Montgomery, Alabama focused Montgomery IT Professional Group as a virtual gathering place for anyone in the area, say Auburn to Selma, Clanton to Troy, to social network with like minded information technology professionals.
We now have over 400 members!
I’m very happy about this.
Several jobs have been posted and several situations as well. Some have produced polls, survey, and written articles for each other. So people are just looking for a place to ask someone a question, who find someone locally who works with the same “stuff” as we do.
So, I hope if you’re local to Montgomery, Alabama, or just virtually passing through that you can check us out at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Montgomery-IT-Professionals
A neat little chart done by Wouter Van Rast of Microsoft Belgium:
|Category ||Setting name ||EAS (Exchange – On premise ||EAS (Exchange - online) ||Android ||WindowsRT ||WP8 ||iOS|
|Password ||Require a password to unlock mobile devices ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes|
|Required password type ||Yes ||Yes ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Minimum password length ||Yes ||Yes ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Allow simple passwords ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes|
|Number of sign-in failures before device is wiped ||Yes ||Yes ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Require password after the device has been inactive for (minutes) ||Yes ||Yes ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Password expiration (days) ||Yes ||Yes ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes |
|Remember password history ||Yes ||Yes ||Only with EAS ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes |
|Allow convenience logon ||No ||No ||No ||Yes ||No ||No|
|Device restrictions ||Allow camera ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Yes|
|Allow web browser ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Yes|
|Allow backup to iCloud ||No ||No ||No ||No ||No ||Yes|
|Allow doc sync to iCloud ||No ||No ||No ||No ||No ||Yes|
|Allow photo sync to iCloud ||No ||No ||No ||No ||No ||Yes|
|Encryption ||Require encryption on mobile device ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Yes (Supports only setting it to yes. Setting this to ‘No’ on an encrypted device will not remove encryption) ||Only with EAS|
|Require encryption on storage device ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS|
|Email ||Allow email attachment download ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS|
|Email sync for last x days ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS|
|Allow devices with unsupported settings sync to Exchange ||Yes ||No ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS ||Only with EAS|
True or false? Windows 8 doesn’t have a start menu.
False: It does. It’s called the Start PAGE. The Start page is one giant start menu, with more functionality than the little Start menu in the corner with the tiny pull down menus of older systems.
Try it and see. Type any known program’s name (ok, that is INSTALLED program) on the start page. A tile will come up. You can simply click to launch it, or right click for menu options.
The Start Page = Start Menu = same.
A lot of people have heard about the cloud, as in cloud services, cloud storage, and cloud applications. Some of you are even using some form of cloud service today. I am. Still, I hear a lot of people say that they don't trust the cloud with their data or their personal information. In the case of many administrators and developers I know, they don't like the idea of someone else having authority over the stuff that their organizations hold them responsible for. Ensuring the processing, system or function is available is something they're keenly concerned with.
So what happens when things go wrong? I mean seriously wrong, not just for a hour or so, or even a whole day, but more than a week? That's just what some people found out in Hurricane Sandy that so devastated the New Jersey and New York coasts. It wasn't so much the damage as the loss of electrical power and communications for such a long period. That storm struck on October 29th, and here it is almost a month later, and some locations are still without electrical power.
For a week or two, many businesses had no electricity. Because electricity powers so much in our technological world, the effects were much worse for the local only, on premise data centers. Sure, you can have UPS's and generators, but what happens when the fuel runs out? Gas and diesel pumps also need electricity to run. Cell towers do, too, and because of this many saw a reduction in device communications--not just the PCs and servers in the building. Businesses that needed replacement parts found that the trucks and supply chain can't move without at least local depot power. Local routers, switches, concentrators and stuff beyond the demarcation point that make Internet access possible were also down.
So what does all this have to do with the cloud, you're probably asking? Well, if you don't have power, you don't have Internet, not even over your smart phone, so a lot of good the cloud is going to do you...
Still, we all have customers. Almost all the rest of the World wasn't affected by the storm--their power was up. Having Email, Web sites, databases, your main apps, etc., in the cloud, meant that at least some business was still getting done.
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy should get us all thinking about our continuity planning. We should consider how we'd deal with such a disaster, and whether or not the cloud could help us if we had a prolonged local power outage.
I mean, it’s not like Alabama doesn’t get hurricanes and tornadoes, now, doesn’t it? Suppose what happened in Tuscaloosa last April happened in Montgomery (which is where I work). What would your organization do?
Enterprise feature of Windows 8; users can boot Windows 8 from a USB-connected external drive
For those of you who may not be familiar with Windows To Go, it’s a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable USB stick which allows employees to work from anywhere on any compatible device, while also helping IT professionals keep their organizations secure. In essence, IT provisions Windows 8 Enterprise on a certified USB drive and provides the drive to end users. A Windows To Go user inserts the drive into a compatible personal or company provided PC and boots into their personalized Windows 8 image.
Windows To Go has some important requirements for the USB device:
1. It must be on a USB 3.0 device. Again: USB 3.0!!! Three dot Zero.
2. Have at least 32 GB or RAM.
System Requirements for Windows To Go (for the computer it will run on)
Boot process: Capable of USB boot
Firmware: USB boot-enabled. (PCs certified for use with Windows 7 or Windows 8 can be configured to boot directly from USB; check with the hardware manufacturer if you are unsure of the ability of your PC to boot from USB)
Process Architecture: Must support the image on the Windows To Go drive
External USB Hubs: Not supported; connect the Windows To Go drive directly to the host machine.
Processor: 1GHz or faster
RAM: 2GB or greater
Graphics: DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.2 or greater driver
USB Port: USB 2.0 port or greater
As of today, the following are the USB drives currently certified for use as Windows To Go drives; as more drives are certified for use with Windows To Go this list will be updated:
Using a USB drive that has not been certified is not supported
So, I got to test drive this tablet Monday. Awesome. A real beaut!
Here are the published specifications. Of course, Surface Pro will include a full version of Windows 8 Pro, but not the Office Home and Student. I do not know what Surface Pro will include but as soon as I do, I’ll post it right here on this blog!
Surface with Windows RT Specifications
|Software ||Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote)|
|Exterior || |
10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37in
Dark Titanium color
Volume and Power buttons
|Storage || |
*1GB = 1 billion bytes; formatted storage capacity may be less
|Memory ||2GB RAM|
|Display || |
10.6" ClearType HD Display
|CPU ||Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3|
|Wireless || |
Bluetooth 4.0 technology
|Cameras ||Two 720p HD cameras, front-facing and rear-facing|
|Video ||Two microphones|
|Audio ||Stereo speakers|
|Ports || |
Full-size USB 2.0
microSDXC card slot
HD video out port
|Sensors || |
Ambient light sensor
|Power Supply ||24W power supply|
|Warranty ||1-year limited hardware warranty|
|Apps (Included) || |
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview1 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote); Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music, Video, and Games.
Final Office version will be installed via Windows Update when available (free download; ISP fees apply). Some features and programs unsupported. See http://office.com/officeRT
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