Honoring the Legacy of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor and remember the most courageous and hard working civil rights leader in our country’s history in Martin Luther King Jr. We remember all he did and all he accomplished for everyone in our country. However, to truly honor him is to do more than appreciate his accomplishments. To truly honor him we must live by his example and continue to push forward until we make his dream come true.

Compulink is committed to this dream by being a true equal opportunity employer, and by fighting back against discrimination is the work place. When you come to our office you will see a small company full of employees of many different races and backgrounds. We fight to make sure we can provide them with good lives and a good work environment.

We treat everyone in the office with respect and dignity no matter their job, wage, skin color, age, etc. It is easy to take that for granted, but we do our best to treat everyone right. At the end of the day the basic fact of treating another person with the respect and dignity they deserve, that is how we honor Dr. King’s legacy. We judge character not color.

“I have a dream that one day my four children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” Martin Luther King Jr.

Get the 311 from Artificial Intelligence

Imagine calling a 311 hotline that acts like a iPhone’s Siri without the frustrations, artificial intelligence may provide that one day. Cities employ a 311 call system to inform citizens of the standard information they need to know like when is trash day, how to file civic complaints, and how long the local pool is open. Now at The North Carolina Innovation Center, the use artificial intelligence (A.I) to help answer employee’s standard problem like resetting passwords. This allowed the IT department to focus on more time consuming and higher priority task. Now this A.I technology is being considered for cities 311 systems. Now this is still in an experimental phase, but this kind of technology has been developing for years.

Take Siri or Alexa for consideration, you ask a question and they provide answers for you. It is essential the same thing scaled to a city. This would allow the call center to manage calls to the phone operators based on need or complexity. So if you wanted to know something like road closures, an A.I response will be given to you. Essentially you city or town would have its own Alexa.

Aside from the traditional roadblock of government doing something to be more modern. The biggest challenge is making sure the technology would work. There is a lot of complexities to figure out. How the technology would handle a major influx of calls? Sometimes calls spike so  much it could shut down the switchboards. How do you insure it does not crash unexpectedly?

All these questions will be answered one day, but the biggest question is will people like it?

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Using both Cloud and Data Cneters to your Advantage

You can use both a public cloud service and a data center to your advantage in backing up you business. Depending on the size and scope of your business you may have a software application that lets you handle your business. Along with that you use cloud services and/or a data-center to back up the application and all your business data. Now with a cloud plus data center approach you can better leverage and protect you IT assets that your company relies on. It also allows you to mitigate the risk and can be cost effective.

How it works is that you purchase a public cloud service from a company like Amazon Web Services. Then you either have an in house data center or pay for data center services. What this allows you to do is not pay a one size fits all price, and allows you to split the risk. As an example you could back up employee work and non essential files. The data center can back up your essential files information and work applications.

This is very beneficial because you can save you money and will keep the most important information safe. Having everything in one place make it more devastating if there is a breach. Data centers are the most secure option, but the expense can be enormous. You only want to protect the most sensitive data and the most essential applications. A public cloud should protect the everyday non essential work of your employees.

There is a lot more to this to understand, and you you can read more about it by clicking here.

If you already doing this, feel free to tell us how this has worked out for you.  

Windows Lets You Walk Away

Microsoft is working on a new update for Windows 10 that allows it to lock your computer when you walk away. This feature is being called Windows Goodbye, and would use the same technology as Windows Hello cameras. Windows Hello cameras allow a user to log into their computer with their face. Microsoft still has to workout some issues, but expect to see this soon in Windows 10 builds.

The benefits of having this feature are enormous for individuals and companies a like. We use computer and laptops in a variety of different ways, for different purposes. Have you ever sat in a Starbucks or a coffee shop typing away. You may get a cup of coffee for a brief moment, but an unlocked laptop for that moment is at risk. The same principle applies to many situation, in that you step away from you computer and you forget to lock it. We all have our forget full moments, and this help prevent them for costing us.    

Now how Microsoft figures out what measure of inactivity would initiate the lock, is the question? If it is based on a timer of inactivity, it could cause problems. If you’re staring at a screen and you don’t move in like three minutes, will you computer just lock? Will it lock instantly you get up and walk away? Microsoft has work out the details and will before this feature goes to market.
This will prove to be a good feature once it is implemented. All users will find it beneficial for their work computers and personal computers. It may not seem like a big innovation, but it is an essential one. Cyber threats come in all shapes and sizes, and an open unattended computer is a prime target. Also you want to protect your work and personal stuff from prying eyes.

Cyber Security and Business Series:Planning how to handle hacks

So you started you small business and your have proper cyber security and while that is good, you should develop a formal plan of action in the event of a hack. If a hack were to ever take place, you are going to have a lot to deal with and answer for. A step by step instruction manual for you and your employees will save a lot of time. So this is your instruction guide on how to build one.

Step 1- Determine how to contact parties affected by a hack

For example if you own a retail business and someone hacks credit card information of  customers. Have a plan for who contacts who and how it should be done. Is first thing you do is contact all the customers personally? Do you send mass emails? Do you make phone calls, if possible to notify them immediately? Then who contacts the people who processes the credit card payments for you, to let them know of the hack? You may need to assign people to handle this responsibility beforehand. Have that decided before anything happens.

Step 2- Find out how to contact the authorities

You’re a small business and you don’t have an entire department dedicated to cyber security. You need to call the authorities that can help you. If you live in a massive city, the police may have a cyber team to help. In most cases you have to call the FBI local office. You can also call the U.S Secret Service and the Internet Crime Center. Have someone know how to get in touch with the authorities when hack occurs. You can’t waist time on this.

Step 3- Gather resources and determine who will be your forensics team

The FBI will conduct forensics for a criminal investigation and that will help. To get the full story from your side, you need a forensics team. You need them to see how the hacker gotten and stole what they did. They can also consult you on you cyber weaknesses and how to address them best. Determine who you will hire ahead of time, and have them ready in the event of a hack

Step 4- Talk to your cyber security provider

Being proactive and learning what you can from your provider is a big key. They can tell you what you need to do when a hack occurs to get their help. Know that ahead of time, so you can move fast to handle the problem.

Step 5- Make sure your Cyber Security Insurance will cover you

If you don’t have cyber security, you need to get it! Then make sure it covers all the potential threats your company faces. Figure out what they need you to do in the event of a hack.

Step 6- Have a Media plan

You may get covered in the media, whether it’s local or national. Determine a plan for handling that and don’t hide from it. Taking responsibility will and making sure people know you’re taking swift action, will help you save face.

Conclusion

Having a plan in how to deal with hacks and who would be responsible for what, can save you. It will allow you to move swiftly and address the matter. Next week we will build a step by step plan on what to do once you discovered a hack.

NYC Smart City Test Projects: Do they work?

New York City is running a few pilot programs around new smart city technology. A few of these test are worth keeping an eye on to city how they improve city life. Some of the test in action are the city WiFi stations, smart park benches, smart buses, and shotspotter. Keeping an eye on how they help New Yorkers will be the city’s way to decide on whether or not to implement them further.

WiFi Stations

If you live and work around Manhattan, you probably noticed the big signs with free city WiFi. This is the most obvious and largest of the smart city projects that you can see. However, the original criticism is that they are suppose to be for the poorer areas, so New Yorkers with low income can get WiFi. Now that most of the streets of Manhattan have free WiFi. This has been successful in most part. This allows New Yorkers and tourist to use free WiFi while strolling the city, and saves on your data plan.

Smart Benches

If you hang out in some parks in upper Manhattan you will have seen some smart benches. These benches are solar powered stations for your smart phone. The also track the amount of wifi connected devices to measure foot traffic in an area. Then park officials will determine what is needed in the area. It would be nice to have a place to charge a phone while spending the day in the park. No opinion on the device tracking yet.

Smart Buses

A few city buses have been equipped with a GPS in a route down in lower Manhattan. This will hope fully allow them to be guided through traffic, and be faster and more efficient. However; how this can work if they have to stay on a decided rout. All it will do is say where the traffic on the route will be,and there is now way around it. There has to be more to this experiment, and hopefully it can help easy the city’s overworked transit system.

Shotspotter

The city is testing out a technology that will allow the police to identify individual gunshots around the city. This is a rooftop technology that help triangulate and track the acoustics of a gunshot. So far the technology has worked well. Police found that 73% of shots identified by shotspotter were not reported to the police. This will help police respond to shootings, without relying on citizens to report gunfire.

What is the future of these and other programs?

The future looks bright for these pilot programs, and hopefully the will expand them. At the same time, hopefully the city will look to continue to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers through technology.

Compulink Technologies is an MBE Certified Firm that has been bringing top-notch IT Service solutions to businesses and government agencies across the nation since 1986.

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