Helpful tips for September 2014

Peter (Spiceworks) Goodbye Windows XP ! By now you’ve heard about Microsoft Windows XP End-of-Life on April 8th, 2014. After that date, Microsoft will not release any more free hotfixes for XP, opening the door for hackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities in the OS. The security risks of running an unpatched operating system have prompted IT departments and home users everywhere to drop XP like a bad habit, signaling the end of an era. But before we say farewell to Windows XP forever, let’s reflect on some eye opening stats about the operating system and the impact that it’s had on the world since it launched on October 25, 2001. Approximately 500 Million copies of Windows XP are still in use Even though market share for Windows XP has decreased over the last few years, according to recent estimates by ComputerWorld, as of March 2014, ?XP still runs on approximately 30% of the more than 1.6 billion PCs in the world. That means that XP still runs on a mind boggling 500 million computers worldwide. Let’s wrap our heads around that enormous figure for a moment. 500 million is: * Greater than the population of more than 200 countries! Only China and India have populations larger than 500M * More than the number of cars produced worldwide from 2005 thru 2013 (496M) * More than the albums sold by Michael Jackson, who only ever sold 400 million records * 33 times more than the records sold by ?Justin Bieber, who has sold 15M records to date In addition, 500M Windows XP OS installs: * Assuming an average install size of 750MB, have a footprint of 375,000 TB of disk space. That’s enough space to store 75 billion 5 minute long MP3s or 133.9 million hours of HD video at the highest quality on Netflix. * Would take 57,077.6 years or ?849 lifetimes to install assuming a 1 hour install / set up time (but we know you’ve reinstalled the same copy of XP at least a few times in the last 12 years) Microsoft has released hundreds of Windows XP security hotfixes If you think that trusty ol’ Windows XP is rock solid by now and that you don’t have to worry about security after EOL, think again. New security vulnerabilities in Windows XP are discovered all the time. You can rest assured that hackers will try their best to exploit new weaknesses after XP EOL. ? Here’s the supporting evidence: As of March 2014: * There were 741 security related hotfixes for Windows XP, 57% of which were rated critical * ?On average 5 security updates were released each month over the 12.5 year lifespan of XP * 2500+ general (including non security related)? hotfixes were released for XP since 2001, more than 200 each month! Approximately 95% of all ATMs in the world used Windows XP ?ATMs around the world overwhelmingly currently run on or used to run on Windows XP. Despite years of repeated warnings from Microsoft to upgrade systems, most major banks around the world are not close to completing the migration process. In fact, according to ATM manufacturer NCR, on April 8th, 1.7 million automated teller machines will still be running XP?. As of March 2014, there were: * ?2.6 million ATMs in the world * 2.47 million ATMs that ran XP at some point in time * An estimated 1.7 million ATMs that will not be upgraded to a new OS by April 8th, 2014 Microsoft spent hundreds of millions on Windows XP launch “Madness” On ?October 25, 2001, CompUSA stores held “Midnight Madness” events, where customers could be among the first to spend $299 on XP pro, or $199 for the upgrade version of XP. Bill Gates himself signed autographs at the New York Columbus Circle CompUSA location. Later that day, ?Microsoft hosted multiple Windows XP launch events on several continents as a part of their “Yes you can” campaign that cost of over $200M. At the New York flagship launch event, Rudy Guliani and the singer Sting made guest appearances in addition to Regis Philbin, who hosted a Microsoft themed edition ?of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” On top of that, Microsoft obtained the rights to use Madonna’s “Ray of Light” song in a TV commercial promoting Windows XP. How much does $200M buy? * 668,896 copies of Windows XP Pro at the $299 retail price * 11,111 years of Office 365 Mid Sized Business subscriptions for 100 users ($15 per user per month) * 8 million adult tickets to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City ($25) ?In China, 9 out of 10 copies of Windows XP are pirated Perhaps the country that has the most to worry about post Windows XP EOL is China. Here are several eye opening facts about Windows XP, security, malware in China: * 57 percent of China’s Internet users rely on Windows XP systems to go online * ?70 percent of China’s Windows XP users had in the last 13 years never chosen to install the company’s security updates * In a recent Microsoft forensic investigation, 91% percent of store bought PCs in China were infected with malware. In the same 169 PC study, none of the machines bought from resellers had an authentic version of Windows installed. The Windows XP “Bliss” desktop background cost millions of dollars ?The famous default Windows XP background was taken by a former National Geographic photographer, Charles O’Rear, who snapped the photo in the rolling hills of Sonoma County, California. The image has no doubt been seen by billions of people worldwide and is rumored to be the 2nd most valuable photo ever sold, putting it in the range of several millions of dollars.? For comparison, the 3 most expensive photos ever sold that we have data on cost $4.34M, $3.89M, and $3.66M respectively. _________________________ From the pages of Donna’s travel diary The Ski for Light experience In late January 2010, I along with some friends from Toronto Canada traveled to Utah to take part in a week long event called Ski for Light. Each year, this event occurs in several countries around the world including the United States and Canada. It was founded over 30 years ago by a group of Blind Norwegian skiers and in so many words: It gives an opportunity to a blind person to learn to ski if they have not done so before or it gives a blind skier the opportunity to have some real fun. This marvelous event lasts for a week and each skier is provided with their very own guide. Match ups are carefully done using the skier’s experience and the skier’s preferences while they are there for the week. Accommodations are excellent and the skiing area is top notch. As a first time skier to this event, I did not go with any expectations but at the end of the week I was sure glad that I had gone. I met so many new people; both guides and blind skiers from different countries. I skied, fell, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Every day I along with my fellow skiers were taken by bus to Soldier’s Hollow where we skied for most of the day. Everyone was so friendly, positive, and above all, they made you feel welcome. I was fortunate to get a terrific room mate and we have promised each other to remain friends and return next year; this time the event is going to be held in Colorado. At the best of times, blind persons are often challenged when it comes to finding ways to enjoy such types of events. So just imagine my elation at having been able to attend one of these. The guides and workers were so helpful and so committed. I was truly impressed and I hope that others like me will find a way to attend next year and in coming years. I am definitely going to continue my skiing efforts back in Canada and will add this to my ice skating activities. Visit to learn more. I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels. On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio mysteries. Take them with you wherever you go! In the car, on the plane, on the bbus or train, at the beach, anywhere! Affordable, portable, (computer or i device) and you could either purchase or Subscribe for unlimited access to my library at]]>

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