Archive for April, 2010
Here’s another reminder that we use and reccomend ESET Anti Virus;
Yesterday McAfee sent out an update to their virus definitions (update 5958), which caused McAfee to detect a critical windows file, svchost.exe as a virus; In many cases, this leads to the file being deleted, which, when you reboot, leads to your computer not working.
Of course, McAfee’s support forums collapsed shortly afterward under the weight of unhappy customers wondering what happened. The good news is that the problem will be fixable without a complete reinstall of your computer, but the bad news is, you’re probably going to need some technical help to make it happen.
If you are using McAfee, and your computer has problems, give us a call and one of our tech’s will get you back up and running, and while you’re at it, consider switching over to ESET.
Something small business owners should know about, is the federal governments initiative called “Standard Business Reporting”. Turns out this plan was announced by the Howard government all the way back in 2006, and like so many government ideas, it’s taken quite a while for it to move foward;
The basics of the idea is to simplify and standardise the communications businesses have with government, so that business owners don’t end up reporting the same information multiple times to multiple government entities, improve and simply the way business owners authenticate and encrypt their communications with government, and the big ticket item, moving the communication into the software businesses already use, even going so far as to make the reporting just a simple by product of natural business processes.
Pretty loft ideals. Considering how badly these types of upgrades can go, such as the Customs ICS upgrades that have been causing headaches for years (as far back as 2005 that I could quickly find via google), one could be forgiven for thinking this will turn out to be a giant headache for business owners. However, if we assume that after 4 years of planning and development it will work as intended, here’s what we can look foward to;
Business software such as MYOB will be able to put together the information for goverment forms, and even submit the data directly to the government agency. One imagines the first roll out will include such tedious things as BAS and IAS statements, as well as PAYG summaries at the end of the year (for those businesses that employ staff). What would really help small business owners would be the inclusion of reporting payroll information to Centrelink and the Child Support Agency.
MYOB (the software we use to keep the books here at Shift Computer Solutions) has not implemented SBR, despite launching new versions of MYOB only last month. SBR is being launched on 1st July, and we hope that MYOB will release a point update then to allow submissions via SBR.
Another big ticket item is simplifying the way businesses authenticate themselves when they want to transmit data to government agencies. Called AUSkey, the new system will eventually be a single sign on for ALL government agencies, but initially, will replace the complex digital certificate system currently used by the ATO. Because of this, we expect nearly all small business owners to sign up for AUSkey immediately, as the ATO represents the biggest reporting burden. Despite all these changes being in the works for years already, however, ASIC and other agencies are not expected to be on board for another two years.
One great bit of news; Provided you use AUSkey at least once a year, it will never expire. Anyone who has had ATO digital certificates expire will know how wonderful this news is!
It is unclear exactly what AUSkey really is, but from what has been published so far, it seems it will be a software solution, which you install on your computer, or a USB stick or even on your business server. We will do a follow up article after AUSkey is launched to provide more details. The ATO is saying AUSkey will be available from the 27th April, so we don’t have long to wait.
News out that Apple will be releasing a new version of their iPhone software, version 4.0. There are some great new features coming when the software is rolled out in June, here’s a short list of the really exciting ones;
With iPhone 4.0, certain functions will be able to run in the background; For example, you might be listening to streaming internet radio through an app, now you can exit that app and do something else, and the streaming music will keep playing. GPS applications will be able to keep tracking your location while you check in with another app too.
Apple have done exactly the right thing by limiting full multitasking to those core functions that need it, while not letting everything do it. This way you won’t chew through your battery too quickly, and you aren’t likely to have the phone lockup or crash, which is a problem with other systems where full multitasking is running.
For applictions (like games, for example) that are not allowed to multitask, when you exit them their state will be saved, so when you go back, the app or game will be exactly where you left it. This is perfect for most apps as you can go back to where you left off (which is all you really do with most apps on a PC too), but while you are away, the app is not chewing up your phones battery and processing power.
Realising that apps are the big reason so many people are switching to the iPhone, Apple are making it easier to organise them with a folderu system in iPhone OS 4.0. Now you can group similar apps together in a folder. The first thing I’ll be doing when I get the update will be putting all my games into a folder, so I won’t have to troll through them all to find other apps.
The new OS will let applications send notifications internally, rather than just from an external server as it is now. This means, for example, you could be cooking a recipe using an app, which allows you to tell it when you put the food in the oven; Instead of you having to time it yourself, you could close the app and go do other stuff, and when the time is up, the app can notify you the food is ready. This will be great for apps that upload stuff to facebook, flickr and the like too, so you can close them and do something else while the data uploads, and the app can let you know when it’s done.
New Mail App
The Mail application has been ugpraded too, so now if you operate multiple email accounts, you can see all your email in a unified inbox. Another welcome addition is mutliple exchange accounts, something that we will be using extensively as soon as it’s available.
Not a big deal, but something a lot of people would like, is the ability to set a custom background image for the entire phone experience, not just the lock screen. Well, soon, you will be able to.
There are plenty of other minor adjustments and updates, and we think that iPhone OS 4.0 will ensure the iPhone is the lead smart phone for at least another year or so; If Apple manage to release another hardware update later this year, the competiton will have to do plenty to close the gap all over again.