To Server or Not to Server… That is the Question.

One big decision many small businesses face is whether or not to deploy a Server in the workplace. Ten years ago, this was an easier question to answer than it is today. In the early 2000’s a class of server called Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) brought many “Big Company” services within easy reach for smaller businesses. Services like Exchange email, SQL Server and Remote Web Access gave many small business the tools to compete with much larger companies on a somewhat equal technological footing.

Fast forward ten years and many of the services offered by the SBS platform are readily available through various cloud services…

FCC to Draft New Net Neutrality Rules:

In a story published by Reuters today, the FCC is not planning to appeal the January court decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals (District of Columbia) that opened the door for Internet Service Providers (ISP) to impose restrictions on their connections. Rather, they plan on adopting a new set of guidelines for ISP’s specifically prohibiting the restriction or blocking of services on their networks. This is good news for Net Neutrality.

Small Business Email 101:

Email is the heart and soul of any business today. People use email for everything, but it amazes me how many small businesses I work with use email badly. I’m not talking about the words they type to communicate, I’m talking about the level of professionalism they display when using this most fundamental method of communication.

Here are three things I regularly see that make me shake my head:

Chromebook Experiment – Week 1:

Well we’re at the end of the first week of living the Chromebook life. and I have to say that other than a few specialized tasks that I have to perform on a PC, it has been a fairly painless experience. Fairly, of course indicating that there were a few snags through the week, but first let’s focus on the plus side of the ledger.

Comcast Announces Merger with Time Warner – Another Blow to Net Neutrality:

In a surprise announcement today, Comcast has stated that they will buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 Billion.

This is not good news for the future of Net Neutrality, because what was formerly five major Internet Service Providers will now become four. If the thought of having so much control over Internet access was bad for five players, as we argued previously, then four will be even worse.

Three Easy Steps to a More Secure Online Identity:

Our ongoing Experiment with the Google Chromebook has naturally led to more reliance on Google’s Cloud services then I had been used to in the past. This prompted me to activate Google’s 2 Step authentication for my account to make it more secure. Shamefully, I admit that I was slacking and should have done this long ago, but you know how things get. It’s fixed now, however the experience prompted me to write about how important it is to take every step possible to protect your online identity.

Let’s look three basic first steps everyone should use to protect their identity online.

Net Neutrality. Here’s Why it Matters to the Small Business Owner:

On January 14, 2014 there was a critical decision made by the US Court of Appeals (DC Circuit) in a case between Verizon the the FCC. In the case, Verizon challenged the FCC’s right to regulate Data connections because Data Connections were classified as a Enhanced Service and not classified as a Common Carrier service like telephone communication. You may or may not remember the brief uproar that occurred on both sides of the issue. Verizon and the other “Big Data” providers cheered and stated that the Government has no business regulating the Internet. Tech geeks, like myself started to get worried and dig out our Don McLean albums to mourn the “Day the Internet Died.”

Chromebook Experiment – Day One:

OK, so it’s been about 24 hours since I started using the Acer C720P Chromebook, and it’s time for some first impressions.

First of all, let me just say that the Chromebook is the fastest booting electronic computing device I’ve ever seen. Period. Seriously, I have CFL light bulbs that take longer to fire up then the Chromebook.