Windows XP End of Life

It was arguably one of Microsoft best operating systems to date.  But like all good things they must come to an end.  Any support from Microsoft with Windows XP comes to an end April 8th 2014.

It is important to note how the following would affect you:

  • Computer will work, Windows XP will continue to function
  • No new service packs, any new major bugs that are found will not be address
  • No windows updates, drivers and minor bugs will cease to be worked on
  • No 3rd party updates, your favorite programs updates may not support the OS

Some computer labs and users still use Windows XP as their favorite program.  With the current versions of windows there have been a lot of changes so I would recommend that you take the time before the expiring date to get familiar with one and upgrade to it.  While Windows 8 is the most current OS, I would current recommend Windows 7 professional in multi user environments.

Other windows OS life cycles

Desktop Operating System 11/4/2013 Current Service Pack End of extended support
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 April 11, 2017
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 January 14, 2020
Windows 8 N/A January 10, 2023

Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Filipino Community Center Offers a STEAM Lab Program for Low Income Youth

STEAM Lab, an acronym for  Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math in progress.

STEAM Lab, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math in progress.

The Filipino Community of Seattle is offering a technology instruction project for up to 50 youths starting this Fall.  The program is called STEAM Lab, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.  It will expose kids to computer literacy and robotics.  Students will also learn essential life skills training, collaboratively working in project-based teams, and developing problem solving skills.

Inspiring Technology Careers

The organization hopes to raise awareness not only about the challenges that face low income youth, but also about the opportunities available to those who pursue STEAM based careers, jobs with a growing demand in Seattle and around the world. “The hard work of improving those young lives and unlocking their potential is the goal” said Jon Madamba, project manager. The project helps low-income, immigrant, at-risk students in grades 8-12 located in Rainier valley, kids who traditionally don’t get the chance to consider careers in the technology field. Madamba himself, is currently employed in the high-tech software industry. He hopes to break down the barriers for these students of color to take computer-based classes at their schools and seriously consider high tech careers. Madamba will bring in other tech professionals to serve as mentors and secure real work experiences for the students in local companies.

Robotics and Computer Refurbishing

Partners on the project include RaaSIO, which will provide robotics training, and Free Geek Seattle, a technology non-profit focused on sustainable computing. Free Geek volunteers will train participants on how to refurbish computers and use free open-source software operating systems. The Filipino Community Center is accepting donations of old, unused desktop or laptop computers for the program. Interested corporate, government, or individual donors can schedule a donation drop off here.

Students who are interested in joining this STEAM Lab program, can call (206) 722-9372. The after-school classes will take place over 12 weeks at the Filipino Community Center, 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way, and East African Community Services, 7054 32nd Ave South.  The classes will use a portable technology media lab equipped with laptops, electronics, and robotics hardware.

Youth Voices Against Violence: Call for Audio Entries this Fall

Young members of our community have a lot to say about violence and they are asking youth around the country to speak up together.

Youth Voices Against Violence is a youth-led, anti-violence campaign through PugetSoundOff.org at the Metrocenter YMCA. The program brings youth together and equips them with media skills to propel their voices and help make a difference. The program culminates in an audio contest where youth across the country are asked to submit audio pieces about violence starting October 15, 2013 – December 8, 2013.

“This is an opportunity for youth to express themselves using music, poetry, dialogue or even a voicemail to demonstrate the urgent need for youth violence awareness and prevention,” said Colleen McDevitt, YTech civic voice specialist.

The contest will be judged by a panel of youth, youth media educators, civic leaders and radio journalists. Winners will receive local and national publicity in addition to grant awards to continue their advocacy work: $500 for First Place,  two $250 Awards of Excellence.

“Putting experiences into words can be really transformative for young people,” said Niki Warncke, YTech civic voice specialist, “but we still need more stories and voices represented to inspire more action and hope for change.”

Save the date for upcoming events connected to the campaign:

Workshop

Saturday, October 26 Youth-led audio workshop for those interested in creating a piece for the contest. PugetSoundOff Lab, Metrocenter YMCA, 909 4th Ave., 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Showcase

Thursday, November 7 Youth will perform their songs, poetry and monologues related to youth violence.

Triangle Art Gallery, Metrocenter YMCA, 909 4th Ave., 6:00-8″00 p.m.

Winners

Tuesday, January 7

Winners will be announced at the re-launch party of PugetSoundOff.org! Time and location TBD.

 

Submission Deadline: December 8, 2013, 11:59 p.m. (PST)

More details and an audio curriculum and program guide: http://pugetsoundoff.org/youthviolence
Connect Online: @youthviolence  fb.com/youthviolence
Contact: Niki Warncke nwarncke@seattleymca.org

New material on DigitalLearn.org for Both Students and Teachers

digitallearnDigitalLearn.org is the site created by the Public Library Association. For community members just learning computer and Internet skills, there is a section for learners.  For teaching staff, there is a blog you can participate in where people share resources. Teaching WordPress or Square Space to help people create websites is one recent topic. Jim Tobias posted the new Mozilla Web Literacy Standards.

WashingtonLawHelp.org Offers Self-help Legal Resources

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If you’re looking for legal help on almost any subject or for a lawyer, WashingtonLawHelp.org is a great place to start. They offer a wide range of tips, with a focus on the needs of low-income residents. There are help videos, self-help legal forms, and materials in other languages. If you’re a low-income person looking for help in a non-criminal issue, you can also get the phone numbers or even apply online for help through Washington Law Help. The site covers child support, housing, consumer and debt, abuse, public assistance, and senior issues. Their video collection includes a link to a video about what to do if you’re stopped by the police. A few recent additions or updates to the website include what to do if you’re being stalked, assistance for college students, a homeless youth handbook, and what to do about unpaid tickets to avoid losing your driver license…in Russian.

The site content is managed by the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) that provides free civil legal services to low-income people across Washington State. They use the national ProBonoNet platform and operate with support from the federal Legal Services Corporation.

Technology Alliance Launches New Developer Academy for Women

Sixteen women have just begun a year-long journey toward a new career in the software industry, thanks to the new Ada Developers Academy being offered by the Washington State Technology Alliance.  The students were chosen for their aptitude and interest in software development, despite very little or no previous experience writing code. All of the students have at least some college-level education and roughly half of the students speak one or more languages in addition to English.  The Technology Alliance will be accepting applications for their 2014 class.

The Technology Alliance is a statewide, not-for-profit organization of leaders from Washington’s technology-based businesses and research institutions.  Read more on their press release.

Microsoft Security Essentials Review

By Elena Opris at Softpedia.com.  Please visit their site for the full article.

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) represents Microsoft’s initiative to offer a free antivirus to users who do not want to pay for such a service, while still taking advantage of powerful features. It includes a real-time guard against various types of malware, like viruses, spyware, Trojans and rootkits.

The application offers support for Windows XP, Vista and 7, whereas Windows Defender is the built-in antivirus program in Windows 8 (they share the same virus definitions). Although it is widely regarded as entry-level security software, MSE has some advanced settings under the hood.

The Good

Microsoft Security Essentials implements a shell extension for scanning custom files, folders or drives when exploring the computer. The real-time guard can be disabled from the Settings panel. The interface is incredibly easy for novices to figure out. Resources usage is generally low when the real-time layer is activated and no scans are running.

The Bad

The notification system is intrusive. Too many messages keep popping up from the bottom-right corner of the screen when no actions need to be taken. During tests, confirmation for cleaning the same threats was often requested by Security Essentials.

When the tool is applying selected actions on infections, you cannot cancel the task, navigate MSE’s interface or minimize the window. The progress bar in the “Potential threat details” panel is frequently misleading when removing or quarantining files, aside from the fact that the job takes too long. It starts filling the meter rapidly and progressively decreases in speed.

The History tab does not include reports for each scan job, nor total scan time. Furthermore, it is not possible to schedule custom scans or definition updates, look for only particular file types, or specify the default action for real-time protection and scan methods individually.

The Truth

The bottom line is that MSE is a suitable security solution only for casual users who don’t venture too often in the Internet’s darkest corners. More advanced (or courageous) people will need to take the next rational step: upgrading to a more powerful product.