Tag | Business

If You Use Time Warner You Might Not Be Able To Read This

August 27, 2014Leave a reply

There was (is) a huge outage on the Time Warner Internet Access Network this morning.  Starting around 4:30am a maintenance upgrade has gone horribly wrong.  Which is to say, if your on Time Warner Cable it’s likely you can’t read this (until your service is restored, anyway).

Here’s the constantly updating map of the Time Warner Network online status.  Just like weather radar…  Red is bad, green is good.


The cost of this?  Well, Time Warner won’t lose all that much money.  It’s not likely that they will give credits/refunds for a few hours of downtime.  But, if your business is on Time Warner, it could cost a ton of bucks.  Can’t process orders?  Credit Card and Check payments?  Access suppliers?  Put that big “one day” promotion online?  Can’t do that if your Internet is down.

Which brings us to the real purpose of this little screed about the incompetence that is Time Warner Cable’s latest faux pas…  If your business relies on the Internet (and few do not anymore), you really need to have a plan in place for when bad things happen.  It’s not always bringing in a competitive alternate Internet feed, either.

What you really need is a team of people that have “been there, done that” and work with them to make incidents out of your direct control nothing more than a minor hiccup…  Instead of a money draining loss.

Give OPENRSM a call (or email), and let’s get your business back online and have your business prepared for when bad things happen.


Change Your Passwords and UserNames Now

August 6, 2014Leave a reply

It appears that the “Russian Mob” has pulled off something big…  Stealing 1.2 Billion (yes, with a B) usernames and passwords from a wide range of sites.

Anytime something like this happens, OPENRSM suggests you change everything.  Including usernames, passwords, on all accounts and computers.

The New York Times has the story….



Just How Much Personal Info Are You Giving Away?

July 6, 2014Leave a reply

It’s pretty well known that many websites make an effort to track you online.  Even when your not on their site!  But, just how much tracking is going on?

We decided to do a “quick and dirty” look at a few popular websites to see just how many different trackers are deployed.  And, it’s not pretty.  In fact, it’s pretty ugly.

  1. Drudgereport.com is by far the worst offender with at least 37 different cookies, trackers, advertising preference systems, etc. looking at you.
  2. The Kansas City Star’s website, KansasCity.com has 13 peeking at what your doing.
  3. KCTV5.com weighs in with 16. 
  4. The popular humerous headline site Fark.com is a heavyweight with 19 different trackers.
  5. And last, but not least, on our list is the popular fact checking site Snopes.com.  Which is using 28 different tools to see what your doing online.

Now, what happens when you block most (if not all) of these different little logical spy devices?  When tested on a 1.5Mbs DSL connection (fast enough to get results, slow enough to calculate differentials) we got some significant results.  Here’s what we did:

  • Blocked all advertising trackers.
  • Left open all trackers that serve a useful purpose (live support, security checking, etc.).
  • Loaded a predetermined set of websites and a Firefox Macro Script that would load each page in succession.  After one page fully loads, it loaded the next.

We cleared the system Cache between each test run (and we did 10 runs of the tests).

Well, go figure!  You can surf much faster with all that “spying into what your doing stuff” turned off!  Significantly faster (tests ranged from 10-14% faster).  And, we wern’t leaking all kinds of personal data, surfing history, etc. out to other people we just think have no business tracking us.

Want to protect your personal and business information?  Give us a call or email.  We can not only block out the “bad actors” that are tracking you and your employees every online move, it’ll get you a little bit more out of your existing Internet connection speed too.




How To Stop Annoying Interactive “Creepy” Ads

June 14, 2014Leave a reply

Have you noticed that when you search for something on Ebay, Amazon, Google, that the advertising on pages seem to know what you’ve been looking for?  For Example, look up “LED 3051 Strips” on Google and suddenly ads for lighting fixtures, Ebay auctions, LED suppliers and the like now appear on every page you look at.  It’s call “contextural advertising”.  Web sites are setting “cookies” in your browser that their advertising networks look at when you surf a page and then display advertising for the things you’ve looked for most recently.

Sometimes it’s okay.  You can find things that your looking for via an ad.  Sometimes it’s just creepy.  Don’t believe me?  Then google for “Hot Crossed Buns” and see what happens to the ads that are presented to you.  Yeah, creepy.  But, you can put a stop to sites that you don’t want tracking you (like Facebook) by using the Opt Out from Online Behavioral Advertising site.  A self-regulation effort that is honored by Ebay, Facebook, etc.  It’s not perfect.  But, it really helps.  Here’s how it works (from the page itself, which is located at http://www.aboutads.info/choices


  • Find out which participating companies have currently enabled customized ads for your browser;
  • See all the participating companies on this site and learn more about their advertising and privacy practices;
  • Check whether you’ve already opted out from participating companies;
  • Opt out of browser-enabled interest-based advertising by some or all participating companies, using opt-out cookies to store your preferences in your browser; or
  • Use the “Choose All Companies” feature to opt out from all currently participating companies in one step. GO

Need even more powerful blocking?  Call, email, or simply CLICK HERE and OPENRSM can take care of it for your business.



OPENRSM Advises Changing AppleID Passwords Immediately

May 28, 2014Leave a reply

It seems to be Apple’s turn in the data wars between “fast buck” artists and real companies.

Apple iPhones/Pads are locking up all over Australia and the UK and being held for ransom by a scammer that has managed to gain control of the devices.  Apple has yet to comment but incidents in the US can’t be far behind.  The “Find My iPhone” service seems to be the only link between the users whose iPhones and iPads are being “held hostage” by the scammers.

From an article in  The Telegraph: “Currently there is only speculation about how the attacks have been carried out. Apple has not yet responded officially,”… “With the possibility that this attack is linked to your ‘Apple ID’, affected users are advised to change your Apple ID password as soon as possible.”

And, so you should.



OPENRSM Advises All To Change Ebay and PayPal Passwords Immediatly

May 21, 2014Leave a reply

Last nite, an official PayPal blogpost contained nothing but a title…  “eBay, Inc. to Ask All eBay users to Change Passwords.”.  Which was quickly taken down only after being tweeted and posted to Facebook many times.  Later, Ebay reported on it’s own official blog that their corporate network security had been breached…  In late February and early March.

What to do?  Log on to your EBay account and change your password!  And do the same with your PayPal accounts (as PayPal is owned by EBay and data is shared between the two (i.e. sharing the same corporate network).

You can view the offical Ebay blogpost at: https://blog.ebay.com/ebay-inc-ask-ebay-users-change-passwords/


The Fastest Growing Version of Windows is??? XP?

February 11, 2014Leave a reply

What BetaNews thinks of Windows8

In January new installs of Windows XP outpaced new installs of Windows 8! Which, on it’s face, seems odd. Windows XP is 14yrs old, it’s “End of Life” is April 8, 2014. And more people are installing XP than Windows 8. Don’t believe me? Check out BetaNews for the raw info.  This is telling us something important about what people really want their computers to do for them, the acceptance of the software lifecycle, and just how bad a product Windows 8 really is.  Of the latest version of Windows8 BetaNews states it’s “A Frankenstein Product Stitched Together With Compromises“.  Not good.

What to do?  Keeping XP around isn’t a real solution.  With no more security updates that would be like walking into a lions den with a steak and a bottle of BBQ sauce instead of a whip and a chair.  And, Windows8 isn’t looking all that good either.  Or, is it?

The biggest problem with Windows8 is that it isn’t WindowsXP, or Windows7 (Vista doesn’t count, it’s so bad it’s worth totally ignoring).  But, back to the main issue, how do we make Windows8 as comfortable to use as XP, or Windows7?

Totally doable if you have the people that know how to do it!  You don’t have to engage in risky behaviors (keeping XP) in order to have the ease of use, solid performance, and low learning curve.  All you have to do is make Windows8 behave like Windows7.  And that is something OPENRSM can do.  With no extra costs, no extended configuration time, and little to no visual change in how you do things on your computer.

You need to upgrade yourself out of the WindowsXP trap and keep everything you like about it.  OPENRSM can do that.  IT is a Process, Not a Project.  “Let OPENRSM manage this process for you.





Tornado Proof your Business

April 28, 2011Leave a reply

It is Tornado season here in the Midwest, which makes for plenty of time in the basement listening to the weatherman and wondering if you’ll have a business to go to in the morning.  Well, you can replace inventory, fix a building, etc. but your data (accounting, sales, invoices, payroll records, etc.) is another story entirely.

And simply copying stuff to a USB Hard disk doesn’t cut it either.  What if your software is a couple revisions back?  Will the new, current version of your accounting system read that old data?  And if your backup is bad, then what do you do?  And we would lay odds that you havn’t tested the recovery of data off of your old tape or USB Disk backups either.  So you don’t really know if your protected, or not.

But it’s okay.  You havn’t been hit with an EF4 yet.  So how about we suggest that by realizing that IT is a Process, Not a Project you can implement a solid strategy for data backup and recovery along with a disaster recovery plan that can help protect you from a big twister, monster hail storm, flood, or whatever else might hit your business.  And let you recover fast.

The ultimate solution should:

  • Keep your Data Offsite and out of the region for better protection.
  • Stored in a secure datacenter built for backup
  • Include not only your data, but your programs as well
  • And have a written “Plan of Action” so if bad things happen, you’ll know what to do, who to contact, and when.

Want to quit worrying about your business when the weather turns bad?  Get ahold of OPENRSM, Inc. at 816-200-2220, email us at [email protected], or fill out the form below and we’ll help you implement safegards such that IT is a Process, Not a Project so you’ll always know your safe.

Amazon’s Cloud Problem Shows Why Hybrid Systems are Best for Business

April 22, 2011Leave a reply

Amazon’s EC2 and AWS Cloud Computing and storage services have been down now for over 24 hours .  Peter Pachal writes in his PCMag article today, “Since so many businesses rely on Amazon Web Services, a host of sites, many major, were down for hours, possibly days. I haven’t seen any estimates on the amount of potential dollars lost because of the incident, but it’s no doubt in the millions.”.  Many major businesses are no doubt impacted (Reddit and Quora for example), but this isn’t all that’s on what I normally think of as a quality cloud platform.  No indeed.  For there are hundreds and thousands of EC2 and AWS customers that provide virtual services for small businesses…  like yours!

Lots of small businesses who have no clue that everything they use to run their businesses are all really at Amazon arn’t very happy today.  And are losing money hand over fist.  Think about it, could you afford to lose nearly two full business days (so far) with the Amazon “Cloud Problem”?  How much would simply losing two whole days cost?  No sales, plenty of employees to pay, electric, water, answering phones and racking up loads of catch up work for when you would get your systems back.  The costs in lost productivity alone are very high.  Let alone the loss of faith by your customers when they see how helpless you are and that you made a decision about your IT (most likely without really knowing) to put everything in a single location.

Which brings up a very good point.  Cloud Computing isn’t the answer to everything.  It’s just another “Arrow in the Quivver” for IT Professionals to use when appropriate.  You see, it isn’t the “shiny” new techno tools that should catch your attention.  Nor the pure cost savings.  Nor the productivity gains.   IT is a Process, Not a Project.  It isn’t good enough to just put everything in the Cloud.  Just as it isn’t good to use a single anything in the IT world.  Diversity is a good thing insofar as if any one thing breaks, everything else runs.

Which is why OPENRSM only utilizes the “Hybrid Cloud” for our Cloud Computing services.  The most essential data stays onsite.  Backups go offsite (and out of region).  Some tools are located in one cloud off in the East.  Others are in another cloud in the West.  With no one element so essential that losing it would hurt you much (or, it would be easily and quickly replicated).

Which is why if your a small business in the Kansas City area, you need to contact us here at OPENRSM so we can show you how you can take advantage of Cloud Computing without being taken advantage of by Cloud Computing.