Author Archives: ckassing_7w84w19i

Networking Event

Lee’s Summit Mo – 1/31/19

LEE’S SUMMIT SOCIAL Thursday, JANUARY 31, 2019 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.     Short Presentation at 4:30 p.m. REGISTER HERE  

Focused for Business invites you to the ACA Business Club of Lee’s Summit Social, on Thursday, January 31st, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the New Axiom Brewing Company, 949 NE Columbus St. Lee’s Summit, 64086. If you are interested in reaching out and building high-quality relationships in the Lee’s Summit area, you will not want to miss this Social…. Complimentary appetizers (and cash bar) will be provided.  Bring a friend and join us.
See you on Thursday, January 31st. Hosted by:  Focused For Business 

Pixel 3 users – Great Feature

I drive and am in meetings quite a bit and I watched the video below showing how to turn on a feature that should be on by default.   The feature gives you a little man icon next to the bottom that lets you do many things that usually require some swipe or key groupings that are hard to do or hard to remember how to get there.   Check it out and enjoy the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3xl. 

Apple Users – HEIC Picture format and the pain for windows users.

Apple released a new format that they are pushing through their devices that is replacing .jpg with .heic which is a smaller file size that enables you to take more pictures before you fill up your storage space.

Windows and Android users are stuck in the middle as Apple users will share files and albums and the Windows users can not open them or even send them to a vendor like Walgreens to get them printed.

I have found a free converter that will let you convert the .HEIC format ..

It is called Imazing HEIC Converter and it is free.  I could not find any malicious software that came with the install.  It will provide a screen to drag and drop files onto, which will then prompt you to choose a location that it will create the jpg files.

I Hope this helps.   Craig

Christmas Deals on Laptops

I have gathered a few and will continue to add to this list for latest sales for Laptops for the Holidays. 

Costco US homepage


Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop – Intel Core i7 – 1080p


Model  i7573-7994GRY-PUSOnline Price949.99$Less150.00$
Your Price799.99


Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Touchscreen Laptop – Intel Core i5 – 1080p – Black

$479.99 After $70 OFF

ACA Business Club Lee’s Summit Social at New Axiom Brewing Company – November 29th

Local Networking Opportunity – Kansas City – Lee’s Summit MO

We will start putting unique events to meet other professionals and would be glad to meet those that are part of our Social Network.  Craig

Thursday, NOVEMBER 29, 2018

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.


Focused for Business invites you to the ACA Business Club of Kansas City – Lee’s Summit Social, on Thursday, November 29th, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the New Axiom Brewing Company, 949 NE Columbus St. Lee’s Summit, 64086. If you are interested in reaching out and building high-quality relationships in the Lee’s Summit area, you will not want to miss this Social! Complimentary appetizers (and cash bar) will be provided.

In addition to providing a great opportunity to meet and build relationships with fellow members and guests, at the Social you will learn about the exciting expansion plans for the ACA Business Club in the Lee’s Summit area.

Bring a friend and join us on Thursday, November 29th.

5 new Alexa security tricks to watch over your smart home

5 new Alexa security tricks to watch over your smart home

Alexa just got a little better at keeping your home safe.

Amazon’s surprise event Thursday brought us over a dozen new products from the online retailer. But that wasn’t all. We also got new Alexa updates that anyone with an Alexa-enabled device can use.

Security was a big focus with new features that can keep your home safe. Here’s a look at the new ways you can secure your home with help from Alexa.

Alexa Guard

One of the biggest security-focused features coming to Amazon’s devices is Alexa Guard. Using your Echo devices, Alexa listens for noises that indicate danger, like a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off or the sound of breaking glass.

If Alexa detects something suspicious, you’ll receive an alert on your mobile phone with audio clips of the sound.

Alexa Hunches

Alexa and its voice assistant competitors are focused on becoming smarter and more conversational. Amazon announced one more step in that direction Thursday with the introduction of Alexa Hunches.

It tries to mimic a human’s hunch that you’re forgetting something or something doesn’t seem quite right. For example, if you say “Alexa, goodnight” but you’ve left a light on or door unlocked, Alexa will suggest to lock the door or turn off the light and do it for you.

Alexa doorbell API

Alexa-enabled security cameras from RingArlo and August, along with Amazon’s own Cloud Cam indoor security camera, are getting the capability to work with the Amazon Cameras Recap API. This API allows you to view recorded video clips by saying, “Alexa, show the event that just happened at the back door.”

Away Lighting

A feature of Alexa Guard, Away Lighting intermittently turns on and off your smart lights to make it look like someone is home when you’re away.

Alexa Guard uses machine learning to turn the lights on and off in patterns that appear natural, aiming to deter intruders.

Doorbell chime announcements

In addition to doorbell video expansions, Amazon also announced doorbell chime capability. If someone rings your smart doorbell, you’ll hear a chime on all of your Echo devices.

Those are only a few of the things Amazon announced Thursday in Seattle. For a complete recap of all the hardware, software and service updates introduced, visit our post here.

From the article above, it sure looks like Alexa is bringing some really nice enhancements.


So are you getting a lot of SPAM CALLS ?? Lets stop them and here is how ..

Great article from Nicole Lyn Pesce over at

Robocalls are on the rise — half of mobile calls are expected to be scams in 2019 — but so are ways to stop them.

The next time another unknown number unexpectedly rings your phone, send it straight to voicemail.  That’s the safest way to weed out a legitimate caller from the scammers that spammed Americans with more than 30 billion robocalls in 2017 that cost consumers $350 million.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Half of all mobile calls are expected to be spam robocalls in 2019, according to call protection company First Orion, which analyzed data from 50 billion calls over the last 18 months. It found the percentage of spam phone calls has jumped from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to 29.2% in 2018 — and it predicts that number will hit 44.6% by early 2019, and it will keep rising until half of all calls are spam by the year’s end.

“Year after year, the scam call epidemic bombards consumers at record-breaking levels, surpassing the previous year, and scammers increasingly invade our privacy at new extremes,” said Charles D. Morgan, CEO and Head Data Scientist of First Orion, in statement.

Spam call blocking service YouMail also reports that a record 4.2 billion robocalls blew up our phones in August 2018 alone, with the average person getting 7.7 unsolicited calls. And robocalls increased 33.2% to 28.5 billion calls in the first eight months of this year, compared to the 21.4 billion robocalls in the same period in 2017. And this increase is partly due to more people screening their calls; turns out, ignoring the robocalls spurs the scammers to place even more calls while trying to get through.

“The problem is, the technology making these robocalls is cheap and easy to make, so it’s a low barrier to entry,” Susan Grant, the director of consumer protection and privacy at the Consumer Federation of America, told Moneyish. “They obviously work often enough that more scammers keep entering the market. And it’s hard for law enforcement to go after every single robocall, because there are so many of them.” It is speculated that it costs just $0.01 for a spammer to place a spoofed spam call.

Clever con artists often try profiting off of topical subjects, like calling about donations following a national tragedy, such as powerful hurricanes like Florence, or a slew of phony IRS and debt collecting calls during tax season. They phish for your personal information, or get you to agree to buy shoddy products and accept fraudulent charges. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently warned that the calls asking, “Can you hear me?” or “Do you pay most of the bills in your home?” are probably trying to record you saying “Yes” to use your own voice against you in authorizing charges on a bill or a stolen credit card.

And while the FTC received 63,000 complaints about illegal robocalls each month in 2009, that number increased almost sixfold to 375,000 complaints a month last year. So the FCC created a Robocall Strike Force in 2016 to hang up the con artists. The team is trying to develop technology to pinpoint where these calls are coming from so that they can shut them down. It also adopted new rules earlier this year allowing phone companies to proactively block calls that are likely to be fraudulent, like appearing to be from area codes that do not exist. The FCC also began exploring ways to set up a reliable system to verify that a phone call is really coming from the phone number that it claims to be coming from to stop “neighborhood spoofing,” where scammers place calls that appear to be local because they have the same area code that you do.

“What people can do right now is use the tools that are being made available to them, and be very careful not to give personal information — like your name, Social Security number or birth date – to somebody who calls them out of the blue, whether it’s a live call or not,” said Grant.

And here’s what else you can do to protect yourself in the meantime.

  1. REGISTER YOUR NUMBER: Register with the free National Do Not Call Registry if you haven’t already at or 1-888-382-1222. This will stop the legit marketers from calling you within a month.
  2. DON’T PICK UP: When you get an unsolicited call from a number you don’t recognize, let it go to voicemail. Many spammers won’t leave a message. “I hate to say you that you can’t trust any callers these days, but you certainly have to be careful,” said Grant.
  3. NEVER SAY ‘YES’: If you do answer the suspicious call, or respond to a voice message from an unsolicited caller, do not answer “yes” or offer any personal information during the conversation. If the caller asks something like, “Are you the homeowner?” or “Can you hear me?” politely respond, “Where are you calling from, and why do you need this information?” The sooner you hang up after sensing a call is sketchy, there’s less of a chance you’ll let something slip.
  4. THE IRS, SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE DMV AREN’T CALLING YOU: Hang up if the caller claims to be from the IRS, Social Security, the DMV or a similar agency, as government officials will only ever reach out to you through the mail, unless you call them first. And many spam callers claim to be debt collectors for debit and credit cards, student loan offices, banks and retailers. Hang up and contact your bank, credit card company or loan office directly to see if they actually need something.
  5. CHECK FOR CHARGES: If you fear you’ve let something slip to a scammer, check your banking, credit card, phone and cable statements for unfamiliar charges. Call the billing company and dispute anything that you didn’t knowingly authorize. Demand proof if they claim you were recorded approving the charge. And you can also contact the Federal Trade Commission to dispute charges.
  6. SEE WHAT YOUR PROVIDER PROVIDES: Look  into what spam and robocall controls your phone carrier provides to block unwanted and anonymous calls, like AT&T’s Call Protect, or T-Mobile’s Scam ID and Scam Block. “Most of these are free, so check your phone company’s website to see what’s available,” said Grant.
  7. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: Robocall-blocking apps are also popping up. Hiya, free for iOS and Android, flags potential scam calls, adds context to where unknown numbers might be to coming from and lets you report scam numbers in the app. Nomorobo for $1.99 a month on iOS works similarly to Hiya. Truecaller is a free iOS and Android app that alerts you to fraudulent calls before you pick up. And the free Should I Answer? app for Android crowdsources nuisance numbers, so users can warn each other about the worst unwanted call offenders.

And check out the FCC’s web resources for blocking robocalls.



Gmail New Interface — Really Like it — Get it now

How to get the new Gmail right now

Gmail is undergoing a massive redesign and gaining plenty of new features. Here’s how to get it right now!


Google just announced a huge update to Gmail, adding new features such as high-priority notifications, confidential mode and better offline support.

Watch this:The new Gmail is here

Not all features will be available at launch. Those immediately available include smart replies (similar to the Gmail mobile version), the option to snooze emails as in Inbox and a new tool panel on the right side of Gmail’s interface for easy access to Tasks (also revamped) and Calendar.

The process to get the new look and features will depend on the type of Google account you have. If you don’t have the option to enable the new feature, whether you’re a G Suite admin or a regular user, keep checking back. Google is rolling out access today in waves.

Regular Gmail users

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You can enable the new look and features by clicking on the Settings cog in the top-right corner, then selecting Try the new Mail option.

G Suite users

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you have a Gmail account that you use for work or school, then the account administrator will need to enable the new Gmail through the Early Adopter Program.

The administrator will need to use the Google Admin console and opt in to the new Gmail.


FBI Router warning

The bad guys are at it again.  A rare request came from the FBI to all u.s. citizens.  They would like for you to reboot your home or business router and I would include your cable modem or DSL modem also.  This is something you should do every once in awhile anyway as it ensures you’re running the fastest you could be running.

The bad guys have put some software out there that infects a wide range of routers and a simple reboot, I have been told, will help resolve the issue and keep them out of your business.

One of the things we do on a regular basis is update the firmware that’s on your equipment so it has the latest tech as well as the latest security.  Going to your manufacturer’s website will help you through that process if you want to attack it yourself.

Here is the link to the article from the FBI.


IBM Bans Flash Drives at their facilities


Memory sticks CC0 licensed

Security trumps convenience, and IBM is taking that to the next level with its employees. The company has decided that removable storage devices are just too risky to use, so they’ve been banned.

As The Register reports, IBM’s global chief information security officer, Shamla Naidoo, recently informed all employees that data transfers to removable portable storage devices is now prohibited. That includes USB sticks, SD cards, and any form of portable hard drive.

 Instead of portable storage, IBM wants everyone using the cloud and more specifically, IBM’s own File Sync and Share service, which it also offers to enterprise customers. That may work for IBM employees on campus, but what about those out in the field carrying out repairs and upgrades? Rather than having a patch on a USB stick, secure cloud access will need to be established instead.