Posts

Security Check: Time to Check Google Chrome is Up to Date

Google has released a critical patch to address new Zero-Day vulnerabilities that can impact Google Chrome. By default, Chrome is set up to auto-update but if when you first installed Chrome you happened to select to manually update, you’ll need to that now. If you’re unsure where you stand, here’s how to check:

  1. Launch Google Chrome
  2. On the top right of the Web browser, click the three vertical dots
  3. In the drop-down menu click Help
  4. Then choose About Google Chrome

If you see a message that reads: Google Chrome is up to date, you’re up-to-date.

If you learn you’re not up to date, then please click the Update option on the About Google Chrome page to initiate the Chrome update process.

Google recently found security vulnerabilities in Chrome and this update patches those security vulnerabilities. It’s important to keep software up to date all the time, and particularly around the holidays when scammers tend to up their efforts. As an aside, please remember to not open any emails, click on links, or open any attachments from people that you don’t know. Also, even if you do know the sender, if something feels off, call or email that person from a new email that you create, to check if they’ve indeed contacted you.

Using Deepfake Artificial Intelligence Technology to Protect

Sorted Solution is working with Special Effects Supervisor of Welcome to Chechnya and creator of the Digital Vail software Ryan Laney to make this new technology available to documentary filmmakers.

From Academy Award-nominated director David France comes Welcome to Chechnya, a powerful and eye-opening HBO documentary about a group of activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya.

Further complicating the production of the film was the need to protect the identities of interviewees. Director France wanted to put a real human face on the story, so conventional techniques of disguising one’s appearance, such as blurring their faces, filming them in darkness or hiring actors to stage re-enactments were not enough. Eventually he opted for advanced facial replacement techniques using Artificial Intelligence and novel visual effects technology, so the viewer could see real faces displaying real emotions, while still protecting the identities of the speakers. The approach is a “game changer in identity protection,” according to Documentary Magazine, and a brand new tool for documentary filmmakers.

See the HBO trailer, read The NY Times and Vox articles.

Section 179 deduction – technology

As the end of the fiscal year approaches, now is the time to ‘use it or lose it’ when it comes to your firm’s hardware and software wish list. As you likely already know, you’re allotted funds toward technology purchases thanks to the Section 179 deduction. Technology that qualifies for this tax break includes servers, computers, tablets, networking equipment and off-the-shelf software, among other items, per BizTech.

While you don’t have to spend your money on technological upgrades, you might want to since unspent funds are collected as tax! Schedule a free consultation now to discuss your tech needs for the coming year and re-invest those resources to better support your plans for 2021. To schedule a meeting to review your specific tech goals, email hello@sortedsol.com or call us at (206) 316-9990.

Apple releases their next version of macOS Big Sur; plus new M1 chip coming soon

Apple released their next version of macOS Big Sur on November 12th. We know the new features are exciting. It has a new design and aesthetic, a customizable control center, and the rest, well, it could be a big Sur-prise.

As such, Sorted Solution recommends you wait to upgrade production workstations. In a few months, Apple will release initial updates with bug fixes and the software developers such as Graphisoft, AutoDesk, BlueBeam, Adobe, etc. will release updates that address compatibility issues with the new MacOS. That will be a much better time to consider an upgrade, on the software side.

Apple will also be releasing new hardware with its own designed M1 chip shortly. Should you upgrade your hardware?

Good question. While this new chip is impressive, it will be the first of its kind, and again, Sorted Solution would recommend waiting. Developers won’t have their software ready for the new chip for a while. Have all of your 3rd party software vendors released updates to support the new chip? We would imagine it will take them around a year to support it fully. Then M2 will likely be released by Apple.

If you’re in the market for new Apple hardware at this time, we would recommend purchasing hardware with Intel chips as opposed to the new Apple M1 chips. The Intel chips are now the most mature of its product line and will be for a couple of more years.

Remember, you want your production workstation to be stable, mature, and supported by 3rd party vendors.  Being on the cutting edge of any technology can be a risk to your productivity; not the challenge to add on to an already taxing year.