Google Pixel 2 XL vs. Samsung Note 8

Google Pixel 2 XL vs. Samsung Note 8

Google Pixel 2 XL vs. Samsung Note 8

Weeks ago, I promised a comparison between the Google Pixel 2 XL vs. the Samsung Note 8 smartphones. I purchased the Pixel 2 XL prior to Christmas in 2017, and as a #brandpartner for Verizon wireless, I was given a Samsung Note 8 a few weeks ago to test and talk about.

I’ve finally got a few weeks under my belt of using the phones at the same time to do basically the same things, and I’m finally ready to give my impressions.

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

The Basics

First of all, I’d like to preface the comments on the comparison of the Google Pixel 2 XL vs the Samsung Note 8 by stating you can’t go wrong with either of these phones. There are differences, and frankly if you could combine the two of these phones you’d have the perfect smartphone… and probably the most expensive. So I get it, you can’t have everything in one phone, but a guy can dream, right?

A couple of other things before I continue. I use both phones with a plastic cover on the back and a glass protector on the front. This ads some bulk and minimal weight but keeps the phone protected against dropping and normal wear. I am also comparing these phones in their ability to conduct business more than as a “leisure” device. So taking photos of kids will be less important than ability to run apps, answer emails, etc. (although I DO take a ton of pictures of my dogs).

Here is some basic spec information on the Pixel 2 XL vs. Note 8.

SpecGoogle Pixel 2 XLSamsung Note 8
Price$949$950
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1Android 7.1
Screen Size6", 2880x1440 P-OLED6.3", 2960x14440 AMOLED
ProcessorSnapdragon 835Snapdragon 835
RAM4GB6GB
Storage (as tested)128GB64GB
MicroSD SlotNoUp to 256GB
Rear Camera12.2MP12MP w/second 12MP telephoto
Front Camera8MP8MP
Battery Life12:0911:11
Size6.22 x 3.02 x .31"6.4 x 2.94 x .34"
Weight6.17 oz.6.88 oz.

Look, Feel & Design

Both phones are roughly the same size, weight and “bulk”. But I’m used to a large phone so this isn’t a big deal. Even though it’s technically larger, the Note 8 just seems smaller and lighter. It is thinner and maybe that lends itself to tricking it’s the smaller phone. The bezel is also smaller on the Note  8 than the Pixel 2 XL which provides some extra screen real estate at the top and bottom of the screen.

In true Google fashion the screen is good, but not awesome. My impression of Google in regards to their hardware, and in some cases their software, is here it is, it’s functional and wonderful, now go use it. The Note 8 screen is probably the best screen I’ve seen on a smartphone. However, watching YouTube videos (for work!) seems better on the Pixel 2 XL because the screen isn’t as “stretched” for some videos. One note regarding the Pixel 2 XL and burn-in… I’ve had the phone since the release date and have had no burn in visible on the device.

Something that is a great addition to most Android phones in the last few years is the existence of a fingerprint sensor. Both of these phones have them as a way to log into the phone, but the Pixel 2 XL seems much more easy to use because of placement than the Note 8, which sometimes forces more manipulation of the phone in order to reach the sensor especially when using a back cover.

One final point on the look & feel, typing is easier on the Google Pixel 2 XL. No idea why, just fewer typing mistakes on this device. They are virtually the same size, so I wish I had a reason but I do not.

Advantage : 

Battery Life

If you use your phone primarily as a business communication device battery life is a primary concern for you. And both of these phones offer excellent battery life with a 3520mAh battery on the Pixel 2 XL and a smaller 3300mAh on the Note 8. The slight decrease in batter size on the Note 8 IS noticeable when you’re working away from a charger, taking lots of phone calls, or using the screen a lot. Testing data reveals the Pixel 2 XL has a very impressive battery life of over 12 hours when being used consistently to view the web over a 4G connection, while the Note 8 comes in at just over 11 hours. Real-life experience has shown me the Pixel 2 XL to be even more protective of it’s battery level.

Both batteries charge extremely fast when using their provided charging plug and cable. And one feature I really miss on the Google Pixel 2 XL is the presence of wireless charging, which is a feature of the Samsung Note 8.

Advantage : 

Performance

Both of these phones have the same processor, the Snapdragon 835. And while the Note 8 has a slight advantage in actual processor testing data, it just feels like the Pixel 2 XL is quicker and better at handling requests to process data. Even with it’s added 2GB of RAM, the Note 8 occasionally lags or locks on certain requests, while the Pixel 2 XL just hammers it out quickly and smoothly. Now don’t get me wrong, the Note 8 is wonderfully quick and opens multiple apps well, again it’s more of a feeling that justifiable. And when you have invoicing, social media, mileage tracking, calendars and more open, seconds count.

In regards to network and voice performance, the Google Pixel 2 XL is better here as well. I work in a downstairs office with only a very small window. The rest is concrete walls on three sides, so it’s a bit of a bunker. When using the Note 8, I get a noticeable dropping or cutting out of calls in comparison to my Pixel 2 XL with two bars compared to three on the Pixel XL, and even the Wi-Fi radio seems to have a better, longer-reaching connection.

Advantage :

Software

Here’s where some of the comparisons have issues. The Google Pixel 2 XL is running Android 8.1.1 (Oreo) and the Samsung Note 8 is running 7.1.1 (Nougat). This software upgrade is just a few days away from the Note 8, but as it stands now there are a few things that lean towards the Pixel 2 XL. Security upgrades, notification dots on app icons, picture in picture on videos and some notifications on apps that are killing your battery are an advantage Oreo brings and that means the Pixel 2 XL wins.

There also is the “stock” Android versus the modified Samsung Android experience debate. Stock is just that, no extra default apps installed, no bloatware, and no Bixby (Samsungs smart assistant) which even has it’s own button on the Note 8, and also which I have disabled.

Advantage :

Special Features

One of the drawbacks of the Google Pixel 2 XL vs. the Samsung Note 8 is what was a benefit in the software section above… stock. On the Pixel 2 XL you get what you get. No SD memory slot, smaller RAM, no S-Pen, just a stock version of Android 8 running on an awesome device.

So the Note 8 easily wins this category. First, the memory expansion. I use my extra memory for a lot of things. I store music (I am a DJ), I store web files, I store data backups, things that will come in handy if I cannot get access to the Verizon network (which frankly doesn’t happen too often). I do miss the expandable memory, which is really why I paid the extra money for the 128GB version of the Pixel 2 XL.

So let’s talk about the S-Pen. The S-Pen is one of those things you don’t miss until you do. I so rarely use it, but when I do it’s for something pretty important like a diagram, quick hall layout when talking to bridal clients, a website example, or just a quick note. I actually do use it quite a bit on my Samsung Chromebook Pro, and before that on my Samsung Note 10.1 2014 tablet. Both of these are larger form-factors and easier to write, but the pen works the same across all of these devices.

Advantage : 

Sound

This is going to be quick. The Google Pixel 2 XL is the best sounding smartphone I’ve ever owned. Period. The dual front-firing speakers are louder and can broadcast sound regardless of how you are holding the device. The Note 8’s small speaker on the bottom of the device gets covered up or just is so small it doesn’t carry very well.

This sound advantage continues to the phone itself as well. The sound quality on normal phone calls is better than even wired phone systems, and if used on speaker phones there is no comparison of the Google Pixel 2 XL vs. the Samsung Note 8.

Also, Bluetooth seems more stable and less “laggy” when on a phone call. That’s probably a product of Oreo vs. Nougat, but I call it like I see it.

Advantage :

Camera

Both of the cameras on these devices are spectacular. The Google Pixel 2 XL is a bit more balanced and more accurate for colors, and the anti-shake correction on videos is pretty awesome if you are using it attached to something that moves, in a vehicle or on a bike, and just walking or running.

But again, the cameras on both the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Note 8 are great features, but many articles claim the Google Pixel 2 XL camera to simply be the best phone camera available and I agree. So crank up the resolution on those photos of whiteboards, presentations, or anything else for work, then get them saved to your unlimited Google cloud storage for use later.

 

Google Pixel 2 XL photos

GP2XL-wall  GP2XL-flower  GP2XL-farley

Samsung Note 8 photos

SN8-wall  SN8-flower  SN8-farley

Advantage :

Summary

Well, looking at these results and forced to make a decision, I would choose the Google Pixel 2 XL vs. the Samsung Note 8. I’m sure shortly after I publish this Android 8 will get installed on the Note 8 and we’ll have to do this again, but as it stands now, the Google Pixel 2 XL just has too much going for it starting with the better operating system, then easier to use form factor, easier to use fingerprint unlock reader, better sound, better battery life, and snappier performance.

However, if you want that extra 1/4″ or so of screen real estate, a seemingly smaller footprint, wireless charging and ability to add a very large SD storage card, the Note 8 is for you.

Both phones are significant increase in quality over their last versions as well as their flagship competitors, so really you can’t go wrong. And the large footprint is simply awesome if you use it for many business tasks, note taking, and communications.

You can check out both phone and dozens of others at your local Verizon store, or at VerizonWireless.com.

Have any questions or suggestions on going paperless? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, many of us meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter (#MobileLiving) to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#BetterMatters #brandpartner

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

Episode 64 – Make Sure You Have Backup Systems

Episode 64 – Make Sure You Have Backup Systems

Backup Systems

Do you have a critical piece of

Now I know this makes me a bit out of the ordinary. Most people still default to notepads, post-it notes, or random pieces of paper to keep short reminders, meeting notes, and ideas, but maybe it’s time for you to buckle down and think about using your technology to do this job, and de-clutter your life and business.

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

Always have a backup system!

Ever been in a position where your data is corrupted to the point of not being able to do work? Or how about a critical piece of hardware doesn’t work and you’re dead in the water?

Back in my tech support days, a guy called in and said he was losing $1000’s of dollars a day because his internet connection was down. We went around and around trying to get him up and running, and had to run a technician out because it appeared to be a line issue. Again he stated it would cause him to lose $1000’s a day! $20, $40 or $50 a month for a second internet connection doesn’t seem like too tough of a purchase when you’re losing that sort of money a day.

How this topic emerged was I just worked on a night club’s sound system last night. After an hour or so of troubleshooting the entire system while it was LIVE entertaining nightclub customers, I narrowed it down to the sound board was freezing (confirmed with dozens of similar issues on search).  We really had three options. 1) Stay the course and have the sound interrupted every four or five songs… not a good solution but not impossible to do. 2) Hotwire it by running mics and everything through the Denon controller straight through to the amps. Or 3) replace the board with the old board and hope everything worked. We let it ride for the night, went back to the old system the next day, and sent the board off to be worked on or replaced.

At BeLoud Entertainment, my mobile DJ company, I have two computers, both have music software and lighting software installed. If the light software fails the lights can all be set to sound active. I have an extra speaker in the trailer in case one of the speakers blows up. There’s at least two microphones (one wired) so I can always communicate. And if my board fails, I can run straight from my computer to the speakers.

I also got a call from a regional construction company where a computer was held hostage by malware and the person responsible wanted $1000 in bitcoin to de-encrypt the data files. That person backed up everything EXCEPT his computer, which held all the files for bid, financial records and more. Had that data been backed up the solution would have been to wipe the computer, re-install Windows, and push the data back onto the device.

Some potentials backup systems.

  • Chromebook or cheap laptop to work if main computer is down or fails
  • All data should be at least backed up to off-device storage, then off-site.
  • Backup internet connection, even if it’s a mobile hotspot, or a last resort somewhere offsite like a café so you can still work.
  • Mobile devices. It’s rare to get a lot of money back when trading in your mobile devices, so keep on around in the event that your shiny, brand-new Note 8 fails and you need something.
  • Communication methods like Skype, a VOIP-phone, Facebook messenger, text and others can be valuable when your main communication method fails.
  • Have your website backed up so if that network, or even just your server, fails catastrophically you’re down for hours and not weeks.
  • Office systems like Google Drive or WPS Office can get you buy when your computer fails or your copy of Microsoft Office starts to have issues.

The best way to ensure you have backup systems in place for your critical processes is :

  • Buy a reliable computer, tool or other device that is absolutely needed to get your job done.
  • Have a cheap backup of that critical piece. If you use a computer all day, every day, get something cheap to get the job done.
  • Back up to off-device, or better yet, off-site data backup.
  • Keep that old mobile device if you’re not getting good trade-in value to make sure you always have a backup phone if something catastrophic happens to your primary smartphone.
Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us!  #BetterMatters #brandpartner

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

Episode 63 – Upcoming Changes for Google Mobile Results

Episode 63 – Upcoming Changes for Google Mobile Results

Episode 63 – Upcoming Changes for Google Mobile Results

Added as a Verizon Brand Ambassador

Google Mobile Results Changes

In early January 2018 Google announced some upcoming changes to the search results that will be presented based on the type of device used to access the search.

One of the ranking factors that will be used in presenting mobile results as of July 2018 will be page load speed. In the past, page load was not a high ranking factor for mobile results, so this is a fairly big change.

So now is the time to start thinking about redesigning the page, moving to a faster host, or making significant other changes to the page to increase your load speed on your mobile page.

Google has already been using page load speed as a primary factor on desktop sites, but will now us speed in determining mobile results.

Now Google has stated it will be used more to punish very slow sites by moving them down the page ranks than it will be to lift faster pages, but I expect it to become more significant in ranking mobile results in the near future.

So the tip for better mobile results on Google searches is to start planning for a mobile site, get it optimized, get it running on a faster server, and get it indexed by Google and ready for the change in July 2018.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#BetterMatters #brandpartner

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 57 – Google Pixel 2 XL

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 57 – Google Pixel 2 XL

The Pixel 2 XL is the anxously awaited android smartphone from Google. It runs a stock version of Android O(reo), and is loaded with a lot of great features.

Here’s the specs

  • Operating System : Android 8.0
  • Cameras : 12.2MP Read – 8PM Front
  • Processors : Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835
  • Display : P-OLED capacitive touchscreen, 1440x2880 pixels (18:9 ratio), Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Memory & Storage : RAM-4GB   Storage 64GB & 128GB
  • Dimensions : 6.2x3.0″
  • Colors : Black, White, Blue
  • Batter : 3520 mAh
  • Sensors : Active Edge squeeze technology
  • Ports : USB-C 3.1 Gen 1
    • No headphone jack
    • No expandable memory slot
  • Materials – Aluminum unibody – Water and dust resistant

Google Pixel 2 page at the Google Store

There have been discussions of screen burn-in, a bluish tint and a few other things.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : Episode 56 – Capterra

BBP : Episode 56 – Capterra

In this episode we talk about how Capterra can help you find the right software solution to manage your business.

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

Tech News

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update released on Oct 17

  • As always, running updates has certain risks, as talked about on last week’s podcast
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to run the updates, possibly a couple of hours.
  • Always back up and know there’s that small chance the backup may fail and you’ll either have to revert back, or it could cause your system to become unstable.
  • Features.
    • People Integration – You can now pin friends, co-workers, business partners, family members, etc to the task bar for easy access. It can even be used to contact via Skype
    • Fluent Design – a new design language from Microsoft regarding animations and effects. Some included changes are blur effects, easier resizing of apps and windows and a “shinier” design for the Start Menu.
  • You can also pin website shortcuts to the task bar. This was available in previous versions of Windows, and now it’s back.
  • New emojis – dinosaurs, genies, zombies and more are part of the Unicode updates for the fall creators update.
  • Cortana – Cortana notifications can now be seen on your Android phone. And you can control Windows a bit with Cortana, including locking, signing out, shut down or restarting your computer.

Google Advanced Protection

  • Meant for high-profile celebrities, politicians and other possible targets for hacking.
  • Advanced security features for your account (gmail, google drive, etc)
  • Need a physical key to unlock your data (USB)
  • It also locks down your files and email to ONLY Google apps, eliminating the possibility of using 3rd party programs to attain the data.
  • This will make using Google’s products a bit more tough, but if you’re concerned about information security more than you are about ease of use, this may be a good solution.

Capterra

Capterra is a website with a mission to match up businesses with the right software to optimize any part of the operation. Whether it’s project management software, bookkeeping, marketing, testing or just about anything else, Capterra can suggest the right software taking into account budget, ease of use and more.

  • Guest : Claire Alexander – General Manager of Capterra
  • http://capterra.com
  • Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Capterra/
  • Twitter : https://twitter.com/capterra
  • Website to help find a software solution for your business
  • Capterra has been around since 1999
  • Virtually any sort of software for your business organized by software type, then displaying the most used, best cost effective or easiest to use.

Have any questions or suggestions on going paperless? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

Subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

Planning & Budgeting Your New Website – BBP EP 53

Planning & Budgeting Your New Website – BBP EP 53

In this episode we talk with Scott Wild from NISC about the budget and organizational steps in planning and developing a new website, the upcoming iPhone, and Twitter Night Mode

BBP : Episode 53 – Scott Wild Talks About Planning a New Website

Scott Wild, the Onboarding & Employee Engagment specialist at NISC and owner of the Wild Trivia Tour, joins the podcast to talk about planning and budgeting for a new website. Scott and I have done several podcasts and other projects together in the past, including working for the same advertising agency in the same role a few years apart, so there’s no one I trust more when it comes to planning and pulling out the steps for a new site.

Let’s Start with the Basics

Websites are now the storefront of most businesses. It used to be billboards, newspapers and then television ads, but now many consumers find you online. So it’s important to have a user-friendly site that funnels potential clients through the buying experience. It’s not unlike how grocery and department stores are set up in that you walk through the store to get essentials, then back through everything again before being shown the “add-ons” at the checkout. You should find  out what your visitors want, get them there quickly, then take them through the desired path while still serving their needs.

  • Planning Meetings : planning up front will decrease development time (and therefore cost) and get you the site you want.
    • Who is the audience(s)?
    • For each audience, “where do they itch?” Or what do they want/need to find on your site?
    • What do you want them to do right now? What’s the call to action?
  • Development
    • What CRM? WordPress? Drupal? A specialized CRM that’s built for your industry? Custom build? What’s the best fit for your business or organization?
  • Hosting
    • There are many criteria for hosts including cost, operating systems, server specs, bandwidth speed and limitations, and many, many more.
    • Choosing a good host can be a determining factor when Google and other search engines rank your site.
  • Domains
    • Pick a domain that matches your business name for the primary domain, then you can select “vanity” domains for landing pages
      • For example, my DJ business is BeLoudEntertainment.com, but I also own BismarckWeddingDJ.com.
    • OWN YOUR DOMAIN! This can be important when you want to move the website, or just to make sure the domain is handled correctly for updating.
    • Your domain name is just like your business name. Keep it safe!
  • SSL’s

Some Advanced Planning Tips

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • Can be expensive
    • Can take a fair amount of time
    • Can be very punitive if “black hat” methods are employed, even to the effect of getting the domain shot WAY down the list
    • Is affected by proper titles, descriptions, keywords, page content, page layout, links (inbound, outbound and internal), page load speed, server response speed, and more.
  • Digital Marketing
    • Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are critical in sending good traffic back into your website. Use them correctly and often.
    • PPC – We didn’t really talk about this on the podcast, but a good Google AdWords or LinkedIn campaign can be a great way to generate leads
    • If you really want to make a splash, there are large volume marketing pieces like Spotify or other campaigns that can be fired up, but most have a minimum spend.
  • Security
    • Make sure the site is backed up and has some security apps or plugins monitoring the site. This is critical when, not if, something bad happens.

There were so many other items to discuss on this podcast, but in many cases it’s better to discuss in person or over the phone. If you have questions on developing a new website, or would like to discuss in more detail, please call 701-214-6271 or contact BeBizzy Consulting and let’s find out how we can drive more customers to your website.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

GoDaddy Smartline : BBP – Episode 51

GoDaddy Smartline : BBP – Episode 51

In this episode we talk about Android Oreo, Skype, Chromebook Bluetooth issues, Facebook bandwidth limitations and GoDaddy Smartline.

BBP : Episode 51 – GoDaddy Smartline

  • New Android version is officially Oreo.
    • Google announced this on during the solar eclipse in New York.
    • Faster, better battery life, better copy and paste, picture in picture.
    • No specific date on release, but most compatible devices should have it by the end of 2017
    • Watch the announcemet here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDLc-QPFNs0
  • My phone situation
    • The cell towers seem to be back up as my connection is much better
    • However, I did choose Skype as my inbound/outbound backup.
    • Worst part is now when I get a phone call, my phone, my Chromebook, my iPad and my computer all ring. I finally stopped leaving Skype on all the time on my Chromebook, so that removed one of the devices.
  • One issue I’ve discovered is common with Chromebooks in general is a bit of an issue with Bluetooth audio. Seems that streaming audio via BT on the Chromebooks is a bit flakey So factor that into your decision making. LOVE the Chromebook, but that makes two big things I don’t like, the other is a limit on
  • Facebook will start distributing files based on the ability of users to view the content due to their bandwidth.
    • This means that if you have a large video file or even a very large image, it may be NOT shown to users on slower mobile devices, or even slower home and office connection
    • This does not mean you should NOT use video or images, it just means you should make sure you take some time to compress or optimize your file before you upload.
    • This will make sure your message, advertising, or video of your dog playing will get seen my more people.
    • BeBizzy Consulting can help you with your social media. Contact us today!
  • GoDaddy Smartline
    • 100 minutes per month
    • 100 texts s/r per month
    • Add a second number so you don’t have to give out your mobile
    • Make and receive calls using the Smartline business number.
    • Also use Smartline to send/receive text messages

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Change Your Passwords… Again : BeBizzy Break Podcast Episode 50

Change Your Passwords… Again : BeBizzy Break Podcast Episode 50

EPISODE 50!! AND, it’s our one year anniversary. So all around a big day for the BeBizzy Break Podcast!

In this episode we talk about what NIST has recommended for a new password strategy.

BBP : Episode 50 – Change Your Passwords… Again

First of all, congratulations to Dana and her team at the North Dakota Recreation and Parks Association on their new website. We launched http://NDRPA.com earlier this week. It’s a WordPress site with a calendar, subpage navigation and more. Check it out!

Also, I rescued two websites earlier this week from hacking. I’ll use this as my weekly reminder for all of your to back everything up. Websites, databases, financial information, personal photos… everything. Better to put a little bit of prevention and spend a little bit of money now than pay a bunch of money to possibly recover (or worse, possibly NOT recover) lost data.

Passwords

Back in 2003, Bill Burr (not the comedian) was a mid-level manager at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. They recommend standards on all sorts of things like official weight calibration, timing, and even technology guidelines like passwords. In 2003, Burr published NIST Special Publication 800-63 Appendix A, which spelled out the proper guidelines for creating and managing secure passwords on websites and networks. Those guidelines are still followed today.

The standards included a long password (8-12 characters), upper and lower case alphabet charcters, numbers, special characters and random. Sounds like every website you sign up for, doesn’t it?

But now, Mr. Burr has stated that in regards to this document and policy, “Much of what I did I now regret.” That’s an unfair statement by Bill. Back in 2003, we didn’t have much history of what computer network security was, and we definately didn’t have the case studies of how criminals and mischief-makers would do to gain access to computer networks. All of his recommendations sounded solid, and while possibly flawed, are still in use today.

What NIST and computer analysts are finding though is humans always find an easy way to get around something tough, and frankly secure. The requirements would allow a user to create a seemingly random password like “Pa5sW0rD”. You and I both know that says “PaSsWOrD”, but the computer sees it matches Burr’s recommendations.

So, when it comes time to update the password becasue of time requirements placed by the system adminstrators, or a data break. instead of creating a new, secure passwords, often we add something simple to it. “Pa5sW0rD” becomes “Pa5sW0rD1”, the “5” and “s” switch places, or something simple like that to remember but still meeting Burr’s recommendations.

Well the computer hackers have also figured out our shortcuts and have added some smarts into their password cracking to test out some of these easy switches. And it’s working.

In June 2017, NIST has published a new version of NIST Publication 800-63, which outlines a very different recommended password architecture. What started out as a project to simply review and slightly revise Burr’s policy recommendations became an eye-opening look into how users and criminals were using passwords. And results came back with a HUGE change in password policy.

Instead of a hard-to-remember, cryptic password, it was instead recommending four or five easy to remember words all pressed together. This is easy for the user to remember, change and use, and tough for the computer hackers to crack due to the length and randomness of the password.

A cartoon on XKCD.com drawn by Randall Munroe estimated that a password created using Burr’s methods, “Tr0ub4dor&3” would take only three days to crack using current methods. A password of four words all mixed together would take 550 years. That password was “correcthorsebatterystaple.” Which one do you think is easier to remember, and change? And if you DO need to change the password, which is now only recommended in the event of a data breach or similar event, you can swap out an entire word instead of just adding a “1” or “!” to the password.

It will be interesting to see how this is adapted and implemented across websites and networks. Most rules won’t allow passwords regardless of length, to not contain numbers, special charactes and upper/lower case, so there’s a lot of things that have to change for these guidelines to become common, but it makes sense.

Do you have thoughts on this or anything else technology related? Let me know on Twitter or at BeBizzy.com!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Can You Hear Me Now? – BeBizzy Break Podcast Episode 48

Can You Hear Me Now? – BeBizzy Break Podcast Episode 48

Have a favorite small or home business phone system tip? I’m looking for help!

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 48 – Can You Hear Me Now?

I am currently having a problem with my phone.

A few weeks ago, my mobile phone connection has significantly dropped off in my home office. I’m in a basement with only a small window directly above my head to the outside world. I get nearly no bars on my phone connection, and my 4G LTE is suspect.

So, I’m looking for some possible solutions to make phone calls with my clients a reality. So far I’ve considered :

  • Skype In and Out
    • Relatively cheap
    • Sound quallity is suspect
  • Ooma & Vonage
    • Extra equipment including a desktop phone
    • Upfront cost then relatively cheap
  • Grasshopper and RingCentral
    • Established, proven product
    • Little bit more expensive per month
    • Still needs some additional equipment
  • Other VOIP Solutions
    • Cost is low
    • Worried it goes away in a year
    • Technology is sometimes good, sometimes a little sketchy.

So let me know what you’re currently using if you are also unable to go exclusively with your smart phone, and we’ll talk about my decision in a future podcast!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats : BBP Episode 47

Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats : BBP Episode 47

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 47 – Joining, Participating In & Hosting Twitter Chats

Have you joined a Twitter chat? What has been your experience if you have? Are you ready to host a Twitter chat?

One of the biggest big advantages of the Twitter platform is for large groups of people to unite around a common topic to entertain, educate and provide a common voice. Leveraging that to learn about a topic is a great way to keep up with just about any category or specific subject.

But joining a Twitter chat can be a little tricky, and for many of us, scary. First of all, forget the scary part. You can join without anyone even knowing you’re there, so let’s just get that out of the way now. So that leaves the technical part. It’s usually as simple as following a hashtag. Tools like Hootsuite and others allow you to both follow a hashtag, and even create a seperate stream with only that hashtag, which makes it really easy to play along.

Joining a Twitter Chat

Some easy tips

  • Participate! Ask questions, submit answers, share slides and other media . The biggest waste of your time will be to sit and watch the chat go by with nothing contributed by you. Follow people to interact with you if the content is valuable, entertaining, or helpful.
  • When responding make sure you use the #Hashtag to ensure the admins and other followers can see your question, response or generate statement. This will allow everyone to use or respond to your post.
  • If this is a q/a chat, look for Q1, Q2 or something similar from the admins, then respond with a similar format A1, A2, etc. along with the #Hashtag
  • Follow the rules! Don’t promote your website, service or other items unless it’s allowed or requested by the hosts. Breaking these rules will 1) get you slapped on the wrist, or 2) get you banned from the chat

Creating a Twitter Chat

Maybe it’s time you’ve finally created your own Twitter chat. You have a following, you have a topic, now you just need a vehicle to get your message to the masses and maybe use it to drive education and maybe even revenue!

If you are looking to build a community and host a Twitter chat there are also a few things to consider.

  • Recruit a few ambassadors to help you with the chat by attending all of them, RT’ing invites and posts, and participating with answers and follow-up questions.
  • Pick a hashtag that is unique, easy to remember and is about the topic. Use the same hashtag on every chat, every notice, and every recap.
  • Schedule it when you think a large number of followers can attend. Many of the small business chats above are in the mid-evenings when fewer people are working, it’s after dinner and many of us would be watching TV or doing other leisure activities. Chats targeting moms might be mid-afternoon when the kids are at school or taking naps.
  • Prepare your questions, answers and related information in advance, and maybe even schedule in Hootsuite or other tools to make sure the timeline is followed.
  • Interact with other users as they share and respond to your questions. You never know what will come up or be revealed.
  • Prizes are a great way to get people to attend and interact.
  • Guest hosts can add a bit of energy into the chat with a new voice and their following.
  • Don’t be afraid to change things as they emerge. If you get some feedback that a different time/day will work better, or more or less of a type of content works better or worse, make changes.

Twitter chats can be a great way to stay informed of changes in a variety of topics. They can also be used to show your expertise in a subject, and network with a very significant group of experts in your field. Search one out and join a Twitter chat today and who knows, maybe tomorrow you’ll be leading your own Twitter chat!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

And as promised, photos of Medora, ND.

bison