MIcrosoft and Windows 8 Sharing YOUR information?

24 08 2012

As a company that writes software that holds the important data of numerous businesses, safety is a must. Since our software is run on PC’s, we are always on the lookout for anything that will threaten a computer’s security. With all the talk of companies sharing too much information, it was interesting to come across this next piece of information about Microsoft and Windows 8.

Here in the office I use a Windows XP operating system but at home I run WIndows 8, and I must say from the very start I was awfully impressed with its speed and functionality. The only issue is this one feature they have implemented. It is supposed to be helpful and safe, but it leaves behind a lot of holes in security!

So this new feature is called Windows Smart Screen, which by default is on. Its purpose is to filter every application you try to download from the internet to see whether it is safe or not. Let’s say you want to download a game, so you click the download button and the installer is opened. Here, Windows Smart Screen gathers information about the application and sends the data to Microsoft. If they reply saying the application isn’t signed with the proper certificate, the user gets an error that tries to stop them from completing the download.

That sounds all fine and dandy, right? Hey Microsoft is looking out for me! They’re trying to make sure I don’t download an app with a malicious virus attached, right? Maybe. The biggest problem is that Windows 8 is set up to IMMEDIATELY tell Microsoft about every application you download. Does this strike you as a privacy problem? Because it should! So now Microsoft has all this information about your downloads. They then become a prime candidate for being subpoenaed or receiving National Security Letters that are intended to monitor targeted users. So now, given the right legal documentation, someone can request to see all of your downloads in the past year. Even if you have nothing to hide, that’s still a huge invasion!

But wait, it gets worse! It may even be possible to intercept SmartScreen’s communications and learn about what each individual is downloading! Angry coworker, neighbor, boss, family member? All you need is one unpleasant person from someone’s past to get a little tech savvy and this person’s sensitive data could be compromised! One more fun little fact; the server is configured to support SSLV2. This is KNOWN TO BE INSECURE! In the past it has been susceptible to interception, so that’s what we are trusting our personal information with!

Interesting, right? So now let’s get to fixing the problem. 1. Open the control panel and select the System & Security link. 2.Select Action Center 3. Expand the security list and scroll down, looking for the Windows SmartScreen option. 4. Click the Change Settings link. 5. Change the radio button from the default option to the bottom option. NOW you’re ready to go!

There are many lessons to learn from in this day and age, one of which being “Don’t trust all default settings!” At Advantec, we are always looking for ways to improve our software and its security. For clients in important businesses, we want to provide the safest and most reliable software we possibly can!

For more information about Windows SmartScreen, see this link for a simple FAQ. If you want some more information on Advantec’s security, visit www.findsocialservicesoftware.com!





Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence- Memory Disorders of the Modern Age

24 08 2012

The typical Memory Disorder comes in the form of Alzheimer’s Disease for the elderly, or banging your head hard enough for the accident-prone folk of the world. However, some new types of memory disorders are appearing recently. One man was unable to receive help from most doctors, because the disorder was unlike one that they encountered before. 

The man, who chooses to remain anonymous, had been experiencing very strange symptoms. Usually with Alzheimer’s, one looses pieces of information slowly over a period of time. With concussions, one usually only loses the memory attached to a time frame on or near the incident. In this patient’s case, every piece of information he had gathered were vague memories that laid just outside of reach. He attributed it to an advanced case of déjà vu, but his sense of recognition seemed more advanced than that. It was as if he was reliving all of the past events, recognizing every new moment as an old one. The doctors were baffled, and had no idea how to treat him, until a younger and willing doctor came into the picture.

The young doctor’s name is Chris Moulin. Upon meeting the patient, Moulin noted that he was extremely friendly and sharp as a tack with the exception of any recent memories. He also noted that the patient would often fabricate details to fill in the missing pieces of his memory, making a true diagnosis slightly more challenging. 

Memory disorders are very fascinating to think about, because how exactly is it that our minds retain information so well? Do we understand our own thought processes well enough that we can find the exact step where the process gets halted and call it a memory disorder? It makes you think how exactly do you know when something is familiar? How do we tell memory from dreams? When we search our memories, how do we truly know we aren’t simply making it all up as we go along?

Medical associations have come up with a few simple ways to test and improve memory. One is to check our memories against sources such as books and video. Studies suggest that when we call up memories such as flashbacks or specific moments, our brains replay a compressed version of that memory, with details always subject to change. Some events get emphasized while some get dropped completely. 

Even stranger is the way that modern science is affecting research on this topic. In labs all over the world, scientists are discovering different ways to turn memories on and off. They even figured out how to transfer a recognition response from one brain to the other, what they are now calling “hybrid memories.” They define it as neural activity patterns that encode familiarity with new places and experiences. 

So are they saying that all of our memories are a hoax and that nothing we remember is actually real? No, not at all. We do need to consider that it may not always be the major memory glitch that causes the problem. Traumatic experiences or psychotherapy can distort memories just enough to inspire a false accusation. Every year, inaccurate eyewitness testimony continues to send innocent people to prison. 

So what’s the best thing to do? Take everything with a grain of salt, remain skeptical, and remember that absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. If you remember the sights, sounds, and smells, chances are you’ve experienced that memory. You might not remember a particular detail, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

We here at Advantec are always keeping up with medical research that directly correlates to the industries that our clients work in. Some of our major clients are in the Personal Care, Assisted Care, Mental Health, and Group Home Industries. We are proud to support them and help their businesses run as planned, so more time can be spent with their clients and less time in the office!

If you want to test your own memory, go to the Selective Attention Test. It is a one minute video requiring no sound that will quickly challenge your memory!

For more information about Memory Disorders, see UCSF’s link! To learn more about Advantec’s software for Group Homes, Mental Health, Personal Care Services, and Assisted Care Services, visit Advantec’s Web Page!

 

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Assisted Living- How the ACA Affects YOU!

22 08 2012

As the software provider for many clients in the Assisted Care and Personal Care industries, we understand that matters that are important to you automatically become matters that are important to us, too! Take, for example, all of the health care reform acts currently being discussed. Many senior living companies, as well as our own, have been concerned about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It could change the way that the companies are run, and how they provide insurance to their employees. Many were concerned at first, however, they may not have realized that the act also comes with many positive aspects as well. The bill contains funding for innovative methods of providing care for senior living residents, and that could have a huge positive impact on the industry.

Health care providers can access these opportunities by getting involved in a number of initiatives and programs that seek to increase the supply of geriatricians, develop managed care models, and promote community-based and non-institutional care. Don’t believe us? Brookdale Senior Living, one of the largest providers of senior services, took advantage of the bill just last month. Through it, they received over $7,000,000! The money came from an ACA initiative that made nearly $1,000,000,000 available to a variety of health care innovators. 

This all happened when Congress passed the health care reform law back in 2010. One of the President’s major plans was to improve health care while saving money. Many provisions of this act strive to improve access to long term care and community based services that support seniors and people with disabilities. This is all great news for our clients!

The ACA launched the Health Care Innovative Awards not too long ago. Organizations were called upon to pitch projects that could improve the quality while reducing costs to the health care system. About 3,000 organizations applied with their programs, and about 100 of them were awarded with $900 million of grant money made available through the health care law- Brookdale being one of them! The one hundred recipients of the awards have projects that are estimated to save the health care system an estimated $1.9 BILLION over the next three years.

Besides the Awards Program, there are a number of programs introduced by ACA taht could benefit our clients in this industry.Most of them involve a transition strategy in which movement away from institutional settings is encouraged and movement towards a community based organization is recommended. 

Another intiative is to push to increase the amount of geriatricians. One primary concern is that the rate of senior citizens is growing at too fast of a pace for the rate of certified geriatricians to catch up, leaving a shortage of doctors. To help solve this program, the HHS is establishing a grant program to help those looking to go into that field of medicine assistance with tuition and fee assistance. 

 

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We will continue to look for and post any information that is applicable to the industries that our clients work in. Here at Advantec, we only want the best for our clients, and we will go to any length to do so. For more information on healthcare and this industry, visit http://www.alfa.org.

For more information on CSM software for the Personal Care, Assisted Living, Mental Health, and Group Home industries, visit us at http://www.findsocialservicesoftware.com. 

 

 





Local Client Giving Back to Community

22 08 2012

We here at Advantec are proud to support one of our loyal clients, AMBUCS. AMBUCS is a non-profit service organization consisting of a diverse group of men and women who are “dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities.”

There are three ways in which this amazing organization gives back. The first is through various forms of community service. This program is known as the AmBility program- a name that combines AMBUCS and Mobility. This program was adopted in 1998 and is focused on equipment and processes. One of the projects in this program is the AmTryke Project. AMBUCS chapters have provided more that 6,000 trykes to children with disabilities. Another project is the Ramp Building project. Members and volunteers build ramps to create accessible homes and businesses. The third project in this program is the Accessible Playgrounds project. Building and refurbishing playgrounds that can be used by children with disabilities. It involves adding universal usage playground equipment or building an entirely new playground.

The second program that Ambucs offers is the AmTryke program. Mentioned earlier, this program distributes trykes to children with disabilities. What is interesting is that these trykes are specially made to be powered by using your hands instead of your feet, so those with disabilities have no problem riding one just like a child should! So far, over 15,300 AmTrykes have been distributed around the world. A majority of the trykes are purchased by volunteer members of the AMBUCS organization and donated to those who would not otherwise have one.

The third program AMBUCS offers is the Scholarship Award Program for therapists. In the 2012-2013 school year alone, AMBUCS awarded over $150,000 in scholarships. Image

This amazing organization is located right in our own backyard in High Point, North Carolina. We are proud to support an organization that does so much for the community and helps so many people! For more information on AMBUCS, visit their website at http://www.ambucs.com. You can also call them and “like” them on facebook!





Exoskeleton Helps Toddler Play For First Time

22 08 2012

A two year old named Emma was born with a condition called Arthrogryposis, where she was born incapable of moving her arms. The devastated family was at a loss for what to do, and relentlessly searched for information about the condition and how they could help their daughter. 

While most of the doctors in the industry said she would not be able to move her arms, there were a few dedicated professionals who sought to disprove this fact and continue to look for alternative ways to help people with this disease. One of these individuals was Doctor Tariq Rahman. The family met Rahman when Emma’s mother heard about a conference in Philadelphia that was all about Arthrogryposis. 

At the conference, families of patients come to meet each other and share information. It was here that Rahman introduced the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton to the families. Since the condition makes it near impossible for the patient to move their arms, a metal exoskeleton was created to aid the patients. Using this exoskeleton, the movement of the arms is made easier.

Rahmna invited Emma and her family to his workshop, and here Emma was given a chance to use the exoskeleton. For the first time, Emma was able to lift her hands up to her mouth. What is even more amazing is the way in which this exoskeleton is created. A new phenomena known as 3D printing enables the engineer to create the item on the computer, specify its dimensions and attributes, and then print the item! So if a piece of the exoskeleton ever breaks, all they need to do is re-print the same piece again!

Emma and her family are currently fully accustomed to the exoskeleton, with Emma referring to them as her “Magic Arms.” One day, the doctors came by to make a few edits to the exoskeleton. When they removed them from Emma, she cried out “I want those!” It was then that her mother started crying, because that was her first sentence.

If those in the medical industry just settled for average, experiences like this would never be possible. With technology advancing every second, the possibilities for the future really are endless. We at Advantec are proud to support people in this industry. They not only save lives, but change them completely. 

To see a short video about Emma’s journey, visit Fox 19’s Video.

For more information on how Advantec software can help businesses in this industry, visit us at theAdvantec WebpageImage





More On Olympians Overcoming Medical Problems

21 08 2012

The Olympic Games have the power of making the most average citizen a patriot of their country. Millions of Americans tuned in to watch the Olympics, routing for their home team and admiring the athletic ability of the athletes. Oscar Pistorius, from South Africa, was an inspiration to all. Born a double amputee, he inspired people around the world to never let barriers stop you from achieving your dreams. With the attention Pistorius received, few realized that a hero was overcoming a similar feat, one from our own land.

Shannon Boxx is an American Soccer player for the women’s soccer team in the Olympics. Since 2007, Boxx was diagnosed with Lupus. She was a mere 30 years old, and playing for the U.S. National Team. The warning signs showed up in the form of fatigue, muscle soreness, and joint pain. 

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She played in the recent Olympic Games, competing for her country. Over 4.3 million people tuned in to see the game between the Japanese and the Americans, in which the Americans prevailed. It wasn’t until April of 2012 that she went public with her diagnosis, and now she is working with the Lupus Foundation of America to create awareness about this disease.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects about 1.5 million people in the U.S. alone. The body produces auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. The immune system cannot differentiate between healthy cells or unhealthy cells, so it attacks them all. This leads to inflammations which cause a great deal of pain. 

There are hundreds of thousands of chronic diseases that affect everyone from the average joe to an elite Olympian. People in industries such as the medical, Assisted care, and Personal care industries are key to ensuring that the lives of these people can go on as planned without interference from a force that is outside of their control. Whether you are born with a disease or develop it later in life, it does not need to affect your daily activities. 

We here at Advantec support numerous companies over a multitude of industries. We are proud to be able to provide care givers a program that enables them to spend less time at the front desk and more time with their patients.

For more information on Lupus, visit http://www.lupus.org/. To learn more about Boxx’s ability to overcome obstacles, visit http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/health/olympic-soccer-boxx-lupus/index.html?hpt=he_bn1. And lastly, for more information about purchasing a custom tailored program that can fit your business’s every need, visit http://www.findsocialservicesoftware.com.





The Medical Industry- Field Hospitals In Syria

21 08 2012

One of our favorite things to read about is the passion of professionals in the medical industry. As a supporter of clients who work in this industry (Assisted Living, Personal Care, Mental Health) we love to hear about how dedication brings amazing results.

This international team of doctors turned a home that was under construction into a secret field hospital. Here they spent two months treating wounded persons. These people would travel for two days just to reach this small group of physicians. 

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It took over a week to turn the location into a satisfactory field hospital. The aid group that sent this team there is known as the Medecins Sans Prontieres, which in English means “Doctors WIthout Borders.” What an appropriate name! The team consisted of about seven foreigners and fifty Syrians. To avoid any trouble, they did alert the Syrian government as to their plan, but left out the location. It was reported that the government did not appreciate their presence.

Doctors on scene reported that conditions were growing increasingly dire. Nearly all of the patients were victims of the fighting. About 60% of them were suffering from an explosion and about 40% from gunshot wounds. Although the field hospital was only 15 miles away, many took backroads to avoid passing military checkpoints and operations, making the trek last a little over two days. 

Many similar field hospitals are springing up across the country, but few are as well equipped as this one. The hospital contains about a dozen beds, a sterilization room, an operating room, a recovery room, and a resuscitation room. Hospitals around the country with fewer resources even started sending their own patients there.

France, at one time Syria’s colonial ruler, even began sending out their own doctors earlier in the week. They are also at the forefront of the diplomatic efforts to end the civil war in Syria.

Thanks to countries and individuals such as the ones mentioned in this story, some faith can be restored in the morality of our modern world. Those in the medical industry are often the kindest, humblest, and most charitable individuals. This world needs more people like them, especially with all of the fighting and violence in today’s world. 

We here at Advantec work hard to make the perfect software for professionals in the medical industry. We strive to make the running of a medical organization and the handling of paperwork so easy that the least time is spent doing office work, and the most time is spent doing field work and with patients. We specialize in the Assisted Care, Personal Care, Mental Health, and Group Home sub-industries. We are always so proud of the clients we support, and the future clients we are eager to take on.

For more information about this event in Syria, visit http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/team-doctors-set-secret-syria-field-hospital-17048231#.UDOamKllTHo. For more information about Advantec’s CSM Software for the Health Industry, visit http://www.findsocialservicesoftware.com. We are always here to help!

 








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