Derrick Wlodarz

The case for Trump: Why Donald bests Hillary on key tech policies


Solely based on media coverage, you'd think that all of Silicon Valley and the tech world at large was undoubtedly behind Clinton in this critical election. But as has been reported in muted fashion by a few outlets, there is such a thing as the "silent majority" which is going to surprise many this election. I'm confident that polls are having a hard time capturing the factor that quantifies this part of the electorate which isn't being vocal about its Election Day preferences, but will deliver a decisive blow come Tues Nov 8.

Those in the tech industry publicly supporting Trump are far and few in between. And it's not entirely surprising. With the amount of undue heat that Peter Thiel, a gay conservative who co-founded PayPal, is receiving, it's not shocking to see many staying mum about their preferences. But with such an important election at stake, and with candidates who I see as having vastly different consequences for America, sitting idle and staying silent is perhaps a worse reality than risking standing on the losing side of Election 2016 history.

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Zuckerberg's #BLM rant and the dangers of corporate Thought Police


Corporate leaders, especially those considered thought leaders, have a firm right and assumed expectation to voice their opinion on public policy. As such, I've got no inherent issues with Facebook's founder and chief, Mark Zuckerberg, proclaiming his positions publicly -- even if I happen to blatantly disagree with them.

Mark and other leaders of their respective industries have something very intrinsically unique that most others do not. That comes in the form of the power of the pulpit. It places their opinion in a position which bring inherent weight and reach which many could only dream of. Yet, this advantage comes with a social responsibility so as to not abuse or otherwise misuse the privilege.

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Why Apple's shameless fight with the FBI is all about ego, not just cause

apple bubble

After spending the last few days soaking up as much as possible on the Apple-FBI San Bernardino iPhone spat, the evidence -- in my eyes -- has become crystal clear. Apple's planted itself on the wrong side of history here for numerous reasons, and is using nothing less than a finely scripted legalese tango in defending its ulterior motives.

As a part time, somewhat auxiliary member of the tech media at large, I'm a bit embarrassed at how poorly this story has been covered by my very own colleagues. Many of those who should undeniably have a more nuanced, intricate understanding of the technical tenets being argued here have spent the last week pollinating the internet with talking point, knee-jerk reaction.

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8 big reasons Apple should let Mac OS X onto the PC


As an IT professional by day, it's a question that has confounded me for some time. I've tossed it around in my technical circles, trying to get a feel for what true reasons exist for Apple's double standard when it comes to not allowing OS X onto other platforms -- but gladly allowing Windows to run natively via Boot Camp.

How come Apple doesn't allow PC users to install and run OS X on the hardware of their choice?

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Meraki MR Access Points: Enterprise-grade Wi-Fi finally made easy [Review]


"UniFi is the revolutionary Wi-Fi system that combines Enterprise performance, unlimited scalability, a central management controller and disruptive pricing." That's the pitch thrown by Ubiquiti Networks right off the homepage for their popular UniFi line of wireless access point products. In many respects, that statement is right on the money.

But as the old adage goes, sometimes you truly do get what you pay for. And when it comes to UniFi, that tends to be my feeling more and more, seeing the gotchas we have had to deal with. We've continued to choose their access points, primarily in situations where cost is a large factor for our end customer. Who wouldn't want Enterprise level features at a Linksys level price?

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Office 365 vs Google Apps: Who wins on pricing? (Part 1 of 4)

gapps and office

If there's one common request I get from readers via email, it's that they want an updated deep dive on my thoughts regarding the whole Office 365 vs Google Apps debate. It's a topic I've written about on numerous occasions in the past -- dissecting the facts, wading through the FUD, and piecing together my honest opinion on who comes out on top.

But it has been years since I dove into the crux of the debate, honing in on why one suite beats another in the important aspects that set them apart. And in the world of IT, years is an eternity.

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iReligion: How Apple fanaticism turned tech into a cult


As someone who is always on the prowl for new podcast material to enjoy, I recently came across one which is hosted by a name familiar to many in the States. Joe Rogan -- currently best known for being lead color commentator on most large UFC PPV events -- doubles as someone who hosts an interesting podcast under the simple guise of "The Joe Rogan Experience."

Specifically, episode 680 of his podcast showed up on my phone today, and it featured a lengthy discussion with a Steve Hassan on the intriguing topic of cults. Hassan is a mental health counselor who has personal experience with cult entrapment, as he was once a member of the Moonies. He dove into a variety of areas surrounding cults and their characteristics with Joe, and if interested, I recommend listening to his appearance on JRE 680. The real reason I plugged Joe's show is because during the episode with Hassan, the relevant topic of Apple naturally arose at one point. The question at large was thrown out in the wild. Is Apple and its following a cult?

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Enterprise-class Wi-Fi for the SMB: 15 best practices from the field


Pitiful Wi-Fi implementation is so prevalent these days that people take it for granted. From the hotels we visit, to the cafes we frequent, down to the offices we call home 9-5 daily. And that's unfortunate, because when done right, Wi-Fi is an enabler for connecting us wherever, whenever.

Why can't most organizations get Wi-Fi right?

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VoIP done right: 11 best practices for moving to cloud-hosted PBX

cloud voip

Too often, cloud hosted VoIP gets a bad rap on the internet. People bashing provider A because call quality stunk. Or giving provider B a tough time because staff constantly had "fishbowl effect" issues with the service. I've read many of the reviews out there, and I'm here to set the record straight about cloud VoIP: the majority of these negative reviews are pointing fingers the wrong direction.

Much of what people see online about cloud hosted VoIP negativity is FUD -- partially being peddled by customers with poor networks, and partially by some nefarious traditional premise-based VoIP telco providers trying to stem the wave of customers moving to the technology.

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9 big reasons I went Xbox One over PS4


I owe Sony a lot of credit. It wasn't the original Xbox and the young Xbox Live service that gave me my first taste in console online gaming. It was my beloved PS2 that connected me to the early adopters skating around Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, and wannabe commandos practicing flanks together in the original SOCOM.

With an add-on Ethernet adapter and LAN cable strung halfway around my house, the PS2 allowed me to engage in an activity that gamers on most modern consoles take for granted. Getting online with PS2 games was part test of patience and part geekdom experiment. PlayStation Network wouldn't launch for another four years or so, and one console later -- on the PS2, you were truly on your own when it came to navigating online gaming.

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Internet hate fuels a killer: How flags and gun laws obscure the Dylann Roof debate

Dylann Roof

No less than a week ago, young Dylann Roof, a self-described hardline racist, decided to take nine wonderful lives in Charleston, SC. This was an individual who, through a manifesto since unveiled, had shaped his worldview so narrowly that he irreversibly joined the corrupted fringes of society.

But what really killed nine innocent people here? As much as our President wishes to believe it so, a gun wasn't the real cause of Roof's killing spree; it was an accessory to murder. Nor was the Confederate flag; this was merely hijacked window dressing to glorify one man's twisted reality. With as much debate currently focusing on these non-issues, the real causes which bred a monster by all definitions are sadly diluted from discussion.

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One Week Later: Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones on my daily Lumia 925


Microsoft made it pretty clear: Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones is still only meant for serious technical testers only. Of anything I've learned after one full week using my daily Lumia 925 on the preview release, it's that this OS is far from ready for primetime. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, per se.

I decided to write up some of my thoughts about Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones 10051 before I rolled back my phone to Windows Phone 8.1. Yes, willingly, I spent the last work week using my daily Lumia 925 on preview build 10051, the latest and only second release Microsoft has publicly doled out for the community.

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Why the open source software model is fundamentally broken

open source keyboard button

There was a very frank question pegged towards Slashdot readers a few months back, which I happened to stumble upon just by chance during some Googling. It was a pretty simple question that merely asked: for the non-coders out there, especially ones taking advantage of open source software, why aren't more of you contributing back to the open source community?

A legit, honest conundrum that is likely true for most who use such software.

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Windows RT: Did it really die? Absolutely not and here's why

windows-rt-dead thumb

There's no need to ask for a show of hands. To get a sense of how long the Windows RT hate-train is, you can just spend a few minutes Googling. A few weeks ago when Microsoft let loose that official Windows RT devices, like the Surface 2, were not getting Windows 10 in any proper shape, the anti-RT chorus cheered that they have been finally vindicated.

Stories like this one which adorned The Verge planted their flags pretty clearly: "Windows RT is officially dead".

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Meraki MX Firewalls: Why cloud managed networking simply rocks [Review]


Two of the largest network gaming services, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, took unplanned hiatuses on Christmas Day 2014. And for their credit, both Sony and Microsoft were not the culprits for the outages. Newly infamous hacking group Lizard Squad used DDoS attacks against the gaming networks to chalk up part publicity stunt and part targeted advertising for their new DDoS-for-hire service.

At this point, the who and why of this story aren't anything new if you've been watching IT news the last few weeks. But something that hasn't gotten as much attention is the "how" of Lizard Squad's Xmas Day barrage last year.

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