December 2nd, 2013
10 scams to be on the lookout for during the holiday season.
By Mark Leary , Chief Information Security Officer, Xerox
The holidays are a fun-filled time for celebrating with family and friends, but cybercriminals see this as a time of opportunity. They look to take advantage of us while we’re in the spirit of giving, and when we’re scrambling to run all of our errands.
- Social Media Scams. Watch out for phony contests.
- Malicious Mobile Apps. Only download apps from official app stores; check users’ reviews and read the app permission policies.
- Travel Scams. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers, and when on the road be careful using free Wi-Fi connections.
- Holiday Spam/Phishing. Never respond to spam emails or click on included links. Remember, banks won’t ask you to verify personal information via text.
- iPhone 5c, iPad Deals. Be suspicious of deals on hot holiday gift items. Try to verify them with a retailer.
- Skype Message Scare. Never click on suspicious links, even if it comes from someone you know.
- Bogus Gift Cards. Buy gift cards from the official retailer and not a third party gift source.
- Phony E-Tailers. Only shop at trusted and well-known e-commerce sites.
- Fake Charities. When you want to give, visit the charity’s web-site and do a little research before donating.
- Phony Classifieds. Don’t wire money for “deals” and make sure you don’t pay for an item before receiving it.
Cybercriminals aren’t the only ones who can gain power from information. Educating yourself about the types of scams that exist on the Internet and how to avert them, and you will stay one step ahead.
Link to More Information
Microsoft Safety & Security Center: Practical security tips for you and your family, useful resources and links, and a forum for you to provide feedback and ask security-related questions.
StaySafeOnline.org: From the National Cyber Security Alliance, which seeks to educate a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work and school.
Stop. Think. Connect: A national public awareness campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The campaign seeks to help the American public understand cyber threats, and empower the public to be safer and more secure online.
November 20th, 2013
Teaching computers what objects look like is more difficult than teaching children, because computers need an extra step between ‘point’ and ‘identify.’
Ironically, most online searches for images and videos usually rely on words that you type into search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. But that only works if the image files are tagged or have descriptive names – unlike most images on the Web.
Now what? Hand-tag each and every image and video? With more than 100 billion images on Facebook and tens of hours of videos uploaded to YouTube every single minute, good luck with that. This vast majority of untagged images is called the ‘deep Web,’ which is – for all practical purposes – inaccessible. (Think about how difficult it can be to find a particular photo on your hard drive – or the shoebox in your closet, for that matter.)
What if we could teach computers to translate our textual queries into “visual queries” so that words can be matched to visual content? But computers see pictures only as a multitude of small colorful dots standing next to each other. How do you make these colorful pixels have any meaning for a machine?
This is the difficult question that computer vision researchers are asking. The challenge is to link low-level information (the pixels) with high-level concepts such as objects and scenes. It’s a little like teaching a child: Point to an object and identify it. But teaching computers is more difficult because computers need an extra step between ‘point’ and ‘identify.’
Scientists at Xerox’s research labs in Europe mulled over this problem and came to a simple realization. Just as search engines can determine what a document is about by counting how often particular words show up in it, a visual vocabulary can accomplish a similar result. The researchers decided to split images into smaller image patches, then developed algorithms that allow computers to group these patches into “visual words.” These words are used by the computer to predict the presence of an object. A simplified example would be the prediction of an image of a ‘house’ from the visual words such as ‘window’, ‘roof’ or ‘door. The paper that describes this process was published by Xerox researchers Csurka, et al, 10 years ago, and it remains one of the most cited articles in computer vision research. The vast majority of algorithms proposed since then build on the same seminal “visual vocabulary” idea.
This technology has been applied to many problems of high practical value as varied as document routing in scanning workflows, vehicle recognition in surveillance videos, product recognition in retail businesses, or image aesthetic analysis in communication and marketing.
More details about visual computing are available at:
Curated by Gregory Pings from an article written by Diane Larlus, a Xerox researcher.
September 24th, 2013
By Karl Dueland, vice president, Solutions Delivery Unit, Xerox
Any traveling business worker knows that printing on-the-go isn’t always easy. Most of the time you have to download a driver or app, wait for it to install, locate the printer in the office you’re visiting and then map to it. When time is of the essence and you need an important document for that big meeting, these extra steps can be confusing and frustrating. That angst over mobile printing may soon become a thing of the past.
Xerox has joined with other print providers to launch the Mobile Print Alliance (MPA), a non-profit membership organization focused on making it easy to print from any mobile device to any printer.
How does it work? In a move towards establishing industry-wide mobile printing compatibility on all printing devices, the MPA designed a single mobile print platform that will be adopted by its members and embedded into their products. In addition, the MPA created an easily recognizable brand and logo, Mopria (which stands for mobile printing), that will help identify which devices are part of the MPA. If a printer has a Mopria sticker on it, anyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection can walk up and print to it – without downloading an app or driver. It’s really that easy.
Take a look around your office. Can you spot a smartphone or two? Mobile phones are common tools not only for traveling workers, but for office executives as well. According to IDC, 40 percent of employees use their smartphones on the job. In the next three years, that’s expected to increase to 56 percent. With BYOD on the rise, easier mobile printing is a must and allowing users to print from any device without complicated downloads is the first step.
Of course print providers like Xerox and the other founding members of the MPA benefit too. We’ll be able to ensure ongoing compatibility with mobile devices without having to continually re-engineer our products. Most importantly, by sharing a common mobile printing platform, all of our customers will be able to print freely and get the work they need to get done faster. We realize that our customers don’t want to think about how to print when they’re in a rush to meet a deadline or head into an important meeting. Now they won’t have to.
August 22nd, 2013
Posted on Oct. 10, 8:00pm ET
Final Scanning Software Patch Released
The final software patch that fixes our scanning issue is now available for the Xerox WorkCentre 76xx family at www.xerox.com/scanpatch. For technical support, please visit our support forum. Thank you.
Posted on Sept. 6, 4:50pm ET
Three More Scanning Software Patches Released
New software patches that fix our scanning issue are now available for the Xerox WorkCentre 5030/5050, the Xerox WorkCentre 56xx family and the WorkCentre 76xx family at www.xerox.com/scanpatch. As additional patches are released they will be noted on this site. For technical support, please visit our support forum at http://forum.support.xerox.com/.
Posted on Sept.5, 5:30pm ET
More New Scanning Software Patches Released
New software patches were released today to address the scanning error identified in some of our multifunction printers. Two patch versions that support all of the Xerox WorkCentre Pro family (232/238/245/255/265/275), along with support materials, are available at www.xerox.com/scanpatch. As additional patches are released they will be noted on this site. Please refer to the Aug. 22 announcement below for background information and more details.
Posted on Aug. 30, 2:45pm ET
Two New Scanning Software Patches Released
Two new software patches were released today to address the scanning error identified in some of our multifunction printers. The new patches are for the Xerox WorkCentre 56xx family (the two most recent software releases) and the Xerox WorkCentre Bookmark 40/55. These patches, along with support materials, are available at www.xerox.com/scanpatch. Additional patches will be released next week and will be noted on this site. Please refer to the Aug. 22 announcement below for background information and more details. Thank you.
Posted on Aug. 29, 6:30pm ET
Scanning Software Patches Continue to Roll Out
Today we are releasing more software patches to address the scanning error identified in some of our multifunction printers. The new patches are for the Xerox ColorQube 8700/8900 and Xerox WorkCentre 77xx and 51xx families. These patches, along with support materials, are available at www.xerox.com/scanpatch. Please refer to the Aug. 22 announcement below for background information and more details.
Posted on Aug. 27, 2:30pm ET
Second Wave of Scanning Software Patches Rolling Out
Today we are starting to release Wave Two software patches to address the scanning error identified in some of our multifunction printers. The new patches are for the Xerox ColorQube 92xx family and the Xerox WorkCentre 6400. These patches, along with support materials, are available at www.xerox.com/scanpatch. Additional Wave Two patches will be rolled out this week and will be noted on this site. Please refer to the Aug. 22 announcement below for background information and more details. Thank you.
Posted on Aug. 22
By Rick Dastin, president, Office and Solutions Business Group, Xerox
Today we are releasing the first wave of software patches to address the scanning error identified in some of our multifunction printers (MFPs). We have confirmed that errors can occur under a set of limited conditions when scanning “stress documents” to PDF—which can include very small font sizes, stray pixels and be difficult to read. Given this finding, however uncommon, we have developed this patch which eliminates that possibility.
We created www.xerox.com/scanpatch as a single location to conveniently download the patch for your MFP, along with reference documents explaining the details. If your device isn’t on the drop down list, it is not affected. The first Wave of products includes the Xerox ConnectKey family, WorkCentre 75xx, WorkCentre 57xx and ColorQube 93xx. We will be adding the remainder of the affected products in Wave 2 which we are targeting to be available the week of August 26. You can download and install the patch immediately or coordinate with your local service or support representative.
Our engineering team has been working around the clock to deliver the patch. We have conducted extensive testing both in our labs and in the field to assure a quality result and an easy installation.
I want to thank all of our customers, agents and partners around the world for working with us and providing feedback throughout this process. We won’t rest until our customers are fully satisfied.
August 13th, 2013
By Donald R. Sanford, principal, Communications, Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company
Welcome to the New World of communication, where:
- 44 percent of cellphone owners have slept with their device to not miss calls, text messages or updates.
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- 500 million people are registered on Twitter and half of them log on every day.
Technologies have changed how humans communicate. Some people gravitate to “golden oldies” like newsletters, flyers and posters. Others, who append electronics to their being, use “in-your-hand” devices for information. How can organizations unleash the power of new tools to engage their workforce?
Here are the Top 5 high tech tools companies are using.
Social Networking and Social Media
‘Friending’ employees to share internal information
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube have huge followings. Facebook has more than 1.1 billion active users. If it were a country, Facebook would be the third largest in the world, behind only China and India.
Given this popularity, what should businesses do? Play off this success to reach employees.
A WorldatWork-Buck Consultants survey studied how companies talk to their employees about health benefits and found that 50 percent of organizations use one or more social networking/social media elements to promote health engagement. It takes more than an if-you-build-it-they-will-come approach. A Facebook-like platform with cool tools and varied content entices employees. Add interactive functions, short news feeds, fun facts and provocative messaging to involve them.
Mobile Technology and Apps
There’s an app for that (or there will be)!
Of the world’s 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones, tablets or other wireless devices. In the United States, 91 percent of adults have a cellphone, and 56 percent of them are smartphones. Other statistics reveal our addictions: People check their phones every 6.5 minutes; more smartphones are activated each day than babies born; and the average number of apps per smartphone is 41.
The WorldatWork-Buck Consultants survey portends seismic change:
- 36 percent of employers use 1 or more mobile technology tools to promote health engagement.
- Another 36 percent will follow suit this year.
- 32 percent use mobile technology for health-care benefits, such as prescription refills and apps from insurers.
- 52 percent more will do so in the next 3 years.
Apps connect you with your mobile workers. They put resources at your employees’ fingertips, anytime and anywhere. Consider offering customized apps that model retirement savings, provide access to your intranet or offer information about co pays and medication coverage; and generic apps that link employees to plan documents, company policies and annual enrollment guides.
‘Games lubricate the body and the mind’ ─ Benjamin Franklin
Gamification is the use of game-like features in nongame situations. Techniques include contests, and elements such as lotteries, quizzes, points, leaderboards and avatars.
Games appeal to our desire to have fun, self-express and compete. No wonder employers embrace them. Per WorldatWork-Buck, 62 percent of employers use one or more games to promote employee health engagement. Another 31 percent will join the fold this year. Do the math!
Here’s a mind-boggler: When they graduate high school, some U.S. teenagers have put in 20,000 gaming hours. Attracting sophisticated users to crossword puzzles, Hangman, teasers and tests of knowledge requires bells and whistles. Insert whimsical graphics, music, sound effects, playful content and concepts. Mix it up; keep it fresh with a big inventory of revolving Q&As. Expectations are high; the return on your investment can be, too.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ resonates with today’s workforce
When USA Today appeared in 1982, it offered something revolutionary. Infographics = information + graphics, data + knowledge at a glance.
Infographics are bold and beautiful. They’re clever. They’re an “easy read.”
A blitz of technologies has opened this opportunity to organizations. Infographics lay out complex concepts and content in chunks. They offer eye-catching alternatives to content-laden materials. They attract attention and promote understanding.
Optimize infographics for sparkle. Change the shape and size of pieces to make them stand out. If mailing infographics-documents, use clear envelopes for recipients to immediately see and seize the content. Liberally apply color and combinations; keep the content crisp and sharp.
Updated: Newsletters, Posters, Postcards, Print
Everything old is new again, if done correctly
“Golden oldies” have survived the test of time. Postcards and posters are still useful to broadcast events, reinforce awareness and promote key messages.
But in the last 10 years, the print volume used for employee communications has decreased by 50 percent. It hasn’t necessarily gone away, it’s just gone elsewhere.
First to disappear were dinosaur-like resource tomes. They’ve been reincarnated online. Internal newsletters and magazines tend to share this fate. The online breed likely resembles its print ancestors with pages that flip. Even printed pieces can be personalized via high tech digital presses. With interesting incentives, employees will visit websites and other venues to read content.
Decide what will work best for your audience. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t think you have to change overnight. Evolutions can be more successful than revolutions.
What you can do
High tech tools make our lives richer. When introducing them in the workplace, stay tuned and attuned. Embrace the new. “Mix and match” these tools. Most of all, do it now. The results will be remarkable.
This post originally appeared on Forbes.
August 7th, 2013
Posted on Aug. 22, 10:00amET
Editor’s Note: The first wave of software patches is now available. Please read our latest blog post for more details.
Posted on Aug. 19, 2:50pm ET
Patch for Scanning Issues Available Shortly
By Rick Dastin, corporate vice president and president, Office and Solutions Business Group
Our technology team has been working very hard to make the software patch available that addresses character substitution that can occur when “stress documents” are scanned on some Xerox office devices.
To confirm the patch effectiveness, we reached out to computer scientist David Kriesel, who first brought the issue to our attention. David has provided invaluable insight, and his willingness to collaborate and conduct additional tests has been extremely helpful. We were pleased to hear back from David that the test patch we provided solves the problem and he no longer sees the substitution of characters on the document.
We’re finalizing our testing on the patch and availability will start this week, at which time we will announce and post a link on this blog site.
Posted on Aug. 15, 7:30 pm ET
Update from Rick Dastin, corporate vice president and president, Office and Solutions Business Group: We’re working hard to deliver a timely patch and we’re pleased with the testing results. Stay tuned for an announcement shortly on availability.
Posted on Aug. 13, 1:45 pm ET
Editor’s Note: An updated Important Questions and Answers document is now available.
Posted on Aug. 11, 6:00 pm ET
Update On Scanning Issue: Work Continues on Software Patch To Solve Character Substitution
By Rick Dastin, corporate vice president and president, Office and Solutions Business Group, Xerox
After further testing of the scanning function we’ve now determined the unit’s “Quality/file size” factory default and highest modes don’t completely alleviate the problem of substituting characters on stress documents. This comes as a result of ongoing communication with David Kriesel who alerted us to still seeing character substitution in the factory default mode. This is consistent with what David has been reporting, and we thank him for his findings. The default and highest modes do substantially reduce the likelihood of character substitution but due to a software bug character substitution is not completely eliminated. We apologize for any confusion that came from our prior communications.
We continue to work tirelessly and diligently to develop a software patch to address the problem. We’ll pass along information about the timing of the patch as soon as we have it.
We want to reiterate, we believe the issue deals with “stress documents,” which include documents with small fonts, those scanned multiple times and hard to read. Regardless of the document condition we are committed to address any problem even if it is something our customers may never encounter.
We’ll continue to actively listen to our customers and the industry as a whole. We take your comments, questions and concerns seriously and appreciate your feedback.
Please continue to engage with us – you can do so with our principal engineer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Impacted Office Product Families
ColorQube: 87XX, 89XX, 92XX, 93XX
WorkCentre: 5030, 5050, 51XX, 56XX, 57XX, 58XX, 6400, 7220, 7225, 75XX, 76XX, 77XX, 78XX
BookMark: 40, 55
Note: If your office device does not appear on this list, it is not impacted by this scanning issue.
Posted on Aug 9, 7:20 pm ET
Update on Scanning Issue: Working with David Kriesel on Solution
By Rick Dastin, corporate vice president and president, Office and Solutions Business Group, Xerox
We continue to test various scanning scenarios on our office devices, to ensure we fully understand the breadth of this issue. We’re encouraged by the progress our patch development team is making and will keep you updated on our progress here at the Real Business at Xerox blog.
We’ve been working closely with David Kriesel, the researcher who originally uncovered the scenario, and thank him for his input which we are continuing to investigate. As we’ve discussed with David, the issue is amplified by “stress documents,” which have small fonts, low resolution, low quality and are hard to read. While these are not typical for most scan jobs ultimately, our actions will always be driven by what’s right for our customers.
We will continue to actively listen to our customers and the industry as a whole. We take your comments, questions, and concerns seriously and appreciate your feedback. As you’ve seen, we’ve replied to many of you through blog comments and tweets, and while we can’t respond to everyone individually, please be assured we are listening and taking feedback under immediate advisement. Please continue to engage with us – you can do so with our principal engineer at email@example.com.
Editor’s Update: Here are links to reference material on this issue:
Below posted on Aug. 7:
By Rick Dastin, corporate vice president and president, Office and Solutions Business Group, Xerox
There have been reports regarding errors with the scanning function of some of our office devices in which characters can potentially be substituted for others. This does not impact standard printing, copying and traditional fax functions. In fact, the vast majority of our customers will not experience any issues.
Here are the two solutions:
- Reset Scanning Defaults: Xerox is providing a guide demonstrating how to check the current device scan settings and how to return them to factory default.
- Apply a Software Patch: Xerox is developing a software patch that can be remotely downloaded to each device. The software patch will disable the highest compression mode thus completely eliminating the possibility for character substitution. Xerox will begin rolling out the patch within a few weeks.
With this in mind, let me step back and clarify the issue itself. It is important to know that Xerox devices shipped from the factory are set with the right compression level and resolution settings to produce scanned files appropriate for viewing or printing—while maintaining a reasonable file size. You will not see a character substitution issue when scanning with the factory default settings.
To hear and see this frustration and confusion goes against all that’s core to Xerox’s heritage and future. We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience this has caused our customers. We are working tirelessly to address these issues—working closely with our partners and customer service teams across the globe to both proactively inform customers as well as help them solve the issue.
Editor’s Note: If you are a member of the press or industry analyst community please contact Bob Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 6th, 2013
Editor’s Note: Xerox has new information on this issue. Please visit this blog post.
By Francis Tse, principal engineer, Xerox
Recently there have been articles about Xerox devices randomly altering numbers in scanned documents. We take this issue very seriously.
The problem stems from a combination of compression level and resolution setting. The devices mentioned are shipped from the factory with a compression level and resolution that produces scanned files which are optimized for viewing or printing while maintaining a reasonable file size. We do not normally see a character substitution issue with the factory default settings however, the defect may be seen at lower quality and resolution settings.
The Xerox design utilizes the recognized industry standard JBIG2 compressor which creates extremely small file sizes with good image quality, but with inherent tradeoffs under low resolution and quality settings.
For data integrity purposes, we recommend the use of the factory defaults with a quality level set to “higher.” In cases where lower quality/higher compression is desired for smaller file sizes, we provide the following message to our customers next to the quality settings within the device web user interface: “The normal quality option produces small file sizes by using advanced compression techniques. Image quality is generally acceptable, however, text quality degradation and character substitution errors may occur with some originals.”
Xerox is totally committed to customer satisfaction and with this feedback we will look for ways to help our customers better manage their scanning application needs.
For more information, contact Xerox Support at http://www.xerox.com/perl-bin/world_contact.pl#0.