Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Pats and Pans

Several reviewers have grabbed the new Consumer Preview for Windows 8, loaded it up, and took a look.  Here’s the gist of it so far!

What’s Good?

The Not So Good, Yet:

Reviewers Say: 

Here’s the link to a one minute Microsoft video Preview, but note it’s a promotional piece. Other links found there go into a little more detail:

Ta-Da! A New Look. A New Site. Explore!

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3637″ align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” quality=”90″] After months in the works, we’ve launched our new SiteVision website!  Featuring a WordPress Content Management System, you’ll find a new visual appeal, updated Twitter and Facebook feeds, re-organized content and more. Sign up for our monthly newsletter (at the bottom of each page),  and we’ll keep you updated on industry trends, useful technology tips, do and don’ts, maintenance schedules, as well as what our hosting and development crew is up to.



Browse our Solution area for ideas, and to see custom application solutions and Content Management Systems (CMS) created for a wide variety of industries and requirements. You’ll also find  innovative applications and sites for city, state and federal entities, real estate, healthcare, education, enterprise, nonprofit and so much more. In short, if you need a special solution, we’re the go-to guys (and gals)!  We also specialize in GIS mapping applications and offer ARC-Gis Servers to support those requirements.


Click over to our Hosting area and find updated hosting options, as well as numerous helpful extras such as on-line conferencing, cloud-delivered services, remote desktop support and more!  In fact almost any option your business structure requires is right here — from shared and dedicated, to co-located and VPS solutions, as well as custom configurations to meet your specific needs.

Customer Support

Our Customer Support area features a nifty online Help Desk with registration, interactive support tickets, knowledge base articles, most popular requests,  Q&A, FAQ’s, and more.  Each support request is tracked from opening through solution with an intuitive and interactive dialogue.  You have your own portal and can log in to check request status and responses at any time.

News & Technology Tips

And don’t forget to check our News section.  We include news you can use with helpful tips, internet trends, interesting applications, what’s up in mobile technology and more. We also include these features in our monthly newsleter – News & Tips From Sitevision – plus all articles are archived here.

Though, we’re still working on the final touches, we’d really like to hear how you feel about the new site launch.  You can leave your comments here!

Was Your Password Hacked Today?

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3446″ align=”left” size=”small 150 width” autoHeight=”true” quality=”90″] Whoa! Facebook says hackers try to steal your stuff about 600,000 times daily. A more recent example: Zappos online store was hacked and hackers gained information on 24 million customers. While full customer credit card information wasn’t compromised, all customer passwords had to be deleted. We’re sure you’ve heard of other scary hacks. So if you’ve been a little lax about your passwords, it’s really time sit up and take notice.

So, what to do?

First, Avoid These Common Mistakes

Creating Your Password

Special Tip:

Use a pseudo-random phrase: A great way to create a unique password is to think of a phrase only you would know, and then use letters, numbers and symbols to create the password:

Unique Passwords for Your Important Accounts

Never use the same passwords for your important banking, stock, healthcare and personal information accounts. Hackers test stolen passwords and usernames from a particular site across many internet sites, meaning your identity and banking and stock resources could be severely compromised with single use passwords. Give each of these account types a unique password!

Keep your password reminders in a Safe Place

Most of us couldn’t possibly remember all of our passwords to all of the sites we commonly use. So, if you decide to save your passwords, don’t leave notes with your passwords lying around in plain sight.

If you save your passwords in a file, create a unique name for the file, so that people don’t know what’s inside. Avoid giving the file an obvious name, such as “my passwords”; instead use a unique file name.

Password managers are available through your security programs and elsewhere, but spend the time to check out reputable resources. If you have a difficult time remembering different passwords, a trusted password manager may be a good solution.

Need A Better Password: There are numerous password generators, but make sure you use a reputable one! As an example, here is a quick PC Tools online version:

By following some simple, but important rules, you can substantially reduce or eliminate your chances of having critical information such as your banking, credit card and identity stolen!

SiteVision Accepted Into The Homeland Security Information Network

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3391″ title=”SiteVision, INC – Accepted into the Dept. of Homeland Security Information Network” align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” autoHeight=”true” quality=”90″] SiteVision has been accepted into the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). The HSIN is a national, secure, web-based portal for information sharing and collaboration between federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and international partners engaged in the Homeland Security Mission.  SiteVision has been involved for many years in the mission of supporting clients at the state, regional and federal level with web-based health incident and emergency management solutions. To become a member, an organization must first be nominated by an existing member entity.  Once nominated, SiteVision applied, went through a vetting process, and was accepted.

HSIN provides secure, real-time collaboration tools, including a virtual meeting space, instant messaging and document sharing. The Network allows partners to work together instantly, regardless of their location, to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate. The HSIN also offers many additional dynamic capabilities including 24/7 availability, document libraries, instant messaging, web conferencing, incident reporting, discussion boards, RSS feeds and online training materials.  The supporting entities provide mission oriented focus in such areas as Critical Sectors, Defense, Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Multi-Mission and International.

SiteVision, Inc. ( is an Internet application development, consulting, design and hosting firm providing solutions for a broad spectrum of markets and industries, as well as for state, federal and international entities. Expertise includes custom, back-end dynamic applications, consulting to achieve unique goals, Mapping Application Development (GIS), content management systems, hosting services including, map and GIS application hosting, as well as custom and dedicated hosting solutions. SiteVision, Inc. participates in, or is available through the following state and federal contracting vehicles: Virginia VITA CAI Supplier Managed Staff Augmentation Services Contract; Virginia eVa Procurement as a sub-contractor to various state and federal private contract vehicles; and State and Federal Sole-source Contracting. The firm has its home office in Roanoke, VA, with sales offices in Charlottesville, VA and Miami, FL.

Top Tech Trends for 2012

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3146″ align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” quality=”90″]Will 2012 be the year of exciting breakthroughs? As hardware gets smaller, faster, thinner and cheaper, this may be the year of flexible Smartphones and tablet devices. Samsung’s exciting prototype suggests just that (see below and video.  Business users will likely see Software as a service (SAAS) and cloud technologies expand dramatically.  Today, we’re discussing the most likely contenders, and, no surprise, you’ll likely see much of this emerging technology implemented in home electronics as well.


Tablets, Ultrabooks And . . .

It’s probably no revelation that, thanks in large part to Steve Jobs, tablets will continue to proliferate. In one study, Apple had an approximate 62% worldwide market share as of December 2011, so game-on for CES (Consumer Electronic Show 2012), no doubt.   Prices should drop and competition ramp up.  In fact, one tech guru feels they will eventually become standard fare as traditional PC’s continue to lose market share.

Importantly, the convergence-divergence of the phone-tablet-laptop market continues to be a mixed signal as the marketplace attempts to sort out just what is what – to whom – and why. For the serious business user, and, in particular, for graphic and game enthusiasts, tablets have yet to fully replace competent laptops and traditional PC’s. PC Ultrabooks, born of, yes, Steve Jobs, or imitative of MacBook Air- will be smooth, fast,  very sleek and light-weight.

Cloud Proliferation

The clouds seems to be many things to many folks, so to use Wikipedia’s definition the cloud is, “the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network, (typically the Internet).

As we’ve seen each year of the last few, more and more applications and storage solutions are being pushed through the “cloud.”   While the cloud may be seen as simply anything beyond your “machine,” i.e., your email, is one example, the real innovations are being seen in sophisticated business applications, content delivery and data storage.

Until recently software and hardware was nearly always purchased, installed and soon outdated, requiring frequent IT resources for troubleshooting, upgrades, installations, additional hardware, etc – not to mention unintelligible operating systems for all but a select few.  For any business (or personal user) the concept of an efficient, completely remote operating, software, and networking system is an immensely appealing alternative to traditional computing. Agility, cost reductions, device independence, scalability and maintenance are among the prime attractions of cloud-based computing.

While the current delivery of cloud-based systems and software is exciting and expanding in offerings and complexities, the future of cloud-based computing is even more so as the nature of computation and its delivery (think mobile) will undoubtedly be irrevocably altered – a true game changer for all players at all levels of enterprise up and down the line!

As a subtext, cloud security as a critical component of cloud delivery means the security, reliability, and network infrastructure and integrity will be undeniably key to the success and safety of cloud computing as we continue down this path.

Smartphones get Smarter 

Smartphones will get smarter, faster and more agile as the operating systems and underlying hardware improve. Dual core processors seen in 2011 will expand, and expect quad core to be a part of the 2012 picture. Higher definition screens and cameras will be on-scene. Mobile payment options and chips that let you basically swipe and pay are among hot technologies. For instance, NFC (near field communication) chips are destined to let your Smartphones act like a credit card.  Just touch your phone or get it close to an NFC reader, and “whoosh” it acts just like your conventional credit or debit card.

Voice Recognition Gets Real

Why type with your fingers what your mouth can so easily say!

At last, we’re beginning to get the real thing!  Should we once again thank Steve?  Oh yeah. Voice recognition has been out there, but Siri got our attention, because it begins to normalize the conversation and provide context.   The new Android Ice Cream Sandwich software also promises to provide enhanced voice recognition.  Ziggy, Microsoft’s answer has preliminarily received promising reviews.  It seems that finally conversational and pertinent voice recognition will begin to inhabit our lives.  Talk to your TV, your phone, your appliances and your car, etc. I’m all in!

Flexible, bendable and foldable Interfaces (Want, Want!)

It seems certain that we’ll see a hint of these devices in 2012.  But the excitement is yet to come.  We think it’s a natural, future extension of our current technologies, and oh, so very exciting.  Aren’t we really looking for one do-all device (instead of an iPad, a notebook, a cellphone) to carry effortlessly around in a coat pocket or purse?  Smartphones sort of do the job, but aren’t really that exciting for watching a movie, say or really surfing Facebook and the Internet.  Sure you can do it, and pinch and zoom, but let’s face it, the experience is not ideal.  Even the beloved iPad or Android tablets don’t quite fit the bill in this respect.  Samsung, Nokia and undoubtedly others are seriously pursuing futuristic interpretations of our current technologies.

Samsung Prototype

BUT, for sure, take a look at this video of the Samsung prototype we showed in the intro photo of a transparent, bendable, flexible tablet!    Wow!  Seriously, it is likely symbolic of the future. Hopefully it will come to a store near you sooner, rather than later.


Over The Top Gifts for Your Top Techie!


There are wonderful options out there as tech gets smaller, smarter and cheaper. But, hey, you already know about those. So why not explore the far side. Datamanser’s Steampunk Laptop may look, oh a little apocalyptic, but it supposedly sizzles with state-of-the-art components. Choose your favorite design for the cover – perhaps, clockworks, or gold foil maps. And how about a key-shaped flash drive! It’s PC only for now, but the inventor thinks MAC OS is no biggie. A pre-order can be yours for $5,500, but retail is expected to be $7,500. If nothing else getting a peek inside Mr. Nagy’s fertile mind is worth your time.

A Garden Pod Worth Working For!

The UK Based OfficePod installs in hours, is beautiful to look at, and goes where you go. Sweet! Designed to substantially enhance the work-at-home experience, it gets you out of the daily household melee and into a zen-like work environment for greatly improved productivity. Or so say the creators. It’s not yet available in the US, but we suspect it’s only a matter of time. It can currently be purchased for about 14K (UK) or it’s said, leased by the year for about 5,500K (UK). The current numbers are a little hard to come by. Best part, your boss can lease it for you (thus reducing capital expenditures). Gotta’ love that. We also loved one of the reader comments that went something like this: “For a lot less than 14K, I can afford a fully trained Doberman to stand at guard and keep my loved ones at bay while I work.” Other folks suggested getting a garden shed at Lowe’s for far fewer bucks. But, hey, none of these are even half as “kool.”

Put This In Your Cart . . .

Drum-roll, really, for about 25M (that’s million, folks) you can have this amazing concept boat with five double en-suite staterooms, garage, bar and lounge areas. It’s also equipped with all the sound and visual equipment you’d ever want, a hidden Jacuzzi deck and, uh, a V-8, 620-horsepower supercar. Yep, you heard it right; a supercar comes with the package. You can also substitute your own Lamborghini, should you so choose. Designed by Eduard Gray of Gray Design, you might not (make that won’t) be able to afford it, but there’s no doubt, it’s an extraordinary and beautiful piece of work! Here’s the link, and would you believe it, there’s a convenient shopping cart!

Oh, and before we forget: even if Santa doesn’t bring you one of these – we wish you all the best from all of us to each of you!

Does Your Website Measure Up?

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3881″ align=”left” size=”small 150 width” autoHeight=”true” quality=”90″] Our first piece of advice is simple:  Unless it’s a hobby site, get your website professionally designed and coded.  We won’t dwell on hobby sites, because there are many simple and attractive templates and Wysiwyg programs to help create this kind of site.

Business sites, however, carry the full force of your reputation and image, and should never be delegated to less than professional care and feeding – even small sites.

Content Management Systems

If it’s a small site, likely your design and development team may suggest an equally simple template design with core pages and navigation.  A more complex site might be well served with a customised Content Management System.  These CMS systems deliver a positive visual continuity within the site, while allowing personnel to contribute to site content at varying permission levels.  We emphasize visual continuity, because older sites, over time, often become a jumble of disparate type, images and navigation that deliver a disorganized and inept message.  Almost any option can include a secure back-end area for internal and customer communications as well as other legacy matters that need be incorporated into the update site.

The Must Do Basics!

In a nutshell, though, follow these basic rules, and you’ll be well on your way to an attractive, professional web presence. 

As we mention prominently on the site, you can contact us anytime for a free consult to discuss your requirements and special needs.  It’s a great starting point!

An Amazing Peek At What Your Brain Sees

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3716″ align=”left” size=”medium” autoHeight=”true” quality=”98″]Are our brains more computer like than we think? University researchers reveal a startling look at what our brain sees, and it’s a fascinating glimpse of the future!

And yes, these are actually visual scans of what the mind saw while watching movie content using a special (MRI) imaging technique, together with other computational modeling.  In other words, it shows that reading a brain is possible with machines.  As Professor Jack Gallant, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the study published online in the journal Current Biology said,“We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3890″ align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” autoHeight=”true”] Curiously, back in the 80’s, Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood starred  in a movie called “Brainstorm,” a sci-fi,  in which the two brilliant researchers developed a system of recording and playing back the actual experiences of people which, ultimately, in the movie goes terribly wrong. Here’s a one-minute clip from that early movie

But, back to reality:  While this research is an exciting step towards recreating moving pictures from internal imagery, the fully realized technology is still a distant goal.  We now know, however, it’s within grasp.  According to the study, one day we might someday be able to capture dreams and memories that exist only in our minds, or utilize the technology to help stroke or coma victims.

And that’s probably just the beginning!

To see the actual research movie clip go here:


SiteVision Creates New Website for Harrison Firm, PC

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3541″ align=”left” size=”Small 150 width”] The Harrison Firm, PC, a legal firm located in Roanoke, Virginia needed a better solution for their existing website.  SiteVision developed an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) to meet their goals. The new site, not only tells visitors about the firm, it keeps clients and visitors up to date on the very latest legal news and more.

The new website enables the firm to aggregate and share important legal news, discuss and present issues on Facebook, share information on Twitter and subscribe to relevant news feeds. Visitors to the site may also read news items, featured newsletter content and sign up to receive updated or relevant legal information as the firm publishes new material.

 An easy-to-use authoring tool works very much like word processing, enabling users to update content without knowing anything about HTML.  Another helpful feature automatically updates the firm’s Facebook and Twitter feeds – a task that was once manual.  By establishing the initial structure and design of the site, the firm’s users are left free to create content while the CMS handles the more esoteric routines in the background. SiteVision provided training for the new site.

Dan Shaffer Joins SiteVision As Director Of GESD

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3545″ title=”Dan Shaffer” align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” autoHeight=”true”] Dan Shaffer, a 22-year veteran in the design, development, and administration of geographic information systems and facility management data, becomes director of Geospatial Information Systems and Enterprise Development (GESD) for SiteVision, Inc., a Virginia Application Development and Hosting firm. As Director of GESD, Shaffer will report directly to the president and will be responsible for managing all aspects of the Division.

Shaffer brings with him expert knowledge in spatial and relational database development and geographic information systems.  He was formerly a faculty member and Acting Coordinator of Applied Geographic Information Systems, James Madison University, College of Integrated Science and Technology.  He was also Vice-Chairman of the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board as appointed by Virginia Governors Allen, Gilmore, and Warner.  Shaffer received his BS in Geography and his MS in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.  He was also CEO of Terralogic, Inc., a Land and Geographic Information Systems Development and Hosting Company that merged with SiteVision when Shaffer decided to pursue additional academic credentials.

“We are extremely gratified to have Dan join our team at SiteVision.  His extensive experience in GIS and systems project management, his ability to provide positive team leadership and mentoring, and his excellent knowledge of all major operating systems including GIS remote sensing, CADD and database systems, will be an extremely positive enhancement for our GESD Division,” said Patrick Maddox, President. “Dan’s presence in the industry is well established, as is his dedication to advancing this increasingly important technology,” added Maddox.

As team leader for the GESD Division, Shaffer will be directly responsible for managing GESD personnel and providing on-the-job training as needed, and will assign and oversee work of GESD personnel. He will also be responsible for developing new GESD services and markets, and for managing GESD client contacts, requests, submissions and contracts.

Why SiteVision?

We’re your advocate. SiteVision has been providing web development and hosting services to government agencies and non-profit organizations for over 20 years. We understand how overwhelming it can be to seek out a reliable solution for you website, custom application, and hosting needs.

At SiteVision we are passionate about creating solutions for customers that make their life better. We excel at understanding your business process and developing an application that is easy to learn and operate. We will always be fair, knowledgeable, honest, and professional.