Monday, May 1, 2017

A Trend That I Hope Doesn't Start.... [#Video]

By Vincent Esquivel

Different companies have been blocking customers' ability to repair their own devices. Of course, this has been something that has been going on for decades. We've all seen that Void Warranty sticker that can tear if the device is taken apart.

Now, Apple has taken this step by preventing the latest iPhone from using a new or used home button. Of course, this is on purpose. It prevents you or a third party repair shop from fixing it. But, if you take it to an Apple Store, they'll gladly replace with no problem. They claim it deals with user security. That's up for debate. And, you're lucky if you have an Apple Store down the street. No inconvenience for you.

However, I live in Corpus Christi, Texas. The closest Apple Store is in the San Antonio area. Which is about a 4 hour drive round trip. A total nightmare for someone that needs their phone fixed immediately. That's if you can get an appointment within the same day.

The Right to Repair is near and dear to my heart. Not only because I make a living off of it, but because I believe in empowering people through technology. People should know how to repair their own possessions. I might be a computer tech, but I've repair my vehicles and my lawnmower a number of times. Saving me hundreds of dollars through the years. Have there been vehicle repairs I couldn't do? Yes. That's where hiring a technician comes in and saves the day and myself from a big headache.

Not only is repairing your own devices good for your wallet, it's also good for the planet. Repairing is Recycling. Some people are in too much of a habit to throw away things that can easily be repaired. It's enough that companies will sooner or later break your phone or laptop by making it obsolete for the latest software update. When it comes to that point do recycle your devices properly.

So, as far as companies preventing users from repairing their own devices, this is a trend I would like to see go away. I believe in the Right to Repair for all people. Stay informed and connect with me online.

If you have any questions, message me or give me a call.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Easter Special - $50 Computer Repair

Let me tell you, the weather here in Corpus Christi has been beautiful lately. We're actually having a Spring season for once. And, of course that means it will be Easter soon.

So, I have a great deal going on for the next few days. Computer Repair for only $50. Drop-Offs only. Any parts needed for the repair will be extra. But, of course, I always give free estimates. Give me a call to set up a good time for you to drop off your computer. 361-334-9265 - Vincent

Hurry! This deal ends on Thursday (4/13/2017)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Russian Agents Facing Charges For Yahoo Hacks

By: Vincent Esquivel

As news spreads about who was involved in the Yahoo hacks, I'm taking note on what kind of data was being sought and acquired. I'm hearing a lot about financial information in these reports. So, please take some time to check your financial statements. If you don't feel secure enough with the bank cards and credit cards you are carrying, you have every right to call your financial institution and order new cards with new numbers. Keep your private information safe.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

RapidTech 12th Anniversary - $50 Computer Repair

UPDATE: This Deal ended March 31, 2017.

By: Vincent Esquivel

On March 1, 2005 RapidTech was born. 12 years later and I'm still repairing computers and helping solve customers' tech problems. I'm proud to serve the Corpus Christi area. 

Of course, it's not just about me or RapidTech. It's all about the customers. Helping anyway I can. Providing free estimates. Free diagnostics with service. Empowering customers with knowledge and free software. This alone saves my customers thousands of dollars through the years. Why spend money when there are free, legit alternatives. And, of course, RapidTech service is always guaranteed. Even virus removal.

Heading into a new year of business, I want to serve my community more. Providing more information and knowledge that will help families and individuals get the most out of their computers. This can genuinely lead to having better lives. I also want to provide more how-to information to show people how to repair and maintain their computers. There's no need to throw away our tools when they can simply be fixed. That's the main reason I love to blog and record the RapidTech Podcast. 

So, let's celebrate. For the month of March computer repair is only $50. That's for The Best Virus Removal. Hard Drive installs. Data Transfer or Backup. And, other services. Of course, estimates are always free. Drop-offs only. Parts are extra. Got questions? I will be so happy to answer them.

Your Friend in Computer Repair. Give me a call today: 361-334-9265

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Texas Comptroller Warns Of Phone Scam

By: Vincent Esquivel

I recently got an email from the Texas Comptroller warning of a phone scam that is targeting taxpayers. As the message says, never give your credit card information over the phone. Protect your information and be safe.

"We recently became aware of a scam involving an individual falsely claiming to represent the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, or in some cases the Texas Department of Transportation. The caller claims the taxpayer has a tax liability or other issue and requests credit card information. 
The Comptroller's office does not request payment details, such as credit card numbers or electronic check information, over the telephone. 
If you receive one of these calls, please do not provide your personal confidential credit card or bank information."

Have any questions? Visit the Texas Comptroller Website.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2 Repairs for 1 Valentine's Day Special

By: Vincent Esquivel

I love helping my customers with their computer problems. And, I always take it a step further with installing free antivirus software with every repair. I don't have to. I want to. I see it as a responsibility to make sure I don't give back a computer to a customer without some sort of protection on it.

So, it's that time. Love is in the air. The best deal of the year. 2 Repairs for 1. Treat your loved ones to fixed computers without breaking the bank.

You already got the flowers and candy. Now, give them peace of mind. Give them the gift that keeps on giving. A protected and properly working computer.

Or, you can treat yourself. Get those couple of computers that have needed to be serviced finally fixed.

Dust off those old computers you forgot about. Keep in mind that I always give Free Estimates.

Now for the technical stuff: This deal is for Labor only. Parts are excluded from this special. Any parts needed for repair will be charged to the customer and may require a deposit. The higher priced repair will be charged to the customer. The lower priced repair will be free. Drop-Offs only.

Have any questions? I'll be happy to answer them. Call me today to set up an appointment and get a free estimate: 361-334-9265

Hurry! This deal ends soon.

Monday, February 6, 2017

"FBI Is Put On Notice" After iOS Crack Leak

By: Vincent Esquivel

In 2015, a controversial iPhone made the headlines and became a topic of discussion for a controversial reason. After the San Bernandino shooting, the police had confiscated an iPhone that belonged to the shooters. This phone soon took center stage of the investigation. Who were the shooters talking to? Who else may have been involved? A known terrorist group? 

With those type of questions having to be answered, the investigation was no longer a local matter. The case was quickly taken over by the FBI. And, so was this phone. Soon the FBI was blaming the local authorities for making matters worse by trying to unlock the phone themselves. This had led to the phone locking itself down after failed attempts of unlocking it. So, the FBI went to Apple so they could unlock the phone and they could get into the data. Apple declined. This led to a legal battle. Apple stood behind their decision.

Everything was quiet until the FBI admitted they went with a third party and got the phone unlocked. There were rumors that it was one individual and that $1 million was paid for the service. But, no specifics were given.

Personally, I felt that not giving any details of who was responsible for the unlocking was a good thing. As soon as a name was released, I knew through history that a hack or attack was bound to happen. These type of tools and techniques are sought after by hackers. We put our whole lives are on our cell phones. Some of these hackers don't have the best of intentions.

Then, Cellebrite appeared. Soon, they were on news reports explaining their business. They just don't unlock iPhones. They unlock Android and Blackberry phones, too. Their clock started ticking.

The data and various cracks were leaked by a hacker last month.

As reported by Motherboard:

Now the hacker responsible has publicly released a cache of files allegedly stolen from Cellebrite relating to Android and BlackBerry devices, and older iPhones, some of which may have been copied from publicly available phone cracking tools. 
"The debate around backdoors is not going to go away, rather, its is almost certainly going to get more intense as we lurch toward a more authoritarian society," the hacker told Motherboard in an online chat. 
"It's important to demonstrate that when you create these tools, they will make it out. History should make that clear," they continued.
Cellebrite is an Israeli firm which specializes in extracting data from mobile phones for law enforcement agencies. The company's flagship product, the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), typically comes as a small, laptop-sized device, and can pull SMS messages, emails, and more from thousands of different mobile phone models. The investigator needs to have physical access to the phone to analyze it. 
A Motherboard investigation found that US state police and highway patrol agencies have collectively spent millions of dollars on Cellebrite technology.

Later in the same article:
"@FBI Be careful in what you wish for," the hacker's message reads, before signing off with a piece of ASCII art, which says "Backdoorz."

Encryption and privacy will always be subjects of debate. Hacking is not going anywhere. But, my advice to you is to encrypt your cell phone. Transfer and delete files and things you don't want to end up in the wrong hands. Think about limiting your cell phone use to just using it as a phone. Maybe your banking should be done only on the home computer. These are just suggestions. But, it's something to consider. Protect your data. Protect your identity.