There is still time to take advantage of tax breaks for small businesses in 2009. As a benefit of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, beneficial provisions of IRC Section 168(k) (relating to bonus depreciation) and Section 179* (relating to increased deductions) have been extended for new equipment and software placed in service.
* Bonus depreciation is available for all businesses and provides an immediate depreciation deduction of 50 percent of the cost of new equipment and software placed in service during calendar year 2009. For taxable years beginning in 2009, 100 percent of new equipment and software purchases up to $250,000 can be expensed immediately. To limit this benefit to small businesses, the maximum immediate expense amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar to the extent that a taxpayer’s total new equipment and software purchases for the year exceed $800,000. (None of this information should be construed as or constitutes tax advice—please consult your tax adviser for a complete and detailed analysis.)
Contact NOVA for further information…
HP is responding to today’s economic realities with a financing promotion…
HP Dangles Interest-Free Financing Carrot For SMBs
By Damon Poeter, ChannelWeb
4:02 PM EST Fri. Jan. 30, 2009
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) is going as low as it can go to sweeten the pot for small businesses buying technology, this week initiating a zero-percent financing promotion for its wide array of products.
The offer, provided through HP’s Financial Services subsidiary, has two interest-free financing paths — a 12-month purchasing plan or a 36-month leasing option — and becomes part of the vendor’s HP Total Care portfolio of products and services for SMBs.
“Several months ago, we looked into our crystal ball and said the economy is not going to recover for a while. And history proves that businesses that invest in their business during a recession — and that largely means investing in technology these days — break through to the other side in a good position,” said Brian Burch, director of SMB marketing in HP’s Personal Solutions Group.
The offer, dubbed HP Total Financing, kicked off Thursday and runs through April 30 in the United States and Canada. Both paths in the promotion let U.S. customers finance between $1,500 and $150,000 worth of products from the computing giant, while Canadians can tap HP Total Financing for between CDN$5,000 and CDN$150,000.
On the 12-month purchase plan, customers can complete their transactions with HP for $1 at the end of the interest-free payment period or else settle up at any point during that year. The lease offer includes a fair market value purchase option at the end of the lease term.
HP has been ginning up its focus on North American SMB sales of late — viewing the space as a “$60-billion opportunity,” according to newly named SMB channel sales chief Meaghan Kelly.
Contact NOVA for further information…
Microsoft won’t wait until next regular update to fix severe browser flaw
By Associated Press
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. is taking the unusual step of issuing an emergency fix for a security hole in its Internet Explorer software that has exposed millions of users to having their computers taken over by hackers.
The “zero-day” vulnerability, which came to light last week, allows criminals to take over victims’ machines simply by steering them to infected Web sites; users don’t have to download anything for their computers to get infected, which makes the flaw in Internet Explorer’s programming code so dangerous. Internet Explorer is the world’s most widely used Web browser.
Microsoft said it plans to ship a security update, rated “critical,” for the browser on Wednesday. People with the Windows Update feature activated on their computers will get the patch automatically.
Thousands of Web sites already have been compromised by criminals looking to exploit the flaw. The bad guys have loaded malicious code onto those sites that automatically infect visitors’ machines if they’re using Internet Explorer and haven’t employed a complicated series of workarounds that Microsoft has suggested.Microsoft said it has seen attacks targeting the flaw only in Internet Explorer 7, the most widely used version, but has cautioned that all other current editions of the browser are vulnerable.
Microsoft rarely issues security fixes for its software outside of its regular monthly updates. The company last did it in October, and a year and half before that.
More at ChicagoTribune.com
The official Microsoft Advisory
Please contact your NOVA account manager for how this situation affects you.
An excellent article was posted on the CA Security Advisor blog on the safe usage of public computers. These are the kind you might find at hotels, airports or perhaps your local gym for people to check email, print boarding passes, etc. Here is an excerpt with a link to read the entire article:
Exercise Caution When Using PUBLIC COMPUTERS
Over Thanksgiving I was reminded how scary public computers are and why you should avoid them. Publicly available computers are popping everywhere and increasingly ubiquitous with our daily lives. A few of the computers I ran into this weekend include: while waiting for an oil change at Mobile 1, a café for breakfast and the hotel I stayed at.
Public computers can be security nightmares
This weekend I intentionally left my laptop behind (a difficult separation for me) so I wouldn’t be “distracted”. That didn’t help. At the hot springs resort I stayed, I was drawn to a computer in the common room. The system was a…
Read the complete article here
This year has seen an increasing number of major judgements against spammers. While encouraging, this still seems to hardly make a dent in the amount of spam generated. Certainly, this is a classic game of technology “cat and mouse”.
Facebook Wins $873 Million Judgment Against Spammer
The penalty is the largest award yet under the 2003 Can-Spam Act.
By Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek
Nov. 24, 2008
Facebook on Friday won $873 million in damages from a spammer, the largest award to date under the 2003 Can-Spam Act.
The penalty for illegal spamming appears to be rising. Facebook’s award tops the $234 million judgment won by MySpace in May against Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines. It also exceeds the $177,500 fine and $1.1 million ill-gotten-gain forfeiture that Jeffrey Kilbride and James Schaffer were ordered to pay in October 2007 for the pair’s porn spam operation. “We’ve all experienced spam — those unwanted Continue reading
Over the years, we have worked with many leasing companies on funding/financing for our client’s IT projects. For the past couple years, we have been involved in deals with the Chicago office of Marlin Leasing (NASDAQ: MRLN). Today I received a very nicely done 1-page overview of the current IRS Section 179 deduction paramaters and how it relates to leasing. Here is the link:
If you are interested in pursuing an equipement purchase and may be interested in leasing options, please contact Nick Paolilli, please make sure to mention NOVA as having referred you:
Marlin Leasing Corporation
1.866.462.7546 ext. 3115
There is a phishing expedition underway with emails enticing people to login and provide details about their registered domain names through Network Solutions. This is not a legitimate notice and does not come from Network Solutions. The link appears to send you to networksolutions.com, but in fact sends you to a different place – do not click on this link. Simply disregard its instructions and delete the message. Here is what this email looks like:
NetworkSolutions Team [SMTP:SUPPORT@NETWORKSOLUTIONS.COM]
Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:18:06 AM
Subject: Your domains will be expired soon!
Dear Network Solutions Customer,
We recently notified you that the registration period for your Network Solutions domain name had expired. As a benefit of having previously registered a domain name(s) with Network Solutions, you are eligible to receive a percentage of the net proceeds that were generated from the renewal and transfer of the domain name you chose not to renew. Since you have chosen not to renew the domain name listed Continue reading
In an unusual step, Microsoft has released a critical security update between regularly scheduled update/patch releases. This update is considered critical by Microsoft, however after NOVA system engineers carefully reviewed the vulnerability and associated risks, we have determined our clients running a Cisco PIX or ASA firewall are less exposed to this issue.
We recommend application of the patch in the near future, but immediate attention is not warranted in this case provided your network is protected by a NOVA managed Cisco PIX or ASA firewall. If you do not have a Cisco firewall, please contact your NOVA account manager immediately to discuss your specific situation.
* US-CERT Vulnerability Note VU#827267
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067
There is a series of “official” looking emails circulating from what appears to be Microsoft. The email tries to entice the user to install an important update from Microsoft, but in fact clicking from this email will install a virus on your PC.
Please note Microsoft never releases updates via email. The only authorized, legitimate updates from Microsoft are done either through WindowsUpdate or by clicking through directly from a Microsoft Support Knowledge Base article. Microsoft has never sent an update invitation by email. Although this series of notices look very convincing, users should immediately delete these when received.
If you have any questions or aren’t sure, please contact your NOVAaccount manager for assistance. Here is a sample of the latest round of fraudulent emails “from Microsoft”:
7:37 PM EDT Mon. Oct. 06, 2008 Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) is extending again the time period for which PC makers can use ‘downgrade rights’ to switch from Windows Vista to Windows XP on their machines.
In the face of demand for continued access to Windows XP and dissatisfaction with Vista, Microsoft has moved out the time frame for downgrade rights to XP from Jan. 31 2009 to July 31, 2009, The Register reported last week.
“Downgrade rights do not expire,” a Microsoft spokesman confirmed Monday. “As more customers make the move to Windows Vista, we want to make sure that they are making that transition with confidence and that it is as smooth as possible. Providing downgrade media for a few more months is part of that commitment.”
Microsoft elaborated on its intentions in a statement to Mary Jo Foley’s “All about Microsoft” blog, saying: “What’s changing is Microsoft is giving six more months where it will provide downgrade media for XP Professional for OEMs and system builders to provide to their customers who purchase Windows Vista Ultimate and Business editions ” (which the company figures will be) largely going to be small businesses since that’s the audience that would want/use XP Pro. So it’s the same old downgrade right thing that was in the EULA (End User License Agreement) before; it’s just Microsoft is providing the media to partners a few months more.
“The same caveat with providing the downgrade media as before applies, which is OEMs and system builders don’t have to do so if they don’t want ” it’s their business decision to make, Microsoft added.
Microsoft has extended XP downgrade rights before. In April, Microsoft said OEMs could provide downgrade media for Windows XP with new Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate PCs until January 31, 2009, which was also the cutoff date for system builders.
By Jack McCarthy, ChannelWeb