Bruceb Goes Off The Grid 08/14-08/20

Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

I will be on vacation and off the grid during the week of August 14th. I will not have cell phone service and at best might occasionally have an erratic and unreliable Internet connection, probably only at night.

If you are a Bruceb Consulting client and need immediate assistance, contact Mike Cook, mike@mcsolutionsco.com, 707 827-1524. […] continued

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The Latest Microsoft Branding Failures

How Microsoft chooses brand names

Every month at Microsoft, a team of highly paid professionals writes words on slips of paper. They always include “Microsoft,” “Windows,” “Office,” “365,” “Pro,” “Home,” “Business,” “Enterprise,” “Azure,” “Surface,” and “Online.” They put the slips of paper into a hat and jumble them around. Then they randomly pick out three or four and lay them on a table. […] continued

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Feel The Excitement Of Windows 10 Shared Experiences

Fix your account - Windows 10 Shared Experiences

Now that you’re finally getting the “Creators Update” for Windows 10 – you know, the one that was “released” in April – you might have seen the above window appear in the lower right corner. “You need to fix your Microsoft Account for apps on your other devices to be able to launch apps and continue experiences on this device.” In fact, some people are getting that message over and over and over and over until they want to scream. […] continued

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Outlook And The Never-Ending Password Prompt

Outlook password prompt

This is a frustrating story of a poorly-defined bug with no solution. Feel free to look away if this doesn’t apply to you.

Starting a month ago, Outlook began prompting a few of my clients for passwords. It has been prompting them a lot. At its worst, Outlook password prompts are popping up every ten or fifteen minutes. […] continued

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The Case Of The Missing Eye

Security - the case of the missing eye

Let’s track down a bad guy. Looking through the clues will help you catch the next criminal that tries to trick you with a malicious email message.

I received many reports last week of phony messages that appeared to be from Microsoft, Paypal, and others. There are some examples below. One of them was clever in an interesting way that will remind you of how careful you need to be. […] continued

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A Possible Fix For The Excel Slow File Opening Bug

Excel & the Realtek WavesMaxxAudio bug

Previously: What To Do When Excel Opens . . . Very . . . Slowly . . .

Windows is weird.

A year ago I wrote an article about an Excel bug: occasionally there is a 30-60 second delay after clicking on an .XLSX file before the Excel logo appears and the file opens. […] continued

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The Fast And The Slow Of Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 updates - announce fast, deliver slow

A few months ago, Microsoft announced that there will be two major updates for Windows 10 every year, in March and September. These are the big updates that bring Exciting New Features™, in addition to the regular monthly or more-than-monthly security updates. Microsoft said it is committed to making the update process “predictable.” So you know we can count on it! […] continued

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It’s Time To Improve Your Passwords! Scary Stories About The Bad Guys

password-petname

The bad guys aren’t kidding around. They’re after you. Some day soon you will be walking down the street and a 400 pound hacker will galumph out and make a scary face and shout, “Give me all the passwords in your wallet!” and stomp off cackling and steal all your money from his couch. […] continued

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Amazon’s Secret Weapon Is Of Prime Importance

Amazon Prime

You’re an Amazon Prime member, right? If not, goodness, get over there and sign up. Give Amazon $99 for the privilege of shopping there. You’ll feel that it’s money well spent. It does not work by trickery. It works because you are convinced that you are getting great value from it – and Amazon keeps making it better and better. […] continued

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Google And The Quest For One True Answer

Google and the quest for One True Answer

The European Union’s head of antitrust enforcement hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine last week because of a shopping service you’ve never heard of.

The EU’s action comes after seven years of tussling with Google. The case was almost settled in 2014 but intense lobbying caused the proposed settlement to fall apart and led to the much stricter punishment announced last week. […] continued

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Peeking Behind The Scenes At Spotify & The Music Industry

Spotify, streaming music, and record companies

Spotify and Apple Music have helped the music industry recover from a disastrous decade. Here are a couple of interesting perspectives on streaming music – a look behind the scenes at the relationship between Spotify and the music industry, and a thought about our shift to streaming music.

Let’s call them “record companies.” A bit of an archaic term, but that’s the familiar name for Universal, Warner, Sony and a few others – the businesses that continue to stand between artists and the public, demanding a huge cut of revenue from music recordings and performances. […] continued

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Google Photos Transforms Your Memories

Google Photos transforms your memories

Google Photos is transformational. Some name will emerge to describe the next wave of technology – “post-Internet” or “A.I.-enabled,” maybe. References to “artificial intelligence” and future technology can be vague and scary. Google Photos is here today to show you that what’s coming is exciting, not scary, and it has the potential to transform our lives as profoundly as the Internet itself has changed our world in the last twenty years. […] continued

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Box Drive: The Next Step In Moving Files To The Cloud

Box Drive - the next step in moving files to the cloud

Today Box announced that Box Drive is generally available. We are beginning a profound shift in the way we think about our files. This deserves some attention even if you don’t use Box – Dropbox and OneDrive will be following suit before long.

Box Drive is a new program that lets you use Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder to browse through all the files stored online in Box. […] continued

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Windows 10 Tip: How To Make PDFs Open In Acrobat

How to Make PDFs open in Acrobat

One of the first things everyone does with a new Windows 10 computer is install basic programs and utilities and set defaults so files open in the right program. This is a quick note for people who want to use Acrobat DC or Acrobat Reader to open PDFs, using “Set your default programs” in Control Panel. […] continued

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Microsoft Hides Control Panel For Your Own Good

Windows 10 power user menus

The picture above shows the menu that comes up when you right-click the Start button in Windows 10. Many of you haven’t seen it. It’s full of things that burrow deeply into the system controls. That’s why it’s usually called the “power user menu.” I use it constantly.

On the left is the power user menu as it has appeared pretty consistently since Windows 10 was released. […] continued

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