With the collapse of the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, there are fewer reasons all the time to sign into Windows 10 with a personal Microsoft account. I’m finding I frequently set up new computers with classic local accounts and bypass Microsoft’s push to connect the computer to an online account.
Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of logging into Windows with a personal Microsoft account. […] continuedRead more
Adware has started to turn up again, using Chrome extensions and notifications as a way to display annoying ads and muck up the time we spend on our computers and phones – as if we didn’t have enough to worry about.
In the old days, we installed adware on our Windows computers when we clicked “yes” on the wrong website popup or as unwanted companions to “free” programs. […] continuedRead more
Samsung is a global electronics company with hundreds of thousands of employees. It is the world’s largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker by revenue. Samsung sells more smartphones than any other manufacturer by a large margin.
(You think Apple is number two in smartphone sales, and you’re a bit surprised it’s not number one, right? […] continuedRead more
Microsoft does not have an ecosystem for consumers or small businesses in 2018. There is very little synergy between Microsoft products and almost nothing locks us into Microsoft products when we move from one category to another.
It makes old-timers sad to think of the past, because Microsoft had a successful ecosystem for decades. […] continuedRead more
Google is an advertising company. Its incentives are all tied to maximizing engagement with places where you will see ads served up by Google’s ad network. But that has more depth than you realize, driven by Google’s desire to have those ads be more effective and tailored to you than anyone else’s ads, combined with a strong ethical culture and the sheer joy of technology. […] continuedRead more
Amazon seeks to be the middleman in every financial transaction on the planet. Its incentives are all tied to making customers happy in every context where Amazon can take a small fee as money moves from one place to another.
Since the beginning, Amazon’s mission statement has been: “Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” In the most recent SEC filings, however, that is shortened; now it refers only to “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” without restricting it to sales from the Amazon website. […] continuedRead more
Apple is a company that sells premium smartphones with very high profit margins. Its incentives are all tied to profits from selling iPhones.
The other products, the iPads and Macs and the rest, are all swell businesses that generate lovely profits. They help reward Apple faithful and lock in users. Make no mistake, though: in 2018, Apple’s single-minded goal is to increase iPhone sales. […] continuedRead more
Five giant technology companies have set up walled gardens full of shiny devices and enticing services. All of us live in their gardens. We’re not completely locked in. We move from one walled garden to another, but each company hopes to keep you within its garden by making its services and devices work better if you stay in its embrace. […] continuedRead more
The bad guys know where you live.
The bad guys know your old passwords.
But the bad guys do not have a video of you looking at porn. They’re lying to scare you.
If you get an email asking for money and threatening to release an embarrassing video taken with your laptop camera, it is a scam. […] continuedRead more
There is a difference between Russian hacking, on the one hand; and Russian meddling in American society and interfering with our election, on the other hand. The terms are used interchangeably and imprecisely in news coverage. Let’s try for clarity. Knowing the difference will help you sort out the claims flying back and forth in the headlines. […] continuedRead more
The Perfect Weapon by New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger, is the most important book you will read this year.
Before I describe the book, let me start with something essential to know about it: The Perfect Weapon reads like a thriller. It does not get technical or difficult. […] continuedRead more
When you’ve finished talking to your computer, you can sit back and listen to it instead. Microsoft has improved the speech features in Word and Outlook for Office 365 subscribers, so the computer will read documents and messages out loud with more natural inflection and pauses. It’s still mechanical but it’s better mechanical. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has quietly improved the speech recognition features in Windows 10 and in the Office programs. They’re still not great but you might want to give them a try if you haven’t talked to your computer in a while.
One fundamental truth has not changed: If you are serious about dictating on a computer, there is no alternative to the Dragon Naturally Speaking products. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has changed the way we search for mail in Outlook 2016. The changes are almost (but not quite) invisible, so the details are only important if you’re an Outlook power searcher. The rest of you can take a day off and rest up for the next article.
Here’s the short version. […] continuedRead more
The definitive answer to which is better, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Forget about it. Just a stupid clickbait headline so this article goes viral and I get a gazillion tweets and Facebook likes and LinkedIn bites or whatever they do over at LinkedIn.
After a couple of years of blanket advertising, you know about Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, right? […] continuedRead more