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
Your next business desktop tower computer might be tiny. At least you should be open to the idea.
Old habits die hard. It has taken me far too long to realize that something fundamental is changing. It’s going to sound obvious when I describe it, but if it’s so obvious, why didn’t you think of it, huh, smart guy? […] continuedRead more
Here’s a tip for a few select people. Wonderful people. The best people. My people. All of you who use the desktop version of Outlook.
You also use Google Maps, because everyone uses Google Maps. That’s obvious, right? It has become so valuable, so rich, so far ahead of the competitors, that you are doing yourself a disservice if you use anything else. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft intends to simplify the ribbon in Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It’s possible that Microsoft will work thoughtfully and carefully and you will be happy with the result.
Oh, stop it. I hear you laughing. I’m serious. Microsoft is saying all the right words. They want to make the ribbons (the tabbed toolbars across the top) simpler and easier to use, but they say there will be an easy way to return to the way they look now for people with strong muscle memory who don’t want to change. […] continuedRead more
The onslaught of spam email with malicious links has reached epidemic levels. I’ve never seen it this bad. I hear from clients every day about dangerous email messages. I get 5 or 10 or 20 a day myself.
This is my new suggestion: Assume every message you receive is phony. […] continuedRead more
It’s not your imagination. Your cell phone is ringing off the hook with automated spam calls – 3.4 billion robocalls in April alone, a 35% increase from the previous year.
Advances in call technology make it easier for the bad guys to make higher volumes of calls. VOIP calls can be placed inexpensively from anywhere in the world. […] continuedRead more
This is a basic tip but it comes up all the time. Everyone needs a fast Internet connection. You might want to check your Internet speed out of curiosity, or because you suspect that your ISP is not delivering the connection that you were promised, or because some problem has developed with your equipment or your network. […] continuedRead more
Hundreds of thousands of routers – maybe yours! – are infected by malware linked to the Russian government. The bad guys behind the malware attack, Sofacy Group, are believed to be directed by Russia’s military intelligence agency. It’s the same group that hacked the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election. […] continuedRead more