Security Tip: The Bad Guys Can Spoof The Sender’s Name And Email Address On Malicious Messages

Email address spoofing

Let’s start with two familiar security principles.

•  The bad guys can make any name appear as the sender of a malicious email message.

•  Frequently the email address does not match the name. It’s one of the indicators that a message is fake.

The screenshot above is an example. You should always look at the email address of the sender before you click on anything in an email message. […] continued

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It’s Not Just Your Computer – Everything Is Too Hard To Use (And It’s Not Your Fault)

It's not just your computer - everything is too hard to use

I wrote an article a few years ago about how difficult it is for non-tech people to manage the fiddly bits required to run a Windows computer. It’s one of the things that drove the transition from computers to phone and tablets.

An interesting thing is happening today. The explosion of devices, products and services is causing just as much confusion and frustration in the world of mobile devices. […] continued

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Bloomberg And Chinese Spies: The Strangest Technology Story Of The Year

Bloomberg Businessweek - The Big Hack

The Chinese government has put secret spy chips on US government servers. They’re stealing secrets from Apple and Amazon. And the US government is engaged in a massive effort to prevent us from learning anything about it, for unknown reasons.

Maybe.

How about this: the US government is mounting a full-court disinformation campaign, spreading lies through multiple sources to discredit China and gain an advantage in trade wars – and taking down a huge media entity as collateral damage. […] continued

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The Bruceb News 2018 Year In Review

Bruceb News Year In Review 2018

Remember when I wrote an article a year ago predicting that always-connected computers would be heavily promoted in 2018?

Yeah, about that: not even close. Nada. All the buzz died away when the first PCs in that category turned out to be underpowered and, well, pretty awful.

Okay, that prediction didn’t pan out. […] continued

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Spotify Wrapped: My Top Ten Is Better Than Your Top Ten

Bruceb Spotify Top Ten 2018

(This will be the last Bruceb News article for 2018. I’ll return with more news next year, if anything interesting happens. Remember, a subscription to Bruceb News makes a lovely last-minute Xmas gift. Happy holidays!)

Spotify has launched its annual Spotify Wrapped website, where you can look back on your year of music listening, including your top artists and top songs, the number of minutes you listened to Spotify during 2018, and more. […] continued

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Algorithms And Paperclips: How Facebook Drives Us Apart

facebook_engagement_division

 

A famous thought experiment shows how an AI could be designed with good intentions and without malice, and still wind up destroying humanity.

Imagine that an artificial intelligence is told to maximize production of paperclips. Through an oversight it is not given any instructions about also considering human values – life, learning, joy, and so on. […] continued

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Put A Google Home Hub On Your Xmas List

Google Home Hub - the best 2018 home assistant

The Google Home Hub is my favorite home assistant. Put it on your Xmas list, or sneak one under the tree for yourself. If your pictures are stored in Google Photos, then the Google Home Hub is worth the investment just because it is the best photo frame ever. But Google Home Hub stands out for everything else it does, too, so it’s highly recommended unless you are already so deep in the Amazon Echo ecosystem that it doesn’t make sense to switch. […] continued

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Microsoft Has Not Made Any Progress On Sorting Out Its Personal And Work Accounts

Microsoft's dueling identity systems

Microsoft has two giant identity systems set up by different divisions of the company – one system for personal accounts, a different system for “work or school” accounts. It’s confusing. There is a team at Microsoft trying to make it less confusing; they may be doing things behind the scenes but there has not been any visible change in the last two years. […] continued

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Outlook Tip: Paste Your Way To A New Email Message (And A Few Other Random Bits)

Outlook - Ctrl-V paste to start a new message

Outlook is full of hidden surprises and shortcuts. Here are a few tips for Outlook junkies that range from obvious to obscure. I know the first one (sent in by good friend BillG) took me by surprise, and I’ve been scouring lists of Outlook tips for a long time.

 


Create an Outlook message from the clipboard

When you’re at the Outlook Inbox, a tap of the Ctrl-V key instantly copies the contents of your clipboard into a new email message. […] continued

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Prepare Yourself (And Your Budget) For Subscription Fatigue

2019 will be the year of subscription fatigue

You’re going to be so fed up with subscriptions by the end of next year that you will want to scream.

Want to play a game? Before you read further, think about your recurring monthly expenses for digital services, devices, and subscription boxes. Write down a quick estimate of how much you spend each month. […] continued

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Kasvot Växt And The Best Album You’ve Never Heard

Kasvot Vaxt - I Rokk album cover

It’s Thanksgiving week in the US. Do you mind if I tell you a story that has nothing to do with technology? Indulge me. We’ll get back to Microsoft shenanigans next week.

My favorite song of the year was performed for the first time ever on Halloween. The song is “We Are Come To Outlive Our Brains.” It’s from a 1981 album by Kasvot Växt. […] continued

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Windows 10 Tip: View Your Clipboard History

Windows 10 clipboard history

Your Windows 10 computer is going to install a major update soon. Microsoft just began rolling out the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update,” bringing Windows 10 to version 1809.

The version number – 1809 – is a code for the year and month of the update. So the version number suggests September and the official name is the “October update” and it’s being released in November. […] continued

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Am I The Only One Who Didn’t Know That Surge Protectors Wear Out?

Surge protectors wear out. Who knew?

Surge protectors wear out. A few thunderstorms, or just day to day use for a couple of years, and they are completely useless for power surges.

And you know how you can tell? You can’t. They keep sending power to whatever is plugged into them. But unbeknownst to you, they are providing no protection whatsoever against power surges. […] continued

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Vote 2018

Vote! 2018

To all my US readers:

This is what history looks like when it’s happening.

If you don’t get to the polls, or if you turn away because the line is long, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

Vote.

[…] continued
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Google Knows So Much About You That It’s Creepy, But It Might Not Be An Invasion Of Privacy

Google is creepy but it might not be invading your privacy

The term “invasion of privacy” is distracting us from understanding important issues.

Invasion of privacy is frequently thrown around as a core issue where consumers need protection against tech companies. Apple has made it the cornerstone of its marketing.

The European Union has enacted strict privacy laws for websites that obtain any kind of identifiable information about users. […] continued

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