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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My Favorite Technology Of 2017: Set Multiple Timers On An Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo - Alexa now supports multiple timers

Now you can say what a timer is for when you set it on an Amazon Echo. “Alexa, set a timer for the pasta for eight minutes.” Then set a second timer: “Alexa, set a timer for the laundry for 30 minutes.” Eight minutes later, the Echo will chime, and Alexa will say, “Your pasta timer is done.” “Alexa, how much time is left on my laundry timer?” “Twenty-two minutes.” You can set reminders, too. […] continued

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What’s The Matter With Office?

Office programs - as solid as a rock slide

The programs in Microsoft’s Office suite should be as solid as a rock. Lately that phrase doesn’t seem to mean what it used to mean.

The core Office programs are mature. They’re downright elderly. Microsoft Word and Excel are more than thirty years old. The Outlook program for Windows is 20 years old. […] continued

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Google Lens Might Be The Future Of Google, The Future Of Mobile, The Future Of Everything

Google Lens - store

Google announced a number of new products and services at its developer conference last week. One of them, Google Lens, might change the world. It might be the most important technology announcement in ten years. Of course, it’s just as likely that it will turn out to be nothing important, just another bit of vaporware that is underwhelming when it appears and is abandoned two years later. […] continued

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WeChat, QR Codes, And The Future Of Mobile

WeChat customized personal QR codes

China uses smartphones differently than anywhere else in the world. It’s a fascinating story! Understanding WeChat and why QR codes are displayed everywhere in China will give you a context to understand the importance of Google’s announcements last week. I’ll tell you about Google Assistant and Google Lens in the next article. […] continued

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Ransomware And Other Scary Monsters

Ransomware and other scary monsters

The chances are good that you weren’t affected by the ransomware attack that began Friday and is still in progress around the world. In fact, it’s very likely that it’s not a threat to you, even if you click on its evil link. I’ll tell you some of the reasons for that. […] continued

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Surface Laptops And Lessons About Desperation

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Next month Microsoft will begin selling Surface Laptops, elegant and sexy, Microsoft’s first Surface devices with a traditional clamshell design. You’ll be tempted to buy one, but in the end you won’t. Almost no one will buy  them. Microsoft will sell some Surface Laptops, of course, but sales volume will be insignificant – no shame but no bragging rights. […] continued

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Windows 10 S Will Be Microsoft’s Next Failure

Windows 10 S & Surface Laptop - failures waiting to happen

Microsoft made two big announcements this week at an education-themed press event. They’re related in a couple of ways. One common element is that Microsoft will fail at both of the new ventures it announced. I think each one is deeply flawed.

The two announcements:

•  Microsoft will soon release Windows 10 S,  a new version of Windows 10. […] continued

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You’ll Discover The Best Windows 10 Feature When You Give Away Your Computer

Reset Windows 10 to its factory settings

With only a few clicks, you can reset your Windows 10 computer back to its brand-new condition when it was pulled out of the box. It will start up with the Microsoft license agreement, ready to be used by someone new. All your personal information and files will be erased. […] continued

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Windows 10 Tip: How To Check The Health Of Your Laptop Battery

Windows 10 battery running low warning

My much-loved Thinkpad X1 Yoga was shipped to Lenovo today. I’ll be a bit twitchy and irritable until it comes back. But I couldn’t ignore the signs of old age any longer.

There comes a time when a laptop needs a new battery.

Lithium ion batteries don’t have a “memory” like older batteries but they do have life spans. […] continued

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Windows 10 Cloud & Device Independence

Microsoft Windows 10 Cloud event announcement

On May 2 Microsoft will announce a new generation of Windows for low-cost computers targeted at education. Information has leaked about some parts of that announcement and tech journalists are speculating about what it might mean. There is one thing that has not been discussed and it is crucial to the success or failure of the new venture. […] continued

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