Tech Giants And World Domination

Five companies dominate the Internet

Five companies – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft – dominate everything that happens in technology. They arguably wield more power than many governments and they have an outsized influence on the global economy.

These dominant platforms have created barriers for competitors. We haven’t had a major new technology company emerge in more than ten years. […] continued

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Around The World In 80 Taps: Google Pay, Apple Pay, And Contactless Payments

NFC mobile phone payment

I never used a credit card in Australia. I bought coffee and sandwiches and souvenirs and dinners and clothing, but I never pulled out my wallet. I never used cash, either.

I tapped.

You should tap.

Australian merchants accept mobile payments with Google Pay or Apple Pay for almost every transaction. […] continued

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Visiting The Land Down Under, Returning To The Upside Down World

Walking from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach outside Sydney

We’re safely back from a trip to Australia – walking on the beach on the Bay of Fires in Tasmania, shopping at Salamanca Market in Hobart, exploring lanes and arcades and alleys in Melbourne, and getting lost after a wrong turn in a rental car, all the more disorienting because other drivers are rather insistent that cars belong on the left side of the road. […] continued

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Bruce Goes To Australia; Bruceb News On Hiatus; Angry Clients Demand Reforms

Bruce goes to Australia

SEBASTOPOL – Bruce Berls announced plans today to travel to Australia from February 22 through March 11, 2018. The trip, previously a closely-held secret, will disrupt publication of Bruceb News and has caused an outcry from clients whose businesses depend on smooth delivery of IT services.

When contacted, Mr. Berls issued the following statement. […] continued

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Google Blocks Ads In Chrome, Kind Of

Google blocks ads in Chrome

Google has updated Chrome so it will block ads on some websites if the ads violate standards established by the Coalition For Better Ads. Google and Facebook are members of the Coalition. Google and Facebook are also the two companies that profit the most from web advertising, controlling almost 75% of all digital advertising in the United States. […] continued

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Looking Forward: Google Home, Amazon Echo & Home Assistants

Google Home, Amazon Echo & other home assistants

The battle between Amazon and Google in the market for home assistants will be the source of the most interesting technology advances in 2018.

You probably know the basics. Perhaps you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home in your kitchen already. You may not be aware, though, of how broad the vision is for these devices and how far Amazon and Google are prepared to take them. […] continued

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Store Files Online, View Them On Your Computer With Dropbox Smart Sync

Dropbox Smart Sync

Dropbox Smart Sync is a new feature that allows you to store files online and browse through them with Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder. The files are not synced. They are only online, not on your local hard drive.

This is an important change in technology for small businesses and individuals with a large number of files. […] continued

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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2018

Computer and online safety 2018 - Stop, Think, Act

These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2018. You can download a copy here.

You will be safe if you are cautious. Stop and think before you click on links, before you call unfamiliar phone numbers, before you install programs, and before you fill in passwords.  Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. […] continued

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Office 365 Tip: How To Turn Off Focused Inbox And Turn On Clutter

Outlook - clutter and focused inbox

I don’t like Focused Inbox. I want my Clutter back.

Focused Inbox is Microsoft’s new method of filtering mail for Office 365 business accounts. Here’s more info about Focused Inbox.

The short version:

•  Clutter and Focused Inbox are both ways to separate important messages from messages that are less likely to be important to you – newsletters, notifications, marketing and ads. […] continued

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LogMeIn Hopes You Won’t Notice That Its Price Is Absurdly High

LogMeIn price increase 2018

In 2013 LogMeIn was free for individuals.

In 2018 the exact same service from LogMeIn costs $349.99/year.

That is so outlandish, so absurd, that it seems like it must be a joke.

LogMeIn 2018 price

No joke.

LogMeIn is a publicly traded company that offers a number of services for collaboration, IT support, and remote access to computers. […] continued

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Connecting The Always Connected PCs

Connecting the Always Connected PC

Previously: Looking Forward: Always Connected Computers

If you were paying attention during the previous lecture, you know that Microsoft is working with Qualcomm on “Always Connected PCs.” HP, Lenovo, Asus and other manufacturers will soon be selling laptops that are always on and always connected and offer long battery life. […] continued

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Looking Forward: Always Connected Computers

Always Connected computers

Stretch your imagination.

Imagine that you pull your laptop out and pop the lid open and start using it right away. There’s no delay, no swirling circle – it’s just on, bang, every time. You put your finger on the fingerprint reader and you’re logged in immediately.

Now imagine that the computer is always online with a working internet connection. […] continued

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Looking Forward: Increasing Your Core Strength

The future of multi-core processors

Nothing will stand still in 2018. You’ll be bombarded with new technology and more jargon. As always, some of the changes will be useful advances that will make your life better, and some of them will . . . not.

We’re going to start the year with a look at some familiar technology that will be changing in unexpected ways in 2018. […] continued

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Meltdown & Spectre: What You Need To Know About Intel’s Security Disaster

Meltdown & Spectre - Intel's security disaster

Nearly every modern processor has security flaws that potentially could allow hackers to steal data from any computer or server. The two related problems, code-named Meltdown and Spectre, have the technology industry in a tizzy and spilled over to the mainsteam press a few days ago. They are difficult to fix and alarming to read about. […] continued

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The 2017 Bruceb News Year In Review

The 2017 Bruceb News Year In Review

A year ago I wrote this prediction: “The word of the year for 2017 is “chaos.” Write it down, seal it in an envelope, open it up a year from now and see if I got it right.”

I think I get full marks. (Although chose “complicit” as the word of the year, which has a certain snarky charm.)

We are in a transitional time in technology, with a handful of very large companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – accumulating power and wealth and dominating the landscape. […] continued

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