January

New Directions For Skype

Skype

Skype is being transformed this year into an integrated platform available on phones, tablets and computers for a variety of communications tasks. There has been a flurry of updates and announcements in the last few months – these are the highlights.

Log into Skype with your Microsoft account

Microsoft is linking many services together with your free “Microsoft account,” the successor to the poorly understood Windows Live ID. […] continued “New Directions For Skype”

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Skype Fundamentals

Skype

Most of you are familiar with Skype, the program that lets you make free calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world. Microsoft bought Skype at the end of 2011 and has been slowly (very, very slowly) rebuilding it and integrating Skype with its other services. Skype is going to take center stage in 2013, with features that go far beyond simple Skype-to-Skype calls. […] continued “Skype Fundamentals”

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Windows 8 Sales Are Slow–And It’s (Partially) The Manufacturers’ Fault

Slow Windows 8 sales

Windows 8 was introduced at the end of October. Although Microsoft claims to have sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses since then, it’s generally conceded that sales have been slower than anticipated.

There are several reasons for the slow start. Computer manufacturers bear some of the responsibility.

The computer era is ending faster than expected. […] continued “Windows 8 Sales Are Slow–And It’s (Partially) The Manufacturers’ Fault”

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The Vulnerable, Deceptive World Of Java

Java - vulnerable, deceptive, broken

Ed Bott has written a fascinating article about Java’s bad behavior – not just its security vulnerabilities, which are legion, but also its incessant attempts to install adware that mucks up your computer every time you install an update. It’s a must-read article if you want to know how your browser winds up infested with cruddy toolbars and hijacked home pages and the wrong search engine. […] continued “The Vulnerable, Deceptive World Of Java”

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Windows Tip: Use The Browser Address Bar For Web Searches

Internet Explorer address bar

You can type web searches into the address bar of your browser and get the same results as if you had typed them directly into Google.

This is an old trick but it’s not well known – and it’s incredibly useful. I type search terms into my browser all day, without the extra clicks that would be necessary to go to www.google.com. […] continued “Windows Tip: Use The Browser Address Bar For Web Searches”

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Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch–The Practically Perfect Laptop

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch

Lenovo has begun shipping the Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch, an updated version of its already awesome Ultrabook, now with a touchscreen that is perfectly suited to Windows 8.

It is elegant and powerful and well-designed. It is thin and light, almost impossibly so. It has a 14” screen packed in a chassis that other manufacturers use for 13” screens. […] continued “Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch–The Practically Perfect Laptop”

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Bruceb Remote Management: Staying Up To Date In A Dangerous World

Bruceb Remote Management - monitoring & updates

Your brush with danger from the weekend Java vulnerability ought to help you appreciate the importance of staying up to date on all the programs targeted by malware: Windows, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Acrobat & Reader, and the other programs that are under attack by the bad guys. […] continued “Bruceb Remote Management: Staying Up To Date In A Dangerous World”

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Dangerous Java Security Flaw Causes Much Excitement

Java zero day exploit

Hackers discovered a new security flaw in Java and immediately set up poisoned web sites that can compromise your computer if you click on a link. Since no patch is currently available to fix the vulnerability, it qualifies as a “zero day exploit,” the most dangerous kind of security problem. […] continued “Dangerous Java Security Flaw Causes Much Excitement”

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Office Tip: How To Open Multiple Outlook Windows

Outlook - open in multiple windows

You can open Outlook in multiple windows – one window displaying your inbox, for example, one window displaying your calendar, one window displaying your contacts. It can be far easier to switch between windows than to switch from one section of Outlook to another.

The simplest way to do that: right-click on the name of an Outlook folder and click on Open in New Window. […] continued “Office Tip: How To Open Multiple Outlook Windows”

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Smartphone Wars: Google Blocks Windows Phone From Accessing Google Maps

Smartphone wars: Google blocks Windows Phone from accessing Google Maps

Previously: Clash Of The Titans: The War Of The Ecosystems

Google did something evil.

It will get undone shortly, but the fact remains that Google directly attacked a group of consumers for no reason except to gain a competitive advantage by making their life more miserable.

Sometime last week, the Google Maps web site became inaccessible from Windows phones. […] continued “Smartphone Wars: Google Blocks Windows Phone From Accessing Google Maps”

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Google Now: Android’s Ambitious App Pulls You Into The Google Ecosystem

Google Now and the Android ecosystem

If you have a new Android phone running the latest version of Android (“Jelly Bean,” Android versions 4.1 or 4.2), you can turn on Google Now, one of the most interesting and forward-looking smartphone apps available on any platform.

I don’t have a Jelly Bean phone, so I’m relying on news reports, blogs, and comments by knowledgeable tech journalists. […] continued “Google Now: Android’s Ambitious App Pulls You Into The Google Ecosystem”

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