Android

All Your Loyalties Are Belong To Us: How Technology Companies Lure Us Into Walled Gardens

Technology companies and walled gardens

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. […] continued

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Talk To Your Computer: Speech Recognition In Windows 10 And Office

Speech recognition in Windows 10 & Office

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.  […] continued

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Google Performs An Amazing Magic Trick With Artificial Intelligence

Google magic with artificial intelligence

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke

Google gave one of the all-time great technology demos on stage this week at Google I/O, its developer conference.

Before you do anything else, watch this video of Google CEO Sundar Pichai presenting Google Duplex. Take four minutes. It’s worth it. […] continued

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How Microsoft Became Uncool And Lost Touch With Consumers

How Microsoft became uncool and lost the consumer market

There was a time when Windows was cool. A long time ago, people lined up to get new versions of Windows when they went on sale. Maybe not quite the numbers of people outside of Apple stores at the height of iPhone madness, but still – Microsoft was pretty cool.

When the iPhone was released in 2007, Microsoft began its long decline with consumers. […] continued

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Could Microsoft Have Kept Windows Relevant?

Could Microsoft have chosen a different path?

We have arrived at a point where Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. To a generation of computer users, Windows was the product that defined Microsoft and defined our own relationship to technology. Now that defining product is a legacy, used by many but beloved by few.

In this article: Could Microsoft have done anything differently? […] 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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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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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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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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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 Dictionary.com 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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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Focused Inbox Is Replacing Clutter In Outlook

Focused Inbox is replacing Clutter in Outlook

Microsoft just wants to be helpful. It’s eager to be helpful. It can’t stop itself from trying new things, just in case they’re a little bit better, even if you didn’t ask for any changes and you don’t really want new things.

Imagine that every six months you came home and Microsoft had rearranged your furniture without telling you. […] continued

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Why The iPhone X Will Make Apple A Trillion Dollars

Apple will be the first trillion dollar company

Apple will almost certainly become the first company in the world with a market capitalization of one trillion dollars, perhaps within the next year or two. The new iPhone X will help take it over that threshold. Apple continues to to exceed all expectations and to defy all naysayers.

Back in ancient times – about three months ago – it was easy to believe that Apple was about to stumble. […] continued

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Apple’s Security Disaster And What It Means For A Golden Key

Apple's security disaster

On Tuesday, the word spread that Apple’s latest release of its operating system for Mac computers, MacOS High Sierra, had a terrible, dangerous problem. Anyone could sit down at any Mac computer and in seconds log in to an administrator account, with full permission to install programs, change passwords, read files – to do anything to the computer. […] continued

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