Microsoft

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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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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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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Look At The Red Flowers! Windows 10 Now Includes Help For Color Blindness

Color blindness - normal colors compared with simulated deuteranopia

The latest Windows 10 update includes filters that help color blind users see colors normally. That might sound matter of fact to you, but as a person who has moderately severe deuteranopia (red/green color blindness), I am grinning broadly and feeling proud of Microsoft for working hard every year to improve the assistive technologies in Windows. […] continued

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Microsoft Is Moving Past Windows

Microsoft stock price 2017

If you’re an individual or small business Windows user, you might have the wrong idea about how Microsoft is doing.

We all tend to generalize from our own experiences. You can be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft’s future is dim when Outlook has just crashed or you’re paralyzed by an unexpected and unwelcome Windows update. […] continued

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The Confusing Story Of OneDrive Files On-Demand

Microsoft OneDrive files on-demand

OneDrive Files On-Demand is a new feature being rolled out now to Windows 10 computers worldwide. It’s a valuable and welcome new feature that you should know about and that you might use. But this is from Microsoft, so you will not be surprised to find out that (1) it’s hard to predict when you’ll get the update that includes the new feature, (2) it’s confusing to set it up, and (3) it’s poorly documented. […] continued

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Why Is Microsoft Obsessed With Windows Store?

Windows Store

Microsoft has a modern platform for apps that would make your computer safer, more reliable, and perform better. All that’s needed is for you to give up everything that you do on your Windows computer today and start over again with new programs from the Windows Store that don’t look or work like the programs you’re using now. […] continued

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Windows Themes And The Failure Of The Windows Store

Windows 10 themes in the Store

Microsoft believes that Windows can return to its position at the center of our technology world if all of us begin to use the Windows Store to install programs.

It is a flawed, desperate vision. Windows is going through a slow, long-term decline. The Windows Store will not change that. The decline is broader than Windows, and it is permanent. […] continued

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Outlook Disconnected From Office 365? Try Disabling IPv6

Outlook disconnected? Try disabling IPv6

(This tip is for IT pros. Non-technical readers should still read this article because it involves a thrilling mystery, it teaches important lessons for healthy living, and it has a fresh minty aftertaste. But if you’re not sure, don’t do anything to your computer without the support of your trusted IT support person.)

Outlook 2013 and 2016 can occasionally lose their connection to an Office 365 hosted Exchange mailbox. […] continued

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Google Changes Its Programs For Storing Photos And Files Online

Google Backup and Sync

Google is changing the programs that Windows and Mac computers use to store photos and files online. You’re not required to do anything right away but some of you will be prompted to update to a new program in the next few months. Let’s see if we can unravel some of the details of Google Backup and Sync, and Drive File Stream. […] continued

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