web_services

Microsoft Has Not Made Any Progress On Sorting Out Its Personal And Work Accounts

Microsoft's dueling identity systems

Microsoft has two giant identity systems set up by different divisions of the company – one system for personal accounts, a different system for “work or school” accounts. It’s confusing. There is a team at Microsoft trying to make it less confusing; they may be doing things behind the scenes but there has not been any visible change in the last two years. […] continued

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Prepare Yourself (And Your Budget) For Subscription Fatigue

2019 will be the year of subscription fatigue

You’re going to be so fed up with subscriptions by the end of next year that you will want to scream.

Want to play a game? Before you read further, think about your recurring monthly expenses for digital services, devices, and subscription boxes. Write down a quick estimate of how much you spend each month. […] continued

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Google Knows So Much About You That It’s Creepy, But It Might Not Be An Invasion Of Privacy

Google is creepy but it might not be invading your privacy

The term “invasion of privacy” is distracting us from understanding important issues.

Invasion of privacy is frequently thrown around as a core issue where consumers need protection against tech companies. Apple has made it the cornerstone of its marketing.

The European Union has enacted strict privacy laws for websites that obtain any kind of identifiable information about users. […] continued

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Store Your Files In The Server In The Sky

Box Dropbox OneDrive - file storage in the cloud

It’s time to move your files to the cloud.

Box, Dropbox, and OneDrive now all have plans that support an important feature: You can store your files online and access them with Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder, without syncing the files and without using space on your hard drive. Today I have to explain a bunch of stuff for that to make sense, but I think this will be our natural expectation without a second thought in a very short time. […] continued

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Saving Passwords In Google Chrome Is Better Than Nothing (And That’s A Good Thing!)

Google Chrome password manager

Google has improved the password management built into the Chrome browser. It’s . . . okay! Not bad! Better than nothing, absolutely. Saving passwords in Chrome is easy and kind of secure, as long as you take a couple of precautions that we’ll talk about below.

First, to be clear: everyone should use LastPass or another full-fledged password manager. […] continued

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These Shocking Facts About LastPass Will Make Your Jaw Drop

Password managers - LastPass & Chrome

The most important thing you can do to improve your security is to use LastPass. It’s more convenient and more secure than a notebook in the desk drawer or any password system that relies on your memory. Once you have confidence in LastPass (or any password manager), you can use unique random passwords (the ones that look like this: g88*GZ&&HwRx) for every website. […] continued

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OneDrive Can Automatically Back Up Your Documents, Pictures And Desktop Folders

OneDrive folder protection

Microsoft has made it easier to protect your Documents, Pictures and Desktop folders using OneDrive. OneDrive has become more reliable and many of you already have enough storage space to make this protection free. I would encourage everyone to look into this.

This adds a feature to Windows that should have been there long ago. […] continued

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Logging In To A PC With A Microsoft Account Is Overrated

Windows 10 - switch to local account

With the collapse of the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, there are fewer reasons all the time to sign into Windows 10 with a personal Microsoft account. I’m finding I frequently set up new computers with classic local accounts and bypass Microsoft’s push to connect the computer to an online account.

Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of logging into Windows with a personal Microsoft account. […] continued

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The Microsoft Ecosystem: Evolution And Extinction

Microsoft ecosystem - dead as a dodo for consumers

Microsoft does not have an ecosystem for consumers or small businesses in 2018. There is very little synergy between Microsoft products and almost nothing locks us into Microsoft products when we move from one category to another.

It makes old-timers sad to think of the past, because Microsoft had a successful ecosystem for decades. […] continued

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The Amazon Ecosystem: The Company That Wants To Sell Everything To Everyone

Amazon - the company that wants to sell everything to everyone

Amazon seeks to be the middleman in every financial transaction on the planet. Its incentives are all tied to making customers happy in every context where Amazon can take a small fee as money moves from one place to another.

Since the beginning, Amazon’s mission statement has been: “Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” In the most recent SEC filings, however, that is shortened; now it refers only to “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” without restricting it to sales from the Amazon website. […] continued

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Box Drive Hits A Milestone

Box Drive - work with all your cloud files on your desktop

Box Drive has been declared to be generally available, instead of being labeled a “beta.” Box Drive users will be prompted to install an update – more about that below.

Need a refresher?

Box is a service for businesses to store files online. Box was built from the ground up for business and is not the right choice for individuals. […] 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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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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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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