The bad guys aren’t kidding around. They’re after you. Some day soon you will be walking down the street and a 400 pound hacker will galumph out and make a scary face and shout, “Give me all the passwords in your wallet!” and stomp off cackling and steal all your money from his couch. […] continuedRead more
You’re an Amazon Prime member, right? If not, goodness, get over there and sign up. Give Amazon $99 for the privilege of shopping there. You’ll feel that it’s money well spent. It does not work by trickery. It works because you are convinced that you are getting great value from it – and Amazon keeps making it better and better. […] continuedRead more
The European Union’s head of antitrust enforcement hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine last week because of a shopping service you’ve never heard of.
The EU’s action comes after seven years of tussling with Google. The case was almost settled in 2014 but intense lobbying caused the proposed settlement to fall apart and led to the much stricter punishment announced last week. […] continuedRead more
Spotify and Apple Music have helped the music industry recover from a disastrous decade. Here are a couple of interesting perspectives on streaming music – a look behind the scenes at the relationship between Spotify and the music industry, and a thought about our shift to streaming music.
Let’s call them “record companies.” A bit of an archaic term, but that’s the familiar name for Universal, Warner, Sony and a few others – the businesses that continue to stand between artists and the public, demanding a huge cut of revenue from music recordings and performances. […] continuedRead more
Google Photos is transformational. Some name will emerge to describe the next wave of technology – “post-Internet” or “A.I.-enabled,” maybe. References to “artificial intelligence” and future technology can be vague and scary. Google Photos is here today to show you that what’s coming is exciting, not scary, and it has the potential to transform our lives as profoundly as the Internet itself has changed our world in the last twenty years. […] continuedRead more
Today Box announced that Box Drive is generally available. We are beginning a profound shift in the way we think about our files. This deserves some attention even if you don’t use Box – Dropbox and OneDrive will be following suit before long.
Box Drive is a new program that lets you use Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder to browse through all the files stored online in Box. […] continuedRead more
One of the first things everyone does with a new Windows 10 computer is install basic programs and utilities and set defaults so files open in the right program. This is a quick note for people who want to use Acrobat DC or Acrobat Reader to open PDFs, using “Set your default programs” in Control Panel. […] continuedRead more
The picture above shows the menu that comes up when you right-click the Start button in Windows 10. Many of you haven’t seen it. It’s full of things that burrow deeply into the system controls. That’s why it’s usually called the “power user menu.” I use it constantly.
On the left is the power user menu as it has appeared pretty consistently since Windows 10 was released. […] continuedRead more
Now you can say what a timer is for when you set it on an Amazon Echo. “Alexa, set a timer for the pasta for eight minutes.” Then set a second timer: “Alexa, set a timer for the laundry for 30 minutes.” Eight minutes later, the Echo will chime, and Alexa will say, “Your pasta timer is done.” “Alexa, how much time is left on my laundry timer?” “Twenty-two minutes.” You can set reminders, too. […] continuedRead more
The programs in Microsoft’s Office suite should be as solid as a rock. Lately that phrase doesn’t seem to mean what it used to mean.
The core Office programs are mature. They’re downright elderly. Microsoft Word and Excel are more than thirty years old. The Outlook program for Windows is 20 years old. […] continuedRead more
Google announced a number of new products and services at its developer conference last week. One of them, Google Lens, might change the world. It might be the most important technology announcement in ten years. Of course, it’s just as likely that it will turn out to be nothing important, just another bit of vaporware that is underwhelming when it appears and is abandoned two years later. […] continuedRead more
China uses smartphones differently than anywhere else in the world. It’s a fascinating story! Understanding WeChat and why QR codes are displayed everywhere in China will give you a context to understand the importance of Google’s announcements last week. I’ll tell you about Google Assistant and Google Lens in the next article. […] continuedRead more
The chances are good that you weren’t affected by the ransomware attack that began Friday and is still in progress around the world. In fact, it’s very likely that it’s not a threat to you, even if you click on its evil link. I’ll tell you some of the reasons for that. […] continuedRead more
Next month Microsoft will begin selling Surface Laptops, elegant and sexy, Microsoft’s first Surface devices with a traditional clamshell design. You’ll be tempted to buy one, but in the end you won’t. Almost no one will buy them. Microsoft will sell some Surface Laptops, of course, but sales volume will be insignificant – no shame but no bragging rights. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft made two big announcements this week at an education-themed press event. They’re related in a couple of ways. One common element is that Microsoft will fail at both of the new ventures it announced. I think each one is deeply flawed.
The two announcements:
• Microsoft will soon release Windows 10 S, a new version of Windows 10. […] continuedRead more