Bruceb News

Prices And Algorithms: It’s A Game Of Cat And Mouse, And You’re Always The Mouse

Pricing changes & algorithms - a game of cat and mouse

You probably have the idea that you can use the power of the Internet to compare prices and find deals. Savvy travelers look for advice about the best time to buy airline tickets for a trip – on a Tuesday, about 90 days before the trip, right? You compare several hotel chains when you’re looking for a room. […] continued

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Windows Search Is Broken And It’s Bing’s Fault

Windows 10 Search is broken - and it's Bing's fault

Microsoft is mucking around with Windows Search. It might be better someday, although it’s not like anyone was screaming for changes. But hoo boy, is it obvious that the B team is working on Windows these days! Because Windows Search has been horribly broken for the last few weeks, and the whole process of changing it, breaking it, fixing it, making it worse, has all been shrouded in secrecy as things get worse and worse. […] continued

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LastPass Is Slow

LastPass browser extensions are slow

LastPass is slow. It’s hard to overlook.

If you’re using LastPass, I want you to keep using it! You need a secure way to keep track of passwords and confidential information. For most people, the “best” program is the one that you already use. I don’t want anyone to read this and get excited and then have something go wrong and lose your passwords and suffer embarrassing hacks and have your identity stolen and wind up homeless and alone. […] continued

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Google, Microsoft, And Unethical Behavior

Google & Microsoft choose the dark side to promote their businesses instead of protecting consumers

Two weeks ago, Google changed its web search results to fool you into clicking on paid ads by mistake.

Last week Microsoft announced that an upcoming update for Office will force web searches in Chrome to go through Bing instead of Google – without consent and with no notice.

These are both terrible ideas, the kind of thing that erodes public trust and makes us understandably angry. […] continued

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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2020

Computer and online safety 2020 - only your vigilance will protect you!

These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2020. You can download a copy here.

Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. 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. […] continued

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Google Real-Time Transcription Is The Coolest Technology Of 2019

Google real-time transcription - ancient version

You can record speech on a Pixel phone with Google’s new Recorder app, and it will transcribe the words into text in real time. You can save the text and search for words later.

You can see captions on any video or spoken audio on your phone. (Not phone calls or video calls – those bring up thorny privacy issues.) […] continued

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R.I.P. Windows 7

Windows 7 end of life - January 14, 2020

Windows 7 has passed on. It is no more. It has ceased to be. Windows 7 has expired and gone to meet its maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. […] continued

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Why You Should Be Skeptical About 5G In 2020

5G antenna - one of the small ones

Previously: 5G Will Be Important, But Not In 2020

The carriers’ 5G upgrade will change our world over the next ten to fifteen years.

That’s not the message you’ll get from the onslaught of advertising in 2020, which will urge you to upgrade your phones and your mobile plans now now now. […] continued

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5G Will Be Important, But Not In 2020 (Despite What The Ads Say)

5G will be everywhere (but not in 2020)

We are about to be assaulted. An overwhelming advertising blitz will begin in earnest in 2020, trying to convince you that you should upgrade your phone and your mobile service contract to 5G now now now.

Maybe you’ve already begun to see advertising by phone manufacturers and mobile carriers for new 5G technology. […] continued

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The 2019 Bruceb News Year In Review

The 2019 Bruceb News year in review

(This will be the last Bruceb News article until I recover from an upcoming business conference trip to Hawaii. Happy holidays!)

I think I accomplished two goals in 2019: writing articles about privacy and security that were so terrifying that they kept you awake at night; and making those articles so dull that they helped you sleep. […] continued

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Data Brokers: The Companies Hiding In The Shadows That Know Everything About You

Tight focus on the data broker industry

Your personal information is being bought and sold by companies that lurk in the shadows. You’ve never heard of them. That’s the way they like it.

This is the most important issue that affects your privacy today.

Let’s start with a tight focus.

Assume there’s a company that methodically scrapes information from public records – drivers licenses, voter registration, property rolls, census and change of address records, birth certificates, marriage licenses, bankruptcy records. […] continued

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Spotify Unwrapped 2019: My Top Ten List Is 260% Better Than Last Year

Spotify - Bruceb Top Ten 2019

Spotify has launched its annual Spotify Wrapped website, where you can look back on your year of music listening, including your top artists and top songs. You’ll find a new playlist in the Spotify app with your most-played songs from 2019. It’s the end of the decade, so Spotify also includes a list that shows your top songs and artists for each year that you’ve been on Spotify, as well as your favorite artist of the decade. […] continued

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Should You Pay For Dark Web Monitoring?

Dark web - hackers are trading your personal information

Your personal information is for sale on the dark web.

Don’t worry, I’ve got in mind that you don’t know what the “dark web” is, other than a scary name. I’ll tell you more down below.

I believe all articles about the dark web are required to use the above picture to convince you it’s pure evil. […] continued

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Pixel 4 And Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Google Pixel 4 phones are not as terrifying as the reviews would make you think

Google has two new phones, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. They’re quite nice. If you had one, you’d like it. They might not tempt iPhone users to leave the Apple world, but anyone with an Android phone should consider a Pixel 4, now available through all the carriers. […] continued

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Headcrabs And The Future Of Virtual Reality

Half-Life headcrab zombie

The future of virtual reality may depend on headcrab zombies.

Last week, game developer Valve Corporation made a bombshell announcement: it will release a new VR game, Half-Life: Alyx, in March 2020. The gaming and virtual reality communities are going nuts – gamer forums exploding with excited comments and complaints; nonstop articles in the tech press evaluating the announcement from every angle; emotions ranging from elation to anger; and mostly hope that the game will be good enough to justify all the angst. […] continued

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