Bruceb News

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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Install Google Lens, Then Remember To Use It

Google Lens - visual search with your phone

I’m going to give you a difficult assignment. I want you to install Google Lens on your phone. That’s the easy part. Then I want you to remember to use it until it becomes second nature. You’re flinching, right? We’re maxed out on technology and it’s tempting to use what you already know and not worry about the latest and greatest thing. […] continued

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Say Goodbye To Outlook Clutter

Focused inbox will replace clutter in Outlook on January 31, 2020

On January 31, 2020, there won’t be any more clutter in Outlook. Oh, you’ll still get just as many unimportant messages as before, but they won’t be sorted into a Clutter folder. Instead, you’ll use Microsoft’s replacement, Focused Inbox, to read “Focused” and “Other” messages.

This only applies to a few people. […] continued

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Google Wants To Surround You With Invisible Assistants

Ambient computing - surrounded by invisible devices

Part 1: Ambient Computing – Buzzwords That Are Changing Your World

You don’t notice an automatic door when it opens.

Google, Amazon, and Apple want to make it so natural to interact with their devices that you don’t even notice that you’re doing it. We’ll be surrounded by devices. The more there are, the less we’ll notice them. […] continued

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Ambient Computing: Buzzwords That Are Changing Your World

Ambient computing AKA ubiquitous computing

(Sonoma County fires: we have evacuated to a safe place and our house is not threatened. All of our thoughts and best wishes go out to those in danger or suffering losses.)


Hey Google . . .

  • What time is my flight today?
  • How long will it take to drive to Oakland Airport?
[…] continued Read more

Grammar Are For Winners!

Grammar checking made easy with Word, Outlook, G Suite, and Grammarly

Need help with spelling and grammar? Of course you do!

You already get help with your spelling. Microsoft Word and Outlook automatically fix common errors on the fly as you type, and flag possible misspellings with the familiar wavy line. Your phone auto-corrects your errors, which of course works flawlessly.

Artificial intelligence now allows grammar to be checked just as easily as spelling – on the fly, with instant feedback. […] continued

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Windows 10 Has Ransomware Protection – Here’s Why It’s Not Turned On

Ransomware - want your data back?

Microsoft added built-in ransomware protection to Windows 10 two years ago. When you check, you’ll find it’s not turned on. This will seem strange. It should be a good thing to stop ransomware, right? Here’s why you’ve never heard of it and why you probably won’t turn it on.

It will help if you have some background about how ransomware works; then I’ll tell you about the difficult bits in the Windows ransomware protection that make it hard to manage for non-tech people. […] continued

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How To Set Up A New Windows 10 PC Without A Microsoft Account

Windows 10 - how to set up a new PC with a local account

There are good reasons to set up a new Windows 10 PC without a Microsoft account, even if you intend to link it to a Microsoft account eventually.

The bad news is that Microsoft is pushing its own agenda and using deception to hide the option of setting up a local account instead of a Microsoft account. […] continued

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Dark Patterns Are Evil – And They’re Everywhere

Dark patterns - deceptive opt in choices

I hate to interrupt the steady flow of happiness and joy in the news, but I want to call your attention to a small way that our civilization is degrading into a dystopian hell. Once I describe it, you’ll notice it everywhere.

The web is filled with dark patterns – deliberately confusing and deceptive choices, designed to trick us into signing up for junk newsletters, subscribing to unwanted services, spamming everyone in our address book, or giving up our privacy. […] continued

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Microsoft Makes It Easy To Encrypt Your Email (Well, Easier Than Before, Anyway)

Office 365 message encryption

Let’s talk about email encryption.

That didn’t take long! I’ve never seen a room empty out that quickly. I’d like to thank the fourteen of you who are still reading. I didn’t want to say this while everyone else was here, but you’re my favorites.

If you’re in a small or midsized business, you’re probably not using email encryption. […] continued

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How To Use The Archive Button In Outlook

Outlook has a new Archive button

Outlook has an Archive button, right next to the Delete button. You haven’t noticed it because we have trained ourselves for twenty years to let our eyes slide over anything in Outlook that we don’t use. The Archive button appeared a couple of years ago without any fanfare and, I’ll be damned, it’s pretty useful. […] continued

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Security Tip: Use Authy For Two-Factor Authentication

Authy - best app for two-factor authentication

I want to talk to you about two-factor authentication and why you should use Authy to generate codes on your phone.

Oh, come on! Don’t give me that look. I know you don’t want to think about this stuff. It’s roughly like having an insurance salesperson look you in the eye and ask you if you’ve thought about what will happen to your family after you’re gone. […] continued

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How To Get Rid Of The “Microsoft Account Problem” Notification

"Microsoft account problem - we need to fix your Microsoft account" in Shared Experiences settings

If you get a notification that you have a “Microsoft account problem,” you don’t have a problem and you don’t have to fix anything. You haven’t been hacked and you don’t have a virus. Microsoft is testing your patience.


How to stop the notifications Windows 10 Shared experiences - turn off Nearby Sharing and Share Across Devices

Click on Start / Settings (the gear in the left column). […] continued

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