(This will be the last Bruceb News article for 2018. I’ll return with more news next year, if anything interesting happens. Remember, a subscription to Bruceb News makes a lovely last-minute Xmas gift. Happy holidays!)
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, the number of minutes you listened to Spotify during 2018, and more. […] continuedRead more
A famous thought experiment shows how an AI could be designed with good intentions and without malice, and still wind up destroying humanity.
Imagine that an artificial intelligence is told to maximize production of paperclips. Through an oversight it is not given any instructions about also considering human values – life, learning, joy, and so on. […] continuedRead more
The Google Home Hub is my favorite home assistant. Put it on your Xmas list, or sneak one under the tree for yourself. If your pictures are stored in Google Photos, then the Google Home Hub is worth the investment just because it is the best photo frame ever. But Google Home Hub stands out for everything else it does, too, so it’s highly recommended unless you are already so deep in the Amazon Echo ecosystem that it doesn’t make sense to switch. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
Outlook is full of hidden surprises and shortcuts. Here are a few tips for Outlook junkies that range from obvious to obscure. I know the first one (sent in by good friend BillG) took me by surprise, and I’ve been scouring lists of Outlook tips for a long time.
When you’re at the Outlook Inbox, a tap of the Ctrl-V key instantly copies the contents of your clipboard into a new email message. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
It’s Thanksgiving week in the US. Do you mind if I tell you a story that has nothing to do with technology? Indulge me. We’ll get back to Microsoft shenanigans next week.
My favorite song of the year was performed for the first time ever on Halloween. The song is “We Are Come To Outlive Our Brains.” It’s from a 1981 album by Kasvot Växt. […] continuedRead more
Your Windows 10 computer is going to install a major update soon. Microsoft just began rolling out the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update,” bringing Windows 10 to version 1809.
The version number – 1809 – is a code for the year and month of the update. So the version number suggests September and the official name is the “October update” and it’s being released in November. […] continuedRead more
Surge protectors wear out. A few thunderstorms, or just day to day use for a couple of years, and they are completely useless for power surges.
And you know how you can tell? You can’t. They keep sending power to whatever is plugged into them. But unbeknownst to you, they are providing no protection whatsoever against power surges. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
This tip is for anyone who uses the desktop version of Outlook on a laptop with a touchscreen. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, this is for you. If you’re not a touchscreen user – well, frankly, I like Outlook better with this turned on anyway, but you can go back to killing time with Instagram if you’re bored. […] continuedRead more
In the last two months, there have been major announcements of new products by every computer and phone manufacturer on the planet. You don’t know about any of them, do you?
On September 12, Apple put on its annual presentation of new iPhones for hundreds of tech journalists, with the same showmanship that it has relied on since the days when Steve Jobs would take the stage in his black turtleneck and wow the faithful. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
Two factor authentication adds an extra step to the process of logging into your accounts.
It makes you safer.
Until recently two factor authentication was only used by techies and high value targets in government and enterprises. The world has gotten more dangerous and two factor authentication has become easier to use. […] continuedRead more