A series of articles about privacy and trust in the era of tech overlords.
• Part 1: Data about you is being gathered by the big tech companies (as well as many other companies) in startling ways. Their ability to analyze that data and predict your behavior is more like magic than technology – and it has the potential to change the world, for better or worse. […] continuedRead more
These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2019. 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. […] continuedRead more
Google has changed the steps required to pin a website to your Windows 10 taskbar. It’s still possible but it takes a bit of extra effort.
There are some websites that fit your workflow best when they are running in their own separate window. When you set up a website to open in its own window, it shows up separately on the taskbar so you can switch to it easily, and you won’t close it by accident when you’re closing 12 other tabs in your main Chrome window. […] continuedRead more
I wrote an article a few years ago about how difficult it is for non-tech people to manage the fiddly bits required to run a Windows computer. It’s one of the things that drove the transition from computers to phone and tablets.
An interesting thing is happening today. The explosion of devices, products and services is causing just as much confusion and frustration in the world of mobile devices. […] 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
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
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
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.Read more
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. […] continuedRead more
Samsung is a global electronics company with hundreds of thousands of employees. It is the world’s largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker by revenue. Samsung sells more smartphones than any other manufacturer by a large margin.
(You think Apple is number two in smartphone sales, and you’re a bit surprised it’s not number one, right? […] continuedRead more
Google is an advertising company. Its incentives are all tied to maximizing engagement with places where you will see ads served up by Google’s ad network. But that has more depth than you realize, driven by Google’s desire to have those ads be more effective and tailored to you than anyone else’s ads, combined with a strong ethical culture and the sheer joy of technology. […] continuedRead more
Five giant technology companies have set up walled gardens full of shiny devices and enticing services. All of us live in their gardens. We’re not completely locked in. We move from one walled garden to another, but each company hopes to keep you within its garden by making its services and devices work better if you stay in its embrace. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has quietly improved the speech recognition features in Windows 10 and in the Office programs. They’re still not great but you might want to give them a try if you haven’t talked to your computer in a while.
One fundamental truth has not changed: If you are serious about dictating on a computer, there is no alternative to the Dragon Naturally Speaking products. […] continuedRead more
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Google gave one of the all-time great technology demos on stage this week at Google I/O, its developer conference.
Before you do anything else, watch this video of Google CEO Sundar Pichai presenting Google Duplex. Take four minutes. It’s worth it. […] continuedRead more
There was a time when Windows was cool. A long time ago, people lined up to get new versions of Windows when they went on sale. Maybe not quite the numbers of people outside of Apple stores at the height of iPhone madness, but still – Microsoft was pretty cool.
When the iPhone was released in 2007, Microsoft began its long decline with consumers. […] continuedRead more