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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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.) […] continuedRead more
(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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
Google, Amazon, and Apple are the only companies capable of surrounding us with connected networks of devices and services. Google hopes to become ubiquitous by extending Google Assistant everywhere. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
(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 . . .
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
When you search for the phone number for Bruceb Consulting, Google shows the phone number.
Does that seem obvious? It’s a relatively recent change. Google only began serious efforts to provide One True Answer to search queries a few years ago. It completely changes Google’s role in the relationship between users and advertisers. […] continuedRead more
In the last article, I told you how to turn off spam ads that appear as notifications in the lower right corner of your Windows desktop.
After you do that, Chrome might still not be right – maybe it doesn’t open up to the Google search page, maybe search results are odd, maybe you get popups. […] continuedRead more
Media literacy – being able to recognize phishing messages, disinformation, and scams – has become one of the most important skills needed to survive in the 21st century. Your children may take classes in media literacy before long; lawmakers and educators are working to elevate the issue in legislatures and schools. […] continuedRead more