Shooting Fish In A Barrel: Microsoft Is Rebranding Office 365

Microsoft is re-branding Office 365. Just give up on understanding it.

Shared communication is one of the underpinnings of civilization. It sets humans apart from animals.

Microsoft is engaged in a long-term effort to prevent us from being able to understand each other. I don’t know why. The company doesn’t appear to be run by a super-villain, but that would fit the facts. […] continued

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Covid-19 Is Straining The Internet

Server farms under strain from increased streaming & videoconferencing during Covid-19 outbreak

Across the globe, hundreds of millions of people are using their Internet connection more intensely than they did just a few weeks ago. Usage ramped up so quickly that the infrastructure is being stretched past its limits.

I don’t have any tips. You don’t have to do anything differently. It’s just another interesting way that Covid-19 is turning our economy and culture upside down. […] 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Google, Antitrust, And Zero-Click Searches

Google zero-click searches - no need to click when a question is answered directly

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. […] continued

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