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

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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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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Your Office 365 Mailbox Is Not Backed Up (But It’s . . . Wait, Is That Okay?)

Office 365 mailbox is not backed up

If your small or midsize business uses Office 365, there is probably no backup of your mailboxes. A backup – long-term retention of a copy of your mailbox in a separate place – requires a third-party service at startling expense.

It’s starting to be a problem that needs to be solved. […] continued

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Your Backup Program Is Not Backing Up OneDrive Files (But It’s Okay!)

OneDrive Files On Demand are not backed up

Backups are hard. I have a story to tell you about why your backup program is not backing up OneDrive files – but don’t panic! This is just a public service announcement that may help you someday if you understand what’s going on behind the scenes.

If you have files in OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, it means Microsoft stores your files in the cloud. […] continued

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OneDrive For Business Has Issues

OneDrive for Business - not quite the right solution

I wanted to love OneDrive for Business.

And it should have been a great relationship! There are lots of reasons to love OneDrive for Business. Although it had problems in the past, now the Windows app is stable and fast; I’ve got lots of storage space included with my Office 365 subscription; and OneDrive for Business includes features at no charge that cost extra from other services. […] continued

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Gaming 2019: Console & PC Gaming

Gaming 2019 - console & PC gaming

The traditional picture of a “gamer” is someone using a Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, or a powerful PC, playing one of the AAA blockbuster titles that get all the attention and prestige. The console & PC games industry today is like the movie industry: dominated by a relatively small number of big-budget productions from major studios, primarily sequels in longstanding franchises, each one with a big marketing budget. […] continued

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Google Docs Adding Support For Microsoft Office File Formats

Google & Microsoft try to keep you in their walled gardens

Google is trying to make the grass look greener in its walled garden, hoping to lure businesses that might otherwise stay loyal to Microsoft. The change it has announced sounds innocuous but might have big consequences in the long run.

Google is adding native support to Google Docs for editing, commenting, and collaborating on files in Microsoft Office file formats. […] continued

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Microsoft Has Improved AutoSave For Office Documents (But Not For Everybody, And With One Bit That Might Make You Curse)

Autosave Office documents stored in OneDrive

Have you ever lost hours of work in a Word document because you closed it without saving? Of course you have. It’s happened to everyone.

That has never happened to you if you use Google Docs. In fact, you’ve forgotten about that problem because Google Docs automatically saves everything continuously. Now that you think about it, you’re feeling a bit superior, aren’t you? […] continued

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Microsoft Thinks The Future Belongs To Teams (And It Might Work For You, Too)

Microsoft Teams - the hub for teamwork in Office 365

Microsoft Teams is an Office 365 service that businesses can use for their employees to chat and collaborate, providing an alternative (and perhaps a replacement) for email inside the company. Although it’s relatively new, Teams has quickly become a strategic priority for Microsoft.

Many Office 365 services only make sense for large enterprises, but Teams might be the exception that even small businesses should closely examine. […] continued

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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2019

How to be safe using a computer in 2019

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. […] continued

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It’s Not Just Your Computer – Everything Is Too Hard To Use (And It’s Not Your Fault)

It's not just your computer - everything is too hard to use

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. […] continued

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