Outlook’s Slow Road To Syncing Signatures

Outlook will finally begin to sync signatures

At some point, possibly during our lifetimes, the Outlook desktop program for Windows will begin syncing email signatures through the cloud from one computer to another. This will be a wonderful thing that will alleviate one small pain point in setting up new computers.

But not today, not tomorrow, and apparently not this month, despite a flurry of excitement a few days ago when Microsoft announced a June rollout before apparently changing its mind. […] continued

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Dropbox Smart Sync Included With All Paid Plans

Dropbox Smart Sync included with all paid plans

Dropbox Smart Sync is now included with all paid plans for individuals and businesses. It’s not a feature of Dropbox’s free account, but that plan is so limited that the lack of Smart Sync doesn’t matter.

Let’s take a minute to unpack that. This might be interesting for OneDrive users also, since OneDrive includes a similar feature (“Files On Demand”). […] continued

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The Nine Billion Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows keyboard shortcut to taskbar programs

There are monks in a Tibetan lamasery working patiently to list all nine billion possible names of God, according to a 1953 story by Arthur C. Clarke.

By an extraordinary coincidence, there are nine billion Windows keyboard shortcuts. Good news! You already know some of them. Almost everyone has at least a few at their fingertips. […] continued

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The Outlook Search Bar Is Changing, Whether You Like It Or Not. (You Won’t Like It.)

The new Outlook search bar might leave you feeling adrift without a paddle

If you use the Outlook desktop program for Windows, the search bar is going to change and move around and grow and grow and grow like a mutant chicken heart from an old horror movie. And just like the monster, you can’t stop it. (Cue spooky soundtrack music.)

Microsoft is changing the position of the search bar as part of a grand vision that expands Microsoft Search into a universal tool that encompasses web and enterprise data in addition to our own stuff, and uses AI to make our searches so smart that we get over our initial feelings of annoyance. […] continued

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Windows Tip: How To Stop The Disappearing Scroll Bar

Windows 10 and the squashed and disappearing scroll bar

Have you noticed that scroll bars in Windows 10 get squeezed to a thread or disappear? It’s one of those small annoyances that the authorities slip into our lives to keep us on edge so we can’t concentrate but we’re not sure why. Allegedly.

You’re working in a program and you need to scroll down, so you scoot the mouse to the right side of the window, but the scroll bar is this thin line, barely visible, a thread. […] 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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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2020

Computer and online safety 2020 - only your vigilance will protect you!

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. […] 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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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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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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Windows 10 Tip: Dress Up Your Desktop With A Theme

Windows themes - photos & art for your desktop

Microsoft has gorgeous collections of photos that you can use for free as your Windows wallpaper.  A typical theme rotates through ten or fifteen photos; when you get bored, it’s easy to switch to another theme with new pictures. I’ll tell you where to get the themes, and along the way, we’ll talk a little bit about the failure of the Microsoft Store. […] continued

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