Bruceb News

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

Read more

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

Read more

Google Real-Time Transcription Is The Coolest Technology Of 2019

Google real-time transcription - ancient version

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.) […] continued

Read more

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

Read more

Why You Should Be Skeptical About 5G In 2020

5G antenna - one of the small ones

Previously: 5G Will Be Important, But Not In 2020

The carriers’ 5G upgrade will change our world over the next ten to fifteen years.

That’s not the message you’ll get from the onslaught of advertising in 2020, which will urge you to upgrade your phones and your mobile plans now now now. […] continued

Read more

5G Will Be Important, But Not In 2020 (Despite What The Ads Say)

5G will be everywhere (but not in 2020)

We are about to be assaulted. An overwhelming advertising blitz will begin in earnest in 2020, trying to convince you that you should upgrade your phone and your mobile service contract to 5G now now now.

Maybe you’ve already begun to see advertising by phone manufacturers and mobile carriers for new 5G technology. […] continued

Read more

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

Read more

Data Brokers: The Companies Hiding In The Shadows That Know Everything About You

Tight focus on the data broker industry

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. […] continued

Read more

Spotify Unwrapped 2019: My Top Ten List Is 260% Better Than Last Year

Spotify - Bruceb Top Ten 2019

Spotify has launched its annual Spotify Wrapped website, where you can look back on your year of music listening, including your top artists and top songs. You’ll find a new playlist in the Spotify app with your most-played songs from 2019. It’s the end of the decade, so Spotify also includes a list that shows your top songs and artists for each year that you’ve been on Spotify, as well as your favorite artist of the decade. […] continued

Read more

Should You Pay For Dark Web Monitoring?

Dark web - hackers are trading your personal information

Your personal information is for sale on the dark web.

Don’t worry, I’ve got in mind that you don’t know what the “dark web” is, other than a scary name. I’ll tell you more down below.

I believe all articles about the dark web are required to use the above picture to convince you it’s pure evil. […] continued

Read more

Pixel 4 And Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Google Pixel 4 phones are not as terrifying as the reviews would make you think

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. […] continued

Read more

Headcrabs And The Future Of Virtual Reality

Half-Life headcrab zombie

The future of virtual reality may depend on headcrab zombies.

Last week, game developer Valve Corporation made a bombshell announcement: it will release a new VR game, Half-Life: Alyx, in March 2020. The gaming and virtual reality communities are going nuts – gamer forums exploding with excited comments and complaints; nonstop articles in the tech press evaluating the announcement from every angle; emotions ranging from elation to anger; and mostly hope that the game will be good enough to justify all the angst. […] continued

Read more

Install Google Lens, Then Remember To Use It

Google Lens - visual search with your phone

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. […] continued

Read more

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

Read more