Bruceb News

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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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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Acronyms You Should Know: TL;DR

TL;DR Too long. Didn't Read. Suitable for mugs, t-shirts, Xmas ornaments, tattoos, etc. Too Long. Didn’t Read.

You’ve seen it in Bruceb News articles. If you’re over 35, you probably thought it was a mistake. Au contrariwise! I don’t make mistakes. Sometimes, though, I slip into dope slang lingo because I’m so damn hip.

Wikipedia’s definition:

Too long; didn’t read (abbreviated TL;DR and tl;dr) is a shorthand notation indicating that a passage appears too long to invest the time to digest it. […] continued

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How To Stop Microsoft Teams From Starting Automatically

Microsoft Teams - how to prevent autostart

Last month Microsoft rolled out an update to some Office 365 business subscriptions that for the first time includes the app for Microsoft Teams. Some of you are seeing the Teams startup screen every time the computer starts.

If you don’t use Teams, the unwanted startup screen may make you think unkind thoughts, but let’s be realistic. […] 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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Save Screenshots With Snip & Sketch

Windows 10 Snip & Sketch - the update you didn't think you needed

The latest update to Windows 10 version 1903 includes Snip & Sketch, an update to the venerable Snipping Tool that has been part of Windows since Vista in 2007. The new app makes me smile because it’s the quintessential Microsoft experience: it has unnecessary extra features that you won’t use; it has a duplicative name that is both longer and more confusing than the old program; and it doesn’t work as well as the original. […] continued

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Best Practices To Secure Office 365 Global Admin Accounts

Secure Office 365 global admin accounts

Business Office 365 accounts have at least one global administrator with godlike power over everyone’s business accounts and mailboxes. In our dangerous world, businesses have to protect that account fiercely. I could make a good argument that online security is more critical in 2019 than locking the door to secure the physical stuff in the office. […] continued

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Chilling Tales Of Lost Passwords

Bizarro cartoon - Alibaba forgets his password

Here’s a scary story about the government’s preparations for the 2020 census and how it was exposed to “potentially catastrophic risk” when it lost some passwords.

Costs for the census have soared in the last few decades. After the 2010 census, the Census Bureau decided to embrace technology in 2020 to make the count more accurate and keep costs down. […] continued

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How To Turn Off Unwanted Chrome Extensions

Chrome Web Store - extensions

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. […] continued

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How To Turn Off Spam Ads & Annoying Notifications In Windows 10 & Chrome

Windows 10 notification - adware from Chrome

This article is for anyone with spam ads or annoying notifications popping up from the lower right corner of your Windows desktop. If you don’t have this problem, file this away in case you need it later.

(Also see: How To Turn Off Unwanted Chrome Extensions)

Sleazy advertisers used to install “adware,” little programs to change your browser home page and pop up ads in the middle of the screen. […] continued

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If You’re Worried About FaceApp Sending Your Photo To Russia, You’re Missing The Big Picture

FaceApp - Beatles

FaceApp is a popular phone app that uses AI on selfies to make you look older. It’s cute. It had a resurgence recently when some celebrities posted photos of themselves with wrinkles and grey hair, and then a lot of people freaked out because they realized the app does its work by uploading your picture to Russia. […] continued

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Security Tip: Google’s Lessons About Media Literacy Aren’t Just For Kids

Google's lessons about media literacy aren't just for kids

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. […] 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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My Documents Folder Is A Mess (And It’s Microsoft’s Fault)

Messy desk (it's a metaphor for a messy documents folder - get it?)

My Documents folder in Windows is a cluttered mess and there’s nothing I can do about it.

This is a picture of my Documents folder. You’ll see at least some of the same names in your Documents folder.

My Documents folder is a mess (and it's Microsoft's fault)

I created exactly two of those folders – Business and Personal. All of the rest are WindowsCrap™, created automatically by Windows and other programs, following guidelines from Microsoft that aren’t working out well. […] continued

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