It seems like just when we get used to the devices we have, new ones come along to replace them. Wireless charging has been around 10 years but it is reaching the tipping point in the consumer market now. Same goes for the USB-C connection, appearing as ports on more and more PCs Whether it’s wireless charging, wireless typing, or wireless communication, there are now a cornucopia of devices beyond mobile phones to connect our devices without the tangle of cables thanks to the increasingly available Qi technology. USB-C ports found on new PCs also requires a new learning curve on how to get the most from them. Laptop-Size Portable Keyboard Works for Phone, Tablet, and Smart TV My boilerplate signature on my mobile phone is “Sent from my iPhone so pArdon any TyPos” Really. I am not making this up. And that’s because typing on the teeny, virtual on-screen keyboard all but guarantees email goes out as digital alphabet soup. Same goes, but maybe not as much, for tablet keyboards. That’s why I am thankful for Zagg’s $80 Flex keyboard. Designed in a thin, foldable, portfolio-style, the Flex keyboard and cover attach magnetically. When attached, the folding cover converts … Read More
There are legitimate reasons to critique Google for how it chooses to track and use our data, but it does have some very helpful tools. One that I found extremely useful was Google Reader (October 2005 – July 2013). It was a well-conceived and executed service that enabled users to subscribe to any RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed and subsequently keep up with new content on those feeds. Its popularity also meant developers were building tools to interface with that service to make it more accessible across different platforms. Google Reader was also a de facto social sharing site — people could start discussions on items in their RSS feeds. Unfortunately, Google shut down Reader in an attempt to move users over to its fledgling social media service Google+. Instead, they killed the working social site they had and booted a community of RSS fans out of the Google ecosystem. Following Google Reader’s announced sundown, a few different services stepped in to take up that void. The one I went with at that time was Feedly. As a replacement, Feedly made it very easy to import my 150 RSS feeds. They were also not new to the business of helping users access … Read More
This latest Windows 10 iteration — the sixth update since Windows 10 debuted — has had a rocky roll-out thanks to a data-deletion issue. After figuring that out and making the appropriate fixes, the October 2018 Update was re-released in mid-November but it is still not generally available through Windows Update. Currently, seekers can go initiate an upgrade to this feature update by visiting Windows Update or using either the Media Creation Tool (MCT) or the Update Assistant. There is no evidence at this point that the October 2018 Update is being automatically pushed out to any users through Windows Update. Apparently, there is a very good reason for the lack of automatic updates based on information listed on the Windows 10 Update History page. Last month, just as Microsoft re-released the October 2018 Update, Corporate Vice President for Windows Michael Fortin laid out the company’s plans for better quality for future Windows 10 updates. He also discussed the company’s plans to be more responsive and transparent about issues impacting the roll-out of these updates. Well, the Windows 10 Update History page has become the portal they are using to increase at least the transparency around these semi-annual feature updates and monthly … Read More
Continuing our theme of taking care of old business in the old year — now that you’ve safeguarded your data, what about ensuring it’s not lost or erased? Several Windows Secrets writers have tackled the unglamorous but vital question of how to safeguard your files so you can always get to them. Dig in. Backup on OneDrive: It Finally Makes Sense Three Built-In Options to Back Up Your Data on Windows 10 How to Move Your Windows Personal Files to a Different Drive Why It’s Important to Back Up Your Cloud Storage, And How to Do It
I have a friend who calls Cyber Monday “Happy Unsubscribe Day,” for her practice of seeing which unasked-for emails from businesses pop into her inbox, then deleting the offenders. It’s a nicely automatic piece of digital housekeeping: Cyber Monday happens and you find out from whose email lists you need to depart. In this season of online transactions and end-of-year assessments — coming off a year in which we keep learning how tech companies use our data without our knowledge or consent, and we keep learning how loosely they value security — it behooves us to do a little digital housekeeping. Below, you’ll find a collection of helpful how-tos on safeguarding your data. Here’s hoping for a more rigorously private 2019. Know What Your ISP Knows About You How to Secure Your Outlook Email Messages with a Digital ID Best Practices for Backing Up and Securing Your Personal Files How to View and Control Your Private Online Data
Microsoft released 63 security patches for November, including a fix for a zero-day vulnerability already under active exploitation. Of the patches, 12 updates are considered critical, and almost every other patch is ranked as important. Out of the 12 critical vulnerabilities, 10 can be exploited through browsers or opening malicious files, according to a post from Jimmy Graham of Qualys. “The priority this month should be all Windows OS updates and Edge,” said Chris Goettl of Ivanti. “Internet Explorer has several Important vulnerabilities resolved as does Office, but all of the Critical vulnerabilities, exploits and disclosures are in the OS and Edge browser.” Goettl also notes Microsoft is re-releasing Windows 10 1809 and Server 2019 after pulling them in October due to user data being deleted after upgrading. “Take a moment to test before rolling out just to be cautious,” he said. Here are the highlights from this month’s release with the information you need to prioritize your patching efforts. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
The pending spring update of Microsoft’s flagship operating system (a.k.a. Windows 10 19H1 Build 18282) showed off several UI tweaks which continues to be an area of focus for this development branch. They also added a couple of tweaks to Windows Update that appear to be a move towards giving users a little more control over the mandatory update process. I have speculated a few times over the course of the 13 builds released for the 19H1 update that Microsoft may be choosing to focus on fit and finish aspects of the operating system rather than big new features. This latest build supports that theory. Of course, we will be keeping an eye on the development progress and sharing our insights along the way. For Build 18282 let’s take a closer look at some of the latest work. Note: This is a pre-release build of Windows 10. Nothing is written in stone when it comes to what changes will make it into the final release for this feature update. Windows Light Theme Windows 10 19H1 Build 18282 “Windows Light” Theme This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Here’s how to take charge of the information collected about you by technology companies. Like many people, you probably have online accounts with Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and companies. We all know that these businesses monitor and store certain data about our online activities. But exactly what information do they have? And how can you review, modify, and remove it? The process differs for each company, but the goal is the same. You want to be able to see what data is stored about you, clear any data you don’t want the companies to have, and restrict the type of data they can collect about you going forward. This can be a time-consuming task as the companies don’t make the process quick and simple. But you should still make an effort to review the information being collected about you. Let’s check out the steps for four of the top tech players. Microsoft Using a Microsoft Account is handy as it gives you one set of credentials for Windows, Office, Skype, and other Microsoft apps and services. But that also means Microsoft collects a lot of information about you. To review and modify all this data collection, sign into your Microsoft … Read More
A couple of weeks ago in this newsletter, I highlighted some of the apps that are automatic installs for me when setting up a Windows 10 device. Of course, they are not the only apps I use daily and over the last couple of years, Microsoft has come along way with some helper apps that are in various stages of development. Many are released broadly for Windows 10 while others are currently being tested by Windows Insiders in the Fast, Slow, and Release Preview Rings of the program. That is right – the three rings in the Windows Insider Program are not just for testing updated development builds for the next feature update to Windows 10. Many of the app development teams now use these rings to test their apps and new features in a smaller test environment. If you do not want to test early development builds, then Release Preview, which doesn’t get builds until very late in the development process, is the perfect spot to help test out new features in some of these apps. Let’s check out a few of these apps. Microsoft Photos Windows 10 Photos App This article is part of our premium content. Join … Read More